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 Nate Yapp

Review: Frightmare (1974)

Frightmare 1974 poster

Pete Walker's Frightmare appears to have been made primarily to shock the common British public of 1974; in many ways, it's nothing more than series of grotesqueries strung along a thin thread of plot. Thirty-four years later, however, its power to achieve its primary goal has diminished significantly. The ever-increasing desensitization of movie audience puts a movie like Frightmare at significant risk of obsolescence. Thankfully, Frightmare is buoyed by a delightful morbid streak, as well as a command performance by actress Sheila Keith. Although time has sapped the film's intended horror, it's not a bad little flick to put on when you need to darken an abominably cheery day.(read more...)

Review: Shivers (1975)

Shivers (They Came From Within) Poster

Although Shivers is not technically David Cronenberg’s first film (he had made some art films previously), it should be considered his debut. Shivers boldly announces the arrival of a creative mind able to concoct horror movies layered with subtext and commentary that don’t forget to entertain at the same time. One can clearly recognize the work of a mad cinematic scientist with preoccupations never seen before (and only imitated since). However, Shivers also betrays a shaky young gun whose bold vision is frequently undermined by his tenuous grasp of the tools at his disposal. The result is a movie that fares better when submitted to a literary critique than a standard movie review.(read more...)

Review: Matango (1963)

Matango poster

Although you wouldn’t know it from the American release title, the reproachable Attack of the Mushroom People, Ishiro Honda’s 1963 Matango is a creepy little conglomeration of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and human drama. Awash in dream-like imagery and grim atmosphere, this Japanese flick is an underrated gem with a few minor, easily overlooked flaws. (read more...)

Review: Die, Monster, Die! (1965)

Die Monster Die! poster

Although HP Lovecraft is one of the most revered, recognizable names in horror – what other author has spawned both a table-top roleplaying game and a line of monstrous plushies – cinematic adaptations of his work are few and far between. Don G. Smith’s “H.P. Lovecraft in Popular Culture” lists a scant fourteen films directly taken from his stories and novellas (although more certainly exist). It’s not difficult to see why. Despite an amazing talent for atmosphere, Lovecraft’s stories approached horror from a subjective emotional experience. Locations and ghastly beasts alike were described by the effect they had on a character, and even that was often beyond the scope of mere words. While such a technique makes for an imaginative read, it also presents a peculiar challenge to the filmmaker looking to create a concrete visual out of it. Some choose to take only the basic concepts and attempt to make them fit with whatever was selling tickets at the time.(read more...)

Review: Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield Poster

It took nine years for the cinematic seeds planted by The Blair Witch Project in 1999 to come to full fruition as Cloverfield. In that near-decade, there have been very few films made that really took the revolutionary filmmaking that Blair Witch proposed – putting the camera into the hands of the characters – and ran with it. Given the low budgetary needs of such a venture and the insane profits reaped by Blair Witch, this fact is somewhat surprising. Perhaps we needed YouTube, and the rise in self-documentation that came with it, for the milieu to be right for another high-profile attempt at the genre. Perhaps we needed a national catastrophe like 9/11 to suggest the right story. Perhaps we needed both.(read more...)

Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night Deadly Night poster

Silent Night, Deadly Night is a movie that reeks of cynicism and ill-will toward men like an alcoholic reeks of cheap whiskey. Take anything that’s generally revered -- Santa Claus, nuns, orphans, your eccentric grandfather -- and SNDN will kick that reverence in the teeth, using only piss-poor character development, an unfocused narrative, and a dearth of originality. Despite this, the film remains a sick pleasure on some level to which even I am not fully ready to admit.
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Review: Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966)

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula poster

Were a film with a strangely discordant title like Billy the Kid vs. Dracula to be made today, we might expect a sublime and clever comedy with reverent nods to horse operas and horror alike – or at least an honest attempt at such. Unfortunately, the movie that really does bear this title comes from 1966, well before irony had become an established tool in the horror filmmaker arsenal. The genres involved don’t so much mix as poke at each other warily. What laughs there are come unintentionally; what laughs are intended come unintelligibly.(read more...)

Review: Asylum (1972)

Asylum poster

Between 1965 and 1980, Amicus Productions made nine horror anthology films, of which Roy Ward Baker directed three: Asylum, The Vault of Horror, and The Monster Club. Of Baker's treasuries of terror, Asylum is probably the best. With help from a solid screenplay by author Robert Bloch ("Psycho," the novel) and a top-notch cast (including Herbert Lom and Peter Cushing), Baker works a good mix of thrills, chills, and fun into the 88-minute runtime.(read more...)

Review: The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator poster

At first glance, James Cameron’s The Terminator would appear to be only tenuously connected with the horror genre. After all, it’s a sci-fi action-thriller, not to mention one that spawned two decidedly non-horror sequels. Sure, it has a ruthless killing machine methodically hunting down a single target without thought or concern for his own well-being, but… wait. Back up. That is a horror film plot. The time travel concept and the post-apocalyptic flash-forwards are all window-dressing that masks the fact that The Terminator is very much a slasher movie, just one with guns and explosives instead of hatchets and chainsaws.(read more...)

Review: Lisa and the Devil (1973)

Lisa and the Devil poster

The story of Mario Bava’s Lisa and the Devil is the stuff from which cinema legends are made: brilliant auteur is given carte blanche to make his masterpiece, but the end result can’t find a distributor. To recoup costs, the film’s producer pressures the director to add scenes of demonic possession to cash-in on a popular American film (in this case, The Exorcist). The result of this tampering is released under a different name and, despite being an inferior work, becomes the de facto version for many years. Eventually, the original film resurfaces, much to the joy of the director’s critical proponents.(read more...)

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