We're back in 2020 for more holiday bonus episodes as we attempt to start a new Thanksgiving tradition with the Pumpkinhead franchise. We're starting right at the beginning as we dissect the impressive creature work on display in what was also FX legend Stan Winston's directorial debut. It is also one of the few horror films that provides an accurate representation of Appalachia and we delve into that a bit as well. No commentary tracks here, this is the return to the classic Seeking Human Victims format. So sit down with us and break bread as we enjoy some Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Beer and Pumpkinhead.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Sunday, November 15, 2020
This week we say farewell to the first family of Springfield (for the time being a t least.) with the Simpsons: Treehouse Of Commentary Season Finale looking at "Treehouse Of Horror X", containing the segments "I Know What you Diddily-iddily-Did. ", Desperately Xeeking Xena", and "Life's A Glitch and Then You Die." as they take on I Know What You Did Last Summer, Toxic Nerd Culture, and the Y2K bug.
We'll be going on holiday break after this episode, but look out for 2 holiday specials (Pumpkinhead (1988) 11/23 & Silent Night Deadly Night (1984), 12/14) as well as some re-releases including our Christmas themed short horror film that made it's film festival debut in 2020, "I Got A Rock." during the off time.
Seeking Human Victims: Season 9 - Clive Barker Terror Timeline begins in January of 2021. Thanks for your support & here's to a better year for everyone ahead.
Follow us on social media @OGScare for updates!
Sunday, November 8, 2020
We're almost at the end of the line, but we're still extended your Halloween celebration by 2 more weeks as we bring yet another Simpsons Treehouse commentary this time on the 9th edition of the famed Halloween Special with the segments "Hell Toupee", "The Terror Of Tiny Toon" , "Starship Poopers". Available Now on all major podcast outlets!
Monday, November 2, 2020
FAFF 2020 Review: Anonymous Animals will make your skin crawl.
By: The Rev. Dan Wilson
French filmmakers aren’t afraid to make some fucked up movies and hot damn do I love that about them. I recall our coverage of the Chattanooga Film Festival back in the spring for the movie Jumbo. It was sold to me as “a movie about a girl who does the nasty with a Tilt-A-Whirl”. While that was a bit of a gross oversimplification, it was equal parts completely bizarre and surprisingly sweet. By the end I was actually rooting for the forbidden lovers to succeed.
Well, 2020’s Anonymous Animals by Director/Writer Baptiste Rouveure is a French film that checks any sort of that optimism at the door and gives you an all out sensory assault and sense of impending doom throughout instead, but it sure does deliver on the fucked up part.
The premise is pretty simple. The world of humans and animals has been flipped on its head and the rolls are now reversed. They treat us exactly as we treat them, and the results aren’t pretty. We see a literal “Deer Hunter” chasing after pitiful human prey as he brandishes a shotgun. We see cattle herding people and sending them through the old slaughterhouse to be made into meat, we see a pack of dogs making humans fight each other to the death, and a number of other disturbing reversal of fortune scenarios.
This is some weird, trippy, experimental filmmaking at its best. I recommend watching it half in the bag, though I’d avoid any sort of hallucinogens as it could lead to a bad time. There really isn’t much of a coherent plot per se, just a collection of examples of these supremely disturbing humanoid creatures with animal heads inflicting some variety of torture on a hapless human.
There is also absolutely no dialogue in the entire movie. Just humans screaming in terror and animals grunting and making disturbing animal noises.
I suppose there is some sort of Peta inspired or Vegan message here, since we ultimately find out that we really wouldn’t like it at all if animals treated us the way that we treat them, but it didn’t change my diet or anything. I don’t feel like they’re going for that in any sort of heavy handed manner here, the main goal is clearly to make a disturbing film. Most of the gore or violence is implied or cut away from, yet there are snapshots from this thing that will haunt me for weeks to come and there is a real artistic flair about the imagery, the mood the film sets, and overall disturbing tone. This is the type of movie that gets under your skin, sits there a while and causes you to think. If that sounds like your kind of film, then you should seek out Anonymous Animals.
