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FEARNET.com News and Reviews

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    Moore5
     
    Sculptor Bryan Moore, who began his career in the '80s as an effects artist on films like the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and TV series like Monsters and Tales from the Darkside, has also put his skills to work in the world of toys and collectibles, including a gig with Mattel Toys. Over a decade ago, Moore launched his own business, Arkham Studios, and now provides prototypes and final products for clients like Universal, Mattel, BMW, Jakks Pacific and Burger King. 
     
    Moore3
    Now the studio is also selling high-end collectibles, with a classy line of “literary and occult figurines,” many based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as portraits of the authors themselves, and other real-life personalities like occultist Aleister Crowley and Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey.
     
    Moore1Moore7Moore2
     
    Most of the statues in his catalog are cast in polymer resin with bronze-tone finish and are around 10 to 12 inches tall, with price tags mainly in the $200-300 range. For serious collectors, these would look pretty sweet on a bookshelf or mantelpiece. Check out his full catalog here.
     
    Moore6
    In related news, Moore has launched a kickstarter project to fund the permanent establishment of a life-size bust of H.P. Lovecraft in the author's home town of Providence, Rhode Island this year. You can learn more about that project here.

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    My first exposure to GWAR was waaaaay back in October of 1997, where I saw them spray gallons of fluid across the Webster Theater in Hartford, CT.  It was a gloriously offensive experience, complete with mutant penguins being flayed alive, Marilyn Manson being dismembered, and the recently-dead Princess Diana showering the audience with blue blood (ha!).  I had an awkward high school kiss at that concert, which has forever changed how I feel about “Attack of the Penguins,” and the evening ended with a cocktail table overturning a warm beer onto my lap and filling me with every teenager’s worst fear: what was I going to tell my parents?

    15 years later, GWAR is still going strong, destroying eardrums and pop-culture icons at their inimitable live performances, including the annual music festival/barbecue, appropriately called the GWAR-B-Q.  This year’s festival will be held on August 17th (which is also my mother’s birthday, making this the least appropriate gift I could possibly get her), and GWAR has released their own signature barbecue sauce, called GWAR-B-Q Sauce (natch) to mark the occasion.

    Shockingly, for a band so dedicated to the pursuit of bad taste, GWAR-B-Q Sauce is genuinely delicious.  It’s certainly not a typical, off-the-shelf sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s fans need not apply), but it’s no less worth a taste.  Shipped in a simple glass bottle labeled with a vomiting Scumdog (way to make it appetizing, guys), popping the cap reveals a thick, strangely chunky brown liquid that is really like no sauce I’ve tasted before.

    I’ve eaten it on everything from crab cakes to cheese sandwiches to vegan “chicken wings” (because irony is the most delicious of all), and it’s a gastric delight on them all.  It’s not as tangy as other sauces, but it’s sweet and very smoky, with a wonderful burn supplied by jalapenos and beer.  The beer, a craft brew called Lil’ Lucy’s Hot Pepper Ale, adds a lot of extra depth and heat.  This heat is gently dulled by a lot of molasses and soy sauce (fair warning: if you don’t like soy sauce, don’t bother), which only adds more depth and texture to the already fascinating sauce.  With grilling season coming up, I foresee this bottle being empty sooner than I would like.

    The sauce is available for purchase at http://www.gwarbq.com, although it’s temporarily out of stock.  If you’re going to be in the Richmond, VA area on August 17th, I certainly imagine that they’ll have plenty for sale at the GWAR-B-Q.  Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to the Ring Dog Rescue because “GWAR hates humans but loves pit bulls.”  Huh.  Maybe this won’t be that bad of a gift for my pit-owning mom after all…


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    VHS collectors seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately. What many thought was a dead format seems to be making a major resurgence, similar to the way vinyl did. We wouldn’t dream of telling you that the quality of a VHS cassette provides superior picture, sound, or anything. But it is certainly a lot of nostalgic fun to revisit some of the more obscure titles by way of your VCR. 

     
    Be Kind, Rewind is your one stop destination for all the information you could ever want about horror films exclusively available on VHS. We will give you the low-down on the title we are re-visiting, including where to find it, the going rate, a review of the film, and we will even provide an expert recommendation as to whether the title is worth the money. If this segment is successful, we will be examining more titles in the upcoming weeks, so tell your friends and fellow lovers of antiquated technology. 
     
