COMET and CHARGE TV September Schedule Boasts Godzilla and Rocky Marathons Galore!

In a digital world full of endless streaming apps, the possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing a feature for the evening. However, we always end up paying out the wahoo as competitive online streaming feature programming exclusive to their services. Want to watch Castle Rock? Well, you need HULU. Want to watch Stranger Things. Sorry guys, only NETFLIX. And for those still tuning into The Walking Dead, well, you need AMC for that one. It ends up making quite a dent in those monthly bills as they all add up into what we were essentially trying to stray from: The outrageously overpriced cable bill we all dread. Fortunately for us cinephiles, not all services will add to that hardship at the end of the month. Streaming Apps Sci-Fi extraordinaire COMET and action-packed CHARGE TV are completely FREE on your ROKU and APPLE TV!

And pssst… THEY LOVE GODZILLA AND ROCKY. Huge favorites of ours over here at NN.

Bless those guys.

COMET and CHARGE TV September Schedule Boasts Godzilla and Rocky Marathons Galore!

This month, COMET TV has their September schedule set to conquer the beasts of the eastern Pacific with Godzilla double features every Saturday starting September 8th, 2018 that feature the likes of Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Space Godzilla!

COMET TV is also the new home to Space: 1999; the cult series from the 1970’s crash lands into your weekend evenings- Saturday and Sunday starting at 10/9 C that warps back to back episodes to your streaming device. Also new to the app this month is a selection of Dr. Who films starring the late, great Peter Cushing. You can check out COMET’s full schedule here.

COMET’s sister network CHARGE! is showcasing Rocky 1-V all September for lovers of the South Paw Philly Phenom every Thursday with a double feature of the films in chronological order starting at 2/1 C and 8/7 C. You can view the full Rocky schedule and other CHARGE! action genre films by clicking here.

COMET and CHARGE TV September Schedule Boasts Godzilla and Rocky Marathons Galore!

 

Joe Bob is Back!

When July 13 turned to the evening of July 14, and the lights dimmed and credits rolled on The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, 24-hour marathon, those who live and die with blood, breasts and beasts believed they were saying goodbye to the man who had not only curated their love of drive-in cinema, but broke the internet along the way.

But as Joe Bob had relayed through a Diana Prince tweet on July 20:

PrinceJob Bob Briggs will be returning not once, or even twice, but three times, and the world is just a better place for it.

Shudder will bring back the drive-in Jedi for Thanksgiving and Christmas specials “to be titled ‘The Dinners of Death’ and ‘A Very Joe Bob Christmas,” and Shudder, “the premium streaming service of thriller, suspense and horror,” also has plans to launch a regular series featuring Mr. Briggs as host in 2019.

The Thanksgiving special is slated to air on Thursday, November 22, and the Christmas chicanery is set for Friday, December 21. “Both marathons will be streamed live and feature films hand-picked by Joe Bob himself, with special guest stars and Joe Bob’s signature brand of Drive-In deep-dives and commentary.”

From Shudder’s press release:

“The response to our first marathon was overwhelming, and we can’t think of a better gift for our members than to bring Joe Bob back for the holidays,” said Shudder GM Craig Engler. “We’ve been hard at work with Joe Bob and his team to make these new marathons unforgettable events, and we have even bigger plans for 2019.”

Joe Bob Briggs adds, “In November we’re turning Black Friday into Red Thursday with the best deadly-dinner movies in history, and in December we have a very special way to fill that void felt by American households ever since ABC stopped airing the ‘Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey’ Claymation special.”

Continuing:

Details for the Joe Bob series will be announced in early 2019. Both the marathons and the series will be produced by Matt Manjourides and Justin Martell and directed by Austin Jennings.

Nightmare Nostalgia will offer more details on this developing story as they become available.

Briggs smile

Get Ready To Float Again: Unofficial Sequel to “IT” Miniseries “GEORGIE” Teaser Trailer Debut!

As we recently let out the big news here at Nightmare Nostalgia about Creepy Kingdom bringing back the original Georgie, Tony Dakota from Stephen King’s 1990 IT miniseries; The creators behind this project have offered us a sneak peek inside GEORGIE in the form of the forever blue-balls inducing teaser trailer!

