Archive for » October, 2010 «

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Yes that’s right; it seldom happens but this week, I was interviewed!

This week I sit down with Jason Nelson a.k.a. Fozziebare of the Podcast Podcast and my cohort in podcastingMark Newell! In Episode 28 of the Podcast, Fozzie interviews Mark and I about our three and a half years co-hosting the Bloody Good Horror Podcast Halloween plans and traditions.

To top things off, be sure to stick around until the end to hear Mark and I spit and sputter through Fozzie’s world famous lightening trivia round!

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Thursday, October 28th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

I don’t know if you know this but…Halloween’s like…four days away. Surprise, right? Anyways…as you would expect, Halloween is a pretty big Holiday around the Criswell house. There’s candy to be treated, tricks to be played, neighborhood children to scare. A pretty great time all around! This year will be no exception. The cemetery’s being erected in the front flower garden, there’s a new ghoul or two hanging from the gutters and a brand spanking new fog machine to hook up and test out.

Throughout the past ten years, the routine has always remained pretty much the same. Mom stays home to man the door and the candy cauldron, while Delaney and I dress up and hit the streets. Since Colleen’s the one at home, she has the best reaction from the kiddos. The tweaks to the scares setup outside the house generally comes from her. She’s gotten quite good at it! As for Costumes, the theme is generally dictated by Delaney. She eventually decides what it is she wants to be for the year and Dad spins off on that idea.

In the picture at the top of the post, you can see that this theme work was generally a pretty loose affair. Delaney started out as an ice cream cone, dad went with the default zombie issue kit. This in turn led to Delaney adding fake blood and declaring herself ‘I Scream’ or; a zombie ice cream cone. Yah, I don’t know either. It was cute though.

About three years, the theme idea solidified. That year, she declared that she wanted to be Scooby Doo. Mamaw was there for the assist with the nifty paper mache head you see above with a matching sweat suit and requisite spots. For me, the decision was easy. You can’t have a Scooby without a Shaggy, right?

Last year was a fun one. Having recently introduced Delaney to the world of comics, she was obsessed with Batman and Batgirl. Which is only natural. We found a pretty nifty Batgirl suit and she was set. Dad couldn’t decide that year though. There’s also a chance I put the costume design off to the last minute as well, but we’ll ignore that factor. So, at the last minute my brain kicked into gear. Superhero’s have sidekick’s, right? Digging around, I happened on the idea of using an old C-PAP mask painted to resemble a gas mask. A few jackets, hats and such later, The Swine Flu Avenger was born. Needless to say, sickly germs were held at bay that Halloween.

Which brings us to this year. Delaney’s ten now and with her age comes a sense of evolving maturity and changing tastes. Batman and family are still pretty cool but now, scary things are cooler. Delaney declared early on that this year, we shall be scary for Trick ‘r Treat. The pieces have been bought and the plans have been laid though we have yet to assemble the whole ensemble.

Judging from the picture below, I’d say we’re on course for a pretty epic scary year indeed!

Note: That’s not me modeling my scarecrow mask above. That would be expert costume maker, Mamaw.

Yes, the Criswell’s are ready for Halloween. Seeing that Mamaw and Papaw live out in the country up north, they normally don’t get a lot of Trick ‘r Treaters. Retirement is coming up soon so maybe we can get them to come join us for Halloween night. The in-laws are moving to town next year as well and I’m sure they’ll be coming over to pass out candy as well. There’s a strong chance that in the next few years, Halloween night at the Criswell house may grow into something truly epic with the ‘rents thrown into the mix!

In fact, you could say we’re rather excited! How about yourselves? Do you have your costumes lined up, candy picked out with all the Reese’s Cups separated out for later consumption? Feel free to share your own Halloween plans and traditions in the comments below!

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Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Coming out in 1995, “Tales From the Hood” was a movie that flew under the radar for me. The early trailers for the movie made the stories packed within the anthology look weak with the urban themes being forced in to fit the tones of the ‘From the Hood’ moniker. Some fifteen years later, I’ve come to find out that the themes are heavily urban in flavor making a great setting for this group of fun stories.

Trying the four stories together is Clarence Williams III. Portraying an eccentric undertaker in a funeral home, he is confronted by three young thugs in search of ‘the shit’. As he stalls the three men, he shows them the various dark corners of his funeral home, each of which unlocks a different story that eventually seals the groups fate.

Ultimately, “Tales From the Hood” is quite a bit of fun. While it doesn’t’ do anything revolutionary to the genre, it is on par with many films of its kind, especially horror flicks that came out in the nineties. None of the stories are overly scary but they pack a good dark sense of humor and give a creepy vibe throughout. There is a good variety between the stories as well. The tale of a young boy with a powerful imagination is downright touching. Watching Corbin Bernson act like a racist pig rather disturbing, his fate well suited. The harsh reality that flashes through a dying murderers mind; unnerving. All of the shorts manage to push their point without taking themselves too seriously.

The best part of the entire movie is Clarence Williams, hands down. He’s campy. He’s over the top. He’s maniacal and has good comedic timing. He’s just all around entertaining and the glue that holds the whole thing together.

“Tales Form the Hood” isn’t going to show you anything new. It’s going to keep you around for the full runtime though and give you some laughs and some chills. I’d say it’s well worth throwing in the DVD player for a Halloween party and it won’t scare off your non-horror minded friends either!

Monday, October 18th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

At this point in the game, it’s pretty much not worth crying about horror movie remakes. Hollywood doesn’t care so much what we think; they’re going to release them anyways. Though many of us may decide to boycott the films, there’s still thousands of normies out there that will gladly pay the admission price to see a film. Enter the 2009 remake of “Night of the Demons” due out on the 19th. As far as remakes go? It’s really not so bad!

The basic plot lines of the 80′s original are still in effect; a group of twenty something’s, Angela, drinking in a supposed haunted house and all that stuff. Much of it has been tweaked to give the new movie a feeling of its own but essentially; it’s the same film. Taking the place of Angela this time around is Shannon Elizabeth who isn’t normally your horror movie leading lady. She’s not so bad though. She works the party girl aesthetic pretty well and it’s nice seeing her out of her typical comfort zone. While there won’t be any awards given for her performance, she definitely won’t turn you away. One that might give you some second thoughts though is the plus sized Eddie Furlong of “Terminator” fame. Granted, I don’t really need to tell you where you might know Eddie Furlong from; I’m sure you all know. In “Night of the Demons”, Eddie is….Eddie. If you’ve seen any of his recent turns in horror movies lately? He’s just rehashing those parts once again. He’s flat, he’s trying to look like a bad boy and he’s just not very exciting. Rounding out the known names from this re-hash is budding scream queen Diora Baird. Ms. Baird isn’t shy to take on a horror role and I’m fairly happy about that. Here, she doesn’t have much to work with as far as roles go but she does well with the part she has. This part includes taking over the titular scene from the original movie that starred a young Linnea Quigley and a tube of lipstick. Diora’s take was a little more direct versus Linnea’s original sexy number but Diora’s has a far more gruesome outcome, so it all balances out.

Now that we have the stars of the movie out of the way, we can get into the meat and potatoes of “Night of the Demons” and what separates it from its predecessor. Before I dive in, I’ll let it be known that the original flick has long been one of my favorites. It was campy, it was different for 1998 and…well… it had Linnea Quigley and her lipstick. So before the opening credits even rolled, the remake had some big shoes to fill. Overall, it didn’t do a bad job. There is plenty of gore and some really great makeup work going on. Some of the gore is CGI I’m sure, but it’s blended well. On the whole, there is a lot of practical FX work going on which is nice to see in this day and age. The demons are well crafted and made to look extra grizzled and dead and they make for a striking appearance when they’re lunging form the darkness and attacking our mortal heroes. As a matter of fact, it’s the demons and their chaos that makes the movie fun. Where the problems lie are within the script.

Bottom line; the biggest problem with “Night of the Demons” is that it is about fifteen minutes too long. It never really manages to outshine the original, but it does manage to run a close parallel. The problems come when we try and flesh out the origin story of the demons and who they were. It really isn’t handled badly. I can get behind the ideas that director Adam Gierasch had working here with the demons being too evil even for hell, etc. When we have to watch our three mortals hide away in an upstairs bedroom for hours and rely on talking to each other to keep the story movie, it feels a bit weak. There is also the problem that Bobbi Sue Luther could instantly read all of the magical scribbling on the wall and know what they meant or the fact that Eddie and company knew where and how to draw the symbols back on the wall when they were washed away! Watching a movie about a house filled with the spirits of seven bad ass demons trying to devour souls to bring on the end of the world makes those issues a bit trivial though, doesn’t it?

In the end, “Night of the Demons” is not a bad flick! The gore and such are well done and the jump scenes are good. When the film makers decided to make the story a bit deeper than the original though, the movie falls short of its predecessor. Many have found this remake to be disappointing but for me it manages to keep a bit of the 80′s feel with oddly a large amount of 90′s flair. Come for the blood guts and boobies; just do your best to ignore the deep parts. And Eddie Furlong’s wooden acting.

Oh and lest I forget…in the original film, there is a key moment in Linnea Quigley’s ‘performance’ where she bares her backside for all to see in her tiny little costume. Keep your eyes peeled for a nostalgic little cameo and try and keep the mental image of 80’s Ms. Quigley in your mind.

Monday, October 11th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

This past weekend found me with some spare time on my hands. As you can tell by the cobwebs here around Cinema Fromage, I haven’t had a whole lot of time for movie watching, but I took the opportunity to dive back in head first and catch three movies I’ve been looking forward to seeing! After all, it’s time to start getting geared up for Halloween, right?

Since things have been slow around here lately, I’m going to kick things back into gear with a handful of capsule reviews!

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie – Italian Zombie flicks are always something special but to be completely honest; my experience with them has been pretty Fulci centric. It was a nice change to get outside of the heavy gore that those types of zombie flicks usually rely on and concentrate a bit more on the characters.

Speaking of the characters, they’re something special. George is a hippie but more importantly, he’s a complete and total ass. When he runs into Edna who is traveling the countryside after his motorcycle breaks down, you’re left wanting to bust him in the chops just to shut his demanding ass up. It’s that bad. This is counteracted though by Edna who is slightly dreamy and sweet played by Christine Galbo. She is quite lovely. Throw in Edna’s heroin addicted sister trapped in a country side manor and things get pretty zany.

The cool twist here is the source of infection. It’s a nice change and something a bit different from what was causing zombies in other movies in those days. Here we’re looking at a radioactive insect repellent that drives the denizens of the country side to become aggressive and violent. And though I said before that it’s a nice change from the typical super gory Fulci formula, there is still a good chunk of blood and guts going on here!

Psychomania – I’ve been dying to see “Psychomania” for a long time though I never worked too hard to find a copy. Thankfully, Turner Classic Movies made it nice and easy for me by showing the flick late Friday night. Here’s another confession; the reason I wanted to see “Psychomania”? Those motorcycle helmets are KICKIN’ RAD! I mean, look at that logo with the skull and the helmet! Isn’t that cool?


Yet another twist on the classic zombie formula, now we get into deals with the devil and cults and black magic. It sounds pretty off putting at first and as a standard horror flick, its pretty light in the scares department. Still a pretty captivating flick, simply because it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before! When we’re first introduced to the gang of young people terrorizing the country side, they seemed dark and mysterious and simply strange. Once the leader of the band of misfits Tom Latham goes home for the night, he transforms into some British Ultra-Mod type with his snazzy white turtleneck and high fashion living room decor. We’re talking Austin Powers here folks.

Despite the ‘yah baby yah’ tendencies, it’s still a good flick. Its look at the undead is pretty unique altogether, one that looks at an after life of causing mayhem free from death and consequence rather than feeding on flesh and brains. My one nit-picky 3am gripe about the movie? They buried Tom sitting on top of his bike. Dig the damn hole deeper, his head was still sticking out!

Cabin Fever 2 – I was never the biggest fan of Eli Roth’s original “Cabin Fever”. I didn’t’ hate it or anything. I just wasn’t into it as much as others seem to be. For “Cabin Fever 2″ I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, especially since I didn’t care for Ti West’s “House of the Devil” much at all! Turns out, I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would!

Plot wise, there’s nothing much new here. The disease has hit the water table that the local bottled water company draws its water from. So; same disease, new location. We have one Giussepe Andrews returning from the first flick as Deputy Wilson and that’s about it. He knows what’s going on when things start to go gooey around town. Now we have a high school outsider type played by “Deadgirl” lead Noah Segan and his hopeless crush on Alexi Wasser. Unfortunately for Noah, Alexi’s got an asshole boyfriend she’s in love with, so Noah doesn’t stand a chance. All of that is an aside to the main point of contention here which is…the disease is back, it’s going to culminate at the high school prom and things are going to get messy.

If you push back the standard run of the mill plot, you’re left with the gore being the main character of “Cabin Fever 2″. In that aspect, Ti West succeeds pretty well! There are a lot of moments that fit in well with the Eli Roth original. There’s body parts sliding off here and there, bloody vomit and some scenes involving genitalia that will make you cringe and look away from the TV. Considering that’s the whole point of the series? I’d call that a good thing!

Friday, October 01st, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Fright Rags has long been the creators of the finest horror shirts on the market. Their designs are top notch as is their quality! Today however, they have launched a new shirt with a very special purpose; to raise awareness for Breast Cancer as well raise funs to help with a personal friends battle against the disease.

This design is pretty amazing as you can see! The cause is very worthy as well. Click over to the sale page to pick up your shirt and to read a little more for this special fund raising event.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The first run of Breast Cancer Awareness shirts have SOLD OUT! Awesome news for their cause indeed! Fear not though; they will be producing a second run of the shirt available towards the end of October! If you jump to the site now, you can pre-order your shirt for next run!

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