cult film

WEIRDO’WEEN #17: The Monster Squad [1987]

weirdoween2015As most of you know, I’m a fairly big fan of Monster films. Frankenstein stands as one of my all time favorites, and the Universal Monster films are something that deserve all the love they got when they were first released. [I’m even trying to collect them all on Blu ray. Slowly] If you had friends who liked the same topic, such as films, as well, chances are; you’d probably make a club dedicated to said topic. It could be about anything really: comics, movies, video games; you get the idea. Can you imagine a club dedicated to monsters! Now, that would be an awesome club to be part of: but what would you name it? Monster Madness? The Miniature Monsters? Oh I got it! Why not: The Monster Squad? Wait..that’s probably already taken.. In light of us trying to figure out a monster club name, let’s talk about a monster movie from the late ’80s that has not one but four different monsters in it – and the kids who try to stop them! That movie, is none other than The Monster Squad!

weirdo'ween-#17The Monster Squad was directed by Fred Dekkar, a man you probably recognize as the Director of another 80s classic horror, Night Of The Creeps. The Monster Squad though, follows in the tradition as a horror-comedy film about a gang of grade-school kids who save their town from Dracula and his band of goons. Although it’s a fun film, The Monster Squad is no doubt, a much more enjoyable movie than Night Of The Creeps.

In the movie, The Monster Squad refers to a tree house club of five kids who call themselves horror fanatics. They have comic books, magazines, and posters scattered all over this little tree house of theirs. Unbeknownst to them, their enthusiasm toward the genre they love so dearly, would suddenly come in handy as their town in abruptly invaded by Dracula [and a few other memorable horror villains] in their most classic form. According to the story we’re given at the beginning of the movie, Drac is terrorizing the town only because he’s trying to locate a powerful amulet which has the potential for ruling the world type business. It’s when no one else believes the kids, or when no one else is powerful enough to stop them using traditional crime fighting methods [if we can be honest, arresting the Wolfman didn’t work out as effectively as the cops hoped], it’s up to The Monster Squad [with the help of Frankenstein, who decides to switch sides!] to save the day! The film is filled with great scenes as well, especially with memorable characters. Take Boo Radley for example, he’s a strange recluse of a man who all the kids fear without knowing why. [he’s just an old man who lives a few houses down from the kids] in one particular scene, when we learn that Sean, the leader of The Monster Squad, is given a book [that his mother got from a flea market?] that can explain why the monsters are reappearing in modern 1987, he has no choice but to seek the man’s help. As it turns out, the book is in German, which definitely confirms that the team of kids need Boo Radley. Not only does this “scary man” speak the language written inside, he kindly offers to help them get through the important passages in the book! Also, it happens that he knows what monsters are.. If you’re going to watch this with a younger audience, you probably will need to explain to your kids what the numbers tattooed on the scary mans forearm are..moving on.

you can’t say this isn’t the coolest group of kids ever.. I’d join their club!

The Monster Squad was done in the most positive light possible – it didn’t talk down to kids and put them in control when the adults wouldn’t believe them that Monsters were taking over their town. Plus, there were other monster references besides the scary ones! The children, kids and teens cast in this film were adorable and cast properly: there was the smart leader type kid who was obsessed with monsters, your typical “fat” kid, – who’s known as fat kid – the adorable little girl/sister type who wants to be a part of everything her older brothers and his friends did, and shy little boy who was really the coolest of them all! Shane Black, who was a popular screenwriter of the 80’s, knew what he was doing with this one; and Fred Dekker directed his young group really well. The movie never felt silly, it was a believable kids’ world where kids were the heroes of the day, and the parents were thankful they were..cause let’s be honest, the parents had no clue what to do.

