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12-30-12  GOODBYE 2012
    Another year gone.  It seems that we all survived the apocalypse that was suppose to happen.  Now we can get back to what is important...watching horror movies!
    New Year's used to be just another day.  But these last couple of years, I personally have been learning more and more how to enjoy the every day stuff that for a very long time I took for granted.  That is something that is so easy to do to these days too.  With so much stuff always going on in our life's, there's never time for this or that, and life just moves on.  That is when we need to make time for this and that.  Those memories will then always be with you, and if you're sharing that with someone special, it makes it even more important.  Whatever you do to celebrate the new year coming in, if you make one resolution that you are going to keep, make it to enjoy life and don't sweat the simple and small stuff.  There is so much great stuff around...all you need to do is look.  Sometimes right in front on you.
    Okay...enough fortune cookie speeches....

GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE COMES TO DVD
    Thanks to the wonderful people at Retro Media (namely Fred Olen Ray), for giving this great film the proper release that it deserves.  Made in 1972, starring cult icons William Smith and Michael Pataki as father and son vampires.  Using the awesome poster art for the DVD cover, this will finally get a decent DVD release.  It will be a wide screen anamorphic edition from a 35mm High Definition transfer, so like quite a few of Retro Media's releases, it should be a really good quality DVD.  Unfortunately, it looks like the only extras are the original theatrical trailer.  Shame they couldn't get an audio commentary by Smith.  None the less, we will be adding this title to our collection.

KRYPT ARCHIVES
    Just in case you didn't notice and were interested, we have been archiving our updates since 2000 and can be accessed at the bottom of this page.  Some of those early years I'm not too proud of, but that is where we started.  But it is interesting to look back every now and then and see what I was doing, thinking and ranting about back then.  Funny how some of it is still the same stuff!  So feel free to look around there if you have some free time.  I'm sure you might find something interesting for a bit.

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: FEAR NO EVIL
    We have posted our review for the soundtrack for Frank LaLoggia's directorial debut, FEAR NO EVIL, which he also did the score for as well.  Head over to our Soundtrack Reviews to read our full report.

MAMA SHORT FILM
    I'm sure we've all seen the trailers for the new film MAMA coming out next month.  Being that Guillermo del Toro is Executive Producer, and I usually enjoy whatever he has in hands in, I know I am pretty excited to see this one.  But the short film that this movie was based on, also directed by Andres Muschietti, is now available on YouTube.  For a short around 2 minutes, it is pretty creepy, which makes me want to see the feature even more.  Here is the trailer:

 

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about an author, one who wrote on the earliest, if not the first book on the history of the horror film.  This is a good lesson for those who like to collect horror reference books.  So before all the end of the year partying starts, let's get over to the classroom for our last lesson of 2012.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the highly underrated 1982 film THE SENDER, starring a young Zeljko Ivanek.  You might not know this guy's name, but I'm sure you've seen his face, since is always popping up in everything from TV and cable series to small parts in movies.  But THE SENDER was one of his first roles and is just a great movie.  Check it out.  We only got two people with the right answers, which if anybody should have got it, it would have been these two.  And they would be Aaron Christensen and Will Wilson.
    For our last photo of the year, in keeping with the theme of women with blood on them, we went with something that we just recently seen and had forgotten just how much fun the movie is.  So we thought we'd highlight it in our Mystery Photo.  So take a look and see what you can come up with.  Just send in your guess by clicking HERE.  And as always, good luck.

 

2012 - YEAR IN REVIEW

    Another year of great times spent with my family and the multitude of people that we call our friends, giving way to another full year of fantastic memories.  As we look back at 2012, the year when it was all suppose to end, we’re all still here and no worse for wear.  As we looked back over 2012, looking for the high points of the year, a lot of them are the same as the years before.  But even if the events are the same, it really comes down to spending time with our friends and family during all of these great events.  Since I've been going to these usually by myself or with other friends, having my family with me now, making it almost like a family business so to speak, it has been making it even more special and enjoyable then before.  Can't tell you how proud I am of both my wife Dawn and son Nick, when watching them work the Krypt table at a convention.  As Dawn has told me many times before, this is who we are.  This is what defines us.  And for that, I really am the luckiest person alive.  I mean seriously...how many wives and kids would be happy to spend the weekend at an out-of-state drive-in theater?  So thank you to all of our friends out there for making them so much damn fun!  And especially to Dawn and Nick for truly making this obsession of mine a real family adventure.
    Now let's get to the Year in Review!

WE MUST NOT FORGET
    Each year, we lose more and more people that have contributed so much to the horror genre.  The longer you are a horror fan, the more of these great talents we see part this world.  But as students of the genre, it is our duty to make sure that their memory lives on and that their work in the genre is not forgotten.  I know we just lost Charles Durning a few days ago, who gave us one scary performance in DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, but he had been in so many other great movies and was a very talented actor.  But he, along with the ones listed below, will always be kept alive by movie fans like us, so continue to watch their old movies and remember them as such talented people, whether they were in front of or behind the camera.  So we take a minute to remember those who we lost this last year.

Ian Abercrombie, R.G. Armstrong, Ernest Borgnine, Ray Bradbury, Frank Brana, Robert Easton, William Finley,
Jonathan Frid, Robert Fuest, Bill Hinzman, James Isaac, Herbert Lom, Richard Lynch, Carlo Rambaldi, Angharad Rees, Lina Romay,
Kaneto Shindo, Danny Steinmann, Simon Ward, David Whitaker, Nicol Williamson

THE KRYPT & THE ARMY
    2013 will be the 15th year I will be running this website.  Granted, this has always been my outlet to the world, letting me have my own soapbox to praise and bitch about whatever I want.  But if it wasn’t for my readers out there (all 4 of you), I wouldn’t have kept this going this long.  But getting the emails, comments at conventions, and all of that from you really puts fuel on the fire.  Can’t tell you how much those mean to me.  It really does make all of this work worth while.  I am just so glad that I have a receptive audience that puts up with my ranting, but also hopefully takes away a little of the message that I’m trying to put out there with each update.  As the saying goes, Discover the Horror really is something I try to live by, and hopefully I have been passing that passion onto you.  But I'm pretty sure that I have helped a few of you out there in doing just that, exploring films or filmmakers that you might not have heard of otherwise.  So when I hear that, it means that I'm doing my job.
    Since this site is not sponsored by some corporate backer, you will NEVER see ad banners plastered all over this place.  Sure, I might be able to make a little bit of $$ by doing that, but that is not why I am here or this site.  I want people to be able to come to this place and know that I am not trying to sell you something.  I have been asked at conventions why the stuff I sell at the shows is not listed on the site.  It is because of that reason.  I want the Krypt to be a friendly and inviting place to escape to and learn about the genre, not a commercial for whatever Hollywood is shoving down our throats.
    As for the Kryptic Army, for something that was only going to be a 1 year deal, 2013 will mark our fourth year of service, with quite a few of you being there from the beginning.  While yes, there are prizes for all of your hard work, I’m pretty sure that everyone involved love participating just for the fun of it.  Well...maybe except during Turkey Month.  But with each mission report I get, hearing someone else’s opinion on a particular movie is what most movie fans live for: to be able to talk about a movie they’ve seen, for better or for worse, to someone else that is going to be interested in what they are talking about.  And you will get plenty of that here while in the Army.  With the mission reports posted on the Message board, which I always comment on, we encourage you to post your own comments on other soldiers choices.  We want to keep that discussion going.  If you liked or didn't like a particular movie that was posted, let us know YOUR thoughts on why.  We'd loved to hear them.  We’ve seen a lot of new names the later part of this year so hopefully you will all be back next year, to continue fighting the good fight, striving to learn and see more of this wondrous genre of horror!  And please spread the word so we can get more soldiers fighting alongside of you.  Again, thank you for the constant support.

GHOST STORY / CIRCLE OF FEAR....FINALLY!
    On a nostalgic point of view, the biggest highlights of the year for me was the DVD release of an old TV series from the early ‘70s.  It was called Ghost Story the first year and then changed to Circle of Fear for the 2nd and final year.  Produced by William Castle, each week we got a new frightening tale that dealt with ghosts, haunted houses, revenge, and all sorts of scary things.  There were tons of people in this show, from Martin Sheen, to Janet Leigh, to even a young Jodie Foster.  What makes this show so special to me was that not only were most of them pretty creepy (for a 7-year old at least) and had a great cast, but this is the series that I can actually remember watching each week when it first came on.  But even watching them now, I still have that same feeling I did when I was first watching them.  And some of them, actually still hold up, 40 years later.  I had copies of most of the episodes that I had picked up over the years from different collectors and gray market places, but the quality was always a bit rough.  But now, thanks to Warner Archives, they have released the complete series in one DVD set, and they look amazing.  This brought back a lot of old memories and is one of those viewings that can really take you back to another time.

ISOLATED INTERVIEW
    And lastly, one of the more recent highlights of this year happened just a few days ago.  That was when I had the wonderful opportunity to interview writer/director Billy O’Brien, who gave us the amazing horror film ISOLATION.  That interview will be up on our site in the next few weeks.  It was one of those times when things just fell together the right way and we had a great conversation about a movie that I feel really strongly about and hope that more people will seek it out because of the interview.

DEAD WEIGHT
   
It was quite a few years ago when I first met John Pata.  It was at movie convention where he was promoting his short zombie film called BETTER OFF UNDEAD.  We became good friends from then on (really only because I thought his film showed promise), which one wouldn’t think that if you’ve ever heard a conversation between me and Pata.  But none the less, I have always admired John’s passion for not only the genre, but for working so hard in getting other people involved and bringing fellow fans together.  From doing the House of Horrors shows, to their Friday Night Frights, and other film fests, John is one person that I am glad is fighting on our side.
    So when I heard that he was working on his first feature film, DEAD WEIGHT, with his buddy Adam Bartlett, I was anxious to see what they were going to make.  When we finally got to see it, I was not only so impressed with it, but also just so proud to know quite a few of the talented people involved.  Not being a filmmaker myself, it was so thrilling to see some good friends of mine be able to create such a thought-provoking and emotional film, that was entertaining but still packed a solid punch, and one you’d be thinking about days after.  With all the low budget crap out there, seeing DEAD WEIGHT once again gave me hope for that independent market that I usually tend to stay away from.

FILM FEST, DRIVE-INS, & ASSORTED SCREENINGS
    Anybody who follows this site knows that we go to a lot of events throughout the year, like conventions and film fests.  Being close to Chicago, we are able to attend quite a few of the things that go on during the year, especially around in October.  From the midnight shows, to the 24-hour movie marathons, and other special screenings, there is always something cool showing.  This year we had two different 24-hour marathons, which we attended both and had a blast at each one, getting to see some great classic films on the big screen.
    One of the theaters that we go to for these events is the Portage Theater.  It has been a shaky year for them, first with a threat of being bought by a church and closed down as a theater, and now with some other financial issues, that possibly could close down the theater for good.  I think we sometimes take for granted these special kinds of places that doesn’t want to turn into the same old multiplex theater, showing the latest blockbuster that Hollywood is churning out. There are a lot of people working very hard out there to try and keep the theater up and running and every little bit helps.  So from donating to the theater, showing up at one of their fund-raisers, or whatever you can do, it all helps keep a theater like this open and allows these film fests that we love so much to continue.
    One event that was held at the Portage in 2012 was a special showing of NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT.  Every fan of this movie knows that there were rumors going about since the film came out about all this uncut footage that was lost.  Even with the theatrical version, which does has its issues, but it still remains one of my favorite films.  Any die-hard horror fan can relate to that.  But thanks to the hard work of people like Russell Cherrington, we were able to get a peek at a rough work print of the film with the “lost” footage spliced back into the film.  Sure, there is still a lot of work to do and honestly I think it still needs to be cut down a bit more, but just being able to see this on the big screen, seeing sequences that we had only read or heard about before, it was a great time.  And once again, this was screen at the Portage Theater, so kudos again for them being around for something like this to even take place.
 
   This last October, in celebrating 100 years of Warner Bros., they were screening a bunch of classic movies in theaters.  One of these events was a double feature of the original FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.  Now I have seen both of these in the theater before.  But any time I get the chance to see these two films in that presentation, I jump at the chance.  Since the original FRANKENSTEIN is one of my favorite films of all time, seeing this on the big screen, the way it was all those years ago is a powerful time for me.  The original film is one that I don’t think has lost any of its impact in the story or the performances.  Karloff’s portrayal can still bring up the pathos for the character.  There is a reason why people are still talking about this movie 80+ years later.  And while BRIDE does have a little too much of the silly humor, Whale and Karloff still make quite an impact with this tragic tale.  It was so cool seeing the theater pretty full when Dawn and I went to see these two films.  It put a little smile on my face to see that many people coming out to see these classics. 
    Another revisit was getting to see JAWS on the big screen, which was the first time in a theater since seeing it originally back in the ‘70s.  This was the only film I have ever seen that had given me nightmares non-stop for 2 weeks.  To this day, I have not set foot in a body of water that wasn’t a bathtub or swimming pool.  This film is one of the few that can still make me feel uneasy during certain scenes.  So having the chance to experience on the big screen again was just thrilling.
    I can not stress enough that anytime you have the chance to catch a classic movie on the big screen, you need to jump at the chance.  Not only do you get to see the film the way it originally was designed to be seen, but by going you are also showing the theaters that these kind of events will draw people in and then they will continue to do them.  So please show your support.

SKYLINE DRIVE-IN
    This year we made another little mini-vacation to just south of Indianapolis to the Skyline Drive-in Theatre.  They were having two nights of horror movies playing all night, with 4 features each night.  These weren’t your normal classics either, but some pretty obscure titles.  So leaving on Friday morning, and making our way south, we stopped at a few great places to eat and a few book stores throughout the weekend.
    The Skyline Drive-in is located right off of I-74, just south of Indianapolis and is a great little theater.  I mean how could it be bad when on the snack bar menu, you can have bacon added to anything for only $.50!!!  The folks there were super friendly and had plenty of great food there to keep us busy the whole weekend.  It really was a blast and is something that I would encourage more people to do.  Even though this vacation was only for 3 days, it was a lot of fun to get out of the house spending time to enjoy life.  Once again, it really is the little things in life that make it worthwhile.  Don’t let those times escape you.
    And even if you can’t make it out to one of these for a weekend trip, in the Chicagoland area, we have the Midway Drive-in, which usually holds a couple of these all night horror film fests during the year.  We usually hit those as well and they are a blast.  So mark those links and come next spring, plan those little outings and make it happen.

CONVENTIONS
   
Of course, going to conventions throughout the year is another thing that is always a highlight for us.   We usually hit around 5 shows a year, but in 2012 we did 7 shows.  That was because of an extra HorrorHound show, as well as finally making it to a show that I’ve wanted to go for year, the Wonderfest Hobby Expo in Louisville Kentucky.  This is basically a show for model kits from the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres.  And it’s big.  If you’re not into models, it might not be the best show for you.  But I have to say, even for someone like me, who has retired from that aspect of my fandom, it was great seeing all of these amazing pieces of work these sculptures and artists have created.  Just walking around the dealer room, seeing so many kits from obscure movies, was a lot of entertainment alone.  But the other great thing was this was so different from the normal conventions that we go to.  This wasn’t about celebrities and buying autographs.  This was what a convention use to be like 15 or so years ago.  Where if there was a guest, they were just happy to see you and not worried if you were going to spend money at their table.  So it was a nice change of pace to be at a show were the people coming through the door were looking to spend their money on the dealers…not autographs.  Oh, how I miss those days.
    At the other shows we attended, we were able to see a few guests that have eluded us over the years that we finally had the chance to meet.  Of course, the biggest of the lot was John Carpenter.  Sure, I haven’t cared much for his later work, but you can’t deny his work in the first part of his career, making several classic movies during that period, with his version of THE THING still being one of my favorite movies of all time.  Since he has started doing more appearances, I knew it was only a matter of time before our paths would meet.  And thanks to Flashback Weekend this last summer, it happened.  Didn’t need to get an autograph, but just wanted to meet him, shake his hand, and give him a copy of the retrospective I wrote for HorrorHound, which he didn’t have.  So it was well worth the 30 minutes in line (went on Sunday…much smaller line).
    Another icon I had the chance to meet was Pam Grier, who was super friendly.  Being in so many cult films in her career, she is one talent that really deserves the attention she gets.  Another one was David Schmoeller, who we actually got to interview while at the Cinema Wasteland show, and heard some great stories.  As a horror fan that has been going to conventions for over 25 years, it is getting harder and harder for me to get excited about a guest these days.  So it was nice that in 2012 I was able to find a few that I still was happy to take time to meet and talk with at a convention.
    Out of all the shows these last few years that my wife and son have been going to, there are not too many celebrities that they get that excited about.  At one of the HorrorHound shows, Nick was pretty stoked to meet Timothy Balme, from Peter Jackson's BRAINDEAD.  But at the October Cinema Wasteland show, Nick was able to meet someone that he's been wanting to meet ever since he was announced as a guest.  And that would be Reb Brown.  Nick is a huge fan of those cheesy movies that Brown made in the '80s and '90s over in Italy, like ROBOWAR and of course YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE.  So getting to see how excited Nick was to meet Mr. Brown, it reminded me of all those years ago when I use to get that same feeling and excitement.  So yes, we do re-live something through our children.
    But the biggest surprise of all, for me at least, was at the HorrorHound Weekend in November.  While everyone was there to meet Jamie Lee Curtis, we got the opportunity to meet her sister, Kelly, who happened to work with one of our favorite directors, Michele Soavi, in THE SECT (aka THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER).  She wasn't even a guest, but there making a documentary on her sister's appearance.  So I think she was as surprised as I was when some horror nerd came up to her and asked her about this movie.  But it is times like this that just make the weekend a great one.  Special thanks out to our good friend Buzz for pointing her out to me.

DRIVE-IN SCREENING/BIRTHDAY PARTY
    But I have to say, the biggest highlight of 2012 was my birthday this year.  Not because I was turning another year old (at this point in the game, those can stop!), but because of what my son did for me.  Nick had bought me a DVD projector and all off the supplies to build our own little movie screen, so we could turn our backyard into our own little drive-in theater.  Minus the cars, of course.
    While we had ‘tested’ the set up a time or two before my actual birthday, we decided to have a bunch of friends over to really break it in with a great little double feature of THE GREEN SLIME and the original THE BLOB.  My wife Dawn had made this amazing drive-in birthday cake as well as a movie sign that would light up pointing to the festivities.  From seeing my good friends that came out for the occasion to the home made corndogs, it was a blast.  Can’t thank Nick and Dawn for making it happen.  I’m sure that this birthday party event is going to become a regular now.  Once again it shows that friends and family, especially when they are getting together to enjoy some horror movies, are really the most important thing one can have in their life.  And for that, I am eternally grateful and a very lucky man.

BEST AND WORSE OF 2012
    Now let us get to my top movies of the year.  Once again, remember that these are my Best Of that I watched in 2012, not that came out that year.  Since most of the films I watch are older or came out in the last year or so, it is hard for me to come up with a Best Of from the current year alone.  So here we go, in alphabetic order:

  • BEAST WISHES (2012) – This was the documentary on Bob & Kathy Burns that we got to see at Wonderfest.  It was such a heartfelt tribute to one of the biggest fans of horror, sci-fi and fantasy films.  Not to mention getting any fan to drool over their collection of props.

  • CHAINED (2012) - This one literally just got added to our lists yesterday.  This was the latest film by Jennifer Lynch and stars Vincent D'Onofrio as a serial killer who keeps a young boy captive to teach him "the ways".  A very dark and disturbing tale, but D'Onofrio's performance is stunning, as always.  Not one for Sunday Afternoon with the family, but well worth the watch.

  • CORMAN’S WORLD (2012) – Another documentary on the legendary Roger Corman.  Finally getting an Oscar for his work, this documentary talks to a lot of the people who came up through the Corman school of filmmaking, a lot of who has gone on to do much bigger things.  It is a great inside look to this talented filmmaker.

  • EDDIE: THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (2012) – We caught this at the Music Box of Horrors this year and knew nothing about it before watching it.  Very strange, gory, and quite funny.  Something completely different than what we’d normally see coming out of Hollywood.  Which is a great change of pace.

  • THE HOLE (2009) – Joe Dante’s film that has been sitting around for a few years, finally gets a DVD release.  Why they didn’t decide to release this to the theaters was a big loss of $$ since I think it would done quite well.  For a PG movie, it was pretty scary.  Very well made and a lot of fun.

  • THE LAND UNKNOWN (1957) – This is the oldest film in our list this year, but is a fun little movie.  It is a great film that will change your life?  Well, maybe if you were an 8-year old kid that didn’t grow up watching JURASSIC PARK.  But I just love this film due to the effects that they were able to create, including some fun dinosaurs like a T-Rex (with working mouths) and some sort of water monster, it was damn entertaining.  Sure the effects are very dated, but for those that are fans of classic black and white movies, I think you’ll be entertained.

  • THE PERFECT HOST (2010) – We had been meaning to catch this when we first heard about it but just didn’t get around to it until this year.  We’ve always been a fan of David Hyde Pierce, so that might be one of the reasons that we enjoyed this film.  But it was also a great storyline that had plenty of twists and turns in it that kept the plot and the movie going.  Such an strange film, mainly due to Pierce’s performance, but we just loved it.

  • THE SKIN I LIVE IN (2011) – Now this might not be a film that I would probably watch again, it was one that I thought was very well done, and had one hell of a punch to it.  It really is like no other film you’ve ever seen before.  Great performances, very complex story, and one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

  • THINGS (1989) – Another one from our Turkey Day event, this Canadian film is like no other film you’ve ever seen before.  Words cannot express or explain this film.  Such a low budget oddity that really has to be seen to be believed.  But please….watch it with some other like minded film fans.  It will increase the enjoyment of the film even more.

  • WOMAN IN BLACK (2012) – While I did think they used too much CGI in the film, I still think they made an effective horror film.  And it was great to see Hammer going back to their roots, with a great little gothic horror piece.  Radcliffe did a great job, breaking out of his Potter reputation, portraying a highly depressed man who had recently lost his wife.  Well worth the watch.

    As for this year’s Worst Of, I really only came up with 4 titles.  And while some of these I don’t think are terrible films, which I’ll explain, they are more here because of the disappointment than anything.

  • CABIN IN THE WOODS (2011) – After hearing so much about this film, we finally got to see it when it hit DVD.  This is one of those cases where even though it was so popular amongst horror fans, I just don’t get it.  Not the movie…I get it.  Didn’t think it was entertaining or good, but I get it.  What I don’t get it the love for this movie.  Sorry…didn’t think it was funny, didn’t think it was a great story, and just didn’t find it entertaining.

  • PROMETHIUS (2012) – We went to the theater to see in this 3D and have to say that this was the most amazing looking, beautiful, wondrous, technically thrilling piece of crap that I have ever seen.  Talk about ‘eye candy’?  That was all this film had going.  Lame story, worse characters, and some of the dumbest things I’ve seen characters do before.  I’ve seen smarter characters in a Friday the 13th rip-off than in this film.  So once again, the old adage that you can polish a turd as much as you want…it is still a turd.

  • THEATRE BIZARRE (2011) – I had such high hopes for this movie since all the different people involved, I figured how could this be anything but amazing?  But sadly, I thought it was just a mess.  At best, a story or two was just okay, but the rest were just bad.  So disappointed in the talent behind the camera and what we got to see on screen.

  • THE THING (2011) – If there ever was an example of why a movie should just not be made, this prequel to Carpenters’ epic film is the prime one.  While they tried to be different in some ways, they also mimicked certain scenes from the original film.  It seemed that their main point of the movie is to make sure they hit all the key things that are left over in the original film, like the ax in the door.  They spent more time on that aspect on the film than say...or a cohesive story that made sense?  Didn’t matter if it made no sense whatsoever.  Plot holes big enough to drive a snowplow through.  Do I need to go on?  While Carpenter’s original is still be rightly paraded as a classic 30 years later, I seriously doubt people will be talking about this film much longer.  In fact, if it hits any end of the year lists now, that will probably be the last of it.

12-23-12  A VERY SCARY CHRISTMAS TO ALL
    Since we somehow averted the impending doom that the Mayans had predicted, I guess we can carry on with the festive holidays in the next couple of days.  Now is the time to break out the holiday classics like Bob Clark's BLACK CHRISTMAS, SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT, CHRISTMAS EVIL, RARE EXPORTS, or Dick Maas' SAINT.  These can always get us in the right mood for the season.
    And it is usually this time of year that people put on the smiles and cheer that they might not normally have.  Shame we can't do that every day of the year, huh?  Nonetheless, we just wanted to wish everyone out there a very Horror Holidays...I mean Happy Holidays.  And we hope that whatever you are celebrating, that good old Satan Claws brings you something nice for all what you do throughout the year.

SCI-FI SPECTACULAR 7 WITH FRANK HENENLOTTER
    Movieside has already announced their next show, the Sci-Fi Spectacular 7, which is going to take place at the Portage Theater on March 9th, 2013.  They have also just announced the cult director Frank Henenlotter will be appearing there.  They haven't announced which of his movies will be playing during the fest just yet.  The current film line up thus far is:

  • MATINEE - Joe Dante's tribute to William Castle

  • THE DARK CRYSTAL - One of Jim Henson's best

  • SILENT RUNNING - Bruce Dern in a sci-fi classic

  • INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS - The '78 remake with an all-star cast

  • IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS - Carpenter's tribute to H .P. Lovecraft

    Just like all of the Movieside events, there will be vendors, trailers, prizes, and more.  For all the info, go to their Facebook page HERE.  Pre-sale tickets are only $20 and at the door they will be $25.  So get them early!

DANNY STEINMANN - REST IN PEACE
    While he doesn't have a huge list of work, only making 4 films, with one of them being a porno, Danny Steinmann's name will always be remembered for making the only FRIDAY THE 13th film that doesn't have Jason in it.  For better or for worse, depending on your feelings towards it, it is still a popular movie amongst fans.  But he also had directed a great little horror film called THE UNSEEN, which I've always been impressed with.  And then there is the little exploitation film SAVAGE STREETS with Linda Blair and Linnea Quigley that is also very popular with the fans.  So while he only made 3 films in the cult film genres, they are popular ones.  So Steinmann will definitely be remembered for his work.  This is a great example where it is not the amount of work you do, but the quality.
    Steinmann passed away back on the 18th of this month at the age of 70 years old.  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

MOVIE LISTS
    One thing that happens a lot, to me at least and I'm sure I'm not alone, but those of us that have an extensive movie collection, sometimes trying to figure out what to watch next becomes a quest.  Some times the sheer act of trying to decide that can take as long as watching the movie!  So what is the solution to this?  I know some of you out there keep your new DVDs separate that way you can work your way through them.  Which is a good idea if you're only wanting to watch movies that you haven't seen.  But what about those that you've already seen, but feel the need to re-watch them.  Simple.  Make a list.
    Before, I've never been one to do one of these, just figuring I'll get to the movie eventually.  But there are too many times when I just plainly forget about them.  So by making a list of movies that you want to watch in the next coming year, new titles or otherwise, then you have given yourself a challenge.  And when the time comes to watch something, it is very easy then to go to the list and pick.  So this year, I am going to be doing just that.
    Another great idea, especially for those newer students, is find one of those "1000 Movies You Have To See Before You Die" type of books and work your way through it.  Rue Morgue just put out a little booklet called 200 Alternate Horror Films You Need To See that has some fantastic titles in there.  Even if you've seen most of them, check off the rest.  So pick out a 100 or so titles, write them down and keep them near.  So the next time you want to watch something, you don't have to do any thinking...just grab the list and pick a title.

POSTER GALLERY UPDATED
    Last week in our Horror History lesson, we talked about Spanish artist Macario Gomez Quibus and the amazing artwork that he has done in his career.  Below are just a few examples of his incredible talent.  Just look at these amazing pieces of art and then try to think the last time you were at the movies and see some poster art that was as creative and beautiful as these?  Makes you wonder why we can't go back to this style of poster art.  I guess that would mean we'd need to find some talented people and give them some creative freedom.  Yeah...I know...like THAT is going to happen any time soon.
    But that is why we need to keep these pieces of art alive, as well as the people that created them.  By collecting these posters, and getting them into the public eye, even if it just means posting on your blog or website, then at least people will get to see them.  Who knows...some day maybe we will go back to this glorious artwork.  We can hope, right?
    In the meantime, we have updated our Poster Gallery, adding quite a few new exhibits, quite a few of them from Macario Gomez Quibus.  So head over to our Gallery and spend a few minutes (or hours) gazing at some of the amazing pieces of poster art from throughout the years.

        

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was a little more popular, which was a nice surprise.  The movie is THE WOMAN IN BLACK, but not the recent Hammer remake, but the original BBC film that came out in 1989.  As much as I did enjoy the remake, this original version is still my favorite and can still pack one hell of a punch without all the fancy CGI ghosts.  If you haven't seen this version yet and can find a copy of it, I  highly recommend it.  Kudos out to the following for sending in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Todd Barwick, Aaron Christensen, Jerry Downing, Dick Klemensen, Wayne Teeter, Kristin Wicks, and Will Wilson.
    Now on to this week's photo.  While we thought about trying to come up with something especially for the holiday, but then decided that might be too easy.  So we didn't.  Or did we...?  In either case, the photo has plenty of the holiday color of red.   So take a look and then send in your guess by clicking HERE.  Good Luck!

12-16-12  KRYPTIC ARMY - YEAR 4!
    That's right, soldiers!  2013 will be our 4th year of trudging through the murk and mud, battling through some tough adversaries, but always coming through the battle a wiser and more experienced soldier.  Sure, some of us have a few battle scars, especially after that epic Turkey battle last month that some of you fought in.  I know a few of you should have been awarded a purple heart or two for some of those grenades you selfishly jumped on.  But I'm sure everyone that did survive feel that it was a fight that needed to be won.  For those that have made it through each of the 12 missions, that means that you got through 24 new movies that you might not have watched otherwise....for better or for worse.  But either way...Bravo!
    And while we're proud of everyone that participates each month, there are quite a few of the members that have been enlisted since the very beginning.  We can't thank you enough for your support and your continued friendship.  And to all the new soldiers that have joined along the way, we are proud to call you our fellow fiends, with your never ending desire to continue your horror education.  Thank you.
    With only 2 more weeks to go before 2012 will be over, we will be starting a whole new year.  That means new missions, new challenges, and more new movies.  Sure, the topics are becoming more and more challenging for me, but I never back down from one of those.  Just like a lot of you don't back down from the new missions I hand out each month.  Now if you're one of those on the sidelines, just reading about what we're doing, then now is the time to fall in, stand proudly next to your fellow horror movie fan, and march forward into the front line where you will find new horrors waiting for you each and every month.  Do you have the guts to make it?  Then all you need to do is sign up for our mailing list and you can have that chance to show your worth.  Oh...did I mention that you can win prizes?  Just head over to our Army page HERE and get all the info on what this is all about.  You can also see what the past winners have gotten for all of their hard work.
    None the less, we hope to see you out on the front lines come January 1st.  We can always use more soldiers out there.  And you won't be alone...trust me.

BLIND DEAD SOUNDTRACK!?!?!?
    Okay, being a huge fan of horror movie soundtracks as well as Spanish horror films, where are all these great soundtracks from them???  I know there are a few here and there, but when compared to all of these obscure Italian ones that are coming out (not that we're complaining, mind you...we're loving every one of those), it doesn't seem like there are that many.  Maybe it is something as simple as they never kept those recordings, because they never seen the need for it back then.  It is sad and depressing, but understandable.
    Of course, one title that I would love to see get a release is Antón García Abril's score for Amando de Ossorio's TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD.  Just click on this Youtube clip below to hear what I'm talking about.

 

    Now who wouldn't want to have their very own CD of that score?  So here's a little shout out to all those independent soundtrack companies....PLEASE seek out some of this film's score, along with all those other great horror film scores out there.  Like maybe some Paul Naschy ones too?  I mean, it is almost Christmas, right?

NEW REVIEW: INNKEEPERS SOUNDTRACK
    We have posted our review of Jeff Grace's score for Ti West's creepy haunted hotel movie.  Head over to our Soundtrack Review section to read more.

IN VIVID RED: THE HORROR ART OF CHRIS KUCHTA
    It was back in 2008 at a Chicago Fangoria show when we first came across Chris and his work.  His style was very different than what we'd seen before, and once you seen it, it was easy to spot.  We became friends with Chris and his wife Lori at that show and started to see them at other conventions as well.  Each new event, he had a new print or something to add to this table.  When he started moving into colors, his art became even more amazing.  We have picked up several of his prints over the years, and even have a couple hanging up in our Kryptic Office as I write this.
    But now you have the opportunity to pick up a book that has all of Chris' artwork up to now, all in one place.  IN VIVID READ: THE HORROR ART OF CHRIS KUCHTA is a hardcover book that features his artwork of the Blind Dead, Christopher Lee as Frankenstein, Paul Naschy's werewolf, and many more.  With an introduction by EVIL DEAD creator Tom Sullivan and the forward written by musician/author Count Lyle Blackburn, this is a book that is well worth the price of $40.  Sure, that might seem a big steep, but when you look at how much artwork you're getting for that, it is well worth the money.
    For all the ordering information about Chris and his book, head over to his site by clicking HERE.

NEW ARGENTO BOOK COMING SOON
    And while on the subjects of books, soon fans of Dario Argento will have another book to add to their horror reference book collection.  Derek Botelho has written The Argento Syndrome, which will feature essays on each of Argento's films, along with different 13 interviews, as well as a few chapters of personal memoirs with Dario and his daughter Asia from the author himself.  It will have 20 original illustrations and about a 100 photographs.  The limited edition hardcover will even come with a print of the artwork signed by Asia Argento.
    You can follow the Facebook page for the book by clicking HERE.  We will be sure to post news about it here when we find out more.  I know it will be one that we will be adding to our collection when it comes out.

AYLMER CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT
    Nothing says the holiday more than your very own Aylmer Christmas ornament.  What better way to celebrate the birth of Christ than to decorate your tree with a little Aylmer, with a nice little Santa cap on top of his huge bulging blue brain?  Sure puts me in the holiday spirit.  Of course we all know Aylmer from Frank Henlotter's film BRAIN DAMAGE, the story about a misunderstood parasite that just wants to have a friend.  Nothing wrong with that, right?
    This little guy is from the creative genius at Meat Spider Studios and can purchased on Etsy by simply following this link.  I'm sure you'll be the only one in your neighborhood with one of these adorable little brain eating parasites hanging from your tree.  Boy...won't Santa be impressed?  Order now so you can have it time for the holiday!

HORROR HISTORY
    We're back with another lesson, a very important lesson.  One of the first things used to get people to want to see a movie is the poster art.  Even in the very beginning of cinema, that was what was used to draw in the audience, to make them have to see what this movie is about.  The people that created these works of art, sometimes cranking them out, one after another, don't see to get the credit that they deserve.  So this week's lesson is on of these talented artists.  And if you're poster collector, I'm sure you've seen some of his artwork over the years.  So get ready to have your eyes amazed and get over to the classroom!

