Archive for cult classic

Horror Flick of the Week: Salem’s Lot (1979)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2018 by ranranami

My friends, this is one of the greatest vampire movies of all time. It is one of the greatest Stephen King films. It is also one of the greatest made for TV movies. Not because of phenomenal effects (though they’re pretty solid and simple), but because of acting, writing, and story. It’s the perfect horror film.

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Make no mistake, it’s pretty 70s as far as movies go, which isn’t a bad thing. It suits the Stephen King setting quite well (small Maine-esque town, quaint locals, stranger rolling in a la Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the gradual corruption/death of everyone he encounters). What’s more, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned Nosferatu? I know I sure do! Do yourself a favor if you haven’t watched Salem’s Lot yet–which I can’t even begin to understand–you won’t regret it.

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A Tribute to Robert Z’Dar

Posted in Media, People, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2018 by ranranami

I don’t think there is any actor with a more distinctive face than the late Robert Z’Dar. My first recollection of him wasn’t his melodramatic bit role in Tango and Cash, nor was it his most famous part of all as the titular character of Maniac Cop. It wasn’t even the super villain samurai in Samurai Cop (huh, just noticed a theme there.) It was an oddly-voiced side character in the MST3K take on Soultaker. Other than the forgotten Estevez (Joe), Robert just stood out. He always did. No matter the size of the role.

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Robert J. Zdarsky acted in 121 films before his unfortunate and sudden passing at the age of 64 from cardiac arrest shortly before he was supposed to appear at Pensacon, a multi-genre convention in Pensacola, Florida. He was a man of many faces (especially the large-chinned variety), a college football player, a musician (singer/keyboardist/guitarist), a Chippendales dancer, a police officer, and most importantly–an actor.

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He took his genetic condition (cherubism) and used it to his advantage. It didn’t hold him back in the least as a character actor, and in fact added something really fun to his roles. Robert could never be mistaken for the good guy or the typical henchman (even when he was), and he had such a fantastic voice. He fought and beat throat cancer, which changed his voice irreversibly, but there was still something about his delivery despite this when he spoke, and his enthusiasm in his interviews was truly charming. I haven’t found even one negative comment about Robert as a person, and I’m pretty sure he was probably a fun person to be around. Mister Z’Dar, you were one of a kind, and villain or not–you deserve to be remembered. Credit for the following tribute video goes to Vernon Williams.

A Tribute to Paul Naschy

Posted in Media, People, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2017 by ranranami

How best to describe Paul Naschy? Was he Lon Chaney with the face of John Saxon? Was he the Vincent Price of Spain? To tell you the truth, Paul Naschy was one of a kind. Actor, director, screenwriter, and even sometimes producer. He wore every mask at one point or another, and played ever role, from Wolfman to Frankenstein, to Dracula, and even Satan himself.

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Where Lon Chaney Jr played the American Wolfman, Naschy’s Casanova version of the role practically chewed the scenery. No matter the quality of a film, the poor dubbing, or awful edited versions that have been butchered a hundred times for American audiences, there’s no denying how compelling Naschy still is in those films. He was just that good. He was also known to be a fantastic, down-to-earth kind of person, too, which goes a long way in my book for any major star.

Shout Factory just released some epic collections of Naschy films I’d like to get my hands on, having settled for some of those more questionable releases I’ve mentioned, and it was about time too.

I couldn’t resist ending on this fantastic tribute video I found. I hope some day more of the world will really come to appreciate this brilliant man. Oh, and by the way, happy halloween!

Horror Flick of the Week: Popcorn (1991)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2017 by ranranami

This one took more than one attempt to watch, because it opens with a trippy dream sequence. Narration and dream sequences are two film devices I tend to struggle with, as they are fairly lazy attempts to tell a story without properly showing it. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I tried again. Why? Because just look at that poster! There’s no way in hell a movie could have a poster like this and not turn out to be awesome!

