20 items from 2014
When it comes to reading books on any of the filmmakers that have help shaped the genre that I love so dearly, if you’re like me, the more interviews with the creative people involved in said filmmaker’s career, the better. I love reading about the stories, the wins, the losses and everything in between, and sometimes the horror stories of certain productions are the ones that stay with me after putting the book down. Fans of Dario Argento who are looking for quite the in-depth book about the Italian “master of horror”, can now rejoice, as Icons of Fright-friend Derek Botelho’s “The Argento Syndrome” is now available for mass consumption. Years in the making, the book features an essay on pretty much every film that the Italian maestro has made to date, complete with interviews with everyone from Dario’s daughter Asia to Giallo co-writer Sean Keller »
- Jerry Smith
Thanks to technology, we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing movies in IMAX with crazy 7.1 surround sound making us feel like we’re right in the middle of the action. However, over the course of the past few years, we’ve seen a resurgence in “novelty” showings of films wherein the feature is accompanied by a live score. Italian prog-rockers Goblin will be playing their iconic score from Dario Argento’s Suspiria at a screening next month, but if you’re not into the whole horror thing, then maybe today’s news is more your speed. The Dissolve reports that J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, will be traveling the country starting next month with live musical accompaniment from various local...
- Mike Bracken
Giallo films have been a part of our beloved genre’s landscape for decades now and it’s safe to say that one of the reasons these films have endured is due to their remarkable musical scores. Italian progressive rock band Goblin, who worked on such classics as Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Deep Red, Profondo Russo, Tenebre, and George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, toured the Us for the very first time last fall and is heading back to the States this spring for another incredible tour.
To celebrate their return, Daily Dead recently chatted with band member and iconic musician Maurizio Guarini about what fans can expect for this second tour. Guarini, who has been with Goblin off-and-on (mostly on though) over the last few decades in addition to working with other musicians on projects like The Beyond, City of the Living Dead and the original Patrick, »
- Heather Wixson
*Editor’s note: Icons of Fright friend Derek Botelho is set to release his new novel, entitled, The Argento Syndrome, an in depth look at the career of horror master, Dario Argento. The book features many candid interviews with everyone from John Carpenter and Asia Argento, to screenwriter Sean Keller and many more. We asked Derek to contribute his five favorite films by Argento, and alas, here they are. Read on!
When the name Dario Argento is uttered to a casual horror fan, you’ll often get a blank stare, or a puzzled, “Who?” in return; replace the neophyte in this situation with a horror junkie, the reaction could be a chuckle followed by, “He hasn’t made a good movie since Opera”. It’s a common, knee jerk, and dangerously nostalgic reaction I’ve been audience to many times. While it’s true that his career has seen better days, »
- Jerry Smith
After a phenomenal, sold out North American tour in 2013, Goblin is making a triumphant return to the Us this spring, and we have all the info you need right here. With only nine dates, tickets are sure to go fast!
Goblin scored a vast number of genre cult classics including Suspiria, Patrick, The Church, Deep Red, Tenebrae, and Dawn of the Dead. Their synth-heavy prog rock regularly veers into nightmarish and atmospheric territory, making them a truly original and iconic entity.
Their unique, high energy performances have become a thing of legend, and now they’re playing an exclusive run of dates in April/May 2014 throughout Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California. Check out the new tour poster, created by Ghoulish Gary Pullin, »
- Debi Moore
After a successful tour in the Us last year, Goblin is heading back to the States this spring with Zombi. We have a look at the brand new tour poster, created by “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin and the list of tour dates:
“The legendary Italian masters of the Horror Movie Soundtrack are best known for their collaborations with directors such as George A. Romero and Dario Argento, as well as their seminal album ‘Roller’.
Goblin has scored a vast number of genre cult classics including Suspiria, Patrick, The Church, Deep Red, Tenebrae and Dawn of the Dead. Their synth-heavy prog rock regularly veers into nightmarish and atmospheric territory, making them a truly original and iconic entity.
Their unique, high energy performances have become a thing of legend, and now they’re playing an exclusive run of dates in April / May 2014 throughout Florida, Arizona, Texas and California.
Goblin is also very pleased »
- Jonathan James
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by Pier Paolo Pasolini
A work that is chronologically and aesthetically his mid-period film, Teorema is Pier Paolo Pasolini at his finest hour. It is not Neo Realist cousin like Accatone (1961) Mamma Roma (1962), nor is it the debaucherous snarl of Salò (1975); it has a larger portion of the religious parable than The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966), and is as interested in sex as The Decameron (1971).
