Entries Tagged '1981' ↓

awesome movie poster friday – the WARNER HOME VIDEO edition!

When I think of Warner Home Video (and believe me, I often do), I think of a specific VHS package design the company introduced around 1981 (OF COURSE it was 1981, 1981 rules). Their entire catalogue got the same treatment:
  • Mmm, hard clamshell packaging
  • large photo on the front, often pulled from the film's poster
  • a big dot on the cover & spine indicating genre
  • 2 small photos on back
  • copy that's actually worthwhile: rather than some grammatically-incorrect nonsense typed up by a PR person who doesn't give two craps, WHV films featured critical notes and smart copy; a predecessor to today's often-stellar DVD liner notes
  • the cool black & color stripey background
The part of my brain that's OCD (7%) absolutely appreciates the uniformity of the WHV line, and the part of my brain that's nostalgia (36%) gets many warm fuzzies whenever I spot one of these hulking plastic cases on a shelf. I'm not gonna deny that my love of VHS is rooted firmly in nostalgia- I've certainly talked about it plenty of times before. Neither will I deny that DVDs are superior in a few ways: durability, convenience, picture quality. But for horror geeks who came of age in the 80s, there's no beating VHS. The tapes are more than just copies of movies- they're tangible experiences; trust me, I know how corny this all sounds, but it's true. That pattern in the background of a Warner Home Video can instantly bring to mind 50 memories, of the films themselves and so much more.

All of this means: I heart Warner Home Video. I have a hard time fighting my collector impulses whenever I see one of these- I want to take them home, even if I already own the movie or the movie stinks. I want them expressly for the purposes of sitting on a shelf, looking uniform and pretty. I know how stupid that idea is, so I let them go and then I have these mild pulses of regret. Should I go back and pick up Dressed To Kill? Why oh why did I let The Exorcist II slip through my fingers? At least I have Humanoids from the Deep to console me.

I'm so lame. But Warner Home Video box art sure isn't!

Some of these are courtesy of Basement of Ghoulish Decadence and some are courtesy of Slasher Index. Others, from random places like eBay. This post needed some serious digging. I feel like Indiana Jones! No wait, Lara Croft.


When I was only small, my elementary school would have these fucking rad events called Book Fairs. A few times a year, a small room off the cafeteria was filled with books books books you could buy buy buy. They were open late-ish so you could come back after dinner with your mom or dad and...you know, buy some books. As a nerd, I really looked forward to these fairs, and my mom always obliged my nerdish tendencies (she still does, by the way). We'd go and I'd come home with a small armful of gems: some Judy Blume, some Beverly Cleary (Ramona Quimby for the win)...and certainly anything horror-related. As the books were aimed at grade-schoolers, the pickin's were slim, unless you count Bunnicula (which I do). One particularly magical year- of course it was 1981- they had the Classics Illustrated edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula. As you can imagine, young Final Girl snatched that shit up. I mean, who could resist Dracula in a purple suit- complete with see-through purple cape!- floating around in front of his green castle? Certainly not I, and thankfully not my mom, either.

The story was adapted by Naunerle Farr and Nestor Redondo. As I grew up to be a fairly well-read comics fan, I've become familiar with the late Redondo's fantastic work through the 70s and 80s on titles like House of Secrets, The Witching Hour, and Conan. He concentrated heavily in horror-based comics, for which his gothic flair is particularly well-suited. Of course, when I was poring over Dracula again and again, my opinion on his amazing draftsmanship wasn't one that would...well, include words like "draftsmanship", but I still knew beautiful art when I saw it. Seriously, You couldn't count on 3456892358984292 hands the number of times I've gawked at this book. The linework and inks are so good, I kind of want to eat them.