    Hosp_Mass
     
    Title: 
    Hospital Massacre (a.k.a. X-Ray)
     
    Year of release:
    1982
     
    Distributor:
    MGM/UA
     
    The Talent:
    Barbie Benton (known for being a Playboy Playmate)
    Chip Lucia(Tank Girl)
    Jon Van Ness(The Hitcher)
    John Warner Williams(Black Magic Woman)
     
    Synopsis:
     
    While out for a routine physical, Susan Jeremy (Barbie Benton) is stalked and tormented by a crackpot with an axe to grind. It seems this particular whack job has some unresolved issues from his past; specifically, our madman has yet to forgive Susan for her involvement in an embarrassing Valentine’s Day mishap that took place many years prior. 
     
    Review:
     
    The opening score is sinister. The opening credits are intentionally ominous. To some extent, the tension tapers down from there. But it’s more than made up for by the campiness that follows. The atmosphere is much campier than Friday the 13th or films of that ilk. But, as a nostalgic, sentimental, collector of outdated mediums, I am quite pleased with the campy nature of Hospital Massacre. And, the camp value doesn’t stop there from being a few worthwhile scares throughout the course of the film. 
     
    As you can probably guess, the performances are not the film’s strong suit. However, they are not nearly so bad as to render the movie unwatchable. 
     
    At the beginning of the film, we see a brief-but enjoyable-cameo from Elizabeth Hoy, who played the murderous Debbie Brody in Bloody Birthday the year before. I’m pleased to say that Hoy (Playing Susan Jeremy at about 10 years old) was almost as wicked in Hospital Massacre as she was in Bloody Birthday. 
     
    The killer sounds like he is lifting his absolute max at the gym, when he impales his victims. He also has some really exceptional dialogue in which he explains sex as “She lets you touch her in all her secret places.”
     
    Barbi
     
    Hospital Massacre uses its hospital setting to its advantage. There are some inventive kills that wouldn’t have been possible at many other locales. In one instance, we see one of our victims getting what looks to be a good old-fashioned acid bath. 
     
    The gore is not bad. There are a couple of cool effects. Since it was a low budget film, Hospital Massacre won’t delight you with amazing death scenes, but it definitely has a couple of noteworthy moments. 
     
    Fans of gratuitous nudity will find plenty to gawk at: Miss Benton’s extremely large breasts and equally sizable areolas are put on display quite liberally. The camera pans, slowly across her chest for anyone who might want a closer look at her bountiful assets.  
     
    There are a couple of things about the film that are hard to swallow. For one: Susan’s doctor gives her what looks like a sensual massage and calls it a “physical.” Two, the hospital set that was used looked like it would be condemned in a third world country, let alone the United States. There are a couple other nuances that surprised me a little. But, if you are watching low-budget 80s slasher films, perhaps you are not the type to be terribly put off by such things. 
     
    The pacing is a little up and down. The film gets a bit slow towards the middle, but picks up again in the last 30 minutes. 
     
    In terms of quality, the copy I have has not experienced any deterioration of the picture. Certain portions of the film are quite dark, but that is not uncommon for VHS transfers of low-budget horror films. 
     
    Overall, Hospital Massacre is not a masterpiece, but it’s certainly has its moments. It’s not a bad way to kill 89 minutes. 
     
    Going Rate:
    $125(New)
    $85(Used, Very Good Condition)
    $68(Used, Good Condition)
     
    Where to get it:
    As of writing this, Amazon is the only reseller that has copies in stock. EBay and Half.com will occasionally get copies of Hospital Massacre in and sell them for lower prices, but they always go fast. 
     
    Is it worth the price?
    For the devout collector, it’s well worth the price. There are whisperings of an eventual Scream Factory release, so the casual collector may want to wait and see if that comes to fruition before laying down serious skrilla for their copy of the film. 
     

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    Inferno3
     
    Today's classic from horror cinema's dawning days is an Italian film from 1911, based on the literary masterpiece The Inferno by Dante Allegheri. If you've taken any literature classes, or just love dark fantasy tales, you probably have at least some knowledge of this segment of long-form poem The Divine Comedy penned by Dante in the early 14th Century, whose narrator is given a guided tour of the nine levels (or circles) of Hell. As a morality tale, or just a straight-up scary story, It's perfect horror movie material; director Giuseppe de Liguoro and his creative partners knew that, and crafted the first feature film adaptation, which went on to shock and horrify audiences around the world.
     
    Inferno1
     
    The film's plot, like the story, is simple: the main character is Dante himself (Salvatore Papa), who is taken on a literal trip through Hell by the poet Virgil (Arturo Pirovano) so that he might find the path to salvation, and he encounters many historical figures, as well as people in his own life, along the way. The visual element is obviously what sells the tale; this is one of the first epic horror-fantasies ever committed to film, and its creators went all-out in their effort to blow audiences' minds. We get an all-nude cast of hundreds (full-frontal in some cases) roasting in mountains of fire, dismembered and disemboweled denizens of the pit, a swirling storm of twisted, agonized sinners, a talking severed head, the flailing limbs of traitors trapped in ice, and many more horrific set-pieces, climaxing with a visit to Lucifer himself. Many the horrific but strangely beautiful images seem like Gothic illustrations come to life; in fact, some scenes are based on engravings done for a popular book edition of The Divine Comedy by artist Gustave Doré. Some of the effects look quaint by modern standards, but in 1911 they had viewers recoiling in terror.
     
