Trophy Heads (2014)

trophyheads_1Starring Adam Noble Roberts, Maria Olsen, Linnea Quigley, Jacqueline Lovell, Denice Duff, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Darcy DeMoss, Irena Murphy, Jessica Morris, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Amy Paffrath, Robin Sydney, Carel Struycken, Kristine DeBell, Gregory Niebel, Stuart Gordon, David DeCoteau, J. Scott

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: As long as it’s fun I’ll be satisfied, and with this many classic scream queens I don’t see how it won’t be fun.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


For many years now, Full Moon has made movies that a mainstream viewer, or even an old fan from the glory days who missed Full Moon’s last 15 years of questionable movies, wouldn’t hesitate to call “strange” or “out there” or “shit.” For those that stumble upon the movies unaware of what they’re getting themselves into (like the Redbox patrons), I’m sure the general reaction is something close to, “Who would watch this?” Hardcore Full Moon fans, that’s who! Throughout changing video landscapes and formats, Full Moon continues to pump out films for their fans (and pretty much no one else). So it makes perfect sense that their latest venture, Trophy Heads (which debuted in June as a five-part web series exclusively on Full Moon Streaming), is not just a film for their fans, but a film about those very fans.

Well… perhaps that’s a little too broad, as I doubt most Full Moon aficionados would kidnap our favorite stars, murder them, and mount their heads on the wall, but you get the idea. Anyway, yes, Trophy Heads is about a fan who rounds up six of his favorite ’80s scream queens, keeps them in his home-built basement dungeon, and then murders them while making them recreate situations from one of the Full Moon movies they were in way back when. There’s not really any depth beyond that, but as this is something directly for Full Moon fans, I don’t think anyone really cares. I certainly didn’t.

Continue reading Trophy Heads (2014) →

Castle Freak (1995)

Starring Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jonathan Fuller, Jessica Dollarhide, Massimo Sarchielli, Elisabeth Kaza, Luca Zingaretti, Helen Stirling, Alessandro Sebastian Satta, Raffaella Offidani, Marco Stefanelli

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Expectations: Super high. I’ve loved every other Stuart Gordon film I’ve seen.


Well, it was inevitable. There was no way that Stuart Gordon could continually impress me without letting me down at some point. Unfortunately Castle Freak is that point, but make no mistake, it does have its merits. In fact, it has a lot of great things going for it, but where Gordon’s other Lovecraft adaptations have been characterized by inventive plot twists and tension-filled moments of dread, Castle Freak is fairly straight-forward and standard in the plot department.

Upon the death of an elderly Duchess living in a massive castle, Jeffrey Combs inherits the estate and moves to Italy with his wife (Barbara Crampton) and their blind daughter. What they don’t know is that the Duchess held a dark secret in the depths of the castle’s dungeons, a deformed man chained to the wall! Even if you’ve never seen another horror film, I’m sure you can guess where this is headed. And for the most part, that’s where it goes. It’s a shame that Castle Freak should be so predictable, but perhaps with a fairly standard plot framework like this, it is to be expected.

Continue reading Castle Freak (1995) →

H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch-House (2005)

H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch-House (2005)

Starring Ezra Godden, Jay Brazeau, Campbell Lane, Chelah Horsdal, David Racz, Nicholas Racz, Yevgen Voronin, Susanna Uchatius

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Expectations: Moderate. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every Stuart Gordon movie I’ve seen, but I’m worried this will disappoint like the previous Masters of Horror episode.


Another week, another episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror. After last week’s frustrating entry, I questioned if watching the rest of the series was worth it. My love of Stuart Gordon won out though, as the second episode was directed by the man who brought the world Re-Animator, From Beyond and Robot Jox. And who better to bring H.P. Lovecraft to the small silver screen than his most faithful adapter, Stuart Gordon? After watching the film: no one, that’s who. Dreams in the Witch-House proves once again that Stuart Gordon is one of the premiere horror directors (and one of the most underrated).

The story concerns a college student named Walter who takes a room in a run-down house so that he has a quiet place to study and write his thesis on string theory. The evil look of the house and the shady manager should have clued Walter into something fishy, but alas he’s a horror movie protagonist so of course he moves in unheeded. When strange things start to happen and the rat with the man’s face tells Walter that “She’s coming for you!”, he’s in too deep and nothing can rip him away from the interdimensional shenanigans that threaten his building.

Continue reading H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch-House (2005) →

Announcing the 2nd Annual Horrific October!

