Category Archives: Film
“I am a Death Dealer.” – Selene
Even though I’m a fan of pretty much all of the genres that exist within the Horror category, the ‘monster movie’ will forever be my favorite. I use the term ‘monster’ to define anything that’s non-human.
It started in my childhood with classics like “Gremlins” and “Ghostbusters”, and continues to this day with what has developed into one of the most entertaining ‘monster’ franchises, “Underworld”.
No matter how hungry you get, there is one food source that is strictly taboo, firmly off-limits, and definitely not for civilized consumption. So it’s no wonder that gorging on human flesh is too harrowing and far too repulsive an act to ever consider – no matter how dire the (pardon the pun) stakes.
The idea literally turns our stomachs.
And that’s what makes the 1999 dark humour horror film, Ravenous, so much fun!
Any film from Studio Ghibli is a treat. The Japanese anime house has put out some great movies over the years, including Hayao Miyazake’s films Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). Now officially retired, Miyazake’s worked slowly but steadily, putting out a film every five years or so. His Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata is even less prolific. The director of the masterful WWII story Grave of the Fireflies (1988) has only made three films since, his last My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) released over fourteen years ago. His return at age 78 with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2014) shows that Takahata hasn’t missed a beat. Beautiful and moving, he delivers another anime masterpiece.
The Universal Monsters are pop culture icons. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman – all exist in our consciousness in the images created of them back in the 1930s by Universal Studios. All later versions of these creatures are seen through the lens of this original motion picture creation. As good as Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman, or even this new Dracula Untold guy, Luke Evans, have been as Count Dracula, our first impression, our go-to visual will always be the aristocratic, Eastern accented, slick haired, perfect suited and caped Bela Lugosi version. More on the 1931 Dracula, and its secret Spanish twin, after the jump.
When I sat down to watch Neil Jordan’s masterful 2012 vampire film, Byzantium, I was filled with more than a little apprehension. I gave up on the “beautiful” vampire some time in the late 1990s when Lestat, protagonist of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, was busy entertaining self-indulgent and mediocre conversations with God and the Devil in Memnoch the Devil (a largely forgettable novel). “That’s it!” I thought, and throwing the book to the ground, I vowed to never again indulge in the onanistic drivel of most teen goths. Don’t even get me started on the Twilight franchise. More on Byzantium after the jump.
Think of the high pitched screech of metal across metal, the low guttural growl of a wild animal or the rapid plucking of violin strings again and again to illicit a sense of tension. Undoubtedly, one of the most important elements of any horror film is sound: both in music score and in effects.
Still, visceral imagery and the underlying text that a film is based upon can have an enormous affect on the mindset of a viewer.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, at the origin of the art form we call film, the black and white L’Inferno, released in 1911, silent and arresting, tested the relevance of this treatise. The result was an overwhelmingly popular and horrifying experience for all of those that viewed the film then, as well as those that view it today.
“They’re here…” – Carol Anne
You’ve got to love the early 80’s. At the time of Poltergeist’s release, there was no PG-13 rating so instead this film received a rating of PG (along with other childhood nightmare-inducing releases of the time including “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Gremlins”).
Was I immediately scarred for life after viewing this at the age of 7? Sure…but I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything; even if it means to this day that I still check under the bed at night!
Biff Bam Pop! presents The GAR! Podcast, the Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall weekly podcast where they talk unrehearsed about whatever happens to come to mind. It’s an audio-zine for your mind, a nerd exploration of a nerd world. This week, we’re talking about the TCM Cruise and Marvel Comics cancelling Fantastic Four. See and hear more after the jump.