MYSTERY PHOTO
    It seems that last week's photo was another tough one.  Seems this movie needs to have a little more light shined on it, huh?  The film in question is CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN.  It is a great movie?  Not really.  But if you love those black and white horror films of the '50s, it is a lot of fun.  Kudos goes out to Hoby Abernathy, Bill Harrison and Mike Shields for correctly identifying our photo.  Well done.
    Now on to this week's photo.  Might just be a little easier than you think.  Or maybe not.  In any case, take a peek and send us your guess by clicking HERE.  Good Luck!

12-10-12  WHY WE COLLECT MOVIES?
    Seems like a silly question, doesn't it?  I mean, most of the people reading this most likely has a substantial collection of horror movies, probably well into the 1000's.  But why do we do this?  Several months ago, I wrote something about being Cinematic Archeologist, about that it was our job and passion to uncover some of these lost bits of gold that most might not know about.  But why do we feel the need to collect so many titles?
    Well, this thought all came about over this past weekend while I was going through my movie collection (instead of working on updating this site).  Over the years, I had gotten some movies that turned out I already had.  Or that one copy was have a DVD-R from a video release that was never pulled when the actual legit DVD came out.  I knew that the collection needed to be weeded through, but when you have over 3700 titles, it takes a while.  Which brings us back to our original question.  Why do we need this many movies?
    For me, it all comes down to being a bit obsessive about the whole thing.  There are titles in my collection that I might not be a big fan of.  Might not think that I'll ever watch again.  But that is how I feel right now.  What about in a few years, when maybe that same director has gone on to do some pretty great movies and I want to go back to see how he started.  Instead of having to now trying to seek out that title, it is right at my fingertips.  Or there might be that opportunity to interview one of these filmmakers or actors in this film, and now I want to go back to review their older work.  Once again...at the fingertips.  Sure, Netflix has movies streaming, YouTube has tons of movies available at a few keystrokes.  But you just never know when those might disappear.  Call me crazy, but I like knowing that I have my own copies of these movies, just waiting to be broken out and be enjoyed once again.
    And like I mentioned before, as horror fans, it is our JOB to keep these films alive and in minds and hearts of other movie fans.  Spreading the disease, as they say.  We keep these movies alive.  We keep their memories alive, waiting to introduce them to a new and uncorrupted mind.  And for that....I can only say....THANK YOU!

DEAN CUNDEY COME TO HORRORHOUND WEEKEND
    If you're any kind of of horror fan, you better know the name of Dean Cundey.  He was one the men responsible for how many of our cherished horror films look, especially a lot of John Carpenter's early work, like HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, and even our personal favorite, THE THING.  Cundey was the Director of Photography on those films, plus many more.  He is the reason the films look like they do.
    HorrorHound has announced that he will be a guest at their Cincinnati show next March, and we are pretty excited about that.  It is people like Cundey that these films turn out as good as they do, but they usually don't get the recognition that the directors and actors do.  So let's change that and make sure Cundey gets a strong welcome next March.

THE ABC's OF DEATH COMES TO CHICAGO
    The Chicago Cinema Society and The Logan Theatre will be screening THE ABC's OF DEATH next March (8th & 9th and 15th-16th).  You will now have the chance to see this long talked about film, that features 26 different directors that were given a single letter of the alphabet and then got to come up with a word to make a story around that word involving death.  A few of the directors who worked on this are Ti West, Angela Bettis, Hélène Cattet, Jason Eisener, Xavier Gens, and many more.  This could be very interesting to say the least.  Hopefully it will be worth the wait.
    For more information, head over to the Chicago Cinema Society by clicking HERE.
    Love this poster art, by the way.

HAMMER TAKES THE STAGE
    Hammer will no longer just be a name for film production, but has decided to test the waters on the stage.  Hammer Theatre of Horror are co-producing a new stage production of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, that will start its run in January at London's Almeida Theater, and will run through March.  Hammer CEO Simon Oakes said, "For us it's about understanding the dynamics.  The long-term idea is to create shows that can then become content for our film business as well."  It is kind of like how Hammer in the '50s looked at what was on the TV to be inspired to make film versions of them.  Now it looks like they might trying to not only create a new and different type of horror performance, but if it works well on the stage, then adapt it for the screen.  Could be very interesting.

SAVE THE PORTAGE...AGAIN
    Attention Chicago movie fans!  It seems our beloved Portage Theater is in need of help once again.  We're not entirely sure this time what is the issue, but from what I read, it is about helping the current management raise money to offset their legal fees of trying to keep this historic theater still in business.  No matter what, this theater needs to stay doing what it has been doing for many years.  And that is giving a place for film fans to come see their favorites on the big screen, the way they were meant to be seen.
    This event is taking place on December 17th at 7:30pm.  There will be a historical slide show, a documentary on the theater itself, speakers, raffle prizes, and a live Jazz band.  The admission is FREE, but they are gladly taking any donations!  So please come out and show your support and keep this place alive and kicking for many years to come.  For more information, head to their page by clicking HERE.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's photo did seem to get quite a bit bigger response than our last one, with probably one of the largest responses we got on a Mystery Photo.  The shot was from Dario Argento's very first feature film, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, which had just screened a week or so ago at the Portage Theater.  Sure, the print was a wee bit red, but it was still great to see a classic film like this on the big screen.  But here is the list of people that sent in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Craig J. Clark, Jerry Downing, Antonio Echeverria, Brian Fukula, Richard H. Garcia, Dustin Moravick, Mike Shields, Lisa Stewart, and Tom White.
    But let's get to our latest photo and see if we can't get the same amount of correct answers.  Shall we?  Take a look, think about it, and then send in your answers by clicking HERE.  As always, Good Luck!

12-02-12  MOVIE FESTS
    On Friday we headed into Chicago for the Terror in the Aisle Film Fest, which had screenings of Brian Yuzna's SOCIETY (who was in attendance there), Dario Argento's BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and Coscarelli's PHANTASM.  There were also some short films and trailers and other fun stuff going on.  Tickets were only $12, a great price for the chance to see 3 classic moves on the big screen in 35mm.  We got to see and hang out with a bunch of our Chicago horror friends that all come out to support and celebrate these kind of events.  Not to mention being able to meet director/producer Brian Yuzna and get some free autographs.  Gotta love that, right?  Mucho thanks out to Movieside for continuing to do these great events.
    While on the subject, these are the kind of events that you really want to try and support.  It is a lot of work for these to come about, taking a lot of time and effort for very little money on their part.  And the only way to insure these kind of horror happenings continue are to show up and show our support.  So make sure when something like this happens, even if you can't make it out, past the info on, help spread the word, so we can keep having our little horror-get-togethers every couple of months.

TURKEY DAY MARATHON REPORT
    We have gotten our write up of our latest marathon of cinematic train wrecks posted.  Head over to our Turkey Day page by clicking HERE to read all the gory details!

HORRORHOUND REPORT
    We also have our report from the last HorrorHound Weekend posted, took place a few weeks ago in Indianapolis.  You know, the one that Jamie Lee Curtis was at.  We have plenty of photos with this report to, so head over to our Convention Reports to get the full details.

NOX ARCANA CELEBRATES WINTER
    It has been a while since we've heard from Nox Arcana, but now just in time for the winter season, they have released their 3rd holiday album, entitled Winter's Majesty.  This new CD features 21 tracks (68 minutes) of music to 'celebrate the magic and glory of Winter".  Sure, this might not be the scary music that we're usually listening to, but Nox Arcana always delivers a great gothic and enchanting sounds for any occasion.  And this one for the winter season is just perfect, no matter what you're celebrating.
    Head over to their website to hear some sample tracks from this album.  And while you're there, you might as well check out the rest of their albums.  Great stuff there.

KRYPTIC ARMY
    With the new month of December just starting, it means that the end of another year of the Kryptic Army will be coming to a close.  We've been getting a lot more new recruits in these last few months, which is already great to see.  Remember, you don't have to wait until the beginning of the year to join in.  Even completing this last month's mission does get your name in the drawing for some cool prizes.  Just check out Army page to see the winners and their prizes from the last 2 years.
    And a big shout out to all of you out there that have been participating in the Army.  I'm hoping you've been having a good time with it, getting the chance to check out some new movies, both good and bad, all in the name of cinema!

THE BAY: SOUNDTRACK REVIEW
    We have also posted our review for the soundtrack for the new movie THE BAY.  Head over to our Soundtrack Reviews to hear what we thought.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was a tough pic, one that I'm sure had you burning with anger when you couldn't figure it out!  Well, it seems that two of our regulars were able to come up with the correct film.  And they were Hoby Abernathy & Mike Shields.  The movie in question is THE CREMATORS.  Now before you beat yourself up too much, if you haven't seen the film, don't feel bad.  It would be a perfect title for anybody's Turkey Day marathon.  Not the most fast paced or action filled movie.  It is one of those where the movie poster is much more entertaining to look at than the movie!  If you are one of those that picked up that new 40th Anniversary edition of OCTAMAN, then you actually have a copy of THE CREMATORS since that comes as one of the bonus features.
    Anyway, let's get to our next photo, which might be a little easier this time.  Especially for a few of you Chicago regulars for some reason.  So...gaze into the photo and see what you can come up with.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And always always, Good Luck!

11-25-12  WE'RE BACK!
    After dealing with some technical issues with ours sever and the HorrorHound convention last weekend, it seems to have been a while since our last update.  Even our last one was a few days late, waiting for our tech support to fix their issues.  Sure I'm using a program that hasn't been updated in 6 years, but it still works and does what I want it to.  Microsoft FrontPage may be a simple web design program, not having all the flash and sparkle that those other sites have.  But honestly, I'd rather have the content stand for itself, than a site that looks cool.  Granted, now sure how you can tell with all those ad banners all over the place!  But anyway...I digress.
    We did survive the HorrorHound show which was a lot of damn fun.  Yes, most of the people were there to get autographs, which left little money left over for the dealers.  But we kind of expect that.  But it didn't stop up from having a great time.  It really is all about friends and fun these days.  We meet tons of other horror fans and make even more friends.  How could that not be a good time?
    But since this was our last show of the year, we are already counting the days until our first show next year.  We will be primed and ready for it.

TURKEY DAY - 10 YEARS OF TURKEYS
    On Friday, while some of the world was out fight each other to save a few $$, we spent the day as always with some good friends celebrating our 10th Anniversary Turkey Day marathon.  That's right, we've been doing this for 10 years now, spending the day celebrating in films that most serious critics wouldn't even waste their time with.  But for us diehard fans, we can not only watch them, but enjoy the hell out of them for what they are.  Sometimes it is just due to the time and era when they were made other times its because of the sheer audacity to do what they did, or at least tried to do, like throwing and dumping tons of rats on their actors.  But it is people like us, and the other countless out there like us, that strive to keep these movies alive, giving more and more people a chance to enjoy them as much as we are.
    We had 10 people, who went through 7 movies and 11 pizzas (that's right, 11 pizzas...you do that math).  It was our biggest turnout yet, which was a bit crowded at times, but still an amazing time watching some amazing films.  Well...sort of.  You really have to be a die-hard cinephile to be able to watch and enjoy of these types of movies.  But don't worry...we're professionals.  Then again, watching a movie like THINGS is beyond explanation, even for the most experienced movie fan.
    We'll have our official report up soon, but here are the titles that we got through:  MISSILE TO THE MOON, FACE OF THE SCREAMING WEREWOLF, THINGS, RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR, THANKSKILLING, BRAIN OF BLOOD, and lastly THE VIDEO DEAD.
    Also a big thanks out to everyone who came out to participate in my yearly endeavor.  Trust me, you don't want to try this kind of thing alone.  As well as an even bigger thanks to my wife Dawn for keeping our bellys full from the amazing variety of pizzas that she kept churning out.  From your regular types to the experimental Crab Rangoon (which was devoured so quickly that even AC didn't get a piece) and the Nutella pizza, I really don't think anyone went home hungry.

TERROR IN THE AISLES 13
    Since we haven't been able to update lately, we haven't been able to pimp this great triple feature happening next Friday at the Portage Theater.  They will be screening Brian Yuzna's SOCIETY, Argento's THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, and the cult classic PHANTASM.  Getting to see any classic Argento on the big screen is a treat.
    BUT...director Brian Yuzna will be attending the show, signing autographs and taking photos for FREE with the fans.  Yuzna has directed some fun movies in his career, such as RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3, but also produced some great ones like RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, and DAGON.
    The doors open at 7pm (or sometime around there) with the movies starting at 7:30pm.  Tickets are only $12 for all 3 features.  There will be dealers, auctions, prizes, and plenty more fun.  For all the information, click HERE.  Below are the scheduled times:

  • 7:30pm - AIR CONDITIONS (Short film by Ryan Oliver, see the trailer HERE.)

  • 8pm - SOCIETY

  • 10pm - THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE

  • Midnight - PHANTASM

SCREAM FACTORY
    Now I am the last guy to be running out and double-dipping when a movie gets a blu-ray release.  For me to buy a blu-ray, it has to be cheap and the quality has to blow away the standard DVD release.  I don't mean just better, but WAY better.  Or...it has some new extras.  I am a sucker for extras.  And Shout Factory seems to have gone completely over the top with all the amazing titles that they have been releasing on DVD & blu-ray, with a whole slew of more titles that they have recently announced!  Earlier this year, they put out HALLOWEEN 2 & 3 with tons of great extras, as well as TERROR TRAIN and Tobe Hooper's THE FUNHOUSE.  We have a few of these coming in the mail as we speak, so we'll have to report later on how we like them.
    But in the meantime, they had recently announced some older classic titles from AIP that are going to be getting a blu-ray release.  Titles such as THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, and two films from Charles B. Pierce, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN and THE EVICTORS.  They had also announced the release of Renny Harlin's PRISON and a double feature disc of TERRORVISION and THE VIDEO DEAD.  Yeap...you heard that right.  THE VIDEO DEAD on blu-ray.  Who would have thought?
    The PRISON disc will have audio commentary from Harlin, as well as an all new retrospective that will feature Harlin, producer Irwin Yablans, screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, actor Tom Everett, Kane Hodder (who was not only the stunt coordinator but also played the ghost that comes back to life), as well as special makeup artist John Carl Buechler, producer Charles Band, composer Richard Band, production designer Philip Duffin and production assistant Patrick Denver.  So as you can tell, they will all out on this.  Hopefully it is more than 10 minutes.
    The TERRORVISION disc will have audio commentary with Ted Nicolaou, who wrote and directed the film, along with actors Diane Franklin and Jon Gries.  It will also have an all new retrospective that will have the previously mentioned three, along with other stars Chad Allen, Ian Patrick Williams, but also with special makeup artists John Carl Buechler & Cleve Hall, and producer Charles Band and composer Richard Band.
    In that same release will also be THE VIDEO DEAD, which will have two different commentaries.  The first one is with Robert Scott, who was the writer, producer, and director.  Joining him will be the editor Bob Sarles, and special makeup effects creature Dale Hall Jr.  The second commentary is with the actors Roxanna Augesen and Roddy Duvall, as well as production manager Jacques Thelemaque and makeup assistant artist Patrick Denver.  There will also be new interviews with makeup artist Denver and Dale Hall Jr.
    At the recent HorrorHound Weekend, they announced a whole slew of new titles that will be coming out next year.  We already knew about the upcoming release of Stuart Gordon's FROM BEYOND, which is due out in March, along with PHANTASM II, but here are the other titles that will be hitting blu-ray next year:  X-RAY (aka HOSPITAL MASSACRE), SCHIZOID, THE GODSEND, SCANNERS 2 & 3, THE HORROR SHOW, THE VAGRANT, John Carpenter's THE FOG, THE HOWLING, LIFEFORCE, NIGHT OF THE COMET, THE BURNING, and George Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about a relatively unknown composer that we are going to try and change that.  Get ready for some note taking.  You're going to want to remember who this guy is.  Trust me.  Now lets get to the classroom.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the one of the best 'animals-run-amok' movies ever....NIGHT OF THE LEPUS.  What could be better than an bunch of giant killer rabbits?  Well, that shot was one of the poor victims from these terrifying creatures.  Although, if you're an animal lover, not sure if you're going to want to see this.  Especially some of the footage they used about trying to control the rabbit population at one point.  Unfortunately, we didn't get any correct answers this time out.  Maybe this one will be a little easier.  Maybe.
    So here it is, our last 'turkey' mystery photo for the year.  Don't look too close or you might burn your eyes. 
Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And always always, Good Luck!

11-11-12  HORRORHOUND NEXT WEEKEND
    Next weekend we won't be having an update since we will be heading out to Indianapolis for the HorrorHound Weekend, our last stop on the Kryptic World Tour 2012.  I'm guessing if you're a fan of the HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN 2, then you'll most likely be coming out as well.  We'll be there as usual, hanging out and having a good time.  Hope to see a lot of our regulars there so make sure you stop by our table so we can talk movies!

CINEMA WASTELAND GUESTS
    While on the subject of shows, Cinema Wasteland will be holding two first time reunions at their April show next year.  The first one is for Jeff Lieberman's JUST BEFORE DAWN.  Joining director Lieberman at the show will be actor Chris Lemmon, and actresses Deborah Benson and Jamie Rose.  The other reunion is for the cult film SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE with stars Debra DeLiso, Joe Johnson and the driller killer himself, Michael Villella.  Besides Lieberman, all the rest of these guests will be making their first appearance at a convention!
    Another guest making his first appearance is director Jeffrey Bloom.  Sure that name might not be that familiar but I'm everyone knows of the movie BLOOD BEACH, right?  Bloom directed that one, along with FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC and one of the segments in NIGHTMARES.  Director Jack Shoulder, who gave us some great films like ALONE IN THE DARK and THE HIDDEN is also on the guest list.  And of course, one director who's name should be familiar to horror fans is Sergio Martino.  We were thrilled to hear they got him back after he had to cancel from the last spring show.
    So with a ton of first time guests, we are pretty damn excited about this upcoming show.  We hope to see you there.
    For all the information about the show, just head to their website by clicking HERE.

MASSACRE REPORT POSTED
    We have finally posted our report on the Massacre that took place at the Portage Theater in Chicago a few weeks ago.  You can read all the details by clicking HERE.

MALENKA SOUNDTRACK REVIEW
    We have posted our review of the soundtrack release of MALENKA / FEAST OF SATAN by Quartet Records.  Head over to our Soundtrack Review section to read more.

SVENGOOLIE IN HOSPITAL
    Every place in the states seem to have their own horror host that they grew up with.  Here in Chicago, the one for most in this area is Son of Svengoolie.  Yes, he is still around and still active.  But last weekend, Svengoolie (aka Rich Koz) experienced a "cardiac event" and is currently in the hospital.  He is doing well and is in good spirits.  If you are a fan of Svengoolie, you can send your well wishes to him at the below address:

Rich Koz
WCIU, The U
26 N. Halsted
Chicago, IL 60661

You can also post your thoughts on his website HERE or on his Facebook page HERE.

APRIL GHOULS MONSTER-RAMA
    It looks like the Riverside Drive-in in Vandergrift PA is making their 2-night Monster-Rama shows twice a year now!  On Friday April 6th and Saturday April 7th, they are showing 4 features each night of some classic horror.  Friday is '80s night and Saturday is '70s night.  We went out there last September for it and had a blast.  Unfortunately, just like their September event this  year, this one takes place on the same weekend as a convention we have planned.  Damn shame too.  While the Friday night lineup is pretty good, the one for Saturday looks just awesome.  So if you didn't have any other plans, I would strongly suggest you checking this event out.  Sure, it might be a bit of a drive for a lot of you, but like us, we made an entire vacation out of it, hitting the Monroeville Mall and the Evans City Cemetery while we were out there.  Great times.  You can read our report of our little Vacation of the Dead by clicking HERE.  George Reis from DVD Drive-In and the Riverside Drive-in put on an amazing show.  These are all from 35mm prints too.  The prints they had when we went looked incredible.

Friday Night lineup:

  • FRIDAY THE 13TH

  • THE BURNING

  • RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD

  • DAY OF THE DEAD

Saturday Night lineup:

  • SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM

  • SUGAR HILL

  • BLOOD AND LACE

  • THE THING WITH TWO HEADS

 

HORROR HISTORY
    Okay people, let's make our way to the classroom for this week's little bit of Horror History.  This week, we're going to learn about another low budget director that was cranking out an average of 4 films a year during his career as a director, which spanned over 3 decades.  Get those pencils ready...this will be on the test.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's photo was from probably the best film anyone could ever define as a Turkey Day movie...on more than one level!  It is from the film BLOOD FREAK, about a guy who after eating a special enhanced turkey, turns into a blood drinking turkey monster, with the body of a human but a the head of a turkey.  And believe it or not, this film was funded by a religious group to try and preach the dangers of sex and drugs!  It has to be seen to believe.  Congrats out the following for sending in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Todd Barwick, Craig J. Clark, Jason Kretten, Denise LoRusso, Whitey Mack, Steve Sapsford, and Will Wilson.  Well done.
    For this week's photo, while we're still in the Turkey Day mood, we're going to pull another one out from the 'so bad its good' file and see what you can come up with.  Take a peek, feast your eyes, glut your soul, and send in your guess!  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And always always, Good Luck!

11-04-12  TURKEY DAY APPROACHES
    Now that October is over with, most people get back to their normal lives, waiting for one of the scariest times of the year....the Christmas season.  But before that madness begins, there is one other holiday that comes before all that craziness that is a very important one for us...Turkey Day!  No, I'm not talking about Thanksgiving, but the day after that is our celebration of the best of the bad!  Regular followers of this site know that each year on what is typically called Black Friday, but instead of fighting the horrors of Christmas shopping, we spend the day in front of the TV watching some of the best in cinematic train wrecks.  We started this little adventure back in 2003, which makes this our 10th anniversary of holding this festival of bad movies.  But remember, "the only bad movie is a boring one."  We have experienced some great times, with some great friends, over the years.  You can even read about our past Turkey Day Marathon by clicking HERE.  And this Nov. 23rd will be no different.  This is the time to celebrate these movies that were made with just as much (if not more) passion and desire as the great movies of our time.  But for some reason, either lack of budget, talent, or time, they just didn't make that big hit they were all hoping for.  But as we've said, just because it might be poorly made, doesn't mean it can't be entertaining.  Not to mention that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger.  Or at least that is what I've read.
    So we put that challenge to everyone out there reading this.  Hold your own Turkey Day marathon.  If not on the 23rd, then at some point during the month.  And if you do, we'd love to hear what you watch and how the marathon went.  If you're in the Kryptic Army, then you are already full aware of what you're in for.  And if you're not in the Army...why not?

PUT THE HAMMER DOWN
    With all these classic movies now being released on blu-ray for the first time, some of them getting the 're-mastered' treatment, I came across a blog where someone was complaining about when these 'restorations' go a little too far.  I'm all for making a film look clean and crisp, to a degree.  I loved the fact that on the blu-ray version of ALIEN you can pretty much see even the smallest of detail.  But watching an old Universal classic like FRANKENSTEIN, I don't want it to look like it was filmed yesterday.  Watching an ultra-clean print is not going to give me any more enjoyment from the film than watching the first DVD release.  DERANGED and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE are two more examples.  They need to have that grainy feel and look to them.  I know and understand that the restoration process is a lot of hard work and takes plenty of time to go through each single frame to clean it up.  But there is some that are going a little too far.  And that is when they start to 'enhance' then original.
    Taking a cue from Mr. Lucus and how he likes to tamper with the original versions of his movies, the recent UK blu-ray release from Studiocanal of the 1967 Hammer film THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, they have added or enhanced some special effects to make them bigger and better....at least that is what I am supposing the reasoning being is.  In any case, to me there is a big difference between cleaning up the film and adding more digital effects.  Yes, I understand that maybe back in the day the filmmakers wanted to do more but just couldn't because of budget and/or technology at the time.  But that doesn't mean we need to go back and add those effects in.  Let the movies stand on what they looked like then they were released.  By modifying them now, it really is changing the movie to look better with modern technology is just a bad idea.  Plain and simple.  Honestly, it is like going back and changing history.  If you want to see the photos, just click HERE to get to the website where I first learned of this.  See for yourself.

NEW REVIEW: SILENT HILL REVELATION SOUNDTRACK
We have posted our review of the soundtrack for the new SILENT HILL movie.  Just head over to our Soundtrack review section to read more.

NEW SOUNDTRACKS
    While on the subject of them, it just amazes me at some of the soundtracks that are getting a release these days.  Some of the most obscure titles seem to be popping up.  Why?  I would make a guess that there are die hard fans of these movies and their scores that work very hard at finding these scores and getting them re-mastered  These are not titles that these creators are going to rich from.  They are doing it because of their passion of the musical score and the movies they are from.  One of these places is Monstrous Movie Music, who has just announced 4 new soundtracks coming out, two of which are favorites of ours.  Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter, who gave us the wonderful score for IT! TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, but also gave us the music for THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, which will now see a CD release.  It will have 54 minutes of music, including some alternate cues that were not used in the film.  There is also a 20-page booklet about the movie and the music.
    Another one of the scores they are releasing is the sci-fi horror film THE BRAIN FROM THE PLANET AROUS.  This release contains 43 minutes of music from this film, as well as 33 minutes of music from the film TEENAGE MONSTER as a bonus.  Walter Greene composed the scores for both of these movies, which these releases will make the first time his work has been released in this form.  The other titles they are putting out are MISSILE TO THE MOON and DESTINATION MOON.  For more information about these and other releases from Monstrous Movie Music, just click HERE.  We have several of their releases and have been impressed with each and every one.
    Another title that is coming out is one that just blew me away that it would ever get a release.  It is the score for Paul Naschy's SEVEN MURDERS FOR SCOTLAND YARD, by Piero Piccioni.  Some of this score had been previously released by Beat Records but this release has 30 more minutes of unreleased music.  While most might not be familiar with this score, let alone the movie, but any soundtrack of Naschy film that comes out, it definitely has to be added to our collection.
    And lastly, Christopher Young's way out of print score for HELLRAISER is getting a new re-release, but this time it will also be with Young's score for it's sequel HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER 2 in this 2 disc release.  If you don't have these scores in your collection, now is the time you can fix that.  You can order all of these releases, plus plenty more great titles, HERE at Screen Archive Entertainment.

        

HORROR HISTORY
    Back from our little break, we ready to get back to the classroom.  You've had a big enough break with the Halloween season, but now it's time to get back to work.  So lets get over to the classroom and get our education back on track.  Ready?

MYSTERY PHOTO
    I have to admit that I was kind of surprised at the lack of correct answers for our last photo.  I thought for sure it was going to be an easy one.  But apparently not.  The little fun grave digging scene was from the best Ed Gein movie every made....DERANGED, starring the incredibly talented Roberts Blossom.  That shot is where he is digging up his mother to bring her back home.  Great stuff, horror fans.  If by chance you haven't seen this movie, then you should put that at the top of your "to watch" list.  Classic stuff there.  We did have one person send in the correct answer and that would be Hoby Abernathy.  Well done, Mr. Abernathy!
    Our latest photo is a real juicy one.  Shows you the not-so-proper way to use a band saw.  Give it a look and see if you can name the movie.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And always always, Good Luck!

10-28-12  HORROR IS WHERE THY HOME IS
    We don't have much of an update this week since we are recovering from our annual Halloween party last night.  But since the Halloween season is coming to a close, we just wanted to take a second to get all emotional and sentimental and shit with you.  This month, the Krypt celebrates it 14th year on the web.  While this has always been our little soapbox where we can come to when we want to speak our mind about the genre, we wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for everyone out there that has supported us over the years.  Each year, we meet more people and make more friends, making our Kryptic community even bigger.  Being fellow horror fans, we all know that there is nothing better than being able to talk about your favorite movies with someone else that 'gets it'.  By running this site we hope to keep pushing that desire for horror fans to learn more and more about this genre that we love so much.  When we came up with the line "Discover the Horror", we really made that our mission statement, which is one that we deeply believe in and try to follow every day.  And each time we meet a new fan who is as passionate about the genre as we are, we know that we are not alone.
    And one of the best ways to experience that is having a get-together with your other horror-minded friends, which we've been doing every year for quite some time.  From getting to see all the great costumes (for those who bother to come in one...you know you are) to the fun party trivia games, to just hanging out and talking about movies, it is always a great time.  Not to mention the extra pounds we put on from all the food there my incredible wife makes (the rumors still spread that the food is the ONLY reason people come...not sure I'd argue that either).  So the gist of all of this is to say thank you to all my friends and followers of this site.  Thank you for making our Halloween season, as well as the rest of the year, so much damn fun.

WANT TO LEARN ABOUT DARIO ARGENTO?
    Of course, any regular fans to this site knows of our passion for horror reference books.  And when one gets released by U.K. publisher FAB Press, we are always drooling over it until we somehow acquire it for our collected.  We had received a newsletter from them announcing the release on an updated version of Alan Jones book Profondo Argento: The Man, The Myths and the Magic.  Now it was going to be released in a new edition, under the title Dario Argento: The Man, the Myths and the Magic, that will feature new material, new interviews, as well as new photos.  While we already have the original version of the book, we're a sucker for new revised editions.  But acquiring books from the U.K. is not cheap.  Sometimes the postage can cost you more than the product itself.  So we weren't sure if we were going to be able to get this edition, at least right now.
    But thanks to that wonderful world of the internet and Amazon.com, we discovered that they were taking pre-orders for the book, and even better because the price listed was only $44.07!  They have the normal retail price at $69.95, so you're saving $25!  So why are you not jumping over to Amazon right now and ordering this book?  If you are a fan of Argento and his work, then you really need to have this in your collection.  Sure, it is close to $50, but it this is one volume that a serious horror fan needs in their library.  Trust me on this one.  Besides, you could always consider them as investments since most all of FAB Press' titles have sold out and are very impossible (without paying an arm and a leg) to get.  This means that it will never lose its value and will only go up in price over the years.  So head over to Amazon.com right now and pre-order this book.  You will not regret it.

HORRORHOUND CELEBRATES HALLOWEEN
    Our last show of this year will be the HorrorHound show in November in Indianapolis.  This is the one where Jamie Lee Curtis will be appearing, amongst all the internet controversy, with the autograph ticket prices and all that fun stuff.  While we don't really care about that, we will be there to show our support of the show and to hopefully have something to offer the fans coming through the door besides a $25 autograph.  But if you are a fan of the the first two HALLOWEEN movies, or Carpenter's THE FOG, then you probably already have made your arrangements to make it to this show since this is going to give you the chance to meet a lot of the people that appeared in those movies.  I believe this is going to be a much smaller show than they normally put on, but I'm sure it will be packed full of Q&A's and other fun things to do.  For more information, head over to the website HERE.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the 1988 film WAXWORKS.  I always remember that scene with the missing leg had me wanting to see this movie right away.  Such a simple effect but very effective.  Kudos out the following for sending in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Crowell, Richard H. Garcia, Erik Martin, Raymond Rich, Gavin Schmittand Will Wilson.  Nice job, people.
    So how about our latest photo?  Take a look, gaze into the abyss as they say, and see what movie title pops in your head.  Is it the right one?  Are you sure?  Either way, send it in.  There are no penalties for wrong answers.  Good luck.   Just click HERE to send in your guess.

10-21-12  MASSACRE SURVIVOR
    Yes, we've made it through another 24-hour marathon.  Okay, we technically only stayed through about 20 hours of it, but none the less.  This was the Massacre that we all know and love, run by Movieside.  Incredible how differently the event felt compared to last week's marathon.  Why?  Plain and simple: the people.  The people running it, the people coming through the door to enjoy it.  It really does make a difference.  In any case, we got to see some great films on the big screen, hang out with some great friends, picked up a few more things for our collection, and just had a great time.  Looking forward to doing it all again next year.
    But while we're waiting on next year's 24-hour marathon, they have already announced their next Terror in the Aisles film fest, which will take place on November 30th, at the Portage Theater.  So far they have announced PHANTASM and SOCIETY, which still another film to be announced.  Stay tuned for more details.  But you can go HERE to order tickets now.

MUSIC BOX OF HORRORS REPORT POSTED
    While we just made it through our 2nd 24-hour marathon, here is our reports of our first one!  Click HERE to read our thoughts on this new version of the Music Box's marathon.

CINEMA WASTELAND REPORT POSTED
    We have posted our review/photos of the last Cinema Wasteland show.  Plenty of photos, and a little bit of ranting.  But then again, that's what you'd expect, right?  Head over to our Convention Report page and look for the Cinema Wasteland reports, or you can just click HERE.

ASTRID'S SAINTS KICKSTARTER
    One of the things that breaks my heart, especially in Hollywood, is that there are some truly talented people out there with a great idea, some directing or any other kind of talent, but for some reason just are not given the chance to show what they can do.  This even applies to people that have already made a impact in the industry with the work they've done already.  But because it might not be what someone might think is 'popular' at the moment, they don't want to invest.  Or even worse, they do invest, but then make all these demands from the talented people that came up with the idea, slowing changing it from it was originally intended.  So when we hear of some of these talented individuals that are trying to do a project on their own, we want to do what we can to help them reach that goal.  And now, hopefully you can help as well.
    Director Mariano Baino, known for his incredible film DARK WATERS (not that Japanese ghost movie) is finally coming back to the director's chair with the film ASTRID'S SAINTS, which is a "powerful and emotionally driven, suspenseful psychological thriller. It is the haunting tale of ASTRID, a grieving woman who discovers a dark wonderland in a mystical Brooklyn covered in snow."  The title character will be played by actress Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, who you might know from her work with Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava.  She co-wrote the film with Baino.  If you've seen Coralina's and Baino's work, you know there is some serious talent in them.  And we want to do what we can to make sure this new project happens.
    They have started a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds needed to make this project happen.  While the total amount they are looking for may seem big, every little bit helps to reach that goal.  So even if you can pledge $10 or $20, it will all add up and make this dream a reality.  They have plenty of different pledge levels with tons of interesting and unique items you can receive for your donation.  So please take a second and read through the information and donate what you can.  We need to show the people in Hollywood that you don't have to always invest in a project that is a remake or a sequel, but that you can take that chance on something that is being created by some very talented people.
    You can go to the official website by clicking HERE and then go to the Kickstarter page by clicking HERE.

LES BAXTER SOUNDTRACKS RELEASED
    Who's Les Baxter?  Well, if you've watched any number of films from American International Pictures (AIP as we know them as), then you've heard Baxter's work.  Over his career, he has scored dozens of horror pictures.  Plus, when AIP was picking up foreign pictures, such as Mario Bava's BLACK SABBATH, Baxter was hired to rescore the movie or add/change some of the existing music.  Now his complete score that he did for Bava's BLACK SABBATH release is being released on CD.  For only $19.95, Intrada is releasing this disc, with almost a full hour of music.
    Plus, they are also releasing for the first time Baxter's score for the Jacques Tourneur film COMEDY OF TERRORS!  Running a little over 40 minutes, this release even has the song "He Is Not Dead", which is just a riot in the film.  This release is also priced at $19.95.  You can order both of these soundtracks, not to mention a ton of other great soundtracks, through Screen Archive Entertainment.

