Both of us Daves are huge fans of Quentin Tarantino’s GRINDHOUSE films; Planet Terror and Death Proof! Though the majority of movie-goers didn’t quite grasp the whole concept, these films were a pitch-perfect homage to the cheap, drive-in movie exploitation films of the early ‘70s. Aside from that, both movies are the kind we both can (and do) watch multiple times even though they’re very different in terms of content. While searching for interesting stops on our 2015 road trip, I discovered that one of the black 1971 Chevrolet Nova SS 396’s used in the film would be only minutes away from the hotel we were staying at in Jackson, Tennessee. Consequently, we would become as obsessed about seeking it out as Zoe Bell’s character in the film was for a 1970 Dodge Challenger!
We’d just stepped away from Lita Ford’s table before stumbling into an argument between a Days of the Dead volunteer and an attractive blond. The dedicated staffer was giving the woman a hard time about entering the celebrity room without a convention badge. While frantically digging through her handbag, she pleaded that she was a scheduled guest and needed to get in. It was at that moment we noticed she was Jordan Ladd,from Death Proof, Hostel II, and Cabin Fever. and daughter of Charlie’s Angels, Cheryl Ladd. Needless to say, we wasted no time intervening on her behalf.
This past year or so has featured many amazing blu-ray releases that will make great gifts for that genre fan in your life. This was not an easy list to compile since there are so many great releases to choose from! I also wanted to limit myself to 13 titles, or else this list would’ve just gone on and on. I am a huge fan of the blu-ray format but have noticed that just because something is on blu-ray and says it is in high-definition, does not mean it is actually going to look good! It all depends on the source used for the transfer. When I watch a blu-ray, I want to feel like I am seeing the film for the first time, even if I have seen it multiple times before. This list is of blu-ray releases that did just that! ENJOY!
This past weekend John Carpenter fans came out in droves to see the new prequel to his 1982 masterpiece THE THING. The Daves were no exception. And this would also mark the first horror film that we would both see together at the theater. We did not have high expectations, though the film did promise to maintain the same cinematic quality as its predecessor. We worried that it would stray too far from the special effects that had made it so memorable. Also a concern, was how to make a film 30 years later that actually looked as if it had been made 3 years prior. In that regard, we were pleasantly surprised. From the film’s score to its recognizable opening credits, it did indeed look cohesive.
It was a ride for dear life as we headed down to Indianapolis for the first annual DAYS OF THE DEAD horror convention! One could not ignore the FINAL DESTINATION like signs as we made our way through a torrential Midwest thunderstorm, a near collision with a semi truck sporting a decal reading “Drive Safely: Heaven can Wait,” and a large, ominous wooden sign with the words HELL IS REAL glaring at us. The irony of these sights while traveling to an event named DAYS OF THE DEAD was not lost upon us.
Despite these “omens,” we did arrive safely and the only collision I encountered was bumping shoulders with actor, Tom Sizemore, in the hotel lobby. Indeed, celebrities were in no short supply at this convention and were located throughout the three main convention halls. The event was run by a young man named Adolfo Dorta who admitted that this was not only the first DAYS OF THE DEAD convention but his first venture in running one. Judging by the positive reactions from both the celebrities and fans I heard throughout the weekend, it is certain not to be his last.
So we all have our favorite movies and we all have our personal reasons as to why they are our favorites. We all also have movies that we can just watch over and over again, never tiring of them. That is what this list is all about. What is interesting about this list, is that some of my all time favorite films do not even fall on it. Even though a movie may be a favorite of mine, it doesn’t mean that I can watch it repeatedly and still enjoy it as much as I did the first time I watched…this aspect is actually rare in a film for me. As much as I love DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979), THE FOG (1980), THE THING (1982) and HALLOWEEN (1978), I cannot watch these movies repeatedly and usually limit them to one viewing a year. This list comprises those movies that I watch multiple times a year, sometimes more than once a month…they are THAT good to me! I have listed them in alphabetical order since I do not necessarily prefer one over another.
It’s that time of year again…the weather is cold and people are dreading maxing out their credit cards while purchasing gifts they can ill afford. Though commercialism seems to have destroyed the Christmas spirit in many people, certain traditions still hold true. Like, for example, Christmas music played by local radio stations the week after Halloween, the customary office holiday party, and the myriad of television specials hitting the airwaves. Fortunately, amid the forgetable new ones, you can still find such timeless staples as Rankin Bass’ RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS and SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN.
As adults, we can still enjoy those shows along with an entirely new holiday tradition…the Christmas horror movie. As mentioned In our earlier piece regarding Thanksgiving films, Christmas has an impressive array of its own entries in the holiday slasher sub genre. Naturally, these movies often garner bad press for portraying the holiday’s most endearing figure, jolly old Santa Claus, as a sadistic killer. While also promising lots of nudity and gore to accompany the “blasphemy,” the controversy rarely, if ever lived up to the hype.
Aside from that, a bit of parental “common sense” would go a long way. These films were obviously never meant to be seen by kids and certainly not intended to be seen as a double feature along with IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE or A CHRISTMAS STORY (even though the director of A CHRISTMAS STORY, Bob Clark, also directed the zombie classic CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS and the 1975 Christmas horror movie BLACK CHRISTMAS).
What we now present to you is a list of some of the most noteworthy Christmas horror movies to get you back into the Christmas spirit.