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In the contemporary landscape of supernatural investigators on television—high school cheerleaders adept at martial arts and chiseled GQ hunks offering quips with every shot of a silver bullet—Carl Kolchak would appear to be an anomaly. The name itself is likely unknown to the younger generation, lest they faintly recall handsome Stuart Townsend briefly playing the role on ABC in 2005 before disintegrating into the televisual ether.
But before this scant resurrection, there was the original Kolchak. Author Jeff Rice’s unpublished manuscript The Kolchak Papers was picked up by producer Dan Curtis, the creator of Dark Shadows, to be filmed as a made-for-television movie in 1972 that would star established actor Darren McGavin as the irascible reporter. The film, retitled The Night Stalker, dealt with the Las Vegas inkslinger’s investigation into a series of prostitute deaths that turned out to be the work of red-eyed and centuries-old vampire Janos Skorzeny. »
- Jose Cruz
“If a movie makes you happy, for whatever reason, then it’s a good movie.”
*******Warning: Review Contains Spoilers*******
By Ernie Magnotta
If there’s one thing I love, it’s 1970s made-for-tv horror films. I remember sitting in front of the television as a kid and watching a plethora of films such as Gargoyles, Bad Ronald, Satan’s School for Girls, Horror at 37,000 Feet, Devil Dog: Hound of Hell, Scream Pretty Peggy, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Moon of the Wolf and The Initiation of Sarah just to name a few. Some of those are better than others, but all were fun.
When I think back, there have been some legendary names associated with small screen horrors. Genre masters John Carpenter (Halloween), Steven Spielberg (Jaws), Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street), Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Joseph Stefano (Psycho) all took shots at television »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
It’s a sad day for fans of the horror soap “Dark Shadows.” Writer Sam Hall has died after a short bout with pneumonia in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The news was broken by his son, Matt, who confirmed the passing via The Hollywood… Continue Reading →
- Steve Barton
Sam Hall, who wrote for such soap operas as Dark Shadows, Once Life to Live and Santa Barbara, died Friday after a short bout with pneumonia in Rhinebeck, N.Y., his son, Matt, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 93. Hall, a five-time Daytime Emmy Award nominee and Peabody Award winner, was married for 33 years to the late Grayson Hall, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination for playing Judith Fellowes in John Huston’s The Night of the Iguana (1964). She also portrayed parapsychologist Julia Hoffman, who futilely attempted to cure Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) of his vampire
- Mike Barnes
In a development that feels more inevitable than surprising, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are in talks to get back into the Bourne business. The two had sent mixed messages over the years, ever since Jason Bourne disappeared in the murky East River at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, with the major roadblock being Damon’s insistence that a reluctant Greenglass direct, while Universal handed the franchise over to writer-turned-director Tony Gilroy. But with Gilroy’s Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, failing to live up to the original three Bourne films at the box office, and Damon’s recent non-Bourne projects, »
- Jeff Labrecque
For the second week of September, horror fans have a ton of Blu-ray and DVD titles they can choose from, including Stan Winston’s Pumpkinhead (the latest from Scream Factory), Synapse Films’ brand new Blu-ray of the original Prom Night, and Bobcat Goldthwait’s sasquatch tale Willow Creek.
Scorpion Releasing is also giving fans their first chance to own Oliver Stone’s directorial debut, Seizure, in stunning HD and Graduation Day is also making its Blu-ray bow this week as well. And as if all that’s not enough, we’re also getting a few re-releases as well including The Amityville Horror, a groovy 4 pack of horror movies from Image and a double DVD of House and House II: The Second Story.
- Heather Wixson
Summer movie season is a magic time of year when Hollywood traditionally rolls out its most appealing merchandise. It’s true that some summer movie seasons are better than others. This is our ranking of all the summer movie seasons since 1980 from worst to best.
On January 20th, 1975, Steven Spielberg and Universal Studios released Jaws. The movie landscape would be forever changed from that date. Jaws is widely credited as being the first blockbuster film because it was the first movie to make over $100 million (non-adjusted). The fact that the film had a meager $8 million budget meant that it was a huge cash cow for the studio and rocketed Spielberg to the the forefront of a new generation of filmmakers for a new era of movie mass-consumption. George Lucas and Spielberg followed up in 1977 with Star Wars, which became a sensational and very profitable hit. It helped to convince production »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Josh Soriano, man of mystery.
