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 John Dubrawa

Review: Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th poster

Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th openly defies originality, borrowing liberally from John Carpenter's Halloween and Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, but succeeds in spite of it. Although far from being the paradigm of the genre, the film nevertheless paves a succinct pathway through its boogeyman tale, striking a few familiar notes of its predecessors while creating its own unique beats along the way. It's a slasher flick stripped down to its most primal vices-sex and violence-and Friday the 13th unflinchingly bathes the audience in copious amounts of both. (read more...)

Review: House of Wax (1953)

House of Wax 1953 poster

Call it an irrational fear, but wax figures give me the creeps. I recognize the artistic talent behind each of these seemingly lifelike sculptures, but the features have an off-putting radiance that resounds uncannily with me. Thankfully I must not be the only one with unease toward these waxworks given the effectiveness of André De Toth's House of Wax as a horror film. Building off the premise of 1933's Mystery of the Wax Museum, De Toth's remake similarly melds elements of mystery with images of the macabre into a satisfyingly frightful elixir.(read more...)

Review: Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Night of the Living Dead 1990 poster

It's perfectly natural to want to cringe at the mere thought of a Night of the Living Dead remake — one shot in full color no less — but hear me out: Tom Savini's 1990 version of Night of the Living Dead does a respectable job of reworking George Romero's 1968 classic to a fit more modern archetype. Well-known for his make-up effects (on films such as Friday the 13th and Romero's own Dawn of the Dead), Savini understandably leans toward a more visceral revision to the already ghastly classic.(read more...)

Review: Cannibal Girls (1973)

Cannibal Girls poster

All the right pieces are in place for Cannibal Girls to be a schlocky, comedic gem: a pre-Ghostbusters Ivan Reitman at the helm, the fresh-faced tandem of Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin in the lead roles working with a mostly impromptu script, and a cheesy "warning bell" gimmick that alerts viewers of a particularly gruesome death sequence. Yet the potential wallop that Cannibal Girls packs with its one-two punch of dark comedy and B-movie cheese never quite hits the intended mark. Despite the simplicity suggested in its title, the film's plot is unfocused at times and further mired with pacing issues. Though the humor provides temporary reprieve from the listless pace, the comedic bits are few and far between and typically hit-or-miss. Suffice to say, Cannibal Girls is middle-of-the-road schlock horror. (read more...)

Review: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III poster

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. As is apparent in the structuring of its title, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is more concerned with building a franchise out of its titular villain than it is crafting a continuous chapter in Chainsaw lore, and the resulting film struggles to find balance between being both a remake and a sequel to Tobe Hooper's original. Admirers of the first film will have no trouble spotting the twists and turns of David Schow's script, which treats Hooper's original screenplay like a road map, stopping at all the familiar spots along the way to a dissatisfying conclusion. To his credit, director Jeff Burr tries to inject his been-there-killed-that film with copious gore expected of a movie with Texas Chainsaw Massacre in its title (ironic since the original film had little red stuff to show), but New Line Cinema's vigorous cuts prevent the film even from being enjoyed on a primitive level. What's left is a gutted, castrated version of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

(read more...)

Review: Cabin Fever (2002)

Cabin Fever poster

Eli Roth's directorial debut, Cabin Fever, serves as homage to road-trip horror films that calls to mind the numerous works that came before it (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, Evil Dead), and there exists a certain ironic disposition to the film since we, the audience, cannot help but think of all those other films instead of this one.(read more...)

Review: The Virgin Spring (1960)

Virgin Spring poster

The Virgin Spring takes characters of complete innocence that are spiritually devout and forces them into situations of unadulterated evil, then questions the believability of a faith whose God would allow for such atrocities to occur. But Bergman isn't just questioning Christianity with his film; he's looking for answers from his audience. What he's putting on screen are scenarios that remain unfiltered; Bergman presents both scenes of rape and violent retribution without an opinion or without shying away from one or the other. He knows that both actions are reprehensible and that's the point. He leaves the audience with the gavel to decide the fates of his characters. Is the revenge that is sought (and had) in the film morally just because of the actions that come before it or are the characters that commit heinous crimes in the film all linked together as murderers of the same flock?(read more...)

Review: Dog Soldiers (2002)

Dog Soldiers poster

You get the sense from watching Dog Soldiers that first time writer-director Neil Marshall had this great idea for a survival horror movie about werewolves, but also in the back of his mind had created a colorful cast of action-cliché characters and ultimately decided it would be fun just to pit the two against one another in an action-horror mash-up with a little British humor thrown in for good measure. There's no doubt that the mix of thrilling chase sequences and wince-inducing gore is fun to watch, especially when the word "bollocks" gets tossed around a lot during these scenes. But the fun in Dog Soldiers lasts for merely the first act of the film. After that, the film slows down considerably and the remaining two acts are comprised of predictable action and boring characters. It's a shame to see a promising director run through his reserves so quickly. (read more...)

Review: Godzilla 2000 (1999)

Godzilla 2000 poster

Previous Godzilla lore is cast aside in Takao Okawara’s Godzilla 2000, a sustainable attempt to resurrect Japan’s greatest movie monster in the new millennium. After over twenty films, Godzilla has been woven through plots that are beginning to tangle on themselves. It is refreshing not to have to think about how Godzilla could both have sired a son in Son of Godzilla and been a mother in the American-made Godzilla (1998). Okawara’s efforts to restore Godzilla back to his original conception are well-intended, though the execution is heavily flawed. Instead of a Godzilla that puts fear back into the audience’s hearts, we’re given a Godzilla that we cannot help but laugh at. Godzilla 2000 is no better than the previous incarnations that it is trying to so hard to forget, purposely-bad English dubbing, silly battle sequences, and a lame-duck plot that only serves to fuel the fire.(read more...)

Review: I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

I Spit on Your Grave poster

There is a morbid curiosity that lingers over I Spit on Your Grave, a film that in the thirty-years since its original theatrical run1 has gained cult status for its depravity. I admit to being someone with such a curiosity, which began when I read that Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel had called it the worst film they had ever seen and launched a successful campaign to have the film pulled from the United Artist Theater in Chicago2. Something in me had to know if the film reviled so much could be that bad, if the controversy surrounding its depictions of violence and rape against women was appropriate or misconstrued, and whether or not the film needed to be discussed further.(read more...)