Archive for October, 2008

Oct

posted by admin | October 27, 2008 | Halloween films, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Lost Highway’s List of Must See Horror Movies for Halloween Night.

Well it’s that time of year again and the Lost Highway is out to get it’s fright on. Retroman Steve and Drive-in Dan compiled a list of 10 horror films you should check out for your Halloween season. You already know the typical top 10’s that includes Exorcist, The Shining, Carrie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, etc. These are some lesser known films that often don’t get the spotlight but are just as deserving to be in the Fright Club. So turn out the lights and spin up your DVD player for some great scares. Just remember the first rule to Fright Club…there is no Fright Club.

Retroman Steve’s Top 5

1. Event Horizon

This ghost story in space is so disturbing it still gives me the shivers if someone even mentions the word NASA. Sam Neil is an astrophysicist who is part of a rescue mission to salvage a spacecraft he designed that can travel the speed of light. Sorry Sam no dinosaurs to chase on this one. The unfortunate thing when you travel at speed of light you have to make a pit stop in hell so the rescue crew has to deal with space demons stowaways that like to mess with their heads. Space camp never prepared them for that scenario. Dark gritty and atmospheric this film will stick with you long after viewing.

 

 

 

 

2. [REC]

Who knew reading spanish subtitles could be this scary. A Television reporter and her camera man are filming a documentary at a fire station when a routine 911 takes them to an apartment complex. The apartment comes under quarantine trapping the tenants and film crew inside. Things go from really bad to even worse when they discover what’s lurking in one of the upstairs apartments.. It just goes to show that sometimes it worth breaking your lease early. Quarantine is in theaters now which is the Americanized remake but I prefer the original recipe to extra crispy any day.

 

 

 

3. The Entity

Barbara Hershey plays a woman that is repeatedly assaulted by an unseen spirit in her ranch style home as ghost hate stair climbing. After getting a doctor’s note that’s she’s not insane, she invites some ghostbuster’s wanna be’s over that nearly pee themselves when they see hovering lights over her bed. The only solution is to have her play barbie dream house in a high school gymnasium trying to freeze the ghost with a giant freeze gun. Based on a true story it’s got some genuine frightful moments but the final scene in this movie will chill you to the bone. Watch out for freezer burn.

 

 

 

 

4. The Others

Nothing creepier than being trapped in an old mansion with your overprotective mom. Nichole Kidman plays the obsessive mother in a family that is seeing strange things and hearing creepy noises in their home and no it’s not Tom Cruise and a gang of scientologists lurking in the hallways. The children live mostly in darkness as they have a rare skin condition in which they can’t be exposed to sunlight. A trip to Michigan in the winter would be ideal. Some great scenes that will make you jump and a twist ending you’ll never see coming. Well unless you watch another popular horror movie that has the exact same ending but what are the chances of that?

 

 

5. The Mist

When it’s the end of the world who would have thought the best place to hide is your local Piggly Wiggly? Just watch out for the religious cults forming in aisle 8. A struggling artist and his son take refuge in a grocery store as a strange mist descends upon their town. It’s filled with some nasties that are craving some folksy people snack food. Some great monster effects but the real monsters are some of people barricaded in the store who show you the dark side of humanity. A great b-movie with the most shocking ending I’ve ever witnessed in a film. It was pretty fun ride up to that point. After that you just want to crawl up in a ball and rock back and forth and try to think happy thoughts. Based on the short story from Stephen King it’s easily one of the best adaptations of his work in a long time. Foggy mornings will never be the same for me now.

