Posts Tagged ‘The Last House On The Left’

wesIf you are a true fan of horror films, then you were saddened by the news of the passing of legendary horror director Wes Craven last night. To see the announcement last night was such a shock because it felt like it came out of nowhere. Wes Craven passed away at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 76 on Sunday after a three year battle with brain cancer. Wes Craven was known for such horror classics as A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Last House On The Left, Scream, The People Under The Stairs, The Serpent And The Rainbow, The Hills Have Eyes, Shocker, as well as directing films in other genres like Red Eye, Music Of The Heart (which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar), Paris, je t’aime, and so many more. He redefined the teen horror genre in the 80’s with Nightmare and did it once again with the Scream films in the 90’s. It is also known that he had a real knack for discovering some of the great talents of Hollywood like Johnny Depp (A Nightmare On Elm Street), Sharon Stone (Deadly Blessing), and Bruce Willis (in an 1980’s version of The Twilight Zone) to name a few of the many he has worked with in his whole career.

scream-1996-tou033011-620x400I remember the first time I was introduced to Wes Craven and it was through A Nightmare On Elm Street as Freddy Krueger scared the living daylights out of me to the point that I never wanted to fall asleep. I was spooked even more at night as tree branches used to scratch my windows, but in my head I thought it was Freddy. One of my other favorite films from him was The People Under The Stairs and how chaotic and psychotic that film was from beginning to end. It was thanks to that film that I was scared of basement steps because you never knew what was under them. The other fascinating thing about Wes was the fact that he was able to jump out of the horror genre and be successful at it was a true testament to Wes being one of the all time greats. The influence that he had on me and the slasher genre will forever live on and I thank Wes Craven for that and all the wonderful memories he provided me with his films. Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween will surely miss having the opportunity to review any future films he may have had, but at least we have so many to choose from his past. I want to send my condolences to all his friends and family over the loss of Wes Craven. R.I.P. Wes Craven (8/2/1939- 8/30/2015)

friday the 13thFor today’s Filmfest Friday, we are looking at a classic film that may seem like it was released by a major company, but in reality it was independently made before Paramount picked it up to distribute. Not to mention that it’s also Friday The 13TH and what a better way to celebrate then watching the 1980 classic that stars Betsy Palmer (Mister Roberts). It’s been 20 years since Camp Crystal Lake has been open due to some mysterious unsolved murders that occurred at the once beloved campgrounds. The new owners of the campground now dubbed camp blood don’t understand that there’s a death curse on the campground as they get set to re-open along with some counselors until one by one they are all hunted and killed by a mysterious and violent killer. The film also stars Adrienne King (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) as Alice, Jeannine Taylor (The Royal Romance Of Charles And Diana) as Marcie, Kevin Bacon (Animal House) as Jack, Robbi Morgan (What’s The Matter With Helen?) as Annie, Harry Crosby (The Private History of a Campaign That Failed) as Bill, Laurie Bartram (Emergency!) as Brenda, Rex Everhart (Superman) as Enos, Ron Millkie (A Return To Salem’s Lot) as Officer Dorf, Peter Brouwer (Arthur) as Steve, and the film was directed by Sean S. Cunningham (The Last House On The Left).

fridayHalloween is still one of my all time favorite Horror films and it started the slasher genre, but Friday The 13TH took the genre to a whole new level and it’s been often called the first true slasher film. What I love about this film is that it started that whole mystery side of slasher flicks where you are wondering throughout the whole film just who the killer is, when is he going to strike next, and you see things from the killer’s perspective with the special camera for most of the film until they are revealed. This truly was a classic film and even though a lot of the actors didn’t do much later on, this all started the six degrees of Kevin Bacon as he starred in this film and instead of a real glimpse at the girl, you get a glimpse of his behind in this film. This film was truly special as it was one of the rarest cases of Independent films that got distribution overseas which was rare for indies. It’s funny because if you’re not thinking properly and you get asked who was the killer in Friday The 13TH you may answer the question wrong like Drew Barrymore did in Scream, but I know who it is. The film cost them just over $500,000 so they had to save some of the money for special kill scenes while leaving others to the imagination which is OK by me. There’s a website on the web that gives compares shots from the film with shots from the real town 23 years later and a lot of it hasn’t changed. The locations were perfect for this film and check out the website here. This is a classic that all horror fans should check out especially on a day like today (it’s Friday The 13TH after all). I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

1332491956_hellbilly-deluxeThe full album title is Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales Of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside The Spookshow International, but a lot of us just refer to the album as Hellbilly Deluxe. This album was my proper introduction to Rob Zombie because I know I had heard White Zombie before, but I never had paid attention till I had seen him at Ozzfest 99 when he was promoting this album. It was Rob Zombie’s first venture as a solo artist after he disbanded White Zombie and it featured much of the same sound as White Zombie, but it was more ferocious and in your face. It mixed sounds of rock, metal, and industrial into while combining the awesomeness of b-horror movie madness. On the record, Rob played with Riggs (Guitars), Blasko (Bass), and the album saw John Tempesta (Drums) come over from White Zombie and the album features additional work from Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, Danny Lohner, and Mark Matcho. The album was released on August 25, 1998 and the album peaked at number 5 on The Billboard Top 200 charts while going 3 times platinum since in the US and 2 times platinum in Canada. The album features a 24 page booklet which includes the cover and has artwork designed by Marvel Comics artists Gene Colan and Dan Brereton. The robot posing with Rob Zombie is a replica robot from the 1939 movie The Phantom Creeps and was designed by Wayne Toth (he would later work with Rob on House Of 1000 Corpses) specifically for Rob. The album also features samples from old horror films like Lady Frankenstein, The Last House On The Left, The City Of The Dead, Mark Of The Devil, Daughters Of Darkness, and The Satanic Rites Of Dracula.

rob_zombie_-_hellbilly_deluxe_(1998)-back1. Call Of The Zombie– A creepy little intro that I believe that Sherri Moon Zombie is the one saying it. The sound clip at the end of it is from the Vincent Price film Madhouse. 4/5

2. Superbeast– This song is absolutely intense as it chugs away with the industrial madness behind it as it smashes your eardrums. If you were driving in a Camaro, this song would make you want to drive more than a 100 MPH. Definitely one of my favorite tracks on the record and it was an amazing way that Rob used to open his concerts with back in the day. 5/5

3. Dragula– This is probably one of the most famous tracks on the record with it’s crazy club industrial metal sound about the car that The Munsters had in the show. 5/5

4. Living Dead Girl– A song whose music I can only describe as seductive and mesmerizing with the line in the beginning of the track from the film Lady Frankenstein. The music in the beginning of the song is from The Last House On The Left Trailer while the line What are you thinking about?/The same thing you are is from the film Daughters Of Darkness. 5/5

5. Perversion 99– Another intro track that leaves you in a  trance as you wait for the next track because you can’t avoid it. 4/5

6. Demonoid Phenomenon– This track is an absolute sledgehammer as Riggs guitar sound melts your face combined with the industrial dance floor like metal. The lines “don’t lie to yourself, it gave you pleasure” and “enjoy the dead girl’s body” are from the Daughters Of Darkness film. 5/5

7. Spookshow Baby– This is an interesting song that is all industrial in nature before changing into a metal blitzkrieg for the choruses. 4/5

8. How To Make A Monster– Never one of my favorites on this record due to it’s low quality sound. I usually avoid this one. 1/5

9. Meet the Creeper– This is a step back in the right direction for the band as it’s another track on the record that is a freight train going out of control with the muted string/dropped d sound combined with more of the industrial beats. This is one of the tracks that features Tommy Lee on drums. 5/5

1180359262-inlay-cover10. The Ballad Of Resurrection Joe And Rosa Whore– This is techno madness at it’s best mixed with metal. This is the other track on the record that features Tommy Lee on drums. 4/5

11. What Lurks On Channel X?– This song isn’t bad on the record, but I have always said that it sounded better live. This is a another great example of the industrial techno metal sound where the samples are at the forefront of the track. 3/5

12. Return Of The Phantom Stranger– I love the organs mixed in the beginning of the track along with the techno metal. Mt favorite part of the song is the chorus, I just live all the elements that are mixed in with the song. It reminds me of the White Zombie track Blood, Milk, And Sky and I love that song. 4/5

13. The Beginning Of The End can be considered the outro, but it’s a bunch of industrial machine factory like noise which can essentially symbolize what a disastrous end would sound like. 2/5

