Monday, December 31, 2012

John Dies at the End

If you notice over there in the sidebar, you'll see that the last book I read was John Dies at the End. I don't read a lot of books, my schedule is more suited to comic reading as I can sit down and finish one of those in 20 minutes or less. My obsessive compulsive nature demands that if I sit down to read, I must do so until the end of a chapter, or at least one of those obvious "stop reading here if you're obsessive compulsive" breaking points. Anyway, my point is, I read a lot but when it comes to novels I read REALLY slowly. In fact, this year I managed to read two books (well three if you count my yearly reading of Cycle of the Wolf at Halloween), and those were The Strain and John Dies at the End.

This isn't about the book though, this is about the movie. I said all of that to say this, I wouldn't have thought it possible, but somehow Don Coscarelli managed to actually make a fairly faithful adaptation of what can only be described as a bad acid trip of a story and put it on film. To begin to describe this movie story-wise would do little but confuse you most likely. It involves a drug known as Soy Sauce, and it's side effect of allowing users to both time travel and parallel dimesion hop. I've seen it described as "Clerks meets Lovecraft" and that sums it up better than I'd likely be able to. It sounds crazy because it is. What it also is though, is damn entertaining. This movie has more "what the fuck?" moments in it's first 15 minutes than most do in their entirety.

The most impressive thing to me was Coscarelli's attention to the detail from the book, which he obviously read and loved as much as I did. No, everything isn't here, of course it isn't. To fully adapt the book, there would have almost need to be at least two films, possibly a trilogy. But as it stands on it's own, there's a surprising amount included from the book, and almost everything in the movie looked exactly as it did in my head. Big praise here from me, as it's rarely the case. The cast all turn in strong performances, particularly Chase Williamson as Dave, and of course Paul Giamatti as Arnie. Rob Mayes is also good as John, but there were times I felt like he was the weakest link in the chain.

John Dies at the End I can see being one of those movies people are either going to love or hate. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the book doesn't either. There's some gore, most appeared to me to be practical effects, and they're good. The CGI leaves a bit to be desired, but thankfully there isn't a lot. If you read and enjoyed the book, I'm confident that the movie won't disappoint. If you haven't, you're either in for a treat, or for what you will view as 100 minutes of your life you can never have back. Personally, I fell in love with the insanity of this story, and plan to read This Book is Full of Spiders next because I'm beyond ready to dive back into this universe and enjoy more of it's brand of crazy. Thumbs way up!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holliston Xmas Special

While not the greatest thing on Earth by any stretch of the imagination, Adam Green's Holliston did manage to be somewhat entertaining in it's first season. Enough so that I'm looking forward to what I hope is an improved season two. Recently, a special Xmas episode was released online, and I thought I'd post it, just in case you've never seen Holliston, or maybe have seen it, and would like to see more. Final Xmas post for this year, enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays

Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays

From Tales From the Batcave!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Night Drive-In

Posting late tonight due to my job doing it's very best to destroy my Xmas spirit, a mere 4 days before the big day. I'm too damn excited about tonight's Drive-In offering to let tonight slip by without a post though. 1984's holiday classic is ready to roll, enjoy Don't Open Till Christmas!

"'Twas the night before Christmas... and all through the house...not a creature was stirring....because they're all DEAD."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This shipped unexpectedly quickly, and as such has become yet another early Xmas gift for myself. This DC Universe Supervillains Joker bust is giving my Brian Bolland Black and White Joker a serious run for it's money as my favorite Joker piece from my collection. I'm in love with the sculpt and paint job on this one, not to mention the pose. Another fantastic statue from DC Direct, they never disappoint. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Infinite Playlist - Deck the Batcave

Soundtrack to the Xmas party in the Batcave! Come one, come all...

And of course, who could ever forget the beloved yuletide anthem...


Sunday, December 16, 2012


I am seriously getting into these short films lately. Got an email from the director about this one last night, and gave it a look. Good stuff, so I thought I'd share. Check out "Impetuous"...

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Sat down at about 2:30 this morning to finally watch Gut. This one isn't exactly horror in the strictest sense of the word, although there are some horrific images, Gut is more of a psychological thriller through and through. These types of movies are usually pretty hit or miss with me, I either love them or hate them. So did I love Gut? No, but I didn't hate it either. This one finds itself as a part of a very exclusive club of thrillers that I while I wouldn't immediately refuse a second or third viewing, I wouldn't necessarily add it to my dvd collection either.

