Friday, December 12, 2008

New TT calendar! Such good movies! Oh man! Dang! Wow!

Yo, everybody.

So here it is: the first Terror Tuesday calendar ever. For many very feasible and logical reasons, we're moving Terror Thursdays from Thursdays at midnight to Tuesdays at 10-ish (check online each week for exact times, but always between 9:30 and 10:30). Some people have bellyached a whole bunch about it because they don't have more pressing, real concerns in their lives, but the counter-argument is available. Just email me at and I'll send you the lowdown.

Hey, I hate change too, especially Ipods and new architecture and all that shit. But keep in mind a few things about our new Tuesday night home:

- No more trouble finding parking. And those police barricades won't be up neither, nope.

- No more post-bar crowd to wade through after the show. Maybe you're a fan of that delicate mixture of vomit and cleavage. Me? Not so much.

- No more getting sleepy during the show, and better yet, no more being too tired for both a Weird Wednesday and Terror Thursday in a single week. Now, if you choose to (and you should), you'll be able to enjoy a top notch horror movie at Terror Tuesday, be in bed by midnight, get a full night's rest, get your brain whammeled by Weird Wednesday at midnight and have had a full and enriching week before Thursday morning even hits. Is this not paradise?

- Less shows in the little theater. Over the summer, we had to move into the small room several times as blockbusters and crummy Jack Black fart comedies took the big screen for their big Thursday midnight premieres. Well, no more.

- Better alliteration. Terror TH-ursday? Come on.

...But let's move on to the meat. We've got so many good titles in the new calendar that you're gonna punch your face off before your eyeballs reach February. Take a gander, cap'n:

with star Sybil Danning LIVE IN PERSON!
Jan 6, Free, Dir. Philippe Mora, 1985, 35mm, 91 min, R
There is NO BETTER MOVIE IN THE GODDAMN WORLD to kick off Terror Tuesdays than this ferocious assault on the human skull, and no better guest to experience it with than The Queen of the Werewolves herself: horror/exploitation film legend SYBIL DANNING! Here, this unstoppable powerhouse performer masterfully portrays lycanthropic overlord Stirba, a supernaturally canine annihilator with a sharpened sweet tooth for human carnage. Witness her firing black magic lazerbeams from her eyes, indulging in three-way werewolf boot-knocking, battling fearless monster hunter Christopher Lee and howling at a pitch that makes a dwarf’s eyeballs explode! The last time we played HOWLING II, the audience had so much fun that the governor’s mansion got set on fire! Now, with the Ultimate Wolfwoman loose in the theater, it’ll most certainly mean the total extinction of all life on this planet. Special thanks to Reb Hibbert.

Jan 13, Free, Dir. Lamberto Bava, 1985, 35mm, 88 min, R
Italians are a hateful and bloodthirsty race. This inarguable fundamental aspect of their species is apparent in everything they touch, but is possibly best executed in this unchallenged masterpiece of rabid, hellish possession. Co-written by iconic eurosadist Dario Argento and directed by the son of Italy’s apocryphal horror auteur Mario Bava, DEMONS is an unrepentant vomit-geyser of torn digestive tracts and anti-human plague sewage. A panorama of stereotypes - punks, preppies, the pimp and his stable - are trapped in a run down cinema by a man with a metal face, and soon the ungodly events unspooling on the silver screen erupt into a maniacal graphic harvesting of shrieking mutilated victims. The demon virus spreads through the theater like a lightning bolt with a switchblade, and no opportunity for repugnant gratuitous violence is left untaken. Actually, just watching this movie is a second degree felony.

Jan 20, Free, Dir. Joseph Sargent, 1983, 35mm, 99 min, R
The four stories in this deeply unhinged horror anthology were originally shot as individual episodes for eerie TV series DARKROOM, but were deemed too intense and/or ridiculous for broadcast. Fortunately, they were later souped up with new, more offensive footage and released to capitalize on the success of CREEPSHOW. If you’re looking for a movie with giant super-powered rats, lunatic gas station slashers and Satan in the form of a 4-wheel-drive monster truck bursting out of the desert and attacking a fallen priest, NIGHTMARES should be among your top 10 choices. Did I mention punk rocker/video arcade addict Emilio Estevez going one-on-one with digital demonoid The Bishop of Battle? Ai yi yi. Be here, and leave your attention span on the bus.

Jan 27, Free, Dir. Joseph Zito, 1985, 35mm, 107 min, R
Like air, water and food, Chuck Norris is essential to life. In his 68 years walking among lesser men, the iron-fisted action deity has appeared in 30 films, backed multiple charities, cured cancer and delivered a baby on board a burning airplane. His immense love for mankind earned him the honor of being named “The Better Jesus” by Pope John Paul in the early ‘90s. But if there’s one thing that Chuck Norris hates, it’s terrorism. So when horribly scarred character actor Richard Lynch unleashes a Christmastime plot to invade and enslave the American people, who do you think is going to be there with his shirt torn open, clutching an uzi in each hand and delivering white-hot retribution to anyone who’d dare compromise the comfort and happiness of our fellow citizens? I’ll give you a hint: it’s CHUCK FUCKING NORRIS. Though this rocket-launching battle cry against injustice doesn’t feature a single mummy, Frankenstein or sea monster, its heroic unrelenting all-American violence will you have the entire Terror Tuesday audience weeping red, white and blue blood in a blazing frenzy of patriotic rage! NO OSAMAS ALLOWED!!!

