Tagged: Evil Dead

A Brief Look at Iconic Locales for Thrillers

Enchanted forests, haunted hillsides, secluded cabins and the creatures that reside in dark places – have had us biting our nails since the early German Expressionist film era.  Witches, werewolves, monsters and maniacs can be lurking ‘round the corner just about any place you can imagine.  With Nicholas Cage’s Season of The Witch out on DVD and Blu-ray next week, we’re going to take a look at some of the most iconic and eerie locales in thrillers and horror films that make for the best places to splatter, slice and slash.

Lakes

Crystal Lake is well-known from the beloved Friday The 13th and even though those films are set in New York, there so happens to be a real Crystal Lake in the San Gabriel’s near Los Angeles that many horror fans like to claim as their own.  Lake Placid is home to a killer crocodile and movies like Eden Lake, Zombie Lake, Rogue, What Lies Beneath, Lake Dead and of course Sleepaway Camp will make you want to go out and purchase a life vest and/or take some self-defense classes.  Deliverance and The Host are set on rivers and Ghost Ship is on the ocean, but we won’t hold it against them.

Cabins & Hotels

Cabin Fever, The Shining, Hostel, and Vacancy are just a few of the great films set in secluded vacation spots. Of more recent fame, Lars Von Teir’s Antichrist took the cabin in “Eden” to a whole new level of crazy.  No one can of course touch the masterpiece Evil Dead, where incantations read in the basement of the cabin wake up some flesh eating demons that no one forgets.

The Woods

The Blair Witch Project, Wrong Turn, Sleepy Hallow, Dreamcatcher, Shrooms all take us on a journey along streams, mossy banks and haunting willows that creep the living daylights out of you.  Taking it to the jungles, The Ruins and The Island of Dr Morteau receive honorable mentions.  Season of The Witch, out on DVD and Blue-ray June 28th crosses over into the supernatural into perilous terrain that makes way for a terrifying and powerful force that determines the fate of the world.

This could be why the canny Joss Whedon wrote the forthcoming thriller The Cabin in the Woods. No fool he.

Your House

Scream, Paranormal Activity, The Amityville Horror, The Grudge, The Others, The Haunting in Connecticut and The Last House on the Left are just a few of the films that really take it to the next level and bring the horror and gore way past your comfort zone.   Funny Games could easily fit into the Cabin category but it still hits way too close to home.  And grandpa’s house most certainly counts for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Hills get a runner up location nod due to films like The Hills Have Eyes and the 1959 B Movie Classic, House on Haunted Hill.  And sure Silent Hill even though we know it doesn’t really count.

ComicMix Radio: Evil Dead The Final Answer

ComicMix Radio: Evil Dead The Final Answer

We wind up our exclusive interview with Bruce Campbell by posting the question Bruce gets almost daly – what’s next for Evil Dead?  He cuts to that with a chainsaw here plus:

  • Lost gets a premiere date
  • Rudolph goes digital
  • When is the next Kick Ass coming? 

Bruce says Press the Button, nube!
 

 

And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!

 

Horror Review: ‘Brotherhood of Blood’

brotherhood boxSynopsis:

In this claustrophobic thriller, a team of vampire hunters who must infiltrate a nest of the undead to save one of their own. A beautiful vampire slayer is held prisoner by a powerful, blood-drinking king who is preparing to do battle with a force that sends even the children of the night scurrying into the shadows.

Lowdown:

Much of modern cinema was built on awful horror films of yesterday, from Ed Wood to Roger Corman and even to an extent John Carpenter, so it’s almost reassuring when you hear about a box set of direct-to-dvd horror films, and a film like Brotherhood of Blood is included. The film couldn’t have cost more than $50,000, and most of that had to go to the “big” names attached like Sid Haig, Ken Foree, and even TV’s Victoria Pratt. The film isn’t exactly cinematic art in any way, but still fills the quota for “bad horror films”.

The premise is pretty hard to follow, seeing as how from before the opening titles to the end of the film, there are randomly placed flashbacks to the previous 48 hours. Of course, because of the bar that has been raised by the genre today, there is a twist at the end of the film, which in this case was pretty predictable. No killing or gore was shown on-screen and done with a cut and corn syrup thrown on a wall, which is fine considering the quality.

