Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mini Review: Drive-Thru


Extreme boredom, plus a desire for a cheesy slasher flick led my friends and I (Chuck) to watch this zaney slasher called Drive-Thru. The 2007 film directed by Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn stars Leighton Meester (who as my friend Nate pointed out stars in Gossip Girls) and Larry Joe Campbell ("Andy" from According to Jim). The story follows the axe wielding mascot of the fast food chain Hella-Burger. This killer, named Horny the Clown, is hunting down and killing local teens. As the mystery unravels, the people of the town begin to figure out that the victims all have something in common.

This movie was a lot of fun to watch with the dudes in my dorm. There was plenty of hilarious dialogue to go with some pretty decent kills. You can tell when watching the movie that you aren't supposed to compare it with classic slashers like Friday the 13th or Halloween. The purpose isn't too scare the pants off of you, just to show you a bloody good time. The acting was good and the special effects were above average. If you go into this movie expecting an ultra-serious slasher, you will most likely be disappointed, however if you watch this with an open mind and a desire to be entertained, you might find this flick will suit your needs. Not a horror masterpiece by any means, but now a piece of garbage either.

-- Chuck

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Horrorscope: November 2010


Theatrical Releases
Nov 12:
- Skyline (Universal Pictures)
Nov 19:
- Heartless (IFC Films)

DVD Releases
Nov 2:
- Not of This World (Roger Corman Cult Classics)
- Terror Within/Dead Space (Roger Corman Cult Classics)
Nov 9:
- Antichrist (Criterion Collection)**
- Damned By Dawn**
- Tremors*
Nov 16:
- Don't Look Back
- The Possession of David O'Reily
- The Twilight Zone: Season Two*

** = Blu-Ray and DVD release
* = Blu-Ray release

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Legacy of the Toxic Avenger

Over the years, Troma has grown to be one of my (Chuck) favorite film production and distribution companies. Their brand of over the top film has become immensely successful to its cult audience. Troma is the United States' oldest independent film company. The company was founded by aspiring movie maker Lloyd Kaufman. Today, Kaufman and Troma have a multitude of fans world wide, and have become a household name among horror fans.
Troma's first big success, and one of the main reasons they have so many fans, came in 1984 with the Toxic Avenger. The film is about a 90 lbs nerd who has an accident and falls into a vat of toxic waste, transforming him into New Jersey's first monster hero of superhuman size and strength, the Toxic Avenger. Toxie spends his time ridding his hometown of Tromaville from evil. Along his super hero journey he meets and falls in love with a blind blond bimbo named Sara. Toxie spends the rest of his time picking off the criminals in Tromaville one by one. The corrupt mayor, Mayor Belgoody, and his crooked police force are behind a lot of the wrongdoing going on in Toxie's home town. Because Toxie is cleaning up Tromaville, the mayor puts a bounty out on the monster hero. All in all, Toxie wins and Tromaville rejoices as the mayor shows his guts.
     The legacy of the Toxic Avenger is one that goes unparalleled compared to other cult movies. After the initial movie, there were three sequels: The Toxic Avenger Part II, The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV. Right now Troma is in the process of producing the Toxic Avenger Part V: The Toxic Twins as well as a big budget remake. Apart from these sequels, the Toxic Avenger spawned a Saturday morning children's cartoon series, the Toxic Crusaders. There is also an off broadway musical dedicated to Troma's 1984 hit.
     There are over 100 licenses for Toxie merchandise in the US and abroad, including a line of Playmates action figures, two marvel comic book series, Topp's trading cards, Nintendo and Sega video games, Thermos lunch boxes and thermoses, Colorforms play sets, International Games board games, a CD-Rom, model kits, Halloween masks, and much more.
    In 1984 when a little known independent film company called Troma began working on a unique superhero film called The Toxic Avenger, they had no idea that this film, as well as the monster hero, would put them on the map. Now, the names Troma and Toxie are known the world around, and the legacy continues. Not too shabby for a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Soul to Take 3D (2010)

This is the first blog post that we've actually done together for some time, as we are both attending college in different states. Mike came to PBU for a visit, and we decided that the perfect way to spend our evening would be to head out to the local theater for a viewing of Wes Craven's new flick My Soul to Take. As fans of Wes Craven, we thought it would be sacrilegious to miss out on this. While watching, we couldn't help but wonder...where is Freddy?

Quick Spoiler Free Summary:
 The movie started out with a flashback of a man with schizophrenia realizing that he is a serial killer terrorizing the residents of Riverton. On the anniversary of the death of the Riverton Ripper, seven kids born on that very same date sixteen years prior attempt to allude the vengeful killer. As the teens begin to be picked off one by one, those involved start to question whether or not they know who the killer actually is. Did the Riverton Ripper actually die? If so, has his ghost returned to seek revenge? Or is there an unexpected possibility that nobody expected could be possible?


Plot- 3.5/5
The movie's plot was nothing spectacular, however it wasn't just a goon in a mask. Although it had the aspects of a typical slasher movie, it wasn't as straightforward as a man with a knife who kills teenagers one by one in increasingly gruesome fashions. There was a little thinking that had to be done, which made it a little different than your Friday the 13th's and your Halloween's. The movie's plot was more akin to a murder mystery than your average slasher flick; with the several possible suspects being provided from the start. 