Drive-in Dan’s Top 5

halloween 31. Halloween 3

Ditching the predictable slash by numbers routine of earlier installments director Tommy Lee Walace gives us an unexpected treat with this stand alone and unfortunately often ridiculed Halloween entry. The story starts when a mysterious factory complete with eerie green fog sets up shop in the small town of Santa Mira. The good news is you won’t have to worry about these novelty products containing lead paint as they’re made in the USA, not China, but something very sinister is going on behind the factory’s closed doors. It seems the CEO of Silver Shamrock Novelty corporation and renegade sorcerer Conal Cochran is upset that children don’t understand and appreciate the true meaning of the Druid holiday Samhain. So, he devises a deadly trick to punish the little offenders by giving away free Halloween masks inserted with microchips that are powered by an ancient Stonehenge artifact. The little kiddies are then instructed to wear their masks during a special commerical broadcast that turns these seemly cute and innocent masks into instruments of vermin oozing death. In fact there are enough creepy crawlies that the Orkin man would be cowering in a corner sucking and his thumb in a fetal position. Another added plus was having John Carpenter and Alan Holdworth back on board again to contribute a spine tingling electronic score for a film that already maxes out the creepy meter. Beware of the catchy Silver Shamrock commerical jingle that will stay in your head days after you have seen the movie.

 

 

2. PumpkinHead

Well, this one doesn’t involve the Peanuts gang or the Great Pumpkin, but it does have a vengeful guord from hell who lives in a creepy ole pumpkin patch that doubles as a graveyard. Late special effects genius Stan Winston in his first directorial effort gave horror aficionado’s a bag full of visual goodies with this masterful tale of backwoods revenge. Staring Lance Henriksen who Before joining the Millennium Group actually played a good guy for a change named Ed Harley who lives a humble life running a small roadside store with his young son, Billy. However, happiness quickly turns into sadness, then anger as he seeks revenge on some reckless city dwellers who killed Billy while they were performing EXPN motorcross style stunts. Overwhelmed by grief and desperation Mr. Harley with the help of a youngin’ from the Wallace clan tracks down an old family friend named Hagis who happens to be a witch. After some small talk about Harley’s soul being damned forever, the old hag follows a closely guarded secret family black magic recipe that starts with a mixture of the victim’s and conjure’s blood that when poured on the mummified remains reconstitutes the dried up demonic raisin like an evil Cup Of Noodles Soup. Once the transformation is complete this unholy killer is set loose to hunt down and destroy all wrong doers using it’s own wickedly delightful brand of dark justice. This movie is overflowing with so much creepy atmosphere that it will be seeping out of your pores. Renowned makeup artist Tom Woodruff Jr. (Aliens, Tremors) supplies some solid special effects work and created a truly cinematic monster for the ages that could rightfully stand next to any classic screen monster from the era of black and white movies. A great film to watch especially on Halloween either by yourself or with a group of friends.

 

 

3. Sleepy Hollow

Taking Disney’s animated short “The Adventures of Icabod Crane” into darker territory, Tim Burton puts his unquie visual stamp on Washington Irving’s beloved classic story. Tired of being the butt of so many headless jokes around the village campfire, The Headless Horseman ends his all expenses paid Hades vacation a little early to reclaim his missing noggin and to exact revenge on those who caused him to loose his head. Johnny Depp heads an ensemble cast of veteran actors and does a wonderful job at playing an 1800’s version of Inspector Clouseau who arrives at Sleepy Hollow a non-beliver but becomes a true believer after he uncovers the ghastly secrets behind the events that are terrifying this small isolated town. Contains a couple of genuine scares, several strong performances and some quirky visuals. This is Tim Burton’s first serious attempt at a horror movie and hit a home run with this film.

 

 

4. Hellraiser

From the typewriter to the director’s chair Clive Barker brings us a twisted story that will even make your nightmares want to keep the lights on. Based on Barker’s Books of Blood. If you thought being chained to a chair with your eye lids taped open while being forced to watch a Desperate Housewives marathon was torture, then you’ll feel a lot better when you see the horrors that the character Frank endures when he solves the Rubik’s Cube from hell that brings uninvited guests who are sporting fetish and bondage gear lead by demonic baddie Pinhead who has pain and pleasure on his mind. Give this one a view after you’ve sent all the little ghosts and goblins on their way with sacks stuffed with holiday treats or take it to a late night get together on Halloween to liven up a lame party.

