Thursday, July 12, 2012


Michael Stephenson, the kid from TROLL 2 aka the “Best worst movie” ever made, presents this documentary on the film that became the hallmark for the worst and smelliest of cinematic shit

Have you ever walked down the street and seen a dog squeeze out a steaming pile on the sidewalk? It's disgusting to even read it, but there's high probability that you'd probably find it funny to watch, and even if you didn't surely there's plenty of others who would. Now, imagine taking that turd and polishing it to the point where people fall in love it and gradually becomes subject to idolatry

That's TROLL 2

A movie so fucking bad, that back in the early 90's when I came into possession of an original pristine vhs copy, I was so overwhelmed by how putrid it was that I taped over it with episodes of THE SIMPSONS and threw the box in the garbage. Imagine my complete astonishment when TROLL 2 became a “cult” film and is shown to sold-out audiences in theaters. It rules the internet with memes and youtube hits, mass fandom erupted and next thing you know people all over the world are elbowing their buddy next to them with every visit to that little town called “Nilbog”

The reality though, is a polished turd, is still a turd

Michael Stephenson, who portrayed little Joshua in TROLL 2, directed this documentary, he covers the production of the film, it's fan-base , and most crucially, revisits most of the major players involved in the making of the movie. The main focus is on George Hardy, who played Michael's father, we see him as a very affable man, loved by his community, and actually making a decent living for himself as a dentist. The rest of the actors are profiled and interviewed on their own respective experiences, but for the bulk of the documentary we follow Mr. Hardy as he relishes and partakes in his new-found fame as the domineering father leery of his son pissing on hospitality

The fans of TROLL 2 are front and center as well, we see them participating in screenings, social gatherings, making costumes, getting tattoos, they're from all over the globe, all blessed by the bellyaching the movie creates in their stomachs. I am terribly divided, for I appreciate the positivity that is present with the way people laugh at this film, we could never have enough laughter, it really is the best medicine, and there is a collective base that loves coming together to celebrate that

On the other hand, I am also despondent with how willing people are to worship complete crap

While I do believe that TROLL 2's fame was born through good intentions, some of it was also formed out fratboy internet-fame jackassery, you know the kind, the same that made a god out of Chuck Norris when he's barely a notch above Michael Dudikoff. I don't want to come across as a sourpuss, I love to laugh at terrible movies myself, I've done that with MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE to MAC & ME and had an uproarious time doing so, but I never wanted to form a fan club or stitch my own MANOS poncho

What I'm getting at, is that it's nice to see that level of devotion, but not when it's aimed in the wrong direction, especially when people like John Landis and John Carpenter can't find a pot to piss in nowadays. Anybody ever heard of THE WARD? It's Carpenter's last film, in all likelihood there's more people who have favorited “OH MY GAAAAHD” than know that film exists

But anyways, thankfully BEST WORST MOVIE doesn't showcase those kind of fans and only show the kind that finally brought a meaningful legitimacy to those affected most by TROLL 2: the cast. The cast of TROLL 2 are shown bewildered by how much they are loved and greeted with praise, every handshake and autograph request atoning for every bad memory of having 'been a part of that past job best left forgotten

Every actor gives some level of insight into the making of the film, as well as the ramifications of having 'been a part of it. Director Claudio Fragasso is also present so he can contradict his cast in public and call them “dogs”. Fragasso is sort of a pompous egg, completely clueless to the nature of his film's reputation, and not a likeable guy in my eyes. The cast is not the only one that feels the brunt, in a Q&A he shuts a fan down as knowing “nothing”, the crowd could only politely laugh at how dismissive he was, I'm sure if they could take back the standing ovation they would. If you're going to be a dick to people that love your work when it really doesn't deserve it in the first place, then keep your ass home in Italy Claudio