Teorema is a work of quiet suddenness. It moves quickly from documentary-style social film to its enigmatic plot, and Pasolini seems intent on doing away with any contrivances of a traditional narrative set-up. Within minutes of the opening credits the upper-class family at the center of the story receives a brief telegram: “Arriving tomorrow.” Immediately thereafter, the Visitor (or the Angel, as he’s sometimes called) is in their midst, disrupting and confusing husband, wife, son, daughter, »
- Neal Dhand
In this week's all new edition of 'The Vault,' we're going back to one of the Italian master of horror's most well regarded pieces of cinematic work. That's right. We're talking about Dario Argento and the movie in question is 'Opera!' For this commentary, we invited filmmaker and occasional Fearnet blogger Drew Daywalt ('Red Clover') along with actor Aj Bowen ('The Sacrament,' 'You're Next,' 'The House Of The Devil') to offer their insight into the wild world of Argento's unique horror!
After directing a slew of classics such as 'Deep Red,' 'Suspiria,' 'Tenebre' and 'Phenomena,' Argento returned with 'Opera,' one of his most ambitious films yet in which a budding opera singer (Cristina Marsillach) is stalked by a deranged fan hellbent on making her famous. He also makes her watch his heinous murders »
- Rob Galluzzo
The 1970s were a weird time. I'm glad I didn't have to live through any of it... but thanks to the internet, I can marvel (and mock) at the wonders of the 1970s.
Lalo Schifrin is best known as a composer who has scored hundreds of films, everything from The Amityville Horror to Dirty Harry to Thx 1138. He also put out a number of albums, mostly jazz instrumentals. In the late 1970s, he did a disco cover of John Williams' classic Jaws score. The BBC music show Top of the Pops decided to choreograph a strange dance to the song, complete with waggling legs, a swimming cut-out shark, and scared looks on the dancers' faces. The icing on this disco cake is that the dance troupe was called Legs & Co.
Sit back and enjoy the weirdness.
- Alyse Wax
To mark the release of Phantom of The Paradise on 24th February, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray Steelbook.
Brian De Palma’s inspired rock ’n’ roll fusion of Faust, The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Gray boasts an Oscar-nominated score by Paul Williams, who also stars as an evil record producer who not only steals the work of composer/performer Winslow Leach (William Finley) but gets him locked up in Sing Sing – and that’s not the worst that happens to him along the way.
Few revenge scenarios have ever been so amply justified, but the film is also constantly aware of the satirical possibilities offered by the 1970s music industry, exemplified by Gerrit Graham’s hilariously camp glam-rock star. Jessica Harper (Suspiria) appears in her first major role as the naïve but ambitious singer, on whom Winslow secretly dotes.
If I was to confess that I’d not seen Phantom of the Paradise before I was sent the Arrow Video Blu-ray release for review I’m sure there are many out there who haven’t seen it too. For somebody like me though who has an obsession with films I’ve not seen yet (they tend to pray on my mind), I jump at the chance to see films like Phantom of the Paradise – and with this release I’m very glad I did.
Phantom of the Paradise is a rock opera that takes a little dash of Faust, a little Phantom of the Opera and some The Picture of Dorian Gray and creates something pretty spectacular. It tells the tale of Winslow Leach (William Finley »
- Paul Metcalf
For most of you, I expect the band Goblin needs no introduction, since they're responsible for some of the most iconic horror film scores of the '70s and '80s – most notably George Romero's Dawn of the Dead and Dario Argento's Suspiria – but their influence on the world of horror movie music cannot be overstressed. Seattle-based label Light in the Attic – whose eclectic catalog includes everything from vintage R&B, folk and reggae recordings to rare works from Iggy Pop, Roky Erickson and Public Image Limited – is now offering imported vinyl editions of nine Goblin records, representing several chapters of the band's amazing career. LPs available now include the Cinevox issues of the aforementioned Dawn of the Dead (a.k.a. Zombi) and Suspiria, as well as scores to Argento's Tenebrae (not “legally” a Goblin release, but featuring founding trio Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli and Massimo Morante), Profondo Rosso and Non Ho Sonno, »
- Gregory Burkart
While there is a likely Oscar-winner, a massive box set from HBO, and some true crowd-pleasers in this week’s What to Watch, it’s a bit of a downer compared to some more recent jam-packed weeks of Blu-ray and streaming greatness. We also couldn’t find an On Demand title this week worth mentioning, although Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, hits DirecTV On Demand this Thursday and you can bet we’ll be there to check it out before a March theatrical release. Until then, rent or buy something below.
Treme: The Complete Series
Photo credit: HBO
“Treme: The Complete Series”
HBO’s “Treme” never became the cultural touchstone that “The Wire” turned into over the year but it does have a loyal, devoted following who will be overwhelmed by the ability to own it all in one box set. One also gets the feeling that “Treme, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The Motion Picture Academy is embroiled in a minor dustup involving the disqualification of one of the five nominees for Best Original Song because of some shady campaigning. The songwriter of “Alone, Yet Not Alone” is fighting back, and most aggravatingly, “Godless Hollywood” is being blamed for unfairly picking on this plucky underdog of a nominee, which is the theme song to an obscure Christian film that has only played in a few theaters. Why, it’s a regular “David vs. Goliath!”
