Horror On TV: The Great Bear Scare (dir by Hal Mason)

I came across this old cartoon on YouTube.  Apparently, it aired in October of 1983.

It’s about bears living in Bearbank.  Halloween is approaching and they’re worried about getting invaded by the monsters who live on Monster Mountain.  Well, that makes sense.  My question is why would you buy a house near a location called Monster Mountain?  And really, shouldn’t the monsters be in the houses and the bears in the mountains?  This cartoon is weird.

Anyway, the bears are getting ready to feel the city but little Ted E. Bear sets out to confront his fears!  Woo hoo!

I don’t know.  It’s from 1983.  That was a strange year, I guess.


AMV Of The Day: I’m Not A Vampire (Soul Eater)

With Halloween rapidly approaching, it’s time for another AMV!

Anime: Soul Eater

Song: I’m Not Vampire by Falling In Reverse

Creator: VilaDeath

Past AMVs of the Day

A Ryan Callaway Halloween Double Feature : “One Winter Night”

Trash Film Guru

One thing no one can doubt for a minute : Ryan Callaway is a busy guy. Most years see him putting or two or three films, and here in 2019 he’s releasing his hour-long “short,” The Ghost In The Darkness, as well as the full-length effort under review here, One Winter Night, more or less simultaneously. Not even fellow New Jersey microbudgeter Nigel Bach can match that pace, and he doesn’t have anywhere near Callaway’s cast sizes and production complexities, given that he’s essentially cranking out everything from within the confines of his own home, and with himself as his only “star.”

Still, work ethic is one thing, actual ability something else entirely, and just because Callaway can pull off the seemingly impossible on a consistent basis doesn’t mean he always should. I got early access to this flick (which should be available for streaming on Amazon…

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The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: The Hitcher II: I’ve Been Waiting (dir by Louis Morneau)

What the sweet Hell is this crap!?

So, the 2003 film, The Hitcher II: I’ve Been Waiting, is a sequel to the original Hitcher.  That’s the film where C. Thomas Howell plays a dumbass who picks up a hitchhiker played by Rutger Hauer and then kicks him out after a few miles because Hauer’s like totally insane.  So, Hauer responds by murdering random people and framing Howell.  The Hitcher‘s a pretty good film, largely because of the terrifying performance of Rutger Hauer as the title character.

The Hitcher came out in 1986.  It got terrible reviews and didn’t do well at the box office but it found an audience when it was released on video.  In fact, The Hitcher became a bit of a cult favorite, which is what it deserved to be.  Then, 23 years later, a direct-to-video sequel was released and….

Seriously, this movie is so bad.

C. Thomas Howell returns, playing Jim, the same character that he played in the first movie.  Jim is still haunted by what happened in the first movie.  He’s a cop now but he fears that his encounter with the original Hitcher may have contributed to him using excessive force on a kidnapping suspect.  Seeking some time away from the stress of it all, Jim decides to visit a friend in Texas.  He and his girlfriend, Maggie (Kari Wuhrer) hit the road and, as they drive through the desert, they see a hitchhiker standing by the side of the road….

Now, I know what you’re saying.  “Oh, come on!” you’re yelling.  “There’s no way Jim would be make the same stupid decision twice!”

Well, you’re right.  Jim doesn’t stop to pick the guy up.  Instead, Maggie is the one who decides to pull over.  Apparently, Jim has never bothered to tell Maggie about any of the terrible stuff that happened during the first film.  Considering that Jim is apparently waking up constantly with nightmares and he’s on the verge of having a mental breakdown, you would think that all of this would be something that he would share with Maggie but no.  Maggie is totally shocked when Jim later tells her that he had a bad experience picking up a hitchhiker.

Anyway, in this case, the hitchhiker is named Jack (Jake Busey) and …. wow, shock of shocks!  He’s totally fucking crazy!  That’s right — it’s happening again!  So, Jack is chasing Jim and Maggie across the desert, murdering people and framing Jim and Maggie for the crimes.  Does this sound familiar?  Jim is eventually killed, giving C. Thomas Howell an excuse to never have to appear in another direct-to-video sequel.  Can Maggie beat the new Hitcher at his own game?

