Posts Tagged ‘Tom Savini’
Thursday, October 7th, 2021
“This is the guy that’s been leavin’ the wet stuff?”
By 1984, when Paramount decided that the fourth FRIDAY THE 13TH would be called “THE FINAL CHAPTER,” Jason and his mom had had a good run terrorizing the Crystal Lake region and the world’s movie screens, for which the studio and filmmakers had received some scolding from critics. But according to Crystal Lake Memories, Paramount was not ashamed. It was part 2 and 3 producer Frank Mancuso Jr. who was beginning to resent the series, because it was all people seemed to associate him with. “I really wanted it to be done and walk away,” he told author Peter M. Bracke. “In some ways, I felt I had grown beyond it, but it was really more me coming to terms with the fact that these movies should be made by people who are pushing themselves and learning and growing. The fact of the matter was that I wasn’t in a place where I could get excited about doing one of these things again. It became a chore.” So, contrary to our assumptions, he was completely serious about killing off Jason in a “final chapter.”
Part II and III director Steve Miner had grown bored of the series too, not interested in “remaking the same film, over and over again,” and he was off trying to make that 3D GODZILLA movie I mentioned at the end of the last review. So they hired a new director with relevant experience. Joseph Zito had directed ABDUCTION and BLOOD RAGE in the ‘70s, but more notably THE PROWLER (1981) is one of the more respectable slashers to come on the heels of HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH, with pretty similar content (a masked killer stalks college students at a graduation party on the anniversary of a past tragedy). FRIDAY producer Phil Scuderi had seen an unfinished version of THE PROWLER and declined to invest in it, but told Zito he would call him when there was another FRIDAY THE 13TH sequel. And that wasn’t just bullshit – he really did! (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alan Hayes, Barbara Howard, Barney Cohen, Bruce Mahler, Camilla More, Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, E. Erich Anderson, final chapters, Greg Cannom, Joan Freeman, Joseph Zito, Judy Aronson, Kimberly Beck, Lawrence Monoson, Lisa Freeman, Peter Barton, slashers, Tom Savini
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 21 Comments »
Monday, October 4th, 2021
“Ma’am – we didn’t find any boy.”
THE TIME HAS COME. I’m finally going to write about all the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies. I did one big review of the whole saga almost 13 years ago, so it’s time for a reboot. At long last I will review them separately, giving each one the focus it deserves – the type of one-on-one, individualized attention that the counselors failed to give poor Jason Voorhees while he was swimming on that fateful day, on account of they were having s-e-x. As far as I am aware no one else has shared opinions on these films before, especially on the internet, so I’m very proud to be breaking this ground, for the good of the community. At last, Jason’s story can be told.
Maybe part of the hangup in starting a series like this is that this first one is the hardest to write about. As a result of the weird choice to make Jason the killer in part 2, the smash hit cultural phenomenon original retroactively became somewhat disconnected from the rest of the series and much of what we associate with it. Like, when they said they were remaking FRIDAY THE 13TH, we knew that meant they were remaking the sequels to FRIDAY THE 13TH. In that favorite horror fan pastime of ranking the installments of a horror series, you gotta be a little hot-takey or at least personal-favoritey to not choose #1 as the best for the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, HALLOWEEN or A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchises, yet very few would do that for FRIDAY THE 13TH. By definition, if you’re a fan of the series you’re a fan of Jason, right? (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer, Harry Manfredini, Sean S. Cunningham, slashers, Tom Savini, Victor Miller, Walt Gorney
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 41 Comments »
Friday, July 17th, 2020
July 19, 1985
DAY OF THE DEAD – like MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME – is a favorite movie of mine that I’ve already written about thoroughly (click here for my review from 2013), but that still felt important to revisit in my analysis of the Summer of 1985. I could watch it every year regardless, but even more than OMEGA MAN this is a movie that I’ve thought of repeatedly since the pandemic lockdown started four months ago. And sure enough, the movie rings true in new ways in 2020. George Romero knew what he was doing.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about it in the context of ’85. Obviously DAY is a little niche – another one of the many interesting movies coming out on the sidelines, not necessarily trying to capture the culture like BACK TO THE FUTURE or something. In a way it goes hand in hand with THUNDERDOME. Both are by visionary genre directors with the first name George, the less-well-received part 3s in the series each director is best known for, which has new chapters spread across decades, drastically reinventing its world each time. But THUNDERDOME was pitched for a wider (and younger) audience than THE ROAD WARRIOR, while DAY continued on the low budget/super-gory path of DAWN OF THE DEAD. And while THUNDERDOME has a larger scale and far more meticulous world-building than its predecessor, DAY mostly just has advances (huge ones) in its special effects makeup. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Ernest Dickerson, George Romero, Greg Mottola, Greg Nicotero, Joe Pilato, John Amplas, John Harrison, Lori Cardille, Summer of 1985, Tom Savini
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 24 Comments »
Wednesday, December 12th, 2018
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I’m saying it now: when it comes to balancing horror and comedy, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is the goal. I mean, there ones I love just as much that I consider a little heavier on the goofiness, like RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and EVIL DEAD 2, but AMERICAN WEREWOLF is that ideal where it’s a perfectly serious horror movie and also it’s funny because of the situations and the way the story is told, and neither quality takes away from the other, in fact they only enhance each other.
