ORIGINAL MY BLOODY VALENTINE DVD RELEASE!

Some exciting news just came down the wire yesterday. The original MY BLOODY VALENTINE is finally going to be getting a decent release on DVD.  This from FANGORIA’s site:

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced a new DVD of the 1981 cult slasher fave MY BLOODY VALENTINE, to tie in with the Gate’s theatrical release of the 3-D remake. The disc will hit January 13, and unlike the previous Paramount edition, this one will have some special features.

Most notably, it’ll include never-before-seen lost footage, which fans can only hope means the additional gore that was trimmed to appease the MPAA back in ’81. There will also be a retrospective featurette on the movie and an Ultimate Slasher interactive guide that covers the history of the subgenre. Retail price is $19.98

Check out the sweet DVD art below:

 

REVIEW: THE DEADLY SPAWN

First thing I’m going to say about this flick, “Every bit as good as it was when I watched it as a kid!” But more on my thoughts after a brief synopsis…

From Wikipedia:

The Deadly Spawn is a 1983 horror film directed by Douglas McKeown and starring Charles George Hildebrandt.

It follows the story of a crash-landed alien that finds refuge in the basement of a house and grows to monstrous proportions, eating those unlucky enough to venture down. A handful of teenagers try to survive the onslaught of the creature and its vile young.

The film begins somewhat like THE BLOB (taking a cue from classic sci-fi monster flicks from the 50’s, something we see throughout the flick as the story goes on) with a meteor crashing to earth in what seems like the middle of nowhere. Two guys out camping see the meteor crash, and, of course, they have to check it out. One guy stays behind while the other goes back for the flashlight. The guy getting the flashlight hears a scream and comes rushing out of the tent…only to find his DOOM! Heh. Keep an eye out for a continuity flub with the tent guy’s shirt, one minute it’s one color, and the next, it’s black…or some other color I can’t make out, the transfer’s a little dark, but more on that a little later.

Then we’re introduced to a couple, the only nudity in the flick and it’s a middle-age woman, booooo. Anyway, the hot water’s out so the guy goes downstairs to the basement to check it out where we find…THE DEADLY SPAWN, more particularly the MAMMA spawn and her spawnettes. The MAMMA spawn is a huge, red mass of tendrils and great, huge mouths filled with teeth. The guy’s wife, wondering what’s taking the guy so long in the basement goes down to check on him, and THAT’s when we get a really awesome scene. While she’s looking around, she fails to notice the massive amount of blood everywhere and, when her back is turned, her husband’s hand reaches out to her and she turns to find…well, I’m not going to give it all away, but it’s freaking awesome, including half a face getting ripped away.  Friggin’ sweet!

Then we find another couple waking up in the SAME HOUSE to a scream, and I was confused at first about why these people were in the same house and if they heard the scream from the earlier chick downstairs. Turns out to be the TV of their nephew, Charles, watching a monster flick. Turns out their nephew is a huge fan of horror/sci-fi flicks (a character we can really relate to). Friday the 13th 4, The Final Chapter came to mind, with the monster movie fanatic (played by Corey Feldman) in that one. As with that flick, this kid had plenty of horror masks and costumes he’d made himself.

Turns out there are about a billion people living in this house right now. The two that went down into the basement were the mother and father characters, and the other, still living couple, is the monster-kid’s aunt and uncle (the uncle, a psychologist, whom later questions monster-kid Charles’ horror “fantasies”), there’s also the older brother Pete, a highschool kid with an obsession for science far outweighing Charles’ love of monster flicks.

Moving on, the aunt, Millie, leaves the house to go to a vegetarian get-together at her mother’s house. While gone, an electrician (monster fodder) shows up to take care of some wiring or something (it’s never really explained) and makes his way to the basement using a cellar entrance outside. Needless to say, he wanders around until…THE DEADLY SPAWN! attack.  While that’s going on, head-shrinker uncle Herb decides to use Charles as a study for a paper he plans to speak on regarding child psychology at a conference he’s in town for.

After the questioning (which I believe was the screenwriter’s jab at critics who believe horror movies corrupt and generally fucks up the minds of America’s youth), Charles decides to go upstairs and put on one of his costumes to frighten uncle Herb when he notices the basement door ajar. Because this is a horror movie, of course he goes downstairs to check things out.  Meanwhile, Pete has invited a few of his friends over to study biology and other subjects of science for an upcoming test, Ellen (another science fiend), Kathy, and Frankie (reminding me of Shelley from Friday 3, as this guy plays the stupid joker).

