"QUITE SIMPLY, THE BEST HORROR-THEMED BLOG ON THE NET." -- Joe Maddrey, Nightmares in Red White & Blue
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Monday, December 31, 2007
Oh yeah, and a very Happy New Year to one and all!!! Break out the bubbly!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Although Miner has quite the background in horror (Friday the 13th II & III, House, Warlock, Halloween H20, Lake Placid), I've heard nothing but bad things about this one. Although I must admit, I am slightly interested in seeing Ving Rhames' portrayal of the deranged Capt. Rhodes.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
After churning out a series of horror classics in the big-hair decade that included Scanners, The Dead Zone, Dead Ringers and The Fly, Cronenberg left genre fans in the dust to pursue crime dramas like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises to even greater mainstream acclaim. But D.C. doesn't rule out a return to fright flicks, provided "something came along that was intriguing and challenging." According to Wired, however, the director is somewhat less than enthusiastic about the rash of so-called "torture porn" that has arisen over the past decade. In fact, Cronenberg goes so far as to intimate that the sub-genre is nothing more than a pale imitation of the "body horror" subgenre he pioneered a quarter century ago:
"'Body horror' was not my term. It was a term someone used to describe what I was doing, so it is not a category in my head that I use to make films. And I think, without trying to sound egomaniacal, that my movies have been picked apart piece by piece, and recycled quite a bit. But that's the nature of the film business, or creativity in general: We are all feeding off of each other. There's no question about that, so I guess it's not a surprise that I'm moving somewhere away from all of that."Cronenberg argues that he still has the same mission, which is to shock and horrify audiences. However, in a world where images of violence are so much more a part of our everyday life, he now chooses to do it sans the gore with which he made his name:
"We're in a very bizarre era right now, where snuff porn that never really existed before is now available. If you want to see beheadings or stonings, you can see them any time you want on your computer. And it's low-tech, too: not the internet, but a woman being stoned to death."
Friday, December 28, 2007
Despite being marketed as a restart of the franchise, the plot of the picture does seem to pick up where the last one left off. Although I did enjoy the first one a little more than most, it certainly didn't live up to my expectations. Nevertheless, I am giving Marvel Entertainment and new director Louis Leterrier the benefit of the doubt. It does seem to be an earnest attempt to respond to fan complaints, most notably with the excellent casting of Norton. The film hits theaters on June 13 (my ninth wedding anniversary--Hey, what an excellent way to celebrate, right, sweetheart....??)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
For the super hi-res Quicktime version, go here.
Monday, December 24, 2007
You see, I tried to switch things up by showing the kids some holiday-related entertainment for the past couple weeks. But one night it was just him and me, and the boy asked for a monster flick, so what could I do? I decided to break out the original 1958 version of The Fly (even I'm not wacked out enough to subject him to the Cronenberg one....yet.)
Needless to say, he loved it. It was a little touch-and-go in the beginning, when the movie is a bit talky and feels more like a murder mystery. But once the sci-fi elements kicked in, he was hooked.
Problem was, the little one seems to have confused the two genres he's been absorbing in recent weeks. That would explain why he's begun asking to see "The Christmas Fly". We've gotten such a kick out of it that the Christmas Fly has become something of a running gag in our home--our own offbeat holiday character, if you will. Which is why I felt today would be a good day to share him with you.
Bye bye, Santa Claus! Take a hike, Mr. Grinch! The Christmas Fly has arrived. So be good, for goodness sake--unless you want him buzzing down your chimney come this time next year!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The new horrors of the world had much to do with modern science, and so it was in the 1950s that science-fiction and horror intersected like never before. It suddenly seemed like every other film had some sort of creature grow to gigantic proportions thanks to atomic age radiation--whether it be ants (Them!, 1954), spiders (Tarantula, 1955), or just about anything else. Even human monsters were mutations created through mishaps of science--most notably in the 1958 chiller The Fly.
