Tag Archives: horror

WTF Am I Watching: Black Devil Doll From Hell (1984)

Dearest Reader,

Welcome to the inaugural article of my WTF Am I Watching series. Throughout this extended (barring my sudden death at 27 years old like some sort of coked out rockstar) collection of articles, I’ll be viewing bizarre horror films that most people have never even heard of and describing them to you in great detail. This week’s flick is Black Devil Doll From Hell, a mid-eighties blaxploitation horror film from writer/director Chester Turner.

black devil doll from hell

Black Devil Doll From Hell begins with a nearly four-minute opening credit sequence in which several names appear against a fuzzy black background while a sampled beat of sinister funk (is that a genre?) plays on a repeated loop three or four times in full. In layman’s terms, it was long as fuck.

Once the credits finally wrap up, the viewer is met with a foreboding warning in regard to the terror they’re about to experience:

We all have our personal horror stories to tell. May yours never be as devastating as Miss Helen Black’s.”

If I may backtrack for a moment… I watched Black Devil Doll From Hell on Shudder, and since I neglected to read the plot information, I had no idea exactly what I was getting myself into. Foolishly, I expected something more along the lines of Child’s Play, but, um, that’s not exactly the sort of devastation Helen Black would be faced with.

This was Turner’s directorial debut, and it shows from the very moment we see something other than words on the screen. I didn’t do my research on the particular subject, but the film appears to be shot on a standard 80’s home video recorder. The picture looks like something you’d find on a VHS tape in the dusty cabinet under your grandparent’s bulky box television. The opening scene is set in a church, and you’d be hard-pressed to believe that any of the characters are played by real actors. I 100% think that Turner filmed an actual church congregation, save for Shirley L. Jones, the lead actress, with a home video recorder, and turned it into the first scene of a movie. Some of the pew-sitting church members even glance directly into the camera! It’s quite charming.

What we learn from this opening church scene and the walk home that follows, however, is that Helen Black is as devout as Christians come. She follows the ten commandments to the letter, tries to bring sinners to the lord, and shuns any negative influence. She’s a virgin, and as she confesses to a friend over the phone, she intends to remain that way until she is married. At the time it was spoken, I really thought the bit about her virginity was just a throwaway line. I had no idea that the entire plot of this insane film was hinging on her sex life.

Not long after convincing her phone friend to attend church with her next Sunday, Ms. Helen Black visits some sort of thrift shop, where she becomes instantly fascinated by the antique doll of a black man. She asks the owner of the store for a price, and the owner is surprisingly straight-up with her about the doll’s supernatural abilities. In a bit of terribly acted exposition, the owner explains that the doll possesses the power to grant the deepest desires of the heart, and that every time someone purchases it, the doll eventually finds its way back to her shop.

Ms. Black laughs, sets the doll down, and begins to walk away while shaking her head at the silly story she’d just been told. However, when she reaches the doorway, she decides to buy the doll regardless of its supernatural power because either (A) she really doesn’t believe fables other than the bible, or (B) she DOES believe the story, and since she’s not the virgin Mary, God isn’t providing the D that her heart most desires.

black devil doll from hell

That’s right, it’s quickly revealed after she purchases the doll that, despite what she’s preached throughout the thirty minutes of the movie so far, what she wants more than anything in the world is to get laid. Ms. Black keeps her innocent charade up while speaking with the doll upon returning home. She sets the doll on the toilet, begins to undress for a shower, and declares that the doll’s eyes are the only ones who will see her naked until she’s married.

While Helen bathes, the doll opens its eyes and looks around the bathroom, observing that his new owner is in the shower. He exhales an unexplained white mist, causing the shower curtain to slowly open by itself. Under the doll’s influence, Ms. Black experiences visions of herself and the doll having dirty, nipple-lickin’ sex, and she begins to touch herself without realizing exactly what she’s doing. When she eventually catches herself, she laments the dirty thoughts and pulls the shower curtain closed without so much as a thought as to why it opened by itself. Because that happens.

