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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My top 100 (yes... you did read that right) Horror movies part 1.

Welcome back to the world of horror. Just in time for Halloween, I'd thought I'd list my top 100 horror movies in seven separate parts,  just for your pleasure/pain, depending on your preference for movie lists. So, without further rambling, here we go.

100. The cabinet of Dr . Caligari (1920).

An amazing piece of German expressionist cinema, and in my opinion the third greatest silent movie ever made. The stylized sets, the over exaggerated acting almost to the point of dancing, and the whole dream like narrative make this one of the greatest early horror films in existence.

99.The Phantom of the Opera (1925).

Another amazing silent movie, and the make up achieved by  "The man of a thousand faces" Lon Chaney, is absolutely amazing for the time, and the shot where his face is revealed near the end of the movie still remains one of the most shocking scenes in horror movie history.

98.Nosferatu (1922).

Again, German expressionist cinema comes to the forefront of horror with a movie that was in essence Dracula, but with name changes as the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel. Some of the shots in this movie have been recreated in many other films, and Max Schreck's performance as Count Orlok still chill the bones to this very day.

97.The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973).

The third Hammer film to feature Christopher Lee as the eponymous Count Dracula, and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. This movie is amazing and in my opinion, is Christopher Lee's greatest performance as Dracula. The film deals with a conspiracy to release the bubonic plague upon humanity once more. Who is behind the plan? Give it a watch and enjoy the hell out of this one.

96.The Curse of Frankenstein (1957).

Another Hammer film, this time with Christopher Lee taking the role of The Monster, and Peter Cushing as Baron Von Frankenstein. Hammer's first ever colour movie is simply stunning in every sense of the word. The ending should also get a mention as its ambiguity is puzzling but fits the movie perfectly.

95.Black Sunday (1960).

The story of a vampiric witch who returns two hundred years after being put to death by her brother, is an exercise in pure gothic horror. The movie is also incredibly violent for its time and showcases director Mario Bava's penchant for chilling photography and his amazing sense of the macabre.

94.The Gore Gore Girls (1972).

H.G Lewis. A name synonymous with splatter cinema brings us his most despicable, blood soaked work in The gore gore girls. The story of a murderer killing women in a strip club. That's the plot sorted out! This film is bloody beyond belief and contains all the carnage and tongue in cheek humor apparent in all of Herschell Gordon Lewis' other movies. Just check out the meat tenderizer scene for one hell of a laugh!!

93.The Deadly Spawn (1983).

An amazingly gory Sci Fi/horror movie from the early eighties. An alien creature that crash lands onto earth finds refuge in a basement of a house. Anyone who ventures down into the basement becomes lunch for the alien creature which also happens to grow at an alarming rate! Splatter galore in this warming homage to fifties B movie creature features. The ending of this movie spread a huge smile across my face. I certainly didn't expect what happened!!

92.The Fly (1958).

I absolutely loved this film as a child, and it really does have a special place in my heart. The scene where the fly with the human head (yes, consider this my first ever spoiler) screams "help me help me" when it is trapped in a spiders web, still sends shivers down my spine to this very day.

91.The Masque of the Red Death (1964).

Roger Corman, the man who can make amazing movies for practically nothing directs Vincent Price in an adaptation of Poe's story of the same name. Vincent Price plays a prince who terrorizes a small plague ridden village. An amazing film that also has satanism and many creepy moments to keep the viewer fixed to the screen watching the horror unfold. The meeting between the old woman and the red cloaked figure who hands her a white rose which is then covered in blood has stuck in my mind to this very day.

90.Prince of Darkness (1987).

The first John Carpenter movie to feature in the list, is probably the one people seem to hear of the least. Donald Pleasence plays a priest who visits a church with a professor and a group of academics that contains a vessel that seems to hold the very essence of the antichrist. This movie is also notable for having a cameo by Alice Cooper as a bicycle frame wielding hobo. A very subdued movie, the finale explodes in an apocalyptic showdown of green liquid and the attempted birth of the Anti god. (No, that wasn't a typo. Give the movie a watch, and you'll see what I mean) .