    Inferno4
     
    The Inferno is not only significant in the history of horror, but to film in general: it's the first feature to come out of Italy, and the first full-length film (around 70 minutes) to be screened in US theaters. It was a box-office success as well, earning over $2 million in the US, which is pretty damned impressive (this was 100 years ago, after all). Even if you haven't seen the whole thing, you may have seen excerpts of the more epic scenes used in other films depicting the fires of Hell.
     
    Inferno2
     
    The most popular DVD release of The Inferno arrived in 2004; it's a choice find for genre soundtrack fans, thanks to a newly-created score by pioneering electronic artists Tangerine Dream – the composers behind '80s favorites like Near Dark, Legend, Firestarter, The Keep and many more. A later version was released on the film's 100th anniversary, and both are easily obtainable, but the TD version is my favorite. Here's a sample...
     

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    jeff hannemanSlayer guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman died earlier today in Southern California. He was 49.

    Hanneman formed Slayer with Kerry King and Dave Lombardo in 1981, and they quickly recruited Tom Araya to round out the band. Slayer was considered one of the "Big Four" thrash metal acts to come out of the 1980s (along with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica). Like all good heavy metal bands, Slayer was controversial, at times being accused of being pro-Nazi, white supremacists, Satanists, anti-religious, and encouraging violence through their lyrics. Hanneman in particular brought war and military themes to the lyrics he wrote. Slayer has released 10 studio albums since 1983, and won Grammys in 2007 and 2008 for Best Metal Performance. They have been nominated an additional three times.

    Hanneman was born in Oakland, California in 1964. In 2011 he contracted necrotizing fasciitis - sometimes called the flesh-eating disease - which rapidly eats away at the skin and tissue. Hanneman retired from full-time touring, though both he and his bandmates were hopeful that Hanneman would return to performing. In 2012, Araya said that Hanneman was "free of the disease" and was "working on his playing ability... He's working on strengthening his arm and his ability to play." He predicted that Slayer would "probably get together and start writing together and start making a new album," the group's first since 2009's World Painted Blood, with Hanneman contributing material. But in February guitarist Kerry King told Australian press that "we don't know when Jeff's gonna be able to play guitar. Jeff's kind of like a wait-and-see thing." 

    Hanneman's cause of death is officially listed as liver failure. It is not clear what - if any - role the disease played in his death. He is survived by his wife Kathy, a sister, and two brothers.


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    vigo the carpathianYou know your house has been missing a portrait of Vigo the Carpathian. Though he was most powerful while possessing the baby in Ghostbusters II, it is his portrait that makes him terrifying. Not only is this a perfect reproduction of the portrait - it is life-sized. Literally. The poster measures seven feet tall and over four feet across.

    Just don't look him directly in the eyes.

    $135 at Etsy.com


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    Normally we don't push Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign - there are too many good ones and not enough space - but this one is for family. Todd family.

    Todd & the Book Of Pure Evil needs your help for a third season. The cult Canadian horror-comedy (which we air on FEARnet) was canceled after its second season and they desperately want to give fans a third season. So with your help, they can wrap up the loose ends with an animated movie (animated to keep the costs down). They need $75,000 to get the campaign funded.

    Some of the perks available for contributors include a personalized digital diploma for Crowley High; copies of the movie; signed goodies; an invite to the premiere; producer credits; and my favorite - Jason Mewes will Tweet how awesome you are.

    To help, check out their Indiegogo page.


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    New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!
     
    BRPD_AbeB.P.R.D. Abe Sapien No. 2
     
    Everyone's favorite Amphibi-man Abe Sapien returns in the second installment of his solo series. Abe's been unconcious since a girl with psychic abilities shot him. Now he's awake just in time for the end of the world. His return to society, as all hell is breaking loose, sends him into a torrent of emotions and sends him on the run. This issue, he runs into a preacher selling end of the world hysteria, and things reach a boiling point toward the end of the issue.
     
    Bag it or board it up? This issue has a little bit of everything that makes a good B.P.R.D. issue. There's a little bit of sneaking around, a little bit of detective work, and a good old fashioned riot! If you're following the series, then I don't need to tell you to pick this issue up. Every issue of every B.P.R.D. all seems to be heading toward one massive conclusion.
     