Feb 3, Free, Dir. Michael Dugan, 1983, 35mm, 96 min, R
Some horror movies came to being solely to prove that true entertainment has NO RULES. Dig to the bottom of the ‘80s terrorbarrel, and beneath all the latex disfigurements and blood-soaked lingerie, you’ll find this sparkling gem of low-budget filth. A woman (professional naked lady Bobbie Bresee) is infected with some of that no-good Satanic darkness upon visiting her mother’s grave, and she soon embarks on a logic-defying spree of telekinetic head-burstings, sexual mutilations and high-octane unholy transformations, including one memorable segment where her breasts become carnivorous goblin heads. This inevitably leads to some stress in her relationship with her husband, played by notorious screen dud/former child evangelist Marjoe Gortner, as well as SANFORD & SON’s wisecracking LaWanda Page as the maid who won’t take shit from demons or anyone else. Throw in one crazed gardener, Mephisto-spawned lazerlight and a brutal disregard for all rational motives or dialogue, and you’re in for the best sub-zero-intellect cinematic aneurysm of your life.

Feb 10, Free, Dir. Sean MacGregor, 1974, 35mm, 88 min, R’s high time that we exterminate these horrifying vermin. Everything about them is disgusting: the way they’re conceived, their parasitic sustenance-draining “embryo” state, and of course that unspeakably hellish moment when the shriveled creature bursts out of its mother’s vagina in an agonizing fountain of reeking, plasmic organs. And - as evidenced in DEVIL TIMES FIVE - it only gets worse from there. In this cautionary tale from writer Sandra Lee Blowitz (THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO), five pre-adolescent psychopaths (including tiny Leif Garrett!) escape their padded confines and take refuge in an unwitting winter vacation community. It’s not long before each of the wee nutballs find a way to showcase his or her particular talent for homicide, ranging from decapitations to arson to pretty much everything else. Exceedingly brutal, lascivious and crude, this is the movie that will at last convince you to take a steak knife to your genitals for the greater good of mankind. (Zack)

Feb 17, Free, Dir. William Crain, 1972, 35mm, 93 min, PG
We’re living in progressive times. A black president, a gay Sean Penn...but these certainly aren’t the first bold pioneers in America’s history. Way back in the golden ‘70s, undead bloodsucking African prince Mamuwalde finds himself exhumed in Los Angeles, and his search for vengeance, romance and boiling hot blood remains the true pinnacle of blaxploitation horror. No one is spared from the elegantly feral wrath of “Dracula’s blood brother”...cops, cabbies, morgue attendants and even interior decorators find themself on the pointy ends of Blacula’s vicious rampage. Towering, booming lead actor William Marshall (later known as The King of Cartoons on PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE) eschews the limits of low-budget exploitation and tears into his role with fearless power and conviction, instilling the film with more nigh-Shakespearean dramatic respectability than would ever hit drive-in screens again. But don’t be intimated by quality performances and Transylvanian formalwear; BLACULA is a high-caliber lowbrow masterpiece that entertains you from the guts up. So join Terror Tuesday in celebrating Black History Month 2009 with this enduring cinematic triumph from the director of DR. BLACK AND MR. HYDE. “He’s black...he’s beautiful...he’s BLACULA!!!”

Feb 24, Free, Dir. William Grefe, 1976, 35mm, 91 min, PG
In 1975, JAWS became the first film in Hollywood history to break the $100,000,000 mark. Its success inadvertantly spawned a crushing abundance of man-eating knockoffs, many of which aped the blockbuster’s title as well as premise. Aquatic threats loomed in DEVILFISH, GREAT WHITE and DEEP JAWS, and even land-lubbin’ creatures like bears and snakes tried to cash in via similar-formula campestral epics like GRIZZLY and JAWS OF SATAN. Of this staggering bumper crop of flesh-ripping fauna, one deep water holocaust holds strong based on sheer straightfaced inanity: MAKO! Longtime exploitation maverick William Grefe’s contribution to Jaws Fever is unquestionably the most bizarre shark movie ever made. This is largely due to the grim, boiling intensity of the great Richard Jaeckel as Sonny Stein, a hateful man with a mystic amulet that allows him to telepathically communicate with the lords of the seas. Stein’s obsession with sharks is almost sexual in its severity, and he uses his mental magic to have the beasts eradicate any human that he perceives as a threat to their happy home. Also starring Harold “Odd Job” Sakata and Milton “Butterball” Smith as shark lunches.

...that does it. As always, lemme know what you think. We live to serve you.

Stay blood, now and forever -

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's been a while.

Sorry. Things are so often incredibly, incredibly busy around here.

But in the meantime:

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hello, old pals. It's been a long time since the work avalanche has subsided enough to allow computering time, much less sleeping/eating/breathing time, but rather than bathe, I'm returnin' to business!

Last night we were fortunate enough to be joined by filmmaker/goodtimer Steve Barnett and his movie MINDWARP, which featured 17 on-screen kills, a bathtub full of thirst-quenching blood and the historical pairing of the mighty ANGUS SCRIMM and BRUCE CAMPBELL!

Though the cast and gore vied for the ultimate adoration of the audience, I think the star of this movie is its hatred and distrust of technology. I'm a sucker for anything that waves its fist at the modern age. But especially when it shows how limp everyone's become because of modern conveniences. Fuck that business...I cut my lawn with scissors.

This is a movie that mankind can learn a lot from, but we won't.

