31 Days of October Madness Strikes Back! – Part 3 - Dread Central
Connect with us


31 Days of October Madness Strikes Back! – Part 3



Drag Me to Hell

We’re less than a week from Halloween as October Madness continue to strike back with a vengeance. One thing that never changes during October are those stressful days at work or school and daily responsibilities that drags our free time down the drain and sucks the life out of us like relentless creatures of the night.

That’s why our October activities that bring us joy are very precious, and I hope these viewing recommendations drive you mad with delight and bring ghoulish joy to your evenings, whether by yourself or surrounded by family and friends. Enjoy!


A great treasure from 1987 that’s ripe for rediscovery from a new audience and a deep critical reevaluation is Jack Sholder’s fun sci-fi horror buddy cop extravaganza The Hidden. Michael Nouri actually turned down playing Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon released in the same year to team up with Kyle MacLachlan (Blue Velvet) in this massively entertaining film, and though it didn’t do many favors for Nouri’s acting career, there is absolutely no one that would have been as perfect in the role of detective Thomas Beck. A homicidal alien parasite is taking over human hosts and spreading chaos on a massive crime spree in LA, and an FBI agent with a personal vendetta teams up with a hardboiled detective to take this extraterrestrial menace down.

Backed by an awesome soundtrack and thrill-inducing momentum that never loses its rhythm, this film works as an action movie, a horror movie, and a sci-fi thriller; and it’s never dull for one second.

The Hidden


When looking at David Cronenberg’s body of work, surreal and provocative are words that can apply to just about everything he’s made; however, if I had to choose one of his films as an example of how Cronenberg’s vision can simultaneously work on visceral and intellectual levels, my choice would be Videodrome hands down.

A provocative and unsettling film that explores our relationship with technology and our government in brutal and honest ways, Videodrome forces us to confront ourselves and truly question our place in the world on a spiritual level and confront our mental health in the process. This truly terrifying journey into bizarre mind-control conspiracies and morbid hallucinations is a masterwork by Cronenberg with fantastic performances by James Woods and Debbie Harry with superb special makeup effects by Rick Baker and a hypnotic score by Howard Shore. This film becomes more fascinating with every viewing and will no doubt stick with you and haunt your dreams.



My movie-obsessed uncle gave me a VHS copy of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein when I was eight or nine, and I ended up watching it so much I wore the tape out. Quentin Tarantino said that this was the film that introduced him to the concept of mixing movie genres, and on a subconscious level I could very much say that I was on the same page. Universal’s swan song of sorts for Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster, this 1948 classic is timeless and a great example of how to do horror-comedy right.

The titular comedic duo play freight handlers Wilbur Grey and Chick Young, who end up on the unfortunate receiving end of some cargo from Europe that contains the remains of Frankenstein’s Monster and Dracula to be delivered to a horror house attraction.  But then Dracula awakens and escapes with the Monster, and all hell breaks loose. Everything is played completely straight around Abbott and Costello’s hilarious antics, and as a result it stands as a classic horror film that has just the right amount of laughs and chills to be rediscovered again and again with each passing generation. The welcome return of Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Glenn Strange made this film a dream come true for any Universal monster movie fan, and this is a perfect choice to introduce your young ones to the wonderful world of horror.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein


From the moment after the old Universal logo made its presence welcome, I was immediately struck by this passionate love letter to the old-fashioned macabre with humor, energy, and bite from Sam Raimi; and when it was over, I was grinning from ear to ear. A morality tale of sorts that wouldn’t be out of place in the pages of Tales from the Crypt, Drag Me to Hell tells the tale of Christine Brown, a well-meaning woman who wants to prove to her boss that she’s not too weak to fulfill the demands of her job. She unfortunately finds herself cursed by a Hungarian gypsy after denying her loan extension and finds herself being stalked by a vicious demon as she is brutally tormented for three days before being beckoned to hell.

