Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Night Frights: Suspiria (1977)

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Welcome to tonight's episode of Friday Night Frights.

Tonight's feature is Suspiria, directed by Dario Argento.

A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the staff of the school are actually a coven of witches bent on chaos and destruction.

Watch Suspiria

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This Week in Horror: February 22 - 28

February 22
1996 – Castlevania: Dracula X released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe
2002 – The Queen of the Damned released theatrically

February 23
1996 – Mary Reilly released theatrically

February 24

February 25
2005 – Cursed released theatrically

February 26

February 27
1987 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors released theatrically
2004 – Club Dread released theatrically
2006 – House of the Dead 2 released on DVD

February 28
1941 – The Monster and the Girl released theatrically
1965 – Dr. Terror's House of Horrors released theatrically
1986 – House released theatrically
2003 – Resident Evil 0 released on the Nintendo GameCube in Australia

Source: wikipedia Portal:Horror/This day in horror archive

Please leave a comment with any additions/corrections. Thanks.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Night Frights: Christine (1983)

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Welcome to tonight's episode of Friday Night Frights.

Tonight's feature is the movie Christine, about a car named Christine, based on the book of the same name by Stephen King.

The movie was directed by John Carpenter; the cast includes Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, and Harry Dean Stanton.

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with a evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Christine was said to be a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which had similar panels and trim to the 1957 model. When the Fury name was introduced, it was essentially a sport and trim package on the Belvedere - notably two doors, gold anodized trim, gold grille and dual four-barrel carburetors.

Christine, as shown in the movie, could have been any two door Belvedere with a 318 or 350 engine.

Although over 5300 Furys - and far more Belvederes - were built in 1958, they have since become very rare and are now collector's items. There were 13 or 16 (depending on source) Belvederes/Furys smashed in the making of the movie (out of the roughly 25 used during filming), but it is unknown whether they were 1957 or 1958 models, or a combination. In any event, Plymouth enthusiasts were infuriated, although the movie popularized the car and probably saved many of them - in the same way that Back to the Future (1985) did for the DeLorean.

In the original Stephen King book, the car had four doors but this was changed to a two-door model when it was realized that there never was a four-door 1958 Plymouth Fury. Although all 1958 Plymouth Furys had Buckskin Beige exterior paint and gold anodized aluminum side trim and grille, the book mentions that this particular car was custom ordered in Ford red.

Here's the full movie, in a playlist:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This Week in Horror: February 15 - 21

February 15
1954 – Don Coscarelli (director of the Phantasm series of films) born
2003 – House of the Dead released theatrically

February 16

February 17
1959 – House on Haunted Hill (1959) released theatrically
2006 – Castlevania: Curse of Darkness released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in Europe

February 18
2000 – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis released for the PlayStation in Europe

February 19
1968 – Hour of the Wolf released theatrically
1970 – The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo) released theatrically in Italy
1993 – Army of Darkness released theatrically

February 20
1932 – Freaks released theatrically
2004 – Castlevania: Lament of Innocence released on the PlayStation 2 in Australia

February 21
1986 – The Hitcher released theatrically

Source: wikipedia Portal:Horror/This day in horror archive

Please leave a comment with any additions/corrections. Thanks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Night Frights: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

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Happy Friday the 13th!!!

and welcome to tonight's episode of Friday Night Frights.

With a nod to today's release of Friday the 13th (2009)...

Tonight's feature is Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), directed by Steve Miner. The cast includes Amy Steele, John Furey, Adrienne King, and Kirsten Baker.


Two months after the events of the original Friday the 13th, Alice (Adrienne King), the lone survivor of Mrs. Vorhees' killing spree, meets a grisly end in her city apartment.

Five years later, a new group of co-eds converges near Camp Crystal Lake, scene of the original massacre and the drowning of Jason Vorhees that preceded it.

This time around, the horny collegians attend a nearby training school for camp counselors. As half the group parties in town, an unseen assailant picks off the other half one by one. Only when camp leader Paul (John Furey) and his girlfriend, Ginny (Amy Steel), return to camp do they uncover the identity of their stalker -- none other than Jason (Warrington Gillette) himself, alive but grotesquely deformed as a result of his childhood drowning.

Flashbacks chronicle Jason's behind-the-scenes activities in the first film (perhaps explaining how his mother was able to throw the dead bodies of muscular youths through windows with such apparent ease). The young couple's only hope to defeat the fiend lies in psych major Ginny's insights in Jason's mental state. Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

Here's the trailer (scroll down for the full movie):

Here's the full movie, hosted by Megavideo:

Watch Friday the 13th Part 2

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday the 13th in 2D

Just two more days until the release of Friday the 13th (2009).