Here's some of Mr. Barnett's crowd-pleasing (video courtesy Anne Heller):

Again, a huge thanks to you guys and Steve Barnett for coming out. Please join us this coming Thursday, October 9 to bust a hang at the TEEN WITCH Sing-Along (9:30 PM) and the Terror Thursday screening of the incredible ANGUISH with the hardest working woman in the horror business, the lovely, lilliputian Mz. Zelda Rubinstein!:

See you there!

Stay blood,

PS: Here's the best photo you get if you type "MINDWARP" and "BARNETT" in Google Image Search:

Friday, August 22, 2008


Body count: 11...or an entire town, depending on how you look at it. Me, I'm a glass-is-half-full type, so I opt for the latter.

Look at that poster. That's a nice poster. It's scary and respectable, but in the art way, not a gorilla in a tuxedo way.

Some people are divided on DEAD & BURIED; maybe the creepy storybook mystery angle doesn't appeal to the gut-maniac set. It sure seems like masterpiece material to me. Especially (as noted last night) ol' Jack Albertson as Dobbs. Quite possibly one of the greatest old men in the whole history of movies.

What a delightful, wrinkly charmer.

One thing I foolishly neglected to mention was the incredible make-up effects from the recently deceased and forever unequalled Stan Winston. His multi-step reconstruction of the dead hitchhiker's mug is the kinda thing that makes me want to throw every CGI-belching computer out of Hollywood's windows. A true hero of biological fakery!

And that wasn't the only superfeat Winston pulled off. There's also this:

...this (which earns points for yecchness if not realism):

...and of course the crowdpleasing:

This is a movie that really hates eyeballs.

I've never heard of a movie hating on eyeballs so hard. Even the Italian horror film EYEBALL is less vicious towards eyeballs. It's crazy.

Anyway, DEAD & BURIED is a king among kings and I think everyone loved it, and people who aren't totally behind this movie are just beggin' for some serious eyeball violence.

I wasn't just blowing smoke about director Sherman's much more hyperactive, skeezed-out megamegamasterpiece VICE SQUAD...look for that in the November/December Terror Thursday calendar. It's the grimiest, most foul-hearted action/exploitation movie you'll ever see and your hunger for sex will be canceled for the rest of your life.

Next week:

Big theater or bust!!!!

Stay blood,


Leave it to the police and press to take the one good thing that's happened to the real world in the last twenty years and ruin it.

Story below reprinted from The North Jersey Record, Wed Aug 20:

Two “modern day Ninjas” calling themselves Shinobi Warriors on a quest to rid the area of drug users and drug dealers have been put out of business by police.

Officer before dawn yesterday approached a car parked in the left lane of Route 46 east and found two Clifton men dressed in black claiming to be Ninjas.

The men were wearing tactical vests and armed with knives in sheaths at their waists along with Ninja throwing knives, Chinese throwing stars, four-pointed tacks, swords, bows and arrows and nunchucks, said Detective Capt. Robert Rowan.

Jesse Trojaniak, 19, and Tadieusz Tertkiewicz, 20, told police they were “modern day Ninjas” also called Shinobi Warriors on their way to deliver warning letters to known drug dealers and drug users to stop their “impure” activities.

They told police they planned to leave the letters on the front doors of these individuals they had singled out.

Their weapons, Rowan said, were to be a precaution in case they were confronted by the drug dealers.

The officers located five envelopes decorated with red Chinese designs containing the letters to be delivered. Reports show the two men had already delivered one such letter to Tertkiewicz’ 16-year-old ex-girlfriend in Clifton. Police contacted the teen and her mother and alerted them to the situation. Tertkiewicz was charged with harassment, both were charged with weapons possession.

The letters warned drug users and drug dealers that the “Shinobi will stop your cruel and sadistic intentions with justified yet, merciful force.”

In the letter, the two men accused drug dealers and users of having “committed sin of passing impurity” to others and that the “wind guides us to those of impure heart and intent.”

Rowan said police are not sure how many such letters were delivered or where they found the names of users and dealers. Rowan said the two seem to be very interested in Martial arts and appear to be working alone.

“Their intentions may have been good, but we tell everyone that they shouldn’t take the law into their own hands because it will cause more problems for everyone in the longrun,” Rowan said.

Rowan praised the two police officers, Steven Farrell and Robert Suhey for “doing an excellent job and putting an end to this mis-guided quest.”

Trojaniak was released on a summons and Tertkiewicz is in the Passaic County Jail on $20,000 bail.

* * * * * * *

This world seriously needs more goddamn vigilante power! Shinobi Warriors, I SALUTE YOU!!!

Thanks to true pal Elisabeth Sikes for passing on this miscarriage of justice. FREE THE NEW JERSEY TWO!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Body count: 11 plus an innocent mailbox

This movie really has nothing going on, and for that, it's a masterpiece. The entire plot is as simple as a Teletubbies episode:

Boy meets gun...

Boy uses gun...

Boy becomes a rampaging psychopath that's soon destroyed by shell-less turtle creatures from the reaches of space.

It's such a juvenile premise that I applaud the people who paid for its production. But the applause stops quick when considering that one of those people is Charles Band, who was behind some of the best late '70s/early '80s low-art movies I've ever seen (TERROR VISION, THE DAY TIME ENDED, TRANCERS) but threw it all away to found the rancid Full Moon Entertainment and churn out enough PUPPET MASTER sequels to castrate the value of direct-to-video horror forever. The gentlemanly Mr. Band was in Austin in the fall of '06, where -- at a screening of his 3D epic PARASITE -- he kicked off the Q&A by telling a room full of people that he'd boned one of the actresses in the film.