Raimi is back with most of his old crew from The Evil Dead, and it’s obvious he was having an absolute blast making this entertaining movie that is sometimes disgusting, often times chilling, and always loads of fun.

Drag Me to Hell


If you have not seen Takashi Miike’s horrific psychological masterpiece Audition, this is your warning to stop reading; the less you know about this film before seeing it, the stronger the overall impact of your viewing experience will be. Shigeharu Aoyama is a lonely widower whose sympathetic son and film producer friend set up a phony film audition for Shigeharu to meet an ideal partner to date and help get over his grief.  When he meets Asami, he slowly comes to realize that some thing are too good to be true.

Japanese company Omega Project had great financial success with The Ring and hired screenwriter Daisuke Tengan and director Miike to adapt Ryu Murakami’s book in hopes of having another horror movie smash on their hands. They ended up with a film that is not only acclaimed critically but has become quite influential in its wake. This is a film that slowly gets under your skin without notice and then hits you like a sledgehammer, leaving you helplessly in awe and disarray. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.



It certainly takes something to pull off a film adaptation of this bizarre and wacky short story by Joe R. Lansdale centered around Elvis and JFK in a nursing home forced to fight an ancient Egyptian monster who’s been using their resting home as a feeding ground to enslave the souls of their friends, but if anyone was the right guy for the job, it was Don Coscarelli. Bubba Ho-Tep is extremely low budget and doesn’t have the benefit of using licensed Elvis Presley music or the rights to use footage from Elvis Presley movies, but it does have two dedicated lead actors in the form of Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis, who not only are entirely empathetic and likable but also are completely the heart of this movie, which centers all of the absurdity around them.

Crass and heartwarming, morbid and hilarious, you can’t go wrong with this gem from the director of Phantasm.

Bubba Ho-Tep


Sibling special effects artists The Chiodo Brothers, known for their visually impressive effects work like the Large Marge claymation sequence in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and their amazing puppet work in Critters, directed one movie that was all they needed to cement their cult status, and that movie is Killer Klowns from Outer Space. I by no means have the common phobia of clowns that seems to be the norm nowadays, but even I was creeped out by these alien monstrosities, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t haunt my dreams from time to time.

Suzanne Snyder of Weird Science and John Vernon of National Lampoon’s Animal House have noteworthy roles in this dazzling creature feature that conjures up disturbing circus tropes and assaults the nervous audience with everything from human snacks in cotton candy cocoons to weaponized pies, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. This is a loving tribute to sci-fi films of the Cold War era with an Eighties punk attitude and a morbid sense of humor that features a catchy theme song from The Dickies that will be stuck in your head for weeks.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space


Continue Reading


Spoilers: Which Major Walking Dead Actor Might Leave the Series After This Season?




Like many of you out there, I gave up on AMC’s The Walking Dead a long time ago. In fact, I gave up after they fired Frank Darabont following the horrendous second season.

That said, I’m not bitter towards the series, and hell, even I watched the season premiere where Negan beat the brains off Big Red and the dude from Mayhem.

Also, I’m aware there has been some controversy surrounding the “death” (yeah, right) of Chandler Rigg’s character. I have no opinion on the matter.

Speaking of character deaths, we might want to expect another this season as it looks like Lauren Cohan, aka Maggie, has taken another job on the ABC pilot “Whiskey Cavalier.”

While this doesn’t immediately mean Cohan’s Maggie character will kick the big old zombie-bucket… it pretty much means that.

Variety reports that Cohan has been in negotiations with AMC for months over her return, but she does not currently have a contract for the ninth season and will instead take the lead in the new ABC pilot.

Do you think this means Maggie is done for? Let us know below!

“The Walking Dead” returns on Sunday, February 25th.

Season 8B Synopsis:
All-out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the people at Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors.

At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan’s attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.

But Rick isn’t the only person who’s living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they’re in friendly territory, or if they’ve just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop, and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she’s currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader.

