Archive for the ‘Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween’ Category

viy1Sometimes when I am searching for a film to watch for Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween, all it takes is a cool poster, cool name, and sometimes even be a foreign film for me to choose it. That was definitely the case with today’s pick which comes to us all the way from Russia and it’s called Viy. The film is based off of a story by Nikolai Gogol and it stars Leonid Kuravlyov (Robinson Crusoe) as Khoma, a young priest in a monastery who gets lost with his friends in the country side when given leave by the head priest. Lost, cold, and hungry, the three take solace in a farm that they find, but an old woman tells them they must sleep in three separate spots. Unfortunately for Khoma, she turns out to be a witch and when he beats her she turns into a young woman and he runs away back to the Monastery where he finds out that he has been asked for by a rich man whose daughter has died. Apparently, she had asked for him by name and he is ordered to pray over her for three days, but that will be the test for the young priest if he can survive the three nights. The film also stars Natalya Varley (Twelve Chairs) as Pannochka, Nikolay Kutuzov (Geyka) as Vedma, and the film was directed by Konstantin Ershov (Grachi) and Georgiy Kropachyov (Hard To Be A God).

viy 2This was a very interesting movie to say the least, but if you are looking for blood, guts, and gore then turn around and read no longer because this film does not contain those elements. While the film has all the makings of a classic Gothic tale, it’s actually much more than that as it mixes elements of comedy and satire with it in the film’s main character Khoma. Khoma is a trickster who is always looking to have a good time which is the exact opposite of what a priest in training should be and that my friends is the satire element of the film. The comedy lies in how he carries out everything because the man almost feels like he is losing his mind so he might as well be drunk and enjoy himself as he is tasked with staring down a witch every night. One thing I will have to say is that if you want the good stuff then watch the last ten minutes of the film because that is when it gets really good with all her tricks and the demon named Viy! The film is actually a very good film that deserves at least one watch ass they do the best they can with the special effects which turns out to be good in the last ten minutes. One thing that is funny is that a lot of the characters in the film all look like Michael Shannon so it looks like he is playing several roles. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

thinnertitleThere are a couple of things that I believe in this world and one of those is that you can not have horror with the master of horror Stephen King. The man is famous for having so many books that have been turned into films like It, Carrie, Stand By Me, Pet Semetary, Cujo, and many more. You also can not have an Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween without a Stephen King film and the one I chose for today is the 1996 film Thinner. The film stars Robert John Burke (RoboCop 3) as Billy Halleck, a hot shot lawyer from New England who has it all which includes his unhealthy weight. After a night out celebrating a victory in the court room, Billy by accidentally kills an old Gypsy woman (Antonette Schwartzberg). Unfortunately for Billy, he may have beat the system, but the 106 year old Patriarch of the Gypsys (Michael Constantine) puts a curse on him that will make him lose weight until he dies. The film also stars Joe Mantegna (Baby’s Day Out) as Richie, Bethany Joy Lenz (One Tree Hill) as Linda Halleck, Lucinda Jenney (Rain Man) as Heidi Halleck, Kari Wuhrer (Anaconda) as Gina Lempke, Sam Freed (Coneheads) as Dr. Houston, Daniel von Bargen (RoboCop 3) as Chief Hopley, John Horton (Texas) as Judge Rossington, and the film was directed by Tom Holland (Child’s Play).

thinnerThe thing that I loved about the film has to be the transformation over time from a plump Billy Halleck to an almost dead/corpse looking Billy Halleck. That definitely took some work for good ol Robert John Burke to go in the fat suit for who knows how long a day to having to go through make up to look almost like an undead corpse. So, the make up and special effects department definitely deserves some kudos for that as they did a wonderful job. One thing that got to me in this film is that it literally took him constantly stuffing his face for his wife to finally tell him that he needed to get checked. No it wasn’t the fact that he lost 40 lbs in like two weeks or the fact that he was constantly stuffing his face right in front of her and he still lost weight. I was expecting the judge to look more like a lizard, but ended up looking like a flaky grandpa from the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It gets a little carried away at times especially with what Joe Mantegna does in the film, but I guess it gets the job done. I loved seeing Kari Wuhrer in the film as she was the object of every teenage adolescent in the 90’s or at least she was for me. She does a decent job although I thought she was more Italian with her accent than she did Romanian, but that could also be the price of growing up in America. I definitely think that this is a film worth checking out when you get a chance. ZI am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