I guess I should be content that, before his value had dessicated like a mummy's blood, he managed to knock out some enduring jams like this one. The first time I saw LASERBLAST was in 1982. I was 7 years old and watching TV at my dad's girlfriend's house. She had a punk teenage son who was a real buttwad and he often made me watch scary movies in an attempt to traumatize me. LASERBLAST backfired and I was completely head over heels for it. The stop-motion alien beasts...the performance from King Eddie Deezen as the spastic, rape-enabling Froggy...and OF COURSE the relentless power fantasy of taking down all who opposed you. As a tortured fat kid, Billy Duncan became my new personal totem animal.

Anyway, reminder again that at least the next four Weird Wdnesdays and Terror Thursdays will be back in the BIIIG theater where the biggest pile of fun can happen. Hope to see you there.

Stay blood,
Zack, TT

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New TT line-up for Sept/Oct 1988!!!

Hello, you.

It's been a long, painful couple weeks in preparation for both Fantastic Fest and the new Alamo calendar and Weird Wednesday's Lars and I are ready to stick our heads in a big whirling blender filled with rabid dogs.

But I'm proud to present the new Terror Thursday lineup, all for you and anyone else that wants to go. Unless they're wearing a Radiohead baseball cap and think it's really clever to quote The Family Guy. They can stay home.

Anyway, here it is. Don't be shy. Tell me what you think:

Sep 4 Midnite, Free, Dir. Don Coscarelli, 1988, 35mm, 97 min, R

Almost a decade after shocking and befuddling audiences with bizarro cerebral nightmare epic PHANTASM, writer/director Coscarelli unleashed this infinitely more amped-up braindamager. The elderly-but-omnipotent Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) has returned to devour entire towns, transforming select victims into dwarven fiends to aid in his latent enslavement of the Earth. Mankind’s only hope lies with a bald ice cream vendor and a blowdried goof from an insane asylum. More gore, more goop and more chainsaw-wielding, automobile-crushing, house-exploding action than we’ll see in another fright film until Hollywood wises the fuck up. And I’m not holding my breath. The very best horror movies prove that the human body is a canvas and violence is the paintbrush, but PHANTASM II’s ambitious carnage wins an extra gold star for excellence in creative homicide. No worries if you’re new to the series: a 30-second recap knocks things into place for the following 96 minutes of full-tilt transdimensional antihuman dementia! (Zack)

Sep 11 Midnite, Free, Dir. Tibor Tikacs, 1987, 35mm, 85 min, PG-13

There are plenty of fun, easy ways to traumatize children. You can tell them their mother’s been in a fatal car accident, or reveal that ketchup is actually dogs blood. Or - like my parents did in the summer after my 6th grade year - you can simply take them to see THE GATE. This demon-encrusted cinematic deathcoaster was somehow marketed to pre-teen audiences despite the fact that it’s undeniably the most mentally abusive PG-13 film to ever hit the screen. Two 12-year-old outcasts find the actual doorway to Hell in their own backyard, inadvertantly releasing an unstoppable tempest of supernatural violation. Drywalled corpses, stop-motion beastopoids and adolescent self-mutilations culminate in a feature that shouldn’t be viewed by any child under the age of 40. Believe me...this screening is going to be the most horrifying thing to happen on September 11th since I don’t know when. (Zack)

Sep 18 Midnite, Free, Dir. Russell Mulcahy, 1984, 35mm, 95 min, R

Impossibly huge animals are an integral component of cinema. Since 1933’s KING KONG, hyperactive pituitary glands have inflated nearly all of nature’s children, from the enormous sheepcreature of GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS to the towering interstellar chicken of THE X FROM OUTER SPACE. Even the uncharted wilds of Australia have submitted their entries to the Halls of Gargantuanism, here in the form of a baby-eatin’ multi-ton porcine powerhouse that rampages out of the blackened desert to destroy everything in its path. I saw the “Biggest Pig in the World” at the 2006 Iowa State Fair and it had nothin’ on this snubnosed 30-foot wreckage machine. Watch as a vengeful grandpa, two rural new wave oil drillers and an ineffective schlub attempt to take down this grunting, red-eyed, hate-fueled embodiment of utter annihilation. (Zack)

Sep 25 Midnite, Free, Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1982, 35mm, 80 min, R

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but the year 2000 is going to be a real rough ride. After we face a worldwide nuclear holocaust, we’ll be herded into militaristic re-education camps and picked off like animals by sadistic upper-crust pleasure hunters. Fortunately we’ll have fellow prisoners like Paul (Steve Railsback), a ready-to-rumble “deviant” who refuses to stand quietly by as mankind’s future hits the chopping block. Australian exploitation wizard Trenchard-Smith (in attendance, no less!) stirs up a cocktail of celluloid dynamite that combines mutants, machismo, misogyny, misanthropy and a dazzling, bullet-ridden array of violence violence VIOLENCE!!! (Zack)

MINDWARP with director Steve Barnett live in person!
Oct 2 Midnite, Free, Dir. Steve Barnett, 1992, 35mm, 91 min, R

Square-jawed ham-master Bruce Campbell and perennial terrorgeezer Angus Scrimm (PHANTASM) co-star in this blazing sci-gore inferno! When a young woman is catapulted from her cozy computerized comforts into the ice-hearted, warlike Outside, she teams with the last unmutated terrestrial man (Campbell) to escape the vile cannibalistic Crawlers. Things go from bad to worse as the creatures mount the ultimate attack, unleashing wave after wave of unrepentant entrailblasting mayhem upon a world content to live via virtual dreams, unaware of their impending destruction! Good thing that whole internet craze of the ‘90s never caught on, as this cautionary future-shocker shows us that society’s dependency on technological distraction would have inevitably led us down the road to total cultural retardation. Whew. Dodged that bullet. (Zack)

