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: Slither (2006)

Slither poster

Screenwriter James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet, Dawn of the Dead '04) makes his feature-length directorial debut with Slither, and within the first few minutes, he assuredly shows us he knows how to set the tone for a film. A gigantic meteor hurtles through space, heading for certain disastrous impact with Earth. As it hits our atmosphere, however, it begins to burn up, the layers peeling back. When it finally squelches into the muddy woodlands of sleepy Southern burg Wheelsy, it is as a background joke in a completely different scene. Of course, this being a horror film, the tiny, baseball-sized rock cracks open, promising far more insidious spectacle.(read more...)

Review: Son of Dracula (1943)

Son of Dracula 1943 poster

"Miscast" is a nasty term. It suggests that the actor or actress that it is applied to would never be able to pull off their given role, even under the best possible circumstances. Some irreparable mistake was made at an early stage of production and the film will be forever marred by the poor judgment of some myopic decision-maker. Such is the case with Lon Chaney, Jr. as Count Dracula in Universal's misleadingly titled Son of Dracula. Chaney's inability to pull off the Old World nobility required of the part has dogged the film's reputation since its release. This is a shame, really, since the rest of this mature, atmospheric chiller works quite well.(read more...)

Review: The Body Snatcher (1945)

The Body Snatcher poster

"You'll never get rid of me that way, Toddy," the sinister cabman Gray intones to his "friend" Dr. MacFarlane, and we believe him. We have to, as it is Boris Karloff's mellifluent voice that delivers the promise, and director Robert Wise has presented Gray up to this point as someone who could deliver on his sinister assurance even after the television has been shut off.(read more...)

Review: The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Invisible Man Returns poster

Universal horror's "second wind," first set in motion by Son of Frankenstein, was just beginning to muster force when the studio decided to release a sequel to James Whale's 1933 hit The Invisible Man. The result, The Invisible Man Returns, although possessed of a certain gusto and some fine acting, often plays like a flatter imitation, substituting Whale's anarchy for a more standard tragic romance.(read more...)

Review: The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

Fearless Vampire Killers poster

It's a typical scene from a typical horror film: a vampire romances his unwilling victim before finally attacking them, leading to a chase sequence. Except in Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers, the vampire is gay, the "damsel" is also the ostensible hero (and male), and the chase sequence involves slick floors that cause both pursuer and pursued to slide crazily as they run.

Another director might play up the slapstick of the sequence with exaggerated angles and silly sound effects. Polanski avoids such clichés, pointing his camera as a documentarian would, observing the behavior of comedy in the wild. There is an implicit acknowledgement that, yes, this is humor we're watching, but Polanski refuses to cajole us into accepting it as funny. That is our own decision to make.(read more...)

Review: American Gothic: The Complete Series (1995)

American Gothic TV poster

Sam Raimi has put his stamp of executive producer approval on a vast number of television series - most of them very silly (Cleopatra 2525, anyone?). Of all of these programs, perhaps the most worthy is the short-lived American Gothic. Airing on CBS in the 1995-96 season, the show ably explored the problematic relationship between good and evil, posing some incisive questions despite some narrative muddle.(read more...)

Review: Black Sunday (1960)

Black Sunday poster

Italian horror, that awkward pile of animal feces capped with 24-karat gold, owes quite a bit to Mario Bava. More specifically, it owes it to Bava's first solo directorial effort, La Maschera del Demonio, better known in the United States as Black Sunday. This macabre tale of atavistic revenge brings together the outlandish Gothic trappings of Universal's old chillers and the newer viscera of Hammer, along with a visual nuance that belongs entirely to Bava.(read more...)

Review: Cat People (1942)

Cat People 1942 poster

In 1942, RKO needed to recoup its losses from the financial headaches surrounding Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. They contracted Val Lewton, a Jack-of-all-Trades in Hollywood, to produce a series of B-horror movies with predetermined, audience-tested titles. The plan may have been cheap quickies, but the result was far different: nine complex, modern, and shocking films. Jacques Tourneur's Cat People is the first in this series, and set the standard of quality to which the rest adhered.(read more...)

Review: Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)

Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter poster

Captain Kronos can kill three men at once. Captain Kronos can take a vampire bite without turning into one of the undead himself. Captain Kronos is down with G-O-D. Captain Kronos can smoke pot and not get the munchies. Captain Kronos will take your sister out on a Friday night, treat her to a movie, dinner, and fantastic sex, and still have her home before curfew. Captain Kronos makes delicious honey-glazed ham and always shares with the orphans of Dusseldorf. Captain Kronos invented Google. Captain Kronos is better than you.(read more...)

Review: Kolchak: The Night Stalker - The Complete Series (1974)

Kolchak: The Night Stalker

In 1972, "Dark Shadows" creator Dan Curtis collaborated with famed horror writer Richard Matheson to bring an unpublished story by Jeffrey Grant Rice to the small screen as the television movie The Night Stalker. The film, about rumpled news reporter Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) and his investigation of a Vegas vampire, aired to outstanding ratings and strong critical response. Based on that success and that of the 1973 follow-up The Night Strangler, Universal commissioned a weekly television series that ran for 20 episodes in the 1974-75 season. Most of the cast from the movies returned for "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," and Rice took a creator's credit, but Curtis and Matheson declined involvement.(read more...)

Search