Acting- 3/5
The highlight of the acting was the main character Bug, who had to act with several different personalities. None of the acting seemed like it was over done or lacking in any area. It was all believable, which made it easy to connect with the characters. The movie lost points when the Ripper was allowed to talk. He seemed to channel Freddy Krueger at times with attempts at wit, but fell flat when his lines were delivered in a goofy manner.

Gore- 2.5-5
The film wasn't as gory as you would expect a slasher movie today. With today's bloodsoaked cinema we're not used to seeing a minimalist approach to gore, especially in a genre where these elements are the main event. There seemed to be points where there was unnecessary CGI, as the effects could have been easily shown using natural means. It seems like filmmakers are becoming more reliant on computers where blood packs and pumps would look more realistic. Its a small gripe, but it is still one that bothers us.

Fear- 2.5/5
One of the elements of the movie that can cause fear is the uncertainty of the identity of the killer. The film is set up so that every one of the possible suspects has a viable motive for being the Ripper. The obligatory "jump out" scares make their appearance, but they aren't enough to spark any real terror. The idea of a deranged person going around killing you and your friends does give one a primal sense fear, but at the end of the day, its a road well traveled. 

In Conclusion- 3/5
At the end of the movie, we didn't feel as though our money was wasted. The movie was nothing spectacular, but we definitely didn't leave the theater angry. The last two movies that we saw in the theater were big disappointments and this was a bit of a relief to be watch an actual horror movie. While not a milestone slasher film, it did nothing wrong that messed with the formula. If that's all that matters to you, then give it a shot. If you're looking for more creativity and gore, then wait for Hatchet II to come out on DVD.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Horrorscope: October 2010


We have a new feature here at Mike and Chuck's Blog of the Dead. As I (Chuck) was sitting in a 3 hour Sociology class last night, I came up with the idea of doing a "Horrorscope." This Horrorscope will be a post put up on the first of each month with a preview of what horror related things can be expected throughout that particular month. Since It is still pretty close to the beginning of October, I figured why not start this now.

Theatrical Releases:
Oct 1:
 - Case 39 (Paramount Vantage)
 - Chain Letter (New Films International)
 - Hatchet II (Dark Sky Films)
Oct 8:
 - I Spit On Your Grave (Anchor Bay Films)
 - My Soul To Take (Rogue Pictures)
Oct 22:
 - Paranormal Activity 2 (Paramount Pictures)
Oct 29:
 - Night of the Demons (Seven Arts Pictures)
 - SAW 3D (Lionsgate)

DVD Releases:
Oct 5:
 - 30 Days of Night: Dark Days
 -  A Nightmare on Elm Street 
 - The Exorcist (Extended Director's Cut) 
 - The Human Centipede (First Sequence) 
 - The Slumber Party Massacre Collection
Oct 12:
 - Lost Boys: The Thirst 
 - Manson, My Name is Evil
Oct 19:
 - Mirrors 2 (Unrated) 
Oct 26:
 - House (The Criterion Collection) 
 - Lake Placid 3 
 - Maniac (30th Anniversary Edition

Oct 29-31:
 - Chiller Theatre Convention 
Oct 30:
 - NJ Zombie Walk in Asbury Park, NJ
Oct 31:
 - Halloween 
 - The Walking Dead premiere (TV) 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mini Review: Hatchet II

     When Adam Green's Hatchet was first released in 2007, it breathed new life into the slasher genre. A bloodsoaked, gut busting horror franchise was born. Adam Green is back at it with the long awaited sequel, Hatchet II.
     As a fan of the first film, and of slasher films in general, I was very excited for this movie. I talked a couple buddies into going to the midnight release across the PA/NJ border to probably the nicest movie theater I've ever been in. I remember on the way there, worrying about securing a ticket and finding a good seat. Needless to say, there were only 4 other people in the theater that night. We grabbed our popcorn, soda, and Reese's Pieces, and sat back in our very comfortable seats. My eyes lit up as the opening scene began...

     Hatchet II picks up exactly one frame after the first movie ended, with Victor Crowley holding our damsel in distress Marybeth (this time played by the amazing Danielle Harris) in his evil clutches. The first thing you notice is that Victor looks a little different, which makes it better. I really liked how this movie gave a lot more back story, and explained a lot of stuff from the first movie. One of the things I really liked about Hatchet II was the character expansion of Reverend Zombie, played by the Candyman himself, Tony Todd.
    This movie was filled with positives for me. Numerous references to other slasher movies had me cracking up, and I nearly crapped my pants when I saw Lloyd Kaufman make a cameo appearance. As soon as I saw Uncle Lloyd's face, I clapped and yelled out, "THATS LLOYD KAUFMAN!"The story was great, and I thought the movie had a good pace. Danielle Harris was exceptional as always, doing a much better job at portraying Marybeth than the previous actress. The best part for me, obviously, were all the kills. Some of the most imaginative and entertaining kills I've seen in cinema, with plenty of the red stuff flying about. Seeing a man being choked by his own intestine until his head pops off gives me that warm, tingly feeling.
     If you were a fan of the first Hatchet, be sure to not miss this movie. You won't be disappointed. And if you are just a slasher fan in general, the same goes for you. This gore-soaked slash fest is one that will be loved for generations of horror fans to come. Now the countdown begins for Hatchet III...