 

 

5. Childs Play

Long before Chucky got hitched in Bride of Chucky and became a family man in Seed of Chucky, he was a single, wild man on the loose who became a dedicated student of the black arts and even mastered soul-transfering in record time. Known as the Lakeshore Strangler to his closest of friends, he earned this nickname because of the video game like high body count he would rack up during his brutal killing sprees. Filled with suspenseful scenes that are sure to make your heart race at times. Just make sure you haven’t chugged too many Red Bulls. As Chucky, Brad Dourif isn’t just an actor doing a character voice, he makes you belive he is actually a killer spirit living inside in a toy doll. Also, having a real actor portray Chucky inside a costume really made the character come to terrifying life along with some amazing puppetry effects (courtesy of effects wiz Kevin Yagher and Co.) that are so realistic they’ll make your skin will crawl. Hard to believe that it’s twenty years later, but all of the effects still hold up and would put the hokey visuals that most big budget releases proudly parade around to shame. This is easily one of the best killer doll movies in the toys gone wild without out batteries sub genre.

Oct

posted by admin | October 22, 2008 | Comedy, Cult Film, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall, Uncategorized

Comments Off on Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer



“His attempt to disprove the myth of eating Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks went horribly wrong.”

Road rage is all the rage these days. It seems the closer I get to Detroit the more the cars are packed in tighter together and the more irritable people get.  It unnerves me like being in an elevator with a bunch of stranger except without the added perk of body odor. You get in the lane moving fast and then it slows to a crawl meanwhile the lane you were just in suddenly become the Taladega expressway. Expecting a major pile-up of horrific carnage you finally see what people are gawking at  that caused the slow down to begin with. Just a couple empty boxes strewn across the shoulder of the pavement. No cones, no workers, no crushed cars with body limbs. Apparently the possibility that a menacing cardboard box may leap from the ditch at any moment brings traffic to a stand still. Much like a deer if you see one there are surely more to follow. The lady in front of you is taking on her cell phone and putting on makeup, filing paperwork, and is apparently delicately aligning a nuclear centrifuge system all from her car’s dashboard because she sure ain’t paying attention to the road. Then to top it off I let someone in and I don’t get the friendly hand wave back! the nerve! I let you in thereby saving you at least 30 seconds off your trip and you have the audacity to not return the customary friendly acknowledgement. Flashes of me slamming on the gas pushing their car into the guard rail like a scene out of Mad Max flash through my head, but I hold back the anger and viciously adjust my radio dial. Argh! all commercials except for Michael Bolton, That only boils my blood more.  Sfter slamming my fists on the steering and screaming at the top of my lungs I look around and notice that traffic has thinned out, the cell phone lady has friendly waved me in. Oh look the clouds have parted, a narrow beam of sunlight is guiding my way through traffic and Bobby Mcfarlane is even singing on my radio…eesh, why do people ever get so upset in traffic anyways. Thank goodness I’m not like that.

Did somebody call a plumber?Speaking of people with rage issues. Jack Brooks (Trevor Matthews) is not your typical plumber…a sort of Mario brother that lacks anger management skills. Ever since Jack witnessed the brutal slaying of his entire family on a camping trip by a bucked toothed grease monster he just can’t seem to deal with things constructively. Trips to Gander Mountain can definitely be crossed off his list of places to visit. Jack is seeing a physciatrist to help him with his uncontrollable urge to punch people. He’s also attending evening science class with his nagging girlfriend Eve to better his education. Eve, played by Rachel Skarsten, seems to be the only person who can single handidly wussify Jack with a couple choice words. This usually would take years of marriage to accomplish but Eve’s got it down pat. Robert Englund plays the class professor who invites Jack over to work on a mysterious plumbing problem at his creepy old mansion. A back-up pipe explodes as a result of Jack’s handy work unearthing a secret crate buried in his backyard. Typical contract worker, I’m sure he’ll charge extra for that too. 