pi.jpgEvery once and in a while I would come across a film that peaked my interest when traveling through my local video store. The film that I chose for today is definitely one of those films, but I have been putting off the film for years and theres no better place than here and no better time than now to check out π (Pi). The film was directed by Oscar nominee Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) and just what is π? It’s a mathematical equation that equals out to be 3.14…., but more importantly it’s the ratio of the circumference of a circle. Why do we care about that you ask? Well for the paranoid recluse known as Max Cohen (Sean Gullette), it’s the thing of obsession as he tries to unlock a key within the equation that will be basically explain everything in life. The only problem is that people are after this knowledge and the key is in his brain. The film also stars Mark Margolis (Requiem For A Dream) as Sol Robeson, Ben Shenkman (Angels In America) as Lenny Meyer, Pamela Hart (Next Stop Wonderland) as Marcy Dawson, Stephen Pearlman (Die Hard With A Vengeance) as Rabbi Cohen, Samia Shoaib (Requiem For A Dream) as Devi, and Kristyn Mae-Anne Lao as Jenna. 

1524130549041-piAll I kept thinking when I was watching this film is that Aronofsky must have been a fan of either David Lynch in general or his film Eraserhead because it was stamped all over this film. From shooting the film in a very stylistic black and white to the part where you wonder where exactly is the horror in this film? It’s a very different typer of horror because it’s paranoia based like the Rockwell song Somebody’s Watching Me, it’s one of those are they following me and who do I trust? There are other people that star in this film, but this really is a solo show for Mark Margolis much like it was for Jack Nance in Eraserhead because the success of the film is based on their performance and Mark did an excellent job. He really had you believing everything that he was going through and you became invested in finding out what the key was. Everyone else in the film had real minor roles, but when asked to they delivered as well. There is also a lot of great symbolism in the film like the computer and the bug for example. He has built a machine to try and predict the future of the stock market, but when he gets close the computer crashes. To help him deal with the issue, he imagines that the problem of the computer is an actual bug (I believe an Ant) thanks to his former professor (Margolis). That is just one example of it in the film as there are many that foreshadow events that will happen. I definitely think this is worth checking out if you like to think. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade. 

cutting_shot0lA lot of actors who are huge today or have been for the last 20 years or so actually got their start in Horror films. Kevin Bacon was in Friday The 13TH, Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween, Johnny Depp in A Nightmare On Elm Street, Tom Hanks in He Knows You’re Alone, and so many more. That is why I have decided that for today (and with the help of Vinegar Syndrome) that we would check out an early film with Brad Pitt (Thelma & Louise) in 1989’s Cutting Class. Paula Carson (Jill Schoelen) is your everyday indecisive teenage girl who is facing quite the dilemma in this film. She has two guys in her school that are competing for her affection. You have the high school bad boy Dwight (Pitt) and the weird, just released from a mental institution for supposedly killing his dad in Brian (Donovan Leitch Jr.). As soon as things start to heat up, the bodies begin to as well and now she has to figure out which one of the two is doing it? The film also stars Roddy McDowall (Fright Night) as Mr. Dante, Martin Mull (Clue) as Mr. Carson, Brenda James (Slither) as Colleen, Robert Glaudini (Mississippi Burning) as Schultz, Nancy Fish (The Exorcist III) as Mrs Knocht, and the film was written and directed by Rospo Pallenberg (Exorcist II: The Heretic).