Extending the sci-fi horror theme to include another great fear of the 1950s--the Red Scare--the genre unloaded a barrage of flicks having to do with alien invasions, including The Blob (1958), The Thing from Another World (1951), and the one which most closely paralleled Eisenhower-Era America's terror of communist takeover, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).There were some exceptions to the rule. Gothic horror still had a bit of life left in it, as evidenced by the landmark House of Wax (1953), the first major 3-D production. It also helped establish the career of one Vincent Price, a refined art lover and Yale graduate who had been working in Hollywood since the late 1930s without much notice. Following up with two Fly pictures as well as House on Haunted Hill (1959), Price was a new horror icon before the decade was out.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean in the U.K., a new movie studio was taking shape that would become at the same time both a throwback and a groundbreaker. Hammer Films was a production house built almost completely for the creation of horror movies. Particularly, they were interested in reinventing the classic monsters of old, with a modern flair. Kicking things of with 1957's The Curse of Frankenstein, and following through with 1958's Horror of Dracula and 1959's The Mummy, Hammer brought back the old baddies, this time in bold technicolor, and--most shockingly of all--with plenty of blood. A taboo throughout much of the history of the horror genre, the use of blood became a Hammer trademark, and would most certainly be a sign of things to come. Along the way, Hammer made horror legends of director Terence Fisher and actors Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Yet the promise of Hammer was a deceptive one. While the graphic violence would hint at what the next turbulent decade had in store for the genre, horror would nevertheless move further away from its gothic roots than ever before, and land smack dab in the real world. In the 1960s, the monsters would become us.
Other major releases:
- The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
- Invaders from Mars (1953)
- Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
- Gojira (1954)
- It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
Part 1: The Silent DeadPart 2: Gods & Monsters
Soon to come: Part 4 - The Times They Are a-Changin'
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Three years ago, independent label Trunk Records put out a CD of most of that highly sought-after stuff. That CD has since sadly gone out of print, and although a handful of used copies are still available through Amazon, it will soon become a perversely pricey collector's item.
Luckily for you, I happen to own the CD. And out of the goodness of my heart, I've decided to post a bunch of the tracks (about half the CD.) Click below to take a listen, or right-click to save the tunes for yourself! I plan on uploading the other half of the CD at some point down the road, so keep checking back...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Sam and his brother Ivan penned the screenplay shortly after collaborating on 1993's Army of Darkness, the last of the famed Evil Dead trilogy that made Raimi a god to horror fans. Drag Me to Hell is reported to be a "morality tale about the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse."
Raimi has produced several horror films in recent years through Ghost House, including The Grudge, Boogeyman, The Messengers and 30 Days of Night. Ghost House will also be producing a remake of Raimi's seminal 1981 masterpiece, The Evil Dead.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Check out the original WWOTSS trailer below:
* 12/21 UPDATE * Rob Zombie has made an official comment to Bloody-Disgusting that he is "seriously considering" this project.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It's their take on the top ten "Best Horror Movie Deaths". The coolest part? You can actually watch each cringe-inducing scene on their site. The list is pretty solid, I must say--I'd only find fault with one rather weak demise from one of the Friday the 13th films. Other than that, you've got some pretty unforgettable moments here, including this classic scene (above) from The Evil Dead, just to give you a taste.
So check it out, let me know what you think. You can send me your own favorite horror movie death scenes, either via email or via comment, and I'll publish the top vote-getters in a future post.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thanks to all who voted in the '80s horror icon poll. The Vault of Horror would like to congratulate the one and only Jason Voorhees, who trounced the competition with 37% of the vote. Fellow stalker Michael Myers trailed in second with 24%, followed by the incomparable Pinhead with 20%. And in a shocker, poor Freddy Kreuger--who would've gotten my vote--floundered in last place with a mere 18%. Be sure to vote in the new poll, which continues the theme, as you can see.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Blunt will play alongside Benicio Del Toro in the title role, as well as Anthony Hopkins, set to play Talbot's father. It's also believed that in this new version, unlike in the original, Gwen will actually be Talbot's sister-in-law. The role of Gwen was originated in 1941 by B-movie starlet Evelyn Ankers (below).The news would seem to allay fears of the demise of the project--the script for which is
Just wanted to take a second to thank Steve Biodrowski at Cinefantastastique, who made mention of The Vault of Horror three days ago in his web surfing report. Yes folks, the buzz is growing. And just think, you can say you were here at the beginning...
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Filmed in documentary style using digital video, the movie unfolds from the point of view of a news crew tagging along with a firefighter company that responds to a bizarre disturbance at an apartment building. The next thing they know, they're locked inside under quarantine with the living dead.
