Horror on TV: The Veil Episode 7 “Destination Nightmare” (dir by Paul Landres)


On tonight’s episode of The Veil….

Peter Wade, Jr. (Ron Hagerthy) is a rather timid man who would rather design planes than fly them.  However, his father, Peter Wade, Sr. (Boris Karloff, who also hosted the episode), is a World War I veteran who has gone from being an aviation hero to owning his own aviation company.  Peter, Sr. demands that his son become a pilot.  And yet, every time that Peter, Jr. is flying, he’s haunted by ghostly face that 1) puts him in a trance and 2) tries to get him to crash his plane!  Could it have something to do with a secret from his father’s past?

This episode is effectively creepy, as any show featuring a possessed pilot and a potential aviation disaster should be.  As with some of the past episodes of The Veil, the main attraction here is really the chance to see Boris Karloff doing what he did best.  Karloff was one of the great actors and it’s always fun to see him get a good character role.

Enjoy!

The Dirt On The Relentless: American Satan (2017, directed by Ash Avildsen)


The Relentless are the biggest band in the world, even though their music sounds like it belongs in the 80s.  Led by charismatic singer Johnny Faust (Andy Biersack), the Relentless have just released their debut album, American Satan.  Now, they’re touring the country, doing every drug they can get their hands on and every groupie that stops by their hotel.  The moral guardians say that The Relentless are a bad influence and are leading their children into Satanism.  For once, the moral guardians are right.  Back when they were just a struggling band in Los Angeles, The Relentless made a deal with Satan (Malcolm McDowell).  All they had to do was sacrifice the lead singer of a rival band (played by former teen idol Drake Bell) and all their dreams would come true.  However, if Johnny Faust had bothered to study his namesake, he’d know better than to make a deal with the devil.

The best thing about American Satan is that it was obviously made by people who know the music industry.  All of the details at the start of the film, with the Relentless struggling to get noticed and having to hit the streets and sell tickets to their own show, felt true.  It helps that most of the members of the Relentless were played by actual musicians.  What they lacked in acting talent, they made up for with authenticity.  The music industry is a tough business to break into, regardless of how good or bad your band is.  After watching Johnny and the Relentless struggle with crooked promoters and unsympathetic label owners, it was believable that they would consider signing a deal with the devil.

Much like the band, the movie lost its way after the contract with the devil was signed and official.  The rioting, the groupies, and the drugs were all too predictable and the movie just became The Dirt with Satan replacing Ozzy.  American Satan seems to be building up to an epic conclusion but it never seals the deal.  Instead, it just ends with a whimper, as if no one was sure where the story was supposed to be heading.  Still, any movie that finds roles for Malcolm McDowell, Bill Duke, Goldberg, and Denise Richards can’t be all bad.

At its worse, American Satan is an anti-climatic take on the Faust legend.  At its best, its Tipper Gore’s worst nightmare.

Game Review: An Act of Murder (2007, Christopher Huang)


Several years ago, theatrical producer Fredric Sheppard bought a house on an oceanside cliff and now, his body is lying on the rock below.  Chief Inspector Duffy has dropped you off at the Sheppard house and told you to interrogate the people in the house, search for clues, and hopefully have the case solved by the morning.  You’ve got plenty of suspects, a handful of clues, and only a limited time to get the job done.  Get to work!

An Act Of Murder is a throw-back to the classic Infocom murder mysteries like Deadline and Suspect.  What makes this game interesting is the high amount of randomization.  Though the suspects and their backstories remain the same, the identity of the murderer and some of the key clues changes every time you start a new game.  Because there’s five separate suspects, that means that An Act of Murder is actually five games in one.  Of course, even if you tell Duffy to arrest the right suspect, you still have to have found all of the clues that prove their guilt.  If you don’t have all the clues, even arresting the right person could still lead to the case getting tossed out of court and you getting thoroughly humiliated.

In the tradition of the old Infocom games, each room is vividly described and each character is capable of variety of reactions depending on what you ask them and when you ask it.  The game also has a very helpful hint section and  a valuable and automatic notebook, which records every clue that you come across and every statement that you get.

An Act of Murder can be downloaded, for free, from here.

(After you’ve played the game and successfully solved the murder a few times, be sure to type XYZZY!)

Creepshow, S1 Ep2,Bad Wolf Down/The Finger, Review by Case Wright, Spoilers, but worth it!


