Category Archives: Editorials

Valentine’s Day Poetic Justice with Peter Cushing

Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovelies!

We here at Nightmare Nostalgia truly hope you have a bloody good one today! But we know why you’re here. Wherever you find yourself right now: out to eat, on your way home (or tonight’s big date) or whether you’re a single heart with a party of one you have still found yourself here with us in our happy little private asylum of dark wonders.  So huddle up close and join the Nightmare cast on the most romantic day of the year! And oh boy, does your ol’ buddy Manic have a sticky good treat for you all tonight!

Firstly, holiday horror movies are all the rage during the festive times. We have so many to choose from, and although it sometimes feels as if both Halloween (obviously) and Christmas hog all the spotlight we do in fact have some dark little delicacies to pick from every February 14th! Oh I know many will naturally go to the timeless classic My Bloody Valentine – as rightly you should – but today I want to focus on a little lesser known Valentine’s Day atrocity brought to us by the one and the only, the late great Peter Cushing!

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image via giphy

He and Christopher Lee are my two favorite actors of all time! More than once this dastardly duo starred in some of the greatest horror classics of the ages. Anytime the two appeared in a monster classic you could bet it was going to be grander than life itself!

Today Peter Cushing is best known by modern audiences as the cold-blooded Grand Moff Tarkin of Star Wars, a man who gives orders to annihilate entire planets, snuffing out life, erasing cultures and extinguishing entire histories.

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image via vulture

To me, he will always be revered as Baron Frankenstein, who was not above murder to obtain specimens to further his heinous crimes against Life. However, when he wasn’t building monster he was fighting them as the heroic Dr. Van Helsing, a man who was a superhero long before Marvel pooped out their products over-abundantly nearly every month – and his Van Helsing was more kick-ass than the Avengers combined. Dracula ran from him!

A long while ago there was a Tales From the Crypt movie that worked as an anthology horror film, much like Creepshow. This film featured several segments of the comeuppance of some very unpleasant fellows who get to revisit their ungodly crimes right before they are dropped into the flaming horrors of Hell.

YouTube
image via YouTube

One such segment is Poetic Justice. In it, we see our dear Peter Cushing who is a loving man who behaves like the local Santa of sorts. The noble widower finds discarded things among the rubble and makes toys out of their otherwise abandoned parts, giving new life and plenty of joy to the neighboring children. However, hateful eyes are turned against the dear old man and spitefully he is attacked and bullied until he no longer can take it.

The Spooky Isles
image via The Spooky Isles

It’s interesting because I first saw this movie back when I was a kid and had no earthly business watching such gruesome spectacles at such an early age – but I’d not trade it for the world! I couldn’t have been older than five, and this episode of the movie always stood out to me. So much so that I thought it was a nightmare I had dreamt up because anytime I inquired about it, no one knew what I was talking about. Then last year I picked up a VHS copy of Tales From the Crypt and to my surprise HERE IT WAS! Exactly as I remembered it.

So here you go, lovelies! From Manic with Love! Awwww.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and remember it NEVER pays to be heartless to others.

Hehehehe……

Tales From The Crypt / Vault Of Horror [Blu-ray]

“Weekend at Bernie’s II” is the Superior Film

Nothing makes you feel older than the things you loved from your childhood coming back into fashion and being called “retro.” Fuck! It is that time already? The movies I grew up on were some of the funniest, silliest and most entertaining movies and compared to today’s standards seemed more wholesome, even when they weren’t. One of my favorites was the Weekend at Bernie’s movies.

Weekend At Bernie's II

Only two movies in the line, the idea was hilarious. Two poon hounds (Andrew McCarthy and John Silverman) find out someone is embezzling from the firm they work for. Little do they know the embezzler is their boss they reported it to. He invites them to his beach house as a “thank you” (aka come get super murdered) but not before getting himself assassinated by a mafia man for fooling around with his girlfriend. The guys show up, Bernie Lomax(Terry Kiser)is dead, but they pretend he is still alive, confusing the hitman and essentially putting them in the line of fire.

If that wasn’t enough felony fun for you, Weekend at Bernie’s II brings voodoo into the mix. To try and find the money that Bernie embezzled, a cartel hired a voodoo priestess to raise Bernie from the dead to lead them to the money in St. Thomas. However, the voodoo goons fuck up and Bernie only moves when he hears music.