Many comics have become about detail, about cramming as much crap into a panel as possible; of course there are big exceptions to this (Mike 'Hellboy' Mignola is the first that comes to mind), but to me there's simply an overabundance of unnecessary information on the pages. I don't know where this came from- the Image boom in the 90s, from editors or from the artists themselves- but it's resulted in artists not being able to maintain a monthly schedule. Working together, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers could crank out 8-9 pages a day, in no small part thanks to the fact that there's not a lot of extra stuff on the page. You get everything you need as a reader and it's creative and gorgeous, but it's simple.

This is all my big old lady complainy-way of saying that the panels in Dracula have atmosphere to spare and lush environments, but it's streamlined. Take, for example, one of my favorite pages:

The back of the book also has some sweet WORDS TO KNOW:
  • ancestors
  • bloodthirsty
  • chapel
  • howling
  • ignorant
  • superstition
  • vampire
and some reading comprehension questions:
  • What is a blood transfusion? What good was a blood transfusion after being attacked by Dracula?
  • What animals could Dracula change into?
  • How can a person protect himself from a vampire?
I certainly hope for the sake of all teeny tiny nerds out there- especially the horror nerds- that book fairs are still alive and well and they sell amazing comics like Dracula. How else are kids supposed to learn about words like "bloodthirsty", or know what sexy vampire ladies look like? Won't someone think of the purple suits?

of interest!

Boy oh boy, true believers, there's a lot of good horror stuff comin' down the pike. I say we all link pinks and spend the next couple of months gettin' our gorge on! Shocktober is so close I can smell it.

Wait, sorry...I think that's actually Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli.

Anyhoo, check out what's coming soon to a DVD near you! October 13th is gonna be a bank buster of a day.

Hardware (10/13)

This 1990 sci fi/horror cult classic (killer droid...'nuff said) is finally getting released in an unrated cut. Notice how every caca horror movie is "unrated" when the DVD hits, and it usually doesn't mean squat? Well, that's not the case with Hardware; those pesky Miramax folk chopped an X-rated flick up, but now it's restored to director Richard Stanley's totally cyber vision. Watch a preview right here.

Phantasm II (available now!)

Long out of print and hard to find...but no more! The Tall Man returns, wielding deadly flying silver balls in his quest to build a dwarf army that will do his bidding in a red-hued negative zone.

Wow, it sounds really dumb when I say it like that. We all know, however, that Phantasm rules! I've never seen this follow-up (or any of the sequels, for that matter). I'm psyched.

Happy Birthday to Me (10/13)

Ah, a decent edition of this decent 1981 slasher flick...most importantly, the original score has been restored- as has the cover art. Thanks, Anchor Bay! This one's worth a re-visit, I think.

The Stepfather (10/13)

Thanks to the TV show Lost, people everywhere are going all goo goo over Terry O'Quinn- we horror fans, however, say "Pfft!" to that. We knew he was awesome all the way back in 1987, when he got his psycho on in The Stepfather. Now that the film is finally going to be available on DVD, we can all feel even more superior when people are like, "Wow, have you seen The Stepfather? That dude from Lost is in it and he was acting all kill-y and ca-razy!", and we can be all, "Duh, old news. Now let's talk abut Jill Schoelen!"

Night of the Creeps (10/27)

Yup, I just talked about the shitty cover art on the DVD and Blu-Ray editions of this cult classic, but really, they're beside the point. The point is, Night of the Creeps is finally going to be out there! FINALLY! Tom Atkins! Yearrrrgh!

The House on Sorority Row (11/24)

Another one I've talked about recently, but it's worth noting again. I haven't watched this one since I reviewed it...lawd lawd, it's been years now! I can't wait to dig in. I know there are plenty of folks whose fancies aren't quite tickled by The House on Sorority Row, but I think it's a little gem. So there.

Look for reviews of these films- the one's I've yet to review here, anyway- in the coming weeks. It's a good time to be a horror fan!

Hey, remember that time I put my hat out for donations so I could complete filming Ludlow? Well, if you donated as a means to starting your career as a movie mogul (in addition to helping me out, of course), then I've got good news for you! Charred Oak Films is looking for backers for their comedy-horror short Always A Bridesmaid, and you- yes, you- can be a backer. Head over HERE to watch their pitch and learn how you can help make dreams become a reality.

