Retro Movie Review: The ‘Burbs (1989)

by  on Jul.11, 2014, under Retro Horror Movies, reviews

the-burbs-posterIn the 80′s Tom Hanks was still coming up in his career and he did a lot of movies, some were great, and some were not so much.  Its easy to point to films like “Big” or “splash” as his big break out roles that are still considered classics today.  But for me the movie that was my favorite as a kid and still finds its way into my summer viewing schedule each year is “The ‘Burbs”.

Having recently moved into a suburb near Columbus OH the movie suddenly has more meaning than it did before.  Screenwriter Dana Olsen wrote the film based on his own childhood where there was always that one house that seemed really creepy or that one neighbor that never came out of their house.  Olsen states it best with “…As a kid, it was fascinating to think that Mr. Flanagan down the street could turn out to be Jack the Ripper. And where there’s fear, there’s comedy. So I approached The ‘Burbs as Ozzie and Harriet Meet Charles Manson.”

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Horror Movie Review: Wolf Creek 2

by  on Jun.26, 2014, under horror movies, Movie Review

ItWOLF CREEK 2 movie poster -- exclusive EW.com images been nearly a decade since Greg Mclean’s Wolf Creek (2005) was in theaters right about the time the “torture porn” craze was at its peak.  Wolf Creek was marketed as a “saw” type but it never felt quite like that type of movie.  It took its time getting to where it needed to go and while I liked it I haven’t revisited it since I originally saw it in theaters. It felt like a good minor horror entry with a decent villain but it wasn’t something that really spoke to me.

Now Mclean is back with a sequel that both exceeded expectations and failed them at the same time.  The film has a great cold opening with our serial killer from the first film, Mick Taylor, played once again by John Jarret, being hassled by a couple asshole highway patrol officers.  Mick smiles and takes their abuse like he’s the cheeriest man in all of Australia but of course the two cops get what’s coming to them.  The sequence really sets you up for the film the follows, its darkly comic and Mick has become almost a ghoulishly funny icon like Freddy Krueger.   (more…)

 

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Scottdale AZ

by  on Jun.10, 2014, under Rob Zombie

Concert_Poster Its been officially announced finally that Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Haunted Attraction is spreading its evil!  This Year its coming to Scottsdale Arizona where Rob Zombie Himself will be playing September 19th to open the ghoulish festivities!  This time around the Haunt has an All new Attraction based on The Devils Rejects as well as a new Original 3D attraction based around Captain Spaulding called Captain Spaulding’s Clown School in 3D! I’ve been creating stuff for the new attraction for the last few months and now we’re finally able to to start slowly revealing it. Above you’ll see the poster I made for Rob’s concert which Rob has been posting on his social media and website the last couple days!  and I have some cool video stuff in the pipeline when the time comes. I’ve been privy to what the new attractions will be and how they’re being designed and I dare say this may be a far cooler haunt than even the first one in California last year! Its going to be amazing!  Visit GreatAmericanNightmare.com for the details and stay tuned for more.

 

The Case for a Green Hornet TV Series

by  on May.14, 2014, under Rant, Television

GH11-cov-LauI imagine most young people only know the Green Hornet as the crappy Seth Rogan film that came out a few years ago.  A film that actually had some comedic potential when Stephen Chow was attached to it not only as the Kato character but also sitting in the directors chair.  That all changed when he left the project and it became the mediocre boring film it is.  However The Green Hornet has a much longer history going back to the 1930′s where it started as a radio serial.  Later it became a part of the Saturday matinee serials that played in film houses throughout the 1940′s before TV became a factor.  But it perhaps became most noteworthy for the short lived TV version that aired in for just 26 episodes in 1966-67.  This series found an unknown Chinese actor by the name of Bruce Lee playing the Hornet’s sidekick, Kato!  When I was a kid and watched old re-runs of this show it was Kato that I found the most exciting and cool part of the show.  The car, the Black Beauty was probably second and The Hornet was last.  Bruce Lee’s Kato was pretty amazing and it was very progressive for its time to have an Asian man playing a main character in the 1960′s.  Remember during this same time period they had a very non-asian David Carradine playing a Chinese immigrant in “Kung Fu”.