Just re-watching that scene to write this had me howling. This movie is comedy gold, if only for the dead man dance. I can’t count the number of times I have performed the Bernie flop and shake and Kiser is a trooper in this movie, too. The slapstick physical comedy in this movie is pure 80’s/90’s charm. I fucking lost it during the harpoon scene. But why is Weekend at Bernie’s II the superior film? Because the corpse of Bernie Lomax gets the chance to truly be its own character. In the first one it was all about the wacky scenarios that McCarthy and Silverman got into, but in this movie, it’s, “OMG, where the fuck did Bernie go? Shit, he danced into the damn ocean.”

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The first movie was necessary to set the tone and solidify the characters and the second movie was their chance to really have fun with it. It wasn’t silly on the level of Mel Brooks, so it still felt original and not like a parody. Much like with Ghostbusters, I prefer the second movie over the first. Uh oh, I can already hear the angry mob gathering on that one.

When it comes to movies from this time period, Weekend at Bernie’s II is right up there with Captain Ron and The Burbs. And You’ll be hearing from me about The Burbs in the future.

Weekend At Bernie’s II

[Video] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Coming Out of Their Shells on Oprah

Need 43 minutes to waste? Call up your local Pizza Hut, grab your 20-year-old TMNT pillowcase and let’s get down on some horribly bad costumed Ninja Turtles on the Oprah Winfrey show.

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You’d really have to be living in a sewer back in the late ’80s and early ’90s if you hadn’t seen a single episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Skateboarding teenage amphibians and talking rats along with Bebop and Rocksteady were LIFE. I’m proud to claim my insane devotion to TurtleMania that swept the era of Saturday Morning goodness. However, I don’t know if I can ever have the strength to defend that insanely wacky “Coming Out of Their Shells” album and tour from 1990.

Good God, it’s Magic Mike, Donatello.

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Yeah, I got nothing. No words.

Anyways, on the heels of a successful Saturday morning national treasure, and that first feature-length kick-ass movie, the Turtles moved into the music scene with a live tour and album- sponsored by who else? Pizza Hut, duh.  The “Coming Out of Their Shells” tour was promoted on the original release of the TMNT VHS movie from 1990, (if anyone actually remembers), among countless commercials from the nationwide pizza chain. The show itself, which did air live on PayPer View once, showcased the mean, green heroes dancing, singing timeless hits such as, “Pizza Power” and “Skipping Stones”, and playing instruments because hey, they were a band now.  We had Donatello on keys, Leonardo on bass guitar, Michelangelo on guitar, and Raphael on drums while also making Kenny G envious of his sweet saxophone skills. Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without the Turtles’ arch-nemesis Shredder. And oh yes, his costume is just as awfully stupendous. The Shred-Head, along with buggy brainiac Baxtor Stockman, invent a device that steals all the music in the world while also weakening the Turtles if they stand too close to it. So there we have an epically staged cornfest of singing turtles saving the day. But man, it sure didn’t seem that way when we were kids. Am I right?

Or maybe not…

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Well in any regard, the power of the Turtle was so strong even the mighty Oprah had to acknowledge it with a full show dedicated to the four mutants and their traveling live album. The audience was PACKED with little TMNT enthusiasts as you can umm, see above. I would only assume that horrified look above may have been from Oprah’s question to the Turtles on whether they wish April was a turtle like themselves. In which good ole’ Ralphel replies, “Well, I’ve been trying to talk her into an interspecies relationship for months now.” That poor woman playing April O’ Neil looks so horrified.

Something tells me there is NO WAY that would fly in this day and age. Ahh, well gotta love the ’90s! Check out the entire show below courtesy of the Digsy channel.

 

 

Ivan Drago: The Horror Icon of the Rocky Franchise

As a youngling, and to this very day, Stallone’s Rocky character was and is my goddamn hero. The message of the Rocky films, and the character itself is so powerful- which is why it remains such a time-honored classic. Never give up, chase your dreams, and be the best you, you can be. A solid lesson in life any adult or child should take and run with. As a kid, I was both obsessed with these movies (I still totally am) because of the exuberant heart this franchise lays on the line.