And no, it has nothing to do with my trailer/short/whatever Deadly Dress 4: Never A Bride- I know you were dying to ask! me me me I'm sure their effort will be at least 66% less...well, less retarded.

Alright, but can I go with someone else?

Oh. My. Crapping. Crap.

Once upon a recent time I bought a copy of the most perverse, most bestest Bigfoot movie ever, Night of the Demon, via yon Internette. The seller was so effing amazing that he/she/it included a free bonus DVD- the 1981 slasher Don't Go in the Woods...Alone!. Well, my friends, I watched that bonus DVD tonight and...again I say, oh my crapping crap. I think I'm in love.

Right away I had an inkling that I was gonna be in for a treat, as the film proclaimed itself "Spectacular Entertainment".

I don't want to keep you in suspense: they weren't lying.

As best as I could discern, the plot goes something like this: some tools go camping for some reason, a bunch of random people wander around the woods, most of them die, and then the killer gets killed. It sounds totally by the numbers, right? Well, fret not, friendos, for the true delights of Don't Go in the Woods are in the deets*.

Not only is DGitW entirely dubbed, it also boasts the worst acting in the history of ever. EVARRRR. I'm not kidding. Here's a simple math equation to help you grasp the depths of awfulness acheived: think of the worst acting you've ever seen in a movie. Now take out your science calculator and multiply that bad acting by a million. The result will still only be roughly two-thirds as atrocious as what you'll witness in DGitW. These actors defy all logic; I understand that acting is indeed an art and not everyone will excel at said art, but...it was as if these people had never spoken before. At all. Their inflections were off, they were stressing the wrong words, repeating words over and over...it's truly SPECTACULAR ENTERTAINMENT.

"Do you know? At this verrrrminnit. I am missing. As the World TURNS?"

"How do you tell. The rabid from the. UNRABID?"

Don't Go in the Woods is populated with countless random characters, most of whom don't have any lines, never mind a name or a reason for existing. Take, for example, this woman, who is hiking in the woods with her photographer son/friend/weirdo person, who is there to shoot photos of a train.

A train which makes a stop.

In the woods.

We don't see the train, but we hear a train whistle, so I'm sure it was really there.


Or this broad, who doesn't say a word but is clearly cooler than you or I will ever be.

See, she's out in the woods a-paintin'. Mind you, she's not exactly painting what she sees, but who am I to judge? Art is feeling, man, and it ain't safe.

Like most other hikers, Coolie Painter falls victim to...something. Or someone. Up until this point, the stalking sequences progressed like this:
  1. There is no ambient noise, but a character says "What was that??" and looks off-screen.
  2. Cut to a shot of a moving tree branch, while the character says "Aah!"
  3. Cut to a shot of the character, bloody and dead.
What was killing these poor nameless fools? Was it the branches themselves? Was it a bear? Suicide? The first real clue flashed before my eyeballs during Coolie Painter's death: as best as I could figure, it was a knife-wielding Sasquatch who was responsible for all the murdering!

I figured wrong. Much later, after many a sequence wherein we follow people walking through the woods and they're suddenly killed by something just out of frame, the culprit is revealed: it's a wackadoo mountain man, apparently the offspring of Captains Caveman and Lou Albano! He's a right filthy kookadook with a penchant for wearing Mardi Gras beads on his face and poking people- poking them TO DEATH- with sticks.

The music is as horrendous as the acting, a thunking and constantly repeating Casio soundtrack featuring swells that build to nothing and stings present for no reason. The less said about the end credits music (set to the tune of "The Teddy Bears Picnic", featuring lyrics such as "Don't go into the woods tonight, you probably will be killed..."), the better.

Were the last twenty minutes of Don't Go in the Woods...Alone! not so damn padded- and they really were- I'd probably be proclaiming this film to be the love of my life. It's gloriously, uproariously inept filmmaking at its finest...in other words, it's SPECTACULAR ENTERTAINMENT.

