Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.6 “Master of Disguise” (dir by Tom McLoughlin)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the sixth episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

In this episode, an actor uses a makeup case that was once owned by John Wilkes Booth to improve his looks! Unfortunately, the makeup is fueled by murder! This episode features horror and romance. Prepare to shed a tear for poor Micki. This episode also features a shout out to the great Boris Karloff.

This episode was directed by Tom McLouhlin, who also directed Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives!

This episode originally aired on November 11th, 1988.

Horror TV Show Review: Day Of The Dead 1.1 “The Thing In The Hole” (dir by Steven Kostanski)

First off, you may be looking at this review and thinking, “Someone’s a little late.”

Yes, I am.  Thank you for pointing that out.  I’m sure you’ve never had a busy week either.

That said, despite the fact that you shouldn’t have pointed it out, it is true that Day of the Dead premiered last Friday and it was only today that I finally got around to watching it on the DVR.  That wasn’t necessarily intentional on my part.  I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and really watch it or any other shows until tonight.  In fact, ever since I first saw the commercials for the show on SyFy, I’ve been looking forward to watching it.  Even though it looked like yet another Walking Dead rip-off, the fact that it was on SyFy held some promise as SyFy’s shows usually move quickly and feature lots of carnage.  If AMC always seems as if it’s trying too hard to turn its zombie franchise into a prestige factory, SyFy promises the opposite approach.

The show is named after George Romero’s Day of the Dead, which featured a group of survivors trying to ride out the zombie apocalypse in an underground bunker.  While the first episode did feature zombies and an anti-fracking plotline that felt like it could have come from one of Romero’s later films, it otherwise didn’t have much in common with Romero’s classic shocker.  The zombie apocalypse did start about halfway through the episode and apparently the show is going to focus on a group of people trying to survive the end of the world but, during the first episode, there was no bunker.  There was no Dr. Logan.  No one shouted “Choke on them” while his intestines were being devoured.  There was, however, some underground scenes due to the whole fracing subplot and there is a sinister character named Rhodes so I imagine we’ll be heading for some sort of underground bunker soon.  I guess we’ll find out over the course of the next few episodes.

After opening with an exciting flashforward the featured plenty of undead chaos, the first episode focused on election day in the town of Mawinhaken.  Mayor Paula Bowman (Miranda Frigon) is concerned about getting reelected but the election is brought to halt when the dead suddenly rise up from their graves and start eating all of the voters.  I got the feeling that we were meant to dislike Mayor Bowman because she’s an ambitious politician who has apparently put her career before her family but, as far as I’m concerned, Mayor Bowman was the best character on the show.  No sooner have the dead arisen than she’s running around with a gun and blowing them away while saying stuff like, “Second amendment, motherfucker!”  Hell yeah!  Plus, she has a great name.  Mayor Bowman has a nice ring to it….

(But if I was mayor, would I still have time to watch and review Lifetime films?  That’s the question.)

As for the rest of the characters …. well, there’s a lot of them.  Hopefully, a few of them will get eaten during the next episode because, otherwise, it’s going to be a struggle to keep everyone straight.  I did like Keenan Tracy, who played Cam McDermott, the son of a police detective who mows lawns to bring in extra money.  The scene where he mowed over the dead as they rose from their graves was a highlight of the episode.  Otherwise, the characters felt a bit interchangeable.  The only woman working on the fracking crew is former special forces.  The mortuary assistant is sarcastic.  There’s two bullies who like to give Cam a hard time.  They all made just enough of an impression that I can remember that they’re on the show but I’d by lying if I said any of them jumped out at me the way that Mayor Bowman and Lawnmower Cam did.

Anyway, it was a good enough first episode.  The action moved quickly and the zombies were gruesome without being quite as icky as the decaying corpses that pop up on The Walking Dead.  So far, the Day of the Dead zombies appear to move faster than the Walking Dead zombies and that’s definitely an improvement.  It’s probably debatable whether or not, at this point, there’s anything new that can be done with whole zombie apocalypse thing but I’ll definitely give Day of the Dead a chance to show me what it has in mind.

AMV Of The Day: Just Gold (Corpse Party)

With the final week of our October horrorthon approaching in just a few more days, now seems a good time to offer up another AMV of the Day!

