If you're just coming here for the first time, uh... you're late. The site is no longer updated daily (see HERE for the story). But it's still kicking 1-2x a week, and it's better late than never! Before reading any of the "reviews", you should read the intro, the FAQ, the MOVIES I HAVE ALREADY SEEN list, and if you want, the glossary of genre terms and "What is Horror?", which explains some of the "that's not horror!" entries. And to keep things clean, all off topic posts are re-dated to be in JANUARY 2007 (which was before I began doing this little project) once they have 'expired' (i.e. are 10 days old).

Due to many people commenting "I have to see this movie!" after a review, I have decided to add Amazon links within the reviews (they are located at the bottom), as well as a few links to the Horror Movie A Day Store around the page, hopefully non-obstructively. Amazon will also automatically link things they find relevant, so there might be a few random links in a review as well. If they become annoying, I'll remove the functionality. Right now I'm just kind of amused what they come up with (for example, they highlighted 'a horror movie' in the middle of one review and it links to, of all things, the 50 Chilling Movies Budget Pack!!!).

Last but not least, some reviews contain spoilers (NOTE - With a few exceptions, anything written on the back of the DVD or that occurs less than halfway through the movie I do NOT consider a spoiler). I will be adding 'spoiler alerts' for these reviews as I go through and re-do the older reviews (longtime readers may notice that there is now a 'show more' which cleaned up the main page, as well as listing the source of the movie I watched, i.e. Theaters, DVD, TV) to reflect the new format. This is time consuming, so bear with me.

Thanks for coming by and be sure to leave comments, play nice, and as always, watch Cathy's Curse.

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Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight

Well, we all know I'm not a great person to know remake ... but this film ... I had to see it! Why ? Because if you know me , you know that I do. Addiction to Elijah Wood I wrote about this film a few months ago . I said then that would be nice. What answer do I have? Above all it was , " I'm not sure , Elijah Wood can deduct this " or similar statements it . Even my partner in crime , Mr. Erik Polk said something to that affect ... Guess what he sent me an email after seeing the movie? He did say that he was wrong! I do not want to say that I appreciated the sentiment, but let's just say I had to sing , I told you , like a little school girl!Not only the appearance of Elijah Wood Frank Zito is creepy, scary , angry and disturbed, the whole movie was fucking fantastic ! The view and the own style of filmmaking in the first person in respect of the original , he gave a completely different feel , which I actually found to be much more sinister than the original. The original Frank Zito was dirty , greasy, someone you expect to have a few places in the basement ... but not Elijah Wood Frank Zito . He was young, young , almost innocent and pathetic ... to be too close to him . Then he turns into a crazy fuck and makes your scalp on a mannequin that will be used later ... Well, you know ! The great ladies of the film actresses are also fantastic and believable. I felt sorry for them when I do not really like wood (that. .. rang in my head ... ) ! The ending was absolutely crazy ... ! It was bloody , brutal, and almost beautiful in a disgusting way , almost trippy LSD passage.

LIFE, is getting in the way!

Sorry, have been dealing with things that has consumed my life... will be back soon. Still keep sending membership requests, comments and updates! No I don't think I am Neo, just stuck in the Matrix...

Jeremy [Retro]
Oh, No... Let's Go CRAZY!
HBA Curator

THE HORROR SHOW (1989) DVD/Blu-ray Review

Horror Show, The (1989) d. James Isaac (USA)

When word rolled around that Shout! Factory would be releasing a Lance Henriksen/Brion James horror flick from the late 80s, I was honestly perplexed at my ignorance of this title’s existence. I mean, I’ve seen a few movies in my time and of those that I haven’t seen, there’s usually a blip on the radar either through having seen the box art while combing the local video store’s aisles (pardon me while I weep for this younger generation that will never experience such pleasures) or reading back issues of various genre mags. After a bit of research, I realized I actually had heard of it, but under its international distribution title: House III: The Horror Show. Sean S. Cunningham, who produced the first two House films, explains on the audio commentary track that the foreign markets were more interested in the branding than the film. So, even though it bore no relation to its predecessors and doesn’t actually deal with a haunted house (unless you count Henriksen’s chatty furnace), The Horror Show became the third installment in the franchise for overseas distribution (leading to some confusion for U.S. audiences when Cunningham decided to make House IV in 1992).

