Monday, September 30, 2013

Creatures Of Light And Darkness

Hello folks. Everyone should quit fooling around here and head over to Simon's blog. We've been corresponding through email for a bit and he is a gentleman of incomparable insight and wit. I suspect he speaks with a British accent. Anyway he is doing a big October blogathon and you do not want to miss it! He is too cultured to do something rash if you don't but you know how I am!

(And I know everyone is checking out Slashtober II at Nessun Timore. Don't make me come over there.)

Creatures Of Light And Darkness

The Night He Came Home (It Was A Friday)

We are all painfully aware that Halloween is my favorite film of all time. You've read me mention it on Doomed Moviethon, you've heard me go on about it on Hello! This Is The Doomed Show, and you got that restraining order on me when I threw rocks at your window late at night because I wanted to talk about it. Well good news! I'm talking about it again and since it's the internet your court documents can't stop me!

So I preordered the 35th Anniversary bluray. Other than a marketing deal I'm not sure why 35 years is significant. Yes there's a 25th Anniversary dvd but is there a 15th Anniversary VHS tape? Will there be a 45th Anniversary download? A 55th Anniversary brain implant? No silly, there will be a 50th Anniversary brain implant.

I'm just one year younger than Halloween so all this __th Anniversary talk can get depressing. I am (barely) a child of the 70's.

Back during the summer I had some people over for a viewing of Halloween. Of the folks present (other than Elizabeth and I) only one had seen it before. We watched the 2007 Anchor Bay bluray and it was one of my best experiences watching the film. Everyone really seemed to get into it.

The 2007 bluray is, up to that point, the best Halloween has ever looked in my opinion. It looks so good I had overlooked the fans' concerns about the colors being brightened and the blue hue being diminished. Usually I am a purist when it comes to these things. Code Red's release of Madman completely removed the blue hue that gives Madman a lot of its atmosphere. But I can't stress enough how sharp the 2007 bluray of Halloween looks. Detail is unbelievable. You can count the leaves on trees in the background.

When I heard there was going to be a 35th Anniversary release I preordered. It didn't matter to me if it was even the same transfer with a different cover. I am borderline obsessive about Halloween. Anchor Bay actually encourages this because they release Halloween all the time. I don't mind, they do run a business and I don't buy their yearly release of Evil Dead II. So we are square.

Across the street neighbor and friend Heather attended our little soiree so when the new disc arrived I invited her to come over and she said she couldn't wait to see it again. Now Heather is new to the world of horror and before we started showing her horror films she professed she didn't like them. So her response made me very happy. I think I'm doing something right.

So how did it go? Ths colors in the daylight scenes are muted to look more like autumn. The nighttime scenes are darker and the blue hues are more in force. And the picture is still very sharp. Heather seemed to enjoy it as much as she did the first time and I still love it after 296 viewings. It was a great experience. This is the version I will return to when I watch it on bluray. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Sale Find!

Twice a year our local library has a booksale. Paperbacks are fifty cents and hardcovers are a dollar. They also have dvds. Look what I snagged:

That's right! A copy of Something Weird's The Thirsty Dead/The Swamp Of The Ravens double feature! Normally I don't pick up any dvds at the booksale because I don't need any more copies of Dorf On Golf. I've been keeping an eye out for this since Richard talked it up a while back. And it was only a dollar! Serendipity!

Check out Richard's The Swamp Of The Ravens review here:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

1 Month Of Blogging!

Hey Gang! The blog has been up for a month today and I'd like to thank everyone who has stopped by. I've had the support of a bunch of other great bloggers like Rod of, Jeffrey of, Simon of, Aaron of the mighty and of course the king of the internet Richard of and These Fellow Yellow Fellas are the best!

As of this morning I have 1013 page views! Thanks to everyone!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Night Of Dark Shadows

Hey gang, Richard has very kindly posted my review for 1971's Night Of Dark Shadows over at Check it out!

Cinema Somnambulist

Doomed Moviethon

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Insidious 2

Elizabeth and I saw Insidious 2 over the weekend and we both enjoyed it. No. We are not contrarians. Not on purpose anyway. I said to her (and Richard) that it is the sort of film that when someone (Scream Factory?) releases it in 15 years (in a Special Edition download, surely) people like me will be very excited. And perhaps some adults that will have caught it on cable as kids. I think The Conjuring's financial and critical success has somewhat kneecapped it. Shame, really.