Jabba lacks the charm of other Huts.Professor Crowley digs into the crate like a kid looking for the prize in a cereal box. He finds some skeletal remains, a lot of dirt, and of course a live beating heart (those are always the best prizes.) Not finding a organ donor card any other form of ID the professor suddenly eats the heart and becomes possessed by the spirit of an ancient demon. If only he had a hungry man TV diner instead. Even as a possessed drooling demonite the professor is still committed to the education system and heads to class. He’s a bit late though because he had to eat his dog on the way in. No need for a doggie bag, thank you very much. Once at class he starts burping, bloating and throwing up like a bulimic sorority girl at a frat party, that is until tentacles shoot out of his back grabbing students around the neck and turning them into blood thirsty monster through a tube of force fed demon goo. Jack and his girlfriend barely escape tearing out of the parking lot as fast as his old van will muster, but upon further reflection through a series of montage flashbacks Jack decides it’s better to fight than run to away like a little girly man. Pipe in hand and tool belt tightened, Jack heads back to the school for some monster killing therapy leaving behind his girlfriend for a hopeful mugging. Lots of monster head bashing and pipe smacking as Jack lets his inner rage go hog wild leading to the eventual big show down with the head monster.

Some great gorey effects that is straight out of a homage to some of the great 1980’s splatter films and a must see for fans of Evil Dead series. Jack Brooks is no Ash and lacks his witty charm, but if my toilet ever gets plugged up with netherworld demonites then I’ll know who to call. Retroman Steve says check it out but bring some liquid Draino and a plunger for those tough hair clogs. 

Roadside Attractions

-1 angry tribal cyclops
-1 girly pen
-Native tossing
-2 Doggie snacks
-Extreme plumbing
-Demon sinus vaporizing mist
-Tentacle lassoing
-Demon-goo beer bonging
-Monster head bunting
-Jabba the Hut look-alike contest
-Axe throwing
-Heart munching
-Obligatory creepy hardware salesman warning of doom

rated 8.6 out of 10 for the movie

See Jack run…run jack run.

See Jack smash monster with drain pipe…..smash Jack smash.

 

 

Check out the trailer for Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

Oct

posted by admin | October 13, 2008 | 70's movies, B-movies, Comedy, Cult Film, Cult films, Musical, Uncategorized

Comments Off on Rock ‘n’ Roll High School



“So a mouse, a French leprechaun and an Indian walk into a bar…”

You know I often wonder why people refer to high school as the best years of their lives. Do these people actually remember what is was like back then, or do they get those years confused with a “Saved by the Bell” episode? This adolescent socialist prison system had to be some sort of evil physiological test confined to a rat maze of smelly lockers. Perhaps it was created by an ancient race of aliens in order to understand human behavior. If you’ve seen some of the school board members, you’d believe it, too. High school was divided into social cliques in their own 70’s street-gang style. There were the nerds, the geeks, bandzies, spazes, jocks, ice queens, druggies, snobs, and other lesser-known sub-categories like “fans of David Hasselhoff” or “kids that can play Casio keyboards.” And yes, I belonged to that last group ( I can still play Van Halen’s “Jump.”). It’s amazing lunch time didn’t erupt into a turf war. My money would be on the nerds…they had skills like MacGyver and could rig-up some explosives with a napkin, a couple of wires, and some day-old burritos. Watch out for the ice queens, though; they were like brain Ninjas…they’d leap from the rafters and attack your self-esteem and poor fashion sense. It’s strange looking back and wondering why we ever cared about who likes who; will I be able to learn to play Axel-F on my keyboard; will I ever pass Algebra? Guess what? Algebra…you’ll never use it again. That’s why they build calculators into shopping cart handles now. Gym class? I haven’t had the need to climb a rope since then, and don’t plan to, unless I’m involved in a prison break someday. Chemistry class…I seem to remember something about a periodic table, but I get that confused with the term “occasional furniture.” Just remember, kids: these are not the best years of your life; those are coming later and it’s called “college”…and possibly “retirement” for others. But do count your blessings. No paying taxes, no house payments, no responsibilities, and an unlimited amount of time to play Halo 3 on your Xbox. Curse you, Snipermaster07 and your unlimited training time. I will defeat you someday.

