“Blood and Black Lace” (1964): Bava at His Best

Mario Bava is my favorite director. Second place (either Kurusawa or Kubrick) isn’t even close. I am not arguing that he is the greatest director. I am not saying that Baron Blood or any of his films are the equal of SEVEN SAMURAI or PATHS OF GLORY. But, if I were stranded on a desert island with only one director’s oeuvre, Bava would be the one. So, it was a special kind of fun to […]

“Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol 1”: Voice Without A Shadow, Red Pier and The Rambling Guitarist

NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS Vol 1  is another example of how Arrow Video, the UK distributor has emerged as one of the best reasons to buy a blu-ray player. They have found 3 fascinating examples from Nikkatsu’s Golden Age, a period from the mid 1950s to late 1960s, when Nikkatsu grabbed a group of assistant directors from the other studios, offering the opportunity to show their stuff as actual directors. They rose to the occasion, producing a […]

“Blood Bath” (1966): What a Long Strange Trip

Ever buy one of those “50 HORROR MOVIES FOR $10” dvds? And then you feel stupid because the very next week they have the “200 MOVIES FOR $5” offer, eventually followed by the “16 QUINTILLION MOVIES WHICH IS ACTUALLY THE ESTIMATED NUMBER OF STARS IN THE UNIVERSE AND WE WILL PAY YOU 10 SILVER DOLLARS TO TAKE THIS OFF OUR HANDS” deal. Anyway, what all of these DVD collections have in common is: (a) a […]

“Pray for Death” (1985): 80’s Ninja Flicks Reach Their Legendary Opus

You’re not supposed to root for ninjas. In most of the best Asian samurai flicks, the ninjas are little more than cannon fodder, probably wearing a Star Trek red shirt beneath their black unitards. Their proper role is to be cut to ribbons by a heroic samurai, for the simple reason that they cheat. They sneak around and hit you in the back with poison blow-darts. They have no honor. They have no regard for […]

Top 10 Gruesome Horror Sequels

Most sequels manage to both suck and blow at the same time. It’s a marvel of physics but it’s no surprise. Most great movies were planned on being one and done and it was only after their success that the suits started throwing money around demanding more of the same. And therein lies the problem. Who needs more of the same? If the movie told the story it needed to tell what need is there […]

Top 10 Gruesome Practical Gore Effects: That’ll Leave a Stain

Kirk vs Pickard. Marvel vs DC. Fast zombie vs slow zombies. Staked to a fire-ant hill vs forced to look at naked pictures of Whoopie Goldberg. These are the choices we face each day. Among those of us who dabble, with varying degrees of success, in the field of special visual and makeup effects, the raging debate is between CGI and practical effects. Computer generated images have allowed us to realize fantasy images that would […]

Top 10 Gruesome Really Bad Horror Films: Turkey Day Terror

Ah, Thanksgiving. Gathering with family, eating lots of great tasting food, listening to the grownups argue election results while all the cousins sat at the little kids table, wondering when we would get bumped up to the big leagues, (We were saps, the little kid’s table was way more fun. Lesson learned.), and – oddly enough – gorilla movies. I have no idea what it was all about but channel 9 in New York City would play gorilla movies […]

Top 10 Gruesome Movie Trailers

“Nothing so appalling in the annals of horror!” I miss the old movie trailers; the ones that didn’t give away the whole damn plot of the movie and weren’t narrated by the same guy being forced to say the same stuff over and over again: “In a world where the rules were made to be broken, he made the broken rule!” What the hell does that even mean? Sure, some of them lied a little . . […]

Top 10 Gruesome Killer Toys: Play Time is Over

Play Time is over…the best of killer toys! We used to do horrible things to our toys. Maybe kids still do, though I suspect they do nothing more than play video games all day because I am an old man and I do nothing more than yell at clouds and complain about how much better it was in the good old days. Well, on this I am correct. We had AWESOME toys back in the […]

“Matango, Fungus of Terror” (1963): Attack of the Mushroom People

I’m not terribly proud of this but I can’t get enough of the show Survivor. The basic premise is that they strand a boatload of regular folks, by which I mean mostly hot twenty somethings, on an island and they have to fend for themselves, surrounded only by snakes, rats, cameramen, spiders and other assorted vermin and invertebrates. Every few days they have to vote off one member and the last one left on the […]

[Feature] Top 10 Cannibal Films: Count Down to Chow Down

What was the first monster? The first fearsome horror that lurked in the shadows and made our ancestors huddle closer to the campfire as they told stories of the unseen creatures that lurked just outside its light? In all likelihood they did not have to dig deep into their primitive imaginations to find the answer. It has only been relatively recently in our existence as a species that we have occupied a safe position within […]

Cleanup In Aisle 9: The Top 10 Gruesome Headbusting Scenes in Cinema

It was not long after the birth of movies as an entertainment that savvy producers realized that nothing said “Don’t expect THIS character in the sequel” more than having said characters head neatly removed from their body. There is something gloriously final about a decapitation/brain splatter. Characters may survive ludicrous amounts of bullet hits and beatings that would reduce a normal man to small puddles of blood but turn their cranium into a wet smear […]