Lady in White (1988)

UNK SEZ: Sorry for the filler-post but I’m working on something unwieldy that is taking up all my limited brain space. It gives me tummy-rumblings to neglect you fine folks though so I thought I’d scrap this together. The other night I came across LADY IN WHITE (1988) playing on the MGM HD channel and it seriously made my eyes pop out of my head. Well, that’s not exactly true but it made me want to pull my eyes out and squash them against the TV in approval. I’m already a fan of the movie but I could not believe how gorgeous it looked with all of its colors behaving all concentrated, bright and insane.

LADY IN WHITE does for Halloween what A CHRISTMAS STORY does for Christmas, so why is it not the equal perennial must-see? It’s so good. It’s spooky, nostalgic, moving, creepy, it reminds you that racists and child murders are scum and visually it’s got some NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, dark fairy tale thing going on. What’s not to love? Jo Polniaczek’s Dad is in it for chrissake. If you haven’t seen it you just have to, that’s all I’m saying. Here are some images from my sorry DVD to back me up further but this movie needs a special edition HD upgrade pronto. Alright, I have to go back and tame the giant mess I’ll dump on these pages in the near future. Hope everyone is starting to feel the Halloween!

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Robert Wray of There’s Something Following Me

It’s a Horror to Know You: Robert Wray of There’s Something Following Me!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

This is unquestionably Night of the Living Dead (1969). It was around 1978 when my Dad and I watched a television broadcast of this film. We were probably about 30mins into it when my Mom entered the room and started freaking out because my Dad was letting me (age 6-7) watch Night of the Living Dead. She claimed that all of the people die in the end and I shouldn’t be watching it. My dad reluctantly agreed to turn it off. So I had to wait until the advent of home video (about three years later) to finally see the full length film. Until then my mind tried to comprehend how and why would everyone die in this film.

Up to that point the horror films that I watched were almost all creature feature/after school/ late night movies on TV. The films were usually Hammer, Universal, or American International films in which the protagonists always defeated the monster or at least lived to fight another day. How did these people in Night of the Living Dead die? Did the zombies get inside? Did they try to leave and die horribly that way? What about the cellar? How could everyone die? Why would that happen in a movie? Why would the filmmakers do that? Heavy thoughts for a 7 year old.

Well a few years later I saw the very first video release of the film at the local video store (on Media Video with hand drawn artwork) and I wasted no time in getting the cassette into the family VCR. As the film progressed I was sure that I was witnessing hell on earth. I was much to proud to admit that I was scared to death as my palms were sweaty and my heart raced. I became inducted into the world of nihilism. Everyone dies, daughters murder mothers horribly, feed off of the corpse of the father, brothers pull sisters to an excruciating death, plans fail, help doesn’t come, hope disappears as the lights go out, the last survivor dies due to a stupid mistake, and even death doesn’t offer solace. This stark black and white film shook me and my sensibilities. Never again was I to be taken on such a hell ride and Mr. Romero I thank you. And I thank you again for making Dawn of the Dead (1978)!

2. What is the last film that scared you?

28 Days Later (2002). A zombie apocalypse scenario made frighteningly plausible. Probably tied into my initial Night of the Living Dead trauma.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971)- One of the best horrors of the 1970’s. Subtle, strange, poetic, & creepy with a sense of pathos.

Zeder: Voices from Beyond (1980)- I’m sure that Mr King borrowed from this for his Pet Semetery or maybe the other way around? This Italian film has a intriguing premise and a cool morbid tone mixing science, alchemy, conspiracies, and the living dead. A little talky but it’s one of the most original zombie films you can find that favors creepiness over gore.

Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)- Great little 70’s gem. Not really a horror movie but a tight thriller. Great performances from Foster, Sheen, & Smith. All top notch. This could have only come from the 1970’s. I remember seeing it on TV as an after school movie! Watching a kid handle murder and threatening situations as a kid made for some gripping entertainment.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Slithis (1977) – A 70’s version of the swamp/ocean monster movies from the 50’s and 60’s.

Frogs (1972)- Menacing amphibians lead an army of lizards, snakes, spiders, alligators, leeches, and snapping turtles as they assault a group of humans living on a southern island. Throw in Ray Milland and Sam Elliot and you’ve got a gem!

