Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Buy Horror Themed Postage Stamps

The Post Office is suffering from, shall we say, financial woes these days.  More and more, people are relying solely on electronic forms of communication rather than hand-written letters.  But maybe these stamps will help change your mind, available from Zazzle.com.  Click on the description for more information.






More designs available by clicking HERE.

--J/Metro

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.14: Ghost Ship (1993)


Tales From The Crypt
Season 1, Episode 14
Ghost Ship

We interrupt the Cryptkeeper's bath time--don't worry, he's fully dressed--and he tells us today's story while he scrubs his moldy feet.


A pair of totally tubular surfer dudes hijack a motorboat, which promptly breaks down in the middle of the ocean. When a ship approaches them, they board, believing that they're saved. Little do they know that it's a ghost ship--literally!--haunted by the skeletal spirits of a pirate crew.

After a lengthy battle, they're convinced to assist the ship's captain in recovering a buried treasure


It's Bill and Ted meets Pirates of the Caribbean, which isn't nearly as charming as it sounds. The surfer dude dialogue gets tedious real fast, but there is the occasional set piece that is pretty nice to look at. It's a mock-epic episode, and turns out to be a pretty weak way to end the first season.


--J/Metro

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.13: Grounds For Horror (1993)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper
Season 1, Episode 13
Grounds For Horror

The Cryptkeeper, dressed like a kid on a camping trip, introduces today's "crampfire story" Grounds For Horror.

A group of kids at summer camp are expecting a season of fun in the sun, but are sorely disappointed to find that it's run like a boot camp for wayward boys. Refusing to let Camp Counselor Bill ruin their summer, they embark on small acts of harmless rebellion.


A few strange occurrences, such as Bill seemingly being hoisted in the air by an invisible hand, turns out to be the work of a woodland monster known as Hoser, who befriends the kids and continues to torment the counselor.

Decent enough, but nothing special or remotely scary. It should have been more Friday the 13th, and less Pete's Dragon meets Meatballs.


--J/Metro

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Short Film: Volkodlak

Heya, Hipsters!

I received an e-mail from a fellow named Bjørn Egil Eide, asking me to check out a short film entitled Volkodlak, a vampire flick that is a throwback to the silent era.  Shot in grainy black & white, with intertitles instead of dialogue, and a booming orchestral score, they truly nailed the aesthetic that they were shooting for.

It's a low budget project, but the filmmakers worked around their limitations amazingly well.  It's a dazzling little film, running about 24 minutes or so, with a great twist ending.  I recommend any fans of classic horror give it a glance.  I doubt you'll be disappointed.

It's available for free in two parts at the official YOUTUBE CHANNEL, and I've also embedded it below.






--J/Metro

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.12: This Wraps It Up (1993)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper
Season 1, Episode 12
This Wraps It Up

The Cryptkeeper, in full-on archaeologist mode, introduces today's tale called This Wraps It Up.

A school teacher somehow gets permission to take her students on a field trip to Egypt to see the great pyramid, but their bus breaks down in front of an archeological expedition. Even more unlikely, the students are allowed to accompany the scientists as they explore a tomb that has just been uncovered.


They literally stumble upon the burial chamber of Ikama Kama, awakening a mystical connection between that Egyptian princess and one of the female students.


Part Indiana Jones, part Mummy, and mostly uninteresting. It's all atmosphere and theory for the majority of the episode, a genuine "monster" not appearing until the finale.

All in all, pretty disappointing.

--J/Metro

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.11: Gorilla's Paw (1993)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper
Season 1, Episode 11
Gorilla's Paw

The Cryptkeeper is on safari, in search of the mystical Gorilla's Paw which, much like the more famous Monkey's Paw, grants wishes. To help pass the time, he regales us with today's tale.

Poor picked-on and put-upon Louis wants nothing more than to be a member of the cool kids club--they have a themesong and everything! In order to impress them, he steals an antique gorilla's paw from a curio shop, which is said to grant wishes.


All his wishes DO come true, including his entry to the club, but he of course learns that there are consequences for every action.

It's a mediocre episode with a lengthy, ridiculous scene involving a horror-themed American Gladiator-type game show. I suppose it's supposed to teach us a thing or two about friendship, but all I learned was not to piss off a gorilla. And I kinda knew that already.


--J/Metro

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eerie #17, August 1954 (Avon Comics)

Eerie #17
August/September 1954
Avon Comics

The Case Of The Painted Beast: a police officer recounts a strange case about an artist whose monstrous painting comes to life and seeks revenge against those who deemed it unworthy of public display. Nothing new, and pretty predictable, but I'm a sucker for any story that switches out mad science with mad art. I guess it's the beatnik in me.