    Mr_XMr. X: Eviction No. 1 of 3
     
    Dean Motter's swirling, dizzying comic about a drug-addicted detective continues to inspire in this new mini-series. Mr. X is on the hunt for a man who wants to make everything orderly. But the city, which groans under the weight of any small crisis, is being brought to a standstill by faulty traffic lights.
     
    Bag it or board it up? Check these comics out. They're full of twists, turns, and dizzying artwork. I also love the premise of a city with architecture so confusing to look at that it drives the citizens crazy. Everyone develops neurosis because of the "Psychetecture" and it adds a blast of flavor into a classic detective story.
     
    ShadowmanShadowman No. 0
     
    The new series Shadowman has really been taking off. I've been guilty of letting it fly by my radar unchecked, but I stumbled across this "digital exclusive" issue of the comic and had to check it out. This issue, as with most issue zeroes, gives us all backstory. We get a little blurb about Shadowman himself, and then we dig right into the who's, what's, where's, when's, how's and... most importantly, the why's of our main villains.
     
    Bag it or board it up? Gah! I love comics that take place in and around New Orleans. And this comic has an amazing artistic feel, beautifully illustrated. The plot is rife with interesting elements, and there's definitely something good to dig into. I hope the main series feels as nuanced and shadowy as this special issue.
     
    ColonizedThe Colonized No. 2
     
    I don't need to explain anything about this comic other than the basic premise: An alien tractor beam accidentally reanimates a corpse, turning it into the first of many zombies. See? Sold, right?
     
    Bag it or board it up? I really enjoyed this comic. The fact that the aliens of this story team up with the humans against a horde of zombies is incredible. I love seeing interactions like that. This comic is full of wit and very tongue in cheek. The artwork is a little campy, but it's lovingly drawn. Fans of genre-mixing take note: this is a hell of a comic.

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    Superman is not a character that gets discussed much in horror circles, and for obvious reason.  He represents a lot of things that are diametrically opposed to the genre as a whole: he has a near-infallible code of ethics, understanding that his power is not meant for domination of the human race, but its protection.  His hands can crush coal into diamonds, but they are also used to try and lift the human race to a greater good.  Injustice: Gods Among Us asks a truly terrifying question: what if Superman gets pushed past his limits, past his capacity for compassion?  What would finally make the Man of Steel snap?

    Netherrealm Studios, the team of ex-Midway developers behind Mortal Kombat, raise this question in the format that they know best: a fighting game.  This is not the team’s first pass at the DC Universe, as they crossed over DC’s stable of characters with the brutal fighters of the Mortal Kombat games in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.  While that game was moderately successful, its crossover model made both franchises feel diluted: Mortal Kombat’s infamous penchant for violence had to be defanged for a T-Rating, and the DC characters felt weirdly out of place with MK’s cat of shaolin monks and ninjas.  Injustice solves this problem by focusing completely on the DC Universe, folding it into a fighting game model that retains much of the MK DNA while still managing to create its own identity.

    The plot of Injustice is the sort of thing summer comic crossover events are made of: in a parallel universe, The Joker nukes Metropolis, reducing everyone Superman knows and loves to ash.  Driven mad with grief, Superman murders The Joker and decides on his new role as a global dictator, killing all who oppose his self-named Regime (quick aside: do regimes ever actually refer to themselves as such?) and ruling over the Earth with an iron fist.

    This, of course, is simply an excuse for 24 DC characters to beat the living hell out of each other in the sort of two-fisted lunacy that makes fanboys titter in delight.  There’s a suspension of disbelief—even more so than comics ask—when it comes to the godlike Superman being beaten into submission by, say, Harley Quinn, but it’s completely acceptable when the mechanics of Injustice are so well-honed.  Netherrealm has made their mark in the 2D fighting arena, and Injustice keeps that track record going.  MK fans will be able to slip right into the spandex of these heroes and villains with a minimum of effort, and will certainly appreciate the extra goodies thrown into each multi-tiered arena.  Each battlefield is littered with interactive items to help reduce your opponent’s life meter: rocket boosters, oxygen tanks, even the Batmobile can be used to put an additional hurting on your foes.  The edge of the levels also offer the ability to smash your enemy through walls into another segment of the arena, which adds even more variety to the battles.

    The other major difference between Injustice and MK is the lack of Fatalities, for obvious reasons, replaced by over-the-top Super Moves.  Dishing out and taking damage fills up a meter that can be used to pump up special moves or released in a single wave of destruction.  The resulting moves are absurd, Rube Goldberg-like sequences that border on lunacy, sending characters into the stratosphere, through the core of the Earth, or on the receiving end of a bazooka blast to the face.  While they lack the gore of a Fatality, they make the game’s battles feel exactly as they should: an earth-shattering brawl between two superhumans.