The Child (1977)- A wicked little girl with psychic powers communicates with a group of ghouls residing in the local cemetery. She uses them to exact revenge. I remember reading a review that compared this to a movie version of the old spook-house albums that we used to listen to in the 1970’s/1980’s and that’s what is fun about it.

5. Send us to a place on the Internet!

A group of friends and I used to build and run a haunted house for over twenty years. We also managed to make a few short films. These links are to the last film we made called, “There’s Something Following Me“. It’s split into four parts. We tried to make it in the vein of a Night Gallery/Tales from the Darkside episode. It’s a tribute to Halloween and being a 1970’s monster kid as you will be able to see many items from that era. It was made with zero budget but our hearts were in the right place. It’s a flick designed for this time of year. Hope you enjoy it. Happy Halloween!

There’s Something Following Me

“Cody Richards decides to walk home from school on the afternoon of Halloween. She had no idea that something would soon be following her every step, something intent on making this Halloween her last.”

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Troy Z (Stickmann) of Nature Trail to Hell in 3-D!

Hello TraumaTots! Allow me to introduce myself by directing you to my limited-run blog in which I, as a designer of Themed Retail and Entertainment venues, develop concepts for a theoretical spookhouse based upon Weird Al Yankovic’s song “Nature Trail to Hell.” Start HERE to get the introduction and start the walkthrough via the “Newer Posts” link throughout October 2012.

I would like to start out by giving thanks to our hosts at Kindertrauma for solving one of my own nettlesome Name That Trauma questions and for being my very first Twitter Follower! Prepare for me to yammer on.

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Geez, what DIDN’T scare me as a child? Kindertrauma is peppered with evidence of the detritus of my blown prepubescent mind. Not only simple commercials for horror movies (or even certain Disney adventure films — looking at you, RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN and WATCHER IN THE WOODS) would have me running up to the television to switch channels (this was before the preponderance of remotes, whippersnappers), but even the taglines for their print ads could generate fear. However, I can credit a specific movie as being a distinct turning point in my outlook towards the horror genre:

POLTERGEIST (1982)

Let’s establish something from the get-go: The Clown’s off the table. We are not to discuss it. Fuck That Clown, all that it is, all it represents, and the shadow it leaves behind in the human psyche.

What’s more important about this movie and what really resonated with me, and even though I couldn’t put a description to this sensation at the time, is how elegant the Spider Skeleton Ghost that guarded the door to the children’s room was. The ethereal translucency, the emaciated proportions, its haunting lowing; it all had the hallmarks of a devotional pietà that I knew others would consider obscene had I voiced it as such. I would thereafter surreptitiously scour special effects books at the bookstore and monster magazines on the shelf to catch another glimpse of this creature, and, in doing so, I realized I was more amenable to finding allure in the repulsive. Stolen peeks at gory heavy metal album covers, protoGoth imagery and underground comix would soon usher me in to the tastes of my teenage years, tastes that are fondly remembered as when I first could selectively develop my inclinations on my own accord.

I also credit “Poltergeist” as the first film in which the sterile artificial suburban landscape of which I was so familiar actually seemed as if it had the potential for magic. Up to then, the haunted house archetype to me was the stuff of purple-hued Victorian mansions depicted in children’s books and, ultimately, the property of Elsewhere. After June 1982, the prospect of corpses boiling beneath the foundation of the tract home in which I lived seemed plausible.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

INSIDIOUS (2010)

As much as everything terrified me as a kid, it takes a lot for a movie to actually scare me now. You can readily upset and disturb me sure enough, but to genuinely spook me takes a certain alchemy. I’m a fan of supernatural-themed premises, but being such a skeptic, I reflexively keep treating them as part of an unexplored manifestation of physics and even bureaucracies that mankind has not yet catalogued. As such, I keep relying on mentally seeking out the mechanisms that would be a solution to any supernatural problem in a narrative. This movie is the first in a long while where I just let that slide in order to be part of the ride.

