Shoddy dubbing is something that Eurohorror fans have to learn to accept early on. In the heyday of Italian horror, rarely was everyone on the set comfortable speaking the same language. Jessica Harper said that construction was going on during takes on the set of Suspiria. It’s not like there’s a definitive cut of most of these where you can hear all the performers speaking in their native language or anything. So unless it’s a case like Black Sabbath, where there is some pretty intrusive reconstruction going on, I’m not opposed to watching most Italian horror in English. Continue reading
I don’t consider myself a prude and I don’t feel easily offended. Still, as I get older, I find myself getting that “too soon” vibe more often after a flippant remark is made about recent tragedies. So, how long do you have to wait before some terrible event is fair game for a little levity? Of course there’s going to some subjectivity and you also have to consider the era. For better or worse, we’re a little more PC sensitive now than we were in the 80s. Continue reading
I’m recovering from a sickness. This particular sickness saw me feeling the compulsion to try to collect every possible version of every movie that I loved. It was especially bad when I frequented horror conventions. I would buy VHS dubs of foreign laserdiscs for $20 each, or the wonderful bargain of three for $50. I’m not sure how many uncut or extended movies I watched with burned in Japanese subtitles this way, but I probably spent a small fortune. Continue reading
As I get older, my own mortality and the mortality of those around me become more apparent. I’m still not that good at dealing with it, but in my teens and twenties I really had no idea where to begin. My primary coping strategy was to be really quiet to ensure that I didn’t say anything stupid. The bottom line is, I really don’t know how to comfort someone when the shit hits the fan. Continue reading
A good shock can be one of the most exhilarating experiences a movie can give you. I’m not talking about cheap shocks. There’s plenty of crazy stuff going on in modern movies that may be shocking, but are of little interest to me. A good shock might not be as elusive as a genuine chill, but it’s still a rare treat to be treasured whenever it is found.
Like a good scare, the high is never as good as it is the first time you experience it. You’re always chasing that feeling again. The problem is, the very nature of shocks makes them hard to find. For the full effect, you can’t be expecting it. Continue reading
It’s crazy to think how we have virtually no control over something that is as important to our overall identities as our names. I think we all sort of think of the many cool things we could name our children eventually, mostly based off of our interests and hobbies. How cool would it be to have triplets named Herschell, Gordon, and Lewis? Hopefully, by the time we all have children, we also consider that this is an individual who will have his or her own interests and identity and is probably not interested in explaining who Horace Pinker is for the rest of his or her life. Continue reading
I was in elementary school when my parents took me to see Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Now, I don’t know who decides what trailers are attached to certain movies, but somebody must have had a good chuckle when deciding to include Friday the 13th Part VIII before this one. What could be better for a family outing?
I fell for this one completely and didn’t see it coming when Jason turned around. I’m man enough to admit that I was scared. I was also fascinated though, and didn’t stop thinking about that movie for a long time. A good trailer can have me just about dying to see a movie.
Since I was just too young to have anything more than vague memories of TV spots for anything from the early 80s, I had to wait for Paramount to (very slowly) roll out the Friday the 13th DVDs in the late 90s in order to catch any of those previews. It’s almost disgusting to think how excited I was to throw down about $30 for each of these releases. The first thing I did each time was watch the trailers. Continue reading
My first son was born in 2005 and, like a lot of new parents, I was feeling a bit rundown the first few weeks. The shift between having no concerns aside from having your shit together enough to hold down a regular job and actually being responsible for another human life can be a little overwhelming. Even when you’re relaxing, you can never really turn your brain off entirely.
That’s why the Chiller Theatre convention held in October of that year was so appealing. It was a time to put any concerns behind and just fully immerse myself in the things I love. Still, my son was only two months at the time and I wasn’t comfortable leaving for the entire weekend. In the past, I had always gotten a hotel room and spent the weekend with friends, but this year was different. I went down just for one day and I went by myself. It was a great opportunity to clear my mind and just sort of hit the reset button. I chose to go on Sunday since I didn’t buy advance tickets and didn’t want to take the 4 hour drive to New Jersey and not be able to get in. Continue reading
Realism in movies can be powerful but, in horror movies especially, very unpleasant. The stylized violence of slasher movies is generally pretty easy to digest after you have seen enough of them. That’s why it’s so easy to look at hundreds of horrible murders in the Friday the 13th series and think, “Cool!”
On the same token, that’s why I have to be in a certain mindset to endure something Cannibal Holocaust or I Spit on Your Grave. There’s value to be found in these movies but they are in not what I would call a good time. Continue reading
The death of the VHS format was bittersweet. As a horror fan, it was hard not to be excited about the potential that the DVD format offered. Audio commentaries, interviews, and, most importantly, good looking widescreen transfers had me rediscovering so many of my old favorites after years of experiencing them only on worn out ex-rentals. I could never afford laserdiscs, so this was my first chance to enjoy these types of premium features.
Still, it was sad to see the video stores go. Before Blockbuster started pushing everyone around, every little video store had its own personality. You could find different titles in every store and it seemed like the well would never dry up completely. Continue reading