Sunday, October 10, 2021

FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)

FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)  - Look almost anywhere in American pop culture and you’ll find references to Jason’s hockey mask. No wonder, since it’s the most successful media franchise in history. Directed by Sean S. Cunningham, written by Victor Miller, Friday the 13th (1980) stars Adrienne King, accompanied by composer Harry Manfredini's soundtrack. But the chilling sound effect “ki ki ki, ma ma ma" sets it apart from any other movie soundtrack. It is the first installment in the Friday the 13th series, featuring 12 films to date.

Sunday, October 3, 2021



OOs HORROR MOVIES - Which decade produced the best horror movies? A bit of backstory helps to provide a complete answer. Largely credited with being the first, originally titled Le Manoir du Diable, was a French silent film. Retitled and released, it appeared in the US in 1896 as The Haunted Castle. Jumping ahead, paranoia and puritanical repression lurked in the backdrop of every film made with a brief gap in the 20s into the 30s. The Hays Code applied to all the motion pictures from 1934 to 1968, until it was replaced by MPAA film ratings. By the 70s, filmmakers were breaking away from the rubber head B-movie monster. The 80s ushered in big budget box office smashes in a decade of unrivaled storytelling. There were still certain lines which were not crossed. This relaxed in the 90s and dropped away almost completely by the aughts. In the 00s, horror movies were made all over the world, but the success was diminished perhaps by splatterporn and gore fests. Film fans in 2021 (sometimes) fail to realize that today’s creepypastas, anthologized series on streaming platforms, social network viral videos, RPGs, and even hidden easter eggs - buried in movie backgrounds, all owe debts to the above previous eras. Filmmakers, finally free able to make what they wanted, to follow their own artistic direction, ushered in movies foreign and domestic, which pushed the genre’s envelope from 2000-2009. The aughts brought about a huge surge, and saw widespread popular appeal of the genre. This propped up the decade to follow. Do you already know which decade produced the best horror? I rummaged through the vault, and came up with this entirely subjective short list. Perhaps you agree, or maybe you don’t. Check it out, and decide for yourself. Coming soon: 60s Horror Movies.

Jisatsu Sākuru 2001

Cabin Fever 2002

28 Days Later 2002

Ju-On 2002

High Tension 2003

Dawn of the Dead 2004

Saw 2004

Hostel 2005

Wolf Creek 2005

The Hills Have Eyes 2006

Rest Stop 2006

Paranormal Activity 2007

28 Weeks Later 2007

Frontier(s) 2007

Quarantine 2008

Martyrs 2008

The Strangers 2008

Drag Me to Hell 2009

Last House on the Left 2009

Monday, September 6, 2021


ANNE RICE – Born and raised in New Orleans in 1941, Anne Rice lived in her grandmother’s home along with her alcoholic mother. When her mother died her father placed her, along with her sisters, in a boarding school. Her path changed when she met her high school sweetheart in Texas. They later married and lived in San Francisco, with 2 children: Michele and Christopher. In 1968, Rice wrote a short story which predated her most famous character. The idea percolated for a long time before going public. Her debut novel, Interview with the Vampire was published in 1976.  In it she features Louis de Pointe du Lac, man turned vampire, as the protagonist. Louis tells his life story to an interviewer; beginning with his own grief, character flaws and unsavory proclivities. It turns out these faults made him perfectly suited to the dark gift. Similarly, Rice composed and published Book 1 shortly after the death of her young daughter. The lost child served as inspiration for Claudia’s character. Rice followed up Interview with subsequent sequels. They formed the beginning of a novel series, entitled The Vampire Chronicles: The Vampire Lestat in 1985, and The Queen of the Damned, in 1988. She kept writing books, earning ongoing success and a vast readership. Currently AMC has reported they acquired movie rights to Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I’m so excited to see what comes of this. The literary community - and probably academia too - is afraid to catalog Rice with Poe, Lovecraft and Jackson. They do the same thing to Stephen King. It seems her readership says otherwise.

