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  • “DEAD BODY” (NYC Horror Film Fest Review)

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    While some might argue that the “whodunit?”-style of storytelling may be outdated, this writer would argue that not only is the structure relevant but also woefully underutilized. A precursor to the slasher film, “whodunit?” mysteries can be just as effective when applied to the horror genre as it is when applied to noirs and thrillers, especially when a film provides reasonable doubt for as many characters as possible. Luckily, DEAD BODY does just that, providing the genre’s strongest and most brutal “whodunit?” in recent memory, rife with excellent performances and jaw-dropping FX to sell the scares full-stop.

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  • Event Report: “MISERY” with Bruce Willis & Laurie Metcalf on Broadway

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    This writer must admit that it’s a bit surprising that not more horror takes to the stage in a serious context. Of course, there are the many macabre musicals that infuse the flamboyant Broadway attitude and the splattery, insane properties of horror films past, including musical adaptations of EVIL DEAD, RE-ANIMATOR and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. But the stage is rarely approached for traditionally frightening fare these days, even with the potential of genuinely frightening a room full of people being a logical step from the increasingly interactive haunt experience. But at least one live show is making the bold step of attempting to do so, and with a property that is beloved by many horror hounds: Stephen King’s MISERY, starring Bruce Willis, Laurie Metcalf and Leon Addison Brown.

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  • “MOST LIKELY TO DIE” (New York City Horror Film Fest Review)

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    MOST LIKELY TO DIE is a strange beast, mostly because its most alluring charm is also its greatest detraction. The fact is that MOST LIKELY TO DIE, from concept to execution, is standard slasher film fare; there’s rarely a moment in MOST LIKELY TO DIE that one won’t recognize as a horror movie trope or as problematically predictable. However, in the age where most films are either minimalistic, low-budget haunting movies or direct-to-video torture porn, there’s something refreshing about a pick-’em-off slasher film, complete with masked killer and ridiculous gimmick. Yet even with all the tools and potential at their behest, the fact that MOST LIKELY TO DIE never quite escalates beyond its conventional story is frustrating, ultimately limiting the film to an enjoyable yet forgettable contemporary chiller.

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  • “THE STEAM MAN #2” (Comic Book Review)

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    Every once in a while, a story comes along that seems so completely implausible, a fantasy of the most ridiculous order, that you swear it was written during the ‘70s psychedelic sci-fi pulp movement instead of the modern age of comics. THE STEAM MAN from Dark Horse is one of those titles; a work that proves that imagination has no limit and art has no cinematic budget, exploding onto the page with a mix of steampunk, sci-fi, horror, and western. Currently on its second issue, the work continues where it left off with issue #1, this time focusing not on our heroes hunting in a giant mechanical man but on the vampire that they pursue across the desolate wasteland of their world.

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  • “OH THE FLESH YOU WILL EAT” (Comic Book Review)

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    Most readers associate the name ‘Dr. Seuss’ with goofy, wholesome fun about elephants hearing invisible creatures and hat-wearing felines trashing houses simply because it’s funny. His clever rhymes have been celebrated for decades by parents and their brood, despite the good Doctor’s notorious fear of children. But haven’t you ever wanted to see Seuss’s work a bit more edgy? Perhaps instead of adorable creatures doing silly things, those said creatures are off killing the world or spreading disease?

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  • “MORTAL REMAINS” (Film Review)

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    Contrary to popular opinion, the term “low-fi” should never directly be synonymous with “low quality.” Whether it’s the means of a the filmmaker or simply the scope of the narrative that best suits the low-fi nature of the project, just because a project doesn’t have the glitz and finesse of a studio production doesn’t disqualify the film as “less than.” And if one needs any proof of this, they not need look any further than Christian Stavrakis & Mark Ricche’s MORTAL REMAINS, which excellently uses its independent means to build a believable mythos around a dangerous fictional figurehead.

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  • “DARLING” (Scary Movies Review)

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    When I was 24, I spent a month housesitting a mansion in Flatbush, Brooklyn. I was a young single girl, and despite having lived in or around New York most of my life, I had never really done so alone. The house spoke; it creaked and groaned with the cold. One night I couldn’t sleep, and I found myself curiously testing out the grand piano in the foyer at 3 a.m. The keys were dusty and the notes flat and mournfully out of tune—I felt a chill run through me.

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  • “FREAKS OF NATURE” (Movie Review)

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    Catching even genre fans off guard with its presence in theaters, FREAKS OF NATURE is in fact the vampires-meet-zombies-meet-aliens mashup filmed in 2013 as (the aptly titled) KITCHEN SINK. Now, after several nationwide-release date changes/delays, it has been abruptly retitled and dumped into token runs by Columbia Pictures (which didn’t even bother to print up a poster for the multiplex where this reviewer shared the prime opening-night show with maybe half a dozen people).

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  • “THE BIRTH OF KITARO” (Comic Book Review)

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    Monsters known as “yokai” have been part of Japanese folklore for as long as people have had reasons to fear the dark. The spooky creatures have proved so popular that not only are they still prevalent in modern popular culture, but have even welcomed contemporary monsters such as the Slit-Mouthed Woman or the half corpse of the Teke-teke, who first gained attention in the late ‘70s, into its fold. While comic-created Kitaro (inspired by a story card play) may not be an original yokai, he is credited with keeping the yokai spirit alive for over 55 years and has spawned numerous cartoons, shows, movies, video games, toys; basically anything you can slap that adorable little face on. Unfortunately, there’s almost no translated work for English readers… until now.

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