LOGO
  • ,,

    “THE GHOSTKEEPERS” (Movie Review)

    Last year, writer-director Anthony D.P. Mann released TERROR OF DRACULA, a painstakingly respectful enactment of Bram Stoker’s often-bowdlerized and bastardized 1897 novel. TERROR perfectly captured the restrained pacing and hazy photography of a BBC production from decades past, and the result felt like something that might have aired stateside on public television around Halloween—a powerful fount of nostalgia for some, this reviewer included. With follow-up THE GHOSTKEEPERS set for release this year, Mann’s challenge was to try and carve out a similar impression, only now with his own original material and in a modern setting.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    George A. Romero’s “KNIGHTRIDERS” (Blu-ray Review, Arrow Films)

    The man who gave the world the modern flesh-munching zombie will always be remembered as a horror maestro, but one of George Romero’s finest efforts from his underground Pittsburgh days was made with no intention of giving audiences the willies (well, except for the sight of Tom Savini in a speedo). KNIGHTRIDERS comes between DAWN OF THE DEAD and CREEPSHOW in the director’s career and features roles for many of his stock company of the time like Savini, Ken Foree, and John Amplas (MARTIN). It’s an odd story involving Renaissance fair knights who joust on motorcycles, and yet it just might be Romero’s most personal movie of the period. Midst the weird world of contemporary King Arthur honor comes a story about artistic integrity amongst a group of outsider artists. It’s a pretty blatant exploration of Romero’s fears of abandoning his merry band of low budget horror movie mirth-makers for Hollywood and signaled the beginning of the end of his early career. KNIGHTRIDERS is an essential slice of Romero magic from his golden period and now that the good folks at Arrow have gone and released it in one of their marquee Blu-ray sets, there’s never been a better time to catch up with this sadly forgotten cult classic.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “ERIK: PORTRAIT OF A LIVING CORPSE”: A Valentine to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Movie Review)

    Ryan Bijan freely admits that ERIK: PORTRAIT OF A LIVING CORPSE is a student film.

    And indeed it is. Like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland did in those grand old MGM movies of long ago, writer/director Bijan and his friends got together and put on a show. Clocking in at about an hour, ERIK is a well put together labor of love.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “TORTURE CHAMBER” (Movie Review)

    Horror is a base genre in many respects, as it taps into our anxieties about what’s beyond the door for us all, about death and what–if anything–lies beyond. Shame then, that most genre movies get bogged down in pedestrian plotting, exasperating exposition and trivial twists. The greatest horror films are not steered by their scripts; rather, they are works of sensual alchemy. Martin Scorsese once said of Bava’s work–and I’m paraphrasing–that “Bava made films that bypass your brain and go right to your gut.” Indeed his films, and many of the great works of European horror, trade in visceral imagery and sound design to bring their nightmares to grand fruition. And if you’ve ever had a really juicy, heart squeezing, body sweating, wake-up-screaming-and-pull-the-covers-up-close nightmare, you’ll know that plot, character and dialogue aren’t what gets blasted forever onto your psyche. What strikes you and what sticks with you can’t even find articulation for, it just is.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “THALE” (DVD/Blu-ray Review)

    THALE is a lovely film, epitomized by its titular creature, which is a gorgeous one indeed. Written and directed by Aleksander Nordaas and based on Norwegian folk tales of cow-tailed temptresses called Huldra, THALE (on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo from XLrator Media) takes a classic-monsters approach to its story, evoking empathy for the sheltered, experimented-on beauty (Silje Reinåmo) as well as the best-friend duo who discover her.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “DOCTOR MABUSE”: Ansel Faraj and the Return of German Expressionism (Movie Review)

    FANGORIA #322 featured my interview with Ansel Faraj, the young writer/director of the new thriller/noir film DOCTOR MABUSE. The no-budgeter, literally shot in the filmmaker’s backyard, attracted a good deal of attention due to the  casting of three major players from the classic horror-themed soap opera DARK SHADOWS.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “BARON BLOOD” (Blu-ray Review, Arrow Films)

    Boutique British Blu-ray label Arrow have been very kind to lovers of Italian horror over the last few years, serving up heaping helpings of Fulci and Argento in pristine region-free HD packages. In 2013 they’ve finally turned their attention to the maestro who started it all: Mario Bava. After cranking out a definitive BLACK SUNDAY disc, the company has moved onto to some of his later, campier efforts. The latest Bava Blu-ray from the company is BARON BLOOD, a late inning horror hit for the director that’s been swallowed up by obscurity. It might not be the director’s greatest effort, but is certainly something of interest to Bava-hounds for its inspired no-budget gothic carnage.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “MR. JONES” (Tribeca Movie Review)

    Seemingly the most divisive midnight/horror offering at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, MR. JONES has garnered reaction across the spectrum. What’s odd though is how in polite conversation, most have refrained from mentioning just how admirably weird Karl Mueller’s sort-of found footage feature debut gets in its second half. MR. JONES is a strange beast and for better or worse—or however you come out of it—refreshing in that it’s a fairly unique, Lynchian addition to the current glut of docu-style terror.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “BIG BAD WOLVES” (Tribeca Movie Review)

    Two years ago, Israeli writer/directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado provided an out-of-nowhere highlight of the Tribeca Film Festival with RABIES, their multiple-twisty variation on killer-in-the-woods standards. Now they’re back at the fest with the world premiere of BIG BAD WOLVES, which isn’t quite as narratively knotty but proves the duo equally adept at a more brute-forceful brand of thriller.

    Read more »
  • ,,

    “THE MACHINE” (Tribeca Movie Review)

    Some films just look cool. Caradog James’ future-set cold war tale THE MACHINE is massively so. From an aesthetic standpoint it is slickly designed and beautiful on what’s surely a modest budget. Temperature-wise, it exists in a seeming eternally harsh space of overcast skies, nighttime and enormous, often barely-holding up warehouses and labs. Star Caity Lotz is fluid and incredible in her movement. But what’s truly coolest is the ensuing warm, radical spirit that reveals itself throughout it all.

    Read more »
Back to Top