Well, what seemed like a million years later, but was actually only eleven, director John Landis did a far lesser known but confidently crafted horror-movie-that-is-funny, this time in the vampire realm. INNOCENT BLOOD tells the story of an out of control couple of nights in Pittsburgh when a well(ish)-intentioned bloodsucker named Marie (Anne Parillaud, LA FEMME NIKITA) decides to feed on the local mafia, and it turns into a big mess. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Angela Bassett, Anne Parillaud, Anthony LaPaglia, Chazz Palminteri, Dario Argento, Don Rickles, John Landis, Linnea Quigley, Robert Loggia, Sam Raimi, Steve Johnson, Tom Savini
Posted in Crime, Horror, Reviews | 12 Comments »
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
I guess I should’ve known about this one, but I didn’t. 1981’s generically titled NIGHTMARE (sometimes called NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN) is apparently pretty notorious due to getting banned in the UK as a “Video Nasty.” That’s not the same as being good. But it has a sleazy, unhinged feeling to it that makes it stand out. It feels like it is definitely not made by slick professionals, but possibly by actual crazy people.
It begins, appropriately, with a guy dreaming he wakes up in his underwear with a woman’s severed head in a pile of guts at the foot of his bed. This will be our killer, George Tatum (Baird Stafford), an often sweaty, always confused mess of a man constantly in agony because of his extremely messed up sexuality. He’s haunted by childhood memories of walking in on his mom (or a mistress or hooker, it seems like, but the credits say mother) in a corset on top of his tied-up dad, slapping him. And then he remembers Mom getting decapitated.
Not surprisingly this is a problem in George’s daily life. For one thing, he likes to go to the Times Square peep shows to jerk off, but he keeps seeing head stump flashes and falling to his knees in anguish. Ruins the whole night, I’m sure.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Slasher Search, slashers, Tom Savini
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 42 Comments »
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
THE BURNING is a slasher movie I like, and I can acknowledge that it’s not great but it just fits into my wheelhouse (you know, the house where I store all my wheels as well as some of the movies I like). Something about those FRIDAY THE 13THs and SLEEPAWAY CAMPs just engrained the summer camp of the ’80s into my mind as a perfect place for a slasher. By day it’s canoes and pushing people off of docks and wearing those gym socks with the stripes at the top. Then at night you realize you’re out in the middle of the fuckin woods! What the fuck are you gonna do if (let’s be honest – when) something happens? Where are you gonna go? Deeper into the dark, quiet woods?
But actually Jason and these guys are scarier when they strike in the sunlight. The sanctity of the summer paradise invaded by machetes and improperly used spear guns. Lens flares and dripping blood. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brad Grey, Fisher Stevens, Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander, prank gone wrong, slashers, summer camps, the god damn Weinsteins, Tom Savini, Tony Maylam
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 97 Comments »
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
“WE WHIPPED ‘EM AND WE GOT IT ALL!”
