About these ads

Archive for July, 2010

The Slasher Vault: MADMAN

When asked to list their favorite slashers,  most folks will immediately list the classics;  HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13th, and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.  There is no question that these movies are horror masterpieces and the superstars of the slasher world (as illustrated by the number of sequels they spawned). There are, however, many more obscure ones worth checking out also. Often they are rip-offs of the aforementioned films, sometimes unique, and usually lots of fun. During the past 20 years, I’ve searched for as many slashers from the “golden age” that I could find. This era, most all fans of the genre will agree,  lasted from the mid to late 1970’s on through the mid 1980’s. At this date, I have counted close to 140 slashers from this period.

(more…)


Horror Movie Remakes (or WTF Hollywood?)

Why is it that every time I hear of a new horror movie coming out it’s a remake? Has Hollywood honestly run out of ideas to scare us with? I grew up in  the 70’s and 80’s and some of the all-time best horror movies came from that time period (and hell, some of them were remakes). Films like THE EXORCIST (1973), HALLOWEEN (1978), FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980), THE EVIL DEAD (1983), DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979), HELLRAISER (1987), THE FOG (1980), JAWS (1975), PREDATOR (1987), PUMPKINHEAD (1988), and even remakes like THE THING (1982), THE FLY (1986), THE BLOB (1988), were what I was watching in the movie theaters and later on VHS videotape. Back then Hollywood was full of original ideas and even with the remakes, they would breathe new life into an existing classic. Remakes of INVADERS FROM MARS (1986) and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) were fun and at times terrifying. To this day I will not swim at the beach because of JAWS and I am always fascinated by fogbanks thanks to John Carpenter.

(more…)

About these ads

Growing up with Rich Koz’s Svengoolie!

img_8194

It’s hard to imagine what my life would have been like had I not had the honor of growing up with Svengoolie. The “1970’s world” I was raised in was devoid of  VCR/DVD’s and DVR cable. Consequently, watching monster movies at your own convenience was simply not the option that it is today. I suppose this is the “you kids don’t know how good you have it” story that my generation gets to tell in place of “having to walk six miles to school in the freezing cold.” All kidding aside, however, you really did have to be home at the right time to catch a rare showing of what interested you. During this era, many of us “scary movie” kids depended on our local horror hosts to reliably deliver those goods.

(more…)


Jennifer’s Body – A Guilty Pleasure

What can I say? I love this movie! To be honest I don’t even remember it being in the theater (and if it was…was it even in there long?)! When this came out on DVD & Blu-ray (which you can order HERE) I bought a copy figuring I would take a chance, not really knowing what to expect. Sure it had Megan Fox but to be honest, she never really did it for me. Amanda Seyfried is more my type and I didn’t even know she was in it! That tells you how little I actually knew about this movie. When I put the DVD in for the first time I was totally blown away! This movie, in a nutshell, is alot of fun!  The characters are entertaining and the chemistry between Fox and Seyfried is awesome. Some of their nicknames for each other are hilarious and you’d really believe these two have been friends for a very long time. The scenes with Megan Fox as a demon are terrifying at times and she is a force to be reckoned with (but don’t sell Amanda Seyfried’s character of Needy short…she kicks some major ass too). One thing I like about Amanda Seyfried is that she always has great chemistry with her co-stars creating a more realistic movie. It’s also nice to see a movie that doesn’t rely on CGI effects and actually relies on a good story! Oh, and did I mention that Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried share one of the hottest onscreen kisses I have ever seen? Its worth seeing the movie just for this kiss! I do have one complaint though…the scene of the bar catching on fire just hit too close to home for me. Being a Rhode Islander this scene was a painful reminder of what actually happened here with The Station Nightclub fire. They should’ve figured out some other way for Jennifer to meet the band that ultimately turns her into a demon. Other than that this is a highly recommended movie and it is one of those rare gems that I can watch over and over again without getting tired of it. Check it out!

David A.


Welcome all!

Hello readers of TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES. This is the “other” Dave, aka Dave A. I have had a lifelong love of all things monsters. I grew up in Rhode Island so every Saturday I watched the Creature Double Feature that was shown on WLVI Channel 56 out of Boston, MA. Yes, I had to draw the signal in with rabbit ears and yes the picture was usually VERY snowy but there I was, tuned in every Saturday. As time went on and we got cable, I started watching Super Scary Saturday (hosted by Grampa Munster) on WTBS and Morgus The Magnificent on WPIX. I just could not get enough of these shows! Then came videotapes and so started my extensive collecting of horror/sci-fi/monster movies (which of course later had to be replaced in DVD and Blu-Ray format). In addition to collecting movies I also collect toys and monster masks. I am a huge fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Godzilla so alot of my collection does revolve around that. Me and Dave created this site so that we could share our interests with everyone out there with similar interests. We hope to add to this site regularly and since this is a work in progress I am sure it will evolve quite a bit in the coming months! We hope you enjoy reading our rants and raves as much as we enjoy making them!

David A.


G-Fest – Finding the Heart of Godzilla, right here in Chicago!

img_0631

In my years of fandom, I’ve had the privilege of attending many horror and sci-fi related shows & conventions. I’ve been to the first three STAR WARS Celebrations, an X-Files X-Po, Flashback Weekend, Horrorhound, and numerous Wizard Cons. While I’d consider all of these events to have been positive experiences, evoking countless great memories, none share the warmth and personal connection that G-FEST has to offer.
-
G-FEST (Godzilla Festival) recently celebrated its 17th year, many of which took place right here in Chicago. Although relatively meager in size, I can honestly say that (based on my personal experiences) it’s one of the most successful at connecting its fan base to their respective genres. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Japanese kaiju fans are a bit more specialized than the average monster movie lover. This, of course, would naturally attract a smaller and more intimate group of regulars year after year. Or maybe it is due to the fact that it was not created nor sponsored by an organized business/corporation but, instead, a Canadian school teacher named JD Lees along with a group of his like-minded friends. Whatever the reason, G-FEST is a phenomenon that I hope will continue for years to come.
-
I attended my first G-FEST back in 2004 along with my six year old son, Alex. That year also marked the 50th anniversary of Godzilla, an occasion that was celebrated at the festival, complete with a monster-sized birthday cake to be shared by all. I was immediately struck by the positive atmosphere and camaraderie that seemed to exist between those running the event, and those in attendance. I was also impressed by how much creativity (be it home made model, art work, fan film, music video, etc) was promoted at this convention. Since that time, we have returned year after year, without fail. It has become as much a part of our yearly calendar as Halloween, Christmas, or one of our own birthdays. Alex, now twelve, lamented to me during this past festival that he “could not imagine life without G-FEST. In that regard, I don’t believe he is alone.
-
G-FEST offers something for every kaiju fan – both child and adult. For kids there is an entire room dedicated to Japanese monster crafts, contests, and activities appropriately called Minya’s Place. One of the projects my son made that first year (a Gamera made of craft foam and Popsicle sticks) still adorns my work desk today. Other activities featured over the years include a “kaiju call,” where kids compete by mimicking their favorite monster’s roar, a kaiju poetry contest, and games such as “Please return the egg!” For years Minya’s Place was run by an amazing woman named Barb Weiler. Her ability to connect with the young visitors, as well her immense creativity, was inspiring not to mention crucial to the future of G-Fest. After all, it is the younger fans who will keep this genre (threatened by CGI and more modern special effects techniques) alive. While the youngest fans enjoy Minya’s Place, their older brothers & sisters will more than likely be found in the Video Gaming Room. The room is set up with multiple televisions and Wii game systems, while participants get to duke it out via GODZILLA UNLEASHED.
-

200_0073Alex greets Robert Scott Field

-

The legendary Stan Hyde runs my favorite room at G-FEST, the model room. This room serves as both a training thread for novice model builders, while also featuring that year’s submissions for judging. The talent displayed each year is absolutely amazing and I find myself making numerous trips to this room throughout the weekend. The essence of G-FEST is not about ego but rather allowing everyone a chance to express their fan fervor.

-

The model room is no exception. A child’s Play-Doh Godzilla can sit at the same table as an experienced modeler’s masterpiece. One such pro is Dennis Shannon Reid, whose numerous submissions year after year have also won accolades from the modeling expo, Wonderfest. One of his latest creations featured Godzilla battling the twin Mothra larva amid a Tokyo street. I could have stared at this highly detailed piece for hours and still found something new!

-

img_0725-

img_0891 Dennis Shannon Reid’s awesome model!

-
The costume contest/parade is also a strong draw at G-FEST. Once again you have experienced costumers walking alongside novices. Everyone cheers whether it is a detailed costume of Destroyah or a child wearing a black garbage bag with red eyes – ala’ Hedorah (The Smog Monster). Since being helmed by Paul Gavins back in 2006, the costuming thread has reached even newer heights. Mr. Gavins blew G-Festers away with his own Mechagodzilla III (Kiryu) costume during G-Fest XII and is now content to teach and encourage new costumers. During this past G-Fest, he helped construct a miniature Japanese city, in scale with the costumed participants.
-
This was to become the prime location of a short film, shot this year featuring “G-Fantis” – the G-Fest mascot. To assist in creating footage for this project, I (along with a slew of other eager fans) ran in terror down a Rosemont, Illinois street early that Saturday morning. The aforementioned film will make its YouTube debut later this year. And, yes, at the end of the festival, Paul did encourage anyone wearing a costume to come inside and trash the city, Godzilla-style!
-
img_09931Paul Gavins
-
The main highlight of most fan conventions, of course, is the celebrity guests they attract. G-FEST is no exception with this year’s guest being, as JD Lees described, “The biggest guest we’ve seen here at G-Fest to date.” Akira Takarada starred in six Godzilla films which include the first, GOJIRA (1954) as well as the latest, GODZILLA FINAL WARS (2004).
-
He also played in other TOHO film favorites such as LATITUDE ZERO, KING KONG ESCAPES, and HALF HUMAN. Takarada is still an active thespian and remains a prominent celebrity in Japan today. Next month, he will be returning to the United States to appear in a Broadway play titled, “Freddie the Leaf.” I’ll be writing more about my impressions of Takarada in a future blog but, suffice it to say, it was a great honor being able to watch the original GOJIRA with him in the audience at a nearby theater.
-
img_1078-
There are still many facets of G-FEST I haven’t touched upon but will hopefully be discussed in upcoming blogs. It has become an integral part of my family’s lives and, year  after year, seems to bring new friends and even better experiences our way. Of course I will continue to attend the numerous other conventions that pop up throughout the year. After all, I do love horror in ALL of its forms be it Japanese Kaiju to Dario Argento. But, to me, G-FEST will always be more like an annual family reunion as versus an organized event.  I would strongly encourage any Godzilla fan to come out next July and check it out!
-
Dave Fuentes~

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 134 other followers