By Tim Murr
“Eight terrifying films from Mexico’s top horror directors.” México Bárbaro (or Barbarous Mexico in English) almost lives up to its own tag line with four excellent and compelling shorts, one really good one, and three that you couldn’t pay me to say something nice about. Still, the good to bad ratio makes this anthology better than the first V/H/S, in my opinion.
Tobe Hooper’s legendary status as a director began with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974. This gritty, grisly chunk of cinema has influenced countless films and spawned numerous imitators, including the entire subgenre known as “backwoods horror.” Hooper followed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with 1976’s Eaten Alive; even those who worshipped at the previous film’s bloody, chicken-bone altar must have felt spiritually annihilated after enduring one of the most grueling film experiences in 1970s horror.
We provide many public services here at Popshifter, and we do our level best to be fair, accurate, and rigorous when testing entertainment products. We also try to anticipate the needs of our readers. For example, one morning during a high-powered meeting at the round table in the glass corner office of Popshifter International Headquarters, the question was posited: “Which movie about a demon-possessed sentient severed hand should we recommend to our readers, whom we love and cherish?”
By Brendan Ross
Those crazy Astron-6 kids have done it again! This time around the Winnipeg collective have made their most ambitious film yet: both a spoof and a love letter to giallo cinema of the 1970s and 1980s. For those not familiar, the term giallo refers to a very specific genre of arthouse-meets-grindhouse thrillers from Italy, recognizable just as much for their beautifully stylized aesthetics as for their bizarrely convoluted story lines and hysterically poor overdubbed dialogue. If you are familiar with the works of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, or Mario Bava then you probably know what I’m talking about. If not, go watch Deep Red, The Beyond, and Bay Of Blood right now. I’ll wait here…
Let’s get this out of the way first: whenever someone asks about my favorite David Cronenberg film, my knee-jerk response is, The Brood. Having seen almost all of Cronenberg’s pre-A History Of Violence movies, it still stands out. Perhaps it doesn’t have as much of the gruesome depravity of Videodrome or Dead Ringers (both excellent films in their own right), but there’s just something about it that continues to fascinate me.
By Tyler Hodg
Video games aren’t typically associated with Hallowe’en the way movies and music are, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have the ability to make you shake in your boots. And that’s why I’ve compiled a short list of games that could also be a part of the scary season.
Before you start screaming in the comment section, I purposefully left out series such as Resident Evil, Dead Space, and Silent Hill. Those are givens, guys.
Fans of networks, be forewarned that The Horror Network has nothing to do with networks or networking. The title is kind of mysterious. There’s no framing device for the five shorts that comprise this anthology, and no overarching theme to be used as connective tissue. It’s a scattershot approach, but if the intent is to throw a bunch of stories at the wall and see which ones stick, then well done.
I was a big fan of Der Nachtmahr, which screened at this year’s TIFF. German director AKIZ has said that the film is “New German Fantastic Cinema” with roots in the Expressionist films of the 1920s. Here are a few more freaky German films from the country’s rich cinematic tradition.
Have you seen Der Nachtmahr yet? Probably not if you haven’t been to the three film festivals where it has screened (Locarno, TIFF, Warsaw).
What’s Der Nachtmahr about, you ask? “After a wild night out, a Berlin party girl finds herself haunted by a twisted, repellent little creature that no one else can see.”
Is he an alien? Is he good or evil? Is he a parasite? You’ll have to see the film to find out (and you can read my review), but in the meantime I thought I’d pay my respects to some well-known (or perhaps underrated) cinematic parasites.
If you’re familiar with Mexican horror films and are expecting something Gothic, spooky, and languorous from Adrián García Bogliano, you’re in for a surprise. Here Comes The Devil is going to scorch your eyeballs and bathe them in blood.