In case you missed it last time, the unofficial sequel of the 1990’s IT miniseries stars Tony Dakota and Ben Heller. In what marks his first role in 25 years, Tony makes his long overdue return to both the world of acting and to the universe of Stephen King in a story that prompts an alternate theory of what may have happened to Georgie after that fateful meeting with Pennywise at the storm drain.

Creepy Kingdom has launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of producing GEORGIE. They have partnered with Fright Rags & Theater of Creeps to create exclusive backer perks, The campaign can be found at this link: https://igg.me/at/georgiefilm

John Campopiano: Producer/Co-writer

Ryan Grulich Director/Co-writer

James H. Carter II Executive Producer

 

Established in 2013 Creepy Kingdom produces original Films, Podcasts, and Events. They also cover the spooky side of Films, Theme Parks, and Beyond. For more information on GEORGIE go to http://www.creepykingdom.com.

Stay tuned to Nightmare Nostalgia for further updates on GEORGIE! You know you want to. Don’t cha?

pennywise dont you want it

Witness the Gloriously Inappropriate Red Band Trailer For “The Happytime Murders”

Jim Henson must be so proud.

The all-new gloriously, filthy comedy, The Happytime Murders, directed by Brian Henson has a spankin’ new Red Band Trailer and it’s just as humorous as you would expect.

 

THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives, one human, and one puppet are forced to work together to try and solve who is brutally murdering the former cast of “The Happytime Gang,” a beloved classic puppet show.

STXfilms’ THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS, stars Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, and Elizabeth Banks. Bring your sugar and leave the kids at home as the film opens nationwide in theaters nationwide on August 24.

Twitter: @HappytimeMovie
Instagram: @HappytimeMovie
Facebook: @HappytimeMovie
#TheHappytimeMurders

Sight Unseen — The Lasting Images of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Tobe Hooper once said “I don’t believe in using too much graphic violence, although I’ve done it. It’s better to be suggestive and to allow the viewer to fill in the blanks with their minds.” The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is not one of the finest horror experiences ever put to film because of on-screen slaughter, but rather the suggestion of bloodshed. The long-lasting effect of Hooper’s direction was borne from the simple presentation of a scenario, the resulting (and very personal) nightmares were conjured entirely within the headspace of whomever laid eyes on it.

The concept isn’t exclusive to TCM, but certainly applies to John McNaughton’s tense tale of a week in the life of a sociopath, 1986’s Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Though it made its way around film festivals for years, the Motion Picture Association of America’s inability, or unwillingness to give it a straight R-rating delayed its limited theatrical release for 4 years.

As legendary film critic Roger Ebert noted, however, “This film deserves to be seen,” and over the course of more than three decades, it has become essential viewing for horror aficionados everywhere. And not for overt violence, although like Hooper, it had its fair share, but rather for what wasn’t seen.

Make no mistake, the reasons for suggestion in this case were partially due to budgetary and time constraints. However, McNaughton wanted to truly explore the inner workings of Henry’s (Michael Rooker) mind, as well as his relationship with Otis (Tom Towles) and Becky (Tracy Arnold), which meant that on-screen violence would have to be dispersed carefully, but to offer a true glimpse at the danger housed within the protagonist, the film would need to be littered with other misdeeds.

And that is where the power of suggestion entered the equation, in part through the utilization of brilliant music cues strewn throughout by film editor Elena Maganini. Portrait of a Serial Killer’s main theme is composed of the simplistic yet powerful piano chords of Ken Hale, Steven A. Jones and Robert McNaugton that matched Rooker’s icy glare, begging the question, what truly resided beneath the surface.

The horrors left in Henry’s wake were revealed through a series of pan shots, offering a peek behind a veneer that should never come into focus. Again, the issues of budget and time factored into McNaughton’s decision-making, yes, but ultimately the road followed was that which would make the greatest impact, and that avenue was paved by sound editor Cory Coken and post-production sound mixer Ric Coken. The audible screams of victims blended with Henry’s angry commands to “shup up!” underneath ghastly visuals painted a picture that turned blood cold, as viewers were burdened with whatever terror played before their mind’s eye thanks to the macabre melody dancing through their heads.

All which set up McNaughton’s final stroke of genius.

