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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

On this day in horror history.... December 12th, 1997


On this day in horror history.... the master of horror, Wes Craven, brings us the second chapter in his self referential film franchise, 'Scream 2'. Continuing the story of Sydney Prescott, Ghostface is back again and looking for blood. While it may not have been quite as good as the original, it was damn close.



Monday, December 11, 2017

On this day in horror history.... December 11th, 1874


On this day in horror history.... the man who gave us an original take on the 'Frankenstein' type story, Paul Wegener, is born. Although, he made several other films, his best known was 'The Golem: How He Came Into the World'. A silent film, that speaks volumes. It may not rank as highly as 'Nosferatu', in regards to horror films of the time, but it's just as influential. Happy Birthday!



Sunday, December 10, 2017

my thoughts on.... 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things'


As with all of my reviews of films for The Creepercast, I fully recommend that you check each and every one of them out. I am one man and this is my opinion. I've seen plenty of movies that received reviews that were the complete opposite of how I saw the film. These writers, directors, producers and actors all put a lot of time and love into these projects. They deserve to be seen and appreciated for what they are. Everyone has a dream and I fully support the people that take the time to make theirs a reality. With that being said....

Before 'Black Christmas', 'Porky's' or 'A Christmas Story', Bob Clark gave us a zombie film while the sub-genre was still in its infancy.... that film was: 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things'. This movie was made less than a decade after George A. Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968) and audiences were still just getting their feet wet with the undead. There had been a few films, here and there, but the horror landscape was primarily still filled with Gothic horror and supernatural films. The slasher movie was starting to peak over the horizon and the true zombie renaissance was about three decades away. To say this was a little before its time and a gamble, is not an understatement. Where as the film may not be nearly as good as any of Romero's movies, it still holds a place at the zombie table.


The story begins with a small theater group, converging on an island at the request of their leader. Upon arrival, things are fairly light and playful, but it quickly turns into something much more sinister. The head of the troupe, Alan, begins to slowly lose his grip on reality as he has them perform a Satanic ritual. Most of the other actors go along with things, but a few begin to doubt Alan and a divide is formed. Before anyone can leave the island, the dead begin to rise, trapping them in a small house where they've been hanging out. One by one they're taken by the oncoming horde, as Alan becomes more and more mad with each passing minute. Eventually they realize that they're soon going to be overrun, as lines are drawn and decisions will have to be made.

While my synopsis makes it sound better than it is, don't mistake this for a grand film. There is a lot wrong with 'Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things'. Primarily, its biggest downfall is the 70's pacing that causes the entire piece to sludge along at a slow shamble. Almost all of the characters are unlikable and you never really care whether they live or die. Alan is the most charismatic of the bunch, but his actions are so assholeish, that you wonder why any of them ever joined the group in the first place. He's constantly holding their salaries over their heads and uses that as leverage to get them to do what he wants. It goes so far, as allowing him to dig up a dead body and parade it around the house, like it's another member of the crew. Even the positive forces among the actors are bland. It's unfortunate, as this has so much going for it. Despite it's tiny budget, the make up effects are quite good. The sets are fairly believable and the costumes are like every bad Sears catalog threw up in the 70's and it all landed on this film. Even with all of that being said, this still is regarded as somewhat of a cult classic, by a lot of horror film enthusiasts.


I give Bob Clark a lot of credit for taking a risk on this one. It was a genre that was still finding it's voice and he took it upon himself, to be a pioneer and make it his own. There are some things to like about this movie, but they're few and far between and in the end, they can't overcome the parts that fail. I've seen this one a few times and actually own the Blu-ray. As a lover of zombie films, it is a must have. It has a great story behind it and in a lot of ways, I feel connected to it on a personal level. It reminds of the time when I was in film school and yearned to make my own zombie film. Sadly, it never came to pass, but this gives me hope that it could have been done and may have even been fairly decent. If you've never seen this one, it's worth your time to check it off of your list. It's a 3 out of 5 star film and one that is an interesting bookmark in the horror history archives. When it was made, it was a different time and you have to give credit where credit is due. If for nothing else, it allowed Bob Clark to continue to sharpen his skills, so his later films would be that much better. Not too mention that without 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things', our favorite reanimated corpses may have not had another stepping stone towards becoming the juggernaut that they are now. Rest in piece Bob and thank you for giving it the old college try.



If you like this one, check out: 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968), 'Carnival of Souls' (1962) and 'White Zombie' (1932)

Friday, December 8, 2017

It's Time for a Terror Time Out Featuring Rob Zombie's 'Halloween' 2007

One picture alone tells a story and a horror film is full of still frames that stand out as works of art. A Terror Time out is when we feature a still from one of those films. Here is this weeks frame of horror fame.



In the Halloween reboot Rob Zombie introduces us to hulking Michael Myers with a penchant for blood and gore. He also provided a previously bits and pieces back story that includes Michael's love creating and wearing his own masks. It is this reviewers opinion that the attempt to humanize Michael took a lot of the evil out of him, but the mask making is definitely a newly developed creep factor.

Monday, December 4, 2017

On this day in horror history.... December 4th, 1954


On this day in horror history.... a legend in our genre, Tony Todd, is born. A towering talent and a towering man, when he's on the screen he commands your attention. Breathing life into The Candyman, he's had a career that has spanned decades. Happy Birthday Mr. Todd!



Sunday, December 3, 2017

On this day in horror history.... December 3rd, 1927


On this day in horror history.... Tod Browning's lost masterpiece, 'London After Midnight', is released. Starring Lon Chaney, this film has sadly been lost to the ages, but many pieces of it still remain. I only wish I could see it myself.



Saturday, December 2, 2017

On this day in horror history.... December 2nd, 1924


On this day in horror history.... the face of 'Dark Shadows', John Herbert Frid, is born. I've never seen the original show, but it has a huge cult following. A horror based soap opera, that still remains in many people's fondest memories.



Friday, December 1, 2017

It's Time for a Terror Time Out Featuring 'Halloween: Resurrection' 2002

One picture alone tells a story and a horror film is full of still frames that stand out as works of art. A Terror Time out is when we feature a still from one of those films. Here is this weeks frame of horror fame.



The most inexplicable edition in the franchise that possibly killed it at least from going forward from here since now all we are doing is going back. I chose this one because among all the ridiculousness in the film, it is this scene that is the most golden.

On this day in horror history.... December 1st, 1944


On this day in horror history.... 'House of Frankenstein' is released. A film that combined some of the powerhouses of the genre at the time, although not all the faces were in their familiar roles. It still marks a tradition in horror that still continues, from time to time, today.



Sunday, November 26, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 26, 1992


On this day in horror history.... although I've only ever played the original 'Castlevania', I've heard nothing but good things about this game. Today it was released on the GameBoy in Europe! Simon may have gotten smaller, for this version, but his adventures did not!



Friday, November 24, 2017

It's Time for a Terror Time Out Featuring 'Halloween H20: 20 Years Later' 1998

One picture alone tells a story and a horror film is full of still frames that stand out as works of art. A Terror Time out is when we feature a still from one of those films. Here is this weeks frame of horror fame.



H20 was supposed to be the last Michael Myers film in the continuous franchise, at least that's what they told Jamie Lee Curtis. A mirror motif has appeared in ever film from the first where Michael examines himself in the mirror and Danielle Harris doing the same many films later. Finally, with the reunion of Laurie and Michael, the motif reaches a climax as the mirror becomes a window.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 23rd, 1887


On this day in horror history.... one of the greatest horror icons of the early days, Boris Karloff, is born. Not only was he one of the original Universal Monsters, but two! As Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy, brought to life some creatures that would continue to remain as popular today, as they were when they first came to life on the big screen. If you don't know Karloff, then it's time to begin your education. Happy Birthday!



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 22nd, 1958


On this day in horror history.... horror royalty is born, as Jamie Lee Curtis makes her way into the world. A "Scream Queen" before the term was even coined, Jamie has proven over and over again, that there's a reason she's so loved. Starring in the original 'Halloween', as well as 3 sequels and the upcoming film, as well as 'Terror Train', 'Prom Night' and a slew of other films from all the genres. She's a class act and a legend in her own time. Happy Birthday!



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 21st, 1931


On this day in horror history.... Universal Studios released one of the most iconic films and creatures ever committed to film, as 'Frankenstein' is released theatrically. With the paring of James Whale's direction and Boris Karloff's acting and make up effects, it was a recipe for scary success. Who doesn't love the tragic monster?



Saturday, November 18, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 18th, 1990


On this day in horror history.... the world met Tim Curry's Pennywise the Dancing Clown, as Stephen King's 'It' begins it 2 episode miniseries. This terrifying clown, went on to ruin kids bedtimes for years to come. Sadly, the series doesn't hold up to the passage of time. It has its moments, but overall.... it's better left to your childhood nightmares.



Friday, November 17, 2017

It's Time for a Terror Time Out Featuring 'Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers' 1995

One picture alone tells a story and a horror film is full of still frames that stand out as works of art. A Terror Time out is when we feature a still from one of those films. Here is this weeks frame of horror fame.



This is the last Michael Myers encounter for the man who claimed he would do any Halloween film for as long as they made them. Dr. Loomis is tortured and tired, and quiet frankly, looking like he could care less what kind of new way Michael has for killing people. Is it possible that if Pleasance had lived long enough to make more films that the father would become more of a mentor to this evil?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 16th, 1984


On this day in horror history.... an 80's cult classic, was released, as 'Night of the Comet' comes to theaters. A unique entry into the annals of horror history, but one that every Creep should see. Plus, machine guns!



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

my thoughts on.... 'Frankenhooker'


As with all of my reviews of films for The Creepercast, I fully recommend that you check each and every one of them out. I am one man and this is my opinion. I've seen plenty of movies that received reviews that were the complete opposite of how I saw the film. These writers, directors, producers and actors all put a lot of time and love into these projects. They deserve to be seen and appreciated for what they are. Everyone has a dream and I fully support the people that take the time to make theirs a reality. With that being said....

It was 1990 and the insanity of the 80's was barely behind us. Frank Henenlotter was in the midst of making his follow up to the bizarre 'Basket Case', while also taking on another twisted tale: 'Frankenhooker'. A modern take on the classic tale of the creature that never wanted to be born. Only for this version, she was made of the spare parts from some of New York's finest ladies of the night. The end result was less of a tragic monster, but of a monster with multiple identities and a desire to 'date'. Now, Frank is no stranger to the weird. He loves to push the boundaries of bad taste, not unlike his peers of the time and this film was no different. It featured creatures that seemed to have leaped from the fever dreams of horny 13 year old boys. Somewhere within all of the grime and gristle of it all, was a love story. One that drove an amateur scientist to do the unthinkable, after being overwhelmed by the grief he felt from losing his fiance. The problem was, that he was just as unhinged as the characters that inhabited this version of New York. The end result was not the dream that he had hoped for, but a nightmare of comedic proportions. Does this sound like something that might intrigue you? If so, then read on!


The story begins with Jeffrey and Elizabeth, about to celebrate her father's birthday. Jeffrey, being the soon to be mad scientist that he was, had created a remote controlled lawn mower. When it goes haywire, Elizabeth is shredded into multiple parts and instantly killed. Fast forward a short while and we come to find that he's kept the head and a few other spare parts, with the desire to put her back together so that they could live happily ever after. In order to accomplish this, he would need to obtain the missing parts from other sources. Using a power drill and his rudimentary knowledge of the human brain, he comes up with a plan. He's going to find the perfect analog for Elizabeth, using a hooker. After getting a bevy of beauties together, he has a change of heart and can't go through with it. The problem is, that the wheels are already in motion, as they've found his weapon of choice and are all killed. Seeing an opportunity, he takes all the parts and promises to put them back together once he's completed his bride to be. What he creates instead, is a monster. A street walking bundle of confusion that kills without knowing it. He sets out to try and make it right, but what happens next is something that you just have to see for yourself.

With a name like 'Frankenhooker', you kind of already get the idea of what kind of film you're in for. While it's not pornographic or even that overtly sexual, there are still several scenes containing nudity and sexual situations. It's not your mother's 'Frankenstein', let's put it that way. What Frank has created is a black comedy, that relies heavily on body horror and gruesome slapstick. The acting is not that great and the characters are fairly simple. What this movie ultimately has going for it, more than anything, is its star Patty Mullen. A former Penthouse Pet and a young starlet with only one other credit to her name, 'Doom Asylum'. This was, sadly, her final film, as she never worked again and went on to live a normal life. Patty is the lynch pin that holds this all together. She's bright, funny and just oozes charisma. Maybe she isn't the best actress, but the second act, where she first becomes 'Frankenhooker' is worth the price of admission. It's this part of the film that has earned it the cult status that it retains to this day. If the entire movie would have been her playing the role and the third act would have ended differently, then the whole movie would have been much stronger. Sadly, it felt like the ending was a bit rushed and created for shock value. Granted, it makes sense in the story line and was a bit of a morality tale, but you could have accomplished the same thing with other methods.


With all of that being said, don't take this to mean that I didn't enjoy this film. I had a lot of fun with it and it reminded me of the days in high school, where we'd order a couple of pizzas and watch something silly on a Friday night. It's the true definition of a guilty pleasure. For that and for the wonderful performance of Patty Mullen, I'm giving it 4 out of 5 stars. James Lorinz, who played Jeffery, should have been played by someone else and some restraint would have been nice, in terms of the ending. If you can look beyond all of that, like I did, and if you enjoy your horror on the weird side.... then this might be something for you. Synapse Films did a fantastic job on the transfer to Blu-ray and the supplemental materials are enjoyable. I can see why this one holds a sweet spot in a lot of peoples hearts. Patty has gone on record saying that she'd love to play 'Frankenhooker' again, in another film. We can only hope that someday, maybe that will happen. Until then, if you own this film, expect strange looks from people who see it on your shelves, but that's the price you pay for being a lover of the bizarre.



If you like this film, check out some of Frank's other works: the 'Basket Case' trilogy, 'Brain Damage' and 'Bad Biology'

Monday, November 13, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 13th, 1933


On this day in horror history.... Claude Rains brings to life, another of the Universal Monsters, as 'The Invisible Man' is released. A story of one man's decent into madness, this film may not be the best of the original bunch, but it holds its own. A fine installment in horror history indeed.



Sunday, November 12, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November12th, 2004


On this day in horror history.... the next installment in the 'Child's Play' franchisee is released. 'Seed of Chucky' is birthed into theaters, introducing Glen/Glenda to the Charles Lee Ray family of psychotic killing dolls. Chucky has maintained a consistently good series of films, that continues to this day!



Saturday, November 11, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 11th, 1951


On this day in horror history.... one of the best modern day horror actors, Bill Moseley, is born. He's been in some of the best horror films of the past 20 years and continues to leave his mark on the genre. Best known for his portrayal of Chop Top and Otis Firefly, Bill is a legend. Happy Birthday!



Friday, November 10, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November10th, 1889


On this day in horror history.... Claude Rains, one of the most popular actors of his time, is born. He may not have a huge horror history, but he did create one of the Universal Monsters, The Invisible Man. A rather over the top performance, but one that made sense in the context of the character. A man who's no longer able to be seen and the toll it takes on his psyche.



It's Time for a Terror Time Out Featuring 'Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers' 1989

One picture alone tells a story and a horror film is full of still frames that stand out as works of art. A Terror Time out is when we feature a still from one of those films. Here is this weeks frame of horror fame.



Michael is starting to look like Data from Star Trek: Next Generation, or maybe even Nick Cage, which makes more sense. Here we have the good doctor facing down the ultimate evil again. The significance of this picture can't be missed though, Loomis is the closest thing to a father Michael has ever known and Michael may be a prodigal son at this point.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 9th, 1988


On this day in horror history.... a horror icon is born, as 'Child's Play' is released. Who could have known that a little doll named Chucky would still be as popular today, as he was in 1988, but this years 'Cult of Chucky' proves his staying power. With no signs of slowing down, this franchise just keeps growing. I can also, honestly, say that I'm a fan.



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 8th, 1847


On this day in horror history.... the man behind Dracula, Bram Stoker, is born. He never could have known that his creation would literally take on a life of its own and become a horror icon. Authors dream of creating something bigger than themselves, but no one could have known what was to come.



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

On this day in horror history.... November 7th, 1971


On this day in horror history.... another horror from Hammer films is released, as 'Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde' makes it's way into the theaters. I've only dipped my toes into the Hammer pool, but this film is burned into my memory. I remember, in my youth, having a book on horror and seeing stills from the film and wondering what it was about. Someday, I'll find out.