Ellen and Frankie came across what (unbeknownst to them) one of THE DEADLY SPAWNETTES and Ellen decides to disect it, finding a mass of internal organs that don’t fit in with any biology of the creatures of this world. Pete waves it off as a prank, of course, though Frankie believes it and goes off about houseflies from Jupiter, not convincing Pete, obviously. Meanwhile, Charles has come across MAMMA SPAWN and her SPAWNETTES and has noticed that they’re crawling about everywhere, digging into the walls and floor. He also notices that the SPAWN react upon sound alone to locate it’s prey…so he’s stuck down there for a while.

Then the movie kicks into gear with the Old-Lady veggie party being invaded by a flock of SPAWNETTES that begin tearing into the grannies. Aunt Millie has to help beat them off and get the Blue-Hairs to her car, screaming all the way. Back at the house of 1000 relatives, Pete and his pals have too found themselves under attack by the SPAWNETTES.

I’m not going to go on with the rest as I recommend everyone go out and rent or buy this movie as it’s a fun, old-time horror/monster flick you just don’t see anymore. You won’t be disappointed, that’s a BACKWOODS HORROR guarantee!

I remember seeing this flick as a kid of about 4 or 5 and remember absolutely loving it. Of course, at that age, I was intensely frightened, but couldn’t stop watching. I actually have, at my parents’ house, one of my school notebooks with my poorly sketched version of the MAMMA SPAWN.  These days, I still have a great love for THE DEADLY SPAWN, though no longer do I find myself having to resist covering my eyes (except for when the middle-aged boobies show up).

I must admit that, when I watched it last week with Owen (from THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW), I found myself getting more of the humour of the flick that I obviously missed as a child. That, in addition to a cool monster and buckets of blood and gore, puts this flick on my top-list of must-see horror flicks.  I also loved the character of Charles and found, like many horror fans who watch this movie, I’m sure, that I saw much of myself in him. I can relate to a closet full of masks and costumes (I always kept my halloween costumes, and would beg for some even when it was ‘out of season’), and, instead of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND mags scattered everywhere, I had FANGORIA. And of course my walls were plastered with horror movie posters as his were.  To have a character like that be the protagonist in a monster/horror movie makes this an instant hit with anyone reading this site I’m sure.

This is most assuredly the cleanest transfer of this film I’ve ever seen (used to, as I’ve been, to old and worn VHS copies). This was also commented upon in the humourous and insightful commentary track I listened to the other day before falling asleep.  Does anyone else do that? Fall asleep to commentary tracks of your favourite movies, I mean…it’s better than booze and sleeping pills. Not that it’s ever boring, it’s just, calming. Anyway, moving on.

The special features included an old theater for the trailer where the movie went by the flick’s other title: RETURN OF THE ALIENS: THE DEADLY SPAWN. There was the commentary I featured, a “comic semi-prequel” leading up to the beginning of the movie, an alternate opening (of which I couldn’t tell much of a difference), filmmaker Biographies (from which I learned that Tim Sullivan of 2001 MANIACS fame worked on the flick as a production assistant), and a neat little shot-on-video “behind the scenes” short showing a bit of the work of the makeup/special effects artist John Dods.

My final verdict…Pick It Up Today!  Also, I’d like to thank SYNAPSE FILMS for sending Backwoods Horror this flick for review. Look for a future review of HOME SICK, which they were also so kind to send. Thanks Guys, and keep up the good work getting flicks out on DVD that may have never been seen otherwise (and for taking a serious interest in the genre and presenting these films in such beautiful transfers and giving them the special editions they deserve)


4 out of 5 skulls

NEW FRIDAY TEASER ONLINE

Posted on 22nd October 2008 by aaron in News - Tags: , , ,

A teaser for the upcoming Friday the 13th redux was presented on the scream awards last night and, surprise, has already made it to youtube.  Check it out before it’s pulled!
 

BACKWOODS HORROSHOW S01E03 UP!

The new episode of The Backwoods Horrorshow is up for your downloading pleasure.  Two things, the audio kind of weirded out on us this time and I was sick while recording it, so, not the best one so far, but we’re learning.  My GirlFriend Jessika makes an appearance, as does my dog Rascal.  Ha.  In this one, we talk about Haunted Trails, Zombie Tools, some news and Reviews of Swamp Devil, The Deadly Spawn, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and The Strangers.  Check it out!  You can listen to it in your browser or right click and “save as” to download it.  Enjoy.

http://podcast.backwoodshorror.com/Backwoods%20Horrorshow%2010:20:08.mp3

‘THE ROAD’ DELAYED UNTIL 2009?

