TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – MARCH 23, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Director – Dominique Othenin-Girard

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is a 1989 American slasher film and the fifth installment in the Halloween film series. It was directed and co-written by Dominique Othenin-Girard and starred Donald Pleasence, who again portrayed Dr. Sam Loomis, and Danielle Harris, who reprised her role as Jamie Lloyd. The film takes place exactly one year after the events depicted in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Michael Myers has returned to the sleepy town of Haddonfield, Illinois to murder his niece, Jamie, who is now mute. Dr. Loomis tries to save the day with the help of Sheriff Meeker.

The film’s on-screen titles do not display the “The Revenge of Michael Myers” subtitle which was used in all of the promotional material, TV spots, trailers, and merchandise. The main titles simply say “Halloween 5“.

On October 31 1988, Michael Myers (Don Shanks) is shot and falls down a mine shaft. The state troopers toss dynamite down the mine, but Michael escapes in time. He comes across a hermit’s shack and falls into a coma. On October 30, 1989, Michael awakens, kills the hermit, and returns to Haddonfield, where his niece Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) continues to live after nearly being killed by Michael the year before.

Jamie has been committed to a children’s hospital, having been rendered mute due to psychological trauma, but exhibits signs of a telepathic link with her uncle. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) becomes aware of Jamie’s psychic link with Michael, and tries to convince Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr) that Michael is still alive. Meanwhile, Michael kills Jamie’s sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell) and begins stalking the sisters’ friend Tina (Wendy Kaplan), also killing Tina’s boyfriend Mike.

That night, Tina and her friends Sam and Spitz go to a Halloween party at a farm. Sensing that Tina is in danger, Jamie, having regained her ability to speak, goes to warn her; her friend Billy goes with her. While Sam and Spitz are having sex in the barn, Michael appears and murders them, then leaves the barn and kills two deputies that Loomis had asked to keep an eye on Tina for her protection. After the party, Tina goes to the barn and discovers the bodies. Michael chases Tina, Jamie, and Billy with a car. Tina sacrifices herself to save Jamie, and Michael fatally stabs her in the chest. Loomis, Meeker, and the police arrive on the scene and rescue Jamie and Billy. Jamie agrees to put herself in danger to help Loomis stop Michael for good. Loomis lures Michael back to his abandoned home.

In the old Myers house, Loomis and the police create a set-up. Jamie has visions of Billy, which causes Meeker, along with most of his backup, to leave the Myers house. Eventually, Michael arrives, kills the two remaining officers, and subdues Loomis as he tries to reason with him. Jamie hides in an old laundry chute, but is forced to abandon it after Michael finds her and repeatedly stabs the chute. She then hides in the attic and finds the bodies of Rachel and Mike. Michael finds her, and Jamie tries appealing to her uncle’s humanity but ultimately fails after touching Michael’s face, sending him into a fit of rage. Loomis appears, using a tranquilizer gun to weaken him and then proceeds to violently beat him unconscious with a wooden plank. Afterwards, Loomis suffers a stroke and collapses.

Michael is locked up in the sheriff’s station, to eventually be escorted to a maximum-security prison. However, a stranger in black arrives and attacks the police station, killing everyone, including Sheriff Meeker. Jamie walks through the station, and discovers Michael’s holding cell to be empty.

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – MARCH 16, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Dracula (1931)
Director – Tod Browning

Dracula is a 1931 American pre-Code vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, which in turn is loosely based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Renfield (Dwight Frye) is a solicitor traveling to Count Dracula’s (Bela Lugosi) castle in Transylvania on a business matter. The people in the local village fear that vampires inhabit the castle and warn Renfield not to go there. Renfield refuses to stay at the inn and asks his carriage driver to take him to the Borgo Pass. Renfield is driven to the castle by Dracula’s coach, with Dracula disguised as the driver. En route, Renfield sticks his head out the window to ask the driver to slow down, but sees the driver has disappeared; a bat leads the horses.