BeckyAfter Henry returned to the apartment to find Otis raping his sister, and the ensuing scuffle that resulted in Otis’ death, Henry’s instinct took over and he dismembered his friend’s body in the bathtub before hitting the road with Becky.

In a wink to the audience, another music cue foretold Becky’s fate, as “Loving you was my mistake” sprang from the radio before the pair reached their roadside motel.

The following morning, pulling to the side of a desolate road in the middle of nowhere, Henry exited his vehicle and waited for cars to pass before he opened the trunk. When it had reached its apex, it was accompanied with a single, ominous piano chord. To that point, there may have been hope that Becky had already been in the car when the vehicle pulled away from the motel, but in that moment, the audience knew.

Henry waited for another car to pass, then glanced over his shoulder to ensure no others were coming, lifted Becky’s blue suitcase, now her tomb, and laid it at the top of a ditch beside his car. Once again, the terrified shrieks of one of Henry’s victims echoed as the luggage connected with the earth below. McNaughton had cinematographer Charlie Lieberman hold the shot, and slowly zoom to the blood-smeared bag, a grotesque exclamation point on a film that has always carried an unsettling tinge of documentary.

As Henry pulled away and the camera closed in, all that was left were the curdling chords of Henry’s theme, and the remains of the one person it appeared Henry may have had the slightest sentiment for. Uncaptured and unpunished, the sounds perfectly encapsulated the unknown of where Henry, or those like him—who unquestionably exist—would head next.

The visceral images of McNaughton’s masterpiece proved too much for many audience members to endure when it first reared its head at film festivals decades ago, and abandoned it to what Ebert described as “the purgatory between [an] R and X [rating].” The film was too powerful and too well done to be contained for long, but for the violence we witnessed, including the devastatingly difficult to digest home invasion segment, it was the intonations left unseen that made Portrait of a Serial Killer so indelible.

They were haunting in 1986, and haunting today.

Henry luggage

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Unmasks “Halloween 4” Mazes For 2018!

I’ll be totally honest here: A week ago I was pondering on what other attractions were to be announced for the ever so wonderful, Halloween Horror Nights. As I knew, there were to be three more surprise additions to be leaked to us press scum over the next few weeks and while I still have a few guesses on the other two, I knew sure as shit ONE of them just had to be Halloween themed. With of course, John Carpenter’s immortal classic turning 40 this year and Blumhouse’s sequel to that original phenom is set for October 19th, it only seemed logical, right Poncho? Well, I was close enough! Turns out our George P. Wilber version of the Shape will be unleashing hell onto his niece Jamie and guests over at HHN in Orlando and Hollywood this 2018 haunt season!

 

Beginning on Friday, September 14th, 2008 through November 3rd, guests will be able to dive into the world of 1988 Haddonfield with an interactive experience of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the film that began the illustrious Scream Queen career of Danielle Harris and has since become a favorite addition to the franchise.

Per NBC Universal:

Based on the fourth installment in the classic slasher series created by John Carpenter, the mazes will transport guests to the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night where Myers has escaped Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and is hungry for revenge. This time, he relentlessly stalks his niece Jamie as his next victim, stopping at nothing to kill her.

Guests will follow Myers as he escapes the mental hospital, encounters his first victims at Penney’s Gas Station and Diner, and wreaks terror on Haddonfield, all set to Alan Howarth’s ominous score. The maze will include horrifying scares by Myers in his classic featureless white mask and navy jumpsuit, with guests dodging his bloody knife at every turn. Halloween fanatics can expect a cameo by Myer’s psychiatrist Dr. Loomis and other famous characters from the film as they try to escape the bloodbath.

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

All tickets and vacation packages are on sale now at www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com

About Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff™”. Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons Ride™” and the “The Walking Dead” daytime attraction and the all-new DreamWorks Theatre featuring “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest.” The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television production studio where they can also experience such authentic thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.” The adjacent Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

About Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is a unique vacation destination that is part of the NBCUniversal Comcast family. For more than 25 years, Universal Orlando has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures. 

Universal Orlando’s three theme parks, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative theme park experiences – including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels are destinations unto themselves and include Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and coming this August, Universal’s Aventura Hotel. Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers immersive dining and entertainment for every member of the family.

