With a few exceptions, I can’t say I was overly impressed with 2016’s horror movie selections. In fact, I’d pretty much written it off as yet another lousy year until the other night when I popped on a screener copy of The Autopsy of Jane Doe. The film made its debut last September at the Toronto International Film Festival before receiving a limited theatrical release here in the States on December 21st. It was filmed in the UK and marks the first English-speaking movie by Norwegian Director, André Øvredal, who also directed and produced a film the other Dave discussed back in 2011, Trollhunter. I can only hope this won’t be his last.
Friend of the Daves, Jason Schoolcraft, finishes up his two part coverage of the film SEVEN DORMS OF DEATH by interviewing film maker Richard-Marr Griffin!
Photo courtesy of Scorpio Film Releasing.
Jason: When and where did you get the bug to work in the film industry and make films?
Richard: When I was 12 years old my father bought me a Super 8 camera. I totally fell in love with making short films with friends and family members. When I was 20, I was hired by a local television station, where I spent 14 years directing, producing and editing magazine shows, talk shows, commercials. It was a tremendous way to learn all aspects of production, and get paid while doing it! In 2004 I left TV and formed my production company, Scorpio Film Releasing, with my partner Ted Marr.
The Daves would like to welcome friend and fellow horror fan Jason Schoolcraft to our site with his take on the film Seven Dorms Of Death! We are honored that Jason is sharing his first blog with us here on Terror From Beyond The Daves! Now, a little about Jason from Jason!
My name is Jason Schoolcraft and, just like the Terror Daves, I’ve always loved movies and animals! The former was sparked by my local library playing classic Our Gang/Little Rascals shorts back when I was growing up in the ‘70s. Later, my world would be forever changed when I was thirteen and my best friend Mike’s dad took us to a midnight showing of the original Dawn of the Dead by George Romero. I can honestly say that the film changed my life and single-handedly sparked a love of horror that persists to this day. I’m now forty-nine years young and fortunate to work at the Roger Williams Park Zoo (the same one that Terror Dave Albaugh works at) for twenty-six years and also part-time at a movie theater for the last nineteen. Both jobs have their perks but being affiliated with a theater not only garners me free admission but an introduction to just about every genre imaginable. In fact, calling me a “movie lover” is a definite understatement as I watch, on average, about 350-400 movies a year; not an exaggeration as I track and “grade” every single one of them! Though I’ve gained a broad appreciation for cinema, horror remains at the top, and my latest viewing was one I felt compelled to share with all of you.
Photo courtesy of Scorpio Film Releasing.
You need to see Baron Von Blah as the Horror host of the Celluloid Crypt (what a great name) in Seven Dorms of Death!
In the summer of 1986 Universal Studios and Lucas Productions (yes, THAT Lucas Productions) released a film that may go down in history as one of the worst movies of all time. It featured an all-star cast, featuring Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones and Tim Robbins and had a budget of $35,000,000 (it reportedly grossed $16,295,774 in the United States according to the IMDB website). The story features Howard, a humanoid duck character from a planet much like earth whose predominant species were ducks instead of hairless apes.
The Daves would again like to welcome guest writer Brandon Engel with yet another of his insightful blogs!
Zombie movies are plenty scary, and horror films featuring psychos on a rampage are horrific, but there’s one thing that’s even worse: when mother nature gets fed up and doles out some hellish comeuppance. Such movies are increasingly referred to as climate fiction, which combines the horror and sci-fi genres. The scariness lies in the fact that the scenarios presented in these films aren’t far off from becoming reality – ENMAX estimates that in the US alone, only about 20% of our energy needs are met by renewables or cleaner fossil fuels like natural gas; mostly we’re still using energy sources that have been linked to climate change. Here are some cli-fi movies that imagine the consequences of nature truly going wild.
Much like some of the climate phenomena that the world is witnessing today, the villain in the 1982 movie The Thing is hard to describe. This sci-fi thriller starring Kurt Russell was a hit because it maintained its mystery right through to its conclusion. What, exactly, is this thing? Where did it come from? How does it keep turning random guys and dogs into terrifying monsters? No one could answer those questions, but what the survivors did know at the movie’s end is that The Thing would eventually be how they met their end.
Before we officially begin looking forward at the big horror/thriller films 2016 has in store for us, we thought we’d take some time to look back at which films of the genre earned a permanent spot in our home video libraries last year. Most of these never made it to our local theaters so we thought we’d share our Top Ten Choices; possibly calling attention to some you may have missed. Before delving into them, we’d be remiss not giving a special Terror Dave ‘shout out’ to our friend, Jason Schoolcraft. He’s responsible for bringing most of these to our attention and his love of cinema made him the ideal person for helping us sift through the riff raff and directing us straight over to the good stuff! The following films represent our ten favorites. We’re not saying they’re critically the “best,” just that we liked them a lot and deemed them worthy of multiple viewings. Please feel free to share YOUR favorites of 2015 in the comments below!
Backcountry: I love a good “man vs. nature” film but finding a decent one can be pretty daunting. Sure there are plenty of them out there but, unfortunately, for every JAWS there’s about a hundred Sharknados. Personally, I like the ones where the animals aren’t super-sized, riding tornadoes, or boasting multiple heads. Despite our complacency, the fact is we humans are fairly easy prey items for plenty of real creatures living today. Two great examples are the Australian films, The Reef (2010) involving a shark and Black Water (2007) featuring a crocodile. Canada added another great entry to the mix this past year with a rather minimalistic story featuring two people, the great outdoors, and a marauding black bear. The tension between the main couple is occasionally reminiscent of Strangers and makes the viewer almost as quick to ignore the signs of a lurking bear as they are. By the time the animal actually does materialize, tension gives way to terror and you’ll think twice before ever veering off a forest trail again. Dave F.
The Daves are pleased to welcome back our very first guest writer, Jamie Lee Cortese!
Horror comedy is a very interesting and diverse genre. “Horror comedy” sounds like an oxymoron, but horror and comedy go together so well, and there are so many ways to approach this fun genre.