Tag Archives: Army of Darkness

Happy Dirty 30! Top 10 Horror Movies of 1992!

1992 is often labeled by genre fans as a pretty sup-par year in horror, but I’m here calling bullshit on those misguided spun tales via cinephile snobs. There were some stinkers in the form of sequels via some heavyweight franchises like Hellraiser 3: Hell On Earth and Alien 3 (my opinion folks, they DO suck balls); which may just be the reason why horror fans give this year, in particular, some grief. But the horror season of 1992 brought some FANTASTIC cinematic terror to the fans that really shouldn’t be overlooked in the shadow of these popular franchise failures.

So here we go, an official ranking here at Nightmare Nostalgia of the best horror movies of 1992 turning the dirty 30 this year!

Honorable Mention: Demonic Toys

Before you ask, the answer is yes: I would much rather sit through Baby Oopsie Daisy’s devilish sense of potty mouth humor than sit through Alien 3.

Full Moon’s whacky horror about a couple of toys in an abandoned warehouse that are anything but, is Full Moon doing what it does best; to entertain. It’s not Puppet Master material but it was popular enough with the Charles Band crowd to spawn a couple of crossovers and sequels, including one with Toulon’s marionettes themselves. It’s cheesy bad but in all the right ways. Sometimes I just want to watch a bunch of powerful demons parading around as innocent playthings trying to help bring about the birth of the Antichrist, and this does the job.

Don’t be a Moby fuckin’ Dick and grab it at Amazon here!

10. Mikey

Mikey- another killer kid film that gives all skeevies that well, killer kids in film do so well. Family Ties star Brian Bonsall goes from loveable child star to Terry O’ Quinn Stepfather staus in this 1992 psychological horror. Mikey is an abused child and that trauma leads to his homicidal tendencies, including one gnarly scene with a baseball bat that would leave Negan from the Walking Dead grinning like a proud father.

Worth noting a few Nightmare On Elm Street alumnis’ make an appearance in the movie- Whit Hertford (A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child), and Mimi Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street and Wes Craven’s wife) while also using Freddy in the tagline for the film: “Remember, Jason and Freddy Were Kids Once, Too.” Just an interesting tidbit I thought I’d throw in.

Get it on Amazon here!

9. Lawnmower Man

While Stephen King absolutely hated this adaptation of his short story from “Night Shift” so much he sued to have his name removed from the film, in actuality I don’t think it’s that bad at all. And a horrifying precursor to how advanced technology can really fuck with your mind. Men sure love to play God as history has told time and again and as mankind advances, the more maniacal we become.

Anyway, I appreciate it for what it is. Mind fuck your way over to Amazon for a copy for your collection!

8. Sleepwalkers

King had some serious displeasure with Lawnmower Man, but in ’92 the master of horror wrote his first featured film NOT based on any of his previous works in Sleepwalkers, and is completely underrated if you’re asking me. The film has a ton of horror icon cameos like Clive Barker and Tobe Hooper and is a Stephen King penned movie directed by Mick Garris surrounding vampires and cats. That’s really all I need to enjoy myself here.

Pick it up at Amazon here!

7. Dr. Giggles

If you’re asking me, Larry Drake’s Dr. Giggles is an entirely overlooked horror icon and I’m here to set the record straight: “Laughter is the best medicine.” And if you read any of my mental health and horror-related pieces and resonate, you would totally agree. It’s full of fun, gore, and smart filmmaking where you wouldn’t think you would find any. Yet here we are, talking about Dr. fuckin’ Giggles.

Just give it a jab. Pick it up here!

6. Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Anyone trying to fill the shoes of Bela Lugosi is likely going to come up a fang or two short, but goddamn I do love Gary Oldman as Dracula. Plus, any movie with national treasure Keanu Reeves in it, is okay by me. The Academy, although they mostly get these things wrong, recognized the 1992 visual stunner with four awards that year. Pretty impressive and a monumental win for the horror genre. The gothic tale of romance and horror is a great watch for a dreary Sunday afternoon or just any time you feel like watching Oldman at his best.

Snag the 4k edition here at Amazon!

5. Pet Sematary 2

Without question, the greatest thing about Pet Sematary 2 is Clancy Brown as asshole Gus Gilbert. While that may not be much of a powerpoint in terms of ranking it so high here, Clancy birthed a horror cult icon of sorts here and basically carried the film with this egregious character, and that counts for something. Especially in a film with a trending star such as Edward Furlong. He stole the whole show and gave us another side to Stephen King’s immaculate tale of tragic death and the human experience.

Salute the Clancy Brown by revisiting it here!

4. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

David Lynch doing what he does best and fucking with the minds of audiences is nothing short of just fantastic. The prequel to the television series “Twin Peaks”, Fire Walk With Me chronicles Laura Palmer’s final days leading up to her death and finally revealing her killer. It was pretty goddamn exciting back in the day and watching it now just brings me pure hypnotizing joy diving into Lynch’s strange world of visual symmetry.

Dive down the rabbit hole again here!

3. Braindead (Dead Alive)

Although Peter Jackson’s Braindead wasn’t released in the US, and had a name change, until early 1993, it was released in the director’s home of New Zealand in 1992 as Braindead and that’s where I think it counts as a 1992 film; and by God, it is one of the best.

Hailed as one of the goriest movies to this very day, and exceeds all expectations in what a horror comedy can and should be. As a zombie film, it stands out from all others as being over-the-top pure fun but with a black-box warning as some of the scenes in this genre treasure are almost too sickening to watch, at least for those who have a serious gag-reflux anyway.

All hail the Braindead here and relive the classic once more- just don’t eat prior to viewing.

2. Army Of Darkness

I don’t even need to explain this all. If you question Army of Darkness‘ greatness in any shape or form, you shouldn’t even be here pal.

I’m one of those that enjoys Army maybe even a little more so than Evil Dead itself. Bruce Campbell’s character of Ash really came into his own as a legendary horror hero with memorable one-liners and a full-circle scope of who Ash Williams really is. Plus, the clay skeleton army is just a lot of fun.

Shop smart. Shop S-Mart and pick up the Screwhead edition Blu-Ray here!

1. Candyman

Sweets to the sweet and there as shit isn’t anything sweeter to come out of 1992 than Candyman.

Clive Barker’s story of “The Forbidden” went visual this year, birthing a rare POC horror icon and no one could have done it or WILL EVER do it better than Tony Todd. This movie is so beautiful in terms of score, cinematography, and real-world horror revenge with a love story underneath all of it. There hasn’t been anything like it before, or since that moves my emotions in every direction quite like this film and stands as not just one of the greatest horror movies of 1992, but of the entire decade in itself.

Be his victim once more here!

That about wraps it up nostalgic nuggets! What would you add to the roster of 1992? The Gate II? Perhaps Innocent Blood? Sound off in the comments!

Memories Won’t Fade even as Ash vs Evil Dead Says Goodbye

After nearly forty years, we’re sad to say goodbye to a franchise that has given us three films and thirty television episodes. That heartbreak has less to do with Ash Williams, and everything to do with our memories of watching The King ham it up.

Those memories are different for everyone. It could be where you were when you first laid eyes on The Evil Dead, or the people with whom you watched Army of Darkness, or or perhaps the way the splatstick of Ash vs Evil Dead helped you put your troubles on the back burner, if only for 30 minutes. It goes without saying that memories are a very personal thing, but make no mistake, the reason Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead universe resonate so deeply with fans comes down to individual circumstance.

For me, it was the routine of waking on Sunday mornings after a night of shenanigans and grabbing my phone to pull up the latest chapter of AVED. It’s been my way for three years now, and I’d be lying if I said I weren’t going to miss the hell out of it. To be honest, though, I must admit that it’s been the interactions I’ve blessed to experience with cast members that endeared me most to Ash vs Evil Dead. Hell, I almost set Ted Raimi up on a blind date, but I’ll get to that.

I’m not even going to discuss the interview I scored with the King two days before the Season 2 finale (though it took two years to land, and I was never so nervous in my life), because in a matter of seconds before our discussion came to a close, Campbell provided a gift that can never be repaid.

CampbellSince entering the arena of horror writing, one relationship has towered above all others, and that is my friendship with the owner and operator of Nightmare Nostalgia, Patti Pauley. Many times she’d mentioned that Bruce Campbell was her son’s hero, and I always told her that should I get the opportunity to speak with the man who was Ash, I’d see about getting a personal message for her boy. So when the time came, I asked Campbell if he’d be good enough to share a few words, and he didn’t disappoint.