Renfield enters the castle welcomed by the charming but eccentric Count, who unbeknownst to Renfield, is a vampire. They discuss Dracula’s intention to lease Carfax Abbey in London, where he intends to travel the next day. Dracula hypnotizes Renfield into opening a window. Renfield faints as a bat appears and Dracula’s three wives close in on him. Dracula waves them away, then attacks Renfield himself.

Aboard the schooner Vesta, Renfield is a raving lunatic slave to Dracula, who hides in a coffin and feeds on the ship’s crew. When the ship reaches England, Renfield is discovered to be the only living person. Renfield is sent to Dr. Seward’s sanatorium adjoining Carfax Abbey.

At a London theatre, Dracula meets Seward (Herbert Bunston). Seward introduces his daughter Mina (Helen Chandler), her fiancé John Harker (David Manners) and the family friend Lucy Weston (Frances Dade). Lucy is fascinated by Count Dracula. That night, Dracula enters her room and feasts on her blood while she sleeps. Lucy dies the next day after a string of transfusions.

Renfield is obsessed with eating flies and spiders. Professor Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) analyzes Renfield’s blood and discovers his obsession. He starts talking about vampires, and that afternoon Renfield begs Seward to send him away, claiming his nightly cries may disturb Mina’s dreams. When Dracula calls Renfield with wolf howling, Renfield is disturbed by Van Helsing showing him wolfsbane, which Van Helsing says is used for protection from vampires.

Dracula visits Mina, asleep in her bedroom, and bites her. The next evening, Dracula enters for a visit and Van Helsing and Harker notice that he does not have a reflection. When Van Helsing reveals this to Dracula, he smashes the mirror and leaves. Van Helsing deduces that Dracula is the vampire behind the recent tragedies.

Mina leaves her room and runs to Dracula in the garden, where he attacks her. She is found by the maid. Newspapers report that a woman in white is luring children from the park and biting them. Mina recognizes the lady as Lucy, risen as a vampire. Harker wants to take Mina to London for safety, but is convinced to leave Mina with Van Helsing. Van Helsing orders Nurse Briggs (Joan Standing) to take care of Mina when she sleeps, and not to remove the wreath of wolfsbane from her neck.

Renfield escapes from his cell and listens to the men discuss vampires. Before his attendant takes Renfield back to his cell, Renfield relates to them how Dracula convinced Renfield to allow him to enter the sanitorium by promising him thousands of rats with blood and life in them. Dracula enters the Seward parlour and talks with Van Helsing. Dracula states that Mina now belongs to him, and warns Van Helsing to return to his home country. Van Helsing swears to excavate Carfax Abbey and destroy Dracula. Dracula attempts to hypnotize Van Helsing, but the latter’s resolve proves stronger. As Dracula lunges at Van Helsing, he withdraws a crucifix from his coat, forcing Dracula to retreat.

Harker visits Mina on a terrace, and she speaks of how much she loves “nights and fogs”. A bat flies above them and squeaks to Mina. She then attacks Harker but Van Helsing and Seward save him. Mina confesses what Dracula has done to her, and tells Harker their love is finished.

Dracula hypnotizes Briggs into removing the wolfsbane from Mina’s neck and opening the windows. Van Helsing and Harker see Renfield heading for Carfax Abbey. They see Dracula with Mina in the abbey. When Harker shouts to Mina, Dracula thinks Renfield has led them there and kills him. Dracula is hunted by Van Helsing and Harker knowing that Dracula is forced to sleep in his coffin during daylight, and the sun is rising. Van Helsing prepares a wooden stake while Harker searches for Mina. Van Helsing impales Dracula, killing him, and Mina returns to normal.

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – MARCH 9, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Friday the 13th (1980)
Director – Sean S. Cunningham

In the summer of 1958 at Camp Crystal Lake, two camp counselors named Barry and Claudette sneak away from a campfire and into a storage barn. Before they are able to have sex, an unseen assailant enters the barn and murders them both.