Written and directed by Jaume Balagueró, the film is being hailed for its unrelenting sense of realism. Reportedly (and I know these anecdotes are often drummed up for publicity), when it first screened last August at the Venice Film Festival, half the unsuspecting audience cleared out in terror within the first 15 minutes.
[Rec] officially opened in Spain last month, and is scheduled to open in France in February and the UK in March. No word yet on whether there will be a full U.S. release. Ain't It Cool News posted this rather intriguing trailer earlier today:
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Brenner, for those (like me) who didn't know, was the cinematographer on 1985's The Return of the Living Dead, easily one of the greatest horror comedies of all time, and a cult favorite of self-respecting gore-lovers everywhere.
Brenner has a page on his website devoted entirely to his work on Return, giving interesting production details, as well as personal reminiscences of his work on the film. There are stills, an e-mail address to contact Brenner, and--perhaps most tantalizingly of all--a link for purchasing the movie's punk-laden soundtrack.
I suggest checking it out. Brenner worked on the Salem's Lot miniseries too, so there's info on that as well. He also worked on Teen Wolf Too, in case anyone was wondering...
On a side note, The Vault of Horror would like to commemorate the birthday of Francis Albert Sinatra, the greatest entertainer who ever lived.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Of course, it wasn't just horror movies that grew in stature thanks to sound. It was at the beginning of the talkie era that the U.S., specifically Hollywood, became the center of the movie universe. And one American movie studio took it upon itself to kick off a golden age of terror flicks.
One of the smaller studios in Tinseltown, Universal didn't necessarily have the big bucks to attract the big stars and produce the prestige pictures. What it did have was visionary studio head Carl Laemmle, who in 1930 greenlit a film adaptation of the long-running stage production of Dracula. Directed by Tod Browning and starring stage headliner Bela Lugosi, the movie was a smash hit--America' first sound horror film. It was quickly followed in 1931 with another adaptation, this time Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff as the misshapen monster. It was an even larger hit.
Horror was bigger than it had ever been, and Universal was leading the way. Lugosi and Karloff became icons of the genre, and their respective films each spawned a series of sequels, most notable among being the superlative Bride of Frankenstein. Taking some inspiration from the German Expressionist pics of the previous decade, the Universal horror movies were rich in atmosphere and, intially at least, took their subject matter very seriously. Frankenstein and Dracula were followed by such films as The Mummy (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933).
Universal's success inspired some of the other studios to try their hands at horror movies. A particular stand-out would be Paramount's 1931 production of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, starring Fredric March.
In 1934, driven in part by what it perceived as the shocking nature of the horror genre, as well as other "unsavory" aspects of movies in general, a certain rather conservative constituency in America led to the adoption of the Hays Code. Created by studio heads as a response to the moral outcry, the Hays Code reigned in some of the content seen in movies, and horror was one of the main areas affected.
In the latter half of the decade, Universal's pictures softened somewhat in tone. Despite still being enjoyable films, they fall somewhat short of the gothic masterpieces of a few years earlier.
Universal was still rolling along by the start of the 1940s, and in 1941 produced another classic monster, The Wolf Man, played by Lon Chaney Jr.--son of the silent horror star of a generation prior. Nevertheless, after the success of The Wolf Man, world affairs would play a part in the genre's imminent decline.
With the onset of World War II, horror films fell out of favor with the American public--in large part, many have felt, due to the real-life horror hitting so close to home on a daily basis. Most of the genre, including Universal's output, devolved into more juvenile and campy fare over the course of the rest of the decade, typified by such "monster team-up" flicks as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), or the grandaddy of all horror-comedies, Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).
Still, there was some quality horror being made even during those doldrum years. Chief among the horror filmmakers of the era was Val Lewton, who produced a series of pictures for RKO that included such gems as Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943) and The Body Snatcher (1945).
By the end of the 1940s, the United States--and the world, for that matter--was a very different place from what it had been just a decade before. America's place in the world had changed; sensibilities had changed; and what frightened people had also changed. As horror movies inched toward another renaissance, the genre would reflect this as well.
Other major releases:
- Freaks (1932)
- White Zombie (1932)
- The Black Cat (1934)
- Werewolf of London (1935)
- Dracula's Daughter (1936)
- Son of Frankenstein (1939)
- The Mummy's Hand (1940)
- The Uninvited (1944)
Soon to come: Part 3 - It Came from Hollywood
Monday, December 10, 2007
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #1 - Epiphany
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #2 - How Long Until Pirelli Gets Back?