Tom and Dan are childhood friends who never parted ways. In fact not only have they grown up together, they work together, in cubicles directly across from one another. Tom seems to be more successful of the two, depending of course upon your definition of the term "successful", he's better dressed, more clean cut looking, has a wife and kid, etc. Dan appears to be the type that maybe never really got around to growing up. He's unkempt, lives alone in a small apartment, and is constantly after Tom to come over and hang out, have a beer, watch horror movies all night, the way they used to back in high school. One night in particular, Tom finally caves in when Dan entices him with an underground horror film he says he's gotten his hands on that Tom has to see. The movie simply shows a woman's abdomen get split open with a knife, and the killer plunge his hand into her stomach. 

Obviously disturbed by what he's seen, Tom storms out of the apartment, encouraging Dan to destroy the video. He can't seem to get the image of the film out of his head though, and a couple of days later a second film shows up in Dan's PO box. They watch again, same thing, different abdomen. A couple more films arrive, and eventually there's one in which the two of them recognize the victim, the waitress from their favorite lunch spot that Dan's recently started seeing. Tom of course questions Dan as to whether or not he's been honest with him about the films, and if he had anything to do with what they'd witnessed. Dan denies having done anything wrong, but Tom begins to distance himself, afraid for the safety of his family and his own sanity.

From there, Gut begins to make you wonder just who is behind the murders, as both guys appear to be unraveling a bit over the films. Tom's having trouble at home, Dan's missing work, drinking heavily, and is desperate for attention from Tom. Of course I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I will say that while I've seen far more disturbing things, Gut did make me sit there for a second as the credits rolled. Disturbing doesn't really work as a descriptor for this movie, it was more like uneasy. Almost like I knew what was coming, I just hoped I was wrong. I wasn't. 

For a movie like this to truly work, the cast has to be on point, otherwise the emotion involved doesn't come across and things just look silly. In this respect, almost everybody involved does a good job. Nobody really stood out performance wise for me, save maybe for Nicholas Wilder as Dan, and even he had his questionable moments. Jason Vail as Tom ended up being my least favorite of the bunch, which was unfortunate as he was the main character, and had the most screen time. 

For an indie thriller effort, Gut manages to fire on most cylinders. The pacing was good, the plot wasn't the deepest thing I've ever seen, but it did manage to keep me entertained, and the cast did a good enough job to make things at least believable. If you're looking for a psychological thriller a little more on the lighter side, this one might be up your alley. If you go into this hoping for the next Feed, you will probably come away a bit disappointed.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Night Drive-In

Not as much fun as the first one, but still better than a movie about a mutant killer snowman should ever have any right to be...

 "Ohhh, I guess it was decapitated coffee"

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Collection

It should come as no surprise, but your enjoyment of The Collection is most likely dependent upon whether or not you liked The Collector. Me? I thought The Collector was a pretty damn good little movie. I dug the killer, his use of traps, the gore, and even got into the story. From the trailers, the sequel looked like it was going to build upon all that, with even more traps, more gore, and more of a look at  the back story of the man behind the mask. Thankfully, The Collection does just that.

It picks up pretty close to where The Collector left off, which was important being that the last thing we saw there was Arkin being slammed into the Collector's trunk, before being driven off in an ambulance. Of course then he was in all the trailers for Collection, so there had to be some explanation as to how he managed to escape. We get to see his escape, which is then followed by the club scene which I've seen a lot of mention of online the past couple of weeks. This movie features the biggest club massacre scene I can remember since the bloodbath in the first Blade movie. Traps going off left and right, heads exploding, people being torn in half, people being crushed, and the Collector just sitting back and watching the mayhem unfold. If it sounds like I enjoyed this scene immensely, it's because I did.