89.Society ( 1992 ) .

Brian Yuzna directed this complete headfuck of a movie. I remember seeing excerpts of it on "This is Horror" ,a VHS I purchased many years ago from a discount bookstore. Bill doesn't feel he fits in with his wealthy family or their friends, and when he is handed a tape of what sounds like his family taking part in a violent orgy, his suspicions are raised even more.But what he actually finds out may be hard for some of you to stomach. The FX in this movie are downright stomach churning and vile and the ending, although humorous, has to be one of the most disgusting things I have seen committed to celluloid.

88.Vamp ( 1986 ) .

I remember seeing this one in my local Plazza video rental store all the time as a child with the cover featuring a nude Grace Jones bathed in green light with no hair and fangs. Admittedly, the movie is more of a comedy horror, but it in no way stops it from being enjoyable and Grace Jones is truly hypnotic in her role as Katrina.

87.Scanners ( 1981 ) .

Another one from my childhood, and for one scene in particular. This was the first time I ever saw anyone's head explode. Michael Ironside is truly chilling in this movie .Strangely, it contained none of the perversity of Cronenberg's earlier movies and was structured as more of an adventure/thriller. Even so, I love this movie and the duel between Revok and Vale at the end is a horror fans dream.

86.Dellamorte dellamore ( 1994 ) .

Michele Soavi brings us his take on the zombie genre in the hilariously dead pan Dellamorte dellamore (which translates as of death of love ). Francesco Dellamorte is the caretaker of the Buffalora cemetery, and along with his sidekick Gnaghi, have to deal with the problem of the dead returning to life after seven days. The film is incredibly strange, the cinematography amazing and the humor as black as can be. One for Halloween night that's for sure!!

85.Maniac cop ( 1988 ) .

William Lustig and Larry Cohen team up to bring us the story of a killer in a cops uniform terrorizing the streets of New York city. Jack Forrest, played by the mighty Bruce Campbell is arrested as the chief suspect. Can he prove his innocence? Can the killer be stopped? This film was a favourite of mine again when I was younger and amazingly still lives up to the memories I have of it. Robert Z'dar is amazing as the title character and Bruce Campbell plays it straight and wins the audience over in this amazing mixture of horror and action.

Darkest regards......Dani.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Phantasm Movies.


Noun :1 A figment of the imagination.An apparition or illusion.
           2 An illusory likeness of something.

As mentioned in my previous post, I am going to be looking at all four of the Phantasm movies, looking at each of them individually and giving reasons why I love this series of films. I know the Phantasm movies are pure "Marmite" films, as in you either love them or hate them. There is no middle ground. I am in the former category. The whole dream like quality and the fantastical elements instantly made me fall in love with this series. Anyway...Lets begin with:-


Some people consider this film a confusing, disjointed mess. Perhaps, but it still has the power to be incredibly creepy and made on an incredibly low budget, blends many different genres of movies into a horrific masterpiece.

The original film is written, directed and shot and edited by Don Coscarelli and is definitely one of the most "out ther " movies I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

The original Phantasm tells the story of twelve year old Michael, who has recently lost his parents , and latches onto his brother Jody, following him everywhere, even to the cemetery to watch his brother make out.

But something strange is going on at the cemetery, and the mausoleum within. Something with cloaked dwarf like creatures and a sinister looking tall man.

I remember watching this film many years ago when it was shown on TV in the UK and it really didn't sit well with me. It confused me and although the feeling of the film was that of a horror, the use of dimensional travel and the sight of a red planet all gave this film a Sci Fi feel too.

A few years later, I came across the movies again and my curiosity got the better of me and I bought the whole collection. Watching the first film again, it looks amazing for its time. The characters (most of them portrayed by non actors) are played well, with Reggie Bannister providing comic relief and Angus Scrimm's Tall man a truly creepy and menacing villain.

The music is another thing worthy of mention, very reminiscent of Fabio Frizzi or John Carpenter, the theme for Phantasm is another in a long line of amazing horror theme tunes.

