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 Chris Justice

Oil and a Dangerous South: Alternate Geopolitical Readings of "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"

Texas Chain Saw Massacre poster (French)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. I know, I know. Provocative interpretations of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (TCSM) abound. I was reminded of that once again after reading Planks of Reason: Essays on the Horror Film while writing an essay (that had nothing to do with TCSM) for another publication. And of course, our articles and reviews this month served notice once again: TCSM may be the most provocative horror film in American history. (read more...)

Review: The Last Winter (2006)

Last Winter poster

The popularity of horror films set in polar settings is hard to ignore. In the 1950s, during one of horror's most misunderstood subgenres - the creature feature film - polar landscapes were a common setting that harbored dinosaurs, aliens, and mutant insects. However, those landscapes assumed roles subordinate to their narratives' focus because more pressing geopolitical issues related to the Cold War dominated the day. (read more...)

Review: Corridors of Blood (1958)

Corridors of Blood poster

Robert Day's Corridors of Blood is a provocative, taut early installment of the medical thriller made popular by contemporary authors such as Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. It's 1840 in London, and Boris Karloff is Dr. Thomas Bolton, a well-meaning surgeon who moonlights once a week as a general practitioner for the poor. Since he performs amputations, his research focuses on developing anesthetics to make surgery painless. Supported by his son and niece, Bolton publicly displays his latest development, a primitive form of gaseous anesthesia, but his demonstration fails miserably when his patient awakens while Bolton is cutting his arm. Chaos ensues, and Bolton is suspended from practicing medicine. Nevertheless, he continues his research, and becomes addicted to the anesthetic gases.(read more...)

Review: The Devil Commands (1941)

The Devil Commands poster

It's hard to imagine the history of film or literature without mad scientists. We'd never have encountered Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Moreau, or a host of other colorful, enduring characters that have captivated our souls for decades. The Devil Commands is a testament to that prototype's allure.

As a popular narrative trope, mad scientist stories appear, on the surface, simple. Enter your typical mad scientist. He's crazy and consequently initiates a firestorm of chaos. Hell breaks loose, innocents die, he's hunted down and eventually caught, punished, or exterminated. However, underlying these conventions lurk crucial thematic and generic questions that defy cursory analysis. Is the scientist's "science" scientific? What drives him mad: his inherently evil intentions or the science itself and his quest for knowledge? Is the chaos intentional or accidental? Is the chaos a result of the scientist or his science?(read more...)

Review: The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Incredible Shrinking Man poster

Okay, let's face it: size does matter.

Based on Richard Matheson's novel The Shrinking Man and directed by cult sci-fi and horror guru Jack Arnold of It Came from Outer Space, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Tarantula fame, The Incredible Shrinking Man is considered one of science fiction's best films. Its strengths, however, lurk more in the horrific implications it presents than its science fiction.(read more...)

Review: Bug (2006)

Bug 2006 poster

I had no intention of reviewing Bug when I pressed “Play”; however, 90 minutes later, I had no choice BUT to review it.

Directed by William Friedkin, Bug offers Agnes and Peter, blue-collar drifters who one evening randomly meet through a mutual friend, Agnes’s lesbian lover, and rush into a romantic relationship inspired by loneliness, physical attraction, psychological scars, and the shared intensity of their paranoid delusions.(read more...)

Review: The Golem (1920)

The Golem 1920 poster

Emanating from Jewish folklore, the legend of the “golem” has transfixed audiences for centuries. Although when used pejoratively the word “golem” describes a moronic person easily manipulated, the word often refers to any mythical creature animated from inanimate materials such as clay, sand, or stone.(read more...)

Review: Dementia 13 (1963)

Dementia 13 poster

Most people don’t associate Francis Ford Coppola with horror, but they should. He produced Jeepers Creepers I and II, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, a 1999 TV production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein, and the Roger Corman classic The Terror. Of course, his direction of Bram Stoker’s Dracula also leaps out. However, the genesis of Coppola’s legendary career as an American directorial icon started with the low-budget slasher thriller Dementia 13.(read more...)

Review: The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

Brain That Wouldn't Die poster

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die is a cult horror classic that, itself, refuses to die. Resuscitated by Elvira’s Box of Horror Classics series and "Mystery Science Theater 3000," The Brain’s no-name cast and low-budget schlock are not as corny as expected. Although splattered with goofy flaws and over-the-top performances and producing plenty of chuckles, the film probes primitive fears that should unnerve the most stoic spectator.(read more...)

Review: Faust (1926)

Faust 1926 poster

Before Regan MacNeil, Damien Thorn, and Louis Cyphre, there was Mephisto, short for Mephistopheles, Satan’s most notorious alter ego. Satan and his sentinels have captivated creative souls’ imaginations for centuries, but few artists have manifested those visions as powerfully as F.W. Murnau did in 1926.(read more...)

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