As further proof of my assertions, I'd like to provide you with some screencaps from the sequence where the cuckoo nutso cave dude decapitates the wheelchair-bound hiker, but my computer has had enough of this shitty movie and freezes up when I try to play it. My computer has such high standards, you see.

YES I SAID A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND HIKER. He made the mistake of wheeling into the woods...alone!

*That's young folk talk for "details"...once again, I strive to prove my youthful vigor, my "with it-ness", and my relevance.

Film Club: Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981) typifies that which we folks around here call a "Tiffany"- that is, this Italian zombiefest coulda been so beautiful, but you simply can't hold what coulda been, dig? The film tackles the standard spaghetti-n-eyeballs formula, at times throwing a few innovations into the genre; somehow, though, this movie that coulda and shoulda been a cult classic ends up just sort of...there.

An archaeologist who bears a striking resemblance to comic creator Alan Moore discovers "an incredible secret" whilst mucking about in a crypt beneath a mansion; one can only assume that it has something to do with the living dead, for soon reanimated, rotting corpses are biting his bearded ass.

Well, not literally. The zombies do make with the munch munch, though, despite the professor's pleas of "Stand back! I'm your friend!" NOTE TO SELF: Zombies care not for friends.

Soon thereafter, a bunch of people show up at the mansion because...umm...they're friends with the professor, I guess, and he wants to tell them all about his incredible secret. It's never fully or clearly explained, but no matter! What's important here is that we get plenty of scenes with a bunch of unappealing people almost having sex, classic lines of dialogue such as "You look just like a little whore- but I like it!", and we're introduced to Michael (Peter Bark), the 40-year-old 12-year-old who looks just like a mini-Dario Argento.

Yes, he's supposed to be a child...a child with some serious mommy issues- but we'll get to that later.

Don't worry, it won't take long to get to Michael. There's not much else to explain in Burial Ground, because there's no story. Zombies show up, people kind of run away or sometimes fight, and that's that. Mind you, I've never seen the walking dead walk slower (seriously, even the Romero Shufflers are all "Can you guys please hurry the eff up? We're hungry, here!"), nor have I ever seen a stupider ragtag group of survivors. They stand there and say things like "They're coming towards us!" as the zombies slooooowwwwly do just that.

By the way, this zombie (whom I nicknamed Marty Feldman) was my favorite:

As I stated earlier, writer Piero Regnoli and director Andrea "Strip Nude for Your Killer" Bianchi add a few welcome innovations to the mix. First, the zombies take to using tools to aid in the pursuit of their prey: from farm implements (!) to battering rams (!!) to a random power saw left plugged into the wall of a rural monastery (!!!), these dudes will do whatever it takes to get their munch munch on. The best sequence, perhaps, comes when the foolish housekeeper dangles herself out the window to check out the happenings, only to have her hand impaled when a zombie- surely some ninja zombie, or perhaps a zombie who was a circus knife-thrower at one time- chucks a spike through it. Then, as you'd expect, the rotters slowly cut her head off with a giant scythe.

Yeah, it's silly, but it's also a frightening twist; zombies are supposed to just stand there, or mill about, or- worst case scenario- run. They're not supposed to throw things, or poke at me with...pointy pokers. And for Charles Nelson Reilly's sake, they're certainly not supposed to climb up anything except maybe stairs! They're not allowed to scale buildings, dammit, but in Burial Ground they do, and it's sort of my worst nightmare come to life. Or unlife. Or whatever.

One element that seems to distinguish Italian zombies from their non-Italian counterparts is the fact that these bastards are fetid corpses, all oatmeal-faced and maggot-covered, who rise from the ground. Elsewhere in cinema, the walking dead are generally just sort of blue-faced and shambling about. I want hands busting through turf a la Creepshow, and I want to smell 'em coming before I see 'em. In this respect, Burial Ground totally delivers.

