1979, The Jerry Gross Organization
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I always thought this Italian horror movie was made in order to cash in on the popularity of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, but it wasn’t until recently that I found out that production on Zombie started before Romero’s classic had been released. This movie’s scenes in New York City were added after the success of Romero’s film (which was released in September ’78 in Italy) in what I’m guessing was a slight attempt to give American audiences something they could relate to.
The producers did make one blatant attempt to cash in on Dawn of the Dead though. The movie was known as Zombi in Italy, so the original title for this movie is Zombi 2. Neither film has any true connection other than their Italian movie titles and the fact that they both feature zombies. In America, this movie is simply known as Zombie but in other parts of the world it’s called Zombie Flesh Eaters (UK) and Woodoo (Germany).
Horror Sounds of the Night
1986, Topstone Industries
Going back to the 1960’s there’s been all kinds of “scary” albums released full of haunting music and scary sound effects. High winds, moaning ghosts, maniacal laughing, shrieking cats and rattling chains are par for the course. It’s only recently that I’ve discovered albums such as Sounds to Make You Shiver (1974, Pickwick International Records) and Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House (1964, Disneyland Records). From my own childhood and for many kids growing up in the 1980’s, the one horror music/effects soundtrack that made the biggest impression was the simple looking orange-and-black cassette Horror Sounds of the Night, which was released in 1986 by Danbury, Connecticut’s very own Topstone Industries.
[WARNING: May contain spoilers. And traces of nuts.]
2014, Universal Studios
It might’ve been 84 degrees outside but that wasn’t going to stop me from my celebration of Halloween and the fall season by going to see Dracula Untold today and then washing it down with some hot chocolate from Starbucks.
Going in, I expected this to be a decent movie but I was blown away by how awesome it was. Screw the critics; they hate everything — Dracula Untold is extremely enjoyable. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best of any of Universal’s recent attempts at remaking their classic monsters (The Mummy series starring Brendan Fraser, Van Helsing, The Wolfman). The PG-13 rating doesn’t hold back the gore at all. You can get away with so much these days with just a PG-13 rating and this movie delivers quite a few gory and bloody moments while delivering tons of action.
Batman has always had the most twisted villains in all of comics. So naturally it all goes hand in hand with Halloween (and Christmas as well, for some reason) and it got me thinking about putting a list together of some of Batman’s scariest villains. This is not a countdown and obviously the Joker would top the list if it was but I decided to leave the Clown Prince of Crime out of it. I wanted to concentrate on other villains that have given me the heebie-jeebies at one point or another either through their actions or their appearance.
I always thought the Matt Hagen version of Clayface was a pretty horrific and tragic character on Batman: The Animated Series. The original Clayface was a horror movie actor named Basil Karlo (as tribute to horror icons Basil Rathbone & Boris Karloff) but it was the third Clayface, Preston Payne (pictured above), who looked the weirdest and was psycho enough to have a relationship with a department store mannequin.
A serial killer, who kills only with a knife, and he makes cut marks on his body for every person he kills. Yeah, that’s pretty horrific.
Opinions no one asked for! Hey, give me a break — it’s Friday night and I have nothing else to do because no one loves me. *single tear*
I decided I would take a break from talking about anything fall or Halloween-centric and that’s why, even though we’re only two episodes in, I’m going to give my thoughts on the Gotham TV show…
I continue to flirt with diabetes.
I’ve talked about Russell Stover plenty in the past. I’m not sure if their apple pie candy pumpkin is new or not but this was the first year I’ve noticed it. It seems only natural they they would have apple pie since they already have pumpkin pie and caramel apple varieties. I was going to say they might as well go ahead and release a pecan pie candy but a quick Google search proves that they already have.
1988, Universal Pictures
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“THE BALL IS BACK!”
That was the big tagline for Phantasm II. Arriving some nine years after the original Phantasm, this film reunites a majority of the cast and still has writer/director/ Don Coscarelli at the helm although he is not producing this one. Coscarelli has said the reason it took him so long to develop a sequel is because he didn’t have any ideas until he realized that a sequel should pick up precisely where the original movie ended.
The film was financed and distributed by Universal Studios, who apparently was looking for a hit horror franchise of their own and gave Phantasm II a budget of $3 million to make it happen. The movie wasn’t a big hit and went on to gross $7 million at the box office. Had to be disappointing given the 1979 original was an independent production that grossed $11 million.