Following the capture of notorious cleaver-wielding mass murderer Max Jenke (James), responsible for over 100 grisly slayings, Detective Lucas McCarthy (Henriksen) is plagued by nightmares of his former quarry. He hopes that attending Jenke’s execution by electric chair will ease his mind, but the killer does not go gently into that good night, rising from his seat (in flames) and cursing the cop before crumpling to the floor. In the days that follow, McCarthy experiences vivid hallucinations of Jenke appearing all around him, whispering, giggling, taunting…at least, he thinks they’re visions. But when his daughter’s boyfriend turns up dead in the basement, the question arises whether the psycho is back from the grave or whether our boy with the badge has gone round the bend.

Even before its (very) limited theatrical release, the film had problems, starting with original director David Blyth’s being fired a week into shooting and replaced by James Isaac (Jason X, Pig Hunt). Then there was discontent over original writer Allyn Warner’s script, reworked by Leslie Bohem (Dante’s Peak, Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child) and leading Warner to demand his name be removed. Of course, once the scribe re-read the WGA rulebook and realized that he could get a higher fee if he received credit on the film (even under a pseudonym), he went back to the producers and insisted on billing, but under the oft-used moniker of directorial shame, Alan Smithee.

Needless to say, this didn’t instill moviegoers with much faith, but the bright spot on the horizon was that upcoming goremeisters KNB EFX (still billed as Kurtzman-Nicotero-Berger at the time) were on the job and preparing to unleash some nasty splatter, as seen in several Fangoria promotional stills. Sadly, this was the era of the MPAA’s war against onscreen violence and bloodshed – when the scissors had stopped slashing, there remained a few rubbery showcases, but the flick overall was figuratively gutted and bled dry.

As a result, it’s hard to say where things first went wrong, but finger-pointing aside, the script’s conceit of Jenke returning from the grave due to experiments with excessive amounts of electricity is pretty slippery at best. (Oddly enough, Wes Craven’s execrable Shocker came out the same year with a similar plot device, so maybe there was something in the Tinseltown water.) As a mysterious brainiac attempting to prove some theory, Thom Bray (TV’s Riptide, Prince of Darkness) is given the thankless job of trotting out this claptrap, but it’s clear even he doesn’t believe it. It’s too bad, because had Warner and/or Bohem simply gone with a time-honored “ghost from beyond” or voodoo curse trope, viewers probably would have had an easier time swallowing the hooey.

Even so, we’re never really sure whether what is being shown is in McCarthy’s mind or genuine supernatural happenings, since both types of scares appear in equal measure. Further complicating matters is the misleading title; there’s no actual show of any kind going on (unless you count the short vignette where McCarthy hallucinates Jenke appearing as a stand-up comedian on TV) and no other Clockwork Orange references, so fans were understandably confused.

The upside is that the always-intense Henriksen is in top form here, showing off a welcome range of emotions (and his well-sculpted frame), equally authentic as laughing family man, fearful paranoiac, or vengeful hero. The late, great B-movie staple James (best known as Leon from Blade Runner, though I’ll always remember him as Southern Comfort’s one-armed Cajun) gives a robust if limited performance as the murderous Jenke, screaming, sneering, bellowing, or sniggering in taunting childlike fashion from start to finish.

Rita Taggart does well as Henriksen’s devoted wife, while their bouncy, boy-crazy daughter is played by Dedee Pfeiffer (Vamp, TV’s Cybil and younger sister of Michelle) and music-obsessed son Aron Eisenberg (you can tell because he’s always wearing a Walkman or air-guitaring in his room) pulls scams on major retailers. Day of the Dead's Terry Alexander also has a brief appearance as Henriksen's ill-fated partner.

Behind the scenes, you’ve got Kane Hodder on hand as coordinator for the film’s stunts (many are quite impressive), Harry Manfredini composing the score, and all-star cinematographer Mac Ahlberg (everything from Hell Night to Re-Animator to Innocent Blood) working the lights and lenses. As mentioned, KNB’s best gags probably ended up on the cutting room floor, but they manage to sneak in some snazzy mo-mos.

In retrospect, one gets the feeling that this could have been a better film had a single vision been adhered to instead of serving so many different masters; Isaac pulls off some genuinely suspenseful scenes and the cast creates a nice sense of ensemble, but there are too many gaping logic holes and lazy set-pieces to succeed overall.