cutting-class-lgThe film is a classic whodunit film because they drop clues every where that could make you think that it’s possible that Dwight did it and then they drop clues that make you think that Brian could be the killer. The thing with Brian’s character is that all of his details were thrown in there to make you believe that it was him that was the killer because he had “killed” his father and after all the shock treatment therapy there was no way he could be normal. Then they throw Dwight in there and he was the one that taught Brian how to cut the brakes on a car, he was having a real hard time in school, and he a little bit of an anger management problem that made it easy to suspect him. The only problem is that to figure out who it really was, you’ll have to watch the film yourselves because I won’t spoil that. For the most part, the acting was really good from all parties and we already know Jill can act as we saw her earlier in my review for The Stepfather. You can definitely see a lot of the mannerisms that we would all grow to love from Brad in this film and while there were a couple of hiccups, I kind of blame it on the writing which I thought was spotty at times. Other than that, it has your feel for an 80’s slasher/thriller film with a little comedy thrown in for good measure. For all of you that can’t get enough of Jill, there’s a little T&A in this film for all of you. I am going to give Cutting Class an B for a final grade.

3 from hellWhen Rob Zombie first decided to become a film director, he released one of the craziest and insane films in House Of 1000 Corpses in 2003. It was the story of some unlucky travelers who crossed paths with the wrong family in the Firefly Clan. In 2005, he would release the more structured and solid sequel The Devil’s Rejects that dealt with the aftermath of the first film, but followed three key members in Captain Spaulding (the late Sid Haig), Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), and Otis (Bill Moseley) and by the end of the film they were thought to be dead. Then fast forward 14 years later and Rob Zombie has unleashed the last film in Firefly trilogy entitled 3 From Hell. In this film, Otis is joined by his brother Foxy (Richard Brake) as they attempt to spring Baby out of the jail that she’s been in, but even if they succeed, the road to freedom will just get a little harder. The film also stars Dee Wallace (Cujo) as Greta, Jeff Daniel Phillips (Lords Of Salem) as Warden Harper, Emilio Rivera (Mayans M.C.) as Aquarius, Pancho Moler (Candy Corn) as Sebastian, Richard Edson (Do The Right Thing) as Carlos Perro, Clint Howard (The Wraith) as Mr. Baggy Britches, Sean Whalen (The People Under The Stairs) as Burt, and Tracey Leigh (Modern Family) as Judy Harper.

otis and foxyI had a lot of worries heading into this film because I didn’t know what to expect from it and there have been plenty of films that took to long to come out. So, I was wondering could they re-capture the magic from The Devil’s Rejects once again or would it just fall short? The other question was whether we still cared about these characters and let me answer that one first by saying, “Hell yes we do!” Now the film isn’t as amazing as The Devil’s Rejects, but I have to say that this was a very solid sequel to that film. While they couldn’t do much about Sid for the film due to his declining health at the time, Richard Brake did a fantastic job fitting into the family as we loved his interactions with Otis. One thing that I did notice about this film and that is they make it seem like Otis isn’t as crazy as we thought he was from House Of 1000 Corpses. We actually figure out in this film who the crazy one was after all in the family and let me tell you that Sheri Moon Zombie did not disappoint either. She did an amazing job as she played Baby, a character who was falling more and more into the abyss and she sure had a lot of fun doing it. One thing is definitely for sure with this film, the last 20 minutes of the film, the proverbial sh** gets real in this film and you have to see it to believe it. I just wanted to take the time to say that Pancho Moler is such an amazing actor and what an excellent addition to the franchise that he really was. The film was everything we would want from a Rob Zombie film and that is essentially all we can ask for. You need to watch this film and I am going to give it an A- for a final grade.

stepfather titleThe 1980’s truly was the height of the slasher flicks as every company in the world was trying to make one a hit like Friday The 13TH or Halloween or they were spitting out sequels to the aforementioned films. Everyone in the world was trying to think of a new and exciting ideas that hadn’t been done yet in the genre and now we key in today’s Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween choice in 1987’s The Stepfather which was directed by Joseph Ruben (Sleeping With The Enemy). The film stars Terry O’Quinn (Lost) as The Stepfather who in the beginning of the film has just finished killing an entire family because they failed him. Now, he moves on to a new town and assumes the identity of real estate agent Jerry Blake where he meets and marries a recent widow with a high school aged daughter, but the question is will they fail him? The film stars Jill Schoelen (Cutting Class) as Stephanie Maine, Shelley Hack (Charlie’s Angels) as Susan, Charles Lanyer (Die Hard 2) as Dr. Bondurant, Stephen Shellen (The Bodyguard) as Jim Ogilvie, Stephen E. Miller (Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed) as Al Brennan, Jeff Schultz (North Of Pittsburgh) as Paul Baker, Blu Mankuma (The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride) as Lt. Jack Wall, and Robyn Stevan (Pushing Tin) as Karen. 

