As a child, the notion of romance to me was distant and adult, and frankly I wanted no part of it – especially in movies; I was the comedy and horror kid, with the occasional foray into fantasy. (Okay, I kissed Bev Peters on the cheek under the schoolyard tire when I was seven, but that fizzled out quickly.) I did however make my way to my small town’s Orpheum theatre at the age of nine to see what looked like a promising horror/sci-fi blend, Nicholas Meyer’s Time After Time (1979), and stumbled out into the darkness with a new understanding of what romance meant to me.
Besides releasing a number of our favorite classic horror films and the occasional cult oddity, the good folks at Scream Factory are also releasing a number of contemporary horror films and giving them a home on Blu-ray. Here’s a look at three of their recent efforts:
As someone who revels in the unabashed ridiculousness and wrongness of the Crank films, Mom and Dad was just the kind of anarchic cinema I was hoping to experience from writer/director Brian Taylor (who helmed the aforementioned Crank films alongside Mark Neveldine). A mix of survival/pandemic horror with a steady flow of pitch-black comedy coursing through its wonderfully nasty veins, Mom and Dad is just the right amount of wrong for this writer, and I enjoyed that Taylor—as expected—doesn’t pull any punches with his latest over-the-top endeavor.
When I first heard that filmmaker Brian Taylor (the Crank films, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) was teaming up with Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair for a brand new pitch black comedy called Mom and Dad, in which parents are desperately trying to kill their offspring, I was immediately all in (and thankfully, it did not disappoint—but more on that later this week).
It’s hard to believe, but another year of the Sundance Film Festival is nearly upon us. Kicking off this Thursday, Sundance will be running until January 28th in Park City, Utah, and Daily Dead will be on-hand to check out an assortment of genre-related offerings. That being said, there’s a handful of films that immediately caught this writer’s attention as soon as they were announced for Sundance 2018, and here’s a look at what has me excited from this year’s festival lineup:
Creepy kids, am I right? The horror landscape has been littered with them as far back as The Bad Seed (1956). Every once in awhile TV too would trot out the killer tots in hopes of alluring viewers with no-good imps and smiling, murderous waifs. One such early effort is A Little Game (1971), an ABC Movie of the Week thriller that leans heavily on the psychology behind stepparent-child relations.
Ever since seeing Creepshow (1982) when it first arrived on video, I’ve been enamored with anthology films; reaching back to Amicus’ ‘60s and ‘70s treasures like Tales from the Crypt (1972) all the way up to Epic Pictures’ Tales of Halloween (2015), omnibuses scratch a very particular itch for this viewer. Falling somewhere in the middle of my terrorline is From a Whisper to a Scream (1987), a proud and nasty addition to the sub-genre. This bugger does not mess around.
For some horror fans, the late, great George A. Romero is considered the George Lucas of horror: he created a trilogy of classic films that changed the face of the genre forever, then years later returned with a second trilogy that was less well-received. But whereas Lucas’ second set of Star Wars films close off his universe, answering unasked questions and making his world feel smaller by tying every corner of it together, Romero’s 2000s trilogy expands his living dead world further and brings the series into a new millennium. They don’t diminish the legacy of his first three zombie movies. If anything, they make it richer.
When I started the Crypt of Curiosities, I did it with the explicit intention to introduce people to the weird, wild corners of genre cinema. Shaw Brothers’ Black Magic, Hammer mummies, hyper-violent anime, sadistic Spaghetti Westerns—it’s an exercise in peering into the odd expanses that deserve more attention. It’s about championing the under-championed.
For this latest review round-up, I take a look at two very different genre films I had the pleasure of catching up with over the last few weeks: Before I Wake from Mike Flanagan and Tom Holland’s Rock Paper Dead.
You didn’t need to look far to find escapism in the horror genre this past year. If you felt like losing yourself in a movie, Pennywise was waiting with open arms in the sewer drain. If you wanted to feel like a kid again, Mike and his friends were waiting for you on Netflix, their bikes parked at the Hawkins arcade when they're not fending off the Demidogs. Looking back on 2017, here are some of my favorite slices of escapism oases in the horror genre:
Look, I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn when I say that 2017 was a garbage year for a lot of people, but it’s important to note that periods of turmoil often produce meaningful horror movies. For what it’s worth, it looks like 2017 has done just that, with a myriad of terrific movies from a variety of sources. So, without further ado, here are some of my horror highlights from the last 12 months:
Start out 2018 with some of the latest releases from Scream Factory! Though they’re probably best known for releasing definitive Blu-ray editions of many of our most treasured horror movies, one of the things I like best about Scream Factory is their willingness to use their brand to put out smaller films and oddball curiosities that would probably not otherwise see the light of day on the format. Let’s take a look at three such titles, all recently released on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
Last year felt like a rollercoaster ride, but luckily, for me, there were a number of horror-related films, TV shows, and apparel that put a smile on my face and helped me chug along throughout the year. Here is my list of favorites from 2017:
This year was a big one in the horror genre. From podcasts to movies to immersive experiences, 2017 was a banner year for horror across multiple mediums, and Monte Yazzie continues Daily Dead's 2017 reflective features by reflecting on his favorite moments from the past year.