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,