The most eagerly anticipated film of the year (decade?) has finally arrived, and the web-o-sphere is swirling with thoughts and spoilers and appraisals. By this time you’ve undoubtedly been exposed to the conventional wisdom, but in case you need further reassurance before braving the long lines this weekend – STAR WARS: The Force Awakens is… great! Read more »
This movie may never get out from under the shadow of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which came out the same year and was also inspired by the notorious Ed Gein. And it’s too bad, because this is a terrific flick. Like TCM, it is very low-budget and raw, which gives both films a ‘cinema verite’ feeling. Deranged is more a character study than TCM, with Robert Blossoms delivering a wonderfully creepy performance as the Gein-like Ezra Cobb. The music is also very effective, a non-melodic cross between David Lynch sound design and moody Mark Snow music. My favorite sequence is the plight of a would-be victim named Mary, as she attempts her escape from Ezra’s nightmarish home. The film also features a solid finale that makes great use of freeze-frame and slow-motion. The only element I didn’t care for was the inclusion of a reporter who pops up from time to time to narrate. The narration doesn’t add to the movie, and often pokes a hole in the movie’s otherwise enveloping sense of doom. Read more »
If you like your werewolf films a little less Twilight-y, then be on the lookout for Uncaged. Starring Zack Weiner and Ben Getz, Uncaged is available this week on DVD and Video On Demand.
“Orphaned as a child in the wake of a grisly tragedy, Jack was raised alongside his cousin and best friend, Brandon. At age 18, however, Jack’s otherwise uneventful life takes a sinister turn when he’s suddenly plagued by a series of bizarre sleepwalking episodes. After repeatedly waking up in the woods naked with no memory of the night before, Jack straps a camera to himself to document his behavior—and discovers a shocking truth: He is the unwitting heir to a monstrous family legacy of savagery, slaughter, and unrelenting horror from which death may be the only escape!” Read more »
Rob Zombie is probably the most debated and polarizing director working in horror today. No current director in the genre draws such extreme and varying reactions as Zombie, and, as an admitted fan of his work, I find this hard to believe. It could be that Zombie, known to many fans for years as the frontman and creative drive behind seminal metal band White Zombie (and then as the lead of his own, self-titled band) had some high expectations to meet as a lifelong and high-profile fan of the genre. It could also be that, no matter how good a “Rob Zombie film” ended up, the “Rob Zombie film” that audiences created in their own mind (for good or for ill) would never live up to the realities of said film. While both of these are possibilities, I tend to be more cynical and go with the theory that, quite simply, haters gonna hate. Read more »
Misfits – Vampire Girl/Zombie Girl (2015)
Label: Misfits Records
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It’s not a secret that, in the past decade, the Misfits, the seminal horror punk band from Lodi, New Jersey (once fronted by Glenn Danzig) have gone from “seminal punk band” to “decent not-as-great-as-they-once-were-but-still-underrated horror metal band” to “gee whiz, Jerry Only sure is trying.” Indeed, as the band was handed down from the controlling Danzig to the commercialism-is-king Only, the band went from edgy, in your face horror punk to a more family-friendly, gotta-make-that-buck punk-infused metal. In tandem with that, the vocals were passed from Devil-crooner Danzig to the wildly underrated vocals of Michale Graves (who pushed them closer, vocally, to the 50’s and 60’s influences seen in The Misfits’ contemporaries, The Ramones), and finally settled on Jerry Only – the only remaining original Misfit – whose vocals have honestly failed to make much of an impression, ranging from “weak” to “serviceable.” Read more »