    

MYSTERY PHOTO
    We figured we might stump a few of you out there with our last photo.  It is from an obscure movie, but at least now you'll remember the title.  At least we hope so.  The film is THE TOMB OF TORTURE.  Probably best known with the double feature poster art when it was paired up with CAVE OF THE LIVING DEAD.  Ahh...the good old days.  Anyway, kudos out to Hoby Abernathy & Todd Barwick for sending in the correct answer.
    So let's get to this week's photo.  Take a peek and seek if you know this one.  Maybe if you answer right away, you can get a leg up on your fellow horror fans.  Good luck.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.

10-14-12  MUSIC BOX SURVIVOR
    We made it through another 24 hour marathon at the Music Box Theatre, our first of two 24 hour marathons this month.  Things have changed with this marathon, which we will go into more details on our full report coming soon.  I will say that one of the great things about the previous shows was that no matter who the special guests were, any autographs you got were free.  Since there has been a change with the marathon, I had emailed the Music Box to see if the free autographs were still the same.  I was told that while guest Sybil Danning would be charging (though this would be going to Vital Bridges charity), but director Jeff Lieberman would not be charging.  But once we got there, at the table Lieberman would be sitting at, there was a sign saying that autographs would be $20.  How could they not know this?
    But none the less, it was great seeing so many Chicago horror fans turn out for this event.  Even in the wee hours of the morning, there were still plenty of people there.  Granted, they were in various forms of unconsciousness, but still there.

JACK HILL AT THE MASSACRE
    The Massacre, the 24-hour movie marathon taking place at the Portage Theater in Chicago on the 20th, has recently added the film SPIDER BABY to their lineup, along with a special appearance by director Jack Hill.  Exploitation fans know Hill's work, not only on SPIDER BABY, but a ton of other films in his filmography, such as BIG DOLL HOUSE, COFFEE and many more.
    Did we mention there will be free autographs from the guests there?  Where else do you see that these days?  For all the information about the event, head over to their Facebook page by clicking HERE.

THE WASTELAND CONTINUES
    We have survived our 22nd trip to the Wasteland in Ohio.  We got plenty of photos and a few stories from the show, which we soon to have our report up soon.  So stay tuned.
    But you also might want to mark your calendar for next April, because they have started to announce some of their guest lineup, with quite a few making their very first convention appearance.  They are starting off with a JUST BEFORE DAWN reunion, with director Jeff Lieberman and actors Chris Lemon, Deborah Benson, and Jamie Rose.  Then they also have Jeffrey Bloom, who directed the classic BLOOD BEACH and NIGHTMARES, and director Jack Shoulder who gave us ALONE IN THE DARK and THE HIDDEN, as well as NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2.  And of course, after having to cancel from last April's show, they have invited Italian director Sergio Martino back and I couldn't be more thrilled.  This man has made some amazing films in his career, such as MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD, ISLAND OF THE FISHMAN, THE STRANGE CASE OF MRS. WARDH, and of course TORSO, not to mention countless more.  So start making those plans and we'll see you there.
    And for those that thing that the Wasteland might be a thing of the past, I wouldn't count on it.  They have just announced their dates for the next 4 years.  And we'll be there with them, each and every show.

DAVID SCHMOELLER INTERVIEW
    At the Spring Cinema Wasteland show, we had a chance to sit down with director David Schmoeller to talk a bit about a few of his movies.  We have finally gotten around to getting  it up on the site.  So just head over to our Interview section to read all about it.

HORROR AT THE CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FEST
    This year's Chicago International Film Fest has an After Dark series that features 8 different films from around the world.  Some of these titles are coming from some big names in the genre, such as JOHN DIES AT THE END, directed by Don Coscarelli and SLEEP TIGHT, directed by Jaume Balagueró (co-director of the [REC] films).  Below are the films that are playing.  For more details and the times, just click HERE to get to their website.

THE ABCs OF DEATH (Various)
ANTIVIRAL (Canada/USA)
CITADEL (Ireland/UK)
DON'T CLICK (South Korea)
IN THEIR SKIN (Canada)
JOHN DIES AT THE END (USA)
MANIAC (remake with Elijah Wood) (France/USA)
SLEEP TIGHT (Spain)

EXORCIST SOUNDTRACK RE-RELEASED
    What better way to in the mood of the Halloween season than to listen to the soundtrack of one of the scariest films of all time?  Perseverance Records is re-releasing the soundtrack for THE EXORCIST.  This release has been re-mastered by Warner Bros Records for this particular release.  This is the version that has the Tubular Bells theme on there and runs about 45 minutes long.  It is only priced at $12.98, which is a great price, especially for a soundtrack like this.  There are only 3000 copies made, so if you are even remotely interested, don't wait and order now.  You can get them from Perseverance directly at their website HERE.

PANZRAM ON DVD
    John Borowski's latest film, PANZRAM: THE SPIRIT OF HATRED AND VENGEANCE is now out on DVD, only available through the official website, www.panzram.com.  Following up on his previous films about H.H. Holmes and Albert Fish, he continues to delve into the dark regions of the human mind with one of the most notorious humans in history.  While Carl Panzram was a spending the rest of his life in prison for various crimes like murder, rape, and torture, he befriended a young guard named Henry Lesser.  Lesser convinced Panzram to document his life by supplying him paper and pencils.  And what he delivered, was over 40,000 words of terror.
    This documentary includes footage of Panzram's original handwritten papers, location footage from the prisons he was locked up at, and an exclusive interview with Henry Lesser himself.  If you are interested in going down that dark hallway, then you have no better guide then John Borowski and his films.

PRINT IS DEAD?  REALLY?
    With the invention of Kindle, and all those other downloadable reading devices, one would think that printed books really are on their way out.  But if that is the case, then why do I find more and more new books on the horror genre coming out.  Below are a few titles that we have either recently acquired in the Kryptic book collection or are in transit as you're reading this.  We are planning on having reviews of all of them in our Reference Book Review section a short time after we do get them.  But the first one listed below, Muchas Gracias Senior Lobo, is a new updated version of the 2006 book of the same name by massive Naschy collector Thorsten Benzel.  I know we've mentioned this book a few times before, but we now have received our new copy and it is just freaking amazing.  Seeing all of this different memorabilia of Naschy's work is incredible.  From all of the different artwork from all these different countries that his work played in, it again amazes me why he is not more of an iconic figure in the genre.  None the less, if you are a fan of his work or horror movie memorabilia, then you need to get this book.  It is pricey, mainly due to the overseas shipping rates since it is coming from Germany, but it is worth the money.
    As far as the other titles, we'll keep you updated once they arrive in the Krypt.  But with Christmas right around the corner, these would make great gifts for any horror fan you know.

        

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo is from a movie that is just plain fun to watch.  Just when you think you've seen it all, something happens to change all that.  The movie is THE LOST CONTINENT (1968) from Hammer Films.  Great cast and a boatload of monsters.  If you haven't seen this one, add it to your list of "to-watch" movies.  I think you'll enjoy it.  Kudos out to the following that recognized the shot:  Hoby Abernathy, Gregory Avery, Aaron Christensen, Eric Engelmann, Bill Harrison, Mike Shields, and Wayne Teeter.  Job will done.
    So let's get on to this week's photo.  Going back to a black and white film that might be kind of tough.  But we always like to try and keep that brain working.  Take a look and see what you can come up with.  Remember, there is no penalty for the wrong guess.  If you think you know, send it in.  If you're wrong, I'll let you know.  Good luck.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.

10-1-12  'TIS THE SEASON
    While we had planned to get this update done yesterday like we normally do, obviously that didn't happen.  But what better way to start the October month off with an update, right?  So let's get started.
    This is the month that pretty much every horror fan waits for.  There are more horror films shown on TV during this month.  Years ago, I can remember diving into the monthly cable guide looking for those rare films that might be screening during the month.  But there are usually more horror films playing at the theater, both new ones and old classics that are being shown in film festivals and revival houses, all giving the fans a chance to watch movies the way they were meant to me...on the big screen with an audience full of fans.  Like every October, this month will be packed full of horror for us.  Between Cinema Wasteland next weekend, then two different 24-hour movie marathons back to back, seeing the original FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN on the big screen, it is going to be a fun-and-film-filled month.  But while we're all enjoying the season, remember to do just that.  I know I have a tendency to be so busy with all the events and stuff going on, that we don't take the time to actually enjoy it.  And even more importantly, enjoy it with friends and family.  Hopefully you have others that are as big of a horror fan as you are that you can sit and watch a movie or two with, and share the scare!
    While on the subject of Wasteland, we obviously won't be having an update next weekend because we will be in Ohio having one hell of a time at the best show around.  There really is no other show like Cinema Wasteland.  And this being their 22nd show (!!!!!), and with a great lineup, it is going to be another uber-epic good time.  I mean...a show that is going to have Bert I. Gordon, Reb Brown, Jeff Burr, and Isla herself, Dyanne Thorne, plus many more great guests, is going to be a good time.  Then throw in the amazing dealer room, all the incredible movie titles that will be screening throughout the whole weekend, this is the show to be at.  Of course, we will be set up there, as we have been since their very first show.  So if you're coming out to it, make sure you stop by our table to chat for a bit.

HERBERT LOM - REST IN PEACE
    Horror fans lost a great one this last week when Herbert Lom passed away this week at the age of 95.  With a very recognizable voice and distinct look, Lom was made for playing villains.  And in the horror genre, that is what he usually played.  Though it is interesting that his first horror film was in Hammer's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1962), where his portrayal was more of a kinder madman then is previous versions.  His next role was in the notorious MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970) where he played Lord Cumberland, who was not a nice man.  Even in his later years, he could still play an evil character, as he did in Michelle Soavi's THE SECT (1991) But he didn't just play villains in this genre, as he proved by playing Prof. Van Helsing in Jess Franco's COUNT DRACULA (1970), or as a helpful doctor in David Cronenberg's THE DEAD ZONE.
    Of course, outside of the horror genre, he was probably more recognized from his work as the crazy Inspector Dreyfus in the PINK PANTHER movies.  In fact, that is the very first film I remember him from was THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN.
    The horror genre has lost a great talent here.  So during your October celebration, grab one of Lom's movies and remember this great talent.  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.  He will be missed, but never forgotten.

NEW FILM IN THE WORKS FOR ALEX DE LA IGLESIA
    Ever since we seen his first twisted film, ACCION MUTATE, we've loved this guy's work.  His follow up film, THE DAY OF THE BEAST, was just as entertaining.  But even when he moves out of the horror genre, his sense of dark humor and style are always entertaining.  His 2010 film, THE LAST CIRCUS, was just as twisted and just as fun.  So we were very excited to hear that he will be working on his next film, which will be a return of sorts to his horror roots.  The film is called LAS BRUJAS DE ZUGARRAMURDI (aka WITCHING AND BITCHING).  According to De la Iglesia, "It is an outrageous comedy, in the line of IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD, but a horror comedy."  The story is about a band of thieves who are trying to leave France after a job but end up running up against a band of witches in a old town.
    Not sure when it will be coming out, but I know I'll be in line to see it when it does.

XTRO LANDS IN CHICAGO
    Because we didn't have enough cool stuff happening this month, the fine folks over at Chicago Cinema Society have decided to give us a couple of features to feast our eyes on!  The first one is a extremely rare screening on 35mm of the 1983 film XTRO.  Back in the day when I worked at a theater, we had this film upon its initial release.  And all I could say then was WOW.  Coming out on the heels of Spielberg's other alien visitor, this movie made the point that all E.T.s are all friendly.  This film has some incredible imagery, including some things you've probably never seen before.  Well worth coming out for.  And to make the pot even sweeter, they will also be screening the 1986 heavy metal horror film TRICK OR TREAT, starring Marc Price with appearances by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne.
    And even better, the price for this double feature is only $5.  That's right...only $5.  This is taking place at the Portage Theater on Thursday, October 25th.  We'll be there...so hopefully we'll see you there!  For updated details, head over to their Facebook page HERE.

CHICAGO'S 24-HOUR MARATHONS!
    At first, the idea of a 24-hour horror movie marathon sounds like an awesome idea.  But by the time you sit in the theater for that first 12 hours, you're wondering just what the hell you are doing.  Then you realize....you're there to WATCH HORROR MOVIES ON THE BIG SCREEN!  That's why!  We've been going to the Music Box for their 24-hour marathons since they started in 2005 and we have had a blast each and every year.  In the beginning, we use to set up there.  But after a few years of doing that, we realized that we were really missing out on the fun of being able to just sit and watch and enjoy the movies.  So the last year we made the decision to do just that...sit and watch.  And we had a blast.  Which is what we are planning to again this year.  Twice, in fact.
    The Music Box of Horrors (the new name for the marathon at the Music Box), which is taking place on October 13th,  has listed what looks to be their final line up.  They have made some changes since they first announced some of the titles.  But here is what they have:

  • THE GOLEM (1920)

  • MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935)

  • THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)

  • DR. TERRORS HOUSE OF HORRORS (1965)

  • SQUIRM (1976) - With director Jeff Lieberman in attendance

  • SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER (2004)

  • HOWLING II: YOUR SISTER IS A WEREWOLF (1985) - With Sybil Danning in attendance

  • THE BEYOND (1981)

  • EDDIE: THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (2012)

  • PHANTASM (1979)

  • THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983)

  • BLOOD DINER (1987)

  • THE BURNING (1981)

  • EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN (1987)

    Then the following week on October 20th, our 2nd 24-hour will be the Massacre, this time at the Portage Theater.  Not sure if this is the final lineup or not, or if they are in order or not, but here is what they have posted on the Facebook events page:

  • THE BLACK CAT (194)

  • WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968)

  • FRENZY (1972)

  • RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985) - With Linnea Quigley in Person!

  • DEAD SNOW (2009)

  • HALLOWEEN II (1981)

  • NIGHTMARES (1983)

  • PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)

  • PHANTASM II (1988)

  • CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961)

  • HAUSU aka HOUSE (1977)

  • A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART 3: DREAM WARRIORS (1987)

    Plus, they will have a rare screening of David Cronenberg's short film FROM THE DRAIN, along with the new short film THE CAPTURED BIRD.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo did get a few people with the correct answer, which I have to say I was very impressed with.  The film is THE PREY (1984) and is hard to forget.  And that isn't necessarily a good thing either!  But kudos to the following that got it:  Aaron Christensen, Erik Martin, and Mike Shields.  Well done!
    So while we starting the month of monsters, why not start with a real good one, right?  Take a gander at this poor soul who obviously regrets going to Red Lobster all those times!  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  As always...good luck.

9-23-12  ANOTHER DAY AT THE DRIVE-IN
    Last night we spend our second weekend in a row at a drive-in theater.  Why, you might ask?  Because they are still around and we want to support them!  Not to mention the fact that they were screening 4 horror/cult films there that we wanted to see on the big screen, especially DR. BUTCHER M.D.
    It was also my son's 20th birthday and really what a better way to celebrate that then to spend time with the family at the drive-in!  It was back in 2005 that I took Nick to another drive-in event that Mike & Mia Kerz were putting on, before they bought the Midway.  It was at the Highlight 30 Drive-in theater which was here in Aurora.  Granted, that has long since been torn down, but those memories still live on.  Namely seeing my son's face light up when Tom Sullivan handed him the actual decapitated head from the original EVIL DEAD.  While we didn't have any of those moments last night, we did have a great time watching some fun movies and eating (probably way) too much food.
    But the important part of this little message, one that we've mentioned here a few times before and hate to sound like a broken record, but the theater we were at last night, the Midway Drive-in, might have to close down due to the cost of having to upgrade to the digital projector the movie studios are forcing them to convert to.  They started a Kickerstarter page to try and raise 1/3 of that cost, but it hasn't been going as successful as we'd all hoped.  There is  only a short time left to help them reach their goal.  If you haven't done this, please head over there (by clicking HERE) and donate what you can, even if it is only $10.  As they say, every little bit helps.  And then you can be one of the ones responsible for helping to keep one of these great American past times alive.

NEW REVIEW: FOUND
    This is the movie that won Best Feature Film in the recent Elvira Horror Hunt Film Festival, sponsored by HorrorHound magazine.  Check out our review HERE.

NEW SOUNDTRACK REVIEWS
    We also have two new soundtrack reviews this week.  The first is for the recently 2-disc re-release of John Carpenter's score for one of my favorites of his films, THE FOG.  The second one is from one of our favorite Italian composers, Ennio Morricone, for one of our favorite gothic Italian films, NIGHTMARE CASTLE.  Head over to our Soundtrack Review section to hear our thoughts on these.

HORRORHOUND WEEKEND REPORT
    We have posted our report on the recent HorrorHound Weekend, and have a lot of photos this time around.  Either click on our Convention Reports on the left and scroll down to the HorrorHound reports, or  you can just click HERE.

JUDITH O'DEA INTERVIEW
    We have also posted an interview with actress Judith O'Dea, best known from the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.  This interview was done back in 2007 by Will Wilson, a good friend of mine, but was never published.  So we thought it would be great for it to be able to be resurrected from the dead stories file and be seen.  So head over to our Interview section for it.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    It looks like we stumped everyone with our last photo, though we did have a few close ones.  The shot is from the Paul Naschy film HUMAN BEASTS.  Don't want to mess with pigs, especially when they're hungry.  I'm not sure we're going to have much better responses with this week's photo either.  It isn't as obscure as the Naschy film, but we'll see if those that use to rent movies back in the '80s might recognize this one.  See that...gave you a little hint right there.
    Just click HERE to send in your guess.  As always...good luck.

9-16-12  ROAD TRIP OF THE DEAD!
    We figured since we missed out on last week's update, we'd try to get a little something for this week.  But we weren't sure if we'd make it back in time, since we have just spent the last couple of days in the Indianapolis area for a second week in a row.  But instead of spending most of the day at a convention, we have spent it hitting a few different food places and book stores during the day, and then spending the evenings at the Skyline Drive-in watching some fun and obscure horror films all night long.  This is the 2nd time that we've taken one of these little mini-vacations/pilgrimages to a drive-in theater and it has been a blast.  Highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.  It is a nice break from reality not to mention a whole lot of fun.
    The Skyline Drive-in is located right off of I-74 just southeast of Indianapolis and is a great little place.  Sure, it might be a little too close to the interstate, but it didn't affect us that much from enjoying the movies.  Both nights, we only managed to make it through 3 of the 4 films being played.  Once you get warm and comfy...sitting in our lawn chairs and wrapped up in blankets, its pretty tough not to dose off.  But we did our best.  Lucky for us, the weather wasn't too bad so it didn't get that cold during the movies.  Friday was a little cooler, but still not bad.  Over all, a great experience and a fantastic weekend.
    Of course, next weekend, we are planning to head out to the Midway Drive-in in Dixon for a full night of great movies.  This is only a one-night event, but they have a great lineup planned so far: THE LOST BOYS, NEAR DARK, DR. BUTCHER M.D. (aka ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST) and then a fourth feature to be announced.  We've been to the Midway a bunch of times and always have a great time.  If you are coming out to the show, do me a favor and bring an extra $10 or $20 to donate to the cause of saving this drive-in by helping them afford to upgrade their projector to a digital one.  For more details, head over to their Kickstarter page HERE.
    But none the less, we hope to see a bunch of you out there for this great time.

LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #29
    For fans of Vincent Price's THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, you are going to want to pick this magazine up.  In fact, do yourself a favor and just order a copy of it now (by clicking HERE).  Any time Dick Klemensen and company cover a movie in this amazing magazine, you will find some in there that you've never heard (or read as the case may be) before.  The detail they go into is just amazing.  Top notch writers, illustrators, and just filled with tons of information.  And it looks like this one is going to be no different.  With a 40 page article on the making of DR. PHIBES, it is surely going to be a very informative and interesting read.  Not to mention the incredible cover artwork by Jeff Preston.
    So head over to their website and place an order for this issue.  And if you're not familiar with this magazine, but enjoy British horror movies, then feel free to order more.  This really is one of the best magazines out there that covers the British horror films, especially Hammer.

SIGNED SHELLY NOVEL FOUND
    Being a slight fan of all things Frankenstein, one of our favorite blogs that we check out regularly is Frankensteinia, which is a massive tomb of anything and everything to do with Frankenstein, the creature, the legend and everything else.  They recently posted a news bit that I thought was worth repeating here.  A copy of Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein was recently discovered, which happens to not only be signed, but signed to Lord Byron.  As we all know, it was Byron who gave the challenge to Shelly, her husband Percy, and Byron's doctor John Polidori, to all write a scary story.  What Mary Shelly came up with that fateful weekend would be the genesis of her greatest creation, Frankenstein.  So finding a copy of this novel, signed by the author to Byron is a pretty rare find.  It was found in the possession of Baron Jay (1907-1996) who was a British politician, and was discovered by his grandson.  It is being displayed for a week at the Peter Harrington's of Chelsea, London, who happens to be one of the world's leading book dealers.  They are estimating that the book is worth over $600,000.  That's right, folks.  A copy of Frankenstein, a book that has inspired countless nightmares, movies, novels, and fandom, but that still is regarded just like the character from the book, an outcast from normal society.  But yet, this holy grail is worth well over a half a million dollars.  Makes me think that this stuff we're into is a little more important than some others think.

HALLOWEEN HOT SAUCE
    Some time ago, we had gotten a gift of some hot sauce from a good friend.  It was from a place called Haunted Hot Sauce and game in a especially made wooden coffin.  Being a hot sauce aficionado, not only was it pretty damn cool looking, but it also tasted pretty damn good.   But like a lot of us who do this little hobby/job on the side, it does have a tendency to turn into more work than fun, which is a damn shame and then the passion for it is harder and harder to keep.  Earlier this year, Victor the Undertaker discontinued his Haunted Hot Sauce business because it was simply taking too much of his time.  And rather than let his customers suffer with poor service, he decided to shut down the business.  Damn shame, but I completely understand.
    That was early this year.  But now it seems that Victor has risen from that grave to bring us some new hot sauce, this time called Halloween Hot Sauce.  And what better time to pick up a little gift for yourself, or a fellow demented deviant.  I mean, that other holiday is coming up too....you know that one that is all about treating people with kindness and cheer.  Just show up at a Toys R Us or Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving to feel the warmth.  Sorry...got a little sidetracked there.  My point was that these make great gifts all year round.  Just click HERE to be taken to their new website where you can buy these different flavors separately, or you can get all three and save.  Either way, tell Victor that we sent you to him.

"STUNTMAN HAL NEEDHAM TO GET OSCAR FOR BADASSERY"
    One of the most famous Hollywood stuntman/turned director will receive an honorary Oscar for his work.  The "Badassery" was the actual title in the news bit when it came out.  If you're not familiar with Needham's name, if you've watched any action movies from the '70s, then you've probably seen his work.  From breaking over 50 bones in his body, breaking his back twice, punctured his lung, to god knows what other injuries he has suffered in his long career, Needham gave it his all for the movies.  Eventually he moved behind the camera to direct films like SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, HOOPER, and CANNONBALL RUN, just to name a few.
    But what does this have to do with horror movies???  Well, over the years of going to conventions, you learn that a lot of people that play the different monsters that we see in our favorite films, are actually being played by stuntmen.  Sure, there might be a actor in some of the "face" scenes, but a lot of the stuff we see happening, the guy behind the mask is usually a stuntman.  These are the guys that not only are making some of the effects look even better and more realistic, but they are also the ones that are making sure that nobody gets hurt.  So I think that a stuntman category should be created for the Oscars, so that more people can be aware of the amazing, not to mention damn dangerous work, these people do on a daily basis.  But I'm sure that is not going to happen.  But what we can do is the next time you're
at a convention, and there is a guest that might be known for playing some masked psycho, but is really a stuntman, take a few minutes to ask him about his stunt work and thank him for all his hard work.  It is one of those things that make the movies as enjoyable as they are.

FRIDAY THE 13TH SOUNDTRACK AVAILABLE
    La-La Land Records are releasing the original motion picture score to the film that started it all and made campers every where scared to be out in the woods.  Of course, we mean FRIDAY THE 13th.  Harry Manfredini created one of the most memorable pieces of music, especially the "kill, kill, kill" overlaid into the score.  Genius.
    This is the version that was already released in the FRIDAY box set, which is already sold-out.  But now is your chance to own the score to the first one.  La-La Land is saying that this is going to be the only film score in that box set that is going to get a separate release.  The total running time for this CD is 43:54 minutes and has a retail price of $15.98.  A great deal for any and all FRIDAY fans.  If you act now and order your copy, you still might have a chance to get one of them autographed by composer Manfredini.  Just head over to La-La Land's website by clicking HERE.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Okay so our last photo was easy enough to get quite a few correct answers sent in.  So at least I know you're paying attention!  The shot was of course from HAUTE TENSION (aka HIGH TENSION).  Here's the ones that sent in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Dave Canfield, Aaron Christensen, Wendy Bodine, Jerry Downing, Richard Garcia, Gary Kent, Denise LoRusso, Erik Martin, Kevin Matthews, Ryan Olson, Nicholas Orlok, Jeff Owens, John Pata, Wayne Teeter, and Will Wilson.  Well done, people.
    Now on to this this week's photo.  You didn't think I was going to throw you another easy one, did you?  Maybe.  Take a look at this photo and see if there is something you can sink those mental teeth into and come up with a title.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  And as always, good luck.

9-3-12  LET THE MADNESS BEGIN
    We're a day late on this update due to a trip to the land of Michigan yesterday.  After spending around 10 hours in the car in one day, couldn't do much more than crash once we got home last night.  But having today off was truly a blessing since we can use it to relax and get ready for the madness that is about to begin.  What madness do we speak of?  Well, it is the reason that we won't be having an update next weekend, possibly the next two weekends.  Of course next week will be heading to Indianapolis for the HorrorHound Weekend, which we are very excited for.  We just found out that our table neighbors were going to be John Pata and Adam Bartlett, creators of the film DEAD WEIGHT (see our review HERE).  I've known John for a few years now and am always amazed at how much he works on promoting the horror genre.  From his work at his local theater, hosting weekly classic horror screenings, to running the Oshkosh Film Festival, he's a non-stop whirlwind of passion and push for the genre.  And we love him for that.  Not to mention that he and Adam created a pretty damn entertaining and thought provoking film.  So if you're coming out to the show next week, please make sure you stop by our table and say hello.  We always enjoy meeting followers of this site and putting some faces to the names.
    The following week, we're head back to the Indy area for a two nights of horror movies at the Skyline Drive-in.  They are playing some obscure titles over the Friday & Saturday night screenings, including THE FACE OF THE SCREAMING WEREWOLF, starring Lon Chaney Jr.!  How freaking cool is that???   Plus a couple of Barbara Steele movies, and some other great drive-in fun.  For more info, just click HERE.
    So don't get worried if you don't see any updates for a while.  This is our time of the year after all, and we've got something going on every weekend from now until the end of October.  So the next two months are going to be fright filled with some awesome horror happenings!  Stay tuned for all the details!

DRIVE-IN SUPER MONSTER RAMA
    If you are not able to make it out to the HorrorHound show next weekend, and are in the Pittsburgh area, then I strongly suggest you check out the 2 nights of all night monster fun at the Riverside Drive-In Theater.  We were there last year for the event and had a blast there.  Couldn't recommend this enough.  If it wasn't for the HorrorHound show, we might have been making it out there once again.  Here is what they are screening:  On Friday: THEATRE OF BLOOD, HORROR HOUSE, EQUINOX, and SON OF BLOB.  Then on Saturday, they are showing: TWINS OF EVIL, COUNTESS DRACULA, RAW MEAT, and then PSYCHOMANIA.  All from 35mm prints.
    For all the details, head over to DVD Drive-in's site by clicking HERE.

RARE TITLES TO HIT DVD
    After years of having to deal with a video print so dark that you could hardly seen ANYTHING, I was shocked to see one day that OCTAMAN was on Netflix Instant Play in a print that looked great.  You could actually see what was going on!  So that made me thinking that if somebody cleaned it up, it had to be coming to DVD at some point.  And now, thanks to the wonderful people at RetroMedia and Bayview Entertainment, the 1972 cult film is finally going to get that well deserved release.  And just look at that incredible box art!!!  If that alone wouldn't get any monster fan to rent/buy it, then you must be blind.
    Harry Essex, who was the screenwriter who gave us some classic sci-fi/monster movies like MAN MADE MONSTER (1941), IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953), and of course, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), directed a couple of films in the early '70s that have become cult classics, OCTAMAN being one of them.  Hard to go wrong with a half man/half octopus creature running around killing people.  Especially when the monster suit was designed by a 20 year old Rick Baker.  The film stars Kerwin Matthews and Jeff Morrow (both stars of other cut films) as they battle this ecological nightmare.  The disc has been re-mastered from a 35mm print (which is hopefully what the Netflix print was) and will have some trailers, interviews, as well as a bonus second feature!  It will have the other '70s cult film from Essex, THE CREAMTORS.  I remember seeing this screened on 16mm at one of the Cinema Wasteland conventions.  How can you go wrong with a alien big ball of fire that burns the shit out of people!  Fun stuff!  This DVD is set to be released at the end of October.  So add that to your Halloween viewing list.
    Here's a really rare title that I never thought would see the light of a DVD release.  Giorgio Ferroni's NIGHT OF THE DEVILS (1972) will be hitting DVD & Blu-ray from RaroVideo on September 25th.  The release is going to feature a new HD transfer of the film, along with new & improved English subtitles, an illustrated booklet about the making of the movie, and a video interview with Fangoria editor Chris Alexander about the film.  There is also a video interview with composer Giorgio Gaslini.  We are big fans of Gaslini's score here, which works so well in the film.  So we're tickled to see that they were able to get this interview to learn more about this man and his work.  The Blu-ray will be $29.98 & the regular DVD will be $19.98.
    The film is about a man found wondering in the woods, who's mind has seem to have snapped.  Once under psychiatric care, he starts to remember what had happened to him.  This is based on the same story from Leo Tolstoy, The Wurdalak that Mario Bava used for one of his stories in BLACK SABBATH.  Not one you want to miss.

BOOK REVIEW: THE FRANKENSTEIN LEGEND
    We've posted our review of this great little book by Donald F. Glut.  Just click HERE to get to our Book review section.  Enjoy.

WILDCLAW THEATRE PRESENTS BARKER'S LIFE OF DEATH
    Chicago's own horror theater company is ready to unleash their latest stage play.  This time, it is an adaptation of Clive Barker's THE LIFE OF DEATH by Charlie Sherman, at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events Storefront Theater.  The play opens on October 5th at 7:30pm, and will run through November 4th.  Please make it a point to join WildClaw on their latest endeavor, which they are calling a "terrifying journey of life, death and transformation."
    For more info about the show and WildClaw, head over to their official site HERE.

CHICAGO HORROR SCREENINGS
    Even though we have plenty of events and movie screenings to keep up busy these next few months, NorthWest Chicago Film Society is sponsoring a series of classic movies even Wednesday, starting this Wednesday.  The one that I'm most interested in is the double feature screening of DRACULA'S DAUGHTER (1936) and WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935) on September 12th at 7:30pm.  While they might be the huge classics as some of the other Universal horrors, they are still an important part of the history.
    Other films being screened are NIGHT TIDE (1961) starring Dennis Hopper, on Oct. 24th at 7:30pm, and the film that starred the ultimate psychopath, THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955), starring Robert Mitchum.  This will be screen at 7:30pm on December 19th.  All films will be screen from 35mm prints.
    For more information the screenings or the NorthWest Chicago Film Society, head over to their website HERE.

SHU-IZMZ RADIO INTERVIEW
    Last week, we were interviewed by our good friend Bryan from Shu-izmz.com for his internet radio show.  We met Bryan a few years ago at one of the many Chicago horror happenings and were immediately impressed with not only his knowledge about the genre, but even more importantly, his constant desire to learn more.  For us, that is the best thing a horror fan can have, that never ending hungry to consume as much about the genre as you can.  So he came out to the Krypt to ask us a few things about us and our site and why we do what we do.  You can download the interview by clicking HERE.

FLASHBACK REPORT POSTED
    We have our report posted from last month's Flashback Weekend.  Not a lot of photos this time for various reasons.  Hopefully we'll have the chance to get a few more at the upcoming HorrorHound show next weekend.  But thanks again to Mike & Mia and the rest of the Flashback gang for making this a great show.  It is well run and always draws a big crowd of horror fans.  Keep up the great work.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the Roger Corman classic IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, with one of the best looking monsters ever made.  Seriously.  Just love that one.  A big kudos goes out to the following that were correct in identifying where this shot came from: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Craig J. Clark, Mike Shields, David Schmidt, Tom White, and William Wilson.
    Now on to one that is a little more contemporary.  I'm sure a lot of people are going to recognize this famous shot pretty quick.  But let us just see if it really is THAT easy.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  And as always, good luck.

8-26-12  THE SEASON APPROACHES
    That's right fellow ghouls, our time of the year is quickly approaching.  Not only will we be rid of this ungodly heat outside, but now we can start to decorate (even more so for some) our houses for the Halloween season.  As usual, there are plenty of things going on in the next couple of months to help us celebrate the genre that we love so much.  Just make sure you take the time to enjoy it, especially with your friends and family.
    In a couple of weeks, we start off the next two months of horror happenings by heading to Indianapolis for the HorrorHound Weekend.  This is going to be another huge show and the Kryptic family is really looking forward to it.  Then there will be drive-in events, 24-hour marathons, Cinema Wasteland, and plenty of other stuff to keep up more than busy.  So get those calendars in order, enjoy the season, enjoy the friends and family, and especially enjoy those movies!  Hope to see you at one of the many up-coming events we're planning on attending.

HUDSON HORROR SHOW 666
    One of these days, once I win the lotto, I will be doing nothing but working on this site, reading horror reference books, watching movies, and traveling the country (and possibly the world depending on just how MUCH I win) to all of these great movie marathons and film festivals that happen.  I swear if New Jersey was just a little bit closer, I would be making the trip out for it.  Every year they have a great line up and this year is no different.  They will be screening RE-ANIMATOR, the one and only original CONAN THE BARBARIAN, THE DEVIL'S RAIN, PHANTASM 2, Jack Hill's SWITCHBLADE SISTERS, and one more feature that is so far is a secret.  So you'll have 6 features for only $30 ($26 if you buy them in advance).  There will be vendors, trailers, prizes & giveaways, plenty of horror fun.
    If you're on the east coast, you don't want to miss this one.  For more info on the show, just head to the Hudson Horror Show website by clicking HERE.

HAMMER COMES TO THE MASSACRE
    How do you make an already awesome line up even better?  Add some Hammer to it.  And that is just what they have done for these year's Massacre, by adding THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961).  It really is hard to go wrong with a Hammer film and this is one of their best.  Last year's Massacre, they screen VAMPIRE LOVERS, which is one of my all time favorite Hammer titles.  CURSE has an incredible make up job by Roy Ashton.  Out of all the different werewolf make up designs, this is probably my favorite (Sorry Naschy...you're is a close second!)  Of course, we also have just a great performance by Oliver Reed, with director Terence Fisher once again showing just how to make a gothic  horror film.     If you needed another reason to come to this amazing event, now you have it.  For more info on the event, just head over to their Facebook page HERE.