ANGUISH with STAR Zelda Rubinstein LIVE IN PERSON!
Oct 9 Midnite, Free, Dir. Bigas Luna, 1987, 35mm, 89 min, R

Easily among the 1980s’ most criminally overlooked horror treasures! A perpetual avalanche of unexpected shocks and shifts, ANGUISH was too damn good to be rightfully appreciated in its day. But now that mankind has reached its evolutionary apex, we can finally fully absorb this brazenly ambitious creation. To tell you anything about the plot of ANGUISH would endanger its plentiful fright-film magic and remove layers of surprise from a brilliantly constructed slash opera, so instead, let’s talk about how eye-gougingly exciting it is that we’ll be joined by the film’s lead Zelda Rubinstein (left)! Mz. Rubinstein’s well-known role in POLTERGEIST has made her an undisputed terror icon, but she herself says that ANGUISH - where she’s the psychotic hypnotist mother of a madman (Oscar nominee Michael Lerner) - is one of her favorite films, and it’s crucial that it be seen in a theater. So be here for what’ll be the most raging cinematic horror experience of your life!! Very special thanks to Eric Vespe. (Zack)

Oct 16 Midnite, Free, Dir. James L. Conway, 1981, 35mm, 95 min, R

In the abandoned mines beneath a humble Colorado town, an ancient evil has awakened. And by “ancient evil,” I mean a couple handfuls of blood-starved, gimpy, clawed, tentacled, leechy turtle fellas. Not-so-ready for combat with these ridiculous creatures is the film’s cast of miners and female ‘80s TV sitcom stars, including Anne-Marie Martin from SLEDGE HAMMER and director Conway’s wife. But back to the beasts; THE BOOGENS is part of that great drive-in monster movie tradition where the viewer can’t help but root for the monsters. I mean, there’s a lot here to identify with...these little humpbusters work hard, love a nice meaty dinner and are totally pissed off about all these stupid rotten humans. It’s enough to make me want to join the family. (Zack Boogen)

Oct 23 Midnite, Free, Dir. Amy H. Jones, 1982, 35mm, 77 min, R

Horror fans are often called on to defend our interests and point out that not all fright films are built on a rampaging maniac carving up half-dressed girls. On the other hand...some are. SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE was marketed as “The Ultimate Driller Killer Thriller” and is truly the very best of the bunch, exhibiting a sincere frenzied flair for high school maulings and blood-soaked nightclothes. With all power tools fully charged, it’s an earth-shatteringly id-gratifying onslaught of nubile sashaying and unapologetic savagery that alternates between graphic mutilations and gratuitous shower scenes. But before you get all Gloria Steinem on my ass, consider that not only is director Amy Jones most likely a female, but the screenplay was written by Rita Mae Brown, an iconic 1960s feminist and gay rights activist who’d go on to create a series of bestselling mystery novels with co-author Sneaky Pie Brown, her goddamned cat. (Zack)

Oct 30 Midnite, Free, Dir. Kathryn Bigelow, 1987, 35mm, 94 min, R

99% of vampires are pussies. Prancing little lily-livered mama’s boy drama kids with NIN stickers on their shiny vinyl lunchboxes. But NEAR DARK documents the remaining 1% with a white trash vindictiveness that drop-kicks all the elegance of plasma-sucking straight into the trailer park, as a pack of undead shitkickers cruise the American backroads in a blackened-window Winnebago searching for jugular nectar. Most shocking is that these binging feral sadists are actually an intensely likeable familial unit, led by PUMPKINHEAD’s Lance Henriksen in his all-time greatest performance as Civil War veteran Jess. Also watch for Bill Paxton at his rootin’, tootin’, biker-bitin’ best and that ugly kid from RIVER’S EDGE as junior throatripper Homer. This Halloween, Terror Thursday salutes monumental ‘80s horror masterpiece NEAR DARK for making vampires monsters again! (Zack)

...that's it! Enjoy! Live wild! Eat meat!!

- Z

Friday, August 8, 2008


Body count: 6 humans (yaaaayyyy), 2 dogs (booooooooo)

"White boy, PLEASE!"

Fun night. Good monster. Emotionless lead character. Great winos. 45 straight minutes of the emotionless lead character walking around and talking to the great winos.

But here's what I'm really talkin' about:

That Hy Pyke is a motherfucker. I know I talked him up big in the intro, but I stand by every word of it. Is it safe to say there's never been another performance like this on film? I mean jesus christ.

I also like the married couple who bickered before getting slaughtered 10 minutes in. But I'd have liked them even more if they were both played by Hy Pyke.

In addition to King Pyke, I really do love the creature effects in the movie. So did the filmmakers, as they used the monster's image in every possible way when getting the promotions together for the film. They even made a SLITHIS SURVIVAL KIT which they gave away at select LA screenings:

...but read the fine print:

Clearly, any theater running the film would have certainly had another movie on screen three weeks later when the hordes of rabid SLITHIS fans came a-knockin' for their cards. Still, I want one.

Here's some more stuff I stumbled across while on my enduring quest to document the history of the SLITHIS:

Slithis' first steps.

Slithis' first day at school.

...Also, this inexplicably came up when I did an image search under "SLITHIS":

Yeccch. I need something to wash that bad taste out of my eyes. What shall I use? Hmmm, let's see...

Ahhh. There we go.