[Frightening Ass Film Fest Review] “Lucky” is an allegorical character study on the daily threats that face the modern woman
[Frightening Ass Film Fest Review] “Lucky” is an allegorical character study on the daily threats that face the modern woman.By The Great Muji
“Lucky”, directed by Natasha Kermani, is a movie about the trauma that women deal with, or more accurately are expected to deal with, every day. Written by and starring Brea Grant, “Lucky” uses the typical horror of a slasher movie to tell the story of many real-life horrors that all too many women face.
Grant stars as May, who is having troubles in both her personal and professional life. May is a self-help author whose latest book is not selling as well as expected. At home she is dealing with relationship issues. Her husband Ted(Dhruv Uday Singh) is not very emotionally supportive. On top of these issues, a man breaks into her house and attempts to kill her. This would seem like a real cause for alarm, right? Sadly for May it seems like she’s the only one worried about these nightly attacks.
The nightly attacks set the tone for what May will face for the rest of the movie. After the first attack Ted tells her that it happens every single night and its just something she has to deal with. When she makes a big deal about it Ted just packs a bag and leaves her all alone. The police tell her not to worry, that the man is probably already gone and wont come back. When he does they assure her they are doing what they can and suggest she gets some mace and work on her relationship with her missing husband if she wants to be safe. Her friends tell her that she is brave. But no one offers any real help.
Brea Grant gives a great performance. It’s the kind of performance that demands she continues to get more leading roles. She’s able to portray a very strong, independent female who is also flawed. Her character May is very capable. She is able to continuously not only fight off her attacker but also injure him night after night. The killer then supernaturally disappears and soon starts to come back not only during the day but away from her house as well.
The movie looks great and is well acted all around. The score fits the film pretty well. I must admit I’m not in love with the third act. Throughout, the film plays a bit with reality and It really takes some of the absurdity from the first part of the film up a level and ends with a bit of an unsatisfying conclusion. But that’s ok. For a movie that is probably not meant for me(or maybe it is meant exactly for me?) I enjoyed enough of it. I also believe that the subject matter is important enough that it’s a movie that should be seen.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Halloween may be over, but we're not finished celebrating it with The Simpsons. Much like the actual show we're rocking the Treehouse well beyond the holiday...because we can. This is another big episode featuring another 3 of the top tier Treehouse Segments with "The Homega Man", "Fly vs Fly" and "Easy Bake Coven."
Saturday, October 31, 2020
[Frightening Ass Film Fest Review] “Spare Parts” is a punk survival tale that never reaches the heights it aspires to but is still plenty of fun.
By The Great Muji
The Frightening Ass Film Fest has provided me with an opportunity that I haven’t had in a long time, to go into a movie knowing absolutely nothing about it. This takes me back to the glory days of my childhood when I would go to the video store and choose a couple of rentals based simply off the box art. Of course, this would always lead to mixed results. Sometimes I would stumble across something great that would last as a favorite for the rest of my life, but often times it would lead to a disastrous viewing of a terrible film whose box art was a complete misrepresentation of the movie inside. Either way, the process of picking the movie and going in only knowing what the VHS cover told me was always an exhilarating feeling, even when it brought such mixed results. Watching director Andrew Thomas Hunt’s “Spare Parts” gave me a similar feeling, “Spare Parts” is a movie that is sometimes exhilarating but ended up leaving me with very mixed feelings.
“Spare Parts” starts out with a bang. We meet a punk band led by sisters Amy(Michelle Argyris) and Emma(Emily Alatalo). After a dude gets on stage and attempts to interrupt their performance at a bar, the sisters and their bandmates kick the asses of the dude and his friends. Then Amy disappears to hook up with fan as Emma is left to talk to a creep by herself. This early scene does a great job of setting up the dynamic between the sisters. The band then has some car trouble and is tricked by the local police(classic) into being abducted by a crazy cult that lives in an old junkyard. They are all put to sleep and wake up with amputated arms that have been replaced with various weapons. The band is then forced into a makeshift arena to fight for their lives Roman gladiator style against some other abducted people. It’s a really great set up.
Once we settle into the movie is where it becomes a bit uneven. Throughout the movie different cult members attempt to pit the sisters against each other. Its easy to understand that both sisters are jealous of one another for different reasons, but not enough character work happens to really make you care about either. Even in the movies final minutes I really didn’t care who (if anyone) was going to survive. Another issue was the action scenes. Some of them were great! There was a lot of good gore in this movie. There was also some gore that wasn’t so awesome and few brutal kills that were completely cut way from.