The acting would be fine if it weren’t for the only two decent genre actors attempting to spit out their lines through the prosthetic vampire teeth. Foree and Haig both sound like they are doing a bad Nixon impression, and come across as cartoony when trying to be haunting and intimidating. The angrier they got, the funnier they became, much like a drunk baby. The dialogue is pretty bad as well, which would be, given that this isn’t Gone with the Wind, but even still, it’s almost impossible to sit through.

In an interview done with Rob Tapert, he explained that though the box set is being slated as “hand picked by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert”, there were a few exceptions. It’s almost definite that this was a pick by the pair. Not only does the film give off the same feel as Evil Dead in it’s campiness, but it stars Cleopatra 2525’s Victoria Pratt. A show that was the brainchild of both Raimi and Tapert. Sadly, Pratt attempts to bring her tough-chick persona to the film, but it fails somewhere in the middle, and leaves her confusing and whiney.

The film comes through as a campy, low-budget, vampire flick, and should really be taken as such. Foree and Haig may come together for the first time in years, but they get no screen time together, and as mentioned, it’s pretty hard to understand them when they are drooling through fake fangs. There is bad acting, poor special effects, a convoluted plot, and an even more confusing twist ending. On their own each of those sound pretty awful, but together they make up just about any horror film released in theaters in the past few years, and should be treated as such.

Overall Rating: 3/10

Scare Factor: 0/5

Sam Raimi Prefers Peter Parker to Jack Ryan

Sam Raimi Prefers Peter Parker to Jack Ryan

We’ve often called Sam Raimi the busiest man in Hollywood between the projects he is personally directing along with those he is involved as a producer.

After all, his Ghost House Pictures are producing films, which we’ll be reviewing in the coming days, and there’s his new television series which partner Rob Tapert discussed with us the other day.  Then there are the various film franchises from Spider-Man to Evil Dead which he’s been involved.

We often wonder here at ComicMix central when he will cry uncle and the answer is, now. Raimi told MTV that he has had to withdraw from his previously announced involvement with Paramount Pictures’ planned reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise. He bowed out to concentrate on Sony’s Spider-Man films which further convince us that the next two will be filmed back-to-back.

 “I’m really excited about Spider-Man,” the director said. “Production [on more Spider-Man films] would start probably by March, I’m guessing of 2010.” Which also means he’s working to meet Sony’s already announced plan for Spider-Man 4 to open in summer 2011. (Probably nestled between First Avenger: Captain America and The Avengers so as not to dilute the appetite for Marvel super-heroes.)

“I love Tom Clancy, and I hope they’d keep me in mind,” Raimi said of the film series which has, to date, starred Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin. “But because I’m committed to ‘Spider-Man and making that picture, I think it’s going to knock me out of the running for the Jack Ryan picture.”

He did not address the choice of villain or who will be the love interest although the blogosphere continues to suspect Kirsten Dunst will be dropped from at least Spidey 4 in favor of Elizabeth Banks, who played Betty Brant back in the first film.
 

Ghost House Underground Reviews

ghost houseIn the coming days leading up to Halloween, we will be reviewing each film collected in Lionsgate’s Ghost House Underground Collection. In the set are eight films hand picked by "Horror Kings" Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert who have produced films such as The Grudge, Evil Dead, and 30 Days of Night.

Each of the films encompasses a different aspect of the Horror genre, from zombies on down. The first film; No Man’s Land: Rise of the Reeker deals with a group of people trapped in a deserted rest stop who are hunted by a Grim Reaper-looking figure. In Dance of the Dead, a group of teens are the only ones left when their town is infested by zombies…on prom night! Dark Floors revolves around the balance of dark and light and some pretty gruesome monsters who terrorize people in a hospital. Brootherhood of Blood takes place in a world where vampires and humans are at war, while two come together to fight a darker evil. The Substitute is about a malicious alien that terrorizes a bunch of sixth graders. Trackman is about a group of bank robbers on the run get grabbed and tortured by a madman. Room 205 revolves around an apartment haunted by a ghost with unfinished business. Finally, Last House in the Woods is a Blair Witch type film about a group of cannibals picking off unsuspecting campers in the middle of nowhere. Each day, we will be bringing you reviews on each of these great movies, leading us up to the biggest day of the year for watching horror movies: Halloween!

