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!

Review: Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Let's Scare Jessica to Death poster

Even from the opening image of John D. Hancock's slice of 1970s horror-melancholia it becomes apparent that this is film where things won't be seen clearly. A woman, hidden in silhouette, sits in a boat steadily drifting away from the shore. The morning mist distorts our view, while the orange sunrise adds an unreality to the scene - as if this is something dreamed. To further muddy the cognitive waters, we are introduced to this place by Jessica, who in a whispery internal monologue confesses that she is unsure of what is real and what is not. And as she is our only guide, inviting us to see the world through her eyes, we too begin to question what we see. Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a film about insanity, but what makes it so astounding is that it doesn't ask us to study madness, but rather to share in it.(read more...)

Cold Reads: The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce

Ghost and Horror Stories of Ambrose Bierce

Horror is fear of the unknown, the invisible terror lurking just beyond our sight. Even in movies and literature when the creature or abomination is exposed in all their grotesque glory, it is the thought of them slinking in the darkness that creates the tension. As the cliché goes, what you don't see is more frightening than what you do see. Ambrose Bierce teaches us this most valuable of lessons in his short but powerful tale of "The Damned Thing."(read more...)

Sweet Cthulhu! Guillermo Del Toro's Next Project is "At the Mountains of Madness"

Astounding Stories - At the Mountains of Madness

Guillermo del Toro has been attached to more projects in the past five years than I have fingers, but the one that I've always been most excited to see happen is finally finally coming to pass. Deadline New York reports that del Toro's next movie as director will definitely be an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness for Universal. James Cameron will be a producer on the film, which should come in handy since it will be shot in 3D. Cameras will start rolling next summer after what I'm sure will be a necessarily lengthy preproduction period.(read more...)

Review: Street Trash (1987)

Street Trash poster

Murder, rape, necrophilia, police brutality, booze, racism, melting flesh and a dismembered penis - Street Trash certainly packs a lot into 90 minutes. While it's easy to criticize the tasteless treatment of the subject matter, especially the relentlessly negative portrayal of homeless people, such an attitude misses the whole point of a film like this. Whether it's the Sex Pistols singing "Belsen was a Gas" or comedians like Lenny Bruce doing routines about race and religion, there will always be artists who gleefully trample over society's boundaries about what is acceptable material, and Street Trash definitely belongs in this category. A more valid criticism of the film is that it fails to exploit a great opportunity to go beyond the nihilism.(read more...)

Cold Reads: Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Lullaby is by no means a conventional horror novel. Then again, Chuck Palahniuk is by no means a conventional horror novelist. Hell, Palahniuk isn't even a conventional writer. While these factors may seem to be detriments to the success of the book, Palahniuk's novel accomplishes something that hardly seems possible in the world of horror today: he has developed a completely new, unique, and refreshing idea. Lullaby deserves to go down in the annals of the best psychological/satirical/horror novels, however small said annals may be.(read more...)

Tribute Video: A Nightmare on Elm Street series - Legends Never Die

Freddy in shadow

Horror may be my primary obsession, but it is by no means my only one. I've also taken to creating fanvids, which you can sort of think of as visual remixes of movies or television set to popular music (examples of my work can be found here, here, and here). Generally speaking, the friends I've made in the vidding community are separate from the ones I've made in the horror community, but sometimes there's a crossover which gives me great joy. The fanvid I'm presenting now involves one such crossover.

Eunice is a friend whose interests tend to run fairly parallel to my own, even though she's a much more talented vidder than I am. In her latest creation, set to the Plasmatics' "Legends Never Die," she explores the mythos of Freddy Krueger, from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Of particular note is the way that she firmly reasserts Freddy as the spectral force of evil that he stopped being around the third or fourth film. You can see the vid after the jump.(read more...)

Review: Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Exorcist II poster

Are you one of those growing numbers of horror film fans inflicted with sequel-itis? That is the condition, caused by money-hungry studio execs, that affects the areas of the brain that block impulses to see a movie, no matter the quality level, just because it has a favorite returning character and a number added to the title. If you're looking for a cure, you won't find it with Exorcist II: The Heretic, a good-looking film with a big budget and even bigger name cast that still manages to be a mess on so many levels.(read more...)

Cold Reads: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

Rose on a Grave by JoX1989

Dark and dirty things occur in the Deep South at the dead of night, while the crickets are a-chirping and the big ol' devil moon is smiling down at the earth. I apologize for the folksy intro, but after reading "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, I can't help but get in the moonshine spirit of things. If the bizarre effect the tale had on me isn't testament enough, I can personally assure you that Faulkner's prose will have you convinced that his town of Jefferson, Mississippi is as real as your own childhood home.(read more...)

The Fruit Cellar: From Body Horror to Identity Horror

Dead Ringers publicity still

Of his 1988 film Dead Ringers, David Cronenberg said, "It has to do with that element of being human. It has to do with that ineffable sadness that is an element of human existence." This statement is entirely true. His film manages to simultaneously question and confirm the humanity and weaknesses of its central characters; however, Cronenberg's assessment of his own film is surprisingly reductive. Upon closer investigation, Dead Ringers seems to be about so much more. It's a complicated discussion of identity-how we come to understand ourselves, what defines us, and ultimately, what destroys us.(read more...)

Review: Maniac (1934)

Maniac 1934 lobby card

The early 1930s were an interesting time for filmmaking. Just as pictures were making the transition from silent films to talkies, some of these movies ran over a few road bumps on the path to glory through their broad acting and creaky camera movements. But there were some filmmakers who sought to overshadow these foibles with grand and sensational material. Director Dwain Esper was a talent in the pioneering days of sound films who knew the quickest way to an audience's heart: mindless and morally objectionable drivel pumped through their popcorn-greased veins. Good taste be damned! Morals? Bah! Dirty, cheap entertainment? More of that please! You know what kind of film you're in for when you witness a scene of young women parading around a bedroom in nothing but their lingerie. Masterpiece Theater this is not. These are qualities that make Maniac a melting pot of depraved delights.(read more...)

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