When you think of Italian genre directors, names like Argento, Bava, and Fulci automatically spring to mind. Even the likes of Deodato and Lenzi are quite familiar to fans. But one name that might take more than a few bells to ring for some folks is Bruno Mattei. That was the case for me, and after a little research, there’s a reason why. He’s sometimes referred to as the “Ed Wood of Italian filmmaking.’ That should give you enough of a hint.
In the 90’s and early 2000’s, there were quite a few sequels to popular movies that went direct-to-video, but before they went to the shelf, there were a few that made it to theaters across the globe. This was due to the fact that companies would release the sequel to theaters hoping it would have the same success as the original. Sadly, this was hardly ever the case…
We are a revisionist’s culture. While we love a great story, we are always drawn to what came before. Sure, there may have been a Big Bang, but what caused it? Prequels are popping up more and more in our films, fleshing out characters we thought we knew already, but just needed to know more about. As I was thinking about this, I thought back to my origin story. How did I become a horror hound, a genre junkie?
I guess it goes without saying that Wes Craven’s Scream changed the horror landscape when it dropped in December of 1996. All of a sudden, horror was no longer a dirty word to the major Hollywood studios, and they all scrambled to get their own Scream’s out into theaters. Every slasher that followed adopted the formula of Craven’s classic film, but that didn’t stop with the films themselves. These knock-offs even aped Scream’s marketing strategy. Unlike the slashers of the 1980s, Scream had the benefit of being populated by young talents, some who were already famous from their television work, and the one-sheet for the film made damn sure to highlight that. As a result, every teen horror movie that featured TV teen idols that followed in Scream’s wake had a similar poster design. This trend quickly became known- sometimes non-complimentary- to serious horror fanatics as the “floating heads” poster.
We Are Still Here has proven to be one of the most recent stand-out Horror films of the past couple years. Last week it finally made it’s way to physical copy form and the blu-ray was gobbled up by people needing a October fright. We are joined by writer/director Ted Geoghegan, star Barbara Crampton, and producer (and skateboard wunderkind) Travis Stevens. We also discuss Ghoulies Go To College in our Scream Streams segment as well as Pledge Night in our Video-OMG segment.
I’ve been a fan of movie soundtracks almost as long as I’ve been a fan of movies. In the 1980s, the soundtrack album became big business, with the records becoming just as popular as the films themselves. As a kid in that era, my family had quite a few favorites, from La Bamba to The Lost Boys. It was pretty much understood then that when we bought a soundtrack cassette- our format of choice in those days- to a film we liked, we expected every song from that movie to be on it.
Everyone and their mom is covering Horror in October. And while we very much support Horror in general, we figured we’d take some time from our Horror flick viewing to check out a couple films released by Vinegar Syndrome’s imprint label Etiquette Pictures: Some Call It Lovin’ and The American Dreamer. We also cover the Exploitation.TV/Vinegar Syndrome release of Crypt Of The Living Dead. Scream Streams is back as we discuss He Knows You’re Alone (1980) and Vide-OMG returns as we talk about The House Of The Yellow Carpet (1983). Special guest host Jacob Q. Knight of Birth. Death. Movies. joins us.
I love Halloween, and I love heavy metal music. And when the two converge, it’s a devilish rock n’ roll party for 31 days. Living in sunny Southern California- with the added woe of a devastating drought- has made it more difficult to get into the spirit of things lately. If it wasn’t for the pumpkins in front of grocery stores or the decorations at Target, I wouldn’t have known it was October at all. So, music has become the necessary tool for me to get me excited about this time of year. Here are 11 heavy metal records I play each year to celebrate the month of October.