For those who complain that Halloween only comes once a year, here’s your chance to experience it more than once–in fact, as many times as you wish. Recently I attended my first horror convention. I’d previously only been to a Dark Shadows convention in 2004 and even though I had a great time there, it wasn’t exactly as monumental as I’d hoped for. The overall mood felt more like a Jr high dance where the boys stood on one side and the girls on the other. Since it was a beloved show that was on decades ago, it was divided between older folks who were scoffing at the younger and vice versa. I get it. As we grow older, we all go to something we love and complain about how the “younger kids aren’t as die-hard as we are”. But »
- Jerry Smith
In about one month, horror hounds will gather in the glow of the silver screen at Vandergrift, Pa’s Drive-In Super Monster-Rama, but the celluloid celebration doesn’t stop there. The following weekend, about three hours north of Vandergrift in the town of Montgomery, Pa, another retro horror show is taking place at the Pike Drive-in Theater.
Held on September 19th and 20th, four old-school horror films will play in 35mm color at the Pike Drive-In Theater, highlighted by an extremely rare and high quality 35 mm print of 1970′s House of Dark Shadows, which will make it the first time in decades that the vampire movie based on Dan Curtis’ Dark Shadows TV show has played at a drive-in theater. Also included in the film lineup is a rare, uncut 35 mm print of 1976′s UK horror flick, The House by the Lake, aka Death Weekend, as well as the 1966 cult favorite War Between the Planets. »
- Derek Anderson
It's taken a few months, but moviegoers finally found another summer movie they adore. "Boyhood" has a very passionate fan base, but that awards-worthy player still isn't in enough theaters to come close to qualifying for nationwide release. No, America and some parts of the world have gone nuts for James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy," and with not a moment to spare. Frankly, this summer movie season has mostly been a box office dud from a studio perspective. That's somewhat perplexing considering the quality of films in May and June were surprisingly strong. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," "Neighbors," "22 Jump Street," "Maleficent," "The Fault in Our Stars," "Edge of Tomorrow" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2" guaranteed there was at least one good movie opening almost every weekend over the first six weeks of the summer. The box office results were mixed, however. "Days" was the biggest »
- Gregory Ellwood
Dick Smith, the Oscar-winning makeup artist who turned teenaged Linda Blair into a possessed demon in The Exorcist and made special dentures to give Marlon Brando jowls in The Godfather, has died following a long illness. He was 92, USA Today reports.
The Best and Worst Movies of 2014 So Far
Smith grew up in Larchmont, New York, and »
Just yesterday I wrote about, and talked to a handful of, the many craftspeople who quite simply make the movies tick. Well, today we have lost a legend in that fray: makeup artist Dick Smith has left us. I sometimes wish I had grown up like some of my older colleagues, reading magazines like Monster Movie Handbook and Famous Monsters of Filmland. But they had pretty much run their course by the time I ended up in the picture. Smith's contributions to those volumes opened the eyes of countless movie fans, and one of them even went on to be a legend in the field in his own right: 7-time Oscar winner Rick Baker. "I could tell it wasn’t just a job with him, it was passion," Baker said of Smith's articles in those magazines at San Diego Comic-Con in 2011. "I wrote him a letter at 18 and enclosed photos of makeups I’d done. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Dick Smith, the renowned "Godfather of Makeup", has died aged 92. Smith was a legend in the field, pioneering an astonishing number of different techniques and trickery in-camera. He’s best known for his work on an impressive list of classics, including Taxi Driver, The Godfather, The Exorcist and Amadeus. Indeed, it’s a tribute to his talents that – The Exorcist aside – audiences often forget that these films had such extraordinary special effects and makeup, all hiding in plain sight.Born in June 1922, Smith began his career in television as head of the New York NBC make-up department in 1945. He was one of the first pioneers in using small sections of foam latex (instead of one whole mask), which freed an actor up to be far more expressive and mobile. During that time, he worked on shows from Roald Dahl’s Way Out to cult hit Dark Shadows. However, it is »
On April 30th 1954, a Finnish-American actress, showgirl and pin-up named Maila Nurmi sashayed down a dark corridor fogged with dry ice, stopped on cue and unleashed a bloodcurdling scream. She was sporting her best faux-Morticia Addams dress, vampy fingernails, long black hair and an imperious expression. After the introductory trance and shriek that began every episode of Kabc TV’s The Vampira Show, the host would recline on a skull-decorated Victorian couch and mockingly introduce one of any number of low-budget and no-budget horror films for her late-night television audience. Vampira was the first horror host in American television, appearing on the air only five short years after the station first signed on in Los Angeles.