Anime: Corpse Party

Song: Just Gold (Mandopony)

Creator: Tensei AMV

(As always, please consider subscribing to this creator’s YouTube channel!)

Past AMVs of the Day

Here’s The Trailer for Red Notice

Earlier today, Leonard shared the trailer for Uncharted. At the same time that the Unchartered trailer was dropping, the trailer for Red Notice was being released as well. To be honest, I kind of suspect that they’re both the exact same film. Maybe Red Notice is the European edit….

No, actually, they’re both separate films. But judging from the trailer, they both appear to take place in the same cinematic universe. Anyway, Red Notice stars Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot as rival things who end up woring for an FBI profiler who is, of course, played by Dwayne Johnson. It’s always interesting to me that whenever you real life FBI agents, they’re always these kind of nebbish accountant types but whenever they show up in a movie, they’re always played Dwayne Johnson. Dwayne Johnson’s never had to keep track of his money because, if he ever did run out of cash, the people of the world would come together to send him as much extra money as they could. Everyone understands that the world would be a much worse place without Dwayne Johnson.

I guess Red Notice is a wacky comedy time and Netflix has a pretty uneven history when it comes to wacky comedy but I do like all three of the stars so who knows?

Here’s the trailer!

Arcade (1993, directed by Albert Pyun)

Alex (Megan Ward) is a suburban teen still trying to come to terms with the suicide of her mother.  She and her friend, Nick (Peter Billingsley), spend all of their time hanging out at the local video arcade, Dante’s Inferno.  (Symbolic name alert!)  Also hanging out at Dante’s Inferno is a man (John de Lancie) who is desperate to find people willing to play what he says is the next step in the evolution of gaming.  The game, which is simply called “Arcade,” is a virtual reality simulator and soon, all the teens want to play it!

Unfortunately, there’s a problem with Arcade.  It was partially programmed with the brain cells of a child who had been beaten to death by his mother.  Don’t ask why anyone thought this was a good idea because this is a Charles Band production so you know no one would explain even if they could.  The child wants either friends or revenge so, as a result, the game is stealing the souls of the people who play it and transporting them to the virtual reality world.

Realizing that all of her friends will soon be gone, Alex enters the virtual reality world to save them and thwart Arcade!  She’ll have to defeat skulls, serpents, and every other CGI challenge that the game can throw at her.

If you remember this film, it’s probably because you’re like me and you saw it on HBO when you were kid.  Though the film has an R-rating because of some awkwardly deployed bad language, the film really is a teen boy fantasy, one in which you can enter the world of your favorite video game and save the world with Megan Ward, a hot girl who loves video games just as much as you do.  When it was released, Arcade’s special effects were pretty impressive.  If you watch the movie today, it’s obvious that the actors have just been superimposed against a virtual background.  Watching the film today, I had the same feeling that I had when I recently hooked up my old Xbox 360 and played a few games.  It was more primitive than I remembered but that rush of nostalgia was enjoyable for a few hours..  Arcade features an energetic cast (including Seth Green and  AJ Langer in supporting roles) and Dante’s Inferno was the coolest arcade I’ve ever seen.  It was a hundred times better than the one from Joysicks.

One final note: If you needed any more evidence that Disney is evil, they actually sued Charles Band because they claimed Arcade was too similar to Tron!  As a result, Band, working with Peter Billingsley, actually had to redesign a good deal of the CGI before the film could be released.  Disney was right about Arcade being a goof on Tron but who cares?  I doubt anyone has ever said, “I’ve seen Arcade, I don’t need to see Tron.”  Chill out, Disney.  There’s room for at everyone at the arcade.


Horror Game Review: Space Invaders (1978, Tomohiro Nishikado)

Thanks to the Internet Archive, I played Space Invaders earlier today.

Yes, Space Invaders. This is the arcade game where an army of aliens are marching down the screen and you have to shoot them while not getting shot yourself. It’s the first game that a lot of people played. It’s a game that’s been frequently imitated and rebooted. This is the ultimate arcade video game and it took me just a few minutes of playing to discover why. The game may be simple but it’s also incredibly addictive. No sooner are you done celebrating getting rid of all of the aliens than another group of them show up and starting marching down the screen. Get rid of that second group and a third shows up. And then a fourth and a fifth. Each time a new wave starts, the invaders move a little more quickly and it becomes more of a challenge to get rid of them all. Not even destroying the big alien spaceship will keep the aliens from returning. They can be blown apart but they can never be defeated.