That night, Helen wakes from disturbing sex dreams to find the doll watching her. She removes the doll from the room, but it’s watching her yet again when she awakens the following morning. Inexplicably confused by the doll seeming to possess a supernatural power in which she’d already been warned about, Ms. Black ties the doll up inside of a closeted box before leaving the house for a few hours. To her surprise, the doll is still tied up when she returns home, so she decides to shower in peace.

As I mentioned before, I really expected Black Devil Doll From Hell to be something similar to Child’s Play. I was fully prepared to see a doll cussing, killing, and placing its soul in the bodies of small white children. What I didn’t plan on, however, was for this ridiculously cheap-looking puppet to attack Helen Black, knock her unconscious long enough to tie her to a bed, and rape her against her will while calling her “bitch” about a hundred times and degrading her very existence.

Also unplanned was the fact that Black Devil Doll From Hell becomes what is essentially softcore pornography. The doll has a tongue, and it uses it in more ways than one. Most unexpected, though, is that Ms. Black not only enjoyed her sexual experience, but complimented the doll’s sexual prowess and begged it not to stop. Talk about good girls gone wild.

black devil doll from hell

After the moderately graphic seven minutes of doll on human sex (!!!), the doll vanishes, having fulfilled Helen’s deepest desire. Throughout the rest of the film, though, she grows increasingly lustful, but the missing doll has the only wood she craves. It’s wild, y’all.

Black Devil Doll From Hell is the type of horror movie that’s so bad, you’ll never be able to unsee it. Every aspect of the film is horribly executed, from the direction, editing and performances, to the in-your-face misogyny. I can’t at all recommend it, but I hope like hell that you watch it anyway.

Shout Factory Just Made My Day – ‘CREEPSHOW Collector’s Edition’ to be Released!

Welcome back my Nasties! Gather close and snuggle up with a corpse because we have some ghastly goodness to discuss. I’m your host, Manic Exorcism, and today I, once again, am being forced to bid farewell to some more hard-earned cash. That’s because our friends over at Shout Factory just gave us some of the best damn news ever, and frankly, I’m a bit shocked. Earlier today the team responsible for giving us some of the finest horror Blu-rays ever just announced that we will be getting a CREEPSHOW Collector’s Edition. It’s finally happening!

It’s about fucking time too! For the longest while, we had to settle for an inferior, bare-bones release of one of the most beloved horror titles of all time. CREEPSHOW is the pinnacle example of how a horror anthology should be done. Certainly, this movie wasn’t the very first horror anthology, but it’s certainly the favorite among many. It’s my personal favorite one.

 

amazon
image via Amazon

 

The masterminds over at Arrow Video did give us a brilliant release of CREEPSHOW 2, and I’m very happy with that edition. Nevertheless, I still wanted the set to be complete (CREEPSHOW 3 can eat shit and die because it doesn’t exist to me) and hoped to see the original movie (FINALLY) get a proper Blu-ray treatment.

The movie deserves it.

The fans deserve it.

Jordy Verrill gave his life to see this finally happen.

And by God, we’ve waited long enough!

“Romero and King have approached this movie with humor and affection, as well as an appreciation of the macabre.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

That’s the charm of this movie. It’s spooky fun, something modern horror needs to be reminded of.

No matter what kind of day you’re dealing with this movie will make you feel better.

Hollywood Reporter
image via Hollywood Reporter

It’s also something you can watch with your kids, just in case you’re wanting to raise them to be proper horror fanatics. It has everything! The dead rising from the grave,  Joe Hill getting the shit slapped out of his face, Leslie Nielsen being a dickhead to Ted Danson, and a drunk Adrienne Barbeau – this movie is fun for the whole family!

I’m curious to see what kind of Special Features we’re going to get with this one too. I’m really hoping it mirrors the UK DVD edition that came out a while ago. Regardless this is the Collector’s Edition and given Shout Factory’s past record I know we can expect some great things.