Posted on 18th October 2008 by aaron in News - Tags: , , , ,

What the FUCK, man.  Are you serious.  According to the boils ‘n ghouls over at Shock Til You Drop, those loveable shitbrains over at The Weinstein Company have pushed THE ROAD all the way to early 2009.

“Thursday talks at The Weinstein Company about what to do with The Road’s have resulted in an official bump to early 2009. The Cormac McCarthy adaptation directed by John Hillcoat was slated for a limited release in early November with a slow roll-out to follow.

Word is, The Road – starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee – will bow in February or March 2009.

According to THR, reps at the Weinstein Company refused to comment on the shift, however, buzz from those involved in the production seem to be sighing with relief. Says THR, a longer post-production schedule will allow the team to properly complete Road. It’s also dodging a busy Oscar season.”

Damn.  And this one seems like it’ll be a good one.

MORE TRICK ‘r TREAT STILLS HIT THE WEB

Posted on 13th October 2008 by aaron in News - Tags: ,

GEEZ when are we all going to get to see this movie?  AAAAAAAH!  Ok, freak-out over.  In any case, the teasing continues over at Bloody Disgusting with a shitload of new stills from the flick.  Click on the new still below to check out the rest of them.  

And while you’re here, why not click on the link to the left for the BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW podcast!

Keep it Creepy!

ZOMBIE DIARIES BETTER THAN DIARY OF THE DEAD?

More than likely.  As much of a Romero mark as I am, I can’t get behind his latest effort Diary Of The Dead.  It, well, it was just awful and it didn’t really FEEL like a Romero Zombie flick.  The characters weren’t well defined and the social commentary that generally permeates the original trilogy, one of the aspects that made them so damn good, was just slapping you in the face on this one.  Sorry Uncle George, that one was a real stinker.

Dimension Extreme, the company that brought us Diary of the Dead on DVD is also bringing us another film in the same vein, the UK’s ZOMBIE DIARIES, and I’ve got to say, this one looks like a winner.  It’s being hailed as the best zombie flick to come out of the UK…ever (let’s remember that 28 Days Later was NOT a zombie movie, it was a plague movie).  This is what Dread Central got out of Co-Director Michael Bartlett:

“Instead of making it a ‘documentary,’ we felt the Blair Witch format worked better — i.e., people trying to hurriedly document what they could for posterity. We saw a lot of areas that could be improved with this format, too.

For example, our film has music (which seems initially counter-intuitive but works a treat) and does not have annoying sequences with characters constantly arguing with each other. We also broke the story up and shot in Pulp Fiction style. It jumps across time lines and stories and does a pretty neat job of keeping the viewer’s attention, which we felt one single story wouldn’t achieve.

I made sure we did lots of [rehearsing] for this film and combined [that] with complete back-stories for the characters, as well as improv based around a script.

 

We also then cut the film to pieces in the editing suite. Kevin is a fantastic editor, and we put our egos aside and made sure we were blunt with one another from the scripting right through to the editing. Any dodgy exposition had to be axed. This had to be so real that you felt you were in this genuine ‘zombie world.’ Obviously we had to strike a balance, as at the end of the day this film is entertainment. I think we did that well, but time will tell if we did a good job. We had Mike Peel (The Descent) working on our special effects with two other great artists, and [everything] certainly comes across as very believable, even under the unforgiving eyes of a DV camera.”

This is the summary from Shock Till You Drop: Set in England during a world-wide viral infection, this documentary-style frightfest records the rise of the undead from the videocams of several survivor groups. As each struggles against the flesh-eating hordes, an even more horrifying fate lurks among them.

Granted, I’ve only seen the trailer and some stills, but it looks pretty damn kickass.  Take a look at the trailer and poster below. 

Release Date is set for November 18th, 2008, so mark your Zombie calendars!  And While you’re here, be sure to click the link to your right for The Backwoods Horrorshow podcast!

Keep it creepy!
 

THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW EPISODE 2

The Backwoods Horrorshow episode 2 is up and ready for your downloading goodness.  Click on the link if you want to listen to it in your browser, or right click and click “save link as” to download it to your comprutah, you know, if you want to listen to it on your ipod or whatever mp3 device you use.  Check it out!

http://podcast.backwoodshorror.com/Backwoods%20Horrorshow10.10.08.mp3

THE RETURN OF CRYPTIQUE

Posted on 11th October 2008 by aaron in Indie Horror News,News - Tags: , , , ,

Backwoods Horror Favourite MIKO MACABRE has a brand new site up.  Not much going on right now, as she’s in Prague for a few months, but we’re going to be getting plenty of sweet, sweet Cryptique goodness in the near future.  So check out the site and get ready!

