October Horrorshow: Dracula 3000

What a putrid mess. Films this bad don’t seem to come along all that often. Sure, bad movies get produced all the time. The film landscape is littered with poorly made schlock-fests. But this...this is an endeavor worthy of mockery, a movie that makes no pretense of clinging to anything of value. This movie, in other words, is typical of the quality of film that one gets streaming from Netflix. As Felix Salmon of Reuters pointed out this past January, no model exists whereby Netflix can afford the streaming rights on more than a handful of good movies at a time, so everyone out in the tubes with a subscription gets treated to movies as bad as Dracula 3000. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Dracula 3000″

October Horrorshow: Dracula (1979)

I’ve seen hundreds of horror films. And I’ve seen more Dracula films than I can either count or name. But until recently, I had no idea that this version of the oft-filmed tale existed. This Dracula is so lost to the digital history of cinema that when I searched for it on IMDb, I had trouble locating its page. I have a hard time understanding why. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Dracula (1979)”

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 readingOctober Horrorshow: From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money”

October Horrorshow: From Dusk Till Dawn, or, a Tale of Two Movies

From Dusk Till DawnOctober has come again. It being the month of Halloween, we at Missile Test choose to celebrate by watching and reviewing horror films. Ah, blood. There just can’t be enough in October. Today’s selection has plenty of it, even though it’s mostly green. But what the hell, it’s all in fun.

Quentin Tarantino was riding high after the success of Pulp Fiction, a film that had a strong case for winning Best Picture at the Oscars the year it came out. Was it Tarantino’s youth which kept his opus from taking home the top prize? Who knows? Some of the competition were no slouches in their own right, but none broke any new ground, nor did they spawn a whole genre of imitations that crop up in cinema to this day (just like Alien and all its clones). And the winner that year, Forrest Gump, felt like little more than the Baby Boomers trying to justify their actions in retrospect by infusing their youths with blandness and innocence, when naiveté (with a sharp edge, at least) would have been a more apt description. This trivializes the profound role they played in turning public opinion against the war in Vietnam, but their role was not nearly as important as that played by the news media who brought home the images of war to the American public. The youth had always been suspicious, and were never onboard with the war policy from the beginning, but every other demographic in America couldn’t have given two shits if we had been winning the war instead of losing it. Anyway, I honestly can’t tell if that film was an apology to their parents or an apology to the directionless void of malaise left behind by their sudden thrust into real adulthood that was then passed on to their slacker Gen X children. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: From Dusk Till Dawn, or, a Tale of Two Movies”

October Horrorshow: Vampires

The year 2010 will be a treat. In this coming year, a new John Carpenter film, The Ward, will be released. It will be his first film since Ghosts of Mars, from way back in the far distant days of 2001. This has been a long layoff for the director — the longest in his career. One could easily have concluded that Carpenter had retired, maybe not completely with his own consent. The backend of Carpenter’s directorial career has been one box office bomb after another, none of the films able to capture or build upon the mastery of schlock, and horror, that he showed in his peak days three decades ago. His professional tale is one of the inevitable slide that all creative people who live long enough go through eventually. Depressing? It shouldn’t be, because even though his films have kept getting shittier and shittier, he still had the skill to crank out something like Vampires, a film that just reeks John Carpenter from start to finish. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Vampires”

October Horrorshow, Retroactive: 30 Days of Night

The film 30 Days of Night, adapted from the popular graphic novel, was marketed as a modern update on classical vampires. A break from pattern, these creatures of the night were more fearsome, more violent, more bloodthirsty, than any that had been onscreen before. Indeed, the vampires of 30 Days of Night are not Anne Rice’s cultured charmers, nor are they the stealthy apparitions of Bram Stoker, although their physical appearance pays homage to the Dracula of the classic film Nosferatu. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow, Retroactive: 30 Days of Night”