For those of you in dire need of a Jason fix NOW...

Here's the trailer for the new movie:

Here's the trailer for the original Friday the 13th (1980):

Purchase from Barnes & NobleHis Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th was released earlier this month on February 3.

In this look back at one of the most resilient slashers in horror film history, host Tom Savini reflects on thirty years of bloody carnage and gory mayhem as waged by Jason Vorhees, the hockey-masked mama's boy who always gets his victim, no matter how fast they run. Filled with classic clips from every Friday the 13th film, featuring rare behind-the-scenes footage, and offering interviews with over eighty filmmakers, fans, stuntmen, special effects artists, actors, and journalists, this documentary offers the definitive look at the legacy of a killer who never needs to utter a word, because his trusty machete does all the talking. Featured interviewees include, Kane Hodder, Harry Manfredini, Sean Cunningham, Betsy Palmer, Felissa Rose, Lar Park-Lincoln, Greg Nicotero, Adrienne King, Seth Green, and Fangoria editor-in-chief Tony Timpone. Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Here's the trailer:

Jason on "The Arsenio Hall Show" promoting Friday the 13th Part 8.

Two previous posts from this site (in case you missed 'em) with music videos featuring Jason:

He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask), by Alice Cooper, and a Jason-Michael-Freddy compilation from AJ's Music Videos.

You can read about ALL the movies at Friday the 13th: The Website.

Go to Friday the 13th: The Website
Chi, chi, chi, ha, ha, ha

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

War Games, Chess Games

IBM Deep Blue
"How about a nice game of chess?"

On this day in 1996, the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue became the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion, Garry Kasparov, under regular time controls (see Deep Blue - Kasparov, 1996, Game 1 for a description of the game).

However, Kasparov won three games and drew two of the following games, beating Deep Blue by a score of 4–2. The match concluded on February 17, 1996.

Deep Blue was then heavily upgraded (unofficially nicknamed "Deeper Blue") and played Kasparov again in May 1997, winning the six-game rematch 3½–2½, ending on May 11, and becoming the first computer system to defeat a reigning world champion in a match under standard chess tournament time controls.

Here's a clip from War Games (1983) with another supercomputer that liked to play chess (and other games):

Monday, February 9, 2009

Coming Soon - David Moody's Hater

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Zeitghost Media has just provided an exclusive viral video (released today) as a prelude to the forthcoming February 17 release of the novel Hater, a thriller written by David Moody.

Hater is soon to be a major motion picture, as well, produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by J.A. Bayona.

REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened 'Haters' by the media, the attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers. There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, then hundreds of thousands. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a Hater. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them with ultra violent intent. Waking up each morning, no matter how well defended, everyone must now consider the fact that by the end of the day, they might be dead. Or perhaps worse, become a killer themselves. As the status quo shifts, ATTACK FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER becomes the order of the day... only, the answers might be much different than what you expect....

In the tradition of H. G. Wells and Richard Matheson, Hater is one man’s story of his place in a world gone mad— a world infected with fear, violence, and HATE.


Chapter One

LUNATIC. BLOODY HELL, I’VE seen some things happen in this town before but never anything like that. That was disgusting. That made me feel sick. Christ, he came out of nowhere and she didn’t stand a chance, poor old woman. He’s in the middle of the crowd now. He’s outnumbered fifty to one and yet he’s still trying to fight. This place is full of crazy people.
View Entire Excerpt

This video is based on an extract from page 102 of Hater.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This Week in Horror: February 8 - 14

February 8
1980 – The Fog released theatrically

February 9
2001 – Hannibal released theatrically

February 10
1906 – Lon Chaney, Jr. (actor in numerous horror films) born (d. 1973)
2006 – Final Destination 3 released theatrically

February 11
2004 – Castlevania: Lament of Innocence released on the PlayStation 2 in Europe
2006 – House of the Dead 2 debuts on television
1926 – Leslie Nielsen (actor in The Day of the Animals (1977), Prom Night (1980) and Creepshow (1982)) was born.

February 12
1931 – Dracula released theatrically
1940 – Ralph Bates (actor in several Hammer horror films) born (d. 1991)
1992 – Braindead released theatrically
1999 – Brimstone ends its run on television

February 13
1938 – Oliver Reed (actor in several horror films) born (d. 1999)

February 14
1927 – The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog released theatrically
1991 – The Silence of the Lambs released theatrically

Source: wikipedia Portal:Horror/This day in horror archive

Please leave a comment with any additions/corrections. Thanks.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yellow Submarine (1968)

On this day in 1964 the Beatles arrived at JFK International Airport to begin their first tour of the United States.

Which brings to mind their movie, Yellow Submarine.