* * * * * * *

See you all at The Ritz this Sunday at 7:00 for NINJA ANNIHILATION WAR - FREE!

This '87 brain-rending treasurebomb has NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE BY ANYONE, and is truly the most power-kick-punchoblasting maniakkotronic masterchop overbang of ALL MOVIES EVER TIME!!!!!!!!!!

Stay blood,

Sunday, August 3, 2008

PRISON !!! ...and other places.

Body count: 17

Oh, vengeful prison ghost...will you ever win?

Renny Harlin was much kinder in his video intro for the film than he was when he initially emailed us about it. The fact is that he was ashamed and confused that we were playing the movie in the first place. Hopefully it doesn't sound ungracious for me to say that (with the possible exception of THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE) this is pretty clearly his masterpiece. It's kinda shocking that there was nothing between this and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4, which doesn't pack 1/10th the guttural machismo and gristle that this one has.

All the performances are strong, as if everyone involved was under the impression that this was going to be a strong chapter in their careers. And by all means, it shoulda been. By this point, the '80s horror wave was plenty ready for new monsters, and a murderous prison is about as big and tough as they come.

One thing struck me...for such a lowdown, greasy-grimy-n-gritty prison picture, there's not one scene of forced, uh, romance between the inmates, which -- for better or worse -- seems to be a crucial staple of incarceration exploitation. And I was impressed that there wasn't an unnecessary attraction subplot much less shower scene for the film's lone actress. Mr. Harlin, despite your involvement in EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING, I salute you.

Anyway, thanks to the aforementioned Finnish gentleman for the video he sent in for us to enjoy, and moreover, for making this damn movie. It's fun and gross and violent and gross and gross, and I think everyone liked it real good.

* * * * * *

I was sad that I missed PUMPKINHEAD, but through an unlikely sequence of events and the endless kindness of one Justin Ishmael, I ended up attending the San Diego Comic-Con instead. Big thanks to forever pal Tim Doyle for filling in for my absent ass and singing the praises of the recently departed Stan Winston. If you enjoyed PUMPKINHEAD, please don't watch the sequel PUMPKINHEAD 2: BLOOD WINGS (!!) in which the backwoods demonoid slaughters Soleil "Punky Brewster" Moon-Frye. I know that sounds like it'd be fun to watch, but I solemnly swear that it isn't.

To read my poorly worded, rambling coverage of Comic-Con, click on this thing: * !

See you at SLITHIS, which stars the biggest hambone in no-budget film history!!!

Stay blood,

Friday, July 18, 2008


Body count: 5

Oh, that face. Look at that face.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting so many people to like this movie, but it turned out there was much discussion after last night's show about the legitimately impressive performances from all three members of THE UNSEEN's psychotic family. I agree; though I spent the whole introduction yakking about Stephen Furst's masterful performance as Junior, both Sydney Lassick and Lelia Goldoni deserve some credit for pulling off some major drama in a minor movie.

Sidney Lassick:

...was a seemingly one-trick pony character actor who was actually able to reach beyond his high-pitched whiny nebbish traits and play some downright compelling roles. Though he's most easily recognizable as volunteer inmate Charley in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, his skills were all over the place for decades, as everything from a corrupt pet shop owner in ALLIGATOR to an employee of transvestite David Carradine in SONNY BOY. But his part in THE UNSEEN has got to be his most unleashed assault of the acting profession. Especially the (pretty damn long) segment where he relives his sexual war with his father, as he has a one-man argument opposite the old man's rotted corpse. The facial expressions Lassick pulls out in this scene are enough to render this new-fangled CGI bullshit obsolete. Not what is commonly referred to as a nuanced performance, but who wants that anyway?

Lelia Goldoni: pretty goddamn incredible as the anguished sister/wife/mother. Her talent becomes a little less of a shock when considering she was initially one of the stock players for John Cassavetes in his early directing days. She still works, though THE UNSEEN was unfortunately indicative of the state of her career at the time, playing low bit roles on TV and often going uncredited altogether. Apparently she's never even watched THE UNSEEN, which brings me to the unfortunate shame that seems to just about emanate from the film...

Both director Danny Steinmann and closet co-writer Stan Winston (R.I.P.) were unhappy with the final product and opted to go uncredited. The film was credited as being directed by "Peter Foleg," which is a really weird fake name to adopt, if you ask me. But greater than the Foleg mystery is: Why was Steinmann so down on THE UNSEEN? It's unlikely that any imperfections in the film would have sullied his reputation as a filmmaker...I mean, this is the same guy who had a pregnant teenage girl thrown off an overpass into freeway traffic in SAVAGE STREETS just a couple years later. And I honestly think THE UNSEEN is worlds better than his stanky FRIDAY THE 13th PART 5, which is arguably the first film to put a dent in the franchise.

I'd also like to give credit to the makers of THE UNSEEN for setting a dark, gruesome, incest-laced horror film in the Dutch kitsch tourist community of Solvang, California. A truly wack move that makes the movie all the more unique. If you're ever driving by that city, I insist you turn in. There's a huge Pea Soup castle and really good pizza and all the women have pigtails and funny shoes and many of the men wear liederhosen.

Stay blood,

PS: Speaking of Stan Winston: he died last month after a lifetime of creating incredible effects for some of the most enduring horror and science fiction films ever made. We had already scheduled his directorial debut PUMPKINHEAD to play as July 24th's Terror Thursday, so now it's unfortunately a memorial screening. So bring your favorite flesh-ripping beastopoid and pay tribute to a lost master of false violence!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Body count: 8

"You know what I've always wanted? A giant ceramic gorilla. They just don't make fine porcelain replicas of the great apes."