Related post:

#vladdracula #bramstokersdracula #hammerhorror #fangs #draculavlad #christopherlee #immortal #dracula #vampire #childrenofthenight #dracul #petercushing #belalugosi #vampires #castlevania #bramstoker #romania #nosferatu #boriskarloff #vampyre

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Soldier from Tomorrow Harlan Ellison 1957


SoldierSoldier by Harlan Ellison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Soldier from Tomorrow Harlan Ellison 1957
A soldier from a distant future – conditioned, from birth, by the state to be an assassin - accidentally time travels to the present.
Soldier by Harlan Ellison

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 21, 2021



THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES - The Vampire Chronicles is a novel series including Interview with the Vampire (1976), The Vampire Lestat (1985), and The Queen of the Damned (1988), in a saga which stretches across 14 books total.  Lestat de Lioncourt, an 18th century French nobleman turned vampire, is the center of this universe. AMC revealed it had acquired rights to The Vampire Chronicles and Lives of the Mayfair Witches for developing film and television projects in 2020. When asked in an interview about her characters, Author Anne Rice said her vampires were a "metaphor for lost souls". 

Interview with the Vampire (1976)

Louis de Pointe du Lac recounts his supernatural transformation to an interviewer, from human to vampire. A fate inflicted upon him long ago, by Lestat de Lioncourt. The duo becomes a trio, when they make a vampire daughter together. The little family catches the latest show at the Théâtre des Vampires. Things don't go as planned, leading to ruin for one of them. 

The Vampire Lestat (1985)

Searching for his own origins and Marius de Romanus, Lestat de Lioncourt awakens Akasha, an ancient Egyptian vampire queen. She’s immobile but alive, resting for centuries in her hidden sanctuary. Later Lestat resurfaces in the modern world as rock star, only to find he's the subject of a book written about him.

The Queen of the Damned (1988)

Lestat has awakened Akasha - the first vampire and the vampire queen - with his rock music. After destroying her husband, the Queen kills vampires worldwide by using spontaneous combustion. She is herself destroyed by the vampire witch Mekare.

Related post:

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice:

1.     Interview with the Vampire (1976)

2.     The Vampire Lestat (1985)

3.     The Queen of the Damned (1988)

4.     The Tale of the Body Thief (1992)

5.     Memnoch the Devil (1995)

6.     The Vampire Armand (1998)

7.     Merrick (2000)

8.     Blood and Gold (2001)

9.     Blackwood Farm (2002)

10.  Blood Canticle (2003)

11.  Prince Lestat (2014)

12.  Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis (2016)

13.  Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat (2018)

#vladdracula #bramstokersdracula #hammerhorror #fangs #draculavlad #christopherlee #immortal #dracula #vampire #childrenofthenight #dracul #petercushing #belalugosi #vampires #castlevania #bramstoker #romania #nosferatu #boriskarloff #vampyre

Sunday, August 8, 2021



THE WALKING DEAD’S FINAL SEASON  - If early reviews are accurate, the 2-part season premiere of The Walking Dead will be an exciting opener to a highly anticipated final season. TWD airs on August 22 (or the 15th on AMC+) and Part 2 won’t come out until a week later, on August 29. AMC confirms the show production will cease, after 10 years and 11 seasons. The final season will feature 24 episodes total, stretched out over 2 years. In the opening teaser, Lauren Cohan's Maggie appears to be hanging on for dear life, just about to die. She loses her grip, and nothing further is shown of either her demise or survival. AMC continues to push a plethora of TWD spin offs, most notably an upcoming drama following the lives of Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride). The original show lost direction and floundered in the middle, and seems to be coming out of a slump - just as things wind down to a close. I hope those past missteps don’t crop up again and affect these new shows. I think a lot of big talent leaving TWD in the middle, and regretting their decisions - as some have pretty much said outright, led to the show taking a big hit in quality. Hands down, TWD was my favorite postapocalyptic zombie show, prior to the release of Netflix’s Black Summer Seasons 1 & 2. And make no mistake, there wouldn’t have been a Black Summer without TWD going first as a trailblazer. That was then, this is now - and I want AMC to get their mojo back. How ironic, in a decade of slaughters by the dozen, the icon: the show itself, will suffer its final death blow.