I don’t recall anything in INSIDIOUS literally jumping out at you; it’s all either slow reveals or sudden revelations of specters standing still as though simply casually declaring their existence and vague intentions is enough to alarm you. And it worked: I’ve got a line-of-sight on everything in my dinky studio apartment, but my first bedtime after seeing this movie in the theater was the first time since I don’t know when that I would consider the shadows hiding presences.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated

NIGHTFLYERS (1987)

I admit, this perhaps could be an entry under the “Against Your Better Judgment” category due to its suspiciously on-the-nose Nostalgia Bomb appeal to my age group for its 80s stylistic touchstones: Neon Katakana, Hair Mousse, and Shoulder M’Pads. But, c’mon, it’s got a Killer AI, a Space Zombie, and TechNoir Deco Cathedral interiors, how could I not like this? It’s the Gothic Haunted Castle in Space trope that predates EVENT HORIZON. Given that level of prescience, taking another look at the credits after all these years it makes me wonder if anyone involved went on to do bigger and bet HOLY BALLS GEORGE R. R. MARTIN WROTE THE STORY FOR THIS? Why is this film not being pushed out as a Blu-Ray based on his venerable name alone?

Part 1 can be viewed HERE.

MONSTERS (2010)

The final six minutes of this movie are what validated the entire film for me, in particular the first pre-credits minute. Up to then, I felt it was a serviceable, if dull, monster movie, or a serviceable, if dull, date movie, with some redeeming and distinctive sequences (the reveal of what the “fin” in the water was during the boat-traveling part of the journey is particularly inspired). However, when the monsters cut off the climactic attack on the gas station to mate, the protagonists, just as I as a member of the audience did, gaped and marveled believably despite their moments-previously adrenalized terror. It was such an unforeseeable nature-documentary moment that is a game-changer for monsters and their portrayal. At that point, these creatures are now seen as just another animal on our planet. Although they are genuinely and thoroughly dangerous animals, there is now a reassuring familiarity to the literally alien.

The director and editor have to be given credit for the notion to separate the out-of-sequence first minutes of the movie from the climax. By culminating the movie with the moment where Samantha has a revelatory decision brought out by this unique witnessing, the makers of this film benevolently give these characters, and you as the audience, the peak experience that one would want to be remembered about oneself, just as all the corpses that were encountered along the path of this journey would wish to be remembered.

TIDELAND (2005)

Wait, what? This isn’t a horror movie, you’d say. Watch it again: It’s a crypto-horror film. It isn’t until about five-eighths of the way though the movie that it suddenly hits you that a checklist of horror movie benchmarks have been achieved: dutched camera angles, corpse desecration, the creepy backwoods family with a talent for taxidermy. The fact that the events are seen through the eyes of an innocent little girl oblivious to both danger and normalcy is what occults the horror, and compounds it all the more.

Runners-Up: IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, DARKNESS FALLS, HOUSE, THE FRIGHTENERS, FRAILTY, and NOCHNOY DOZOR & DNEVNOY DOZOR.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

I’ve got some caveats to establish before we discuss these: when I declare that these are against one’s better judgment, it’s the judgment I perceive that would come from others toward the media itself. I can watch these repeatedly and guilt-free, but I would be hesitant to recommend these to you even if I did have an inkling of your sensibilities. These suggestions here can be a bit, shall we say, “challenging.”

TRASH HUMPERS (2009)

Know that this is a compliment when I declare that this movie should never play in theaters, but rather that it should be copied onto blank videocassettes and left innocuously and anonymously at bus stops. I’m sure this distribution strategy may have been considered by the filmmakers, but this would most likely have gotten the police involved and in an arrest-y mood.

As this literally edited-on-VCR film starts, you don’t know if the trio you see are anything more than just some bon vivant pranksters killing time. It isn’t until some time with a doll found at a playground that the tone shifts abruptly to the potentially malevolent. Suddenly, the whole scene around you smells of danger, the Underground, and viewer complicity.

Detractors of the “Found Footage” style have legitimate complaints; one being that the net result is far too polished. This, I testify, is what the real deal should look like: meandering, repetitive, discordant, and absolutely devoid of the input of Focus Groups. For example, the repeated shrill cackling of the lady Trash Humper character is a chore to endure, but to subject it to “notes” and trim any of it down would be to undercut the rawness and believability of the content. It’s the most disturbingly transfixing movie of that year.

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN (1989)

Years ago (decades, now? Holy shit!), after a couple of my college-age friends and I watched this, we pulled the rental VHS tape out of the VCR and decreed, “This Never Happened.” Indeed, this flick is just a hot mess of Body Horror imagery, but there’s something gleefully adolescent in me that just giggles appreciatively at the industriousness of a guerrilla camera crew piloting a fifteen-foot-tall Cybernetic Dong Monster through a Japanese suburbia.

ENCARNAÇÃO DO DEMÔNIO (Embodiment of Evil) (2008)

I loves me some ZÉ DO CAIXÃO (“COFFIN JOE“), and I‘ve got the coffin-shaped DVD Box Set to prove it. There’s just something so extra appealing to me that a villainous character in a movie can revel in murder, menace, misanthropy, and misogyny, and through the mores of his Catholic country locale, provide further heretical shock by eating meat on Friday! And force you to eat meat on Friday!

ENCARNAÇÃO DO DEMÔNIO continues the tone of the ZÉ DO CAIXÃO sequels with its requisite bong-hit philosophizing and camp bombast while constructing fresh new setpieces that recall classic Exploitation Cinema. A particular scene involving an abducted female cop, melted cheese, and a rat seems to be JOSÉ MOJICA MARINS air-poking at the censorship board and cackling “Does this bug you? I’m not touching you!” and all we as the audience can do is slow clap and say, “Well played, sir.”

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

FEZ-O-RAMA — Handmade fezzes featuring everything from Cthulhu to Samurai Monkeys. If you’re not clicking that link after I tell you the combination of words “Samurai Monkey Fez,” then there is just no help for you.

CINEMA SUICIDE — Discusses Movies, Literature, Television, Grand Guignol, and a spattering of Metal. That’s right, Metal is measured in Spatterings.

MIRACLE FISH — I saw this as part of an Oscar-nominated Short Film Festival a few years ago and I was completely absorbed because it made me realize how crucial an announcement of a genre instills the comfort of familiarity, and how the lack of it brilliantly sets you up to have the rug pulled out from underneath you. As you watch, you don’t know if this is a Family Drama, a Coming-Of-Age Story, Child’s Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or Horror, because certain scenes present compelling arguments. You don’t know just how wound up you are until the climax. So I ask you to go into this as cold as I did, to see if the absence of genre expectation impacts your viewing experience. Wait ‘til it’s dark, load the video link and hit Fullscreen HERE.

HAPPY PENCIL — Atmospheric artwork displayed at an atmospheric website that feels like one of the Rabbit Holes of the Internet.

MARS RISING FILMS — YouTube videos from a charismatic team. I’d recommend them even if I wasn’t “Dr. Disemboweler” in one of their short films. Subscribe!

Brutal (2012) by Kinderpal Mickster

Brutal (2012)

“My name is Brutal…”
are the first words spoken by the enormous brute tormenting A. Michael Baldwin’s character in the film Brutal (2012). At this point in the film, one may assume that Brutal is going to be a run-of-the-mill “torture porn” flick that has been done to death in recent years; however, Brutal is neither run-of-the-mill or “torture porn.” I hesitate to give very many details, as I do not want to spoil this movie for anyone. I will say that Brutal has many twists and turns and it kept me guessing. In fact, I was floored by the final twist. Brutal stars A. Michael Baldwin (The PHANTASM series) and Michael Patrick Stevens who makes his writing, producing, directing, and acting debut. The majority of the film takes place in a cramped basement with Carl (Baldwin), a family man, being tortured by Brutal (Stevens) for no obvious reason. At an hour and twenty-five minutes, Brutal is tense and harrowing from beginning to end. Brutal left me contemplating what I would do if I found myself in a similar situation. Ultimately, Brutal shows what people are capable of when pushed to the edge. The filmmakers and actors have plenty to be proud of here. The finished product is impressive considering budget and time constraints. Hopefully, this is just the beginning for Michael Patrick Stevens and a new beginning for A. Michael Baldwin.

UNK SEZ: Thanks for the scoop Mickster! Folks, you can learn more about Brutal at its official website HEREand check out the trailer below!

Traumafession:: Reader Tomb on a Chilling Ice Machine!

As a kid in the early 70’s I loved scary movies..Horror Of Party Beach on Creature Feature? I was six and loved it! So you’d think I wouldn’t scare easy. Not so.. Behind our quaint neighborhood King’s Market in Burlingame, California stood an ominous structure: The Ice Machine!

This isn’t the little box you pull out a bag of ice cubes, this was a huge structure that could fit ten standing adults. It worked like a regular vending machine, you put quarters in a slot and out comes a big block of ice. People needed ice for their highballs back then. And refrigerators were still pretty basic back in the 70’s. Anyway, why did this thing scare me so much?

It was the bumping noises inside; when you’re a kid you associate bumping with life, so, “My god something is alive in there making ice!” my young mind concluded. I’d be fine as long as I steer clear of it. Then one early evening my mom stopped by King’s to get some staples or what not and we parked relatively close to that scary behemoth. My eye’s widened. The front of the Ice Machine’s front was open!

Now you’d think this would dispel any fears I would have of this creepy structure; I would be able to see its inner-workings. It just made it worse. Thick frost was billowing out and through it I could barely see the man-thing who toiled day and night to make ice. He was scraping the ice off the floor or some kind of maintenance. I was in Mommy’s Cadillac, so I felt pretty safe. Nevertheless my mind mind was made up, that Ice Machine was to be avoided at all cost!

“Born on the Night of the Living Dead” :: (An Excerpt) by David Young

From out of the Chimney:

I guess the weird music finally got to me. Or maybe it was all those voices that didn’t belong to Peter Falk or Raymond Burr. Heck, maybe I finally got sick of not knowing. All I know is that one night I got out of bed to see what was on TV. And it was the worst mistake I ever made.

It turned out mom and Sue were watching a movie. By then I knew that certain movies and TV shows only came on late at night cause they weren’t for kids. I couldn’t imagine what was so bad that kids couldn’t look at it. Mr. Voight at Voight’s Party Store kept magazines behind the counter that had pictures of big booby women on the covers and a sign that said “ADULTS ONLY.” Every time I asked what was in the magazines, mom would tell me they weren’t for kids. I figured it was the same with movies that came on past bedtime. There were either monsters or big boobies in them. Only this didn’t look like a big booby movie. And it didn’t look like a monster movie cause it was in color and Uncle Charley from My Three Sons was in it. Hey, what the heck was this?

“This is a crazy movie,” said mom. “You’d better not watch or you’ll have bad dreams.” I trusted mom. She told me there was no such thing as ghosts. She told me that Heaven was for good people and that bad people made their own hell right here on earth. So if she said that the movie on TV would give me bad dreams, I believed her. And then there was my sister, Sue. She was sitting all scrunched up on the sofa with half her face hidden behind her knees. That’s when I thought, uh-oh.

The first thing I did was cover my eyes. I wanted to watch, but I was afraid of seeing something that would give me nightmares. So, mom and I worked out a system. She told me when and when not to look. For the moment, everything was all right. I could look. There wasn’t much going on. There were some people dressed up for a dinner party. A husband. A wife. Then some whispering and – “Don’t look!”

Up went the hands. I heard freaky electronic music and creepy voices. I heard the scariest sounds that ever came out of our television set. Still, I trusted mom. When she told me it was safe to look, I looked. Same people. Same dinner party. Again I asked, what the heck was this movie about?
“Don’t look!”

Systems like these never really work, but I was too young to know that. Whether mom came in too late or I uncovered my eyes too early doesn’t really matter. The point is that I looked when I wasn’t supposed to and saw something I shouldn’t have seen.

First I’ve got to tell you about my grandmother. My grandmother was pretty old but she could do a whole bunch of stuff. She sewed quilts. She baked really good bread. And she made dolls. I didn’t mind the quilts or the bread, but grandma’s dolls really freaked me out. What she did was take an apple and let it dry in the sun until it got all brown and wrinkly. After that, she pinned these small eyes on it. She added hair, glasses, and sometimes a hat. Then she put the head on a miniature body that was dressed in miniature handmade clothes and placed it in a display case. There were display cases in grandma’s kitchen, display cases in the living room, even a display case in the bathroom. Every time we went to grandma’s there was a new apple-head doll in one of her display cases. And grandma would say, “That’s my farmer,” or “That’s my princess,” or “That’s my hobo.”

