Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014
FAUXRROR (pronounced like 'Horror' but with an 'F') is a music project by my friends Nafa Fa'alogo, Zac Tomlinson, and myself. FAUXRROR makes music for horror films that don't exist. From Zombie Hitler to Vampire Ravers to Betsy the Bloody Harlot of the Brooklyn Morgue, we squeeze all the imaginary cult horror film goodness into every track that we can muster. Well gang, I am proud as hell to be telling you right now that Goblinhaus Records has released Fauxrror on CD! As an added bonus when you buy FAUXRROR, you get a free exclusive download of my new album called "Terror", my tribute to real horror movies! You know what that's called? That's called a DOUBLE WHAMMY, y'all! Here come the links:
You can get FAUXRROR here at Goblinhaus Records.
You can read about the fake films (FAUXnopses) and see the poster art (FAUXsters) right here at Doomed Moviethon.
For more spookiness, check out Goblinhaus.com!
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I found this magical little Mexican gem at a garage sale last Sunday and I'm just blown away by this lineup. So for 14 days sometime in the 1970s or 1980s, a bunch of lucky people got to watch the following films:
(If anyone knows what year this event took place and can confirm that these films are correct, please comment!)
Thursday, February 23rd:
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
The Oblong Box
Friday, February 24th:
Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?
Saturday, February 25th:
The Curse of the Werewolf
The Phantom of the Opera
Sunday, February 26th:
The Night God Screamed
El Vampiro (?)
Monday, February 27th:
I Saw What You Did
The Haunted Strangler
Tuesday, February 28th:
The Haunted Palace
Wednesday, February 29th:
Tales of Terror
The Masque of the Red Death
Thursday, March 1st:
Count Yorga, Vampire
The Return of Count Yorga
Friday, March 2nd:
El Sotano del Terror (?)
The Name of the Game is Kill!
Saturday, March 3rd:
The Thing with Two Heads
Scream and Scream Again
Sunday, March 4th:
House of Usher
El Regreso del Monstruo
Monday, March 5th:
La Conspiracion de los Vampiros (?)
The Crimson Cult
Tuesday, March 6th:
Wednesday, March 7th:
Cry of the Banshee
Monday, October 13, 2014
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
The Vampire Bat
Directed by Frank Strayer
Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Maude Eburne, Dwight Frye
Someone or something has been draining people of blood in a small German village. The village council and its Bürgermeister (played by Lionel Belmore) are convinced that there is something supernatural at foot including but not limited to vampires and giant vampire bats. Karl, the police inspector (Melvyn Douglas), is skeptical and laughs at such impossibly superstitious suggestions. All he wants to do is catch the criminal behind the murders. His love interest is Ruth Bertin (Fay Wray), assistant to local doctor/scientist, Dr. Otto von Niemann. They try to get intimate during every moment alone they can steal but Aunt Gussie (Maude Eburne) is always cockblocking. Things get even more tense in the village when local nutbar Herman (Dwight Frye) is seen behaving strangely and befriending bats.
Of course, Herman is totally innocent. His only crime is being a frickin' weirdo and all that necrophilia (not actually in this movie, I was just seeing if you were paying attention). While the ignorant townsfolk are busy murdering Herman, the mastermind behind all of this blood-draining madness, Dr. Otto, is free to continue his quest for blood. He needs the blood to feed his creation: a pulsating heart that he has created himself. Small town doctor just wasn't good enough for this guy, he just had to go for mad scientist status. Niemann has hypnotized one of his assistants, Emil (Robert Frazer), into running around town, acquiring blood for him. Shit gets real when Ruth eavesdrops on him giving orders to Emil who is out on the prowl for Karl's blood.
END OF SPOILERS
What a revelation The Vampire Bat was! Full disclosure: I am very negligent when it comes to horror films pre-1950. It's not just horror, I am a tad impatient with any film that old from any genre. I'm just impatient with the golden oldies but I'm trying to get better. Every time that I stop being a wuss and check out something like, oh let's say, The Mummy (1932), and I am kicking myself in the dick for not watching it sooner. Why was I more open-minded as a kid? So ANYWAY, I should probably talk about The Vampire Bat.
Melvyn Douglas is amazing. His character, Karl, doles out some seriously unthinkable sarcasm. Every line he utters in that first scene with the village council is just ludicrously acerbic. Fay Wray is instantly likeable onscreen and is incredibly cute. I liked Lionel Atwill quite a bit but man oh man, the screen is stolen by Dwight Frye. This guy is just electric as Herman, the town crazy doomed to be misunderstood and ultimately destroyed by dumb motherfuckers. He brought a smile to my face from his first lines and I was super bummed out when his character meets his end.
One thing this movie has is some "comic relief" in the form of Aunt Gussie. Think of Una O'Connor in Bride of Frankenstein only fucking stupider or more dumb. I don't know who's aunt she is but man oh man, she doesn't die quick enough for me. Also, she doesn't die in the movie so yeah, NOT QUICK ENOUGH! This jackass is a hypochondriac of the highest order and she only seems to like hanging out with Dr. Niemann and Ruth in case she needs some meds. The more I write about her, the more my hatred grows.
I am glad that my self-imposed ignorance of old movies is finally paying off in that I have decades of old horror films to catch up on. My incorrect perception of horror films, especially from the 1930s was that they were clunky in dialog and plotting (which they totally are but I totally dig now (totally)) and stuffy (which they usually aren't). The camera is suprisingly fluid in this film. Some dolly shots combined with clever cutting make for some excellent sequences that are really eye-opening given this film is over 80 years old. There is lots of spooky atmospherics to be found in this picture that horror fans will eat up plus the pseudoscience and the weirdness will make you nod knowingly or smile like a dang hyena (or maybe that's just me). Highly recommended if you haven't seen this one already (but your probably already have).
"Well, I don't mind admitting that I'm up a tree. Stumped!"
Friday, October 3, 2014
This is it, folks! The second issue of Fang of Joy: Eurohorror and Giallo Zine is finally ready for you. In this issue we cover subjects like Paul Naschy in Fury of the Wolfman, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, The People Who Own the Dark, and Frankenstein's Bloody Terror; Werner Herzog's Nosferatu; Pete Walker's Frightmare; Michele Soavi's The Sect; the George Romero-inspired Italian Zombie series; Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare Beach; the infamous slasher Pieces coupled with Sergio Martino's Torso; Dog Soldiers. Not enough for you? Good because there's more! This issue features an interview with Italian cinema master Ruggero Deodato and an interview with the German morbid-king Jörg Buttgereit. There's even an Essential Giallo Checklist- have you seen them all? Every issue comes with a free Doomed Moviethon sticker.
Want to trade horror movie zines? Or you don't use eBay? Email me: doomedmoviethon(at)gmail.com and we'll work something out.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
When poop turns to gold, who is to blame? Hello! This is the Doomed Show, that's who! Or whom. In one of our "worst episodes", Brad and I managed to stumble around the insanely thinly plotted film, The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism. It is audio-tastic with words and talking. Check it out right here and/or dig on the episode archive for them class H!TITDS episodes.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
5. Dr. Giggles (1992)
Some of you may be confused as to the inclusion of Dr. Giggles on my list, even at #5. But this is exactly what a 12 year old undiscerning horror film fan loved in 1992. A good back-story, a weird, giggling antagonist, and a creepy hospital set piece delivered the goods. Yes, re-watching it doesn't elicit quite the same response but it's a good memory and it kept new horror alive for me in my early VHS rental days. I'm not even going to say guilty pleasure because I do return to it from time to time. And there's that scene. You know.
4. Event Horizon (1997)
This freaked us out at the theater and it freaked me out (not as much admittedly, but still) on bluray. What I thought was a sci-fi/horror film that would tip the scales more on the sci-fi side was actually far more horror than I anticipated. This is the closest we'll get to Hellraiser in Space (I know there's a Hellraiser in Space) even though most of us probably aren't looking for a Hellraiser in Space. Sam Neill + Black Hole + Hellraiser In Space. Number 4 on this list has been brought to you by Hellraiser in Space.
3. The Resurrected (1991)
This is a little gem from Dan O'Bannon who didn't direct nearly enough horror films in my opinion. Probably the best straight up Lovecraft adaptation out there for my money with a great performance from Chris Sarandon. Even though I think it's well directed it does have the look of a nicely made cable film of the time. This was one I half remembered for a long time before I stumbled across it on Netflix. Based on The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward it plays like a neo-noir that wandered into a horror film. Highly recommended.
2. In The Mouth Of Madness
John Carpenter's last great film and the only one of his that I've seen in the theater. My friends and I saw this and Event Horizon both and we decided that there was something very wrong with Sam Neill. And we hadn't even seen Possession yet. This is Carpenter's take on Lovecraft and it works on several levels, one of them being 'meta' right before that was trendy. Bravura editing and Carpenter's trademark widescreen picture plus Neill's slowly descending into madness acting and some genuinely squirm inducing effects makes this a winner for me. Do you read Sutter Cane?
I think it's safe to say that from the moment the trailer hit television, we were all excited for what promised to be the definitive werewolf/wolfman picture. The chemistry between Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer burned through the screen like no other coupling in film history. Years after his groundbreaking horror films The Graduate and Working Girl, director Mike Nichols delivered...Nah, I can't do it. I mean The Blair Witch Project is my number one film from the 90's, right? A masterclass in suspense and not looking the horror directly in the eye, opinion on the film is still split today. Released not too long really before everyone had a cell phone and internet and Facebook, the film delivers one of the last looks at true myth making unencumbered by post modern skepticism. You don't have to actually see the witch herself to be scared. Your brain can fill in the blanks. And that is terrifying.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Well well well, look who is back on the blog. Surprise! It's me and Franco! Or Franco and I if you're a grammarian. Since I haven't reviewed all 201 of Franco's films just yet, I thought I should at least try to do one more. Shit, it's been 6 months since I've been up for something new from Old Jess. But here's an oldie but a goodie from the man himself. Read on, my friends, read on!
Franco Friday #58
La Muerte Silba un Blues
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Conrado San Martín, Danik Patisson, Perla Cristal, Georges Rollin, Manuela Alexandre, María Silva, and Adriano Domínguez.
Part-time musician and accidental smuggler, Castro (played by Conrado San Martín), gets busted at a checkpoint for hauling guns and ammunition which he didn’t even know about. His friend, Julius Smith (Manuel Alexandre), also unaware of their cargo, is shot and taken into custody while Castro is shot as well while attempting to flee. 15 years later, Julius Smith sees Castro's wife, Lina (Perla Cristal), in a nightclub and performs "The Roof Blues", she and Castro's favorite song. Smith is run down by a car very shortly after that, confessing all he knows to the police before he dies. This gets the ball rolling as Castro returns to get revenge on Vogel (Georges Rollin), the man who ratted him out, profited greatly from the gunrunning, and even stole Lina. Castro, whom everyone believes to be dead, can't take anymore of this bullshit.
Vogel has been living under the name Paul Radeck for the last decade and a half and pretty much owns a small seaside village. A cryptic letter from Castro saying that he not only knows Radeck is actually Vogel but he has returned to take him down with his own secrets. On the case is Inspector Fenton (Fortunio Bonanova), he uses an undercover sexy lady named Moira (Danik Patisson) to get close to Radeck but her cover is blown ridiculously fast. Now everyone seems to playing their part in Vogel’s little paranoid game as he tries to rub Castro out once and for all. But hold on! Not so fast, motherfucker. More secrets and twists will be revealed before this story is over.
La Muerte Silba un Blues is an engrossing but very relaxed noir crime film filled with equal parts melodrama and style. The music by Music by Antón García Abril is vibrant, classy, and never dull. This black and white film features some excellent, creative cinematography by Juan Mariné. The composition of the frames and the lighting are just wonderful and I can’t even count how many of his shots are my favorites in this film. The screenplay that Jess Franco wrote with Luis de Diego is a little hokey but is intriguing and nicely nuanced at the same time. All of the characters, especially Lina and Vogel, are well written and multidimensional; and the cast is just so damn good that I was very invested in their stories.
When you’ve been watching as many Jess Franco films as I have and you've been watching them out of order as I have AND you also keep half-intentionally forgetting everything you’ve ever read about the man’s work as I have, well you tend to get surprised a lot. All of a sudden, the very first Franco Friday, Kiss Me Killer, makes perfect sense. If nothing else, Franco was The Great Recycler of his own works and he returned to La Muerte Silba un Blues for a reason: it is one of his best films.
The use of Smith’s song, “The Roof Blues”, to drive Vogel bananas works great. I love the way Vogel is introduced, lounging by the pool with the wind blowing around him, trapping him in the loneliness of leisure. The life he’s built for himself is all a lie and he knows it. The character of Castro, as portrayed by Conrado San Martín, is awesome. He’s just a happy-go-lucky guy with a whole dimension to him that I won’t spoil here. He makes friends with a black fisherman named Joe (played by Joe Brown) and these two actors have great chemistry onscreen together.
Now I won’t be returning to this to rewatch La Muerte anytime soon. Heck, I may never watch this again –because it’s just not my style of film- but I’d be an idiot to leave without saying how impressive this film is and how entertaining. Granted, this was Franco’s tenth feature length film so it’s not hard to imagine that he could have his hand in something this good. Of course, there are aome quaint gaffes like jump cuts and out-of-focus moments that became Franco’s signature to nearly all of his later films but honestly, you won’t care when you sit down with this one. The only thing I could find to criticize the film for is the damn disguise that Castro chooses for the big costume ball finale of the film. It is mind-bogglingly racist. Oh well, can't win 'em all, I guess. Keep an eye out for the director himself as a saxophone player near the beginning of the film.
“A dead hero is more interesting than one hundred mediocrities alive.”