And now it's time: undoubtedly the most ridiculous and notorious element of the film is l'il pervy Michael. A scene of a mother comforting her son quickly devolves into the viewer crying "Why the fuck is there about to be incest happening on my screen?!" as Michael attempts to feel up mommy, wondering why she refuses to offer some boobage like she did when he was a baby. He's a determined 40-year-old 12-year-old, though, and when Michael is later bitten and transformed, he immediately takes advantage of the situation to get what he wants. It's an absolutely shocking sequence, the dubious highlight of Burial Ground upon which the movie's entire reputation is built.

There's plenty of gut-munching and maggots and zombies galore, but in the end Burial Ground never seems to gel completely into a satisfying whole. I didn't really care about much of anything going on, although it's an interesting piece of Italian zombie cinema, to be sure (if only for the sideshow that is Michael). If nothing else, the film proves one thing: sometimes movies need a plot! Oh, and that zombies care not for friends. So...two things.

Let's put it this way: the typo in the quote that marks the end of the movie somehow makes perfect sense.

Film Club Coolies, y'all!
The Hougly Film and Beer Journal
Dave's Blog About Movies and Such
Brutal As Hell
The Film Reel
Banned in Queensland
Full Moon Reviews
Zombie Cupcake
The Verdant Dude
The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense
Askewed Views
The Horror Section
The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse
Rogue Dave
Sam Hawken
Invasion of the B Movies
Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies

Film Club: The Beyond

When you break it all down to the nitty and the gritty, The Beyond (1981- sweet) isn't difficult to comprehend. At a Louisiana hotel in 1927, a painter named Schweick (Antoine Saint-John) is nailed to a wall and doused with quick lime by a torch-wielding mob who claims the man is, in fact, a warlock.

Fifty-odd years later, Liza (Catriona MacColl) inherits the hotel from a distant relative. As it's being refurbished to become business-ready, bad juju long thought dead is stirred up once more. Joe the Plumber (Giovanni De Nava) breaks a wall to find the source of a leaky pipe, only to find the desiccated remains of Schweick. This being a Lucio Fulci film, explicit ocular trauma ensues.

Soon thereafter, Liza meets Emily (Cinzea Monreale (as Sarah Keller)), a hot blind chick just a-hangin' out in the middle of the road with her faithful companion dog Dickie.

Emily tells Liza that she's been "looking for her", and goes on to warn her not to reopen the hotel. It's built over one of the seven gates to Hell, and should the gate open, well...that would, like, be bad and stuff.

Liza's from New York, though, so she feels adequately prepared to deal with whatever Hell might spew forth. She marches boldly into Schweick's room and lo and behold, bad stuff happens. Like, the dead can walk and they're awfully slow and depressed-looking, but they still want to KILL KILL KILL kind of stuff.

saddest zombies ever

With the help of hr new pal Dr. John "I'm a doctor so I don't believe any of this crap" McCabe (David Warbeck), Liza must figure out a way to re-seal the gate before H-E-double hockey sticks comes completely to Earth.

See? Easy, breezy, beautiful...or at least, you'd think. As I said, however, this is a Fulci film and as such, the simplest of plots becomes twisted in and around a nightmare of great visuals, over-the-top gore, and horrendous dialogue that is frequently nonsensical. As a viewer, you'll either worry about things in the film that really make no sense whatsoever (did that acid spill itself, and how did it end up pouring all over the woman as she lay on the ground, since she was standing across the room from it...?) or you'll sit back and enjoy the ride (me like cool acid burning face shot and bloody foam! or foamy blood! or whatever!).

There's more than enough fun- though I sort of hesitate to use that word- to be had here if you're willing to experience The Beyond rather than think about it. The effects range from pretty damn good to pretty damn bad as we see tarantulas eating faces, a girl getting her head blown off, and more ooey gooey dripping goo than can be found at your local...your local... umm... goo factory.

