Ok boils ‘n ghouls, it looks as though the internet is back up and running in the new Backwoods Horror offices and we’re nearly done packing. Time to get caught up on all the horror news, reviews, and everything in between that’s fit to print. We got a blu-ray & DVD of the Unrated Director’s Cut of KILLER JOE in the mail the other day, so expect a review for that film coming soon, along with a review for THE TURNPIKE KILLER, SLAUGHTER TALES, and PROJECT OCTOBER (all three made by local NY/Brooklyn filmmakers, THE TURNPIKE KILLER being produced by New York Horror Film Productions, and written and directed by Evan Makrogiannis – who has a son of oh about 13 or so who also has a werewolf film on the discc I’ll also review…it’s fantastic to see budding indie horror filmmakers). SLAUGHTER TALES, by the way, was made by a (I believe) 15 year old young filmmaker named Johnny Dickie, who also does all the special effects makeup, so it’ll be a joy to see his work.
There is a lot of talent coming out of this area in the indie horror arena. I recently attended a small screening of a few indie horror shorts and a revival of SLUGS (and carried away a signed poster), called the NEW YORK CITY HORROR AND EXPLOITATION FILM FESTIVAL in Astoria. I believe it was the first of many to come and I look forward to being invited back again.
Anyway, that’s all for now. This time of year is SLOW for horror news so it doesn’t look like I missed much, but you can bet your bloody arse I’ll get it up on the site.
The new Backwoods Horror office has been without internet for the past 24 hours. The entire area is actually. This is terribly annoying as we JUST had lines put in yesterday evening & we were going to be up and running with new posts amd reviews soon. Time Warner its telling us it’ll be tomorrow before things are back to normal (I’m writing this from my phone). So, hopefully, expect us to be back in bloody business by Sunday or Monday.
Thank you for your patience and consideration.
Your friend in horror,
Aaron J. Howell
Cheif Editor & Owner
Where have we been the past few days? You may have noticed a lack of updates. Well, the BACKWOODS HORROR office is moving from Manhattan to the Brooklyn area so we’re taking a short break while we get everything moved and the internet back up and running. This will be the last post more than likely from our current office, but rest assured boils ‘n ghouls, BACKWOODS HORROR isn’t gone, just moving its physical space. So we’ll be seeing your bloodshot eyes again soon. Thank you so very much for your patience.
You may have noticed that we’ve been gone over the month of November. After the witching season of Halloween, things tend to calm down in the world of horror so, instead of being bored out of our wits, we took the month off to reflect on all things horror and the state of the genre. Sadly, we didn’t miss much. But now we’re back, risen anew from our charnel abodes to spread terror throughout the land…er…well…the internet anyway. What little news we have to report on from the past month we’ll get up right away, and of course we’ll continue to pass along to you, dear boils ‘n ghouls, all the horror news, reviews, and everything in between that’s fit to print (though, admittedly, December has always been a slow month for horror as well. Still, a month’s a month and that’s been long enough.). We’re back. Jooooooin Uuuussssss….
Maybe it’s just me, but Halloween of yesteryear just seemed like more fun. There was less emphasis on über-mom safety, special gluten free soy candy, etc. Kids would trick or treat AT NIGHT as they should, running around in monster masks instead of safe little princess and movie memorabilia costumes. We all heard about razorblades and needles in our candy (some of it unwrapped, some of it cookies), and we didn’t care. It’s part of what made Halloween scary. Part of what makes Halloween special to me these days is more nostalgia then anything else. Remembrance of days long past when friends and I were allowed to run freely through the streets at night, trick or treating, telling ghost stories in the local cemetery. Good luck finding that now.
The blog Collecting Candy has acquired a massive amount of Halloween store displays from 1969 that bring back those wonderful memories. Here’s an example of what I mean:
Apologies for the lack of updates recently boils ‘n ghouls. We here at Backwoods Horror have been experiencing some technical difficulties, and on top of that most of the office has been sick with some kind of devil flu from hell. Unfortunately, because of these issues, we haven’t been able to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest on horror news, reviews, and everything in between. Sorry about that. But now we’re back and ready to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and we’re all out of bubble gum. So get ready for the latest and greatest in horror and thank you so very much for your patience.
In the meantime, this is about how half the office looked for the past few weeks:
Yesterday, August 20th, was the birthday of the greatest American writer of the 20th Century. I am, of course, talking about Howard Phillips Lovecraft, born August 20th, 1890. I feel somewhat ashamed that I missed getting a post up about it on the day, but I couldn’t let it go without writing some form of tribute to the man who, without his limitless imagination of cosmic horror, the horror world would’ve never been as we know it today. He was contemporaries with Robert Bloch (PSYCHO), Robert E. Howard (CONAN THE BARBARIAN), Fritz Leiber, amongst others, and went on to influence every great horror writer we revere today. Stephen King called Lovecraft “the Twentieth Century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale,” and Neil Gaiman has called him “Rock and Roll.” That last quote could be taken quite literally as Lovecraft has been referenced in bands such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, amongst others.
