Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dead And Buried (1981)

Dead And Buried (1981)

From the creators of Alien - hah - the tag lines for this trailer try very hard to convince you it is much better than it actually is.

Directed by Gary Sherman and written by Jeff Millar and Dan O'Bannon. Starring James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield, Nancy Locke, Lisa Blount and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street).

So here it is ... Dead & Buried

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday the 13th Part II (1981)

Friday the 13th Part II (1981)

1981 Continues with the second in the Friday the 13th franchise. This is still pre-hockey-mask-Jason. While Jason does return in this release, he's wearing a potato-sack hoodie - heh. It struggles conjure up some fear, but it nowhere near as iconic as the forthcoming hockey mask will become.

The poster and the trailer both indicate the marketing on the sequel was perhaps a bit rushed and/or perhaps they didn't know what to do with it ... just yet. The poster is simply the logo and a tag line: "The body count continues..." and the trailer is mostly about the previous film.

The film itself lives up to expectation and continues the mythology (or even establishes it -- a bit) successfully. Still more about the killings than the killer. Jason Voorhees in the first film is suspected as the killer (as we know he wasn't); while, here, he is established definitively as the killer.

So here it is ... Friday the 13th Part II

Friday, September 26, 2008

Saw V (2008)

Saw V (2008)

Fridays at the Rant are for new, upcoming horror films. This Friday spotlights the annual Halloween tradition of Saw. This years brings us the 5th installment. Just like Friday the 13th twenty years ago, the Saw franchise revisits its themes and terrifies the audience.

Saw V is written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the writing team behind Feast, and directed by David Hackl, the production designer and assistant director of Saw III and IV. The movie stars Julie Benz ,Tobin Bell, Scott Patterson, Costas Mandylor, Mark Rolston, Betsy Russell, Samantha Lemole, Meagan Good, Laura Gordon, Greg Bryk and Carlo Rota.

So here it is ... Saw V

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead (1981)

This week has been B U S Y, so I missed many an entry to the Rant. Since we were covering the movies of 1981, let's take a look at the entire Evil Dead feature.

View below...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Invitation Only (2008)

Invitation Only (2008)

Fridays at the Rant are for new, upcoming horror flicks: this weeks is a November Taiwan release. Invitation Only is Taiwan's first slasher horror film. Check out the trailer to see if the rest of the world gets how to make an American standard.

So here it is ... Invitation Only

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead (1981)

Written and Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, Evil Dead is a highly successful and influencial low-budget horror film described by IMDB as "Five friends are spending the weekend in a remote cabin in the woods. Whilst investigating the cellar they discover a tape and a decaying old book full of strange incantations. The tape is played and it unleashes powerful evil force from the forrest, determined to destory every last one of them."

Evil Dead is a different kind of horror film, completely a genre in and of itself. Really, there is nothing like Evil Dead (and its sequels: Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness) and it is due to the combination of Sam Raimi's kinetic direction and Bruce Campbell's unique comic flair. And then there's the effects.

In the age where special effect were gain glory for how impressive, imaginative and realistic they could be, Evil Dead's effects are cheesy, amatuerish and low-grade ... and delightfully so. It's part of it's charm and appeal really. The whole thing is so over the top, the state of the effects only enhance the overall effect. It's remarkable and pure spectacle.

Luckily the trailer is allowed to show off what makes this movie so special without giving it all away ... which may be hard to believe. The sequel, Evil Dead 2, would allow Bruce Campbell to shine and steal the spotlight from the effects; and, Army of the Dead would balance the effects and the star to perfection.

So here it is ... Evil Dead

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Beyond (1981)

The Beyond (1981)

Italian horror is known for its gore and by 1981 had cemented that reputation. Not many directors can best the over-the-top graphics that director Lucio Fulci spewed out onto the screen. For the most part, his films spotlight the gore with the script servicing that intention.
The Beyond, A.K.A The Seven Doors of Death, is prime example of Lucio Fulci talents and is a fan favorite, along with films like Zombie and The Gates of Hell. Prepare yourself for some of the most gruesome visuals ever presented ... and some of the most confusing, convoluted plotting you'll ever follow.

Directed by Lucio Fulci and written by Dardano Sacchetti. The Beyond stars Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Anthony Flees.

So here it is ... The Beyond

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Scanners (1981)

Scanners (1981)

As the 80's continue, the movies become more and more graphic. Some become simple gorefests, focusing on pure shock factor; while others are more creative in how they integrate the effects into the story.

David Cronenberg crafts his films with both graphic displays of horror and intelligence. Scanners, released in 1981, is a fantastic example of how this works. At the beginning of the film, a "Scanner" is attempting to scan a perfect stranger, not knowing that he is going to scan the villian of the film, Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside). The result of which is explosive ... literally. In many films this would be handle as a simple grotesque display; here, however, Cronenberg not only shocks the audience but effectively illustrates the pure horror scanners are capable of. The results of this shock resonate throughout the rest of the film.

Directed and written by David Cronenberg. Starring Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane, and the fantastic Michael Ironside.