Oh, who cares?  This version of The Hitcher basically has none of the weird subtext of the first film.  Unlike Rutger Hauer’s Hitcher, who seemed to be almost erotically obsessed with Jim, Jake Busey’s Hitcher doesn’t have much on his mind beyond killing people.  If Rutger Hauer was all about quiet menace and charismatic intensity, Jake Busey is loud and in your face and so obviously crazy that it’s hard to have much sympathy for anyone stupid enough to pick him up.

The main problem with The Hitcher II is that it gets so damn repetitive.  I lost count of the number of times that a cop showed up, refused to listen as Maggie shouted, “STOP!  HE’S A KILLER,” and then got gunned down.  Seriously, this film featured the stupidest cops that I’ve ever seen.  The same thing keeps happening for 90 minutes or so, at which point we get a pithy one liner and then big explosion.  And then the movie’s over!


The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Reynolds, Review by Case Wright


Horror Comedy is either beloved or loathed.  Not everyone is into it, but I do enjoy it. John Landis’ films always made me very happy and the The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Reynolds was 90% Comedy/10% Horror. If you have 8 minutes to spare, this is a good way to spend those precious moments.

There is a group of maybe campers or counselors or vagrants from the 70s, 80s , or maybe the 90s? Anyway, they’re in the woods around a campfire.  Ned (Nathan Hoffman) is playing on a number of instruments the corniest songs ever; I mean beyond  Nickelback.  He tells the story of a disfigured camper who people called Squirt.  In order to hide his disfigurement, he wore a Burt Reynolds mask; hence, Squirt Reynolds.  Anyway, Squirt Reynolds gets pranked, swears revenge, yada yada yada.

Then, the horror begins in the short and it is pretty gross and fun.  I would give it watch and over a ham sandwich or nice snack.  In a lot of ways, a good short is like a good snack.

A Ryan Callaway Halloween Double Feature : “The Ghost In The Darkness”

Trash Film Guru

So, this is kind of interesting — New Jersey microbudget auetuer Ryan Callaway used to swear up and down that he’d never touch the “found footage” sub-genre, and yet here we are, in late 2019, and apparently “never say never” is the order of the day because his latest, The Ghost In The Darkness, fits that beleaguered category to the proverbial “T.” So the question we have to ask ourselves, I suppose, is : now that he’s “gone there” — should he have?

You can decide for yourself if you’ve got Amazon Prime, since this has recently been made available for streaming there, but if you want my opinion (which I’ll take as a given seeing as how you’re visiting this site and all), I’d say that based on just over an hour of evidence (which qualifies this as a “short” by Callaway standards),  the necessary restrictions imposed upon…

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Bloody Art: Tale of the Vampire (1992, directed by Shimako Sato)

When Anne (Suzanna Hamilton) gets a job at the library, she is immediately attracted to the quiet and studious Alex (Julian Sands) and he to her.  Alex claims to be a scholar who is at the library to do research on “religious martyrs” but Anne cannot escape the feeling that she has known him before.  What Anne does not immediately realize is that Alex is a vampire and that she was set up with a job at the library through the machination of Edgar (Kenneth Cranham), another vampire who claims to be a doctor.  Once, Edgar and Alex were both in love with the same woman, the beautiful Virginia.  After circumstances led to Virginia being taken away from both men, Edgar dedicated the rest of his vampiric existence to making Alex miserable.  Anne, who looks exactly like Virginia and may even be the reincarnated version of her, is a pawn in Edgar’s latest scheme.  When Alex and Anne start to fall in love with each other, Edgar’s plan leads to tragedy.

Tale of the Vampire is an unjustly obscure vampire film from the early 90s.  It used to play frequently on late night Cinemax, where it was advertised as just being another sex-fueled horror film but actually, Tale of the Vampire is a moody and contemplative art film.  The focus is on Alex’s feelings of guilt and his fear of hurting Anne in the same way that Virginia was hurt while Anne has to decide how far she is willing to go to be with Alex.  All three of the main actors give good performances, with Cranham nearly stealing the show as someone whose actual identity will become obvious after repeat viewings.  Tale of the Vampire has never gotten the attention that it deserves and it’s not an easy film to find but I recommend it.