October Horrorshow: Burial Ground, aka The Nights of Terror

What a gloriously shitty movie. Burial Ground, also released under a number of different titles, is an Italian horror gore-fest from 1981. Director Andrea Bianchi crafted a flick that ticks off just about all the boxes when it comes to shitty Italian cinema. The film stock is cheap, the dubbing sucks, there are numerous overlong shots used to mask a distinct lack of plot, et cetera. It really is a wonderful example of bad cinema of the era, taking its place alongside anything from Shitty Movie Sundays favorite Enzo G. Castellari. But, it also has the added benefit of being somewhat watchable. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Burial Ground, aka The Nights of Terror”

October Horrorshow: The Brides of Dracula

Sangster! Fisher! Cushing! But, no Lee. Despite the name ‘Dracula’ being in the title of this film, The Brides of Dracula, Hammer’s 1960 follow-up to its Dracula remake, does not feature either Dracula or Christopher Lee playing him. But that could be forgiven, right? The title could be referring to the actual brides who lived in Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, only that isn’t the case, either. Not only is this film not about Dracula, it’s not about his brides. Instead, it features a completely different vampire in a completely different Transylvanian castle. That is gross misdirection on the part of Hammer. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Brides of Dracula”

October Horrorshow: Chopping Mall, aka Killbots

I think it’s about high time to feature a flick from the Roger Corman stable. Chopping Mall, also released as Killbots, from 1986, doesn’t have Roger Corman’s name on it anywhere, but it’s definitely one of his. It was produced by Julie Corman, who has been married to Roger for almost fifty years, and it’s an underfunded piece of shit. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Chopping Mall, aka Killbots”

Here We Go Again

The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is an outdated relic that gun enthusiasts use as a cudgel against any meaningful gun control legislation. Many liberals, this one included, have been loathe to speak out too forcefully against it, for a variety of reasons. The way that I soothed my own conscience about the 2nd Amendment was to hold with the idea that weakening the 2nd could leave the other amendments vulnerable. That’s still a concern, but it’s outweighed by my desire, a common sense one, to live in a society that is no longer armed to the teeth — that no longer fetishizes firearms. Continue reading “Here We Go Again”

October Horrorshow: Eaten Alive, or, Avant-Garde Horror à la Texas

Tobe Hooper established his bona fides, and his place in film history, with his 1974 film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That film is such an icon of the genre that sequels and remakes are sometimes produced concurrently. People just can’t seem to get enough Leatherface. But, Hooper did find time to take part in other projects. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Eaten Alive, or, Avant-Garde Horror à la Texas”

October Horrorshow: The Curse of Frankenstein

Hunt around on the internet, and one will find countless lists that rank Hammer horror films. From James Rolfe to random users on reddit, the consensus pick for best Hammer horror film is today’s film, The Curse of Frankenstein. All the elements that make it the quintessential Hammer flick are there. It was written by Jimmy Sangster, directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Hammer horror doesn’t get more ‘Hammery’ than that. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Curse of Frankenstein”

October Horrorshow: Ghosts of Mars

John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors. He’s not on the Mount Rushmore of filmmakers, but his best films can be thought of as eminently watchable. They are respected. They are known and successful enough that a lot have been remade. But he also has some films that are not so good. It would be easy to blame Carpenter’s poorer quality films on budget, but that does not compute. Carpenter worked magic with the measly budgets he had in Halloween and Escape from New York. Rather, something happened in the late 1980s, starting with Prince of Darkness in 1987, that precipitated a steady decline. There were still sparks of life in his films, but that eminently watchable quality of his films seemed to fly away. In its place was substituted cheapness, sometimes of rank quality, and this turn was inexplicable from a filmmaker who had done so much with so little throughout his career. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Ghosts of Mars”

October Horrorshow: Dracula (1958), aka Horror of Dracula

It has been over a hundred and twenty years since Bram Stoker’s groundbreaking vampire novel was published. In that time, the titular character of Dracula has been put to film dozens of times. Every generation gets its own version of the tale. There’s just something about Dracula. The genre of horror itself is drawn to the character like one of his hapless victims. One can be sure that no matter what kind of just fate befalls Dracula in these films, it is only a matter of time before he returns. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Dracula (1958), aka Horror of Dracula”