OK, the sweet-ass montages might play a part in this as well. Warning: Watching this video may cause a sudden sprout of chest hairs. 

Now, by the time Rocky IV came around in 1985, our Italian Stallion seemed to be on top of the world. He’s the undisputed champion, gained a best friend in his two-time opponent Apollo Creed, and has more money than I think he knows how to spend- I mean, the guy is buying robot slaves for people’s birthdays’. Must be nice, eh? Seems like things are exactly where they should be in Roc’s life, and seriously, nobody deserves it more than him.

But that’s how most horror movies start out, isn’t it?

An up and coming Russian boxer, Ivan Drago, invades into the US with his Olympic Gold-medalist wife, and his evil as Hell political posse looking to pick a fight with Balboa. They figure he’s the best, so why not go straight for it. However, Creed who is a bit past his prime opts to fight in an exhibition match with the silent blonde giant in what seems like the result of both a little jealousy, and the fact he needs to prove he’s still got it as a fighter.

BIG MISTAKE THERE BUDDY- IT AIN’T ALL IN THE HIPS.

The sequence we see before the actual match between Drago and Creed, scared the literal crap out of me as a kid. I mean, his silent stance and glaring eyes are intimidating enough. His character really doesn’t need any extra help to look like a goddamn murderer waiting to snap. But hey, enter composing score genius Vince DiCola, and everyone is about to shit their pants.

Then what happens? Drago KILLS Creed. Completly pulverizes this man’s face and bashes his brain in until Apollo is left twitching on the mat. All as his poor wife looks on in horror. As a kid seeing this for the first time, I just sat there and cried my damn eyeballs out. I couldn’t believe this shit. This monster, glaring into Rocky’s eyes, while wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielson)  is sitting at her table smoking and smirking like a jerkoff, expresses zero emotion with no fucks given for what he just did. Them’s are the traits of a classic serial killer folks.

“If he dies, he dies..”

What a heartless asshole.

So of course, Rocky needs to seek his vengeance. He heads to Russia (per the terms to fight Drago), grows an epic beard, and trains like a madman to face his toughest and scariest opponent to date. While an argument can be made that Drago was controlled and treated like a lab rat by his handlers, I like to think he had some sort of control of what he was doing. Towards the end of the fight with Rocky, he clearly lets the higher powers know he IS running the show. So perhaps he’s been influenced a tad, but I really don’t think they were totally to blame here.

In actuality, we really don’t know anything about Drago or his background before his fight with Creed- expect for he was a soldier. The absence of knowing what makes him tick, his tense presence, and that spine-shivering Drago Suite makes him a scary character in the world of cinema indeed. I could even go as far to compare him to Michael Myers. Oh yes, we’re going there. Everything I just said about Drago, applies to Haddonfield’s finest maniac as well. Regarding the first Halloween film, Myers was an effective and scary as hell villain because he had no rhyme or reason, no background explanation, and John Carpenter’s chilling score made him all that much more frightening.

So yeah, as a child and fearing for the life of my beloved hero at the hands of a soulless, steroid-infused boxer was quite terrifying by any means. I’m not going to lie, hearing that DiCola theme still gives me a bit of the skeevies. So here’s to you Ivan Drago: the unnamed horror icon hiding in plain sight inside the Rocky franchise.

I swear to everything holy about Mighty Mick’s Gym if they play this theme in Creed 2 to introduce Drago once again, I’m going to have to have both all the happy and horrified heart-attacks.

Rocky IV

That Deleted Scene From “The Fly” That Made Audiences Vomit

Apart from being one of the most beautifully put-together horror movies of the 20th century, (and a remake at that!) Cronenberg’s The Fly might also be the one that induces the most nausea.

I mean, come on. Those of us with that serious gag reflex upon seeing others vomit have to pop a roll of TUMS before a viewing.

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Blowing chunks of sugary Hostess donuts aside, the official theatrical release wasn’t even the worst of it. For those unaware, there was a scene so vile, so grotesque and disturbing that during an initial screening in Toronto, it made audience members queasy and a tad upset to say the very least.

In the cut scene, Brundle (Sir Jeff of Goldblum) seeks to reverse his ever-transforming state by teleporting a baboon and a cat from the two telepods into a third while keeping their molecules separate. Instead, it fuses them into a very disturbing “mistake” that he ultimately clubs to death to put Monkey-Cat out of its misery.

