Movie Review: BENEATH Is Much Deeper Than Just A Monster Movie (And That Is Not Necessarily A Good Thing)
I have been reading about this film for some time now, both in Fangoria and HorrorHound magazines. For the most part the reviews have been favorable and I am always up for a new monster movie. This is not your typical monster on the loose film and to be honest, I wish it was. The movie I am talking about is BENEATH, directed by Larry Fessenden.
If you’re a fan of movies, then you’ve probably perused a movie guide or two in search of inspiration. I’ve always been a fan of these books, especially if they revolve a specific film genre. This all started for me with John Stanley’s “Creature Feature Movie Guide” series and continues to this day. These guides aren’t perfect as they’re usually written by one person who has their own personal tastes. What this means is that the author may hate a movie you absolutely love and vice versa. Because they’re trying to cram so many movies into one guide, the films aren’t given as much of a personal touch with the reviews often ending up static. Not so with the subject of this review; a horror movie guide that takes things to a whole new level! I present to you., “HIDDEN HORROR: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks.”
Let me start by saying that I really wanted to like “It Came from 1957.” It had everything going for it; it covers one of my favorite subject matters and it is put out by one of the greatest publishing houses that releases horror and science fiction movie guides, McFarland & Company, Inc. All I can say is that this book was one big disappointment despite its potential.
I have always loved werewolf films, perhaps even more than vampire films. There is just something about a creature that completely transforms from human to beast and then tears its victims to pieces. The problem with werewolf films is that in my experience, they are either really good or they just suck. Here I present to you a variety of werewolf films to satisfy anyone’s shape-shifting needs.
To me there are two types of lycanthropic films; the werewolf and the wolf man. Werewolf films feature monsters that look nothing like their human counterparts whereas wolf men retain some of the characteristics of the human form and in most cases. still wear the clothes that were worn before the transformation. This blog is about werewolves.
When I took a detour past Rockford, IL, little did I know that I’d find a hidden treasure! Located in Roscoe, IL is the Historic Auto Attractions. Here you have Presidents mingling with wild animals, movie memorabilia, and so much more!
The seeds of this event were actually sewn during Svengoolie’s appearance at “The Squared Circle” (covered HERE). I mentioned in that post meeting a couple of zoo keepers from The Lincoln Park Zoo; one of whom, Marisa, had arrived with local Chicago Red-eye writer, Elliott Serano. Elliott’s a fellow Svengoolie fan and had just written a big story on the host. He’d brought Marisa along that night so she could sign folks up for her zoo’s AAZK Chapter’s (American Association of Zoo Keepers) “Bowling for Rhinos” with Sven as one of their celebrity guests. Svengoolie has graciously assisted my own Brookfield Zoo AAZK chapter with our annual Vital Grounds fundraiser (providing opportunities for the New England Terror Dave, David Albaugh, to meet him as covered HERE and HERE) and accepted her invitation…even if appearing only as his mild-mannered alter ego, Rich Koz.
To quote Terror Dave Fuentes as we were watching, this movie “started out with a bang”. It opens on a couple having sex in a home isolated in a remote forest location. When the girl goes to get a drink in the kitchen we have our first ominous moment – the motion sensitive light comes on in the backyard. As in most horror movies (really, movies in general), there are no curtains on any window in the house, so we have a clear view of the outside. The camera pans over and we get our first glimpse of the iconic image of the movie – an anonymous murderer in a cute animal mask. Moments later, her lover enters the room and sees the movie title written in her blood on the window – “You’re Next”. Tiger Mask gets him as well.
Lately I have found myself reading guide books of fun things to do in New England. Locations that would make for fun day trips with friends. One book I found of particular interest is “Curious New England” by Joseph A. Citro and Diane E. Foulds. Though this was the “updated and illustrated second edition,” it still came out in 2004 and is a bit outdated. Thankfully, most of the entries within are not.
Like most conventions, the 2013 Indianapolis Days of the Dead was spread across several large rooms at the hotel. Russ and I left the beautiful Jordan Ladd (a meeting covered in my last chapter) and embarked on what was to be the first of many walk throughs (which is why you’ll see us wearing different clothes in this post) of the dealer’s room. There were actually two main rooms designated for dealers, with some located out in the adjoining hallways. Although there were other guests we planned on meeting, they were located in one of these areas as opposed to the one exclusive to celebs
Early last summer, I published some photos of Brookfield Zoo’s 2012 “X-Treme Bugs” exhibit (see HERE). Sadly, this special exhibit has swarmed and gone but not before giving guests one last look during their “Creatures of the Night” event. Here are some pictures that will surely appeal those of us who grew up devoted to those giant atomic bug movies that were so popular back in the ’50s.
Two recently released movies (one on cable and another on the big screen) attempt to give viewers a behind the scenes glimpse of Alfred Hitchcock! While we can never gauge the accuracy of biography films, they do share some similarities. So how do these two stack up against each other in deconstructing The Master of Suspense?
Just recently I was checking out a favorite website of mine, DREAD CENTRAL, and they made mention of a book that really interested me. I have always been a huge fan of movie guides, especially those that concentrate on one type of movie, as opposed to an all-encompassing volume covering all types of movies. This particular book also struck a nerve because it specifically covered one of my all time favorite types of movies, the man vs. nature film. This type of film is no stranger to Terror From Beyond The Daves; in fact to date we have done two When Animals Attack blogs covering man vs. nature films. The first can be seen HERE and the second one HERE. Finally there is also a very well book covering these very same films!
