Horror On TV: Suspense 2.13 “Man In The House” (dir by Robert Stevens)

Look out!  There’s a man in the house!

In this case, the man (Alan Baxter) is an escapee from a psychiatric institution and he’s taken the owner of the house (Ruth McDevit) hostage!  Can Emily (Kim Hunter), the daughter of the hostage, maintain her daily routine without letting anyone in on what’s happening back at the house?  If she can’t, her mother will pay the consequences!

This suspenseful episode of Suspense originally aired on November 29th, 1949.  Two years after appearing on this show, Kim Hunter would appear in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire.  Hunter would go on to win an Oscar for playing Stella Kowalski.


The Hound, HP Lovecraft, Review by Case Wright


Happy Horrorthon! Remember to decorate your tree for SamHain; he’s like Sam Goody because he’s from the past, but probably not like Yosemite Sam.  Why am I writing kinda goofy? Because I just read the early 20th Century version of Scooby Doo!  Yes, Lovecraft can be kinda corny.

In The Hound, two graverobbers get more than they bargained for when they steal a dead hound’s amulet and the ghost monster stalks them.  Jinkies!  There is very little character development, but the there is a whole heck of a lot of stuffy prose to obfuscate the simplistic plot.  The hound starts howling at night “Shaaaaaaagggggggy” “Vellllllma” or something close to that.  They start to go crazy and one of the grave-robbers dies! Jeepers!

The grave-robber/narrator decides to return the amulet to the groovy ghoulie, but he gets robbed! Ruh-Roh! Of course this turns out to be good luck because the Evil Scooby kills the muggers.  For some reason, he decides to visit the doggy grave again and it’s covered in the gore of meddling kids! Zoinks!

Would I recommend reading this story? Well….it was kinda fun and maybe worth two Scooby Snacks!

Wait Until Dark With Shelley Hack: Blind Fear (1989, directed by Tom Berry)

Three criminals, two men and a woman, go from robbing an armored car to invading a seemingly deserted New England inn.  Led by psycho Ed (Kim Coates, of course), they kill the elderly caretaker (Jan Rubes) and then settle in to wait for the arrival of their contact.  However, when a pizza is delivered, they notice that only half of the pizza has anchovies.  “Not everyone likes anchovies!”  Ed declares.  That means that the pizza was ordered for two and there’s someone else in the Inn!

That other person is Erica (Shelley Hack), who was the inn’s switchboard operator.  She’s now hiding in the inn, desperately trying to figure out how to avoid getting captured by Ed and the gang.  Complicating things for Erica is that she’s blind.  Complicating things for the criminals is that they’re no match for her other heightened senses.  While the gang searched the inn, Erica kills the lights and sets some traps of her own.

The VHS box art for Blind Fear (which I don’t think has ever been released on DVD), says, “She thinks she’s alone,” which is actually the exact opposite of the film’s plot.  (it also features Erica wearing tinted glasses, something that she doesn’t do in the actual film.) Erica never thinks that she’s alone and spend almost the entire film in hiding because she knows that she’s not alone.  Ed and the criminals briefly think that they’re alone but then the pizza arrives and the anchovies give everything away.  I guess “She thinks she’s alone” sounded better than “Shelley Hack spends 90 minutes in the dark.”

Imagine a remake of Wait Until Dark starring the least interesting star of Charlie’s Angels and you have a pretty good idea of what this efficient but forgettable Canadian thriller is like.  As an actress, Shelley Hack never had much screen presence but she’s not really bad in this movie, in which she spends most of the runtime crawling around in the dark while never getting a single blonde curl out of place.  Not surprisingly, the best performance in the film comes from Kim Coates, who has been playing psychos and lowlifes for almost longer than I’ve been alive.  Nobody does it better than Kim Coates!

Game Review: Shadows Out Of Time (2018, Brendon Connelly, Dan Q, Liz McCarthy, and Bodleian Libraries)

I was going to review Heavy Rain today but it looks like I’m going to need an extra day to work on that review and hopefully figure out an appropriately way to describe Madison Pagie’s role in the game.

Until I do that, how about taking a look at Shadows Out of TimeShadows Out Of Time is a text adventure game that begins with you, a student at Oxford, waking up in your favorite chair in the Old Bodleian Upper Reading Room.  In front of you is a copy of Lovecraft’s Shadow Out Of Time, which you were reading before you fell asleep.  Upon waking up, you discover that the library appears to be deserted.  Further searching reveals that the entire town appears to be bereft of human life!  Are you alone or is there something with you?  You’ll have to explore to find out.

Shadows out of Time is a choose your own adventure-style game.  You read the descriptions and then you decide which of two options to go with.  Do you go out to the quad or do you continue to explore the library?  Do you try to reach Rad Cam or do you steal a bike and try to return to your home?  It can be a challenging game but, fortunately, you always have the option to “wake up” if you want try again.  (Or you can “stay asleep forever.”)

It’s an atmospheric game that captures the unique feel of Oxford.  (The game itself was obviously specifically written for students at Oxford.  For any Americans who may want to play, Radcliffe Camera is not a camera shop.)  It’s an entertaining tour through haunted Oxford.  You can play it here.

Halloween Scenes I Love: Spider-Man Goes To ESU’s Halloween Party in PS4’s Spider-Man

Not all good Halloween scenes have to come from a movie.  Sometimes, they can come from a video game!

One of my favorite missions in PS4’s Spider-Man is Back To School.  That’s where you, as Spider-Man, have to search the Empire State University Halloween Party for an Oscorp scientist named Dr. Delaney and rescue him from Mister Negative and the Demons.  Because it’s a Halloween party, you should be able to search for Delaney without anyone realizing that you’re the Spider-Man.  The bad news is that, again because it’s a Halloween party, almost every party goer is dressed up like one of your enemies.  And when Mister Negative does attack, it turns out that a drunk college student dressed up like the Rhino can be almost as dangerous as the actual Rhino!

