There are not one, not two but THREE major releases out today that any discerning Halloween and horror fan should be excited about.
What are they?
Well, come on along and I'll introduce you.
Wipe your chin first... you've got spaghetti or something there...
I was excited about Zombieland when it came out during the Halloween season last October (you can read about that HERE). I was worried it may be a bit overhyped hearing the early positive-buzz, but after seeing it I can honestly say that it was an absolute pleasure to watch. With all the good things being thrown around, one word that came up again and again was "fun."
I agree with the masses: Zombieland is big, dumb fun. Though a bit more "comedy" than "horror" the allusions to it being an American Shaun of the Dead have merit. To clarify: it's not a "dumb" film in the way that, say, --oh I don't know-- Transformers is dumb. It's just a simple little clever movie done with style, wit and panache that will leave you with a smile on your face by the time the credits roll 81 minutes later.
Americans ate it up to the tune of $75 million in ticket sales, becoming one of Sony's biggest hits of 2009. Not bad for a little movie that only cost $23.6 million and stars that guy from Cheers.
What's my point of gushing about this film TODAY?
It's on DVD and Blu-Ray!
Amazon links are below. Click on 'em and order and I'll get 6 pence!
For the real film and writer geeks I HIGHLY recommend listening to the Creative Screenwriting podcast (it's FREE) HERE or on iTunes (HERE: ) for a fascinating in-depth interview with the writers of one of the best zom-coms out there. (You know... because there are SO many.)
ROB ZOMBIE'S HELLBILLY DELUXE 2
Rob Zombie takes a little time off from pissing people off with Halloween movies to sequel-ize himself.
I love Hellbilly Deluxe.
I think it's a fine piece of schlock rock with a groovy beat that I put on every October... but I always get nervous when rock stars try and catch lightning in a bottle again.
Has there ever been a GOOD "sequel" album?
Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell 2, Metallica's "The Unforgiven II," the list goes on. All were pale comparisons to the original. Will Hellbilly Deluxe 2 befall the same fate? Dunno.
I've owned every one of Mr. Zombie's albums (going back to White Zombie) but Educated Horses left me feeling like he was starting to phone-it-in.
The LA Times gave it a pretty positive review HERE but I won't know until I buy and listen myself.
Drop a review in the comments if you've purchased it yourself and let me know what you think.
Ahhhh the piece de resistance!
I caught this movie on VOD last October hearing good stuff about it. And I'm glad I did. The film tugged at my retro-horror heartstrings and I've been waiting for its home video debut so I can take another gander at it.
Turning up on many horror site's "Best of 2009" lists, House of the Devil is an acquired taste. The film was shot in 2009 but is made to look like it was dug out of a defunct 80s film company's vaults.
It's an experiment in replicating what came before. The film has the grain and brown hues of a film from the 1980s and is even set as a period piece from that same time. Complete with Walkmans, no cell phones, and a trade-mark of late 70s early-80s horror films: the sloooooow burn.
It may not be for all, but for those who grew up and appreciate the VHS cassettes of horror's yesteryear, this is a trip down memory lane.
Speaking of videocassettes, most noteworthy should be the marketing for the film. Posters look to be from the time period (complete with FOLDS) and now that it's on video the best promotional stunt yet: THE FILM ON ACTUAL VHS.
That's right: if you buy the special DVD set from Amazon (see link below) you'll get the standard DVD with a VHS copy of the film (complete with Gorgon Video logo). Incredible. I've never wanted something so stupid and yet so brilliant at the same time. I don't even own a VCR anymore and I want this.
I'd want to take this tape with me to one of those cabin rentals that leaves you with a crappy TV and VHS player, and just slip it in the pile. No one would ever know it was from 2009. It's that accurate.
Do check it out and let me know what you think.
So there you go. It may be February when horror and Halloween seem scarce and October seems months away (wait... it is). But there's some good stuff out there to keep us Addicts entertained through these bleary winter months.