At one point we follow George Hardy as he tries to follow up on his TROLL 2 popularity by making convention appearances. As a convention veteran, I've seen and met many genre luminaries that cons offer, it can be quite exciting, it can also be depressing. For every Robert Englund and Bruce Campbell there's also the under-worked, the forgotten, the not-so-liked that sit at tables hoping and praying that someone will show any interest in an 8x10 and have them flex those motionless fingers for an autograph

George Hardy attends a convention in the UK and gets a vicious slap of reality when he is pretty much invisible to everyone, another appearance at a Horror con here in the US the slap stings even more as he is not only once again craving someone to notice him but he is forced to proclaim out loud the great distinction between himself and Horror fans. George Hardy is but a guest in our own wonderful twisted world, It's no place for him, it turns him off, the blood and guts, the monsters, the horrible dental hygiene that surely made for a very heavy aroma caused by bad breath that only a dentist could detect

He should be used to the stench, I mean he was in TROLL 2


.George Hardy – The perfect candidate to follow on this documentary, he's likeable, a pretty nice guy and he can treat your cavities

.The cast is finally rewarded – It's good to see them getting actual payoff, even if it's just a bit here and there that flattery must be worth more than gold to them

.This is the pinnacle of TROLL 2's fame – Documentary's 'been made, there's nowhere else to go, a “sequel” is hinted at but for the love of fuck let it all end here, let's move on to better movies please


.Claudio – It was commendable how in-depth this documentary was and for that purpose the director had to be featured, but I could have done without him

.Compares with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn? - …... ...

Decent documentary that represents how far something can go even if it has very little to offer, and how it can still be cherished. If you're unfamiliar with TROLL 2 it's trivial to watch, unless you are and you're curious to see the film's captivation with fans


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Brayker, a tormented protector of a holy relic holes up in a former church and along with it's tenants faces off against demons led by the Collector, who wants the relic to claim superiority of all of existence to his boss old scratch

Issue # 33 of INCREDIBLE SCIENCE FICTION marked the very last issue of the late great EC COMICS

In their prime, EC comics produced the definitive Horror comics of all time through the pages of titles such as THE VAULT OF HORROR, SHOCK SUSPENSESTORIES, THE HAUNT OF FEAR, and of course, TALES FROM THE CRYPT. EC comics were the cream of the crop and are untouched to this very day, they had marvelous storytelling with phenomenal artwork thanks to artists like Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, Graham Ingels, and a whole slew of talent that brought fear and terror with every pencil stroke. EC had it all, and only went away because they were deemed too far ahead of their time by a then-pale and unadventurous public. William M. Gaines rebounded and continued his pioneering reputation with the creation of MAD magazine, the definitive humor magazine, and although EC was gone forever it was not to be forgotten

1989 saw the coming of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, a television series on HBO produced by Joel Silver, Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis, David Geffen, Walter Hill and David Grier, that featured episodes adapted exclusively from the pages of EC comics. TALES FROM THE CRYPT was a success that ran on television for 8 years, and then widely syndicated afterwards. It was an important show, despite the bleak and unfair cessation of EC's publishing, the stories and spirit of EC lived on and became more popular than ever

Success nurtures opportunities for expansion, and after the usual T-shirts, Halloween masks and assorted swag came and went, in 1995 the Cryptkeeper would be brought to the big screen to enchant us with one of his longer and more ambitious of his tales

DEMON KNIGHT had a long history prior to being filmed, there's actually a fascinating article on the script's journey to production in an issue of Fangoria, the exact issue in question escapes me and I'll have to be forgiven as it would be quite a project tracking it down from my dozens of issues in my closet. From what I remember though, at one point DEMON KNIGHT was to be made by none other than FULL MOON, the studio behind PUPPET MASTER, DEMONIC TOYS, ETC. Brayker was to be played by Tim Thomerson (TRANCERS,DOLLMAN) and the collector would have 'been played by Dr. Herbert West himself Jeffrey Combs