According to Producer Stuart Cornfield, the theater guests were disgusted to the point of projectile vomit. The movie has some pretty nasty scenes that could definitely make someone gag a little (as stated), but I suppose this really was just a bit much for some. Apparently, the general public didn’t take to kindly to Brundle experimenting on helpless animals and then bludgeoning them to death.

And it was never seen again until a special two-disc DVD edition was released from 20th Century Fox came about.

My personal take:

The scene had it been kept in, would make some folks take away any pity they may had for Seth, turning him from a helpless victim to an animal-murdering dickbag. However, I can see what they were ultimately aiming for.  What I personally see through my own eyes, was an act of complete desperation. Brundle was halfway through his transformation and scrambling to find a cure as time was running short. You could see the defeat in his mangled face after the terribly gone wrong experiment on the roof, and ummm, ripping off an insect leg that had spawned from his stomach with his mouth. The whole scene is slightly painful to watch, but at least for me, not in a bad sense. There are a LOT of scenes from this film that will make you squirm. In my opinion, the scene with the dog in The Fly 2 was way worse than this.

But hey, you be the judge of that!

The Fly (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)

That Freaky Poltergeist Super Bowl Poster That Predicted the Future

You know, because the whole history behind the infamous alleged Poltergeist curse wasn’t creepy enough. Perhaps you’ve heard of this one before but in the case this all news to you, get ready for one hell of a mind-fuck.

I’ll admit, I never noticed this little-added touch of mystery and freakiness about the film until about three years ago myself when it made a few internet rounds on various websites. However, the earliest article I can find on the subject itself (to give proper credit here-May 2012) is a little piece from TheBackRow.com pointing out the eerie coincidence.

In the year Poltergeist was released, 1982 helmed the 16th annual Super Bowl. Big deal right? Well, in the picture seen below you’ll see something that sticks out like a sore thumb in the midst of Robbie’s Star Wars and Alien movie posters. A Super Bowl poster hanging right above Carol Anne’s older brother’s bed. Again, who cares right?

Look again- at the date to be precise.

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Image via Imgur

Now, that’s a little strange because I don’t recall the film being set in the future of 1988. So apart from just being really weird, why the hell is there a 1988 Super Bowl poster being seen six years in the future of the present? Unfortunately, I really have no unearthly idea. Misplaced timelines aside, here’s where it get’s downright freaky…

Ok, so the 1988 Super Bowl between the Redskins and the Broncos landed on January 31, 1988. Which marks the day young Poltergeist star Heather O’ Rourke fell fatally ill and consequently, died the following day with a confirmed report of septic shock due to intestinal stenosis. Due to the nature of cast and crew involved with the film, or any sequels for that matter dying off shortly after filming; it’s hard to not at least acknowledge the very real spooky factor underneath it all.

  • Nov. 1982 Dominique Dunne- murdered in her driveway by strangulation.
  • Sep. 1985 Julian Beck- passed away from pancreatic cancer months before the release of The Other Side. (Diagnosed before accepting the role but worth mentioning)
  • June 1987 Will Sampson- died of malnutrition and postoperative kidney failure.

With the addition of Heather ‘O Rourke’s death February 1, 1988, four months before the release of her final film Poltergeist III, fans believe the above-seen poster eerily predicted the young actress’ untimely death and thus expanding on the widely known cure of the Poltergeist films. Even the most skeptical individual has to admit that’s just fuckin’ weird.

Oh, and Super Bowl took place in San Diego- O’ Rourke’s hometown and place of death.

Let that sink in for a minute.

 

 

The Dick Debate: “Labyrinth” Edition

Everyone has a movie that no matter how many times they see it, they can watch it 100 more times and it still won’t get old. And not only that, but they can put on a one (wo)man show for you and quote every single line and annoy the fuck out of you while you’re trying to watch it. That movie, for me, is the 1987 classic Labyrinth. That movie, along with the codpiece controversy, will forever be a part of me.

