Archive for horror

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Fangoria #182 (1999) – Mummy Mania issue

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2016 by Paxton

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Time to dip down into my stack of old Fangoria magazines to see if there are any cool mummy issues.

Oh look!  Found one.

Check out Fangoria #182 from May 1999. It’s the Mummy Mania issue with a cover story about the new Stephen Sommers directed The Mummy remake.

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The issue features lots of other mummy based articles.  The one I want to look at today, though, is an in-depth blow by blow of the history of the mummy in cinema. It’s called “Show Me the Mummy”.

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It’s a more straight forward historical account of the birth and proliferation of mummy movies than that Starlog invisible man article from last year that tried to write the history of the invisible man in popular culture into a weird, narrative story that presumes invisibility actually exists.  Essentially turning movies and TV shows with invisible people into “historical documents”.  This article, is a nicely researched account that doesn’t just list out mummy movies but gives some background info into some of the bigger releases.

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

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Scooby-Doo and a Mummy Too! (1969)

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2016 by Paxton

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During the very first season of Scooby Doo Where Are You!, the gang met up with a mummy.  It was in episode 12 which aired in late 1969 and it was called Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too!

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As most Scooby-Doo episodes are, this is a pretty fun little episode with all the regular Scooby tropes you’d expect.

The show starts off with the gang at the local college’s Department of Archaeology. They are unveiling a new mummy exhibit and the gang has offered to help set up.
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The gang is talking to “The Professor”, who is the white bread dude in the middle.  I have to assume “The Professor” is his name as he’s never called anything else.  Next to “The Professor” is…

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Dr Najib who, I presume, is the Egyptian expert.  I have to presume because the show never directly says just who he is.  The show also implies that he actually found the mummy, who is identified as “the mummy of Ankha” at first then as just “Ankha” later.  With Najib’s ascot and red fez I believe they’re trying to invoke Boris Karloff in Universal’s The Mummy.

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This is Scooby Doo so we get Shaggy and Scooby eating food that’s inedible for normal humans. For example, this is a liver a la mode sandwich. With an olive garnish. Classy.

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The mummy eventually disappears from his sarcophagus and the gang begin pursuit. They almost catch the mummy but he escapes through the museum’s glass door leaving only a mummy shapped outline in the glass. I love that this is how glass works in Scooby-Doo Land.

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Here’s the mummy stalking the gang all mummy-like. Scooby actually picks a fight with him and changes into his Hong Kong Phooey outfit to do battle. Scoob’s a black belt?!

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While being chased by the mummy, Velma has time to go to the lab and carbon date a piece of the mummy’s rags in order to reveal a clue to the mystery.

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Scooby and Shaggy, on the run from the mummy, duck into an old tool shed. Shaggy doesn’t hear the mummy in pursuit so he opens the door to see if he’s still there and sees that the mummy has started to BRICK UP THE ENTRANCE TO THE SHED. Did he mix his own cement? Surely already mixed cement wasn’t just lying around?  I love that he’s holding a spade too. Amazing.

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The mummy chases the gang around the museum and eventually gets thrown up into the basketball hoop where Fred climbs up on a ladder and unmasks him. Scoob celebrates by finding the actual mummy hiding in some bushes.  And the actual mummy looks a lot like the Boris Karloff wrapped mummy (see my AWESOME-tober-fest banner).

That’s the episode.  Like I said, it’s a pretty fun episode.


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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016 is near!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, movies, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by Paxton

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It’s early September. The days are growing short. The spooky season is fast approaching. Some, like my good friends Matt and Jay, have already begun. It’s Countdown to Halloween time!

And yes, I’ll be doing AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  And my theme will be The Mummy!  So expect to see lots of ancient, bandage wrapped awesomeness popping up here starting, officially, on Monday Oct 3.  I’ll be covering lots of pop culture mummy things like books, comics, movies and even a few cartoons!  So mark your calendar, starting Monday October 3 I’ll be redressing the Cavalcade for the entire month of October and starting daily weekday updates featuring The Mummy!  Plus a few other surprises.

And I guarantee you, at some point during AWESOME-tober-fest, the below cartoon depiction of Alcatraz Island will show up.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: Destroyer (1988) movie review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by Paxton

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This is it!  The final day of the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest 2015. It’s been a blast. I really hope you guys have had as much fun as I’ve had. I’m sad to see the Halloween season come to a close. But, all good things, am I right? Anyway, without further ado, here is today’s final AWESOME-tober-fest article and it’s the last of this week’s look back at all of my previous years’ AWESOME-tober-fest subjects.

Last year, my theme was Bloody Best of Fangoria.  I went through the vast history of the magazine, showed you articles and pictures and each Friday I reviewed a B-horror movie that appeared in the pages of the magazine.  Those reviews were called Fangoria Movie Fridays.  The last FMF was the awesome Cheerleader Camp starring Lucinda Dickey.  But it was almost a different movie.  As a matter of fact, it was so almost a different movie that I had watched and mostly drafted a completely different movie review but I changed my mind at the last second.  I think it’s time to bring that movie back and give it its due.  That movie was the flick Destroyer from 1988.  It starred Lyle Alzado, Debra Foreman and Anthony Perkins.

Here’s the ad they used to promote the VHS release.  I remember seeing it in an issue of Fangoria.

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Lyle looks like he’s holding his head weird.  Or is his head just Photoshopped into the poster?  I can’t tell.

Here’s the actual poster for the movie.

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Yeah, this is actually a bit more bonkers and awesome.  Did you notice that they added a LASER SCOPE to the jackhammer?  Why the f**k does he need a laser scope on the jackhammer?!  Crazy.  And weird.  And awesome.