Because we can’t rate these movies like we would Spider-Man 3, we are issuing a special criteria in rating each film. Each of the movies will be rated in Acting, Plot, Special Effects, and Campiness. Now, seeing as how campiness usually draws a negative connotation, understand that in the horror genre, a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously can make it a cult classic, just look at the Evil Dead series.

Normally, our rating system at ComicMix is numerical out of 10 for the film overall. Here, because we are rating horror movies, we will be giving each film an overall rating, as well as a Scare Factor, on a scale of one to five; just how scary the movie is, and those fans of the genre out there know that this could be a deal breaker for for most horror films.

Interview with Robert Tapert

ghost-dvdI recently got a chance to sit down and chat with legendary producer Robert Tapert, who you know best as Sam Raimi’s better half working with him on things like Hercules,  Xena, Evil Dead, and even producing some great horror films to hit theaters in the past few years such as The Grudge and 30 Days of Night. I talked to Rob about some of his newer projects, including The Ghost House Underground Collection, a collection of eght horror films hand picked by Tapert and Raimi, which we will be reviewing here in the coming weeks. We also chatted about his newest TV project,  Legend of the Seeker, and even a possibility of an Evil Dead remake.

ComicMix: The Ghost House Underground Collection recently was released on DVD and they are slated as being "hand selected by Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi". Is that true?

Robert Tapert: Sam and I picked the bulk of them. we are partnered with two other guys [Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb] who come from a long line of building DVD libraries. There was some guidance that was needed so that we didn’t pick all foreign flicks and had a wide enough variety to make the collection worth while. Overall, though, most of our picks made it into the final box set.

CMix: Were any of the eight films in the box set produced by your and Raimi’s production company, Ghost House Pictures?

RT: When we created GHP, [Sam and I] would be approached by dozens of directors and agents and young filmmakers who wanted to be hired. After a while we would follow up with them and hear terrible stories about how they got ripped off and lost tons of money through distribution. Then a little over a year ago, Barry and Stan came to us and told us that there is a business to be built in creating a Ghost House Underground consumer brand for direct-to-DVD movies. [Sam and I] were worried about becoming just another distributor who wouldn’t help these young filmmakers, but Barry and Stan said "as long as you pay the filmmakers what their due — wouldn’t you have been happy being payed what you were due when working on Evil Dead?" We agreed and have been happy with the outcome thus far. These films, and probably for the next incarnation are pre-existing films that are sent to us or we’ve at festivals or thousands of other ways.

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ComicMix Radio: Robert Tapert Storms Back

ComicMix Radio: Robert Tapert Storms Back

He was the "father" of Hercules and (actually) the husband of Xena, and now Robert Tapert returns to pop culture with a hand chosen set of horror movies and a new television series. In our exclusive interview, Robert fills us in on both plus where things stand with Xena and Evil Dead, plus:

  • Witchblade on ITunes
  • DC prepares a crash course on The Spirit
  • Neil Gaiman, Guillermo delToro and Dr Strange oh my!

Catch the full exclusive ComicMix interview with Robert Tapert right here on Sunday, and in the meantime get warmed by and Press the Button!

 

And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!

 

‘Jack Brooks’ Monster Slayer’ to be Released October 7

‘Jack Brooks’ Monster Slayer’ to be Released October 7

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer is a new kind of movie hero and he’ll be making his home video debut after playing to a limited number of screens in the coming weeks before its DVD release from Anchor Bay on October 7 retailing for a mild-mannered $26.97

Jack Brooks: was directed by Jon Knautz (Moment of Truth), and produced by Neil Bregman, Trevor Matthews and Patrick White. John Ainslie and Jon Knautz wrote the screenplay from a story by Ainslie, Knautz, Matthews and White.

Anchor Bay says, “Yesterday, he was a plumber. Today, he’s trying to save the world. Meet Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. The legendary Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street) stars along with Trevor Matthews (who produced the film, in addition to playing the title role) and Rachel Skarsten (Birds of Prey).

“As a young boy, Jack saw his parents brutally murdered by monsters. Now he toils as a plumber, is saddled with an annoying girlfriend (Skarsten), attends therapy sessions that accomplish absolutely nothing, and is enrolled in night classes where he barely manages to stay awake.

