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!

SK vs. SK

You know who SK is, right? Stephen King. He's the most read author in the history of the world. How could he not be, with a bazillion copies of his novels circulating the world? Still, it used to be a rare movie based on those novels that's worth even a 99 rental. It seemed for a very long time that Stephen King's worst enemy was Stephen King.(read more...)

Homogenized Horror Part III

George A. Romero, at one time that name was the yardstick by which independent scary movies were measured. He did not climb on any bandwagon with his first feature, Night of the Living Dead, rather he started the bandwagon! Oh, yes, many people will say "Yes, but Herschell Gordon Lewis not only did explicit gore first, he did it in colour when Romero was still directing commercials." That is quite true, but we must remember that most of these people are speaking with hindsight. H.G. Lewis had audiences in stunned silence with Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs, and Color Me Blood Red 5 years before Romero and company were even planning their premiere feature.(read more...)

Review: The Reptile (1966)

The Reptile poster

Filmed primarily on the same sets as one of Hammer's masterpieces, The Plague of the Zombies, by the same director, John Gilling, with some of the same cast--most notably the gorgeous Jacqueline Pearce (the equally beautiful Jennifer Daniel, a veteran from Hammer's Kiss of the Vampire, appears as well), and featuring (read more...)

Review: The Tommyknockers (1993)

Tommyknockers poster

Although I love many of the Stephen King feature films that have been made over the years, there are many things I prefer about King miniseries. For one, any cinematic adaptation of a novel, if we compare the media, is going to necessarily be slimmer in content and characterization, unless we're talking an extremely long film or a very short novel. Occasionally, a film comes along for which that's a benefit -- say, the 1999 filmed version of The Haunting compared to Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House. But King is one of my favorite authors, and I like that most of the miniseries versions of his work have tried to compensate for the literary loss due to compression that the features have unfortunately, but understandably brought about.(read more...)

Review: Demon Knight (1995)

Demon Knight poster

Demon Knight contains just about everything I want in an ideal horror film -- a great story, mystery (in a wide sense), tension, atmosphere, mythology, scares, action, gore and a sense of humor. That's not to say that it's the perfect film or even my favorite, but Demon Knight might serve as a textbook case of what makes horror. As such, it at least earns a place on my list of the 40 or so best horror films of the 90s.(read more...)

Review: The Toxic Avenger (1985)

Toxic Avenger poster

I happened to watch this Troma release under exactly the conditions required for maximum enjoyment. I was hopped up on caffeine and video games, unwilling to think too hard, and it was 2AM, a time when even politics make sense to a sleep-deprived brain.

Melvin, a mopboy at Tromaville's local health club, was "98 lbs. of pure nerd" until a cruel prank sent him crashing out of a window and into a vat of toxic waste. Now he's the Toxic Avenger, a hulking 7-ft. tall mutant who becomes violently enraged when evil is near, even if he doesn't know why a person is evil. When not fighting crime by tearing off a robber's arm or busting a corrupt crimelord's gut, the Avenger finds time to spend with his blind girlfriend and help little old ladies across the street.(read more...)

Review: The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)

Kiss of the Vampire poster

Hammer Film's Kiss of the Vampire is a classic of the genre. Its historical place -- released in the early 60's during the spate of vampire films in the wake of Hammer's hugely successful 1958 version of Dracula starring Christopher Lee -- gives it the characteristically Hammer atmosphere between the more grandiose Universal horror the 30's and 40's and the more intimate, in your face bombast of the 70's and beyond.(read more...)

Review: The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Plague of the Zombies poster

Filmed back to back with The Reptile, another Hammer film, The Plague of the Zombies features not only members of the same cast and crew, but also some of the same sets and a similar premise. It's another fine example of misconceived conventional wisdom notions of what leads to quality, as the duplication would usually suggest low-budget, problem-infested films, but instead, Plague, at least, is a minor masterpiece by one of the finest horror studios to date.(read more...)

Review: Jaws (1975)

Jaws poster

Like most of director Steven Spielberg's works, Jaws straddles more than one genre -- horror/monster film, drama, even sci-fi at a stretch-and like most of them, it is a masterpiece in any genre.

Produced by David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck (who have done such quality, diverse films as Neighbors, Cocoon and Driving Miss Daisy together), the idea for the film first came from Helen Gurley Brown, David's wife and longtime Cosmopolitan editor, after she discovered Peter Benchley's novel. Brown and Zanuck had both worked with Spielberg as producers of his 1974 film, The Sugarland Express, so when he approached them to also work on Jaws, they agreed.(read more...)

Review: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands is a fairy tale/fable that lies somewhere between a retelling of Frankenstein and Pinocchio. It's more straightforward than you might expect from the mastermind behind Mars Attacks! and Beetlejuice, and it's also sweeter in many ways. But the main thrust of Frankenstein and Pinocchio are there, minus the anti-technology message but including the other subtexts of the "monster" and its relation to society.(read more...)

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