In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene’s loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves.

As all-out war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.


Continue Reading


Filthy and Fine! The Best Shots of Ash vs. Evil Dead



The Evil Dead franchise is my all time favorite horror series, which evolves its mythos with each entry. Of course, the original Evil Dead has been just a straight-up horror film, but thanks to the fateful meeting of filmmaker Scott Spiegel, director Sam Raimi took the franchise into a strange comedic territory, using slapstick while still keeping the tones of sheer terror. What makes this terror stay with the franchise even with Ash’s loudmouth persona is it’s influential and inspiring camera work that Sam Raimi makes a legend behind the camera.

After years of waiting for the master of horror to return to the Evil Dead franchise, our palates were satiated with “Ash Vs Evil Dead” which continued the inspiring cinematography. With two seasons of a television show under Raimi’s watchful eye and a third season on the way, I took a look at every episode in the series to see if each director on board the project kept that eye for cinematography and shooting style. The series was notorious for it’s over the top gore and gags and I could’ve sat here and just gushed over the geysers of blood emitting from every orifice in the show, but, what I found in each episode brought more and more to the table. There are still horrifying shots to balance out the comedy of the show, but there are also amazing character moments within that foreshadow and evolve each character.

Think about it, other than Ash we’ve never had a cast of characters that survived more than two minutes but now there’s a crew of Ghostbeaters! Don’t worry as we still have randoms coming in and out that leave you to ponder, “How long can this poor Shemp live?” as they burst into blood and viscera. There are shots that revel in the grotesque, but there are also shots that revel in who our heroes are and delve into their psyches, the specialty of the Deadites! For those who’d like to follow along with the shots in the show, I’ve given you the time these shots show up if you’re watching the show on Netflix skipping the recaps.

To see the images in their full-size glory, give them a groovy little click!

S1E1: “El Jefe”
Directed By Sam Raimi
The flashlight twirling on the ground illuminating the scene as it spins on the two detectives faces gives way to one of the best sequences in the series. As Amanda’s deadite partner attacks her, the light spins furiously with the actions of the scene as she tries to retrieve her gun. When she retrieves the gun and aims it at the deadite the audience member would get a sigh of relief that she would triumph but is then tricked into terror. The flashlight spinning becomes slower and slower on both their faces as the man cries in pain pleading to his partner. The light illuminates his transformation back into a deadite horrifyingly for a slow dread filled shot. This shot and sequence show Sam still has it and sets up the series for what’s to come.

S1E2: “Bait”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
As Ash brings down the cross upon the ground the camera pans to Pablo and Kelly with a bright sunrise upon them. While the horrors of the night are over it is this sunrise the signifies the dawning of Kelley’s new life and her dialogue over this shot swears her vengeance.

S1E3: “Books From Beyond”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
Up until this point, Ruby has remained a mystery and not given us a sense of danger. Against the howl of the windmill in the background bathing in the moonlight we see her unleash the Kandarian dagger upon the already impaled deadite with a smirk on her face. This shot unravels her mystery bit by bit hauntingly as the first person besides Ash to stare down a Deadite with no fear.

S1E4: “Brujo”
Directed By David Frazee
The Brujo’s entire set up is pretty creepy with all sorts of totems that he utilizes for good but look haunting. When Kelly steps into the barn possessed by Eligos the totems come to life and react to the evil stepping before them. The best one though is the face that quickly begins to disappear bit by bit as Kelly approaches. It utters the word Mentirosa, Spanish for a liar, as she steps forth, giving way to a visually striking and terrifying warning.

S1E5: “The Host”
Directed By: David Frazee
Pablo bids farewell to his youth and tutelage under the Brujo while stepping into a new life with Ash that is more in tune with his family’s spiritual upbringing. With each totem lighting up as Pablo walks by the shots build Pablo’s feelings of loss toward a teacher as Pablo emerges a warrior that foreshadows his importance later to come as the first magical force of good in a fight that’s only ever cast spells of evil.

