Having graduated Class of ’89, the early ‘90s heralded my transition into adulthood. Although I had a job and was attending community college, those hedonistic days were also spent partying and having drunken horror movie marathons with friends. Although we may not have had any trouble staying dry, the same couldn’t be said for our entertainment. The golden age of slashers seemed to disappear as fast as our teens with trips to the video store yielding fewer and fewer results. Needless to say, any ‘80s-style horror stragglers were a welcome sight and today’s SteelBook Spotlight is a prime example. Whether the film’s charismatic masked killer or its “movie within a movie” homage to ‘50s sci-fi films, Popcorn made for an unexpectedly fun night back in 1991. And now, nearly three decades later, it’s been given an upgrade.
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to welcome back guest writer, Brandon Engel, for his fascinating perspective on a horror legend.
It’s all about personal taste. It’s easy to understand why audiences are either charmed or repelled by The Wizard of Oz, The Goodbye Girl and E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial. With “slasher movies”, although it’s easy to understand why many viewers reject such films, it’s a little more ambiguous why they attract such large cult followings. What is the appeal? Perhaps, the best way to arrive at the answer is to look at the career of the man who is credited with cementing the slasher movie formula, screenwriter/director/producer John Carpenter.
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to welcome back, David Albaugh…
This past weekend saw the release of the much-anticipated third entry in the Adam Green horror trilogy, HATCHET. You could either see this in select theaters or OnDemand and, since there weren’t any theaters in my area chosen for this film, I opted for OnDemand.
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.
Hollywood has a long standing tradition of taking those special days on calendar and using them as a backdrop for horror films. Of course this bloody holiday craze began with the immortal Halloween which not only inspired its own sequels but set into motion the ’80s golden age of slashers which were often to a special occasion. Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, Graduation Day, Happy Birthday to Me, New Years Evil, and Mother’s Day are all examples of the trend with Christmas inspiring its own numerous blood-soaked entries as well. There was even a film titled The Day After Halloween (which I guess sounds a lot more ominous than “November 1st”) that had absolutely nothing to do with Carpenter’s classic while cleverly riding its holiday-themed coattails. But what about Thanksgiving? Did America’s “Day of Thanks” offer us horror fans anything to be grateful for? Continue reading
When asked to list their favorite slashers, most folks will immediately list the classics; HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13th, and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. There is no question that these movies are horror masterpieces and the superstars of the slasher world (as illustrated by the number of sequels they spawned). There are, however, many more obscure ones worth checking out also. Often they are rip-offs of the aforementioned films, sometimes unique, and usually lots of fun. During the past 20 years, I’ve searched for as many slashers from the “golden age” that I could find. This era, most all fans of the genre will agree, lasted from the mid to late 1970’s on through the mid 1980’s. At this date, I have counted close to 140 slashers from this period.