Movie review books. Those film guides that present to you an assortment of movies reviewed by a complete stranger. How do you know which ones to buy and which ones to avoid like the plague? This is really a tough question to answer, especially since we all have our own personal tastes (as do the authors of these books). It seems that a new guide comes out on an almost weekly basis and all have mixed reviews. So again, how do you know which ones to buy? I guess it really depends on what you are looking for. I am not a big fan of the movie guide that features every genre of movie. The reason for this is because, like I said earlier, everyone has their own personal taste and it may not agree with your own. Some people may love dramas but hate horror, so that will reflect in the book. So what do you do, give a book a negative review because the author’s opinion doesn’t match yours? I have actually seen this happen! The key to enjoying a movie guide is to keep an open mind and realize that we do all have our own personal tastes and just because the author may not like a movie you love, it does not make the book bad. When I buy a movie guide I am looking to see what that author liked or disliked about my favorite movies and if he dislikes something, I am very interested in why he dislikes it. Thankfully we are also seeing an increase in genre-specific movie guides, especially when it comes to horror and science fiction, two of my favorite movie types. This review is on one of these books, “The Fright File: 150 Films To See Before Halloween.”
Once again John Landis has proven why he is the master of mixing horror with comedy. He did it first in 1981 with AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and he was back at it eleven years later with INNOCENT BLOOD. Things that worked in his werewolf film…things like a recognizable cast, amazing effects, fun cameos and just the right mixture of horror and comedy…work just as well when he takes on vampires. Why he isn’t making more films I will never know.
From skeletons to zombies, if there’s one thing we can take away from a visit to MASK-FEST it’s that death is anything but the end!
As I write this everyone is in full swing Christmas mode which is perfect as what I present to you is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for individual in your life who also happens to be a Dark Shadows fan. Growing up I never watched the original Dan Curtis television series and have yet to attempt to watch it now. It does though have a very loyal following and I am sure it will be around for a very long time. This past year showed the release of Tim Burton’s interpretation of the classic soap opera starring one of his regulars, Johnny Depp.
It was great seeing my Horror Hosts friends this past weekend at MONSTERBASH! Count Gore de Vol, Son of Ghoul, Penny Dreadful, and Mr. Lobo are regulars there as well as Chilly Billy whom I met for the first time! Check out these pics…
Not long ago, I reviewed the book ABRAHAM LINCOLN VAMPIRE HUNTER (you can scroll down or click HERE). This coincided with the release of the new film which, despite a hectic weekend, I was able to see via a Sunday matinee. So the big questions are, how does the movie stack up and how does it compare with the book version? I was surprised to discover that the movie and the book could NOT have been more different! Without giving too much away, let’s hold the two versions up, side by side, for a closer look…
In anticipation of the upcoming film, I just finished reading “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” written by Seth Grahame-Smith and published 2010. There are countless books written about our famed 16th President, and that’s not too shocking since most historians will quickly site him as our #1 greatest leader. I do enjoy historical/political biographies, particularly those that deal with American Presidents. I’ve read several on Lincoln, though nowhere near the 16,000 that are said to exist on him. Regardless, I believe it is safe to assume that NONE of them are like this one!
Not long after the premiere of Tim Burton’s DARK SHADOWS, we shared the insights of Dr. Destruction (a life long fan of the show) which you can revisit HERE. Destruction wasn’t the only one eager to share his two cents as horror hostess, Penny Dreadful, also posted her own blog on the subject (see HERE). I suddenly found myself wishing I could sit down with the two of them (metaphorically speaking) and have them answer a few questions regarding their immense fandom of the show. And here’s what happened…
When I was five, I was drawn in by the “Dark Shadows” TV show. Initially it might of been because there was a child on the show (David Collins) who reminded me of Bill Mumy from one of my other favorite programs, “Lost in Space.” Whatever it was that drew me in, I was completely fascinated by Barnabas Collins along with the overall weirdness of the show that would ultimately stay with me my entire life.
Gre-Gory, the Big Bad Vampire Bat, by Mattel, is a toy that though I never owned personally, is one I always remembered! Being a monster fan as a child meant monster toys that for the most part were few and far between. I remember when I first saw the commercials for this toy it was something I wanted immediately (though to be honest, I don’t remember why I never got one)! This toy came out in 1978 and to this day I am surprised that it never made it to my Christmas list!
I just returned from seeing UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING at my local theater and, unlike its lead character, my heart is still pumping. After the last movie I saw, THE DEVIL INSIDE (my review HERE), I decided to keep my high hopes in check. While BOTH films managed to do quite well financially on their opening weekends, I attribute that more to us horror fans craving a night at the movies as opposed to a testament of the films themselves. This one, however, does give you your money’s worth.
As 2011 winds its way down, we can all agree that this certainly wasn’t a stellar year for horror. This should not suggest, however, that it didn’t have a few note worthy genre entries on the whole. As everyone seems intent on doing a “Year of Review” we thought we might add our own picks for our favorite horror/sci-fi films of 2011.
In a short while I’ll be hopping a plane out to Rhode Island to reunite with the other Dave. We’ll be doing some sight-seeing, covering the Rock & Shock convention, as well as visiting Salem, Massachusetts. Salem, of course, is famous for its witches and the infamous trials that took place there in 1692. However, witches weren’t the only thing troubling the minds of New Englanders back in our country’s earlier days. Two hundred years later, it would become the locale for another supposed creature – the vampire!
The genre crowd is abuzz regarding the news that our beloved “Slayer,” Sarah Michelle Gellar, will be returning to commercial television – both acting as well as serving as executive producer for a new Fall series titled “Ringer.” Gellar plays a woman on the run who conceals herself via the identity of her wealthy twin sister. I am a fan of Gellar and absolutely wish her all the best and will definitely check out the new show despite having mixed feelings.
Let me start by saying that I absolutely hate remakes. Anyone that has followed me on here knows that and my reasoning is simple…nine out of ten times they suck! The fact that so many of the movies coming out today are sequels or remakes really shows the state of Hollywood! They have literally run out of ideas (and I am sure it is a lot cheaper to hire someone to re-write something that worked in the 80’s then to hire someone with an original thought in their head).
A little over a month ago, I was having an email exchange with my co-blogger and friend, David Albaugh. He was disappointed that his plans for this October’s annual “Rock & Shock” horror convention in Massachusetts had fallen apart. Attending a fan convention alone is never as much fun as sharing the experience with a fellow enthusiast, especially if you’re looking for a reliable photographer to capture those rare moments of you interacting with your favorite celebs. I genuinely felt bad for him because I knew that, while fan conventions are abundant here in my centralized Midwest location of Chicago, this was much less the case in his native Rhode Island.