S1E6: “The Killer of Killers”
Directed By Michael Hurst
This is one of the most hilarious yet meaningful shots of the episode. Amanda’s boss has become a deadite ready to kill her. Ash shoots Amanda’s boss in the head, making her question the authority she had adhered to so much. Her idea of Ash as a villain changed with that charming Smile and look to Amanda in a gory pose over the lower jaw of her former boss. Ash looks to her like Uncle Sam simply saying join us! Blood and viscera flowing around him like a fountain. Dangling legs in the background as an added bonus!

S1E7: “Fire In The Hole”
Directed By Michael Hurst
Actions in combat can tell a story just like any dance. The compatibility between our heroes is evocative of Ash and Amanda’s budding romance during the entire sequence. However, it is this one masterful shot of the two working in unison dodging hellfire that tells the story of warrior’s love lit by demon fire!

S1E8: “Ashes to Ashes”
Directed By Tony Tilse
Ash can never escape the past it seems as the series goes on. He is hesitant to trust Pablo and Kelly as friends in his adventure for fear of losing them like he has lost so many others. This infamous shot from Evil Dead 2 is one of the few things that could make him question his machismo. This time he doesn’t even bring the chainsaw down on his beloved Linda but is forced to watch as an invisible chainsaw comes down upon her head forcing him to be reminded of what he did. This plays heavily into his decision making near the end of the season.

S1E9: “Bound In Flesh”
Directed By Tony Tilse
We finally get to see the book speak and beg Ash to not destroy it. This is something we’ve become accustomed to in the comic series, but have never been treated to the book itself speaking to Ash otherwise. We as the audience become the eye of the book and in true Evil Dead fashion watch, Pablo scream as the camera rushes toward him and he fuses with the book. This moment is the change in Pablo that clashes with his new direction discovered in the shot in Episode 5, which then tortures him internally until the end of season 2 where he is constantly being pulled by the necklace of the Brujo and the evil of the books spells.

S1E10: “The Dark One”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
A dreary moonlight shot of blues against the cabin looking ominous as Kelly stares on drenched in blood and anger. It’s a hauntingly beautiful shot. Kelly has fully embraced herself as a ghost beater and is done being tormented ready to start saving her boys. For a lot of characters, this could easily be a breaking point, but this shot affirms Dana Delorenzo as Kelly among some of the most powerful and able Final Girls on the rise.

S2E1: “Home”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
This shot is very telling of Ruby’s betrayal to evil. As her children surround and attack her, she is obscured by darkness and where she lies in terror a bright light emanates from behind her illuminating the scene as if to show her becoming a hero against evil.

S2E2: “The Morgue”
Directed By Tony Tilse
When this episode aired it was one of the most talked about and disgustingly depraved things to see. A simple Camera rig in front of Ash as he struggles to get out of a corpse, pubic hairs and dick swinging in his face. If Dead Alive wanted to take Evil Dead’s title of biggest gross-out scenes, then “Ash Vs Evil Dead” took the title back with excrement and body fluids all over our hero.

S2E3: “Last Call”
Directed By Tony Tilse
There are a ton of great shots of the evil Delta but perhaps the best one is this single frame of Lacey telling her boyfriend she loves him as he is splattered across the windshield. Blood and glass between them as they try for one last kiss against the fire and demonic lighting coming from the Delta and then splat! It’s a small touching moment that makes Lacey’s character a bit more sympathetic as the show goes on. As for her boyfriend? Well, I told you there would be plenty of Shemps to kill off.

S2E4: “DUI”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
After splattering Ash’s dad across the street, The Delta pulls up with a camera spin into the grill revealing an eye stuck in it. Ash’s one true love, his car, that’s survived everything has turned against him and killed his father just as they had reconnected. A perfect role reversal as Brock William’s severed eye is now staring down Ash through the grill of the car. No longer a window into Brock’s soul, but a sick vision of Ash’s love turned enemy.

