Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Giveaway: Who's the Sexiest Zombie Ever?

A while back, I got into a long discussion with EC3 Daniel and various other members of The Pack about whether or not sex with a zombie constitutes necrophilia.  Sure, you’re still cracking open a cold one, but in this sense, is reanimated the same as dead?  I’m not going to go too far into the particulars of the debate; it got pretty, shall we say, anatomical.  Anyway, all that talk about zombie banging did get me thinking about some of the hottest zombies in horror history; and when you’re talking about sexy zombies, one franchise has the market cornered.  The Return of the Living Dead flicks gave us hands-down the two most doable living dead girls of all time, which brings me to SOC’s next giveaway.
First of all, let’s see what you’re playing for.  I’d like to thank my zombie assistant for presenting the prizes.  I guess he’s my version of Barker’s beauties.  No, he’s not part of the prize package.  We’ve got a copy of More Brains: A Return to the Living Dead.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a killer documentary about the ROTLD series by the masterminds who brought you the greatest horror movie documentary of all tile, Never Sleep Again.  It also comes with a mini poster signed by the producer Mike Perez.  That poster would be perfect for all of you autograph hounds to collect signatures on.  You’ll also get one of those Lion’s Gate horror collections that everyone was on a holy grail search for a while back.  This one includes Return of the Living Dead 3, as well as Bride of Re-Animaror, Beyond Re-Animator, Night of the Living Dead 3D, and those two Syfy channel ROTLD sequels Necropolis and Rave to the Grave.  Cool stuff, huh? Here’s how to win.   I’ve taken the liberty of narrowing the list down to two finalists. Yes, I know the half corpse on the table and the “Get that screwdriver out of my head” chick were both pretty alluring, but they don’t compare to these two.  These two helped kick start puberty for me, and I’m sure they did for a lot of other budding horror movie freaks out there.  Before I introduce them, let me point out that in the ROTLD cannon, zombies retain their personalities after they’re reanimated, so we have to take their pre-brain munching selves into account too.  Also, I apologize for censoring these pics, but SOC is a semi-family show.  Just google ‘em if you wanna see the naughty bits.  The choices are…

Trash (Linnea Quigley) in Return of the Living Dead 1


Here we have Trash, owner of the title for most revered nude scene in horror history.  What makes Trash so special?  Well, first of all she’s just plain freakin’ hot.  I mean, just look at her.  Second, she’s a wild one.  When she starts peeling off her duds in the graveyard and Spider says “…Trash is taking off her clothes again,” you get the idea that this is a regular occurrence.  Who doesn’t like chicks that get naked at the drop of a hat?  Said stripping, the “have you ever fantasized about being killed” monologue, and her molestation of Suicide in said graveyard lead me to think one of two things; either she’s crazy or she’s an attention whore.  Either way, those are the kind of gals who are usually down for just about anything, and that’s definitely a point in her favor.  After she’s reanimated, she still has that rocking bod, even though the face is a little messed up.  Honestly though, who amongst us hasn’t ended up going home with someone who fits THAT description before?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  Also, if you wanna cheat a little since it’s not actually in the flick, Trash is a natural blonde.  I doubt zombies take the time to dye their hair, and it still grows after death, so if you’re into blondes, all you have to do is wait a little while.  Trash is serious undead hotness.

Julie (Mindy Clarke) from Return of the Living Dead 3


 (Note: Those boobs may or may not be a prosthetic, so I'm using that as a loophole to not censor it.

 And then there’s Julie.  Whereas Trash is the wild child party girl slut, Julie is the rocker girlfriend type.  She’s got a wild streak all right, but she’s loyal as hell to her man, even after death.  There’s definitely something to be said for that.  Man is she gorgeous too!  Look at those eyes.  Beautiful.  If you’re into redheads, Julie here is your gal.  I’m not sure if it’s natural, but I’d be glad to check.  She has an affinity for leather and fishnets, which is always a plus. After she’s dead, though, she gets uber freaky.  If you’re the bongage and S&M type and like your ladies kinky, it doesn’t get any better than Julie.  A true pain-slut is hard to find, but Julie is just about as hardcore as they come.  Just imagine the possibilities.  Ok, I better stop that line of discussion before I get myself in trouble.  She’s also a bad ass.  If you like ass kickin’ ladies, just watch ol’ Julie here take out some hard ass Cholos who come after her and her man.  Julie is ungodly amounts of hot, an ass kicker, and as kinky as it gets.  This post mortem vixen definitely does it for me.

Ok folks, here’s how it’s gonna work.  You’re gonna vote on who is the sexiest zombie of all time, Trash or Julie.  The catch is, I will be drawing the winner from the WINNING SIDE ONLY.  Yeah, that’s right, if you want a chance to win, your ghoulie girlie has to win.  That means you better get your friends, family, and complete strangers to come vote for your favorite if you want to score these DVDs.  Here are the rules…

1. To enter, first you must like the Facebook page HERE, then leave a comment voting for either Trash or Julie.  Also, make sure your comment has your email address so I can contact you if you win.
2. You may enter only once, but if you share a link to the contest on Facebook or Twitter (and tell me so in your comment), I will count your vote twice.  Note, that doesn’t mean you can you can share it and vote for both ladies.  None of that indecisive shit here.
3. Since the postal service recently decided to hike international shipping prices, this one is open to US residents only.  Sorry.

So there you have it Cellmates.  Cast your vote for the sexiest zombie, and I will draw a winner from the winning votes at random on February 13.  Now get to voting!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview: Days of the Dead Promoter Adolfo Dorta

It’s coming.  In fact, it’s almost here.  Atlanta’s biggest annual horror party is this weekend (Feb 1-3), at The Sheraton hotel in downtown Atlanta.  I’m psyched, the winners of my ticket contest are psyched, hell, the entire Southeastern contingent of horror geeks is psyched.  The guest list is sick, and there will be more cool stuff to buy than…actually, I need to stop.  If I keep going I’m gonna start sounding like an excited little kid ranting about Christmas.  Actually, there’s a reason for that.
Anyway, Adolfo Dorta, one of the promoters of Days of the Dead, dropped by to tell us a little about what to expect this weekend.  If you’re still on the fence about joining us, here’s the low down straight from the horses mouth.  Once you read this and inevitably decide that you’ve been a fool and there’s no way in hell that you would miss it, you can order tickets and get all of the details HERE.

SOC:  Word has really spread through the Atlanta horror scene about DOTD since last year, and there’s a lot of buzz at ground level for DOTD:ATL 2013.  How is the pre-show buzz this year as compared to last year from a promoter’s standpoint?

