October Horrorshow: Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

This film gets a bad rap. Halloween and its sequel featured the silent killer Michael Myers and his constant would-be victim, Laurie Strode. By the time this third film was made, both had become horror icons, especially the masked murderer Myers. The brand association any potential viewers would have between a film with the title Halloween and Michael Myers was strong, so the decision to completely drop Myers, Strode, and the slasher concept for Halloween III was bound to create a backlash. It’s inexplicable, honestly, that producers John Carpenter and Debra Hill expected any other reaction. The two of them were worn out on Michael Myers after the first two films. There’s nothing wrong with that, and no one was putting a gun to their head and forcing them to make another Halloween film, but they were mistaken when they thought the name of their little franchise was more valuable than the characters in it. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Halloween III: Season Of The Witch”

October Horrorshow: The Thing (2011)

Last week, The Thing was released to theaters. Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., this new Thing is a bit weird. Originally conceived as a remake of the 1982 John Carpenter film, during pre-production the film morphed into being a prequel. This was not a bad idea, as the Carpenter Thing is not only a strong film, it also had a ready-made introductory story that could be made into a full-length feature...possibly. The new Thing, however, while being clearly a prequel to anyone familiar with Carpenter’s work, contains so many visual cues from Carpenter Thing that it also becomes clear the remake idea was not completely scrapped. Or maybe it’s just a case of lazy filmmaking. Maybe there was a script for a remake, the concept changed, but that draft remained, was altered, and became what was finally put to film. Either way, it’s the remake/prequel aspects of new Thing that make it weird. Maybe it’s an homage, but if that’s the case, there was a bit too much homaging going on. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Thing (2011)”

October Horrorshow: Pumpkinhead

Stan Winston was legendary in the film industry. Before he died, he won three Oscars for visual effects (Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Jurassic Park), one for makeup (Terminator 2 again), and racked up a total of six other nominations. He either led or was part of the effects and makeup teams that worked on The Thing, The Terminator, Ghoulies, Predator, Leviathan, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Interview with the Vampire, Avatar, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. In short, the man had a hell of a career turning the unreal into the real. In horror, he was a master monster maker. But, a man has to branch out, explore new opportunities. Enter Pumpkinhead. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Pumpkinhead”

October Horrorshow: Basket Case

This is one of the more bizarre movies I’ve ever seen. From writer/director Frank Henenlotter, Basket Case is an ultra low budget black comedy horror flick about a young man and his brother. By all accounts, Duane Bradley is a normal person. Raised in upstate New York, he’s on his first trip to the big city. He’s naïve — green as all hell, in fact — but he has his charms, and it’s easy to tell that the city can’t come close to extinguishing all his innocence. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Basket Case”

October Horrorshow: Zombi 2

I could not imagine there being an October Horrorshow without a zombie flick. REC got close, but that and other recent movies are from the new wave of zombie fare — i.e., the bad guys aren’t zombies, they’re infected by some nefarious viral agent. But Halloween just couldn’t be Halloween without a horde of the classic lumbering undead making an appearance on my screen. Enter director Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, the 1979 Italian sequel/non-sequel to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Zombi 2”

October Horrorshow: Asylum (1972)

The October Horrorshow continues here at Missile Test. The good, the bad, the unwatchable, it doesn’t matter. If there’s blood, there’s a place for it at the October Horrorshow. Today’s film is from Amicus Productions, a Hammer Films clone that made a number of portmanteau horror films in the 1960s and ’70s. Among these were the first screen adaptions of EC Comics horror staples Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. Asylum, from 1972, follows in the same vein. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Asylum (1972)”

October Horrorshow: Piranha 3D

It’s October, when calm nights are suddenly pierced by screams, unseen malevolent presences terrorize entire families, crazed masked murderers stalk virginal teenagers, and Missile Test celebrates all that is evil in the world with the October Horrorshow, a month’s worth of horror film reviews. A good horror film? We’ll watch it. A bad horror film? Bring it on. An absolutely putrid pile dog shit that had no business being produced at all? Yep, we’ll delve into those, too. Because the only thing that matters during the October Horrorshow is that there’s blood. And today’s selection has plenty of that, and not much else worth watching. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Piranha 3D”

October Horrorshow: From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money

Listen closely at night and you should be able to hear the sound of the flapping of leathery wings. It’s October, when vampires in Chiroptera guise search for blood. And why not? October is the month of Halloween, and Missile Test is celebrating by reviewing horror films all month. It doesn’t matter if a film is good, bad, or so awful it would be better if all copies were burnt. If there’s blood, it gets a fair hearing. Today’s movie is a real dog born from a recent classic. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money”

October Horrorshow: [•REC]

October is upon us. Aliens are invading, wolfmen howl at the moon, vampires avoid mirrors, and the walls are bleeding. It’s the month of Halloween, which means it’s time for the October Horrorshow, a whole month of horror film reviews on Missile Test. The good, the bad, and the putrid will all be represented in these pages. It doesn’t matter, as long as there’s blood. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: [•REC]”