What does this have to do with horror? The Blue Meanies!!!

Weapons and species of Meanie (SPOILER ALERT)

  • The Common Blue Meanies: These, it seems, are a sub-species of their Chief's origin. They wear navy blue woolly coats, domino masks, and Mickey Mouse-ear-like hats (with the exception of the Chief Blue Meanie himself and his sidekick "Max", whose hats look more like Goofy's ears). They have six claws on each hand, and wear yellow-and-orange striped tights (again, the Chief and Max are the exceptions here, as they both wear jackboots with spurs: light blue boot on the right foot, navy blue on the left). They are also able to make their eyes glow so that they can see in the dark, which makes the head resemble a video projector. These particular Meanies carry guns that fire pale-blue jagged arrows which, on contact, drain the victim's colour and petrifies him or her - although it seems to varying degrees or only temporarily, because several victims in the film are seen to cry, smile, or look up, and several natives of Pepperland are seen to back off at the sight of the Flying Glove (see below).

  • The Apple Bonkers: These are tall, thin Meanies who can walk from hill to hill at a stride. Their weapons of choice are giant Baldwin apples, which they drop on people's heads and which have the same effect of the jagged arrows. If one can reach high enough, they too can be knocked out by such weapons, as the Beatles later discover. When seen closely, their faces bear a near striking resemblance to Abraham Lincoln.

  • The Butterfly Stompers: These are wide, bullying Meanies with cat-like faces. They each carry a number on their chest, and for whatever reason they find it entertaining to destroy butterflies. One of them also stomps upon Max's head at the Chief's behest.

  • The Countdown Clowns: These are tall, fat Meanies whose heads can spin round and round, and who shriek very loudly when ready to attack, or when they feel the need to alert other Meanies. If their noses are pressed, wherever they look there will appear an explosion. They have no hands or arms themselves, however, and so another Meanie has to press their noses for them, often needing to prop a ladder up against them, or sit up on their shoulders when doing so, because they are tall. When the Meanies' spell is broken, they end up simply producing positive words such as "Yes" and "OK" in block capitals when they try to cause an explosion.

  • The Hidden-Persuader Men: These are large, fat Meanies who are constantly smoking cigars and carrying martinis which appear to have eyes on the glass. These men appear to be harmless, but upon closer inspection, they have an extra hand inside their shoes, which typically wields a pistol and shoots whenever the toe of the shoe is raised. If the shoe is closed at the right time, however, they can be made, quite literally, to shoot themselves in the foot. They are one of the rarest seen Meanies. When the Meanies' spell is broken, we see them proposing toasts to each other and using their third hands to shake.

  • The Snapping-Turtle Turks: Possibly the most pettily cruel of the Meanies, and dressed like stereotypical Turkish men (though otherwise incomparable). These are comparatively short Meanies, but are fat, and their stomachs are in fact oversized, predatory faces whose sharp-toothed mouths consume objects. We see one of these eating a little girl's paper windmill on purpose to make her cry.

  • The Jack-the-Nippers: These are tall, muscular Meanies who wear green tail-coats and sunglasses and have reptilian heads for hands. Much like the Snapping-Turtle Turks' stomachs, these hands are used for fierce biting, but if startled can bite their own tongues, causing extreme pain. They are the least frequently seen of all the Meanies. The name is a play on Jack the Ripper.

  • The Four-Headed Bulldog: There is possibly just one of these, but that hardly matters, as it has four heads, each with very sharp teeth. It is extremely strong, and its handler is no match for it if it wishes to walk in a particular direction. It is ultimately defeated when the Beatles and their doubles, the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, sing "Hey Bulldog" and run in opposite directions to disorientate it.

  • The Dreadful Flying Glove: The Chief's fiercest and strongest fighter. Though there is only one glove, it is a force to be reckoned with; crushing, squashing, or "o-blue-terating" whoever or whatever its master directs it to attack. It has a stylized face, with the thumbnail acting as the eye and the index finger as the nose. As it clenches itself into a fist, it covers up its eye, temporarily blinding it. It is ultimately defeated when John sings "All You Need is Love" and covers it with the letters of all the words that spring from his mouth as he sings.

The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music hating Blue Meanies.

Some source material from this Wikipedia article.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Night Frights: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

Can you see them, Sally ... hiding in the shadows. They're alive, Sally. They want you to be one of them when the lights go out.

Welcome to tonight's episode of Friday Night Frights.

Tonight's feature is Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, an American made-for-television horror film by Lorimar Productions that was first telecast on ABC on Wednesday October 10, 1973.

It was directed by John Newland; the cast includes Kim Darby, John Hutton, Barbara Anderson, and William Demarest.

