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 Eric Miller

Review: Not of This Earth (1988)

Not of This Earth 1988 poster

The 1988 remake of Roger Corman's 1957 Not of This Earth originated in a bet that exploitation director Jim Wynorski made with horror legend Corman. Wynorski bet that he could shoot the film in 12 days, a bet which he won. While Wynorski surely scores points for efficiency, he nevertheless delivers a film that is lacking in most respects. A cheaply made film does not necessarily have to look as cheap as this one does, and it appears that Wynorski sacrificed thought and imagination to get the film completed in so quick a time. While it does have occasional interesting, or at least titillating, moments, ultimately this is a boring film that displays contempt for its story and its audience as well.

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: Revenge of the Silent Majority

The Dinner Scene in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an intense, bare-knuckled assault on the senses. In it we see sadism, brutality, and violence as we had never seen it before. What is sometimes overlooked is that one can see in the film a grotesque mirror being held up to the social struggles of the era. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a stressful time for America. The Freedom Struggle, the tragic war in Vietnam, the epidemic of violence in the country, the bloody trend of political assassinations; all of these things had led by the mid '70s to a sense of fatigue and despondence in the country. In 1969, Richard Nixon used the term "silent majority" to encompass those Americans who had become uncomfortable with all of the drastic changes that the country had come through. He gave a name to those not claiming membership in the left-leaning Counterculture or who participated in demonstrations. The excesses of the past decade had built up a sense of victimization and resentment within the Silent Majority. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre can be seen as a reflection and parody of the clash between these two groups.

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Review: Cape Fear (1991)

Cape Fear 1991 poster

What could be more terrifying than a madman who will stop at nothing to kill you? In Martin Scorsese's remake of the 1962 classic thriller Cape Fear, the answer seems to be a madman who has a point. Up until 1991 Scorsese had established a career as a magnificent film director whose films contain scenes of brutal violence combined with sadness, despair, and brooding pathos. The remake of Cape Fear was his first attempt at what could be called a horror film, and it does not disappoint. Scorsese, along with screenwriter Wesley Strick, take the basic structure of the 1961 film and flesh it out with seriously flawed characters that are nearly as dangerous to themselves as the madman Max Cady (Robert De Niro) is to them.(read more...)

Review: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride of Frankenstein 1935 poster

The central, perhaps deliberate, irony in James Whale's masterpiece The Bride of Frankenstein is that Frankenstein's creation is called the Monster.  The Monster, unforgettably played again by the great Boris Karloff, is one of the least monstrous characters in the film.  He is surrounded by people more sinister, or at least more misguided, than he, yet everyone in the film fears and loathes him, even his prospective bride.  In addition to offering chills, humor, and satire, The Bride of Frankenstein also provides a searing indictment of man's inhumanity to man.  This is just one the factors that help it become, in this author's opinion, the best horror film of the 1930s.(read more...)

Review: The Company of Wolves (1984)

Company of Wolves poster

A werewolf film like no other, The Company of Wolves is a radical reinterpretation of the story of Little Red Riding Hood through a primarily feminist viewpoint.  With it's rich and beautiful symbolism, Neil Jordan's 1984 film is based on a collection of short stories originally written by novelist Angela Carter, who collaborates with Jordan on this film's script.  While it is not terribly frightening, this film can make one marvel at its beauty and also think carefully its allegories of leaving childhood behind and embracing maturity. (read more...)

Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Picture of Dorian Gray poster (wide)

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Albert Lewin's 1945 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic novel is both an entertaining and frustrating film.  It is very well made, with stylish direction, wonderful performances from much of the cast, and it tackles some serious and thought provoking themes.  Unfortunately, it takes its topic too seriously, and its main character appears throughout as not much more than a cipher.  Boredom also has a tendency to set in at times, a fatal flaw for a horror (or any other genre) film.  While worth watching, The Picture of Dorian Gray never reaches greatness.(read more...)

Review: Psycho III (1986)

Psycho III poster

After a surprisingly good sequel, Psycho II (1983), the opportunity for an additional follow up to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was clearly present.  Why, Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins, took up the director's chair for the third installment of Norman’s sad and fearsome saga!  Having been Norman for nearly thirty years (and also having worked with such legendary directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kramer, and Orson Welles), there was probably no one better qualified to helm this installment.  While Perkins does not rise to the cinematic heights of these screen giants, he and screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue (who later penned the screenplay to David Cronenberg’s The Fly), fashion a horror experience that, while far from perfect, inspires more than its share of jumps and chills.(read more...)

Review: Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Taste the Blood of Dracula poster

Taste the Blood of Dracula, the fifth installment of Hammer’s Dracula series, is a well made but unfortunately routine affair.  We have all the trappings of a good Hammer film:  a red-eyed Christopher Lee, beautiful young women falling under his spell, a great deal of blood, and an intrepid seeker of good to put a stop to the vampire.  However, in trying to expand the story of Dracula, director Peter Sasdy and screenwriter Anthony Hinds make the Count almost a guest star in his own film. While Taste the Blood of Dracula does have certain positive attributes, ultimately it is a dreary chapter in Hammer’s Dracula saga.(read more...)

Review: Ichi the Killer (2001)

Ichi the Killer poster

Ichi the Killer (titled Koroshiya 1 in Japan) is one of the most brutal and intense films to come out this decade. Based on a manga by Hideo Yamamoto and directed by the prolific director of Audition, Takashi Miike, Ichi the Killer is a dark, disturbed, and often very humorous tale of sadism and violence. With no holds barred, Ichi presents extremely graphic scenes of gore that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. While thematically it barely qualifies as a horror film, its obvious influence on later films like Hostel and Saw make it a landmark in the genre.(read more...)

Review: Shutter (2004)

Shutter 2004 poster

One of the more common motivational factors in ghost stories is revenge. In this respect, Shutter, a Thai film from directors Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom (they also co-wrote the screenplay with Sopon Sukdapisit) is nothing new. Using the phenomenon of spirit photography as its springboard, Shutter offers a chilling, if not terribly original, story of guilt, deception, and ghostly revenge. The two directors confidently present their tale, aided by an intriguing idea and a very strong cast.(read more...)

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