AD: You know, despite it being hard to tell with me living out in the midwest and being almost 14 hours away, I always have folks in the area emailing me or calling me saying great things about the buzz going on for our return to the area, especially given that we're settling into the heart of downtown Atlanta this time. Ticket pre-sales have also already surpassed last year's show with two weeks to go (which tend to be the time the majority of our sales happen). We're all really stoked.

SOC:  With the move from the outskirts of town into the belly of the beast, along with moving into a bigger hotel that somewhat knows what it’s in for (as a DragonCon host hotel), how do you think the con will be different from last year?

AD: If last year's show in Peachtree City could be thought of as us dipping our toe in the waters of the southeast, this time around we're doing a cannonball off the diving board right in the middle of the pool. That said, I think one thing we do try to do is keep all of our shows fairly consistent so fans know what to expect from a DAYS OF THE DEAD event: great guests, great events, and a wild party atmosphere that runs very late into the night and ventures into the kind of debauchery few shows would dare touch. We're proud to be a horror show and we wear our love for the genre like a badge of honor. Everything our fans in the south loved about our first show will be back, with much more of it to go around.

  There are three big reunions going on at DOTD:ATL this year (Return of the Living Dead, House of 1000 Copses/Devil’s Rejects, Blair Witch Project).  Are these kinds of “themed guest lists” the direction you want to take in the future as opposed to centering it around single big guests?

That's a great question. I’m usually not a fan of big reunion based shows just due to the fact that you run the risk of alienating anyone who isnt a fan of the movie being showcased, but with the case of this show, I think an exception was warranted. Most of the cast members of House of 1,000 Coprses/Devil's Rejects are actors/actresses with such a rich body of work that even if you aren't a fan of the Rob Zombie movies, chances are you are still a fan of something else they worked on, ie. Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, PJ Soles, Leslie Easterbook, Michael Berryman, Danny Trejo, etc. Return of the Living Dead is such a great film that I consider an 80's classic, and the full cast has only ever done 2 or 3 other shows before, so we thought it was a great opportunity to bring them to the southeast. And in the case of the Blair Witch Project, this will be only the second time ever that the trio has ever appeared at a convention, and for us it provided a rare opportunity to do something related to one of the most iconic and influential horror films of the last two decades.
So while I wouldnt discount having similar big "theme reunions" at our future DAYS OF THE DEAD shows (we actually just did a big Texas Chainsaw series reunion in Indianapolis this past July), we tend to prefer having a little bit of everything and not dedicate too much of the show to one or two aspects of horror when the genre itself is so wide and diverse, much like our fanbase.

 SOC:  Speaking of the guest list, this year’s is absolutely huge.  Is there ever a point when you say, “Maybe we should stop or we won’t be able to top it next year?”

When we first started out, our goal was to cap it at about 40 guests. While the inclination is always that "more is better," you also have to consider that most horror convention patrons operate on a limited budget and we want to make sure that we don't overwhelm them with too much where they wouldn’t be able to afford meeting everyone they want to meet and still having some scratch left over to support the awesome vendors we have in our dealer room. From a business standpoint, it probably also would have also made sense for us to reel it in a bit, but we just had cool guest after cool guest come to us wanting to get involved in the show and being big fanboys ourselves it's often impossible to say "no," especially with guests that we also happen to very excited about meeting.
In the end, we never worry about topping ourselves the following year - we embrace the challenge. As long as the fans keep coming and supporting what we do, we'll work to find new ways to wow them.

 SOC:  The last couple of DOTDs have hosted members of KISS, and with Michael Graves and Eerie Von being guests in Atl, is music something you’re consciously focusing on more?

Most defintiely! We're all big music fans and most horror fans are as well so why not? Graves was actually booked for our first ever Indianapolis show in 2011 but had to cancel due to touring so he's been looking forward to making up the date with us. Eerie was a guest at our last Indianapolis event in July and he had a great time and was a really cool guy we're happy to have back. We're hoping to have at least a handful of music guests, particularly from the world of punk and metal, at every show moving forward.

  You’ve obviously dealt with a lot of big stars and genre icons.  Is there one that left you star struck and gave you that “Holy shit, I’m actually talking to ________” moment?

John Waters without a doubt. He was very down to earth and easy to deal with which made it all the better. As you can imagine he also has a great sense of humor.

SOC:  After last year’s con, everyone had a great Gary Busey story to tell.  What’s yours?

AD: You know, surprisingly I don’t. Though I did see the video online of the guy who gave him one of those exotic fantasy knives as a gift and am surprised that nobody was seriously injured that weekend. Gary looks a little too excited to be wielding that thing.
(SOC note: Adolfo, you have no idea.  I’m surprised I’m not dead.  Remind me to tell you that story sometime.)

 SOC:  Some killer independent horror productions either premiered or had their first Atlanta screening at DOTD in 2012.  What can we look forward to in terms of screenings this time around?

AD: Our friend Luke Godfrey with Chambers of Horrors is going to be putting together a "Best of Buried Alive Film Festival" and re-screen some selections at DAYS OF THE DEAD for those that may have missed it the first time around. We should have the official titles posted in a few days.

SOC:  You’ve only been doing this a little over a year, but you’ve promoted some very successful and well-received shows.  Do other shows/promoters still see DOTD as the new kid, or are you a veteran by now?

AD: Truthfully speaking, most promoters in this business dont tend to speak well of each other in any capacity, and given that DAYS OF THE DEAD is a grassroots show birthed by fans without any ties to a magazine or major corporate sponsor, Im sure we'll always be the new kid in one way or another. Personally, I kinda like the idea of continuously having to prove myself with everything we do and carrying a big chip on our shoulders - it's not unlike the horror genre we love so much. As long as the fans continue to love DOTD, the other shows and promoters can see us however they choose - most of them are businessmen and not horror fans so it isnt something that weighs on us.

  Some say the horror genre is at a low point, while others say these are good days to be a horror fan.  From your unique perspective as an organizer of horror events, what is your assessment of the state of the horror genre in 2013?

AD: I think that horror hasn’t been as popular as it is now for quite some time - look no further than the fact that Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D was at the top of the box office (2 weeks ago) and that The Walking Dead is one of the biggest things on TV in years as proof. That being said, I think we're also at a point where you're seeing a lot of new blood coming into the horror scene on account of its mainstream appeal. I have tons of friends and co-workers who tell me all the time "You know, I was never a horror fan, but Ive been watching The Walking Dead and American Horror Story and I think I kinda like this stuff." I always love using that as an opportunity to turn them on into things I feel better represent the genre and hope something sticks. If the extent of what someone thinks horror is about starts and ends with The Walking Dead, I definitely find that disappointing, but I also think it makes for a great gateway for people new to the genre to explore its roots and dig deeper.
On an independent level, I think the horror genre is absolutely rocking. As proof of that, I urge anyone to check out your excellent write up of The Best Horror Flicks of 2012, where all except 1 or 2 would be classified as independent releases. (By the way, I think you hit the nail on the head with most of your choices)

  DOTD is the only event of its kind in Atlanta, and since this is only the second year, there are still a lot of people who will be coming to their first ever horror convention.  What advice would you give to the horror con virgins to help them get the most out of the experience?

