Following a successful debut last year in Miami, Florida, the Popcorn Frights Film Festival is returning for its second year of mayhem. Read on the find out more about this year’s amazing lineup of features and shorts and screening details!
From the Press Release:
The lineup for the second annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival serves up a fearsome feast with the monstrous, the macabre, and the must-see. Opening Night features a spine-tingling double-bill presenting the Florida Premieres of the critically-acclaimed films Fear, Inc., a fiendishly twisted and deliriously fun love letter to genre movies, and The Blackcoat’s Daughter, starring Kiernan Shipka (“Mad Men”) and Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), with original music composed by the legendary Elvis Perkins.
Other buzzy titles in the lineup include Evolution, an astonishingly beautiful and mesmerizing blend of body horror and surreal fantasy; the genre-bending shocker I Am Not a Serial Killer starring Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are) and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) in a tour de force performance; the nightmare-fueled Antibirth featuring dynamite roles from Natasha Lyonne (“Orange Is the New Black”) and Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry); Under the Shadow, a tense and atmospheric thriller set in a haunted Tehran apartment during the terrifying final days of the Iran-Iraq War; and the East Coast Premiere of Abattoir, Darren Lynn Bousman’s (Saw II) unsettling new nightmare centered on a mysterious haunted house.
Encompassing the ever-burgeoning independent arena, this year’s increased number of films straddle the arthouse and grindhouse, including The Mind’s Eye, a mainlined shot of hyper-violent-telekinetic-carnage reminiscent of David Cronenberg’s Scanners; the East Coast Premieres of Beyond the Gate starring the First Lady of Fright Films, Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), and the audaciously twisted and shocking Pet, featuring a remarkably dark turn by Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings); and Mickey Keating’s latest descent into insanity, Carnage Park, which braids crime caper and survival story into one demented thrill ride.
Rounding out the program are the US Premiere of the gripping found footage thriller Man Vs, the North American Premiere of the supernatural horror thriller The Devil’s Doll, the action-packed post-apocalyptic vampire tale Daylight’s End, the visually stunning homage to the famed Italian Giallo genre, Francesca, and the retro throwback to classic 80s VHS horror flicks, The Barn.
Popcorn Frights prides itself on providing a fertile ground for new and exciting filmmaking talent and this year will present 17 extraordinary short films, including SXSW award winners Manoman and Night Stalker, as well as The Puppet Man starring John Carpenter and Portal to Hell, which features one of Roddy “Rowdy” Piper’s (They Live) final performances.
TICKET SALES: Festival Premiere Badges are on sale for a limited time for $120 per person and $180 for couples, and single screening tickets are available for $12. To purchase badges or tickets and view the Festival schedule, visit popcornfrights.com.
LOCATION: All films will screen at the O Cinema Wynwood (90 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL 33127).
MORE INFORMATION: Follow the Popcorn Frights Film Festival on Facebook (/popcornfrights) or Twitter (@popcornfrights) for updates with the latest information about the Festival. Join the conversation using the hashtag #popcornfrights on social media.
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman US | 98 minutes | 2016
EAST COAST PREMIERE. Seven meets Dark City meets Hellraiser in Darren Lynn Bousman’s (Saw II) startlingly unsettling new horror film that centers on a mysterious house that’s been constructed wholly from rooms where deaths have occurred. An investigative reporter with the style and confidence of a young Lauren Bacall is the first to stumble upon these series of gruesome murders as she is helplessly led into the belly of this hellish and haunted beast. Starring Lin Shaye from the Insidious franchise.
Directed by Danny Perez US | 94 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. What if the Dude from The Big Lebowski somehow ended up in David Cronenberg’s The Brood? Danny Perez’s nightmare fuel film strangely answers this long thought question by mixing one part horror homage and three parts anti-drug PSA with an offbeat kickass cast in a story that includes a monster pregnancy, alien abductions, covert operatives, and dynamite performances from Natasha Lyonne (“Orange Is the New Black”) and Chloe Sevigny (Zodiac).