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #3 - Little Priest
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #4 - My Friends
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #5 - Not While I'm Around
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #6 - Pamper You
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #7 - You Gandered at My Ward
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #8 - The Contest
- Sweeney Todd: Clip #9 - Sweeney Todd Now
Sunday, December 9, 2007
The lead role of John Howl hasn't been cast yet, and the film is still a few months away from being shot. I'll be keeping my eye on this one.
"It's an homage to the classic werewolf movies, so all the characters, locations and events in the film are nods to past werewolf movies. The title refers to the surname of our lead character, John Howl, a mixed-up cop/werewolf... who's on the trail of a murderer in Hollywood. So it's basically a satire.
"Eric Stoltz plays our villain. Stephen Tobolowsky plays an in-house director at a Dimension-esque shingle. Kam Heskin is the love interest. Powers Boothe looks to be our coke-snorting studio head, and Muse Watson - my producing partner at Shorris Film - plays Johnny Talbot. Hope to get a slew of genre cameos in there too!
"It's terribly tongue-in-cheek, a bit of a piss-take on all the genre efforts of the last few years. There's a strong narrative, but for the most part, we hope you'll laugh. Think Scream without Wes Craven, the backing of the Weinsteins or a dorky deputy.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Though I've never read the book, I'm assuming it's some sort of modern take on Stoker's Dracula. Thankfully, the finished script was submitted just before the strike hit. With gorgeous Oscar-winner Swank on board, this should help bring even more mainstream attention to the horror genre in the coming year.
Friday, December 7, 2007
While the remake of The Wolf Man might currently be mired in writers' strike limbo, I thought I would lighten things up a bit with this recent shot I found on Werewolf-Movies.com of Benicio "Larry Talbot" Del Toro hamming it up with makeup effects wizard Rick Baker. Renowned for his benchmark work on another lyncanthropic materpiece, An American Werewolf in London:
Baker will be working on The Wolf Man as well (assuming it's still happening.) Has to be a dream come true for a lifelong Universal fan like Baker. But hell, by the looks of Del Toro, it seems like they might not even need him!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Bloody-Disgusting got this exclusive comment from new director David Hackl:
"You have to realize that I am probably one of the biggest Saw fans out there. My team and I are the ones who have had the awesome task of designing and building the Saw traps since Saw II. So now I'm about to helm Saw V. I'm as psyched as anyone could be. You can let the fans know that they won't be let down or I will have let myself down. Jigsaw might be dead but that would never stop him and it certainly won't stop me...My work has just begun."
I suppose this series has its fans, and judging by the performance of Saw IV, it does have legs in the box office department. As far as quality? My take: The first one was brilliant. The second, a derivative slasher copycat. The third, a repulsive torture porn knock-off. The fourth, somewhat of a return to form, but too confusing to be truly satisfying. Oh well, I'll still go and see it, I suppose.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Price, of course, appeared in 1964's The Last Man on Earth, the original film version of Richard Matheson's novel. Interestingly, the writer partly bases his speculation on the fact that Price spoke out against the 1986 remake of another of his films, The Fly, feeling that they had "done it right the first time." Apparently, Price did not rail against the first I Am Legend remake, 1971's The Omega Man, because his buddy Charlton Heston was the star.
So would Vinny P. have condemned the new Will Smith vehicle? Well, if we're to put any stock in the pre-release buzz, come December 14, pretty much everyone will.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
With both this and the theatrical release of Diary of the Dead hitting around Valentine's Day, it looks like there'll be no shortage of excuses to cling tightly to your significant other!
Monday, December 3, 2007
BUB: A natural leader. Plus, his military background comes in handy. How many zombies do you know that can handle an automatic weapon?
Sunday, December 2, 2007
In the bloody wake of the hit movie Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy Krueger finds himself clinging to the last shred of fear that allows him to exist…inside the demented mind of Jason Voorhees. Unwillingly bonded together, the murderous pair must seek out the Necronomicon, the only solution to their mutual torment. Nothing can stop this unholy alliance -- except the wisecracking, chainsaw-wielding Ash, aimed at destroying the Book of the Dead once and for all!
- #3: December 26
- #4: January 23
- #5: February 27
- #6: April 3