AD: I usually just tell people to show up, not plan to sleep for the entire weekend, and seriously check any pretentiousness at the door and just have fun and let your hair down. I think our shows are like one of those movies where the least you know going in, the better. A lot of first timers make the mistake of spending too much time planning like they’re going on some frou-frou cruise. Just come join us, be yourself, and let loose among your fellow horror family. Free that inner monster from its dungeon for a few days.

 SOC:  Last year, I tried to warn you that the Atlanta horror freaks are crazy.  Be honest; in terms of how wild the party gets, how does Atlanta stack up against the other DOTD cities?

AD: We actually talk about Atlanta all the time in terms of it being the city with the greatest collection of freaks. Our parties in Chicago and Indianapolis may have been bigger, but there was something twisted about Atlanta that the other locations just don’t have. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but you all are some wonderfully sick f**ks down there - just our kind of people!

SOC:  Do you have any announcements that you’ve been holding off on that you can spill the beans about here on SOC?

AD: As of right now, we've announced everyone that is already set to be there but I will say that I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more guests don’t turn up on the weekend of the show. We've been hearing rumblings of a few other people just showing up to the party at the last minute so I would keep my eyes peeled!

SOC:  Any last words for the Cellmates?

AD: We just look forward to seeing everyone there and encourage everyone to spread the good word to all their friends. Don’t be that person that stays home and then spends the next year kicking themselves in the ass for not going. Come on out and have a great time with us!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

And The Winners Of The Days Of The Dead Atlanta Giveaway Are...

Ok folks, the giveaway has come to an end.  I'd like to thank Adolfo and the DOTD crew for letting me get some Cellmates on the list.  So, without further ado, it looks like...

Brittany McDaniel and her boyfriend get to have another romantic horror filled weekend this year meeting Danny Trejo and Tony Todd,

Mr. Bones (who writes Tales From The Batcave - go check it out) will be delving deep into Choptop's brain - or at least Bill Moseley's,

and The Elvis can talk photography with Ginger Lynn Allen.

Congratulations to our three winners.  You each get a pair of weekend passes to Days of the Dead Atlanta on Feb 1-3.  I'll be contacting you via email to tell you how to claim your prize.  Find me at the con and we'll do a shot or something.
If you didn't win, you can still get tickets HERE.  If you preorder a weekend pass, it's only $45 bucks!  That's cheap as hell for a weekend of horror geek heaven.  I mean, what else could you possibly do that weekend for $45 that's as much fun? $45 bucks ain't gonna  go very far in the hookers and blow department.  You can't get a decent chainsaw for $45 bucks.  $45 bucks in gas won't take you far enough to find as much adventure as you would at The Sheraton that weekend, so you're much better off at Days of the Dead Atlanta. See you there!
Keep your eyes here on Son of Celluloid, 'cause I'll be announcing the next giveaway on Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Interview: James Balsamo of Acid Bath Productions

In my mind, it almost feels like James Balsamo's Acid Bath Productions and Son of Celluloid have grown up together.  His filmmaking career started around the same time the blog did, and he was one of the first filmmakers to contact me about reviewing his flicks.  He's a good friend of the blog, and I look forward to meeting him in person at Days of the Dead Atlanta, where he's gonna be a guest.  See, there's yet another reason to go HERE and enter the contest for passes to the convention.  He's gonna be a guest at Texas Frightmare Weekend in May (details HERE) too.  I got in on James's work at the ground floor with Hack Job, then watched his progression in I Spill Your Guts, and now, as the release of his third feature Cool As Hell approaches, I invited James to talk to the Cellmates about nudity, old school movie novelizations, filmmaking, Troma, and Oderus Urungus's Ed Wood moment.  Check it out...

SOC:  When was the first time you remember watching a horror movie and thinking “THAT’S what I wanna do with my life!”
 JB: I was eight years old and watching Friday the 13th Part III with my father – I was loving every minute of it (until they showed Jason's mother's severed rotting head...that scared the crap out of me). Soon after, my own mother (with a head on her shoulders) asked me if I wanted to join an acting school. That's when it hit me! I could be that guy behind the mask. I'm not a sports fan or a horticulture enthusiast; I eat sleep and breathe horror films, so it was clear from a young age I wanted to live and work among the monsters and madmen of cinema universe.

SOC:  You were an intern at Troma for a while. What did you learn about filmmaking and the film business during your time there?
JB: Troma was a great learning experience. I missed working on set for Poultrygeist. I started working there after they had wrapped Night of the Chicken Dead, and left Troma way before they started their new venture, Return to Nuke ‘Em High. So, I ended up learning the ropes of the business side of film making, and it is a business. Becoming CEO of my own company was no easy task. Troma helped me lay the ground work by teaching me the ropes and making me take out the trash and sweep. I recently returned to Troma to tell Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz that my films were sold all over the world. Lloyd and Michael shook my hand and said that I went from errand boy to respected film maker. I couldn't have done it without the help of Troma, but now Acid Bath Productions is making a name for itself.

SOC:  Your movies are always packed with cameos (Dave Brockie, Lynn Lowry, Tim Ritter, Joel Reed, Andrew W.K., Debbie Rochon, Carmine Capobianco). How do you go about getting all of these great people involved?
 JB: Acid Bath Productions is a growing company. Now that we have worked with so many major artists, people contact us left and right to work together. It's really an amazing thing - while making "Hack Job,” we reached out to so many people in the horror community that we really made some strong roots that have helped us branch out to so many new notables.

SOC:  If you could pick anyone you haven’t worked with yet to be in one of your flicks, who would it be?
 JB: Dick Miller. I'm a big fan of his work. One of my favorite Miller films is "Demon Knight". I was honored to recently be asked to be a guest with Dick Miller at Days of the Dead convention in Atlanta. So, I’m looking forward to meeting him in person.