Directed by Justin Seaman US | 96 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Almost certainly destined for cult classic status, The Barn is a perfect retro throwback to classic 80s VHS horror flicks like The Monster Squad, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and Full Moon’s empire of direct to video features. It’s Halloween 1989, and best friends Sam and Josh are trying to enjoy what’s left of their final Devil’s Night before graduating high school. But the two pals and a group of their friends get more trick than treat when they take a detour on their way to a rock concert, finding an old abandoned barn and awakening a trio of Halloween demons inside. Now it’s up to Sam and Josh to find a way to protect their friends and defeat the flesh-hungry creatures that lurk within The Barn. Featuring Ari Lehman, the first Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.
BEYOND THE GATES
Directed by Jackson Stewart US | 84 minutes | 2016
EAST COAST PREMIERE. A throwback flick in the spirit of horror faves such as Phantasm, The Beyond, and Poltergeist, this endearing instant-classic is filled with unique, personal, witty, and utterly terrifying imagery as it pays loving tribute to the VHS format, video stores, and board games of the 80s era. Co-written by Stephen Scarlata (Jodorowsky’s Dune) and starring the First Lady of Fright Films, Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), Beyond the Gates centers on two estranged brothers who unearth an old VCR board game that acts as an inter-dimensional hub to a nightmare world where their Father’s soul is trapped and can only be saved by playing the game.
THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER
Directed by Osgood Perkins US-Canada | 93 minutes | 2016 SOUTH FLORIDA PREMIERE.
In this atmospheric, brutal, and darkly beautiful film, two young students at a prestigious prep school for girls are assailed by an evil, invisible power when they are stranded at the school over winter break. Easily one of the most brilliant horror films you’ll see all year, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is frightening with razor-sharp tension and a suffocating, intense atmosphere which grips from the first frame and doesn’t let go. Starring Kiernan Shipka (“Mad Men”) and Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story,” “Scream Queens”) and featuring original music composed by the legendary Elvis Perkins.
Directed by Mickey Keating US | 90 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A treat for lovers of the bloody grindhouse cinema of the ’70s, this harrowing psycho-thriller stars Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills) as an unhinged sniper who terrorizes a bank-robbing duo and their beautiful hostage (Ashley Bell of The Last Exorcism) after they stumble into his desert killing fields. Thrust into a wicked game of cat and mouse with a highly trained and mentally imbalanced killer, they begin a harrowing fight for survival. Mickey Keating’s latest descent into insanity has him braiding crime caper and survival story into one demented thrill ride. Ashley Bell quickly turns the role of damsel in distress into that of a badass, “don’t fuck with me” female lead traversing the horrors of Carnage Park.
Directed by William Kaufman US | 106 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Starring Lance Henriksen (Aliens, The Terminator) and Johnny Strong (The Fast and the Furious), Daylight’s End is an action-packed post-apocalyptic vampire tale that is pure carnage and white-knuckled powered adrenaline! After a mysterious infection transforms people into blood-thirsty creatures, a drifter bent on vengeance comes across a band of survivors desperate to escape the city. The ammo is in stock, the adrenaline is high, and time is of the essence, because in this world, things go more than bump in the night!
THE DEVIL’S DOLL
Directed by Padraig Reynolds US | 85 minutes | 2016
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE. In this supernatural horror thriller, a brutal serial killer is finally gunned down in the middle of carrying out one last heinous act of bloody murder. In the maniac’s possession is a box of Guatemalan talismans, which mistakenly end up being sold as charm jewelry in a thrift shop. Soon those who bought the ‘worry dolls’ begin to act strange and begin a plague of mindless slaughter and carnage.
Directed by Lucile Hadžihalilovic France | 81 minutes | 2015 | French with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. In this astonishingly beautiful and mesmerizing blend of body horror and surreal fantasy, a young boy living in a mysterious, isolated seaside clinic uncovers the sinister purposes of his keepers. Evocative, enthralling and unnerving in equal measure, Evolution is a provocative fairy tale that beckons you deeper and deeper into an unforgettable domain filled with stunning cinematic imagery and stylistic nods to David Lynch and David Cronenberg that will seduce and repulse in uncanny harmony.