So recently I’ve been reading Kevin Smiths Green Hornet Comic book series.  Its based of his unfilmed screenplay he wrote for a Hornet film long before Seth Rogan stepped into the Green Fedora, and its pretty damn good!  The series begins with the original Britt Reid and Kato back in the day doing their thing to fool criminals into thinking their on their side but in reality the duo are cleaning up the streets and making Century City Safe!  They pull off one last job that assures the safety of the city for a long time to come and decide to hang up their masks and move on with their lives.  Britt Reid is a new father with a newborn son while Kato decides to return to Japan and clean up the corruption there. (more…)

 

2014 Rogues Hollow Productions Show Reel

by  on Mar.25, 2014, under Canon 5D Mark III, HDSLR Filmmaking, horror movies, Rob Zombie, video

showreel14Its that time of year again when I dust off all my favorite footage that I’ve shot in the previous year and turn it into a kick ass show reel!  Check out the 2014 reel below featuring footage from Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, Huston’s Haunted Hollow, Indiana Fear Farm, The Dent Schoolhouse, Brighton Asylum, Screamworld, Tagsylvania, The Creep Haunted House Festival, and from our yet unfinished Satanic Panic short! We were very very busy in the last year shooting great video and photos!  Be sure to call us about booking your event to shoot Early!!  Visit our Video Services Page for details.

 

WNUF Halloween Special – VHS Review

by  on Jan.12, 2014, under Movie Review, Retro Horror Movies, Retro TV, VHS

wnuf_tapeIf you were a child in the 1980′s or up through the mid 90′s then you are familiar with the era of TV specials.  Back then most folks didn’t have more than a handful of channels on their TV and the choices of what to watch were very limited.  The “Movie of the week” where a major hollywood movie finally premiered on a network TV station, was a big deal.  I remember watching many Big movies for the first time “edited for Television” on one of the three or four networks.  During the holidays we got TV specials, like Halloween cartoons or some type of documentary about ghosts.  They were usually pretty cheesy and rarely delivered any kind of real scare but they were all we had and we liked it!

Which brings us to the VHS Only release of the WNUF Halloween Special.  It’s a “found footage” film by a collective of filmmakers. The tape is presented as a Halloween special from 1987 that aired on a small town news broadcast on October 31st.  The first 30 minutes is the 11 O’clock nightly news with the two anchors dressed in costumes and reporting on Halloween related stories including a dentist that was paying a 1$ for every pound of candy a child brought in the day after trick or treating in an attempt to get kids not to eat too much.  All during the news broadcast we’re told “Stay Tuned” for a Halloween special that would air immediately after. (more…)

 

Best Horror films (I saw) in 2013

by  on Jan.04, 2014, under horror movies

Let me preface this by saying, I don’t get to watch everything that comes out and I know I missed a few horror films here and there so this is by no means and exhaustive list of the best horror of 2013. Its simply the best horror films I watched in 2013 in my opinion.

Conjuring-intl.608x898The Conjuring:

The expertly shot and paced ghost story that feels like a throwback to the way film was made in the 1970′s.  James Wan dives into the story head first and sets us up in a world where demonic possession and malevolent spirits are real and out to hurt us.  The movie features great performances by Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, and Lili Taylor, who finally makes up for her awful appearance in “The Haunting”.  Masterfully crafted shots and scares abound in what is easily the new high bar for ghost stories.

 

 

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Lords of Salem:

While I’ve found Rob Zombie’s early films to be entertaining, I didn’t care for his Halloween remakes but he surprised the hell out of me with Lords of Salem.  A throwback to Satanic panic movies from the 1970′s, Lords features some amazing imagery, bizarre set pieces, even crazier characters and a cthulhu-esque satan spawn being held lovingly by a nude Meg Foster.  What’s not to love!  The acting, by no means perfect, is the best in a Zombie film so far and story actually feels well paced and manages to not indulge in the typical “trailer-trash” talk that so saturates his previous work.  It shows some real growth for Zombie as a filmmaker and I find myself actually getting excited about his next project!

