Tag Archives: Horror Films

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – Re-Animator (1985)

by RICHARD WINTERS

Daniel Cain (Bruce Abbott) is a student at a nearby medical college who decides to take in as a roommate a foreign student named Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). West seems a bit anti-social and very intense about his work. He sets up a lab in Cain’s basement where he does experiments to bring back the dead by injecting them with his specially formulated serum. He starts with animals, which makes it intriguing enough for Cain to get in on it, but when they move on to cadavers at the school’s medical lab things spiral out of control. Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Island of Lost Souls (1932)

by HELEN GEIB

Charles Laughton stars as one of the maddest of mad doctors in this adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, with Richard Arlen as the castaway hero and Bela Lugosi as the man-beasts’ leader. The new Criterion Collection DVD/Blu-ray of Island of Lost Souls (1932) is the first time the film has been available on DVD. Surprising for one of the famous pre-Code horror films… until you learn the negative is lost, and this release is a restoration pieced together from several print sources and digitally cleaned up to remove dust and scratches. Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Review of The Thing (1982)

by NIR SHALEV

In 1951, Howard Hawks (Scarface, 1932; Rio Bravo, 1959) directed a horror classic called The Thing from Another World. It featured a slew of American Air Force officials and scientists at an arctic station who encounter a hostile alien creature. The film kept the monster’s appearance hidden until the end, ratcheting the suspense up to 11. The reason for the film’s enduring popularity is that, just like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), there’s a the huge metaphor embedded in the story’s center: communists hiding in plain sight inside the US. They looked just like everyone else and spoke just like everyone else and were virtually impossible to detect. A nationwide scare was in progress and the fluoride scare was soon to follow. America in the mid-20th century was a particularly interesting country. Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Back to School with the Classics

by HELEN GEIB

To mark back to school season, here are three films adapted from literary or cinematic classics. These movies are not just entertaining and educational, but instructive too: how-to guides to navigating the social pitfalls of high school.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

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DVD of the Week – Review of I Saw the Devil (2010)

by NIR SHALEV

Choi Min-sik (of Oldboy fame) plays a psychopathic killer and his latest, random victim is the fiancée of a special agent played by Lee Byung-hun (The Good, the Bad, the Weird). After her body is found, the agent’s superior offers him a month off work to recover from his grief but he claims to only need two weeks. He immediately sets off to find the killer using info provided by his fiancée’s father and ex-chief of police. Within a matter of days, the agent finds the killer in a greenhouse and a terrific fight ensues. The killer is beaten to unconsciousness, his right hand is crushed on a rock and he awakens to the sight of an envelope that’s full of money. Why, you ask? Because while the killer was unconscious, the agent slipped a GPS pill into his mouth and made him swallow it. That way, wherever he goes the agent could find him. And then beat him up and torture him further. And he does. Continue reading

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

by RICHARD WINTERS

This is a classic horror film that managed to resurrect the sagging careers of acting legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. It also spawned a whole new “psychobiddy” film genre. The movie is based on the 1960 bestselling novel by Henry Farrell. Continue reading

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)

by RICHARD WINTERS

This is one of the most bizarre and fascinating films ever made. It reminded me a lot of David Lynch’s Eraserhead, but with a slightly more linear storyline and engaging tongue and cheek humor. It all depends on one’s tolerance as to how much they will enjoy it. Some will find it weird and alienating while others will insist it’s brilliant. Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Review of Insidious (2011)

by NIR SHALEV

Saw (2004) was directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell. It became an instant success and a cult classic and was revolutionary in terms of micro-budgeting a feature length film (a horror film no doubt) and one that even featured a few Hollywood stars. The problem was that the story didn’t make any sense; its antagonist was, somehow supposed to be the protagonist; and it gave birth to the term “torture porn.” It sounds disgusting but believe me, the special effects, gore and violence are quite awful in terms of quality. Then came Paranormal Activity (2009), a film that replaced popular torture porn films with classical ghost stories and that utilized the “less is more” type of filmmaking. The end result wasn’t scary but funny, but at least it was fun. Continue reading

Movie Review – Near Dark (1987)

by NIR SHALEV

Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) is a farmhand who works with his dad on their ranch. One night, while traveling to the city for a drink he meets a beautiful girl named Mae (Jenny Wright) and they hit it off. As he drives her to her home he finds out that she’s a bit stranger than most girls but he’s actually too distracted by her beauty to notice what’s really the case. At one point he stops the car and refuses to drive her home until she gives him a kiss. She claims that she needs to be home before the sun rises but succumbs to his game and kisses him. Then she bites him on the neck and runs away. Continue reading

Movie Review – Super 8 (2011)

by HELEN GEIB

Super 8 is writer-director J.J. Abrams’ homage to American science fiction and horror cinema of the 1970s and ’80s. It is determinedly formulaic, although on that score at least, the conscious nostalgia deflects most criticism. Continue reading