stepfatherOne of the things that I thought was funny when you first watch the film is the fact that he tidys up the place after he has killed the first family you see that he’s had. I was like why in the world would even care at this point that there is a toy on the floor, but that walk down the stairs and the realization of what he has done is very dark. I didn’t think they’d show his aftermath, but it helps in building his character much like the picking up of the toys does later on in the film itself. As far as the rest of the film, there is no real context as to why Stephanie does not like him like there is no specific action that leads to it other than the events that transpire which only help in furthering her case. Terry O’Quinn is a fantastic actor and he proves it in this film as he can go from the seemingly normal guy to a very unhinged individual. The whole film, you are thinking to yourself that this guy had a messed up childhood to be in the mindset of wanting the perfect home life which is a wife and a kid(s). Jill Schoelen does a really good job too in the film playing Stephanie and there’s even a little surprise towards the end for you horn-dogs into 80’s slashers for the babes. I definitely respect the film for what it was, it was a different take on the Norman Bates/black widow (not the Marvel character) like character who is basically invading middle America. This could be happening in your neck of woods, but with advancement in DNA research and such, he wouldn’t get away with it. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

blood harvestEvery year when I attended the annual Rock and Shock Horror Convention in Worcester, MA, I make it a point to not only chat with the special guests they have, but to also check out the various vendors like my personal favorite in Vinegar Syndrome. For the last two years, I have been featuring their stuff for Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween and this year I have a fun one in 1987’s Blood Harvest which was directed by Bill Rebane (The Giant Spider Invasion). Things have been rough in a small farming community in Wisconsin to the point that banks have been foreclosing on properties and poor Mr. Robinson has been taking the brunt of it because he is the figurehead of the bank. Poor Jill Robinson (Itonia Salchek) has come home to find out that her parents are missing and she is being stalked by someone who is taking out everyone she cares about. The film also stars Tiny Tim (Masters Of The Gridiron) as Mervo, Dean West (Twister’s Revenge) as Gary, Lori Minnetti (The Game) as Sarah, Peter Krause (The Truman Show) as Scott, Frank Benson as the Sheriff, Leszek Burzynski (Love and Action In Chicago) as The Priest, and William Dexter (The Capture Of Bigfoot) as Man In Cafe.

BLOODHARVEST7The film is very deceiving in a way because Tiny Tim is painted up to seem like he could be the killer because his character is a little deranged himself. As you’ll find out for sure in the film that there is someone more troubling to be looking out for. I do have some issues with the continuity of the film and some of it’s events as in how did Gary manage to get all the paint and the fake body out of Jill’s house in the amount of time it took for her to go to the sheriff’s office and back? Oh and he also fixed a broken window and disposed of all the glass as well. Other than that, it was actually a pretty good film that had some redeemable moments in it and Tiny Tim actually does a pretty good job himself. He actually really creeps you out after a while whenever he shows up on screen which is quite often. Itonia Salchek also does a really good job for someone who acted in one film and that was it especially as she bares a lot of skin in this film so if you’re into the T&A then this one is for you. You definitely have to stick around during the credits to hear the full Mervo the Magnificent song that was sung by Tiny Tim because it’s a real treat. Overall, the film has some flaws in the writing as far as some of the action, but overall it’s a really decent horror film. So, visit Vinegar Syndrome here if you would like to purchase the film or find any other great titles they have. Otherwise, I am sure it is online somewhere, but you should definitely check it out. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.