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  • “RABID” (UK Blu-Ray Review)

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    Though the pervading cultural politeness would suggest otherwise, David Cronenberg could only have emerged from the chilly confines of Canada. Particularly in his early movies, shot in the winter when Canadian tax shelter film financing was available, even the frigid setting of Cronenberg’s twisted little nightmares feel foreboding. His work makes you uncomfortable long before any of the graphic gore and perverse conceptualizations appear, and though things seem normal, even mundane, you can’t help but squirm knowing that something horrible is coming from a director willing to shove you into the nastiest place possible at the most meaningful time.

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  • “NEW YEAR’S EVIL” (Blu-ray Review)

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    As our more season horror fans know, in the early years of the slasher film, there was not much of an urge on part of filmmakers to give their killers any sense of personality. And for the few that did, they often didn’t reveal themselves until later in the movie, with little indication that they were the killer or a rushed backstory following a “whodunit” set-up. Yet, despite being criticized by slasher purists, NEW YEAR’S EVIL attempts at doing just that, dueling narratives between a killer and his victim before coalescing into an engaging third act that brings the two face-to-face.

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  • “DIGGING UP THE MARROW” (Film Review)

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    To the horror community, Adam Green is a lot of things. To some, Green is a filmmaker, one who has found success and proven his versatility in a variety of horror subgenres. To others, Green is a personality among the genre, one whose enthusiasm for horror rivals that of his biggest fans and has parlayed said passion into a podcast, a sitcom and many convention appearances. But in his latest film, DIGGING UP THE MARROW, Green presents himself in a new light, offering a version of himself as both a documentarian and an amateur monster hunter at the risk of his own career. And while one might be able to criticize Green’s ability to carry a film as a leading man, even as himself, the monster hunting aspect isn’t even the most unbelievable aspect of MARROW; that would be Green’s portrayal of himself as professionally self-destructive, especially at the cost of his own passion project.

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  • “GIRL HOUSE” (Movie Review)

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    GIRL HOUSE (in select theaters and on VOD now) opens with a quote from none other than Ted Bundy about the connection between pornography and male violence, then has a little trouble reconciling whether it wants to comment on the subject or simply be an example of it.

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  • “ANIMAL” (Blu-ray Review)

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    Considering the standard that most networks have held their “made for TV” movies, Chiller’s original genre films have been surprisingly consistent. With entries such as 2013’s THE MONKEY’S PAW and BENEATH having previously impressed this writer in both solid writing and effective practical SFX, expectations were high for Brett Simmons’ creature feature ANIMAL, despite having not caught it on initial airing. Luckily, Scream Factory has once again partnered with Chiller to bring ANIMAL to Blu-ray, offering the frightening pick-’em-off flick in stunning high-definition.

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  • “DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS” (Movie Review)

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    Spike Lee has been somewhat cryptic—though not exactly reticent—in expressing his unhappiness over the studio meddling he strongly suggests marred his vision for his reworking of Park Chan-wook’s landmark OLDBOY a couple years back. Not for nothing, it seems, was the ultra-brutal revenge thriller dubbed a “Spike Lee Film” rather than a “Spike Lee Joint.”

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  • “POKER NIGHT” (Blu-ray Review)

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    Having last seen POKER NIGHT on the big screen, I’ve been surprised about how few horror fans have had the film on their radar. From the initially FANGORIA-presented screening, the film absolutely blew away this writer’s expectations, delivering something creepy, funny, brutal and compelling all in one sitting. But unlike several less-than-great titles that hit around the same time, there was a certain unjust preconception around the horror lot that the film wasn’t up to snuff thanks to its masked antagonist. So with POKER NIGHT’s impending Blu-ray release, this writer took the opportunity to revisit the film and see if it’s particular brand of horror held up on a second viewing in high definition.

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  • “LOVE AT FIRST BITE” / “ONCE BITTEN” Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

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    In Scream Factory’s attempts to bring unheralded gems of genre cinema to Blu-ray, the company has also culled some of the most beloved, but more obscure, cult classics into the fold as well. Whether it be sleazy, insane or outright absurd, Scream Factory is giving these titles new life among their creepy catalog. And while sometimes this leads to some truly exceptional rediscoveries, it also occasionally leads to cult misfires as well, such as the Double Feature Blu-ray of Howard Storm’s ONCE BITTEN and Stan Dragoti’s LOVE AT FIRST BITE.

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  • “VAMPIRE’S KISS” / “HIGH SPIRITS” Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

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    While Scream Factory has often brought many underappreciated genre classics to the world of high definition, they’ve also done a great service to cult film fans by bringing some of horror’s most odd titles to Blu-ray as well. Yet as of late, Scream Factory has found greater success in bringing these demented discoveries to audiences as double features, which of course comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. And, particularly, Scream Factory has used this business model to help bring vintage horror comedies to fans, offering a safety net to an unpredictable subgenre that offers the likes of Robert Bierman’s VAMPIRE’S KISS and Neil Jordan’s HIGH SPIRITS.

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  • “RPG: REAL PLAYING GAME” (Film Review)

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    By now, the general conceit of RPG: REAL PLAYING GAME is oh-so-familiar to genre fans: a group of strangers are forced to kill each other in an interactive game run by a sinister entity. Whether it be BATTLE ROYALE, THE HUNGER GAMES, THE RUNNING MAN, GAMER or the multitude of other films running with that concept, RPG does have select differences in its execution that makes it stand out more to the horror crowd. But even despite some ingenious flourishes, interesting character drama and the constraints of its budget, the conceptual familiarity is the least of RPG’s problems.

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