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Making their Bluray debut here in the U.S., Amicus Films’ film adaptions of Tales From The Crypt and Vault Of Horror scores well, courtesy of Scream Factory. The two anthology films,featuring excellent short stories pulled right from the classic E.C. Comics, look better than ever, and in the case of Vault Of Horror, offers viewers three different editions to choose from.
For fans of both classic anthologies, or just new viewers stumbling upon them, Scream Factory really does yet another excellent job bringing new life to classic horror films dying to enter your collection.
1972’s Tales From The Crypt has everything that a good anthology needs: great storytelling, excellent performances and having the direction by Hammer mainstay Freddie Francis doesn’t hurt either. While a lot of people who haven’t seen the film thus far might expect a creepy and entertaining anthology entry, what they’re »
- Jerry Smith
What new horrors await us on DVD this month? Well, lots of bloodsuckers, for starters...
As the old Simpsons quote goes, there are only three real monsters, kid: Dracula, Blacula and Son of Kong. Sadly, giant gorilla junior doesn’t make an appearance this month though we’ve at least got the first two categories covered.
Leading the way with aplomb, our friend Blacula finally graces this young blog with not one but two classics released on Blu-ray and DVD as a complete collection. In case you’re not familiar with this wonderful splicing of seventies Blaxploitation and gothic horror (shame on you if so), the tale of undead African prince Mamuwalde and his ongoing struggle with both his own bloodlust and pesky locals trying to stake him through the heart is both surprisingly well-made and massively enjoyable. Oh, and its success also led to the subsequent release of Blackenstein, »
In 2012, Sony brought a monster mash to the big screen with Hotel Transylvania, an animated comedy take on classic monsters that featured Adam Sandler as the voice of Dracula, Kevin James as Frankenstein’s monster, and many more. With the sequel due out next fall, a new addition to the voice cast has been announced: the legendary Mel Brooks, who will voice Dracula’s vampire father, Vlad.
Deadline reports that Mel Brooks will voice Vlad, a character with a serious grumpy side (though he’s smiling in the photo shown above). As many fans of Bram Stoker’s Dracula know, the real life 15th century ruler, Vlad III Dracula, aka Vlad the Impaler, helped inspire the Count Dracula character.
Brooks is no stranger to portraying classic monsters in a comedic way, having helmed and co-written Young Frankenstein 40 years ago. Brooks also directed, co-wrote, and co-starred as Professor Van Helsing in »
- Derek Anderson
Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley has revealed that the shared universe of movie monster they recently announced will be “more in the action-adventure genre” to cash in on the popularity of the super hero film craze. Is this an unwise strategy? Is it advisable to turn horror films into action movies? Will this work or will this decision sink the shared universe before it starts?
Superhero action films are certainly the popular trend in recent years. Marvel and Disney, in particular, have made piles of cash bigger than the one the Joker had in the Dark Knight off their comic book adventure films. It’s not surprising that other studios want to cash in on the current wave. But what does seem unusual is that Universal wants to use action to gain an audience for their planned series of horror movies, featuring the classic Universal Studios monsters.
The Hollywood Reporter »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
As reported quite a lot as of late, Universal are rebooting their classic monsters for a “Marvel-esque” series of movies where they will intertwine and come together for a big cross over movie at the end. We know that Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, set for release next year, will kick things off and there is an unknown monster movie for 2017 which may or may not be The Wolf Man.
But one thing that may surprise some (or not to those who remember the last reboot to The Mummy), this series will be moving away from its classic horror routes and going for something a bit different.
“We don’t have any capes [in our film library],” said Universal’s Chairman Donna Langley. “But what we do have is an incredible legacy and history with the monster characters. We’ve tried over the years to make monster movies — unsuccessfully, actually. So, we took a good, »
- Luke Owen
After revealing that at least 3 more Fast & Furious movies are being planned, Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley turned her attention to the upcoming Universal Monsters Shared Universe franchise that will kick off with the Untitled Mummy Reboot in 2016 after being teased in this past October's Dracula Untold. And guess what? She claims that this impending slate of films, which is set to also include the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and the ensemble Marvel's The Avengers-style Van Helsing, is not actually part of the horror genre.
Taking a cue from the earlier Mummy franchise reboot starring Brendan Fraser, which debuted in the late 90s, these upcoming Universal Monster movies will be in the action-adventure genre. Here's how she explains it:
"We don't have any capes [in our film library]. But what we do have is an incredible legacy and history with the monster characters. We've tried over the years »
The Universal Monsters Shared Universe franchise announced back in July keeps getting bigger and bigger, with the studio rumored to be developing a reboot of The Wolf Man.
Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski has reportedly come aboard to write the script, although no details were given about how this classic character will be rebooted. Universal's Dracula Untold was confirmed last month to be the first in this series. Although it wasn't initially envisioned as a part of the franchise, a prologue scene that showed Luke Evans' title character in a modern-day market is what helps kick off this universe.
The Untitled Mummy Reboot will fully launch the franchise, arriving in theaters June 24, 2016, with the studio announcing last month that an unspecified monster movie will hit theaters on April 21, 2017. It isn't known if The Wolf Man or another project will occupy this date yet.
The Wolf Man franchise was launched in »
We’re back with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes a full episode of Ghost Trek, first details on a Kane Hodder figurine by DeConte Figures & Collectibles, a new State of Desolation poster, a casting update from Welcome to Purgatory, distribution details from Dark Was the Night, a trailer for What’s Kind About the Dark, and much more:
Watch Ghost Trek: Goomba Body Snatchers Mortuary Lockdown: “Ghost Trek is an episodic supernatural-comedy series that follows the Paranormal Underworld Detective Society (Puds) as they investigate haunts across the U.S. and abroad between tanning beds, babes, body-building, and bong hits – all the while risking life and limb capturing the undead and unexplained on video. The series is not a “parody” of paranormal reality shows, Admittedly, Ghost Trek pokes fun at all the ghost hunting programs but »
- Tamika Jones
Halloween is finally upon us, and a lot of you have been holding down your own horror movie marathons. We're sure you've included the classics, but not many of them actually take place on All Hallow's Eve. And the ones that do? Well, quite a few are not very good. John Carpenter's 1978 Halloween is of course a classic. 2009's Trick 'r Treat is a new perennial favorite that grows its cult base every year. And you simply can't go wrong with The Nightmare Before Christmas between now and New Year's Eve. But you may want to seek out new and interesting films that revolve around this terrifying treat-filled holiday. The following list of movies is not for you! This is a warning: Do not invite your friends over for the following 13 fright flicks, as they are the worst Halloween movies of all-time. That said, they are not without their merits. »
They’ve been known to suck blood, howl at the moon, and lurk beneath the water’s murky surface, but though the Universal Monsters can each be intimidating in their own way, they all show a friendlier side on Halloween night when little ghouls and goblins come to them in search of candy. Diamond Select Toys features their Universal Monster action figures in the animated short film, Trick or Treat.
From Diamond Select Toys: “Every year, the spirit of Halloween takes over the world for 31 glorious days, and Diamond Select Toys unleashes a new batch of Monsters! Based on Universal Studios’ iconic horror films of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, Dst’s 7-inch scale Universal Monsters action figures have become an annual tradition, and now they’re starring in their first-ever stop-motion animated short film!
Starring some of the toy line’s most famous characters, “Trick or Treat” was animated by Alex Kropinak, »
- Derek Anderson
Hallowe’en is coming around again, which means that it’s time to gather together and watch some of the classics of horror cinema. Of course, different generations have different ideas of quite what constitutes “classic”, but whether your vampire of choice is Orlok, Lestat, or Eric Northman, you will be aware of the classics that kick started the whole genre on screen.
When you say that your vampire favourite is so memorable because they’re “different”, that means “different from Dracula” and not Bram Stoker’s novel either, but the Universal Pictures take on the vampire as brought to life by Bela Lugosi.
You don’t even have to have seen a single minute of the Universal Monster Cycle to recognise them. Through cultural osmosis, references, parodies and tributes, these seven iconic monsters and their film franchises are part of our shared screen horror lexicon.
Even though »
- Jack Gann
Most people like a good horror film around Halloween. It’s the time of year for a good scare. But what kind of scare do you want…classic or modern? Do you prefer the gothic grand guignol of yesteryear or the deranged demons of today? Who’s cooler and creepier?
Just for clarity’s sake, we’ll draw the old vs. new line at 1978, with John Carpenter’s excellent Halloween being the start of the modern age of Horror. Everything before that (The B&W Universal monster films, the Hammer Studios films with Cushing and Lee, the Poe/Hawthorn adaptations with Vincent Price, etc.) are classic horror flicks.
Let’s start with the names of the monsters. In this category, you have to go with old Hollywood. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Directed by Terence Fisher
After the success of Horror of Dracula (1958), it only made sense to make a sequel. The Brides of Dracula tells the story of a young Marianne who happens to stay the night at a baroness’ castle only to discover her host’s dashing son is locked up in an adjacent wing. Feeling sorry for the Baron Meinster, she releases him from his bonds with no clue that she just unleashed a vampire to wreak havoc on all the ladies of Transylvania. It’s a psycho-sexual scenario peppered with mommy issues that Hitchcock would certainly appreciate – his film Psycho was released the same year as Brides.
- Jae K. Renfrow
Kino Classics refurbishes public domain title The Death Kiss, a 1932 release made purely to capitalize off the success of Tod Browning’s 1931 Dracula by casting three of the main leads from that film. The title retains little interest except for Lugosi completists, who isn’t given much to do this time around as a rather miffed film studio manager. However, film historians may appreciate the film for its locale, set almost entirely within the back lot of what was termed a Poverty Row studio, shackled by the meager prospects of the Great Depression.
As director Tom Avery (Edward Van Sloan) films his final sequence on his new film The Death Kiss at the sound stage of Tonart Studios in Los Angeles, his lead actor Myles Brent (Edmund Burns) is shot with a real bullet. All the prop guns on set are checked. Investigating Detective Lt. Sheehan (John Wray) and Sergeant »
- Nicholas Bell
By now, the reliable neighborhood mail person should have delivered a box of goodies to most, if not all, Box of Dread subscribers. Since we have many items in the October Box of Dread that were specially made or packaged for us,… Continue Reading →
- KW Low
Sleepy Hollow, Season 2, Episode 5, “The Weeping Lady”
Written by M. Raven Metzner
Directed by Larry Teng
Airs Mondays at 9pm (Et) on Fox
One of the most interesting choices the Sleepy Hollow creative team made early in the show’s life was making Ichabod Crane a faithfully married man. While lesser shows would keep him single for the purposes of unresolved sexual tension, Ichabod is entirely devoted to his wife Katrina and wouldn’t even consider looking at another woman. It was a decision that paid dividends early on, both in convincing the audience how principled of a man he was and allowing the partnership between him and Abbie to take on deeper meaning. (True, the Ichabbie hordes continue to grow, but their partnership remains interesting enough to transcend basic shipping.)
That doesn’t mean that the writers have presented the marriage of the Cranes as entirely harmonious, and “The »
- Les Chappell
Last week Ichabod and Abbie scored one for the good guys by ending a centuries old family curse and saving a little girl. Meanwhile, Hawley — aka Southern Gentleman Aquaman — scored one for pragmatism by running away from danger because self-preservation is an extremely underutilized skill. But with Mills and Crane feeling good about “getting the hang” of this Witness thing, what inevitably terrible fate awaits them this week with “The Weeping Lady”? *********** Oh wow. The seamstress from the Revolutionary War reenactment the other week wasn’t a throw away character! She returns and is given a name. Caroline. Miss Caroline has been busy replenishing Ichabod’s wardrobe of period appropriate clothing. And churning him butter. And making him jam. And oh dear, I think Caroline is hoping Crane with churn Her butter. Because commitment to Colonial ways is apparently an aphrodisiac. Either that or it’s just his accent. Despite looking like a budget Katrina, »
- Donna Dickens
Robert Englund is celebrated by horror hounds for bringing to life the wicked wit and intimidating menace of Freddy Krueger in eight A Nightmare on Elm Street films and a TV series. But what may surprise some Elm Street strollers is that David Warner (The Omen) was originally cast in the role of the iconic killer, and we have a look at what Freddy would have looked like with Warner behind the scorched skin.
Originally considered to play Freddy Krueger, David Warner had to opt out of Wes Craven’s horror classic due to scheduling conflicts, but before he was out of the picture, early makeup tests were completed that show Warner as the dream invader.
David Warner has played a plethora of characters over the decades, including roles in The Omen (1976), Tron, In the Mouth of Madness, Titanic, and more recently portrayed Professor Abraham Van Helsing in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. »
- Derek Anderson
Dracula Untold was out last weekend, starring burgeoning (maybe?) Hollywood talent Luke Evans as the title vampire. Or, rather, as the title historical figure with a particular fondness for bats. This is one of those Vlad the Impaler-focused stories, moving to the source material of this age-old Balkan legend. As usual, I won’t dive into the details of whether this particular new release is terrible. Instead, let’s look at some much more successfully entertaining Transylvanian fare. It may not involve Dominic Cooper but it does involve ducks. I am talking, of course, about the evergreen ridiculousness of Count Duckula, scion of the line of Duckula. As the opening credits explain, he was resurrected by his scheming butler Igor and gregarious Nanny when the moon was in the eighth house of Aquarius. They accidentally used ketchup instead of blood in the ritual, so he’s the world’s first vegetarian vampire. He »
- Daniel Walber
That a little studio located in the English countryside consistently put out high quality films on a very limited budget is one of the great stories in filmmaking history. Hammer Films was the most successful independent film company ever, producing comedy, drama, mysteries, and war movies before finding their niche in horror. Hammer became a name synonymous with horror, a name that still means something today.
They took their horror stories from English literature set in Europe in the 19th century and their carefully designed and constructed sets created an atmosphere that made the time and place as much a part of the film as the story. After securing remake rights from Universal for their catalog of classics from the 1930s and 1940s, Hammer became the leading producer of horror films. Hammer’s philosophy was straightforward: always be entertaining, have plenty of sex appeal, and lots of violence and blood. »
- Gregory Small
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