Ultimately the movie falls into a repetitive routine where the girls argue, and train then fight. In between different cult members, led by their leader The Emperor (Julian Richings in a very good, memorable performance), attempt to indoctrinate the sisters with the cult’s ideals. The reasons why the cult members decide to stay loyal after being abducted really don’t add up. This is the part where I believe the movie aspires to have a little more depth than it ultimately does, but that’s ok.
Despite it’s flaws, “Spare Parts” is still a fun a pretty fun movie overall. Having women with weapons screwed onto their arms and fighting in a gladiator arena can make up for a lot of a movie’s flaws. What the movie does get right makes it worth a watch.
Director Steve Villenueve (Under The Scares, Stories Of A Gravedigger, The Mask Of James Henry) is a lifelong Evil Dead fan who was able to take that fandom and give it a thorough examination in the 2020 documentary “Hail To The Deadites” which premiered earlier this year at Fantasia Fest (and that I saw as part of Chattanooga Film Fest's annual Halloween party, Frightening Ass Film Fest. Frightening Ass Film Fest - Get your badge here!)
There have been several great “behind the scenes” pieces released for the various “Evil Dead” installments and subsequent TV series, generally located as part of the special features on your media format of choice. And while there are several great fan communities in the horror world, (ie: Halloween, Nightmare, Friday The 13th, Scream, etc), it is true there is a unique sense of community in the Evil Dead fandom. This documentary is actually not about the films themselves, but the fandom and culture that surrounds them.
Any time I wear an Evil Dead shirt or hat and go in public, it is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. Speaking from experience at my former job, pro wrestlers love Evil Dead. (Former UFC and current WWE star Matt Riddle is one of them.) Hell people love Evil Dead. Sometimes people who aren’t even otherwise horror fans. There is just something about it that draws people in. More specifically, people love Ash. He has to be the most popular “good guy” character in horror by a milestone. He is tough, resourceful, a complete smartass, and he never gives up and can take a legendary ass kicking while talking shit the whole time. Given his importance to the community it was great to see Bruce Campbell heavily involved in this documentary and showing a real genuine appreciation for the fans of Evil Dead.
We also heard from most of the living cast and crew of both Evil Dead and Evil Dead II in the film, (RIP Danny Hicks, who we lost earlier this year) with the Evil Dead II stars being particularly appreciative of the love the films have garnered over the years. The only noticeable absences were of course Sam Raimi (though his brother Ted certainly had plenty of facetime) and Rob Tapert.
In this film we meet Deadites of all varieties from all over the place. We met an Ash cosplayer named Adam who really does strongly resemble a young Bruce, a couple who got married at an Evil Dead convention where they got FX maestro Tom Sullivan to help with their proposal, AC and her baby Ash, who was born with a heart defect but refuses to give up (hence the name), and a who’s who of Evil Dead collectors, obsessives and megafans.
As a nerd for useless junk, I also appreciated the level of detail we got covering the various Evil Dead merch and toys that have been released over the years starting all the way back to the McFarlane Movie Maniacs figures from the 90s. It was a real treat to see some of these collections and I almost feel like there could be an entire documentary just dedicated to that side of Evil Dead fandom.
Another unique piece of this presentation was that Villenueve elected not to use any footage from the films and instead collected a trove of fan film footage, art, animations and original music for the documentary cut scenes where film footage would normally be found and the results really made the whole thing come together as this ultimate love letter to the Evil Dead fan community.
I assume this was shot a few years ago, as the only real bummer about the whole thing is that at the end of the documentary they’re all talking about Ash vs Evil Dead as if it was the finish line for the story of Ash and we know of course that it got cut short when the show was cancelled by Starz prior to the 4th and final season, and then Bruce Campbell announced his subsequent retirement from the Ash character. We have gotten a bit of good news on that front recently though as rumblings of “EVIL DEAD RISE”, a new sequel created by the original team, is on the slate soon and we’re told it will be “Evil Dead comes to the city.” Campbell has denied any sort of return of Ash, though is actively involved on the project as as a producer and it is rumored the film will have a female lead. Plenty of plot threads were certainly left open between the Evil Dead “remake/requel” from 2013 and the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series. There was Mia, there was Kelly and there was Ash’s daughter. Our new heroine could also just be a brand new character and of course we all hope that Bruce is bluffing and that Ash will return at least one final time to officially pass the torch. But...that’s just the Evil Dead fan in me rambling at this point. I could talk about my love of this franchise for hours, therefore this documentary hit all of the sweet spots for me.