    Once you get past the game’s long Story Mode, there’s still plenty to keep Injustice in your console’s disc tray.  There’s the obligatory arcade-style ladder match (called Battles here) to which you can apply a host of tweaks and modifiers to keep you on your toes.  There are also S.T.A.R. Labs Missions which replicate MK’s Challenge Tower, right down to XP points which you can use to unlock additional costumes, Battle modifiers, and artwork for your Player Card.

    The Player Card is a ridiculously customizable statistics display that allows prospective opponents to view your stats before battling you online.  This is but one of the many robust features added to multiplayer, including the entirely-too-entertaining ability to bet XP in King of the Hill matches on battles as you wait for your turn in the queue.  Virtual gambling on a fighting game…impressive.

    Despite the DC Universe wrapper, Injustice is a fighting game with rock-solid mechanics and enough features to give it incredibly long legs.  However, Netherrealm clearly has deep affection for this universe and its characters, offering up scads of fan service to please DC readers be it minor characters in the background or winking references to the obscure.  Fighting game fans, comic readers or not, have a new obsession to while away the time…


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    The long-awaited Maniac remake is finally getting a limited theatrical release on June 21st (along with a full VOD release) and Mondo is celebrating slick new posters and an LP.

    Jeff Proctor is the artist behind the poster art. The regular, pink poster is limited to 180 prints, while the red variant is limited to 80 prints. Both will be sold at the Texas Frightmare Weekend, with a few reserved for sale at MondoTees.com

    maniacmaniac

    The LP of the score will also be a limited pressing, with white vinyls in random sleeves. Jeff Proctor's art is utilized on the cover, with an old-skool layout on the back.

    maniacmaniac

    Source: Ain't it Cool


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    Typically, horror fans go crazy for fright flicks with a body count totaling in the double digits, or higher. Case in point, Dawn of the Dead has a reported death toll of 175; Army of Darkness has an estimated 107 total kills (both statistics from moviebodycounts.com); and both films are tried and true fan favorites for their liberal use of violence as well as countless other reasons. We enthusiastically commend George Romero and Sam Raimi for offering up a staggering body counts in these and many of their other films. We frequently pay tribute to horror films and horror killers that rack up above average kill counts, but it’s rare that we make a point to recognize characters that made a major impact on us without incurring a massive death toll.  
     
    With that said, we have elected to take the opportunity to spotlight some killers and their corresponding films that had a low body count but still made a significant impact on viewers. 
     
    [Caution: spoilers ahead]
     
    Alex from Prom Night (1980)
    Death Toll: 5
    The killer from the original Prom Night didn’t go on to kill in any of the film’s three sequels, but he left a lasting impression on us. His revenge fueled killing spree was special. Alex was excessively dramatic with his heavy breathing and semi-obscene phone calls. He conducts two kills in the grooviest van we have ever seen. And his sister, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, does some absolutely spectacular disco dancing. Alex is brooding and emotional. He fits the profile of a silver screen psychopath. So, it isn’t terribly surprising when he is revealed as the killer. But the final scene where he is unmasked and wearing smudged lipstick left a lasting impression on us. We immediately knew that Alex was not to be trifled with. 
     
     
    Jack Torrance from The Shining
    Death Toll: 1
    Jack Torrance only commits one murder in The Shining, and shortly after that, he is ultimately done in himself. But Jack lives on in the hearts of fans everywhere. Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance is one of the most haunting, mesmerizing performances in film history. Though Stephen King is a known detractor of the film, we think The Shining is a masterpiece of modern cinema and Jack Torrance proves that you don’t need a staggering body count to make a big impression. 
     
     
    Mr. Slawson from Tourist Trap
    Death Toll: 6
    Oh, Mr. Slawson. You creepy devil, you. You made masks, telekinesis, and wax museums way creepier than we ever imagined they could be. You didn’t slaughter hoards of horny teenagers, like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, but you did find a special place in our hearts. Your creepy antics took Tourist Trap from average telekinesis infused slasher film to classic telekinesis infused slasher film. You won us over in a big way by prancing around in weird-ass masks and talking in a delightfully bizarre voice. 
     