How do you write a review of DAWN OF THE DEAD at this point? I’ve discussed it to death with a million people over the years, and I figure we’ve all gone over it all before, right? It’s kind of presumptuous to think you’ve got something semi-new to say about a movie that’s been discussed this much. In a way I’ve already reviewed it in bits and pieces over the years, talking about it in my review of the remake and probly other places. But this year I sat down and watched it again and I thought it was a shame it’s not in my reviews archive, because it’s one of my very favorite movies. Look – I can prove it by going on about it for a while! Let’s discuss how great this movie is. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: George Romero, Goblin, great sequels, Ken Foree, Tom Savini, zombies
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 114 Comments »
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
I still love the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, a nice, moody little cinematic play about differences of opinion between strangers hiding out in a farm house during the first ever worldwide zombie epidemic. I believe I watched it Halloween night of 2012 and I realized I’d kind of worn it out, it was too burnt into my brain and I’d need to take a break from it for a few years at least so I could appreciate it more next time.
But I was really jonesing to watch DAWN and DAY of the dead before Halloween this year so I decided to do a historically inaccurate color trilogy by substituting the 1990 remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, which I hadn’t watched in some time. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bill Moseley, George Romero, good remakes, Patricia Tallman, remakes, Tom Savini, Tom Towles, Tony Todd
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 33 Comments »
Monday, October 14th, 2013
There are lots of funny things in MACHETE KILLS. For a while it coasts on enjoyably stupid jokes, like the ridiculous trailer for part 3 of the series that it opens with. Early on it has a little faux-serious melodrama, playing it almost straight when a clash with rogue soldiers, a Mexican drug cartel and an army in lucha libre masks leads to the death of Machete (Danny Trejo, DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN, MARKED FOR DEATH)’s partner. I like the setup, with a redneck Arizona sheriff (William Sadler, DIE HARD 2) failing to hang Machete before he gets called in by the president (Charlie Sheen, NAVY SEALS, credited as Carlos Estevez) who offers him citizenship in exchange for doing a dangerous mission. I thought the joke of casting him was to have a guy as crazy as Sheen as the president, like wasn’t Mickey Rourke the president in MASKED AND ANONYMOUS? It honestly didn’t occur to me until seeing him on a White House set that his dad played the president in The West Wing (not to mention playing Kennedy). Anyway, the best part is the idea that this unsavory slasher/wife-and-daughter-fucker/assassin gets to sit in the White House and hear his offer.
Trejo’s face is even more rugged than ever, if possible, and he doesn’t have to joke around. He’s fun to watch just being that same character, but now equipped with various high-tech variations on machetes to chop people up with. Robert Rodriguez (credited as sole director this time, and also with his name above the title, but only a co-story credit) once again fills the movie with a huge, unlikely cast, mostly playing colorful gimmicky characters: Mel Gibson (PAPARAZZI) as a weapon inventor/space cultist planning to blow up the world, Demian Bichir (2012 best actor nominee for A BETTER LIFE) as a revolutionary/terrorist/something, Amber Heard (DRIVE ANGRY) as a government agent undercover as a beauty queen, Walton Goggins/Cuba Gooding Jr./Lady Gaga/Antonio Banderas all playing the same assassin called El Camaleon, Vanessa Hudgens (SPRING BREAKERS) as a girl that’s in one part, Sofia Vergara allowing Salma Hayek some dignity by stepping in to play the deadly Madam character with army of killer prostitutes (see also Lucy Liu in THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, Zoe Bell in BAYTOWN OUTLAWS, etc.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alexa Vega, Amber Heard, Antonio Banderas, Charlie Sheen, Cuba Gooding Jr., Danny Trejo, Demian Bichir, Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, Marko Zaror, Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Tom Savini, Vanessa Hudgens, Walton Goggins, William Sadler
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Reviews | 45 Comments »
Monday, July 31st, 2000
Folks this week I’m gonna cut right to the chase. I have just seen a movie that is new to dvd that is VERY likely the BEST FUCKIN MOVIE EVER. This is a movie many of you have probaly never seen and hell I never even HEARD of this piece until the other day however it is, for those of you just joining us, the BEST FUCKIN MOVIE EVER.
Now I have been tallying and calculating votes for the top 100 Badass Films of All Time and this picture has not received one vote. And I’m not complainin because this is not a Badass picture per se. It is more of a drama than an action film and is more about feeling and sentiment than about attitude and breaking a motherfucker’s arms or whatever.
The name of the picture is Knightriders, a film directed by George A. Romero in 1980. It was one of those movies that did very poorly at the box office and was never heard of again…. until it came to dvd and most people discovered that it was the BEST FUCKIN MOVIE EVER. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: code of honor, Ed Harris, George Romero, Tom Savini
Posted in Vern Tells It Like It Is | 26 Comments »