DEMON KNIGHT refers to an old battle of good vs evil, heaven vs hell, one side represented by an unwilling protector of a key filled with holy blood, while the other by a charismatic and conniving agent of Satan, who is on Brayker's trail to take the key and brings a few hideous demons to join the party

There are many things I love about this movie, chief among them being the story's historical aspect of defending the key, the many battles strewn through time. Every time a battle ends the key and guardianship is handed down to a lone survivor, and the cycle continues on, seemingly forever. There was potential for a more epic story, DEMON KNIGHT had an average budget and because of that it could not go as far as it should have which is a real shame, I would have loved seeing more of the battles for the key integrated into the film in someway, as opposed to just centering everything on one and dragging it to an hour and a half. Mind you that hour and a half is not a pain to watch but a brief glimpse via flashback was never enough for me

Billy Zane as the Collector is the lone acting highlight among the pack of actors in DEMON KNIGHT, no one does a shit job but they are completely dwarfed when compared to Zane, he's comically suave and it would have 'been a much lesser film without him. The Collector twinkle-toes through his mission with spunk and never detracts from being an evil sumbitch. Even with a horde of demons at his disposal he himself is deadlier and shines best when he attempts to claim everyone from the inside out, using whatever greed or chance for corruption to tempt them and rob them of their souls. A lesser actor would have 'been truly obnoxious and total crap but in Billy Zane's capable hands you can't get enough of him

The demon litter he commands are your typical demons, no horns, but evil looking and they look good in a group. They do have a weakness, which is destroy their eyes and they're dead, it always seemed kinda stupid to me but more on these kind of faults later. The post-possession demons are much more attractive to me, if there's anything else I would have changed in the film, I would have had the Collector skip on calling demons from the ground and just recruit from the people in the house. We get to know each one of the cast of characters at least for a wee bit, and watching them fail the test and go from human to demon would have 'been not only more rewarding but every demon would have had his or her own touch and identity

William Sadler plays Brayker, who is great at being a very exhausted and weary nomad, tired and strained as anyone would be from having to be on the run with cloven hooves at your heels. Not sure if it was done on purpose, but it's pretty neat that Sadler was cast in the first TALES FROM THE CRYPT movie (Associated with the tv series, we all know the first Tales from the crypt movie was released in 1972*wink) when he was also in the very first episode of the tv series

Everyone else does fine, Dick Miller, CCH Pounder, Thomas Haden Church, Charles Fleischer and co. are okay but you know from the starting line who's not going to make it, who'll betray the others etc. Jada Pinkett-Smith comes across as headstrong and resilient, she does okay,  but I never felt interest in her character's survival or what her own journey guarding the key would entail. Sure she resisted temptation, but then again so did CCH to the point that she still flipped off the Collector without an arm and went out like a boss taking out all the remaining demons, she had Demon Knight written on her more than Jada did but maybe there was a two-arm minimum

Gore is nice with severed body parts, guts pulled out, a lot of it eye-centric, it's chunky and drippy, and thankfully satisfying. This is before cgi became overwhelmingly prominent, and practical effects were the norm, the 90's were the last decade where they were so if you' re in the mood to remember those good times then this is top-notch viewing

DEMON KNIGHT did well at the box office, I had the pleasure of watching it when it first came out in a double-feature with Jean Claude Van-Damme's STREET FIGHTER THE MOVIE(ha). It was certainly well received at my screening and I had a hell of a good time, although looking back, it doesn't seem to hold up as well as that point in time, but I still remember it fondly and I'm glad I got to see it then. The Cryptkeeper came out post-credits and announced that another film was on it's way, “Dead Easy”, which was renamed BORDELLO OF BLOOD, a film so agonizingly bad that I will never ever review it here, it's a putrid pile of shit and I personally blame it for killing whatever chance TALES FROM THE CRYPT had of growing it's film franchise. Dennis Miller fighting vampires?? I wouldn't even wipe my ass with it