There's some genuine terror to be found here as well; I'm thinking specifically of the scene where Joe the Plumber's eyeless corpse rises from the fetid water of a bathtub...had I seen that as a young'un, my brain would have broken right in half. The film's ending is beautiful and haunting, as Liza and John find themselves in the vast wasteland of the afterlife, doomed to an existence as sentinels o' Hell.

Plenty of folks think The Beyond is an overrated mess; plenty of others think it's Fulci's finest effort. I'd say it's somewhere in between- it's an atmospheric, zombie-riffic, painful-looking-contact-lens-riddled good time. Sometimes it's okay to just be entertained, you know? And boy, was I entertained. I've also got a hankering for more Italian zombie flicks...

Film Club Coolies, y'all!

Hagi's Movie-a-Day
New Otherton
Banned in Queensland
Creature Cast
Zombie Cupcake
From the Depths of DVD Hell
Matt Hersh
Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies
Aphorisms and Ectoplasm
The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense
Awesomeness For Awesome's Sake
The Horror Section
The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse
Sam Hawken
Acidemic Film

Dawn of the Mummy

So. Dawn of the Mummy (1981). Is it the best movie I've ever seen? No, of course not.

However...is it the best movie I've ever seen about a bunch of fashion models who decide to do a photo shoot inside a cursed tomb and either their general desecration of said tomb OR the heat from the lights they've set up cause the mummy to come back to life, his "army of the undead" to rise, and the mummies to verrrry slowly kill the fashion models? In a word, yes.

Mummies, by the way, act like zombies, but they can also use weapons. Who knew? The makers of Dawn of the Mummy knew. And now you know, so you can prepare yourself should you ever find a mummy slowly shuffling after you while you're having your picture taken inside his final resting place. This is the best Monday ever!

Fango contest! Film Club pick! Fridays rule!

Yes, you read that headline right! I've got all sorts of goodies for you today. So why don't I just shut up and get to 'em already?

First up: I've got 4 day passes to Fangoria's Chicago stop on their Weekend of Horror tour! 4 passes to give away! In a giveaway contest! The show is coming up fast (March 6-9) so enter now by dropping me a line:

Send an email to stacieponder at gmail dot com with "FANGO" in the subject line by...mmm, 2pm (PST) on Monday, March 2. I'll draw winner names that day- they'll be drawn randomly, so butt-kissing won't get you anywhere.

Of course, that doesn't mean that butt-kissing isn't welcome.

The guest list is SA-WEET- Lamberto Bava! Ruggero Deodato! Marilyn Burns! Alan Rowe Kelly! Don't be a jerk...enter NOW!

Nextly, this recent discussion of Ye Olde Timey Slasher Movies can mean only one thing: it's Film Club pickin' time! And I'm pickin'...

Fulci, baby, and his 1981 goresterpiece (I don't know what that means) The Beyond. Boing!

The film has been recently released in a super-fancy-pants edition but it's not on Netflix's current rotation, so you "everything has to come to me or I won't do it" types may have to rethink your strategy. Or not. I guess it depends how cool you want to be. Or not be. Whatevs.

Prepare to have your mind warped!

The film: The Beyond
The due date: Monday, March 30

Film Club: F13 and MBV uncut

I couldn't "run" a "blog" that's "supposedly" about "slasher movies" for almost four "years" and not have reviewed Friday the 13th (1980) and My Bloody Valentine (1981) before today. Well, I could, of course, but that would be silly. The point is, you can click those links to read my original reviews; I love these movies, always have, probably always will. In the wake of the new remakes of each film, uncut special editions of the originals have hit the market- if you're a veteran like moi, are they worth your time and dollars? In the interests of answering that very question, I watched 'em back-to-back: a good old-fashioned early '80s slasher double feature. In further efforts to recreate the early '80s, I put a friendship ribbon in my hair, squeezed into a training bra, and chugged about half a gallon of Sunny D. No, it wasn't pretty at all, but thank you for asking.