Shout! Factory’s new DVD/BR combo release brings another welcome host of supplemental features. (Their menu items, on the other hand, are reduced to “Play Movie” and “Special Features,” i.e. no chapter selections, although really, does anyone use those anymore? Did they ever?) Red Shirt Pictures’ Michael Felsher does an excellent job interviewing Cunningham on the commentary track, highlighting many different facets of the producer/director’s career, including Friday the 13th (original and remake), Deep Star Six and the recent Last House on the Left remake as well as his non-genre fare like Spring Break and Here Come the Tigers. Cunningham is jovial and frank about what works (and what doesn’t) onscreen, along with the trappings that accompany being identified as a genre director. He’s a fascinating subject, openly admiring groundbreaking filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron, saying, “I couldn’t do what they do, because my brain doesn’t think that way.” He refers to himself as a smaller story teller, character-based dramas being more in tune with his strengths.

Along with a theatrical trailer, the other RSP extras include “The ‘Show’ Must Go On,” an interview with Hodder who speaks fondly of Ahlberg and Isaac, giving credit to the former for getting him the Horror Show gig and the latter for his “best Jason role” in Jason X. “House Mother” sits down with TV/fim veteran Taggart to discuss working with Henriksen and James, and her surprise in discovering this forgotten horror flick’s passionate fan base that had developed over the years. She also laughingly recalls how Pfeiffer bemoaned her requisite shower scene, saying “no boobs, no butt, no bush.” (Isaac must have cajoled her into the overhead shot by saying we wouldn’t see much.)

The Horror Show is available now from Shout! Factory and can be ordered HERE.


--Aaron Christensen, HorrorHound Magazine

Doc Rotten 666 Revelations: Horror Icons 1970

In 1970 were the horror icons of the sixties in place and getting the main roles , Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Vincent Price . Horror studios , however, were hungry young stars eager to see take its place . Some success (Robert Quarry ) and would do little ( but not insignificant ) impact on the history of horror ( Ralph Bates ) . Even TV star Horror ( Jonathan Frid ) a chance to shine . Here are six performances symbol of horror male 1970.ROBERT QUARRY COUNT COUNT Yorga in Yorga , VAMPIRETo replace Count Yorga breakout role of Robert Quarry , drive-in begin to run as a symbol of terror and AIP him the successful establishment , Vincent Price in the successful series of horror. An overnight success , having worked in the business for more than twenty years . Career performance as Yorga would lay the foundations for the modern vampire. Also imprisoned in Victorian England who could walk the vampire and talking about Los Angeles in 1970. It was perfect for the role. It would follow , Dr. Phibes Rises Again ( 1972) Death Master ( 1972) Madhouse (1974) and Sugar Hill ( 1974) the role with the return of Count Yorga (1971). AIP plans for his rise to stardom would collapse in the late '70s and career would never shine his chance. It would quiet of the early 80s act disappear, but would return in 1990. It would be the star of the cheap horror budget and Evil Spirits (1990 ) , Teenage Exorcist (1991 ) and Evil Toons (voice, 1992) , its mainly for director Fred Olen Ray .

Blu-ray Review: THE HANDS Ripper (1971)

Another glorious production Hammer Films on Blu -ray hi-def synapse , this time in the hands of the Ripper (1971 ) and his second hammer blow on Jack the Ripper myth the next chamber was (1949 ) three decades earlier . Directed by the incredibly clever Hammer familiar Peter Sasdy ( Taste the Blood of Dracula ), the film pretty straight forward thriller with a nice layer of intrigue and supernatural psychological thriller is sewn into the process.Films opened in London in 1888 when Jack the Ripper notorious flees the scene of his last bloodbath , he is pursued by a torch wielding mob in court. The elusive slasher hardly invisible house , but when it prohibited the door behind his wife noticed his blood-stained hands and puts the two together quickly. In a state of panic and anger Jack the Ripper The woman in front of her little girl , her hands still dripping blood from the earlier murder.