6 Good Horror Films That You May Not Have Seen Yet

Halloween City by Karl Pfieffer

Well, Halloween’s fast approaching and that means that it’s time for people to start thinking about what they’re going to watch on the big night.

Now, of course, you can always watch the old favorites, like Halloween or Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street (or any of their numerous sequels, remakes, and reboots).  In fact, if you’re expecting a lot of trick-or-treaters, I can understand why you might want to go with the old dependables as opposed to trying to focus on something that you haven’t seen before.

However, if you’re looking for a new film to watch on Halloween, here are 6 good horror films that, sadly, don’t seem to be as well-known as they deserve to be.  If any of these movies are new to you, October 31st might be just the day for you to experience them!

1. Strange Behavior (1981)

This is a horror film that I recommend to everyone.  It’s a slightly satirical story about college students being turned into homicidal murderers.  Along with all of the blood and the expected jump scenes, Strange Behavior is also a quirky portrait of life in a small town.  It’s the type of film where a collection of 1940s character actors (including the great Charles Lane) share the screen with 70s character actors like Michael Murphy and they all try to figure out how a seemingly dead scientist is programming the town’s children to be murderers.  The dialogue is frequently witty, the soundtrack is amazing, and there’s even an impromptu dance scene that comes out of nowhere!

2. Messiah of Evil (1973)

This is another film that I frequently recommend to my horror-loving friends.  This is perhaps the most surreal zombie/vampire film ever made.  A woman comes to a town to visit her father and she soon discovers that everyone in the town is acting strangely.  This one features plenty of hippie action, a surprisingly large amount of clips from a Sammy Davis, Jr. film, an albino who eats rats and talks about how much he loves “Wagner” (which he pronounces with a “W” instead of a “V”), and some of the strangest imagery that you’ll eve see in a low-budget horror film.

3. The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972)

Shirley MacClaine is a spoiler socialite who discovers that her younger brother, Perry King, has been possessed by the spirit of a murderer.  Though this film is often dismissed as being just another Exorcist clone, it actually came out before The Exorcist and, in many ways, it’s even more disturbing than the seminal shocker.  The ending will give you nightmares.

4. Martin (1977)

George Romero takes on vampires and the end result is unlike any vampire film that you’ve seen.  Martin thinks he’s a vampire.  His grandfather thinks he’s a vampire.  Is Martin really a vampire?  In the end, the film suggests that it might not really matter.  A disturbing and sad film that has unexpected moments of humor, Martin also features Romero himself in the role of a well-meaning priest.

5. The Grapes of Death (1978)

From the great Jean Rollin, it’s France’s first zombie film!  In this one, people are being turned into zombies by contaminated wine.  How many of your friends would become zombiefied as a result?

6. Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983)

Finally, if you just have to watch a slasher this Halloween, why not check into the Mountaintop Motel?  Evelyn will be more than happy to check you in and check you right back out.

“Happy Halloween!”

4 Shots From 4 Films: The Call of Cthulhu, The Descent, Land of the Dead, Wolf Creek

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 2005 Horror Films

The Call of Cthulhu (2005, directed by Andrew Leman)

The Descent (2005, dir by Neil Marshall)

Land of the Dead (2005, dir by George Romeo)

Wolf Creek (2005, dir by Greg McLean)

Horror on the Lens: Bride of the Gorilla (dir by Curt Siodmak)

In the 1951 film, Bride of the Gorilla, Raymond Burr plays a plantation manager who commits a murder.  Unfortunately, for him, the murder is observed by a witch who promptly puts a curse of Burr.  Now, every time the sun goes down, Burr transforms into a gorilla and goes wild in the jungle.

Basically, it’s kind of like The Wolf Man, just with a less sympathetic protagonist and a gorilla instead of a werewolf. Just in case we missed the similarities, Lon Chaney, Jr. plays the film’s nominal hero, a police commissioner who suspects that something weird might be happening with Burr.  Apparently, the plan was originally for Chaney to play the gorilla and for Burr to play the policeman but, because Chaney was dealing with a serious alcohol problem at the time, the roles were reversed.

Also in the cast, playing the role of Dina, is Barbara Payton, the tragic actress who is best known for being at the center of a love triangle involving actors Tom Neal and Franchot Tone.  In 195000, Neal attacked Tone and beat him so severely that Tone spent 18 hours in a coma.  Tone was notably shaky onscreen for the rest of his film career while Neal spent a few years in prison.  After the incident between Tone and Neal, Payton could only get roles in B-movies like this one.  Tragically, she would pass away, in 1967, of heart and live failure.  She was only 39 years old.

Music Video of the Day: Zombie by Radiation City (2013, dir by Matthew Gamlen)

Apparently, the world’s ending but, fortunately, your boyfriend’s built an underground bunker!

Unfortunately, you now have to live down there with them and I don’t care how much you love someone, you still occasionally need some alone time.  Perhaps if he had built a bigger bunker, you wouldn’t be going as stir-crazy but, as usual, no one asked you how big the bunker should be.  Instead, they just said, “Get down there in case the world ends!”

And so, you flee.  You break out.  You confront the brave new world that is rising from the ashes of the old one.

Of course, a few weeks later, you lose all your hair and you die a slow and agonizing death from radiation poisoning.  Fortunately, your boyfriend will probably die too.  That’ll teach him to try to put you in a corner.

Anyway, this is an absolutely great video, both wonderfully directed and acted.  That’s Cori Benesh and Hill Hudson as the couple in the bunker and they’re so empathetic and believable that you really do cringe when you realize how radioactive the sand between their toes probably is.