By keeping the film true to all the rules of the classic Universal Monster films, which is the main reason why this film works so well. Dekker manages to ensure that the film will appeal to two of the major horror audiences; fans of the classics that will appreciate the plot and humor, and younger kids, who are bound to get a kick out of the characters and their witty dialogue. It’s something, for everyone. Be warned though, the film is very short, running at just over eighty minutes, but it has enough to keep everyone satisfied, with enough screen time for all the different monsters. What made this movie so special is it felt like we were seeing a “what if” The Goonies took on the old monsters.. Not to mention, the movie has arguable one of the coolest lines in film history; “Wolfman’s got nards!”, It’s a very 80s movie, but it’s all part of it’s charm.

So check out The Monster Squad! It’s the perfect blend of monster madness and child like wonder. It also includes a ton of references to older horror films, so it really is something for everyone! It’s cheesy, but in the best way possible, so if you’re looking for gorier films; you’re going to be missing out on this one! But, If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #18! – STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

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WEIRDO’WEEN #13: HATCHET [2006]

weirdoween2015We’ve all heard of local legends/ghost stories surrounding our town. Whether it’s Bloody Mary or the Boogyman, there’s always one that stands out amongst the rest. It doesn’t matter what the story is behind the legend, one fact remains the same: the “spirit” of the legend will never die, unless they’re put to rest. Enter our crew of tourists. They decide to go on a boat ride on the haunted waters of the Louisiana bayous where they learn the terrifying tale of local legend Victor Crowley. According to the stories, Victor is a horribly disfigured man who was tragically and accidentally killed with a hatchet by the hands of his own father. But when their boat sinks and the ghost story turns out to be a real thing, the group tries desperately to escape the swamp with their lives…and all of their pieces. That’s right everyone, today we’re talking about Adam Green‘s classic 80s throwback horror slasher: Hatchet. What makes this review so special, is that I’m going to be reviewing it’s sequels: Hatchet II and Hatchet III tomorrow, and Thursday respectively! But today; we’re starting at the very beginning of this trilogy: the way it was meant to be.

weirdo'ween-#13Hatchet begins in Louisiana during Mardi Gras with two friends walking around the streets, with another part of the opening already including a cameo from Robert Englund and Tony Todd[though Englund gets killed off in the first 10 minutes.. talk about a risky move!] These two guys are down for spring break and after deciding they’ve had enough of Mardi Gras, decide the next course of action is to take a haunted swamp ride; headed by Reverend Zombie. This is where we meet the core group of people we will be following for the rest of the film.

As they travel out farther out into the far reaches of the swamp, their guide starts talking about the local legend of a man known as Victor Crowley. Though no one believes him, [at first] the guide starts looking, and acting, like he has absolutely no idea what he is doing.. Which he later admits to, saying it was a way to make a few extra bucks. The boat eventually ends up sinking in the middle of the swamp and the boarders of the boat learn that they are officially in Victor Crowley‘s territory. With no help coming anytime soon, and little [to no] cell phone service, it looks like the only way off the island they landed on is to take the path behind the old Crowley home; where his spirit is rumored to be still living after his father accidentally hit him in the face with a hatchet..

a face only a father could love.

Hatchet is what some would call a blood soaked love letter to the campy horror-slasher films of the ’80s. It pays homage to films like Friday The 13th and Sleepaway Camp, all while catering to the fans who love a good old-fashioned gore fest, with the occasional set of boobs of course. When I first bought this movie, I hadn’t even seen it yet; I bought it blindly because I had heard so many good things! Of course, I was not disappointed. The important thing about the movie is to not take it seriously, not even 10 minutes in, and you can tell that it was definitely not meant to be. It’s a very campy film, but that’s because it’s supposed to be that way. There are also plenty of hilarious in jokes that will get you laughing, further proving the not so serious tone. The film’s set-up is repetitive, the dialogue is corny, and the special effects [while over the top] are great. That’s what makes it fun to watch: it’s fun. You can’t go into this movie expecting some great masterpiece or even a really good horror movie; You’re supposed to go into this movie expecting a campy gore-fest that you can laugh at.. because of how ridiculous it is! and yes – this is a good thing!

