Archive for horror

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.

title card Jeffrey Combs
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.

old computers old computer monitor
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?

Barbara Crampton
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).

Barbara Crampton interview Crampton Interview 2
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And finally, a Jeffrey Combs interview from Fangoria #61 (1987).

Jeffrey Combs interview Combs interview 02
Combs interview 03

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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria #59 – HP Lovecraft’s From Beyond (1986)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by Paxton

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I mentioned this week is Stuart Gordon Week.Today’s image is the cover to Fangoria #59 from 1986 featuring a story on Stuart Gordon’s second HP Lovecraft adaptation, From Beyond.  Which, as I revealed to you, is going to be my review for Fangoria Movie Friday this week.  This particular issue of Fangoria is one of my favorites and sharp eyed readers should notice that this particular issue’s logo should look familiar (hint: you’ll see it again on Friday).

As always, click to see it on Flickr, BIGGER.

Fangoria 59

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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Street Trash (1987) review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2014 by Paxton

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I’ve talked a few times this week about an obscure little movie called Street Trash.  I described my fascination with the articles and pictures I’d seen in Fangoria magazine in the late 80s and the fact that I was never able to find a copy to watch nor was I ever able to find it on cable.  So, like I did with Rawhead Rex, I found a copy of this movie and I am now about to fill a giant hole in my 13 year old self’s soul by watching this movie.

For, as I mentioned the last few days, this week’s Fangoria Movie Friday review is Street Trash.

Street Trash poster

This movie started out as a film school project that received a bit of buzz in some grindhouse theaters in New York.  The director was offered seed money to make it into a very low budget feature length movie.  It’s gore and shock factor lead it to be a small cult hit in 1987.

As I said, I remember the Fangoria article about this movie fondly.  If for nothing else than the described toilet melting scene and the picture of the blond makeup artist with a (now vintage) Coke bottle filled with gore.


Well, I have now finally watched the movie and I’ll talk about it…..right…

This movie, at its heart, is a Troma film.  Not surprising since Toxic Avenger was released only 2 years prior.  All the hallmarks and tone are there, even if this wasn’t made by Troma proper you can tell it’s influenced by their style.  The movie is super gory.  And, honestly, the gore effects are actually pretty good considering the rest of the production is bare f**king bones.  The ubsurd, gory, dark humor is there throughout as are the surreal, dirty, grungy characters that populate the world.  To be fair, I’m not a huge Troma fan.  I really like the original Toxic Avenger but I haven’t really liked anything else they’ve released.  So, Troma-style isn’t necessarily a slam dunk for me.

This movie is just all so bizarre.  But in a weird way it works.  Essentially, the story begins when a sleazy liquor store owner finds a 60 year old case of Viper wine sealed up in his store room and decides to sell the bottles at $1 a pop to the dirty homeless guys that come in.  One bottle is sold and passed around and we see that the decades old wine will immediately disintegrate anyone who drinks it.  Lots of gruesome deaths happen on a fire escape and, awesomely, on a public toilet.  There’s even a scene in which a homeless guy has his penis cut off and tossed around “keep away” style as he runs around trying to retrieve it and put it on ice.  It’s gory and gross and just a wild ride.  And, like I said, bizarre.

There are a few other weird subplots going on like two brothers trying to cope with being homeless, a violent cop out to solve the mysterious melting murders and the brutal antics of a deranged Vietnam Vet named Bronson who rules the local junkyard.

I told you, the movie is bananas. But in a fun way.  I definitely had fun with it and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in these types of movies (you know who you are).

Here’s a look at some choice moments in this movie.

st_005 st_001
This is the sleazy liquor store owner finding the case of Viper in his storeroom. Looks like vintage Ron Jeremy, doesn’t it? That could very easily be a version of Spanish Fly and he’s going to use it to bang all the chicks.

st_003 st_004
The infamous toilet melting sequence. This looks a little weird in static images but I assure you it actually comes together in the movie. It’s gross and fun.  There’s another scene where a bum actually melts through the bars of a fire escape.  Very imaginative.

I mentioned this film is populated with Troma characters, here’s one of them. This is the guy that owns and/or runs the junkyard. He hates bums, despite the fact that the junkyard is full of them.  He’s a fat, disgusting slob and reminds me of the mayor character from The Toxic Avenger.

st_010 st_011
More Troma characters!  This is the crazy Vietnam Vet Bronson (left) who seems to control the junkyard and his disgusting, dirty bum whore (right).  She is seriously gross.  And Bronson treats her like sh*t throughout the movie.  He even hilariously belts her one right across the eyes.  It’s so Looney Tunes that I had to make an animated gif of it.  Check it out:

Hilarious.  For some reason the cops actually think this Bronson is a threat.  A threat to dirty bum whores, maybe.  But not much else.

st_007 st_013
On the left is a sign at the entrance of the junkyard which warns against bums.  That’s funny because the junkyard is FULL of bums.  As you can see from the pic on the right.

At the end of the movie, this homeless guy doesn’t just melt, he f**king EXPLODES in an awesome firestorm of wino gore.  If nothing else, the effects on this movie are seriously great.

So, that’s Street Trash.  I did mention earlier that this started out as a short for film school.  I was actually able to watch that original 14 minute short and the movie is a lot better.  The short, you can tell, was a rough draft of the feature length movie.  If you get a chance, give it a watch, otherwise, the movie is the way to go.

I’m so glad this turned out more like what I was expecting than the disappointing Rawhead Rex.  Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by next week’s movie as well?

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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Street Trash or cult classic? (1987)

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2014 by Paxton

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Yesterday I showed you a picture gallery of the cult horror movie Street Trash that was published in Fangoria #67.  I also announced that Street Trash was going to be my Fangoria Movie Friday review this week.  Today I’ll show you guys an article from Fangoria #63 also about that little seen cult gore classic.  The article discusses how the movie has become a “cult classic” which is weird because the article is from the same year that the movie came out.  I’m not sure you can accurately judge a “cult classic” that soon.  I would maybe say it was a “cult hit”, but not necessarily a cult classic.  And that’s coming from one of the co-hosts of the Cult Film Club Podcast, so you can “take that to the bank” (my new catchphrase).

Like Rawhead Rex, I’ve been fascinated with this movie because of the Fangoria article I’m showing you today.  The pictures in the article tell the story of my fascination.  Is that a wino f**king melting into the toilet?!  And is that makeup artist in page 3 using a Coke bottle to liberally spread gore about said toilet?!  WHERE CAN I SEE THIS MOVIE?!  STAT!

Answer: Nowhere.  I never found it.  So I never watched it.  However, just recently I did acquire a copy of the movie specifically to fill in that hole in my horror soul.  And tomorrow, you will get to read my longtime brewing review of this movie.  Like the article asks, is this movie a cult classic, or just street trash?  Find out in this week’s Fangoria Movie Friday review.

But for now, here’s that historic article from back in 1987. It features lots of good behind the scenes info on the making of the movie like the fact that it started out as a short created for film school and the director was paid to pad it out to feature length.  I should track down that short.  There’s also a nice little interview with the lead makeup artist, Jennifer Aspinall.

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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria #67 – Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (1987)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by Paxton

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Today I’m going to show you one of the more “colorful” Fangoria covers.  Check out Fangoria #67 featuring Clive Barker’s Hellraiser.  I actually just watched Hellraiser for the first time this year.  It was originally going to be one of my Fangoria Movie Fridays but I decided on another movie.  It was definitely an interesting watch, especially because Pinhead doesn’t have as big a part in it than I expected.

As always, click to see it on Flickr, BIGGER.

Fangoria 61

Also in this issue, was a pretty gruesome picture gallery celebrating the release of Lightning Pictures’ underground gorefest hit, Street Trash.  While I decided not to pick Hellraiser as one of my Fangoria Movie Fridays, I did pick Street Trash.  And I’m going to review it on Friday.

So enjoy this gallery of crazy melting hobos.

Street Trash Gallery

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