Was He Dead?: In a tale worthy of (and not just derivative of) Tales From The Crypt, a professional singer murders the husband of his showgirl lover so that the two of them can be together; but once the deed is done, he sees the dead man everywhere. This story must have been considered pretty racy at the time, with violent bludgeonings, plenty of blood, and girls in their unmentionables. Daddy like.


The Monster Of The Storm: this variation on The Hitchhiker urban legend involves a man who suddenly snaps one day and goes on a killing spree. The cops give chase, but the murderer is struck dead by a freak bolt of lightning. Thereafter, he returns as a green-skinned wraith every time it storms to continue his killing spree. Predictable, but unusual in the fact that evil prevails in the end.


Kill A Witch (text story): a boxcar hobo lives in fear of non-poisonous king snakes because he once saw one (actually a reincarnated witch) swallow a man whole. Better than you would think.

The Mirror of Isis: a cursed mirror, an ancient bloodline, and a big fat coincidence team up to form this mediocre story about possession and murder. The resolution is so obvious that you won't believe the protagonists didn't think of it earlier.


Eerie #17 can be accessed free and legally at the Digital Comic Museum by clicking HERE.

--J/Metro

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Art Appreciation: Daughters of Satan (1972)


For my review of the film itself click HERE!

--J/Metro

Monday, January 23, 2012

Midnight Son (2011)


Midnight Son

Written & Directed by Scott Leberecht

Jacob...Zak Kilberg
Mary...Maya Parish

Jacob is a security guard working the overnight shift. It's not a choice but a necessity, as he suffers from a disorder that causes him to be allergic to sunlight. Weak and pale for most of his life, the doctor diagnoses him as anemic, as well. But somehow I think there's more to it than that.


After eating a steak proves to be less-than-satisfying, he finds himself drinking the blood from its packaging, awakening a hunger he didn't know he had. In short order, he's looking healthier and happier, strolling through the streets with a Starbucks cup filled with bovine blood.

But soon, animal blood is not enough.

The movie revolves around Jacob trying to balance his professional life, his romantic life (with a hot coke-addled goth girl he meets at a club), and his new "night life", all while trying to maintain some level of morality.


It's deliberately paced and character-driven, with only occasional bouts of action, but never did I find it dull or uninteresting. It successfully gives us entrance into the inner workings of a reluctant vampire's mind, pulling it off with honesty, intelligence, and even beauty.

Subtle strokes of genius--like the fact that Jacob paints pictures of the sunrise and the sunset, which he has never seen--are abundant and give Midnight Son an authenticity that is missing from much horror today. It's hard for me not to recommend this to genre fans, even those suffering from vampire burnout.

Would make a great double feature with Lucky McKee's May.


2011
Unrated
100 Minutes
Color
English
United States

--J/Metro

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.10: Fare Tonight (1993)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper
Season 1, Episode 10
Fare Tonight

The Cryptkeeper, dressed like Sherlock Holmes, tells us that today's tale, "Fare Tonight", is a whodunit and invites us to try to solve the mystery ourselves as it unfolds on our screen.

Vampire fanatics (and possible lesbians) Mildred and Camille embark on an investigation into the reports of a winged man who is "heavily toothed" lurking about town. Using a vampire guidebook as their bible, they head out with an armful of garlic and a sack full of stakes to turn the supposed bloodsucker into ash.


It's a fun little episode with a nice twist, kind of a Buffy for Kids, or a Fright Night Lite. There are a lot of pop culture references here, ranging from Bram Stoker, The Fearless Vampire Hunters, Blood and Donuts, E.T., The Shining, Wizard of Oz, and even...Buster Keaton!?


The episode starts off with the characters watching a vintage vampire flick, and the visuals are so dead-on that I wish they would have done an entire story in such a manner.

 

--J/Metro

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.09: Hyde And Go Shriek (1993)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper
Season 1, Episode 09
Hyde and Go Shriek

We interrupt the Cryptkeeper's workout--he's running on the dreadmill, of course--so he pauses long enough to whip up a healthy shake and a frightful story called Hyde And Go Shriek (which is twice the puns for the price of one).


Nice guy Wendall has been bullied by Rex and his hooligan pals for years, but when he finally has enough, he vows revenge against his tormentors. He tries to bulk up, but when it becomes obvious that it's going to take too long the old fashioned route, he looks for a shortcut in a box labeled Zen Master Tea.

