AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Zombie Nightmare (1987) movie review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by Paxton

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Yesterday you saw the ad for the flick, Zombie Nightmare from 1987.  It starred Adam West, Tia Carrere and Jon Mikl-Thor.  I’ve loved the look of that ad since I first saw it in Fangoria so I decided that it was going to be this week’s Fangoria Movie Friday review.

Zombie Nightmare poster

The only thing I’ve ever seen on this movie was yesterday’s home video ad. I remember the image vividly from when I bought the issue. So, since I’m filling in holes in my cult horror movie watching this month, I decided to track down this movie and give it a watch.

The premise is simple enough.  A guy is run over by a bunch of teens in a sports car and killed.  He is resurrected as a mindless zombie by a voodoo priestess in order to get revenge on all the teens that were in the car.  Bloodshed ensues.

It stars Adam West and Tia Carrere, so this should be 100% a winner.  And I mean that in the most B-movie awesome way.  Now that I’ve watched it, what did I think?  In a nutshell it’s a bit disappointing.  There’s definitely some high moments here and there.  The aesthetic is early Troma, as it seems with all the movies I’ve picked this month.  Not a whole lot of gore, surprisingly, but a metric ton of cheese.  Production values are on par with something like Street Trash but that movie was endlessly more fascinating than this one.  Do I recommend?  Hmmm, not really.  I don’t plan on watching it again, even though it amused me a bit during my viewing.  Another movie this reminded me of was Hard Rock Zombies which I reviewed last year for AWESOME-tober-fest 2013.

Let’s look at some of the more choice moments of this movie.

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And the movie begins, and we see that right away, this movie has the potential to be several different kinds of awesome. Adam West in a schlocky zombie movie? Yes, please? Tia Carrere?! Yes! And maybe she’ll get topless for her kill scene.  Those are the thoughts running through my head when I see the title cards.

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Wait…slick back hair, tight t-shirt, cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve.  Did I put on The Outsiders by mistake?  Is Leif Garret going to show up in a letter sweater?

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Oh, I see. Those greasers are here to endanger that young lady. And the husky, sweat panted dude is going to do something about it.  And that something is participate in the most ridiculously choreographed fight scene I’ve seen since Miami Connection.  Yes, husky sweat pants actually does spin around with the guy on his shoulders.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Zombie Nightmare ad (1987)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on October 23, 2014 by Paxton

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Today, I’m showing you a 1987 home video ad for Zombie Nightmare (1991) starring Adam West, Jon-Mikl Thor, Tia Carrere and Shawn Levy.  This ad was on the back cover of one of my Fangoria’s and I’ve always loved the look of it.  I’m surprised it doesn’t mention that Adam West and Tia Carrere star in it (well, to say they “star” in it is sort of an overstatement).

I’ve never seen the movie, but I’ve chosen it as tomorrow’s Fangoria Movie Friday review.  So buckle your seat belts, I think it could be a bumpy ride.

Zombie Nightmare ad


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Cult Classics tee shirts ad (1990)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by Paxton

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Today is an ad for tee shirts of cult classic movie posters. The posters are printed on black tee shirts and in neon colors.  I have to admit, these look pretty awesome.  Check out the Lugosi Dracula and Wolf Man images.  How about that Reefer Madness?  That’s pretty bad ass.  My one regret, they never offered them as prints.  Only as shirts, pins and patches.  Why?  I would have bought pretty much every single one of these images as a poster to hang on my wall.  They are so cool looking.  Missed opportunity I guess.  But imagine a jacket with these images as patches all over it.  Sooooooo cooooooool.

The ad appeared in Fangoria #92 from 1990.  Click it for BIGGER.

Cult Classics ad

Just for kicks, here’s the image of the cover.

Fangoria 92


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria Scream Greats #43 – The Lost Boys (1987)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by Paxton

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Here’s Fangoria‘s Scream Greats Poster #43 featuring an image from one of my favorite vampire movies, The Lost Boys. This poster was from Fangoria #68 (1987).  Click to see it BIGGER on Flickr.

Scream Greats #43


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria #56 – Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Posted in Frankenstein, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by Paxton

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Let’s start off this week, the fourth week of AWESOME-tober-fest, with one of my favorite Fangoria covers of all time, issue #56, featuring the Green Goblin truck from Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive.  This issue was on the newsstands in 1986.

Fangoria 56

Inside this magazine is an interview with King. Plus, they run a contest featuring the awkwardly named The Fango Maximum Overdrive Stephen King Scream Test.  The goal was to answer 15 Stephen King book/movie specific questions for lots of cool prizes.  I read through these questions.  Without resorting to Google, they are actually pretty hard.  Several of them can be gleaned from the previous interview, but some of them are really tough questions.  Take a gander for yourself.