Anyway, this movie poster obviously spoke to me.  Lyle Alzado as a “half dead” serial killer?  Anthony Perkins as a horror movie director? Yes, please.

So, first, is this movie any good.  Ehhh, it’s okay.  It’s not bad for a late 80s slasher flick with a ton of cult pop culture familiar faces in it.  What’s it about, well, Alzado plays a serial killer who is on Death Row.  He is about to be executed when a power surge while he’s in the electric chair makes him “half dead”.  Essentially it makes him a savage, nearly indestructible killing machine.  The jail is abandoned and Lyle is left to roam the empty jail.  Flash forward two years or so and a horror film crew arrives to film their movie in the infamous jail.  They, of course, stir up Lyle who starts killing off members of the crew.  How do you stop an unkillable monster?  I. Don’t. Know.

That’s the basic premise.  Did I mention this movie had familiar faces?  Yep, let’s quickly look at the cast. You’ve already seen sweaty Lyle Alzado up there on the poster as the “lead”. Lyle is known mainly for football but he also appeared in this movie, Ernest Goes to Camp, Zapped…Again! (yes, the sequel to Zapped!) and the sadly short lived wrestling sitcom Learning the Ropes.

The next most notable face would be the aforementioned Anthony Perkins, best known as Norman Bates in the Psycho movies.  Anthony is playing the director of the horror movie-within-the-movie, Death House Dolls.  Honestly, Perkins is pretty much the best thing in the movie.  He’s very entertaining and I loved every scene he’s in.

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Here’s a familiar face, Clayton Rohner.

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I did not expect him to pop up in this movie. This guy is an 80s staple with lead rolls in Just One of the Guys, I, Madman and another little horror film I love called April Fool’s Day.  If you haven’t seen April Fool’s Day, watch it.  It’s pretty great.  But also starring in April Fool’s Day was an actress named Deborah Foreman.  And in a nice little reunion, Deborah is in this movie as well.

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Deborah is adorable.  You’ve seen her in a ton of 80s flicks like Valley Girl, Real Genius, Hot Pursuit and My Chauffeur.  Unfortunately she goes with “Hilary Clinton” hair in this movie which is rather…unfortunate.

I do like both of these guys, so it’s nice to have them here.  Clayton comes off a little better because he’s written to be a funny, irreverant writer so he has some funny lines.

So, how’s Lyle?  He’s okay.  I mentioned his character is described as “half dead”, which I assume means he has “crazy eyes”.  Because that’s what he does at every opportunity.  Gives us his “crazy eyes”.

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He does seem to have a lot of fun with that jackhammer, though.

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Easy, Lyle, you can go blind handling that jackhammer so much.  Take a break, buddy.

If you like cheesy 80s “horror” with a dash of comedy, I think you’ll like this.


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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Cheerleader Camp (1988) movie review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by Paxton

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Happy Halloween, everyone!

Okay, this is it. The final Fangoria Movie Friday Review and the final post for this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest.  Like I mentioned yesterday, I had serious issues deciding what movie to review today.  There were so many awesome 80s slasher movies to choose from.  But one movie stood out just a little from the rest.  Sort of “the little movie that could”.  So, I went with my gut (and other parts a little further south of my gut) and chose Cheerleader Camp from 1988 starring a metric ton of 80s cult movie stars.

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This poster is balls-out amazing. I love it. FYI, the alternate title for this movie was Bloody Pom Poms. And I’m not even kidding.

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So you see why I picked this movie. BECAUSE IT LOOKS F**KING AWESOME.  Plus, there’s like five hot, known 80s actresses all over this movie.  The premise consists of a cheerleading competition that takes place at some remote “camp” (read: isolated cabin) in the middle of the woods.  Suddenly cheerleader campers start showing up dead and everyone wonders just who is the killer.  We get several red herrings that are almost immediately proved to be untrue.  The eventual culprit was a surprise to me up until a few minutes before the big reveal.  But I wasn’t really sitting there trying to figure it out.  We get lots of angsty female teen melodrama and pent up horny boys drama like in a typical Porky’s but less skin.  The ensemble 80s female cast is pretty epic and you get several bikini/underwear scenes with all of them.  This is a fun watch.  I’d watch it again if only for the great visuals and not for the amusing story or dialogue.  All in all, a great 80s sexy horror romp.

Here are some of the visuals because they are GREAT.

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Awesome, colorful title card.

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There’s going to be LOTS of pictures of the chicks in this movie because the vast majority of them are really hot and many of them are awesome 80s cult stars. You will probably recognize the chick in the middle here. That’s Lucinda Dickey. One of my personal favorite 80s actresses most famous for both Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo but she also awesomely starred in the phenomenal Ninja III: The Domination.  The blonde on the left is Lorie Griffin who is most famous for playing, Pamela, Scott Howard’s crush in Teen Wolf.  On the right is Betsy Russell.  This brunette hottie is probably most known for her star turn as Angel in the movie Avenging Angel as well as the 80s sex comedies Tomboy and Private School and most recently playing Jill in the last five Saw movies.  There are two more ladies in the back I’ll get to next in a better screenshot.

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In the middle of this pic is Lorie Griffin again.  She plays a dumb blonde in this movie which is weird compared to her sultry turn as Pamela in Teen Wolf.  On the left is Rebecca Ferratti.  She was Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in June 1986.  She had a small roles in Three Amigos and Beverly Hills Cop II but I know her most from her small but memorable appearance at the very beginning of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.  And, on the right, we have Teri Weigel.  Teri has been in a TON of movie and TV appearances such as Predator 2, Embrace of the Vampire, Return of the Killer Tomatoes and Married With Children.  However, she is also most recently known for being a porn star.  And these are the five ladies that awesomely headline this movie.  But, wait, there’s more!

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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.

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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: 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.

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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.