While the message itself was vintage Bruce — short and not-so sweet — her delight when I told her that he’d agreed to say something had me grinning from ear-to-ear. However, it wasn’t until later that night that I realized that she’d not only shared that message with her son when he got home from school, but on Facebook as well. I watched as her child gasped and faux-fainted when he discovered that a message from Bruce Campbell existed that was for his ears only. Thinking about it now makes me giddy beyond belief, because it’s a moment that doesn’t belong to the masses, but the three of us, to be cherished forever.

Like the conversation I had with Dana DeLorenzo in my kitchen.

It wasn’t that she’d no doubt done innumerable interviews with other outlets, or that she found it funny that I’d been involved with the “Thanks for talkin’” conference call months earlier, but my discovery that she was every bit as charming and hilarious off screen as she was fierce as Kelly Maxwell on. DeLorenzo shared that she couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that she was doing a Q&A with a popular horror outlet in the same room where she’d played with Barbies as a child, before offering exquisite teaser after exquisite teaser.

DeLorenzoI won’t lie, it was a fantastic discussion, but while the thought never crossed my mind that I was “in” with her (and still don’t), it led to a shot in the dark that I’m glad I took. About a week into Women in Horror Month 2017, it dawned on me that securing a true horror heroine to wrap the month would be fantastic, and the first person who came to mind was Ms. DeLorenzo. So I messaged her to ask if she’d be interested in penning a piece for HorrorGeekLife about her experiences in the genre, with zero expectation. To my surprise, she agreed, and shared a beautifully poignant and inclusive piece that left HGL’s editor in tears. Till my last breath, I will never believe that she said yes, but if you ever want to know how incredible Dana DeLorenzo is, look no further than that act of generosity.

Which brings us to her partner in crime, the powerful vagina himself, Ray Santiago.

With a telephone conversation during or prior to each season, Santiago is the only Ghostbeater whom I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with more than once. After Baal sliced and diced Jefe’s right-hand man near the end of Season 2, I chatted with Santiago and wasn’t entirely convinced that we’d seen the last of Pablo, and felt compelled to say that if it was the end, I spoke for Evil Dead fans everywhere in thanking him for the franchise’s finest character not named Ash, and a job well done.

AvD-Pablo2

To my shock, Santiago was touched by the sentiment, stammering through “Dude, you literally just made me…that makes my day.” The thought of that exchange still makes me smile, to say nothing of the shit-eating smirk that appeared on my mug after Kelly and Pablo finally locked lips during the current season which led to my tweet “Can we just agree that Kelly and Pablo are the Jim & Pam of horror?” Santiago responded with a message that was short, but much sweeter than Campbell’s – “Love you for saying this!”

Just because I’ve written for a couple of newspapers doesn’t mean I don’t have occasion to geek out from time-to-time.

Like the summer of ’16, for instance.

When I found out that Mr. Raimi had joined the cast for Season 2 (long before any of us realized that he’d reprise his role as Henrietta, or that Chet housed a monumental secret for three decades), I made it a goal to score the genre legend. Having delighted in his responses and ridiculous, infectious laugh for half an hour, the moment arrived for me to tell him that a colleague of mine at iHorror, Waylon Jordan, wanted me to inform Raimi that he loved Ted in a “totally non-weird way.”

Once again, Raimi cackled, and sans hesitation, shot back “Well, you tell him back that I love him in a completely weird way. Like, I’m just in love with him, and I would very much like his phone number.”

RaimiMy “alright” was met with more laughter and “Tell him if he’s ever available for dates, I’m a great date. And I promise not to be too grabby on the first one.” I cannot begin to describe my elation at sending that clip to a friend.

But that’s what it’s all about.

Look, if you’re still reading this, then you love the Evil Dead universe and probably have similar experiences that you hold dear. And that’s the reason none of us are ready to say goodbye and that this franchise has life almost forty years after it began.

Yes, the films are fantastic fun, but it’s not just about watching and re-watching those movies or the series, but of the times you spent with family and friends as you took it all in, or interactions you’ve had with Campbell or Raimi or DeLorenzo or Santiago at conventions or chance encounters on the street.

More than a scene or a kill or a one-liner, those are the moments that stay with you. We’ll always have three seasons of Ash vs Evil Dead (and, of course, the features), but I will carry the memories that I’ve collected over three years and thirty episodes for the rest of my life.

So I will savor Ash vs Evil Dead’s conclusion with a smile on my face, and maybe even shed a tear or ten.

For irreplaceable memories, both on screen and off, I offer a heartfelt thank you to the cast and crew of the best show on television.

To the Ghostbeaters.

Ghostbeaters 2