--- Chuck 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Exclusive Interview: Patrick Devaney


Last March I attended Monster Mania Con in Cherry Hill, NJ. Monster Mania is a horror weekend horror movie convention that I've been going to for about five years. While browsing through the various tables filled with all types of horror merch, I heard a voice say "Hey you, do you like zombies?" Anyone who knows me is aware that I am obsessed with zombies, so I hurried over. That was the voice of Patrick Devaney, creator, director, writer, and star of the only zombie show currently on television, Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead. After learning about the show, I purchased the first 4 half hour episodes of the first season. That afternoon while eating lunch, I watched the first episode and a half. I was so impressed, that I went back and purchased episodes 5 and 6. After keeping up with the show and numerous meetings at various other horror cons, I decided it would be an awesome thing to interview Pat for the blog. Due to being a poor college student in PA with no vehicle, the interview must have been done by print. Here ya go.

BotD: For those who don't know, what is Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead?

PD: "Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead" is a TV series based on a simple premise: if Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' happened for real, in the heart of NYC, what would it be like? What would really happen? How would people really act like?

The main story follows the lives of Billy Cassidy and his friends (Paul Bates, John Salazar, Rebecca Kaufman, Carrie Walker, and a gun dealer named "Smoothie") as they try to deal with the situation. Their solution: get guns, and go out killing these things before they have a chance to take over.

The subplots include a militia group that is capitalizing on the crisis, the city and state officials who are trying to cover the entire thing up, and the disappearence of Billy's girlfriend, Judy.

The show also holds the distinction of being the first (and until recently ONLY) continuously-broadcast Zombie-based series in the world.

BotD: How did the show come into existence?

PD: Many of us on the show are life-long friends, and have always been interested in horror films. As a child, I couldn't get into the theater to see Dawn of the Dead in 1978 due to it's X-rating. I had to wait until the re-release in 1982 to see it (and even then I had to sneak in!). That beautiful, technicolor nightmare changed everything for me.

I have been interested in making films for a very long time. We regularly went to horror conventions as a group of Vampire Hunters, and I started writing some short story ideas, but it always went back to Romero's work. I finally decided one day to give it a shot, sent out a group eMail to everyone I thought would be interested, and got a huge response. We started filming 6 months later and have never looked back.

BotD: What is your favorite aspect of making the show? (editing, writing, acting, etc)

PD: Years ago, I'd have answered Editing. I believe everything in a film boils down to the editor. And while it is still one of my favorite parts, many other things are special to me.

I love when we wrap for a day's shooting, and everyone is exhausted, but they're happy, and laughing. I love when someone who doesn't think they can act does a scene that brings applause the moment I call 'cut'. And I love that moment when I realize an episode is done, that it exists on it's own, and doesn't need me anymore.

BotD: Do you have any specific training or education when it comes to film making? If so, explain.

PD: None whatsoever, in the traditional sense. Unless is you count almost 42 years of watching horror, drama, and sci-fi films. As an infant, my mother sat me in front of the TV and explained who everyone was on Dark Shadows during it's original run. I still blame her for this! :)

But nothing can really get done properly without trained people. I had worked as a commercial editor before computers were used for cutting, and I have studio experience in assembling media from when I was a musician. But I mainly rely on those in my crew who have gone to film school, who've worked in media and on film sets, for their technical guidance. I also rely on those outside of the film industry to advise me on police procedure, medical terms, and computer programming. When you get everyone together, if it's right, you work as one large, well-trained animal. I can't think of a better way to describe it!

BotD: What would be your favorite weapon to use during a zombie apocalypse? why?

PD: A 9mm Uzi. I used a real one when we were training for the show, and in many scenes that is the real thing I'm carrying. I was instantly impressed by the feel of the weapon, and how (with next to no training) I scored 8 out of 10 hits with it against the farthest targets on the range. With a clip of 30 commonly found rounds, a selective rate of fire, and a track record of reliability, I'd opt for that every time.

BotD: How do you feel about track star zombies?

PD: I get asked this a lot, and for us, it's a hybrid situation. I personally dislike 'fast' zombies, as that tells me they're rabid, not dead. Rabid people are scary, but the Living Dead SCARE me. I think that's an important difference.

On ZH, we have a hybrid, like I mentioned. Linnet Brooks (who plays 'Rebecca') has her Ph.D., and agreed to do the show ONLY if it was 'medically accurate'. And for her, fast zombies would be perfectly normal UNTIL rigor mortis set in. So, we took her advice: our Zombies are as fast and as strong (albeit dead and confused) as they ever were in real life for a good 2-3 hours. Plus, our Zombies re-animate instantly. Which gives you no time to prepare. They're bleeding out one second, and on you the next. Not good.

But for MY personal vote? Let's keep the Zombies true to form, nice and slow and unrelenting.

BotD: What is your favorite piece of zombie cinema?

PD: Romero's "Dawn of the Dead". It's never been topped in over three decades. Zombie perfection. I'm not sure why any of us even try.

BotD: What is your favorite non-zombie horror flick?

PD: This is a tough one, but I have to go with "The Shining". To this day, if that's on, I'll stop what I'm doing to watch it..... and be freaked out almost instantly. King + Nicholson + Kubrick = Brilliance.

BotD: What would be your favorite zombie kill?

PD: In Episode 1, Teri Gudorp ("Teri") grabs actress Monica Beck by the face and snaps her neck. People still yelp when they see (and hear!) that. In Episode 6, Chris Murphy ("Bates") kills actress/model Kim Santiago with a functioning power drill. I'd say those two!

BotD: When you are not working on ZH, what do you with your time?

PD: I try to spend time with my beautiful (and VERY understanding) wife Jeanna. I also do carpentry (I built much of our furniture), write stories, and do accounting for any number of companies. In years past, I've built homes for Habitat For Humanity. I also manage my own production company and plan all our future projects (some zombie-related, some not!)

BotD: What is the future of ZH?

PD: We just finished filming our first season on the evening of 9/11. Production of the second season picks up in mid-2011. A third season has already been written, but elements of it might be incorporated into the second, depending on how the overall storyline evolves.

But so far, everyone who's worked on the first is interested in staying on for the second (to be filmed between 2011 and 2014). So right now, I'm talking a bit of a vacation from the Zombie world, my first in 5 years, to re-charge and figure out where all these characters are going to go next!

Special thanks to Patrick for giving up his time to do this. The guys from ZH are a great bunch, and I always look forward to seeing them at various horror conventions. Check out this little teaser trailer for the show, then Billy Cassidy's (played by Patrick) opening scene below.

Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead Official Website

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Bit About Machete...

     So today, a couple friends (Nate and Alex) and I (Chuck) went on an impromptu trip to the movie theater to see Robert Rodriguez' newest flick, Machete. What an excellent decision it was. I had heard a whole bunch about this movie due to its insane coverage on Bloody-Disgusting. Although its not really a horror movie, I enjoyed it tremendously. The movie had a who's who of actors, including Danny Trejo, Steven Segal, Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba. Cheech Marin and Lindsay Lohan also had very funny cameos in the film.
     The film started out as a faux trailer for the famous 2007 dual release, Grindhouse.  Enough people showed interest in the trailer, that a decision was made to turn Machete into a full length feature film. The story is easily followed, and fun to get in to. There was an intense mixture of humor and brutality, which made it all the better. The action is pretty much nonstop, with some pretty barbaric killings. The only thing I wasn't insane about is the use of CGI effects. Although CGI was used, it wasn't overused to look ridiculous.
     Overall, this has to be one of the best movies I've seen in theaters in a good while. The guys and I had an awesome time laughing at the jokes while cringing at the deaths. If you're looking for a bloody good action flick, Machete is for you.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, September 2, 2010

the Re-Animator Series

Stuart Gordon's adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West: Re-Animator puts a Night of the Living Dead spin on the classic Frankenstein story. Jeffrey Combs furrows his brow and bugs his eyes as the preternaturally intense Herbert West, a maverick medical student whose gory, gooey experiments cause bloody corpses and body parts to jerk to life. Bruce Abbot is the studious roommate drawn into his extracurricular experiments, which soon involve the dean's daughter (the frequently naked Barbara Crampton) and the college's cadaverous, calculating star professor (David Gale), who literally loses his head over a battle for West's discovery. In this world, that's only a minor setback. Charged with sick gallows humor and a ghoulish gallery of undead beasties, Re-Animator, like Evil Dead II, is one of the most inspired and inventive--and funniest--horror films of the 1980s. Combs, Abbot, and Gale reunite for the almost-as-entertaining sequel Bride of Re-Animator. --Sean Axmaker

The mad Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs), the tormented Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott), and the beheaded Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) return in this terrifying sequel to Re-Animator, the most deliriously outrageous horror movie of the decade. It's been eight months since the Miskatonic Massacre stained the halls with blood - and Dr. West and Dr. Cain's experiments have taken a bizarre turn. Now they have gone beyond re-animating the dead...into the realm of creating new life. The legs of a hooker and the womb of a virgin are joined to the heart of Dr. Cain's dead girlfriend - and the bride is unleashed upon her mate in a climax of sensual horror.

After thirteen years in a prison ruled by a very mean director, Dr. Herbert West is invited to be the assistant of the new-comer Dr. Howard Phillips, a brilliant resident, in the penitentiary infirmary. After being introduced to each other, Dr. Phillips discloses that the last experiment of Dr. West killed his sister thirteen years ago, when he was a boy, and he became fascinated with the possibility of bringing dead people back to life. The journalist Laura Olney, who is covering a matter for her newspaper in the prison, has an affair with Dr. Phillips, and they fall in love for each other. However, the experience of Dr. West looses control and the place becomes a branch of hell.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Herschell Gordon Lewis: the Godfather of Gore

     Herschell Gordon Lewis, appropriately called the Godfather of Gore, was born in Pittsburgh, PA on June 15, 1929. He is most often credited with creating a sub-genre of horror, the splatter film. A splatter film is a movie that relies on over the top blood and gore and graphic violence to win over its audience. For this post, I (Chuck) will write a bit about my three favorite Herschell Gordon Lewis films: Blood Feast (1963), Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), and The Wizard of Gore (1970).