For those of you who don’t know the movie, and who the hell doesn’t know the movie, it follows Sarah, a 16-ish-year-old girl that hates her life and her step-mother and her half-brother. She’s a teenager and everything sucks…obv. So, one night while babysitting Baby Waldo’s understudy, she tells the story of a Goblin King that fell in love with a girl way too young for him and granted her wish of taking the baby away. To her surprise it’s true and Toby, the baby, is stolen away by Jareth, the sexiest Goblin King in the land, played by the incomparable David Bowie.

I saw this movie when I was four and fell in love with David Bowie as much as any toddler could. Here I am in my thirties and that never changed. This movie for me like with many women my age began a lifelong crush on the famously androgynous and out of this worldly talented man known as Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke.

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I can’t tell you how many times I wished I was Sarah in that ballroom in the dress with the MASSIVE sleeves.

But with this movie lies a nagging question that haunts viewers to this very day…was David Bowie actually wearing a codpiece? Could we analyze the blatant sexuality references, the fact that a grown ass man was in love with a teenage girl or the fact that the creatures who took their heads off are the things of pure nightmares? Yeah, we could, but why would we when there are more pressing issues.

I present to you exhibit A.

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Now, I don’t mind searching David Bowie’s junk on the internet, may he rest in peace, but I have something to say…that’s NOT a codpiece. THIS is a codpiece.

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That’s ridiculous and I think we can all agree that’s not what Bowie is dealing with. The costume designers purposely made his pants REALLY tight because he was supposed to be alluring and desirable like a rock star but maybe something was there to smooth things out a bit; the penile equivalent of nipple covers, but that’s it. Let’s put the debate to rest right here. That’s all Bowie. If you love Labyrinth facts, check out this little slice from Buzzfeed.

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And I debated writing this since we lost Bowie in 2016, but I can promise, there are fewer bigger fans than I. I have the utmost respect for the man, his movies, and his music. But as a young girl in the 80’s and 90’s, that bulge was just as much a part of my growing up as Saved By the Bell and Backstreet Boys.

And here, have a little dance while you’re here and sleep peacefully knowing we have settled the dick debate here and now…probably.

Labyrinth (30th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

The Splatterhouse Franchise – Horrifying Fun

Do you like blood, guts, and a whole lot of gore? Does horror make you all hot and bothered in all the right ways? Have you ever wanted to pick up a 2×4 and splash some zombie faces all over the wall?  Well lucky you, because your ole buddy Manic has a sticky treat for you.

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image via imdb

Kick off your shoes and get cozy because I’m bringing you some splat-tastic fun.

You see, there’s a legend around here among gamers. A legend of a demon-haunted mansion sitting between the reality of our world and the dimension of infernal terror. A Hell-house in the mist just daring you to put on some big-boy(girl) pants and come play with the older kids as you explore the many caverns of mayhem and sadism. It’s the old West mansion, a shunned abode better known as the Splatterhouse.

Backstory to Splatterhouse

Here’s all you need to know as a player. A horde of drooling ghouls has stolen your gorgeous girlfriend right after spilling your guts all over the floor. As you lay in the hot sticky pool of your own fluids you watch the howling deformities take off with Jennifer with you-don’t-even-want-to-know what kind of plans in mind for her. The minions of Hell have just flipped you off, pissed in your iced tea, and they think you’re a big ole douche bag. Well damn, it all you’re not gonna put up with that! Lucky for you the Terror Mask (an ancient Mayan occult relic infused with a forgotten god) has taken a shine to you and saves your life. Not only that, but he’s given you unspeakable powers that would make the Incredible Hulk run home crying for his mommy. Now you get to go punch the heads off of the gruesome assholes who infest the West Mansion. 2×4’s, chainsaws, and plenty of boomsticks are left at your exposal as you make the game live up to its raunchy name SPLATTER-house. The legions of Hell await you, but you’re a badass mother fucker and can take whatever the house throws at you.

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image via gamersradar

In case you can’t tell I love these games! This is old-school horror fun at its finest. Most of our favorite horror movies are – right to their cores – lots of fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously, at least this is true for many slasher movies: they were made with a fine balance of scares and laughs.

And one of the biggest influences on the Splatterhouse franchise is the Slasher genre.