My Final Thoughts: I became obsessed with Rob Zombie after I saw what an amazing live show he had and I have to say out of all the lineups he has had, this one is still my favorite. Riggs and Blasko brought another dimension into Zombie’s band that was amazing live. I still believe that the guys he has now are amazing, but it’s been hard to top these first two solo records in Hellbilly Deluxe and The Sinister Urge which is my absolute favorite.  The album gets four stars out of five for a final grade. This is the last Halloween related post for the album of the week category. It has been a fun ride this year. Here is to next year.

i spitThere are people from today’s generation that have no idea what I Spit On Your Grave is about and don’t even know that it was a movie made in the 70’s. I watched the original movie back when I was a teen because one of my good friends owned the movie. When I heard that there was going to be a remake of this movie, I was curious about what they were going to change about it. I know at the time that they had remade Wes Craven’s The Last House On The Left before this one and that it received the full treatment by Hollywood, but what about this film? Obviously, this was a straight to video release which could have meant one of two things. It was either they didn’t have enough backing from Hollywood to get in theaters or it was awful. The film is about a writer named Jennifer Hill, who decides to drive out to the country to relax and write a novel. What she doesn’t expect on this trip is the fact that she is going to get raped by the locals. The film stars Sarah Butler (The Demented) as Jennifer, Jeff Branson (All My Children), Andrew Howard (The Hangover II), Rodney Eastman (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), Chad Lindberg (October Sky), and Daniel Franzese (Bully).

i spit 2The movie is very graphic which may scare parents from allowing their children from seeing this and I don’t blame them. Some of the scenes are not for the faint of heart and it’s probably the reason why it never hit the cinemas in the first place, but what makes this any different from Saw? Saw had some pretty graphic scenes that at times I had to look away. Can I really say that this movie is better than the original? I don’t really know how to answer that question because their are the faithfuls who will saw that there is nothing like the original. The obvious signs is that the kill scenes are a lot better in this one and it has to do with technology because we can make a kill scene that much more graphic and painful.  I do however have to admit that I really did enjoy watching this movie the whole entire time. The reason for that is the movie sends a message that women are not weak beings and it also teaches you not to mess with a women cause payback is a bitch. If you can find this on DVD, then check it out because I give the movie a B+.

nightThis upcoming Tuesday kicks off the Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween extravaganza so I am prepping myself with some documentaries about my favorite genre. So, for the preshow festivities I have decided to watch the documentary Nightmares In Red, White, And Blue: The Evolution Of The American Horror Film which is a film that looks at the history of the Horror genre and America’s obsession with it. Nightmares features commentary from elite horror directors like George A. Romero, Larry Cohen, Mick Garris, Joe Dante, Tom McLoughlin, Roger Corman, Darren Lynn Bousman, and my personal favorite John Carpenter. The movie’s narration is done by horror film vet Lance Henriksen who starred in the film Pumpkinhead as well as others. The film looks at it’s history and evolution from silent films to the films we enjoy today. 

johnThe documentary is absolutely fantastic as the film tackles every possible sub-genre of horror that has ever come out and they explain what they believe the meaning was to the films. The best part is the director of the film they are talking about will also describe what he was thinking at the time. John Carpenter had an amazing quote in the film when he describes two different types of horror and evil. I am paraphrasing this, but he says The first one is that it’s all about here evil is and the location of it. The kids are sitting at a campfire and the wise man tells them that the evil is out there in the dark. It’s the people that don’t look like us and don’t speak like us. That is the eternal evil. The other evil sees us in the same scenario in the campfire and the wise man looks at you and says that actually evil is within all of us. It’s in our hearts and that is a harder story to tell.

They speak about how culture in American society has always influenced horror films. For example, films like the Tarantula or Them were influenced by the fear of the Atomic bomb and what would happen if it did hit our land. The Black Cat was about sexual repression or that Invasion Of The Body Snatchers was a metaphor for conformity or the fear of communism spreading into America. In the 1970’s things got a lot more hardcore in films because society felt that the flower power movement had failed and so savage cinema was born. The rules were simple, you could be going on vacation and out of nowhere your daughter is raped and your family is attacked (e.g. The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House On The Left). John Carpenter’s They Live was about how Reaganism had screwed up all of America and it was time to fight it. In the 80’s the old monsters were simply reborn into new faces like Freddy Krueger in Nightmare On Elm Street or that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a reflection on society and how people were out of jobs. You really should check this one out if your a horror fan because it’s very informative. I give this film an A+