Tag Archives: Retro horror

[Video] When Matthew McConaughey Made His Shirtless Debut on ‘Unsolved Mysteries’

Chances are if you’re over 30, you damn well know Unsolved Mysteries was the greatest and most terrifying thing you saw on prime-time TV. The weekly program about unexplained phenomena, strange murders, and sometimes featuring a beautifully grainy image of Bigfoot, did a fantastic job of making me think escaped murderers were lurking in my backyard late at night.

I fondly remember being the ripe ole age of five, when my stunning Nan (Grandmother) introduced me to that horrifying theme song followed by Robert Stack and his haunting tales of true terror and persuasive speculation on mysterious legends. We had just sat down in the living area after becoming near comatose after a heavy meal of pasta and meatballs. My dear sweet Nana ruled her house with a wooden spoon, usually dripping with tomato sauce. Even if it was against our will, we were going to sit down, shut the hell up, and witness the glorious splendor of Sir Stack grace that obnoxiously humongous floor television set. Although some of the programming most certainly gave me the skeevies at a young age and resulted in a few sleepless nights, over time it became one of my go-to series’ as a kid and into young adulthood.

Thank you Robert Stack for the countless night terrors.

unsolved-mysteries

 

So now that you know about thine fondness for the Stack and the eerie show, I really couldn’t be more excited that the show is now FINALLY able to stream on Amazon for Prime members. So it goes without saying, I haven’t had much of a social life since the Stack episodes hit streaming. Given the program’s absence from streaming sites as long as these services have been available, watching Unsolved Mysteries now is like watching it for the first time. Minus a few fuzzy memories here and there when certain memorable clips arise from episodes. The music will send shivers down your spine, and the stunning reenactments paired with an abundance of ’80s mullet will give all the warm fuzzy feelers.

While I must confess the acting wasn’t always that stellar, did you know that a certain Oscar-winning actor made his screen debut on the series? The righteous Matthew McConaughey stepped on-screen for the first time in 1992 on the creepy crime program.

Alright, alright, alriiiiiiight.

McConaughey appeared as a murder victim in season five, episode twelve of the series portraying 26-year-old Larry Dickens- who was brutally murdered in front of his mother’s home back in 1978. Courtesy of Funny or Die, (I mean, I suppose it’s all in how you look it for this to even be up there?), watch the full video at the link below! Enjoy!

//www.funnyordie.com/embed/c7d030000c

 

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.

Image result for the fly gif vomit

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)

In-Between Poltergeist, Heather O’ Rourke Charmed Us With Rainbow Brite Commercials

In 1984, the first Apple Macintosh computer went up for sale commercially, Madonna humped the stage at the first MTV video awards, and Ghostbusters rocked theaters around the world. But, most importantly, a little toy was introduced to millions of young girls all over the world that was about as glorious and magical that can only be compared to Rambo riding a Unicorn. That toy my friends, was Rainbow Brite.

 

Image result for rainbow brite doll gif

Image via Yellow80s

Introduced by Hallmark and following the success of Care Bears, phenom toy company Mattel acquired the license to make a line of unique and colorful dolls that every little girl would run their grandmother over to own. The Rainbow Brite line launched in 1984 alongside the animated series with originally just Rainbow Brite and four color kids (Red Butler, Canary Yellow, Patty O’ Green, and Indigo) with sprite friends included.

Might I add, if you’ve managed to keep these dolls over the past 30+ years WITH their sprites, kudos to you because in a lot of cases those little bastards get lost over time.

Of course, the franchise that vomited rainbows and star sprinkles all over the shag carpet advertised countless other toys, books, and audio tapes for Rainbowland seekers. However, the dolls themselves are the holy grail of the merch line. And we needed someone just as adorable and endearing to pawn these 10′ plush dolls with plastic heads to young girls on a national level. Who better than Heather O’ Rourke? Because hey, she knows a thing or two about interdimensional traveling to other worlds, am I right?

Check out the Poltergeist star below spreading Rainbowland love commercially!

 

 

 

 

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.

Image result for poltergeist superbowl

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.

 

 

Remembering Beetlejuice: The Animated Series

Let’s rewind our minds back a few years and remember what being a kid was like on a gorgeous Saturday morning.

Unlike my peers, I personally was always up at a decent hour (around 7:30 a.m.). After crawling out of my Ninja Turtle sheets, I would make my way to the dimly lit kitchen and help myself to a bowl of cereal and whatever readily available juice box (preferably Hawaiian Punch or Ecto Cooler) my fridge held that morning. All placed accordingly on my TMNT (1990) movie tray in front of our mammoth of a television set. I was ready to seize the glorious Saturday with the start of some of the greatest goddamn must-see-TV. And one of many of those amazing Saturday morning animated gems was, of course, Beetlejuice: The Animated Series.

 

Image result for beetlejuice cartoon saturday morning gif

 

 

One year after Tim Burton congo-danced the ghost with the most across the big screen, the imaginative filmmaker developed a more kid-friendly version (sorry, no crotch grabbing anywhere here) based on the daily lives of the bio-exorcist and his earth pal, Lydia Deetz.

Mostly set in Beetle’s home The Netherworld, the series ran around some silly adventure or problem week after week involving the duo. From roaming skeletons in the closet ruining someone’s day with the hard truth or Beetlejuice’s entire skeletal system abandoning him in favor of a vacation, the show was a perfect Saturday morning mash-up of wackiness and just a hint of horror.

Lydia’s parents Charles and the eccentric Delia return in animated form as naive supporting characters that never seem to notice their daughter spends most of her free time in another dimension. Then again, in the film, she seemed to be mostly ignored from her self-absorbed parental units until the shit hit the fan- so the relationship stays a tad faithful in that aspect. The void felt by the absence of Barbara and Adam was filled with new characters. Beetle’s neighbors in the Netherworld furthered BJ’s awesome sense of sarcasm with most of them being both clumsy and easy to poke fun at. In which case, ole BJ took advantage of on a constant basis and was the source for a lot of the humor in the series. Jacques, Ginger, The Monster Across the Street, Poopsie, the Mayor, and on Earth, the snooty Claire Brewster, were often the victims of Beetlejuice’s embarrassing pranks.  Even Lyds wasn’t immune to Beetle’s reign of practical jokes as the bio-exorcist’s only friend was even the butt-of-the-joke at times. However, unlike Claire and the Netherworld residents, BJ’s pranks on the teenage Deetz were never meant to cause damaging feelings or humility, but rather all in fun. Which asserts the relationship between Lydia and Beetlejuice in the series. Unlike in the film, the pair was as close as friends could get and the unlikely duo’s friendship remained a constant crucial part of the show throughout the series’ short three-season span.

What I wouldn’t give for a revival of this beautiful program. Hey if Spiderman and Teen Titans can be rebooted several times, why not give Beetlejuice a shot at the 21st century?

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: 10 Best Tales From the Series

If you clicked on this little list I’ve put together, then chances are you’re quite familiar with the paperback trilogy of nightmare nostalgia we’re about to dive deep into the rabbit hole with. Also, I’m willing to bet a good portion of you still have these books. In which you most likely bought with your lunch money at your third-grade book fair. I myself, unfortunately, don’t possess a lot of my childhood treasures from my youth due to a nasty fire that demolished a good portion of my materialistic belongings. However, one of the things I managed to hold onto despite disasters, multiple moving vans, and the entrance of adulthood is, of course, all three 1986 Harper Trophy Editions of “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark”.

The urban legends that were revised and compiled into an anthology of books by Alvin Schwartz paired with haunting illustrations by Stephen Gammell, were the ultimate trophy on our bookshelves. And an absolute necessity for those Friday night slumber parties or weekend camping trips. Not much has changed, at least in my household anyway, as these books have stood the test of time and continue to encourage reading to now my own two little ones. Just as I would grab one of my books, and read to my own father in his chair when I was a much smaller Patti, I continue with the “Scary Stories” tradition as my kids now read to me. It’s wonderful and refreshing to know that I’m not the only parent who has passed down these nostalgic tales to their spawns and that the trio of books that parents once hated, has overcome the odds and still holds a near and dear place within our hearts.

37 years ago, the first installment of “Scary Stories” was published and is listed as being the seventh most challenged series of books for its violence and surreal, spine-tingling illustrations. Cool huh? Schwartz then followed with two more books, More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark in 1984, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones in 1991. In honor of the first books’ 35th anniversary this year, I’ve put together a fun nostalgic list of the 10 best tales from “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” series. This was no easy task thinning a list down to just ten, but I’m pretty satisfied with my final selections. So while we’re all patiently waiting for the highly anticipated Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark documentary to be available for public consumption, let’s celebrate 37 years of real Nightmare Nostalgia.

 

10. “High Beams”

Related image

The tale as old as the ages and that has been told countless times and parodied in film makes number ten. This retelling of the story of a woman who is in very real danger not from who’s following her, but what lurks inside her car is based on a similar story that came out of Waverly, Iowa about a man hiding in the back seat of a woman’s car. She had stopped to get gas, and the attendant noticed the presence of a male figure in the back seat. He did not giver her change, so when she returned to pocket the rest of her money after pumping her gas, the attendant informed her of the situation and called the police.

 

9. “The Wolf Girl”

Related image

This legend that is retold by many cultures throughout (mostly) the Southwest, involves a newly born infant whose mother did not survive childbirth and the baby was nowhere to be found. The father who had made the discovery in the story also took notice of what looked like wolf tracks around the area, so it was assumed the baby had been eaten by wolves. A few years later, people would report sightings of a young girl running around naked with long hair in the company of wolves. Numerous legends of children raised by wild animals or left to fend for themselves have inspired such books as The Jungle Book and Island Of The Blue Dolphins. However, Schwartz’s version is my favorite.

 

8. “Such Things Happen”

Image result for scary stories to tell in the dark such things happen

Witches had a pretty bad rep back in the day, and still, in present times, are scoffed at by those who don’t understand. Schwartz based this tale from an American legend where a man is believed to be tormented by a nearby witch and takes it upon himself to try to stop her. According to Schwartz’s notes, “I adapted and expanded this theme to point up the conflict between education and superstition that may arise when an educated person feels like they are out of control.” And the tale he wrote is a pretty great little story.

 

7. “The Drum”

Image result for scary stories to tell in the dark  the drum

This odd tale of two beastly children whose selfish wants become an unimaginable consequence is a cautionary tale told to children through the ages to basically behave or you’re getting a goddamn mother with glass eyes and a wooden tail in place of the one you have now. That’s actually pretty terrifying. The tale seems to have originated from England in the nineteenth century and then migrated to the states.

 

6. “Just Delicious”

Image result for scary stories to tell in the dark just delicious

This one made me laugh more than most of the featured comedic tales that were often found towards the end of the book. This tale has been revised in many different countries and the theme stays pretty similar. The stories usually involve a man, while Schwartz swaps gender roles in his story, whose family is starving steal a heart or liver from a nearby funeral home to feed his family. Later that night, the ghost would come looking for said missing organ and take the lives of those who consumed it.

5. “Bess”

Related image

As an avid animal lover, this one hurt the feels a tad when I was young. Based on an old European legend originally called “Oleg’s Death”, the story follows the same structure as in this book. The tale of a man who lived in fear of a horse, for it was foretold the horse would cause his death. Presumably, entering the safety zone after the horse falls victim to old age…. LOL. Yeah, not so much buddy.

 

4. “The Red Spot”

Image result for scary stories to tell in the dark the red spot

 

This irked the shit out of anyone who suffers even the mildest cases of arachnophobia. This creepy story derives from the folklore of foreign entities (such as these eight-legged monsters) invading our bodies and setting up residence. Or you know, laying a thousand eggs inside your cheek while you sleep. Stunning.

 

3. “The Haunted House”

Image result for scary stories to tell in the dark the haunted house

The legend of a young woman’s murder and the preacher who helped put the spirit at rest by locating the murderer is likely one of the most beloved and remembered stories from Schwartz’s trilogy of terrors. It’s definitely among the most unique of tales found within these books as stories of haunted house resemble one another, this one has a bit of a twist whereas the ghost of the young woman is not threatening whatsoever, but a spirit wanting justice. Of course, justice and revenge run rapid throughout “Scary Stories”. However, this one just hits all the right notes.

 

2. “The Thing”

Image result for scary stories to tell in the dark the thing

Lawdy does that picture give me the beautiful skeevies. The tale is based on a folktale out of Nova Scotia in a book called Bluenose Ghosts where “the thing” is an actual warning of ones own impending death.  I’ll take the guy in the robe over that face any day, thank you.

1. “Harold”

Image result for scary stories to tell in the dark harold

Oh Harold, you silly scarecrow. Don’t you know laying out skin in the sun too long gives it wrinkles? You need to take some notes from Buffalo Bill. Anywho, the walking menace from the cornfields makes numero uno as the tale remains to this very day, the creepiest tale to come out of these books. The story of Harold is retold from a legend that came out of Switzerland and quite honestly, stories about man creating a life and it ultimately becoming something they can’t control is a tale we’ve heard time and again. From Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein to the Jewish tale of the Golem, Harold resembles the outline of such said stories as the creature that has been given life ultimately turns on its master. We all love stories of killer dolls. It is for that reason, this tale tops off this list.

What are some of your favorite stories from the books? Comment below and let’s talk nightmare fuel.

Scary Stories Paperback Box Set: The Complete 3-Book Collection

Fright Rags Offering Nostalgic Fuzzies With New Plastic Fang Collection!

Fairly certain Fright Rags wants me in debt.

giphy (1)

Iconic horror and pop culture tee company Fright Rags is making my dark, black heart warm up with all the nostalgic fuzzies with this week’s release of the coveted Plastic Fang collection! Designs featuring golden retro favorites such as Little Monsters, The Wizard, and The Running Man, are now available for you to show your nostalgic love towards the cult-classics.

 

Fright Rags Offering Nostalgic Fuzzies With New Plastic Fang Collection!

 

On top of this great series of shirts, Fright Rags is also celebrating 15 glorious years of delivering quality horror merch with the announcement of the CLAS-SICK line. Throughout the course of 2018, the company will be re-releasing 15 out-of-print designs on a special limited basis. Each release will be accompanied by a special “behind-the-scenes” video (make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel) with more information about the design, and never before told stories about the design. The first shirt to be released was Jeff Zornow’s infamous ZOMBIE VS SHARK tee on January 20th, which you have seen in the hilarious movie, This Is The End. So make sure to be on the lookout for those beasts, as it may be your last chance to snag those up!

 

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]

Check Out the 1979 Audio Audience Reactions From Carpenter’s “Halloween”!

I truly envy those who were lucky enough to experience a time at the movies where emotions ran high and raw; especially during a horror film, like John Carpenter’s immortal classic, Halloween.

During the glorious ’70s, horror grabbed audiences by the balls by pushing the boundaries of gore, foul language, and nudity to the point of people vomiting, fainting, and or being so disgusted to the point of walking out. With the release of The Exorcist at the end of 1973, that movie managed to do all of these for paid movie-goers. I guess nobody was really prepared to see a 12-year-old profusely stab herself in the crotch with a crucifix. (For braver viewers, that seemed to be the deal-breaker). Perhaps with the exception of last year’s controversial mother!, we rarely see that sort of impact on audiences today.

Kind of sucks, doesn’t it? We’re so desensitized these days.

Image result for desensitized gif

 

Maybe not as extreme as Freidkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s literary masterpiece, but Halloween had one hell of an impact on audiences as well. One-half of my life givers, Robert Butrico of Queens, NY, remembers seeing John Carpenter’s groundbreaking slasher during its first initial run.

“I was there with a bunch of friends, we were really excited about this movie. We heard it was so scary! And you know what? It really was when we first saw it. We had never seen anything like it. There were a few girls who ran out of the theater screaming. That was actually pretty funny.”

And according to the presented audio below provided by YouTuber  Kyle J. Wood’s DarkCastle2012, my father said that’s pretty close to how he remembers his experience as well. And goddamn I am so envious of all this. It’s one thing to be annoyed by loud and obnoxious movie-goers at the theater, and quite another to experience a joined passion of emotions during a film. From the sounds of it below, this crowd is having a damn good time! I especially love the, “He gonna get up again!,” and the random guy in the back shouting, “One more time!

Per the YouTube description:

This is ACTUAL AUDIENCE AUDIO with matching video scenes added (a bit “out of sync” sorry) that I tape recorded inside a Hollywood Boulevard movie theater in 1979—one year after the film’s initial release.

 

For fuck’s sake, can we get a time machine already?!