HAMMER YOUTUBE
    While on the subject of Hammer Films, they have started their own YouTube channel (which you can get to by clicking HERE).  You can see trailers from their classic movies, as well as see some introductions from Hammer scholars like Marcus Hearn.  You can also see some behind the scenes stuff on their latest film, THE QUIET ONES.  While you're spending on that time surfing the web anyway, take a few minutes to learn some more about Hammer Films.  It's worth your time...trust me.

FRANKENSTEIN & HIS BRIDE COMES TO THEATERS
    Out of all the classic monsters, Frankenstein's Monster has always been my favorite, for many different reasons.  I know just about every single horror fan out there as seen the 1931 classic as well as the sequel, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.  But how many of you have actually had the chance to see these immortals on the big screen?  Well this October, you will have your chance.  In celebrating Universal's 100th Anniversary, along with NCM Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies, they are re-releasing some classic movies to the theater, some for a one night only screening.  And on October 24th, they will be screening a double feature of FRANKENSTEIN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.  This will be happening  in theaters across the states, which you can see that complete list HERE.  For all the details about the event, head over to NCM's website HERE.
    Once again, if you haven't seen these on the big screen, you can't miss this opportunity.  And even if you have seen them before, then you know how cool it is and will probably want to do it again.  I know I am.  What a great way to celebrate the Halloween season.

SAVE THE MIDWAY DRIVE-IN
    I know we had already posted this in one of our older updates, but we still have 36 days to go and quite a bit more money to raise to make their goal of $40,000.  This is needed to keep the Midway open, letting them upgrade to the expensive digital projector equipment that they will need to continue to show newer movies.  I know that seems like a lot, but just think about what it cost you for some popcorn at the movies.  So instead, use that $10 and put it towards a place that is trying to keep the drive-in experience alive for fans like us.  Every little bit helps.  I've been to this drive-in on several occasions and intend to be going there in a few weeks for another all-night horror marathon.  And I want to keep those types of events continuing on.  So PLEASE take the time to give what you can.  You can get to the Kickerstarter page for this by clicking HERE.

THE FOG SOUNDTRACK RE-ISSUE X 2
    While most fans go crazy over Carpenter's HALLOWEEN, my personal favorite of his has always been THE FOG.  Being a sucker for a good old fashion ghost story, I think Carpenter nailed it square on the head with this film.  Great story, incredible cast, and a soundtrack that, like the title character, just seeps out of the speakers with atmosphere.  It seem to take forever for this soundtrack to get a release here in the states.  And when it finally did, it went out-of-print pretty damn fast.  But now, Silva Screen in not only bringing it back, but giving us fans something even more.
    This October, they will be releasing a 2-disc edition of the score.  The original release consisted of 8 tracks with a running time a little over 30 minutes.  But now the first disc will feature 13 tracks (plus an audio interview with Jamie Lee Curtis) as well as a second disc that of 20 tracks that will have the entire score.  These are coming from the original tapes that have been re-mastered by Alan Howarth.  You can pre-order this now from Screen Archives, which has a retail price at only $20.95.  For a 2-disc set of an amazing score, it is well worth the money.

NEW BOOK REVIEW: GRAPHIC HORROR MOVIE MONSTER MEMORIES
    We have posted our review of this new movie poster book by John Edgar Browning.  If you love horror movie posters, you are going to need this for your collection.  Head over to our Reference Book section for our review, or you can just click HERE to jump right there.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about a scream queen that unfortunately only made a couple of films, both for Hammer Studios.  Head over to the classroom to learn more.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the underrated slasher film from 1982, simply called MADMAN.  For some reason, this one doesn't seem to get the same amount of attention as some of the other slasher films of that era.  Think we need to change that.  If you haven't seen it, find it and watch it.  I think you'll enjoy it.  And if for any reason, you'll be able to see star Gaylen Ross in her first film after Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD.  Well, only had a few people that sent in the correct answer to this week's photo.  And they were:   Craig J. Clark, Erik Martin, and William Wilson.  Nicely done.
    So let's get to our new photo.  We're going old school on this one.  Hopefully it might be a little easier than our last.  At least, I'm hoping most of you out there will recognize which classic this shot is from.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  And as always, good luck.

8-19-12  ANOTHER YEAR OLDER
    Back with somewhat of an update this time.  We had a blast at last weekend's Flashback Weekend.  We will have our official report at some point in the new future (though it may be a while with all the upcoming events that we have).  We did get the chance to finally meet Mr. Carpenter and shake his hand, narrowing down the few remaining icons of horror that I haven't met yet (Mr. Cronenberg...you're next!)  But we just wanted to say how much fun we had, hanging out with our friends and family, some of which we only get to see at these shows.  It is now the main reason we go these days.  To be a part of a huge community where you can have a serious discussion about horror films and not be looked at strangely, is simply a wonderful thing.  Thanks to Mike and Mia and the rest of the Flashback team for putting on a great show and giving us fans a place to hang out for the weekend.
    The other thing that I wanted to mention, without trying to get all sensitive and shit...but now that I've I just turned 47, and have been going to conventions for close to 25 years, the one thing about these things that has remained the same is the friends that you make at them.  I couldn't even attempt to count the number of people I have met over the years at shows that I would consider close friends.  And that number just keeps growing.  And now that my wife and son are coming to the shows with me on a regular basis, making it truly a family event, it makes it even better since they are becoming more and more part of my life outside of our home, something that was really vacant for many years.  Something that only now I have started to realize.  Bottom line that celebrities come and go.  Autograph prices get higher and higher.  But friends and family are something that you can never set a price on and one that will last a lifetime.
    Last night, to celebrate my birthday, we had a screening in our outdoor theater that my son had bought and built for me for my birthday.  This wasn't the first time we've used it, but the first time for more than just us.  So it was a combination of celebrating my birthday, as well as celebrating movies outside in a fashion much like the drive-in theaters.  We had invited about 30 people to come out and help celebrate this event, while screening THE GREEN SLIME and the original THE BLOB.  I had made up little cards with the lyrics to the theme songs of both movies so everyone could sing along.  My wife, being the super-creative type, made an amazing birthday cake, looking like a drive-in theater.  Simply amazing.  She also made a movie sign for the front of our house which lit.  Again....how lucky am I?  Add to the fact that we had fresh popped popcorn, homemade corndogs, nachos, and plenty of other snacks, it made for one hell of a night.
    So thank you to my wife Dawn, my son Nick, and all of my friends for making my birthday party last night, and all of these conventions so much fun for me over the years, and the many shows in the future still to come.

  

  

CARLO RAMBALDI - REST IN PEACE
    The world of special effects has lost another great pioneer in the field.  Italian special effect artist Rambaldi, who specialized in mechanical, not to mention helping to create to of the most memorable movie characters, the title characters from Ridley Scott ALIEN and Stephen Spielberg's E.T., passed away on August 10th, at the age of 86.  He had won two Academy Awards for his work creating those two famous alien creatures, and another special achievement award for his work on the 1976 remake of KING KONG.  He was truly not only a very creative talent, but he helped the industry evolve using mechanical efffects to create a new type of creature that the movies might have seen before, but had trouble believing it was a real character.  Rambaldi worked very hard to change all of that.  And he did.
    But even before those days, Rambaldi worked on quite a few horror movies, with some of the most talented directors working in that field.  He was a model maker on Mario Bava's PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965) and also worked on TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE (1971) as well.  He saved director Lucio Fulci from going to jail after they thought that Fulci had actually vivisected real dogs in his film A LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN (1971), by bringing in the mechanical dogs to show the courts.  He also did the special effects for films like NIGHT OF THE DEVILS (1972), FRANKENSTEIN '80 (1972), FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN (1973), BLOOD FOR DRACULA (1974), Dario Argento's DEEP RED (1975), POSSESSION (1981), and even bringing Stephen King's werewolf creature to life in SILVER BULLET (1985).  His last film was PRIMAL RAGE (1988), which was directed by his son, Vittorio.
    Our thoughts out out to his friends and family.

MIDWAY FROM DUSK TO DAWN HORROR MARATHON
    Okay folks...get those calendars out and start filling in those dates.  Because the next couple of months are going to be very crazy and very busy.  We already mentioned the two nights of horror at the Skyline Drive-in in Indiana next month, but the week after that, there is another event that you might not have to drive as far if you're in the Chicago area.  The Midway Drive-in in Dixon, IL is going to be hosting another from Dusk to Dawn Horror Movie night on September 22nd.  So far, they have announced 3 titles: LOST BOYS, NEAR DARK, and the infamous DR. BUTCHER M.D. (aka ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST).  There are probably going to be one or more features announced, but we'll have to wait on those for now.  This is your chance to see some classic '80s horror, not to mention a rare Italian gut-muncher like DR. BUTCHER, on a huge screen 90 feet across!  Not to mention all the great snacks you can get at the concessions throughout the night.  It is all part of what makes these events so much fun.
    If you haven't made it out to one of these events, there is no time like now.  I know we mentioned it in our last update, but the Midway Drive-in needs your help and coming out and supporting these kind of events is one sure way you can help out.  Your money will go them be able to afford that massively expensive upgrade to a digital projector so they can continue to show first run films throughout the year.  Just head over to their Kickstarter page (by clicking HERE) and please give a little...whatever you can will help out.  This has been going on since the beginning of August and they have only raised a little over a $1000.  Only about 40 days left to go.  So again...PLEASE do what you can.

MASSACRE TIME...AT THE PORTAGE
    It looks like Chicago horror fans are going to be up to their eyes with horror movie marathons in October.  What Chicago fans have been calling the Massacre for the last 7 years is now moving to the Portage Theater, with the same amazing array of movie titles that they normally come up with.  This year's Massacre will be taking place on October 20th, starting at noon, and proceeding through Sunday until noon.  That's right...24 hours of horror and madness!  And that isn't even including the movies!  So far, Linnea Quigley, star of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and countless other cult films, will be appearing at the show....and most importantly...with free autographs and photo taking!  Here is the current lineup they have announced so far:

  • THE BLACK CAT (1934) - First movie with Karloff and Lugosi appearing together!

  • WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968) - One of the intense of all of Vincent Price's films.  A classic from Michael Reeves

  • FRENZY (1972) - Hitchcock...need we say more?

  • RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985) - One film that never gets old...no matter how many times you see it

  • DEAD SNOW (2009) - One of the best modern moves...zombie Nazis...what more could you ask for?

  • HALLOWEEN II (1981) - A very under appreciated sequel

  • NIGHTMARES (1983) - Great '80s anthology fun

  • PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987) - Carpenter's dark Quatermass inspired tale

  • PHANTASM II (1988) - What's more fun than watching Reggie Bannister take care of business?

    Now here's the great thing about this marathon:  Advance tickets are only $15 through now until August 24th at midnight.  After that, they go up to $20 until Sept. 24th.  Then they go up to $24 until the day before the show, and are $25 at the door.  Such a great bargain price!  There will be the usual vendors, vintage trailers, short horror film contest, costume contests, zombie makeup station, prizes, surprises, and as always, a live charity auction for Vital Bridges, which is an amazing place that helps people living with AIDS.  It is so great when horror fans can come together and show their support for places like this.

MUSIC BOX OF HORRORS
    And speaking of movie marathons, the Music Box Theatre will still be having their own 24-hour marathon, now being called the Music Box of Horrors.  It will start at noon on Saturday the 13th and run until Sunday at noon.  Yes, it is a very long night of horror.  But here are some of the movies they have announced so far:

  • THE GOLEM - One of the original classic silent films from Germany

  • THE BURNING - With an all star cast and some incredible effects by Tom Savini, this is a great '80s classic slasher

  • CHILD'S PLAY - The film that started the series of the killer doll

  • PHANTASM - One of those films that right deserves being called a classic

  • THE DEADLY SPAWN - Probably one of the best low budget monster movies ever made.....Seriously

  • BLOOD DINER - A wacky, gore comedy inspired by the works of H.G. Lewis

  • HOWLING II: YOUR SISTER IS A WEREWOLF - Starring the incredible Sybil Danning, who will be attending the screening

  • SQUIRM - Simply the best killer worm movie ever made.  Director Jeff Lieberman will also be attending the screening

    The tickets will start out at $30 and will go up in price the closer to the show date.  From 8/15 to 9/15, the price is $30, with only 350 tickets available at this price.  From 9/16 to 10/12, the price will be $35, with only 220 tickets at this price.  At the day of the show, the price will be $40.  When more titles or other information is announced we will be passing the info along here.  Or you could always check out the Music Box's page HERE.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Since we missed our update last week because of Flaskback, we thought we'd start back up with a little easier photo.  Or is it???
    Although, I thought last week's was too easy, but apparently not enough people either recognized Elke Sommer or haven't watched enough Mario Bava!  The shot was from Bava's BARON BLOOD, which is a fine piece of Italian entertainment.  Highly suggest you check it out.  Along with any Bava you haven't seen yet.  But we did get few people send in the right answers.  So a big kudos out to the following:  Hoby Abernathy, Todd Barwick, Bill Harrison, Mike Shields, Wayne Teeter, and Will Wilson.  Well done, people.
    So take a look at our latest photo and see if you can't nail this one.  Maybe you might recognize who this person is, since she starred in another big horror film a few years prior to this movie.  Boy...the hints just keep coming....Just click HERE to send in your answer.  And as always...Good Luck!

8-05-12  SAVE THE MIDWAY DRIVE-IN
    I know everyone seems to have a cause these days that they are looking money for, or trying to get you to support, but this is one that I think is very important, especially to movie fans like us.  For people my age, who grew up in the time where drive-in theaters were still around and functioning, watching a double feature at one of these places as a youngster was always a great time.  But for the next generation, they are missing out on these great memories.  But people like Mike and Mia Kerz have been trying to keep the drive-in experience alive and well at the Midway Drive-in theater in Sterling, IL.  We've been to this place a few times over the years and have always had a great time.  A couple of times a year, they have an all night horror movie marathon which always draws us out there.  Sure, it might be a bit of a drive, the but experience and the great time we have there is well worth it, each and every time.
    But now they need your help.  With the movie studios forcing all movie theaters to switch over to digital projections, if the theater doesn't make the change, they won't be able to show any new movies.  But this is not a cheap transition, costing well over $100,000.  So the Midway Drive-in has started a Kickstarter drive to help them raise part of the money needed to make these changes, allowing them to stay open.  Every single dollar will help.  So please take a second, head over to their Kickstarter page by clicking HERE, and help keep the drive-in experience alive for future generations of movie fans.

SKYLINE DRIVE-IN'S SUPER MONSTER MOVIE FEST
    Speaking of drive-ins, we were alerted to the news that next month, a drive-in theater in Shelbyville, Indiana, which is just southeast of Indianapolis, is having a Super Monster Movie Fest, featuring 2 nights of horror movies playing all night long.  It is taking place on September 14th & 15th at the Skyline Drive-in.  Here is what is scheduled to be screen:

On Friday:

  • CHAMBER OF HORRORS (1966) - Obscure film featuring a one-handed killer

  • VAULT OF HORROR (1973) - Another great anthology film from Amicus

  • CASTLE OF BLOOD (1973) - Directed by Antonio Margheriti and starring Barbara Steele

  • SCREAM BLOODY MURDER (1973) - A rare '70s treat with another one-handed killer, featuring a young Angus Scrimm in a bit part

On Saturday:

  • TELL TALE HEART (1960)

  • THE GHOST (1963) - Another Barbara Steele film, this time directed by Riccardo Freda

  • FACE OF THE SCREAMING WEREWOLF (1964) - Starring Lon Chaney Jr. as the "mummified werewolf"!!!

  • KISS OF THE TARANTULA (1976) - Great cult film about a girl and her pet spiders

  • CHAMBER OF HORRORS (1966) - Not sure why this is screening twice...just going by what is listed

Also on Saturday the 15th at the Strand Theatre in Shelbyville, they will be screening a science fiction double feature of DESTINATION MOON (1950) and EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956).  Just in case you needed something to pass your time while you're waiting for it to get dark before getting back to the drive in.

NEW REVIEW: THE PACK
    We have a new review posted of an older movie, one that you might not have heard of.  Or if you have, you've probably passed it by.  But I'm telling you that you just might want to check it out.  Head over to our Reviews section to read more about it.

ZOMBIE RISES ONCE AGAIN
    Years ago, I was pretty up-to-date on the foreign DVD releases and was picking up quite a few of them, if only for the extras.  But since that time, I just haven't bothered to keep up with them, especially not wanting to spend all that money.  I have seen some of the releases that Arrow Video has been putting out over the years, but really haven't paid that much attention to them, since the only reason I would be buying them would be for the extras.  I admire the wonderful packaging job they do with their releases, with some great artwork and tons of extras.  But now, I came across their plans of releasing ZOMBIE on blu-ray later this fall.  Being this is one of my favorite films and with all the extras that they have on there, I might have to break down and pick this one up.
    Being released on November 26th, according to Arrow Video's site, this is what the 2-disc Blu-Ray Steelbook will have:

  • Brand new high definition restoration of the original negative

  • Optional English SDH subtitles on the feature

  • Audio commentary with screenwriter Elisa Briganti moderated by Calum Waddell

  • Audio commentary with Fulci biographer Stephen Thrower and horror expert Alan Jones

  • UK exclusive introduction to the film from Ian McCulloch

  • ALIENS, CANNIBALS AND ZOMBIES: A TRILOGY OF ITALIAN TERROR: Actor Ian McCulloch remembers his three classics of Latin horror lunacy – ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, CONTAMINATION and ZOMBI HOLOCAUST

  • FROM ROMERO TO ROME: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ITALIAN ZOMBIE FILM: Veteran Fulci screenwriters Dardano Sacchetti (THE BEYOND) and Antonio Tentori (CAT IN THE BRAIN), celebrated UK critic Kim Newman and filmmakers Luigi Cozzi (CONTAMINATION), Ruggero Deodato (CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST), Russ Streiner (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) plus many more share memories of the genesis of corpse-crunching cinema – from Romero’s early templates to the gory glory days of Fulci and his many successors

  • THE MEAT MUNCHING MOVIES OF GINO ROSSI: The special effects magician behind many Italian splatter classics talks about his most famous gore-drenched greats – and shows props from many plasma-packed masterworks – including ZOMBIE FLESH-EATERS, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, CANNIBAL FEROX, BURIAL GROUND and PIRANHA II.

  • ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS – FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN: Dardano Sacchetti shows key pages from his original ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD screenplay.

  • Trailer and radio spots

  • Collector’s booklet featuring contributions from Calum Waddell, Stephen Thrower, Craig Lapper and Jay Slater.

  • Limited Edition Exclusive artworks by Graham Humphreys

  • More to be announced closer to the time!

TERROR IN THE AISLES
    On September 14th, Terror in the Aisles will be presenting 3 very unusual films, one of them being the Midwest premier.  Starting at 7:30pm with the usual fun Trailer Trash with vintage trailers and short films, then you will get to see IRON SKY, a film about Nazis who have been living on the opposite side of the moon and are now ready to invade the Earth.  Just check out the trailer to see how cool this looks.  After that, at approx. 10pm, they will be screening THE STUFF, with director Larry Cohen in person.  Then lastly, the midnight screening of Frank Henenlotter's FRANKENHOOKER.  Patty Mullen, star of the film, will be there in person as well.
    Both Cohen and Mullen will be signing autographs and taking photos for FREE!  For more information, head over to their Facebook page by clicking HERE.

JOE DANTE AT THE MUSIC BOX
    For those of you who are not coming out to the Flashback Weekend next Friday, you might want to head up to the Music Box Theatre for a special screening of Joe Dante's unreleased 2009 film THE HOLE and GREMLINS 2.  Dante himself will be there to introduce the films and have a Q&A between the two films.  For more information about the special screening, just click HERE.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about an actress that only appeared in a few horror films, but always made an impact.  Head over to the classroom to learn more.  Don't be late.  There will be a test on this!

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Okay folks, another update with means another Mystery Photo.  Our last shot was from the uber-cheese-but-fun THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN.  This was one film that I desperately tried to see in the theater when it first came out, but my parents refused to take me to a rated R movie.  Tragic moment in my childhood!  But kudos to the following who sent in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Nick Jones, Jason Kretten, Steve Sapsford, Mike Shields, and William Wilson.
    Now on to our latest photo.  Take a look...see if you might be able to recognize the woman there...might help you out a bit.  Or not.  But good luck anyway.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.

7-29-12  R.G. ARMSTRONG - REST IN PEACE
    We always hate starting our updates with an announcement of the loss of a great talent.  But again, one of our main goals it to help keep the genre and those that work in it, alive and remembered, even long after their gone from this world.  Today we heard news of the passing of R.G. Armstrong, who is one of those actors that you always remembered their face, even if you didn't know who they were.  Armstrong was well known for usually playing the heavy, which he did exceptionally well.
    He started his film career back in 1954 in the film GARDEN OF EDEN, but had been working for some time on the stage.  Over the years, he appeared in countless TV series (a lot of westerns in there) and plenty of little character roles in movies (again...a lot of westerns).  But it was quite some time before he started to appear in the horror genre.  His first real appearance was on a TV series in 1961 called Great Ghost Stories, in which he appeared in a telling of the W.W. Jacobs tale The Monkey's Paw.  But once the '70s rolled around, Armstrong started to appear in a few more horror titles.  Such as RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975), THE CAR (1977), THE PACK (1977), DEVIL DOG: THE HOUND OF HELL (1978), THE BEAST WITHIN (1982), CHILDREN OF THE CORN (1984), and even PREDATOR (1987).  Of course, one of our personal favorites was as Sarge in the 1981 film EVILSPEAK, where he tells Clint Howard he's going to show him how to turn a little boy into a little girl.  While he hasn't acted in quite some time, the performances that he did give us will keep his memory alive for future film fans to come.
    Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

KRYPTIC ARMY UPDATE
    Just in case we might have some new followers to this site, we wanted to remind everyone about our little project called The Kryptic Army.  This is our 3rd year that we've been assigning monthly missions to our soldiers to find and watch a couple of horror movies each month that they have not seen before, with a particular theme each month.  At the end of the year, you have the chance to win a great  prize, like some cool autograph merchandise.  And to make it even better, the more you participate, the better the chance you have to win!
    For all the information about the Army, plus seeing some of our past winners and their prizes, head over to our Army page HERE to get all the fun details.  We have a new month and mission starting in a couple of days.  So if you're interested, sign up now.  You won't regret it.

FLASHBACK WEEKEND JUST AROUND THE CORNER
    Since summer time is here, then that must mean that Flashback Weekend is coming!  And in just a couple of weeks, we will be there to celebrate the 10th Anniversary show of Chicago's longest running horror convention.  Hard to believe that it has been that long since Mike and Mia had held their first convention, back in August of 2002.  We were set up at that show, and have been at everyone one of their shows after that.  We always have a great time there and am sure the one in two weeks will be just the same.
    As long as I've been going to conventions, there are a still a few horror icons that I haven't had the chance to meet before.  One of them is John Carpenter.  So once they announced that he was going to be the special guest for this year's Flashback Weekend, I was very excited.  Another name that has just recently been added is Kim Darby.  For you younger fans out there, Darby starred in the original DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, as well as appeared in Dark Vengeance, one of my favorite episodes of a TV series in the early '70s called Ghost Story.  But they also have a huge list of other guests, including a bunch from the Friday the 13th series, plus plenty more.  Head over to their website HERE to get all the updated details.

KRYPTIC WORLD TOUR CONTINUES
    After Flashback Weekend, it won't be long before we are heading to Indianapolis for the HorrorHound Weekend, taking place September 7th-9th.  If you're fans of THE MONSTER SQUAD, TERMINATOR or ALIENS, then you won't want to miss this show.  But they also have Timothy Balme, star of Peter Jackson's BRAIN DEAD, making his first convention appearance in the states.  But they have plenty of other guests listed as well, including Don Keith Opper from the CRITTERS films, but for some reason he is not listed on the convention page as of yet.  Keep in mind, this takes place the same time as Mask-Fest, which even if you're not a collector of masks, it is an amazing time just to walk through and see all the incredible displays there.  Some truly amazing talent here, people.  So make sure you check it out...and bring your cameras.
    A few weeks after HorrorHound, then we head to Cleveland for another enjoyable time at Cinema Wasteland for their October show.  This shows guest lineup should be an interesting time since they have tons of cult names here, such as the legendary MR. BIG, Bert I. Gordon, Reb Brown (that my son is super excited to meet since he is a huge fan of YOR and ROBO-WARS), Fred Olen Ray, and many others.  I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time in the Q&A sessions since I'm sure there are going to be some great stories being told.

THAT GUY DICK MILLER NEEDS YOUR HELP
    Actually, it is not the actual Dick Miller that needs your help, but documentary filmmaker Elijah Drenner that needs it.  Drenner is the man responsible for giving us that amazingly entertaining documentary AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE, not to mention tons of other work he has done working on extras for DVDs.  But now he has a new project that he needs help on getting it finished and released.  And that is the documentary THAT GUY DICK MILLER.
    Anybody who is a fan of horror, sci-fi, and cult movies will definitely know Dick Miller, even if they don't know his name.  The man has been in tons of movies, from low budget quickies to big Hollywood blockbusters.  He was worked with directors like Roger Corman, Joe Dante, and James Cameron, and has worked along side of everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jack Nicholson to Boris Karloff.  And now, Drenner wants to tell Miller's story with this new film and I really can't think of another subject that is more worthy of telling.  Being a fan of the horror genre from all the decades, it is so great to see Miller in those early Corman classics like IT CONQUERED THE WORLD as well as in the more modern day films like THE HOWLING or TERMINATOR.  He is always one of those character actors that always brings a smile on my face when I see him on the screen.
    But now Drenner needs our help in getting this project completed and released so fans like us can enjoy it.  All you have to do is click HERE and donate a little amount of money to help support this cause.  They are looking for any amount of money, even if it is only $5.  Every little bit helps and adds up to what they need.  So please take a second and head over there, watch the little ad for the documentary that is on the page and pledge what you can.  There is only 24 more days to go, so please do what you can.

HORROR HISTORY
    Yes class, we are back after a little break.  Hopefully you have been doing your homework while we've been away.  Always plenty of homework to be doing, so lets not get lazy just because we might not have a new lesson.  Got it?  Okay then.  Let's get to the classroom so you can learn a little bit about an actress who is known for working with a very cheap and frugal

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's photo was from another great and underrated classic from the '80s, THE CHILDREN.  This title is definitely one for the collection.  Congrats out to the following for sending in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Todd Barwick, Dave Friedman, Damien Glonek, and William Wilson.  Well done, lads!
    Now on to this week's pic.  It is probably a film that most are familiar with, but maybe not from this exact shot.  So we'll see how well you pay attention through the whole movie!  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  As always, good luck!

7-22-12  NEW DEFINITION OF IRONY
    Apparently they do things a little differently down south then here in Chicagoland.  It seems that when you going to a theater to see an obscure exploitation flick you are not suppose to talk, cheer, laugh, or make any other noises that might interfere with the enjoyment of the rest of the audience.  At least, that is the impression I got from the two guys from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema that were running the CINEMAPOCALYPSE series at the Music Box Theatre Friday and Saturday night.  We went there Friday night to see midnight screening of LADY TERMINATOR, which is just a riot to watch, especially when other like minded-film fans.  But it seems at the screening of VICE SQUAD right before, some Chicago fans who are always out supporting these kind of events, were getting yelled at by these promoters because one of their group yelled out "Wooo" when Wings Hauser came on the screen.  Seriously?  This isn't CITIZEN KANE they were screening here but a E-X-P-L-O-I-T-A-T-I-O-N movie!  They are meant to get reactions from the audience.  What filmmaker wants to see no reactions or no responses from the audience when they are watching their movie?
    Now I know that it is rude to be on your cell phone, or having a conversation with a buddy while a movie is playing.  Trust me, I'm the first one to start bitching.  But what they were saying is to be quiet no matter what, so you're not bothering other people.  It is like going to a comedy and telling the audience don't laugh because you might disturb someone.  I have been at the Music Box countless times seeing some amazing films with a audience full of people that feel the same way about these movies as I do.  I'm not talking about some idiot who is either just being obnoxious or trying to do his own little MST audition, but when there is some hooting 'n' hollering at the screen during certain scenes, not only can it be expected, but can also make the experience even more entertaining.  One of the best experiences I had there was watching FRIDAY THE 13th: THE FINAL CHAPTER, with a sold-out crowd, that were screaming and laughing the whole way through.  It was awesome.
    So yes, I understand that people need to be able to see and hear the movie.  But there is much more of the movie-theater-going-experience than just the movie.  Otherwise, we could just stay at home.

SAD DAY FOR HAMMER FANS
    In the last couple of days, Hammer fans have lost two faces that we are familiar with: Simon Ward and Angharad.  While they might not be as well known as Cushing and Lee, but they were a part of that rich Hammer Horror Heritage that the fans have always remembered and kept alive.
    Angharad Rees only really only appeared in one Hammer film, THE HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971) as the daughter of Jack the Ripper.  But she went on to become a busy star, working on the stage, screen and radio.  She passed away at the age of 63 from pancreatic cancer.
    Simon Ward also only worked with Hammer once, which was his first role in a horror movie, as the doctor being blackmailed by Peter Cushing in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (1969).  But  he would go on to appear in several other horror titles, such as in Dan Curtis' BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (1974), HOLOCAUST 2000 (1977), DOMINQUIE (1979) and the ill-fated THE MONSTER CLUB (1981).
    Though while they might not have had an illustrious career, to us horror fans, who keep watching these movies and keeping them alive, we will also keep the actors that worked on them alive as well.  Our thoughts go out to their friends and family.

    

PORTAGE THEATER SAYS THANKS...AND SO DO I
    It seems that the movie going crowd as won this battle.  The Chicago Tabernacle has withdrawn its application to the Zoning Board to acquire the Portage Theater.  That means we have won.  It means that all off the hard work that everyone did, by showing their support, by showing up at the meetings, even just posting support online, it showed the right people that the Portage Theater needs to continue what it has been doing for many, many years.  And now we can all enjoy future events there because of all this hard work that was done.
    We have been to the Portage many times over the years and have always had a blast.  And now, we can plan on doing that for more years to come.  But I think the best thing that this shows is that if people stand up and be counted for what they believe in, occasionally it can work out in their favor.  If no one would have showed the support they did, I'm sure we would have lost the theater.  So a very big and heartfelt thank you to all of you out there that did show this support.  It is because of you that we will be able to continuing seeing some great films, both old and new, at this great landmark theater.  THANK YOU!

CARL PANZRAM SCREENING
    While on the subject of the Portage Theater, next month they will be having the world premiere screening of the newest film from award winning filmmaker John Borowski, CARL PANZRAM: THE SPIRIT OF HATRED AND VENGEANCE, on August 12th, at 4:00pm.  Panzram was a lifetime criminal back in the '20s and '30s that really hated humanity.  He had confessed to 22 murders, but was also a rapist, arsonist, and burglar.  He confessed all of his crimes to a prison guard who befriended him while he was in prison.  This guy was so mean that he reported said he was kill anybody that tried to get his death penalty overturned.  His last words were telling the executioner that was hanging him to "hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard!  I could kill ten men while you're fooling around!"
    Borowski and the cast of the film will be there for a Q&A and autographing the DVDs after the screening.  There will also be props and costumes from the film as well as a raffle with some strange prizes.  There will be vendors set up in the lobby too.  Borowski's other films have been on other serial killers, such as H.H. Holmes and Albert Fish.  These docu-dramas are a very dark look into the mind of these deranged individuals.  Very informative, but a very disturbing viewing.  For more information about this film and about Borowski, head over to his site HERE.

NEW REVIEW: THE MUSE
    We have posted our review of the new independent movie THE MUSE.  If you're looking for a balls-to-the-wall horror movie, this isn't the one.  But if you want a good character study on someone possibly going crazy, then this is for you.  Just click HERE to get to our Review section.

NEW REVIEW: NORTH POINT SOUNDTRACK
    This is the latest from Phantom Soundtracks.  These guys are making soundtracks for movies that don't exist.  Pretty cool concept, don't you think?  Well, head over to our Soundtrack Review section to learn more.

NASCHY BOOK TAKING PRE-ORDERS
    Creepy-Images website is now taking pre-orders for the revised and updated edition of Thorsten Benzel's book on Paul Naschy movie memorabilia, Muchas Gracias Senior Lobo.  It is not cheap, especially with the postage coming from Europe.  But this is probably the cheapest you're going to find it since the first edition's price went way up right after that was released.  So if you have even the slightest interests, you better put that order in now.  And if you are a Naschy fan, then it really is a no-brainer.  You can place your pre-order here at Creepy-Images.com.  Don't delay, since this is a limited edition book.  And you don't want to be the only Paul Naschy fan without it, do you?

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the Italian film CALTIKI: THE IMMORTAL MONSTER.  The credited director for this Italian blob movie was Ricdardo Freda, though the rumors are that the cinematographer took over and really directed the film.  His name was Mario Bava.  Heard of him?  Anyway, well done to the following that new was this little pic was from:  Hoby Abernathy, Dave Friedman, Bill Harrison, and Mike Shields.  If you haven't seen this movie, as always, I would suggest you try and find it.  It is actually pretty good, with some gore in there that you wouldn't expect from a 1959 movie.
    Now on to this week's photo.  Little bit more current...well, sort of.  Take peek and see if you can recognize where this fun little clip is from.   Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And as always, good luck.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

7-15-12  DO YOU LOVE MOVIES?
    We all obviously have a passion for movies, namely horror movies, right?  Otherwise you wouldn't be here reading this and I wouldn't have written it.  But there is something about films that you either get or you don't.  If you do, then you are what I call a 'movie person'.  This means that movies effect you more than most people.  There are some films that have changed your life.  Others that have deeply effected you.  And each time you revisit that certain title, it brings back the same feelings you had when you first watched it.  Seeing a film from your childhood when you are an adult and still getting the goose bumps or those same emotions coming to the surface shows just how important these films are to us.
    I have had that feeling happen to me three times this weekend.  The first time was from seeing NIGHTBREED on the big screen.  I've been a big fan of this movie since it came out, where the monsters, freaks, misfits, or whatever are the real heroes of the movie.  Watching it on the big screen, the first time since its initial release, gave me those same feelings as my first screening.  Then yesterday, we watched NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.  Granted, the special part of this was that we were watching it in our backyard in our homemade drive-in screen that my son built after buying me a video projector for my birthday.  So sitting there outside, watching this classic on a 9 foot screen, once again brought back some great memories of seeing this film.  Even today, some 40+ years later, the film is still effective, not to mention damn enjoyable.  And then today, we went to see the re-release of JAWS, which was suppose to be the re-mastered print with a re-mastered sound.  Even though I had seen this countless other times, this was the first time on the big screen since I seen it when I was 11 or 12 years old.  This movie had a major impact on my life.  Not only did it give me nightmares for weeks, but it has made me stay out of the water since that first screening.  And watching it again on a huge screen, when certain parts of the movie came on, I got the same goose bumps and knot in my stomach that I did over 35 years ago.  Such an amazing movie, with perfect cast playing great characters, with some amazing dialog.  It really doesn't get much better than this.
    Which is my point of all this.  These movies are important to us.  They mean something, deep within us.  Whether we are revisiting our childhoods when we watch them, or giving us a safe escape from our regular life, these movies have made us who we are.  Which is why it is important for us to not only keep these films alive, but to also make sure we celebrate the magic that they possess and to try pass that passion on to other people, as many as we can.