He becomes a monster that looks more akin to a werewolf than Mr. Hyde, but the transformation is brought on by the "magic tea" rather than the phases of the moon. Strangely, this was possibly intended as a sly allegory about the dangers of steroid use, but making it an herbal tea really stopped the message in its tracks. If anything, it would scare the kids away from vitamins.


As someone who was tormented in their youth (looking a lot like Wendall, to be honest), I enjoy any story where the tables are turned on the bullies. After seeing this episode as a child, I probably had my mother rush out and buy every brand of herbal tea on the market.

If it worked, I blocked out the memories.

An amusing episode, although there was a sorely missed opportunity for a Monster Vs. Monster showdown at the finale.


--J/Metro

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.08: Cave Man (1993)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper
Season 1, Episode 08
Cave Man

It's the Cryptkeeper's cryptday (I'm assuming the opposite of a birthday), and he's inviting you to the party! And for the entertainment, he's telling us a little story called...The Cave Man.


Extreme skateboarder dude Peter is fascinated by the perfectly preserved Neanderthal caveman that his scientist father has on ice at his laboratory. When he's left alone on his birthday, Craig accidentally unleashes the pre-modern man, and a whole lot of havoc along with him.


Honestly, there's very little menacing about the caveman. He immediately steps into the role of the lovable lug, and Craig teaches him how to wish him a happy birthday, dresses him up as his father, and has him accompany him to the amusement park almost instantly upon their first meeting.


Not even a hint of fright here, or any real monsters to speak of, so this scarcely qualifies as prime Tales From The Crypt material. It could have been an episode of any Saturday morning cartoon with just a few character design changes.

Really lightweight, like Encino Man for children. Buuuu-dy.

--J/Metro

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Midnight Media Turns 3!

Today--right this very minute, in fact--Midnite Media turns THREE YEARS OLD!  It's amazing to me that I've kept up with it on a semi-steady basis and haven't let it fall by the wayside.

So what have I been up to for the past three years? 867 posts, of which 467 have been movie, TV and literature reviews, leaving 400 posts of various junk.  I've been a busy little beaver.

I'm glad to be a part of a such an amazing online community, and I want to thank all of my readers and everyone who has ever left a comment on one of my posts.  I know that audience-wise, I'm not one of the Big Boys, but all of you make me feel pretty Big, anyway.

So, HOORAY for me.  Here's to another year of Midnite Media Madness & Mayhem.

The self-congratulatory bullshit is over.  You may all return to your lives.

--J/Metro

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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--J/Metro

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.07: The Works...In Wax (1993)


Tales From The Cryptkeeper
Season 1, Episode 07
The Works...In Wax

The Cryptkeeper, dressed like an painting dandy, gets his artistic juices flowing by introducing today's tale The Works...In Wax.

Craig is a young horror fan who loves to visit the local wax museum and make bad puns at the statues--specifically Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein's monster.


"They look so real sometimes I think they can see and hear everything we say!"

When Craig wanders into one of the exhibits, he's transported to a world where the monsters are real, and hunted by superstitious townsfolk. His love of the characters prompts him to assist them, befriending each of the monsters one-by-one.


The not-so-spooky subplot has Craig assisting the simple-minded janitor in proving that the museum really belongs to him following the death of the original owner.

A kindly, fun, sugar-coated entry in the canon of Wax Museum Horrors.


--J/Metro

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tales From The Cryptkeeper S1 Ep.06: Sleeping Beauty (1993)


Tales From The Crypt
Season 1, Episode 06
The Sleeping Beauty

The Cryptkeeper introduces today's show not as Tales From The Cryptkeeper but rather as Culture Crypt, like a demented parody of Masterpiece Theater. Which is suitable as the episode, The Sleeping Beauty, is a demented parody of a famous fairy tale.


Prince Charming (real name Chuck) and his fraternal twin Melvin embark on a Romantic Quest to awaken the sleeping beauty. Along the way they encounter all manner of fantastic frighteners including man-eating wolves, man-eating trees, supernatural swamps, and living suits of armor.


Charming is a not-so-charming representation of the heroic archetype, making modern-day references to dye-jobs and tanning sessions, while the put-upon Melvin is the real hero of the tale. He even gets to save the day in the end!

Strangely, this is the first episode (so far, at least) to take a fantasy world as its setting. As a child, this probably would have disappointed me as I would have wanted a more straightforward horror tale. But as an adult, I can appreciate it more, even if it isn't at all what one would expect from an entry in the franchise.


The whole smarmy fairy tale angle (which admittedly was done earlier and sometimes better in segments on Rocky and Bullwinkle) could easily be seen as a forerunner to the Shrek series of films. I have to say, it holds up pretty well.

--J/Metro

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