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.
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.
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 wolfman. Werewolf films feature monsters that look nothing like their human counterparts whereas wolfmen retain some of the characteristics of the human form and in most cases. still, wear clothes that were worn before the transformation. This blog is about werewolves.
It has been mentioned many times on this site that John Carpenter’s THE FOG is a favorite movie of both Daves. Unfortunately, up until recently, good quality versions of this film have been non-existent. Even the blu-ray that was available as an import on Amazon for so long was just a blu-ray version of the MGM Special edition that came out many years ago (in other words, it was less than perfect). Once again Shout! Factory has gone to great lengths to provide us with a great release in its best form to date! These guys know what they are doing and know what the fans want!
Shout! Factory has done it again with their latest blu-ray offering, the 1985 George Romero classic DAY OF THE DEAD. I have always been a fan of Romero’s Dead Trilogy, and to be honest, this is my favorite of the three and I was very excited to hear that it was finally getting its long-overdue blu-ray release. Of the three films this one, in my opinion, is the darkest and why it works so well.
Most of the film takes place underground in an abandoned missile silo where a group of military personnel and scientists have gathered together to try and figure out what is going on above. The characters are perfectly cast and this film is interesting to watch as the group breaks down and collapses; much like the world on the outside did. You really get a sense of how bad things are in this movie whereas, in the two previous films, there seems to be actual hope. This is evident right from the beginning when a visit is made to Florida in search of survivors. The streets are empty and it’s obvious it has been this way for quite some time. The only signs of life are animals such as alligators and tarantulas who have now moved into the once-populated areas.
It really amazes me these days how certain movies are able to be made and get distributed even though they’re horrible and yet certain films, that are really good and original, can’t get a distribution deal to save its life! This was the case with Trick r Treat from 2007, a phenomenal Halloween-themed movie that took a good two years to see the light of day. It happened again just recently with the film The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond; a movie made in 2009 that just got released this month…four years later!