"QUITE SIMPLY, THE BEST HORROR-THEMED BLOG ON THE NET." -- Joe Maddrey, Nightmares in Red White & Blue

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This Is Halloween...

A very Happy Halloween to all you boys and ghouls out there.... So strange how we've managed to take a Celtic death ritual and transform it into such a fun time in just 3,000 years, isn't it?
Special thanks goes to all those who contributed to The Vault of Horror's very first poll. The question was "Who Is Your Favorite Universal Monster", and Dracula won the thing handily, drawing a third of the vote. In a shocker, The Wolf Man rallied late to steal second place from the Frankenstein Monster, who had to settle for the bronze. Fourth and fifth were the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Mummy respectively, with the poor Phantom of the Opera getting only a single vote.
Still better than the Invisible Man, who got no love whatsoever. Perhaps, then, it was out of pity for good ol' Jack Griffin that I dressed up as him this year for the Feast of All Hallows, which you can readily observe above (hey folks, I do it for the kiddies, alright?)
Naturally, Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine, running neck and neck with Christmas. I have very fond memories of dressing up each year as a kid. Thanks to my demented gift of total recall, lets take a stroll down memory lane and look back on what some of these costumes were, shall we?
  • 1975: Charlie Brown (refused to wear the mask)
  • 1976: Clown
  • 1977: Superman
  • 1978: Spider-Man
  • 1979: Batman (detecting a pattern?)
  • 1980: Dracula (my best friend was a bat. Do the math.)
  • 1981: C-3P0 (Mom bought Boba Fett, but I didn't know who he was. Doh!)
  • 1982: E.T.
  • 1983: Darth Vader
  • 1984: He-Man
  • 1985: Zorro
  • 1986: Pirate (probably shouldn't have still been trick-or-treatin'. Lame!)
  • 1987: Dracula again

I stopped dressing up after that, in a futile attempt to seem cool. As I got older and it got cool again to dress up, some of my costumes included: Zombie, murder victim, Evil Dead, Gomez Adams, psycho surgeon, Michael Myers and Superman.

What about you? Leave a comment and let me know about some of your favorite Halloween costume memories....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

RE in 3-D CG!

Apparently, the next installment in the Resident Evil series will more closely resemble the actual game itself. That's because Sony Pictures and Capcom, the creators of the original 1996 Resident Evil arcade game, are teaming up to put out a 3-D computer-animated flick.
It'll be called Biohazard: Degeneration (the game is known as "Biohazard" in Japan) and will use a completely original story, once again based on the game about a monstrous plague unleashed by a shady pharmaceutical lab. No word yet on cast and crew, or if anyone from the live-action flicks will be included (still couldn't resist putting up a Milla pic). Variety, which broke the news this morning, indicates we can expect a late 2008 release.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Truth Is STILL Out There

Nearly a decade after the first feature film, and five years after the mega-hit TV show went off the air, the X-Files movie sequel is finally underway.
Comingsoon.net broke the news today that 20th Century Fox has green-lit The X-Files 2, which goes before the cameras December 10. Both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are reportedly on board (what else do they have to do??) to reprise their roles as Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Series creator Chris Carter will helm the project.
The movie is expected to be released some time next year. How much you wanna make a bet when all is said and done, we still won't know what the hell is going on?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dracula Gets a New Box

Just in time for Halloween--well, not really; the inexplicable release date is November 6--comes this new DVD set from Warner Home Video. As part of its "4 Film Favorites" series launched this year, Warners is issuing four of the classic Dracula films from Great Britain's legendary Hammer Films studio.
But it's a strange fit. The superb original, Horror of Dracula, is of course included. But the sequel, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, is not. Instead, it jumps to the third and fourth films, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave and Taste the Blood of Dracula. The fifth flick, Scars of Dracula, is also skipped, and the set is closed out with Dracula A.D. 1972--which also leaves out the final entry, The Satanic Rites of Dracula.
Now I understand it's part of this "4 Film Favorites" gimmick, but wouldn't Hammer fans have been better served by a complete Hammer Dracula set comprising all seven flicks--or at least the first four in order? Personally, I'm still more interested in picking up the earlier Hammer box set that came out a few years back. But anyone who's interested in this four-movie Drac pack can pre-order it here.

There's only one day left to vote in The Vault of Horror's Universal Monsters poll, so make your opinion felt! Coincidentally, Dracula is currently in the lead. Will the bloodsucker hold on to the top spot...??

Catch Up on What You Mist

The website for the upcoming Frank Darabont-directed Stephen King adaptation The Mist has just been updated with a ton of new stuff in anticipations for the film's November 21 release. Anyone with any interest in this production would do well to check it out. Among the things you'll find is a no-holds-barred interview with Darabont, as well as on-the-set webisodes.
Kind of a cross between Night of the Living Dead and Lord of the Flies, King's yarn tells the tale of a group of townspeople trapped inside a grocery store that's surrounded by a strange mist which conceals demonics beings. The novella makes up the primary piece of King's classic 1985 anthology Skeleton Crew.
Darabont is no stranger to horror, having cut his teeth working on the script for A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3. He's also no stranger to Stephen King, having previously directed the King adaptations The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Ba-a-a-a-a-a-ack.....

Ya know, I think I might have to change the theme of this blog to "horror movie remakes". Is it just me, or is that pretty much what the horror film industry (or the whole industry in general) has become about in recent years?
The newest remake rumor revolves around Tobe Hooper's and Steven Spielberg's 1982 big-budget shocker Poltergeist. Bloody Disgusting maintains that Mandate Pictures, a subsidiary of horror bastion Lions Gate, is currently angling for the rights. It looks like it's only a matter of time. Anyone know if Dakota Fanning is busy?

Romero's Dead to Walk Again

With the impending U.S. theatrical release of George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead (reported to be much more of a return to form for Romero following the decidedly average Land of the Dead), Bloody Disgusting is indicating that the king of the zombies is hard at work on a direct follow-up to Diary. That's right, a sixth Dead film is in the works. The movie has no title as of yet, but you can read a synopsis here. Those of you who haven't seen Diary of the Dead yet, beware of spoilers! Wish I knew that before I opened it...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

SpikeTV Salutes the Year's Top Fright Flicks

For those who missed it, last night SpikeTV presented the 2007 Scream Awards, honoring the very best in horror, sci-fi and fantasy film/television. For the purposes of The Vault of Horror, I'm keeping the focus on the scary stuff. So here were last night's lucky winners:



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween for Christmas

It may be the perfect stocking stuffer for the gore fan in your life. Granted, audience opinion was divided on the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween, but even those who disliked it might be curious to see this special director's cut once it hits DVD December 18.
Fangoria is reporting that the 2-disc set will feature 11 minutes of footage not seen in theaters, as well as an alternate ending. There's also a making-of doc and Zombie commentary, plus other goodies. Enjoy the newly unveiled cover art to the right, courtesy of Bloody Disgusting. It will retail for $29.95.

Monday, October 22, 2007

News to Make Your Head Spin

Just when you thought the horror remake craze couldn't get any more troubling, along comes word that Warner Bros. is interested in redoing what most (including this reporter) consider the finest horror film of all time--The Exorcist. Rumors have been floating around for a little while now, but Linda Blair made some telling comments at the famous Chiller Theater convention yesterday that have given the rumors significant steam, including an interview she gave to AMCtv.com.
As for my opinion on this, the picture above just about sums it up. What purpose, other than the obvious one (money) does it serve to remake a movie that so closely approaches cinematic perfection? All one need do is think back to the infamous Psycho remake of a decade ago. There's a level of imagination lacking in the film industry today, which, had it not existed in prior decades, films like The Exorcist and Psycho would never have been made in the first place.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Burton + Depp + Sharp Objects = Kick Ass

Call him "Edward Razorhands" if you like, but Johnny Depp will be back on the screen in a Tim Burton directed flick this Christmas, this time playing the infamous revenge-minded slasher Sweeney Todd. YouTube has the new trailer for the film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which you can watch below. Tim Burton has proven he's got the chops for atmospheric horror--I personally found Sleepy Hollow to be one of the '90s most underrated movies. But he's also notoriously erratic. Will this one be another Ed Wood...or another Planet of the Apes?

Hannibal Lecter Meets the Wolf Man

In some very encouraging news regarding an upcoming project I've been following with great interest, Sir Anthony Hopkins has signed to play the role of Sir John Talbot, father to the lycanthropic Larry Talbot, in Universal's remake of The Wolf Man.
Hopkins himself confirmed the rampant rumors during an interview for his new film Slipstream, indicating that he would be taking on the part made famous by Claude Rains in the 1942 original. He will be playing alongside fellow Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro, who has the starring role.
As a die-hard Universal horror fan, I'm very excited about this project, and Hopkins' involvement makes it all the more interesting. While I have my reservations as to whether Del Toro can evoke the childlike innocent Lon Chaney Jr. did in the original, there's no doubt Sir Anthony is a worthy successor to the legendary Rains.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Original Hitchcock Star Says Remake Is for the Birds

In a rare turn of events, one of the stars of a horror classic is taking a vocal stand against the rash of remakes that many fans feel is plaguing the industry these days. It's Tippi Hedren, leading lady in the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock favorite The Birds (still gorgeous at 77, by the way.) She had some choice words about the proposed redux that's been tossed around lately in a recent MTV interview. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hellboy to Duke It Out with Drac, Frankie & the Gang?

Ever since the Hellboy property came over to Universal, the rumors on the net have been swirling about the possibility that Universal's most cherished cinematic creations, the famed "Universal monsters" of the studio's classic 1930s-1950s horror films, might cross over into the world of everyone's favorite crimson ass-kicker. Feeding into these rumors has been director Guillermo del Toro's professed long-time love for these icons of the genre.
The rumors of Hellboy doing battle with the likes of Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon were further solidified earlier this week at the premiere of 30 Days of Night, when IESB.net cornered Mike Richardson, publisher of the Hellboy comic book and owner of Dark Horse Entertainment, to find out what we can expect from Hellboy 2. You can see the video interview for yourself here. Richardson states that such
a crossover is in fact being discussed, and it's clear from his reaction that it's more than mere speculation at this point.
Expect Hellboy 2 to hit theaters next summer. Also expect to witness the biggest silver screen battle royal since Godzilla took on King Kong.

On a side note, The Vault of Horror acknowledges the passing today of the great Joey Bishop, last of the fabled Rat Pack.

And on another side note, for all the horror/wrestling crossover fans out there, be sure and pick up the Dec. 2007 issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, on sale now--cover story by yours truly...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Evil Dead Get the Anchor Bay Treatment

Anchor Bay Entertainment, which has gained a reputation for putting out spiffy deluxe editions of modern horror classics, has announced a special 3-disc set, The Evil Dead: Ultimate Edition--to be released December 18.
Sam Raimi's 1981 groundbreaker has been released on DVD a couple times before, but never in this elaborate a form. Reportedly, disc 1 will contain a widescreen version (which I find hard to understand, since I thought the movie wasn't even filmed in widescreen.) Disc 2 contains the full-screen version. Disc 3 boasts such special features as a making-of documentary, deleted scenes, and a special featurette on the "Ladies of the Evil Dead"--a.k.a. the film's three female leads, who now make a living working the convetion circuit.
As for me, I'll stick with my limited-edition clamshell box VHS release (one of only 35,000, dammit!) But for those interested, the new set (cover art above, courtesy of dvdactive) will retail for $34.97.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vive La Pinhead!

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that French filmmakers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo have been brought in to write and direct the Hellraiser remake for Dimension Films. The duo created a buzz for themselves with the gory supernatural shocker Inside, which was picked up by Dimension for distribution later this year.
Apparently, Maury and Bustillo have the "blessing" of Clive Barker--writer and director of the 1987 original--to reimagine his work as they see fit. Barker will serve as producer on the flick, set for a 2008 release.
Following the surprising success of Rob Zombie's Halloween remake, it'll be interesting to see how the Cenobites will fare. Unlike Halloween, an unquestioned classic, I always considered Hellraiser to be one of the '80s most overrated horror movies, and don't believe it has aged well. A freshening-up may be just what Pinhead and the gang needed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Vampires May Suck, But this Clip Sure Doesn't

With just four days to go before the release of the very promising 30 Days of Night, Sony Pictures has posted one hell of a teaser clip on its website. If this doesn't get you pumped to see this very Romero-flavored vampire pic, nothing will.
Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Steve Niles--who also penned the 2004 Frankenstein re-imagining Wake the Dead--30 Days tells the tale of a small Alaskan town terrorized by the unruly undead each year when the sun disappears for an entire month. This one should do for vamps what the Dawn of the Dead remake did for zombies.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Gears for Saw V Already in Motion

With Saw IV less than two weeks away, rumors are already underway regarding the next installment in the decade's hottest horror franchise. Understandable, since fans have come to expect a new one every Halloween since 2004. Horror-Movies.ca is reporting that both Saw V and the recently announced Saw VI will both be directed by David Hackl, who served as production designer on the previous three films and was 2nd unit director for III and IV.
According to producer Mark Berg on SAW the Blog, the team has been hashing out script ideas for next year's chapter while simultaneously prepping Saw IV for release later this month. Saw V goes before the cameras in January, and you can expect an October 2008 release--no shock there. How will the series continue with the villain already killed off? Since when has that ever stopped a successful horror franchise??
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