NIGHTBREED - CABAL CUT
    Friday night we ventured into Chicago for a special screening of Clive Barker's NIGHTBREED.  This is the famous CABAL CUT of the film, which features quite a bit of footage that was cut from the original release.  This footage make the film much closer to the original story, including changing the ending around a bit.  Some of the footage was a bit rough (taking me back to the bootleg days) but at least gave you an idea of what we are missing.  Keep in mind that this is all being done from a video tape, just to show the fans what they could get if they get enough support to show the studios that still have the original negative that could be used to really clean it up.  So it is up to us fans to keep showing our support to make this happen.  Actress Anne Bobby was there last night to drive that point home.  Also appearing was Russell
Cherrington, who is the man to thank for working an amazing amount of hours already on this project.  This is the guy that has been slaving away at searching for footage, painstakingly splicing them together, comparing them to the original script, to try and restore the film that Barker and his crew tried to make the first time.
    So if you are a fan of this movie, and even if you're not but understand the importance of this kind of restoration, please head over to Occupy Midian and sign the petition, show your support, and let's make this thing happen.
    And a special thanks out to Rusty Nails and Movieside for continuing to present these types of events for Chicago area horror fans.  Please try to show support to these types of events when you can.  We need to make sure that they understand that we more than appreciate all the hard work they go through to make these things happen.

    

CINEMATIC CROSSROADS RETURNS
    After a long sabbatical, Cinematic Crossroads returns to the Krypt.  This time out, our gang of rabid cinephiles takes on Eli Roth's debut film of CABIN FEVER.  Our guest for this round about is Wisconsin filmmaker, and all around horror promoter John Pata, co-director of the recent DEAD WEIGHT.  While we are not as divided on this film as our previous entries, we have plenty of...discussions to get through.  So just click HERE to sit back and read through a conversation about CABIN FEVER by some very passionate people.
    We already have more of these in the planning stages so it definitely won't be taking as long for our next entry.  Promise!

NEW REVIEW: WICKER TREE SOUNDTRACK
    We have posted our review for this 2-disc soundtrack for the sequel of one of the greatest horror films made.  Head over to our Soundtrack review section to read more.

SHADOWS COME TO DVD...MOSTLY
    Warner Bros has announced that they will in fact be releasing the two film versions of the popular gothic soap opera TV series, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS onto DVD this October, I'm sure to tie in with the recent Burton film version of the series.  While it will be great to finally see HOUSE on DVD, it looks like we will still be waiting for that uncut version of NIGHT since what they are releasing seems to be the regular cut version.  Major screw up on that one, fellas

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's Mystery Photo was from NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST, starring the immortal Paul Naschy.  Damn shame this movie still hasn't been released on DVD in a nice re-mastered print.  Damn shame, indeed.  But kudos out to Hoby Abernathy and Aaron Christensen for recognizing the shot.  This just means there are some people out there in need of some Naschy homework!
    But if you thought that one was tough, this one is going to make you squirm because it is going to be even harder.  Why do I pull out photos from title that are so tough?  Simply because once you find out what it is, I want you to want to seek it out.  Most of the movies we use shots from...I did say MOST...are ones that we enjoy and want to pass that onto our readers.  So take a look at this black and white classic and see what you can come up with.
   
As always, just click HERE to send in your guess.  Good luck.

7-8-12  ERNEST BORGNINE - REST IN PEACE
    Very sad to hear the passing of Ernest Borgnine today.  Yea, he might have only had a few roles in the horror genre, but when he did, they were awesome.  In fact, any movie that he appeared in was automatically better because of him.  He appeared in plenty of westerns, including the classic Peckinpah violent THE WILD BUNCH (1969).  But for us horror fans, we remember him from his appearance in films like WILLARD (1971) and Wes Craven's DEADLY BLESSING (1981), and especially from John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981).  But for me, besides doing the voice for Mermaid Man in SpongeBob Squarepants, I will always remember him from his role in THE DEVIL'S RAIN (1975).  Such a great and creepy performance he gave us in that film.  Nobody was laughing at him there, that was for sure.
    Borgnine passed away today at the age of 95 from kidney failure, according to sources.  It seemed he never stopped working, from doing plenty of voice work to even appearing in small roles in films.  The film industry lost a great talent today.

TWINS OF EVIL DVD
    This Tuesday will see the release of one of my favorite Hammer films on DVD, for the first time here in the states.  With a great cast, lead by an incredible performance by Peter Cushing, this is one of those films that can be brought up when someone says that Hammer didn't put out anything good in the '70s.  Hitting both regular DVD and Blu-Ray by Synapse Films, we are anxiously waiting to be able to check out not only the movie but the feature length documentary that is on the disc as well by the talented Daniel Griffith.  Anytime we have the chance to revel and celebrate all things Hammer, we are there.  I know we will be sitting down to revisit this great movie at some point this week....as soon as we get that DVD in our grubby little hands.  If you are one of those by chance that are not that familiar with Hammer Films, then this is a perfect time to start out.

TAPE
    We also wanted to give a little shout out to our good friend and fellow cinephile Jason Coffman and his short film TAPE.   Have to give him props for coming up with an interesting story that is definitely going to make you scratch your head.  It will be one of the short films that will be screened at Terror in the Aisles next weekend at the Portage Theater in Chicago.  Well done, my friend!

NASCHY BOOK REVISED
    "Since I was a boy I've always been fascinated by those great colorful posters that were used to promote movies I could only dream of.  I can still remember me standing in front of our local small town cinema, staring at those great horror movie posters of the late '70s and early '80s."
    That above quote was taken from Thorsten Benzel's 2006 book, Muchas Gracias Senior Lobo.  It was a 300 page book filled with posters, lobby cards, and stills from the films of Paul Naschy.  It shows Benzel's passion now only Naschy's films but this lost art form of movie posters and promotional material that we just don't see anymore.  Any collector of film memorabilia out there knows exactly what this is like.
    The book was published in German and most of the art represented in it was in black and white, with few color photos.  But even if you couldn't read German, the book was about the artwork in there.  It showed us collectors out there that massive array of wonderful artwork that had been created over the years to promote Naschy's work.  It was an import book, which are normally tough to get to begin with, but this one was even pretty tough to get a hold of shortly after it came out.
    But now, 6 years later, Benzel will be re-issuing the book, but in a much better edition.  This one will have text in both English and German, but will also contain more than 1200 high quality reproductions of Naschy posters, lobby cards, pressbooks, stills, and more.  And this time, they will all be in COLOR!  It will also be a larger size hardcover book as well, running about 370 pages.  If you are a fan of Naschy's work, or even just a collector of movie memorabilia, then this is a must for your collection.  Even if you're not one to collect such items, just being able to see all of this wonderful artwork from a time gone by, when real talent went into producing these works of art, is more than enough reason to buy the book.
    It will be sold through Creepy-Images.com and pre-orders should start sometime this month, with a release date of September.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about a man that help make someone's career, by basically making sure that nobody saw him.  Pretty tough, huh?  Well head over to the classroom to find out more.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our latest photo comes from a film that we watched today in a little film fest sponsored by our good friend Joe Wallace.  Nothing better than getting some friends together to take in a bunch of fun movies.  And this one happened to be one of them.  Which one is it?  Well...you'll just have to take a look at the photo and see if you recognize it.
    As for our last photo, it was from the made-for-TV movie SNOWBEAST, starring Bo Svenson and Clint Walker.  Nothing better than a bigfoot movie.  Seriously.  Even better if you like to watch people skiing.  Wow.  And I was sure I was going to stump everyone on this one, but we did get a few that sent in the correct answer.  So a major kudos to you since this was not an easy one.  These scholars are: Hoby Abernathy, Craig J. Clark, James Gibbs, Ken Johnson, and Mike Shields.  Well done, people.
    As always, just click HERE to send in your guess.  Good luck.

7-1-12  CINEMATIC ARCHEOLOGISTS
    The dictionary defines archeology as "the scientific study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts, inscriptions, monuments, and other such remains, especially those that have been excavated."  As movie fans, specifically horror movie fans, isn't that what we do on a regular basis?  As serious horror fans, aren't we always seeking out older movies that are considered classics?  Or even doing some research and digging around to find some hidden treasure that might have thought been lost, only so you can spread the word about this amazing movie that you had discovered?  But we don't stop at just watching the movies, do we?  We want to know more about the movie and the people that made it.  If that wasn't the case, there wouldn't be such a thing as audio commentaries, or even documentaries on these films that we love.
    This is what sets us fans apart from normal society.  We see the importance of these films and the effect they have on us, as well as other people, as well as their need to be remembered.  No matter how long of a fan you are, I guarantee there are tons of lost treasures out there waiting for you to discover them.  Some of them might only have a slight shine to them, while others will amaze your senses and wonder why you've never seen something like that before.  So never stop digging, seeking, or searching for these lost treasures.  And when you do discover something amazing, make sure you share it with the rest of the world.  Or at least your fellow movie buddies.  Which leads us to our note directly below....

KRYPTIC ARMY - RECRUITMENT DRIVE
    Okay Soldiers, we have officially made it through your first 6 months of service in the Kryptic Army.  Some of you have been in the service longer than that.  We admire your dedication to the cause.  But as they say, there is safety in numbers.  And I think we need to increase those numbers.  So here's what we are now offering:  If you can recruit a new member to the Army who participates, you're name will be thrown in the drawing 1 extra time at the end of the year for every member you get to join.  In other words, if you had completed all 12 missions, your name would be in the drawing 12 times.  If you got 3 people to join and participate, then your name would be in there an additional 3 more times, increasing your chances of winning.
    So here is what you do:  When you find a recruit, once they sign up for the mailing list, they will need to email me with the name of the person that got them to join...meaning you.  So not only do you increase your chances of winning in our end of the year drawing, but you have also help the cause of getting like minded fans the chance to discover new movies that they might not have otherwise.  And that, after all, is our main goal with the Army.  Any questions?  Just drop me a line.

2nd NIGHTBREED SCREENING ADDED
    Due to the responses, if you weren't able to make it out to Terror in the Aisles on Friday the 13th for the screening of NIGHTBREED: CABAL CUT, now you have a second chance.  They will be having a second screening on that Saturday the 14th at midnight.  The tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.  Russell Cherrington, the restoration director, will be attending this screening as well to discuss the preservation of the film.  Star Anne Bobby will only be at the Friday event though.  So if you want to meet her, you have to come out for the Terror in the Aisles event.
    They had also added a third feature to the lineup, with CANDYMAN starting at midnight.  This is one event you do not want to miss.  Whether you can make it out for the Barker triple feature or just on Saturday, if you are a fan of Barker's work and of the film NIGHTBREED, you need to be there.  For all the latest info, check out their Facebook page HERE.

WOMAN IN BLACK UNCUT?
    I'm hearing reports that there might be an uncut version of the recent THE WOMAN IN BLACK that might come out on DVD later this year.  Not sure why they wouldn't do that on the original release (other than to get fans to double dip...but that would just be plain down right deceitful).  And what has been cut out?  Is there something significant that needs to be added back into the film, or are we just talking some extra footage that the editor took out for a reason in the first place?  Once we hear some more info, we'll keep you posted.
    Also, on a similar note, where is the new DVD release of the original 1989 version starring Adrian Rawlins and Pauline Moran?  That version was scripted by the uber-talented Nigel Kneale and is a great version of the film that is still pretty effective.  If you haven't seen this version, you need to seek it out.

JAWS COMES BACK TO THE BIG SCREENS
    This was the very first movie that I can remember that truly terrified me.  I had nightmares for weeks after seeing this in the theater.  Not even seeing THE EXORCIST had the same effect as JAWS.  This film cause a fear of the water (actually not the water...but what lurks below) to develop in me that has stayed pretty strong ever since.  And now we have heard that the film that started the summer blockbuster, in a new print, both re-mastered both in look and sound, is coming back to the theaters this summer.

UNIVERSAL HORRORS COMES TO BLU-RAY
    We knew it was only a matter of time before the classic monsters made their way to Blu-ray.  Even if they were all going to be re-mastered again, I honestly don't see myself buying them again.  I understand they want to correct and fix the inperfections, the scratches, clean the noise up.  But I want these films to look like I remember seeing them.  I don't want them to look like they were just filmed.  It really gives a nostalgic feeling when you watch these older films.  I'm all for the preservation of these classic films, but I think there comes a point when we stop cleaning and fixing them and just watch and enjoy them.
    They state it comes with 8 movies (DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE WOLF MAN and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA), but it also comes with the Spanish version of DRACULA, which I've always felt was better than Browning's.  But that is just me.
    Maybe if I didn't have all of these films already from the last box set collections they put out, I'd think about it.  But there is really no new stuff on these releases that we don't have on the last ones.  Well...almost.  They are including the 3-D version of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.  Okay...if there was one thing that could get me to buy it...that would be it.  That is one of the best 3-D movies I have seen.  Maybe when the price drops down considerably....I might THINK about it.  The retail is $158.98, though you can get it on Amazon for only $111.99.

HORROR HISTORY
    I know it has been a couple of weeks since our last class, but we're back with another important entry in our history lesson.  This writer / director didn't make that many movies in the genre, but the ones he did are very memorable and very, very powerful.  So let's get to the classroom so you can learn a little more about this man and his work.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo did stump quite a few of you, I was surprised that a few did come up with the correct answer.  The shot is from the movie SPOOKIES.  If you haven't seen this movie, I would recommend it only to those that really want to see some great '80s style rubber monsters.  The plot and the acting is just terrible.  But you do get to see an Asian chick turn into a giant spider and suck the liquid out of one of the characters, which is what our photo is of.  But kudos out to Hoby Abernathy, Chris Huziak and Will Wilson.
    Now our latest pic is from another monster movie.  But I think this just might be another tough one.  This isn't suppose to be easy, remember?  If you know the photo, consider yourself on your way to being a real student of the genre.  If you don't know it and find out that you've never seen it after you learn the title, then you have another movie to add to your To-Watch list.  See?  It's a win-win situation.
    So...take a look, click HERE to send us an email with your guess, and the rest is history.  Oh yea....Good Luck!

6-24-12  RICHARD LYNCH - REST IN PEACE
    If there was ever an actor that was known for his villainous roles, Richard Lynch has to rate up near the top.  From his roles in GOD TOLD ME TO (1976), VAMPIRE (1979), CUT AND RUN (1985), INVASION U.S.A. (1985), BAD DREAMS (1988), PUPPET MASTER 3: TOULON'S REVENGE (1991), to the countless appearances he made on television, Lynch was an actor who you always remembered.  Over the many years of going to conventions, there are not too many names left that get me excited to see at one of these.  But back in 2010, HorrorHound Weekend had added Lynch to the guest lineup, which thrilled the shit out of me.  I had never had the chance to meet Lynch, so I would finally have my chance.  Such a great guy.  We talked about one of my favorite performances of his, which also happened to be his too, was his title role in TV pilot VAMPIRE, that was unfortunately never picked up.
    So it was a sad day when I heard that he had passed away last Tuesday, at the age of 76.  He had recently finished filming on Rob Zombie's latest film, LORDS OF SALEM.  Lynch was a one-of-a-kind performer and always left a memory with the viewer.  He will be missed.  But he will live on through his performances over the years.  And fans like us will help keep them alive.  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

ELGIN'S MONSTER MASH-UP
    We had a great time over the weekend at Elgin's Monster Mash-Up.  Sure, it was a bit warm, but we made the best of it and had a fun time.  Made a few new friends and had several great conversations there as well.  Always a great time when fellow horror fans come out to celebrate our passions and our way of life.  And even better when you can meet up with other die-hard fans to talk about these great movies that we love and the people that were being them.
    So thanks to Mitch from Horror Society for letting us be a part of his little party.  They are planning another big event at the end of October, so stay tuned for more information as that time approaches.

NEW REVIEW: EXIT HUMANITY
    We have posted our review of this new zombie movie that takes place back in the days of the Civil War.  Head over to our Reviews section to read all the details.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's photo was from the cult film THE KILLER SHREWS.  That animal laying there in the photo is one of the worse makeup jobs on a dog, up until the little Dachshunds that were made up as giant rats in DEADLY EYES.  But we still enjoy the hell out of them anyway!  Kudos out to the following for sending in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Craig J. Clark, and Mike Shields.
    But don't get too excited for this new one.  I think this is going to be one of those stumps most of you out there, if not ALL of you.  Yes, that is a challenge.  It is an obscure one, so good luck.  You'll need it.  As always, just click HERE to send in your answer.

6-17-12  V.O.D., FRIENDS, & THE MEANING OF LIFE...
    Back in 1995, in the early days of internet, when magazines and fanzines were the main way to go for fans of movies (or just about any other type of fandom), a bunch of friends and me started our own sort of publication, which we called Visions of Darkness.  This wasn't your typical kind either.  Put together on Microsoft Publisher, cutting and pasting, and plenty of Xeroxing, it was more really just for the people involved as opposed to one that would be distributed to the outside world.   Not that I didn't try, mind you.  But V.O.D. was more of a small group of friends that would send in their own little newsletter to me, and then I would compile them together into one package and mail them back out to everyone.  It was a chance for us die hard fans to really talk about the genre and things in general that really mattered to us at that time.  Every page was created with such a passion and out of pure enjoyment.  We were doing this for ourselves.  In the 3 years that we worked on this, we created 13 issues.  It started with 5 of us: myself, Jon Stone, Max Meehan, Jeff Kurta, and Mark McConnaughey.  Over the years it was alive, some people joined the group, others left.  But the one thing that remained the same over the 3 years was the passion that we were putting in it.  It was giving everyone a chance to speak their opinion on whatever they wanted to, whether it was a recent movie they watched, a new book, or the last pilgrimage to a out-of-state convention.  You  have to remember that back in the late '90s, we didn't have a convention happening every month like there is now.  Or you didn't have the same kind of immediate reach of thousands of other fans that we have now with the internet.  This was a stage for us to speak our own gospel...the world of horror according to us.

     

    Some of the members in V.O.D. were good friends of mine, that are still friends to this day.  Unfortunately, even in the day of instant emails, texting and cell phones, it seems that we don't stay in touch as much as we use to.  Which is a damn shame.  So I wanted to give a special shout out to a few of those people involved.  Max Meehan was a young kid in California that I use to correspond with around that time.  Even at a young age, Max showed the passion and sense of humor that a lot of older fans never did.  We lost touch with him even before V.O.D. ended.  I have heard from him once or twice over the years, but miss having that connection with him.
    "Monster" Mark McConnaughey is the mad genius from Baltimore that got us hooked on Mexican horror films of the '50s.  While he's an admitted sci-fi geek more than a horror fan, he can still hold his own in any conversation on the subject.  Mark is like no one else I've ever met, who's passion for the fantastic cinema and comic books has made him the youngest old man I've ever met.  This is the guy that gave me, that's right...GAVE ME his issue of Fango # 9 because he knew it was the only one that I didn't have and he knew it meant more to me than to him.  Not too many people out there in the world like Mark.
    And then there is "Cool" Jon Stone.  Anybody that use to be a regular at Cinema Wasteland would always remember the skinny long haired guy set up next me, selling movies that most of the people there never heard of.  I had become great friends with Jon after trading movies with him for years.  It is because of this guy that I learned who Paul Naschy was, along with countless other obscure movies out there.  His passion for the obscure was amazing.  Not to mention him being just one of the nicest guys one could meet.  Jon has stopped doing shows a couple of years ago, and they are just not the same not having him around.
    But like all good things, Visions just didn't last.  As much as everyone wanted to be involved, it just started to get harder and harder to have everyone get their submissions in on time, which in turn made each issue come out later and later.  So after the 3 years and the 13 issues, I decided to pull the plug on the project.
    It was during this time that I started to fool around with my own website.  Granted, I can't even imagine what those first ones looked like, but I know that it, along with V.O.D., were the genesis of what you are looking at now.  This site was official born in October of 1998.  Granted, the look of it then was much different than what it looks like now.  You can even go back to see our Archive section from the first year we started saving the updates and see just how we've progressed over these 14 years.  That's right folks....14 years.  I know it is not the oldest horror website out there, though might be the oldest in the USA (If you know of an older one, that is still going now, we'd like to know about it).  But I think I could say that we are the oldest website out there that always has original material posted and not just news bits that have been cut and pasted from other sites.  What I try to give you here is my own spin, in my own words, of the things that are going on in the world of horror that I want to talk about.  It is too easy to just cut and past a news story from the countless other sites out there.  Just takes the passion right out of it, if you ask me, or doesn't really need any to do that.
    So what does this have to do with anything?  And where is the explanation of the meaning of life?  Well...I have no idea on both of those.  I just wanted to take a few minutes to explain that it is very easy to forget what is important in our lives with all the other crazy stuff that goes on every day.  But having a passion for something in life, really is what makes it so special.  And having good friends and family to share that passion with makes even more incredible.  So thank you to those out there that I count as friends.  You mean the world to me.  Thank you for letting me share my life and my passions with you.

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: THE PACT
    We have a new review posted in our Soundtrack section.  This time out it is for the film THE PACT, with the music compose by Ronen Landa.  Head over to our Soundtrack Review section to see what we think of it.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our photo from last week was from Clive Barker's NIGHTBREED.  This has been one of my favorites from the very first time I saw the movie in the theater.  Just love it.  And so excited about getting to see the uncut version next month at the Terror in the Aisles.  Hopefully a lot of you out there can make their way to Chicago for this amazing event.  Anyway...back to the task at hand.  Kudos out to the following who correctly identified the photo:  Todd Barwick, Lyndell Clark, Chris Kinniery, Steve Sapsford, and Will Wilson.  Well done!
    Now on to this week's photo.  Might be a little easy...might not be.  Give it a peak and see what title comes to mind.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  And as always, good luck.

6-10-12  RAY BRADBURY - REST IN PEACE
    The genre of the fantastic lost one of their true leaders last week.  Ray Bradbury, who inspired multiple generations to never stop thinking and dreaming and using your imagination, passed away on June 5th after a long illness.  He was 91 years old.  He is one of the forefathers of the the fantastic genre, whether we're talking sci-fi, horror, or fantasy, his writing and creativity constantly told us to never stop looking beyond.  With over 500 published works, from short stories, novels, movie and television screenplays, he continued to use his imagination and gladly took us along each and every time.  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.
    This quote below is from his autobiography really stresses his outlook on life, one that I think we all should learn to follow.  If everyone could, then I think the world would be in a much better place.
    "In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior."

MONSTER MASH UP
    Next weekend, the Kryptic Krew will be heading up to Elgin for their Monster Mash Up event.  They had decided that Halloween was too far away, so they wanted to plan sort of a Halfway to Halloween event, which they have done just that.  There will be vendors selling art, oddities, books, and other interesting items, B-movies screening in a huge film room both days, independent films with guests/filmmakers present, costume contests, zombie pageant, and more.  Of course, we will be set up there with our usually selection of horror reference books, posters, t-shirts, and whatever else we decide to bring along.
    It starts at 5pm on Friday, June 22nd, from 5pm to 11pm and then on Saturday the 23rd, from 11am to 11pm.  Admission prices is only $2 for Friday and $5 for Saturday, and children under 12 are free.  How can you beat those prices!  It is located at the Haight Building in Elgin, 166 Symphony Way, on the corner of Douglas and Kimball.
    Come on out and bring the family for a great and monstrous time!  For more information, head over to their Facebook page HERE or just click on the banner below.

THE REAL CREEP BEHIND THE CREEPING TERROR
    In the annals of bad films, one that is at the forefront is the 1964 film THE CREEPING TERROR.  Basically a large carpet monster from outer space that roams around this town devouring everyone it comes across, in a film that has very little dialog due to sound issues so is narrated throughout most of it.  It is one that you will never forget after seeing it, as much as you might want to.  But it seems there is even a better story about the actual making of the film and the guy behind it, Art Nelson.  And thanks to filmmaker Pete Schuermann, he decided that the real story behind this film and the man who made it needed to be told.  And so was born CREEP!  This is a docu-drama that shows what really happened behind the scenes, with re-enactments of the movie, but also with interviews with the people that were involved in the picture.  Again, if you haven't seen the original film, it really is unbelievable how terrible, but entertaining, this movie is.
    For more information about this new documentary, head over to the official website HERE.  Not sure when this is going to get a release, but we'll be keeping an eye out for it and post it here when we do find out.

TERROR IN THE AISLES UPDATE - NEW GUEST ADDED
    Anne Bobby, one of the stars of Clive Barker's NIGHTBREED will be appearing at the Terror in Aisles event taking place on Friday the 13th, next month.  If you already didn't need an excuse to come out to this event, to get to see the uncut version of NIGHTBREED, on the big screen, with a theater full of like minded film fans, not to mention getting to also see the original HELLRAISER, then now you have one.
    There is no way that we will be missing this opportunity to see one of our favorite films in the version that the director had planned from the beginning.  We can't wait.  For more information about the show, head over to their Facebook page HERE.

LADY TERMINATOR COMES TO THE MUSIC BOX
    If you are a fan of cult and obscure cinema, then you need to make it out to the Music Box Theatre on July 20th for a screening of LADY TERMINATOR.  This is a film from Indonesia that was made in 1989 that is beyond explanation.  Taking more than a few cues from TERMINATOR, but also throwing so much absurdity in there that it just makes it for one hell of a enjoyable ride.  It is like no other film you've seen.  And now you will have your chance to see it on the big screen.
    And also that same night, they will be screening David Schmoeller's TOURIST TRAP, another great film that is very underrated.  I know we will be heading into the city for both of these films, so hopefully we will see you there.  Mark those calendars!
    For more info about the Music Box, head to their official site HERE.

HORROR HISTORY
    For this week's lesson, we are going to learn about a director that made some of the best in sci-fi horror, as well as some are more MST3K fodder.  But that is not to say all of them are not entertaining.  So let us get to classroom and find out more, shall we?

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our photo from last week was from SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.  Never thought you'd see a severed head from a Disney movie, did you?  Amazing that Disney actually cranked out a few movies that were actually pretty creepy and scary back in their day.  A round of applause to the only one that sent in the correct answer for our photo....Mr. Dave Canfield.  Well done, sir!
    So we thought we'd stay on the theme of severed heads for another week.  I mean...why not?  Maybe a few more people will be able to remember this one from one of our personal favorite movies.  Good luck.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.

6-3-12  RETURN TO THE KRYPT
    After last weekend's trip to Louisville for the Wonderfest Hobby Expo, we are back to our regularly scheduled updates!  And it's one hell of an update at that!  A new month, a new mission for the Army (if you haven't joined yet...what are you waiting for???) and the summer blockbusters are well underway...for better or for worse.
    But we did have an amazing time last weekend at the Wonderfest show and have definitely made plans to add that show to our yearly Kryptic World Domination Tour.  For all those that stopped by our table over the weekend, whether you were buying books or just stopping by to chat, one of the many great dealers that we met there, you are one of the reasons we had such a great time.  We do have our full report done and posted.  So just head over to our Convention Reports section, or you can just click HERE.

KANETO SHINDO - REST IN PEACE
    Shindo might not be a name that is that comes to mind when thinking of horror films, or just in general.  But in his very long career, making close to 50 films, Shindo made two horror films that are very memorable, becoming classics that every horror fan needs to see.  Making his first horror film as well as his first period piece in 1964 with ONIBABA, Shindo created a truly haunting film about two women struggling for survival in Japan in the 14th century.  The film is just stunning to watch and is one of our favorites.  In 1968, he followed it with KURONEKO, a tale about a couple of vengeful spirits attacking wandering Samurais.
    Shindo passed away last Tuesday at the age of 100, being the oldest active filmmaker in Japan, and the second oldest in the world!  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.  A great way to remember this talented filmmaker is to make sure his films stay alive.  So if you haven't seen ONIBABA or KURONEKO recently, or at all, then please take the time to change that.

HELLRAISER AT TERROR IN THE AISLES 10
    Clive Barker's directorial debut has been added as the second feature in next month's Terror in the Aisles, taking place at the Portage Theater on Friday, July 13th.  Not only will you be able to see the Cabal Cut of his film NIGHTBREED (being screened for the first time in the Midwest!) but will also have the chance to see HELLRAISER, the first and best in the long running film series.  Just like all the Terror events, there will be classic trailers, vendors in the lobby, and charity auctions for Vital Bridges, which is a great way to help people in need.
    For more information about this event, head over to the official Facebook page HERE.

DIABOLIQUE MAGAZINE
    In the last couple of months, we have discovered a new magazine that somehow we have been missing.  It is simply called Diabolique and is published in the U.K., which might be why we haven't come across it before.  But we've recently picked up a couple of their recent issues and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  The magazine is edited by Robert J.E. Simpson, who's name I remember from many different Hammer websites.  This man is one of us who is a die hard fan that is dedicating his life for the genre and working hard to get more and more information about it out there to the public.  In the recent issues of Diabolique that I have picked up they have had great articles on Bram Stoker, Christopher Lee, Montague Summers, and many other interesting titles.  This is stuff that you might not catch in other publications and are well written and informative.  The magazine is well laid out and just looks beautiful.
    Getting the issues might be a little tougher for us here in the states, but I do think it is one that is well worth seeking out.  For their official website, just click HERE.

NEW REVIEW: BEAST WISHES
    While at the Wonderfest show last weekend, we had the chance to see a new documentary on Bob & Kathy Burns called BEAST WISHES.  We loved it so much that we bought a copy and watched it again with my wife and son and wanted to get a review posted so more people can know about this great film.  So head over to our Reviews section and check out our full review.  And then go out and order your own copy of this great documentary.

PIRANHA 3DD SOUNDTRACK REVIEW
    We have posted our review of the latest score from Elia Cmiral, PIRANHA 3DD.  Not interested in seeing the movie, but the score is another thing.  Head over to our Soundtrack Reviews for our full report.

NEW REVIEWS IN OUR REFERENCE LIBRARY
    Slow but sure, we are adding more and more reviews of some of the reference books in our library, giving you an insight on the books we think you need to add to your collection, or avoid like the plague.  This time out we've added a few new titles in our Film Guides section.  So head over to our Reference Book Review section which is just a click away....Right HERE.

FILM FESTS ACROSS THE POND
    One of the things that we plan on doing once we win the lotto (oh yes...it will happen...as soon as I start buying them) will be to hit all of these great film fests that take place around the world.  Recently we  came across two of them that are happening in the UK that we would just love to attend.
    The first one is the 11th Fantastic Film Weekend, and have a incredible lineup for their 3-day event.  They will be screening a wide variety of film titles, like CAPTAIN CLEGG, CLASS OF NUKE 'EM HIGH, FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, FRIGHT NIGHT, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, PIECES, THE MONSTER SQUAD, THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT, THE SHADOW OF THE CAT.  Great stuff in there, folks.  This event takes place from June 15th through the 17th.  Better get those tickets now!  For all the details, you can get to their website by going HERE.
    Another one that we would really like to go to is the Hammer Has Risen From The Grave film fest, taking place at the Phoenix Square Theatre on July 13th and 14th.  They will be screening such classic Hammer titles and have a few guest stars such as Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro, Jacqueline Pearce, Vera Day, Madeline Smith, John Hough, Renee Glynne, and Carol Cleveland.  They haven't announced the film titles, but I have a feeling there might be one of those newly re-mastered prints that have been in the news lately.  None the less, I would love to be there.  Just click HERE to get to the official site for this event.

BIFFF REPORT
    While on the subject of film fests, our good friend Aaron Christensen traveled to Brussels last month to attend the 30th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, being able to crash with our other good friend Gert Verbeeck who lives over there.  Gert runs a great review website called Cult Reviews, which we have mentioned here before on this site.  He has posted his review of the festival, as well as reviews for a bunch of the films that played there.  There's plenty of interesting titles out there that quite haven't made it to the states yet.  But I'm sure they will at some point.  Just click HERE to get to Cult Reviews, or HERE to go directly to his festival report.

HORROR HISTORY
    Welcome back to class!  This week's lesson is about an actor that usually is recognizable when you see him, but may not remember from where.  We're going to try and change that.  So head over to the classroom and don't be late!

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Once again, we think we pull out a tough photo thinking nobody would get it and you come through and show me I'm wrong.  Can't tell you how much I love the fact that people know these movies that well.  Well done!  Here's the ones that correctly identified our last photo:  Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Christopher Huziak, George Reis, Mike Shields, and Wayne Teeter.  The photo was from THE DEVIL'S NIGHTMARE.  Although, unless you've seen the uncut version of it, you might have missed that shot.
    So let's move on to this week's photo and see if this one is just as easy, easier, or maybe even just a little harder.  Take a peek and see what you can come up with.  Good luck!  Just click HERE to send in your answer.

5-20-12  ALMOST TIME FOR WONDERFEST
    Since we will be heading off to Wonderfest next weekend, now sure if we'll have an update or not.  We do have the following Monday off for the holiday, so maybe we'll get something...but no guarantees!  But if you're coming out to the Wonderfest show, please stop by our table and say hello.  My buddy Joe Wallace from Turntabling.net is coming out with us to help us out so we are both looking forward to a different type of show and looking to have a good time.  For more information about the show, just click HERE.

DRIVE-IN SUPER MONSTER RAMA
    After years of threatening to go, last year we finally made the trip to the Drive-In Super Monster Rama at the Riverside Drive-In Pennsylvania (see our vacation report HERE).  And we just had a blast.  Now they have just announced this year's lineup and they have another incredible list of movies.  What sucks is that it is the same weekend of the HorrorHound Weekend in Indy, so there is no way we could even think about going.  But I would highly recommend this event to anyone that can make it.  Such a good time.
    The event takes place on Sept. 7th & 8th.  Here is what will be showing.  On Friday: THEATER OF BLOOD, HORROR HOUSE, EQUINOX, and SON OF THE BLOB.  Then on Saturday, get ready for your shot of Hammer Horror when they screen TWINS OF EVIL, COUNTESS DRACULA,  RAW MEAT, and PSYCHOMANIA.
    For all the information, head over to DVD Drive-In for all the details.

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE POSTER GALLERY
    We've added a ton of new posters to our Poster Gallery.  If you haven't checked out that part of our site, I strongly suggest you take a few minutes and browse through some of the incredible artwork we have on display.  Because that really is what these posters are...artwork.  And not only that, but it seems a truly lost art form, or at least one that isn't practiced nowhere near as much as it should be.
    We have a bunch of new ones in our Misc. section, but also some new ones in the Naschy exhibit and the Hammer one as well.  Just click HERE to get there.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Welcome back folks!  Pretty impressed with the all the correct answers on last week's photo.  I thought I had come up with another one to stump everyone.  The shot was from the highly underrated film CURSE OF THE LIVING CORPSE.  It is on a double feature DVD with HORROR OF PARTY BEACH, which I highly recommend you pick up if you don't have it in your collection.  Here are the ones that did send in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Gregory Avery, Aaron Christensen, Christopher Huziak, Michael Shield, and Alan Tromp.  Well done, lads!
    But don't get too comfortable...because we're going to go even deeper into the vaults for this one.  Good Luck!  Just click HERE to send in your answer.

