Monthly Archives October 2017

‘King Cohen’ himself, Larry Cohen, on the new documentary about his career

Listing all of the films made by director Larry Cohen would be pages long, and if you added in the number of TV show episodes, it’d be pages and pages past that. Even if you were to distill it down to the number of Blu-Ray reissues over the last few years, it would be absurdly lengthy. Suffice it to say, in the last five years, the genre icon has seen Q: The Winged Serpent via Scream Factory, Maniac Cop 2 and Uncle Sam on Blue Underground, and The Stuff via Arrow Video, all of which come with amazing commentary from
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Friday Double Feature: Home Is Where the Haunt Is

Peter Jackson’s 1996 ghost story, The Frighteners, was the director’s first big Hollywood production. It didn’t do so hot, making just a little bit above its $26 million budget. Given the fact that the film’s star, Michael J. Fox, would make his triumphant return to the small screen just two months later, it seems almost like it was ahead of its time in more ways than one. The Frighteners debuted in July of ‘96 and in September, Fox would begin a successful run on the popular ABC sitcom, Spin City, and just months later, Jackson would begin the journey which
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Rhythm Over Volume: How Noise Can Ruin A Horror Movie Score

When we think of horror movie scores, we usually think of the same thing the “reet reet reet” of Mrs. Bates’s knife from Psycho or the slowed-down version of the same thing, “duna duna duna” from Jaws. And that’s because they represent two sides of the horror score: the build up and the break. Each part is just as important, and they more or less defined the way we gauge a successful score. Where and how a director or music director implements their soundtrack has a great impact on how the audience digests the information. A type of Mickey Mousing
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Josh Berwanger Plays Halloween DJ

Power pop band Berwanger‘s new album, The Star Invaders, comes out next week on Halloween. The new album features members of Broncho, Limbeck, Flaming Lips, Sam Cohen, and Eva Gardner (Mars Volta, Pink, Tegan and Sara).  This is a first for Josh Berwanger as it is his third album, marking the first time he has ever released three albums with a band. The Anniversary had two — Designing A Nervous Breakdown and Your Majesty — as did The Only Children, with Change of Living and Keeper of Youth. Since The Star Invaders comes out on Halloween, we had Josh put together a holiday-suitable playlist for us. It’s an excellent selection of
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WE GOT ISSUES: WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD

The classic grindhouse-style horror thriller is a subgenre in film with an impressive back catalog to pore over, but not so much in the world of comics. Decades before what we consider grindhouse movies were even made, publishers like EC Comics were planting the seeds by releasing titles like Tales From the Crypt, taking heat for cheaply producing sensationalist fiction for the great unwashed masses. Determined to sully everything great in our culture with Puritanical scrutiny, a regulatory Comics Code was soon instituted, all but killing off horror books of this type for a very long time, and allowing superheroes
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Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: GAME OF DEATH

There are few things more fun or exhilarating than a mindless blood bath of a horror film. It’s a weird alchemy that creates a story lacking in compelling narrative or characters, but has such an excess of violence and moxie that it spills over from horror into comedy of sorts. I qualify that because what I mean is not a horror comedy, but an entirely different kind of beast; one which, when done right, is similarly impressive in its chimeric charms. No, this film has no jokes, no winks, and no underlying commentary. It is nothing but an explosion of
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Friday Double Feature: Madness By the Water

I have a weird relationship with the 1962 film Carnival of Souls. Part of the film was shot in Lawrence, Kansas, where I live. It was the director Herk Harvey’s only feature film, although he made many films for the industrial movie company Centron Corporation. The movie is a certifiable classic, having seen release as part of the Criterion Collection, with a plethora of special features — many of which highlight the locations, quite a few few of which I pass by on a daily basis. It makes Carnival of Souls, for all its dreamlike (if not nightmarish) imagery, something very real to
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Brooklyn Horror Film Festival- HAGAZUSSA: A HEATHENS CURSE

My first film of the second annual Brooklyn Horror Film Fest might have been enough to send a more sensitive, and perhaps more self aware, film critic packing. Not because it was bad, but rather because it was such a slow and creeping build to a moment of utter horror and disgust that I should have known nothing else could compare. Hagazussa, a graduate film, is one of the most confident debuts this writer has ever seen, and while its pacing is not for the easily distracted, its climax left me upset for days to come. It was, easily, the
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Ghouls and Grimness at the BBC: A Reflection on GHOSTWATCH, the Halloween Hoax That Unsettled a Nation

Halloween night, 1992. People across the United Kingdom sat down at 9 p.m. with their tellies tuned to BBC1 expecting some quaint Halloween japes, the kind that viewers were used to seeing from a channel famous for transmitting The Two Ronnies and Only Fools and Horses. But what transpired that fateful night would not only shock, appall, and terrify people across the nation, it would also lead to more disturbing and unfortunately fatal circumstances. Such was the power of Ghostwatch. I was 14. By then, I had already been exposed to a whole bunch of films that I shouldn’t have,
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