Whereas the first movie almost completely took place inside the Chase house, the sequel does a bit more to give less of a claustrophobic feel. Still, a majority of the movie does take place in one location, it's just a much larger location, an abandoned hotel that the Collector has turned into his own private amusement park from hell. It's where he takes his victims, torturing and mutilating them, creating the twisted works of art that you likely saw on the movie posters, or in the trailer. As long as you can turn off your brain, and just watch, this is an incredibly badass locale. When you start overthinking, especially when the traps start going off, it seems a bit ridiculous. Dude has this hotel rigged to the HILT. He's obviously an extremely intelligent individual, but damn, I can't see how anybody could remember where all the trip wires, triggers, pressure plates, etc. were located in a place this big. Maybe that's just because I'm getting forgetful in my old age though, and can barely remember where I've put things from one minute to the next. Suffice it to say if I was the Collector, it wouldn't be long before I fell victim to my own devices.

As mentioned above, Josh Stewart reprises his role as Arkin, and once again plays the role of a criminal with one hell of a soft spot for a damsel in distress. I'm also of the opinion that the character has have some sort of mutant healing factor, as he undergoes more punishment than any human being should be able to withstand and keep going. Almost immediately I noticed that the Collector himself looked much bigger, and sure enough the original actor Juan Fernandez is replaced by Randall Archer who is noticeably larger in stature. Not complaining or anything, I actually liked that the Collector was a beast in this one, but still it's very noticeable. Other notables from the cast were Emma Fitzpatrick, Andre Royo, and most importantly Lee Tergesen and Christopher McDonald (Shooter McGavin!). I particularly enjoyed Lee Tergesen as the badass. Don't know exactly why, I suppose it's because he'll always be Terry from Wayne's World to me, but I was highly entertained by his performance.

Visually, The Collection is nothing to write home about. The "Saw" influence is abundantly obvious. Lots of shaky cam when the action is happening, particularly the fighting. The trap deaths aren't as bad, we are given a pretty clear look at the carnage there, although sadly almost everything appeared to be CGI. Aside from some bloody body parts spread all over the place, there didn't appear to be much in the way of practical effects. I did enjoy some of the camera work, particularly some of the shots of the Collector watching his traps do their thing, I loved how he just lurked above, watching silently. One scene in particular toward the end of the movie was incredibly badass, when double doors swung open and he was standing in between two large german shepherds, assault rifle in hand, with the light pouring in to the room from behind him. Was it cheesy? Yeah. Did that make it any less badass? Nope.

When all is said and done, The Collection won't win any awards. In fact, it probably won't show up on many people's "best of 2012" lists, even from those of us in the horror blogging community. If you hated The Collector, you won't like The Collection. For those of us who are fans of the original though, there's a lot to like here, and I can't see how anyone would come away disappointed.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Death Scenes

Remember a while back when I did a post about Bloody Cuts Films? Well, if you took my recommendation and checked out all of the Bloody Cuts short films, you would probably be pretty excited about a new one being released, right? Me too! Luckily for us, that is exactly what's happened, and I gotta say, I think this one might be my favorite yet.

Death Scenes from director Joel Morgan begins with a bit of a Seven vibe, but just as with most of the previous Bloody Cuts movies, there's a twist. Of course I'm not going to spoil it here, you'll have to watch for yourself, but when it happens, it ups the awesome by 1000%. Check this movie out...

Death Scenes is another fantastic entry in Bloody Cuts' "13 Short Slices of Horror" series. So far, 7 have been released, with the forthcoming 8th entry "Don't Move" set to begin filming early next year. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

New American Mary trailer

Brand new trailer from the newest Soska Sisters film, American Mary. If you weren't excited about his movie before, you will be now. I am dying to see this, and hate every one of you who has been lucky enough to do so already.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Night Drive-In

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING says Xmas like Nazis, incest, taint stabbings, evil elves, and Dan motherfucking Haggerty. It's a yule-tide thrill ride tonight at the Drive-In. Hang on to your christmas balls!

"When there's no more room in Hell, the Elves will walk the Earth."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Silent Night

Might as well get this out of the way right off the bat, Silent Night is about as far from a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night as it could get. The ONLY two things that I noticed the two films share in common are killer Santas, and one line of dialog. So, if you're one of those people who turns their nose up at movies because they're completely unnecessary remakes or reimaginings of classic films from our childhood, rest easy. Plus, if you skip Silent Night for any reason, you're going to miss out on one hell of a good time.