Creepshow.jpg

Happy Halloween Havoc!!!! Is it enough for horror to just be fun and even funny?  YES! American Werewolf in London or anything by John Landis really proves that. Creepshow on Shudder is all about just sitting back and having some gory fun. This show is so wonderfully over the top that the 90s have returned. Let’s all put away our black turtle necks and put on some Hammerpants and watch some great horror.

Bad Wolf Down is a werewolves in World War II story…Really! It was a lot of fun.  Then, when I saw Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) playing a Nazi, I realized this show is THE AWESOMENESS! An american platoon gets trapped behind enemy lines and takes refuge in an abandoned police station.  They find a woman in the jail who is a french werewolf. This seems relevant because they really spend a lot of time translating.

The Head Nazi (Jeffrey Combs) finds the american platoon and will wipe them out, but the platoon gets the french werewolf to turn them into werewolves and they go and kill a bunch of Nazis.  That’s it…Really!

The Finger is your lonely guy adopts a self-regenerating-human-eating-Alien story.  I know…I know ..  another one?! Clark Wilson (DJ Qualls) is a twice divorced down and out guy who has nothing going for him- until he finds a finger.  The finger looks alien and when he spills beer on it, it re-generates into a medium-sized alien and becomes his pet.  He calls the alien Bob.  Bob becomes Clark’s best friend and as any best friend would do, Bob eats all of Clark’s enemies.  He also brings back body parts from the kill like my old cat did.  Sidenote: I had a cat who used to bring me squirrel heads.  He’d line them on my porch.  Bob is like that.  The police eventually arrest Clark for the murders, but Bob might break him out.

The finger is told by Clark in real-time narration, which really adds to the comedy. He looks dead into the camera, talking directly to us. Also, it’s especially fun watching DJ Qualls hang out with a bro-alien- Brolien. If you wanna chill, watch this!!!!

Horror Scenes That I Love: A Nightmare From Take Shelter


Take Shelter was one of my favorite films of 2011.  It was not only the first to introduce me to director Jeff Nichols but it was also the first time that I ever watched Michael Shannon act and thought to myself, “Hmmm….so, yeah, he’s a really good actor.”

The film was usually described as being either a “psychological thriller” or “a character study” but that’s just because critics were trying to justify how good the film was by ignoring the fact that it was totally a horror film.  Shannon plays a man who is haunted by disturbing nightmares of the end of the world.  The film perfectly integrates the nightmares into the narrative, so that you’re never quite sure when one of them is going to pop up.  It’s always raining in the nightmares but sometimes, it’s cloudy while Shannon’s awake as well and you’re just like, “Oh no….”

Anyway, this is one of the nightmares and I remember it totally freaked me out when I saw Take Shelter in the theaters.  I was like, “Uhmmm….did anyone else just notice a shadow walk by the window?”

Take Shelter‘s a really good movie so you need to see it if you haven’t already.

Horror Book Review: Book of the Dead by Jamie Russell


If you’re still making out your Halloween movie list, might I suggest that you pick up a copy of Jamie Russell’s Book of the Dead?  Because, seriously — what’s a Halloween movie night without a few zombies thrown into the mix?

Book of the Dead is comprehensive study of the history of zombie cinema, starting with a look at how the legend of the zombie first began and then progressing through White Zombie, the dead films of George Romero, the great Italian zombie films of Lucio Fulci, and finally moving all the way to the modern era.  Scary zombies, funny zombies, porno zombies, political zombies, underwater zombies, French zombies; they’re all here!  It’s a well-written book, one that was clearly written by somebody who not only loves the movies in general but zombie films in specific.  Russell seems to be having so much fun writing about these films that it’s impossible not to share his enthusiasm.

Even better, the book contains a comprehensive appendix that lists and reviews basically every zombie film ever made!  Seriously, there all here — from the obscure to famous.  When I first started to seriously study the history of horror cinema, Book of the Dead was one of the first resources that I purchased and I used to obsessively study that appendix.  It’s thanks to this book that I discovered films like I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain.  It was thanks to this book that I discovered that there was more to zombie cinema than just corpses eating brains.

This book was originally published in 2005 and, at that time, basically went up to the Resident Evil-era of zombie films.  Subsequent editions have been updated with even more zombie films and even more zombie reviews!  This is the perfect book for all of your undead needs!

 

4 Shots From 4 Films: Chopping Mall, Demons 2, The Fly, The Hitcher


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1986 Horror Films

Chopping Mall (1986, dir by Jim Wynorski)

Demons 2 (1986, dir by Lamberto Bava)

The Fly (1986, dir. by David Cronenberg)

The Hitcher (1986, dir by Robert Harmon)