At least we got DEMON KNIGHT, a solid horror flick that while not to die for is still very enjoyable and still contains the old EC spirit that I and other Horror fans love

.The Cryptkeeper on the big screen – As a kid watching this movie at the theater and hearing John Kassir's laugh echoing through that big room was pretty sweet, in the moment it felt indicative of a bright future for TALES FROM THE CRYPT that sadly didn't pan out

.The Demon Knight war – I was enraptured brainstorming all the possible other scenarios where the key was defended against the forces of hell, sucks that we will never see any of them

.Scenes with Tales from the Crypt comics – I loved seeing the comic books in the film

.Billy Zane – Can't say enough good things about him regarding this film, far as I'm concerned, this is his film

.Great soundtrack – Megadeth, Pantera, Ministry, Machinehead, Sepultura, good stuff. “Hey man nice shot” by Filter has it's best use ever in this film

.The demons are retarded – Described by the Collector himself as “low-level demons”, it is quite evident, you got claws and sharp teeth but all you do is grab people by the neck?

.Everyone is an expert marksman – Somehow anyone holding a gun can shoot each demonic eyeball in succession with pin-point accuracy, even with a demon flailing back and forth with some even holding someone in their path

.January release date – Universal strikes again, way to undermine your product by changing the original Halloween release date to goddamn January

A great movie and a great addition to TALES FROM THE CRYPT's history, not a perfect film in my eyes but it's still damn enjoyable with plenty to satisfy any Horror fan


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


A family is at the mercy of menacing spirits who become hellbent on attaining the body of little Dalton's soul as it's caught in limbo

James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the masterminds behind the sleeper-hit SAW, play with ghosts once again after 2007's DEAD SILENCE with the extraordinary and greatly refreshing INSIDIOUS. Released in 2011, INSIDIOUS is a ghost tale that I absolutely loved and is one of the best Horror flicks I've seen in a long long time

INSIDIOUS features the Lambert Family moving into their cozy new digs, a nice looking home fit for the loving pair and their trio of children. Before they can even start to settle in, strange activity interrupts in the slightest most subtle way possible with a pack of books inexplicably falling off of a book shelf, the beginning of a nightmare that becomes far far worse. Their ghostly raw deal gets more dire when little Dalton fails to wake up one morning as a result of becoming mysteriously comatose, with no answer as to why or how. If that wasn't bad enough the continuous paranormal activity takes it's toll on Renai and she pleads with Josh to move away from the house in hopes of leaving it all behind, which they do, finally packing up and heading elsewhere to yet another domicile

It does not work, in fact, the spectral activity reveals itself more and more and proves to be a far bigger aggressor than previously thought

INSIDIOUS is driven by  feelings of hopelessness, as well as a great deal of sympathy for the Lambert family, they differ from most traditional movie victims through their great misfortune and you can't help but feel for them with the dreadful things they have to endure. The spirits strike at a very sensitive and deep part of their hearts, the life of their child, not just his life but his very soul. Despite moving away, the evil haunting them follows wherever they go, it appears inescapable, and it adds a good dose of gloomy futility. The odds are stacked against them and it compels the viewer to become more concerned for their fate and that of their kid

Speaking of which, the thought of Dalton being imprisoned for months in the ghastly world of the dead is distressing when you think about it, especially with it's grim occupants

The ghosts of INSIDIOUS are creepier than your average ghost, not for what they look like but by how cunning and persistent they are. Dalton's empty body wets their appetite and the race to claim it is spearheaded by a hellish being nicknamed “The Lipstick-face Demon”. While his red and black visage and clanging hooves make him the best looking one of the bunch, what sets him apart from the others is that pure evil trickles away from the very fiber of his being, he is wicked personified and a great villain

