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: Return of the Evil Dead (1973)

Return of the Evil Dead poster

Amando de Ossorio's Return of the Evil Dead (aka El ataque de los muertos sin ojos), the sequel to the writer-director's 1971 zombie film Tombs of the Blind Dead (La noche del terror ciego), might be more appropriately named Knights of the Living Templars. That's not quite accurate either, however, because the Templars, those eyeless, sword-wielding, slow-motion skeletal warriors, are certainly more dead than living. However, for all punny intentions, it certainly captures the spirit of Ossorio's movie, which is very much like a cover of George A. Romero's zombie classic Night of the Living Dead performed by a Spanish tribute band.(read more...)

Review: Hatchet (2006)

Hatchet poster

Before writer-director Adam Green's Hatchet, I couldn't tell you the last time I walked out of a slasher movie smiling like an idiot, or when I last said, "That is so cool!" during an expertly realized gore scene. I have never wanted to hug a director before, but I want to give Green a big bear hug now. Plainly stated, seeing Hatchet was the most fun I’d had with a slasher flick in a long time.

Critically, of course, "fun" is hard to quantify. You can go on the world's biggest roller coaster and then go gibbering to your friends about the time where "the coaster went around this freaky bend" and then "it went upside down twice," and come off sounding like a complete spaz. You're describing the motions and not the experience, the plot of your ride and not the joy.(read more...)

Review: Halloween (2007)

Halloween 2007 poster

It would be best to consider writer-director Rob Zombie's remake of John Carpenter's Halloween as a separate entity from its progenitor, allowing Zombie's film the space to create its own identity in the annals of horror. Unfortunately, Zombie can't appear to let go of the original, filling his film with references, duplicated shots and sequences, even as he tries to forge his own version of the tale. The result is equal parts Rob Zombie, Rob Zombie emulating John Carpenter, and Rob Zombie attempting to "fix" John Carpenter, a list which runs in order from what works best (although hardly perfectly) to what doesn't work at all.
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Review: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941 poster

With an Oscar-winning director, a two-time Oscar-winner in the title role, and a number of future Oscar winners and nominees in the supporting cast, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's lavish 1941 adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde suffers from a surfeit of class. While director Victor Fleming creates a very literary-minded film, he misses the point of making a horror movie, removing much of the sadism and sordidness necessary to make Robert Louis Stevenson's story play well in the cinematic medium. Instead, we're left with something that's pretty, but ultimately hollow.(read more...)

Review: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1920 poster

Of the countless cinematic adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson's novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", the most effective to this day is Paramount's 1920 version starring "the Great Profile", John Barrymore, in the title roles. Under the direction of John S. Robertson, and with the stunning performance of Barrymore, the film dips deep into the well of depravity that is Hyde, creating a thoroughly engaging experience.
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Review: Nightmare (1981)

Nightmare 1981 poster art

Romano Scavolini's Nightmare (better known under its UK title Nightmare in a Damaged Brain) has a history of controversy and censorship. The video was banned during the "Video Nasty" debacle in Great Britain and remained so until 2005. Additionally, Tom Savini, who is credited with the special effects, has publicly denied that he worked on the film, although there is some evidence to suggest he served as a consultant to effects artist Ed French. Further, the fact that Nightmare has had spotty availability on VHS and no availability on Region 1 DVD has lent the film an air of foreboding mystery. Don't let any preassigned notions about Nightmare deceive you.  While it's a worthy film on several levels, it suffers from Scavolini trying too hard to give the typically juvenile slasher subgenre an adult sensibility. (read more...)

Review: The Mad Monster (1942)

Mad Monster poster

In the wake of Universal's 1941 hit The Wolf Man, several other studios made their own werewolf films to cash-in on a popular monster. The first of these movies was Sam Newfield's The Mad Monster (1942), produced by the Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) and released a scant six months after The Wolf Man. The Mad Monster tries to inject some new ideas into the werewolf subgenre, but is largely undone by abysmal production values, gaping plot holes, and static direction.(read more...)

Review: Masters of Horror: Right to Die (2007)

Masters of Horror: Right to Die

Credits above are only for personnel unique to this episode. For credits relating to "Masters of Horror" as a whole, see the Masters of Horror review gateway.(read more...)

Review: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005)

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 2005

In this new version of Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, writer/director David Lee Fisher attempts to pay homage to the German Expressionist classic. Using modern digital techniques, he places his actors in front of backgrounds from the original, adds spoken dialogue to what was once a silent movie, and expects us to be impressed with his "remix." However, the result isn't so much a reorchestration as it is the same damn thing with grating voices yammering malarkey over the music.(read more...)

Review: Grindhouse (2007)

grind_house_ver3

Editor's Note: Since we have separate reviews of the Death Proof and Planet Terror DVD releases, the credits information reflects only the fake trailers by Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright, and Eli Roth (Rodriguez's Machete trailer was included on the Planet Terror DVD).

In Grindhouse, maverick directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino team up to teach modern audiences about the long-dead art of the grindhouse exploitation double feature of the 1970s. To recreate the experience, they've provided us with two feature-length films, fake trailers, and cheesy retro intertitles. In many ways, they are very successful in their educational endeavor. Rodriguez's segment, Planet Terror , shows us why these films were their own kind of art. Tarantino's segment, Death Proof , shows us why this art is now dead.(read more...)

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