S2E5: “Confinement”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
Flashing between light and darkness as the skin is ripped and blood is splattered gives us a horrifying look for the first time at the main antagonist of the season. Baal emerges from the flesh of humanity showing how we are all merely tools for his psychological deceptions.

S2E6: “Trapped Inside”
Directed By Mark Beesley
The moon reflects an eerie light upon Cheryl’s picture as it begins to bleed like the statue of Mary. The innocence of Ash’s sister was never saved and her soul weeps as the flesh is resurrected for evil’s bidding.

S2E7: “Delusion”
Directed By Mark Beesley
This entire episode is about breaking down Ash’s spirit and character, making him think he’s truly insane. As he’s at the breaking point he sees his friends and his love for them saves him. It’s a really simple shot that’s amplified by Bruce’s performance, but that disturbed look against the shadowy bars across his face in the dreary room give him his eureka moment where he comes down from his insanity and understands what he has to do to win.

S2E8: “Ashy Slashy”
Directed By Tony Tilse
Throughout the season the town builds up a boogeyman mythos in Ashy Slashy that we know as an audience member isn’t true but this shot brings Ashy Slashy to life. That boogeyman becomes real as the straight jacket becomes Ashy Slashy’s costume and the fire created by the chainsaw shows a side of Ash we’ve never seen. In this shot, we are convinced he had become a mindless killer.

S2E9: “Home Again”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
We’ve only ever heard his voice and seen his ghost save for a few shots of him discovering the Necronomicon in Evil Dead 2. Professor Knowby watches his student, Tanya, bleed out on the floor. She looks up at her mentor with horror as light swings back and forth casting shadows on his face. He is almost serial killer in nature and the shot reflects how his quest for knowledge outweighs his humanity. We see Professor Knowby and his daughter Ruby are not too dissimilar.

S2E10: “Second Coming”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
The finale brings Ash back to the cabin having to completely confront his past to change the future. With Pablo dead, because of Ash’s own follies, it is in the ashes of Ash’s dark past that Pablo is reborn, no longer tormented by the Necronomicon he takes his first breath as a new human. The evil within him gone and his life ready to begin anew.


Continue Reading


McKenna Grace Snags Lead in Rob Lowe’s Remake of The Bad Seed



Okay so, evidently Rob Lowe is remaking The Bad Seed. Meh, I’m interested. But wait, evidently it will be a Lifetime original film. Urgh, interest is waning.

All jokes aside, I’m intrigued by this remake. Not only is it set to star Rob Lowe, but the man will be directing and executive producing as well.

Another interesting variation is that this film will follow Lowe’s father figure dealing with the evil child, instead of the original film’s mother character played by Nancy Kelly.

And on top of that, today we have news via Deadline that McKenna Grace (Amityville: The Awakening) has been cast as the titular bad seed, Emma, and Patty McCormack – who played the evil little girl in the original, and received an Oscar nomination for performance – will co-star as the psychiatrist who treats Emma.

Grace will next be seen in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House from director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Gerald’s Game).

The Lifetime remake is directed and executive produced by Rob Lowe from a script by Barbara Marshall. Lowe as executive produces with Mark Wolper and Elizabeth Stephen and stars alongside Patty McCormack and McKenna Grace.


Lowe plays a single father who seems to have everything under control. But when there is a terrible tragedy takes place at his daughter Emma’s (Grace) school, he is forced to question everything he thought he knew about his beloved daughter. He slowly begins to question if Emma’s exemplary behavior is just a façade and she played a role in the horrific incident. When more strange things begin to happen, he’s faced with keeping a terrible secret to protect Emma, but ultimately must stop her from striking again.


Continue Reading

Exclusive Clip – Primal Rage

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Recent Comments


Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required


Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC