It's a Horror to Know You :: Reader Eric!

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

The first film that ever scared me had to be The Wolfman (1941). It was the first horror movie I ever saw as well as one of if not the first movie I ever saw. My father had a copy of the Gene Shalit Critic's Choice VHS with it's goofy pictures of Gene on the bottom which has always stuck with me.

The movie itself had an atmosphere exuding dread, provided courtesy of the heavily fogged woods, sad and yet harrowing score and disturbing Jack Pierce make up. I think what scared me was the idea that a person could transform into some sort of grotesque violent beast and something about that tip toe walk he did was just uncanny.

Even though I love all the Universal monsters, the Wolfman has been my favorite Universal monster and no matter what anyone says he'll always be tops in my book; so suck it Drac and fall to pieces Frankie.

2.) What is the last film that scared you?

Horror films tend not to scare me anymore, more so they mostly either get me imagining about the world in the film and/or disgust me with gore; but there is one I've seen recently that not only did all of this but in so doing deeply unsettled me and that is City of the Living Dead (1980).

My favorite of the Gates of Hell trilogy and my favorite Fulci movie overall (No I don't think The Beyond is his best; I don't even think it's all that good and I don't understand why it's seen as his best film- get over it). The atmosphere in this one is the most doom laden, nihilistic and cosmically anti-human I have ever encountered in a film.

No one is safe anywhere, no matter what you do, it's all over, there is no hope, we're all going to die-end of story. The gore is top notch and absolutely raw and vicious and that priest! That priest is to my mind the most menacing antagonist/figure in the history of film.He wants to literally unleash hell on earth and do all kinds of nasty things to human bodies and souls.

I know everyone makes a big deal about narrative in Fulci's films, but I don't watch them as normal movies with a linear plot progression. Shut up and suspend your disbelief. I see them as filmed nightmares, with all the sometimes chaotic aspects that entails. That is what this movie is to me; pure unadulterated nightmare.

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

I'm just going to go ahead and cheat here and talk about more than three horror movies I think are underrated. Eerie is the name of the game with me and all of these evoke an eerie feeling in me.

How Awful About Allan (1970)

One of the few TV movies I actually like. Anthony Perkins is absolutely fantastic here; for my money this just edges out Psycho II as his best movie (no I don't like the original Psycho and yes, I think the sequels-especially part II- are superior). I heard about this one from Phil Anselmo and I'm forever in his debt for turning me on to it.

This isn't some scare fest but the atmosphere is what does it for me (atmosphere is what endears me to a film and is far more important to me in a horror film than blood and guts and stupid jump scares, which is why modern movies and modern horror in particular, suck).

This film to me is the essence of autumn; it evokes the altogether not unpleasant and oddly cozy feeling of overcast suburban cold and desolation, I as city folk experienced on excursions to grandma's house as a child (Don't know if anyone knows what I'm talking about).

Where Are the Children? (1986)

Provides a similar experience for me as the aforementioned How Awful About Allan. This one has a damp, dank feeling to it; a perfect overcast, rainy Saturday morning/afternoon film. Frederic Forrest is great as a real son of a bitch in this one. No one seems to talk about it, give it a watch.

The Norliss Tapes (1973)

The Norliss Tapes gave me a really uneasy feeling. I love the set up; a rainy day (if you can't tell by now, I'm big on those) a reporter stumbles onto the supernatural, goes missing and leaves behind a series of baffling tapes which chronicle his horrific discoveries. This was supposed to be the pilot to a television series in the tradition of Dan Curtis's better known Kolchak: The Night Stalker that unfortunately never got made.

The premise, the zombie, the unsettling voice over narration from the tape all combine to create something which to me is quiet, strangely contemplative and unnerving. The ending with the demon is cheesy and weakens it somewhat, but other than that, it is pretty creepy and is another (almost) perfect rainy day movie.

Remakes can't work nowadays but I think this would have been perfect for a movie remake circa the 1970's or 80's and had it been done in this era, would have worked. This movie got my imagination going and I have continued David Norliss's investigations in my head for my own edification and amusement many a time. This way nothing can be mishandled by modern film making.

A Warning to the Curious
(1972) and The Signalman (1976)
Two English ghost stories for Christmas made for TV movies; Did you know the British tell ghost stories at Christmas? I didn't. A scary Christmas? sign me up. Both at once engaging, entertaining, atmospheric and unsettling. I highly recommend both.

Schalcken the Painter
Another British TV movie. On the whole, it seems to me that the British make better TV movies than us colonists. Some mighty strange happenings in this one. Slow and eerie with one hell of an ending.

The House by the Cemetery (1981)

The third in Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy but my second favorite of his films. Again, like City of the Living Dead, this one had the power to frighten me at times sitting there alone in the dark. The first time I saw it, you can bet your life it did just that. I, like Fulci, have a thing with eyes and when Dr. Freudstein's eyes peered out from the darkness of that basement, I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. Glowing eyes peering out of the darkness has always been a scary thing to me.

The movie overall has a sense of impending doom about it different than the aforementioned City of the Living Dead; this is a much more localized doom, to be visited only upon those unfortunate enough to enter the house and so it does not have the same scale and scope intended for us by Father Thomas in City of the Living Dead. Dr. Freudstein is a nasty piece of work quite literally and he isn't averse to hurting you badly with sharp objects.

This film taught me something as well. I learned there is a fate worse than any of the death's suffered by the characters in this movie, one that is infinitely more dreadful than anything imagined in the twisted inner workings of Dr. Freudstein's mind- my own private vision of hell- 'Bob'; god I hate 'Bob'.

Beyond the Darkness (1979)
This movie is more disgusting than scary. One scene in particular created an extreme aversion to eating in me. The scary aspect is the thought that people like the main characters can exist in this world or at the very least someone seemingly sane can think them up. The whole of this movie from the as usual excellent score by Goblin to the acting and carnage being depicted emanates something terribly nihilistic, depressing, hopeless and empty.

Retribution (1987)
Not scary but it has a cool premise, great super gory special effects (I can't believe what they did sans CGI) no one talks about this one and I have no idea why.

Faceless (1987)
The first Jesus Franco movie I ever saw. I had never heard of this one before so I had no idea what to expect and this one shocked me which is no easy feat. It is surprisingly good and the gore so effective you feel the pain the characters must be experiencing. 1987 wasn't an altogether bad year for horror movies.

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

I'll cheat again here (I'm a cheater, it's a character flaw; nothing can be done about it) but because I both was long winded in the previous section and I can't watch anything I don't genuinely enjoy, I'll skip this question. If it's a bad movie, it's a bad movie and I don't enjoy it, ya know?

5.) Send us to five places on the Internet!

I've cheated my way through the majority of this so I see no reason to stop now. I'll send you to six places on the internet.

SOILED SINEMA. Nothing else like it on the internet. These guys do the best movie reviews anywhere. You definitely haven't heard this perspective on cinema before, I promise. Check it out.

HYSTERIA LIVES! 408 slasher movie reviews and counting! Who knew there were that many? Slasher movies are my favorite sub-genre of horror and I've seen a lot of them but I haven't even heard of most of these. For my money, one of the best horror websites out there.

RETRO SLASHERS. Another great slasher movie site. Definitely worth a perusal.

ROTTEN COTTON. Like Spicoli said, "Awesome, totally awesome!"

SHITCASECINEMA. Some really great (and hilarious) reviews of some terrible yet entertaining movies as well as the occasional good one. Zardoz approved!

WeWatchedAMovie. Movie reviews/news, humour and Michael Myers parodies? What's not to love? I said GOTDAMN!!!!!!!

It's a Horror to Know You:: Long Time Fan Lake!

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

The first one that really got me was Tourist Trap. I caught the plaster on the face scene on TV when I was around seven. It scared me so much I couldn't fall asleep that night. I told my mom and she told me to visualize the actors between takes, smoking a cigarette, having coffee, flirting with each other, all while still in costume. Putting them in the context of just regular people at work really helped me get through being frightened. Thanks mom!

2. What is the last film that scared you?

The indi horror Resolution (2012). It's a simple yet unnerving little gem and something about it is just off enough to freak me out. There were also a few scenes of the underrated Sy-fy channel series Channel Zero; Candle Cove that got me. If you're a fan of indi or slow burn horror you should give this unusual show, where each season is based on a different Creepypasta, a chance.

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

Housebound (2014). A brilliant horror-comedy. Sharp, unusual, and cleverly done.

Dark Touch (2013). Tragic and odd, with a gut punch ending.

The Canal (2014). I'm a sucker for haunted house stories, especially ones with a madness "is it really happening?" vibe.

*Bonus!! Kill List (2011). A fairly standard hitman tale takes a surreal cult turn. Well acted, well paced, and surprisingly scary.

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

Ghosthouse (1988). Oy this movie. It's just terrible. And it never answered the question of who is more popular in Denver, Kelly LeBrock or Kim Basinger.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). This movie is not good. Rooney Mara is a terrible heroine, the art director was apparently in a Xanax coma, and why is every color so muted and blue? But, for whatever reason (Kyle Gallner, it's totally because of Kyle Gallner), I don't hate it.

Transylvania Twist (1989). It's not a Horror per se. It's not even a horror-comedy so much as it is comedy trying to be bad horror? Or trying to poke fun at bad horror? I don't know. It's eighties and awful and god damn do I love this bastard.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

Listverse. Fans of Kindertrauma might dig the "Creepy" "Weird Stuff" and "Crime" sections.

The Movie Pooper. Because sometimes I want to know what happens in a movie without having to watch said movie.

Mental Floss. Facts and stuff being fact-y!

Cracked. If you like reading pop culture nonsense and wasting time, boy is this site for you.

Good Bad Flicks. Anyone who loves bad eighties/horror will like this. Our host Cecil gives witty recaps of so bad they're good movies as well as interesting production notes and backstories.

Thank you so much! It's been a Horror to know you and hopefully a Horror to know me too!

It's a Horror to Know You:: Jon Clark!

It's a Horror to know You Jon Clark!

What is the first film that scared you?

Halloween 3, I know it gets a bad rep and all that but when I saw it, it was on TV (edited for TV at that) I was just a little boy, maybe six (who didn't know or CARE that the film didn't have Michael Myers in it). It was the opening scene where the mechanized man walks into the hospital and makes the "C" with his thumb and forefinger, then QUIP, plugs it into that poor dude's eye sockets. There's that, which is pretty damn horrible and terrifying, but what does he do next? He wipes his fingers off on the curtain! Damn, that' s just cold. As was always the case when I was a kid, pretty much right after that scene, it was time for me to go to bed (thanks mom!). So of course all that night I knew, just knew for sure some creepy dude was about to open the door and come for my eyeballs!

What is the last film that scared you?

A few months ago, I was on my computer working during the day with no one in the house, and sometimes I open up a little window on the screen and watch movies or TV while I work, usually when I'm inking. It just plays in the background. I decided to have a mini marathon of the syfy show Paranormal Witness. Each case has the real people telling their stories. Sometimes they have videos of what they saw, sometimes they have police officers(!!) saying "this was real." Watching episode after episode gave me this awkward feeling. Just this cumulative effect of woah, man, something is really going on out there, this stuff is all real! I just got really creeped out and had to put something else on, like a comedy, you know... just until people came home... yeah, better with people around.

Name three horror films that you feel are underrated:

It's 1983, network TV, primetime, I'm in third grade, alien "Visitors" arrive. They are our friends. They just need our help. Oh, and they eat rodents, oh and they want to eat us too. This is V: The Miniseries baby. There is so much good about this show. I love the concept of the resistance. Julie's rise to prominence and unwanted power. The scene where the older Jewish father Abraham tells his son why we must hide the scientists breaks my heart. Even the scene when Elias's brother dies in front of Caleb, I don't know, it's borderline ham-handed but I get sucked back in each time to believe in the pain there... He was the doctor! And horror? Dudes and dudettes, my kid mouth gaped down like Diana's when she ate that mouse, and when Donovan kicked that guy's face off, it was nuts!

The Dead Zone. Yup, the one by Cronenberg. It's a movie that I find myself putting on all the time. There's an intensity and profound sadness to Walken. (on a side note: in my heart of hearts I believe that the comic book character John Constantine: Hellblazer was based off Walken in this film, has to be) The whole sequence with the serial killer "gazebo" is scary, intense, and shocking. Look at the details. Look at his room, it's the same from when he was a little cowboy. Herbert Lom, wow. Martin Sheen, on fire!

Near Dark. Vampires in Texas and no one says vampire. There's a sweet love story (that I buy right into) and the whole thing really makes vampires seem real. Of course you gotta duct tape up the windows because: vampires! Added bonus: I've read the screenplay and it's not written like any other script I've read, it's horror film poetry. I leave you with exhibit A and B: "Is this shit kicker heaven or what?" And Homer.

Name three horror films that you enjoy against your better judgment:

This one was the hardest one to answer, because well, if I love something, I love it. I go with my feelings and let go of the critical judgments.

The Crazies remake. (this was surprising because I'm usually a purist and George Romero is a hero of mine) I saw this in a second run theater with a friend the first time around, and I thought it was pretty good. I watched it again just recently and liked it even more. There are some really great suspense moments. That pitchfork scene being one. It kicks off right away and doesn't really stop. Eisner did a great job with it. I gotta give him respect.

13 Ghosts. The William Castle original. It's just goofy fun and I can watch it with my son. It's a live action Scooby Doo movie. There's a lion ghost! And I love William Castle anything.

Prince of Darkness. I've read and heard the arguments. Here's how I feel about this one: It's like old Star Trek, yes, the acting can be over the top (or underwhelming for POD), yes, the effects are mostly cheesy (I mean The Thing vs. POD, how the mighty have fallen) BUT, we're talking about something here. There is a solid story here. There is a big huge frightening concept about the nature of evil, where it is, what it wants. There is a science vs. religion argument here, and it's creepy. And I love it! I regularly re-watch the opening 45 minutes. I mean a month won't go by without me re-watching it. The idea that the church has been hiding a demon/antichrist in the basement for centuries, I don't know, maybe it's just because I think that's EXACTLY what they'd do... !

Name three favorite non-horror films.

A Simple Plan (also works in the underrated section) This movie is so freaking good! I don't know where to begin. The concept, the acting, the script, the direction (Sam Raimi!). Scenes turn and head into dark dangerous places that leave my head spinning.

Singing in the Rain. I am the biggest horror nut in the world, but hear me out. This is a case of the most talented people in the world firing on all four cylinders and then turning on the rockets too. You've seen baseball, this is Babe Ruth, you've seen basketball, this is Michael Jordan. These people are the best dancers, comedians, singers, choreographers, there's romance, spectacle, old school Hollywood. I LOVE this film.

The Sandlot. Again and again. Call me a softee. When they play baseball at night under the fireworks with Ray Charles playing in the background, my eyes well up. "You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!" Sandlot 4-eVer, 4 eVer.

Jon Clark has his first horror comic THIN coming out on September 7th through American Gothic Press. THIN is an unconventional horror story about an overweight woman who attempts a miracle weight loss cure and finds herself in a nightmare without a way out. It's intimate, visceral, and horror fans (especially Kindertrauma fans) should love it. THIN is available for preorder HERE and make sure you like THIN's facebook page HERE to keep up to date! Check out a preview of THIN below!

It's a Horror to Know You:: Chris Moore Writer/Director of Blessed Are The Children

What is the first film that scared you?

The last time I did this, I named THE WITCHES, which is still about as traumatic as it gets (and I know there are millions of people who'd agree with me), but I just recently remembered that I first saw CARRIE around the same time I saw THE WITCHES. It was on TBS one night and I was watching it with my mom and sister and the part that caused me to run out of the room screaming was when Carrie was dragged into the prayer closet by her mother, that creepy organ music starts playing, and she lights the candle next to that scary St. Sebastian statue with the glowing eyes. I still remember leaping off the bed and running out of the room. I had this thing about organ music as a kid. It always terrified me. There was an episode of SHELLEY DUVALL'S FAERIE TALE THEATRE where they adapted SNOW WHITE and Vanessa Redgrave was playing the evil queen. The moment she decides to kill Snow White, she enters her cobweb covered lab as really spooky organ music accompanies her. I ran out of the room there, too. Besides that, WHO FRAMED RODGER RABBIT was pretty terrifying. That scene at the end where Christopher Lloyd's eyes pop out might have made me hide behind the couch a few times as a kid.

What is the last film that scared you?

I just rewatched CARNIVAL OF SOULS on that glorious new Criterion disc and, boy, does that one hold up! What a brilliant case of making something out of nothing. Nothing in that film should work, but it does. It's still one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. That scene where Mary is driving on that dark road at night and "the man" appears at her window...I always shriek. I know it's coming and I shriek. It's so nightmarish. Also, for some reason, THE INVITATION really got under my skin. I have a fear of cults and people from LA, so it hit a lot of nerves.

Name three horror films that you feel are underrated.

THE REDEEMER a.k.a. CLASS REUNION MASSACRE - This one is sort of like what would happen if ALICE SWEET ALICE and SLAUGHTER HIGH got drunk and had a really judgmental, mentally unstable (yet stylish) baby. A group of friends are invited to their 10 year reunion and find out that, not only are they the only ones there, but a mysterious preacher with a hard on for disguises and sinners has staged the whole thing so that he can punish them for their wicked ways. It's hard to describe what's so great about this movie, because it's sort of like a dream that seemed really creepy when you were having it, but when you try to explain it to your friend the next day, you're met with a "meh." The atmosphere, the synth-heavy score, the nonsensical bookends at the beginning and end, the religious hysteria, likable cast, and spooky disguises from the killer are not something you'll soon forget. The scene in the auditorium with the killer muttering some bizarre Biblical gibberish as a humongous marionette dances behind him will be one that'll be sure to give you the heebie jeebies. I'd be lying if this one didn't inspire a few elements of BLESSED ARE THE CHILDREN.

THE ATTIC - CARRIE SNODGRESS is so underrated, you guys. She really shines in this, which is, less horror film and more Tennessee Williams meets Baby Jane psychodrama. A lot of horror fans will probably get bored before the payoff, but it's worth it. Easily one of the saddest, most haunting endings you're likely to see. And that's not all! There's also a really cute monkey and RAY MILLAND as SNODGRESS' royal a-hole of a dad. Someone needs to clean this up and release it on Blu-Ray ASAP.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II - I LOVE the original PROM NIGHT, y'all. Like, I stayed up late on a school night once to watch and record it off of TV (I didn't know how to work the VCR timer, ok! Cut me some slack!), so I'm very passionate about it. However, HELLO MARY LOU is a MUCH better movie. No, it has nothing to do with the original (it was written by ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? alum/obvious national treasure Ron Oliver as a standalone film), but it's the perfect movie to watch when you'd like to marathon THE EXORCIST, CARRIE, and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but don't have the time. It takes the best parts of all those films and crams them into 90-ish minutes of surreal imagery, tongue-in-cheek dialogue, bad hair choices, and deaths to the tune of Little Richard. Thanks to ample airtime on USA Network back in the 90's, I saw this one constantly and, to this day, it never bores me for a second. Like THE ATTIC, this is crying out for a special edition Blu-Ray. Can someone make that happen? Scream Factory? Kino? Anybody? While you're at it, someone give us 3 and 4 on Blu-Ray, too.

Name three horror films that you enjoy against your better judgment.

The Last Horror Film - Billed as a follow up to Bill Lustig's super gritty MANIAC, THE LAST HORROR FILM takes the two leads of that film, keeps their same dynamic, moves them to the Cannes Film Festival, and adds on a dollop of tongue-in-cheek cheese. It's genuinely clever at times and always nothing short of entertaining. I mean, a slasher film at Cannes? Genius! Although, whoever decided to give Caroline Munro that ridiculous skunk streak in her hair should be shot.

Rob Zombie's Halloween II - I HATED Rob Zombie's first remake of HALLOWEEN. It was like he made a list of everything people admired from the original film and made sure to do the exact opposite with a cheesy backstory and a rushed SparkNotes version of the original tacked on to the last hour of the film with characters we don't like. To my great surprise, I ended up enjoying his sequel (white horse, ghost mother, and random redneck killings aside) and admired him dedicating almost the entire film to the fractured mind of Laurie Strode, who has gone from mild annoying in the first film to a full blown psychotic in the sequel. It works this time around, especially when she's surrounded by Danielle Harris, Brad Dourif, and Margot Kidder as the folks who lend her a shoulder to cry on AND it makes sense. I'd be a mess if I'd just experience all that crap, too. Hell, I wasn't even upset with RZ turned Dr. Loomis into a money-grubbing opportunist. At least he was doing something interesting and different. On top of everything else, many of the characters' deaths have legitimately emotional consequences for those around them, which one rarely sees in a horror film these days. I'll even admit that, during a certain scene, I might have wiped a tear away from my eye. Although it has MANY flaws, I admire the sheer audacity to release a film to millions of unsuspecting multiplex brats that had more in common with ORDINARY PEOPLE than it did with HALLOWEEN.

976-Evil - This was Robert "Freddy"Englund's directorial debut and it's a pretty solid first go-round. He has style to spare and, even when the story falls apart here and there, it's still always nice to look at. Plus, we've got Stephen "Evil Ed" Geoffreys as a possessed nerd with Sandy freakin' Dennis as his mother. Y'all, if there's one reason why you need to see this film, it's Sandy Dennis. Then again, Sandy Dennis is good enough reason to see anything. I believe someone once wrote (in regards to Dennis) "no home should be without one." They were right.

Name your three of your favorite non-horror films.

They seem to change every week, but - at the moment - here they are:

1. Nine to Five - Dolly, Jane, and Lily. What more do you want from a movie? Why WOULD you want anything more, you greedy bastard? Add in a great story, a ton of laughs, and Dabney Coleman being the world's funniest sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot and you've got yourselves a winner. I can quote it by heart.

2. Young Adult - Charlize Theron got the Oscar gold for Monster, but - as great as that performance was - I think this is her best performance. People didn't know what to make of this film when it was released (many still don't), but it seems to have developed a little cult fanbase. It's one of the most awkward and truthful dark comedies I've ever seen with Theron playing a washed up, emotional unstable YA ghostwriter who returns to her hometown to steal her high school boyfriend back from his (really rather nice) wife. Theron throws out the gimmicks of her Monster performance and presents us with a woman desperate to remain relevant in a world where all she's ever had to offer was beauty. It's heartbreaking and bitterly funny with one hell of a sucker punch of an ending. It's one you'll either love or hate. I, for one, think it's brilliant.

3. Terms of Endearment - There's been a lot of revisionist clap trap I've read about this film in recent years. People say it's manipulative and schmaltzy, but they can suck an egg. Every performance is perfect and it mixes comedy with drama perfectly. There are so many moments that break my heart, but number one for me is when Jack Nicholson shows up while Debra Winger is in the hospital to check up on Shirley MacLaine. Her bemused "Who'd have thought you were a nice guy?" always resonates with me more than any other moment in the film. Weird, I know.

UNK SEZ: Thanks, Chris Moore! Folks, stay tuned for much more on BLESSED ARE THE CHILDREN and In the meantime, follow the official Facebook page HERE and make sure you check out the creepy trailer below!

It's a Horror to Know You:: Chris Trebilcock Writer/Director of The Dark Stranger

It's a Horror to Know You: Chris Trebilcock Writer/Director of The Dark Stranger!

What is the first film that scared you?

I started watching horror movies at a young age - Jaws and Halloween were early favorites - but before I really got into them, one traumatic early viewing experience was the Disney cartoon of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949. The final ten minutes, with Ichabod Crane riding his horse home through a dark forest, waiting for The Headless Horseman to appear, was unbearably scary. Even today, it's still a masterful sequence of suspense, done all with visuals and sound effects.

What is the last film that scared you?

Don't judge, but a few years ago I finally got round to watching the remake of When a Stranger Calls (2006). I watched it alone in my parents house... and it really scared me. I thought the remake wisely decided to base the whole film on the first twenty minutes of the original from 1979 and jettison the police procedural middle section. I thought the remake made great John Carpenter-esque visual use of the huge house where all the action took place, as well as playing on the fact that we the audience already know the killer is inside; we're on edge right away, waiting for him to come out.

Name three horror films that you feel are underrated...

Tough one. Let's start with Tightrope (1984). Not exactly a straight ahead horror movie. Tightrope is a highly atmospheric Clint Eastwood murder-mystery that plays like an American Giallo. Eastwood gives one of his most vulnerable edgy performances as a cop wrestling with his dark side as hunts for a serial killer in New Orleans. There are many scary/disturbing moments, like Clint coming home and finding his house keeper crammed into the laundry machine.

Someone is Watching me (1978) Next to Brian De Palma and David Cronenberg, John Carpenter is a huge cinematic influence for me. I love most of his films. This made for TV movie, which he wrote and directed, is not as well known as his other films. Carpenter made it right before he made Halloween and has said that the style of Someone Is Watching me was a training ground for what he did in Halloween. The story is about a woman in a high rise apartment building who is being stalked by someone in the facing building. Nice camera work helps to create a sense of menace and dread.

Psycho III (1986) Anthony Perkins is both director and star of this entry. It's too bad that Perkins didn't direct more because Psycho III is surprisingly stylish and confidently made for a first time director. Darker in tone than the previous two Psycho movies, this film does the impossible by explicitly showing Norman's madness and brutal acts of violence, yet makes us still care for him and root for him to get free from his "Mother" side.

Name three horror films that you enjoy against your better judgment...

Terror at London Bridge AKA Bridge Across Time (1985) David Hasselhoff stars as a cop with a troubled past who deduces that Jack The Ripper is alive and well and stalking victims on his beat. I first saw this when it aired in the mid 80's and it stayed with me. Re-watching it recently, I found the film has its share of cheesy elements but it moves along, has some creepy moments and an overall nutty charm to it.

Out of The Dark (1988). Phone sex workers being stalked by a clown masked killer known as Bobo. The wonderful eclectic cast includes Karen Black, Tracey Walter, Bud Court and Divine. Stylish, darkly funny, suspenseful, some nice twists, yet it doesn't take itself too seriously. Imagine Dario Argento and John Waters teamed up to make a Giallo set in LA.

Swamp Thing (1982). Wes Craven's adaptation of the Berni Wrightson/Len Wein comic. Man, I loved this movie when I was a kid. But looking at it later on, I could recognize some things that were campy, even silly at times as well as FX that have not aged well. But the film has heart and it has Adrienne Barbeau and a nice score by Harry Manfredini.

Chris Trebilcock is the writer-director of The Dark Stranger, starring Katie Findlay, Stephen McHattie, and Enrico Colantoni. The film is available on DVD and VOD in Canada through Raven Banner, and will be released in the US in October by Terror Films. You can also get info about The Dark Stranger at it's Facebook page HERE. Check out the trailer for THE DARK STRANGER below!