Fango Stephen King Scream Test


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: HP Lovecraft’s From Beyond (1986) review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2014 by Paxton

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Well, this week has been Stuart Gordon Week. All of this week’s content has been leading up to my Fangoria Movie Friday review of Stuart’s 1986 horror classic, From Beyond.  The movie, like the previous The Re-animator, was based on an HP Lovecraft short story.

From Beyond poster

You’ve seen this week how much Fangoria was in love with the idea of this movie.  I remember it all over the magazine back in the mid 80s.  For some reason, even though I love Re-animator, I had never watched this movie.  But now I have.  And it’s not bad.

The premise is rather interesting.  A machine called “The Resonator” stimulates your pineal gland to allow you to see other dimensions which causes creepy creatures to manifest all around you.  And the more you are exposed to the effects of “The Resonator” the more it changes you.  Dr Pretorius and his assistant, Dr Tillinghast, who created the machine, turn it on and see these weird creatures appear.  Suddenly an accident occurs where Pretorius is seemingly killed and his assistant locked up in an asylum for the murder (an asylum because he’s spouting gibberish about inter dimensional creatures killing the doctor).  A beautiful psychologist, Dr McMichaels, believes the assistant is innocent and convinces him to take her to “The Resonator” to investigate the crime scene and they are accompanied by the awesome Detective Bubba Brownlee.  And lots of horror and interdimensional craziness occurs.

This movie definitely has a “by the Creators of Re-animator” vibe.  Not just because of the two principles, but the whole feel of the movie is very Re-animator-ish.  Which, of course, I like from the beginning.  Also, with like only 2 or 3 set pieces and only four principle actors, this also has a very stripped down, minimalist feel.  Like we are watching this performance as a bizarre theater production.  It absolutely feels like something you’d go see in a dark theater WAY off Broadway.  And that works in the movie’s favor.

The actors are very good too.  Jeffrey Combs is a little less crazy in this but he’s every bit as manic and interesting as he was in The Re-animator.  Barbara Crampton is great as Dr McMichaels and I still have a huge crush on her.  She doesn’t have an iconic scene in this like she did with the severed head giving her…well…head…in The Re-animator, but we do get a great scene of her in a leather dominatrix outfit.  I was very surprised by Ken Foree as Detective Brownlee.  He was AWESOME even going so far as fighting inter-dimensional creatures in nothing but a red thong.  Seriously.  It’s awesome.  The final principle was Dr Pretorius played by Ted Sorel.  He was the least interesting to me, but he played it fine.  Nothing to complain about, but nothing really to praise either.

Is this as good as The Re-animator?  No, it’s not.  However, it’s a pretty fun little flick and I’d recommend giving it a shot especially if you loved The Re-animator.

I mentioned that this movie was based on a short story of the same name.  I hadn’t read the story either, but since it was only like eight pages I went ahead and read it after I watched the movie.  It’s essentially like a prologue to the movie.  The events in the story are mostly what happens in the beginning of the movie with the machine getting turned on, the creatures showing up and Dr Tillinghast (Pretorius in the movie) getting killed and his best friend/partner taking the rap for it.  It’s not bad, but short.

Let’s look at some of the more choice moments of this movie.

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There’s the title card on the left and on the right, the opening shot of the movie which is a cozy image of one Jeffrey Combs, wrapped in a warm fuzzy sweater, biting down on a #2 pencil and drinking from a (vintage!) Coke can as he focuses all of his concentration on typing into that ancient computer that probably runs on a combination of steam and gasoline.

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Here’s more old as the Bible computer machines.  It looks like something Doc Brown would have in his basement.  Check out the monitor colors on the right.  Green background with blue writing?  We honestly didn’t care about our retinas in the 80s, did we?

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Here’s the psychologist Dr McMichaels played by the lovely Barbara Crampton. Those giant 80s glasses are so f**king adorable.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria From Beyond articles

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2014 by Paxton

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It’s been Stuart Gordon week this week as I showcase ads and covers pertaining to his movies leading up to tomorrow’s Fangoria Movie Friday review of From Beyond.

Back in the mid 80s, Fangoria was in love with not only Stuart Gordon but his “upcoming project” From Beyond. Hard not to see why as Gordon had just released the cult hit Re-animator (which I reviewed last Halloween) and the magazine was looking for any and all information about his next project. And when it was revealed that the next project would be another Lovecraft adaptation and again star both Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, well, Fangoria’s editors (as well as the collective Fangoria readership) creamed their horror loving jeans in anticipation.

I had no trouble finding at least six articles in my stacks of magazines pertaining to not only the movie From Beyond, but to Stuart Gordon himself as well as his two frequent collaborators, Combs and Crampton.  There were also several articles specifically talking about the make-up effects for the movie.  But I’ll focus on the main three collaborators with the one-on-one interviews they gave.

Here’s a Stuart Gordon interview from The Bloody Best of Fangoria Vol 6 (1987). I’m not sure from which issue it was reprinted.

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Here’s a Barbara Crampton interview from Fangoria #60 (1987).

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And finally, a Jeffrey Combs interview from Fangoria #61 (1987).

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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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