     HGL's first venture into the land of splatter cinema came with 1963's Blood Feast. Many consider this movie to be the first gore film. The story follows an Egyptian caterer, Fuad Ramses, who goes around killing people to use their mutilated remains for meals and offerings to the Egyptian goddess Ishtar. The movie gained a cult following, due to its excessive gore and extreme violence, which made up for its less-than-spectacular acting. The film gained its following due its very successful run in late night drive-ins. Although it may not be the best movie ever made, its importance cannot be overstated as the first ever gore film. A quote from Herschell Gordon Lewis,  "I've often referred to Blood Feast as a Walt Whitman poem. It's no good, but it was the first of its type."

     His next attempt at the splatter film is 1964's Two Thousand Maniacs! The movie follows the story of the folks from Pleasant Valley that lure Yankee tourists into their beloved town. The northern folk find out they are the guests of honor for Pleasant Valley's Centennial Celebration of when the northern army destroyed the town during the War Between the States. The tourists are then led to participate in strange games and activities which ultimately lead to their gory demise. This movie, like HGL's previous film Blood Feast, is made famous due to its extreme gore and intense violence. Some of the more famous scenes include a woman being hacked to bits with an ax and then thrown on the barbecue, a man having his limbs ripped off by horses, and an odd version of the dunk tank, where a large boulder is hanging over a woman's body only to be dropped when the target is hit. This film also gained a cult following due its late night drive-in run. The movie even spawned a remake in 2005 called 2001 Maniacs, which starred famous slasher Robert Englund.

     In 1970, Herschell Gordon Lewis directed The Wizard of Gore, my favorite of all his films. The story follows a magician called Montag the Magnificent. His stage show includes rants about what is real and what is not. He then takes female "volunteers" from the audience to which he performs eerily realistic torture and mutilation tricks. When the bit is done, the women appear to be unharmed, only to drop dead later that night from what appears to be the same tricks performed in the show. Sherry Carson, the host of a local talk show, becomes increasingly interested in Montag's show. When she invites him to perform a trick live on her show, he hypnotizes everyone in the audience, as well as all the television viewers. He then starts a fire, and attempts to kill Carson. I must end the summary here, as the ending is a pretty big twist. The gore effects in the movie were accomplished with two sheep carcasses, making the gore seem ultra realistic. Some of my favorite scenes included a woman being sawed in half, a woman pounded with a punch press, and a good old fashioned drill to the brain. This movie was also remade in 2007, with Crispin Glover playing Montag the Magnificent.

     Last weekend Mike and I had the pleasure of meeting Herschell Gordon Lewis at Monster-Mania Con in Cherry Hill, NJ. After having my Wizard of Gore poster signed, HGL invited us to the world premiere of his newest splatter flick, The Uh! Oh! Show! (only his second movie since 1972). He was a very nice man, and my favorite guest at that convention. HGL will always be one of my favorite directors, and I am incredibly thankful to him for his contributions to film. Like the tagline to Blood Feast, "there is nothing more appalling in annals of horror!"
Chuck and Herschell Gordon Lewis 8/21/2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the Walking Dead (part 1/2)

     So I (Chuck) am house sitting this week, and being by myself sometimes brings along boredom. I was trying to think of something to post on here, and I finally came up with it. The Walking Dead. This post will just be a bunch of info on the Walking Dead comic, and the soon-to-be Walking Dead television series on AMC. Since there still isn't a WHOLE LOT out about the show, there will obviously be much more written about the comic. Let's start with a bit about the comic.

     The Walking Dead is a black and white comic booked penned by Robert Kirkman. The series follows the main character, Rick Grimes, a small town cop, as he helps guide a throng of survivors to safety during the zombie apocalypse. The series takes place at various different locations, in and/or Atlanta, Georgia. The first issue was released in October 2003, and have not ceased. To date, there are 73 issues of the Walking Dead. The series is authored by Robert Kirkman, and illustrated by Charlie Adlard (issues 1-6) and Tony Moore (issues 7 onward).


     I had known about the Walking Dead for a while, but I was never really much into reading comic books. The only interaction I'd ever had with comics before the Walking Dead, were my 4 issue Shaun of the Dead comics and both series of  Freddy vs Jason vs Ash. I'd wanted to check out this series, but didn't really want to shell out the money to buy all the issues. Let me just say that after reading them, I am definitely going to buy them.
     I read all 73 issues in only 5 days. I had downloaded the issues via torrents, and read them all on my computer. I had such a difficult time deciding where to end each night. I'd say to myself, "One more issue, then I gotta go to bed." Well 90% of the time, when I got to the end of that particular issue, I'd have to continue to the next one. The cliff hangers are ridiculous, I never wanted to close it out. There are a million different plot twists that keep the reader guessing and can never be predicted. There are very important characters killed off in certain parts without any warning. I grew to like the characters so much, that when this particular character was killed a tear came to my eye. That's just good writing.
     And the art is incredible! At first, I shuddered at the idea of a black and white zombie comic. I didn't think you could do it justice being only black and white. Boy was I wrong. The color (or lack thereof) adds to the 'environment' of the comic. And the zombies are really good. Its not like there is just one or two zombies used and replicated over and over, there are possibly thousands of different looking undead shambling throughout these pages. Despite it being in black and white, the gore in this comic is pretty good too. I found the entire thing very visually appealing.