     
    Jerry Dandridge from Fright Night (1985)
    Death Toll: 3 
    The majority of Jerry Dandridge’s victims were returned to their pre-vampire state after Brewster and company ended Jerry’s vamping days. In spite of that, his body count in Fright Night is sometimes debated amongst horror fans. To clarify, the deaths that we are including are the two girls and one bouncer in the club. The other bouncer just gets thrown across the room. We don’t have any concrete proof that he actually died. We are not calculating anyone mentioned on the news, because those deaths are not actually shown in the movie. Even though he didn’t live long enough to go up against Brewster in Fright Night II, Jerry Dandridge stuck around long enough to make a lasting impression on an entire generation of horror fans. We will take will Jerry and his strange, but enchanting dance moves over the characters being passed off as vampires these days. 
     
     
    Annie Wilkes from Misery 
    Death Toll: 1
    While her actual death toll amounts to only one, Annie Wilkes is still one of the creepiest creeps of all. We see in the film that Annie has killed before and remembers it fondly. Her dark past comes to the surface when we learn that she keeps a scrapbook dedicated to her murderous proclivities. Annie is unique, because unlike most obsessed fans, her affliction is not of a sexual nature. Kathy Bates owned that role and succeeded at scaring viewers with very little actual violence. 
     
     
    The Satanic Killer in Botched
    Death Toll: 5
    The killer in Botched is credited on IMDb simply as “killer,” and that is actually rather appropriate, since he didn’t really need a name. The maniacal glee with which the killer dispenses death wouldn’t necessarily have the same impact if we had a name to put with the face. He made the most of his 5 on screen kills by bringing a mixture of sadism and hilarity to the role. The killer is full of character. The scene where he incurs the wrath of his devil-worshiping sister by dry humping their human sacrifice was hilarious. Though Botched never received a second installment, the film’s killer made a lasting impression on us. 
     
     
    Mrs. Tredoni in Alice, Sweet Alice 
    Death Toll: 4
    Alice, Sweet Alice is a movie that I enjoy more every time I revisit it. The score is haunting, the atmosphere is tense, and the mask the killer wears is incredible. That mask served to make an already sinister murderer that much scarier. This American-made giallo doesn’t pile up the bodies like some of the films released after its 1976 theatrical run, but it didn’t need to. Alice had tension to spare, a creative story, and unique characters working in its favor. Mildred Clinton’s performance as Mrs. Tredoni worked with all of the aforementioned elements to thoroughly impress us and really sell us on the character. 
     
     
    The Monster from The Funhouse
    Death Toll: 4
    The killer in The Funhouse just wants to be loved. But sometimes he gets clumsy and commits a murder or four. The Funhouse is lighter on gore than a lot of the other films that came out along with it in 1981. The killer laid a below average number of victims to rest, but he made a big enough impact on us to earn a spot on our list. The Monster stood out to us because he wasn’t driven by the normal factors that cinematic psychos are usually inspired by. He was looking for love and approval from his father, which made the viewer feel empathy for him. It is that uniqueness that makes him stand out, for us. 
     
     
    Killer from Black Christmas (1974)
    Death Toll: 6
    The orginal Black Christmas is inventive, brutal, and shocking. The deaths that are actually shown on camera are a lot more realistic looking than some of the death scenes we see in modern slasher cinema. Black Christmas is a forefather of the contemporary slasher film.  In spite of not having a body count that goes in to the double or triple digits, the killer from Black Christmas, who has a profound mastery of filthy profanity, made a massive impact on us. The deaths we see in the film are creative and hard to watch, because you actually like some of the characters. Black Christmas is brilliant in keeping the viewer guessing as to the killer’s identity, even up until the very end. 
     
     
    Muffy St. John from April Fool’s Day
    Death Toll: 0
    Though her actual death toll was zero, Muffy St. John headed up one of the most likable casts in slasher cinema history, pulled off an epic prank, and brought audiences a satisfactory twist ending. What makes the film unique and makes Muffy so unforgettable is that the whole movie is leading up to a slightly sick April Fool’s Day Joke. But, the amazing thing is that the script and direction keep the audience from feeling cheated and thus we celebrate Muffy St. John, as a highly memorable would-be killer. Deborah Foreman played Muffy with a certain charm that we’re not sure anyone else could have done quite as well as Foreman did. 
     

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    Are you sick of these Dexter posts yet? Good - neither are we. In this one, we get our first look at the official season eight poster. We also get a new trailer with a little bit more footage from the new season. Frankly, it's not much, but I think we are all foaming at the mouth for the final season. Dexter season eight begins on June 30th on Showtime.

    dexter


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    Ripper
     
    Synapse Films' collection of classic Hammer releases expands this summer with the U.S. Blu-ray debut of Peter Sasdy's 1971 supernatural serial killer thriller Hands of the Ripper. Considered one of Hammer's bloodiest productions (with the gore quotient upped to meet audiences' craving for more graphic horror), the film stars Angharad Rees as a young woman psychologically scarred from childhood by the knowledge that her father is none other than London's most notorious murderer, Jack the Ripper. As an adult, she becomes the prime suspect in a new series of brutal murders after a séance apparently unleashes the Ripper's demonic spirit to possess his daughter.
     