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This time I made it. After the dream sequence, which I can appreciate now is a clear not to Giallo, the movie got so much better. College students get one special night to take what could possibly be one of the most incredible movie theaters in history and host a horror film marathon. William Castle style. Gigantic props flying around, smell-o-vision, shockers in the seats, and everything in-between. Popcorn is a bit of a love story to classic horror, despite the main actress’s at times grating voice (despite this, Jill Schoelen was, and is, a lovely person). It doesn’t stop there, however, as strange memories plague her character throughout the film, and bizarre murders begin to take place. Madness? Ghosts? A killer stalking the night? I guess you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Horror Flick of the Week: Blood and Lace (1971)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2016 by ranranami

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Drive-in fodder, ‘American Yellow’ pictures, stuff that’s just stylized enough to maybe hint that the creators may have occasionally watched something Italian. This movie matches those descriptions all too well. Blood and Lace is a movie that you may only watch once very late at night, but there’s just enough quiet tension in it, and just enough of a bizarre mystery as well as a combination of strangely mixed plot elements…to basically make this movie stick like glue to the back of your skull for years to come.

I first saw this movie when I was about 12, and I can honestly say…I still love the opening POV camera style for the poor protagonist as she has to relive a nightmare of watching her mother being murdered again, and again, and again…not only that…but in the dream, she actually sees it from the killer’s perspective.

Plus, y’know…gotta love that late 60s/early 70s ‘do. I wonder how much of the ozone was eroded from the hairspray used on the women in this film alone? There are definitely some bizarre twists in this movie, which is why it’s the flick of the week, just in time for Halloween too!

 

 

Horror Flick of the Week: Nightmare Castle (1965)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2016 by ranranami

It is no secret that a disgustingly high number of classic films, and especially Italian ones, found themselves butchered terribly in their transitions to the American screen. I’ve heard Nightmare Castle is no exception, but if you’re looking for the full version, you can find it under the title of ‘The Faceless Monster’. The discrepancy is 11 minutes. Pacing and I believe a bit of violence being the key missing bits…

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However, I am not necesarilly a purist about these things. Because I can still enjoy it on its own if I haven’t seen the original first, and that’s why I’d recommend Nightmare Castle to any fan of B movies, Italian Gothic horror, Bava-esque settings, and of course…Barbara Steele. The one and only.

Throughout this film, I found myself mostly appreciating the set…the house…the costumes…and the fact that it really wasn’t as slow as some people would have you believe. Especially if you’re used to the sort of dragging elements Italian cinema is especially known for, the general classic philosophy of their filmmaking being that ‘cinema is about the art and the experience, not the plot or the philosophy of being concise.’ Taking that into consideration, there’s quite a bit of plot in this that you wouldn’t otherwise expect. A mad scientist tortures his adulterous wife to death, uses her blood to youthen their maid (who is obviously his dish on the side), then marries her step (or half) sister to get the family property and fortune…did I mention Barbara Steele is in dual roles? Barbara Steele is in dual roles.

A great film for the approaching holiday season. Check it out as soon as possible, and especially if it’s dark and stormy in your neck of the woods. You won’t regret it.

Horror Flick of the Week: Bloodsuckers from Outer Space (1984)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2016 by ranranami

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Filmed in Dallas. Absolutely…bizarre. Because it’s hard to tell whether the filmmakers were trying to make something scary…or something just…awful. Then at times the comedy comes through, and at other times…are they trying to be scary again? Yes? No? I’m not really sure….At any rate, I feel like everyone who likes a good bad horror movie needs to watch ‘Bloodsuckers from Outer Space’ at least once in their lives.

 

Don’t get me wrong, when I say this is awful. I don’t hate this movie at all. Because this was the first zombie film I ever watched. There is such an intense fondness in my heart for Bloodsuckers from Outer Space for that reason alone, that I can’t honestly say ‘don’t watch this. It’s terrible.’ My mom had this film on her shelf for years, and every time I’d look at the green and black VHS cover, I’d get chills up and down my spine remembering how awful it was watching a farmer vomit blood at the opening until he morphed into some sort of weird…blue…scarred…zombie thing. I didn’t notice the tube at the side of his mouth when I was 5.

Basically, this is like Diet Troma. A far more watchable movie than anything actually from Troma (Toxic Avenger aside, because I freaking love that one). And for the most part…family friendly. Kind of.

At any rate, Bloodsuckers tries to be a brilliant horror satire, and it fails. Killer Klowns ended up being much for successful in that regard. But…it’s still charming. And it’s a movie everyone needs to see once in their life, especially if they’re from Texas.