The cast is really good, Rose Byrne plays a good movie mom, classy, loving, concerned for her family and not one bit of the usual screaming bimbo in her. Patrick Wilson plays a good father that's apprehensive at first and attempts to process everything with rational thought, eventually being the one tasked with the rescue of his boy which he undergoes in a spine-tingling trip through the other side. Lin Shaye is fine as the psychic medium, her two assistants Tucker and Specs are okay as comic relief without coming off as annoying, and Barbara Hershey as Josh Lambert's mother Lorraine is an ironic addition as some will remember her from another ghost movie THE ENTITY, thankfully in this film she isn't raped by any of the ghosts

INSIDIOUS is a really great movie, sure to entertain and best of all, give plenty of scares, and there are good ones. Not the cheap kind of scares but frightening ones that are the product of a good story filled with omninous themes. INSIDIOUS knocked it out of the park for me and made me anticipate Wan and Whannell's next project even more

If you can, watch this really late at night and keep the room as dark as possible

.The Ghosts – There's a nice variety here, from the playful kid, to the shotgun family, to the bouncer, the Mary Shaw lookalike and the Lipstick demon, they are an interesting crew with a hankering for Tiny Tim

.Spooky mood – INSIDIOUS is a perfect theater movie, the look and feel equals a truly harrowing time viewing it from a casual setting, seeing it in a dark theater with a big sound system must be a grand and jittery experience. I regret not seeing it when it was first released, I would have truly relished in the abundant fear packing the aisles

.The end – It's not so much a “twist” ending, but one that goes against type and shows that it doesn't have to end with everything nice and peachy, won't divulge it and it's not like it's a big shocker but it's certainly a welcome change

.The psychic – Lin Shaye's character is somewhat central to the plot but I must admit that when she came into the picture the ride I was very much enjoying came to a screeching halt. I can't even begin to explain the amount of irritation I feel when a character is introduced in a film simply to explain what is going on, it's flat out dull and I would have really preferred the madness explained another way that wasn't someone just blurting everything out

One of the best Horror films of 2011, and another triumph from James Wan and Leigh Whannell, a truly spooky solid entry and I loved it, highly recommended


Monday, June 4, 2012


A genetically engineered dog escapes from a research laboratory and into the arms of Corey Haim, before their relationship can get disney-esque it is interrupted by a mutated Orangutan hot on the doggy's trail

As a dog lover my heart warms just a tiny bit at the sight of a canine protagonist on film

Who can forget the infernal cuteness of DEVIL DOG: HOUND FROM HELL, the brave “Thor” in the werewolf flick BAD MOON, the poor shot-gun blasted seeing-eye dog in THE TOXIC AVENGER, the homeless guy's dog from AMERICAN PSYCHO that gets stomped to death by Batman, the possessed hairball from DEMONI 2, Petey from MONSTER SQUAD, the acid-pissing Rottweiler from MAN'S BEST FRIEND, whether hero, companion, victim, or threat, there has 'been a fair share of canines in Horror flicks and I've loved them all

Standing head and shoulders on top of all of them is “Furface”

Furface is a super-intelligent experiment who amidst a burning blaze flees from his lab confinement and runs away into the dark of the forest. Chasing after him is another genetic creation from the lab codenamed OXCOM, a bestial hairy ape that exists only to kill him as his designated prey, hauling his monkey-ass into the woods in pursuit of Furface. Through his escape, Furface seeks shelter in the back of a truck, momentarily discovered by Travis (Corey Haim), who while hesitant at first quickly realizes that the dog is very very VERY smart, and he decides to keep him

OXCOM is not far behind, rendering people into mince meat while searching for Furface, starting with the father of Travis' girlfriend. As the police investigate the scene the next day, Agent Johnson (played by the badass Michael Ironside) barges in on his own search for both Furface and OXCOM, letting nothing get in his way including nosy cops and uncooperative partners

WATCHERS is based on the novel by Dean Koontz, which I have never read, but from online opinion it seems this film is far from a perfect adaptation. Based on the movie's quality I could understand some of the flack, this is a somewhat bland film that doesn't really raise an eyebrow once and is quite uninspired. The book clocks in at 400+ pages and watching the flick you don't get any impression that they got the most out of it while adapting it. I'm quite sure there were many prime-cuts trimmed in translation as there were ample opportunities in character development and so forth that never came to pass

This lazy approach hurt the movie, it's clear the intention was to just make it monster-driven, there was fertile ground for many avenues to pass through but none were ever seriously considered. The buddy dynamic between Travis and Furface should have 'been groomed to the point where you felt they were to be inseparable, they emote some affection for each other but not enough, least not on the human side. If I came across a super-smart dog that could do my homework as opposed to eating it I'd be overjoyed and not constantly bewildered 

The only recognizable actors in the movie are Corey Haim, half of the Two Coreys, and the great Michael Ironside, who unfortunately does not explode any heads in this film and it probably would have helped if he did. Corey Haim does okay, rather unimpressive, can't really deduce if it's his acting ability or just the way the part was written. Michael Ironside is well, Michael Ironside, his role is totally what you'd expect from him.  Speaking of which...

The biggest gripe for me would be a spoilery-tidbit that I refuse to reveal, but the revelation at the end did jackshit for the movie. It was completely worthless as it just happened and nothing came of it, the story wasn't impacted in any way nor did it matter one bit. A minute later it was irrelevant and it was another wasted opportunity that fleshed out well could have 'been interesting but just tanked

Is this a bad film? I would say no, it isn't terrible, it wasn't the least bit excruciating watching it, and to be frank, I did enjoy it, not tremendously but I still found it okay. I'll be generous and call it a mediocre film, there's not a lot going for it, but there's also a few worthwhile things about it. As soon as nostalgia kicks in you find yourself actually enjoying it, and if you love dogs it'll multiply it's chances, watching Furface type on a computer with a pencil in his mouth will make you gaze with endearment at his doggy prowess 

WATCHERS was followed by an astonishing 3 sequels, how anyone thought rehashing this plot would be a good idea escapes me. WATCHERS II starred Marc Singer, star of V, including the tv series where his co-star was Michael Ironside. Apparently parts I and II were released on dvd together, presumably out of print, which I can understand seeing how this ain't the kind of movie you die to own for home viewing

But, like I said, it's not entirely forgetful, it drowns in a sea of superior flicks but in the right mood, it's tolerable

.Furface – The star of the movie for sure, well-played by “Lala”, you genuinely feel emotionally invested in his survival
.Not seeing much of OXCOM – It's more fun to imagine what is implied and can't see, I thought it was smart to not show OXCOM in full detail until the very end of the film. I also thought he/she/it resembled the chinese wildman from BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
.Michael Ironside – nuff said
.Jason Priestly falling down a hill – got off easy though

.The blonde kid's 80's poodle mullet – OXCOM must have surely tried to have intercourse with it
.Weak characters РAside from the dog you don't really find anyone to be anything other than predictable and clich̩
.Tad bit more gore – I know I just said a less-is-more approach works much better but the gorehound in me wanted a little more in the instances where it was there, for an R rating it was kinda weak

Okay movie, not a surefire recommendation, but an okay netflix find


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


A basket carrying fella by the name of Duane checks into the Hotel Broslin, and sets out with his hideous sibling Belial to get payback on the people responsible for separating them as conjoined youths

If you're a horror fan and lived through the glorious age of vhs, chances are you are familiar with this film. If you walked past any video store horror section that wasn't Blockbuster and worth it's existence then you probably saw Belial on the cover of the video peeking out at you. This is the kind of movie that you could not resist grabbing and scanning the back of the box to read it's synopsis, all the while trying to make out any traces of the creature through the small amount of pictures displayed on it. If you happened to rent it and watch it you surely laughed and despite the cheap production still found it endearing, when analyzed more deeply the true reason for that is an interesting one 

BASKET CASE is a very strange tale of brotherly love, part of the lighthearted pack of Horror, more aimed at being humorous than horrifying. The story's core is actually quite heartwarming, Duane and Belial have such a strong bond that they are driven to kill in retaliation for being cut apart. They do not set out to waste the people involved in severing their carnal bond for any other reason than retribution for the emotional pain of being separated, and for the callous act of trying to dispose of Belial

Although even with murder in his mind, Duane is still quite normal to the point where he can interact with others and even pursue romance, aside from his vengeful quest he is just another curly haired lanky guy who wouldn't stick out in a crowd in any way possible, he's as mundane as they come, he just had the misfortune of having his dear deformed mess of a twin detached from his side

Belial is a different story altogether, the ugly yin to Duane's normal yang, and the one performing the massive bloodletting, he is animalistic, angry, savage, and unfortunately for Duane, jealous. When Duane is sidetrack in the pair's mission by the enticing advances of a girl named Sharon, Belial is pissed off, and for the first time in either of their lives' they grow at odds with each other, Belial apparently resentful at Duane for pursuing something he himself could never have ( At least one would think, until the sequels came along...)

I found this movie on sale, a double-pack special bundled with RETURN OF SWAMP THING, right from the get-go I was compelled to buy it, reason being that despite coming from the aforementioned age of vhs BASKET CASE was one of those movies that while forever on my radar, viewing it then never came to pass. From the moment it was done it was an instant favorite, didn't have to grow on me, I loved the living hell out of it, and I still laugh at it just as much as when I first saw it

BASKET CASE is the brainchild of Writer/Director Frank Henenlotter, who also helmed the sequels BASKET CASE 2 and BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY, as well as BRAIN DAMAGE which features the voice talent of the legendary “cool ghoul” Zacherley and a cameo by none other than Duane and Belial (in basket) . Mr. Henenlotter showed that you can film on a modest budget ($35,000) and still deliver a worthwhile piece of art, using a good story and working around your limitations

Something Weird  Video released BASKET CASE on dvd, packing it with a good amount of extras, featuring an audio commentary, gallery, radio spots, behind the scenes footage, and the pretty neat "In search of Hotel Broslin"

.Belial - Belial's puppetry is decent for a B-movie, he's a great creature, he's lumpy and a monster through and through and yet simple enough to where there was no need for extravagant methods to bring him to life. The Belial puppet is pretty good, he looks good in the dark, in a lit apartment, and I'd love to own it and leave him perched on a couch or on top of a book case. I'd also love to see a replica or even a plush Belial for sale someday, I'd buy one in a heartbeat and then stitch it to my ribs

.New York – The scenes showing New York are a nice snapshot of the city at that time, I love NY so it was nice eye-candy for me

.Original story - There's an adequate degree of originality, sets it apart from most other B-movies for that reason

.Playdough Belial – While Belial looked great for most of the movie, I have to admit the stop-motion Belial is AWFUL, It was gumby-esque and just embarrassing

Classic, one of B-movie Horror's greatest entries, watch it before Belial chokes you in your sleep and humps your dead corpse


Thursday, September 15, 2011


Human invaders sail through the Gill-man's waters, where he reigns with a scaly fist, he takes a liking to the lone female and takes initiative to claim her as his own

Universal studios, the movie studio built by monsters

Horror as we know it would not be the same without it, the most iconic figures and ultimate portrayals of the classic movie monsters spawned from the Universal backlot, utter the names Dracula and Frankenstein and you are instantly thrust with the images of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. It was their brilliant performances along with those others such as Lon Chaney, his chip off the old block Lon Chaney Jr., makeup artist Jack Pierce, directors Todd Browning, James Whale, and others that made the golden age of horror possible