    Synapse is presenting a fully-restored print of Ripper, uncut and in high definition. The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes the following special features:
    • The Devil’s Bloody Plaything: Possessed by Hands of the Ripper Featurette
    • Slaughter of Innocence: The Evolution of Hammer Gore Motion Still Gallery
    • U.S. Television Introduction
    • Original Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
    • Hands of the Ripper Motion Still Gallery
    • Isolated Music & Effects Audio Track
    The disc is slated for release on July 9th, with a price tag of $29.95. Preorders are open now at Synapse's website.

     


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    Scream Factory has just revealed the artwork for their upcoming double-feature release of X-Ray and Schizoid.

    The set is due in August, and as we get closer I am sure we will get all the deets on the special features. Scream Factory always rocks the special features.

    From the Scream Factory Facebook Page: "1980's SCHIZOID (starring Klaus Kinski, Donna Wilkes, Christopher Lloyd and lots of scissor stabbings) is paired with 1982's X-RAY (also known as HOSPITAL MASSACRE and stars Barbi Benton). If you're a fan of the mad killer sub-genre from this time period, you will definitely need this double bill for sure. 

    "X-RAY FANS TAKE NOTE: Our presentation of X-RAY is the full 89 min version - which is what HOSPITAL MASSACRE was released on VHS in the 80s - and not the cut version that has, apparently, existed on overseas VHS copies or some cable airings. We did our homework on this one."


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    Boogey_poster
     
    While slasher cinema owes a stylistic debt to Bob Clark's 1974 classic Black Christmas, it was John Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece Halloween that kicked the genre into overdrive, with dozens of productions and studios stumbling all over each other to get a piece of the slasher pie. One low-budget entry unfairly labeled a Halloween knock-off is Ulli Lommel's 1980 film The Boogeyman– a fascinating, stylish and entertaining little flick that I think deserves more love than it tends to get.
     
    Lommel began his film career as an actor and protégé of legendary German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who produced Lommel's acclaimed 1973 film The Tenderness of Wolves– a psychodrama based on the real-life exploits of serial killer Fritz Haarmann. Lommel's cinematic fascination with serial killers would continue much later in his career... but I'll get to that later. After directing a couple of oddball art films, Lommel took the helm of The Boogeyman, which solidified his rep as a horror director when it became a box-office hit.
     
    Boogey1
     
    The film stars Lommel's then-wife Suzanna Love as Lacey, a young mother still traumatized by a childhood incident in which she helped her younger brother Willy murder their slutty mom's boyfriend – whom we only see wearing a nylon stocking over his face. As a young adult, Willy (played by Love's real-life brother Nicholas) is even more damaged than Lacey, and hasn't spoken a word since that fateful night. They move to their parents' rustic New England farmhouse (a dead ringer for the Amityville Horror house) along with Lacey's husband and young son, but the idyllic setting provides no escape, and she's continually haunted by visions of the faceless fiend. 
     
    Boogey3
     
    In an effort to confront her past fears, encouraged by her therapist (horror icon John Carradine in a brief cameo), she revisits the house where it all happened, and is horrified to see an image of the masked man in the bedroom mirror, which she shatters. In an odd (and kinda dickish) move, her husband insists on taking the mirror home and pieces it back together to prove once and for all that Lacey's vision was a fantasy and nothing more. Of course this is exactly the wrong thing to do in a horror movie: breaking that mirror released the murdered man's malevolent spirit, which possesses and/or kills anyone who comes into contact with even a tiny sliver of the glass.
     
    Boogey4
     
    Mirror imagery figures prominently in The Boogeyman, and Lommel composes several shots in which Lacey is juxtaposed with her own mirror double – foreshadowing the film's climax (which owes more to The Exorcist than Halloween) when the evil man's spirit finally seizes control of her body. The idea of a broken mirror releasing everything it has “seen” actually comes from ancient folklore, and I'm surprised the concept hasn't made its way into other horror films. Unique for its time in that the “slasher” is a disembodied entity that triggers his victims' deaths (an approach developed more thoroughly in the Final Destination series), The Boogeyman has some sick and unique kills – notably a tense scene where a buxom young victim jams a pair of scissors into her own throat (after slicing open her shirt, of course), and a kissing couple shish-kabobbed through their mouths. The electronic score by Tim Krog is a winner too, also unfairly labeled a Halloween ripoff; apart from a pensive bell-like theme in the prologue, it's mostly a surreal and experimental soundtrack, with lots of rumbling dark ambient tones and jarring shock cues.
     
