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!

Homogenized Horror Part V

Now right about now many of you are thinking that I don't like franchise terror. Well, actually some of it is quite good. Britain's Hammer Films did rather well with their Frankenstein and Dracula movies. Okay, Evil of Frankenstein (1964) caused a bit of confusion by happening outside the chronology of the other films and Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) is open to debate by even the staunchest terror enthusiasts. After transplanting brains with such vigor why would the durable Baron (Peter Cushing) attempt to transplant a human soul? We could expect Colin Clive to try such a thing because despite his experiments he kept his religious convictions. I have to wonder out loud of Peter Cushing's character even believed that the soul existed.(read more...)

Universal Terror I: "Dracula"

Dracula 1931 review still

A grade schooler would have a hard time identifying a picture of Humphrey Bogart from The African Queen. A pre-schooler would be equally baffled by a photograph of Vivian Leigh from Gone With the Wind.(read more...)

Review: Wolf Blood (1925)

Wolf Blood

Say "silent movies" to anyone under 30 and they are liable to respond "Boring!", but that is because they have never really seen one. Even worse, mention silent scary movies to anyone at all and they will most likely think Phantom of the Opera or The Lost World (both 1925) because those two are the prime examples. Actually, though, there have been scary movies since the very beginning of moving pictures.(read more...)

Review: Rituals (1977)

Rituals poster

It's rare, but you'd better believe it exists: a blatant rip-off that's actually better than its source material. The film in this case is Rituals, and the source is Deliverance. Shot on location in the Northern Ontario bush, Rituals follows five vacationing doctors on an extended wilderness hike. They're targeted by an unseen madman who begins by pulling a few nasty pranks, then ups the ante to murder. As the atrocities pile up, the victims slowly begin to figure out their assailant's bizarre motive.(read more...)

William Castle

The Masters: William Castle

After a 1927 performance of the Broadway stage production of Dracula, gangly William Schloss boldly bluffed his way backstage with little more than swagger and an insistence that the star of the show, Bela Lugosi, was expecting him. Lugosi was not, but he invited to watch future performances from backstage. This ploy to meet a star may have been the first major step the young entrepreneur later known as William Castle took as a showman, but it would be no means be his last.

Review: Hannibal (2001)

Hannibal poster

Hannibal is a sequel to Silence of the Lambs by way of continuing the Hannibal/Clarice Starling storyline. Stylistically, it's an entirely different animal, which is fine. Nobody could ever expect this movie to top the raw psychological mindscrew that was Silence. So, writers David Mamet and Steve Zaillian and director Ridley Scott went in a completely different direction, and came out with a success. Not a resounding, hands-down masterpiece, but a success.(read more...)

Review: Valentine (2001)

Valentine poster

I had a chance to read the novel that this film is based on before heading to the theater. My wife and I had seen previews for Valentine for a few months and when we discovered Tom Savage’s novel at Borders, we picked it up. My wife read it first, and couldn’t put it down. In the couple weeks before the film, I finally flinched, worrying that the book might spoil some of the impact of the film. I should have went ahead and read it. Nothing could further spoil this garbage.(read more...)

Homogenized Horror Part IV

Friday the 13th inspired, if that is the word, clones from all over the world and introduced the term "Franchise Horror" into the mainstream. Paramount was quick to capitalise on its new "star" Jason Voorhees and brought him back time and again. Nobody noticed, or cared, that it was virtually the same plot over and over again just so long as the murders were gory. The studio clearly was hoping the censors were looking the other way part of the time. Meanwhile others were copying the "knife wielding assassin in the woods" theme in movies like The Final Terror, Just Before Dawn, Mother's Day, The Forest, Forest Prime Evil, and Lisa Lisa.(read more...)

Who Knows What Lurks

The first of two essays related to the production process of They Only Come Out at Night.
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Review: Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

Amityville II poster

At first I was a bit reluctant to give this one an enthusiastic recommendation. It is a bit cheesy in some ways and peeking at other viewer’s ratings of this film, I seem to be way off target from mainstream horror fans. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed that I had no choice. I think Amityville II is a much better film than its precursor, and I think it not only succeeds, but is ingeniously clever, on many different levels. On the other hand, I can see an argument that many of the things I’m about to praise about this film were at best accidental triumphs. Still, I don’t think that really makes it less of a remarkable film.(read more...)

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