A young couple inherits an old mansion inhabited by small demon-like creatures who are determined to make the wife one of their own.

This movie has not been officially released on DVD.

Here's the full movie, in a playlist:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Zombie Alerts!

In this photo provided by Chris Nakashima-Brown, an electronic road sign is seen in Austin, Texas on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009. Two electronic signs intended to warn motorists of construction near the intersection of Lamar and Martin Luther King boulevards were changed yesterday by hackers.

By Jim Suhr
Associated Press
Published: February 5, 2009

Pranksters in at least three states are messing with electronic road signs meant to warn motorists of possible traffic problems by putting drivers on notice about Nazi zombies and raptors. And highway safety officials aren't amused.

The latest breach came Tuesday during the morning rush hour near Collinsville, Illinois, where hackers changed a sign along southbound Interstate 255 to read, "DAILY LANE CLOSURES DUE TO ZOMBIES."

A day earlier in Indiana's Hamilton County, the electronic message on a board in Carmel's construction zone warned drivers of "RAPTORS AHEAD — CAUTION."

And signs in Austin, Texas, recently flashed: "NAZI ZOMBIES! RUN!!!" and "ZOMBIES IN AREA! RUN."

Officials in Illinois are concerned the rewritten signs distract motorists from heeding legitimate hazards down the road. The hacked sign on Tuesday originally warned drivers of crews replacing guardrails.

"We understood it was a hoax, but at the same time those boards are there for a reason," said Joe Gasaway, an Illinois Department of Transportation supervisory field engineer. "We don't want (drivers) being distracted by a funny sign."

Authorities haven't figured out how pranksters access the signs. Gasaway believes the Illinois sign was changed remotely, and Austin Public Works spokeswoman Sara Hartley suspected the hackers there cut a padlock to get into the signs' computers.

Some Web sites, such as, have published tutorials titled "How to Hack an Electronic Road Sign" as a way to alert security holes to traffic-safety officials. Jalopnik urges its readership of 2.6 million a month not to put its lesson to practice.

"Hacking generally is about showing where there are holes in security systems, and I think this is a great example of that," the site's editor-in-chief, Ray Wert, told The Associated Press by telephone Wednesday. "I'm sure there are all sorts of ways to use that information in a way that's inappropriate, but we're trying to make clear this is an issue that needs to be confronted by traffic safety and transportation officials."

Wert said he had no immediate plans to take down Jalopnik's how-to guide.

In Illinois, tampering with an official traffic control device is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $250 fine — half what a culprit might have to pay in Texas if caught. If convicted in Indiana, a culprit faces up to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

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On this day in 1957, the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne's novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".

You can read the novel online here.

Walt Disney released the movie 20000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1954. It was directed by Richard Fleischer; the cast includes Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lucas, and Peter Lorre.

The movie won two Oscars: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color; and Best Effects, Special Effects. It was nominated for Best Film Editing.

A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.

Here's the trailer (scroll down for the full length movie):

Here's the full movie, in a playlist:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Farrah Fawcett Sci-Fi - Logan's Run and Saturn 3

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Happy Birthday to American actress Farrah Fawcett, who was born on this day in 1947.

She became a noted pop culture figure and sex symbol of the 1970s and into the 1980s, shaping the landscape of fashion and pop culture.

Her body of work includes a couple of science fiction films:

Logan's Run (1976), with Michael York. An idyllic sci-fi future has one major drawback: life must end at 30.

Here's the trailer:

Saturn 3 (1980), with Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keital. Two lovers stationed at a remote base in the asteroid fields of Saturn are intruded upon by a retentive technocrat from Earth and his charge: a malevolent 8-ft robot.

Here's the trailer:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This Week in Horror: February 1 - 7

February 1
1947 – Scared to Death released theatrically
1977 – Suspiria released theatrically in Italy

February 2
1969 – Boris Karloff dies (b. 1887)
1995 – Donald Pleasence (actor in many horror films) dies (b. 1919)

February 3
1995 – In the Mouth of Madness released theatrically
2000 – Resident Evil Code: Veronica released for the Dreamcast in Japan
2006 – When a Stranger Calls (2006) released theatrically

February 4
1940 – George A. Romero (creator of the Living Dead series of films) born
1983 – Videodrome released theatrically
2000 – Scream 3 released theatrically
2005 – Boogeyman released theatrically

February 5
1906 – John Carradine (actor in numerous horror films) born (d. 1988)

February 6
1946 – The Spiral Staircase released theatrically

February 7
1980 – Cannibal Holocaust released theatrically

Source: wikipedia Portal:Horror/This day in horror archive

Please leave a comment with any additions/corrections. Thanks.