From start to finish – all 84 minutes of Hatchet is pure slasher goodness. Rather than being just a stale homage to the franchise films that dominated his childhood, you can tell that Adam Green has actually created an character all his own, that pays loving tribute, rather than references to other horror icons. While Victor Crowley might never reach the heights of Freddy, Jason or Michael, he’s certainly the stuff fan-favorites are made of: a unique monster with an easy to remember name, with some unique kills under his belt! You just can’t go wrong with a horror movie made by a horror movie fan with outrageous effects. It’s the perfect movie to put on during a Friday night, and it’s certainly one of the finest modern slashers to come along in a recent history.

The problem is, a lot of people didn’t like Hatchet.. but forget them! If you like slashers, and over the top gore; you’ll have a blast with this movie. It has a bit of everything for everyone: boobs, gore, funny moments, and cameos galore! Please.. check out Hatchet, you’ll have a great time, and you won’t regret it!

and another thing! If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #14 – which, as discussed above, will be Hatchet II! – STAY TUNED!

open wide! [a small example of the over-the-top gore in HATCHET]

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #07: THE EVIL DEAD [1981]

weirdoween2015There’s really nothing like relaxing at the cottage during summer break with your friends, is there? The cool air and the feeling of being away from society really feels good once in a while. The best, in my opinion, is when you put a CD [or plug your iPod in] on and listen to the music and really take it in.. At least, it’s nice as long as you don’t play an audio book that’s playing a passage from the Book of the Dead! That’s what happens in today’s movie review, where five friends find unspeakable evil lurking in the forest around them. They find a tome bound in skin called the “Necronomicon“, and the taped translation of the text inside. Once they play the tape, the evil is then released. One by one, these teenagers are possessed, [by the book] with only one remaining. It’s up to him to survive the night and battle The Evil Dead.

weirdo'ween-#7Like most – if not all – of the movies I review on here, I chose this movie because it falls under the category of “films I enjoy”. It’s a classic Man VS Zombie film, but be warned; it’s an extremely gory film. [almost over the top gory] It was made back in the early 80’s, so what do you expect? Most horror movies from this era were over the top, and that’s what made them so good! What’s interesting is that with horror films that are made now-a-days, Directors don’t seem to care about the material that they are filming, and that is because they don’t write their own stories. [the ones that do are few and far between!] They do someone else’s work. But not The Evil Dead. This was Raimi‘s money maker from the beginning. When this movie was made, he was unknown, with no pressure to make a great film and they did it.. on an incredibly low budget of only $50 000. Meaning, that Raimi could stick to his vision for The Evil Dead, but had to find innovative ways to do it. The small budget didn’t allow a lot of special effects so they had to rely on what they knew. That, was how to create atmosphere using the camera. And this film is one of the absolute best at doing that.

There is one scene in this film, near the very beginning scenes where the cast first arrives at the cabin. We see a long shot of the cabin with very eerie music playing softly, and it increasingly gets louder. This shows the cabin as being menacing, letting you know that there is evil inside that cabin; and that we are in for a hell of a ride – because we’re going inside.

The film also has many shocking scenes which show us that they never planned on holding back anything. An example of this, is the infamous getting raped by trees scene which – at a time – was very unsettling and scary! [The film was banned for awhile because of this!] We also get to see people getting hacked to pieces and a few heads get chopped off, with over the top blood and gore everywhere! This film is all about stylistic fear, and that adds to the creep-factor. This movie probably wouldn’t be as scary if Sam Raimi wasn’t behind the camera. If this film isn’t for you because of the lack of budget , you should check out Evil Dead 2from 1987 – it’s the sequel [that isn’t really a sequel] to this film that gives a better story-arc of what’s going on, and more of a budget is given this time around!

