80's

I’ve been very excited about Synapse’s release of “Curtains” for a long time and the reason being that there is something really cool to me about plucking a movie from complete obscurity and giving it not only a high-quality blu-ray release, but also a much better home video release, than many much more famous movies have had. 

Spend days slogging your way through the "Teen Screams" section on Netflix like I just did, and a film like "The Hazing" comes as nothing short of a revelation. In a world where it seems like people have forgotten how to make "fun" horror movies on small budgets, it does everything right, for a myriad of reasons.

I wrote a profile on "The Monster Channel" for Issue 32 of Horror Hound Magazine. Long story short, they're eschewing the cable model by combining the interactivity of the internet with public domain and indie horror films for what they hope is a totally new viewing experience (and if they're lucky, business model). What I saw at the time was a little janky but you could tell there's a lot of heart behind it.

What can I say about David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” that hasn’t already been said by hundreds if not thousands of film scholars, critics, biographers, and journalists? The film has been discussed in a diverse number of concentrations including auteur studies, queer theory, genre studies, and psychoanalytic film theory. It has been viewed as both an intrepid piece of personal vision and an exploitative aggrandizement of cinematic masturbation.

Sometimes reviewing a movie in a viewer advisory capacity sucks the fun right out of that film. This is especially true when one is given the task of registering an opinion on a film like “Slaughter High”. I have talked before about how my socialized adult brain limits my enjoyment of the things that my inner teen finds endlessly amusing.

The Serial Killer film exists in that ineffable space between and within multiple genres. There are definitive strands reaching back to noir, slashers, and some city symphony films. There have also been so many serial killer films as to perhaps make their own genre altogether apart from horror or suspense thrillers. As of late television seems to be the new home for these narratives, strung out in season long arcs or crammed into the exploitation story-of-the-week on the latest versions of CSI or Law & Order.

When I was just a young lad the Garbage Pail Kids were just about the greatest thing ever invented. For those of you too young, old or homely to remember them, the Garbage Pail Kids were nothing more than trading cards with childish gross out images made to look like Cabbage Patch Kids. I’m not going to go over what those were, I don't have time to explain the entire decade to you.

If a grouchy father flushes a baby alligator down the toilet in Chicago will the residents of Tarzana, California pay the price for it 15 years later? This is not the question posed by Lewis Teague’s 1980 creature feature “Alligator” but it is one that will float into the mind of most viewers. Other reasonable viewer inquiries may center on the crocodilian capacity for vengeance and whether or not John Sayles missed his true calling as a monster movie scribe.

Everybody does it. Autumn hits, the leaves die off and turn pretty colors and little ghosts and goblins come knocking at your door to beg for sweet stuff. It's Halloween, that time of year that requires, dare I say demands, thrills and chills.