Joseph Perry’s formative years were spent watching classic monster movies (starting with "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" and "Godzilla Vs. the Thing") and TV series (starting with "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits"), Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features" and Roy Shires’ Big Time Wrestling (two northern California legends); reading Silver Age and Bronze Age Gold Key, Dell, Charlton, Marvel, and DC comics; and writing mimeographed newsletters about the original "Planet of the Apes" film and TV series. More recently, he has written for "Filmfax" magazine, is the foreign correspondent reporter for the "Horror News Radio" podcast, and is a regular contributing writer to "Phantom of the Movies’s VideoScope" magazine, occasionally proudly co-writing articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.
Gruesome Reviews

“Unnatural” (2015): Genetically Modified Bear Hunts Fashion Models in Alaska-Set Creature Feature

I’m a big fan of both creature features and movies about oversized animals attacking hapless humans. When those two subgenres are combined, it sounds like an instant recipe for a film that will appeal to me. Although I have a few issues with director Hank Braxtan’s Unnatural, it pressed more of my happy buttons than […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Wind Walkers” (2015): Wandering Tale of Terror in the Everglades Lacks Focus and Bite

If the rest of Wind Walkers kicked as much butt as the soundtrack, I could give this “8 Films to Die For” entry a strong recommendation. Unfortunately the power-chord rock and revisionist blues songs were more powerful and exciting to me than the movie’s characters, performances, or perplexing story. There are moments of promise, though. […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Chateau Sauvignon: terroir” (2015): Macabre Short Film Serves Up Vintage Fright

From its opening moments showing such objects as a gnarled tree branch, a cobwebbed animal skull, filthy plates, and a home in disrepair, accompanied by chilling music, director David E. Munz-Maire’s horror short Chateau Sauvignon: terroir sets up an eerie tone to which it stays true throughout. Nicolas (Michael Lorz in a performance you won’t […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Pillow Fright” (2015): Coeds Battle Cushions in Patrick Rea’s Fun New Horror Short

Auteur Patrick Rea has delivered short-horror-film gold once again with Pillow Fright. With its combination of absurd premise, sharp humor, and startling kills, this 5-minute mini-marvel is well worth watching. Four college girls (Jessi Burkette, Jennifer Seward-De Rock, Jessica Logsdon, and Kristin Rea) spend an evening playing with a Ouija board, trying a levitation experiment, and […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Tickle” (2014): Retro Babysitter-in-Peril Short Film Delivers the Bedtime Shudders

Director Corey Norman and his screenwriter wife Haley Norman have crafted a nifty throwback to 1980s horror in their short film Tickle (2014). It’s Halloween season, and Trudy (Casey Turner) is babysitting 7-year-old Charlie (Andrew Lyndaker), who, naturally, would rather stay up past his  bedtime and watch scary movies with Trudy than go to sleep. She […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Condemned” (2015): Seedy Characters Populate Odd, Bodily Fluid-Soaked Debut

Imagine [REC] peopled with the types of characters you might see in early Frank Henenlotter and John Waters movies, with low-budget attempts at early David Cronenberg-by-way-of-Troma body horror and goo effects, and a dash of David Lynch–homage-on-a-shoestring surrealism thrown in for good measure, and you might come close to guessing what it’s in store for […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Shi” (2015): Lush, Enigmatic Short Follows a Father’s Terrifying Downward Spiral

On a day when it seems that things can’t possibly get any worse than they just have, the short horror film Shi proves that they can, indeed. This stylish, gripping offering from writer/director Pablo Absento is rich with atmosphere and a sense of foreboding. As Shi opens, an unnamed man (Justin Berti) receives a call […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Shattered” (2014): A Grieving Mother’s Revenge Goes Too Far in Distressing Short Film

Writer/director Mikel Ledesma’s short film Shattered is a dark dramatic thriller with one foot planted firmly in the horror genre, specifically in torture horror. That foot may be what keeps it from reaching the wider audience it seems to seek. Rose Sterling (Scarlette Martin) kidnaps Tom Collins (Matthew Roy), the man who was tried for […]

Gruesome Reviews

Super Scary Shorts Saturday: “Howl of a Good Time” (2015) and “Santa” (2013) Provide Chuckles with Their Chills

Filmmaker Patrick Rea, one-third of the trio that makes up SenoReality Pictures, may be best known for his feature-length disaster film/creature feature mash-up Nailbiter (2012), but he is prolific in turning out short films. Many of these fall into the horror, thriller, and dark comedy genres, and his latest title, Howl of a Good Time […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Dig Two Graves” (2014): Gothic Chiller Serves Up First-Rate Storytelling and Superb Performances

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. – Confucius To what lengths would a young girl go to see her deceased brother once again? How much trust would she place in the promises of strangers, even if those promises defy reason and the laws of nature? The excellent independent gothic thriller/horror […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Interviews Gruesome Reviews

“I Survived a Zombie Holocaust” (2015): Cheekiness and Charm Abound in New Zealand Horror Comedy

Since Peter Jackson’s early films, along with efforts from other filmmakers such as those behind Black Sheep (2006), New Zealand has had a solid track record with producing horror comedies that worked in both aspects of this subgenre, which is not an easy feat. The past year or so has seen releases that pleased both crowds and […]