Yes, the movie has a dreamlike/nightmarish quality, but just look at the meaning of the word Phantasm. It tells you everything you need to know in the title.

Phantasm II.
Film Review: Phantasm II (1988) phantasm II Movie 1988 1

The second of the phantasm movies takes everything seen in the first movie and increases the weirdness factor tenfold. This movie is set ten years after the original movie. After Michael is released from psychiatric care, he tracks down Reggie and they set off again in an attempt to stop the Tall Man. This film definitely increases on everything the original had and ups the weirdness even more, and we even get to see the dwarf like creatures in action a lot more.

This film has more balls, more special FX and a faster paced story than the original. This really is my favorite in the Phantasm series of films as the weirdness is upped considerably and the film is incredibly nightmarish, with the Tall Mans monstrous creations taking center stage.

This film had the largest budget of all of the Phantasm movies, and I for one love KNB's special FX in the movie giving the film an even more fantastical edge than the original. The feel of the movie is fast paced, never giving you a minute to breath up until the amazing conclusion. Check it out.You may not like it, or you may discover an amazing little horror movie. What have you got to lose???

Phantasm III.


Something about this movie doesn't seem right. I don't know what it is. It feels as though all the horror has been replaced with tongue in cheek humor and action sequences.

Michael apparently has spent two years comatose in hospital, when his brother appears to him in a dream and tells him he isn't ready to cross over into the light yet. Reggie comes to visit and is attacked by a demonic looking nurse and so begins the third film of the series.

This film sees Reggie Bannister become the main character, which is no bad thing but it does bring the comedy to the forefront of the movie which I feel hurts the movie.

Looking back, I still feel no different about this movie. I feel it is much more of a comedy and is played for laughs, and it certainly doesn't continue the trend set by the first two movies (whether that's a bad thing, well, I'll leave that for you to decide).

Phantasm OblIVion.

The forth movie in the franchise manages to answer a lot of questions left unanswered in the previous movies, but also manages to bring up a lot more. The film makes use of scenes not used in the previous Phantasm movies, but also contains a lot of newly filmed footage.

The film is basically Michael traveling through the dimensional forks, learning much about the Tall Man and it really does manage to capture the spirit of the original Phantasm.

It is confusing, it is incredibly dream like and in all honesty I didn't find it that enjoyable.

That isn't to say it isn't a good film. It just felt like it was a made for TV movie. It feels incredibly cheap (which I assume it was, and this is no bad thing), but the constant jumping back and forth left me confused. Still worth a shot if you enjoyed the previous three movies but I certainly wouldn't be recommending it as a stand alone movie.

Thank you again for taking the time to read my thoughts.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


What a movie!! British director Alex Chandon (Pervirella, Cradle of fear) returns with his third feature, and hell what an amazing ride!!

The film tells the story of a group of young offenders and their care workers taking a trip to a small village in the north of England called Mortlake for some team building exercises. After a visit to a pub named The dirty hole and an incident by some disused trains, things get a hell of a lot bloodier for our group of teens and their care workers.

This film really is insane on all levels! The story is gripping, the gore FX look brilliant and the ending just tops the whole movie off brilliantly!

There is even a cameo by a British soap opera actor named Dominic Brunt in the role of Podge who happily carries a chainsaw around with him and uses it with great pleasure.

I really have nothing bad to say about this movie. It manages to please on every level and has the same kind of energy as Evil dead II or Braindead (Dead alive) .

The cinematography is also beautiful, capturing the north of England perfectly. There are also some great one liners in the film and when the Inbred's of the title have one of their shows, the costumes they wear are not only hilarious but they are also rather disturbing with over exaggerated movements to go with the costumes.

The deaths in the movie have to be seen to be believed. I'm not going to reveal any of them, because I think anyone reading this should go out and see this movie no matter what!!

You can purchase the Region 2 DVD from Amazon by clicking here.

You can purchase the Region B Blu ray from Amazon by clicking here.

Watch it as soon as possible!!!! You won't regret it!!

Darkest regards......Dani.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Return to the Class of Nuke 'em High.