Official Website
Wikipedia Page

the Walking Dead (part 2/2)

     Well zombie fans, it looks like the wait for a well put together zombie tv series is nearly over. Earlier this year, it was announced that AMC would do a television adaptation of Robert Kirkman's the Walking Dead. So far, AMC has ordered a six episode first season. At the helm of the pilot episode will be Frank Darabont, as he will have the duties of producer, writer, and director. After the pilot episode, Darabont will be more of a showrunner, with talks of the directing duties going to Michelle Maxwell MacLaren (Breaking Bad).The special effects/make up will be done than none other than Greg Nicotero. Nicotero learned a lot of what he knows from famous zombie effects guy Tom Savini. Nicotero and his company KNB Efx Group have worked on a plethora of zombie films, including Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), and Diary of the Dead (2007). He has plenty of experience doing this sort of thing, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what he can get away with on AMC. The show is scheduled to premiere this October on AMC. Check out Bloody-Disgusting's section for a multitude of articles on the Walking Dead. Below are some stills from early prodcution of the show.

Walking Dead


Official Website
Official Weblog
Articles on the show @ Bloody Disgusting

Monday, June 21, 2010

Retro Review: Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

It was no secret to us that Cannibal Holocaust was a controversial movie. In fact, on the DVD cover it claims to be "the most controversial movie ever made." We knew that some parts of this film had caused it to be banned in a multitude of countries. Because of this, its hard to find. While at Monster Mania horror convention, we found out that it had been released by Grindhouse Releasing. Mike bought the DVD with no hesitation. We weren't exactly sure what we were in for when we sat down to watch it the first time, but we were not disappointed.

Quick Spoiler Free Summary
A documentary film crew has been sent into the Amazon to film indigenous tribes. After not being heard from for two months, an anthropologist and his tour guide went deep into the Amazon rainforest to find them. Halfway through the movie, they find the incomplete documentary footage from the group. However, the original crew were not found alive.


Plot- 3.5/5
This film created the cannibal genre in Italy. This setting of the Amazon rainforest has become a staple in many a cannibal film. The documentary style parts of the movie seemed authentic, as if we were watching an actual documentary. The movie as a whole seemed plausible, giving it an extra layer of depth.

Acting- 3/5
The fact that the movie is dubbed over makes it hard to accurately critique a large portion of the acting. Having just watched this an hour ago, there were only about two parts where the acting just seemed silly. The silliness can be attributed to the voice over, not the original acting. Apart from that, the acting was better than mediocre.

Gore- 6/5
I know, you are probably laughing at this score, but let us explain. The gore rating for this movie is maxed out because...most of its real. There are numerous instances in this movie where there are animals actually being butchered on screen. There has also been controversy over the director using actual corpses as props.

Fear- 4/5
The reason we gave this such a high score for fear is the mere fact that it does not seem impossible. All the other movies we've reviewed have been about things that didn't seem as likely to happen. If you were to walk into a house, you are not automatically expecting it to be haunted by an evil presence. If you do, however, walk into the Amazonian rainforest, the first thought in your head would be, "I'm probably gonna die."

Shock Value- 5/5
There are many points during the movie where you can't believe what you are watching. The multiple instances of animal cruelty are among some of the most appalling scenes in any movie we have viewed. There is one scene during the movie where this group literally guts a humongous turtle. It is the most disturbing piece of footage we've ever seen on film (besides Salo).

In Conclusion- 4.3/5
It is not uncommon to hear about older movies being banned in different countries for their shocking content. Most of the time, these movies do not live up to the hype of being so terrible. When you look back on them with modern sensability, they aren't quite as shocking. However, this was not the case with Cannibal Holocaust. This film delivered on its claims to be "the most controversial movie ever made."

Disclaimer: This movie is NOT for the faint of heart. There are real instances of violence and gore, not suitable for all horror fans.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blog of the Dead Interview

We have a special post here on Mike and Chuck's Blog of the Dead. Today, is about the future. Weird, I know. But I mean the future generation of horror fans. My (Chuck) little cousin Matthew Burdash is a 9 year old kid whose becoming sucked in to the genre known as horror. After having a nice discussion with Matthew, I decided to do an interview with him exclusively for the blog. He was really stoked about the idea, so here it is! The BD is Blog of the Dead, and MB is Matt Burdash.