Directed by Vincent Masciale US | 92 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Your worst fears realized… for a price! Fear, Inc. is a fiendishly twisted and deliriously fun love letter to genre movies that’s a mind-blowing horror-show cocktail of blood, guts, and screams. When a horror junkie and his friends sign up with a company that brings their customer’s greatest fears to life, they must quickly determine if its demented employees are there to scare them, or make them pawns in their own sick and deadly game. Like Wes Craven’s Scream, Fear, Inc. inspires outsized frights and dread even as it hilariously skewers and splatters horror movie cliches in funny, spirited ways. Featuring a special appearance by Abigail Breslin (Zombieland).
Directed by Luciano Onetti Argentina-Italy | 79 minutes | 2015 | Italian with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Fans of Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Goblin, and Lucio Fulci dare not miss Francesca, a visually stunning homage to the famed Italian Giallo genre that so faithfully and lovingly reproduces its seductive and perverse forms that it feels like it was literally plucked from the era! A dazzling combination of menacing Grand Guignol atmosphere, brilliant cinematography, gory violence, lush décor, and pounding soundtrack, Francesca tells the tale of a psychopath who uses the “Divine Comedy” as a clever reference to rid the city of impure souls through a series of gruesome murders. This audacious film synthesizes all the familiar Giallo motifs (psycho killers, blood violence, convoluted plot twists, pulse-pounding music) into an almost perfect symphony of fear that’s unlikely to ever be repeated on screen.
I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
Directed by Billy O’Brien Ireland-UK | 104 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Just imagine if David Cronenberg slipped into a fever dream while binge-watching “Dexter,” “Fargo,” and “Six Feet Under” in one go, and you’ll have just a shade of what I Am Not a Serial Killer has on offer. A darkly heartfelt, astonishingly foreboding, and imaginatively sinister tale of a likable teenager (Max Records of Where the Wild Things Are), raised by a mortician family, whose own nascent sociopathic tendencies make him a perfect amateur sleuth when a serial killer strikes his folksy Midwestern town. Take it from us; the film is far, far more unique and fantastically bloody than the premise might imply, helped in no small part by an Oscar-worthy performance by Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future).
Directed by Adam Massey Canada | 87 minutes | 2016
US PREMIERE. Man vs. Wild vs. Predator… need we say more? In this gripping found-footage horror thriller, a reality TV star of a survival show is forced to fend for himself in the remote woods for a routine episode, until he’s awoken by an earth-shaking crash that unleashes a series of weird and eerie events ultimately forcing him to come face to face with his deepest fears and the otherworldly.
THE MIND’S EYE
Directed by Joe Begos US | 87 minutes | 2015
FLORIDA PREMIERE. For gorehounds who like the early films of David Cronenberg (spotlight Scanners) but secretly wish their themes and subtext didn’t get in the way of the exploding heads, Joe Begos’ The Mind’s Eye presents a mainlined shot of hyper-violent-telekinetic-carnage that you won’t soon forget. Pitting telekinetic savants against a mad doctor keen on siphoning their power, this giddy ’80s throwback stages a psychic war zone complete with bulging cranium veins, exploding heads, and a visceral kick of brainiacs willing each other into mind-melting, bloody oblivion. Cronenberg, Carpenter, Romero, and can all be found in the cinematic impulses of this unrelenting scream fest.
Directed by Carles Torrens US | 90 minutes | 2016
EAST COAST PREMIERE. You can’t escape the bonds of love in the shocking Pet. Starring Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings, Lost) and Ksenia Solo (Black Swan), this audaciously twisted story centers on an introverted loner who imprisons a woman he’s obsessed with, only to find the tables turned on him. Like the dark and daring Hard Candy and Gone Girl but with more trashy fun, Pet will have you both squirming in your seat and teetering on the edge, but you won’t want to look away.
UNDER THE SHADOW
Directed by Babak Anvari Jordan-Qatar-UK | 84 minutes | 2015 | Farsi with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Those cracks in the ceiling are hiding a lot more than dry rot in Under the Shadow, an astonishingly tense and atmospheric thriller set in a haunted Tehran apartment during the terrifying final days of the Iran-Iraq War. A grim allegory of female oppression, this brilliant feature debut grounds its premise in something ineluctably sinister: imagine a cross between The Babadook and The Conjuring and you’re halfway there. Set in 1988 Iran, a mother trapped in her apartment during the chaos of the war worries that malevolent spirits have taken possession of her daughter, leading to a bone-chilling horror tale of paranormal and real-life terrors.