Deputy Aubrey Bradimore gets called in to work on Christmas Eve, which she was supposed to have off, when a co-worker doesn't show up for work. As per usual, when you get called to work on your day off, things tend to have a way of being even worse than usual. In Aubrey's case, worse comes in the form of a maniac dressed up in a Santa suit who is murdering the townsfolk seemingly at random. For a small town on Christmas Eve, finding one specific guy dressed as Santa turns out to be easier said than done, as Santa's are roaming the streets in number. With the help of the Sheriff, who seems to be a bit unstable himself, Aubrey attempts to discover the identity of the slasher Santa, and put a stop to his murder spree before he kills again.

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. That's what Silent Night is. My first official Christmas present of this holiday season arrived courtesy of director Steven C. Miller. I have to admit, I wasn't completely sold on the movie when I saw his name attached to direct. I thought Automaton Transfusion was decent, but The Aggression Scale didn't do anything for me at all. With Silent Night though, he has completely redeemed himself in my eyes. Aside from a brief portion in the second act that I felt like dragged a bit, I loved almost everything about it. The kills were good, just brutal enough, just gory enough to fit into that fine space between disturbing and hilarious. On in particular had me yelling "OH MY GOD! FUCK YES!!!" at my television. The Santa looked great, and used a decent assortment of tools, weapons, machinery (!), to dispatch his victims. Sadly, only a couple of the kills were holiday themed, but that's forgivable as it could've ended up being really cheesy had they tried to do them all that way. I've seen it before... *cough*JackFrost*cough*

Performance wise, there's only one that anyone should really be talking about. Ok, maybe two if you enjoyed Donal Logue as Santa Jim, the disenchanted asshole Santa who apparently hates Christmas with a passion that even Ebenezer Scrooge would find to be a bit much. Plus, the guy is a Mall Santa or something on top of that. If you hate Christmas that much, get a different job man. Fuck, I'm sure McDonald's is hiring or something. Anyway, the real star of this movie is an "as over the top as he can be" Malcolm McDowell. Say what you will about the man, but his portrayal of Sheriff Cooper was hilariously awesome as far as I'm concerned. He was like watching some sort of perfect storm of Angel and Butterman from Hot Fuzz, all rolled into one. Only played by Malcolm McDowell instead of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The dialog, McDowell's delivery, I loved every single scene he was in.

Silent Night has cemented itself into a permanent spot in my holiday rotation. In fact, I'm so in love with it right now, I'm considering moving my normal Xmas Eve viewing of Santa's Slay up a day, and watching Silent Night on Xmas Eve instead this year. As long as you're just looking for some good old, American holiday Santa slashering fun, Silent Night is guaranteed not to disappoint. If you're looking for more than that, it probably won't do much for you. For those of us who are able to set our brains to "mindless slasher" mode though, this is as much fun as we've been gifted for Christmas in years.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Monday, December 3, 2012

A Boy and His Shirt

Or "A Tale of Modern Consumerism"...

Back before Halloween, Fright Rags released a brand new design on their site, one based on one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time, Halloween III. I knew I had to have this Silver Shamrock themed beauty, even though I made a vow to not buy anymore t-shirts this year. In my defense though, just look at this shirt! How could I possibly pass this up?!

The shirt almost immediately sold out, and sadly I was unable to get one. I immediately went to Twitter, to beg people to vote for it in the Graveyard (the portion of their site where you can vote for designs to get reprinted), but was assured by Fright Rags that there was no need, that more were coming soon. So, I waited. Impatiently.

Fast forward to Black Friday, the day the shirts were put back up on the site, and somehow I missed the announcement. It wasn't until I noticed a Facebook status from Fright Rags employee, and all around horror loving badass Kristy Jett, about how fast they were selling again, that I even knew they had returned. Of course I went straight to the site, but the only sizes left in stock were for you skinny jeans wearers, and 5X. I do like my shirts baggy, but not quite 5X baggy. So again, I missed out, and again I was bummed. I commented on Kristy's status, stating that I had missed it again. She asked me what size I needed, and I told her, and I didn't think anything else about it, figuring I was destined to await a Graveyard reprint at some point in the future.

A couple of days later, out of the blue I got a message from Kristy, letting me know that a customer had accidentally clicked enter twice when ordering a Silver Shamrock shirt in my size, and only wanted one, not two. When she read the email from that customer, she thought of me, remembering that I had commented on her status, and she had one ready to ship to me if I was still interested. Of course I was, I made payment, and today it showed up in my mailbox. Now, at this point I'm sure Kristy is tired of me going on and on about this, but I am genuinely impressed when anyone goes above and beyond to satisfy a customer, regardless of their field of work. It's been my experience that customer service on this kind of level is almost non-existant today, especially in dealing with people over the internet. I could not be happier with my shirt, but I'm even happier about the way Fright Rags took care of me, via Kristy.