SOC:  Considering some of the real life characters you’ve worked with, I bet you have some pretty funny on-set stories. Care to share one with us?
JB: Filming is always an adventure. Working with some of the industry's top notables is really the icing on the cake. There are really some great stories on set, like when filming "Hack Job," Dave Brockie dressed as Oderus kept screaming that this was his Bela Lugosi moment, as if I was Ed Wood making "Plan 9". We filmed with Lynn Lowry at her house and she has cats...I'm allergic to cats. She starts rubbing my face out of nowhere in the scene, so I had to take a break to have an allergic reaction coughing fit on her front lawn. There are so many stories on set I think one day I'll write a book about my adventures so I don't want to give too much away.

SOC:  Your films also feature lots of gratuitous nudity, which is becoming a rarity. Why do you think horror movies these days generally shy away from nudity?
 JB: I really don't know why horror movies shy away from gratuitous nudity now, but Acid Bath Productions is picking up the slack. We are jam packing our films with all the bare skin you can shake a fist up and down to. Nudity is a primal desire, and we’ve picked up a motto that anyone that tells you they don't enjoy nudity is too afraid to admit it. We don't make porn; we just know how to make our audience happy. Filming it isn't a bad perk either, but it is always a professional atmosphere for the cast and crew on set when we have nude shoots.

SOC:  There seems to have been a big resurgence in anthologies on the indie horror scene lately, with Hack Job being near the beginning of the wave. What made you decide on an anthology for your first flick as opposed to a regular feature?
JB: "Hack Job" really spear headed the comeback of anthologies. In fact I had self-distributed "Hack Job" months before "Chillerama" hit stores. I had always wanted my first film to be an anthology. I started out making short films, and an anthology is essentially short films sewn together with one overlying story. Needless to say, this is a great format for starting film makers. I grew up on films like "CreepShow", and "Tales From The Darkside.” It was a great starting point to pay homage to those films.

SOC:  The Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space, who did the theme song from Hack Job, are one of my favorite bands of all time. How did that collaboration come about?
JB: I was a big fan of BZFOS myself, before we worked together. I told them about "Hack Job" and they loved the concept of collaboration. I sent them the lyrics I had in my mind and they wrote an amazing song around it. We have become such good friends since "Hack Job," we decided to work together again and they did the theme song for my new film "Cool As Hell".

SOC:  With the war veteran motif of I Spill Your Guts, were you going for social commentary or was it just a good backdrop for the blood and tits?
JB: The military was a great backdrop for revenge and mutilation. I'm not a preachy filmmaker and I don't use my films as a soap box to stand on. I have my own views on the world and I just try to play devil's advocate and show both sides of the bayonet, so to speak.

SOC:  A novelization of I Spill Your Guts is a cool idea. Very old school. Did you always envision ISYG as a book and movie, or did the book idea come later?
JB: The novel idea was not something originally planned from the start, but now that the film has been adapted I couldn't be happier with it. Nick Kisella did an amazing job and he really makes the blood run right off the pages. You should go get a copy!  

SOC:  A lot of the time, the book and movie will have plot differences. How closely does the book follow the flick?
 JB: More or less, the plot is the same, but some of the kills have been modified. There is also a ton of character development. The novel really portrays Dennis (the killer) as the victim and you take his side of the story. As most horror movie fans know the killer is star of the show, and the novel really keeps The American Executioner burning bright as he hacks and slashes his way into our hearts.

SOC: Speaking of Old School ideas, I Spill Your Guts just got a limited edition VHS release. What are your thoughts on the whole collector’s VHS market that has sprung up all of a sudden?
JB: Let’s just say there is a VCR in my soul and when Matt from Horror Boobs Video contacted me about doing a release on VHS, I had to "tape" him up on his offer. Is that enough with the VHS puns or do I have to be kind and rewind?  Zinger!

SOC: What has it been like working with Wild Eye Releasing? They seem to have been on a roll lately, putting out some great indie horror flicks, including Hack Job and I Spill Your Guts.
 JB: Working with Wild Eye has been great. "Hack Job" really sparked the wave of awesome titles they released. Wild Eye and Acid Bath Productions will be working together again to release "Cool As Hell".

SOC:  Your next flick, Cool as Hell, is coming out in February. Tell us about it.
 JB: Rich wasn't always a samurai sword wielding zombie slayer! He was your average comic book store employee, until he met a demon named Az. When Az came from Hell, he left the portal open and a soul hungry beast escaped. Rich and his roommate Benny used to have girl troubles, but that's the least of their worries now. They have to stop the creature and the living dead that have crawled out of Hell. Who would have thought Rich would have to save the world just to get laid?

SOC:  After Cool as Hell, what’s next from you and Acid Bath?
 JB: Acid Bath Productions has yet to officially announce its next project, but I can tell you that you will see the American Executioner kill again.

SOC:  What quality is more important for an indie horror filmmaker to possess, technical skill or passion for the genre?
JB: As an indie filmmaker I believe it's important to have both. Technical skill is essential because as an indie filmmaker, you are competing with the best and you have to hold some ground in the industry. Horror fans have something most other genre viewers don’t - suspension of disbelief - they accept the fact that a monster could roam the streets or that a hockey masked zombie could come back again and again after "dying" at the end of sequel after sequel. That takes passion and I think that is what really makes a great indie filmmaker.

SOC:  Any last words for the Cellmates (readers)?
 JB: Be sure to follow us on Twitter @acidbathproduct and don't forget to pick up your copy of "Hack Job" at and "I Spill Your Guts" at Don’t forget that "Cool As Hell" hits stores worldwide February 19, 2013. Also be sure to check out the "I Spill Your Guts" the novel HERE

Cool As Hell Trailer:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Texas Chainsaw 3D