But, one of the most terrifying scenes [even if it could be considered a jump-scare] is when all the characters are inside the cabin, and they know something isn’t right, and one of the girls is standing beside the window while the other 2 girls are playing cards trying to guess each others cards and the girl standing by the window guesses all the cards correctly, turns around and we find out she’s a zombie [Deadite?] and immediately starts attacking everyone! The first time I watched this, I was genuinely shocked – I wasn’t ready for that! I don’t think anyone was!

In short, the atmosphere and noticeably cheap effects may turn-off your typical horror film fanatics, but anyone that has a sense of adventure and has high tolerance for [over the top] gore will be reasonably pleased – if not greatly impressed – by Raimi and Campbell‘s first effort at a horror film. It’s one of, if not my favorite in the zombie genre, not only for it’s repeated viewings but also for the film’s extra features. [how else would you find out that the white contacts that the Deadites wear were actually blinding the actors? Making it impossible to see!]

So now the question remains: do you fall under the category of enjoying the low budget splatter fest film that is The Evil Dead? What is it about over the top gore that makes it so appealing? Let me know in a comment or two below! Also, if you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you want to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I talk about weirdo’ween #08STAY TUNED!

as someone with a fear of clowns, those makeup effects are terrifying!

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #04: Dawn Of The Dead [1978]

weirdoween2015

Imagine the following: you’re locked inside a mall with three friends. You’re the only ones inside; no annoying families with their kids, no other people whatsoever. How would you react? That’s what Stephen, Francine, Roger and Peter find out in today’s movie review of yet another sequel during my weirdo’ween reviews: Dawn Of The Dead from 1978. I’m actually a huge fan of this movie [I have a shirt with the movie’s poster on it!] as I feel like it’s one of the defining zombie films of all time. It’s violent, it’s an interesting concept, and it’s a cult film; for all the right reasons. So the real question is: will you [and your friends] survive the oncoming zombie apocalypse? Let’s find out!

weirdo'ween-#4For those that aren’t as into horror like the rest of us, [or maybe you just haven’t seen the films?] Dawn Of The Dead is actually a sequel to the black and white film Night Of The Living Deadwhich a lot of people call “the original zombie film.” Dawn takes place some time after Night; when the dead had started to rise and attack the living. Naturally, this means civilization has already started to crumble. Dawn takes place in the city of Philadelphia, where TV station workers Stephen and Francine decide to run, considering the situation is starting to worsen and, after meeting two others: Roger and Peter – two special policemen who were ordered to move any people into rescue stations who have also choose to run – decide their best course of action is to steal the TV station’s helicopter and go west in an attempt to find somewhere safe to hide out.. Eventually, they come across a deserted mega-mall in Monroeville, which is just outside Pittsburgh, and agree [as a group] to wait inside until the crisis is over; that’s assuming it does end.


This movie is fun; I mean a lot of fun. Dawn Of The Dead is the work of George A Romero when he’s truly on top of his game. Given almost total control of the movie, his unique and vivid view of a world in absolute turmoil is absolutely scary to realize that it’s something that’s totally possible.

The interesting thing about Dawn is that it’s not just a zombie flick, it’s almost a warning about the fragile structure of society as a whole, and how easily it can be broken down..granted, by zombies; but still! Like most horror movies these days, many people criticize the film for being “too over the top” and said the quality of the acting isn’t that great.. But to be honest, this is a positive! Consider that Romero uses glaring – even harsh – sets and visual effects. Add this to the dialogue the film’s “heroes” use and you have a movie that tries to pull us into a false sense of security. Only to have the hypothetical carpet pulled from under our feet, showing us that we aren’t safe; and that this situation is going to have us all dead by the end of the day. [get it? cause “Day Of The Dead” is the next film in the “Of The Dead” series? ..come on, that was funny, right?]

