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    “OLDBOY” (2013; Movie Review)

    Yes, the Big Reveal at the end is intact. With that out of the way… Park Chan-wook’s original OLDBOY came to such a bleak gut-punch of a conclusion that I wasn’t sure, after it was over, if I ever wanted to see it again. In that context, is it praise or a putdown to say that I wouldn’t mind seeing Spike Lee’s remake a second time?

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    Santa Showdown: “SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2″ VS. “SANTA’S SLAY”

    Jingle the Bells! Hit the lights! In celebration of FANGORIA’s re-release of the remastered original SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, we present to you SANTA SHOWDOWN, a battle between the more gruesome ghosts from Christmas Past. So sit down by the fire, enjoy some eggnog and pray neither of these Christmas killers make their way down your chimney…

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    Santa Showdown: “SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT” VS. “BLACK CHRISTMAS” (1974)

    Jingle the Bells! Hit the lights! In celebration of FANGORIA’s re-release of the remastered original SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, we present to you SANTA SHOWDOWN, a battle between the more gruesome ghosts from Christmas Past. So sit down by the fire, enjoy some eggnog and pray neither of these Christmas killers make their way down your chimney…

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    “MANIAC COP 2” (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

    William Lustig says on the Blu-ray/DVD edition of MANIAC COP 2 that it’s his best film, and this writer wholeheartedly agrees. Also undeniable is that MANIAC COP 2 is one of the early-’90s horror films that has been most in need of digital resuscitation, and Blue Underground’s new Collector’s Edition is cause for rejoicing.

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    “TOM HOLLAND’S TWISTED TALES” (Web Series Review)

    Is it normal nowadays to approach new work from the revered masters of horror with hopeful caution? Following the underwhelming contributions by former heavy hitters in recent times, it’s not uncommon for a horror fan to cling to hope that there is still more fight in those old dogs. And as new filmmakers attempt (and mostly fail) to bring their iconic properties to a new audience via reboots, reimaginings and remakes, there’s even a sense of desperation that these one-time kings of the macabre may be the last hope at bringing old-school horror back to its roots.

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    “ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13” (Blu-ray Review)

    John Carpenter’s second feature (some might say his first “real” movie, after the expanded student production DARK STAR) set a template that served the director throughout his subsequent career. ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is a precursor to the siege scenarios in THE THING, PRINCE OF DARKNESS and others, with attackers as inscrutable and unstoppable as HALLOWEEN’s Michael Myers. And it still stands on its own as a remarkably assured piece of work.

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    “THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2″ (Arrow Blu-ray Review)

    The usual rap on Tobe Hooper is that he made a masterpiece with his first feature and then never made another decent film. Wrong. Sure, nothing else in Hooper’s filmography can compete with the unrelenting intensity of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but then very few horror movies can. For those willing to dig (and accept the shared responsibility on POLTERGEIST, just like how Spielberg and Lucas shared authorship on RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), the truth is that Hooper has made many wacko twisted genre flicks since his iconic debut (SALEM’S LOT, FUNHOUSE, LIFEFORCE). In fact, he’s even got another classic with TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in the title. Released unrated in 1986, most critics didn’t know what to make of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. After all, here was a sequel that replaced the subtlety and suspense of the original with bawdy humor and the most disgusting gore of Tom Savini’s career. It was a movie that turned intensely real killers into cartoons, gave Dennis Hopper a chance to go farther over the top than he managed in BLUE VELVET, and for some reason the poster was a parody of THE BREAKFAST CLUB. It was, at face value, a sequel that inverted everything that was successful about the original and therefore was far from a worthy successor. But the reasons viewers hated CHAINSAW 2 then are what make it such a clear cult classic now.

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    “ALL HALLOWS’ EVE” (DVD Review)

    Constructed of footage shot as far back as 2004 on a variety of different mediums and cameras, ALL HALLOWS’ EVE (now on DVD and VOD from Image Entertainment) is an anthology film showcasing the work of writer/director Damien Leone. Despite often feeling without purpose aside from being a potentially entertaining dark accompaniment to drug use, ALL HALLOWS’ EVE is kind of awesome. At just 80 minutes, it never really has the time to become boring, and Leone and his crew have been productive; there’s an impressive amount of weird happening in this little Frankenstein monster of a movie.

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    “DEVIL IN MY RIDE” (Movie Review)

    When making an independent horror film, the greatest safety net you can provide for your story is to have great, inspired characters at your creative disposal. This is even truer if you decide to add an element of comedy to the proceedings, lest you risk the film falling into the subgenre of morbidly dark anti-comedy, which has value but ultimately narrows your audience considerably. In a horror comedy, even when the outrageousness and the FX are limited by time and budget, your characters can be as flexible as you want them to be, and by putting them through a gauntlet of grue, you’re simultaneously giving them humor to mine from, as well from their predicaments. Married with an entertaining story and inspired performances, these characters can be what stands between the film being either frighteningly forgettable or a hell of a good time.

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