With respect to religion and politics, the subject of “cats and dogs” can be equally divisive. It seems like most animal lovers will declare their allegiance to either one or the other. Maybe it’s the Libran in me, but I actually like both species. I also enjoy listening to both The Beatles AND Rolling Stones while considering myself a fan of “Star Wars” as well as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogies. Call me wishy-washy, but I think life’s more enjoyable when you aren’t an “all or nothing” kind of a person. Regarding the topic of pets; at this point in my life, I’m the proud owner of a beautiful tuxedo kitty named Felix. However, having had a loyal canine in my childhood, there are many times when I find myself longing for “man’s best friend.”
Anyone who really knows me understands that, interest-wise, I’m driven by two major things; zoos (animals) and genre films (horror, sci-fi, fantasy). I’ve been affiliated with my local Brookfield Zoo for the better part of 13 years and, as it was the zoo I grew up with and inspired my love of animals, consider it a sacred place. These past few years have been like a dream come true as my two worlds have finally begun to merge with regular guest appearances from my beloved horror host, Svengoolie. These happen each spring for our annual AAZK (American Association of Zoo Keepers) Spaghetti dinner as well as the zoo’s night time Halloween event, “Creatures of the Night.”
The legendary JAWS, is one film that many of us horror (and non-horror) fans can watch over and over again. It’s the original Hollywood “blockbuster” as well as the very root of our fear of the ocean and its most infamous predator, the great white shark. JAWS not only dredged up our anxieties of the man-eating fish but inadvertently created a legion of conservationists (whose fear turned to fascination) in its turbulent wake. Even in today’s CGI world, with new killer shark films being released almost monthly, JAWS not only stands the test of time but remains the undisputed champion. The film has seen many successful releases & upgrades on home video over the years, along with some fantastic documentaries detailing the arduous journey a young Steven Spielberg made while creating this film. But if you’ve only seen Hollywood’s version of what was taking place beyond the cameras, then you’ve only heard half the story…
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to announce the re-release (and expansion) of the ULTIMATE behind the scenes book, “Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard” (Titan Books).
I have to say, this is one of those blogs that I almost hate myself for writing. Generally when I critique a movie I try and keep it focused on the mainstream/bigger budget stuff because, in my view, it’s open game. People have assumed that this means I turn a blind eye to Independent films or that I don’t support them. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have a great deal of respect for Independent films which is why I hate criticizing them. Especially in this case when its a rare modern “monster movie” that features old school FX.
Just recently I made the expensive though right decision to upgrade my tv and blu-ray player to those that play 3-D. Because of this I am on the constant lookout for anything being released in 3-D and just recently a new film was released on blu-ray that looked promising, especially since it was receiving decent reviews on both Netflix and Amazon. This movie is the Australian shark movie BAIT!
Well, so much for spooking anyone from swimming in the ocean, as fall is effectively upon us. Don’t blame the Daves though, as the tardiness of this review falls entirely on my head. I’ll start out by saying this is the best-looking Blu-ray I have ever seen, and that isn’t because it is also, hands down, my favorite film. In this day and age, I highly doubt this is necessary, but beware of spoilers to come.
In an effort to bring in more guests to support the animals in their collections, many zoos around the country are seeking out extinct ones! Dinosaurs are a HUGE hit among kids (and adult kids like me) and perfectly illustrate that some of the best monsters imaginable were ones that really existed! These shots were taken at the Milwaukee Zoo’s “Adventure Dinosaur” and I loved how they incorporated realistic looking foliage to really give guests the full dino-effect! The prehistoric beasts also moved and made sounds!
The Daves would like to welcome back guest blogger Jamie Lee Cortese! We always appreciate her contributions to this site!
Community events, in my experience, can offer up a surprising amount of fun. The annual Little Boots Rodeo in Elk Grove Village is no exception.
Like the previous year, this year’s Rodeo was two days (Saturday, June 23, and Sunday, June 24). To the extent of my knowledge, the various offerings at the event were the same both days.
Among the returning attractions was a pair of mechanical bulls. These particular bucking bulls are designed for, as the event’s moniker suggests, the “little boots” moseying around the Rodeo. Although anyone can saddle up and try his or her luck, as a general rule, if you find yourself sitting down on the bull rather than hoisting yourself up onto it, then don’t expect to go tumbling to the inflated terrain below except of your own accord. For the junior cowpokes, however, it offers a fun opportunity for them to brush up on their bull taming skills without their parents worrying about their safety.
First off, let me say that I am a big fan of not only the original PIRANHA movie from 1978 but also the 2010 remake. The 2010 version has a lot going for it including a likeable cast, over the top gore effects and some pretty cool 3D. Unfortunately the sequel offers none of this.
I was 8 years old when PROPHECY hit the theaters. I remember seeing a picture of the monster in one of my parent’s magazines and begging the adults in my life to take me to see it. Of course none of them would siting, “You’ll get nightmares!” Monster kids will note that this was the “You’ll shoot your eye out kid,” line handed to us with consistent regularity. It would be a full decade when, in my teenaged years, I’d finally be able to see the film on VHS. In my opinion, it was well worth the wait.
Not long ago, I had a bit of a health scare. It started while I was on vacation in March enjoying the Horrorhound Weekend while also embarking on a zoo tour with the other Dave. I started feeling sore on my left chest and, after investigating, discovered a lump. I started getting scared as breast cancer is not a disease relegated to women (just ask Peter Criss from KISS) but also runs in my family. My mother successfully fought it back in the 90’s and last year my grandfather on my dad’s side was diagnosed as well.