It doesn’t help the songwriter’s case that the song is terrible, and sounds like an outtake from the Sandi Patti box set.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time The Academy nominated terrible songs and left out more deserving fare. In fact, here are a few Best Original Song nominees from the past that should have been disqualified instantly. Not for any impropriety … but because they suck. »
Phantom of the Paradise is coming to Blu-Ray on February 24, 2014. It's a features packed release presented in High Definition for the first time on UK shores. Special features include a 50-minute documentary on the making of the film featuring Brian De Palma, and an all new 72-minute interview with Paul Williams by Guillermo del Toro. We'll be reviewing this cult classic - courtesy of Arrow Films - in the coming weeks so keep a look out. Few revenge scenarios have ever been so amply justified, but the film is also constantly aware of the satirical possibilities offered by the 1970s music industry, exemplified by Gerrit Graham’s hilariously camp glam-rock star. Jessica Harper (Suspiria) appears in her first major role as the naïve but ambitious singer, on whom Winslow secretly dotes. Prodigiously inventive both musically and visually, this is one of De Palma’s most entertaining romps, not least because »
Directed by Dario Argento
More than his fellow giallo maestros (Bava, Fulci, Martino, and others), Dario Argento has had to live and work in the burdensome shadow of his earlier successes. After nearly two decades of exceptional films boasting glorious cinematic artistry and blood-soaked thrills, Argento established quite the reputation. In recent years, though, since 1993′s Trauma, these prior landmarks of genre perfection have become a distressing caveat added to nearly every negative criticism of his newest release: “Ah, Argento, how far he’s fallen. Remember when….” His latest offering, Dracula 3D, now available on an American-issued 3D Blu-ray (an Italian disc, still playable in the Us, has been out for while), is no exception. Does it rank with Suspiria, Tenebre, Deep Red, or Opera? No. But is it as bad as some detractors would suggest? Certainly not. »
- Jeremy Carr
One does not walk lightly into a criticism of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento. The lovable auteur behind horror classics like Deep Red, Suspiria, and Tenebre, Mr. Argento is inarguably one of the most influential genre filmmakers imaginable. Yes, right up there with Romero, Craven, and Carpenter. So even when the man turns out a bad movie, there should always be a degree of respect.
Having said all that, I don't know what the hell was in Dario Argento's head as he directed this hilariously woeful rendition of Bram Stoker's immortal novel. It almost feels like Argento, who used to direct smart, subversive horror films, is playing a game in which he sees how close to an Uwe Boll movie he can get. It's difficult to get angry at a man who has given us so many excellent horror films, but make no mistake: this is one seriously bad rendition of Dracula. »
- Scott Weinberg
There's no denying that Italian director Dario Argento is something of a legend among horror fans, myself included, but equally there's no denying that he hasn't really done anything not only of note, but even remotely interesting in the film department in perhaps the last couple of decades. Granted, he did turn in a couple of half decent episodes of Mick Gariss's mostly enjoyable Masters of Horror offerings, but even they weren't a patch on his earlier work, of which one of the finest examples is Tenebrae.
Lumped in with the Video Nasties business nearly thirty years ago (yes, it was that long ago), Tenebrae is a wonderfully deceptive film in that every time I sit down to watch it, and I confess it's been a good decade since my last viewing, I always remember it as being a dark, serious movie, but in reality it's a very funny film, »
You can watch a trailer for it online, but artist Jamie Shovlin's 1970s-style exploitation film is not all it seems…
Jamie Shovlin is a conman, a trickster, the most artful of dodgers. His entire career consists of elaborate hoaxes. He has faked any number of artworks, quite apart from inventing the artists themselves, beginning with the teenage prodigy Naomi V Jelish (spot the anagram), whose words and images were bought wholesale by Charles Saatchi after her strange disappearance – though that may be a fiction in itself.
Shovlin was born in Leicester in 1978 (or so it is claimed by the various galleries that represent him). He was shortlisted for the Becks Futures award in 2006 for his terrific archive of invented memorabilia for the German cult band Lustfaust, who never recorded an actual record. You got their music by sending a blank cassette (they despised the record industry) and designing your own label. »
- Laura Cumming
Another year has come to an end, which means it's time for the Dread Central staff to weigh in with their picks of the best and worst of 2013's horror offerings. We're giving you a full dozen lists this time, and per usual they come in a variety of formats, each reflecting the unique styles of our writers.
We've also compiled them to come up with the year's overall winners and losers. We averaged out the top and bottom five vote getters on everyone's lists, and here are the results:
Worst: Texas Chainsaw 3D
Runners-up: The Purge, The Last Exorcism Part II
Check out the Dread Central staff's Best of and Worst of lists for 2013 by following the links below!
[Buz "Danger" Wallick]
[Debi "The Woman in Black" Moore]
[Gareth "Pestilence" Jones]
[Scott "Doctor Gash" Hallam]
[Staci Layne Wilson]
Andrew Kasch's Picks
- Uncle Creepy
20 items from 2014
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