John Shelton's blog

Best of 2013 - Shelton's Take

Editor's note: all week we'll be bringing you the BGH crew's best of 2013. Each writer gets a ballot and a post. On Friday, find out the crew's final vote.

Top 10

10. Curse of Chuckie

BGH Book Club: "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril"

The pulp fiction of the early 20th century is the granddaddy of the geek culture of today. Almost every popular trope of genre film, fiction and comics can be traced back to the disreputable magazines with lurid covers that for a brief moment dominated the newsstands of America. Science fiction was born in the pulps. Superheroes mutated from the man of adventure/detective books. Horror movies are still being made based on source material that came from the so-called “shudder” magazines. It might have taken them three quarters of a century to gain some air of respectability, but many of the pulp writers who were dismissed in their time as children’s authors at best and smut peddlers at worst have proved to be as influential as many of their more serious and literary-minded colleagues.

Horror at Cannes: "We Are What We Are (Somos lo que hay)"

The most buzzworthy horror film at Cannes this year is the Mexican cannibal film "We Are What We Are". The debut feature of Jorge Michel Grau is gaining comparisons to the 2008 Cannes breakout hit "Let the Right One In" for delivering a mature film that uses a horror premise to tell a story of family drama. It follows a family of ritualistic cannibals who must find new means of survival after the death of their father who has always been the one to, erm, bring home the bacon.

Horror at Cannes: "The Pack (La Meute)"

Cannes started off with some controversy this year when horror flick "The Pack" was pulled by French censors from a free outdoor public screening because of its extreme content. It had to be rescheduled to an indoor venue where authorities could prevent underage viewers from seeing the movie. The film itself is a monster movie about a girl who picks up a hitchhiker and gets trapped in a truck-stop restaurant with a pack of hungry man-eating ghouls. Sounds an awful lot like a French version of "Feast", an unholy combination that makes no sense at all, but hey, it could work.

Horror at Cannes: "Chatroom"

All this week we'll be looking at a few of the horror films making their debut at the 2010 Cannes film festival. First up is the latest film by Hideo Nakata, best known for directing the original Japanese version of "Ring" as well as the similarly named English-language killer deer movie "The Ring Two". Nakata's latest taps into the zeitgeist of ten years ago by adapting a stage play about young people who meet in chat rooms and... I don't know, kill somebody I guess.

Video: Claymation Evil Dead

Evil Dead Claymation

The original "Evil Dead" was 85 minutes long and about 2% claymation. This new remake, made for an Empire Magazine contest, packs 97% more claymation in only 60 seconds time. Unfortunately(?), the tree rape scene didn't make the cut.

Video: Lars Von Trier's New Denmark Tourism Ads

The always reliable Onion News Network has the surprising news that Lars von Trier's directorial follow-up to "Antichrist" is a new series of ads encouraging people to visit his native Denmark. Here's a handy traveler's tip: book your trip for the harsh winter months if you want to really enjoy all the soul-crushing despair Denmark offers, not to mention the lovely Christmas markets.

Horror at Sundance: "The Violent Kind"

The poster for "The Violent Kind" proclaims that it is "A New Film by the Butcher Brothers." I couldn't remember if the Butcher Brothers were a tag team wrestling duo or a late 90s electronica production team but it turns out they're the guys who made "The Hamiltons" from the first After Dark Horrorfest, as well as the "April Fool's Day" remake. "The Violent Kind" seems to defy synopsis and has something to do with possession, supernatural evil and a 1950s rockabilly motorcycle gang. It also stars the notoriously picky Tiffany Shepis, who as evidenced by her recent turns in "Zombies!

Horror at Sundance: "Double Take"

First the bad news. "Double Take" is not the eagerly awaited remake of the 2001 Eddie Griffin/7-Up Yours Guy buddy comedy classic. Guess we'll have to keep writing those letters. What it is, is... I have no clue. There is a ton of promotional material for "Double Take" on YouTube and I still can't make heads or tails out of any of it. All I know is I am intrigued by this movie and I want to subscribe to its newsletter. It has something to do with Alfred Hitchcock, or maybe an Alfred Hitchcock lookalike, possibly both and they might be trying to kill each other.

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