By Tim Murr
“The box. You opened it. We came. Now you must come with us, taste our pleasures.”
Those iconic words spoken by Pinhead in the directorial debut of Clive Barker are still chilling nearly 30 years after they were first heard. The film Hellraiser, based on Barker’s own novella The Hellbound Heart, is a harrowing, shocking, graphic slab of supernatural erotic body horror. It divided critics and thrilled horror aficionados and launched a franchise that still, for better or worse, survives today, not to mention the various comic book series and tie-in books from Barker and several others that continue to be published in regular intervals.
The people at the Vinegar Syndrome imprint are like late-night college DJs, the ones who pull out weird and obscure music, sharing songs they had to track down for years after hearing them once in a bowling alley. They’re the hardcore fans, the crazy ones, who not only reference movies you’ve never heard of, but can quote them verbatim. There is a need for people like that in this world, the cultural archaeologists, the keepers of the flame.
The year began with the death of David Bowie and then just got worse. Prince died in April, and throughout the rest of the year, dozens of other well-loved, talented, influential artists continued to leave this earthly plane. December continued the onslaught of pop culture deaths, with George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Richard Adams (Watership Down), and Debbie Reynolds dying within days of each other.
Still, there was a lot of amazing pop culture in 2016, which definitely helped ease the pain of these sad passings, as well as the foreboding political climate of the US (not to mention countries around the world; too numerous to mention). Here’s hoping 2017 is less traumatic for all of us.
By Tyler Hodg
Hi, my name is Tyler Hodgkinson and I am a total horror n00b. In this series, I’ll be taking a look at classic, cult classic, and modern horror films with ignorant eyes. Its concept is scary simple. (more…)
Another week of separate story arcs, this episode takes us to a new location altogether: Oceanside. It’s not the most intriguing plot ever created for television, but the unknown will keep you interested. I rather thought that this episode’s beginning felt more like they’d borrowed writers from Fear The Walking Dead. It starts out with two girls on a beach. They’re obviously from another encampment, and they find another girl washed up on the beach. The older one doesn’t want the younger one to kill the girl.
Horror is usually a young person’s genre, with films filled with pretty people, adorable meatsacks who exist only for the slaughter. Casting a film with ordinary middle-aged folks should lend more credence to a scary movie. If terrible things can happen to your uncle, they can happen to you. It brings the terror home.
The season’s pattern of focusing on one area at a time continues this week, where we finally learn that Sasha and Maggie did in fact make it back to the Hilltop community. There has been some criticism about the choice to use this format to tell a linear story, but the reality is that this method allows the plot to progress without unnecessary filler scenes.
My previous assessment of Gregory stands. But not only is he smarmy and arrogant, he’s also a coward and a misogynist. He doesn’t want Sasha and Maggie to stay, regardless of Maggie’s condition. Gregory’s fears about the two women staying are realized later that night when they’re all awakened to the sound of music coming from an old Gremlin that has mysteriously gotten through the gates. Fires blaze all over the encampment, as walkers invade. Maggie, Sasha, and Jesus quickly jump into action and take care of the problem.
I have issue with this, because this camp is suppose to have lookouts and people who protect the boundaries, or so we were led to believe last season. Instead, no one else is to be seen or heard from, except for Gregory, who looks on from the protection of his mansion for a half a second before slithering back into the darkness.
While Rick is out on a supply run and Michonne is off doing awesome katana-wielding things, Carl spots Enid trying to leave Alexandria. He swears he’s not going to save her, but he ends up following her and unceremoniously smashes the car he’s driving when she’s set upon by a walker at an abandoned gas station. The two continue on together, and part ways after kissing when they reach Hilltop.
The day following the walker attack, the Saviors pay a visit to Gregory. Gregory orders Jesus to hide Sasha and Maggie in a closet, which he eventually tries to use to his advantage. His plan was to turn them over, but Jesus put the girls in another closet and all that is revealed is a closet full of Gregory’s scotch stash.
When the Saviors finally leave the house, Gregory finds out the women were safely hidden in his bedroom closet. He seems to have this delusion that he actually made progress with the Saviors, and during his blustering, Maggie punches him. She declares that they’re not leaving, and that he will call her by her name. He’s also made the mistake of taking Glenn’s pocket watch, which she removes from his possession.
Jesus swears he’ll find a way to make things up to Sasha and Maggie, and Sasha tells him he can do that by finding out where Negan lives. This results in Jesus hitching a ride in one of the Saviors’ trucks, but he’s not alone. Carl has hidden himself, oddly enough, on the same truck.
Now, we all know bad things happen when Carl doesn’t stay home. We also know bad things happen when he can’t keep his mouth shut; he’s a hothead, and he’s headed right into the belly of the beast. My fear is that his stupidity will come at a price, one that Jesus and/or Daryl will have to pay.
By Tim Murr
Ten minutes is barely enough time for some films’ opening credits to run, much less properly set up the first act. Writer/director Izzy Lee deftly creates a three-act story in just minutes that feels every bit as complete and satisfying as a full-length feature. Her new film Innsmouth takes a police procedural and drops it into Lovecraftian horror. The result is truly something to behold.
The Knoxville Horror Film Fest wrapped up its eighth year with a fascinating and diverse lineup, happily anchored by the invigorating re-examination of the Phantasm franchise. Some of the movies were overly dependent on politics or allegory to make their points, but overall, the Fest was well-programmed and a lot of fun.
Service… with a smile? Negan arrives in Alexandria earlier than he was expected, with a heavily bruised Daryl in tow. He takes out a walker once the gates are opened, but things are all downhill from there. I am of the firm belief that the real reason Abraham had to die was because they didn’t want him upstaging Negan for one-liners.