Preorders are limited right now, and they boast:

EXCLUSIVE LIMITED-EDITION OFFER FOR SHOUTFACTORY.COM – ONLY 1,500 AVAILABLE – INCLUDES:

A rolled 28.5” x 16.5” lithograph of the new slipcase art by Laz Marquez
A rolled 18” x 24” poster of an alternative art illustration by Laz Marquez
– Shoutfactory.com

 

https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/creepshow-collector-s-edition?product_id=6868

AGGRONAUTIX Presents: The GG Allin 25th Deathiversary Bust!

If you happen to be a fan of the often controversial, but hey always entertaining, late GG Allin, then you’re going to want to cash that Friday paycheck and head on over to the punk-infused online store AGGRONAUTIX for a very limited edition item starring the anything but holy, Jesus Christ Allin.

Jesus Christ Allin

Since 2009, AGGRONAUTIX has been creating limited-edition Throbbleheads of legendary punks and rock’n’roll rebels. Limited to only 1,000 numbered units, this special edition bust depicting a zombie-like GG Allin post-death is the first of its kind by the wonderfully artistic rebel worshippers of the music scene.

Based on an illustration by Lou Rusconi, sculpted by Arlen Pellitier, and detailed by Eddie Bradley, this figure carefully hand-painted with detail. The bust stands at seven inches tall and is made of high-quality resin.

Expected to ship later this Summer 2018, the zombie GG bust is restricted to one order per customer, giving everyone a fair shot at nabbing one of these beasts. Bonus to the first 100 customers who pre-order this bad-boy, as you’ll get an exclusive “Live Fast Die” enamel pin!
If you want this sucker to torment your household just in time for the Halloween season, click here to secure yours!

Remembering That Freaky-Ass Episode of ‘The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald’

Ah, McDonald’s. The chicken nuggets are endless, the playgrounds are bitchin’, and the McFlurry machine has been broken since 1995. Despite that one glaring flaw, Mickie D’s is a pretty solid fast food joint. However, the franchise’s greatest accomplishment is one that time has forgotten. That pesky time.

That accomplishment, for those who still don’t know, is The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald. Produced by Klasky Csupo, the company known for shows such as The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, the separately-released direct-to-video series focused on Ronald McDonald, the other McDonald’s mascots, and their young human friends while they experienced wondrous, moral-teaching adventures.

None of those adventures were greater, though than “Scared Silly,” the series’ very first episode. Released to VHS in October of 1998, the 40-minute episode could be purchased at your local McDonald’s for less than $4, and unless your guardians were total squares, they spotted you the cash.

Now, I’m not going to sit here in my holey sweatpants and tell you that “Scared Silly” is greater than classic haunted house films like Poltergeist and The Changeling, but I’m not going to deny it either.

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Just look at that freaky shit.

The episode follows the baggy jumpsuit-wearing Ronald McDonald and his friends while they go camping in the Far-Flung Forest. There are songs, there are jokes, and there is cheer all around. Like any great horror film, though, that happiness is quickly suffocated by a sense of doom when a thunderstorm strikes and forces the group to take shelter in an old haunted house.

While there, the McBuddies (A name I just gave them that should’ve totally been trademarked) encounter a holographic head named Franklin, who forces them to partake in a challenging riddle game if they ever want to leave the spooky house again. One by one, the friends begin to disappear as they fail to correctly solve each riddle.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I promise that it’s satisfying.

If your interest in The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald has been renewed, or if you have a child you want to shamelessly frighten in a family-friendly sort of way, the episode has been uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed below.

Stay spooky, my friends.

Eibon Press and the Future-Past of Horror Comics!

It’s time to crack open the forbidden tomes of Eibon, faithful followers. Here we bid a long farewell to our flesh. Beyond this point, there shall be no return. The mind will melt and the soul filleted as such oozing spectacles assault our vision from the Beyond.  Forsake ye all hopes for a restful grave at the sure ending of life, because a hideous power, one of wickedness and dread, this way quickly comes. Eibon has been reopened forthwith ushering us into fresh circles of Hell.

 

. . . The Book of Eibon, that strangest and rarest of occult forgotten volumes … is said to have come down through a series of manifold translations from a prehistoric original written in the lost language of Hyperborea.
—Clark Ashton Smith, “Ubbo-Sathla”

 

Eibon Press is proving themselves to be the unrelenting future of horror comics. With a lethal eye trained for macabre details, they are undoubtedly the undisputed masters of their craft. By blending gruesome art with fiendish tales they masterfully weave new layers of terror into some of our most cherished exploitation films and cult classics, thus ensuring their secured place in horror history.

 

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image via Eibon Press Facebook Page

 

Horror naturally prospers in comic book form, mainly because the MPAA can’t step in with their bitchy attitudes and erase away any sight of blood, guts or sexuality that might make them blush with a bad case of the vapors. Many of our favorite horror franchises have suffered needlessly beneath the rigorous afflictions of uptight censorship, thus ruining some perfectly good horror movie opportunities in terms of those messy little meaty details. Friday the 13th, at least the later films, were systematically abused by the righteous endeavors of the MPAA. Luckily, the grimy halls of comic books are unspoiled by such convictions and their haunted halls are rife with maniacs who freely kick down our doors, raise their chipped hatchets and cleave our puny good sensibilities into a bloody and gurgling pulp.

 

Eipbon Press
image via Eibon Press

 

Now, if you’ve had a chance to read anything from Avatar Press – I’m thinking especially Wormwood, but especially Crossed – or just about anything by Garth Ennis, you’ll know immediately what I mean here. Comic books are not safe, and woe to any who thinks differently. No one who appears in such macabre volumes shall be spared. Their eyes will melt and their flesh decay, no one, not even our most beloved of heroes, are safe beneath the ink of those given to this expression of Art. These writers and artists will not hesitate to shove us down and kick our teeth in.  Oh no, horror comics are not safe, and they never should be.

 

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image via Eibon Press Facebook Page

 

This is an unshakable fact Eibon Press knows about very, very well. In the hands of these master sadists, the Art has taken a new form in order to distribute the Evangelium of terror. To gross someone out is honestly not in the least bit complicated, and believe me, many have (failingly) attempted to gain an audience by simply defiling their readers’ eyes through shocking gross-outs. But to craft an engaging story, to make the Art come to life, to beget something that will continue in the minds of their audience long after the reader puts away the book is only a thing masters of the craft can accomplish.  It takes truly insidious talent to breathe something into existence that invades our normal everyday lives, plaguing us with visceral images and ghoulish scenes we won’t soon forget. Not just anybody can achieve this level of the Art. Junji Ito is able to do this effortlessly and has been my reigning favorite horror artist until I met with Eibon Press and witnessed what they have to offer.

Just like horror movies have many genres, the same is equally true of horror comics. In the case of Eibon Press, they’ve skillfully dominated the sodden field of exploitation experiences. Be it a grimy alleyway with dripping echoes of sweltering lust and shame, perhaps the humid gates of everlasting Hell, or a restless cemetery where the rotting dead rise out of the mire and mold – Eibon Press depicts some wonderfully dreadful landscapes you will traverse once you crack open their pages. Violence awaits and there will be no turning back once you enter. It is a horror fan’s paradise.

 

Eibon press
image via Eibon Press

 

They make gritty somehow beautiful. Ascetically brilliant, they make full use of color to accentuate the full volume of gore at hand. I can guarantee gore hounds will not be disappointed! And as for tone, well this is like the equivalent of your favorite death metal albums in illustrated form. There will be slaughter and lots of blood.

But all is not just blood, guts and eroticism. These guys are better than that and build upon plot and focus on the characters who must face all the horrors Hell has to offer. If you think this is just an-all out splatterfest…well, you’d be correct! It gets very sticky as you turn the pages, but I assure you it’s the stories they’ve released that will keep you turning those pages.

Eibon Press specializes in embellishing upon the beloved cult classics of Lucio Fulci, and I love them for that! I’ve always been a Fulci fan so I approached these comics with a critical eye. I was not disappointed, but very much the opposite. I was impressed by how much love and care they handled the material with. It didn’t take long to realize these guys love Fulci’s work as much as I do.

 

EPFbP
image via Eibon Press Facebook Page

 

I did say they embellish on the stories. For example, when reading Gates of Hell (City of the Living Dead) we get a lot more details of the evil priest who hangs himself at the beginning of the movie. With the use of some good narrative, the team gives us a fuller and broader story to the lores we already love and know. If you think you know everything there is to know about Zombi, think again. There is so much more to glean from that vicious story, and with the comic Zombie, Eibon proves this to be true. For example, you know how Zombi 2 ends? Well, Eibon extends the story and takes us right into the chaotic-strewn streets of the city. Put on your big boy pants because it just keeps getting more and more savage.

In case that’s already not enough to have you ready to order their entire line of comics, let me tempt you even further. In their epic Gates of Hell title, not only is Eibon giving us the hellish story of City of the Living Dead, but this is only the start of the Saga of the 7 Gates line. A series that begins with CotLD and will involve both The Beyond and House By the Cemetery, mummy! And I’m pretty sure Bob won’t be anywhere near as annoying in comic form as that little shit was in the movie. “Mummy, I see a girl in the window, Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!”

Ok I got it out of my system. That fucking voice though! Screw you, Bob!

They have also adapted both Maniac and Laserblast into comic form. Laserblast, people! I never in my sickest fever dreams would have ever expected that to be a comic storyline! Oh, you’re uninitiated into the silliness of Laserblast. Here, check this out.

 

 

Isn’t that just glorious? Only diehard fans of horror would take the time to adapt a movie this spectacularly cheesy into an art form and share it so a new generation may discover it. And after a speaking with these guys, I know they are indeed fans of the genre.

As a bonus feature for both of these (Maniac and Laserblast) you can get a truly unique VHS sleeve. Oh, that’s another thing, not only are we treated to some of the best gore in comics today, but, just like any great DVD release, we are also given loads of bonus content with every comic purchase. Bookmarks, fliers, collectible cards and (in some cases) music tracks. Yeah, they give codes for exclusive music content relating to the comics. When’s the last time Marvel did that? These guys treat the fans!

I can’t kiss the publisher’s ass enough. And no, I didn’t get a special deal from them. I’m still paying full price plus shipping, and that’s fine by me. I’m just a fan who wants everyone else to know what they’ve been missing. So let’s hurry up and fix it.

 

The Dead Walk
image via The Dead Walk

 

Eibon also has a totally original run called Bottomfeeder which is as pretty as a truckstop outhouse. That’s not a criticism either. It’s a story set in the 80’s and features some all-time favorite cult faces who regularly make cameos throughout the story. You can call it detectivesploitation as our asshole anti-hero is set against Roger Corman’s Humanoids From the Deep. Holy shit! Just typing that line was exciting.

 

Eibon Press Facebook Page 2
image via Eibon Press Facebook Page

 

These guys go for the jugular and never apologize for it. These are wickedly dangerous comics and you’ll need your manliest pair of britches to get into them, but you will not regret it. Fair warning these are in no way safe for work or around kids. There is explicit nudity in them all. And if child death affects you I would advise you stay away. Like in any good Fulci film kids are known to get a bad case of dead here.

 

Eibon Press 2
image via Eibon Press

 

Out of all the horror comics to choose from out there these guys are my absolute favorite. You cannot find these titles in stores, however, so be sure to visit their website here and don’t be scared to buy. Already Zombie is in its third printing and sells out like mad. Pretty sure I’ll be doing a review of that run fairly soon.

I’ve been talking with Eibon on the possibility of there being a Madman comic, and the idea is out there. So fingers crossed.

This has been Manic Exorcism once again hoping you stay scared and dare to open these forbidden Gates and unleash a little Hell.

 

 

Get Your 80’s Goldblum Fix with Transylvania 6-5000

It seems these days the world is coming up Jeff Goldblum. That sexy salt and pepper sumbitch is everywhere and I don’t see a single person complaining. But Mr. Goldblum isn’t new to the party. He didn’t share himself with the world starting from Jurrasic Park. No…there is a movie before that in particular when I was first introduced to him before he was Dr. Ian Malcolm. I’m talking about Transylvania 6-5000 (1985).