The one thing I’ve always loved about this movie is the setting: The Mall. I mean, with only four survivors, they have the entire mall at their disposal for weapons: either a baseball bat from the sports shop, a gun or two from the hunting depot; the possibilities are endless! [Fun Fact: The video game Dead Rising got it’s concept from this movie!] Usually, when things go to hell, people like to buy them stuff they don’t need in order to feel better. Chances are, during a zombie apocalypse, we’d probably still do exactly the same [it’d just be called “looting”] and that’s why the shopping spree scene in this movie works so well. It’s like Romero knows that that we’d all love to be let loose in an entire shopping mall with anything up for the taking, and pokes fun at us in the process.. Showing that even with the dead returning to life and eating all of our friends, we’d still probably want that big screen TV.

Dawn Of The Dead is undoubtedly one of the most important films ever made. It inspired a crazy amount of cheap ripoff’s that are still being made today and it stands proudly on many horror fan’s list of favorite films. It even got itself a remake [by the same name] and, surprisingly, it turned out to be alright[not great, but not bad by any means] Though, it’s always going to be the original that’s best; and this film is, even if it’s a little dated, a masterpiece.

Now I look to you: if you’re reading this, surely you’ve seen this film! It’s a staple in horror, making it one of [if not thethe most important films I’m going to review this Halloween season! If you’ve seen it, what are your thoughts? Let me know in a comment or two! If you haven’t seen it, do it! It’s well deserving of it’s love, for it’s story and it’s violence! Also, if you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you want to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I post weirdo’ween #05STAY TUNED!

boom! headshot!

THANKS FOR READING.

 

FRIDAY FUN FACT: Poltergeist [1982]

20141218-222929.jpg
Welcome back, and welcome to the second official Friday Fun Fact post here on warrenisweird! This time around, we’re keeping with the theme of classic films — a classic film that used to scare me like no other: Poltergeist. [although it’s now one of, if not, my favorite supernatural horror film] In fact, to this day, I still can’t look at that damn clown without cowering in fear; but that may have to do with my general fear of clowns.. That fear ruins a lot for me!

Poltergeist follows the Freelings, your typical suburban family. We have the husband, Steve, who sells real estate in their growing neighbourhood and Diane, his wife, who is a stay at home mom caring for their three kids: Dana, Robbie and the youngest — Carol Anne. But suddenly, strange things begin to happen in their house: such as cupboard doors opening and closing on their own, furniture move by itself and chairs go sliding across the kitchen floor. The family is a bit of sceptical at first but eventually these happenings become a big enough issue when Carol Anne disappears into a “nether world” where she can only be reached [well, “talked to”] through white noise on the television. When a team of paranormal investigators move into the house and claim that these forces are evil and very powerful, the family learn that they require the services of Tangina: a woman who has dealt with this sort of situation before..

20141218-224905.jpgbut did you know?

actress Heather O’Rourke, who played young Carol Anne, and Dominique Dunne, who played the teenage daughter Dana in the movie, are both buried in the same cemetery: Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Dunne was strangled into a brain-death by her boyfriend in 1982; which, scary enough, is the year of this film’s release. While only six years later, O’Rourke ended up dying of intestinal stenosis.. while we’re on the morbid topic of death, let’s talk about my personal favorite piece of trivia from the film: [which is also the most well known] remember the scene where Diane, the wife, is in the muddy waters and there’s skeletons surrounding her? [see below] The production crew actually decided to use real human skeletons because it was decided that it’d be cheaper to purchase and use them instead of cheaper, plastic bones! I mean, what the hell?20141218-231650.jpgAlright, let’s move onto our final piece of trivia that’s hopefully a little more light-hearted, eh? Something that doesn’t involve skeletons or murder: In the scene where Robbie is looking at the [fucking terrifying] clown doll, You can see a Darth Vader action figure case on the shelf behind him! [unfortunately, I couldn’t find a decent screenshot of this from Google, so unfortunately — we have to look at this monstrosity instead!]

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Talk about the stuff of nightmares! I hope I’ve taught you something new about the movie Poltergeist, even if that “something” is that clowns are the spawn of the Devil! [just me? Okay…] be sure to follow me over on Facebook where I share all sorts of horror goodies [some of which, aren’t found on here!]

THANKS FOR READING.