Come on. Hands up. Who's excited about Lloyd Kaufman's Return to the Class of Nuke 'em High??
I, for one am practically dying in anticipation of another amazing movie from Troma. This very small post is just to let you all know that a teaser trailer has surfaced (don't worry, I will be putting it in this post a little later) which also tells where the movie will have it's premiere.

Here's hoping (although in all honesty, every fan of Troma knows Lloyd Kaufman can do no wrong) that Return to the Class of Nuke 'em High kicks as much ass as every other Troma release out there. My feelings tell me judging by the sneak peak, this movie is gonna be tromariffic!!!

Without further rambling from me... here is the trailer I promised!!

Darkest regards......Dani.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Clownhouse ( 1989 ) .

I remember seeing this video in my local Plazza video store when I was younger. The cover intrigued me and I remember the first time I saw the trailer, I really wanted to see the movie. But before I had the chance, my local video store became Blockbuster and they got rid of most of the horror movies which was incredibly disappointing.

Having watched the film a few years ago, I wasn't missing out on much. The movie has very little onscreen violence and is more akin to John Carpenter's Halloween in it's use of lighting and atmosphere as opposed to blood and gore.

Another thing, I just didn't think this movie was in the slightest bit scary and found myself looking at the clock a number of times whilst viewing. Admittedly there are some creepy scenes and a couple of jump scares, but the movie just falls flat. It really doesn't seem to go anywhere.

Now I guess if I had a fear of clowns, then this would definitely be the scariest movie I would have the pleasure of viewing. Maybe that's another reason I didn't enjoy the movie.

The movie tells the story of Casey, who suffers from Coulrophobia (a fear of clowns). He is left with his two older brothers one night, and they decide to visit the local circus despite knowing about Casey's phobia.

The camerawork in the circus is amazing at showing Casey's fear and the music when a clown grabs Casey's arm speaks more than any script could.

As the boys make their way home, three escaped mental patients murder three circus clowns and dress up as clowns themselves, and then they begin stalking the three boys, following them home and terrorizing them.

I was left rather disappointed with this movie. It just didn't do anything for me and left me wanting so much more. It wasn't even the fact there was very little violence, I just didn't feel the scares were effective enough for the regular viewer and the film really seemed to drag.

It was another case of the trailer making the movie look amazing but the movie itself not living up to the trailers promise. Maybe if the movie was better paced and didn't spend so much time on the set up, it might have been a much better movie.

Darkest regards......Dani.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Toetag pictures , and reviews of all of Toetag's movies.

Welcome to a new blog post. One where I'm going to inform you of a Film/FX company any self respecting horror fan should have heard of. That's right, I'm talking about Toetag. They hail from Pittsburgh and in my opinion make some of the greatest horror movies out there. Yes, Toetag is an independent studio, but you really can't tell that from their movies.

They have even handled FX in movies such as Nick Palumbo's Murder Set Pieces, and for the Tom Savini directed segment of Theatre Bizarre entitled Wet Dreams.

But I'm much more interested in telling you all about Fred Vogel's (co founder of Toe tag pictures, along with fellow FX genius Jerami cruise) movies. Having been fortunate to view every single one of them, I thought I'd attempt to open some of my readers eyes to the genius that is Toetag Pictures.

But beware. These movies are not for the faint of heart. Please don't take this warning lightly as we are about to venture into the darkest recesses of Horror cinema, where no taboo is safe, where boundaries will be pushed way beyond breaking point. I will give a basic rundown of the plot, and what I thought of each movie. Here we go. Lets begin with...

August Underground.

This film, as the two sequels are presented in the found footage style and degraded even further after being shot on video. The movie begins with a man inviting the camera man into his basement where he is holding a woman captive. The film doesn't waste any time in getting to the depraved acts of the killer and the camera man accomplice.

When I first saw this film, I was shocked, upset and had never been effected by any movie in this way before. It is still one of the most accurate visions of what a TRUE serial killer would be like, and is all the more disturbing for that very reason. But with what came next, Toetag would go down in history as being the creators as what is widely considered to be the sickest movie ever made.

