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

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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!

THE HIDDEN

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

VIDEODROME

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.

Videodrome

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN

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

DRAG ME TO HELL

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

AUDITION

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.

Audition

BUBBA HO-TEP

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

KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE

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

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December

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Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!

Synopsis:

Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package

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Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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