Universal Orlando Resort continues to unveil all-new guest experiences, including powerful attractions, incredible dining opportunities and dramatically-themed hotels. Now open is Fast & Furious – Supercharged, where guests can join the Fast family and step into the blockbuster Fast & Furious films at Universal Studios Florida. And at Universal CityWalk, Voodoo Doughnut is now serving more than 50 types of delightfully weird and sinfully delicious doughnuts.

About Trancas International Films
Trancas International Films, Inc., along with its subsidiary Compass International Pictures, Inc., is a film production and distribution company based in Los Angeles and operating worldwide with a library of classic and revered films, such as John Carpenter’s HalloweenThe Message and Lion of the Desert. Trancas has been involved in the production of every film in the Halloween franchise, including the upcoming Universal release directed by David Gordon Green and starring Jamie Lee Curtis. In addition to partnerships with Universal, Trancas has deals with Miramax, Blumhouse, Lionsgate, Anchor Bay and Dimension Films, among others.

 

NBC Universal- Nightmare Nostalgia

 

Original Georgie From “IT” Returns For Unofficial Sequel To 1990 Miniseries!

You thought little Georgie getting his arms ripped off by a demonic shapeshifting entity was the end of the little guy? Think again! In an exclusive announcement provided to Nightmare Nostalgia, fellow comrades over at Creepy Kingdom have partnered with Pennywise: The Story Of IT and Unearth and Untold: The Path To Pet Sematary creator John Campopiano to bring us an unofficial sequel in the form of a short film starring none other than the original Georgie himself, Tony Dakota!

Original Georgie From "IT" Returns For Unofficial Sequel To 1990 Miniseries!

 

With the working title of “GEORGIE“, this would be Dakota’s first return to the screen in over 25 years. And what better format than a trip back into the sewers that catapulted his status as a renowned icon in the horror industry; and quite possibly, one of the most memorable scenes not only in the Stephen King universe but in the horror genre as a whole. Also, you might be wondering how this would even be a possibility as clearly enough, Georgie was mincemeat at the hands, or teeth rather, of Pennywise. Well, here’s your answer:

Near the intersection of Witcham and Jackson, Georgie Denbrough’s young life came to an abrupt and tragic end. His paper boat–assembled from a Derry News newspaper with care by his older brother, Bill–had careened down a sewer drain and into the hands of what, not who, would be his killer. Its maiden voyage into death. But what if Pennywise the Dancing Clown hadn’t killed Georgie after all? What if Georgie had somehow escaped death and managed to live some semblance of a normal life in the not-so-normal town of Derry? What might his world look like? Or that of the Denbrough family? Would this horrific experience color their view of the universe? Like the themes explored in Stephen King’s IT, what role does grief, memory, and the confronting of our childhood traumas as children play here? GEORGIE is a snapshot of this very scenario–an experiment in fantastical reinventions that proposes an alternative reality in which, maybe, Georgie Denbrough still walks the earth. But even then, maybe, not everything is at it seems.

Original Georgie From "IT" Returns For Unofficial Sequel To 1990 Miniseries!

To get this wonderful, and personally speaking, intriguing project off the ground, the creators have launched an IndieGoGo campaign in collaboration with horror clothing experts FRIGHT RAGS and Theater of Creeps to help cost the cover of production.   Including a RAD new GEORGIE shirt seen serving as one of the many super cool backer rewards.

GEORGIE stars Tony Dakota with John Campopiano as Producer/Co-writer along with Ryan Grulich as Director/Co-writer with James H. Carter II serving as Executive Producer. 

John Campopiano is an audiovisual archivist, film writer, and producer living in Boston. He co- wrote, produced, and directed the 2017 documentary, Unearthed & Untold: The Path to PET SEMATARY and is writer and co-producer on the forthcoming documentary, Pennywise: The Story of IT. Ryan Grulich is a writer/producer/director based in Seattle. He produced the 2017 film, Foolish Mortals, a documentary about Disney’s Haunted Mansion, and has directed several short films including, I Hate Halloween, which premiered on July 28, 2018.

Established in 2013 Creepy Kingdom, run by James H. Carter II, produces original Films, Podcasts, and Events. They also cover the spooky side of Films, Theme Parks, and Beyond. For more information on GEORGIE go to http://www.creepykingdom.com

4K Restoration of “The Fog” Coming to Theaters For Halloween!