Hail to the Deadites, Baby!
Monday, October 26, 2020
On this week we bring you our final Treehouse Commentary before Halloween 2020, but not the final episode of the season! (These continue into November with 10 episodes total, which isn't unfamiliar to Simpsons fans due to baseball pre-emptions of the actual special.) This one is a doozie and may be Anni's favorite Treehouse episode including the segments "The Thing & I", "The Genesis Tub" and the all too timely "Citizen Kang".
Available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio & other major podcast providers.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Sunday, October 11, 2020
The SHV crew has returned for yet another Simpsons "Treehouse Of Commentary" as we celebrate Halloween Simpsons Style with Treehouse Of Horror 5! This episode was called by creator David Mirkin "the most distrubing Halloween special ever made" which was in direct backlash to Congress taking the show to task for the violence in the previous season's episode. It also contains another full movie parody in another one of the show's "shining" moments with "The Shinning", plus the incredible segments Time & Punishment, and Nightmare Cafeteria.
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Sunday, October 4, 2020
The hits keep on coming with another Simpsons: Treehouse Of Commentary, this time looking at the 4th "Simpsons Halloween Special", also arguably one of the best ones ever made as it includes "The Devil & Homer Simpson", "Terror At 5 & 1/2 Feet" and "Bart Simpson's Dracula". We'll look at what Merry Melodies cartoon inspired the "Homer in Hell" scene and how it was Matt Groening's favorite piece of animation, what Disney villain made a brief appearance, and ask the burning question...who the hell is James Coco? That's just in the first segment! Plus special musical guest, former With Faith Or Flames guitarist Eric Weatherford's brand new Synth-wave project SHREDDERFORD helps us get spooky with the Halloween jam "Ghoul School". Check him out at https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/shredderford/ghoul-school
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Sunday, September 27, 2020
We're back with another Simpsons Halloween Commentary, this time covering Dan's personal favorite of the "Treehouse" episodes which includes the segments "Clown Without Pity", "King Homer" and "Dial Z For Zombies". Ever wonder just how "out of date" Mr Burns' references are? Did you know one of Matt Groening's all time favorite moments is in this episode? Did you possibly think we'd make it a week without another Twilight Zone parody? Answers to these questions and more inside. Available on all major podcast providers!
Sunday, September 20, 2020
TREEHOUSE OF COMMENTARY continues as the gags get more bizarre and the twilight zone references get more heavy handed in Treehouse Of Horror II. This episode introduces multiple long running traditions for the annual halloween special and the segments only get more gory as each is a nightmare that Homer ("IF I ONLY HAD A BRAIN"), Bart ("THE BART ZONE") and Lisa ("THE MONKEY'S PAW") have after overindulging on Halloween candy. "Join Dan, Anni and Todd for an episode so fun it will have you saying. "LOOK AT MEEE I'M DAVEYY CROCKETT!"
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Sunday, September 13, 2020
Happy Halloween from Seeking Human Victims. This year we're celebrating every horror fan's favorite holiday with one of the purest expressions of Halloween and Horror Movie joy ever injected in to pop culture, The Simpson's annual "Treehouse Of Horror" special. We're switching the format up a bit with these and doing them as fan commentaries so we can point to the actual parts in the episodes where the things we discuss take place. First up, the one that started it all, the original 1990 "Simpsons Halloween Special" featuring "Bad Dream House" , "Hungry Are The Damned" (featuring the debut of Kang & Kodos) and "The Raven" (narrated by James Earl Jones). These include tons of personal stories on how the episodes effected our lives, lots of off the wall trivia, genuine reactions and we try to point out every reference and explain where it came from, plus a brief history on the show itself and some of the key players behind it. Fire up your Disney +/DVDs/Blu Rays/Virus ridden torrents that you downloaded to your PS3 in 2007/VHS tapes, etc and join us for SEASON 8 - TREEHOUSE OF COMMENTARY.
Sunday, September 6, 2020
The Aquatic Horror Beach Party has come to an end but before we turn out the lights and kick you out we've just gotta fight one more round of Alligators..in a category 5 hurricane! Horror icons Alexander Aja and Sam Raimi team up for a heart stopping, claustrophobic nightmare in 2019's Crawl!
Sunday, August 30, 2020
For the first time in SHV history, we're covering both an original and a remake in the same season! This week we're talking the gore drenched, star studded boob-fest that is Alexander Aja's Piranha 3D. This episode also includes a reveal about one of the 2021 season themes and is the penultimate episode for Season 7 : "Aquatic Horror Beach Party". Join us for the most fun you can have talking about floating dongs, "We The Piranhas" are back, and they demand it.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
This week we say goodbye to the giant sea monster for this season with 1998's Deep Rising, starring Treat Williams and Famke Janssen from director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy (1999) Van Helsing, ) This one has action, pirates and a giant almost Lovecraftian monster. How does it hold up all these years later? The SHV crew gives you their thoughts.
Monday, August 17, 2020
While not technically a horror movie (though the cast and crew might disagree) , James Cameron's undersea epic, The Abyss, was the film responsible for the tidal wave of aquatic horror that appeared in the year of 1989 as all the rest of Hollywood knew is that Cameron was making some sort of underwater sea monster extravaganza and they wanted to beat him to the punch. What emerged is one of the most ambitious and insane "making of "stories in cinema history and we're diving into it on this week's episode.
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Sunday, August 9, 2020
The Aquatic Horror Beach party is rockin' and rollin' into 1989 for the deluge of sea monster movies that all piggybacked off the hype of James Cameron's "The Abyss" (which we'll cover next week!). Even Friday The 13th's own creator Sean S Cunningham threw his hat into the ring with Deepstar Six, deciding if he couldn't make the best of these movies, he could at least make the first one. Featuring musical guest "Obscene Division" with the song "Knock Knock." IG - Poltergeist_OD, Youtube: Poltergeist OD
Seeking Human Victims is available at iTunes, Spotify and all major podcast providers.
Friday, August 7, 2020
THE MUJI MOVIE MINUTE: Dave Franco’s “The Rental” is a promising directorial debut that doesn’t quite stick the landing.
In “The Rental”, 2 couples rent a luxurious beach house for a weekend getaway that goes horribly wrong. Charlie (Dan Stevens) and his wife Michelle (Alison Brie) decide to celebrate his company’s success with Charlie’s coworker Mina (Sheila Vand) and her boyfriend Josh (Jeremy Allen White). Josh also happens to be Charlie’s brother. Quickly it becomes obvious that there is not only at least a little more than professional admiration between Charlie and Mina but that Michelle and Josh both notice and are each dealing with it in different ways. Josh, an underachiever compared to his older brother, is afraid that the beautiful and talented Mina will realize that she can do better and leave him, Michelle isn’t happy having to share so much of her husband but has learned to accept it. These complicated relationships wont be anything new to those familiar with co-writer Joe Swanberg’s previous work in the Mumblecore genre.
The strength of this movie comes from the performances and the relationship drama between the characters. The cast is great and is highlighted by Sheila Vand. Her character is more complicated than the normal final girl. She is smart, strong, and beautiful, but makes some very bad decisions as the film goes on. The movie also looks beautiful. Franco and cinematographer Christian Sprenger take full advantage of the giant beach house and beautiful location that it sets on.
Sadly, this is almost a tale of 2 movies. The first 2/3’s is mostly a relationship drama which works really well. It’s the last third of the movie where it turns into a slasher that it starts to faulter. We are clued in early that someone is watching the house from a distance, but we don’t know who. Unfortunately, once we get to the action it is not very rushed and not suspenseful. It almost seems like we are just going through the motions to get to the final scenes’ revelations (which I wont spoil here). The characters also make some irrational choices. I love slashers and can forgive a lot when it comes to dumb decisions, but they really start to pile up over the last 30 minutes of this movie. It’s a real shame that the excellent character build up that the movie achieves just isn’t capitalized on.
“The Rental” won’t make you afraid to book your next short-term rental but maybe it will make you at least be sure to lock your doors and windows. Dave Franco does show promise as a filmmaker even if this film’s final act feels like an afterthought.
Monday, August 3, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
THE MUJI MOVIE MINUTE- “Host” is a timely movie with a few good scares that proves Zoom calls can indeed get even worse.
6 months ago, plenty of people had never heard of Zoom. We all know what Zoom is now and most of us are using it or some other type of video conferencing software in some capacity. Some of us use Zoom as a business solution. At this point in the pandemic we are all tired of hearing dress shirt and shorts jokes in video conferences at work. Seriously, there is a special place in hell for people who still laugh at those terrible, unoriginal jokes. Some of use zoom as a safe option to maintain social distancing and still stay in touch with our friends. In director Rob Savage’s “Host” a group of friends use Zoom to participate in a séance. A couple of people in the group do not take the séance seriously, which turns out to be a big mistake.
“Host” is a real triumph of true indie filmmaking. It’s a great example of ignoring your limitations and just taking the tools that you have and making something. Stuck in the middle of this pandemic Rob Savage went viral by making a horror short set in a two-minute Zoom meeting. Shudder’s Craig Engler reached out and Savage agreed to turn the short into a feature. The cast of the movie all had to film themselves as Savage directed them remotely. It was a true do it yourself project.
“Host” is about 6 friends who decide to participate in a Séance over Zoom lead by not so reliable medium. Very quickly you find out that a couple of the friends won’t be taking the séance seriously. Longtime fans of Horror know where this will lead and its not anywhere fun. After a couple of practical jokes the group accidently summons something evil and, due to some bad luck with Wi-Fi, aren’t able to successfully close their circle thus leaving the evil entity to roam free and leaving themselves in a fight for their lives.
One of the major strengths of “Host” is the pacing. At a runtime of only 56 minutes this movie has no filler. The first few minutes are used to get to know the characters, the next few to set the scene for all the action, and the last third of the movie is just nonstop set pieces and scares. There is not anything truly original in “Host”. While we’ve seen all of these scares and set ups before, Savage and the cast execute everything so impeccably that you don’t care. There are some truly great jump scares in this movie, many of which were either expertly setup in the first few minutes of the film or are achieved by using all of the negative space in many of the shots. This movie has a lot of open doors and hallways in the background in most every shot.
I must admit that when I heard of this movie’s existence, I was not overly excited. I knew that someone would eventually make a movie set in the pandemic with some sort of video conferencing gimmick and that it would probably be terrible. I am pleased to tell you that I was wrong, and that “Host” is one of the scariest movies of the year. Turn off your lights, your phone, and turn on Shudder. You wont regret spending less than an hour of your night watching “The Host”. I mean, what the hell else do you have to do right now anyways?
Monday, July 27, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Monday, July 6, 2020
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Monday, June 22, 2020
It is time to say farewell to season 6 and our journey into the life and career of John Carpenter with his 2005 Masters Of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns" starring Norman Reedus and Udo Kier. We'll also briefly cover Carpenters work and life from 1998 to 2005, and then from 2005 to the present and give our final thoughts on the impact of Carpenter on our lives and on film at large. Enjoy this season finale available on all major podcast providers!
Seeking Human Victims returns with Season 7 - Aquatic Horror Beach Party - Episode 1 - JAWS (1975) on July 6th.
Monday, June 15, 2020
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Monday, June 8, 2020
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Monday, June 1, 2020
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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Monday, May 25, 2020
CFF 2020 Review - Creepshow (TV Series) - Grey Matter - Commentary with Greg Nicotero and Philip DeBlasi
By The Rev Dan Wilson
While they may not be for everyone I certainly love me a horror anthology (as you heard on the latest episode of Seeking Human Victims covering John Carpenter's Bodybags (1993), available now!) and Creepshow as a brand would certainly be on the Mount Rushmore of great horror anthologies. Even better yet, Creepshow spawned an entire franchise. Creepshow 2 held it's own as a sequel that is equal to, and in the eyes of some greater than, the original. Ok, so we all got hit with the Men In Black memory wipe after we saw Creepshow 3 (Really a Creepshow film in name only), but oh have ya heard the good news? it has returned to glory in television series form thanks to the almighty Greg Nicotero, AMC Networks, and Shudder. The first season debuted over the fall of last year and at least in my opinion it completely rocked. I mean it hit me right in the nostalgia. I tuned in with wide eyes and a maniacal grin every week as soon as The Creep popped up on my TV. Tom Savini is involved, Joe Hill is involved, of course Stephen King is involved. There are comic panels during the transitions, cameos by horror icons, plenty of references and shoutouts, and basically everything you could want in a Creepshow TV series. It was so popular that it actually got a re-airing on live TV via AMC during the current content drought and a 2nd Season is in the works.
So the fine folks at Chattanooga Film Festival teamed up with Shudder to bring us an Exclusive Preview of the Director's Commentary on the Gray Matter/House With The Head episodes that will be featured on thh Creepshow physical media release on Digital HD, DVD & Bluray coming out on June 2nd. We're going to talk about the commentary on the "Grey Matter" portion. Not really sure how you "review" a commentary but I can talk about some of the things I found interesting.
The commentary was provided by Philip DeBlasi (co-writer along with Byron Willinger) along with Showrunner Greg Nicotero. Some of the highlights included Nicotero explaining that The Crate in the intro is the original "Crate" from the first movie. Greg got it from Tom Savini and wanted it to be the way we're introduced to the new chapter. He says the entire episode is full of Stephen King references and in-jokes up to and including the casting of Adrienne Barbeau. He goes through each of them but of course of we don't want to spoil them ahead of the Blu Ray release. Greg called in favors to get Esposito, Bell, and Barbeau. We get a nice look at why certain camera angles were chose to help convey the story progression as it spirals out of control. They talk in depth about each character's motivation and we got some insight into things that may not have necessarily been spelled out in the episode. We also got a lot of info about the locations they used to shoot, all in the metro Atlanta area. He explains how this episode had more digital effects than most of the other episodes, they actually got extra money to make it and they praised the Sound Design as being key to making the episode work.
I know Greg is mainly known to mainstream America as "Walking Dead" guy now, and that's an amazing legacy to leave in it's own right but I'm not sure we as a horror community quite recognize the level of greatness we have still with us in him. In each of our podcast episodes when we're examining these all time classic horror films, time and time again it was Greg and K&B that did the effects work. Not only that, he went on to become a director and showrunner. He transitioned from an all time great special effects artist, to an all time great overall creator, leader and storyteller. These commentaries will be things that horror fans and aspiring filmmakers will be studying decades down the road. I can not wait for Season 2. I've heard the names of a few of the filmmakers who are slated to do episodes and it is exciting stuff, so here's to holding out hope that it doesn't get delayed for too long. In the meantime you can stream it right now on Shudder, watch it on TV via AMC, or buy your own hard copy for your shelf on June 2nd with a boatload of bonus features including the commentaries featured here.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Review by The Rev Dan Wilson
I have been a fairly casual Fulci fan since I discovered Zombi 2 on VHS as a teen in the 90s but was never a fanatic. I was in awe of the visuals on display but the dubbed voice acting made it difficult for me to connect with it beyond the surface level. Italian gore movies were great to put on at a party full of metalheads, a few memorable scenes would be joked about (Zombie vs Shark, anyone?), but were largely forgotten afterward.
It was in my mid to late 20s that I gained a greater appreciation for them as my buddy Robert Everett had been sharing a series of his favorite late 70s and early 80s horror films with me, and it hit me at just the right time. This is where I discovered films like Burnt Offerings, The Sentinel, The Car, etc and there was just something to me about the atmosphere, or the way those films were shot, I’m not even sure I can describe it but it awoke something in me and I went on a mad hunt for other films that made me feel the way those movies did. It was this period in my life that really most inspired me to want to make my own films at some point. That’s when I discovered The Gates Of Hell Trilogy (City Of The Living Dead, The Beyond, House By The Cemetary) and those films stuck with me in a significant way. I later saw New York Ripper and it’s eye peeling brutality and outrageousness didn’t evoke any warm fuzzy feelings, but the pure disgust and discomfort it made me feel let me know I was watching something truly special.