This being a horror film site, we can’t possibly forget to talk about his influence on the horror film genre. Stuart Gordon has made a career out of (somewhat loosely) adapting Lovecraft’s work for the silver screen. Lucio Fulci used Lovecraftian names and themes. In CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (aka THE GATES OF HELL), the witch haunted town the entire film takes place in is Dunwich. And let’s not forget such films as John Carpenter’s THE THING, which was in fact based on the novella Who Goes There by John W. Campbell Jr. and was published in 1938 and shared many themes with At The Mountains Of Madness, published in 1936. It’s quite obvious that Carpenter’s THE THING shares many Lovecraftian themes, even if by proxy. And then there’s THE EVIL DEAD franchise. In the first film, the evil book isn’t referred to specifically as The Necronomicon, but in EVIL DEAD 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS, that is precisely what it is referred to, the Necronomicon of course being a creation of the Mad Arab Alhazred, both creations of H.P. Lovecraft.
I could go on and on about Lovecraft’s influence on film, but perhaps, recently, his influence on pop culture has hit the hardest. Do a simple search for Lovecraft on Google and you’ll find a countless number of websites and shops selling Lovecraft…well…everything. T-shirts, Necklaces, Books (the “actual” Necronomicon), Hats, you name it, you can find it. And perhaps his greatest creation, the CTHULHU mythos has hit pop culture harder than anything else he’s created. It’s Lovecraft mania out there, not only on the web, but the world itself. Perhaps the tragedy of Lovecraft is that he died penniless and had thought himself a failure as a writer, something that always makes me feel a little sad when I think about it. If only he could see what an influence he’s had on the world today, perhaps we could’ve even cracked a smile on that stern face of his.
Happy belated birthday, Mr. Lovecraft. You’ve changed the world, you’ve changed the genre, and you will never be forgotten. And even though you were a teetotaler, here’s a pint to you.
This is the story about murder and sweet dresses, about knives and bubbles, about red blood and black nights. The story about mysterious interiors with walls stained with blood. If you have ever seen the Roman Polanski’s movie Bitter Moon from 1992, you will realize the reason and the source of inspiration for this title. Ecstatic love, then abandonment and revenge sweet as honey – are crucial for the story. Although, there is no bloodshed in this movie, there is an incredible energy makes experiencing this kind of extreme emotions appealing…
And one of my favorites, Blood Splatter across wooden panels…
Apologies for no updates for yesterday and tomorrow. I may be able to get some up tonight. It’s been a busy time in regards to furthering my inclusion in the world of horror, both independent and studio. It’s all for the betterment of this site and working on my career as a filmmaker. Don’t worry though, there will be a slew of updates with the best horror news of the week when I can get them up.
“Weinstein, behind some of the bloodiest films ever made, says Hollywood should discuss its role after ‘Dark Knight’ massacre in Colorado,” reports the NY DAILY NEWS.
‘Harvey Weinstein — the legendary movie mogul behind some of the most violent films ever made — says Hollywood should look in the mirror in the wake of the “Dark Knight” massacre. Weinstein is calling for an unprecedented summit of the industry’s top filmmakers to address how on-screen violence might be leading to real-life bloodshed. “I think as filmmakers we should sit down — the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies — and discuss our role in that,” Weinstein told the Huffington Post. Weinstein insisted that the Hollywood elite can’t “shirk our responsibility” for potentially inspiring the rampage in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 people and wounded 58 others.’
This is an obvious political/PR move if I’ve ever seen one. Harvey and his brother have made their fortunes on violent films. Their very first production, in fact, was the fantastic 80′s slasher THE BURNING. It’s Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman all over again. Some of the other genre films the Weinsteins have made a lot of money on that were incredibly violent, gory flicks were:
HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL, THE CROW: CITY OF ANGELS, SCREAM, NIGHTWATCH (the Ewan McGregor one), MIMIC, SCREAM 2, THE PROPHECY 2, PHANTOMS, HALLOWEEN H2O: 20 YEARS LATER, THE FACULTY, THE CROW: SALVATION, SCREAM 3, PROPHECY 3: THE ASCENT, DRACULA 2000, MIMIC 2, Project Greenlight which produced FEAST, HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION, DARKNESS, CURSED, DRACULA 3: LEGACY, THE PROPHECY: FORSAKEN, VENOM, PULSE, GRINDHOUSE, HALLOWEEN (remake), ROGUE, THE MIST, HELL RIDE, FEAST 2: SLOPPY SECONDS, PULSE 2: AFTERLIFE, PULSE 3, FEAST 3: THE HAPPY FINISH, HALLOWEEN 2 (remake), PIRANHA 3D, SCREAM 4, APOLLO 18, and PIRANHA 3DD.
This list doesn’t even include all of the gory action/thriller films he’s been a part of, making buttloads of cash in doing so. So for him to do something like this is hypocrisy at its finest. The Weinsteins have their hands and money soaked in fake blood and gore. This is just ridiculous. Additionally, every on-the-level study done on violence in films vs. real life violence has shown that there is no connection whatsoever. There are things out there that do desensitize people to violence and slaughter: Slaughter House employees, for example, become incredibly desensitized and detached. The incident in Aurora Colorado was a hideous, tragic event, but it had nothing to do with the violence in the Batman films (which are rate PG-13 for cryin’ out loud!). It had everything to do with a crazy person doing a crazy, horrible thing. The MPAA already comes down hard enough on artists and their ability to create their films how they wish, and now we have a major Hollywood player who has made his fortune on violence suddenly wanting to bring everyone in the industry together to say “hey, maybe we shouldn’t make violent films), this WHILE he’s producing DJANGO UNCHAINED, a film I’m sure will be full of roses and butterflies. What a load of shit.