    Boogey2
     
    Sadly, Lommel's career never quite took off after this one, which had two lame, throwaway sequels rehashing most of the original footage (the 2005 film Boogeyman has nothing to do with this one, by the way). He did a couple more decent genre films with Love (The Devonsville Terror and Brainwaves), but over the past decade he's been cranking out tacky direct-to-video serial killer bio-pics: The Zodiac Killer, BTK Killer, The Green River Killer... you get the idea. Skip those and watch this one instead; it's his personal best.
     

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    It looks like the race war (species war?) in True Blood is boiling over. This is the official trailer for season six of True Blood and it looks like the show may be coming out of the slump it has been stuck in for the past two seasons. The government is moving to eradicate vampires; Jason is back on the anti-vampire side; Bill thinks he is a god; and no one can keep their shirt on. 

    True Blood returns to HBO on June 16th.


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    Over at Comic Book Resources they have a weekly column called "The Line it is Drawn" in which they present a comic book mashup idea, and have artists interpret it. This week, the challenge was to mash-up comic book characters in classic music videos, and two The Walking Dead illustrations caught my eye.

    The first is kind of obvious: The Walking Dead meets Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

    But the artist, Marco D'Alfonso, must have decided that that was too easy, so he did a second drawing: Michonne and her zombie slaves in Beyonce's "Single Ladies."


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    Drop_Goblin
     
    New Hampshire-based DJ/producer Drop Goblin is a rising star in the EDM, heavy bass, metalstep and glitch-pop genres, bringing a background in metal and hardcore into play on his crushing studio releases, remixing tracks from the Beastie Boys, Beyoncé and Alestorm, and mixing on the fly via dual unsynced iPads in live venues. But most importantly, he puts the creative focus on darker sounds and themes, including some of our favorite horror movies, and turns out some badass interpretations under the Ultragore Recordings label.
     
    DG_Gate
     
    One such project is his new EP The Gate, which premieres today. The Gate takes its cue from the 1987 horror film of the same name, in which a preteen Stephen Dorff battles demonic hordes summoned from a hell-portal by the occult lyrics of a heavy metal record. Sounds like an ideal subject for musical interpretation, if you ask me. The final mix of the title track is as evil as you'd expect, with chopped samples of screams amid the slippery synth lines, violent bass drops and icy metal guitar riffs, but that's just the instrumental foundation: as a bonus, Drop also released an even more sinister-sounding vocal version of the track, which features the demon-summoning album lyrics from the movie – not sampled directly from the film, as you might expect, but spoken and re-tracked by the artist himself, then treated with spooky pitch-shifting effects. The vocal version isn't bundled with the EP, but has been released as a bonus track, which you can download for free at Bloody Disgusting. Take a listen to that version here:
     
     
    The EP also includes a “Mendez Mosh Pit Remix” of the title track, not surprisingly with a major emphasis on guitar, which sounds extra beefy with the synth line pushed further back in the mix. The package is rounded out with the sweet b-side “No Hope,” which features a lower, grittier sounding bass line beneath chilly, drifting clouds of string pads. The guitar chugs here are downplayed a bit, but synced perfectly with the synth stabs.
     
    The Gate opens wide today via Beatport, and any fan of the film who grooves on hard metalstep should have this one on their playlist. Be sure to swing by Drop Goblin's official Facebook for more shocking sounds!

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    As we creep slowly (so, so slowly) to the final season of Dexter, Showtime is gracing us with plenty of featurettes to keep us sated. In this clip, we follow the journey of Debra from bright-eyed, eager cop walking the beat, to detective... to killer (insert overdramatic music sting here) with the cast and crew, and what that will mean for Deb and Dexter as the series comes to a close. Look for season eight footage around the 2:45 mark.

    The eighth and final season of Dexter begins on June 30th on Showtime.


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    luke evansThe Crow reboot takes a step closer to reality after finding its star in Luke Evans. Evans will play Eric Draven, the role held by Brandon Lee in Alex Proyas' The Crow, based on the comic book by James O'Barr. Lee died tragically while filming after a prop gun filled with blanks misfired and fatally wounded the actor.

    Evans (Immortals, The Raven) was reportedly the first choice of The Crow reboot director F. Javier-Gutierrez, but Evans' schedule was already jam-packed with Fast & Furious 6, Dracula: Year Zero, and the next two The Hobbit movies. After the studio went after a few other options that didn't pan out, they decided to push back production on The Crow to accomodate Evans' schedule. The Crow will go into production in early 2014.

    Source: Deadline


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