“But when his professor (Englund) accidentally unleashes an ancient curse and begins to transform into a hideous monster, Jack must put down his plunger, prepare to do battle with the forces of evil, and confront his destiny. All Jack wants to do is put his past behind him, but some things just won’t stay buried …”

Robert Englund, at Comic-Con International, told ComicMix, “I’m here with the company Anchor Bay which really responds to the kind of horror-comedy kind of stuff that people like Sam Raimi with the Evil Dead films used to do. I don’t know if it’s a response to the number of big-budget horror failures of late or that there’s so much homemade stuff on YouTube now, but fans really seem able to watch something like a Hellboy 2 or a Dark Knight, which I love, but they also have room for movies like the ones I’ve been involved with lately such as Zombie Strippers, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer or Hatchet.

“It seems they can tune into a big $200 million blockbuster film one day and then also enjoy a little $2 million film we made mostly for fun. They’re what I like to call “cheap thrills.” I think there always has to be room for cheap thrills. I don’t know if it’s political or if there’s too much CGI or something but maybe that’s what movies like Saw or Hostel are tapping into — people’s need for something more simple and fun.”
 

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SDCC Interview: Robert Englund on Horror Films and ‘V’

SDCC Interview: Robert Englund on Horror Films and ‘V’

Unless you’ve lived a very sheltered life for the last twenty years or so, you know all about Robert Englund and his most famous character: the knife-fingered Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm Street fame. The films featuring the iconic villan were some of the most successful of all time and spawned several sequels including a cross-over film featuring not only Freddy Krueger, but another well-known and popular character and star of a hugely successful franchise: Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th fame.

More recently, Englund has taken turns both in front of and behind the camera with roles and directing gigs on films such as 2001 Maniacs, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer and Zombie Strippers, which also features the acting talents of former adult film actress Jenna Jameson. ComicMix‘s Matt Raub and I caught up with Englund during San Diego Comic-Con and talked with him about, among other things, how hard it was to get to the convention, his latest projects, his involvement in the new V television series. and what he thinks about the future of horror films.

COMICMIX: So have you had a chance to check out the Con?

ROBERT ENGLUND: Not yet. We got messed up with the traffic. So many accidents, closures, people throwing themselves in front of trains, it took us forever to get here.

I think Comic-Con is jinxed. [Laughs]

CMix: So what brings you to the Con this year?

RE: I’m here with the company Anchor Bay which really responds to the kind of horror-comedy kind of stuff that people like Sam Raimi with the Evil Dead films used to do. I don’t know if it’s a response to the number of big-budget horror failures of late or that there’s so much homemade stuff on YouTube now, but fans really seem able to watch something like a Hellboy 2 or a Dark Knight, which I love, but they also have room for movies like the ones I’ve been involved with lately such as Zombie Strippers, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer or Hatchet.

It seems they can tune into a big $200 million blockbuster film one day and then also enjoy a little $2 million film we made mostly for fun. They’re what I like to call "cheap thrills." I think there always has to be room for cheap thrills. I don’t know if its political or if there’s too much CGI or something but maybe that’s what movies like Saw or Hostel are tapping into — people’s need for something more simple and fun.

(more…)

Random Video: ‘Riki Oh’  – The Most Awesome Movie Ever?

Random Video: ‘Riki Oh’ – The Most Awesome Movie Ever?

The most awesome movie in the world features a villain with a hook hand and a glass eye that’s full of breathmints. It has extreme violence and horrific English dubbing. And it has Ricky, the real one-man army corps.

I happened across Riki Oh (also called The Story of Ricky) a couple years ago. It’s a little-known 1991 martial arts flick set in a futuristic prison run by gangs. If I had to guess, I’d say three quarters of the movie’s budget went to fake blood. Sure, it’s not comics, but it certainly qualifies as "comic book-esque."

You can now see this wonder in its entirety on YouTube – but be warned, it’s extremely graphic in a not-quite-believable Evil Dead sort of way. File it under my highest recommendation.

[NOTE: This film also provided the crazy head-smashing scene used during The Daily Show‘s "Moment of Zen" feature for several seasons. -RM]

Here’s one of my favorite scenes: