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Huge ‘Halloween’ Reunion Happening This October! Come Celebrate the Whole Franchise!

If you’re a fan of the Halloween franchise you’ll want to mark your calendars and plan a trip to Pasadena, CA this coming October! Courtesy of HorrorHound Weekend, fans of the celebrated slasher series will have a chance to meet many of the brave men and women who brought this classic franchise to life!

Cast members from all across this visceral series will be there waiting to meet up with fans who have kept this horror legacy alive and ongoing each and every October. And what luck! Just in time for the release of the newest Halloween movie, what better way could a horror fan usher in the spookiest time of year?

Wicked Horror
image via Wicked Horror

Come out and celebrate 40 years (can you believe it’s been that long already?) of Halloween – a cinematic masterpiece that single-handily kicked in the doors for all sequential slasher films to come – at the Pasadena Convention center between October 12-14th! Fans in the area will not want to miss this historical event, or you’ll regret it. You just know you will.

So start saving up and break open that fat little piggy bank. Plan a trip out to the West Coast and say hi to the men who stepped behind the mask and gave life to one of horror’s most cherished icons!

Huge Halloween Reunion Happening This October! Don't Miss This One!
image via Halloween40.com

This is something horror fans will be talking about for years to come.

If I can please be candor here, this is just awesome. HorrorHound deserves our thanks for making this happen for the fans. Check out the link below and see the guests already planning to be there. And who knows what further surprises are still yet in store?!

http://www.halloween40.com/horrorhoundweekend/shows/H40/default.shtml

The Sinister Origin of CARNAGE!

Welcome back webheads! I hope you’re ready for the grand finale of the three-part look into some of the most dangerous aspects of the Spider-Man comics. We’ve already spent some time speculating on what wonderful villainy we could expect from the fast-approaching VENOM film! Today we’ll be overtaken by the blood-lusting symbiote better known as Carnage!

As his name alone suggests, this is a very violent character and one I’ve waited years to see come to the big screen. Fittingly, the gnarled roots of his twisted backstory are found deep in a cell within Rikers Prison. Here we meet Cletus Kasady, a leering madman with a sick grin as if he alone knows the punchline of a secret joke no one else can guess, one that always ends in bloodshed and carnage. The notorious serial killer was already serving eleven-consecutive life sentences when he was introduced to his newest cellmate – Eddie Brock.

Little did either of them know how destiny would lock the two together in a frenzy of ongoing mayhem with enough behemoth power to rip the city of New York to bleeding shreds! Or at the very least leave New York’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in tatters every time he rushed out to face whatever chaos these two could accomplish.

Marvel Database
image via Marvel Database

Eddie and Cletus were not friends and never became chums. Cletus was a total metal head with one goal – murder. Eddie was likewise driven by a singular focus – revenge! Having had enough of Brock’s bullshit, Kasady planned to shiv his cell-buddy right in the goddam throat… but we’ll cover that in more detail here in a bit.

What Makes Kasady Work?

Cletus Kasady is the lethal combination of what we all fear – the serial killer. Men who walk behind a mask of ordinary, regular faces. They fit in as our neighbors, our coworkers, or our church brothers. They are BTK, Dahmer, and Albert Fish. They remind us of one gravely sobering fact: the devil walks safest behind human eyes.

Kasady is a man who loves to kill and is Marvel’s closest answer to DC’s Joker. He kills without prejudice and relishes the agonized sobs of his dying victim’s slow death. He is the psychopath, without sympathy and certainly void of any remorse, a perfect host to an outside alien mind with a taste for mayhem. Kasady was born in the grimmest alleyways of Marvel.

Bloody Disgusting
image via Bloody Disgusting

Kasady already made up his mind to kill Eddie and bided his time for the right opportunity. However, before he could strike, out of the dark of night the symbiote returned for Brock, melded once again with him, and Venom was newly reborn!

No bars could hold the monstrosity back and Venom was free to haunt New York all over again. However, and possibly the cruelest act Venom has ever done, a small piece, a dribble, of the symbiote lingered behind and melded with Cletus Kasady giving birth to the entity Carnage, son of Venom!

Marvel Database
image via Marvel Database

Straight away Carnage set about killing everywhere he went, random people, victims picked here and there just for the sake of staining the streets with their blood and scarring the very soul of the city.

Carnage single-handily turned Marvel’s comics into a Mature-rated exploitation field of murder and left Spider-Man sick as he followed the gruesome crime scenes left in the psychopath’s wake.

comicvine

That was the Marvel universe I grew up with, not the Disney stuff out there now. I’m talking about spines being torn out, mangled limbs and body parts used as decorations. Signatures left in the blood of the innocent. At one point Carnage announces he’s going to turn a mother into cold-cuts right in front of her children. This was hard-gore stuff and why I’m a 90’s era Marvel fan.

This was right on the verge of the big Marvel breakup, just before McFarlane and Jim Lee left to form Image comics – along with fellow artists, but I’m showing my favoritism here – and we saw the birth of Spawn. Marvel was dark. Marvel was gritty. It was ultra-violent and far removed from what we see today. And leading the blood-soaked parade was Carnage.

Maximum Carnage is a good place to start if you’re curious to see some of the maniac’s greatest hits.

It’s already been announced that Woody Harrelson (Zombieland, Natural Born Killers) is cast for the role of Cletus Kasady in VENOM.

Will Eddie be locked up at some point in the film? Will he be cell mates with Cletus Kasady? Will the events of the comic come to life as a massive prison break gives wake to Carnage?
Be free to share your thoughts with us.

Could Both of VENOM’s Origins Be Featured in Upcoming Movie?

Hey, comic fans! True believers know the iconic badass VENOM has two origin stories. Could the upcoming movie give us both?

First off, this is only friendly speculation because nothing concrete has been announced – yet. Nevertheless, the geek in me can’t help but wonder what all might be in store for us given what we’ve already seen from the teaser.

Naturally, this is an origin story about how Eddie Brock came to inherit the symbiote and together with it became the entity we know as Venom. The interesting thing is though Venom has two different origins in the comic books, and, if I’m correct, they possibly may be in play here.

Alpha Genesis

In the beginning, there was space. That’s where Spider-Man first came in contact with the symbiote and changed to the black Spidey suit. The symbiote bonded with both Peter’s flesh and mind granting him accelerated abilities in strength and speed such as he’d never known before. He was tougher, stronger, and meaner, making him a through and through greater superhero…so we would think at least.

Hollywood Reporter
image via Hollywood Reporter

The suit proved to have a will of its own and began to slowly poison Parker’s psyche for its sinister purposes. Peter was changing due to the symbiotic influence, and became increasingly more reliant on the suit to an unhealthy degree, as though he was an addict. At last, and realizing the deadly impact the poisonous symbiote had over him now, he tore the thing from himself. And after a great struggle was released from the toxic co-existence. The suit hated Spider-Man for being rejected.

That’s the interesting thing about the symbiotes – they are in fact living entities. They have a mind and will they exercise, not to mention they have a telepathic voice that drives (intoxicates) their chosen host. That’s the other thing, they choose which vessel will better accomplish their purpose.

Meanwhile, Eddie Brock, a former employee at the Daily Bugle, had been fired and blamed his misfortune on Peter Parker. Together, one hating the Spider and the other hating the man, the symbiote untied with Brock and became Venom, Spider-Man’s most dangerous foe. Venom knew everything about his enemy and swore to kill Parker for the troubles he’d brought upon both Eddie and the symbiote. Worst of all, Venom shared Peter’s memories, and, you guessed it,  no one in Peter’s life was safe.

Greenscene
image via Greenscene

It was only after Spider-Man saved Eddie’s ex-wife that Brock finally realized perhaps Parker wasn’t entirely his villain. Now, wait: is Venom a supervillain or antihero? He has killed, but only killed those he felt were guilty and deserved to die. The Punisher does that much. The reason why Venom was so Hell-bent on killing Spider-Man was because he truly did believe Spidey was the bad guy. Anyway, a truce was made and Venom went on to star in his own mini-series where he battled other symbiotes.

Second Genesis.

In the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series the superhero enjoyed a successful reboot. In this version, Peter was still in high school and he and Eddie Brock were friends. The Venom symbiote was grown in a laboratory and was meant to be a secret weapon, that and their father’s both had something to do with its creation. Tracking the notes of his father, Peter discovered the experiment and bonded with the black suit. The outcome was very much the same as in the original storyline. The suit proved too great a threat for Peter and he shed himself ofit. The rejected symbiote bonded with the other son of the man who helped grant it life and Venom came into existence once again.

Admittedly there was a more epic tone to the original and I liked that it was from space, but getting Parker into space may be a complication for the story. And no, Infinity War is not connected to Venom according to my source, although it is somehow part of the current Spider-Man Homecoming storyline. So…???

So what can fans expect? What do we know so far?

From the trailer, we see a crashed ship, and things being extracted from the crash site. We then see Eddie (Tom Hardy) snooping into a high-security lab where he (I mean he has to) get in contact with the writhing black essence of the symbiote. The teaser perfectly shows how the symbiote whispers to Eddie’s mind and begins to meld with him into a dual entity, a fact proven in how he addresses himself at the end. “We are Venom” because the two have perfectly become one.

So I’m supposing the crashed ship carried some alien thing back to earth, a thing gets harvested and tested in shady experiments in hopes of perfecting the ultimate weapon. Already we know that Venom is set to fight other symbiotes in the movie, something like the comic miniseries aforementioned. We also know that Cletus Cassidy has been cast and Venom’s main threat will be Carnage! Fucking holy shit really?! Venom and Carnage in one cinematic explosive fight?! Listen, this is going to be intense, I just have a feeling. Fans have been waiting for this ever since Sam Raimi first directed Spider-Man. So yeah, I’d be cool with both origin stories in play here.

Weekly Planet Wikia
image via Weekly Planet Wikia

Now as for the beginning of Carnage and his dark origins, well let’s save that for next time. Until then, check out the trailer and let us know what you think.  This has been Manic Exorcism. ‘Nuff said.

Joe Bob Broke Shudder, but Not Our Hearts

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all suffered through dry spells. Droughts of the romantic variety, which led to withdrawals and yearning, and eventually to copious amounts of K-Y, and inevitably, blister cream. We’ve all been there. Then one night everything falls into place and you hop back on that horse affectionately known as tonsil hockey and your brain can’t handle the overload. “This is amazing! Why did we wait this long?! Let’s never do that again!” as you engage in “the sign of the double-humped sperm whale.”

And make no mistake, that’s exactly what happened this past weekend. We all got some after a hiatus that bordered on abusive.

Yes, it was the one-of-a-kind charm of Joe Bob’s twang that had our hearts aflutter, but more than that, it was the communal experience knowing that we were all watching at the same time. The closest we come to that anymore (beyond live tweets) is AMC’s FearFest, but if we’re honest about that, it’s lost a bit of its luster what with those Walking Dead marathons that eat up large chunks of our beloved October tradition, leaving many of us unsatisfied.

Sure, we had the internet when MonsterVision played out on television screens every Saturday night across America and beyond back in the day, but social media wasn’t a thing quite yet, so we couldn’t really share those experiences in real time.

Then Shudder swooped in to cure the horror community of its collective blue balls.

And it was glorious.

JBBMy Twitter feed was littered with Joe Bob Briggs and The Last Drive-In. All anyone could talk about was how long they’d been up, how much they’d missed this, shared laughs and memories, complete with quoting Joe Bob’s latest “Did ya hear the one about…” Not gonna lie, I shared at least three of them, myself.

But it extended beyond social media. It was an event, and how many of those do we really have in the horror community? Yes, there are movie premieres and Twitter explodes whenever shows like American Horror Story air new episodes, but it’s rare for all of us to be all-in on one thing at exactly the same time.

We’d been counting the days since April, were sure to have our Joe Bob tees clean, fridge and pantry stocked with snacks, and our favorite koozies prepped for maximum consumption of brew. I giddily left work on Friday afternoon to pick up a mess of wings and a 12-pack of Grain Belt (only because Lone Star wasn’t available here) and sped to my buddy’s place with one eye on the clock. Two hours early. We pulled up Phantasm IV: Oblivion and added our own running track. “Fuckin’ Reggie, man. Poor bastard can never seal the deal.” My pal’s wife yelped her way through the Tall Man’s extraction of the silver sphere from Mike’s skull, and we all wore shit-eating grins during Reg-Man’s ice cream commando (kinda sorta) montage. And the hour hadn’t even struck 8 (I live in the Central time zone).

All the more smile-inducing because I knew full well, we weren’t the only ones pregaming.

Even the technical issues that prevented many of us from seeing The Last Drive-In from the beginning became a shared experience. Sure, some bitched and complained and harassed Shudder, but the vast majority knew that the Netflix of Horror would make it right and we’d get our Joe Bob fix. And again if we’re honest, it was a lot of fun to see GIFs of cats hammering away at the keys of a laptop or Andre the Giant in the ring trying his best to hold off a rabid crowd, or @richpatine’s tweet that pleaded “Joe Bob broke Shudder! Add 1 crashed app to the drive-in total please!”

We were all-in, and we were all-in together.

Scrolling through message after message of childhoods relived and resurfaced memories was magical.

TealEventually, though, the sun set on Saturday night. Pieces came to a close and Briggs offered his farewell. Tweets of excitement and laughter turned somber at the realization that this was the end, that we would never experience a night like this again, because no one can ever fill Joe Bob’s shoes. A fact we know far too well.

Yes, there were some tears, but more than anything, we were flooded with messages of gratitude and love. For as long as we’d all held onto our memories of MonsterVision from years before, came the knowledge that it paled when held to the neon glow of The Last Drive-In. This would be a night, a marathon, a borderline religious experience that we would never forget.

While the Drive-In Jedi’s send-off touched on the fact that his “goofy little show” was intended to offer laughter and an appreciation of forgotten films, he also mentioned that it was aimed at the “weirdos” and “misfits” who felt “left out” of the mainstream. Briggs went on to say that he hadn’t realized how many of us were out there until the past few years, which was ironic because Shudder discovered that the hard way when us drive-in junkies feenin’ for Joe Bob obliterated their server.

For all the stories and the rants and the laughs and the memories, that is what I’ll take away from The Last Drive-In – the sheer number of Joe Bob disciples who had suffered and waited. The fact that we broke Shudder is not a testament to the number of horror fiends out there, or that we just had to get one more dose of drive-in totals, but that Joe Bob Briggs means that goddamn much to us. It was a communal experience, yes, but that stemmed from the myriad personal connections that we have to someone who was either directly responsible for or augmented our love of horror cinema.

It wasn’t the kills or the gore that were difficult to watch, but rather those last moments as one-by-one, the lights turned out, and Joe Bob sat in his recliner, hat in hand, as the credits rolled, and a sad guitar took us to that final fade.

The last thing Mr. Briggs said was “I have a Dwight Yoakam hat.” Comforting in a way, because even if this truly was the end for Joe Bob, we won’t find ourselves a thousand miles from nowhere, we will carry Shudder’s magical romp in our hearts forever. Because the drive-in, and our love for Joe Bob, will never die.

Hat

 

“Victor Crowley” Has a Limited VHS Release That You Can Buy Right Now!

Nothing warms my nostalgic heart more than when a NEW movie becomes available to own in a classic VHS format. While some still claim VHS is dead, you might want to reconsider that statement as this type of marketing is gaining some momentum with nostalgic horror fans. Like me, for instance. I’m totally all over this guys and MUST have it in my horror VHS collection!

"Victor Crowley" Has a Limited VHS Release That You Can Buy Right Now!

Broke Horror Fan‘s Alex DiVincenzo has teamed up with Witter Entertainment to bring a retro feel to Victor Crowley, starring the one and only Kane Hodder. Released by Dark Sky Films and AireScope Pictures, the VHS is available in three different and equally exquisite varients of cover-art designed by Dark Horse Books artist Will Perkins. Personally approved by writer-director Adam Green, each VHS tape is of course fully functional and also a must-have collectible for any horror fan.

Per the press release:

There are three covers to choose from: the standard edition (limited to 300), bloody variant (limited to 150), and line art variant (limited to 50; hand-numbered and signed by the artist). Variant editions include a blood-splattered letter from Adam Green to the Hatchet Army members.
“Having lived through both the birth and the death of the ‘local video store’ era, my horror movie education happened on VHS,” comments Green. “Whether you purchase this copy to actually watch or just to display on a shelf as part of your Hatchet collection, I’m confident that you share my nostalgic love for this classic format.”
For optimal VHS viewing, the film has been cropped from its original aspect ratio to 4:3 full frame. It is only available in the US and Canada.
In 2007, over forty people were brutally torn to pieces in Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Over the past decade, lone survivor Andrew’s (Parry Shen) claims that local legend Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy. But when a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Andrew must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.
The cast of Victor Crowley includes Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Parts VII-X), Parry Shen (Hatchet), Laura Ortiz (The Hills Have Eyes), Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie), Brian Quinn (Impractical Jokers), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), Chase Williamson (John Dies at the End), Tiffany Shepis (Sharknado 2: The Second One), and Jonah Ray (Mystery Science Theater 3000).
The premier installment in the BrokeHorrorFan.com Presents line is Adam Green’s Victor Crowley, the fourth installment in the Hatchet franchise. It’s on sale now at WitterEntertainment.com.

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.

New VENOM Pic Has Fans Drooling For More! The Comic’s Coming to Life!

Time to discuss one of comic-book history’s most beloved super-antiheroes – VENOM!

A brand new Venom pic has just surfaced and is taking fans by storm. Comic book licenses have never been hotter than they are now. The world we were introduced to by Dick Donner’s Superman and Tim Burton’s Batman has opened up in ways fans never dreamt of. We all wanted to see our favorite heroes and villains match off in colossal battles across land, sea, and air; battles brought to life from page to theater screen. We find ourselves in that age.

Sam Raimi hurled the Marvel property into unexplored territory with his fantastical take on some high octane web-slinging action in Spider-Man! The comic world of the web-head came to life as Spidey (Tobey Maguire) faced off against the malicious might of Green Goblin (Willem DaFoe) and Doc Oct (Alfred Molina). In the first couple of movies, fans pissed and cheered with inhuman rapture as the comic battles of old raged before our wet eyes. The sky was the limit, so where would we go from there?

Bloody Disgusting
image via Bloody Disgusting

To everyone’s sheer delight, it was announced that Spider-Man would face off against his most cherished foe, Venom! Fans dropped their drawers and shat with excitement right as they heard the news. At long-fucking last! VENOM! He was coming to goddam life and people were ready to sacrifice babies to Baal to see this happen.

Then they ruined it by casting Topher Grace in the monster’s role. Cheers turned into jeers as hearts blacked with pustule cists of anger. What in the hell did we just watch? That wasn’t Venom! That was a disgrace. Excitement for the character died an ugly death and the character lost his lethal charm among many.

CinemaBlend
image via CinemaBlend

Not all though. I still loved the character. He’s the reason I began to read the comics back in the 90’s. Marvel will never be as great as it was in that glorious decade. We had the talents of Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee illustrating some of the darkest, most savage, and eye-exploding depictions of our superheroes, the likes of which we’d never seen before. All of a sudden Spider-Man was more bestial, more arachnid than he’d ever been. His body posture was extraordinary, and it felt as if he was literally whipping by as he swung page to page. McFarlane’s Torment still stands as one of the most widely loved Spidey storylines to be published.

nerdtrip
image via nerdtrip

In came Venom, the dark and brutal antagonist to Spider-Man. An alien entity, a vicious symbiotic mastermind who sought to possess the mind and body of the right host. He found his mark with Eddie Brock, and the two of them became Venom! And they hated the Spider-Man with a passion.