People like mom and Aunt Nora thought they were cute and funny but I’ll tell you something; since the day those dolls started to appear, there was no more spending the night at grandma’s for me. I hated the things. I hated their wrinkly faces and their fake hands and their beady eyes. Plus, there weren’t any locks on the display cases. There was a lid but there weren’t any bricks on top. Seriously, how hard would it be for those things to come to life and climb out? Especially when it got dark.

With that in mind, I’ll give you one guess as to what I saw on TV when I should have had my eyes shut. Yep. It was one of grandma’s apple-head people. Only this one wasn’t “farmer” or “princess” or “hobo.” This one was “monster.” It was the same size as one of granny’s dolls only it had the body of a hairy black gorilla and facial features that were bigger and scarier than the kind grandma attached. Oh, yeah, and it was alive. Specifically, it was under the dinner table, pulling a napkin off Kim Darby’s lap in a movie called Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark. I happened to look right when Kim did, and both of us went “Huhh!” when the thing looked up at us. I didn’t stick around to see what Kim did next. I bolted for the bedroom and bawled my eyes out. With the light on, of course.

Mom spent the next hour and a half trying to calm me down. There was no calming down. I was hysterical. I didn’t know where the thing came from, or what it wanted from poor Kim Darby, but none of that mattered. I was frightened out of my skull. This wasn’t the sorta scare Abbot and Costello got when they met Frankenstein. This felt like somebody took a hot poker and burned the image in my brain. Every time I shut my eyes, I saw that freakin’ apple-head monster staring back at me.

But there wasn’t just one. There was a whole bunch of them and they came out of the chimney at night. Maybe if they lived in some dark castle in a foreign country where people still rode around in horse and carriages and didn’t have electricity, I wouldn’t have been so scared. Only they didn’t. They were in regular peoples’ houses, in regular peoples’ chimneys (we had a chimney). They could hide behind heater vents (we had a lot of heater vents). Or they could wait inside of closets (ditto). And if I listened hard enough, I swear I could hear them whispering.

Suddenly the rules were different. Before, I could watch something on TV and switch it off and that’s where it would stay – off. Only now, seeing something on TV brought that thing out of the TV and into my world. Seeing something gave it existence in reality. On the same note, this meant that I could be sucked into the reality of what I’d seen. I wasn’t clear on the physics, I just knew that if I got scared enough, reality was pretty much up for grabs.
The dark would never be the same.

UNK SEZ: For more BORN ON THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD just jump right on over HERE! If you are someone whose life has been strongly affected by movies you are sure to devour it like a zombie would a brain or a shark would a foot or an ape would a banana. I could not get enough of it!

Name That Trauma:: Reader Goorlap on an Electrifying Helicopter Fall

Almost a year ago you guys helped me out with 2 movies. Thanks again for that. Now I’ve got a new movie I’m looking for. Here’s the description:

It’s a British 80’s horror movie (maybe 70’s). Don’t remember a lot of it. All I know is there was a scene where a guy hangs from a helicopter and falls off, landing on electrical wires and being electrocuted.

In another scene there was one (or multiple) people getting a tourguide in a factory. If I can remember correctly, an accident happened, someone fell into one of the machines (but I’m not sure about this anymore).

So I hope you guys can help me out with this one.

Thanks in advance and kind regards.

Goorlap

UNK SEZ: I may have this one Goorlap! Could you possibly be thinking of the Australian vampire flick THIRST(1979)? I’m pretty sure that HENRY SILVA falls out of a helicopter in that one and lands on some electrical wires (you can catch a glimpse of that in the trailer below) and I recall some tours through a (blood) factory too! Hope this helps but do let me know if I’m off the mark!

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Jay from Hallowaltz Blog!

It’s a Horror to Know You: Jay from Hallowaltz blog!

Hey guys. Happy 5th birthday! Keep up the great work.