Digital Spy
image via Digital Spy

The most obvious reference can be found in our lead character Rick. As a matter of fact, back when I was a kid and first saw the game being played I honestly thought this was a Friday the 13th game, and honestly, it made the game way more exciting. A game letting the player take control of Jason?! Oh Hells yeah! But alas, I was wrong and would have to way some 20+ years on Gun Media to give me Friday the 13th: The Game. However, by its own merit Splatterhouse is a thrilling experience and needs to be played.

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image via gamefaqs

Back on topic, Rick is clearly based on the titanic slayer Jason Voorhees. The Terror Mask alone bears some insane similarities to the iconic hockey mask. I mean who can rightly deny that? And if you compare the original arcade’s design for Rick with Jason’s look from Parts III or VII, well it’s blatantly obvious someone was a Friday fan.

Midnight Only
image via Midnight Only

Splatterific References

This is a series truly made by horror fans for horror fans. As you make your way through the Splatterhouse franchise merrily busting open oozing heads please be sure to keep a keen eye peeled for all those amazing scary movie references.

Along with Friday the 13th  being obviously referenced, one particular boss fight just can’t help itself but smell like Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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image via hellnotes

This is Biggy Man, an abomination with two chainsaws for hands, and no wonder he’s so mean! How does he take a piss? So yeah, I’ll admit the chainsaws are the glaring TCM reference, but if you look closely you’ll see our pal Biggy Man is also wearing a sack over his head, and kinda reminds me of (once again) Friday the 13th Part II’s ‘tater sack’ Jason.

Some more classic horror references can be seen in other boss fights too. For example, in one battle you’ll find yourself in a room where every single piece of furniture hates your guts and wants to see you dead as you fend off bouncing chairs, a portrait of a giant eyeball, and knives that are way too happy to throw themselves at you. The entire sequence is very heavily inspired by Poltergeist.

The creature feature Deadly Spawn finds itself immortalized in the game’s franchise as well.

Muzzleland Press
image via Muzzleland Press

Some of my favorite Easter eggs can be found in 2010’s Splatterhouse remake. For instance, and admittedly the saddest cameo in the whole franchise is found from the Evil Dead. On the gore-encrusted tiles of a filthy room, you’ll find the discarded and very lifeless body of everyone’s favorite wise-ass, Ash. This is when you get to use the boomstick for the first time in the game, a sad but fitting farewell to a very groovy hero. Hail to the King, baby.

Evil Dead News
image via Evil Dead News

Another level is entirely based on the beautifully haunting cult-classic Wicker Man. I admit this is one of my all-time favorite movies so I was geeking out during this section. It’s a race against time as you fight through hordes of demons to get closer, ever so slowly closer, to the menacing wicker-built figure standing silent and cruel atop the distant hill.  And thank God there are no bees anywhere in sight!

One of the biggest Holy Shit moments was (fittingly enough) in the boiler room. Now who could be connected to a boiler room, hmmm I wonder? Now if you rush through here you might sadly miss it. But if you have a keen eye and have been taking in all the sights so far you just might be lucky enough to see a familiar hat lying near the furnace. You’ll also find a red-striped sweater hanging above that hat. And just in case you’re thinking it’s all a coincidence you’ll also find that wonderful glove of his, the claws dark with past kills. That’s right, my lovelies. Without any doubt, Freddy Krueger is part of this series.

The most glaring reference found in each game of the series is the Cthulhu Mythos. Lovecraft’s influence permeates the franchise and grows stronger as the series expanded. The main antagonist is Dr. West, as in Re-animator’s Dr. West. Some stages in the 2010 remake depict a world entirely given over to ruin by (what we can only assume is) the awakening of Cthulhu who has brought madness and destruction to the planet. At one point you’ll find a gargantuan size tank housing a massive abomination that bears a striking resemblance to how Lovecraft detailed his beloved Cthulhu. The West Mansion is similar to the Shunned House. Rick must encounter altered dimensions, battle madness, and fight humans who have been malformed by forbidden contact with ancient evil powers from beyond the stars. Along with all that the 2010 game revolves around the stars and their alignment, which will unleash old evils that have been waiting in a cosmic prison. That is pure Lovecraft.

At one point Dr. West even shouts, “IA IA! Cthulhu Ftagn!” during one of his rituals.

As if all that wasn’t enough to get you revved up to play these games, can you tell me what other game out there gives you the opportunity to chainsaw some creepy babies during a boss fight?