Twenty one years later, newly hired counselor Annie Phillips enters a small diner and asks for directions to the reopened Camp Crystal Lake. A friendly truck driver named Enos agrees to drive Annie halfway, while an elderly man named Crazy Ralph warns Annie against going, believing the camp has a “death curse”. During the drive, Enos tells Annie about a young boy that drowned at Crystal Lake in 1957 and about the two murders the following year. After Enos drops her off, Annie hitches another ride from an unseen second driver, who later chases her into the woods and slashes her throat.

At the camp, counselors Ned, Jack, Bill, Marcie, Brenda and Alice, along with the owner Steve Christy, refurbish the cabins and facilities. As a thunderstorm approaches, Steve leaves the campground to gather supplies. Soon, the murderer arrives and begins to kill the camp counselors; Ned is murdered off-screen, Jack gets stabbed with an arrow from underneath the bed, Marcie gets an axe slammed into her forehead, and Brenda is murdered also off-screen in the arrow range. When Steve returns, he appears to recognize the unseen killer before he is stabbed in the stomach.

As Alice and Bill are the only ones left, they leave to investigate after discovering a bloody axe in Brenda’s bed, the phones disconnected, and the cars inoperable. When the power goes out, Bill goes to check on the generator and is killed off-screen. When Alice looks around for Bill, she finds his body pinned with arrows onto the shed door and she flees back to the main cabin to hide.

Seeing a vehicle pulling up, she rushes outside and is greeted by a middle-aged woman named Pamela Voorhees, who says she is an old friend of Steve’s. As Alice brings her inside, Pamela reveals that her son Jason was the boy who drowned in 1957 and she blames his death on a pair of counselors who were having sex instead of watching him. Revealing herself as the killer, she turns violent and rushes toward Alice with a bowie knife. A chase ensues, in which Pamela attempts to kill Alice. Following a confrontation in which Pamela is knocked out, Alice escapes to the shore, but Pamela finds her and attempts to kill her again. During the final struggle, Alice manages to decapitate her with a machete and she falls asleep inside a canoe, floating out to Crystal Lake.

Just as Alice awakens and sees police arriving, Jason’s decomposing body suddenly emerges and drags her underwater. She then awakens in a hospital, where a police officer and medical staff tend to her. When she asks about Jason, the officer says that there was no sign of any boy, to which Alice says “Then he’s still there.”

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – MARCH 2, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Pumpkinhead (1988)
Director – Stan Winston

In the prologue set in 1957, Tom Harley waits inside his farm cabin with his wife and young son, Ed. A doomed man seeks sanctuary at Tom’s cabin, but Tom refuses and threatens to shoot him if he does not leave. Watching through a window, Ed witnesses the man caught and killed by a grotesque monster.

In the present, Ed Harley owns a small store in the country. He briefly leaves his young son alone while he runs an errand. A group of teenage campers stop by Harley’s, and, while riding their dirt bikes, they mortally injure Harley’s son. One teen, Steve, stays with the boy until his father’s return; the rest flee the scene. At their cabin, the campers fight about whether or not to call the police. Joel, who is personally responsible for the boy’s injury and is on probation for a similar incident, knocks one of his friends unconscious and locks him and another girl in the closet to stop them from contacting the authorities.

Harley, with his pet dog Gypsy, goes to see a supposed witch, who says she cannot bring his son back. Instead, Harley says that he wants revenge; the witch agrees to help Harley, but she warns him that vengeance comes with a terrible price. On her orders, Harley goes to an old graveyard in the mountains, digs up a disfigured corpse, and brings it back to the witch’s home. The witch uses blood from father and son to resurrect the corpse, which rises as a gigantic, spindly demonic monster named Pumpkinhead.

Back at the cabin, Joel begins to experience remorse for his actions and determines to turn himself in to the police. The monster, however, has already arrived. One of the girls, Maggie, hears a voice whispering her name. Seemingly hypnotized, she follows the voice outside the cabin. Steve brings her out of her trance, but Pumpkinhead kills him. Harley experiences the murder through the monster’s eyes. While the campers search for Steve, Pumpkinhead drags away Maggie, and Harley again experiences the ensuing murder. He returns to the witch and begs her to stop the monster’s actions. The witch laughs mockingly and says that Pumpkinhead cannot be stopped, and warns that Harley will die if he interferes with the killing spree.