It's a Horror to Know You: Drew Bludd

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

I can't quite remember the first film that ever scared me properly, so maybe this is a Name That Trauma too. I was 3 or 4 years old (I guess this age because my family moved into a new home in 1989 when I was about to turn 5 and this was two houses before that). I remember hiding under my mother's bamboo coffee table (which she still has in her living room today) with some glow in the dark legos. In this film I remember something with a single walking corpse roaming around an apartment building hallway. I got so scared I actually spilled Ecto-Cooler in my own eyes. As far as fully formed memories with movie titles, I can remember seriously avoiding the VHS box art for THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW and EVIL DEAD 2 (I swear that skull's eyes follow you around the room) as a kid in video rental stores. And my mother, in her infinite wisdom, took me to see PET SEMETARY in theatres. I must have been 4 or 5 years old! Zelda was..... very scary. But I didn't cry until I got home.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

I hate to say it because I don't really care for the film but the first half of INSIDIOUS was very interesting, jarring at times. However, once the "astral projection dream walking" was introduced to the picture the tone changed entirely and it became a hokey, disappointing mess. But early in the film when the mumbling over the baby's monitor suddenly let out the throaty screaming "I WANT HIM!", I dropped my drink all over the floor. I recently watched the 1980 Isabelle Adjani film POSSESSION for the first time and I can not stop thinking about it, trying to dissect it. It is very unsettling to say the least and has stayed with me for months.

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

MANIAC COP 2: Officer Matt Cordell definitely isn't a top tier boogeyman the likes of Freddy, Jason or Michael Myers but this sequel was the best in a trilogy of slasher movies from the late 80s/early 90s. In this one, Supercop Cordell has returned from the dead (for a second time) to seek vengeance on the crooked police force who sent him to his grave. He's an undead killer but he's totally justified (unlike Freddy child killer or Michael Myers brooding psychopath). Robert Z'Dar, Bruce Campbell, Robert Davi, Claudia Christensen - what a line-up! I had a chance to meet Robert Z'Dar before his passing and he was optimistic about a MANIAC COP 4 and even a remake! (RIP Z-Man)

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 4: THE NEXT GENERATION. There is nothing that any of you can say to sway me the other way. This film is A-MA-ZING fun. Stop taking yourselves and B-movies so seriously for a second and accept that someone made a Leatherface movie that wasn't a gory slasher picture. That it IS funny. VERY funny. The all-time great lines that Matthew McConaughey's Vilmer character gave to us. Beautiful pieces of dialogue that everyday folks like you and me can use daily. Things like, "First I'm gonna kill ya... AIN'T NO FUCKIN' BIGGIE." "I got a mind.... TO SLIT YOUR GOD DAMN THROAT!" and "WE GOT LOTS MORE FUN TO HAVE TODA-AYYYYYY!" This movie is hot nonsense. Wonderful stupidity. The wall full of keys? Remote control body parts? And the Illuminati, now? Renee Zellwegger tells Leatherface to "sit the fuck down" even! I love it.

TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME: Though maybe not a horror film per se, it still falls into some kind of supernatural thriller category. Using monsters/devils as a metaphor for child abusers, this film packs some punches in the upsetting scenes department. This film probably isn't underrated by the Internet's standards but among every day, real life people its hard to find a TP:FWWM fan. Also, I have some special edition Cinescape magazine that was a horror encyclopedia and somewhere under movie devils/Satans it said that TP:FWWM is the most potent horror film of the 1990s. Not bad praise.

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


POPCORN. "Buy a bag! Go home in a box...." This movie could have been so great but it just fell short. I basically watch it and think about where I would have taken the plot if I had been in charge.

RAWHEAD REX. Okay, so the monster's rubber suit was odd, his face was frozen and he couldn't close his mouth. And no one in the town questioned why there was a stained glass window in the church of a monster demon getting buried under a statue. And the monster's name is Rawhead Rex (a Clive Barker dick joke?). But the monster baptizes a priest in urine! So, you take the good with the bad.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

retroCRUSH - Former X-Entertainment contributor Robert Berry's now largely un-updated site is a lost treasure trove of old pop culture lists and articles such as The Top 100 Coolest Monsters and The Top 100 Scariest Movie Scenes.

OSW Review - Three Irish lads (grown men! husbands! doctors!) provide humorous audio commentary to old 1980s/1990s pro wrestling pay-per-view specials with in-dept facts and figures such as performers salaries, then backstage gossip, event attendance/buyrates, and "whatever happened to?" updates. Very funny stuff if you watched this stuff at all as a kid.

Intoxica Radio with Howie Pyro - Longtime punk outsider musician Howie Pyro's podcast featuring some of the best garage, exotica, rockabilly, surf and other strange records from his vast collection. It's bad music for bad people (RIP Lux. Come play with us, Ivy)

The Cryptkeeper Five - Trenton, New Jersey's greaser gang may very well be the best "living" band in the world today. Are they rockabilly? Punk? Swing? Well, yes and no. So, what do they sound like? Like Glenn Danzig & The E-Street Band. Or The Sonics Horton Heat.

Disney's 20,000 League Under The Sea Ride - An extensive, masterful tribute to the now defunct 20K ride from Walt Disney World. Wow!

It's a Horror to Know You:: John Sullivan Screenwriter of Fear of The Dark!


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

Tobe Hooper's 'Salem's Lot scared me terribly as a kid. My Mom had rented it for me, and she had gone outside to do some gardening. Normally, I wasn't allowed to see super-scary horror movies at that age, but since the movie first aired on TV, she thought it was safe. She was wrong. I ran out of the house, and into the backyard frightened out of my wits. That movie is still tough for me to watch. I love it, and I don't even own it on DVD.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Being a horror film fan and a screenwriter of a few of them, it takes a lot to freak me out. I like a lot of what James Wan has done. Insidious surprisingly scared me quite a bit, and The Conjuring was a well-made haunted house movie with a real deliberate and ominous directing style. But - and I'm embarrassed to admit this - I didn't see The Exorcist until a few nights ago. I know, I know. How could I have not EVER seen The Exorcist? Well, I hadn't. I finally watched it and, man, that movie earned it's reputation. Its an evil, dark, unrelenting horror film. And I watched it on TV! I just ordered the Blu-Ray to see it properly and give myself nightmares. There's also a film titled Megan Is Missing which is a found-footage 'missing young girl' movie that was released a year or so ago. It's a scary film, but it has a meanness and malevolent exploitation vibe that haunts you. I don't recommend it, because it's a film you can't un-see.

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

I love Chuck Russell's The Blob remake. That's an 80's creature-feature that is largely ignored and has some amazing gore effects. It has no real cult status, but it should. Kevin Dillon is awesome, and the melt-eat scenes are pretty graphic.

A flick called Spookies is bat-crap crazy insane and perfect for Kindertrauma. The movie makes no damn sense, but it's fun as hell. It's actually a haunted house/creature/horror/dead teenager flick that's spliced together from TWO different movies. It has mummies, ghouls, wizards, cat-men, farting zombies, giant-spiders and some surprisingly decent special effects. Plus, it's funny. You'll have to find a copy on Amazon or eBay because it's out of print.

I have a special place in my heart for Return of the Living Dead 2. I like how the second one was kinda kid-friendly and felt like 'The Goonies meet Zombies' with gore. The soundtrack is amazing, and it still manages to have a few chilling moments. (That kid chomping on his Mom is pretty disturbing).

