The Week In Horror: Vampires, and Zombies, and ‘Critters,’ Oh My!

Have you all been tuning into to Joe Bob Briggs on Shudder? The Last Drive-In has been playing gold. This past Friday, his second feature was Ti West’s The House of the Devil. Ten years old this year, and it has aged beautifully. What a great movie!

But what’s new?

Joe Begos’ new film, Bliss, debuted at Tribeca Film Festival. Megan Navarro has an excellent review over at Bloody Disgusting (HERE). Begos debuted with a splatterpunk take on alien abduction with Almost Human. He followed it up with an action-packed homage to Scanners called Mind’s Eye, my favorite movie of 2015. Now, Begos is taking on the vampire sub-genre in Bliss and I can’t be more excited to see it. You really need to spend a moment with this trailer! The score, the carnage, and is that a sly nod to Bill Paxton in Near Dark with those shades? Be excited, be very excited. Begos is currently at work on his next feature, VFW, which he describes as The Wild Bunch meets Night of the Living Dead!

Netflix has canceled Santa Clarita Diet after three seasons. The zombie horror comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant has been flat out hilarious and thoroughly gruesome. For Netflix to pull the plug is mind-boggling. Were the numbers bad? Who knows? Barrymore and Olyphant’s chemistry on the show was good and the supporting cast were all fantastic as well, right down to Nathan Fillion’s performance as a severed zombie head living in the basement. Seriously, there are so few comedies I truly love, and this show had me cackling so many times.

The Critters franchise has been dormant for two decades and now 2019 is seeing two new releases. The first, The New Binge, is already streaming on Shudder in 8 ten minute chunks. People I’ve interacted with online have been pretty mixed on it overall. As a major Critters fan since the original, I’m willing to forgive a lot, but at the same time, it really leans into the comedy just a smidge too much. Well, in July, we’ll get to see if the straight-to-Blu, Critters Attack!, is more successful at recapturing the balance of creature horror and comedy of the original two films. The trailer looks fairly promising, with the addition of a new female Critter that looks like a prop rescued from an 80s film. Most importantly, though, Hollywood’s greatest mom/horror icon Dee Wallace is back for the first time since the original!

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