Joel confronts Pumpkinhead with a knife, but it swats him aside and drags off Kim, whom it drops from a fatal height. The three remaining campers unsuccessfully beg the locals for help. Harley arrives and shoots Pumpkinhead, but when Joel checks to see if the creature is still alive, it grabs a fallen rifle and impales him with it. A local boy, Bunt, helps the two remaining campers, Tracey and Chris, reach an abandoned church. Bunt relates the legend of the monster Pumpkinhead, explaining that the monster avenges one who was wronged. If anyone tries to stop Pumpkinhead, that person becomes marked, too. As Chris’ dirt bike fails to start, he sees that Pumpkinhead has removed the drive chain; he lifts up the bike, with Chris still on it, and throws it against a tree. He then drags his body back to Harley’s house, where Tracey, Bunt, and Harley have taken shelter.

Pumpkinhead captures Bunt, and as Harley experiences the attack, Tracey is terrified to see that the monster’s head now resembles Harley’s. She runs outside and finds Chris struggling to crawl away as Pumpkinhead prepares to kill Bunt. Harley stumbles out of the barn but is accidentally stabbed in the arm by a pitchfork. Both Harley and Pumpkinhead cry out in pain, and Pumpkinhead releases Bunt. Harley notices that Pumpkinhead’s head is turning more human, then realizes that he and Pumpkinhead are one: the only way to kill the monster is to die himself.

Pumpkinhead grabs Tracey by the neck, but before he can kill her, Harley shoots himself in the head. Pumpkinhead momentarily collapses to the ground, then grabs Bunt again. Tracey takes the gun and Harley begs her to finish him off. Harley, now fully changed, tries to attack Tracey. She shoots him until both he and Pumpkinhead fall to the ground dead. Tracey, Bunt, and Chris then watch as Pumpkinhead bursts into flames. Later that night, back in the pumpkin patch, the witch buries Harley’s now-disfigured corpse in Pumpkinhead’s grave, still wearing the necklace his son Billy made him.

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – FEBRUARY 23, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Phantasm (1979)
Director – Don Coscarelli

Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, co-produced, and edited by Don Coscarelli. It introduces the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a supernatural and malevolent undertaker who turns the dead into dwarf zombies to do his bidding and take over the world. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike (Michael Baldwin), who tries to convince his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) and family friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) of the threat.

Phantasm was a locally financed independent film; the cast and crew were mostly amateurs and aspiring professionals. Though initial reviews were mixed in regards to the dream-like, surreal narrative and imagery, later reception was more positive and the film became a cult classic. It has appeared on several critics’ lists of best horror films, and it has been cited as an influence on later horror series. It was followed by four sequels: Phantasm II (1988), Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994), Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998) and Phantasm: Ravager (2016).

Following the deaths of his parents, 24-year-old musician Jody Pearson raises his 13-year-old brother, Mike, in a small Oregon town disturbed by the mysterious deaths of its citizens. Reggie, a family man and ice cream vendor, joins the brothers in their suspicions of the local mortician, dubbed the ‘Tall Man’, as being responsible for the deaths. Mike relays his fears to a fortune teller, and her granddaughter about the possibility of Jody departing and leaving him in the care of his aunt, along with his suspicions concerning the Tall Man. Mike is shown a small black box and told to put his hand into it. After he does so, the box grips his hand, and Mike is told not to be afraid, and, as his panic subsides, the box relaxes its grip. The notion of fear itself as the killer is established, propelling Mike toward his final confrontation with the Tall Man.