This movie is a goddamn gem. It was written and directed by Rudy De Luca. It stars Jeff Goldblum as Jack Harrison and Ed Begley Jr. as Gil Turner. Both men star as tabloid journalists looking for a story to save their jobs. When a video is found showing a possible Frankenstein’s monster attacking tourists in Transylvania, their editor sends them on a trip to find the monster or find themselves a new gig. Stakes are high and the duo head to Transylvania to find the evidence.

Transylvania 6-5000

Immediately Jack gets a love interest in the form of Elizabeth (Teresa Ganzel) in all of her big eyed, high pitched glory. Gil is the bumbling dope of the two and immediately embarrasses them. At their hotel owned by Mayor Lepescu (Jeffrey Jones), they are greeted by the strangest butler, Fejos (Michael Richards) and over their visit meet a ragtag group of hilarious classic monster movie rip offs like Odette (Geena Davis) a “vampire,” Radu (John Byner) and his wife Lupi (Carol Kane) the hump-backed servants, a wolfman (Donald Gibb) and Dr. Malavaqua (Joseph Bologna) the mad scientist.

There’s a scene where Gil gets backed into a lake where he is knee deep in water. Out of the murky water rises a hand that immediately grabs his business casually dressed Begley dick. The reaction is perfection and is hands down one of the funniest scenes in the movie.

I have seen Transylvania 6-5000 at least a dozen times and it never gets old. Geena Davis is hilarious, Jeff Goldblum does his Goldblum thing, and Begley Jr. is a hot mess in the best sense of the word. See this movie…you’ll thank me for it.

Joe Bob Briggs Hosting a 24-Hour Horror Marathon This June On Shudder!

And on the seventh day, the Horror Gods revived a beloved program to the wonder and excitement of fans everywhere- Joe Bob Briggs is back folks!

Joe Bob Briggs Hosting a 24-Hour Horror Marathon This June On Shudder!

 

Nothing really grabs our horror nostalgic feelers by the balls quite like the scary-movie-weekend-marathons with a horror-host-with-the-most. With the height of the slasher era in the ’80s and ’90s, many local stations from around the country offered this sort of sweet deal with a local celebrity pimped out in a killer horror-style get-up. However, nationally speaking, TNT gave us the beautiful program Monstervision with the sarcastic-infused cinephile cowboy Joe Bob Briggs in 1995. And it was love at first sight.

Fans have been clamoring for “one last call” with the witty Briggs and Monstervision for some time now via the almighty and powerful interwebs. Well, it seems that that request has finally been answered as it’s been announced the Briggs will return, this time on Shudder, for a 24-hour horror marathon on Friday, June 22, 2018. The announcement of the date was made by Briggs’ via his personal social media, however, at this time it’s mysteriously nowhere to be found. Which could be due to multiple reasons. However, that is the date as of now and if anything changes or I get in trouble here for throwing that particular day out there, I’ll update this article accordingly and pull that 10-gallon hat down shrouding my shameful face.

In any regard, we’re all just excited that Joe Bob is making a much-deserved return and who knows, maybe AMC FEARFEST will smarten up and bring him into the 2018 line-up! It’s worth mentioning anyway.

*UPDATE

Per a representative of Joe Bob Briggs, it seems the announcement concerning the date isn’t set in stone quite yet, (hence the missing social media post). However, the Shudder marathon is still a-go for June with an official date coming soon! Will update this article when it drops.

Robert Englund’s Rare, Unedited Interview as Freddy Krueger From ‘Dream Warriors’ Set

As a child of the ’80s, Freddy Krueger was a huge part of the era we embrace here at Nightmare Nostalgia. The iconic slasher portrayed by Robert Englund, had become a living entity all its own during the slasher decade and unregrettably marketed to kids in the form of talking dolls, lunch boxes, Halloween costumes, and that sweet, sweet little television program you may remember later in the decade that aired in my area right after dinner in my house at 6:00 PM, Freddy’s Nightmares. You can also bet your sweet ass I nearly choked on Mom’s meatloaf several times so as not to miss this week’s Springwood tale of terror. Call me an old nostalgic turd if you will, but there was really nothing like growing up in that time. A time where slashers ruled the decade with a mighty razor-sharp glove. A time whereas a horror-loving kid, an icon like Krueger becoming so mainstream and opening the genre door to new fans such as a few of my own friends, was truly a magical time as a horror Padawan.

Heather Lankenkamp said it best, “Every kid knows who Freddy is. He’s like Santa Claus or King Kong.”

Heather Langenkamp

So with me being such a Fred-Head, imagine my excitement when I came across this rare, vintage video from the set of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors where the legend himself Robert Englund is seen giving a hilariously fantastic interview as Freddy to HBO. Uploaded from Youtube account Nightmare Companion, this raw, unedited interview conducted seemingly for promotional purposes for Dream Warriors, touches on Freddy’s goals- one of which is to appear on the Joan Rivers show, whereas it so happens his alter ago Englund did appear later that year to promote the Nightmare film. Also, note that “Freddy” gives actual directions to the original 1428 Elm Street house when prompted as to where Elm Street actually was.

Classic Englund. Check it out in all its vintage glory below!

 

 

*This article (written by me-Patti Pauley) was originally written over at iHorror.com.

March to the Grave – Cemetery Man!

Hello, my sweet gargoyles and ghouls. It’s your dearly demented friend, Manic Exorcism, asking you to join me on a lovely cemetery stroll where the departed, well, they just aren’t content to rest peacefully.  So grab a shovel – or a boomstick, should you prefer – as we unearth the unconsecrated bowels of these crypts and look at this underrated gem – Cemetery Man. Or also known as Della Morte Dell Amore.

The Zombie Genre

Once upon a time zombie films were few to be found. Cemetery Man, much like its festering brothers and sisters of the genre, was a definite rarity. That might seem shocking to our modern audiences today – who have been nursed on The Walking Dead, Resident Evil games, and countless tons of independent flesh eating atrocities – but zombie movies used to be hard to find.

Crazy, I know, right? Today we have too many of them. It’s an over saturation really, as if we’re overrun by hordes of living-dead films. Each one shambling over one another and inseparable in their rotten likenesses.  A drooling mess of celluloid brainless insatiable cravings, each of them clawing at us, demanding our numb attention and refusing to let us escape. A true epidemic and apocalypse. It is a wasteland of lost creativity.

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image vie giphy

Wow!  Almost sounds like I hate zombie movies. I don’t, but admittedly I’m not a fan of the current state of them. They’re all too similar. Similar in tone, in style and even in their characters. Honestly I think that zombies were way scarier when they were rare.

The Cemetery Man

Cemetery Man came out during a golden age when film makers dared to take risks and tackled well-established tropes we were familiar with, but added some much-appreciated originality to a subject matter that otherwise would have been left rotting beneath the earth. There were some creative minds that brilliantly brushed away the layers of mold and breathed putrid life into those bones.

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The problem I have with modern zombie incarnations is if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Stop me if this sounds familiar: a band of miss-matched survivors must face the undead legions across a dystopian landscape. Throw in some romantic drama and BOOM you have your zombie flick. CG blood effects will complete the mendacity and your indie zombie movie will get lost in the stinking tide of an over-used gimmick. 28 Days Later was part of the zombie renaissance and it’s formula has been recycled to death with few contributions adding any freshness to the field. But hey, I guess we can praise Zombeavers for its uniqueness. At least it was different!

(That’s not to say I don’t have my modern favorites. Shaun of the Dead is to be praised. So is Planet Terror. However, both of those movies were clear throw backs to that golden age of risky film making I already mentioned.)

On the contrary, films like Creepshow, Braindead, Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Creeps (they’re zombies, right?) and of course today’s subject, Cemetery Man all offered audiences something new, fresh, and (believe it or not) entirely unseen before. Who can forget the mean old bastard who rises from his wormy grave still demanding his father’s day cake? Or who else got hot around the color as our pre-pubescent eyes watched Trash bare it all and dance in a grave yard? (We love you Linnea Quigley!) We also got to see (whether we wanted to or not) zombies have sex  on a dining table and later give birth to a zombie baby who goes on to run amok across a playground. Holy shit! These movies were awesome!

They became instant cult classics and are still highly adored to this very day. There is no replacing them.  Their fandom swells with every new generation and will never lose steam as more audiences are introduced to their ingenuity and creativity.

They weren’t about any catastrophic dystopian society. They were about everyday people having a really bad, bad day. And we genuinely felt a connection with the characters.

Aside from practical effects do you know what each of these beloved movies have in common? They don’t take themselves too seriously. They made horror fun. They’re fun but not stupid, I must stress that. They are serious movies with some hard-core punk flare. They made us squirm, squeal and scream for more! That’s something gravely lacking in the majority of today’s zomb-zomb endeavors. Their tones are too serious for their own good or they try to be funny and just mock it up. (I guess there was a time when talent was a thing.)

If you’re a fan of any of these aforementioned punk-rock flicks then I can assure you that Cemetery Man is one you’ll want to see. The plot centers around our hero who is tasked with killing the freshly buried who rise from their graves. That’s it. What makes this movie remarkable are the scenes and visuals. The filmmakers had a great eye and at moments it feels like grotesque art come to life.

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image via imdb

Honestly this movie is more beautiful than any zombie movie has any right to be. It’s hypnotic and at times you won’t be able to look away. The project was purely a work of inspiration.

The movie is also subtly deceptive. Sure, on the surface you’ll think it’s about a guy who shoots the living dead in the head. But then the film begins to explore intense subjects such as love and all of its treachery and the mysteries of Death itself. It becomes a gradual existential odyssey between the living and the dead.

Our cemetery man is played by Rupert Everett, a surprising role for him but very well done! He is assisted by a mentally challenged fellah, Gnaghi (François Hadji-Lazaro), who is the perfect cross between Curly from the Three Stooges and Uncle Fester. Gnaghi is just too much fun. At one moment he crushes hard on the mayor’s daughter and throws up all over her as a sign of affection. There’s another great scene where he’s sitting down in front of the TV and happily eating some chocolate ice cream all the while his partner is busily fighting off a sudden invasion of the living dead. Gnaghi remains entirely oblivious the whole time.

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image via Nerd Ninja

Just like Return of the Living Dead this movie is damn cool. I mean what other movie will give you a zombie biker bursting out of his grave on his mother-fucking motorcycle? That and the Grim Reaper makes one Hell of an appearance that you won’t soon forget.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this one and upon a re-watch, I now have a brand new favorite. I really hope that someday Arrow Video will give us a proper Blu-ray release of this sadly underrated cult classic.

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image via villains Wikia

This has been Manic Exorcism thanking you for joining me on another macabre journey into the heart of darkness. Be sure to keep checking in here at Nightmare Nostalgia for all those lovely chills and thrills. I’ll catch you all later, my lovelies. And next time you won’t get away so easily. Heheheh

Cemetery Man (1994)

Chest-Pounding Fury: “Fear” Remake Announced From Universal Pictures

Pound your chest in happiness or full-on rage. Either way, a Fear remake is in the works.

 

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According to an announcement yesterday over at Deadline, Universal Pictures is taking the ever-so-awesome 90’s film starring a post “Good Vibrations” Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon, and bringing it into the 21st century with a “reimagining”.  Oscar-nominated Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) is set to co-scribe the script.

Brian Grazer, who originally produced the 1996 thriller, is returning in one of the producer’s chairs for this modern take on vengeful chest-pounding and roller coaster shenanigans.

While most of the plot is being kept under wraps for now, the studios did say this time around that the story will be told from a “female perspective”. Although I’m pretty sure we already saw that in The Crush and Swimfan.

Personally, I’m more interested in the roller-coaster’s perspective, but what do I know…

 

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Original for eva? Or are you interested in a revamping of every 90’s kids’ go-to-teenage thriller? Let’s talk about this.