5-13-12  JIM ISAAC - REST IN PEACE
    Yes, it seems we start off yet another update with the announcement of another passing.  Starting to really be a drag.  Director Jim Isaac passed away on March 6th due to some sort of blood cancer.  He was barely in his '50s.  While he started in the business in special effects, working on some pretty big name movies, like RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983), GREMLINS (1984), and THE FLY (1985), it wasn't until he got behind the camera and directed that the horror genre became aware of this young director.  His first feature, HORROR SHOW, was pretty much a fitting name due to the battles the film had with the MPAA.  What was released was butchered far more than anyone in the film.  Even in his next film, he would have to fight to get what he wanted on screen.  And that film was JASON X (2001).  Now I avoided this film for a long time because...well to be quite honest the whole "Jason in space" idea just lost me at the very start.  But once I got off my butt and actually watched it, I found it to be one of the most entertaining entries in the FRIDAY series.  His next film was SKINWALKERS (2006), a werewolf movie that I still haven't seen.  But his last film, PIG HUNT (2008) is just a hoot!  Just a fun movie, not to be taken seriously, but a great and crazy story, filled with even crazier characters.  And music by Les Claypool of Primus.  How could  you go wrong?
    So I guess this is the one comfort that we, as horror fans, can take from this.  Because of Isaac's work in the horror genre, we will always have his movies.  So no matter how long he has been gone, whether it is a week or years, we can still pop in our copy of JASON X and think "Damn...this guy actually made a movie pretty damn entertaining movie!"  Even more so since it was the 9th sequel to made for a series that should have been dead years ago.  So our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this dark time.  As we always say, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

CINEMA WASTELAND REPORT
    We have finally finished our Wasteland write up and have it posted with plenty of photos.  Just head over to our Convention Reports and look for the latest one in the Cinema Wasteland reports.  Or you could just click HERE.

GHOST STORY / CIRCLE OF FEAR FINALLY COMES TO DVD!!!
    Words can not describe how excited I am about this news.  It has been quite some time since was this excited for something to get a DVD release.  Could it be that this was the series that I remember watching each and every week when I was only 7 years old?  That some of those images and stories had stayed imprinted on my psyche right from that very first viewing.  Sure, TWILIGHT ZONE and NIGHT GALLERY were great, but neither of them made the impact on me like the series GHOST STORY, which later became CIRCLE OF FEAR.
    William Castle, always seemingly trying to follow in the footsteps of Hitchcock, developed a TV series that would have a different story each week.  Hosted by Sebastian Cabot, each week he would introduce a spooky story.  The pilot episode was originally aired in March of 1972.  I don't recall seeing that one, but do remember being their for the series, which made it debut on September 15th, 1972 with an episode entitled The Dead We Leave Behind, starring Jason Robards.  There were images in this one that stayed with me for years.  There was another episode starring a very young Jodie Foster and some little voodoo dolls made out of cookies, which was written by famous author Robert Block.
    After 13 episodes, the title was changed to CIRCLE OF FEAR and they dropped the host set up.  It only went for another 9 episodes, but contained some more great stories, such as Dark Vengeance which is about a curse wooden toy horse and stars Martin Sheen, or Death's Head starring Janet Leigh about a woman who is haunted by her dead husband.
    The number of stars that they had appearing in these shows was just staggering.  Granted, these were stars from that time period and may be lost on today's younger fans.  But back then, these were big names.  People like Helen Hayes, Melvyn Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Angie Dickinson, Stella Stevens, Karen Black, Carolyn Jones, Meg Foster, Mariette Hartley, and many others.  Plus, the stories were written/adapted by some pretty top genre writers like Richard Matheson and even Hammer's own Jimmy Sangster.
    Okay, so while these are only the made-to-order DVD-Rs from Warner Archives, it is still the complete series, featuring all 23 episodes (including the original pilot) and is only $44.95.  With close to 20 hours of '70s spooky entertainment, that is well worth the money.  I know we will be adding this to our collection very soon.  For more information on this set, just click HERE.

THE CHICAGO CREEPOUT
    Our good friend and fellow horror deviant Kristin Wicks (aka Kreeplady Kristin) is now writing an online column for Chicago Now called The Chicago Creepout.  Here she fills us in with all the cool horror related stuff and events that are happening in the Chicagoland area, or just speaking what is on her mind.  If you're in the area, then make sure you bookmark this page and check on it often.

NEW SOUNDTRACK REVIEWS
    It seems we are on a trend with soundtrack reviews for remakes lately.  This time out, we have reviews of Ennio Morricone's score for Argento's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1999) as well as Bobby Johnston's score for Darren Lynn Bousman's remake of MOTHER'S DAY.  Head over to our Soundtrack Review section in our Reviews section, or by clicking HERE.

TERROR IN THE AISLES 10 - NIGHTBREED UNCUT!
    Making its Midwest premiere on July 13th at Terror in the Aisles 10 will be Clive Barker's NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT.  This is the uncut version that has all the footage that was cut out that is being restored back into the film, thanks to the hard and dedication to Serpahim Films' Mark Miller.  What is being called the THE CABAL CUT is 2 hours and 35 minutes long and was recently screened at the Mad Monster Party convention on the East Coast.  There was a version screen at a HorrorHound show back in 2010, but that was a rough cut that had reshoots in there, showing some sequences twice that were filmed slightly different.  But this version is the one that is being re-mastered and re-edited to get as close to the original version that Clive Barker first envisioned.  And now Chicago fans will have their chance to see it on the big screen.
    The doors open at 7pm and the film starts at 8pm.  There will be an additional feature screening afterwards, but it has not been announced yet.  Mark Miller and Russell Cherrington will be guests there who will discuss the preservation of this classic movie, which is definitely one of my favorites.
    Like all TITA events, there will be vintage trailers, vendor tables, and a live charity auction for Vital Bridges.  Stay tuned for more details.

POSSESSION AT GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER
    Looking for one of the strangest films out there?  Then make plans to head over to the Gene Siskel Film Center to take in a screening of Andrzej Zulawski's 1981 film POSSESSION, starring Sam Neill and Isabella Adjani.  According to the director and how he pitched the film to Paramount, it is “A film about a woman who fucks an octopus”.  But it really is so much more than that.  Granted, understanding just what "that" is, is a whole other story.  It is like no film you've seen before, or probably will ever again.  But it is one that you will never forget.  The performances are incredible, especially that of Adjani.
    It will be playing on Sunday the 20th, at 5pm, on Monday the 21st at 7:45pm, and on Wednesday the 23rd at 8pm.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend you checking it out.  Your life will never be the same!  For more info on the screenings and the Film Center, just click HERE.

HORROR  HISTORY
    This week, we're going to cover a name that was one of many that help make the Universal Classics that we know today.  So get your notepad and pencils (this will be on the test) and head over to the classroom.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    I knew our last one was going to be tough, only because there are so many killer gator movies out there, so picking the right one is a lot tougher than you'd think.  But in fact, the pic was from the Italian film KILLER CROCODILE.  And if you've seen this one, you know there is a lot of cheese here.  In fact, there is so much cheese in that movie that there was enough left over to make a sequel!  But thanks to all those that send in their guesses anyway.  Just never know unless you try.  Here are the ones that did send in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Christopher Huziak, Chris Kinniery, and Raymond Rich.  Well done!
    Let's get to this week's photo.  Going black and white on this one.  So take a good look and see if you can figure which movie this little head shot came from!  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  Good Luck!

5-6-12  THE KRYPT IS GOING TO WONDERFEST
    Every Memorial Day Weekend for over 20 years, Wonderfest Hobby Expo has been talking place in Louisville Kentucky.  And for probably the last 10 of those years, we've been toying with the idea of heading down there to set up.  But for some reason, we never make it.  But this year, we have decided to take the plunge and have gotten a table for this year's show, which takes place in a few weeks.  One of the reasons that we decided this at the last minute is that we have been getting more and more tired of the typical conventions these days.  They all seemed to have turned more and more into autograph shows, with the prices of those getting ridiculously higher and higher.  So while we were debating doing another show, and talking it over with a good friend (thank you Don!), we decided on Wonderfest.  Yes, they do have a few celebrities there, and don't really know if they charge for signatures or not.  But this show is really about the dealers room, which is predominantly filled with model dealers.  Being semi-retired armature model painter, I know it is going to be tough for me not to be tempted by the other dealers.  So we are really looking forward to see a different crowd than we've normally been seeing over the years.  If it turns out to be worth while, then I think we'll be adding this show to the normal part of our Kryptic World Tour schedule.
    For any and all information about the show, just head over to the official site by clicking the banner below.

TWINS OF EVIL DVD
    This is something that Hammer fans have been waiting for a very, very long time.  I can remember the VHS for this title going for a hefty price back in the day.  It has been released outside of the US a couple of different times, but for some reason it has never gotten a DVD release here in the states, until now.  After the spectacular job they did with their VAMPIRE CIRCUS release, Synapse Films will be releasing TWINS OF EVIL on July 10th.  They have restored the uncut film in an all new 1080p high-definition transfer in anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen transfer.  It will be so great to see this film in all its glorious color and it will be packed full of extras, including a feature length documentary on the making of the film, called "The Flesh and the Fury: X-posing TWINS OF EVIL".  This is an 84 minute long documentary that covers Hammer's Karnstein trilogy, which features interviews with director John Hough and star Damien Thomas, as well as other names like director Joe Dante, Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas, and more.  Really hope they were able to get the Collinson twins in there somewhere!  None the less, we are very excited about this film (and the documentary) since it is one of our favorites from Hammer.
    The retail price on this will be $29.95.

ZOMBIE NIGHT AT THE DRIVE-IN
    Honestly, I didn't even know this drive-in theater was still running, but apparently it is!  So what better way to show this theater isn't dead, than to show a couple of zombie movie classics!  On Thursday May 17th, the Cascade Drive-In in West Chicago will be screening Edgar Wright's SHAUN OF THE DEAD and George Romero's original DAWN OF THE DEAD.  Presented by WBEZ 91.5FM, the show starts at 8pm and is only $15 a car.  For more information, just click HERE.

NEW REVIEW: UNMASKED BY KANE HODDER
    We have posted our review of Kane Hodder's autobiography, UNMASKED.  We also have changed our Reference Book Review section around a bit, making all of the reviews on one page.  So no need to be jumping between different pages.  So to get there, just head to our Reference Book Review section by clicking HERE.

NEW REVIEW: CREATURE
    We had hope to have this posted last week, but just didn't get it finished in time.  But now you can read our thoughts on this movie that undeservedly set a record for the worst box office opening.  Just head over to our Review Section to read our thoughts on this swampy monster movie.

KILLER DOUBLE FEATURE COMING TO PORTAGE THEATER
    Chicago filmmaker John Borowski will be screening two of his serial killer documentaries at the Portage Theater on May 31st, starting at 8pm.  The first film is HH HOLMES: AMERICAN'S FIRST SERIAL KILLER deals with the man who created his own 'death house' in Chicago, killing numerous people during the World's Fair.
    The second feature, ALBERT FISH, starts at 9:30pm and is about the shocking serial killer that was a sadomasochistic cannibal who did things truly beyond belief.  There are  parts of this film that disturbed me more than anything I'd ever seen or heard before.
    Borowski is currently finishing up his latest film on "historical horror", with his latest subject being Carl Panzram, which will be screening at the Portage on August 12th.  Borowski will be there for a Q&A and autographing DVDs after the shows.  Tickets for both features is only $10.  For more information, head over to Borowski's own home page HERE or the Portage Theater's page HERE.

ROSEMARY'S BABY SOUNDTRACK COMING
    In honor of the upcoming Mother's Day holiday, La-La Land Records has announced that they will be releasing this Tuesday a limited edition CD of one of the classics in the horror film genre, ROSEMARY'S BABY.  Scored by Polish jazz musician Christopher Komeda, including the main theme which features Farrow singing, this is one memorable score.  This release from La-La Land, with only 3000 made, will feature the complete score that was originally released on LP, but will also have the complete score tracks, source music and bonus tracks.  The liner notes were written by John Takis who discusses the score.  There is also an essay by Scott Bettencourt on the film's production  and a small history of the composer Komeda, who passed away back in 1969.  The limited edition CD will be $19.98.  For some reason, there is no information about this release on their website, but it is listed on their Facebook page.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week we take a look at one of Italian's masters of cheesy exploitation films.  From horror to action to nunsploitation, he did them all, with little or no money.  So head over to the classroom to learn a little more.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    It seems our last photo was a lot tougher than I thought it would be.  The man standing with his back to us is none other than Captain James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner.  And the film is the 1975 movie THE DEVIL'S RAIN.  Making his return to the Mystery Photo challenge after a couple of weeks was Hoby Abernathy, as well as Christopher Huziak for sending in the correct answer.  Welcome back, Hoby.
    Our newest photo might be a little cheesy, but it is definitely fun.  Take a peek at it and see what you come up with.  Keep in mind, there are a few of these types of movies out there lurking in the depths.  So good luck.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.

4-29-12  THEY GO IN 3's
    A few of week's ago, we lost director Robert Fuest, and now we have lost two more, both with last names starting with F.  How strange is that?  Actor William Finley passed away on Saturday the 14th, at the age of 69.  Fans of the horror films of Tobe Hooper and Brian DePalma are going to know this strange and bizarre actor for the performances he gave in their movies.  Most notably is his role as the title character in THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, in DePalma's strange musical take on THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.  He also appeared in DePalma's SISTERS (1973) where he was extremely creeping in, and THE FURY (1980) and Tobe Hooper's EATEN ALIVE (1977) and THE FUNHOUSE (1981).  In EATEN ALIVE, his performance will make you scratch your head more than once.  But always entertaining.
    On Friday the 13th, we lost one of the most iconic vampires of our time, Jonathan Frid, who gave life to Barnabas Collins in the TV soap opera (and later movie) DARK SHADOWS.  Frid joined the soap opera after it had already been on the air, breaking new life into the series, making it a huge hit after that.  The series ran from 1966 to 1971, bringing gothic horror to the TV for a ton of young fans.  Frid appeared in the movie version of the series, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, which was just a retelling of the series, as well as appearing in the TV movie THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER and Oliver Stone's directorial debut, SEIZURE (1974).  With Tim Burton's version of DARK SHADOWS about to hit the screens, the original series will get the much needed exposure to the newer fans today that missed out on it when it was original on.  That is the one good thing about remakes...at least it brings attention to the original.
    So our thoughts go out to the friends and family of both William Finley and Jonathan Frid.  Like we always say, because of their performances, they will never be forgotten.

    

NEW REVIEWS: DEAD WEIGHT & TERROR OF DRACULA
    Since we missed our update last week, not only are we back, but we have 2 new movie reviews, and 2 soundtrack reviews!  Can't say we haven't been busy!
    First up, I know we've been going on and on about DEAD WEIGHT, mainly since it was made by some good friends of mine.  But we have posted our official review of the film so you can read a little more in depth look at this great little movie.
    We also have a review for an old new movie.  Make sense?  Well, it is for a new movie that is made to look like it was made in the early '80s, like something you'd see on the BBC.  We first came across this film in a recent Fangoria and the incredible poster art (feature to the right) immediately grabbed my attention.  And now, a short time later, we have our review of the film posted.  So please just head over to our Reviews section to read our reviews of these two films.

SOUNDTRACK REVIEWS: DARK SHADOWS...BOTH OLD AND NEW
    We also have two new Soundtrack Reviews, both dealing with the same film.  Sort of.  First, we have a review of Danny Elfman's score for Tim Burton's latest remake, DARK SHADOWS.  Granted, not sure if there was anything out there that would get me to want to see that movie after seeing the trailer, but Elfman's score certainly didn't change that.  But to cleanse our pallet with something more like it, we have also posted our review of the score from the previous DARK SHADOWS movies, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS by Robert Cobert, both released on a single disc by Rhino Records back in the '90s.
    Head over to our Soundtrack Review section to hear more of our thoughts on these releases.

C2E2 REVIEW
    We have our little report of our recent trip to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo.  Granted, it is not as expansive as our normal show reports, but there's a couple of good photos at least...and some bitching.  But then again, what do you expect?

HORROR HISTORY
    Welcome back class...after our little break.  This week's lesson is about someone that you've probably heard their work instead of seeing.  Especially if you grew up in the late '60s / early'70s and watched a lot of TV.  So head over to the classroom and lets get started, shall we?

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Since we didn't have an update last week, you had an extra week to figure out our last Mystery Photo.  I will say that was surprised to see as many people get this as they did.  I was thinking it was a little more obscure for most fans.  So good job!  The ones that sent in the correct answers were:  Aaron Christensen, Ken Johnson, Ryan Lieske, Mike Shields, Steve Sapsford, Wayne Teeter, and Joe Wawrzyniak.  Well done, folks!  The film in question was DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS, from 1971.
    Now our latest photos might be an easy one, but we grabbed a shot that might make it a little tougher.  We'll see.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  As always...Good Luck!

4-15-12  DEAD WEIGHT
    "I hate low budget films."  That is the response that I was told I gave John Pata years ago when he was telling me about his short zombie film BETTER OFF UNDEAD.  Which really is a true statement, only because a majority of the ones that I had seen were just terrible.  But John wanted me to take a look at his film and give him some feedback, both good or bad...even after my warning.  Turns out, I actually liked the film and thought for what it was, it was a pretty fun short film, even if it is a zombie story filled with dick jokes.  But none the less, it showed that this guy was a lot more talented than one would think.
    Years later, we learned that John was going to be making a feature film, but something totally different than BOU.  Needless to say, since getting to John even more, we were curious to see what he was going to come up with.  Over the next year or so, we would hear more and more about DEAD WEIGHT.  A bunch of our friends had worked on the film in some capacity, so it was really becoming this big project that we were really looking forward to seeing.  After missing out on the advance screenings (which we are still bummed about), it finally came out on DVD and we got a copy in the mail.
    So after hearing about this film for well over a year, was it really worth it?  Damn straight!  Pata and co-writer/co-director Adam Bartlett has created an incredible moving and realistic tale of what people go through when a catastrophe happens.  As the saying goes that humans "are at their best when things are at their worst", that isn't the case for everyone.  And as sad as that is in reality, DEAD WEIGHT shows a powerful example of that.  Is it a horror movie?  Well, going by my standard question "what is the filmmaker trying to make you feel?", then yes...it is a horror movie.  Because when you take a look inside the human mind and the demons that may lay within, it can be very frightening.
    This movie is now available on DVD, which can be ordered at their official website HERE.

TRIPLE FEATURE HORROR SCREENINGS AT MIDWAY DRIVE-IN
    Next weekend, at the Midway Drive-in in Dixon, Illinois, they will be having a horror triple feature.  We've been out to the Midway a few times and it really is a great place.  Great movies, with a killer concession counter, you will have your eye full of horror and your stomach full of great drive-in food.
    And just what are they showing?  How about starting with the Hitchcock classic PSYCHO, followed by Kevin Tenney's NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, and then Stuart Gordon's RE-ANIMATOR to end the night.  And just when you think it couldn't get any better, it is only $10 per person (children are only $4).  $10 for 3 classic movies on a huge 90 foot screen...how could you go wrong?  We are planning on packing up the Kryptic van and bringing the family out for a night of great movies & great food.  Hope to see you there.
    For all the information, just click HERE.

HORRORHOUND CONVENTION REPORT
    We've got our report posted from our first convention of the year, the HorrorHound Weekend in Columbus that happened at the end of March.  Pretty impressed with how quickly we got this done, since our reports from last year's shows seemed to take forever!  But this one is a pretty good size report, with plenty of photos.  Head over to our Convention Reports section and look for the latest HorrorHound one.  Or...you could just click HERE.

CORALINA AT NEW YORK ARGENTO FILM FEST
    For New York residents, this is just a reminder about a Dario Argento film festival taking place in New York.  We've mentioned it before, but here's a little more news about one of the screenings.  On Friday, April 27th, actress Coralina Cataldi Tassoni will be doing a Q&A at the screening of OPERA.  Not sure if the Q&A is first or the movie, but it all starts at 7pm and is at the Museum of Arts & Design.  They are also showing MOTHER OF TEARS (another film that Coralina appeared in) on Saturday, April 21st at 3pm.  If we were anywhere close to NY, we would be all over this.  If anybody is able to make it out for, if you get a chance to see Coralina, tell her we said HI and that Chicago misses her!
    For more information about the event, just click HERE.

HORROR HISTORY
    Hello Class.  Hopefullly everyone rested up since last week?  Good.  Let us get to the classroom so we can learn about a man whose hard work can be seen in the movies, if only for a second, but gave a huge impact on the look of them.  Just click HERE to find out who we are talking about.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo seemed to stump a lot of our regulars this time out.  The shot was from David Schmoeller's CRAWLSPACE.  If you haven't seen this movie, then I suggest you seek it out.  It stars Klaus Kinksi and is worth watching even just for him.  Not to say the movie isn't good, because it is.  Kinski just puts it into another level.  Well done to Steve Sapsford and William Wilson for sending in the correct answer.
    But unfortunately, I think this week's photo just might be even tougher!  So you are really going to need to pay attention to the photo and see if you can recognize where this shot is from.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And as always, Good Luck!

4-8-12  CONVENTION SURVIVOR
    Yes folks, we are still alive.  Though, with the lack of sleep we got at the shows, it is amazing that we did make it.  Needless to say, we had an unbelievable time at both HorrorHound Weekend and the Cinema Wasteland shows for many different reasons.  We will have detailed reports on both shows, with plenty of photos.  We came back with some great memories, plenty of photos, a new interview, and a few little items for our collection.  So stay tuned for those in the near future.

ROBERT FUEST - REST IN PEACE
    Fuest is one of those directors that didn't turn out that many films, but the ones that he did were quality work.  Starting out working as a production designer and working on several episodes of the British TV series The Avengers, he eventually made way behind the camera directing several episodes of the famous show.  He then moved into movies, where his first film was AND SOON THE DARKNESS (1970), a horror/thriller staring Pamela Franklin.  While he didn't direct too many movies, the other three horror films that he did are the ones that he is most famous for: THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971) and DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN (1972), both starring Vincent Price, and THE DEVIL'S RAIN (1975), starring Ernest Borgnine and William Shatner.  All three of those films deserve their 'classic' status.
    Fuest passed away on March 21st, but his films will still be watched by older and newer fans each and every year.

KRYPTIC ARMY UPDATES
    I believe we've picked up a few more recruits over the last two weeks from our convention tour, so hopefully we'll see some more names popping up.  We're already a little more than a week into this month's mission, so hopefully everyone is having a good time.
    We have added another photo of one of last year's Army Winners in our Army page.  So if you are new to the Army, you can see what kind of prizes that you have the chance to win by joining in each month.  Of course, we are STILL waiting for the photos for the rest of last year's winners.  That means you, Anna, Damien, Erik, Scott, Patrick and whoever else I might have missed.  All we're asking for is a photo.  Step up, soldiers!

CHICAGO FILM FESTIVALS
    We have a couple of film festivals coming up soon here in the Chicago area that hopefully everyone knows about.  The first one is the Chicago Fear Fest, which is taking place next weekend at the Muvico Theaters in Rosemont, Illinois.  They are showing films all weekend long, starting on Friday the 13th.  Some of the titles they are screening are REC 3, JUAN OF THE DEAD, Wisconsin's own DEAD WEIGHT, and plenty more titles.
    Then on April 28th at the Portage Theater in Chicago, there is the Sci-Fi Spectacular 6.  Not only are there great films playing there, but it is also the chance for you to come out and show support of the Portage Theater.  Now is the time to do that since the fight to keep the doors open is not over yet.  So come out, find out what you can do and let's keep it running so more shows like this can keep happening.
    The doors open at 11am and the fun starts at 11:30 with trailers and such.  Then below is the list of films playing:

  • Noon - Little Shop of Horrors (Original Corman Classic!)

  • 1:30 - The Last Starfighter (80's Awesomeness!)

  • 3:15pm - Brazil (The Ultimate Dystopian Future!)

  • 6pm - Night of the Comet (star Kelli Maroney in Person!)

  • 8:15pm - 12 Monkeys (Gilliam's Modern Masterpiece!)

  • 10:30pm - Attack the Block (Monster Mayhem!)

  • Midnight - The Theatre Bizarre (Midwest Premiere!)

THE COST OF LEARNING
    Being a collector of horror reference books, and one that is always perusing places like eBay for some titles to add to our collection, it just amazes me sometimes at the prices that are being asked for some of the books out there.  I completely understand that there are some books that are rare and finding a copy is pretty tough, so therefore the prices are going to be a little higher.  Try finding a copy of Paul R. GagneI's The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh.  Usually those go for way over $100.  But it all comes down what it is worth the buyer, and why.  If you are a collector that just has to have that in your collection, then more power to you.  But what amazes me are some of the prices that people are listing the books for.  Recently on eBay, I seen a listing for Barry Keith Grant's The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film that was listed at $473.73!!!  Granted, it was for a hardcover edition, but seriously?  Almost $500?  Sorry folks, no matter how much of a die-hard collector I am, there is no way I'm putting that much money into a single book.
    For those out there that are looking for another horror reference book for their collection, follow three simple rules: Research, Search, and Wait.  Research the title you're looking at.  What are the prices normally going for.  This gives you an idea of what you might be paying.  Then search the web.  Look on ebay, on Amazon, discount book sellers, where ever you can find.  And then save those places so you can always check back with them.  You'd be amazed at some of the low prices you can find on books that are going for high prices else where.  And lastly, you wait.  If you can't find a certain title without paying an arm and a leg, simply wait.  With all of your searching, you never know when you might stumble on that title at a very low or at least reasonable price.  Can't tell you many times I've paid under $10 for a book that normally goes for 3 to 5 times that amount.  For the Grant book we mentioned earlier, by doing a quick search on Amazon, we found another listing for hardcover edition for only $100.  Granted, that is still way too high for us, but we just wanted to show that by doing a little research, you can save a lot of money.  Also, you can get a paperback version of that same book for around $10 too.
    So take this little bit of advice, whatever it is worth, from someone who has been collecting horror reference books for over 20 years.  Our goal is the same as it always has been: to help other horror fans learn more about the history of this great film genre.  And reading horror reference books is a great way to do that.

NEW REVIEW: HOSTEL 3 SOUNDTRACK
    We've posted our review of Frederik Wiedmann's score for HOSTEL 3.  Even though we're not a big fan of the movies doesn't mean we can't enjoy the soundtrack.  Head over to our Soundtrack Reviews for more details.

HORROR HISTORY
    Welcome back to class after a two week break.  Hopefully everyone has come back to class prepared for this week's lesson?  So let us start by traveling to Spain, back in the '70s, to a man responsible for cranking out several great Spanish horrors.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the classic sci-fi horror film FIEND WITHOUT A FACE, that had one of the most original monster in film history.  Just a damn shame that we don't see them until the very end of the movie.  But none the less, one that is well worth watching.  Kudos out to the following scholars who sent in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Dan Brenneis, Craig J. Clark,Don Crabtree, Dave Friedman, Chris Kinniery, and Mike Shields.  Well done, people.
    So let us get to this week's photo.  Might be easy to spot right away...or maybe not.  Take a peek and see what you think.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And as always, Good Luck!

3-18-12  CONVENTION TIME!
    There most likely won't be any updates in the next couple of weeks.  Unless we get really inspired and have the time, or maybe just a quick one to let you know that we have survived the shows.  But next weekend is the HorrorHound Weekend, making their debut in Columbus Ohio.  The following weekend, we head to Cleveland for the Cinema Wasteland show.  Both shows have great lineups and we are really looking forward to having a incredible time.  The whole Kitley crew is coming to both shows so we look forward to seeing our convention friends and family.  That is really what is important, right?  After working week in and week out all year, us horror fanatics damn well deserve a weekend that we can just get our geek on and talk horror shop with other like minded movie fiends.  Can I get an Amen!  Alright, so those of those of you that are able to make it out to one or both of these shows, please be sure to stop by our table for a bit to chat!  And most of all, make sure you enjoy yourself!

THE FIGHT CONTINUES...
    The fight to save the Portage Theater continues.  Fans of this theater need to make sure that we are doing everything possible we can to show our support, and to let the right people know how important it is to keep this theater alive and running.  There is going to be a public meeting on Monday the 26th at the Portage Theater to find out what everyone can do to help save this historic theater and let it continue to bring great and entertaining events to the Chicagoland area.  I have been there countless times over the years and really would hate to see this venue destroyed, killing off another great old theater.  Every single person can do their part to help save this place.  Please, even if it is only writing an email/letter to the 45 Ward alderman (ward45@cityofchicago.org), it will help show the support we need.  So please take a few minutes and do what you can.

DARK SHADOWS TRAILER
    Okay...soapbox time.  While I am in that age bracket, I was not one of these that grew up watching the original Dark Shadows TV series.  I do remember watching a few of the episodes when they first started coming out on video.  Being a huge fan of Dan Curtis, I was loving pretty much anything that man had his hands in.  But maybe it was just at the wrong time, but I never got into the series.  I had seen the movie, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, based on the series, which I did enjoy quite a bit.  So when news of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were going to do their version of the old series, I was pretty excited.  Sure, I haven't much cared for quite a few of the last Burton films, but I had high hopes.  Until I seen the newly released trailer online a few days ago.  The first 45 seconds was exactly what I was expecting and it looked amazing.  After that, words can not express my disappointment.  But I'll try.
    Not sure where to start other than why not make it like the original gothic period piece, with drama and horror?  Why must we make it look like something like a cross between one of the ADDAMS FAMILY movies or one of the SCARY MOVIES franchise?  Sorry folks, but it just looked plain awful.  If you haven't seen the trailer, just click HERE.  From the lame jokes and cheesy dialog, it just made me cringe.  Reports are that Depp is suppose to be doing his version of KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER next.  Can't imagine how that is going to turn out. 

HUDSON HORROR SHOW
    While we here in the Chicago area have our fair share of movie marathons and film fests, every year when I see the ad for the Hudson Horror Show in Pennsylvania, it always makes me want to make the trip out there for it.  This is their 5th year holding their 12-hour movie marathon and it seems to just be getting better and better each and every year.  All the films are being screened from 35mm prints.  Maybe some day we'll get to make it out to one of them.
    But here is their lineup for this years show:  DAY OF THE DEAD, PHANTASM, FRIDAY THE 13th, THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES.  Plus, there will be a 5th feature which is a secret title that won't be announced until at the show.  For more information, just click HERE.

FRIDAY FRIGHT NIGHTS
    And speaking of film fests, once again we wish were were a lot closer to Oshkosh, Wisconsin (That's right, Pata...I said it).  The Time Community Theater has announced their lineup for this year's Friday Fright Nights, starting on April 6th.  They have some incredible titles playing this year, quite a few that we'd love to make that trip up there, especially ones like BRAINIAC and ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS.  Below is a list of the movies playing and the dates.  Just like last year, the doors open at 7:30pm and the movies start at 8pm.  And of course, the screening are all free!  For more information, head over to Oshkosh Horror.

  • April 6 - The Amazing Transparent Man
  • April 20 - Attack of the Crab Monsters
  • May 4 - Plan 9 From Outer Space
  • May 18 - Beach Girls vs. The Monster
  • June 1 - The Wasp Woman
  • June 15 - House on Haunted Hill
  • June 29 - Teenagers Battle The Thing
  • July 13 - House of Ghosts
  • July 27 - Invaders from Space
  • August 10 - Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory
  • August 24 - Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy
  • September 7 - The Snow Creature
  • September 21 - The Brainiac
  • October 5 - Night of the Living Dead

NEW BOOK REVIEW
    We had just finished reading Lance Henriksen's semi-autobiography and immediately wrote up our review of this compelling book.  Head over to our Biography section in our Reference Library to read more about it.  Definitely worth checking out.  The book, that is.  And the review too, I mean.

KRYPTIC ARMY
    Okay soldiers, this month is more than half over.  Still plenty of time to get those movies watched and report back to camp with the horrors that you've witnessed.  We've already gotten quite a few reports sent in for this month's mission, which you can read all about over on the Kryptic Army Message Board.  While we'd love to have everyone joining in the Army fun, feel free to make comments on the board if you want, even if you're not participating in the Monthly challenges.  Maybe we can convince you at some point to sign up!  Trust me, I think it will be a fun time and well worth your while.

HORROR HISTORY
    Okay class...the subject of today's lesson is that of an actor that might not have ever been the top star, he still appeared is some great work, including a couple of favorites of most "teenagers".  Head over to the classroom to learn more about this talented actor.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our photo from last week's update was from COUNT  YORGA, VAMPIRE.  A very memorable moment, though cat lovers didn't seem to care too much for it, but a powerful one.  Kudos to the following for sending in the correct answer:  Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Steve Sapsford, and Mike Shields.  Well done, people.
    For this week's photo, we're going back to the olden days of black and white for a classic monster movie.  Hopefully this one will be pretty apparent which movie this is.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And as always....good luck!

3-11-12  SAVE THE PORTAGE THEATER
    As reported right here on this website many, many times over the years, we have been going into Chicago to the Portage Theater for countless film festivals and events.  We have had the opportunity to meet some great people, making tons of new friends, see some great films on the big screen there, like RE-ANIMATOR, THE DEADLY SPAWN, THE TINGLER, and many more, all thanks to this theater and those that make those screenings possible.  There really is nothing like being able to see a film on the big screen, with an theater filled audience of like minded film fans.  It makes the experience even better than you can imagine.
    But now we are in danger of losing this historic theater to a church.  The Chicago Tabernacle is trying to purchase the building the theater is located in to turn it into a church, after having it re-zoned.  Not only would this mean we would lose this great piece of history, but that a lot of the local businesses and people living there will have to move as well.  I'm sure there are  plenty of other options for this religious group to find an outlet for their beliefs, and could leave this theater alone.
    The theater needs your help.  If you have ever come out to the theater for a movie, film fest, or whatever, please take a few minutes to send an email to the Zoning Board of Appeals and ask them to save the Portage Theater from being destroyed, keeping this great theater alive for not only our generation, but for the next as well, so they too can enjoy seeing films in a classic and historic theater, the way movies were meant to be seen.
    Please send a email to
ward45@cityofchicago.org and help save the Portage Theater.  Every single email helps.  So please take those few minutes and help this great and important cause.