The Rotting Zombie
Image via The Rotting Zombie

I honestly don’t know why Splatterhouse gets lost beneath the fandom waves of other horror titles such as Resident Evil or Dead Space. When the game’s remake was released in 2010 critics went out of their ways to hate it. But what’s even worse, most people listened to the critics and avoided the game as if it were diseased. The 2010 remake is far from perfect, but it’s certainly not a bad game. Not in the least! It’s a very good game. It’s meant to be enjoyed in the same way you’d enjoy any great 80’s scary movie. Do you think critics were kind to movies like Night of the Demons, Madman, or Cannibal Holocaust? Of course not. Those movies weren’t made for snobs though. They were made to be enjoyed by fans of the genre, and the same is true for Splatterhouse.

GameCrate
image via GameCrate

Are enemies reused in some stages? Yes. Are the mechanics same-ol’-same-ol’ from one level to the next? Sometimes. Nevertheless, these issues don’t make the game bad or ruin the experience. Each level does offer a new array of demons and mutants to fight. The boss fights are each unique, and the levels themselves are just a lot of fun to play through. I take my time and explore while I play. The game is easy to learn and still challenging, but not enough to make you rage quit…that much.

I instantly fell in love with it. It’s a masterful throwback to so many horror classics. The gore is over the top and kept me laughing. One kill-move, in particular, has Rick punch his way up a demon’s ass, go elbow deep, only to then pull out its rectum. OUCH! Buah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! The bastard had it comin’ though.

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image via siliconera

The best way to really experience the games is to get yourself a copy of the Xbox 360 or PS3 Splatterhouse. The remake includes all three original games – including an uncensored version of the initial arcade game. Even if you hate the 2010 game you’ll still have the original trilogy to enjoy.

Already the games have proven to be a horror fanatic’s dream come true as it offers one of the most comprehensive and detailed horror-fan experience out there.

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image via gamefaqs

This has been Manic Exorcism. Thanks again for joining me on this retro journey. Happy gaming everyone!

Splatterhouse – Xbox 360

Manic Mania For the Madman – Horror’s Unsung Slasher Icon

Madman may not share the infamy of other slasher films of the era such as Sleepaway Camp, Silent Night, Deadly Night, or My Bloody Valentine, but make no mistake – this small-budget independent horror movie has proven to be a tremendous force to be reckoned with.

Madman Could Not Be Stopped

Upon its release, it received horrible coverage. According to Madman himself (Paul Ehlers) the film never found its way on the cover of any magazine of the day and there was only a tiny blurb of an article discussing its merit. That’s shameful! To top it all off, very few theaters chose to showcase the movie making its audience miserably limited. Under most usual circumstances, Madman should have been quickly forgotten in the traffic of better-known franchises. However, in spite of its challenges not only did the film find its audience but has enjoyed cult stardom that grows stronger with each new viewing.

ComingSoon
image via ComingSoon

Being a fan of Madman is like being part of an exclusive club. A fan club with members like Joe Bob Briggs and Quentin Tarantino. Yup, both of them are Madman fans. Others praise Jason, Michael, and Freddy (nothing wrong with that at all I must add), but Madman fans are a category all of their own. It’s as if knowing the movie is our own kind of secret handshake. We recognize his growl and know his theme song by heart – and damn proud of it!

Originally the movie was based on local ghost stories. That’s right, my little ghoulies, initially Madman was rooted in the infamous Cropsey legend and was always intended to be the quintessential campfire boogeyman. He is a rumor, the resident guilty secret no one dares talk about after nightfall, and a whisper that chills the blood with inescapable dread. After thirty years he is still proving to be the ultimate deep woods camp legend. All you need to know to survive is “Don’t say his name above a whisper, or pay the hideous consequences.”

Villains Wiki
image via Villains Wiki

Today we’re going to pay the Madman his dues and celebrate all the fun, screams, and gory good fun of this underrated slasher!

fangoria 2
image via Fangoria

The Madman Legend

Old man Marz was anything but a soft-spoken farmer who lived peaceably out in the woods with his family. Oh no. Marz was an ugly drunk who beat his wife to a pulp and savaged both of his kids. When he wasn’t raising Hell at home he was busy cracking skulls open at the local tavern. In one such brawl his nose had been bitten off, but Marz – being the hateful cuss that he was – didn’t feel a thing.

