I recently watched VHS Massacre: Cult Films and the Decline of Physical Media; an entertaining documentary that delves into the loss of hard copy films in favor of streaming services. Having been a teenager in the ‘80s, the film struck a chord as I’d witnessed the rise of VHS tapes first hand and was an avid collector myself. By the ‘90s, I had a custom VHS shelf that took up the better portion of my basement wall.
If you think its hard tracking down some of your favorite vintage horror movies, try finding their lesser known sequels! Sure we’re all familiar with the numerous Halloween and Friday the 13th films but the original Prom Night, House, Amityville Horror, and Silent Night Deadly Night (to name but a few) also spawned numerous follow ups that often got lost on the old video store shelves. Horror collectors are left in a quandary as these films are hard to come by or, in the rare event that they are re-released on DVD, are usually bland transfers often sold as double features. Thanks to the folks at Blue Underground, this is not an issue for fans of the Maniac Cop sequels. They’ve not only re-released BOTH on blu ray but with noticeable improvements!
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.
Horror aficionados will unanimously agree that the 1980’s were the Golden Age of slasher films. As I’ve discussed before in a retrospective on the original My Bloody Valentine (which you can relive HERE), the holidays were a particularly dangerous time for horny teenagers looking to celebrate these special dates in their own lascivious ways.
We weren’t sure what to expect upon receiving a screener copy of the 2013 film, Chastity Bites, directed by John V. Knowles. Not only had we never heard of it (something of a phenomena considering how much time we spend perusing horror magazines & websites these cold, winter days) but we also knew that lower budget, Independent films are hit or miss. Soon we BOTH agreed that this one was a definite hit! Not only did this modern tale bring back nostalgic memories of ’80s teen flicks but managed to do so with genuine jumps and plenty of laughs!
The 2013 film BIG ASS SPIDER! has everything going against it. When I first saw that this film was available for sale on DVD and Blu-ray all I could think was, “Great, another SyFy Channel crapfest movie of the week!” Sure there are favorable reviews on the back of the box but anyone can write anything they want on these boxes and to be honest, I haven’t heard of one of the listed reviewers. Granted, it was also an “official selection” at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival but what exactly does “official selection” mean and what the hell is the SXSW Film Festival? When I found a Blu-ray copy for $10 I thought to myself, “OK, I will give it a try” and boy am I glad I did. This movie is hilarious and a lot of fun to watch.
I am not a big fan of many of the independent films that are sent to me for review. Either I’m on the wrong mailing list or most low-budget fair means films made on a camcorder with little to no budget and even less when it comes to originality, imagination and heart. Thankfully, once in a great while a gem comes along. This is the case with Kurt Edward Larson’s SON OF GHOSTMAN. This film has all of the ingredients that make a great film.