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  • “ARMY OF DARKNESS: COLLECTOR’S EDITION” (Blu-ray Review)

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    Fans of the EVIL DEAD franchise are among the most ardent collectors in the landscape of horror home media. Considering the various impressive DVD sets (including the lauded “Book of the Dead” packaging), the Blu-ray sets including two different editions of EVIL DEAD II and the excellent special features that come with each release, EVIL DEAD fans have spent a lot of money and raised a bar of expectations over the years. So when Scream Factory announced that they would be releasing a Collector’s Edition set of ARMY OF DARKNESS on Blu-ray right on time for the premiere of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, many EVIL DEAD fans were skeptical about what the specialty distributor could offer outside the already impressive, studio-released Screwhead Edition Blu from years back. As it turns out, the answer is a hell of a lot, with Scream Factory offering not only the definitive home media release for the film but one that puts the Screwhead Edition to shame.

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  • “PURE TERROR SCREAM PARK” (Haunt Review)

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    While haunted attractions have long been a staple of the Halloween season, the progression of the art form has certainly gone beyond what anyone has expected. Some people search for the biggest thrill, looking for the scariest and most innovative haunts imaginable in locations far from the comfort of home. Other people want the illusion of safety taken away completely, with certain haunts willing to invade your personal space and attempt to break your resolve with sadistic delight. And other people just want something different, something bigger and something that will give them a truly nightmarish journey… and that’s where Pure Terror Scream Park comes in.

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  • “BONE TOMAHAWK” (Film Review)

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    To be honest, it’s a bit of a surprise that the western and horror genres don’t collide more frequently, considering the high-concept mythology of era-appropriate folk tales and the seedy, terrifying reality behind the myths. One could likely chalk up the lack of horror-westerns due to the commercial viability of both genres, and others could attribute it to the need for practical effects on both accounts. Luckily, BONE TOMAHAWK proves that an effective mash-up between horror stories and western aesthetics is more than possible, even if the final product settles for efficiency over excellency.

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  • “I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 3: VENGEANCE IS MINE” (Film Review)

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    It’s an odd thing to consider that one of the most notoriously brutal films of all time- Meir Zarchi’s 1978 rape revenge film I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE- would spawn a largely direct-to-video horror franchise almost 40 years after the fact. Yet with a third installment subtitled VENGEANCE IS MINE, that’s exactly what has happened with the property, even going so far as to being a direct sequel to the 2010 remake rather than the in-name-only sequel before it. However, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 3: VENGEANCE IS MINE is a decidedly strange affair from start to finish, attempting to be a female empowerment piece only to fall into strangely unfocused territory as to become a commentary on the nature of revenge.

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  • “FISTFUL OF BLOOD #1” (Comic Book Review)

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    FISTFUL OF BLOOD is exactly the type of comic you would imagine would first find its audience in the pages of Heavy Metal: Blood, vampires, zombies and a thong-clad, gun-toting woman in the middle of a desert town that may or may not be post-apocalyptic. Even the genre is ambiguously Heavy Metal, a mix of western/horror/maybe sex, sets the tone for what is perhaps, the most over the top, yet, fun read on the market right now.  Definitely a mature audience title, FISTFUL OF BLOOD pulls a no punches homage to Clint Eastwood’s FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, and, despite some creative choices, does an impressive job of keeping true to the original work.

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  • “THE LARRY FESSENDEN COLLECTION” (Blu-ray Review)

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    What defines a “Master of Horror” among the fright filmmakers past and present? Is it the prolific nature of the filmmaker, having had years and years of terror title under their belts? Is it the strength of the films they make, even if they work only once in a blue moon? Or is it the originality of the filmmaker, offering something completely unique and different with each passing title that can’t be seen quite anywhere else?

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  • “TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: DEMON KNIGHT” (Blu-ray Review)

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    Even though TALES FROM THE CRYPT took pop culture by storm when it debuted at the tail end of the ’80s, it’s a damn shame that the first film under the series’ banner, DEMON KNIGHT, isn’t considered to be more of a genre classic. With one of the strongest ensemble casts in horror history, an imaginative script and brilliant practical effects work from Todd Masters, Ernest Dickerson’s first foray into fright filmmaking is an undeniably fun and impressive effort on all accounts. And yet, DEMON KNIGHT never quite carries the same weight as contemporary classics such as TRICK ‘R TREAT, NIGHTBREED and PUMPKINHEAD, although hopefully that reputation will turn around with the film’s incredible new Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

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  • “ASH VS. EVIL DEAD: Season 1, Episode 1” (TV Review)

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    When watching the pilot episode of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, one can’t help but feel that this entry into the franchise is truly a culmination of all that came before it. Whether it be the hallucinatory, slow-burn dread of the original film, the over-the-top gore and demonic possession of EVIL DEAD II, the slapstick/one-liner friendly humor of ARMY OF DARKNESS or the gut-wrenching viscera of the 2013 reboot, ASH VS. EVIL DEAD is a carefully crafted mixing pot of any and everything an EVIL DEAD fan could want from Ash’s grand return. But even beyond the carnage on display, the reason why ASH VS. EVIL DEAD evokes such a potent sense of nostalgia is that Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert are still finding new ways to have fun and fright in a universe with 30 years of familiarity behind it.

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  • “CRIMSON PEAK” (Movie Review)

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    Early in CRIMSON PEAK, Mia Wasikowska’s aspiring writer describes her first attempt at a novel by saying that it’s “not a ghost story, it’s a story with ghosts in it.” That idea is key to enjoying Guillermo del Toro’s latest, a lush, lavish masterpiece of Gothic atmosphere whose story pays homage to classic old-dark-house and romantic thrillers.

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  • “TRICK ‘R TREAT: DAYS OF THE DEAD” (Comic Book Review)

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    When TRICK ‘R TREAT first hit the movie market, the film didn’t exactly get a chance to turn a lot of heads. A direct-to-video run after a two year delay almost knocked the film into obscurity but thanks to strong reviews and a legion of dedicated horror fans, TRICK ‘R TREAT has now become a cult favorite. The anthology movie is anchored by a sack-wearing figure named Sam, who often ties together each of the seemingly unconnected short stories all occurring on one bizarre night on Halloween. From werewolves to the undead to serial killers, the movie tapped into all the deep dark fears of the when the sun goes down on the most spookiest of days and, with its folklore-ish vibe, created a great movie out of a classic subject.

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  • “GOOSEBUMPS” (Movie Review)

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    The opening logos on GOOSEBUMPS include not only the expected Sony and Columbia Pictures, but also Sony Pictures Animation. While this portends an excessive amount of CGI to follow, the filmmakers have at least made a run at hitching their wagon to their actors—at least until an excessive amount of digital FX does follow. So much so that one of the freakish creatures pictured on the poster/ad art can barely be glimpsed in the finished movie, where he (it?) is relegated to massing-monster crowd scenes.

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