For that reason, Space Invaders is not only the first great arcade game but it’s also the first great horror games. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how many the space invaders you blow away. they’re going to keep coming until eventually, they get past your shields. There is no way to win the game. The only victory comes from never giving up and lasting longer than your friends. Do that and you’ll be champion even after the Earth has been conquered.

Play Space Invaders.

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Monster Meets The Bride in Bride of Frankenstein

Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir James Whale)

Today’s horror scene that I love comes from 1935’s The Bride of Frankenstein.   In this wonderfully acted scene, the Bride (Elsa Lanchester) meets the Monster (Boris Karloff) for the first time.  Both of their reactions reveal them to be far more human than the people who created them.


Don’t Answer (Really Don’t), Review by Case Wright

Someone has to review this and I guess I drew the short-straw….again. Short horror is likely the mostly challenging short because you have to elicit two feelings: Concern and Fear. The problem is that if you don’t care about the actors, you can’t feel the fear because you can’t identify with them. Their demise is as important to you as whether or not you should do light or heavy starch.

Poor poor What’s Her Face house-sits for her father and takes a bunch of stupid pills. Not that she’s using drugs, but I’m assuming stupid pills were taken because What’s Her Face does A LOT of stupid things. A creep tries to get access to her apartment building, she refuses. He gets in any way and threatens her. A normal person would at least try to call the police or her Dad. She does, however, take out the garbage when she knows a psycho is out and about, and this act of stupidity gives him access to her father’s flat and the psycho kills her. That’s it.

I don’t mind if something is gratuitous, but please don’t make it boring. It did allow me some time proof my bread; so, I suppose the film did do that.

Lisa Marie’s Grindhouse Trailers: 6 Trailers For The 3rd Thursday in October

Well, here we are! It’s the third Thursday in October and that means that it’s time for another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers!

Since today is Boris Karloff’s birthday, I thought I would devote this edition to everyone’s favorite reanimated corpse, Frankenstein’s Monster! Over the years, there’s been a lot of movies about the Monster. Here are the trailers for six of them!

  1. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Believe it or not, there was a time when it was felt that the story of Frankenstein and his Monster has been played out. With the Universal films bringing in less and less money, many felt that the Monster’s days were behind it. Then, Hammer, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee came along and said, “No! This is what Frankenstein is all about!”

At least, I assume that’s what they said. I hope they did.

2. Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1965)

You can’t keep a good Frankenstein down as Jesse James discovered in this 1965 western.

3. Lady Frankenstein (1971)

In this Italian film, the Baron’s daughter continues her father’s scientific experiments! I guess Jesse James wasn’t the only one to meet Frankenstein’s Daughter!

4. Flesh for Frankenstein (a.k.a. Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein) (1973)

Udo Kier is the Baron and Andy Warhol may have been the producer of this film. Or he may have just lended his name out for the money. It depends on who you ask.

5. Blackenstein (1973)

Of course, following the success of Blacula, there was a blaxploitation take on Frankenstein.

6. Frankenhooker (1990)

And, of course, who can forget Frankenhooker?

I hope that your Halloween is full of the type of creativity and scientific curiosity that made the Frankenstein family legendary!

4 Shots From 4 Boris Karloff Films

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.

Since we yesterday paid our respects to the great Bela Lugosi, it only seems right that today, we should honor Boris Karloff.  By all account, Boris Karloff was a remarkably gentle and friendly man.  Perhaps that’s why he could find the soul in almost any character, even the ones who didn’t have one.

It’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Boris Karloff Films

Frankenstein (1931, dir by James Whale, DP: Arthur Edeson)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir James Whale, DP: John J. Mescall)

Black Sabbath (1963, dir by Mario Bava, DP:Ubaldo Terzano and Mario Bava)

Targets (1968, dir by Peter Bogdanovich, DP: Laszlo Kovacs)