Minions of the Tall Man, deceased townspeople who are shrunk down to dwarf size and reanimated, pursue Mike after he investigates further. After convincing Jody and Reggie, who are initially skeptical of his stories, they find a strange white room, in the mausoleum, with barrel-shaped containers stacked high against the visible wall, as well as 2 parallel stanchions, placed, seemingly arbitrarily. Mike discovers when he puts his hand between the 2 stanchions, it seems to disappear, but, in fact, the stanchions are a gateway to another dimension, which he enters briefly.

in the oThere, he sees the dwarves who’ve hunted him being used as slaves. While trying to escape the Tall Man, Reggie is stabbed and appears to die, and Mike and Jody barely escape. They devise a plan to lure the Tall Man into a local deserted mine shaft and trap him inside. After doing so successfully, Mike wakes with a start in his house, lying by the fireplace.

Reggie, who is sitting beside him, tells Mike he was simply having a nightmare, something which has been a common occurrence since Jody died in a car crash. When Mike enters his bedroom, he is shocked to see the Tall Man is waiting behind the door. In the final shot, one of the Tall Man’s dwarf minions pulls Mike through his bedroom mirror, as the Tall Man, glowers, and bellows; ‘boy’

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – FEBRUARY 16, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

The Beyond (1981)
Director – Lucio Fulci

The Beyond (Italian: L’aldilà) is a 1981 Italian horror film directed by Lucio Fulci. The second film in Fulci’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy (along with City of the Living Dead and The House by the Cemetery), The Beyond has gained a cult following over the decades.

In Louisiana’s Seven Doors Hotel in 1927, a lynch mob murders an artist named Schweick, whom they believe to be a warlock. This opens one of the Seven Doors of Death, allowing the dead to cross into the world of the living. Several decades later, Liza, a young woman from New York, inherits the hotel and plans to re-open it. Her renovation work activates the hell portal, and she contends with increasingly strange incidents. A plumber named Joe investigates flooding in the cellar and a demonic hand gouges out his eye. His body and another are later discovered by a hotel maid, Martha.

Liza encounters a blind woman named Emily, who warns that reopening the hotel would be a mistake. Joe’s wife Mary-Anne and their daughter Jill arrive at the hospital morgue to claim Joe’s corpse. Jill finds her mother lying on the floor unconscious, her face burned by acid. Liza meets with Dr. John McCabe, and receives a phone call informing her of Mary-Anne’s death. After the funerals, Liza encounters Emily at the hotel. Emily tells Liza the story of Schweick, and warns her to not enter room 36. When Emily examines Schweick’s painting, she begins to bleed and flees the hotel.

Liza ignores Emily’s advice, and investigates room 36. She discovers an ancient book titled Eibon. She sees Schweick’s corpse nailed to the bathroom wall. She flees the room in terror, but is stopped by John. She takes him to room 36 but both the corpse and the book are gone. Liza describes her fearful encounters with Emily, but John insists that Emily is not real. While in town, Liza spots a copy of Eibon in the window of a book store, but when she rushes in to grab it, a different book is in its place. The shop owner says the book has been there for years, prompting Liza to remark to John that perhaps it is all in her head. At the hotel, a worker named Arthur attempts to repair the same leak as Joe, but is killed off-screen by ghouls.

Liza’s friend Martin visits the public library to find the hotel’s blueprints. He is struck by a sudden force and falls from a ladder, resulting in paralysis. Spiders ravage his face and kill him. Martha is cleaning the bathroom in Room 36 when Joe’s animated corpse emerges from the bathtub. Joe pushes her head into an exposed nail, killing her and destroying one of her eyes. The walking corpses of Schweik, Joe, Mary-Anne, Martin and Arthur invade Emily’s house. She pleads with them to leave her alone, and insists she will not return with Schweik. She commands her guide dog to attack the corpses, but the dog turns on Emily, tearing out her throat.

At the hotel, spirits terrorize Liza. John breaks into Emily’s house, which appears to have been abandoned for years, and finds Eibon. He returns to the hotel and tells Liza that it is a gateway to Hell. They flee to the hospital, but it has been overrun by zombies. Liza is attacked, but John gets a gun out of his desk and shoots the shambling corpses. Only Harris and Jill are found still alive, but Harris is killed by flying shards of glass. Jill, having shown signs of possession since the funeral, finally attacks Liza. John is forced to kill Jill.

