Friday, July 22, 2011

Choose your door wisely...

Well, fiends... It's been a while.
A long while. I mean a while as in about two years. I started this blog and then got bogged down with writing/acting/producing gigs. Now, I have some free time, so the land of the Crimson Ghost and his handy weapon of mass destruction will be revisited. I hope you're excited.
On to some news on my front... I'm writing a feature length Zombie script called Half Dead and a cool cabin in the woods sci-fi/horror thing. Both for Mad Angel Films. (
Some great news from the world of a good f(r)iend of mine. The one and only Daniel Th1rte3n has written a great novella called The House of Thirteen Doors. It's a great throwback to the cerebral horror movies of the 60s and 70s... especially those coming from Europa.
If you have a Kindle (or the free Kindle app on your smartphone or PC) got check it out. It's only 99 cents. Great price for a great summer read.

Read it... show Daniel Th1rte3n some love. He deserves it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Horror Punk bands (My Top 10)

As the title says, this is a list of my favorite horror punk bands.
I've been a horror move and book fan for as long as I can remember...and a horror punk fan for at least as long. I remember it vividly. I became a fan of Danzig through my older brother and noticed his (Glenn Danzig, not my brother) first band was the Misfits... I was hooked.

Anyway, without further ado.... My top ten (Videos where I could find them)...

1. The Misfits (Danzig Era). You can't have horror punk without them. With such songs as Brain Eaters, Skulls, Halloween and Vampira they made punk fun. With their hard driving rhythms and campy lyrics...they proved that punk didn't have to be about politics and other serious matters. Thanks to Mr. Danzig's awesome singing prowess a new style was born...

2. Samhain (pronounced phonetically in this case). Glenn Danzig's band after the misfits. Still along the horror vein, but a bit more mature. The lyrics weren't that much about horror movies per se, but more about the horror of life. The evil inside humans, and the darker side of every day life. Plus, the Samhain versions of Misfits songs (All Hell, Horror Biz, etc) and the pre Danzig version of Twist of Cain rock supreme.

3. The Cramps. Now, I know a lot of my friends will disagree here, but I don't care. The Cramps brought more fun to the genre by injecting a cool surf rock sound. Plus Lux Interior's (R.I.P) voice is great for the songs. Plus, they're on the Return of the Living Dead soundtrack... that alone is tops for me.

4. The Damned. Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible. 'Nuff Said. more thing... They proved that England could do it , too.

5. The Misfits (Michale Graves era). People will disagree with this one, as well...I Still don't care. After the long legal battle between Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only, the Misfits were resurrected with a new vocalist. That vocalist was Mr. Michale Graves. People were concerned at first, but after a listen, we all realized that the 'Fits were back. Not only were Graves's vocals 100% on, but his lyrics were awesome too. Jerry Only, in his infinite wisdom
saw fit (no pun intended) to release Graves. Eventually Doyle left too and we now have that terrible crapfest I like to call the Only Jerry band. Anyway, check out Graves's solo stuff too. The following video was directed by none other than George A. Romero.

6. Calabrese. Straight from Phoenix Arizona (A Hot bed of horror...get it? Hot bed? Desert? Nevermind) come the brothers Calabrese. The coolest thing about this band is that they don't take themselves too serious. They don't play dress-up or anything. In fact, they look like the lost Ramone siblings or something. Their music is tight and rocking and their lyrics are fun and campy. They use sound bites from some of the best cheese of the horror movie world. Enjoy their greatness...

7. Blitzkid. Another power horror trio. Frontman and bassist Argyle's voice is straight out of Danzig era Misfits. The music is as heavy as a comet full of lead. They play the dress up game sometimes too, but the music more than makes up for it.

8. Gorgeous Frankenstein. After Doyle left the Misfits, he rekindled his freindship with Glenn Danzig. He toured with him a little and they did a few Misfits songs. Eventually Danzig and Doyle created this band. The name if a reference to Doyle's full name of Doyle Wolfgang VonFrankentstein and that of his wife's wrestling name of Gorgeous George. She is the dancer in this video. If you listen closely, you can hear backing vocals by Mr. Danzig himself.

9. DieMonsterDie. Now, I've onlt recently "discovered" this band, so I can't tell you much. I admit that they look ridiculous... I decided to let the music speak for itself.

10. Dead Pleasures / The Other / The Browns. Now I made this a tie because I wanted to put them all on the list seperately, but it's a top ten list and it would have made it 12. Not all have videos, but if you want to listen to any or all of them, they're all on my mysapce ( so, check them out. They're all new to me as I just recently "discovered" them as well, but they fit right in enjoy.

Well, that's it. If you liked it, I'm glad. If there's a band I didn't mention, it's most likely because I don't know them. Drop me a line if you disagree, agree or have new music for me. Until next time, watch out behind you because...

Friday, October 30, 2009


Thank God for Netflix, eh? They have everything! The good, the bad, and the oh, so ugly...

It's time to review one of the uglies... very ugly. It's called...

Blackout (2007)
Directed by: Roberto Castaneda.
Written by: Ed Dougherty

Let me start by saying that there is one good thing about this movie. That thing is the title. It really is aptly named Blackout because that's exactly what I slipped into about a minute into this sweaty hunk of crap.

The only big name in it was Amber Tamblyn... you know from that "I talk to God" show... the beginning of The Ring Tamblyn's daughter. No? It doesn't matter, anyway.

It takes place mostly in an elevator during a .........wait for it...... A blackout. Hot diggity dog! Three people that live in the building are caught in it. They all have someplace to be. We only find this out through flashbacks. And they get so muddled, we don't know what's going on. There's Tamblyn, a student trying to rush back to her dying grandmothers hospital bed, a punk rocker dude who's trying to get back to his girlfriend so they can runaway and escape her abusive father, and a doctor, who desperately needs to clean his apartment before his daughter comes to visit. We also learn that the doctors wife committed suicide and the daughter, for some reason, lives with an aunt.

Throughout the ordeal, the doctor is the only one taking charge and keeping a level head. After hours (and we know this from the annoying clock ticking away on screen) pass, the doctor becomes more and more hostile. Even to the point of breaking the punks foot and stealing Tamblyn's vital asthma inhaler. Eventually, we find that the doctor is a serial rapist/killer and needs to clean the body of a dead girl out of his place.

Eventually the time of the daughters visit passes and the doctor completely flips and kills the punk guy while trying to rape Tamblyn. Tamblyn (being the only "big" name) is able to fend him off and escape the elevator which miraculously falls after her escape, killing the doctor in the process.

All is right, now. The doctor is dead, everyone knows he was the killer and Tamblyn lives. But, and here's the oh, so sad part, her grandmother has passed and she wasn't there.

As I said, it was from Netflix, so in a way it was like free. If I had bought this I would have flipped after watching it, when I wasn't cruising the internet for the Trick 'r Treat script. I've been known to buy bad movies and went into a psychotic rage after watching the... Walled In comes to mind...

Anyway, there's my take on the movie Blackout. But, watch it and make up your own mind. If you have the time to have your brain melted, that is...

See you soon with a review of the 80s great The prowler.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Katie, bar the door

Well, it's been a while since I posted anything on here. It's funny, I was all super duper excited about starting a blog and then got bored a mere two weeks later. If you know me, then you know that, while I do so love writing, I sometimes just can't be bothered to do any. A catch 22. That's my life.


I'm awake at an ungodly hour and bored, so I decided to write. A review, since I've been told those are something I can actually write.

I read Rue Morgue a lot, seeing as it takes everything Fangoria has been trying to be and actually does it, and they mention a film called Session 9 quite a bit. I remember the film from my days as an Assistant Manager (in title only) at a big chain video rental store. The cover looked cool, but the words 'featuring NYPD Blues' David Caruso' kind of turned me off. Before I continue, why did he leave that show?

I digress. Finally I put it on the old Netflix queue (pronounced cue or Q for my American laymen out there) and it came in. Wow. I was very impressed. Even impressed with Mr. Caruso. It must have been a new pressing because the sleeve now says 'featuring CSI: Miami's David Caruso'. Progress. Following is my review of the film, done in the old school Tony Hollywood review style. Enjoy.

Session 9 (2001)
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Written by: Brad Anderson and Stephen Gevedon

IMDb summary:
An asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. What should be a straightforward, if rather rushed job, is complicated by the personal histories of the crew. Things get more complicated as would-be lawyer Mike plays the tapes from a former patient with multiple personalities, including the mysterious Simon who does not appear until Session 9.

My Summary: I would have added 'then spookiness abounds' at the end of that imdb summary if I wrote it, but alas... Anywho, in a nutshell that's what it is. What you find out, as the movie progresses, is that the spirit of the Simon personality, is haunting the institution. And it's not just any institution, it's the Danvers State Mental Hospital in Massachusetts. It's an actual place and it's actually haunted. Wikipedia it sometime. The Ghosthunters went there once. And, the Session 9 filmnaker actually filmed inside, which is a rarity these days. Now, how that personality is haunting the place and not the actual spirit of that patient is never really explained, but that's just so you, as audience member, can come up with your own reasons. My belief, after hearing Simon talk through the tapes, is that instead of being another personality, he's actually a demon of sorts that possesses the "weak and the wounded".

Audio: 10 / 10. Not only is the dialogue clear, the sound effects and setting ambiance is amazing. Throughout the near two hour run time, you feel as if you're there with them. The music, just score, works great, too.

Visuals: 10 / 10. You can get no better than the inside of an abandoned building, whether it be a hospital or not. No production designer can mimic the eeriness of years and years of vandalism and neglect coupled with the rich history of any building. Trust me, I once acted inside Charlestown in Utica and have snuck into my fair share of abandoned buildings with friends. Ah, the life of a drunken teenager. The hospital was as much a character as the people inside it, if not moreso.

Writing: 8 / 10. I only give this an eight because of how long it takes to explain things. Now, as a "writer" and fan of older movies, I'd give this a ten, but seeing as I'm reviewing for you, the common man... the Hoi Polloi, if you will, and most of the audiences today need instant gratification, I took points away. I'm sure the typical American audience would get bored with the character development and the set up of the eeriness of the place. The use of the "session" tapes and the reflection of where the personalities come from, especially that of Simon, and how it reflects what's happening to the asbestos crew is amazing. Co-writer Stephen Gevedon also plays Mike, the one obsessed with playing the session tapes, so you know it has it's reason and it proves great in all it's expositional glory.

Acting: 8 / 10. One missing point come from the typical overdone Caruso style and his constantly titled head and looking down at the floor instead of at the other actors method. Other than those things, he actually does okay. There's no Horatio Caine stealing every scene he's in, like CSI: Miami. And there's a part where he says F*ck you like a champ. The other missing point is the fact that Brendon Sexton III in all his greasy white trash glory shows up in the film. He is best known as playing "Warren" in Empire Records and the "I'm gonna rape you" kid in Welcome to the Dollhouse. He has a mullet in this film and the other actors make fun of it, but I'm sure it's really how he had his hair at the audition. And he speaks in white boy Ebonics, as he always does. So, if you can ignore him at all, I suggest you do so. The rest of the cast is great. We have Josh Lucas looking very truck stop chic, and we know he has the acting shops to hold up... he did a film with Greasy Reesey Wtiherspoon, for land sakes... and if anyone can handle that, he can handle anything. Stepehen Gevedon is great as the obsessive would be lawyer and Peter Mullan plays the "lead" of Gordon perfectly with his oddly out of place and yet very fitting Scottish brogue. Even Paul Guilfoyle, another CSI alum, shows up. An interesting bit of trivia... he's the only one with the Boston Accent in the movie, but since he was born there, I guess he's the only one that could do it right. An actress by the name of Jurian Hughes does the voice of Mary Hobbes, the patient with all the personalities, and she also does the voices of those personalities, including Simon. We only see her in photographs, but we hear her throughout the film via the "session" tapes. Eerie and creepy as all get out.

Directing: 10 / 10. Only a master could wrangle all of those performances and coupled them with a truly scary setting. I must say that Brad Anderson is truly a master of that magnitude. Before this he was best known as a television director with such shows as Homicide: Life on the Streets and The Wire accredited to him. After this film he's done a few episodes of Fringe. He's even done an episode of the late great show The Shield and an episode of Masters of Horror. As for film, the most popular of his other films is Transsiberian starring Ben Kinglsey. According to imdb, he has some projects "in development". Let's hope there along the lines of Session 9.

Rent this movie. You'll not be disappointed, especially if you read this and take my advice.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Old review of Girls Nite Out.

I'm posting some of my old reviews from the other site. I liked them, so I wanted to re post them. I've edited them, so all or most of the spelling and grammatical errors should be gone. Should be gone.

So, without further ado, here is my review of...

Girls Nite Out (1984)

Written by Joe Bolster.

Directed by Robert Duebel.

Tagline: The next time you go to a Fancy Dress Party....check who's going with you.

I decided that, as a reviewer, I'm going to focus on those little unseen forgotten gems from the 1980's. The era of the greats, if you will. Back then, horror movies were being churned out like handouts at the welfare office. And the lines to see them were just as long.

I have a few of these gems lined up ... But today, kids I'll present what I call the Citizen Kane of campus slasher films Girls Nite Out.

Yes, the misspelling is intentional.

SUMMARY FROM THE IMDb PLACE: In an insane asylum, an inmate commits suicide. Days later, the day after the big homecoming basketball game and the victory party, an all-night scavenger hunt is held on the campus of a small Ohio college. Also engaging in the hunt is a killer, wearing the dancing bear costume of the school mascot. The killer's hunt however is stalking a number of cheerleaders and killing them with a variety of sharp knifes. The campus chief security officer Mac whose daughter was a victim of a similar killer, the inmate that committed suicide, tries to find out whose behind it before more killings happen.

MY SUMMARY: The IMDb summary pretty much says it all, so I'll just go into production back story. The movie was made in 1982, but sat on the proverbial shelf for two years. When it was made, it was called The Scaremaker. It was re titled in '84 in order to sell it to a different crowd. New title, old title...whatever. This movie is actually a great piece of film. It "stars" Hal Holbrook of Designing Women, Magnum Force and Fletch Lives fame. The quotations mean that, although he was top billed, he only shows up for about 5 minutes in total. His real life son appears also. It also marks the big screen debut of Julia Montgomery who later went on to play the female lead in Revenge of the Nerds.

MY THOUGHTS: This movie captured the zeitgeist perfectly. For you uncultured swine out there, zeitgeist is German for Spirit of the Times. It was like a Grease remake with a crazy killer chasing the Pink Ladies. The killer wears a big bear suit throughout the film which doesn't scare anyone at first, but the killer has modified it to suit his needs. The cast was great. Their dynamics were perfect. The addition of Holbrook, albeit sparingly, was nice too. He brought a slight level of class, even though you could tell he really didn't want to be there.

AUDIO: 7 / 10. The sound was good. At times the music and dialogue wasn't mixed properly, especially the party scene. And the killer talked (witch doesn't sit well with me) and it was hard to hear them. The soundtrack was good...a lot of 50s and 60s rock and R&B. I wonder how much the rights to those songs cost?

VISUALS: 9 / 10. The campus setting was creepy. A nice partner to the killings. I personally love the 'killer on campus' sub-genre. In the 80's it was all about atmosphere, not just gore. Even though this movie had enough of that, too. The blood effects were good and the bear suit was a classic. Oh, how I'd love to remake this film.

ACTING: 10 /10. Back then, productions like this (while low budget) were taken very seriously. The were planned out way in advance and when it came time to film, the acting was perfect. Everyone involved was on top of their game. And, in the case of Hal Holbrook, seriously, but obviously through an alcoholic haze. All in all the cast was perfect. Julia Montgomery cut her movie chops here and was very believable in her role. The killer, when unmasked, was amazing. Craziness is hard to pull off. Anyone can act weird, but to make you actually believe you're insane, that takes talent. You can tell, through the various performances, that the cast was having as much fun as their characters. The performances were very real and free flowing.

WRITING: 10 /10. This script was perfect. I love campus slasher movies, as stated above. Again, the campus angle is by far my favorite sub-genres. Joe Bolster wrote perfect lines for perfect characters. The story and sub plots held true to the main story. Plus, he threw in more red herring's than a seafood platter at your local Chinese restaurant.

DIRECTING: 9 /10. As was the case in old school film making, nothing too flashy shot wise. No smash cuts, or cutting to close ups at weird times. Not that there's a problem with any of those things, but sometimes they take away from the action and story. A lot of contemporary film makers think that crazy shots and editing is what puts their stamp on a film. It does, don't get me wrong, but to put your stamp on a film while shooting it traditionally is a lost art. In the shots, mostly medium, the director was able to set up suspense and show the isolation in a place that was crowded with people. That's not an easy task either. Scorsese did it with Taxi Driver, and Duebel did it here. I's blasphemy to mention Taxi Driver in comparison to an 80's slasher film, but I was proving a point.

OVERALL: 10 /10. This movie is a perfect look at the era that defined slasher. While the Italians were making New York Ripper and A Blade in the Dark, we were making Girls Nite Out. It holds up to the European counterparts. Watch it. You won't be disappointed. It's relatively easy to find...usually in a box set. If you're older like me and never got a chance to see it, do so. If you're younger and want to see where it all came from, watch it. And love it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Ah...Troma. How wonderful my childhood was because of you.

The excessive gore and wanton nudity were a young boys dream. I ate them up. The local video store was usually out of anything from Toxie 2 to Class of Nuke 'Em High because of me.

But the eyes and brain of a child are innocent. They know no better. Now that I'm... yikes... 33, Troma doesn't offer anything for me. Nothing personal. They do cool stuff with no money, and the stuff I do at Wicked Six Productions isn't really much better... a few levels below actually, but the excitement of sitting down to a Troma film is no longer in my heart. That saddens me.

With that sadness in mind, move on with me to a review of Troma's Mother's Day.

I put this on the old Netflix Queue on a lark. I saw they had it and what the heck, it's cheap enough. I added it and a box came up saying 'very long wait'. Well, no after about 15 minutes of loading and 'checking playback' it started. Thank you stolen one - bar of stupid neighbors wi fi.

It started.

I was slightly excited.

Some might say that it's just another typical backwoods family kidnapping hikers. Which it is. But you need to remember... in 1981, these stories weren't as common place or cliched as they are now.

It starts with a nice old lady offering a ride to two rude teenagers. The car stalls and the teens start acting all weird. You start to think that they're going to kill the old lady, but nope. Two crazy guys, one complete with a beekeepers mask, come out of the woods and kill the teens. This is actually a good beheading effect... not the cantalope on a broomstick that Troma's known for now. The poor old lady...she's next, right? Wrong. The guys go up to the old lady and she says something along the lines of, "Mommy's so proud of you boys."

Credits roll and the story proper starts.

We're introduced, via voice overs during a slide show, to three college girls remembering their great times. Suddenly flash forward 10 years and the girls are all grown up. One, a rich snob. Another a big 80's glasses wearing librarian or something who happens to be looking after a sick mother... oy. The third, some sort of prostitute or something with a ridiculous deadbeat, freeloading boyfriend and an even more ridiculous 80's style permed hairdo.

The rich woman and the nerd get a telegram. What it says, no one knows since they never show us. The permed hooker comes home, her boyfriend steals a $50 bill, snorts coke with it and the girl leaves complete with a pre-packed backpack. Movie magic. She drives into New Jersey and meets her friends that happen to be standing by the road in the country. They get in and they're on their way. Through more expositional voiceovers, we're told how they've done this every year for the last ten with each girl in charge of a different year.

There's a scene in a store and the girls end up making a mess. The owner curses them to "getting theirs when there in the woods". For about the next hour, there's only dialogue, college flashbacks, and random hiking and false scares. Suddenly, the guys come out and kidnap the girls.

They drag them to their house. The mother mentions something about a ghost lurking outside and the action takes place inside.

Now, this is where my childhood memory was dead wrong. I remember torture and gore to a ridiculous degree. But, my brain must have been remembering something else. There's none of that. Absolutely none.

What there is is: a rape during a weird role playing thing which the mother is directing, shots of the brothers shaving, eating breakfast, and training to be killers. All while their mother watches and comments. During the killers shenanigans (I said it) the girls make an easy escape. The permed girl, who was the one raped, randomly dies. The rich girl goes looking for help and runs into one of the brothers pretending to be the sheriff. She escapes him and makes it back to her friends. They decide to avenge their friend and suddenly they're experts in hiking, guerilla fighting tactics, and wilderness survival. They kill the beekeeper, the other brother and the mother. I'm being short on purpose. Even if I were to detail it all, ti would be this quick.

The girls escape and the ghostly, somehow mutated sister of the mother jumps out and the movie ends.

It's that bad. Check it out if you want, but that's how I feel about it.

I met Lloyd Kaufman at last years ComiCon in San Diego. He's a nice guy and I'd be in a Troma movie in a heartbeat, but I can't lie about this movie.