Hey I don’t want cinema to just be moving pictures flashing around in the background, I need it to do something to me. Psychologically, emotionally, spiritually. I don’t care which, but that is generally the barometer upon which I gauge art. I found that Fulci movies at that point in my life did in fact make me feel lots of things, so that’s where I really became a fan but even so knew little about his personal life, or who Fulci was as a man. So now as a guy who hosts a podcast that examines the filmmaking process and has to research hours upon hours of material weekly about historic horror filmmakers I love and admire, I know I’m going to have to do a deep dive into learning about the life and times of Lucio Fulci at some point in the coming months or years.
I’ve also been watching horror documentaries my entire life going back to “The Making Of Thriller” on laserdisc being one of my first memories. I can find a playlist on Youtube now of John Carpenter interviews and let the Master Of Horror lull me to sleep and subconsciously plant filmmaking knowledge into my brain for 8 hours straight but information about Fulci, particularly his private world or creative motivations isn’t exactly readily available, so I was excited to see that the long awaited bio-pic/documentary hybrid FULCI FOR FAKE was part of the Chattanooga Film Festival 2020 lineup.
Director Simone Scafidi’s 2019 film uses a fictional story about an actor who is playing Fulci in a biopic, who is going around interviewing people who were important to Fulci in his real life to get to know who he was a person in order to better prepare for the role. While I don’t know that the framing device was necessary given there isn’t really a current “definitive” Fulci documentary, I appreciate that the filmmaker had a vision and stuck with it and it does keep the pace of the film moving and keep us from just looking at interview segment after interview segment.
I was personally fascinated to learn about the death of his wife and how that tragedy greatly impacted Fulci personally to the point most said he never recovered from it, not to mention his daughter Camilla’s horseback riding accident, which was basically salt in the wound at that point and would end up inspiring parts of New York Ripper and the various other triumphs and tragedies that made him who he was. The film paints the picture of Fulci as a layered, intelligent, sophisticated, sensitive, passionate man. His friends and family aren’t afraid to discuss him candidly including his flaws, and that’s really where the film succeeds.
I think to me and a lot of American horror fans Fulci was this great and wise horror deity from “long ago and a land far away” and this film makes him more human, more relatable, a shows a side of him beyond just the work that he left us, and a little more of the man that he truly was. Highly recommended!
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Directed by Armando Fonseca & Kapel Foreman.
Review by The Great Muji
CFF2020 Review: ‘The Beach House’ is a familiar premise told with a modern twist in Jeffrey A. Brown’s directorial debut.
Friday, May 22, 2020
Directed by Eric Power
Written By Andreas Petersen
Review by The Rev Dan Wilson
One of the biggest "talent acquisitions" so to speak for the 2020 Chattanooga Film Fest was the addition of Cinepocalypse founder Josh Goldbloom as Artistic Director. The Chicago based festival has become a can't miss event in recent years and his eye for unique filmmakers is a perfect fit for CFF and adds a lot to the over all vibe.
2019's Attack Of The Demons from Director Eric Power made its debut at Cinepocalypse 2019 to a rousing response and it continues it's momentum right on into CFF. The animation style is very primitive, and done with such a unique flavor it has to be intentional. Of course I couldn't help but make comparisons to the early South Park episodes as many have. Hell it is even about a small Colorado town. I also had some Home Movies flashbacks. There is something beautiful about the simplicity of it, and the creators take full of advantage that. I almost hate to call the animation crude (though I can't think of a better word currently) because it was clearly done in painstaking detail, but that's also part of what makes it ....kind of incredible?
It takes place in the mid 90's, during Halloween, and there's demons and blood and gore a plenty, not to mention great music. While we've been conditioned to accept this kind of animation primarily in outrageous comedies, you will be shocked at how well it works played completely straight. It is as if a wildly creative group of individuals got together and wrote a balls to the wall 80s Evil Dead style demon-tusslin' flick and decided the only thing they had at their disposal to make it was a dude who was amazing at cardboard style animation. The results will leave you grinning from ear to ear. I didn't really know what to expect going into this one and I was just blown away by the creativity on display here and eagerly await what the future holds for these filmmakers.
Review by Dreamboat Anni
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