Escaping the zombies, John and Liza rush down a set of stairs but find themselves back in the basement of the hotel. They move forward through the flooded labyrinth and stumble into a supernatural wasteland of dust and corpses. No matter which direction they travel, they find themselves back at their starting point. They are ultimately blinded just like Emily, succumb to the darkness, and disappear.

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – FEBRUARY 9, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Hell of the Living Dead (1980)
Director – Bruno Mattei

Hell of the Living Dead (Italian: Virus – l’inferno dei morti viventi) is a 1980 Italian-Spanish horror film directed by Bruno Mattei The film is set in a laboratory in Papua New Guinea that sends out a dangerous chemical that turns the technicians and locals into zombies. An Italian news reporter (Margit Evelyn Newton) and her crew land on the island to investigate.

Hell of the Living Dead was a project developed by producers and given to director Bruno Mattei who attempted to create film similar to Dawn of the Dead but lighter in tone. It was shot in five weeks in Spain with a script that was not Mattei’s first choice and a score by the band Goblin which was taken from other film scores they had performed. The film has generally received negative reviews noting bad dialogue and being derivative of the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead.

At a top secret chemical research facility called Hope Center #1, a rat causes a chemical leak and dies; but as two workers investigate, that rat suddenly comes back to life and kills one of the men. Subsequently, the entire staff of the plant turn into flesh-eating zombies. A four-man team of commandos led by Lt. Mike London (José Gras) are deployed to eliminate a group of Eco-terrorists who have taken hostages inside a large building at the US Embassy in Barcelona, Spain. The unknown terrorists demand the closing down of all the Hope Centers, which both the government and the military deny the existence of, and the press, under orders of the local authorities, do not make any public announcement to the terrorists’ demands or any mentioning of Hope Centers. After pumping tear gas into the building, Lt. London and his three commandos burst into the room where the terrorists are and kill them all. Once the mission is completed, the team flies to Papua New Guinea due to communication being lost with Hope Center #1, presumed due to terrorist action. They meet journalist Lia Rousseau (Margit Evelyn Newton) and her cameraman, who are investigating a series of mysterious, violent attacks on the locals.

Hordes of flesh-eating zombies attack the native village. The four military men and two journalists travel through the New Guinea jungle in the commando’s jeep, trying to survive while evading the zombies. The group takes refuge in an abandoned plantation, only to come under attack from the zombie residents. They kill and eat one of the commandos, forcing the surviving group to flee. Rousseau and London’s men battle their way to a beach where they take a raft and finally arrive at Hope Center #1, where they find all of the workers either dead or roaming the facility as zombies. Rousseau and London learn about the experimental chemical that was accidentally released which kills people and turns them into zombies. Rousseau learns from the papers left behind in the offices that the chemical, coded as “Operation Sweet Death”, had been intended to curb the Third World population by driving them into preying on each other. In the end, however, neither London’s team nor the two journalists make it out alive; the zombies attack from all directions, and they are all killed or made members of the walking dead. Some time later, the zombie contagion has spread beyond the borders of the country and throughout the world. While politicians and scientist keep disputing the matter, a young couple in the developed world are attacked and devoured by a horde of zombies in a city park.

(from Wikipedia.com)

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – FEBRUARY 2, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Director – Ruggero Deodato

While Umberto Lenzi began the Italian-made cycle of brutal Amazonian cannibal horrors with Il Paese del Sesso Selvaggio and effectively ended it with the nauseating Cannibal Ferox, it was Ruggero Deodato who directed the subgenre’s most enduring film. This popular bloodbath features a fetus ripped from a woman’s body, people impaled on spikes, a genuine tortoise-flaying, and numerous other indignities, both real and simulated. The plot concerns the efforts of a group of American explorers to discover the fate of a missing documentary film crew. They receive a scratchy film-reel containing the bloody truth from a tribe of tree-dwelling natives, and the reel’s contents make up the bulk of the film. Advertisements claimed that “the crew who filmed it were actually devoured alive by cannibals,” yet most of them were spotted alive in future unsavory gore films. While the film is undoubtedly gruesome enough to satisfy fans, its mixture of nauseating mondo animal slaughter, repulsive sexual violence, and pie-faced attempts at socially conscious moralizing make it rather distasteful morally as well. The fact that the film’s sole spokesperson for the anti-exploitation perspective is played by porno star Richard Bolla should give an indication of where its sympathies lie.