Wizard!!!!!!Speaking of high school kids with too much time on their hands, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” is a 70’s musical featuring the Ramones and a wide assortment of teenagers who are most likely to break out and dance at any moment. Gym class turns into Jazzercise; freshmen get stuffed into lockers; and hallways become punk rocking mosh pits. PJ Stolls of “Halloween” fame plays Riff Randal, the always-perky rock ‘n’ roll rebel whose obsession in life is to write a song for the Ramones and have them serenade her in her bathroom. Kate Rambeau (not the Vietnam vigilante) is her nerdy friend who has a crush on the football captain, Tom, played by Vincent Van Patten. Tom just happens to be even geekier than Kate with his name proudly embroidered across his jersey, as well as his lame pickup lines about the weather and driving around in his Dungeons and Dragons Warlock van.  Hey haven’t I seen this van somewhere else?

 

Johnny and Kate are trained in dating techniques by none other than the gigolo of cool, Clint Howard. He’s Ron Howard’s more handsome brother. He plays Eaglebauer, the school’s one-man, one-named Mafia, who runs a very profitable business from within the boys’ bathroom stalls, complete with his own secretary and voice-over announcer. I see a future corporate CEO position for this guy. Embezzlement and corruption sure…but the man’s got moxy, and already has a receding hairline as a teenager.

A new principal is brought to clean up the school, Miss Togar the Ogre (Mary Woronov). She is a tall Nazi-like warden, whose hair buns are wound tighter than Princess Leia’s. She also enjoys blowing up mice with blaring rock music. Hey, all this lady needs is a date and a day at the spa. Her plans is to rule Vince Lombardi High School with an iron fist, along with her Boy Scout hall monitors Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. Riff fights back by camping out to buy tickets for the town’s big Ramones concert. The band shows up in a big pink Cadillac with the phrase “Gabba Gabba Hey” blazoned across their license Plate, while eating chicken and playing guitar. Yet Riff still wants to buy the ticket and doesn’t run away screaming. Nothing against the Ramones, their music defined punk rock, but they sure were a homely group of rockers, and Joey, their lead singer, was the definition of eccentric. The man lived off wheat germ and riboflavin, and would cower in the shadows to avoid the deadly rays of the sun. Also an honorable mention to Paul Bartel, who plays the wacky music professor and recently converted Ramon-ite. He shows up to the concert in a French-Leprechaun outfit, complete with beret, rocking out with a giant white Rat, and an Indian Chief. Now there’s something you won’t see in “Grease.”  The Ramones show up later at the school for yet another concert (Why did the students even have to buy tickets to begin with for the town concert?), and after a good old-fashioned album burning by the parents, they end up blowing up the school with some homemade dynamite, mixed by Kate Rambo…Yes, she finally lives up to her namesake. The TV announcer signs-off by reminding us “if your principal gives you trouble and you want the same to happen at your school, then give Screamin’ Steve a call.” Screamin’ Steve is now on a terrorist watch list, and the students are serving time in Guantanimo.

If you liked cheesy musicals like “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Grease”, or “Hairspray”, I think you’ll rock out to this cult classic and lasting film tribute to the Ramones. It was originally titled “Disco High School”, and they thankfully changed the title out of fear that nobody would see it, except Travolta fanboys. And you can only handle so much on-screen Bee-Gees. Retroman Steve says, “Gabba Gabba grab a copy and check it out.”

Roadside Attractions

-Boy Scout hall monitors
-blow-up doll sexual assaults
-freshman locker stuffing
-remote-controlled airplane flying
-explod-o-mice
-rock ‘n’ roll gym class
-bra- fu
-music instructors in berets
-Ramones bathroom attendants
-extreme hall monitoring
-record-ka-bobs
-lunch lady firing squads
-shag carpeted vans

rated 8.6 out of 10 for the movie

most memorable quote: “If you don’t like it, you can put it where the monkey puts the nuts.”

Check out the trailer for Rock ‘N’ Roll High School

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