That is just one of many incredible lines of dialog in this monster masterpiece. That and the masterfully delivered "What the FUCK was THAT?" just about brought the house down last night. Not to mention the absolutely bone-slamming final shot.

Other highlights:

...and I can't find a photo of the carnivo-worms eating their way out of the psychologist dad's eyesockets so just pretend that picture's here now and you're looking at it.

See some of you next week for THE UNSEEN, featuring our most offensive pre-feature trailer reel of all time.

NOTE: In the photograph at the top of this post, that alien is totally touching the blonde guy's dinger.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Body count: 46 (...if you include werewolves, which I of course do.)

Whoa. Wow wow wee whaaa.

What a great night. I don't know if I've ever been part of an audience so invested in truly enjoying a questionable-caliber monster movie. I'd like to heartily shake the hand of everyone in attendance for seeing the greatness of HOWLING 2.

Let's reminisce:

- For christ's sake: THE FIRST SCENE IN THIS MOVIE! Try to push aside the swirling vortex of exploding eyeballs and bared bazoobers and think back to one of the most bizarre opening segments of the '80s:

Who's brilliant idea was this? Something tells me it isn't how the novel version opens. Speaking of which, who writes a book called "Howling 2" as mentioned as the film's source material in the opening credits? Sure, I'm illiterate, but I've always been under the impression that sequel titles were reserved for movies and steered clear of bookshelves. Now, a work of fiction bearing the title "Werewolf Bitch"? There's a Danielle Steele-level bestseller.

- Then there's these guys:

All right. I've been to Los Angeles. I know about all the goofballs and wasteoids there. But my only issue is that these fellas are played as the rough-and-tumble type, which is difficult to believe when their leader looks like a Beauty Bar version of Dennis the Menace. However, the nightclub they frequent (an actual '80s Hollywood goth dive called The Batcave) is about as great a location as you could ever hope for in a film. The fact that director Mora got 80+ actual punk kids to riot for a band like Babel is just further testament to his auteuristic prowess. Don't you agree, Christopher Lee?

"Yes, Zack. Yes, I do!"

The scene where the lowlifes are knocked off one by one in the warehouse is pure gold. GOLD!!

- But everything turns upside down with the arrival of our titlewolf STIRBA!:

Sybil Danning has accomplished a great deal in her artistic career, but this role has just GOTTA be the pinnacle. And I'm saying that for THIS REASON...


...and THIS REASON...

...moreso than THIS REASON:

Seriously, despite the nudity, she is one hell of a werewolf superprincess. From her performance to her clothing to her wily methods of quasi-incestuous seduction, she was the queen of the screen. She can even shoot lazer-lightning out of her fingernails, for Pete's sake!

But, as the room's applause proved, the REAL star of the film wasn't the heroic Reb Brown, the pure-hearted Annie McEnroe or even fearless monster destroyer Christopher Lee. Oh, heaven's no. The Oscar goes to one man and one man only. Ladies and gentlemen:

Thanks again for making this one of the best Thursday nights ever upon this stinkin' planet! Alamo buddy Reb Hibbert was so moved by this show that he has offered to help figure out how to bring Sybil Danning herself out for another presentation of the film in the future! How does that sound to you? I say: YEEEOOOWWWW!

See you next week for THE DEADLY SPAWN! Do not miss!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay blood,

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why Going Outside Sucks - part 1

Hey, all. Weird Wednesday wizard Lars just informed me that our Northwest exploitation programmer pal Dan Halsted was senselessly jumped and brutally beaten by the police for absolutely no reason!

Dan is a stand-up guy with excellent taste in movies, and I'm pretty certain he's not the type to go around committing felonies that would earn him such treatment. I mean, I'm no officer of the law, but I'm just guessin' that walking home with your friends isn't a major offense. Maybe the rules are different in Oregon.

Anyway, the article is HERE! Read it, get mad, throw a rock at the Statue of Liberty, do whatcha like! But give high-fives to Dan for surviving a brutal attack from Portland's finest!

You're a king, Dan! Lars and I would love to join you for a screening of MANIAC COP 2 as soon as you feel up to it...just give us the word!

Return from TROLL 2!!!

Hey, all! I'm just back and ready to rumble after spending three party-wild days in the mountains of Utah, USA for the NILBOG INVASION - TROLL 2 CELEBRATION weekend! I'm very, very, very, VERY excited about tonight's Terror Thursday screening of HOWLING 2 - WEREWOLF BITCH, but first I thought I'd share this Nilbog coverage I did for the regular Alamo web page. Hope you like it and cry because you regret not being there with us.


The Rolling Roadshow that could never happen in a million years...has happened: NILBOG INVASION 2008!!

Yep, the Alamo's mobile Rolling Roadshow unit took off from Austin early in the morn on Tuesday, July 24 and ripped across the southwest to Morgan, UT to celebrate the worst movie ever made: TROLL 2. And what a celebration we'd prepared...35mm outdoor film screenings, a full-scale cast reunion, the writer and director flying in from Italy, a multiple-course Nilbog feast, contests, dancing, etc. Utah was in for a treat.

When we arrived, there was little evidence that the town of Morgan was aware of the impending partystorm. Tim and I met with the mayor and sheriff, who both gave a very tenuous green light to the proceedings, as if they feared we were a pack of bloodthirsty satanists coming to drink the blood of their grandchildren. After paying the bill at Pete's Spring Chicken Inn, we combed the streets looking for evidence of sweaty TROLL 2 anticipation, but found nothing...UNTIL we passed the local butcher shop:

Things were looking up.