I'd throw Phantasm 2 into that mix, but I think people have rediscovered a lot of its awesomeness.

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

Well, I mentioned Spookies above so that's definitely a candidate. But...

Ghoulies 2 is stupid fun, and it's the best Ghoulies movie to date. It's a rare case of the first sequel being better than the initial film. More ghoulies. More puppets. And a better setting. Plus, it has W.A.S.P. on the soundtrack.

The Video Dead is a horrible film but I find myself popping it into the VCR (yeah, VCR) every so often and just enjoying the inanity of zombies emerging from a TV set to munch on horrible teen actors.

Chopping Mall. Chopping Mall is quite possibly the best movie ever made in the history of modern cinema. Crazed security robots hunting down horny teens at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. I love, love, love this movie and I know it's complete trash. As a kid, I wrote a sequel to it! I think it took place in a hotel or something. I wrote it on loose-leaf paper in a Trapper Keeper.

5. (optional) Send us to (1-5) places on the Internet!

My own personal site. There's not a lot of content on it, so I apologize. But I'm working on it.

Horror Movie A Day. Brian Collins rules.

Love Happy Hour. Yeah, nothing to do with horror, but it's my girlfriend's site and she has made some spooky cocktails!

Direct-to-DVD Connoisseur. Matt loves his DVD movies.

Shock Till You Drop. Ryan still has one of the best horror sites on the internets.

It's a Horror to Know You:: Dr. Future of Future Quake Radio!

It's a Horror to Know You: Dr. Future of Future Quake Radio!

I have been a daily reader for some time now, and have been remiss to submit, because my life plans have derailed my consumption of yummy horror for many decades, and I am just trying to catch up in the last year – I've collected about 1000 or so on DVD, and I am just starting to watch them with many I have yet to see, so my current experiences are limited!

My submissions here are based upon my earliest experiences with horror, and my current re-viewing of these titles after 40 years or so will see if they still rattle my cage. Born in 1964, I grew up in a "golden age" of being spooked in the early 70s, and was traumatized as a five year old by having my older brother literally throw me into the arms of the monsters in the Halloween Haunted House in Louisville, KY. In 1971 we got a new UHF station, with the "Fright Night" show hosted each Saturday by The Fearmonger – no more than a head lit up by a flashlight below – but his face taunted me on my bedroom wall every night!

I was traumatized by Trilogy of Terror (like all of my classmates), movie trailers for "Deranged" and "Beyond the Door" on the black and white set, and even public service announcements for TIP (Turn In a Pusher) and the Chautaqua Society, with the exploding head animation!

Even the taboo Jack Chick gospel tracts I'd find in the public restroom my mom told me not to read, featured hideous demons dragging unlucky souls off to Hell (often shooting them full of drugs in the process). My brother (born 1952) lived through the drive-in "golden age", and as a small tyke I'd wait up late to hear what unspeakable horror he had seen that Friday night. In this era of sensory-saturation and discovery-at-the-fingertips of the Internet Age, we'll never again feel the excitement of unexpected discoveries (and sudden shocks) of that magical time in the same way. I've also produced my own feature length movies – "Nightmare on Neptune", "Lord of the Shadows" and the post-apocalyptic "What Now?" in the late 80s and 90s, so I have a soft spot for the brave no-budget varieties.

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

Since my youth has melded into an amalgamation of simultaneous groundbreaking shocks and taboos experienced, it is difficult to point out which one came first. One that sticks out with me is the still-unsettling view of the fly with the human head stuck in the spider web in The Fly, with the spider closing in. Why did the man wait so long to smash the spider? My early scares were based on whatever my local TV chose to show at the time. Other honorable mentions go to the chilling outer space movie, Mission Mars, with the unearthly alien that incinerated the astronaut in his suit – I'll never forget it. The robot from Venus in Target Earth, seeking humans on the desolate streets of Chicago, also sticks in my mind, and those dreaded Killer Shrews (I never forgot those protective metal pots)!

2. What is the last film that scared you?

I have not partaken of horror again since my teenage years until recently, and frankly I'm a little harder to scare at this age (car repairs and plumbing problems keep me up at night these days!). However, I rediscovered the dread I felt when I first saw Night of the Living Dead in 1976 as a 12 year old at the midnight movie (it had been banned since the late 60s until then in my town, with the reels confiscated from the drive-in my brother frequented in the 60s), when I saw The Mist a few years ago. As a Christian prophecy buff, I find I veer toward apocalyptic, Lovecraftian fare vs. the gothic stuff, so The Mist was a strike down the plate for me (it best gives the feel of what is described when the Abyss is opened in the Book of Revelation). I also am not too fond of spiders (although snakes are fine), so the characters trekking into the spider-infested drug store (with acid-spinning varieties, to boot) made me wince like I hadn't in years, and having the spiders lay eggs in my body is definitely NOT the way I want to go!

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

Another tough call – there are so many I value that others do not appreciate, but I have so many more yet to see!

a) In the Lovecraftian vein, I still am amazed at the overall atmosphere of dread and abhorrence created in the simple movie The Fly (1958 version, of course), and the tragedy the scientist experiences the unspeakable, as well as his wife. It just keeps crescendoing in intensity, in a natural way.

b) Just like John Carpenter's The Thing is a "grown up" horror film (no kid's stuff – stupid teenagers, screaming maidens, etc.), I find The Wicker Man an intellectual's horror film, particularly those of us who espouse a Christian cosmology. Sgt. Howie's warning to the singing pagans was as chilling as anything he experienced at Summerisle! The Curse of the Demon has the same grown up sensibility, and even Village of the Damned.

c) I movie I recently viewed, Pontypool, I think should be talked about much more – a very adult treatment of a chillingly feasible premise. It was worthy of my time to ponder its story, and its implications.

d) An honorable mention goes to the quirky movie Dagon, which seemed to start like a Jeffrey Combs spoof, but then got more and more disturbing, until it "out-Lovecrafted" Lovecraft, and all hope was lost!

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

a) A movie I consider a classic of the 60s drive-in golden age is a movie with the best title of the era – "The Undertaker and His Pals" (I can't say it without smirking)! Even as a comedy (ala Little Shop of Horrors), it has all the great stuff of 60s low budget films – garish, washed out colors, crackly audio, "cool" motorcyclists (with skulls on the jackets, and carving knives!), goofy organ music, wonderful misogyny, ridiculous violence, nonsensical plot, with the fun lasting through the closing credits! My dream is to see Kelsey Grammer reprise the role of the Undertaker, in a camp Hollywood remake!

b) A recent contribution to humanity I discovered was the penultimate contribution to the horror genre of the medium – Al Adamson's 1971 Dracula Vs. Frankenstein! It features my favorite ever Dr. Frankenstein (with loose false teeth, and lines like "If it wasn't realistic, it wouldn't be an illusion"), a Dracula with an unexplainable voice echo and a flaming ring and a Frankenstein monster with a face like a burnt marshmallow, not to mention hippies with fright wigs, washed-up hipsters (who really say, "It's not my bag"), badly staged LSD trips, misplaced cycle gangs (somebody stole Russ Tamblyn's movie!), and Lord knows what else (of yeah, don't forget the midget with the worst death scene in screen history)! It made me fall in love with all things Al Adamson. Tell your family you've got a traditional Halloween movie for them to see with Lon Chaney, Jr., and then watch their jaws drop!