Merry early Halloween folks! A fully restored version of John Carpenter’s landmark horror gem, The Fog, is hitting theaters this October!

4K Restoration of "The Fog" Coming to Theaters For Halloween!

In its first-ever major restoration, John Carpenter’s THE FOG is back in a full 4K restoration from Studiocanal and opens October 26 for a limited run at the Metrograph in New York, Landmark’s Nuart in Los Angeles, and The Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Additional screenings will occur during the week of Halloween throughout the Alamo Drafthouse circuit and other specialty theaters.

Carpenter’s first post-Halloween venture into the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired, apocalyptic vein that he would continue to mine in films like The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987), THE FOG depicts the seaside California town of Antonio Bay in the grips of an ancient curse and a creeping mist. Drenched in malevolent atmosphere and packing an ensemble cast that includes Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook and the mother-daughter duo of Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis, this is the director at his ingenious, chilling best, servicing a contemporary taste for gore while simultaneously evoking the spirit of Val Lewton.   

Out of theatrical release for years due to faded, unplayable prints, THE FOG can now be viewed again as it was intended, with the restoration of its breathtaking color cinematography by Dean Cundey (Escape From New York, Back To The Future (I-III), Apollo 13, Romancing The Stone), who deftly captured both the daylight beauty of the Point Reyes shore and the ghostly goings-on in the dark, eerie night.

The Fog has been our most requested title for as long as we have handled the Studiocanal library here,” according to Eric Di Bernardo, Rialto’s director of sales. “It is Carpenter’s most visually alluring film and we think it’s been worth the wait.”

Founded in 1997 by Bruce Goldstein, Rialto Pictures brings the finest of world cinema to screens across North America. From new restorations of enduring classics such as Carol Reed’s The Third Man, Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion, and Akira Kurosawa’s Ran to genre mainstays like John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, Rialto Pictures offers an eclectic range of cinematic adventures appealing to any audience. Since 2012, Rialto Pictures has been the U.S. theatrical and non-theatrical representative of the Studiocanal library of over 2,000 international classics. Often featuring updated subtitles and renewed marketing materials, Rialto Pictures aims to engage moviegoers with cinematic history, preserve film culture, and highlight the continued relevance of classic stories through high-quality theatrical presentations.

First Official Images From “Creed II” Are Here!

Hot off the press from MGM Pictures and Warner Bros. Studios, the first official images of Creed II have arrived and Junior looks like he means business as he prepares for the fight of his life against Viktor Drago. You know, the son of that scary as hell Russian that killed his father back in 1985.

Vengence at its finest my friends.

Directed by Stephen Caple Jr., the immortal Rocky saga continues with Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) stepping into the focal role with, of course, the legendary Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa at his side to guide him through the squared circle along with the brakes of life.

Official Synopsis:

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

First Official Images From "Creed II" Are Here!

Images via Warner Bros. and MGM

First Official Images From "Creed II" Are Here!

Written by Sylvester Stallone, Creed 2 stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu, Andre Ward, Phylicia Rashad, and Dolph Lundgren. Original Creed director Ryan Coogler has a chair as Executive Producer along with Michael B. Jordan and Guy Riedel. Sylvester Stallone, Kevin King-Templeton, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Irwin Winkler serve as producers.

Creed II drops everywhere in theaters Wednesday, November 21st. 

Underrated Slashers Presents, Frank Zito of ‘MANIAC!’

Horror takes many shapes and assumes various forms in order to affect us. Be it monsters, killers, or simple catastrophes, horror is there to incarnate both our deepest fears and our darkest sense of humor. By far, the Slasher Genre is my favorite kind of horror to watch, and there are hundreds to choose from out there. So much so that too many of them go overlooked and remain underrated. For that reason I, Manic Exorcism, gladly pull back the tattered veil to shed some sinister light upon these underrated slasher killers.

 

MANIAC (1980)

Why hello again. Come and gather around the hobo fire. Have your pick of any select hooker to scalp (they always come in plenty around this side of town), because today on Underrated Slashers we’re heading into some very sketchy places and getting extra sleazy, my little Nasties. Today we’ll be looking at one of the 80’s all-time best slasher films, William Lustig’s MANIAC!

The world of Frank Zito is a vile one indeed. One of the uncontrollable desires, lust, a cruel obsession for the flesh, and – above all else – murder. Brought to us by the larger-than-life performance of Joe Spinell , Frank Zito’s is a tale of atrocities and tragedy. A man controlled by need and ruled by his addiction. An addiction not for narcotics, no, but for something far more seductive. The addiction for perfection and beauty. The lovely victims who fall prey under his serrated knife are not innocent, at least not in his diluted sight. Afterall, they were told not to go out tonight.

The Midwest Film Journal
image via The Midwest Film Journal

The 80’s were the golden years of the Slasher Genre. Ah Hell, that decade gave birth to the genre. That was the golden age of Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and Michael Myers! When the big baddies wet the screens red with the blood of the innocent, and we fucking loved it! That’s also the decade that was pumping out slashers on nearly a weekly basis, so much so that we could barely keep up with them. Sadly, as the bigger names were given limitless sequels as their box office success rose like the smoke off a cannibal pyre, there were single films that got woefully overlooked in the great crowd of murder and mayhem. And by no means does that mean these lesser-knowns were in any way inferior. Quite the contrary, as in the case of MANIAC, often times they were either equal to or superior to the hell unleashed upon Elm Street or Crystal Lake.

rotten tomatoes
image via Rotten Tomatoes

In the case of Frank Zito, the blood was realistic and the outcome was gruesome. As a matter of fact, this may very well be one of the most unpleasant films in the genre to sit through. You can feel the humidity of this film. I swear at times you can even smell it. You get that rancid stench of neglected trash filling the undercity’s gutters, and the odor of cheap cologne mingled with heavy sweat just permeates nearly every scene. It kinda smells like Old Spice and spicy sausage with a hint of uncontrollable BO.

Make no mistake, this is a very dirty movie. Every minute of the film makes damn sure you understand that. It’s a film that makes you want to shower after watching it, and fuck it all that’s why I love it! Few movies can have that kind of an effect on an audience.

Life Between Frames
image via Life Between Frames

We do not simply watch Frank Zito’s life, we are thrust into it. We walk the darkly wet streets with him. We sit in the corner of his dingy flat, and we are up close and personal with his obscenities.

ORIGINS

Every good serial killer must have a beginning, thus keeping that ancient riddle of nature vs. nurture alive – are maniacs born or built? In Frank’s case, we learn that he was constantly abused by his prostitute mother, and honestly, there is a wide-open door left here for us to explore the psychology of a killer through studying our nasty friend, Franky.

scumcinema
image via scumcinema

So, with Freddy we have a child killer who was provoked by his alcoholic father’s sadism, in Jason, we have an innocent child who was bullied, picked on, then left to drown, but who also had an overly-loving mother who was ready and all-too-willing to kill for her beloved Jason. Frank Zito was victim to his mother’s sick perversities. Zito had no supernatural powers, but he kept New York City in a grip of scarlet terror and still proves to be just as deadly as his fellow murderers.

I’ve said it before, but really that’s the kind of killer that makes us all squirm. They live in the flat down the hall, just like Dahmer. They aren’t the type we’d want to spend an afternoon with, but we would never expect to find a hidden museum of the macabre waiting behind their locked doors.

bocadoinferno
image via bocadoinferno

And trust me – and without giving anything away – Frank has a grotesque little shrine built out of sin itself. For gorehounds, this is a film you won’t want to pass up! For slasher freaks, this is one underrated hit you have to finally see.

Recently, MANIAC has been enjoying a much-needed revival thanks to my friends over at Eibon Press. They specialize in bringing the crassness of grindhouse classics back to life with new twists and insidious depth. Their first issue of MANIAC is a must-have for any fan of the sleazy classic. And for the truest of sickies, issue 2 promises to pit Frank Zitto against the New York Ripper himself. So holy fuck! It’s a manic dream come true! To read more on the insane awesomeness of Eibon Press please click here and see what you’ve been missing in your life.

Wicked Horror
image via Wicked Horror

So there you have it, my Nasties. Frank Zito is out there in the dark corners of your world. He waits in the shadows and looks out through wild eyes of craven lust. Once he decides to strike there is no escape. So be careful when you walk away from here, and always keep your head turned towards those grimy alleyways, that parking garage you think is empty, or, if you’re really unlucky, outside your front door.

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