The Universal monsters are the avatars of our beautiful frightful genre, the consummate movie monsters. I have loved them from the time I was a kid, the dark allure of Dracula, the bestial ferocity of the Wolfman, the imposing modern prometheus Frankenstein's monster, the ancient wraith the Mummy, to choose a favorite would be like choosing which finger you want chopped off, you don't want to decide, you want all of them

While I love them all dearly there is always one that extends it's creepy hand out to you more than the others, for me, that hand is clawed, green, and webbed

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON was directed by Jack Arnold who directed other Horror/Sci-fi gems as TARANTULA and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, and originally released in 3-D. After discovering a fascinating fossil with both human and fish-like traits, an expedition is organized into the amazon to further study the strange anomaly. The team includes Dr. Carl Maia, Dr. David Reed, asshole Dr. Mark Williams, and David's beautiful girlfriend Kay, who upon gazing at her beauty the creature ultimately becomes smitten by her

While most of the Universal monsters are culled from literature or popular folklore, The creature from the black lagoon has the distinction of being an original creation, the brainchild of producer William Allan, and ingeniously designed by Millicent Patrick, along with Bud Westmore who would pull a Bob Kane and go on to claim total credit of the creature's creation 

The creature's origin is not too far-fetched, he is not a creation of science, or the supernatural, he is an undiscovered animal, native to earth, in a planet so big that it is host to an infinite amount of animalia, ranging to some long-gone and many that are yet to be discovered. Flying reptiles, egg-laying mammals, poisonous birds, even creatures long thought extinct re-discovered alive have all popped their heads from obscurity and into the world of science, who's to say there might not be an anthromorphic fish-man canoodling in some body of water somewhere (?). In our real-life world we have a storied history of legends such as Bigfoot, the Loch ness monster, Chupacabras, the Jersey devil, Mothman, the creature would have fit right along with them, complete with double-page spreads courtesy of the weekly world news

.The Gill-man - By far one of the most beautiful monsters ever put to film, comparing him to most other movie monsters at the time one can see he is in a league of his own. An astute monster, observant and vigilant, able to set traps, capable of infatuation, much more than simply stomping his feet with his hands extended. Malevolence is not what drives him to kill, he is not an evil monster, the only reason he ever kills is because someone invaded his turf and saw him as a trophy or subject of experimentation

.The Creature's actors - The creature was played by two men, Ben Chapman on land, and by Ricou Browning for the underwater sequences, which are astounding, swimming uncannily graceful through the water, creating very convincing behavior in his movements that make it feel like the creature is real and not a guy in a suit

.The Creature suit - The suit is great too, aside from it's design it's construction was excellent, not a zipper in sight, and impressive in it's mechanics, when the Gill-man breathes you can notice his gills flap back with every breath which is pretty damn impressive

.Nothing, it's a masterpiece

Flawless and classic as expected from Universal horror, exemplary monster movie, greatest looking monster Universal ever produced

THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON was followed by REVENGE OF THE CREATURE and THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US, strangely though, unlike the other Universal monsters he never made another appearance on film, although he was featured on THE MUNSTERS as uncle Gilbert (ha). A twinkie-stealing variation appeared on THE MONSTER SQUAD, Italy's L'ISOLA DEGLI UOMINI PESCE (Island of the fishmen) also has a wee bit of Gill-man thrown in, and there was to be a Gill-man in VAN HELSING before being cut from the film

The creature has always remained popular, consistently featured with the rest of the Universal monsters in whatever form they're featured from Pepsi promotions to bobble-heads. The remake-machine has eyed the creature off and on throughout the years, nothing has ever panned out, not even from Universal which is not surprising considering they have long neglected to respect what put them on the map (that topic will be elaborated on in a future entry), the way things are it would end up like THE WOLFMAN (2010) and set to fail by being dumped in a February release date. If you need any more proof, look no further than Universal studios Hollywood putting out a musical attraction (?!) that has since thankfully closed

A rock show...sweet ethel mertz

Keep it at three movies, leave him untarnished, in peace, in his home of blackened waters