October Horrorshow: The Cured

Should a filmmaker decide to make a zombie flick these days, they will have to contend with oversaturation and viewer weariness. The 21st century has been awash with zombie flicks. And should film not sate one’s desires to see the undead tear apart human flesh, there is the media juggernaut that is The Walking Dead, still lumbering along after fifteen years. That franchise has done more to make people tired of zombies than anything else. The degree of difficulty for a filmmaker to make something interesting in the zombie subgenre of horror, then, is very high. There are basically two options. One: come up with a new idea that shakes up the unwritten rules of zombies. Two: go conventional, but do it well. Both of those are easier said than done. The Cured, the 2017 zombie flick from writer/director David Freyne, tries to do a combination of both. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Cured”

October Horrorshow: It Stains the Sands Red

Back in 2011, The Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz), wrote and directed Grave Encounters, which has become something of a yardstick by which all found footage ghost flicks have been judged the last few years. That film, while being largely unknown outside of horror’s Cul-de-sac, has been very influential, even more so than The Blair Witch Project — a film regarded by many as the definitive found footage horror flick (I disagree). All one has to do is load up the horror category on Prime or Netflix. There one will find dozens of found footage ghost flicks that use the same techniques and plot elements as Grave Encounters. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: It Stains the Sands Red”

October Horrorshow: The Dead Pit

One would be hard-pressed to find a horror film that takes as much inspiration from the works of Dario Argento as The Dead Pit, the 1989 film from first-time director Brett Leonard.

From a screenplay by Leonard and the film’s producer, Gimel Everett, The Dead Pit stars Cheryl Lawson as Jane Doe, a patient at a mental hospital suffering from amnesia. Only she claims it isn’t amnesia at all. She says that a mysterious doctor removed her memories surgically. Her therapist, Dr. Swan (Jeremy Slate), doesn’t believe her, of course. He thinks some traumatic event in her past has welled up in the present and caused her brain to lock away her memories. Although, he of all people should listen a little more closely to her claims. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Dead Pit”

October Horrorshow: The House of Seven Corpses

By 1974, gothic horror films were falling out of fashion. The year saw the last gasps from the major franchises of Hammer Film Productions, with the releases of Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. The genre had come a long way, but by the time this film, The House of the Seven Corpses, was released, seriously bloody slasher horror was making its presence felt. If a filmmaker was going to do gothic horror, it needed to have a twist. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The House of Seven Corpses”

October Horrorshow: City of the Living Dead

This film has nothing to do with George Romero’s Dead films. In a bit of shameless commercialism, City of the Living Dead is another Italian film that tries to ride the coattails of a profitable American horror franchise. And it’s not a case of an American distribution company changing the name of the film. When it was released in Italy, this film was given the title Paura nella città die morti viventi, which, according to the internet, translates as Fear in the City of the Living Dead. Clear? Good. Compared to other low-budget Italian horror fare, these title shenanigans are nothing. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: City of the Living Dead”

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: What We Become

If a viewer happens to be in the mood for something post-apocalyptic from the horror genre, a good zombie flick can be a fine way to go. But there are so many zombie flicks now that it’s hard to pick out something with enough originality to make it worth one’s while. Even good zombie flicks sometimes only offer token revisions to the subgenre’s many, many tropes. That’s why I enjoy it all the more when I come across something like What We Become. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: What We Become”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Chilling

It’s time for some obscure horror! How obscure is The Chilling, the 1989 film from directing pair Deland Nuse and Jack A. Sunseri? This flick doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. I’m fairly certain it went straight to video, but IMDb doesn’t have it marked as such. But this flick is such high stinking cheese that I can’t see how it got a theatrical release. This is truly bottom feeding stuff. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The Chilling”

October Horrorshow: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

My family will attest to the fact that when I am visiting Ohio for Christmas, I always end up watching A Christmas Story at some point. The 24-hour marathon on the Turner cable channels has been a blessing for the holidays, as far as I am concerned. My family recalls the days when broadcast television would play Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. I’ve never held those films in that high regard. For me, Christmas entertainment nostalgia will always rest with Ralphie and crew, and no one else. Not even Frosty the Snowman. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”

October Horrorshow: Return of the Living Dead Part II

The Return of the Living Dead, the Dan O’Bannon film from 1985, is my favorite zombie flick. It was the product of a messy divorce between George Romero and screenwriter John A. Russo. Their creative split meant Romero went one way with his Dead films, and Russo, another. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Return of the Living Dead Part II”