BD: If you can remember, what was your first horror movie?
MB: Hmm…well the first was the original Night of the Living Dead on Halloween night. I watched it with my dad, brother, and some friends. It was pretty scary because people are dressed like zombies and that sort of stuff. I really liked the part when [Dwayne] used the shotgun to kill all the zombies
BD: How old were you when you first watched Night of the Living Dead?
MB: I was 8 years old.
BD: How did you first get into watching these movies?
MB: My dad told me that watching horror movies was a tradition on Halloween. After I realized that horror movies were not real, I started to watch more and more. Now, I love them.
BD: What is your favorite horror movie?
MB: My favorite horror movie is A Nightmare on Elm Street.
BD: What about A Nightmare On Elm Street makes it your favorite?
MB: Well I really like the weapon that Freddy uses, it’s pretty dang cool. My favorite is the knived for fingernails, that’s awesome.
BD Is it safe to say then that Freddy Krueger is your favorite horror character?
MB: Yes he is. Besides the really cool weapon, I think it’s really cool that he shows up in your dreams. I liked the ghost of Freddy coming through the wall, and then seeing him disappear when Nancy woke up.
BD: Do you think a horror movie can be scary without all the gore?
MB: Yes I think a movie could be scary without those things. The serial killers could pop out of nowhere and such.
BD: If you could make your own horror film, how would it go?
MB: I’d put in Freddy Kruger, Michael Meyers, and Jason together. It would be called Jason vs Freddy and Michael Meyers. I would have the setting in an apartment complex. It would be a contest on who can kill the most people.
BD: Will you continue to watch horror movies? Why?
MB: Yes I will. Because they’re really cool. I love zombies and slashers.
BD: Which is your favorite genre? Slasher or Zombie?
MB: Hmm… I don’t know. I’ve gotta say slashers, because they don’t die that easily. It only takes one shot to kill a zombie. One time, a girl hit Jason in the brain with an axe and he doesn’t die.
BD: Who has been your biggest inspiration for getting into horror?
MB: My dad. He’s encouraged me to watch them, stating that they weren’t real. He helped me get over my fear of scary movies, especially zombies. He would act like a zombie in order for me to get over the fear. He has had the biggest impact on me when it comes to horror movies.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Review: The House of the Devil

We read a lot about this film on, and were very interested. We both enjoy old school 70's and 80's horror movies, so we thought we'd give this a try. It got great reviews by the people on the website, and was spoken very highly of by some of our peers.

Quick Spoiler Free Summary
A beautiful young woman named Samantha, looking to make a little extra money while at college, accepts a job as a baby sitter. Upon arriving at the house, she learns things are not what she expected. After an uneventful evening, things go incredibly wrong. The mystery of why she is there, is beginning to unfold. Soon Samantha finds her self fighting off the evil which has tormented her.


Plot- 3.5/5
This film didn't have the greatest plot, however it served its purpose. There weren't any instances that deviated from the central story. There were no plot holes present, and everything made sense. There was a steady flow to the plot, keeping it very easy to follow.

Acting- 4/5
Jocelin Donahue does a tremendous job portraying the character of Samantha. Donahue's performance was spot on for an 80's horror heroine. It was also good to see genre veterans Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov. They did a great job at playing the mysterious elderly couple that has brought Samantha into this hellish nightmare.

Special Effects- 3.5/5
The movie was not intended to be a splatter-fest. Although there wasn't a lot of gore in the movie, the parts where there was gore were done pretty well. There was one scene where the character gets her face shot off, that was to our complete surprise and pleasure. They went all out and made it look like her face was actually separated from her head. A big plus for us was the forgoing of CGI graphics. They kept it old school with the natural effects, and did a great job.

Fear- 3/5
Once again, to the casual horror fan this movie may have done enough to cause uneasiness. The director uses a technique called a "slow burn," which is basically using the first 76-82% of the movie to build suspense, leading to the ultimate climax. The fear comes more from the suspense than actual "jump-out" scares.

In Conclusion- 3.5/5
We were really impressed at the atmosphere of the film. It really felt like we were watching a horror movie from the 1980's. Even the credits looked like they were lifted from an old school horror flick. One scene that really stuck out to us both, was one where Samantha danced around the house while listening to her walkman (see video below). When it comes down to it, this was an enjoyable romp through vintage horror; which we'd like to see more often.

Joeclin Donahue doing the most adorable dance we have ever seen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Paranormal Entity

We stumbled upon this movie while browsing the Netflix library. We did the research, and found out that it was a type of movie called a "mockbuster." A mockbuster is a film, often made with a low budget, created with the apparent intention of piggy-backing on the publicity of a major film with a similar title or theme. This film is obviously a mockbuster of the film Paranormal Activity . You guys are probably aware that we did not enjoy Paranormal Activity (henceforth referred to as PA), so we decided to watch this film to give the genre a second chance.
The film was about a family still grieving the death of a father. As with PA, the son decides to film apparent paranormal activity in their house. Apart from the son, there were three other characters: the mother, the sister, and a psychic. This supernatural force came about when the mother tried to contact her deceased husband, thus opening the door for this demonic entity. The movie plays out the same as PA, with a repitition of activity and then a reaction. What set this movie apart is that the actual "activity" is present throughout the film, rather than sporadic points of mediocre parlor tricks. The ending to the movie was more satisfying than the half-assed "jump out" scare of Paranormal Activity.
We think this movie accomplished what Paranormal Activity set out to accomplish. The instances of the supernatural were a bit more entertaining and creepy. The actual plot of the movie exceeded that of PA. The acting was about the same, however, the sister was smoking hot. The movie wasn't as silly as we thought the "other one" was. The ending of the movie was definitely an improvement, and didn't leave us disgruntled. All in all, this movie was enjoyable. Although it wasn't the greatest movie, it was a significant improvement over Paranormal Activity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Review: Dead Snow

As history nerds and zombie nerds, we couldn't have been more excited for Dead Snow. Nazi zombies were great in Call of Duty: World at War, and we were both excited to see this idea on the silver screen. We were excited for this premise, but we didn't really expect it to be so well executed. We were hardpressed to find any real faults in this film. Dead Snow is a gore filled zombie flick, sure to not disappoint hardcore fans of the zombie genre, and horror fans in general.