“Screaming relaxes me so”
Though Vampira’s reign as »
Fox has pulled Hieroglyph, an Egyptian political drama seen as Fox’s spin on Game of Thrones. A thirteen episode season was ordered and a pilot episode filmed but Fox wasn’t happy with the scripts for later episodes. That puts it on the odd list of shows Fox cancelled before broadcasting an episode (it’s a surprisingly long list).
Community has been saved with barely any time to spare. Yahoo has picked up the cult comedy’s sixth season. It was a fortunate bit of timing for the two, as Yahoo was looking to find a way to draw attention to its original programming just as a show with a loyal fanbase was looking for a new home. Intriguingly, while its way too early to judge, Yahoo is open to letting Community run for more than six seasons.
The Travel Channel has pulled the debut »
- Lyle Masaki
In its first season, HBO's True Blood was one of the best guilty-pleasure shows on TV. Not only did it make for great water-cooler entertainment, but it also helped usher in the vampire-craze wave that eventually culminated in movies like The Twilight Saga taking over the universe, The Vampire Diaries punching up the CW, and Dark Shadows getting a big-screen reboot (albeit a terrible one). There was a time when you couldn't hit the Jersey shore without seeing someone wearing a shirt that said "Fangbanger" on it.
Summer Cable Smackdown: »
Sometimes in this business we end up writing our own synopses for films. The good folks over at VideoETA have done so for Dan ("Dark Shadows") Curtis and Dan Curtis' Dracula, and it's pretty... well... see for yourself!
"This version of the Transylvanian count talks more and is ugly to boot; Van Helsing gets him."
We hereby nominate VideoETA to write all synopses from here on out.
Academy Award winner Jack Palance stars in this terrifying adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel Dracula, written for the screen by sci-fi/horror master Richard Matheson ("The Twilight Zone," I Am Legend, Duel) and produced by the legendary Dan Curtis ("Dark Shadows," Trilogy of Terror, The Winds of War).
Palance (City Slickers, Batman, Shane, Contempt) is Count Dracula, whose centuries-old existence is threatened after he attacks the lovely Lucy Westenra (Fiona Lewis; Dr. Phibes Rises Again), and her fiance (Simon Ward; "The Tudors, »
- Steve Barton
After the long holiday weekend, it’s time to get back into the swing of things and for us, that includes keeping you guys updated on all the great horror, sci-fi and thriller movies making their home video bow this week.
On May 27th, Robert Hiltzik’s cult classic slasher Sleepaway Camp finally makes its high definition debut courtesy of the fine folks at Scream Factory. We’re also seeing the release of Dan Curtis’ Dracula and Death Spa from Mpi Home Video and E.L. Katz’s superb Cheap Thrills is also arriving on DVD and Blu-ray for those of you who may have missed it earlier this year. This week we’re also getting a pair of disaster flicks, the latest from Danny Trejo (the hardest working man in Hollywood) and actor/director Joe Swanberg as well as a few more titles that should definitely be of interest to genre fans. »
- Heather Wixson
McDowell will be presented with the Life Career Award for his roles in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi thriller “A Clockwork Orange,” “O Lucky Man,” “Royal Flash,” Paul Schrader’s “Cat People,” and “Star Trek: Generations.”
Executive producer and writer of NBC’s “Hannibal,” Fuller joins the list with the Dan Curtis Legacy Award, which is annually presented in honor of legendary producer and director Dan Curtis (“Dark Shadows”).
Special make-up FX creator Nicotero will be honored with the George Pal Memorial Award. He is the co-founder of K.N.B. Effects Group and has worked on projects including “Day of the Dead,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” “The Green Mile,” “Kill Bill, Volume 1 & 2” and “Oz the Great and Powerful.” Nicotero is also »
- Nikara Johns
Director: Daniel Armstrong
Running Time: 76 minutes
Extras: Trailer, behind the scenes, director’s and actors’ commentary, music videos
I’ve always wavered between awe and fear of those roller derby girls. It’s that cartoonish mix of punk, word-play and fishnets—kind of Tank Girl on wheels. And as a growing and popular sport, perhaps the time is right for a roller derby exploitation slasher?
Well our dreams have been answered. Australian director, Daniel Armstrong’s Murderdrome has everything you’ll need and expect from a roller derby horror: girls, witty names, gratuitous violence, skimpy burlesque-ish costumes and a punk rock soundtrack. Oh, and roller skates of course. The story follows kick-ass player Cherry Skye (Amber Sajben) who unwittingly awakens a roller blading demon intent on hacking, slicing and stamping its way »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
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