So here it is ... Scanners

Vij (2008)

Vij (2008)

Fridays at the Rant are for new, upcoming horror films ... well, we were on vacation this weekend, so we missed this Friday. Sorry about that. But here's our edition, just a tad late.

This week, the Russion horror film Vij released a new trailer for their upcoming December release. If you've been following us, you may recall we spotlighted the first trailer a long, long time ago AND we've even featured the original 1967 release as a FULL FEATURE!

First Trailer
Full 1967 Feature

The new trailer makes it look alot like the Brotherhood of Wolves with more action and conflict than the original, which may not be a bad thing, then it builds to the witch/ghost and demons ... and perhaps the Vij itself.

This could be a blast.

So, here it is Vij.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Friday The 13th (1980)

Friday The 13th (1980)

Okay, so this week so far, we've been spotlighting trailers from 1980. Today, we've got the whole film for Friday the 13th.

So enjoy...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Changeling (1980)

The Changeling (1980)

This week is 1980's week - the beginning of a decided fixation of special effects and start of the slasher phase of horror. As Friday the 13 and other gorefest flicks dominated, smaller more traditional films floundered and were ignored, forgotten or overlooked.

One of my favorite films gravely overlooked due to the shift in focus to special effects in horror films is Peter Medak's The Changeling from 1980. This movie is an effective and frightening haunted house/ghost story. It is a movie that was made and released at the wrong time. If it were made five or ten years earlier, it would surely be a well known classic. As it is, it's a little known brilliant gem.

George C. Scott leads a top notch cast as John Russel, a composer who rents a century old mansion after suffering a personal tragedy. Soon, he finds himself not quite alone in the house ... someone, some unseen entity, is there with him.

The Changeling is directed by Peter Medak (Species II, Masters of Horror) and written by Russell Hunter and William Gray. It stars George C. Scott (The Exorcist 3), Trish Van Devere (The Hearse), Melvyn Douglas (Ghost Story), Jean Marsh, John Colicos, Barry Morse (Space: 1999).

So here it is ... The Changeling


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Fog (1980)

The Fog (1980)

As we've been discussing, horror in the eighties would become more and more about the special effects: Baker, Bottin, Savini and others would rise to fame for their mastering of the magical arts. Popular directors would employ them to create wonderous visions of gore and gruesome madness. 1980 was at the beginning of that transition as directors began to feel this shift.

John Carpenter would hire Rob Bottin to create his monster(s) for The Fog. While this film isn't about the gore, that would come with Carpenter's The Thing a few years later, it does illustrate the rise of the effects artist and how they would come to shape the face of horror. Here, however, the influence is subtle.

The Fog stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Houseman, Tom Atkins and Hal Holbrook.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Hearse (1980)

The Hearse (1980)

As the eighties came around, horror began focusing on special effects, monsters and slashers. During this transition, more traditional films would be generally overlooked. One such film is The Hearse starring Trish Van Devere.

The Hearse is a haunted house film with the titular hearse and its driver as the 'monster.' Van Devere inherits an old house with a tramatic history and soon finds herself wrapped up in a terrifying mystery. Full of atmosphere and traditional scare tactics, The Hearse successfully builds suspense to the jump scare. Its great stuff for its time; but, at that time, the horror community was craving a different beast.

Directed by George Bowers and written by William Bleich and Mark Tenser, the Hearse stars Trish Van Devere, Joseph Cotten, David Gautreaux, Donald Hotton, Med Flory.

So here it is ... The Hearse

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th (1980)

In the past months, we have spotlighted a variety of 70's horror films. At the rant, we love the 70's; however, the next decade would be a decade of transition. In the eighties, horror movies would be more and more about the special effects, monsters, ... and slashers. Landis would bring us An American Werewolf in London, Carpenter would deliver The Thing, Sam Raimi would spew his Evil Dead, Clive Barker would introduce us to Pinhead in Hellraiser and Wes Craven would unleash Freddy Kruger in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Terror fans would now have their Modern Horror: icons, directors and special effects artists.

One special effects artist, Tom Savini, would give us some of the most gruesome and disturbing American visual treats. Following his ground breaking display in Romero's Dawn of the Dead, Savini would define the slasher flick, beginning with Friday the 13th and introduce us to Jason Vorhees. Years before CGI would take over, Savini's practical effects would shock and terrify audiences with arrows and hatchets and ... machetes.

Friday the 13th, while crude at times and simple in its structure, would strike a nerve with the horror community and be a huge hit, spawning decades of sequels and a forthcoming remake next year in 2009. This movie is frightening and fun. Great stuff.

Friday is directed by Sean S. Cunningham (Deep Star Six), written by Victor Miller and stars
Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor and the incredible Kevin Bacon.

So here it is ... Friday the 13th

Friday, September 5, 2008

Orphaned (2008)

Orphaned (2008)

Back from hell-week...eh, trying to find time to breathe, just breathe...

Ok, so...

Fridays at the Rant are for new, upcoming horror flicks - this week we take a look at a new Korean horror called Orphaned starring Min-seo Chae (The Wig), Eun-ah Ko and Yu-seok Jeong.

Here's the trailer...Orphaned (2008)