With a maul like a cavern of dripping teeth and a taste for Parker’s flesh, Venom haunted the darkened places of New York as a nightmare reflection of the city’s most favored protector.

We wanted him to come to life. Some still had hopes that day would come, and it seems to be finally dawning upon us. Spidey has had two reboots and – now that he’s at home with Marvel – seems to be on the right track, although I did really enjoy the first Amazing Spider-Man. With new praise over the super-hero, it seemed to be the perfect time for his greatest threats to have a revival. The symbiotes have awakened.

Movie Web
image via Movie Web

My sources claim that this Venom movie does tie into the current Spider-Man series, but is not part of the larger MCU. Right now it’s unclear if the two will ever cross into one another. So fans shouldn’t expect any answers or tie-ins with the events of Infinity War.

Venom will be facing off against fellow symbiotes, and this has me very excited! Not long ago the teaser dropped and people lost their heads with excitement! Just from what little has been shown already this movie looks like a superior improvement over the last cinematic incarnation of the character.

The latest pic is keeping that flame of expectations glowing. Look at him! The veins, the teeth, and those eyes! Here’s hoping the movie lives up to the name.

VenomTom Hardy
image via IGN

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

Here we are friends, with another glorious Friday the 13th upon us. Well, that is unless you’re like me who has to work at a tattoo shop catering to hundreds of people looking for a $13 F13 tattoo. Seriously, tip your artist well on this day. They are tired and deserve it! So yeah, that being my situation, I don’t get to plop my fat-ass on the couch and (fully) watch the return of Joe Bob Briggs or the obvious Friday the 13th marathon. However, best believe I’ll be drowning the shop in the sweet sounds of Pseudo Echo, doing a wicked robotic dance on the floor in-between breaks. Try and stop me.

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

Anyway, that will be my day. However, before the chaos, I wanted to celebrate the second to best day to Halloween here at Nightmare Nostalgia with a little trivia from the original 1980 film, and most importantly, rare photos (courtesy of Fridaythe13thFranchise.com) of some cool shots of what would have been, Claudette’s death!

You see, what we all know and love about the opening sequence of Friday the 13th- the tense feeling, the first time we heard the music, and the horrific face Claudette makes in her final moment before being murdered off camera was actually a last minute substitution for what was originally intended. The original scripted opening of Barry and Claudette was crafted as a more traditional stalk and murder scene with a lot more gore. And you guessed it, you get to actually see Claudette get nailed, (in the murderous sense perv). Instead of getting frisky in a barn, the scene was set as the pair of lover counselors taking a lovely moonlit walk around the lake after leaving their campfire setting. The killer stealthily stalks her victims and a chase ensues around a boathouse where the duo ultimately ends up being killed. This scene would later serve a purpose at the conclusion of the film and showcased in later sequels. But alas, that never came to pass.

Big thanks to Mother Nature for totally screwing us out of an action-packed opener for one of the greatest slasher franchises in horror history. The story goes, nasty weather is to blame along with Claudette’s death never being seen on camera. Why? No clue as they could have easily done something indoors but hey, I’m no movie maker. And I actually don’t mind the current opener for what it’s worth. It’s just that never REALLY seeing a victim’s fate with being left to guess can sometimes irk us horror fans. Don’t give me that, “use your imagination” bullshit. I want to see her throat slashed dammit. And apparently according to these photos, it looks to be just that.

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

 

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

According to the F13-Franchise website, these photos were taken as publicity shots in 1979, however, there’s been a shit ton of contradictory statements from people involved in the film, including Tom Savini and Sean Cunnigham who said the scene HAD been filmed and then later retracting it. So, are these actual still shots from Claudette’s unrealized death scene? Or really just test shots. Who the hell knows and maybe we’ll actually get a definitive answer one day. But for now, all we can do is speculate and enjoy these photos for what they are- CLASSIC HORROR TREASURES.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Stream FREE Horror Movies On KANOPY For Your Friday the 13th!

Happy Friday the 13th horror fiends! Today, you’ll most likely be settling in with a good, old-fashioned marathon of beloved scary flicks as per the usual horror fan’s tradition on this glorious day. However, in the modern day where streaming services serve as king over cable and the go-to for today’s customer, not everyone has that luxury. Enter KANOPY streaming service; the FREE alternative to the Netflix giant that boasts hundreds of contemporary titles and of course, new and older beloved horror films! And all you simply need is a public library card!

Gives a good reason to break out crumpled college library pass, eh?

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Beginning as a simple educational service for students, KANOPY is now competing in the mighty streaming game with an app that is available on Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Tablet, and iOS and Android devices. By simply downloading and signing up on the streaming site with your public library card, you can access a glory-pod of titles including,  “My Friend Dahmer,” “The Love Witch,” “What We Do in The Shadows,” A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” “They Remain,” “Momento,” “Donnie Darko,” “The Night of the Living Dead”, “Day of the Dead”, “Nosferatu”, and many more!

To sign up a free account, click here and begin your Friday the 13th marathon!

 

Why The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a Transcendent Slasher

Look, we can talk about a clever mockumentary, the smile-inducing horror references, Kane Hodder’s cameo, Robert Englund as Dr. Loomis by way of the Overlook Hotel, humorous lines like scaring the “pooooop” out of someone, or that Leslie Vernon’s mannerisms and mask were truly unsettling, but that would be missing the greater point of Behind the Mask.

What set this film apart was its depth, which extended beyond Nathan Baesel’s indisputably brilliant performance, the palpably conflicted emotion of Angela Goethals, or authenticity that forever accompanies Scott Wilson. Three scenes ventured into territory that elevated The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) to a stratosphere that few slasher films have ever reached.

Within that horror subgenre, audiences adore atmosphere and kills and humor, but few delve into the humanity of a character. That is truly rare. Sure, it’s happened before, we can’t disregard the depth of character and performance provided by Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street or Neve Campbell in Scream, or the fact that we are likely to be served a heaping helping of it come October when Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween (2018). However, the script pieced together by Scott Glosserman (who also directed) and David J. Stieve, coupled with Baesel’s performance, created a true masterpiece.

Three scenes separate Behind the Mask from the field, but they have nothing to do with kills or gore or one-liners printed on tee shirts, and everything to do with writing, acting and cinematography.

giphyTo begin, we all recognize those moments when we fall in love with a picture. Sometimes it occurs to us as we’re watching, others as we later reflect upon what we’d just witnessed, but the common denominator is one scene where we completely succumb to what is being presented on-screen. For this writer and this film, dinner at Eugene (Wilson) and Jamie’s (Bridgett Newton) fulfilled that romantic moment, simply because of its subtlety and camera work.

This was not a typical get-to-know the characters scene where we are overwhelmed with dialogue intended to convey the notion that “these guys are edgy and cool,” there was no grand monologue about a hidden world we were unaware existed, but rather a gathering of friends, old and new, that felt real – it was believable. Eugene was sharing his thoughts on the way things used to be in the game of creating an evil counterbalance to the world’s good as he chopped carrots for the meal to come. As he went on, he got lost in his thoughts, and past work began to come back to him as he knifed the vegetables with a ferocity that left Taylor Gentry (Goethals) uncomfortable, before he finally slammed the blade into the cutting board that resulted in a yelp from the student filmmaker. Jaron Presant (director of photography) made the decision to film Goethals’ reaction in a close-up of her left profile to showcase how Taylor was now completely immersed in this world, and it was all happening so fast that she couldn’t process it. What made the scene, though, was Baesel’s reaction over her right shoulder. What began as a smirk, turned to a hand over his mouth to stifle laughter, and finally to a glance at Eugene before he covered his eyes because even he thought — this was too much, too soon — and Taylor wasn’t prepared for what she’d just seen because she had yet to grasp the concept of why Leslie and Eugene did what they did.

It wasn’t overt, Glosserman’s direction and Presant’s angle didn’t force feed the audience, they just presented it for what it was, then quickly moved on. It’s rare for a scene to work so well in the slasher genre, to feel so authentic, as though a hidden camera were in the room and we laid eyes on an intimate moment never intended to be seen. And it worked. We felt the fear and the humor, and connected to the humanity of Leslie and Tay.

Which brings us to the most pivotal scene of the film, outside the diner after Taylor had attempted to speak to Leslie’s intended target despite his explicit instruction that Kelly (Kate Miner) was off limits to her documentary.

BTM RenoLeaning against the crew’s van, Leslie asked “You wanna just pretend that we’ve already had the conversation we’re about to have?” Taylor was only able to respond “Leslie” before Vernon grabbed and pulled her alongside the vehicle to ask that she not ruin his life’s work. Presant’s utilization of hand-held cameras, from behind the pair and within the van, communicates Leslie’s instability at this betrayal, as Taylor challenges him not only about Doc Halloran (Englund), but who Vernon really is, before the man who to that point had seemed a bit awkward and giddy turned in a moment. Until that turn, Taylor (and the audience) knew that Leslie was a slasher, but because of his goofy, yet likable persona, didn’t comprehend how dangerous he really was. When Tay brought Reno, Nevada into the equation, however, we discovered first hand that Vernon was not to be trifled with, and in a heartbeat he’d pinned Taylor against the van by the throat. Presant’s cameras once again closed in, highlighting the terror and tears in Taylor’s eyes, and Leslie’s intensity. Hesitating to collect his thoughts, Vernon shared that he would tell her everything that she needed to know, and never broke eye contact as he opened the van door and asked her to please get inside.

The best actors speak with their eyes, and Baesel is next level in that regard. At a glance, one feels his euphoria and confusion and thought process, and in this case, seething anger. Baesel thinks before he speaks, lending authenticity to every line reading, because they feel as though they just came to him before he opened his mouth. In a moment, Leslie Vernon was no longer the quirky guy who wanted to be something that he didn’t appear capable of, transformed into a cold-blooded killer whose mood could turn on a dime.

Immediately after this scene was filmed, Englund took Baesel aside and told him that he reminded him of a young Anthony Perkins, which immediately conjured thoughts of something Langenkamp shared in an interview with this writer years ago. She had mentioned that Englund seemed to be all-knowing, completely in tune with everything around him – literature, music, restaurants, cinema – an assertion cemented with his Perkins sentiment, because that observation was as spot-on as it gets.

BTM That LookFinally, before the events transpired to bring Behind the Mask to a close, Leslie and Taylor shared a calm before the storm moment that Vernon described as his “Christmas.” With the absence of music or sound of any kind, Leslie admitted “I’m so happy.” This was the truest peek behind the curtain at what made a killer tick, as he laid bare his soul, hyper-focused on where he was in his life at that precise moment. Vernon was not just a man who was good at his job, but felt fortunate to be doing it, and broke down at the realization that not everyone was so lucky in life. It’s a moment that we can all relate to, particularly when we share it with someone to whom we have a profound connection, as Leslie did to Taylor. And refusing to break with the theme of the film, Taylor wanted to comfort Vernon, but didn’t make it so far as to put her hand on his shoulder, or hug him, or hold his hand. Despite her affection for Vernon, she still didn’t fully comprehend who he was. That her character stayed true is what made the scene work – even in the happiest moment of his life – Leslie was essentially alone.

And the beauty of the scene was again about the collaboration of Glosserman and Baesel, who had been wandering the grounds in preparation for said scene, which had originally been intended to be lighthearted and funny, featuring the gleeful, excited Vernon we’d seen so much of throughout the film. However, Baesel had come to the realization that he was incredibly happy to be making a feature film that he believed in, doing work that he loved, and it was own feeling of good fortune that led him to the conclusion that Leslie would be having the same epiphany, and that perhaps that emotion would play better. Glosserman agreed to go for it, and Baesel’s talent, and the movie, soar because of it.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is all the things previously stated – it’s clever and funny and gave us a truly worthy slasher villain – but it is so much more than that. The collective talents of Baesel, Glosserman, Goethals, Presant and Stieve produced a transcendent slasher that offered far more than kills and laughs, gifting the world of horror with a beauty and depth of humanity that translated to one shared emotion, love.

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