 

 

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Insidious 2:

While I really liked the first Insidious, I didn’t care that much for the “further” parts of the story with Patrick Wilson wandering around in a world of dead people and fighting a darth maul demon.  So when I heard that Insidious 2 would focus more on the “further” world I didn’t get too excited.  But the film surprised me with how good it was and how bat-shit insane some of its sequences were.  It’s a weird film with Patrick Wilson spending most of the film possessed and chewing up scenery like a mad man.  It also featured one of my favorite “Haunted House” set pieces ever!

 

 

maniac_1

Maniac

Maniac is what a remake should be.  The original 80′s film is an interesting sleazy movie but I doubt anyone would classify it as a classic of the genre.  The remake takes the basic concept of the character of Frank and tells us his story through his eyes.  the entire film is shot from first person perspective and puts the audience in the head of a killer.  Elijah Wood stars as Frank, a character we only see when he looks into a mirror or has an “out of body” experience which happens a couple times in the film to punctuate what Frank is feeling.  Its a concept that sounds hokey at first but somehow ends up making a run of the mill serial killer movie into something far more interesting.  Plus the 80′s style synth soundtrack by French composer, ROB, is easily the best of the year!

 

 

Antiviral_(film)Antiviral

I’m a big fan of David Cronenberg’s early films when he was at his weirdest.  Now his son, Brandon Cronenberg, appears to have picked up the torch and is running with it!  Antiviral is his full length film debut and its a doozy.  It introduces us to a world where society has become so obsessed with celebrity that people pay to get infected with the same colds, flus, and diseases that that their favorite film star has.  The film follows a employee at one of the companies that sells these maladies who infects himself with a virus that ends up killing the celebrity it came from and he has to find a cure before his time runs out. its a very bizarre film that shines a very bright light on our culture’s obsession with celebrities.  I’m excited to follow the career of Brandon Cronenberg and see what strange places he takes us next!

 

american-mary-poster

American Mary

What a surprise this movie was!  The Soska twins take us into the strange world of extreme body modification in this twisted story.  Mary (Katherine Isabelle) is a medical student who gets raped by one of her professors.   Traumatized by the incident, she drops out of school and begins working in the world of underground surgery where she comes across some very strange characters with even stranger desires for their body.  The movie stumbles a bit here and there but overall its a fascinating little film by two promising female voices in cinema.

 

 

vhs2V/H/S/ 2

I liked the first V/H/S but it didn’t “wow” me.  So I walked into the sequel with some apprehension.  A couple of the stories, including the wraparound are complete and total misses.  They just suck.  But the first person zombie short, “A Ride in the Park” was clever and funny, then there was the awesome “Safe Harbor” story about a film crew documenting a cult that is preparing for something very big and scary that happens that day.  It’s a creative, fast paced and action filled sequence that makes the move so worth seeing.  The film closes with Jason Eisner’s (Hobo with a shotgun) entry into the film “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” which feels like a bit of a throwback to movies like “the Goonies” but with far more foul language and aliens.

 

resolution-2012-posterResolution

For a movie with a cover that looks like your typical “torture porn” dreck, Resolution cannot be judged by its cover.  The film is a slow burn supernatural tale that takes place while a man tries to detox his best friend from his drug habit.  As the film progresses, stranger things begin to happen and both men begin to question their sanity.

 

 

Unjustly Hated: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

by  on Oct.30, 2013, under horror movies, Movie Review

blairwitchposterSo there are a lot of movies out there that were really hated when they came out.  The best example is probably Halloween 3: Season of the Witch which up through the early 2000′s was the most despised of the Halloween movies.  Today it has enjoyed a resurgence and found its audience.  I hear a lot of horror fans gush about it and it even received a collectors edition Blu-Ray release last year.  But there’s a lot good horror movies out there that have a bad rap and I aim to give their their due.

When the Blair Witch Project came out it was a hit and there’s a lot to admire about  it.  The film itself is one of the fathers of our current “Found Footage” craze but that’s not what made it special.  It was the marketing that made it work.  But that’s an article for another day.  The film studio needed to follow up the film with a sequel in order to capitalize on the first films success.  I think most expected the film to just reuse the concept of the first film and have more kids go missing trying to find the truth behind the Blair Witch legend.  But that’s not what happened at all.

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