Directed by Ben Franklin UK | 5 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A bullied teenager, fearing for his life, turns to an ancient creature of the forest for protection…and revenge.
Directed by Brian Deane Ireland | 15 minutes | 2015
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A young priest is sent to a remote island off the Irish coast to help protect an estranged fishing community from dark supernatural forces but nothing is as it seems.
Directed by Chris McInroy US | 5 minutes | 2016
WORLD PREMIERE. A practical effects driven splatter comedy featuring a metalhead, his guitar and carnage.
Directed by Alice Waddington Spain | 12 minutes | 2015 | English and Spanish with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A black-clad vixen infiltrates a sumptuous mansion overrun with cultists in what begins as a rescue mission, and then deliriously descends into an eerie musical reverie, before finally arriving at a most unexpected conclusion.
Directed by Eddie Alcazar US | 8 minutes | 2015
FLORIDA PREMIERE. With the ability to travel in time, a lonely girl finds love and comfort by connecting with her past self. Eventually faced with rejection she struggles with her identity and gender, and as time folds onto itself only one of them can remain. Featuring music by Flying Lotus.
GWILLIAM Directed by Brian Lonano US | 6 minutes | 2016
SOUTH FLORIDA PREMIERE. A recently released criminal is looking for a good time. He can forget his sins but he can never forget…Gwilliam.
Directed by Tony Morales Spain | 9 minutes | 2016 | Spanish with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Tonight Hada comes to visit Daniel because he his last baby tooth has fallen out. What Daniel doesn´t expect is that his worst enemy is the light.
Directed by Richard Karpala US | 11 minutes | 2015
FLORIDA PREMIERE. What starts as a familiar tale of a criminal driving to the middle of the woods to bury a dead body, ends with a bloody twist of karmic justice thanks to his Siri-esque smartphone app.
Directed by Michael Chaves US | 9 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. As a real estate agent goes about her business to close a sale on a dilapidated house, she begins to discover that the property is inhabited by an evil presence working against her.
Directed by Simon Cartwright UK | 11 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. When an office clerk attends primal scream class, he releases something from deep within that knows no limits.
Directed by Sébastien Vaniček France | 13 minutes | 2016
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE. A passenger subject to violent hallucinations must overcome the imminence of his death during a trans-Atlantic flight.
Directed by Daniel Moshel Austria | 5 minutes | 2016 | Spanish with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. The biggest, boldest, and sexiest operatic flash mob the internet has ever witnessed! 9
Directed by New Image Ltd US | 10 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A horror love story with tunes by the band Fort Lean presents bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.
Directed by Jake Hammond US | 14 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. When a high-school cheerleader accepts a date from the football team’s star quarterback, a grisly manifestation of her own bodily insecurities pushes her into a self-destructive nightmare.
Directed by Jeroen Dumoulein Belgium | 16 minutes | 2015 | Dutch with English subtitles
FLORIDA PREMIERE. Breathtakingly beautiful and sharing an artistic vision with Guillermo Del Toro, “The Pond” is set in the early 1900s and follows a young girl who tries to unravel the mystery of the dark pond behind her family’s mansion.
PORTAL TO HELL
Directed by Vivieno Caldinelli US | 12 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A crusty and recluse superintendent is thrown into the ultimate fight against evil when a couple of cultists open a portal to the ancient and mysical city of R’lyeh, awakening slumbering god. Starring Roddy “Rowdy” Piper (“They Live”) in one of his last onscreen performances.
THE PUPPET MAN
Directed by Jacqueline Castel US | 9 minutes | 2016
FLORIDA PREMIERE. A supernatural killer stalks a young woman and her friends in a seedy, neon-lit dive bar in this short film featuring horror legend John Carpenter.
ABOUT POPCORN FRIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL
Popcorn Frights Film Festival presents the very best genre films from across the world as it celebrates the art of horror. As the first and only horror festival in South Florida, its mission is to premiere films from emerging and established filmmakers enabling the industry and general audiences to experience the power of storytelling through genre film. The second annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival will occur August 12-18, 2016.