In related news, holy crap, almost four years I've been doing this.

My Bloody Valentine

I'm still struck by how well this film fits the slasher paradigm while it also sets itself apart from its contemporaries. Director George Mihalka really captured the feel of a small mining town (perhaps because...umm...it was filmed in one)- far better than the remake did. The mine is still unbelievably creepy, the miner is still one of the great killers in all of slasherdom, and nearly thirty years on (!!!) the film still works.

Is it worth a double dip? Absolutely effing YES. Prior to My Bloody Valentine's release, the MPAA notoriously excised virtually all the gore; now we can all see what we were missing all those years ago and...wow. MBV doesn't fuck around! Every single kill has been amped up here and there are body parts and eyeballs galore. It's a completely sick thrill to see poor Mabel (excuse me...Madame Mabel) flop around in that dryer like never before.

In addition to the lost footage, there are documentaries, interviews, and everything else you could hope for on a Special Edition release. This DVD is probably the greatest thing to come from the release of a remake- if it weren't for MBV 3D, who knows when or if this would have seen the light of day? Hooray remakes!

Whoa, sorry, I take that back. Don't wanna get carried away, there.

Friday the 13th

Upon watching Friday the 13th, I was struck with some primo "Get off my lawn but bring me an icepack first because my bursitis is acting up!" I just couldn't help but think, "Golly, remember when the characters in horror movies were likable? And they weren't all douchebags? And even though they weren't necessarily deep or particularly well-drawn, they were still interesting? And they would even do things like read?"

Then I got really sad that Laurie Bartram is no longer with us and that she didn't make more movies while she was.

You know what? This movie still holds up, dammit. It's written off as a pile of crap all the time, even by horror enthusiasts, something I'll never understand. There's a bit of mystery, there are plenty of frights, and the explicit violence is still shocking and is still some of Tom Savini's best work. And Crazy Ralph is just so cool in this I can't even take it. So there.

Is it worth a double dip? Absolutely effing NO. If you're a Friday/slasher wackadoo like myself, that word "uncut" which adorns the DVD case may prove irresistible, and if you've never owned Friday the 13th, I'd probably still recommend you drop $10-20 more and get the box set containing films 1-8. The "extra footage", however, amounts to mere seconds- a few kills are a wee bit longer, and in one case (the famous Jack gets a spear through the neck scene), the additional angle actually gives away a bit of the fakery. Move along, kids, there's not much to see here.

There are a couple of documentaries- who wants to be the one to tell Robbi Morgan that Annie isn't the first one killed in Friday the 13th?- that are alright but not particularly groudbreaking. The sick thrill here is watching Betsy Palmer call the script a "piece of shit" as she sits next to writer Victor Miller. The short film Lost Tales from Camp Blood is, to be honest, a complete waste of time. A couple of morons in a plywood house get killed by...is it supposed to be Jason? I don't know. You can't really see him and in the credits he's just called "killer". If you want some no-budget horror, look elsewhere; Lost Tales is 8 minutes of your life you won't get back.

The early 80s have still got it, baby...Sunny D, on the other hand, is pretty damn nasty.

Film Club Coolies, y'all!

Evil on Two Legs
From the Depths of DVD Hell
Hudson Lee: Friday the 13th / My Bloody Valentine
Goremania: My Bloody Valentine
Invasion of the B Movies: Friday the 13th
Sam Hawken
Movie Moxie: My Bloody Valentine

awesome movie poster friday- the SLASHER edition!

Man oh man! Between My Bloody Valentine 3D and tonight when I might just be going to see something that rhymes with "shmiday shma shmirteenf", I gotta tell ya- I've been stricken with a bad case of THE SLASHERS! Actually, that sounds like something you may suffer should you travel to Mexico and unwittingly drink the water. Let's say...I've got SLASHER FEVER! Because I do. And here are the posters to prove it!