UPDATE: When I said that The Conjuring's financial and critical success had kneecapped Insidious 2 I meant critically not financially. It made a boatload of money this weekend. Boatloads actually. Depending on the size of the boats they are filling with money.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cinema de Bizarre

Hey gang. I want to take a moment to plug a great rare dvd company: Cinema de Bizarre. My shelves are full of their titles from Paul Naschy films to rare gialli and Eurocrime films. They have a great sale going on now and their buy 4 get 2 free, buy 6 get 3 free etc., deal applies. Head on over there and buy something! They have over 1000 rare titles and I know you need something from them. I KNOW.

(Click the link below)

Cinema de Bizarre

Monday, September 9, 2013

Interview With A Jeffrey

Jeffrey Canino of has assented to be interviewed by yours truly. How smart is Jeffrey? He is a professor, that's how smart he is. Heck, his cat is a high school teacher. Jeffrey gave some excellent answers to my questions and I've found that when we learn more about Jeffrey, we learn more about ourselves. Dig on that my friends!

1. Tell us something about yourself. Anything.
My middle name is Clark. Everyone reading this is now one step closer to thieving my identity.

2. What is your favorite horror film?
Way to start with an impossible question. At the moment I'll say Jean Rollin's Iron Rose, but I'm sure that's wrong.

3. Give me 5 other favorite horror films
Also subject to a moment's notice change: A Virgin Among the Living Dead, Deep Red, Trouble Every Day, Next of Kin, Lisa and the Devil.

4. What is the best album of the 90's?
There was a point in my life during which I would have had an answer for this without having to think about it. But at this moment I have to think about it so I'll just say the Batman Forever soundtrack.

5. What 5 horror films should I watch right now?
I'm taking this to mean 5 horror movies that I think that you should watch that you might not have seen. So, in that case: Habit, The Stone Tape, Scream of Fear, Bloody Birthday, Rabid Grannies.

6. Favorite Donald Barthelme story?
"The School" is pretty much perfect. I have other favorites, certainly, but "The School" is the only one I like so much that I adapted it into a short comic book.

7. Favorite film monster? (vampire, zombie, werewolf, sparkly vampire, sexy werewolf, Michael Bay, etc.)
The Boogens from The Boogens. Snot-nosed tentacled turtles rule my world.

8. Favorite giallo?
The House with Laughing Windows, but that's sort of an atypical example. For a more typical specimen: Don't Torture a Duckling, or maybe Seven Blood-Stained Orchids.

9. 5 underrated gialli?
Delirium (not the Lambava), A White Dress for Mariale, Death Laid an Egg, Seven Notes in Black, and that wonderful Spanish Scooby Doo feature-length, Murder Mansion.

10. Do you like Brian DePalma?
No. I love him.

11. If so, put these in order of preference: Raising Cain, Sisters, Dressed To Kill, Obsession, The Fury, Blow Out, Body Double, The Fury
1. Blow Out, 2. Sisters, 3. Dressed to Kill, 4. Body Double, 5. Phantom of the Paradise (surprise entry!), 6. Femme Fatale (another surprise entry!), 7. Carrie (!!), 8. Raising Cain, 9. Obsession, 10. The Fury, 11. Passion (!!)

12. What pre-1950 horror fiction should I read?
The spooky stories of M. R. James or Algernon Blackwood.

13. What is your favorite Klaus Kinski horror/thriller film?
Death Smiles on a Murderer probably shouldn't count, but he's in it, and it's my favorite, so that's probably it. I also sort of adore Venom for its powerhouse combo of genre film titans, but I suppose it's not a very good movie. However, Kinski being felled by the snake is one of the greatest moments in cinema.

14. 5 favorite horror directors?
Jess Franco, Jean Rollin, David Cronenberg, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci. Sorry Argento: you made Dracula 3-D.

15. What is your favorite horror film franchise?
I guess I'll just answer this by telling you my favorite of the big three, and in that regard the Halloween series has the most entries that I like and has really only ever been truly awful once. Can't say the same for Friday or Nightmare.

16. Scariest film you have seen?
The only film to have scared me in the last 15 years would be Brad Anderson's Session 9. Why should be pretty clear to anyone who has actually seen it.

17. 5 desert island albums?
Five compilations of music featured in '70s Blaxploitation pictures. It's the only way I'd be able to stay cool on that hot island.

18. What do you make of The Smiths?
With the Smiths one makes a Hatful of Hollow.

19. Freakiest Sam Neill film: In The Mouth Of Madness, Event Horizon or Possession?
I'm glad Possession is an option because that's the answer. I have vague recollections of seeing Event Horizon on television and thinking it was pretty freaky, though. But how on earth could a Paul W. S. Anderson film be freaky?

20. How many times have you seen Friday The 13th Part 2?
I've seen Part 2 the most out of any Friday film except for maybe Part 1, which I had a strong childhood fondness for. And yes, Part 2 is the best one. Maybe 5-7 times?

21. Black gloved killer or axe wielding madman/woman?
Black gloves, yo.

22. Argento or Fulci
Argento really pissed me off when I did his later years, so Fulci for now, at least until I watch all of his later films in a row and get really pissed off.

23. Antonio Margheriti or Riccardo Freda?
Really tough. Though I probably like more of Freda's films, Margheriti made Castle of Blood, which is one the Best of All Time, and also allegedly directed a little bit of Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein. He wins.

24. Two favorite Barbara Steele Italian gothic horror films?
Castle of Blood (naturally) and Horrible Dr. Hichcock.

25. Give me 5 found footage films I should see (beyond Paranormal Activity)
There are many great found footage horror films though it's undeniable that the majority blow chunks. Five favorites: The Last Broadcast, Zero Day, Noroi, Megan is Missing, Exhibit A. And also Ghostwatch.

26. What was your first giallo?
Suspiria, if you want to count that one, which I do.

27. What post 1950 horror fiction should I read?
The strange stories of Robert Aickman.

28. The Lords Of Salem: Rob Zombie's best film?
Very, very possibly. House of 1000 Corpses might be my favorite, or the one I'd be most likely to throw on at the moment, but yeah, Lords rules.

29. What do you make of The House Of The Devil?
It is one of the best horror films of our time. But it's not as good as The Innkeepers.

30. Rosemary's Baby or The Omen?
Rosemary's Baby. The Omen ain't even playing the same game.

31. What 5 blurays/dvds would you grab if your apartment/house were about to slide into another dimension, forever lost?
I'd grab Arrow's gigantic Russ Meyer set off the shelf. That would last me awhile. Also probably Twilight Time's Fight Night blu-ray: I could sell that to some sucker and get a head start on re-building my collection.

32. Leon Klimovsky or Carlos Aured?
Aured gave us Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll AND Horror Rises. He is a wonderful man.

33. Do you like Dr. Pepper?
With rum or whiskey especially.

34. You are in New York, I am in Kentucky. How Southern do I sound on Hello! This Is The Doomed Show?
Pretty Southern, but not like Deliverance Southern. Not even Rod & Troy Southern. But Southern.

35. How do you feel about Eurocrime films?
I feel warm fuzzy things for them. Raro's second Fernando Di Leo blu-ray collection arrived in my mailbox a few days ago. I now want to feign illness and spend the day watching them.

36. Spaghetti Westerns?
Equally warm and fuzzy. And dusty.

37. 5 guilty pleasure horror films
Can't really answer this one cause I harbor no guilty feelings about anything I like, bad as they may be. I'll defend 'em all.

38. Is Halloween the best slasher film? If it is what is second best? If not, what is?
In the Halloween/Black Christmas tussle, I take residence in the Black Christmas camp. I love them both, I just love BC slightly more. But the best slasher film is My Bloody Valentine.

39. What is the last 'classic' giallo?
Stagefright, if you want to count that one, which I sort of don't. So I'll say Tenebrae is the capper. After that we get into Lambava territory.

40. What is your favorite film ever? (or top 5 if that is too difficult)

Clue, the movie. Too easy.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Giallo

This used to mean something

Long, long, long ago in 2007 we watched our first giallo. It was our habit in those bygone days to go to the video store and rent a stack of dvds for the weekend. In this particular stack was two films by a Dario Argento, one I had seen and one I had not. The seen one was Suspiria and the unseen one was a little film named Deep Red.

I had been rummaging around the internet looking for horror films to show my soon to be wife and somehow stumbled across a review (I don't remember whose) of Deep Red. I knew my Hollywood Video had it so while we were there we grabbed it and picked up Suspiria to boot.

Two minutes into the film we were hooked. Hooked. There is a whole genre of these murder mysteries? Sign us up! The colors, the setpieces, the camera angles, the music, the whole dang thing had totally captivated us. So much so that when we watched Suspiria immediately after we were let down. Nothing, no matter how good (and we LOVE Suspiria) was going to top that. We call it the Deep Red effect now but the only thing we heard that night was the call to spend all our money buying giallos. Mission accomplished.

You might imagine that there would be inherent difficulties in watching the best (in my opinion anyway) giallo first. Not so with this viewer. Following immediately on Deep Red's heels were the birthday gifts of The Case Of The Scorpion's Tail and The Black Belly Of The Tarantula. And I went and spent $29.98 on the Blue Underground double disc set of The Bird With The Crystal Plumage at my local FYE. But even so when introducing our friend Heather to gialli I never entertained the thought of showing her Deep Red first. We showed her Bird followed by Death Walks On High Heels and The Case Of The Bloody Iris over a period of a week or so. I think working up to Deep Red is the way to go although I don't think it hurt my appreciation of the genre at all.