Our confidence renewed, we set out to the field to begin preparations. Daniel, Josh and Justin began tackling our enormous screen and the Tims and I got things together for the opening night Dance and Eat party, which was to be held at the Morgan Academy of Dance and Tumbling just down the street from the screenings.

We decked the place out in Nilbog green in no time, just as folks started to pull into town:

The fans we met were unbelievable, and came from everywhere from Chicago to Los Angeles to New York to North Dakota and even Austria! They were all almost as spazzed out to be there as we were, and some were already in costume from the get-go. The locals seemed to keep a wary distance but we partied in spite. Darren "Arnold" Ewing's blues band Skinny Bob & the Blues Dawgs performed and two rowdy goblins danced along without breaking a sweat. As the twilight hour approached, we settled in for the first couple screenings: TROLL and the other Morgan-shot Italian/American horror film CRAWLERS a.k.a. TROLL 3. The crowd consisted mainly of diehards and TROLL maniacs but all had a great time and went back to their hotels and hovels happy.

Saturday was The Big Day, where the film's entire cast was going to meet up with screenwriter Rosella Drudi and infamous director Claudio Fragasso, and the mighty TROLL 2 itself was set to screen. From the morning, we knew the excitement had spread, as Utah residents arrived in homemade TROLL 2 t-shirts and even little old ladies walked their dogs over to the site to see what we were up to. The sun was high, the heat was on, and TROLL 2 fans from every nook and cranny of the earth made themselves visible.

First up for Saturday was a special surprise...even for us! Though Morgan's mayor had been reticent to appear at our event, Michael Stephenson had managed to get semi-local alternate mayor Dan Snarr to come out and award a foam Key to the City to Fragasso! He seemed a little confused by the entire ordeal, but was very happy to additionally be presented with a grant if he ever chooses to return to Utah to shoot TROLL II PART 2! Mayor Dan Snarr was a very nice guy and has a heartwarming mustache. Here he is with some goofball from AMERICAN IDOL.

Then we enjoyed THE CAST PANEL, where 22 members of the TROLL 2 on-screen family gathered to discuss their memories of the masterpiece's production. It was breathtaking and bizarre to see all of them together in one place. The audience asked many questions of the cast, half of which were answered by director Claudio Fragasso, who wasn't even on the panel but managed to get more than a word in regardless. He even got up in front of the room to try and remind Connie how to do her Holly dance again!

We then entered the POPCORN EATING COMPETITION, guest-hosted by that popcorn-devouring witch, Deborah "Creedence" Reed, who watched as several audience volunteers downed unhealthy amounts of buttery popped goodness.

Next up was the mighty JAVELIN TOSS, hosted by Darren Ewing who played Arnold in TROLL 2. Though his character finds himself on the wrong end of a spear in the movie, Darren seemed to love hosting the event and cheered the crowd on as they hurled wood into the ether at a vaguely Darren-esque target. Here's his daughter preparing to spear ol' pop.

Then we moved back inside for the FILMMAKERS' PANEL, where Fragasso and co-writer Rosella Drudi were joined by actors Michael Stephenson and George Hardy to reveal the long story of TROLL 2's production. Despite an unsteady mastery of our language, the Italian duo gave us many amazing tales of TROLL 2's genesis. Fragasso is a fascinating man and I wouldn't buy a used car from him.

As a special completist's event, we held a GUITAR HERO 2 SHREDDING WAR! The video game actually takes place at "Nilbog High School" and we weren't gonna let that go unrepresented at this most TROLL 2-iest of events! So digi-jammers from all sides competed for glory, including Mickie Pace, who played Betty the Goblin in the film. She was on fiyahhhhhh!!!!

We brought in Alamo chefs John Bullington and Trish Eichelberger specifically to create a very special NILBOG FEAST for the cast and Ultimate Pass holders. Though the chefs had to prepare much of the food outdoors on a grill in the alley, all agreed it was a five-star meal and even the sophisticated palates of the Italians were dazzled by the skills of our Alamo culinary wizards.

As the sunset began, folks gathered in the field to prepare for the main event. We played some shorts, including the Filmmaking Frenzy Troll 2 Fan Film winner OGRE by Chris Dasinger, who we brought out to the event as his prize. He also brought along two actresses from the film as well as the titular monster, who vomited in a bucket LIVE before the crowd. They were totally starstruck by him, and even moreso when the cast and filmmakers united again in front of the crowd to introduce their film.

Finally, it was the moment of truth. The projectors flickered to life and the first frame of TROLL 2 hit the screen. The crowd was enraptured, enlivened and filled with joy. It was a very moving experience to see the cast seated among the folks of Morgan and TROLL 2 fans from all corners of the Earth. Truly, a night of majesty.

Sunday featured more fun events, including the panel on Michael Stephenson's TROLL 2 documentary BEST WORST MOVIE, a baloney-eating competition (which Tim "The Glory Chomper" League totally dominated) and an extremely irresponsible display of explosive firepower to cap the weekend off. But everyone's hearts and memories were still radiating from the previous night's screening, which was a most unlikely bit of magic that will never take place again on this planet or any other:

Here's the link to our NILBOG INVASION Flickr photo page!!

(Special thanks to Michael Stephenson, Blair Sterrett, Chris van Campen and his family, The Morgan County News, Darren Ewing, George Hardy and the countless other people who made this all happen. I promise I'll never turn you into green goop and eat you.)