One criticism often hurled at horror fans is that we take out favorite franchises and characters too personally.  In a lot of cases, that’s true.  Normally I don’t fall into that category, but the Texas Chainsaw Massacre flicks are the exception.  I’ve talked many times on this blog about my deep relationship with the saw.  After so many years as the resident chainsaw wielding maniac at various haunted house attractions, I feel like part of the family.  In fact, Netherworld’s current saw crew (I’m so proud of my two apprentices) have been dubbed Ralphus, Lila, and Cletus Sawyer.  Yep, I’m a Sawyer, so I take my family’s cinematic legacy seriously.  So, did our first foray into 3D have teeth?
Synopsis: “Lionsgate’s TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic left off in Newt, Texas, where for decades people went missing without a trace.  The townspeople long suspected the Sawyer family, owners of a local barbeque pit, were somehow responsible.  Their suspicions were finally confirmed one hot summer day when a young woman escaped the Sawyer house following the brutal murders of her four friends.  Word around the small town quickly spread, and a vigilante mob of enraged locals surrounded the Sawyer stronghold, burning it to the ground and killing every last member of the family – or so they thought.  Decades later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young woman named Heather learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from a grandmother she never knew she had.  After embarking on a road trip with friends to uncover her roots, she finds she is the sole owner of a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. But her newfound wealth comes at a price as she stumbles upon a horror that awaits her in the mansion’s dank cellars.
Let’s start off with what this flick did right, which ironically is also one of the things the flick has been catching a lot of flack for; Leatherface himself.  The portrayal in this film is a spot on logical progression of the character from the original film.  While still brutal, twisted, and violent, this is a much more sedate Leatherface. I’ve heard a lot of people bemoan this shift, but it makes perfect sense.  Twenty (maybe forty, but I’ll get into that later) years have passed since Sally, Franklin, and the crew encountered the Sawyers.  Leatherface is much older now.  He’s not going to be the frenetic, almost spastic butcher that he once was.  He’s a little more tired, he’s learned his craft better, and (dare I say it), he’s matured a little.  He no longer just goes running after his prey, he exhibits slightly more measured stalking techniques.  He also sports a pronounced limp due to his chainsaw injury in the first film.  Having personally chased people with a chainsaw on a bad wheel, I thought showing the toll this took on him was a great realistic touch.  Family is a big deal to Leatherface.  He’s dealt with the loss of his entire clan over the years, and recently buried the last living relative that he knew.  That’s gonna devastate the big guy.  They even threw a couple of new touches into the Leatherface lore that added a lot, especially one particularly brilliant one involving him donning the iconic mask.  All of these things add up to a very different Leatherface, and I applaud the filmmakers for what seems like a lot of thought being put into the character, even if that seems to have taken up all of the thought for the whole writing process.  Again, I’ll get into that later.
A lot of the criticism I’ve seen is based around the fact that the story takes Leatherface in an anti-hero direction rather than making him a simple killing machine.  To these people I ask, “have we been watching the same TCM series?”  That’s what Leatherface has always been!  He’s a character that should elicit some compassion from the viewer.  There’s always been an element of the victim in his story.  Leatherface isn’t a morality killer or a revenge killer or a thrill killer like your average machete/razor glove/butcher knife wielder.  He’s always killed for his family.  In his head, he’s helping provide for his kin, protecting them, and fulfilling his role in the family unit.  He has always been shown to care deeply about his loved ones, although they abuse him more often than not.  To different extents in the various TCM films, he’s always been both a villain and a tragic character; like King Kong, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, or Frankenstein’s Monster.  That’s why I don’t understand why people are up in arms about him being portrayed in a sympathetic light.  The character hasn’t changed, the identification point has.  In all of the previous films, the audience’s lot is thrown in with the victims.  In parts of this movie, The Sawyer family is portrayed as the victims.  With the identification of the audience placed with The Sawyers, how could Leatherface, a man who is willing to kill for his family, be anything but a hero?  If you miss the old bloodthirsty maniac Leatherface, I fear that you weren’t paying attention to any of the other movies.  In my mind, Leatherface is dealt with perfectly in TC3D even if that mask did look pretty wonky.  Kudos go out to Dan Yeager for a stellar performance.  I always knew Yeager was a brutal monster.  No, wait, that’s Jager that’s a brutal monster.  Nevermind. 
Unfortunately, that brings me to my main problem with the movie.  It just doesn’t feel like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie.  Part of this is that there’s no crazy family…just Leatherface.  This is a statement that may be surprising coming from me considering the kinship I feel with the character – Leatherface alone does not a TCM flick make.  It’s the whole family.  From Drayton and Choptop, to Alfredo and Tex, to Vilmer and Darla, the series has always been about the Sawyer clan.  Hell, Leatherface is following orders from another family member in EVERY SINGLE other film in the series.  Without the rest of the family, it just doesn’t work.  It changes the whole tone of the film.   The singular killer works for a slasher flick, but the TCM movies, contrary to popular belief, are NOT slasher movies.  They’re backwoods horror.  The terror has always come from the cast of characters that lurk out past where the paved road ends, not a single person.  That’s the main reason TC3D doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the TCM series; it’s essentially a slasher flick.  Even the almost universally hated TCM4, which most people consider an insult to the series (but I dig), followed certain formulaic elements.  A group of teens ran afoul of an insane family.  There was an inescapable gritty, grimy atmosphere.  Not only was this missing the family, but it was just too slick, too clean, and too pretty to be a proper TCM flick.  There was a little grit here and there, but it was relegated to Leatherface’s lair.  The air of depravity didn’t permeate the rest of the flick like it did in the other parts of the series.  I get that it is happening in a different canon than 2-4, but when the audience has grown accustomed to a certain style and aesthetic being associated with a title, it’s best to give it to them.
My other problem with the flick is that the storytelling is just plain sloppy.  The most glaring problem is the timeframe of the flick.  Bear with me folks, this is gonna get a little confusing.  Yes, this is a slight spoiler, but it’s only the first five minutes of the flick, so get over it.  We start with a shootout at the Sawyer house in which the family is slaughtered, then flash forward “20 years” for the main story of the movie.  Here’s where the can of worms opens.  It appears as if the first scene takes place shortly after the events of the first film.  Leatherface is wearing his “Pretty Woman” mask that he had on at the end of TCM 1.  This would place the events in 1973.  Twenty years later would be 1993.  There are a few incongruities there.  The first one I noticed was gas being 3-something a gallon.  Second, smartphones become a major plot element.  This would indicate that the “present day” action is taking place in, well, the present day.  That just doesn’t work because of our heroine.  She was a baby in the opening scene, meaning that in 2012 she would be pushing 40.  Yet she doesn’t look a day over 25.  So, if she’s in her mid 20’s in 2012, then the opening shootout happened in the early 90’s.  The problem with that is Drayton Sawyer.  In the shootout scene, he’s middle aged, just like he was in the first movie, albeit played by a different actor.  If 20 years had passed between the events of TCM1 and the shootout, he would be in his 70’s, which he obviously isn’t.  Is any of this making sense?  I’ll answer that for you…HELL NO it doesn’t.  The timeframe just doesn’t add up.  Either they thought the audience was too stupid to notice (which, sadly, many of them will be), or that’s just the epitome of sloppy writing.
That’s not the extent of the awkward scripting either.  In that shootout scene, there are a bunch of members of the Sawyer clan present that we’ve never seen before.  The Sawyers are huge on family values, so it would stand to reason that if they were having a family dinner at the end of TCM1, we would have seen these guys, or at least heard them alluded to.  So, why are they there?  Oh yeah, they needed there to be a Sawyer baby.  That’s fine; just explain why all those guys weren’t there before.  Do the “present day” characters fare any better?  Well, I know it’s ridiculous to expect the chainsaw fodder to act intelligently, but for the love of Nubbins these might have been the stupidest characters in any horror movie of the last decade or so.  Remember when I did the Horror Movie Darwin Awards?  Nearly every character in this flick easily qualifies for one, collectively AND individually. When it comes out on DVD, I may have to do a special round of awards.  In an astonishing show of “how do you screw up a setup that perfect” stupidity, Leatherface ends up in the middle of a carnival, chainsaw in hand, and it ends up being about one minute long and largely non-eventful.  How you take a setup that almost guarantees an epic bloodbath and make it a throwaway scene is beyond comprehension.  It did include one sight gag that make me laugh pretty hard, but it was about 3 or 4 years too late to really be timely.
Aside from my one big acclamation and my big ol’pair of quibbles (is it just me or does that sound vaguely dirty?), the flick is a mixed bag.  That’s most obvious in the effects.  There are some excellent practical effects, which is to be expected with KNB on the case.  I know the flick had to make cuts to get an R rating, so I’m hoping for even more splatter on the DVD/Blu-ray release.  As good as the practical effects are, the CGI effects are equally bad.  I mean, there are some truly AWFUL CGI moments, which sadly includes whatever gore they didn’t let the masters handle.  As far as the much-ballyhooed Bill Moseley performance as Drayton Sawyer goes; his cameo, as well as those by Gunnar Hanson, Marilyn Burns, and John Dugan, is fleeting and unsatisfying.  Besides Leatherface, the other main strength of the flick is Alexandria Daddario.  She gives the well rounded breast…I mean best well rounded performance of the younger contingent of the cast.  She just may have a future in horror.  She can pull off both victim and bad girl.  Plus she’s real purty and has big boobies, which has never hurt anyone’s career.
Random Thought #1:  Speaking of which, there’s one scene in the flick that is the worst nudity tease EVER.  Double sided tape is my mortal enemy. 
Random Thought #2: Hand of the Almighty by The John Butler Trio finally made it onto a film soundtrack.  I love that song.
So, now we come to the difficult question, do I recommend it?  That’s a tricky one.  If you are the type of person that is gonna get your knickers in a twist over the franchise rules not being followed, you might want to skip this one.  There are enough hints of the original to keep you interested, but this isn’t going to satisfy hardline TCM fanatics.  Aside from some serious story missteps, it is a pretty good dumb fun horror flick though.  It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be, but it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it might be.  I’m gonna give it 6 Chainsaw Bisections out of 10.  Nathan says check it out.  It may my least favorite of the series (not counting the remake), but the saw is still family.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Win Passes To Days Of The Dead Atlanta (PS - Facebook Is A Bitch)