If you've never ordered from them before, I can't recommend them enough. Not only do they have some of the best horror themed shirts on the internet, but their customer service is second to none. Plus, you get a sticker, trading card, and Warhead candy with every shirt! With incentive like that, you'd be crazy not to buy from Fright Rags. One last time (I promise, Kristy) I want to say a big Thank You to Kristy Jett for going out of her way to make sure my dream of owning this shirt come true. You have made this little horror nerd very happy, and in doing so have also ensured Fright Rags has a customer for life in me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Cadaver Christmas

Confession time. I have a soft spot in my heart and a deep seeded love for holiday themed horror flicks. You're surprised, I can tell. Doesn't really even matter which holiday, from Kottentail on Easter, to Thankskilling on Thanksgiving, to Trick r Treat and Halloween on Halloween, these films are tradition for me, and call me sentimental, but tradition is something that's important to me. That being said, I'm always on the lookout for fun new things to add to my holiday traditions. So far, this year has been a bit of a disappointment (I'm looking at YOU Thankskilling 3), but I've still got a couple of other things coming up that I have hopes for, one of which I finally sat down and watched last night, A Cadaver Christmas.

It's late on Christmas Eve when a janitor wanders into a local bar, covered in blood. It seems as if the cadavers in the Science Building at the local University have inexplicably come back to life, and he narrowly escaped with his. Intent on saving the world by containing the zombies to the University, keeping them from escaping, the Janitor along with his companions, the bartender, a drunken moron, a cop who isn't really a cop, and a goat rapist, return to campus looking to discover who or what is responsible for the strange occurrence, and for a way to put an end to the outbreak for good.

If I'm being totally honest here, I bought this movie based entirely on the cover art. The glorious piece of artwork you see above is done by Tom "The Dude Designs" Hodge, whose work I hope you're more than familiar with if you're visiting the Batcave. The man is simply a genius, with talent on a level that most will never even come close to attaining. If you're among the uninitiated, please visit his blog over there under the "Bat-Bloggers" header. Suffice it to say, if he does the cover art for a movie, I immediately become interested in owning it, regardless of the film inside the dvd case. Case in point here with "A Cadaver Christmas", I could've opened up the case to find no disc inside, and I still would've been ok with the purchase. I dig Tom's art that much.

As for the movie itself, I hesitate to call it a disappointment, simply because I didn't really expect much from it. Truth be told, my main disappointment came from my hopes that it would be a fun new horror flick to watch around Xmas. It's a cliche riddled mess of a little indie flick, without a single original idea to be found. It takes parts from pays homage to everything from Re-Animator to Evil Dead to Day of the Dead. It's supposed to be a grindhouse style flick, so there's a "dated film" effect used throughout. I'm not sure exactly what you call it, it's where there are lines all over the screen, and the movie jumps at at times, the only problem is, the movie itself was clearly shot with a low end HD camera. Putting a bunch of lines and squiggly hair looking things on top of an HD picture doesn't make it look aged, it's just annoying.

My other main complaint with A Cadaver Christmas was with the never ending attempts at humor. I get that it was supposed to be a horror/comedy, unfortunately it just fails at both. The humor especially, I don't think I ever even cracked a smile. It didn't stop the movie from trying though, and I think that's the main problem, it tries too hard to be funny, and it just isn't. The performances are all over the place, the dialog is cheese layered on top of cheese, and I can't help but feel like unless you're 12, or under the influence of some sort of illegal substance of some sort, all you're going to end up doing is continuously rolling your eyes.

Still, all that negativity aside, I can't say that I hated A Cadaver Christmas. Sure, it was stupid, but I fully expected it to be. If there's any one positive that I can say about it, it's that there are some decent old school practical effects in the gore department, and those are always fun to watch. Sadly, that's where the praise ends. A Cadaver Christmas find itself as a part of my dvd collection based solely on the cover art by Tom Hodge, but falls way short of making it's way into my Xmas holiday rotation.