For more information, you can can check out the official Popcorn Frights website.
10 Terrifying Moments from Kids’ Movies That Haunted Our Childhoods
When the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story dropped a couple weeks ago, I watched it with a tinge of dread. See, Han Solo traumatized me as a child. I was 7-years-old when I saw The Empire Strikes Back in theaters, and the scene where Harrison Ford gets tortured at Cloud City gave me my first bona fide panic attack. It was dark, intense, and completely out of left field in an otherwise fantastic franchise where no one ever bleeds (or screams).
I might be the only one who had such an adverse reaction to Solo’s torture (which happens, primarily, off-screen), but those of us who came of age in the 1980s can probably relate to encountering terrifying moments in otherwise kid-friendly films. For the most part, these were the days before PG-13, meaning there was a ton of leeway for movies that fell in between the extremes of Cinderella and The Shining.
In retrospect, 1980s kids were subjected to a litany of scares that would be considered highly inappropriate by today’s standards—perhaps explaining our generations’ intense love of horror! Return with me now to those terrifying days of yesteryear with 10 terrifying moments from kids’ movies that haunted our childhoods!
The Tunnel of Terror in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The only film on this list that wasn’t produced and released in the 1980s (and the only one I didn’t see in theaters) is nonetheless one every child of the era has seen: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from 1971. I remember my parents telling me that I was in for a treat when they sat me down in front of the TV at the tender age of 6.
I was already unnerved by the tall man in the trench coat and the bizarre antics of Gene Wilder’s Wonka, but that boat-ride scene completely destroyed my childhood. It wasn’t even the chicken decapitation or the centipedes that rattled me; it was Wonka’s unhinged shrieking! To this day, the scene gives me the willies (pun intended!); Wilder truly channels the dangerous intensity of a lunatic.
Gmork attacks Atreyu in The NeverEnding Story (1984)
The NeverEnding Story was an exciting alternative in the Disney-dominated landscape of kids’ movies in the 1980s—exciting and dark! But a kid trapped in an attic, a horse drowning in a swamp, a nihilistic turtle, and a devastating void all paled in comparison to Atreyu’s confrontation with the insidious Gmork.
Those green eyes staring out from the cave froze my blood. The fact that it could speak made it infinitely more terrifying; this wasn’t some primal beast, this agent of The Great Nothing was a cunning and merciless villain. The matter-of-fact way it informed Atreyu that he would be his last “victim” was beyond bleak. When the monster attacked as thunder roared and lightning struck, I screamed.
Though many aspects of The NeverEnding Story show their age, this moment remains, objectively, as scary as any horror movie werewolf attack.
The Wheelers Descend in Return to Oz (1985)
When Dorothy (played by Judy Garland) first arrived in Oz back in 1939, she was greeted by a community of cheerful Munchkins. When Dorothy (reprised by Fairuza Balk) returned to Oz in 1985, her reception was much colder.
The eerie silence of a seemingly abandoned wasteland was broken by an assault by Wheelers: colorful, mechanically enhanced cousins of the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys. As adults, we can laugh at the impracticality of villains who can’t even maneuver stairs, but we weren’t laughing as kids, I can promise you that!
While the hall of heads, an unintentionally terrifying Jack Pumpkinhead, and a truly demonic Gnome King are perhaps the scariest moments of Return to Oz, the sudden and unexpected arrival of the Wheelers was a truly devastating moment. It obliterated all our happy memories of Oz in an instant, transforming the land of enchantment into a labyrinth of evil.
Large Marge Tells her Tale in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Many of the films on this list are dark from start to finish, containing multiple terrifying moments. But part of what makes the tale of Large Marge so impactful is that it appears in an otherwise completely lighthearted film. Sure, man-child Pee-wee Herman has always been subversive in ways that only become apparent as we get older, but he never dabbled in ghost stories or jump scares.
Luckily, the scary face of Large Marge was as funny as it was shocking, so even though kids like me hit the ceiling, our fears quickly dissolved into fits of hysterical laughter. Today, I remember practically nothing about Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, but I’ll have fond memories of Large Marge until the day I die.
The Emperor Turns to Ash in The Dark Crystal (1982)
Over 35 years after it’s release, The Dark Crystal remains a unique and beautiful anomaly. Jim Henson’s G-rated Muppets were left in the workshop! This film was populated by fascinating and terrifying characters, conveying a tale that wasn’t dumbed down for its audience. These factors give the film profound resonance and contribute to its status as an enduring classic
Like the title warns, this film is dark. The Skeksis are demonic, Augrah is arresting, and the Garthim are pure nightmare fuel. The process of draining Pod People of the essence and the stabbing death of Kira are horrifying. But it was the death of the Skeksis Emperor that really hit me like a ton of bricks.
There was something metaphysically terrifying about this moment; not only is the idea of a creature crumbling into ash creepy as hell but the effect was gasp-inducing. As a child, it was something I’d never seen before, a concept I’d never imagined, and it floored me. Death had never been conveyed with such shocking profundity.
The Lab Rats are Injected in The Secret of NIMH (1982)
When I sat in the theater in 1982, I don’t think I realized that The Secret of NIMH wasn’t a Disney movie, but I realized soon enough Mickey and Minnie weren’t hangin’ with these rodents! The Great Owl was petrifying and the finale was as harrowing as anything my young psyche had yet experienced, but it was the flashback of experiments conducted on lab rats that stuck with me and haunted my childhood.
It wasn’t just the brilliant animation that powerfully conveyed the rats’ pain as syringes were plunged into their bellies, it was a brutal moment of education they don’t teach kids in school. It was my first introduction to the realities of animal experimentation, and the fact that grown-ups would perpetrate such atrocities felt like a betrayal
The Ending of Time Bandits (1981)
In retrospect, it was irresponsible for any of our parents to think that Time Bandits was a kids’ movie just because the main character was an 11-year-old boy. In 1981, the only other film Terry Gilliam had directed was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Yes, Time Bandits is funny and exciting with motifs common to kid-friendly time-travel fiction, but the film is nearly hopelessly bleak from start to finish.
Kevin (played by Craig Warnock) is completely neglected by his parents and essentially kidnapped by a troop of interdimensional robbers. He’s made complicit in a series of crimes throughout many dangerous eras, forced to endure wars and even the sinking of the Titanic. Eventually, Kevin is dragged into a realm of ultimate darkness. Though triumphing over Evil personified, he’s abandoned by God before returning home—only to find his home engulfed in a blazing inferno.
Though rescued by firemen, Kevin’s parents didn’t even realize he was missing and are soon reduced to piles of ash by a stray bit of concentrated evil. The friendly firemen take little notice, leaving our young protagonist utterly alone.
Faces Melt in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
A lot of my peers will count the human sacrifice scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as one of the most terrifying moments of their childhood. Not me. After what I’d endured in Raiders of the Lost Ark, I was ready for anything.
Since it gets less attention than its predecessor (bonus fact: Temple of Doom is a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark), I think people forget just how scary Raiders really is. It’s worlds darker and grittier than Doom, which has a colorful, comic book pallet by comparison, not to mention a clear emphasis on comedy. The spiders, the snakes, the boobytraps: they all put monkey brains and extracted hearts to shame.
But the climax of Raiders of the Lost Ark is more intense than most horror movies, past and present. The face-melting evoked Cold War Era fears of nuclear annihilation and the idea of a vengeful God was devastating.
The Death of Shoe in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
I wasn’t always the jaded gorehound I am today; I was young and sensitive once. And even though I was well into puberty by 1988 (or maybe because of it) I was especially traumatized by a moment in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The hard-boiled plot loaded with barely veiled sexual innuendo was, for the most part, completely buried beneath a cacophony of cameos from just about every cartoon character ever penned.
But it wasn’t the fever-nightmare of Roger’s mania or even the emergence of Judge Doom’s true form that devastated me; it was the execution of poor Shoe, a paradigm of animated innocence unceremoniously dropped into a barrel of “dip” (a toxic concoction made from turpentine, acetone, and benzene).
Most kids in their early teens couldn’t stop thinking about Jessica Rabbit; I was haunted by the death of Shoe.
Supercomputer Makes a Human Cyborg in Superman III (1983)
There’s an evil streak that runs throughout Superman III, the third film to feature Christopher Reeves as the titular Man of Steel. While Superman II had its dark spots (specifically the devastation caused by Zod and his companions) there’s an undercurrent in Richard Lester’s follow-up that’s absolutely wicked—containing a scene that contributed to the destruction of my childhood.
A makeshift batch of Kryptonite turns Superman into an immoral, selfish thug before he participates in a troubling fight to the death with himself. But as unsettling as the concept of an evil Superman may be, the scene where the supercomputer turns Vera into a cyborg was some next level shit for 10-year-old me.
I re-watched the scene in preparation for this article and was shocked at its similarities to the moment in Hellraiser II when Dr. Channard is transformed into a Cenobite—especially the wires! No wonder it scared the hell out of me!
Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 152 – Cloverfield Paradox & The Ritual
Last week Netflix shocked the world by not only releasing a new trailer for Cloverfield Paradox during the Superbowl, but announcing the film would be available to stream right after the game. In a move no one saw coming, Netflix shook the film industry to it’s very core. A few days later, Netflix quietly released horror festival darling: The Ritual.
Hold on to your Higgs Boson, because this week we’ve got a double header for ya, and we’re not talking about that “world’s largest gummy worm” in your mom’s nightstand. Why was one film marketed during the biggest sporting event of the year, and why was one quietly snuck in like a pinky in your pooper? Tune in a find out!
Meet me at the waterfront after the social for the Who Goes There Podcast episode 152!
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Ryan Schifrin’s Abominable Gets a Sasquatch-Sized Blu-Ray
A recent scientific study concluded that since the year 2000 there have 4,374,139 killer Bigfoot movies. 2006’s Abominable is one of the better Sasquatch-ploitation flicks of the era. Now this creature feature is getting a collector’s edition blu-ray complete with a brand new cut of the gruesome flick.
MVD Rewind Collection has announced they’re planning a special edition of Ryan Schifrin’s gory Hitchcock-influenced Bigfoot flick Abominable, which cast Matt McCoy as a wheelchair bound man who begins Rear Window-ing a psycho Sasquatch terrorizing his hot-blooded cabin neighbors that then turns his big foot towards him. Lance Henriksen, Dee Wallace, Jeffrey Combs, Tiffany Shepis, Haley Joel, Karin Anna Cheung, and Paul Gleason co-star.
It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries, a vicious creature of myth and legend called Sasquatch, Yeti, and perhaps most infamously, Bigfoot. It’s been hunted it for years. But what happens when it decides to hunt us?
After recovering from a horrific accident, paraplegic Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) moves back into the remote cabin where he and his now-deceased wife once lived. When his new neighbor Karen, is attacked by a gigantic creature, Rogers contacts the local authorities. But after the police and those around him dismiss Rogers as a delusional widower, he sets out to stop the abominable creature himself.
This won’t be your typical collector’s edition as not only will be getting a new high definition transfer of the film originally shot on 35mm, this will also include an all-new cut of the film with improved CGI-effects overseen by filmmaker Schifrin and editor Chris Conlee with enhanced color timing and correction.
As if two cuts of the film weren’t enough, MVD’s Abominable release will also boast a ton of extras both new and ported over from the original DVD release:
-Brand New 2k Remaster of the Film from the Original Camera Negative
-Brand New Introduction from Director Ryan Schifrin (HD)
-‘Basil & Mobius: No Rest For The Wicked’ (16:28, HD) – New short film written and directed by Ryan Schifrin featuring a score by legendary composer Lalo Schifrin and starring Zachari Levi, Ray Park, Malcolm McDowell and Kane Hodder
-Audio Commentary with writer/director Ryan Schifrin, Actors Matt McCoy and Jeffrey Combs
-‘Back to Genre: Making ABOMINABLE” featurette (SD)
-Deleted and Extended Scenes (SD)
-Outtakes and Bloopers (SD)
-“Shadows” Director Ryan Schifrin’s USC Student Film (SD)
-The original 2005 version of “Abominable” (Blu-ray only, 94 mins, SD)
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Poster & Still Gallery Storyboard Gallery
-Audio: 5.1 Surround Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
The MVD Rewind Collection release of Abomimable stomps its way to blu-ray on June 12th.
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