Hey Cellmates.  Apparently Facebook doesn't like me spreading the word about my giveaway.  I have three pairs of weekend passes to Days of the Dead Atlanta, the biggest horror party of the year, to give out, but I was warned to stop posting links about it.  Why?  Because facebook wants me to pay to promote my posts of course.  Constantly trying to fleece us little guys.  Up yours Suckerberg.  Anyway, I'm attempting to get around that problem by making a new post.  Lets see if this works.  Follow THIS LINK to the original contest post and enter for your chance to join me, hundreds of horror freaks, and guests like Danny Trejo, Sid Haig, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Bill Moseley, Patty Mullen, Gunnar Hansen, and more in Atlanta this February.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Win Weekend Passes To Days Of The Dead Atlanta (Feb. 1-3)

By far the biggest thing to happen to the Atlanta horror scene, and definitely to SOC, in 2012 was the coming of Days of the Dead.  Atlanta finally got its own horror convention, and it was one hell of a party.  If you weren’t there, then you missed a legendary weekend.  Not to worry though, because like all the horror greats…IT’S BAAAAACK!  Days of the Dead Atlanta 2 will be taking place February 1-3.  This year it’s at the Atlanta Sheraton Downtown Hotel.  Yes, Days of the Dead migrated into the belly of the beast this year, and the Sheraton finally gets to host a kick ass convention.  The guest list is absolutely sick, and if all of the DOTD cons from last year are any indication, Adolfo and the gang have an amazing time and some killer surprises in store for the fear faithful.  Then there’s the revelry and debauchery that ensues when a bunch of drunken horror nuts get together, but the less said about that in print the better.  Trust me, it’s something you just have to experience.  Look at this list of your favorite horror icons that will be on hand to sign your autographs, take pictures with you, and make you the envy of all of your fanboy friends…

Danny Trejo (From Dusk ‘til Dawn, Machete, Anaconda, Predators, Bad Ass)
Patty Mullen (Frankenhooker, Doom Asylum)
Ace Frehley (KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park)
Dick Miller (Gremlins, Demon Knight, Night of the Creeps, Chopping Mall, Evil Toons, Bucket of Blood, White Dog)
Gunnar Hanson (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Brutal Massacre, Hellblock 13)
Jake The Snake Roberts (Wrestling legend)
Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th 7-10, Hatchet 1-2, 2001 Maniacs, Ed Gein: Butcher of Plainfield)
Tom Savini (From Dusk Til Dawn, NOTLD ’90 (dir), effects legend)
Tony Todd – (Candyman, NOTLD ’90, The Crow, Hatchet 1-2, Voodoo Dawn, Final Destination 5)
Ari Lehman - (Friday the 13th, First Jason (band), ThanXgiving)
Michael Graves (The Misfits, Perkins 14)
Eerie Von (Samhain, Danzig)
Chelan Simmons (Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Snakehead Horror, Chupacabra Terror, It)
John Dugan (TCM, Hellephone, Monstrosity, Crazy Fat Ethyl remake)
Mickie James (TNA Knockout, WWE Diva)
William Katt – (House, Greatest American Hero, Carrie)
Marilyn Burns (TCM, Eaten Alive, Helter Skelter, Future Kill, Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Diane Goldner – (Feast trilogy, Hatchet 3, Pulse 2, Satanic, The Collector)
Butch Patrick – Eddie Munster

House of 100 Corpses/Devil’s Rejects Reunion:
Sid Haig – Captain Spaulding (Devil’s Rejects, Spider Baby, Galaxy of Terror, Big Bird Cage)
Bill Moseley – Otis (TCM 2, House of 1000 Corpses, NOTLD90, Repo)
Tom Towles – Sheriff Wydell (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, The Borrower, Pit & the Pendulum, NOTLD ’90)
David Reynolds – Richard Wick (Freddy’s Nightmares, Special Dead, Hills Have Eyes 2)
Walter Pehlan – Dr. Satan (From Dusk ‘til Dawn, Wishmaster)
Irwin Keyes –  Ravelli (Exterminator, Dahmer vs Gacy, Black Dynamite)
Robert Mukes- Rufus (Slumber Party Slaughter, Weeds)
PJ Soles – Susan - (Halloween, Carrie, Rock & Roll High School, Uncle Sam)
Leslie Easterbrook – Mother Firefly (Police Academy, A Dead Calling, Halloween)
Michael Berryman – Clevon (The Hills Have Eyes, Satan Hates You, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest)
Ginger Lynn Allen – Fanny (Buried Alive, Vice Academy, I Wanna Cum Inside Your Mom 23)
Diamond Dallas Page – Billy Ray Snapper (WCW, Hood of Horror)

Return of the Living Dead Reunion:
Linnea Quigley – Trash (Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons, Silent Night Deadly Night, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers)
Jewel Shepherd – Casey (Raw Force, Caged Heat 2)
Brian Peck – Scuz (NOTLD 2&3, Children of the Corn 3, Bitch Slap)
Don Calfa – Ernie (Necronomicon, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, Progeny, Corpses Are Forever)
Allan Trautman – Tarman (Dinosaurs, Muppets Tonight)
Thom Matthews – Freddy (F13 Part 6: Jason Lives, ROTLD 2)
Beverly Randolph – Tina (Um, that’s about it)
John Philbin – Chuck (The New Kids, Children of the Corn, Tombstone)
Clu Gulagher – Bert (From a Whisper To a Scream, Feast, NOES 2, The Initiation, Tapeheads)

Blair Witch Project Reunion:
Joshua Leonard – (Madhouse, Hatchet, Bitter Feast, Shark Night 3D)
Heather Donahue – (Manticore, The Morgue)
Michael Williams – (Altered)

Now that’s an impressive who’s who list.  I’ll definitely be there, along with most of the SOC family and all of my weirdo friends, and I want you to be there too.  That’s why I’m giving away three pairs of weekend passes to the convention.  Yes, you heard that right, I’ve got three golden tickets to horror paradise.   If that sentence left you confused over what song to break into, don’t worry, it did the same to me.  Anyway, I can get you into the party (hotel room not included).  Here’s all you’ve gotta do to be entered in this epic giveaway…
  1. If you haven’t already, go HERE and like the Son of Celluloid Facebook page.
  2. If you haven’t already, go HERE and like the Days of the Dead Facebook page.
  3. Leave a comment on this post with your email address (so I can contact you if you win), the guest you’d be the most stoked to meet, and a question you’d most like to ask them.
It’s just that easy.  On January 18, I’ll draw three winners at random, and those three will each receive a pair of weekend passes to experience the horror geek nirvana known as Days of the Dead so you can party with me and a few hundred of the dirty south’s finest freaks.  See you there.

It's Son of Celluloid's Second Bloody Birthday!

January 3, 2011.  It is a day that will live in infamy.  On that day, Son of Celluloid was born.  Yes, it’s the blog’s second birthday.  I really can’t believe it’s been that long.  It sure has been a hell of a year, huh?  I got to do some things this year that I never thought I would get to do.  I got another cover quote, I appeared in magazines, I got to interview celebrities, I celebrated Halloween with some of my favorite horror icons.  You know, bucket list stuff.  We did, unfortunately, lose a member of the Cellmate family in Joe of EC3.  Above all else, though, I got to interact with the coolest people in the horror scene, you guys.  Actually, that brings me to something I need to get off my chest.  Yeah, there’s a rant coming.  Sorry.
Recently, someone said something to me that kinda pissed me off.  He (who shall remain nameless) said that me calling all of you my “Cellmates” was a good marketing gimmick.  He was implying that I was being disingenuous about it, like I was trying to brand you guys like Deadheads, Juggalos, Maggots, or the Kiss Army.  F**k that.  I want you all to know that’s not what it means at all.  It’s a term of endearment, because I really do love all of you sick freaks.  When I say that I’m lucky as hell to have the best readers on the planet, I mean it.  I consider each and every one of you my friends.  I also know that none of the opportunities that have arisen out of Son of Celluloid would be possible without you guys.  I’ll always be a horror movie addict with a big mouth no matter what, and I do put a lot of effort into the blog, but if you guys weren’t willing to take this trip through the genre we all love and the dark recesses of my mind with me, there would be no Son of Celluloid. So, I think this celebration of two years of this insanity is a perfect time to say thank you.  If you lurk around and read my mad ramblings about horror flicks, thank you.  If you comment and get involved, thank you.  If you spread the word, thank you.  If I’ve known you for years and you’ve supported me since the beginning, thank you.  If you just joined the party, thank you.  If you’ve ever sent me a screener, done an interview, or contributed to one of my hair-brained ideas, thank you.  Thank you to my comrades in arms, the other Horror Blogger All Stars.  Basically, I just want to thank everyone in the legion of Cellmates for another kick ass year.  It has exceeded my hopes in every way.  I hope you all stick around for year 3; I’ve got some cool stuff planned for you guys.
Now, with that being said, I do need to ask for your help.  I’m about to make an announcement that will shake Son of Celluloid to its very core.  I’m about to say something I never thought I would say…I think the “Severed Thumbs” rating system has outlived its usefulness.  Yes, I’m partial to it too, but lately it’s begun to seem kinda limiting.  I’ve found, for example, that I give a whole lot of “one and a half severed thumbs up” scores, and that there is a wide range of quality to the flicks I’ve given that ranking to.  Some may not have quite deserved it, but they were a little too good for just one thumb.  Maybe they were a little too good for one and a half, but not quite two.  I’m not doing quarter thumbs.  That would just be ridiculous.  Therefore, sometime in the near future, I wanna switch to a 1-10 scoring system.  That’s where you guys come in.  I need a good scoring system.  I’ve racked my brain, and I can’t think of a good one.  You know, something that sounds cool when you say, “I give this flick five out of 10 _________s.”  What I need from you is suggestions.  What should the new official SOC scoring system be?  Leave a comment, leave your idea on the Facebook page, email me, whatever.  If you’re artistically inclined and your idea comes with some kind of cool graphic, even better.  There’s no real prize for this besides my eternal gratitude, the envy of all the other Cellmates, and the knowledge that you gave the beloved Severed Thumbs a fitting successor.  Come on, what else could you ever need?
So, thank you all again for making my second year of blogging amazing.  Get those ranking system ideas in and stay tuned, ‘cause SOC’s next big giveaway will get underway later on today.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Best Horror Flicks Of 2012 Part Two: The Top Five

 If you missed the first part of this countdown, you can check it out HERE.