FOR THE PASSION OF IT ALL
    In the world of horror fandom, there are many levels.  At the beginner level, we have the ones that just love horror movies and spend a lot of their time watching their favorite genre films, many of them over and over.  As we progress up, we see fans starting to delve deeper into the history of the genre, seeking out older and more obscure films than the ones that Hollywood is dishing out.  They might attend horror conventions to see their favorite stars or just to meet other like-minded fans.  And then there are the collectors.  Whether it is just DVDs or movies, or posters, toys, or whatever it may be, we are the ones that love to surround ourselves with images and memories from our favorite movies.  But best part is that it doesn't matter which kind of fan that you are, since there isn't one better than the other, only because we all love the horror genre and do what we can to keep it alive.  Years ago, long before this fancy internet thing, some of us horror fans felt like we were the only ones out there.  But that has all changed and now we have the chance now to discover a whole new world out there, with plenty of other people that have the same interests.
    But there is another level out there of the fandom that is not satisfied with just being a fan.  We are the ones that have this urge to try and spread the gospel, as it may be.  We want to find other people with the same interests so we can talk about these great movies.  So we create websites, review blogs, and fanzines.  I'm not talking about the ones that do this for a living since even though I might be jealous as hell of those people, they are still getting paid for it.  But for most of the people creating these things, present company included, do this strictly for the fun and the passion of it.  And that is all the payment we need.  Or at least until someone decides to bankroll us.  Then we'd gladly move up to the next level.
    The reason for this little dialog was to bring your attention to one of these guys that has been fighting the good fight with his fanzine Liquid Cheese for longer than I've known him, which has to be going on well over 10 years.  That man is Dave Kosanke.  Not even sure when exactly or how we met, probably trading video tapes through the mail or at some convention or memorabilia show, but we became good friends after that.  Dave's knowledge of not only the horror genre, but cult films in general is simply amazing.  The stuff that he not only remembers but pulls out of his cranium at a moments notice is astounding.  His printed fanzine brings back memories with each new issue.  Going back years before websites, blogs, and such, there was the fanzine that people were churning out.  Some were more professional than others, but the passion was there, which really is what counts.  With each issue of Liquid Cheese, with #32 just coming out, Dave gives us countless reviews, convention coverage, and some really interesting and unique articles that could only come from Dave's brain.
    So if you have never heard of Liquid Cheese, now is the time to change that.  If you are on Facebook, you can check out their page by clicking HERE.  There really is something to be said about holding a fanzine in your hands and reading through it.  So much different than looking at a computer monitor.  In fact, maybe one of these days, we'll tell our little story of little fanzine we did back in the day, called Visions of Darkness.  But that story is for another day.  If you're not on Facebook, send email Dave (HERE) and tell him you're interested in acquiring a copy of his mag.  Or if you're going to be at the up coming HorrorHound Weekend, you might be able to find a copy there either on the swag table or at our table.  If you're coming to Cinema Wasteland instead, then you might be able to get one from Dave himself, since he will be once again joining us for our bi-annual trip.
    No matter what, keep your passion alive for the genre anyway you can.  Whether it is doing your own thing, or just supporting someone else, we will keep pushing on.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about a guy who is credited with over 150 films (and probably plenty more that he is not credited in) including a couple of sci-fi/horror films, but for some reason his name is just not that well known.  So we're going to try and change that with this week's lesson.  So get to the classroom before the bell rings and make sure you're paying attention!

MYSTERY PHOTO
    This last one seemed to have stumped a few of you.  The shot was from the 1988 film SCARECROWS.  If you haven't seen it, now you have another good little film to add to your "to-watch" list.  Kudos out to the following that sent in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Erik Martin, and Will Wilson.  Nicely done, guys!
    So let us take a gander at this week's photo.  Ring a bell?  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And as always....good luck!

3-4-12  CONVENTION SEASON STARTS
    Going to be a busy month for us since we have two shows back to back at the end of the month.  The first one is the HorrorHound Weekend making their first appearance in Columbus, Ohio, on the 23rd to the 25th.  The following week, we head to Cleveland for the Cinema Wasteland show, which will be their 21st show!  Both shows have a great lineups and we are looking forward to seeing all of our convention friends again.  It's been a long winter since our last show in November, so we are chomping at the bit for this year's shows to start up.  Hopefully we'll see some of you there.  If you're going to one or both of these shows, please make sure you stop by our table to say hello.

FREE SCREENING OF THE BIRDS
    Chicago's Music Box Theatre will be having a free screening of Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS on March 27th, with special guest appearance by star Tippi Hedren.  The screening is part of Turner Classic Movies' Road to Hollywood tour.  Log on to tcm.com/roadtohollywood to get your free tickets, which will start to be available on March 13th.  I'm sure this might go pretty fast, so mark your calendar and get those free tickets!

ARMY COMES TO FACEBOOK
    In an attempt to get more discussions going on in our Monthly Missions, we've started a Facebook page for the Kryptic Army.  If you're a member and are on Facebook, please join the page and feel free to discuss the films from the current month's mission.  From your thoughts on your films, someone else's, to even just suggestions, let's get those discussions going.  You can get to the Army Facebook page by clicking HERE.  Don't forget that not only is the point of this monthly challenge is to get you to watch a couple of films that you haven't seen yet, but it will also give you the chance to talk about these films with other like-minded film fans.

HORROR HISTORY CONTEST
    Congrats to Wayne Teeter for being the winner in our Horror History Trivia contest.  He is now the proud owner of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE on DVD.  The answer was in fact cinematographer/director Karl Freund.  Thanks to everyone who sent in their answers, even if you were wrong, at least you're trying.  That is the important part.

HAMMER CALL FOR HELP IN RESTORATION PROJECT
    As a huge fan of Hammer films, we are very excited that they are moving forward with the restoration of their classic film catalog.  While I'm not to typically re-buy films when they are re-released on Blu-ray, but might be doing that with these Hammer titles.  Being able to see these films in the glorious color that they are known for, in high definition, will be something sort of a religious experience.  It doesn't sound like they are just transferring the older DVD prints to Blu-ray, but taking the time to make them look like they did in the first place.  Plus, whenever possible, they are trying to restore the films back to their original version, trying to find lost footage or scenes, and they could use everyone's help.  Below is a list of the next batch of films that they are going to be working on:

  • THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN

  • THE MUMMY

  • FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL

  • CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER (no missing footage known)

  • RASPUTIN THE MAD MONK

  • THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (no missing footage known)

  • THE MUMMY’S SHROUD (no missing footage known)

  • THE VIKING QUEEN

  • THE VENGEANCE OF SHE (no missing footage known)

  • SLAVE GIRLS (no missing footage known)

  • THE WITCHES (no missing footage known)

I know for a fact that there is some footage from FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL that has never been in any DVD release.  I know the Japanese laserdisc was the most complete version I've ever seen, featuring a lot of gore that is gone from most prints.  Hopefully they can locate that footage.  If you know of any source for footage for these releases, please contact them.  You can get all the information at their Restoration Blog.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about a guy who started his career as an actor for a famous British studio, but then eventually moved into the literary world.  Head over to the Horror History classroom to find out who.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's photo was from Stuart Gordon's DAGON.  I've always enjoyed that movie, thinking that Gordon did a pretty good job capturing the feel of Lovecraft.  Kudos the the following that correctly identified the movie:  Aaron Christensen, Craig J. Clark, Al Gerber, Martin Merriman, and Steve Sapsford.
    So let's take a peek at our latest photo and see if you can name where this pic is from.  Hopefully if you ever have to have some surgery, you have someone a little better at sewing than this guy did.  Just click HERE to send in your guess.  And as always....good luck!

2-26-12  BIG UPDATE!
    Okay folks, I think our update this week more than makes up for the small one last week.  We've got plenty in there, from new reviews (both soundtracks and books), a new convention report, and even a trivia contest for a new DVD.  Along with the regular news bits, mystery photo and a bit of ranting, there's plenty here to keep you busy for a few minutes.  So let us get to it!

LINA ROMAY - REST IN PEACE
    This is getting crazy.  It is beginning to seem that almost every update, we are start off with the death of someone.  This needs to stop.  Please.
    It didn't take long for the news to spread once it was announced, but a few days ago it was announced that Lina Romay passed away from cancer.  Any fans of cult movies knew Romay as the ever dedicated companion to director Jess Franco.  She appeared in a countless number of films in her career, usually for Franco.  And when she did, she was always memorable, one way or another.  She first appeared in film in Franco's 1972 film LA MALDICION DE FRANKENSTEIN (aka THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN) and that just started their 40+ history together.  She appeared well over 100 films, most of them for Franco, in staring roles like in THE FEMALE VAMPIRE or BARBED WIRE DOLLS or just bit parts here and there, she was always in there somewhere.  And if she wasn't acting, they she might have been working as a second unit or assistant director, or as a writer, editor, and even directing several features.
    I had the pleasure of meeting both Franco and Romay back in September of 2000 at a Chicago movie memorabilia show.  Not sure why there were there since they really seemed out of place.  But there were enough fans coming up to them that I think they had a sense that they had quite a few fans.
    Romay passed away at the way too young age of 57.  The cult cinema genre has truly lost an icon with her passing.  But as I mention with every passing of one of our favorite cinema people, because of their films, and because of fans like us, her memory and talent will never be forgotten.  For years to come, new fans will be discovering the delights of a Jess Franco film and be allured into by the beautiful Lina Romay.  She truly was one of a kind and will be missed greatly.
    Our hearts and thoughts go out to her friends and family and especially to her husband. 

CARPENTER COMES TO FLASHBACK
    I've been going to horror conventions for almost 25 years and over those years, I've seen most of the living horror icons out there.  Most of.  One of them that I haven't met yet is John Carpenter.  The man behind one of my favorite movies of all time, THE THING.  But thanks to Flashback Weekend, come August that is all going to change.  They have recently announced that Carpenter will be attending this year's Flashback Weekend, taking place on August 10th-12th.  This will be Flashback's 10th Anniversary show and we're proud to say that we've been to every single one of them.  Being from the Chicagoland area, its great to see a horror convention can keep coming back and consistently put on a great show for the fans.  Also, Carpenter will be introducing a screening of THE THING, for the 30th Anniversary at the Muvico Theaters in Rosemont, which is right next to the Crown Plaza where the convention is taking place.
    So start making your plans to attend this show this year.  They have plenty of other guests already announced, such as several from the FRIDAY THE 13th series.  For all the info, head over to their website by clicking HERE.  Hope to see you there!

HORROR HISTORY DVD PRIZE GIVEAWAY
    Okay folks, we have a brand new DVD of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE to give away.  This is a film that we just recently reviewed (click HERE) that stars Elizabeth Olsen and John Hawkes.  It is a dark tale of a young women trying to escape and forget her past, finding it very hard to do both.
    So...how can you win this DVD?  Well, as the regular followers of this site know, with each update we try and post a new entry into our Horror History, to try and help put the spotlight on some of the many people that have made the horror genre what it is today.  You can find all of the past entries in the Horror History link on the left side navigational bar, or just click HERE.  Now to make sure that you have been keeping up with your studies, we have described one of the entries below.  All you need to do is figure out who I'm talking about, and send me an email by clicking HERE.  All the ones with the correct answer will have their name thrown into a drawing.  Before our update the following weekend, we will draw a name from there and announce the winner in the update.  Ready?  Then read below and send me that email!

This person was a mad cameraman who had a love of filmmaking. He worked some famous German directors in his early years, moved to Universal to help with some classics,
even directing a couple.  He won an Oscar for his work in the '30s and was given another one for Technical Achievement department in the '50s.  Who Is He???

HAMMER HORROR SHIRTS
    Fans of Hammer Horror might want to check out some of these new shirts from a place called Disturbia.  They have 4 new designs based on films from Hammer studios.  One of them, with art from FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL, is pretty damn cool.  This looks like the only one that really has something to do from the movie.  The other three, The Mummy, Blood of the Full Moon, and Countess Dracula, are all just variations from those themes.  But the Frankenstein one, as you can see from the photo to the right, the artist captured the creature from the actual movie.
    Of course, the other issue, at least for us stateside folks, this company is in the U.K.  So with the most recent conversion, it is going to cost you about $50 for just one of these shirts.  So as cool as they are, I am going to have to pass on these.  Unless until I see one at a convention.  But even still, I would only be buying the FRANKENSTEIN one.  Not that the others are bad, mind you.  Just not what is in the movie.
    You can see the different designs by click HERE.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING HORROR...OR HAMMER AS THE CASE MY BE
    It's funny how things change over the years.  Back in the '30s, when Universal was unleashing their line of monsters, even though people were lining up to see them, they were never considered nothing more than cheap horror films.  Same goes for the ones that Hammer was putting out from their own critics.  From calling for a new rating for "Sadist Only" to apologizing to American audiences for something coming out of their country, these films were never considered high art.  But the funny thing is that people were still going to see them in droves.  That is the one thing that never changed over the years.  Even if horror films are the red-headed step-child, it is a very popular one.
    When George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD came out in 1968, the critics like Variety called it an "unrelieved orgy of sadism" and questioned "integrity and social responsibility of its Pittsburgh-based makers".  Other remarks, like the ones from Vincent Canby, critic for the New York Times, said it was a "junk movie" and "spare, uncluttered, but really silly".  Strange then that in 1999, the Library of Congress added to the National Film Registry with other films that were considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".
    Now that I'm done preaching to the choir, let us get to the reason for this little rant.  It had been recently announced that the Cinema And Television History (CATH) Research Centre at Leicester De Montfort University will be the official keeper of original scripts from Hammer studios.  With the revival of the Hammer Horror name and reputation, and with a lot of their classic films being re-mastered and restored, it finally seems that Hammer truly has risen from the grave.  And now it seems that these scripts will be cataloged and kept, but also making them available in a digital form to 'scholars'.
    I guess my whole point for this little rant is that for us horror fans, most of us already know the importance of these kind of movies, no matter what decade they came out of.  We know their significance and lasting impact on society as a whole, even if most don't want to recognize it.  And we know that at some point these movies that are being trashed by critics now might some day be considered classics and inducted into some Hall of Fame or Film Registry.  So we don't care what 'normal' people think or say about our genre.  We know.
    So the bottom line is that if you happen to be a younger horror fan (or even an order one) that seems to be alone in their fondness of these kind of movies, maybe even hearing from your parents, friends, or co-workers how bad they are, just remember that these films are just as much a part of art and history as GONE WITH THE WIND and countless other 'real' films.  Don't let anybody ever tell you different.

NEW REVIEWS
    We have a few different reviews in this week's update.  First up in our review of the soundtrack for THE WOMAN IN BLACK, by Marco Beltrami.  We also have posted our review of an autobiography of B-Movie actor Robert Clarke, probably best known from THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON.  You can find both of these reviews in our REVIEW section, one in the Soundtrack Reviews, and the other in our Biography Review section in our Horror Reference Library.

ARMY WINNER PHOTOS
    We've started to post the photos from our Kryptic Army winners for last year.  Now you'll be able to see some of the brave men and women who are fighting the good fight, each and every month.  Facing new challenges, making their way through their mission with determination and bravery.  And getting to watch a couple of horror movies while they're at it.  Just head over to the Army page and scroll down to the 2011 winners to see our Motley Krew of Kryptic Army members.  Pretty awesome people, if you ask me.
    We also want to throw a shout out to Severin Films for donating the two DVDs that were given away for prizes this time around.
    And if you are one of last year's winners and don't see your ugly mug up there....that means you haven't sent in your photo.  Don't make me trigger that self-destruct mode on your prize.  Just take a photo and send it to me.  Otherwise, things could get ugly.
    Sounds like a lot of fun, huh?  It is never too late to join the army and join in the battle.  Just join our mailing list and wait for that mission.  If you want more info, just go to our Army page for all the info.  Got any more questions?  Then drop me a line.

CHICAGO's SCI-FI SPECTACULAR
    Chicago's annual Sci-Fi Spectacular film festival is set to take place on April 28th.  But this time it is being held at the Portage Theater, NOT the Music Box Theatre, where it has been held since they started.  The pre-sale price for the tickets is only $20 ($24 at the door), and the show starts at noon.  Here are the films they have listed so far:

  • LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - The original Corman classic

  • THE LAST STARFIGHTER

  • 12 MONKEYS

  • THE THEATRE BIZARRE - New Anthology film making its Midwest premiere

  • ATTACK THE BLOCK

SAVE THE NOTLD CHAPEL
    We posted something about this last November, but figured it was about time we posted it again since the fight is still going on to save and fix the chapel from the Evans City Cemetery Chapel.  They have an official website up now where you can donate money for the cause, or even buy a piece of the chapel.  That's right, folks, for only $10 you can own a piece of the famous chapel seen in the opening of George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
    Just click HERE to head over to the website for all the info.  Come on people...every dollar counts.  So even if you don't want to buy anything, just send over $5 or so.  It really does add up.

HORRORHOUND REPORT
    After 3 months, we finally got our convention report done and posted from last November's HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati.    While there were a ton of guests that we didn't get photos of, we still managed to get a few taken during the Q&A's.  So head over to our Convention Report to read our full coverage or you can just click HERE to go straight to the HH Report.

HORROR HISTORY
    For this week's history lesson, we take a look at someone that never made a single film or worked on one.  But because of him and his hard work, more people seen and experienced films that they might not have otherwise.  So head over to the classroom for this week's lesson in Horror History.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Well, we really thought we were going to stump everyone with last week's photo.  But you die-hard movie nerds came through and knew it was from the classic '80s fun film C.H.U.D.  Just love that movie.  So a big kudos goes out to the following: Michael Felsher, Richard R. Garcia, Steve Sapsford, Mike Shields, and Will Wilson.  Nicely done!  Really shows you guys know your movies.  Or  have no life and just watch movies all day.  Which ain't a bad thing, if you ask me!
    So on to our latest photo.  Might be a little easier...might not.  At least there might be something in there you can...grab on to!  As always, good luck.   Just click HERE to send in your guess.

2-19-12  HOUSE OF HORRORS
    We don't have much of an update this week, mainly because we had been gone most of this weekend.  My wife Dawn and I had headed up north to Oshkosh to join in the festivities at the House of Horrors monthly film series.  Each month, the House of Heroes comic book store is transformed into a place where horror fans come to watch a couple of great movies.  This is our 3rd time up there and have had a blast each and every time.  Joining us on our trip was our good buddy Aaron Christensen and his wife Michelle.  Run by John Pata, Oshkosh's Pied Piper of Horror, each month he picks a couple of movies that are similar for a crowd to watch with other like minded horror fans.  And did I mention this is for free?  Yesterday, they screened SLUGS and TICKS, which is about the best double feature one could come up with.  Both are gory, funny (some of it not intentional) and just a blast to watch, especially with a bunch of other horror fans.  It is times like this that we really wish that Oshkosh wasn't so damn far away from us, or we would be heading up there each and every month.  It is just a great time to watch a couple of flicks, and spend some time chatting with other like-minded horror fans.
    The other reason that we really wish we could make it up there more is all of our Wisconsin friends that we have met over the years.  While we have met fellow Kryptic Army members Lance Ford and Erich Polnow (and his wife Ashley) before, but we got to meet another Army member, the ever elusive Lee Marohn.  It was also great seeing all of our friends like Ashley L., Adam, Gavin, and everyone else there that I am forgetting.  We always have a great time there, and you guys are one of the reasons.  Hanging out and talking about movies is one thing that I NEVER get tired of, and it was really a blast this weekend.
    Of course, seeing Ben and Jessica Larson again is always a good time.  Except this time, they were gracious enough to let us crash at their house for the night, after getting to see their incredible house and amazing horror collection.  As a fellow collector, it is always great to see what other collectors have.  Sure, might make you a bit jealous, but still very cool.  Thanks again for the hospitality...you guys are the best.
    For all the info on upcoming events happening in Oshkosh, just head over to Oshkosk Horror.

FRANK BRANA - REST IN PEACE
    For fans of Spanish and Italian films of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, you might recognize Braña's face.  Before getting into the horror genre, he appeared in tons of westerns, quite a few with a big name cast.  He usually didn't play the leads, but lots of henchmen and secondary characters.  But he was always dependable and memorable.  He passed away on Feb. 13th, just short of his 78th birthday.
    He had appeared in such horror films as THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED (1969), HANNAH: QUEEN OF THE VAMPIRES (1973), RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD (1973), and even MYSTERY ON MONSTER ISLAND (1981) with Peter Cushing.  He also worked quite a few times with cult director J.P. Simon in films like PIECES (1982), SLUGS (1988), ENDLESS DESCENT (1990).
    Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.  But with all the great movies that he appeared in, he will always be remembered.

RONDO AWARDS
    This year's nominees have been announced for the 2011 Rondo Awards.  Our good friend Aaron Christensen has been nominated for his article on the INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS films in HorrorHound, as well as HorrorHound being nominated for Best Magazine and Best convention.  So if you have a second, please head over there and place your vote.  Just click HERE.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's photo seemed to stump a few people, who are probably going to be pissed at themselves for not getting it.  But that is what it is all about....testing that grey matter up there between your ears.  The guy in our last photo was none other than Robert Englund, when he portrayed Eric in the 1989 version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.  But Hoby Abernathy, Ryan Olson, Steve Sapsford, and Will Wilson were able to correctly name the movie.  Well done, lads!
    So I thought we'd stick with the same theme, with another shot of another bloody face.  Why not, right?  But I think if you had trouble on last week's, this one is really going to be a tough one.  So cast your eyes on this one and see what you can dig up from your memory banks.  Good luck.  As always, just click HERE to send in your guess.

2-12-12  BILL HINZMAN - REST IN PEACE
    I seriously doubt there is any horror fan out there that has not seen the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and can remember when they first seen the staggering figure coming down the cemetery path.  That first famous zombie was played by Bill Hinzman, who was just an assistant cameraman that got drafted into being a zombie.  I've been going to horror conventions for almost 25 years and have met tons of different celebrities.  Bill Hinzman was one of those I met several times over the years.  And each and every time I did see him, he was always one of the nicest guys out there.  When the dealer room closed for the day and most celebs would disappear back to their hotel rooms, Mr. Hinzman would be down in the bar chatting with the different horror fans until the wee hours of the morning.  He was just that kind of guy.  But it was just playing this zombie he was known for, but also as a director of a couple of low budget horror films, THE MAJORETTES (1987) and FLESHEATER (1988).
    So we were very sadden to hear of his recent passing, losing his battle with cancer.  They say he was 75 years old, and for known for being a living dead, I've never known someone to be so much alive.  He is being cremated per his wishes.  According to his daughter, “He always joked with me that if he got buried he would come back."  While we won't get to see him at the conventions any more, we know that we can always pop in that copy of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and he will be right back with us once again.  And because of that movie and the never ending following it receives each and every year, he will never be forgotten.  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

BOOK REVIEW - A HISTORY OF HORROR
    We have posted a new review of a newer book that we just finished reading, Wheeler Winston Dixon's A History of Horror.  Normally we are all for books that can teach and show others this great history the horror genre has.  But when there are numerous errors and just tainted opinions, like this one does, the only thing we could recommend about it would be to stay away from it.  Head over to our Reference Book Review section to go to our General Reference section to read all the details.

ARGENTO FILM FEST IN NY
    New York area fans of Dario Argento are going to be in for a big treat starting next month.  The Museum of Arts and Design will be celebrating four decades of the Argento family and their work with Argento: Cinema Nel Sangue (Argento: Cinema in the Blood), a two-month retrospective of screenings, running from March 23 to May 25, 2012.
    They are showing pretty much most of Dario's work and a few of Asia's.  You will be able to see the the Animal Trilogy: THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, THE CAT o' NINE TAILS, & FOUR FLIES ON GRAY VELVET, and the Three Mothers Trilogy: SUSPIRIA, INFERNO, & MOTHER OF TEARS. Along with DEEP RED, OPERA, and TENEBRE, and others.
    For all the information, just click HERE.  If this was playing in Chicago, we'd be all over this.  Seeing Argento's work on the big screen is truly an experience you don't want to miss.  So if you can, take advantage of this.  You want to be the one who can brag that they've seen SUSPIRIA and DEEP RED on the big screen.

DEAD WEIGHT PREMIERE
    Several years ago I met John Pata at one of the many horror conventions I go to.  He was there pimping his short zombie film BETTER OFF UNDEAD and wanted me to take a copy to review.  After giving him my usual "I hate low budget films" spiel, he wanted to me to watch it anyway.  And low and behold, not only did I actually like it, but it was well done for a short zombie movie with a lot of dick jokes.  Over the years, we've become good friends, and have seen Pata's true passion for not only horror movies but genre in general, working very hard at promoting it.  He is always fun to be around....unless you might pass out in the lounge area in a hotel.
    None the less, it didn't seem that long ago that he announced that him and his friend Adam Bartlett would be making a feature length film, which has become the film DEAD WEIGHT.  Quite a big jump from his first film, John and Adam set out to make a serious film, about people and their interactions with others, when times are at their worse.  Here's the plot synopsis:  The story of Charlie Russell as he passes through the wilderness in the wake of an apocalyptic viral outbreak to reunite with his girlfriend, Samantha. As Charlie's journey brings him closer to his destination of Wausau, WI, he must face physical exhaustion, malicious survivors, and perhaps most menacing, his own emotional burdens. With his newfound traveling companions Charlie must attempt to break his obsessions with the past. He must learn to let it go.
    And now, they have announced the dates for the first public screening for their new film.  It will be held at the Time Community Theater (445 N. Main St., Oshkosh, WI) on March 30th and 31st.  Doors open at 7pm and the screening starts at 8pm.  You can already buy advance tickets online by clicking HERE.  Tickets are only $5.
    Unfortunately, that just happens to be the same weekend as the Cinema Wasteland show so we are not going be able to make it.  And we are very bummed about that fact too.  But that doesn't mean that everyone else out there can't make plans to head to Oshkosh and support John & Adam and all the DEAD WEIGHT folks.  So start making those plans.  NOW!

HORROR HISTORY
    This week, we're taking a look at another name that has some ties to Hammer Films.  A screen writer that was trying to help breath new life into the studio, but doing something new and daring for that time.  Head over to the classroom to learn more.  Don't be late.  And in case you notice, we have changed the page around a bit, putting all the past entries into alphabetical order, to make it easier if you're looking for someone in particular.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Last week's decapitated head came from the 1981 film WOLFEN.  Remember that one?  That was when werewolves were really big, with that film, along with THE HOWLING and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.  Except of course...WOLFEN wasn't really about werewolves.  But still a decent movie to see if you  haven't.  But let us get to the ones that sent in the correct answer.  And they would be Dave Friedman, Mike Shields, and Will Wilson.  Job well done!
    So let's take a look at this week's photo and see if you can recognize this one.   You know the actor, even if you might not recognize him, but can you name the movie?  Just click HERE to send in your answer and as always, Good Luck!

2-5-12  BACK ON TRACK
    Not sure what happened last week, but it was gone before we knew it and didn't get our update done.  But we are back on track this week, with a pretty hefty update, if I say so myself.  Granted, there seems to be a lot of Hammer related news for some reason, but then again, I don't see that as a bad thing.  Do you?
    A new month means a new mission for our Kryptic Army.  Hopefully everyone has enlisted for this year's challenges.  We shall soon be posting the photos of last year's Army winners with their prizes.  And even if you don't win anything, at least you've had the opportunity to find and watch 2 different horror movies that you have seen each and every month.  How could that NOT be a good time?
    The convention season for us is getting closer and closer, with our first show about 6 weeks away.  And that show would be HorrorHound Weekend, making their first appearance in Columbus, Ohio.  That have one hell of a guest lineup this time around, with even a few guests making their first convention appearance.  Not to mention some cult favorites there, like Pam Grier!  For all the details, just head over to their site by clicking HERE.  Of course, we will be there in the dealer room as usual, selling our wares and standing on our soapbox spewing forth with our rants.  If you are planning to come out to the show, please stop by.
    Then the following weekend, we head back to Ohio for the Cinema Wasteland show, which will be there 21st show!!!!  And with special guests like Italian director Sergio Martino, we are VERY excited about that show.  For all their details, just click HERE.

ARMY PRIZES
    All the prizes for last year's Kryptic Army winners are in the mail, if you haven't received them already.  The last of them were mailed out yesterday.  So if you haven't gotten it, you should be getting it in the next few days.  If you don't receive it by the end of the week, please let me know.  And don't forget, if you can, please send me a photo of you holding the prize so I can post that in our Army section.

HAMMER NEWS
    We've got a bunch of different tidbits that deal with Hammer films, so we'd thought we'd lump them all together.  Never can have too much Hammer news, right?  Didn't think so.  First up, in a recent comment posted on ShockTillYouDrop website, Hammer CEO Simon Oakes mentioned some news on their upcoming projects, some including some classic monsters, as well as classic Hammer characters.  Here's what Oakes had to say:

“We have a very active slate… What we did with Kronos is we developed a new novella as part of our publishing thing. We are rebooting Quatermass.
We are developing a really cool poltergeist story – I can’t give you a title yet because it’s still under wraps.
And, we’re looking at, without giving too much away, a couple of the iconic characters like Frankenstein and Dracula and looking at a [new] Hammer approach to those.”

    In other Hammer news, they have started a new blog which deals with their progress of restoration of their upcoming blu-ray releases of their classic films, including the version of HORROR OF DRACULA with the recently found footage being put back into the film.  They have plenty of title that they are working on that should be coming out soon.  Just click HERE to get to the blog and make sure you keep checking since it seems to be updated on a regular basis.  With a lot of their films known for their glorious color, seeing them re-mastered makes me a very happy man.

    And lastly, if you're lucky enough to live in London, starting next week there is a Hammer festival going on at something called The Vault, presented by the Flicker Club, along with Hammer.  The Flicker Club screens movies adapted from short stories or novels to "celebrate the power of the written word and the silver screen", which I happen to think is a splendid idea.  They have special guests to read some of the source material before screening the film.  Starting next week, they are screening several Hammer titles, both old and new, along with special guests doing some reading before hand.  Some of the films being shown are TWINS OF EVIL, HANDS OF THE RIPPER, THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, THE REPTILE, PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, and many more.  Some of the guests that will be attending are authors Kim Newman, Stephen Jones, Marcus Hearn, actor Damien Thomas, actress Madeline Smith, and more.  For more information about this, just click HERE.

    And on a final note, we did see THE WOMAN IN BLACK today and did enjoy it.  But I think is suffers from too many jump scares instead of other tactics (which granted are a lot harder to do) which most mainstream films tend to do these days.  Still worth seeing though.

REST IN PEACE: IAN ABERCROMBIE & NICOL WILLIAMSON
    British actor from the stage and screen, Abercrombie passed away on Jan. 26th at the age of 77.  While he only appeared in a few genre pictures, he always was memorable.  Most fans will remember him as the wise old man helping Bruce Campbell in ARMY OF DARKNESS.  But he also played a Nazi doctor in PUPPET MASTER 3: TOULON'S REVENGE (which just happens to be the best in the series...just saying).  Abercrombie had a face and voice that always seemed familiar.  Such a talented performer, one that will be missed.
    Williamson, who was probably best known for his performance of Merlin in the 1981 film EXCALIBUR, was another actor known for his performances on the stage...as well as off the stage too.  He had a reputation on speaking his mind about things, sometimes even during a performance.  There are stories of even physical confrontations with other actors and directors as well.  But that never dimensioned his talents.  And like Abercrombie, Williamson only appeared in a handful of horror films, most notably in William Peter Blatty's EXORCIST III: LEGION.  He also appeared in VENOM, a police thriller with a deadly snake loose in an apartment, which co-starred Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski.  That must have been a fun shoot!
    Williamson had been battling cancer for the last couple of years and kept his life private for the most part.  In fact, he actually had passed away back on Dec. 16th, but his passing was just recently released to the world.
    Our thoughts go out to their friends and family.

    

NEW REVIEWS
     We have a few new reviews this week.  For the first one, is about Jose Larraz, a Spanish director that made his mark quite a few years ago, but never seemed to get the notoriety that he richly deserves.  But thanks to people filmmaker Celia Novis who are trying to change that.  She recently made a documentary about Larraz entitled ON VAMPYRES AND OTHER SYMPTOMS and we have recently had the chance to see it.
    Our second review is of the new movie MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE.  I seem to be the odd man out on my opinion on this one, but you can read those thoughts by reading our review.  If you have seen it, we'd love to hear your thoughts.  Just head over to our Review section to get to those reviews.
    And lastly, we have posted our review for Paul Haslinger's new soundtrack for the latest UNDERWORLD movie, AWAKENING.  To hear what we thought on this release, head over to our Soundtrack Review section by clicking HERE.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's entry in our History Lesson is about a British actor who had the tough part of taking over a well known character from a series of films and making it his own.  Not to mention a few other roles that we will always remember him from.  So let's head over to the classroom to find out more, shall we?

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was from the Peter Cushing film BLOOD BEAST TERROR.  Not the greatest film in the British horror film genre, but well worth watching, if only because of Cushing's presence.  Kudos goes out to the following few who were able to identify the correct movie:  Hoby Abernathy, Steve Sapsford, Mike Shields, and Will Wilson.  Job well done!
    Now on to this week's  photo.  For some reason, I'm in the mood for another decapitated head.  Amazing how many of these turn up over the years in movies.  So let's see how well you can do to naming the film where this one comes from.  Good Luck. Just click HERE to send in your answer.

1-22-12  NEW LSoH COMING
    The best magazine out there on the British Horror genre, Little Shoppe of Horrors, will be unleashing their newest issue next month, which will be on the latest release from the new Hammer film, WOMAN IN BLACK.  This issue with not only feature articles and interviews (including one with star Daniel Radcliffe) on the new films, but also with Susan Hill (author of the original novel), and the original 1989 version, including an interview with Adrian Rawlins who starred in that version.
    LSoH is truly always a great read, filling your head with tons of information about the British film industry and the people involved with it.  You will get information here that you won't find anywhere else.  We can't recommend this magazine enough.  For information about it as well as how you can order it, just click HERE and make sure you tell them we sent you!

HAMMER HORROR RESTORED?
    While on the subject of Hammer Horror, there is a lot of buzz over the net about some of the classic Hammer horror films getting 'restored' for Blu-ray releases.  While we are just as excited about this as everyone else is, we just wanted to point out something that I think some people are getting confused over this.  These films are being restored, as in re-mastered.  Unless I'm missing something, this does not mean there all of these films are going to have extra footage in there.  The only title where they have announced lost footage that was recently discovered was for HORROR OF DRACULA, where some footage was discovered in Japan.  That title will have this new footage incorporated back in the film.
    Now don't get me wrong, since I'm thrilled at the idea of being able to see these classic Hammer films in all their glorious colors and high definition.  It just seems that people are thinking that they are going to seeing uncut versions of these films, when I don't think that is the case.  They have announced 30+ titles that are in process of being 'restored'.  We've seen reports that DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS will be the first title, but have also seen ones that say that QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, which is already available is the first one.  But according to Hammer, PRINCE OF DARKNESS is being restored from a "two-perf original cut negative" and will have the original title card.  But other than that, it is the same version.  It will feature a new documentary produced by Hammer historian Marcus Hearn that will feature stars Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews and others.  The next two films on their list will be the "Cornwall Horrors", PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES and THE REPTILE.  You can keep updated on the status of these restorations over here at this Hammer Blog.
    If there was one Hammer title that I wish would finally get a uncut release, it would be Terence Fisher's last film, FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL.  The only version I've ever seen of this film that is completely uncut was the Japanese version, which featured plenty more gore than the others.  The DVD release of this here in the states was the edited version.  I know there was an import release that did feature some of the extra footage, but not all of it.  So it would be great to finally see a nice re-mastered print, in all its bloody glory, of their last Frankenstein film.

