Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Posts by Brandt Sponseller

Review: The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Serpent and the Rainbow

A creepy travelogue of exaggerated dark sides of other cultures, Wes Craven 's The Serpent and the Rainbow is a fine horror film with the scope of Indiana Jones and the attitude of Freddy Krueger.

"Inspired by a true story" (more on that in a minute), The Serpent and the Rainbow tells the tale of Dennis Allen, an ethnobotanist/anthropologist (the real guy, Wade Davis, was actually a grad student at the time) from Harvard. As you'd suspect, Allen likes to travel to exotic locales and search for little known flora-his main interest seems to be plants that have medicinal value.(read more...)

Review: The Astronaut's Wife (1999)

Astronaut's Wife poster

The Astronaut's Wife wants it all. To be like a 50's sci-fi invasion flick, a demonic possession film, a psychological horror movie, and a Dario Argento-ish excursion into surreal dream images. Remarkably, it almost succeeds, but a few near-mortal wounds make it lumber.

Unfortunately, the first apparent flaw emerges almost immediately. The events of the beginning of the film seem rushed. The astronaut, Spencer Armacost (Johnny Depp), and his wife, Jillian (Charlize Theron), are in bed one moment, the next minute Armacost is in space, and the moment after that she's learning that there's been a problem-"there was an explosion and we (NASA) lost contact with them for a couple minutes."(read more...)

Review: The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen Before (2000)

The Exorcist Re-Release poster

Twenty-seven years down the pike, The Exorcist is still no easier to review. To many film fans, horror buffs or not, it is considered one of the best horror flicks, if not the best, period. It has certainly been influential in the genre, spawning everything from its own sequels, to other good series like The Omen, to not-so-good recent flicks like Bless the Child. Although it's not without its own influences -- such as Rosemary's BabyThe Exorcist will always be an important film historically, and as such, should be given at least one viewing by all fans.

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Review: The Sect (1991)

La Setta (The Sect) poster

When I first sat down to write my review of The Sect, I was surprised that the vivid images in my mind seemed to be fleeting. But then I realized how appropriate this is, since like almost all films that Dario Argento has a hand in, The Sect is nothing if not an extended, dark dream.(read more...)

Review: Wicked Games (1994)

Wicked Games

Wicked Games is an amateur production in every sense of the word. At that, however, it is far from the worst film I've seen. Yes, the performances are terrible, the editing frequently nonexistent, the sound often difficult to hear, the poorly written score is performed on cheap keyboards, it's shot on video tape (which makes it look like a home movie), the lighting is bad, etc., but there are a few worthwhile elements here.

Director and writer Tim Ritter (who is persistent enough to have seven films behind him to date) has created a decent story that holds your interest and keeps you guessing until the end -- as long as you can stick it out for about the first 15 - 20 minutes. The beginning of the film looks more like a really bad, amateur porno with no pay-offs.(read more...)

Review: The Surgeon (1995)

The Surgeon

Although it's able to slice through many deservedly obscure flicks with a scalpel while feeding them acid through an IV, The Surgeon, or Exquisite Tenderness as the inappropriate-sounding alternate title has it, is oddly underrated by most horror fans and deserves wider recognition.(read more...)

Review: Salem's Lot (1979)

Salem's Lot poster

Salem's Lot doesn't have breathtaking cinematography, or an awe-inspiring score. There are lots of quirks in the performances. It doesn't have huge special effects. It isn't fast-paced. In fact, it moves pretty slowly most of the time. Yet I would rate it a 9 out of 10, because what Salem's Lot does have, and this is fairly unusual in a film, is a deeply engrossing story that unfolds exactly as if you were reading a book instead, and by the time the horrific material arises, Salem's Lot doesn't need to do anything too spectacular to create atmosphere and scares.(read more...)

Review: The Devil's Advocate (1997)

Devil's Advocate poster

Often deceptively simple -- and isn't that appropriate -- The Devil's Advocate is one of my favorite films from 1997, and would rank at least in my top 50 for the decade. It's yet another film that I think is best approached blindly. If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest that you stop reading, watch the film, then get back to me. You just have to trust me that it's worth your time. If you ignore my advice, beware of major spoilers below. Since I'll assume that everyone still reading has already seen the film, I'll approach the rest of my review a bit differently.(read more...)

Review: The New York Ripper (1982)

New York Ripper poster

Probably infamous Italian horror "maestro" Lucio Fulci's most ridiculous film, New York Ripper ("Lo Squartatore di New York" in Italian) blandly genre hops to an awkward conclusion. The only positives are Fulci's use of gore (duh), one or two truly suspenseful scenes, and the ever-present unintentional humor.

New York Ripper opens with an older man walking his dog under the Brooklyn Bridge (now there's an unusual shot of New York City). His dog plays fetch with him, and when the stick is lost in the bushes, the dog brings back a dismembered human hand instead.(read more...)

Review: Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)

Urban Legends: Final Cut poster

What it may lack in atmosphere and unprecedented ideas, Urban Legends: Final Cut (ULFC) more than makes up for in (yes it's cliche for this subgenre by now) its "postmodern" self-reference which obtains on many different levels, its technical craft and its entertaining story.(read more...)

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