5. Cabin In The Woods

I’ll admit that I was kinda apprehensive going into this flick.  I’m not much of a Joss Whedon fan, and the way the press were falling all over themselves to verbally blow the guy made me nervous.  Luckily, this was the best thing to hit theaters this year.  It was meta without being condescending.  It was a flick by horror geeks for horror geeks.  Whether I was playing “spot the reference,” laughing at the knowing parade of clichés, or applauding when those clichés were turned on their heads, Cabin In The Woods made me glad to be a horror fan.  The fun factor even overcame the abominable CGI.  I have a feeling that the orgy of gore (goregy?) featuring every horror monster you can think of will be the most freeze famed and slow motioned scene in any horror flick for years to come.   With the homage’s coming so fast that repeated viewings are almost required, it’s like a cinematic equivalent of that “photo hunt” game we all get sucked into during slow nights at the bar.  Not scary in the least, but it’s the most enjoyable self-referential horror send up since Behind the Mask.

4. Abed

By design, post-Romero zombie horror is horror of the masses.  It’s fear on a pandemic scale.  Abed does something I’ve never seen from a zombie flick; it takes the scope of the undead backdrop and scales it down to make something truly intimate and disturbing.  Based on a story by Elizabeth Massie, this movie left the audience dumbfounded and maybe a little sickened at the Buried Alive film Festival, where it won Best Feature. I went into this one having never read the story, and I wasn’t prepared for where this was going.  It’s pretty damn hardcore, but it’s done with a gravitas that makes it as mentally and emotionally extreme as it is visually and thematically. It’s a very personal terror, and director Ryan Leiske does a great job of making us share the protagonist’s torment.  The zombie makeup looks fantastic.  50 Minutes is the perfect length for the story, but unfortunately it’s gonna make the flick a little hard to market.  Therefore it might be a little tough to track down, but trust me, you owe it to yourself to see this one.  Need more convincing?  It’s got zombie sex.  Yeah, I knew that would get you.

3. The Loved Ones

It feels like I waited to see this one forever.  It’s been appearing on top 10 lists for a couple of years now, but it finally got a DVD release in America this year, and it was well worth the wait.  This twisted flick is anchored by an amazing performance by Robin McLeavy as Lola.  If I were doing acting awards this year, she would have Best Actress in the bag.  There are so many elements that make this movie great in addition to my favorite villainess of the year, maybe even the decade.  We see a lot of Mother/Son psychotic pairs, but here we have a Father/Daughter duo that’s a nice change of pace.  The well played incestuous sexual tension between the two ratchets up the cringe factor.  The violence is brutal and unflinching, the cinematography and art design are top notch, and the story offers up a couple of wicked twists.  I have also rarely seen a film choose a song more aptly to weave into the narrative.  It’s a nauseatingly cheesy tune, but it fits Lola perfectly and, in context, actually becomes pretty chilling.  This Aussie flick is intense, darkly funny, and absolutely engrossing.

2.  Excision

Excision is a coming of age film gone horribly wrong.  Actually, it’s more like David Lynch and David Cronenberg taking turns brutally raping the memory of John Hughes while Alejandro Jodorowsky suggests positions.  Like The Loved Ones, the flick features a tour de force performance from its female lead, AnnaLynne McCord.  Hers is a complex character that will ring true for anyone who’s ever been the “weird kid” of their school.  Surrounding her is one of those “Holy shit, who ISN’T in this flick” supporting casts full of genre vets.  Veering back and forth between mundane suburbia and Pauline’s blood soaked masturbatory fantasies, this is body horror combined with a riveting character study, with both aspects laid bare and presented at their most raw.  Alternately touching and disturbing, this movie succeeds on every conceivable visual, narrative, and performance level.  It might not even be horror in the strictest sense, but this is genre filmmaking for people who don’t mind thinking.  If Richard Bates Jr. can pull this off in his maiden voyage in the director’s chair, I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us.

1. Where The Dead Go To Die

You don’t watch Where The Dead Go To Die.  You experience it.  I can honestly say that it’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen.  It boggles my nearly unbogglable (yes, that is a word…now) mind every time I watch it.  It’s what extreme cinema is all about.  Some of the things that take place in this flick make Serbian Film seem like a Lifetime movie.  Visually, it has some of the most bizarre imagery I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something.  The animation is, at times, crude and glitchy, but that only adds to the off kilter mind f**k that this flick is.  To some it may seem like shock value for shock value’s sake, but if you pay attention, there’s a lot of substance tucked between the brutality and perversion. Writer/director/damn-near-everything-else Jimmy ScreamerClauz managed to take the extreme subject matter and hallucinogenic visuals and weave them around an emotional core that will simultaneously tug at your heart strings and try it’s best to make you get reacquainted with whatever you last ate.  The fact that a lot of the story deals with children takes the flick to some rather uncomfortable places.  If you’re a sick freak like me though, there are some demented laughs to be had. 
At times this film struck me as a combination of Heavy Metal, Cannibal Holocaust, The Girl Next Door, Holy Mountain, Peanuts, Gozu, and a 90’s Tool video.   The word “nightmarish” is thrown around a lot in the horror world, but this might be the best cinematic representation of nightmare logic ever captured. You’re trapped in an otherworldly place where anything can happen at any time and you have no control at all.  You don’t even know what rules apply. Everything seems not quite real, but real enough to hurt if the trip decides to turn bad.
This is definitely not a film I would recommend to everyone.  Those whose tastes lie firmly in the mainstream and those with even slightly delicate sensibilities need not apply.  If you’re into subversive art, unique “video fringe” oddities, and effectively realized films that will actually challenge you as a viewer, this one is for you.  It manages to be mind blowing, gut wrenching, heart breaking, and soul shredding at the same time.  You may love it, or you may hate it, but if you just sit back and let the flick work its depraved magic on your brain, I guarantee you that it’s impossible not to be affected by it.  In other words, Where The Dead Go To Die punched me in places I didn’t think I had any more, and I love it when a film can touch me that way. 

Cabin in the Woods, The Loved Ones, and Excision should all be available wherever you get your DVDs and Blu-rays.  Keep an eye on the festival circuit for Abed and check out the film’s facebook page HERE.  You can get Where The Dead Go To Die HERE or on Amazon.
Well, there ‘ya go Cellmates, my picks for the best that the horror movie scene had to offer in 2012.  Do I have great taste?  Would I not know good horror if it buried a machete in my face?  Tell me what you think.  Now, let’s see what kind of shocking places horror takes us in 2013.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...