I love love love the poster for The Prowler. And yes, those are posters for Alice, Sweet Alice with one of its alternative titles, Holy Terror (the third title is Communion).

So many pointy objects, masks, people running in terror, and hulking kookadooks standing both silhouetted and menacing!

Film Club 2: The Rechoosening

When I started Final Girl once upon a Ye Olde Time, my niche was covering slasher movies. I slowly began writing about other subgenres because let's face it, there's only so much you can write about slasher films on a regular basis...and besides, I love horror in all shapes and sizes and flavors. I don't discriminate!

For the next Film Club MEGAEVENT, however, I'm takin' it back to my slasher roots. A positively DREAMY early-80s double bill, folks:

Friday the 13th, UNCUT.

My Bloody Valentine, UNCUT.

I've written about both films before, but these forthcoming special editions feature footage never before seen by my very eyes, so they're definitely worth revisiting. Friday the 13th is rumored to have a...err...whopping 34 seconds of lost footage added, but My Bloody Valentine promises to be a real treat with upwards of a (for reals) whopping nine minutes of additional footage- largely, all the gore and effects (in)famously excised by the MPAA. Fans (me) have been wanting to see this footage forever, and now all of our (my) dreams have come true. Alright, so not ALL of my dreams. My cat is still unable to scoot around the house like a fat furry hovercraft. I have faith, however, that someday technology will catch up to my deepest desires!

MBV hits this week! THIS WEEK! This very week in which we are living! F13 should be out on February 3rd. I have no idea what the Netflix deal may or may not be- you may, in fact, have to leave your house to seek out a copy when the time comes. Write about one movie, write about both- just make sure you're writing about the new editions. Whatever you choose, this is a primo opportunity to check out some of the finest slasher flicks from the genre's heyday. As President and Supreme Ruler of Final Girl, I simply can't pass them up!

The films: My Bloody Valentine (uncut) and Friday the 13th (uncut)
The due date: Monday, February 23

awesome movie poster friday- the RAY HARRYHAUSEN edition!

There's no snarky commentary to accompany these beauts.

Okay, the fourth 20 Million Miles to Earth poster kind of looks like the monster is peeing. But that's it!

Clearly I need some CotT.

edit: oh, and there'll be more Harryhausen goodness next week!

childhood nightmares: MEDUSA

Medusa, Clash of the Titans (1981)

Stop-motion or not, this Gorgon broad absolutely scared the bejesus out of me when I was a wee bonny lass. With all those writhing snakes atop her head, Medusa was a nightmare brought to life courtesy of animation guru Ray Harryhausen. Frightening to behold (aduh- so much so that she'd turn you to stone), she was also a crackshot archer- if only she were prettier, she might've been Olympics bound- and she'd kill you before you even knew you were dead.

That doesn't make any sense.

Or does it?

No, it doesn't. The point is, she's all ten kinds of stealthy ninja, as she slithers around her underground temple, only the occasional soft rattle of her tail giving her away.

Director Desmond Davis plays it smart, building tension by introducing her via a shadow on the wall- and man, is it effective. Medusa was the Universal Monster of my childhood...she gave me nightmares, but not so much that I couldn't watch Clash of the Titans over and over and over...

Sure, Perseus defeats Medusa, as heroes are wont to do. She may have even deserved that beheading...and to a nine year old, the animated blood oozing out of her neck stump was beyond grody in the most awesome way.

Still, I've always had sympathy for Ol' Gorgie. I mean, it's not her fault she's so hideous- in fact, she wasn't even born that way. Rather, being transformed from a beautiful maiden into terrifying, scaly, snake-haired beast was her punishment for...for...well, for being raped, essentially. I bet she was wearing a low-cut blouse!

Medusa just wants to be left alone, just wants to hang out all by her lonesome in the dark, when along comes the handsome young hero to take her head to us as a weapon in his bid to save a beautiful young maiden. Ain't that always the way?

It's best not to think about it too much. The important thing here is that she's scary.

Watch her battle with Perseus via YouTube!