REVIEW: JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER

JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER

Directed by: Jon Knautz

Trevor Matthews: Jack Brooks
Robert Englund:  Professor Crowley

…and a bunch of other bit players. Go to the imdb site if you’re THAT interested.

 

This flick was pretty friggin’ sweet!  For those not in the know, the story follows Jack Brooks, a guy who saw his family killed by monsters as a child and now experiences…anger issues.  He’s just your regular everyman plumber who happens to come across an ancient evil and finds a good release for his rage in the form of kicking monster ass.

Ok, so the movie starts in Africa, or Brazil, or some random, nameless backwater jungle with a bunch of villagers surrounding this cyclopse lookin’ baddie.  They’re gettin’ their asses kicked when most of them run back to camp and start yelling into this dung hut.  We get a glimpse of a guy wrapping his hands and then the ‘ol over the shoulder-eye-glimpsed-through-long-hair bit.

Fast forward.  We get a swift overview of Jack’s ‘tween years.  There’s some bit with him going to a psychologist and flippin’ out.  Then we get to see what Jack does.  The guy’s a plumber and takes night classes.  He has these fits of rage he can’t control that all stem back from when he saw his family brutally eviscerated by a monster out in the woods one night when he was a little kid.  He’s repressed it, and now he flips out.

One night after helping his teacher Professor Crowley, fix some pipes in the basement of this old house the Professor’s fixin’ up, the ground in his back yard splits, emitting an eerie light and a crazy, almost sentient fog that finds its way to the Professor, possessing the poor schmuck.  The next day he wakes up to find that he’s been diggin’ around in the dirt all night with his bare hands, so what does he do?  He grabs a shovel and finishes the job, pulling out a crate with a dead guy in it and a black heart.

Crowley snatches the heart out of the box and it starts beating.  THEN, (reminds me of JASON GOES TO HELL), the fucker EATS THE HEART.  I suppose one could argue that he’s compelled to, but you get the idea.  From then on, the good Professor “just ain’t right, eventually turning into this fat-ass demon from hell that has a shit-ton of tentacles that race after the night class students, dragging them back to the room.  If that wasn’t bad enough, he has this weird tongue thing that he/it shoves down its victim’s throats, turning THEM into monsters.  Crazy.  At first, Jack runs away, jumping in the van and haulin’ ass.  But then he hears the song “BEYOND THE SEA,” the same song that was playing when his family became dinner and he slams on the brakes, tells his bitchy-ass girlfriend to get out, and hauls ass back to the school.  Now he’s in Kickass/Ash mode.

The rest you can pretty much guess from the title.  He goes charging into the school and starts kicking hella monster ass, beating the ever lovin’ shit out of them and then smashin’ in their heads (the only way to truly kill ’em.  I won’t ruin the ending for you, but he DOES get to play tongue hockey with the hot goth-ish chick that he’d been makin’ eyes at the entire flick.

Oh yeah, and I can’t forget, there’s this old guy at the Hardware store that reminds me of old Crazy Ralph from the first two Friday flicks.  “It’s got a DEATH CURSE!!!!”  That was a hoot.

I’m not entirely sure of the back history on this flick, so I can’t tell you how much money was involved, but I doubt it was much as it seemed like an independent production, but let me tell you THIS, I couldn’t see one single bit of CG bullshittery in the entire flick.  Everything seemed to be practical makeup effects.  That just fucking rocks my socks!

There were some dialogue issues where it seemed like the actors had to sort of just force out their lines because they just sounded…odd, but for the most part, the overall story and acting were good.

My BIGGEST BEEF was that the movie seemed too short.  This movie could’ve had a hell of a lot more screen time spent developing secondary characters (hot goth-ish chick) and developing the story a little more.  Instead, the flick seemed a bit rushed, like it was supposed to be a TV pilot or something.  More Jack Brooks wouldn’t be a bad thing, boils ‘n ghouls, and it seems that there are rumors floating about for a JACK BROOKS 2 (Electric Boogaloo…heh).

So, overall? Kickass little indy flick.  I’m glad it got some distribution and it’s refreshing to have something original like this to watch as opposed to the remake hell hollywood seems to be putting us through.  You want good movies?  Watch the indy scene.  Check this one out!