(Synopsis by Robert Firsching from Allmovie.com)
Any fan of horror should check out this fake/not fake film which was the predecessor to the found footage films which would become popular in the late 90’s on into the 2000’s. It was also a precursor to the sometimes laughingly funny Faces of Death series of straight to VHS “movies” in the 80’s. While it has its moments of ludicrousness, a true horror fan will appreciate what it tried to do with what they had to work with.
— Erik

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – JANUARY 26, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

Demons (1985)
Director – Lamberto Bava

Italian horror auteur Dario Argento produced and co-wrote (with director Lamberto Bava) this gory, nightmarish horror film set almost entirely within the “Metropol,” a huge, cathedral-like Berlin cinema showing an invitation-only screening of a rather lame slasher film. The difference, of course, is that the cheap scares on the Metropol’s screen are child’s play compared to the horrors which soon emerge to lay hold of the unsuspecting filmgoers: when a young woman is scratched by part of a display in the theatre lobby, she begins to mutate into a fanged, slavering creature who then attacks other audience members, spreading the demonic infection until only a handful of survivors are forced to combat rampaging armies of inhuman beasts, making the latter portion of the film resemble Night of the Living Dead. A handful of sequels followed; there’s a little “reward” for those who stick around for the end credits.

(Synopsis by Cavett Binion from Allmovie.com)
In the interest of fairness and full-disclosure, I’ve never actually seen Demons. But this trailer makes me want to see it pretty badly, so I think i might be checking it out this weekend. Looks like a cool little old-school horror flick. I’ll update this post when I do.
— Erik

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TRAILER FLASHBACK THURSDAYS – JANUARY 19, 2017

(Trailer from YouTube)

An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Director – John Landis

While wandering the English moors on vacation, college yanks David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) happen upon a quaint pub with a mysterious patronage who warn them not to leave the road when walking after dark. Irreverent of such advice as characters in horror films always are, the two decide to find a short cut….

David wakes up in the hospital with a nasty bite wound to his shoulder; the freshly deceased, and rapidly decomposing, Jack arrives soon after to deliver the grim news that, unless he commits suicide, David will become a werewolf when the moon is full. David dismisses the encounter as a hallucination, but all indicators point to lycanthrope; evenings of barking and bloodletting follow closely behind.

While the story is thin and much of the tongue-in-cheek humor is overdone, there are plenty of genuine jolts thanks to makeup guru Rick Baker’s eye-popping special effects. The werewolf, resembling a cross between a bear and a wolverine, appears frighteningly real, and, given the fantastic premise, the gore is most convincing (although surprisingly and refreshingly scant).

The hospital dream sequences are creative, and the scenes in which the werewolf runs rampant through downtown London are particularly good.

In all, An American Werewolf in London is an original, atmospheric film that manages both to scare and amuse. While dismissed by most American critics upon its release, the film managed to secure a place in the annals of American cinema when Baker won an Academy Award for his amazing effects and creature designs.

(Synopsis by Jeremy Beday from Allmovie.com)
I remember watching An American Werewolf in London so much when I was a kid. It was one of my dad’s favorite movies and was in the living room’s VHS tape collection. I remember thinking it was funny, but having to leave the room when he transformed into the wolf. Which is hilarious since now literally nothing makes me sick or disturbed. Jaded with age, I suppose. Rick Baker was at the top of his game for this flick. John Landis brings his trademark humor but also proves he can do horror with ease. Easily one of my top werewolf movies and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a solid werewolf experience.
— Erik

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