His was a house of pain where a bruised wife and traumatized children lived in constant fear of his violent outbursts. It was anything but a home. That same hateful abode still stands, but is now rattled by the cruel ticking away of time and is cursed with haunted whispers and frightful suspicions; for one night Marz went completely ravenous mad. Without a hint of warning or any reason the old farmer picked up his axe and walked across the creaking floor boards with only a single thought in mind: murder. One by one Marz slaughtered each member of his family with cold systematic precision. As if to celebrate the event once finished Marz strolled into town – and still sodden by his family’s blood – sat himself down and had a beer at the tavern.

Upon realizing his crime vigilantes took matters into their own hands. Fed up with the sadism of the hateful creature they dragged Marz onto the streets. Someone took the Madman’s bloodied axe and buried it deep into the farmer’s face. He was still standing though, now driven by a rage that would please the cruelties of Satan and ready to slaughter the whole town. Luckily though they strung him up to the nearest tree and hung him there, thinking all was over. The next morning though Marz was no longer at the tree. He and the bodies of his family went missing, never to be found.

Blood Soaked Horror Reviews
image via Blood Soaked Horror Reviews

Madman Marz –as he came to be known, was never mentioned among the locals for fear that he would hear his name and come running.

coming soon
image via comingsoon

Upon the anniversary of the Marz family murder our cast of heroes (victims) have decided to camp just a little too close to the old farmer’s abandoned property. What begins as a fun little camp-fire ghost story soon turns into a night of savage butchery as the Madman hunts each of them down. All too late it becomes apparent that the legends are real – that he is real – and there is no escaping him.

fangoria
image via Fangoria

As far as back stories go his is one Hell of a good one. So why in the Hell does he not get any more recognition than he does? Madman is just as equally vicious as either Jason or Leatherface. As a matter of fact, I’d love to see a crossover of Madman vs Leatherface. The hatchet vs the chainsaw. Two backwoods maniacs with a taste for blood battling it out to the death! It should at the very least be a comic book for Shoggoth’s sake!

It’s an understatement to say this is a criminally underrated 80’s slasher film. It’s beautifully filmed all at night giving it an eerie tone that makes you think the killer waits behind every shadow. Fans of the slasher genre deserve to discover this one. It’s a film that needs to be experienced, and is best experienced with a group of friends.

Rivers of Grue
image via Rivers of Grue

Fun Facts

While filming Madman there was a rumor that someone was lurking around the woods at night uninvited and wanting to interrupt the crew’s progress. The director approached our Madman star and asked him to go out in the woods at night and stalk the stalker. While in full makeup and costume by the way. No lurker was ever found though.

Gaylen Ross of Dawn of the Dead stars in the movie. However, not only does she use a fake name in the end credits but allegedly refuses to admit she was ever involved in the making of the film.

cineoutsider
image via cineoutsider

Final Thoughts

Today we have seen Jason in Manhattan and space. Hell, the fucking Leprechaun got his little ass shot up into space. Michael has survived rappers and a remake. Freddy has been in a womb, in hell, and at Crystal Lake. And we have how many Hatchet – clearly inspired from Madman’s design – movies are there now? Not to mention Leatherface, Michael, Jason and Freddy are all now video game stars. But we only have one Madman movie. No sequels or remakes. There was talk that Paul Ehlers and his son had been working on a remake, but to my knowledge it hasn’t progressed beyond that. I think it’s a travesty that this never was allowed to become a franchise in of itself.

Not to mention I’m a horror figure collector and my shelf feels empty because Marz isn’t there. I’d gladly commission a talented artist to make me a Madman figure to stand beside my McFarlane Movie Maniacs.

Wicked Horror
image via Wicked Horror

Fans have made custom masks and fake trailers in honor of Marz. There’s a high demand for the Madman out there, and the love for his lore isn’t dying down. If you’re looking for a fun movie this is one

This has been Manic Exorcism. You all be sure to stay tuned in and keep those fuzzy nostalgic feelings warm here by the campfire.  I’ll be leaving you with the iconic Madman song.

Madman [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]