WILDCLAW WANTS TO KILL ME
    Chicago's own WildClaw Theatre has a new play opening up next month.  Starting on the 13th and running through March 18th will be Scott T. Barsotti's Kill Me.  Barsotti gave us the 2009 play The Revenants which we really enjoyed.  We also just loved WildClaws adaptation of Carmilla last year.  So we are looking forward to once again delve into the world of horror theater that WildClaw has done so well so far.
    In his latest play, Barsotti gives us a tale of a woman who has recently awakened from a post-traumatic coma who comes to think that she can not die.  So as her mind starts to crumble, she attempts to kill herself, over and over and over again.
    For all the details about this show, just head over to WildClaw's website by clicking HERE.

SAVING THE 35mm FILM MEDIUM?
    Another thing that we've seen going around on the internet are these petitions to save the 35mm format.  Original, I would have joined that cause in a heartbeat.  When going to film fest, there is something charming about seeing a film screen from a 35mm print, as opposed to a DVD projection.  In the last few years, things have happened to change my mind.  It really has nothing to do with the medium as much as the people running the projectors at the theaters.  Too many times I have been at film fests where the person up there with the projector just can not keep the film in frame, or the right aspect ratio, or something screwing it up.  Here's the deal...back in the day, we use to have people that were actually trained how to use these machines.  There was a union and everything.  They knew these machines inside and out and took their job very seriously.  But today, that is much different.  I recently came across this rant by director Stuart Gordon saying the same thing, except giving examples on what this can do to the filmmaker, let alone the audience.  Just click HERE to read it.
    But lets also look at the difference between 35mm and what the studios are moving towards with a digital format.  When screening the films, you won't have any of those above issues.  You won't have films stopping and burning through.  You won't have deterioration of the movie or of the quality of the print.  It really is the same argument that we've been having when CDs came out and started to replace vinyl.  And we all seen how that worked out.  Besides the fact that the studios would be saving SO much money going the digital route and all of that savings would go right into their pockets.  And THAT is the main reason it is going to happen.

HORROR HISTORY
    In class this week, we're going to discuss someone's who job started sometimes even before the word of the script was written.  And that because some people would come to the theater on their work alone.  Head over to the classroom to find out who were talking about.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was the poor Florinda Bolkan from Lucio Fulci's DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING.  Everyone knows Fulci for his gore, but this is one of his truly great films that shows that he was again a great filmmaker.  Sure this film does have a moment or two of gore, but that really is a small part of the film.  If you haven't seen it yet, please seek it out.  Kudos to the following for naming the correct film:  Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Steve Sapsford, Mike Shields, and Will Wilson.
    Now on to this week's photo.  See if you can't name that where that little creature to the right is from.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  And as always, good luck!

1-15-12  ZAAT RISES TO DVD
    A few issues back in my column in HorrorHound, I covered two fish-monster movies, one of them being ZAAT (aka THE BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z  aka HYDRA  aka ATTACK OF THE SWAMP CREATURE).  This Florida made cheese-fest was made back in 1971 about a mad scientist who turns himself into a half man/half catfish monster.  Tons of fun to be had there.  There were rumors a few years ago that a special edition DVD was going to be coming out but it never seemed to happen.  But now, it seems that ZAAT may just rise to the surface for real this time.  HD Cinema Classics is releasing this film in a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack next month on the 21st, for only $20.  The film has been digitally restored from the original 35mm elements and will include extras such as audio commentary by the cast and crew, out takes, trailers, radio interviews, and an original movie art postcard!  How cool is that!
    The fact that there are people out there that are taking the time to restore films is great.  But when it comes to films like ZAAT, which would never be considered a classic of any sorts, it makes me even more proud that some would take the time to do that to these types of films.  It shows that films don't have to be Oscar winning films to be entertaining.  And it is important for these films, no matter how cheesy they are, that they are preserved for monster movie fans now and for future generations.

UNIVERSAL RESTORES CLASSIC HORROR FILMS
    In a very similar story, Universal Pictures is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  And one of the things that they are doing to mark this epic occasion is to re-release some of the films that they have been working very hard to restore.  Granted a lot of these are mainstream films, but there are a few horror titles in there that will make our readers a little happy.  Now let me say that I hate having to re-buy titles every time a new release comes out.  And usually....I don't.  There has to be a very good reason for it.  But I think for some of these titles, there is enough reason here.  They are going through these films and taking out every scratch or imperfection on the film, as well as cleaning up the sound as well.  One case in point is the hissing sound on some of these older movies, such as DRACULA (1931).  Since there are many scenes with little dialog and no music, there are times when we are hearing nothing but a hissing sound.  This has all been corrected and taken out, letting you hear what really is going on in the film.  Sure, there are those out there that say that want to remember the films the way they remember them when they first seen them, with all the imperfections in there.  And I am one of them for the most part.  But if a film can be cleaned up, not altered since that is something completely different, but made to look like the filmmakers would have done had the technology been there at the time, then I don't have a problem as much.
    I do admire the fact that there are people out there in the industry that have made it their career to make sure that these films are not forgotten and that they will be here for many generations to enjoy, just as we have.  They see the importance of these films, something that only real movie fans can see.  So I really do appreciate all of their hard work.
    The horror films that they will be re-releasing in restored prints are FRANKENSTEIN (1931), BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), both versions of DRACULA (1931), the one with Lugosi and the Spanish version, Hitchcock's THE BIRDS (1963), and Spielberg's JAWS (1975).
    We'll have more details on release dates when they become available.

WOMAN IN BLACK POSTER ART
    Being a collector of movie posters, I've come to realize that for the time being at least, it really is a lost art form.  Today's movie posters are generally filled with the faces of the stars or just completely lack any sense of style or art.  Just a bunch of photo shop work.  I miss the days of the painted posters, with images from the movie.  Hell, I wouldn't even care if those images were not in the picture!  Back in the day, before all the instant media access, the only way to let people know about a new movie was the poster.  That was the really the main element to make people want to come to see the movie.  It had to have an impact.  But because of internet how everything happens at such a fast pace, the movie poster has almost become a forgotten piece of promotional material.
    So when we came across the new British quad artwork for THE WOMAN IN BLACK, it brought a tear to my ear.  Maybe because it is a film from the newly restarted Hammer Films, but it seems they went back to their roots when it came to this poster.  As you can see on the right, it is amazing.  And I know this is one that we will definitely be adding to our collection.  So kudos to whoever was behind this concept and hopefully it might just start to catch on.  One can hope, right?

BOOK REVIEW - HAMMER FILMS: THE UNSUNG HEROES
    We've posted our review of this incredible book on the people that made Hammer Films what they were and what they looked like.  Head over to our Hammer Section in our Book Review Page for more details.

DAVID WHITAKER - REST IN PEACE
    I know that most everyone out there doesn't recognize this name.  In fact, when I first read this news, I didn't know who it was either.  But after reading that he was a composer that had worked on a couple of Hammer films, I felt that I needed to pass this info along.  Mainly since this is what we should be doing, as horror fans:  Keeping the names of people who worked in this genre and the films they created that we have been enjoying for years.
    Whitaker was a composer that didn't score countless films like some other famous ones.  But he did work for Hammer films on some of their later films, as well as a few other genre titles.  He did the scores for SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN (1970), DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE (1971), VAMPIRE CIRCUS (1972), OLD DRACULA (1975), DOMINIQUE (1989), and the gory sword and sandal flick THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER (1982).
    He passed away last Tuesday.  Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

HORROR HISTORY
    This week you will learn about one of the founding fathers of stop motion animation.  You might have heard his name mentioned a time or two, but he is responsible for one of the greatest monster movies of all time.  The bell has rung....so let's get to the classroom.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    I have to admit I thought our last photo was pretty tough.  There must be a few of you out there that really remembers decapitated heads.  So kudos out to Hoby Abernathy, Steve Sapsford, and Will Wilson for identifying our last photo from being from the 1981 film HELL NIGHT.  Nicely done.
    Well our photo this month is another close up of a head, but one that is still attached.  So take a peek and see if this person and this film doesn't ring a bell with you.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  And as always, good luck!

1-8-12  KRYPTIC ARMY WINNERS
    Fall in Soldiers.  It is time to award those who have participated in this year's Army Challenge.  Before we get to those selected few, I wanted to thank everyone who has joined the army and has joined in on any of the missions.  Even if you are not one of the winners, I hope that you had fun and that you continue to keep up with the challenges.  It is getting to be a challenge for me to come up with new themes for the missions each month, but it is a lot of fun seeing what everyone comes up with.  I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am.
    Also, if you haven't already and are in the army, hopefully you've been to the Army Message board.  Every time you send in your mission, I post it here, as well as posting my thoughts on your choices.  You are more than welcome, and even encouraged to reply on the other member's movie choices as well.  As fans of these movies, we all know that most of the time it isn't the easiest to find someone that you can talk to about these kind of movies.  So here is your chance.  You can get to the Message Board by clicking HERE.
    Also, if you are in the Army and have not done this, please go to the Role Call post and put your little two cents in.  We always like to know a little more about who is in the trenches with us.
    Once again, I have pulled out 12 names out of the pile of each and everyone one of you who participated.  And remember, the more missions you complete, the more times your name goes in the hopper!  Below are the selected Army members, along with what they have won.  The prizes will be mailed out at some point during the month.  The winners need to send me their mailing address.
    BUT...we do have a new request this year.  When you receive your prize, I ask that you take a photo of yourself holding said prize and emailing it to me.  I plan on posting them on the Army page, that way the other members (and non-members that hopefully will sign up shortly after) can see not only their fellow soldiers but also what you can win by fighting the good fight each and every month.  So...here they are, the 2011 Kryptic Army Winners and what they've won:

  • Anna McKibben - PAN'S LABYRINTH mini-poster signed by actor Doug Jones

  • Craig J. Clark - Post Mortem mini poster signed by Mick Garris

  • Scott Finnegan - NIGHT OF THE CREEPS 8x10 still signed by director Fred Dekker

  • Lance Ford - HARDWARE DVD

  • Damien Glonek - NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS Mexican Lobby Card signed by director Chuck Russell

  • Erik Martin - TWO THOUSAND MANIACS mini-poster signed by H.G. Lewis

  • Lee Marohn - BOOK OF BLOOD mini poster signed by director John Harrison

  • Patrick McCarter - HATCHET mini-poster signed by director Adam Green and star Joleigh Fioreavanti

  • John Pata - BRAIN DAMAGE 8x10 still signed by director Frank Henenlotter

  • Erich C. Polnow - RE-ANIMATOR Mexican Lobby Card signed by director Stuart Gordon

  • Kristin Wicks - HORROR EXPRESS DVD

  • Stephen Weakley - SLEEPAWAY CAMP mini-poster signed by director Robert Hiltzik

HORROR HISTORY
    This week's lesson is about a person who's job is to make what we see on the screen look as good as they can.  Some may think the director is in charge of that, but without this person, they might have a lot  harder of a time.  So we look at one of these guys who made the famous Hammer Films look as good as they did.  Head over to the classroom to Discover more.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Fans of Italian horror should have recognized our last photo.  It was from Michele Soavi's directorial debut, STAGEFRIGHT.  You could tell right away that his man knew how to set up a camera shot.  And his films just got better.  Hopefully one day we'll see him back in the genre again.  Kudos to the following that were able to identify this shot: Hoby Abernathy, Aaron Christensen, Dave Friedman, Chris Kinniery, Erik Martin, Lisa Stewart, Wayne Teeter, Tom White and Will Wilson.  Job well done.
    So let's take a peek at this week's photo and see if this one brings any title to mind.  Good luck.  Just click HERE to send in your answer.

1-1-12  WELCOME TO 2012!
    I know it has been a couple of weeks since our last update, but with the holidays, we were taking a much needed break.  But as you can see, we haven't been relaxing too much and have one hell of an update for you this time out.  What a great way to start the new year, huh?  Well, let us not waste any more time since you have a lot of reading to do!

ROBERT EASTON - REST IN PEACE
    Easton started his career as an actor, playing bit parts in tons of TV shows and quite a few movies.  For the horror fans, you've seen him in A TOUCH OF SATAN, PET SEMETARY II, NEEDFUL THINGS and even in an episode of THE NIGHT STALKER.  But for me, he will always be remembered for his role in Bill Rebane's THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION.  Playing the not-so-nice Kester, who meets a grisly end, he seemed and especially sounded like he was born for that role.
    So how surprised was I to find out that though he did still act, he really came to be known as the "Henry Higgins of Hollywood", teaching actors all sorts of different dialects and accents.  He was worked with huge names like Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall, Charlton Heston, John Travolta, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Growing up with a stutter, he learned to control it by training himself to talk slower.  This started his passion and love for the language.  And when he was fearful being typecast as a hillbilly, he used this passion to be able to pick up accents and dialects so he could sound like anybody the casting agent was looking for.  But then he discovered that he could also teach other people this as well, which lead to a very successful career.
    Plus, to make this guy even cooler, he collected books.  Granted they were on language and cultures from around the world, but had an estimated 1/2 million books!  In doing a little research on Easton, I came across this great quote from him that I just loved and really shows how cool this guy was.  "I'm a great believer in the principle that there's no wastage in the universe.  So when I work with somebody who is foreign who's trying to lose their accent, I can always give their old dialect to somebody else."
    Easton passed away from natural causes at his home last Friday.  He will be missed, but not forgotten.

LARRAZ DOCUMENTARY
    José Ramón Larraz is a Spanish filmmaker that not too many people know who he is.  If anything, they remember his 1974 film VAMPYRES, and maybe even his film BLACK CANDLES.  But sadly, that is about it.  But thanks to filmmaker Celia Novis maybe more people can discover more about this talented man.  She has made a documentary on Larraz called ON VAMPYRES AND OTHER SYMPTONS.  It has only been screened mainly at film festivals in Spain, but hopefully it will be available on DVD or at least make its way over here in the States at some point.  The documentary is narrated by the Vampyres themselves, Marianne Morrie and Anukla.  You can get to the official website HERE where you can see the trailer for the documentary.
    But until we have the opportunity to see this documentary, you can see do your homework and look into the films of Larraz.  I think you might some thing good out there.

NEW REVIEWS
    We've got FOUR (!!!) brand new reviews posted for this update.  Told you we've been busy.  First up is APOLLO 18 which shows us why we've never been back to the moon.  The second one is a Hong Kong film entitled DREAM HOME, which we think is a must see.  Next is a low budget film called RAGE, which is kind of a modern take off of DUEL.  And lastly D4, a film that is giving me hope for low budget filmmakers.  Head over to our Reviews Section to check them out.

CHICAGO FEAR FEST
    Chicagoland has always had a strong horror community and over the last 5 to 10 years, it has been growing immensely, and each year seems to be getting better and better.  And now, next April, we will have another huge event to put on our calendar.
    Chicago Fear Fest will be a 2-day independent horror film festival that will take place at the Muvico Theaters in Rosemont, Illinois.  The 2-day fest will feature short films, feature films, celebrity guests, panel discussions, and Q&A's.  They are taking submissions for films now so head over to the official site for all the details and information.  This will be taking place on April 13th and 14th, so mark you calendars.  You can check out the official website HERE.  So great to see Chicago making its name with all the horror events we have going on.

KRYPTIC ARMY - SEND MORE SOLDIERS!
    Well Troops, here we are starting our Tour of Duty for the 3rd year now.  Hopefully you have signed up for another year and are ready to take the challenges that lie ahead of you.  I know 2011 threw you some tough battles, but you should be happy and proud that you were able to survive them.  You should have already gotten your mission for this month, so hopefully you're already starting to think of some movies.
    We are working on compiling the list of all the soldiers and the missions that they completed and will be drawing our winners and what they have won very soon.
    And don't forget, we can always use more numbers in our ranks.  I'm sure you know someone out there that might be interested in joining our little cause.  So send them over to the recruitment center so they can start to join in all the fun.  If you're reading this and want more information, just click on the Army link on the left (or just click HERE).  You can always check out our Army "Debriefing" Message board to see what everyone has been watching and their thoughts.  You can get there by clicking HERE.  Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about it.

SPADES & DR. SPINE CHICAGO SCREENING
    While on the subject of Chicago film events, you don't have to wait until next April for double feature of films from Boomstick Films.  On January 14th, at the Portage Theater in Chicago, they will be having a holiday party and screening 2 of their films: SPADES and DOCTOR SPINE.  In attendance for this party will be the following special guests: Reggie Bannister (of PHANTASM fame), Larry Thomas, Alex Skuby, Mo Collins, Joe Estevez, Judy Tenuta, Tiffany Shepis, Juan Riedinger, Agam Darshi, Kathy Garver, Robert Z'Dar, Lisa Loring, Xango Henry, Gigi Bannister, Michael Wexler, James Vallo, and Bill Reinhold.
    Tickets are $18 but that does include the party and both featuures.  The party starts at 4pm and the films begin at 7pm.  For more info, head over to Boomstick Films by clicking HERE

BURNING MOON DVD RELEASE
    Back in the early days of VHS, when I was doing a lot of tape trading with quite a few different people around the states, there was one title that when it hit the underground market, everyone was looking to get a copy of it.  And if you had it, you made sure all your other gorehound friends knew about it.  It was German film called BURNING MOON, by director Olaf Ittenbach, that was filled with so much over the top gore that even the most seasoned veteran of gore films would sit up and take notice.  Hell, I don't even think I ever had a copy that wasn't in German with no subtitles.  But because of the carnage that was on screen, words would mean very little at that point.
    Well now, thanks to Intervision Picture Corp, this flashback to the late '90s will be coming out on DVD.  Not only will this film be hitting DVD for the first time, but it will also come with a 'rare, recently unearthed' 45 minute making-of documentary.  Sure, the effects might seem a little cheesy these days, in a age of CGI, but this was the good old fashion days when beginner make up artists were trying anything and everything to make their gore effects shine.  So what be lacking in quality, you'll be amazed in the amount and creativity Ittenbach showed.

CINEMA WASTELAND REPORT - FINALLY!
    Yes, it has only been 3 months, but we finally got our review posted for last October's Cinema Wasteland.  Head over to our Convention Reports to get the full detail.

HORROR HISTORY
    Brand new year and a brand new entry in our History lesson.  This time, if you're into Italian films then you've heard this man's work, even if you don't know his name.  But hopefully after this week's lesson, we'll change that.  Head over to the classroom to find out who we are talking about.

MYSTERY PHOTO
    Our last photo was another tough one.  But that didn't stop a few of the die hard Hammer fans out there to recognize that famous shot.  That scene is from opening sequence of Don Sharp's KISS OF THE VAMPIRE (1963).  A shovel is shoved through top of a coffin, killing vampire beneath, as blood pools out of the hole.  Effective stuff, folks.  But I'm sure a lot of you out there remembered that scene, but just couldn't place it.  Now worries...all those hours of scratching your head is now over.  Until you look at our latest photo!  But first, let's give some credit to those that did remember where that shot is from.  And they are: Hoby Abernathy, Todd Barwick, and Steve Sapsford and Mike Shields.
    So let's get to our first photo of 2012.  We were thinking...should we go with a real hard one?  An easy one?  Take a look and decide for yourself!  Just click HERE to send in your answer.  Good luck!

Where to start?  This has been one challenging year for us here at the Krypt, both on a professional level, as well on a personal one.  So many times it is so easy to forget and/or look past all the great things we have in our lives, sometimes right in front of us.  If you only make one New Year's resolution, make it to appreciate what you have and the people around you, and make sure you let them know just that.  But we have made it through and are looking forward to 2012 and to more than make up for this last year.  We are not hoping for great things to happen, but are going to make them happen.  One of the reasons that we survived this year was due to the strong support of my close friends and especially my wife of 23 years, Dawn.  I wouldn’t have made it though it had it not been for them.  So thank you for being there.

One of the most important things we do in our Year End Review is mention all the great talent that we lost over the year.  As horror fans, it is our job and our duty to make sure that these people and their work are never forgotten.  It is our job to try and enlighten a new fan of their work that they might not have known about.  Thus, not only continuing that person's horror education, but it also keeps the memory of these people alive, so them and their work will always be remembered.  Here are the great ones that we lost in 2011.  They will be missed, but never forgotten.

Roberts Blossom, Robert Easton, Annne Francis, David Friedman, Dolores Fuller, Richard Gordon, Susan Gordon, Michael Gough, Farley Granger, Jill Haworth,
David Hess, Alberto de Mendoza, Pete Postlethwaite, Ken Russell, Jimmy Sangster, Michael Sarrazin, Tura Satana, Don Sharp, Juan Piquer Simon, Yvette Vickers

2011 was our 13th year running Kitley’s Krypt.  Which I believe makes it one of the oldest running horror websites out there.  Not to mention one that isn’t littered with ads everywhere.  When I started the site all those years ago, my main goal was to connect with other horror fans and help them learn more about the genre, to seek out new doorways and paths in this huge and never ending genre.  I think in the last 5 years or so, I’ve really strived to push that goal.  Really hard to think that I have been doing this for this long, but if it wasn’t for my love of the genre and connecting with all of you out there, I would have quit years ago.  The positive responses that I get from you, through emails or at the conventions we are at, you make all this work well worth the effort.  So thank you for your support.  You have no idea how much it means to me.  Here's to another 13 years!

While on the subject of the Krypt, 2011 was our 2nd year for the Kryptic Army.  I have to say that coming up with new theme ideas each month is getting a little tougher, but it is making me be a little more creative.  And I have to say I am enjoying it when I do stumble upon a unique idea, just wishing I could see the army's faces when they read what their new mission is.  We seemed to have lost a few faces over the course of the  year, but have plenty of new faces in the ranks as well.  Hopefully we will all see you re-enlisting for 2012.  Maybe we’ll even be able to increase our numbers to better help fighting the cause.  If you are in the army and know someone who might be willing to put themselves through the month challenges, then please send them to the recruitment center (uh…here.)  If you’re NOT in the army, then what are you waiting for?  Not sure what it is, then just click HERE to read more about it.

Our movie count for this year wasn’t nearly as impressive (for us at least) as last year.  Last year, we hit 277 titles.  We were hoping to get at least 250 in this year, but didn’t come close.  Our final total was a mere 209.  While I would love to spend more time in front of the TV watching more movies, this year had too much other stuff going on that was more important.  But maybe in 2012 we can work on getting a few more movies in.

2011 also was the year that the Kitley family did something for really the first time in over a decade.  And that was to take a family vacation.  Of course, being my family, this wasn’t one that most families would call a normal vacation.  We headed into Pennsylvania for a 2-night drive-in event, stopping by the Monroeville mall from DAWN OF THE DEAD and the original cemetery from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.  During the trip, stopping at some amazing restaurants, book stores, and just having an amazing time.  We’re hoping to do plan something very similar again this year as well.  You can still read our full vacation report by clicking HERE.

One of the biggest highlights of this last year happened at the Flashback Weekend in August.  Meeting AJ & Amy Wagar from Meatspider Studios lead to him creating a 3-D sculpture of my logo, which to this day just amazes me every single time I look at it.  Plus, since we bring this to the conventions we attend, its great seeing the faces of our followers when they see it as well.  Its one thing to see a photo of it here on the site, but seeing it in actual 3-D is pretty damn cool.  So thank you once again AJ for bringing this logo to life.  Can’t thank you enough.

Seeing makeup maestro Dick Smith receive an honorary Oscar for his work in the film industry was simply awe-inspiring.  For a man who cared more about advancing the industry and other artists than he did about his own career and trade secrets that he discovered, he truly is an icon.  While he only made a few horror films, the ones that he did were exceptional.  But even the films that weren’t necessarily horror, his creations were impeccable.  So while it would have been nice to see him get this award at the actual Oscars, I guess we should be happy that he did get one.  He is one makeup artist that anybody interested in the horror genre, or in just that field, you better know who this guy is.  You can see his acceptance speech on youtube (just click HERE) which almost brought me to tears.  Such a great man.

And speaking of conventions, this was another year of great shows, getting to meet some icons of the genre as well as other celebrities that we’ve admired over the years.  Last March at the Indianapolis HorrorHound Weekend, we got to meet one of the few remaining true icons of the genre: Barbara Steele.  There really isn’t too many of this stature left, which is so unfortunate.  But Barbara Steele appeared in so many classic films of the genre, especially all the incredible films she made in Italy in the ‘60s.  So being able to meet her was one of those that last few living icons that I could check off my list.

Another great thrill for me was at that same convention, where they were hosting 30th Anniversary reunion of Lucio Fulci’s HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY.  This has been one of my favorites of Fulci’s, since it really is a great example of Italian horror: Lots of gore and lots of things that make no sense!   Plus, for HorrorHound’s special convention issue, I had written the retrospective for HOUSE.  So going up the meet the cast and hearing the praise from them about my article, just made my weekend.  Once again, it is so strange getting to meet the stars from a movie made 30 years ago, that I grew up watching, that are now standing in front of me at a convention.  Great times indeed.

But out of all the conventions and events that we attended in 2011, there was one celebrity that stands above all the rest.  Literally.  And that would be actor extraordinaire Doug Jones.  Back in October, we had the chance to see Mr. Jones in Chicago at a screening of some short films that he did, along with a feature length one.  There was a great Q&A afterwards where he also signed some stuff.  In all my years of meeting celebrities, I have never met someone quite like Mr. Jones.  He redefines the word friendly.

He had plenty of great stories and was just so personable.  My wife and son where there as well, so they also had the chance to meet him.  Well, a few weeks later, he was appearing at the HorrorHound Weekend in Columbus.  When we go up to his table, he recognizes my wife but can’t place from where.  When we told him about Chicago, he then remembered and gave us both a big hug.  Later on, Dawn and Nick went over to get another autograph from him and to get their picture taken with him.  And once again, he goes out of his way to make sure his fans know how much he appreciate that we love and support his work.

Before we get to our movie highlights for the year, I wanted to do something a little new and mention some of the soundtracks that have come out this year.  Being a huge fan of movie soundtracks, I think this is just as important as the movies.  This year has given us some great scores that finally got a release.  Most of these are from older movies, but the fact that these are getting actual releases shows that I am definitely not the only crazy soundtrack enthusiast out there.  So here we go:

  • CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD (IL CASTELLO DEI MORTI VIVI) - Composer Angelo F. Lavagnino created great score for this lesser known horror movie starring Christopher Lee.  Mainly quiet background sounds, the soundtrack does have a few of melodies and themes that are very memorable.

  • CHILLERAMA – Here’s something different…praise for a film score for a film that I really hated.  I had heard the score before seeing the movie and just loved it.  But unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the film.  But the score is a lot of fun, taking cues from many different film styles.  Besides, just love the work of composer Bear McCreary.

  • CRYPT OF THE VAMPIRE (LA CRIPTA E L'INCUBO) – Another great gothic score by Carlo Savina for another Christopher Lee movie.  Some wonderful organ here, again creating that great European sound and style.

  • DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW – The score for this eerie made-for-TV score may be very simple, but it is very effective in creating an eeriness around you when listening to it.  Composer did a great job of enhancing what was going on the screen with his music.  And after seeing the movie so many times, just hearing this music brings back those goosebumps.

  • IT! TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE – A famous early sci-fi monster movie that set the standards for movies to come.  Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter came up with a complete monster score here, giving us tension, action, and just out-worldly eeriness.  They also came up with piece of music using only an electronic violin that will sound so familiar to you, mainly because it has been used over and over again over the years.

  • MALENKA / FEAST OF SATAN - Okay, I’m really a sucker for those European scores from the ‘60s and ‘70s.  A lot of these I buy without even remembering or knowing the music.  And most of the time I am not disappointed.  Such as this one.  Using plenty of organ music to create a beautifully haunting soundtrack, composer Carlo Savina once again gives us something well worth listening to over and over again.

  • THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD – Getting back to the 50’s monster move music, this year also seen the release of Heinz Roemheld’s score for one of my favorite of those types of movies.  Just like the European style of film music, American monster movies from this era also have a very unique style to them that just brings back that feeling of being a kid and catching these movies on TV.  Just love them.

  • STAKE LAND – One of the most recent film scores, Jeff Grace is one composer that really came to my attention his year and that was mainly due to this soundtrack.  I remember first seeing this film in the theater and being impressed with the music.  It has been one score that I’ve listened to over and over again this year. 

  • THE STRANGE CASE OF MRS. WARDH (LO STRANO VIZIO DELLA SIGNORA WARDH) – Part of the melody of this score actually was written for an earlier Richardo Freda film.  So composer Nora Orlandi used it here (and Taratino later used it in KILL BILL) and does a wonderful job combining several musical styles here for an incredible film score.

  • THE THING – Granted this score was released on CD years ago and has become long out of print, but now it has been reissued but with much more meat in there.  The original score actually had music that was never used in the film.  Plus, there were music cues and whatnot that Carpenter added in when he didn’t have enough of a score from Morricone.  This new release has the tracks in order they appear in the film, as well as other pieces that were never used in the film.

Now on to our Highlights and Lowlights of the movies that we seen over this last year.  Remember, these are movies that we had seen for the first time this year, so these are not necessarily movies that came out in 2011.  But I will say that most of these films listed are relatively new, coming out in the last year or so.  So let’s get to them:

  • BLACK SWAN (2010) – Almost didn’t put this on my list, since it was probably on most of people’s list last year.  And while it is borderline horror, I think it is a great tale of showing the inner workings of someone who is losing their grasp of their sanity and reality.  Portman’s performance surely deserved the Oscar.

  • THE DEAD (2010) – The buzz has been going around for some time on this new zombie film shot in Africa.  And I have to say, and pardon the pun, but for someone to take a sub-genre as dead as zombie films have gotten, they really delivered a high quality film.  Very simple story, but with believable characters, and some high quality moments of gore, not to mention being downright scary in several sequences, this is one not to miss.

  • DREAM HOME (2010) – You can read our full review in our Reviews section about this Hong Kong gorefest, but the bottom line is that this film pulls no punches and delivers some of the most original quality kills that I’ve seen in quite some time.  Again, a very simple story, but made with some very talented people.

  • HARPOON: WHALE WATCHING MASSACRE (2009) – This one really threw us for a loop since the very premise is so strange.  But it worked.  Never falling into the same old worn out Hollywood footsteps that so many films try to do, but giving us a simple slasher film….except set on a whaling ship off the coast of Iceland!  Click HERE to read our full review.

  • MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED (2010) – Now this is a slight change since this is a documentary, not a feature.  But it is so damn entertaining and highlights so many great horror and exploitation films that it is one that needs to be seen, with a notepad to write down all the movies you are going to want to see out.  Plus, you will be amazed at how these films got made and that the actors survived!

  • RAZORBACK (1984) – Our oldest movie on our list is one from Australia about a giant killer boar.  Once again we have a very simple story, but one that is well shot with a great cast.  Basically a JAWS on land….in the outback.

  • SKIN AND BONES (2008) – Here is another one that isn’t a feature length movie, but an hour long episode from the failed TV series FEAR ITSELF.  But this particular episode, directed by one of our favorite directors, Larry Fessenden, and starring one of our favorite actors, Doug Jones, is one not to be missed.  Jones is so damn scary here that it is hard to realize that this is the same uber-friendly person you’ll meet at a convention.

  • STAKE LAND (2011) – Speaking of Mr. Fessenden, he continues to produce not only amazing films, but helps get other great filmmakers their work out there.  And STAKE LAND shows just that, between the co-writer/director Jim Mickle and co-writer/actor Nick Damici, they created a dark and gloomy future world where vampires having spread across the country like a plague and humanity fights to stay alive.  Click HERE to read our full review.

  • TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL (2010) – I remember hearing the basic plot of this movie and just shrugged it off as another one of those attempts at a silly horror film.  But once we were sitting down watching it, all of that fell away and I was laughing my butt off.  This script is so smart that by taking a plot that would see so easy to screw up, they are able to make it funny as well as actually telling a good story without just trying to be a funny movie.  Plus, the acting is top-notch, especially the two title characters, played by Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk.

  • WAKE WOOD (2011) – And lastly, we finish our Top Ten list with the return of Hammer Films.  Sure, we had a couple of films come out under the new banner (THE RESIDENT and LET ME IN), WAKE WOOD really gives us the feeling of a true Hammer horror film of yesteryear.  This film could have been made back in the ‘70s and we’d never know.  This is the kind of film that epitomizes that old school British horror style that is sadly missed.  If you’re expecting a straight out horror movie, then you might be disappointed.  But if you’re looking for a great and dale morality play, then take the journey to WAKE WOOD.  Click HERE to read our full review.

Now, we only came up with 5 titles (well actually 6 but we’ll explain) of films that we just thought were terrible or just a huge disappointment.  We try to avoid being completely negative on movies because we know that any movie being made is made with a lot of passion by a lot of people.  But…there are some that we just feel the need to express our opinion on these to hopefully warn others of wasting their time and money.  So here we go.

  • BLOOD NIGHT: THE LEGEND OF MARY HATCHET (2009) – This was one movie that was tough to get a hold of at first.  With the only way to get it was buying it directly from the makers, it made it hard to take that chance.  Though with all the praise I was hearing, I almost took the plunge.  Lucky for me I didn’t.  Terrible acting, even worse story, and just a waste of time.  Might have been due to my expectations being so high, but what a let down.

  • CHILLERAMA (2011) – This one really divided the fans it seems.  At first, I heard nothing but terrible things about this anthology film.  But then after a few good comments, I figured I’d give it a try.  Well, maybe if I was back in the 8th grade I might have found the crude toilet humor funny.  But in reality, I just found it stupid, silly, and nowhere near funny.  Love the soundtrack though!

  • HATCHET 2 (2010) – While I wasn’t a huge fan of the first film, I did enjoy it for what it was.  Green didn’t make any excuses for what he was trying to make there, and I think he did an admirable job.  But this sequel was just god-awful.  The acting was terrible.  It wasn’t funny, but just damn stupid.  The gore was so over-the-top that it because ridiculous and no effect other than wondering when the director was going to call “cut”.  Total waste of time.

  • VELVET VAMPIRE (1971) – Seeing this cult film for the first time was inspired by two things.  The first was that it finally got a DVD release, so that made it much easier.  But also I had just acquired a theatrical poster for this movie, which is a great piece of cinematic artwork.  Unfortunately, looking at the poster is much more entertaining than this movie.  Sure, there is some nudity in there.  But there is also some of the worse acting I’ve seen, some that makes a H.G. Lewis casting look like Oscar winners.  And did I mention that nothing really happens?

  • VANISHING ON 7th STREET (2010) and TRANSSIBERIAN (2008) – Now the reason I have two films here are because they are both made by Brad Anderson.  After seeing his two films, SESSION 9 (2001) and THE MACHINEST (2004), I would have followed this man into any theater to see what he wanted to show me.  But these last two films of his were such a disappointment.  TRANSSIBERIAN was okay, but just expected more after his first two films.  As for VANISHING, have no idea what the point of that movie was.  Great concept, but again, completely lost on me.  So while these films weren’t terrible or no where near close in the same caliper as the previous 4 titles, I just expected so much more from Anderson.  Sorry guy, but when you make a couple of masterpieces like you did, you automatically raise the bar.