Quick Spoiler Free Summary
The movie starts out with a group of young medical students on a trip to an isolated cabin in the Norwegian Alps. As the trip progresses, they discover that they are in posession of a treasure once belonging to the Nazis. They soon find themselves fighting off hoardes of undead Nazis. What follows is a a blood filled romp through the snowy moutainside of the Norwegian Alps.


Plot- 4.5/5
The setting of the movie is fairly banal (cabin in the woods), however this is where the cliches end. The rest of the movie develops an imaginative plot, that we found to be easily enjoyable. The characters really didn't fall into any archetypical patterns, and were very easy to identify with. It is easier to identify with these normal, everyday people, than with pretty boys and rich pricks in horror movies today. All in all, the plot made for an excellent movie.

Acting- 4/5
I (Chuck) watched with Swedish audio and english subtitles. The acting was definitely believable, and made it easiy to become attached to the characters. Even without reading the subtitles, I could easily tell how each character felt at different points in the movie. They were able to convey feeling with their voices and body language, even though I had no idea what they were saying. Although with the English audio dubbed over the Swedish you lost a little bit of the feel, the way the characters acted seemed very believable.

Special Effects- 4.5/5
The special effects in this film were on par with Hollywood blockbuster movies today. There was no point in the movie where we felt like there was a lack of, or overuse of effects. So many zombie movies have their undead looking like something out of a high school drama production, and less like the fervently rotting corpses they are intended to be. Janne Røhmen, the makeup artist, really captured the essence of what a zombie should look like.

Fear- 3/5
To the everyday horror fan, this film can be full of parts that can put a little scare in you. However, for the horror junkies, this may not be a movie to make you pull the covers over your head. The eerily convincing zombies may provide some small chills, but not enough to keep you up at night.

Gore- 5/5
The gore in this film is phenominal. The gore in some instances was over the top, but not to the point where it seemed silly and out of place. The copious amounts of blood in this movie rivaled that of the lawn mower scene in Peter Jackson's Dead Alive. Dead Snow proves to be a splatterfest for the ages.

In Conclusion 4.2/5
All in all, this movie was great. The different elements added together to make for an enjoyable, blood filled extravaganza. We both agree that Dead Snow is our favorite movie of the last year. We highly recommend this movie to the casual horror fans, and the hardcore horror junkies. This wasn't a great zombie flick, it was just a good horror flick in general. America has Evil Dead, New Zealand has Dead Alive, and now Sweden has Dead Snow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Paranormal Activity

We both have an interest in the parnormal which was the main draw for a movie that was made to look like a real life account of actual paranormal activity. Although we both thought the movie for the most part accurately portrayed the events of a real haunting, we believe that it made for a dull movie. Our expectations for the film were not really high, due to the overwhelming hype it recieved when it first came out. Needless to say, we were not impressed.

Quick Spoiler Free Summary
The movie followed a young couple, Micah and Katie, who attempted to document paranormal activity that had been occuring in their house for some time. They set up a video camera in their bedroom to attempt to capture any possible activity occuring while they slept. After several negative experiences, they decide to call on the help of a psychic. The psychic reveals to the couple that the entity is centered around Katie. The rest of the film is short intervals of paranormal activity captured on video, subsequantly causing the two to become more and more aggrivated with eachother, and their situation. Then the movie ends. No really, we mean it.

Plot- 3/5
The concept of a couple documenting their own supernatural occurences makes for a promising experience. However, the way the plot was developed was less than satisfactory. There was a lot of needless dialogue that broke the flow of the film that made the demonic activity seem like punctuation to a story about a troubled relationship.

Acting- 3/5
The acting in the movie was not terrible, however they didn't have much to work with. They were either angry at each other, or scared of whatever supernatural experiences they were having. There were a few points that seemed overly dramatic, but for the most part, the acting was believable, as it truly seemed like these were two people enountering supernatural phenomena.

Special Effects- 1/5
The extent of the good special effects were footprints made by the entity as it walked through baby powder, left as a test by Micah. At the end, Katie's face turned into a demon face, and that looked kind of cool. The rest of the special effects, like a moving chandelier and Ouija board catching fire, were not impressive.

Fear- 0/5
Before you throw this review away, we need to say that we honestly were not frightened at any point in this film. The pace was so slow that there was no tension being built up. The parts with the supernatural phenomena were so dull that it did not induce fear (promised by every trailer/commercial) into either of us. As soon as the movie began, it ended. The "too scary for theatres" alternate ending on the DVD was just Katie slitting her throat very quickly and falling out of site. There wasn't even any blood.

In Conclusion- 1.8/5
The hype surrounding this movie, and the dozens of emphatic viewer testemonials leaves us curious. What was it about this movie that scared people? Why was this branded to be the scariest movie in a long time? We are not trying to be douchebags about not liking this movie. We saw it with open minds, and were ultimately disappointed. Please comment this post, in all seriousness, explaining why you felt this movie was a truly scary film.