Girlfriend From Hell might have been released in 1990 but it has the ’80s written all over it. With its ’80s-sounding soundtrack and ridiculous comedic aspects, it falls into place with many other gems from back then but still holds up today.
I dig the Hatchet series and Wrong Turn 2 and much of what Joe Lynch and Adam Green have brought us. They are obviously huge horror fans and that shows on the screen. When I first heard these two got together to make a sitcom I was a little confused because they didn’t seem like the types. I assumed it would be horror-related but really didn’t have a clue where they would go with a horror-related sitcom.
Holliston is about Joe Lynch and Adam Green, aspiring filmmakers who’ve been working on a film for years called Shinpads (“They score, you die.”) They work at a studio that does commercials. Their boss, Lance Rocket, is played by Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. Joe and Adam host a TV show (and podcast) called Movie Crypt on which they play old horror films.
All film fans should explore movies made during the “Ozploitation” era of Australian low budget filmmaking. Just about every film that came out during this time is fantastic. Many people have probably seen these films and are just unaware of the term Ozploitation or what movies fit this description.
The term Ozploitation was coined after the R rating was introduced in Australia in 1971. I’m not sure if people thought such films were just being created to make money or to push limits like other “ploitation” films but that wasn’t the case. Even to this day there are Ozploitation films released and they still carry out the feel, look, brutality, and the hilariousness.
There is something about these films in particular that stands out from the rest. Most of them are absolutely beautiful. Everything is shot and framed perfectly. Films like Razorback, Wolf Creek, Road Games, Dark Age, and others are just spectacular. The action flicks are action packed and the horror films are suspenseful and don’t follow the normal formula that other countries’ horror films do. Of course, we have great and wonderful films elsewhere but Ozploitation is something special and sadly, nearly forgotten about.
There is a feeling of satisfaction that many have received when dabbling in horror and falling in love with it. Hide and Go Shriek has a plot that will always give me goosebumps. As soon as you tell me there is a horror film with a group of high school or college students that goes camping, hitchhiking, to a summer camp, a sleepover, the mall, or in this case, a furniture store, I’m completely down. I honestly don’t need to know more than that and I couldn’t care less what the plot is about. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to impress us and we love these types of films.
Oh look! Danielle Harris is in a new movie! . . . not. I’m getting pissed that filmmakers cast people like Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Tiffany Shepis, and many others to act for five minutes and then kill them off or turn them into needless characters just so they can put their name on the front cover.
Camp Dread is a new movie that does not star Danielle Harris. It does star Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) but they, of course, don’t put that on the cover. Felissa Rose is iconic and deserves a shout out on the cover of the film she is in. This isn’t the first time (and it won’t be the last) that a production company and distributor have done this. It’s a cheap selling point and it’s disgusting and insulting to everyone. I understand that the director can’t afford these actors and actresses during the whole production but it is still a cheap move and tiresome to see over and over.
I, along with many others, have been pleased with Scream Factory’s colossal catalogue for the past year and a half, as well as some of the astonishing releases they have planned for the near future. Along with their old-school horror/sci fi lineup, they are also acquiring new films and setting them up with the Scream Factory treatment.
Dead Shadows is one of the films that they have recently added to their roster of releases, after picking them up post-festival screenings. They first brought us Dead Souls, Cockneys Vs. Zombies, Chilling Visions (short film collection), and Beneath. Now they have released their first foreign language film, Dead Shadows.
It’s hard to believe that there are three films in the Outpost series. It does generate a small but loyal audience so that these Nazi zombie films can continue to be made, though. The Nazi zombie subgenre started back in the 1970s and is still around to this day. I’m not sure how or why it caught on but a handful of films were made. Now, there is a sort of renaissance going on with these Third Reich meat-eaters. Outpost: Rise Of The Spetsnaz is the latest and the second strongest in the series.
After Alien came out, we received rip-off after rip-off (mostly all good films, though) and the same thing followed after The Terminator was released. Hell, I’ll admit there were a ton of films from the ’80s that copied others because of the success of Hollywood blockbusters during that time.
After the release of The Hills Have Eyes there were a few films with the same likeness and concept but a different setting. Frankly, I couldn’t care less because most of these films were fantastic. Some of them are still my favorites and that includes the film Blood Tracks. Blood Tracks borrows many of the same elements of The Hills Have Eyes except it is set in the snow and the characters that get slashed to bits are a rock band called Solid Gold (Swedish band Easy Action) and their groupies.
Fans of horror movies from the 1980s know that half the fun of those flicks was the crazy synthesizer-heavy soundtracks they all seemed to have. Haunting melodies, strange electronic sounds, and spatial effects only served to accentuate the atmosphere, making the blood and guts more shocking.
It’s a weird groove to fall into, being a fan of music like that. You start bringing up musicians like Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Frizzi, Riz Ortolani, or Alan Howarth and most people stare at you like you’ve lost your mind. Then you start bringing up the movies those people have scored. Have you not seen Zombi? The Beyond? Buio Omega? How about The Fog? The original Dawn of the Dead, for cryin’ out loud?
You get a lot of blank looks and sympathetic nods, lots of people silently blessing your heart.
Religious horror films are truly terrifying. We have our slashers, monsters, and alien horror, but we know those can be easily dismissed. Sure, there are accounts of people dressing up and killing people and there are serial killers, but we are not surrounded by that. We hear about these things on TV and the Internet but it doesn’t hit close to home. Probably the only things that hit close to home are school shootings because that could literally happen anywhere, at any time, by anyone.