c) Last but not least is what has to be the strangest religious film ever conceived, much less completed – "If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do" (1971). It was conceived by no less than the "first family of drive-in exploitation", Ron and the Ormond family (who gave us "The Monster and the Stripper", "The Mesa of Lost Women", etc.). After their conversion to Christianity after a brush with death, they wanted to apply their "talents" to their faith, and hooked up with firebrand Mississippi Baptist preacher, Estus Pirkle, who was famous for a sermon warning of the invasion of America by Cuban communists if it did not repent. He thought they were going to just film his sermon, but instead he got an Ormond bonanza of re-enacted violence, including Baptist parishioners getting massacred by machine gun-toting Ruskies, a father tortured with pitchforks, and even a child being decapitated (by the main antagonist, "The Commisar", as played by Cecil Scaife, best known as the PR man for Elvis Presley and Sun Records). This bizarre film, which could NEVER be made today, filled the altars with repentant youth everywhere it was shown (resulting in the largest mass "Kindertrauma" in history!). The Ormonds went on to make some similar pictures, such as "The Grim Reaper" and "The Burning Hell", and his son, filmmaker Tim Ormond, can be heard in an interview on my Future Quake radio show archives.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

a) I invite all Traumateers to join me at the site of my recent radio program, Future Quake! It has seven years of archived interviews and shows with people like filmmaker Tim Ormond, Joe Bob Briggs, and REAL horror topics like the Nephilim, occult workings in society, mind control, and similar topics by real experts in the field, all while having a great time! Like I and my co-host Tom Bionic say, "There's something there to offend everybody!" It comes from a Christian perspective, but it's like nothing you've ever heard from a pulpit, featuring topics and guests you wish they would talk about but never hear. Afterwards, drop an email to ol' Doc!

b)If the topics on that site are not scary enough for you, then check out the shows on the web site where REAL horror hangs out, at SHATTER THE DARKNESS. This pastor is an expert on Satanic cults for the FBI and police, and regularly deals with submerged sub-personality people in mind-control cults, sleep paralysis, the demon possessed and much worse. Nothing rattles his cage! Listen to him explain the awaiting "Black Awakening" the demon-possessed warn will soon come. Find out how much horror is REAL, under our noses, and more horrible than our imaginations! Listening to his show will be informative, but forget sleeping for a few nights afterwards. If the "dark stuff" has got you down, he is DEFINITELY the man to see!

c) Another friend runs a podcast a little more "kindler and gentler" – Adam Sayne's "Conspirinormal". If ghosts and the paranormal are your thing, Adam is well educated in the field, and his guests are first rate. His discussions stay cutting edge in the field. Good luck stumping him on the topics! Worth a regular listen.

d) For a different kind of "horror"- the real kind administered by thuggish police and authority forces run amok – check out the best writer on the Web, Will Grigg and the "Pro Libertate" site []. With a razor wit and insight, he will show you the REAL horrors in your own community, and challenge YOU to be the hero or heroine in this story. A warning – his writing is addictive.

e) The last recommendation is frivolous, on a lighter note – it's a page I am truly addicted to, but pertinent to this site – "The Worst Ever Halloween Costumes". If you are not familiar with it, you will make it a regular visit, at least every Halloween!

That's all for Doc for now – come drop by my website when you can, and until then, I'll keep "Traumatizing" every day here with each of you!

It's a Horror to Know You:: Bigwig!

It's a Horror to Know You: Bigwig

Hey Guys;

I would have submitted this ages ago, but was trumped by 5 interesting places on the internet, (I would have had no problem with 5 places to avoid) and the fact that I'm not really a Horror-phile in comparison to most others who frequent the site. (I'm more a Trauma-phile I suppose.) Anyway, you can only sit along the wall while the others dance for so long, so here goes nothing...

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

That would be Live and Let Die, as shown at the pool we belonged to one summer Saturday night. I was about seven, and we had seen a few tame Disney movies at the pool previously. I was on the kid's blanket with my friends, away from any adults. James Bond shooting it up wasn't a was the voodoo ritual scenes, specifically Baron Samadhi's screen appearances..."The Man who Couldn't Die"... Was he even supposed to be real? At one point, his head gets blown off, and it turns out he was mechanical (?), but then sure enough he comes back to fight and fall in a coffin of snakes, plus, he's on the train cowcatcher at the end. Very vivid...

2. What is the last film that scared you?

I'll have to say Prometheus for this one. Say what you will of the plot, it captured for me the exact same sense of "Space Dread" that we had as young un's watching Alien in the theatre unsupervised when such things mattered. (The conundrum of getting frightened, but not being able to tell a parent why at night, since you were forbidden to go to R rated movies, making the nights even worse) The fact that there was an escaping internal logic to what was happening with the black goo, only made it scarier in my mind, and I didn't mind it one bit.

3. Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated

The Skeleton Key. Maybe it harkens back to Baron Samadhi, but I really thought this was a well done voodoo flick. Good heady scares without the gore – my kind of movie. John Hurt was especially convincing, and all the more when you realized his true predicament.

The Ordeal (AKA Calvaire). Not very well known, and truly disturbing to me. The dance scene alone is worth a watch. Quite Lynchian. Probably the one movie of my adulthood that still manages to have me thinking at night.

Let the Right One In (Non-English version) (probably not underrated, but I never hear it talked about). As an adult and parent, the scene that nails me is the confrontation at the pool. The extreme vulnerability and the age of the (almost) victim juxtaposed against his clothed attackers sets off every alarm I have in my body. Subtitles somehow make it all the more riveting.
If the last one doesn't qualify, substitute it with Videodrome, which doesn't seem nearly as abstract in concept 30 years later...kind of like Naked Lunch with a healthy smattering of Night Flight.

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

The Incredible Melting Man. I remember this trailer very well, but was too young to even think about wanting to see it, not that I would have. But ever since I have, I won't miss it. Perhaps the least rational movie of its decade.

Return of the Living Dead. This gets my vote for the soundtrack alone. The Cramps, TSOL, 45 Grave, the Flesheaters --- all this goodness before Goth/Psychobilly was even dreamed up as a concept which in turn sunk the fun. At least one zombie (the one in the tank) could have posed as the Incredible Melting Man!

Altered States. I would hardly call this a horror film, and boy the effects get cheesy, but I dunno, something about William Hurt pounding the hallway at the end he devolves into Proto-Blob status trying to keep it together....another one that had me up as a teen hoping my bad choices in drug experimentation didn't lead me down that path.

5.Send us five places on the internet!

No thanks; please go on without me...

It's a Horror to Know You:: Adam Sherlock of A Damn Movie Podcast

It's a Horror to Know You: Adam Sherlock of A Damn Movie Podcast!

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

I remember being really scared of Garfield's Halloween Adventure. The idea of the ghost pirates, and the fact that they follow him BACK to his house always terrified me. Also, the episode of The Bloodhound Gang where the house was supposed to be haunted.

As far as films go, Poltergeist was huge, to the point where any 80's architecture creeps me out and makes me think of Questa Verde. And of course Jaws held massive sway over my tender young mind. For years I was sure that there was a trap door in my bathtub that led to a shark tank. I also saw a trailer for Blood Beach as a child and was forever traumatized. But the reigning champ is still the librarian ghost from Ghostbusters. I saw this in the theater with my dad and just about jumped out of my skin when it transformed. I thought about that stupid ghost for months after that.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

There have been a few the last couple of years that have really done a number on me. Lake Mungo, which has such a surprising emotional and artistic impact that I thought about it for days, not to mention an undercurrent of real world dread. Absentia, which refuses to ever become a traditional horror film, whether through not giving us shocking scares, but rather ones that make us know what it might feel like to be losing ones mind. And speaking of losing your mind, The Eclipse with Ciaran Hinds has a couple of scenes that made me accidently drop kick the beer I was drinking across my living room.

And finally, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh does some amazing stuff with just atmosphere and one of the things that gets me more than just about anything: Religious Cult crap! Those who have seen this (which is streaming on Netflix) will know what scene got me the worse. It has to do with a quaint little framed needlepoint saying on the wall. Yikes!

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

I go nuts for undiscovered or underrated. It's a trait I am still holding onto from high school, when having that record by that really good punk band meant something (before the internet made all of that obsolete).

Let's start with the Dowdle Brothers' The Poughkeepsie Tapes. It's kind of a shame that nothing they have done since (Quarantine, Devil) in any way live up to the grim terror and surreal viciousness of this film. There are some real August Underground-esque levels of depravity here and some really effective unsettling doom and gloom with fairly little gore. Is some of the acting cheesy? Sure. But it cost them $500,000 dollars! Plus, it was a real stroke of genius to take the found footage genre and go full Court TV Forensic Files with it. I love this movie.

I know that you guys have talked about it a little bit on your site, but I want to give another shout out to Exorcist 3: Legion. There are so many reasons why I think that this movie should be more important. It's always a shame when a studio gets their hands in a film and twists it away from its original vision. And to be sure, the last twenty minutes of lightning, snakes, acrobatic priests and pyrotechnics does nothing but fly in the face of the deft and subtle hand of Director William Peter Blatty. But let's not get bogged down in that. What still works? The arguments of morality and faith between Father Dyer and Lt. Kinderman. The incredible performances from George C. Scott, Brad Durif and Ed Flanders. The slow, methodical pacing of the first half of the film, having us show up after the gruesome scenes, and not showing us the atrocities, but just showing us Scott's face as he reacts to them. Brilliant. Not to mention some of the most memorable single images. The statue of Christ with no head, old ladies playing the piano too fast, the neatly organized jars of blood, the scissor-legged figure in the white sheet bounding down the hall, and heart attack of heart attacks: the old lady climbing across the ceiling.

Alright. My third may be a little controversial. I thought that the second installment of Paranormal Activity was the stupidest thing I ever saw (probably not true, but hyperbole is just so damn fun). Why should I be scared of a pool vacuum? Who green-lighted this thing? But I gave the third installment a chance, and I am really glad I did. I loved the throwback to the 80's timeline, and it makes sense to set a found footage film in this era. We were crazier about filming everything when home camcorders came of age than we are now. I like how Paranormal Activity 3 adds to the mythology of the girls. Toby is a pretty creepy (giant rabbit?) entity, but nowhere near as creepy as some of the reveals towards the end. Everything gets pretty Wicker Man, which as I said above, the culty thing always freaks me out. And, one of the most cheap / effective scares? A freaking person under a sheet! Man, that takes some serious cojones to put that in your film, but it was AWESOME! Too bad that part 4 was so god-awful.

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

I'm going to start with a movie that I think is actually pretty good, and well done (no pun intended) but that in and of itself is one of the problems. The movie is Long Pigs, a Mockumentary style film that follows serial killer cannibal Anthony McAllister while he does his ‘work'. Far from a perfect film, a lot of the acting and realistic portrayals are really creepy, shocking and effective. I guess I have the same problem with this as I do with something like Nekromantik. I am drawn to the things I find the most repulsive, and then when I get so queasy later that I can't finish my dinner, I get really pissed at myself.

So I know that for some people, Prince Of Darkness is a great film, but for me, it is pretty embarrassing. Lots of the effects in it just suck, like the whole green ooze, the dude made of bugs, not nearly enough creature transformation, etc. let's not forget that this is the same year that Hellraiser came out and a year after Aliens and The Fly, so the bar was pretty high. Plus, it's John Carpenter, fer crying out loud! Then the whole homeless people army led by Alice Cooper (who does nothing but stare menacingly at our main characters and eventually kills someone with a bike!?!), this movie has a lot of problems. SO why have I watched it fifteen times? I LOVE the story here. The idea of the end times being explored by scientists inside of an old church. The hubris of researchers accidentally unmasking some ancient evil that they cannot control totally gives me the willies. And the whole ‘transmission from the future' with a veiled in fog silhouette of some Lovecraft like ‘old one' is totally the stuff of nightmares.

Finally, Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon (A.K.A. The Mansion Of Madness) is one of my favorite films, but at times it is almost unwatchable due to it's low budget, acting and overall weirdness. Directed by Juan Lopez Moctezuma (who was a protégé of Alejandro Jodorowsky's, and actually served as a producer on El Topo, if that is any indication) it was filmed in Mexico, and then all of the actors voices were dubbed over. It isn't a good movie, but man, some of the visuals are hilarious, violent, and all around painfully surreal. There is a dandy Prince look-a-like, an awful rape scene with Benny Hill style music set to it, a man dressed up as a giant chicken, a psychedelic dance sequence with a group of women who look like the Bene Gesserit witches from Dune. You get the picture. It's like a bad fever dream. Plus, the whole thing is on YouTube!

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

1. I need to pimp my podcast of course, A DAMN MOVIE PODCAST. We are currently getting ready to celebrate our 200th episode. We have been doing this since 2008. We review all kinds of films, old and new, and are super casual about it. Just a couple of buddies sitting around drinking beers and being nerds.

2. I also would like to share my job website. I help incarcerated youth tell their own personal stories in radio podcast form. It's called Sending Messages, and it is basically a This American Life for incarcerated kids. Check it out HERE.

3. I totally just stumbled onto this guy's stuff. It is very genre based artwork, and it is really gorgeous. It is also very NSFW, but the combination of pin up girls with giant creepy robots and sea monsters is your thing, THIS GUY is right up your alley.

My last one is a friend's movie review blog that is just plain stellar. If you like in depth thought provoking film critique, check it out: HERE.