When it comes to the discussion of Brian De Palma's collected oeuvre, Raising Cain is often met with indifference or seen as a well-intended failure when compared to his early filmography. Scream Factory's new, definitive Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release will no doubt change that conversation, mostly thanks to De Palma's preferred cut included on the second disc, a passionate fan-made edit that shifts the narrative perspective and overall tone into a completely different beast.
"Help! They're coming! They're coming!" Those screams echoed like a desperate siren across the street from my mother's house down in The Tenderloin, notoriously known as the roughest part of San Francisco in the late ’70s. Oblivious to the situation and ready to help a stranger in need, she dashed down her stairs in a panic and ran towards the street to find none other than Kevin McCarthy (1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Howling) filming his iconic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) cameo for filmmaker Philip Kaufman.
It had been many years since I visited the demonic world of Doom, and like most reunions, my anticipation equaled my dread before awakening on the Union Aerospace Corporation research facility on Mars.
Telltale delivers an entertaining and emotionally gratifying setup in the first episode of the three-part miniseries The Walking Dead: Michonne. Fans of the comic book series will notice that this story takes place between issues #126 and #139 and finds our brave heroine without her familiar group of friends and battling some personal demons on her own, as well as dealing with the everyday dangers of the flesh-eating apocalypse.
"Oh great brothers of the night who rideth upon the hot winds of hell, who dwelleth in the Devil's lair; move and appear." These words are heard quoted from The Satanic Bible by none other than creative consultant and Church of Satan leader Anton LaVey to set the mood for the 1977 supernatural road thriller The Car.
Guillermo del Toro has merged both his blockbuster enthusiasm and intimate sensibilities on a grand scale and the result happens to be his best English language film to date. An early scene perfectly sets the tone of what's to come as Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), wanting to leave her mark in literature like her idol Mary Shelley, explains to a reluctant publisher the difference between a ghost story and a story that happens to have a ghost in it. Del Toro is channeling classic gothic literature and cinema that covers the spectrum of paying tribute to all of the greats, from Daphne du Maurier and Edgar Allan Poe to Jack Clayton and Mario Bava.
Acclaimed novelist S. Craig Zahler's impressive feature directorial debut takes an uncompromising approach to blending the classic western genre seamlessly with dark humor and ruthless horror elements in successful fashion.
The Sentinel was released in 1977 to a bit of controversy over director Michael Winner's decision to use real sideshow oddities for his film's conclusion—a move no filmmaker had the balls to do since Tod Browning in 1932's Freaks. Based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Jeffrey Konvitz, The Sentinel is a horror film anomaly, one that simply has to be seen to believe how truly insane it is.
Recent films like Berberian Sound Studio and The Strange Color Of Your Body's Tears have paid homage to giallo and the '70s Italian horror genre, in a way creating a modern resurgence. Now the Canadian collective known as Astron-6 have thrown their hat in the ring with a satiric approach. Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy lovingly pay tribute to the genre and cleverly poke fun at everything from Suspiria and The Beyond to the more obscure films from that era.
In the aftermath of Avengers: Age Of Ultron raising the stakes for where the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be heading in Phase 3, Ant-Man is a prime example of how intimate stories can still play a significant role in expanding the foundation for future events while also proving that there's always room for these movies to have their own distinct personalities and genres.
Joe Dante has always been a filmmaker that I've deeply admired and I feel that a good amount of his work doesn't get discussed nearly enough. I completely get this talented filmmaker's attraction to the EC Comics-style concept in Burying the Ex, but Alan Trezza's script is too lazy and uninspired for this movie to be anywhere close to a comeback for Joe Dante.
After revisiting John Carpenter's Escape From New York, I am pleased to say that this thrilling dystopian masterpiece still holds up great and maintains its tough cynical bite at authority, appropriately reflecting the mistrust society still has with political authority today.
Around the time I brought this Vestron Video release home from my local video store, I had an adolescent fascination with how the punk rock subculture that influenced my development had been portrayed in the media. In everything from video games to television and films, punk rockers were mostly portrayed as villains. There was a mythological aura surrounding the way these rebellious thugs were portrayed and it's clear in Class of 1984 that filmmaker Mark L. Lester (Commando) had a similar fascination and knew that pushing the legend made for better cinema.
The downfall that faced Tobe Hooper's creative relationship with The Cannon Group in the eighties wasn't much different than the fate of George A. Romero's collaboration with Orion Pictures. After leaving an iconic legacy for horror in the previous decade, Hooper had a reputation to live up to when he made a three picture deal with Golan and Globus that resulted in the ambitious, but entertaining failure Lifeforce, the misunderstood parody The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and the family friendly remake of Invaders From Mars that helped sink Cannon out of Hollywood forever.
Take the Charles Whitman inspired murders in Peter Bogdanovich's Targets, the satanic cult conception of Rosemary's Baby and toss in conspiracies from The Chariots of the Gods, a crazy Andy Kaufman cameo and sexual body horror that would make David Cronenberg blush and you'll get a rough idea of what you're in for with Larry Cohen's 1976 unconventional exploitation insanity known as God Told Me To.