Doc Rotten rooms of horror: 70 Frankenstein Monster

One of the most famous movie monsters in the horror film is the Frankenstein monster . From Frankenstein (1910) and , most famously, Frankenstein (1931 ) Universal, the monster of Mary Shelley man many forms adopted . 1957 Hammer Films released the creature in the era of Technicolor with Curse of Frankenstein. During the sixties , Hammer Films released would produce a variety of monsters , by the same Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing ) and Japan have their own version of Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965). As fighting in the seventies horror to find his way , Frankenstein's monster makes its way to the screen no less than thirteen different forms of Hammer Horror Frankenstein in 1970 in Mel Brook Young Frankenstein in 1974.Horror of Frankenstein (1970 ) Played by David Prowse .

Movie Monsters Doc Rotten 2010: Angela Night of the Demons

For each day of the week throughout December , Doc Rotten will be back to the year 2010 look examination 20 Movie Monsters of the year. Come to judge each day and again , as the monster worked on the big screen , DVD or BluRay. On 31 December we are going to examine all 20 monsters in order of popularity . Let's take a look at today's Movie Monster of 2010.Based on the original film of the same name in 1988 , Night of the Demons by Adam Gierasch tells the story of Angela field (Shannon Elizabeth ) , that when throwing a Halloween party at an abandoned mansion releases demonic forces ' d . The demons begin to partygoers to have published one after another . The cast also Monica Keena , Edward Furlong, Bobbi Sue Luther and Michael Copon belong with a special cameo from Linnea Quigley , who played a leading role in the original film . Originally scheduled for release in October 2009 , the film for release in 2010 was held , but found limited release . He was eventually released on DVD and Blu -ray mixed reviews . The special effects and digital effects were created by Drac Studios .

Top Five Horror Films

1 - Paranormal Activity 2L'an dernier , un choc minuscule budget pris d' assaut l' Amérique a créé et un succès monstre . Paranormal Activity touché sur une crainte commune - que faire si votre maison est hantée . Une suite pour annoncée Octobre 2010 a eu les plus de savoir si il curieux serait à la hauteur ou tomber à plat . Serait -il un Aliens Alien ou un projet Blair Witch 2 à Blair Witch Project ? Director Tod Williams suit la même origine par formule Orin Peli et quelques apports réglages nécessaires et des changements pour un grand effet . Étant le plus de succès l' ajout d'une fleet de sécurité de grâce à caméras la maison qui a permis à monter en puissance de Williams la tension permettant au spectateur de voir plus que les habitants de la maison . De tous les films vu cette année , Paranormal Activity 2 est le meilleur moment que dans le théâtre j'avais . J'ai sauté Crié ri et à tous les bons endroits . Il peut ne pas être le meilleur film- conçu ( cela aurait été Shutter Iceland ) , mais c'est le film qui avec moi le plus a résonné et qui est devenu , sans aucun doute - pour moi , le meilleur d' horreur movie en 2010 .


Doc freak welcomes the horror of this year Solo Movie Marathon!

In Part VIII: Doc looks Zombzany Freak begins with the fate of the capital, sur Loup E. has to fight Bones. Doc freak recognizes E. Wolf will soon be free, Zombzany attack again, so he ordered both a quick goodbye and left the Zombzany cemetery. E. Wolf Bones is mobile and Zombzany attack, holding his scepter. The two of them collide in the night!

FOOL'S VIEWS (11/1 - 11/24)

Howdy folks,

I suppose I have no one to blame but myself for the back half of 2013’s sluggardly pace as far as cranking out the flicks goes. There’s no denying that I’ve kept myself busy with various projects, but this has been the case every other year as well. I’ve been writing (much) longer reviews than in the past, which definitely accounts for some of the lack of time spent in front of the other screen. However, now that HIDDEN HORROR is almost out of my hands and on the brink of being in yours (or at least, within your reach – lead a horse to water and all that) and Milwaukee Rep’s production of Noises Off is up and running, I’m hoping to be able to chill out with a few more movies as the year comes to a close.  It's encouraging that I watched as many movies the last week in November as I did the rest of the month. Of course, a very relaxed Thanksgiving with the femalien and Jon Kitley’s Turkey Day had something to do with that....

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.



Body Bags (1993) d. Carpenter, John / Hooper, Tobe (USA) (1st and 2nd viewings)


Eve of Destruction (1991) d. Gibbons, Duncan (1st viewing)


Night of the Comet (1984) d. Eberhardt, Thom (USA) (2nd and 3rd viewings)  



Animals (2012) d. Forés, Marçal (Spain) (1st viewing)


Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) d. Carpenter, John (USA) (2nd and 3rd viewings)  


Ban the Sadist Videos! (2006) d. Gregory, David (UK) (1st viewing)

Gregory’s exemplary examination of the BBCC Video Nasty crackdown is a two-part documentary which delves deep into the societal and political environment that led to one of the most notorious incidents of censorship in recent memory. Though it’s composed largely of talking heads and close-ups of newspaper headlines, it’s a thrilling look at a dark era not too far in our collective rear-view mirrors, where the small-minded few held sway over the many. Those who forget the past, my friends, are doomed to repeat it. (available from Severin Video on their House on Straw Hill DVD/BR combo)

Knightriders (1981) d. Romero, George A. (2nd and 3rd viewings)


Where the Wild Things Are (2009) d. Jonze, Spike (USA) (1st viewing)

Liked this adaptation of Maurice Sendak's famed children's book a lot. Great blending of physical and practical effects, although it once again confirmed for me the notion that it’s more fun to be a kid than to have one.

2013 Totals to date: 270 films, 215 1st time views, 168 horror, 69 cinema

KNIGHTRIDERS (1981) Blu-ray Review

Knightriders (1981) d. George A. Romero (USA)

As the recognized godfather of the modern horror era, it’s a bit depressing to realize just how little joy George A. Romero derived from the majority of his genre output. Pigeonholed early on into the fright flick biz by an inflexible Hollywood, the great independent from Pittsburgh kept trying to wiggle his way out but found few doors open to him. However, following the worldwide success of Dawn of the Dead, he struck a three-picture deal with executive producer and distributor Salah A. Hassanein, securing creative autonomy under the sole contingency that one of the three would be a sequel to Dawn (the resulting film being 1985’s Day of the Dead). The other two were his 1982 EC Comics tribute with Stephen King, Creepshow, and a long, rambling, idealistic, at times naïve but extremely personal and heartfelt tale of motorcycle-riding knights attempting to live by an old-world code in a modern get-rich-quick world. One became a huge financial smash and beloved kitschy treat, while the other was virtually unseen by the movie-going public. The neglected foundling in this case, the one which Romero claims as his second personal favorite (behind 1976’s Martin), is 1981’s Knightriders.

King William (Ed Harris, in his first lead role), or “Billy” to his court, lives an austere lifestyle, attempting to strip away the materialism that he feels has corrupted modern society. He and his mostly merry band travel from town to town, putting on their specific brand of Renaissance Fair with cycles standing in for horses in various jousting tournaments. There are the King’s men, led by the noble Sir Alan (Gary Lahti) and Dame Rocky (Cynthia Adler), opposing the Black Knights, led by the robust and rebellious Morgan (Tom Savini). The two sides batter away at each other for the crowd’s amusement (and ticket receipts), ending each pageant with celebration and camaraderie.

But as the viewer comes on the scene, the seeds of discontent are already being sown. Billy has become so stringent in his etiquette that his rises each dawn to flagellate himself after a night of lovemaking with his increasingly frustrated Queen Linet (Amy Ingersoll). Morgan’s attempts to seize the crown through the staged battles become more brutal, while big-city promoters have become aware of the novelty act and hope to package it to the masses. While the familial atmosphere is still intact, there are factions and rivalries and tensions growing every day – it’s only a matter of time before something has to give. When Billy refuses to play ball with a couple of crooked cops, it sets in motion a series of events that compromise his entire “kingdom,” the fantasy he has worked so hard to maintain.

Romero’s seventh narrative feature takes a very long time to say what it wants to say and do what it wants to do – 146 minutes, to be exact. Its languorous tempo and meandering, character-centric plot seems more in keeping with the New Hollywood of the early 1970s, and wildly out of step with a public quickly warming to the whiz-bang thrills of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back. But even if a leaner result could have been derived, Romero’s zombie-loving fan base must have been utterly bewildered by this unconventional yarn of morality and honor atop two-wheeling, gasoline-snorting hogs. (That said, the jousting scenes are undeniably thrilling, thanks to the bone-breaking stunts performed by Gary Davis and his Stunts Unlimited team; it’s somewhat surprising that more hasn’t been made of these by action movie aficionados.) This is not to say that Knightriders is an unsuccessful film or even an unsatisfying one – it’s simply an unconventional and slow-paced bit of cinema with more on its mind than cheap thrills.

Unfortunately, this caveat has made it a less appealing item for those approaching the writer/director’s canon. Longtime fans of Romero should be aware by this point of his predilections for addressing social issues and headier themes within the trappings of the genre, but this is not a horror film (by any stretch) and only marginally an exploitation flick. Therefore, audiences in its day arrived unprepared for what to expect from the film, and continue to be stymied today. The buzz for Knightriders barely charts on the radar – it’s become as marginalized as his post-Night of the Living Dead efforts, There’s Always Vanilla and Season of the Witch.

And yet, for the patient and the open-minded, there are many rewards to be revealed, not the least of which being the terrific ensemble performances – every character is vividly detailed and given a special moment by which to be remembered. Savini has never, ever been better, and the intense Harris already possesses the fiery core that would propel him to Hollywood greatness and Oscar nominations. Many key players, such as Lahti, Ingersoll or Warner Shook (as a sexually confused M.C.), never flourished beyond this movie in spite of their superb characterizations, although sharp-eyed Romero devotees will pick out dozens of familiar faces, from John Amplas’ mime to Ken Foree’s blacksmith to Scott Reiniger’s knight to Anthony Dileo’s vendor to Joe Pilato’s disgruntled employee to Christine Forrest’s (aka the former Mrs. Romero) lovelorn grease monkey. Not to mention our memorable “Hoagie Man,” played by none other than Stephen King.

Shout! Factory has done a terrific job of resurrecting this underrated gem for reappraisal by a new generation, with a sharp, high-def picture that captures every dust-slinging maneuver with crystal-clear perfection. The supplements are expectedly bountiful, even if the audio commentary track is recycled from the 2001 Anchor Bay DVD, but I suppose the chances of getting Romero, Savini, Amplas, Chris Stavrakis (stuntman and Savini right-hand-man Taso’s brother) and Forrest all in the same room again these days might be a tall order. Still, there’s a lot of joy in listening to the assembled crew excitedly shout out the names of the many incidental players, as well as invoking production assistants Holly Hunter (yes, that Holly Hunter) and Shari Belafonte. Savini describes the making of the film as “the greatest summer imaginable,” citing the convivial atmosphere that pervaded the nearly three-month shoot. Romero gives innumerable props to his creative team, in particular Donald Rubinstein’s lively and evocative score, and the fearless stuntmen laying it all on the line. “It was the first time I ever realized that people could be put in harm’s way simply to serve one person’s creative whims,” he muses.

For the featurettes, Red Shirt Pictures ups their already impressive ante by landing the film’s A-list star for a warm and thoughtful discussion. In “Conscience of the King,” Harris reveals what the role meant to him and his career – even though he admits that it wasn’t widely seen, the boost to the actor’s confidence, he says, was immeasurable. Romero appears for a new interview entitled “Code of Honor,” still effusive and still frustrated at the film’s low profile. He also reveals that he had a brief meeting with Morgan Freeman about playing Merlin (the role eventually went to be-bop performance artist Brother Blue), but that the actor perceived the part as racist and demeaning – odd when you consider the director’s track record of tolerance and diversity.

“Memories of Morgan” sits down with Savini, who clearly still has regrets that the film didn’t serve as a greater launching pad for his career as an actor – playing a role not far removed from the man himself, it is truly an extremely engaging and joyous incarnation. (One can only wonder how his and Romero’s worlds might have been changed had the picture been a success.) The extras are topped off by Savini’s behind-the-scenes footage of the various motorcycle stunts, some of which look extremely painful, and the theatrical trailer and a couple TV spots.

I do feel obliged to point out one notable subtitling mistake, in the hopes that it will be remedied for future deaf and/or hard-of-hearing generations to come. It comes during Harold Wayne Jones’ gratuitous Marlon Brando impression, about 90 minutes in, re-enacting On the Waterfront’s famous backseat monologue to Rod Steiger, only in this case Jones bemoans the fact that he is forced to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken. “Not my night? You shoulda looked out for me, Charlie, so I wouldn’t be stuck with a lousy piece of meat. I coulda had bass!” Unfortunately, the cheap (but still funny) joke is subtitled as “I coulda had baths!” Um, what???

Knightriders is available Nov. 26 from Shout! Factory and is available for pre-order HERE.


--Aaron Christensen, HorrorHound Magazine

EVE OF DESTRUCTION (1991) Blu-ray Review

Eve of Destruction (1991) d. Duncan Gibbons (USA)

During an advanced testing session in public, a female android prototype (Eve VIII – looks a bit like “evil,” doesn’t it?) and its keeper find themselves caught in the crossfire during a bank robbery; the resulting mayhem leaves the human dead and the humanoid machine malfunctioning and locked in “battlefield” mode, its highest state of alert, ready to use deadly force at the slightest provocation. Oh, and did I mention she’s also packing a thermonuclear charge?

This is the situation that military marksman and manhunter Col. Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines) is called in to deal with alongside inventor Dr. Eve Simmons (Renée Soutendijk), with whose memories and visage the snappily dressed killer robot (dig that red leather coat/black skirt ensemble) has been equipped. The two pursue their quarry literally from coast to coast, beginning in San Francisco and concluding in the NYC subway systems, but the journey is one cobbled together from a multitude of late '80s action clichés and sub-par dialogue scenes courtesy of director Duncan Gibbons and co-screenwriter Yale Udoff. (Never heard of them, you say? Viewing their lackluster efforts here, there’s probably a reason for that.)

This latest title to emerge from Shout! Factory is a curious one to receive the Blu-ray treatment, an anomaly within their catalogue of underrated favorites. It lacks the usual cult appeal (no major genre players or even someone like Dolph Lundgren to bring in the loyals), and it’s little surprise that the movie failed to find an audience upon its initial 1991 release, perceived – correctly – as a second-tier cyborg-on-the-loose Terminator knock-off. (Ironically, that film’s turnstile-shattering sequel, T2: Judgment Day, would emerge a mere six months later, armed with infinitely more substantial star power and technical innovation.)

Gibbons is no wizard in staging action scenes or conjuring crackling dialogue to spur things along between set-pieces. Hines, while a more-than-capable actor, isn’t the kind of mainstream star that general audiences are going to be seeking out, nor does he hold any particular genre cred (despite his early turn as a coroner in 1981’s Wolfen). His slight build, bulging eyes, pouting lower lip, and sensitive demeanor make him an unlikely badass action hero, and Dutch actress Renée Soutendijk (Spetters, The Fourth Man) completely fails to impress, her dual roles as monster and maker both limited to occasionally widening her eyes, cocking her head, and staring intently into space.

Consummate character actor Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters 2) is on hand, sleazing up the joint like a pro as a corrupt corporate stooge, but he’s given little to do except snark out the occasional one-liner. Veteran cinematographer Alan Hume’s (Legend of Hell House, Return of the Jedi, several James Bond films) usual magic is absent, matching the rest of the creative team’s low bar of “capable but unremarkable.” Hell, they even managed to secure Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Twilight Zone: The Movie) for a day’s work and then fail to do anything interesting with him!

There are a few occasional bright spots, such as watching Eve VIII mow down random cops or engage in a wacky bit of road rage (the fender-bending latter turning her into a literal ticking time bomb), but there’s not enough big-bang-boom or zip-zap-zoom to sustain interest. In fact, it’s the film’s quietest scene, when Eve heads for NYC to find Dr. Simmon’s son, now in the custody of her ex-husband Peter (John M. Jackson, looking for all the world like Kevin Spacey), that proves to be its most effective.

With their ultra-bare-bones presentation, including a title menu that consists merely of the “Play Movie” function and a trailer, Shout! Factory doesn’t exhibit much enthusiasm for their recently acquired orphan either. There are no chapter stops, no extras, and nothing to earn this long absent (and barely missed) programmer any additional cred. I’m not sure who was clamoring for it, because its release comes off as more of a “Huh?” than a “Hooray!” Still, for you Hines and Soutendijk completists out there, your prayers have been answered. For all others, you'll probably more gain more satisfaction listening to Barry McGuire's classic anti-war rock anthem. It'll stay with you longer, trust me.

Eve of Destruction is available now from Shout! Factory and can be ordered HERE.


--Aaron Christensen, HorrorHound Magazine 

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