Yep, it’s that time again. Time for me to completely lose all control and give in to my wild desires of only watching horror films. Last year was a blast, and even though I’m more pressed for time these days, I’m gonna do my best to make this year just as awesome. I’m dividing my efforts into three main categories this year, which are:

Classic Japanese Horror

Featuring:

The Ghost of Yotsuya [Tôkaidô Yotsuya Kaidan] (1959)
dir. Nobuo Nakagawa

Jigoku [The Sinners of Hell] (1960)
dir. Nobuo Nakagawa

Onibaba (1964)
dir. Kaneto Shindō

Kuroneko [Yabu no naka no kuroneko] (1968)
dir. Kaneto Shindō

Full Moon Films

Featuring:

Vampire Journals (1997)
dir. Ted Nicolaou

Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm (1998)
dir. Ted Nicolaou

Parasite (1982)
dir. Charles Band

Castle Freak (1995)
dir. Stuart Gordon

Hammer Horror

Featuring:

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
dir. Terence Fisher

Dracula [Horror of Dracula] (1958)
dir. Terence Fisher

The Mummy (1959)
dir. Terence Fisher

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
dir. Terence Fisher

So there you have it! I’m pumped to finally be checking out these flicks, as just about every one has been on my ongoing “To Watch” list for several years. I’ve always heard about the Gothic beauty of Hammer Horror but now I will finally see what all the fuss is about for myself. Same goes for the work of Nakagawa and Shindō. Cannot wait. And depending on time I might sneak in a few more random movies, but I’m not promising anything.

The extravaganza kicks off October 4th with Vampire Journals!

Uncle Jasper reviews: Robot Jox (1990)

Robot Jox (1990)

Starring Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, Paul Koslo, Robert Sampson, Danny Kamekona, Hilary Mason, Michael Alldredge

Directed By Stuart Gordon


 

My scarce memories of Robot Jox stem more from the trailer than from my first (and only) viewing of the film way back in the early 90s. When Will and I were scheduling reviews for the remainder of 2010, I plopped Robot Jox on there as an excuse to revisit this long forgotten gem after all of these years. Imagine my surprise when Will got back to me with the news that it was an Empire film! …Doh! Being only about 11 years old at the time, I obviously had no idea. Since Will is our resident expert on all things Charles Band, I was a little wary about taking the reigns, but he has given his blessing and I’m proud to contribute my first entry into the long running Empire / Full Moon series here at Silver Emulsion!

Any movie fan who even occasionally dips their feet into the waters of Science Fiction no doubt has seen their share of dystopian futures. You have heavy-handed, big-brother police states like 1984, rain-slicked neon cyberpunk slums ala Blade Runner, and the savage survival world of Mad Max. That’s all fine and dandy, but all we really need to solve the serious problems of the future are gigantic fucking robots stomping the balls off of each other out in the arid hills of Death Valley.

Continue reading Uncle Jasper reviews: Robot Jox (1990) →

The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)

The Pit and the Pendulum (1991)

Starring Lance Henriksen, Rona De Ricci, Jonathan Fuller, Stephen Lee, Frances Bay, Jeffrey Combs, Oliver Reed

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Expectations: Low. For whatever reason, my enjoyment of the previous Stuart Gordon films didn’t pump me up for this at all. I just had this overwhelming sense that it would be stupid for some reason.


 

Wow! It’s a state of shock and awe over here at the Silver household, as I am floored at the level of sheer awesome on display in The Pit and the Pendulum. I went into this film thinking absolutely nothing about it. I’ve enjoyed every Stuart Gordon film I’ve seen so far, but I’d never heard anyone talk about this one, so I suppose subconsciously I assumed it was shit. That couldn’t be further from the truth though as The Pit and the Pendulum is one of the most engrossing, tense movies to ever come out of Full Moon Entertainment.

Continue reading The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) →

From Beyond (1986)

From Beyond (1986)

Starring Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers, Bruce McGuire

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Expectations: High. I enjoyed Gordon’s first film Re-Animator a lot.


 

To get right to the point, if you enjoyed Re-Animator and you haven’t seen this, then you’ve got one more movie to add to your queue. From Beyond is a worthy follow-up to what director Stuart Gordon achieved in Re-Animator and features the same over-the-top, gross-out hilarity. It doesn’t equal the previous film, but it gets pretty close. Like Re-Animator, this is another H.P. Lovecraft adaptation. I must admit that I’ve never read any of his work, so I don’t know how faithful this is to the original tale. If his original story is truly this whacked out though, then I definitely need to check out some of his work to fill my insatiable hunger for this kind of twisted filth. The story here has Jeffrey Combs in a similar role to his character from Re-Animator, Herbert West. Combs plays Crawford who is an assistant to a scientist creating a Resonator machine that stimulates the pineal gland in the human brain through sound waves, allowing those affected to see another layer of reality where eels and jellyfish swim in the air. It’s also highly dangerous, on one hand due to its addictiveness and on the other hand because this realm is inhabited by a no-bullshit monster that promptly twists the head off of Combs’ mentor. Combs is accused of the murder and taken to a mental hospital, where he intrigues a psychologist (Barbara Crampton) enough to talk the hospital into releasing him into her custody. They venture back to the house along with Ken Foree and attempt to recreate the event in order to prove that Combs is sane. Don’t question it, just enjoy it.

Continue reading From Beyond (1986) →

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