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Definitely Cujo. There was a time when I was a kid when I wanted to see every movie based on a Stephen King book. I was too young to read his books and understand what they were about, and honestly I didn’t even really understand who Stephen King was.. just that movies that had his name in them were cool. My dad had a bunch taped off tv and as long as he was around I was able to watch them with him. Of course there were some like The Shining or Dead Zone that had to wait til I was older to understand, but for the most part I had sat through almost all the late 70s and 80s King flicks. I actually loved Maximum Overdrive so much that I had my dad paint red spots on the front of my Matchbox trucks. I loved the troll from Cat’s Eye, the werewolf in Silver Bullet, everything in Creepshow, Running Man, Firestarter, hell even Mr. Barlow and the Glick boys in Salem’s Lot didn’t scare me (and they do now).. and then we watched Cujo. I made it about halfway through and then the dog goes apeshit crazy. I had never seen anything so scary in a movie before.. a filthy, drooling, blood covered, rabid, insane, St. Bernard who barks at telephones, slams its head into a car, and attacks a mother and her son. I think it was the scene when Dee Wallace gets bit in the leg when my dad had to turn it off.. at that point I had run out of the room. For a long time.. probably til I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it was the scariest movie I had ever seen.

There were two other random scenes of childhood trauma that I thought were worth mentioning. First was the coat room scene in Lady in White where the boy sees the murder of the little girl ghost.. that creeped me out. The second came to me when I was thinking of what to write about.. I remember being really freaked out from a scene in The Funhouse. its when the kid brother is headed to the fair and some random guy in a van pulls up, asks the kid if he wants a ride, and then pulls a gun out on him and starts laughing. I think at the time that tapped into that childhood fear of “strangers” and that there are people out there that are going to kidnap you and kill you.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Inland Empire and The Poughkeepsie Tapes definitely disturbed me, but Paranormal Activity 2 left me feeling spooked.. enough that it was still in my head when I went to bed. Open Water was another one in recent years that scared me good.. for whatever reason I was nervous to walk to my local bar after watching it.. and I don’t even live anywhere near water.

3. Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Eaten Alive – I love this movie.. everything.. the lighting, the insane characters, the insane music, the hotel set.. and that bleak, strange feeling of madness that I get while watching it. I watch it once a year and it never grows old. I’ll never understand why some fans of Texas Chainsaw Massacre don’t enjoy this movie.

Deranged – Probably the most accurate in the retelling of the Ed Gein murders. Roberts Blossom is fantastic in this one.

Pigs (AKA Daddy’s Deadly Darling) – A strange movie about a woman who escapes a mental institution and begins killing men that remind her of her father who raped her. She takes refuge at a farm where a man feeds her victims to his pigs. The only dvd I’ve seen is from Troma.. and the print they transferred it from is really rough.. but Grindhouse Releasing is working on giving it a solid release.

Some underrated Halloween flicks..

Lightning Bug – Since its October I wanted to try to include some Halloween themed movies.. this one is a must see. I’m surprised it really doesn’t get mentioned much.. and I’ve never seen it on a Halloween movie list. Buy, rent, or download this movie this October. You will not be disappointed.. Laura Prepon’s character “Angevin” is a horror nerd’s wet dream.

The Roost – Ti West’s killer bat/zombie flick. Sure its no House of the Devil, but if you can manage the slower pace I think this one delivers the goods. Love the grainy film and creepy atmosphere.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween 2 – Not necessarily underrated as much as they are both hated. John Carpenter’s Halloween is my favorite movie, and Rob’s two are right up there with it. Love em both.

Murder Party – A funny, weird, horror/comedy flick about a guy who goes to the wrong party on Halloween.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Halloween 5 – It sucks.. it sucks bad, but it always manages to find its way into my dvd player ever October.

Frogs – I’m not ashamed of this one.. always takes me back to being a kid and thinking reptiles and amphibians were the shit.. and they still are.. especially when they’re killing people.

Any Herschell Gordon Lewis gore film – Blood, guts, blood and more blood. Story or plot? Who cares?

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

VHS Wasteland – Always fun looking at old worn vhs cover scans.

Countdown to Halloween – Starts every October 1st with links to tons of Halloween related blogs.

Hallowaltz – My blog of Halloween pictures that I’ve taken

Pumpkinrot – Daily updated blog of all things Halloween. And he makes some amazing creations.

Judith – A short fan film shot at the Myers House In North Carolina.. and you can watch it for free!

Happy October!