August Underground's Mordum.

The film begins with the killer from the first movie walking down stairs to a door where we can hear a couple having sex. Not too long after we find out the couple are brother and sister and the woman is also the killers new girlfriend. After this, the movie just gets sicker and sicker. The first twenty minutes or so contain amongst other things, a graphic penis removal and believe me, the sickness doesn't end there.

If your looking for a film to push the boundaries of what is wrong, to show true atrocities, then forget Men Behind the Sun, ditch that copy of Philosophy of a Knife, and pick up a copy of August Underground's Mordum.

I wouldnt say it's a movie you can enjoy, its more something that has to be experienced and something that will stay with you for a long time after viewing it.

August underground's Penance.

The final movie in the August underground trilogy, and this contains what I feel is the most disturbing home invasion scene I have ever witnessed. This sequel isn't as degraded as the previous August Underground movies but it does still adopt the found footage style of camerawork of the previous two movies. Again there are some truly disturbing scenes and the ending is shocking but incredibly fitting. A must see if you have managed to stomach the first two movies.

The Redsin Tower.

This was the first Toetag movie I ever saw. This is where Toetag ditched the Found footage camera work of the August underground movies, and made an awesome supernatural horror movie.

Kim has broken up with her boyfriend Mitch, but Mitch really hasn't took it well. Kim and her friends go to party at the Redsin tower, and Mitch follows them there where all sorts of butchery, possession and even maggot vomiting ensues.

All of Toetag's detractors who said they couldn't make a real movie were proved wrong with this great slice of supernatural horror. The atmosphere in the film is second to none and yes, it is a slow moving movie, but that only helps crank the tension up to unbearable levels and when the gore hits home, you'll be left, mouth agape, shocked into submission. Definitely one of my personal favorite Toetag releases.

Murder Collection V: 1.

What we have here is a shockumentary in the vein of Faces of death or The philosophy of a knife, but one that looks incredibly realistic, unlike the two movies I mentioned previously. It shows a collection of videos from a (fictional) banned web series called Murder. There are eleven scenes, each depicting a murder or murders. My favorite of these has to be Execution, where a group of people decapitate a man in front of a woman and then taunt her with the severed head before finishing her off. An amazing collection of videos and in all honesty, most of them could be mistaken as real footage. Definitely one to check out if your morbid curiosity tempts you it's way, or if you are just a curious movie fan looking for something truly disturbing.


In Maskhead we meet Syl and Maddie, a lesbian couple who make extreme fetish movies entitled Maskhead where a large lumbering killer tortures and murderers his co stars in these movies on screen. This is in my opinion the least gory Toetag movie, but this movie really doesn't need that much gore as the final scene sees our masked killer use a two by four in a very interesting way. One that will make you either smile with sadistic glee or vomit again and again. The story is gripping, it's dark and twisted and the violence, when it does appear is sickeningly realistic.

Sella Turcica.

Sella Turcica is another amazing movie from Toetag, and is a well written movie all round. Brad and his squad have disappeared while serving in the army in the middle east and ten days later, Brad and ten other men turn up unconscious outside of their base. When Brad woke up in Germany, he had lost the ability to walk and suffers from severe headaches that are made worse by high pitched noises. He is then sent home to be cared for by his family but he goes through some changes. Changes that don't bid well for Brad or the rest of his family.

The film shows Brad's descent into illness well, and the ending is nothing I expected at all, and is brutal and gorefilled,  and has a rather Cronenburg flavour to it. Again,  another amazing independent horror movie, and one that all horror fans should watch.

Do Toetag a favor , and visit their website by clicking here.

All of their movies, and all manner of merchandise can be purchased there and the prices are a hell of alot better than on Amazon or anywhere else I've noticed. Also, for any fellow metal heads out there, they also stock Necrophagia t shirts (something I 've been after for ages, but have had no luck finding, except for the Deathtrip 69 t shirt, which really didn't appeal to me).

Please spread the sickness further, lets open more peoples eyes to these amazing movies.

Darkest regards......Dani.