Archive for the 'Halloween films' Category


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Almost every B-movie and horror movie fan out there has a story of how they were introduced to movies–like a cool uncle who let them watch “Porky’s” where they saw their very first set of boobies. For me, I became hooked on B-movies and horror movies after my first visit to Video Unlimited, a video store near where I lived. As a young boy many a weekend and summer were spent watching videos that I rented from both stores; they had two locations. I was very fortunate to have a really cool Mom who would let me watch any kind of movie, regardless of the genre (except porn). Hey, even the coolest Moms have to draw the line somewhere. My Mom became even cooler when I found out she was a big horror movie buff. On her days off from managing the drive-in (Rosen’s), she would usually be watching horror movies with me. Now how many kids can honestly say their Mom likes horror movies?

So, let me get back to my Video Unlimited memories. The one thing that always amazed me about both stores was that even though they weren’t very big, the staff magically found a way to somehow store and showcase thousands of titles. I always wondered if they had access to some kind of interdimensional portal with a limitless supply of videos. Video Unlimited’s selection was a lot like Video Vault in that whatever movie you were looking for, they usually had it or something similar to it.


And while I’m on the subject of selection, I have to mention the size of the movie rental catalog that was sitting on the front counter of the Laplata location. This thing was HUGE. Think a of a triple-decker club sandwich that is made of phone books, without the ham, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayonnaise. To me this catalog was my B-movie bible. I’m pretty sure that whenever I went near it the book was enshrined in a golden light and I heard celestial music coming from up above. Seriously, this catalog contained so many movies from every possible genre and sub-genre that if I live several lifetimes like the Highlander, Duncan MacLeod, I still wouldn’t see all of the movies listed in it. And when I had watched all of the current releases, or I just wanted to focus on a particular genre, this became my go-to book. The selection of the so-called “big boys” of movie rental back then and today–Blockbuster and Hollywood Video–could never compare to the impressive selection of the small Mom-and-Pop video stores. Try calling Blockbuster to find out if they carry “Wood Chipper Massacre”, and the people working there won’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

When I moved out of the area I began going exclusively to Video Unlimited’s Waldorf location, their second store. After about a year of renting several movies on a weekly basis and talking about movies with the staff, I was asked for my imput on what B-movies and horror movies the should carry at the store. So I began making movie recommendations based on previews I had seen, articles that I read in ‘Fangoria’ (when ‘Fangoria’ was still a horror magazine), and movie screeners that I had viewed. Yes, I was given movie screeners to watch, which was one of the coolest things to me. In case you don’t know, a movie screener is an advance copy of a movie that is shown to critics and distributors. I saw a lot of screeners, but the one that comes to mind was for the movie “Seed People.” It’s basically Full Moon Entertainment’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I remember it being an enjoyable little movie, when Full Moon actually made movies worth watching, unlike the Z-grade trash that Charles Band pimps today for a quick buck. Now if helping to select movies and viewing advance copies wasn’t awesome enough, another perk of being a loyal customer was that I had my pick of all the cool posters they had from movies, like “Silent Night, Deadly Night”, “The Fly” (Cronenberg’s version), and “Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.” In addition, I also got nifty movie promos like trading cards from another Full Moon release, “Subspecies”, which I still have packed in a box somewhere today. This was way before eBay. Back then nobody really thought of this stuff as being collectible or having any real value. To the owners all it was doing at the time was taking up valuable space that could be used to store copies of movies. Now I’m sure that they probably wished they had kept a lot of these posters after seeing how popular and valuable they’ve become over the years.

Soon I got a job at Rosen’s Drive-in, and I didn’t just didn’t have as much time as I used to to watch movies, but I would still visit Video Unlimited at least once a week to say “hi” and to see if there were any new releases that caught my eye. Sure, I saw plenty of movies while working the projection booth at Rosen’s, but I could never get my fill of movies. Similar to Kirstie Alley’s relationship with food. Have you seen her lately? Yikes! She looks like she swallowed a water buffalo.


Anyway, when I started a professional haunted house attraction a short time later, I found myself with even less time. Things were so crazy that everything quickly became a blur. And before I knew it, one week, two weeks had passed by in a flash, so I decided to stop by my favorite video store to see how things were going. Well, as soon as I walked across the parking lot towards the front door I had a sinking feeling–something wasn’t right. And my feeling was confirmed when I stepped inside and saw the shelves with only a few movies scattered on each of them. All around me there was a feeding frenzy similar to Piranhas attacking a helpless swimmer at a lake resort. People were quickly grabbing and buying VHS cassettes and everything else in the store, except for the floor tiles. I didn’t ask many questions even though I was shocked and upset, because whatever I was feeling was probably nothing compared to what everybody who worked there was going through. This was their business, their livelihood. From what I was told later on the video store had been struggling for a few months. And things only got worse when their rent was raised and Blockbuster (the Walmart of video stores, which isn’t a compliment) moved into town about 300 or so feet away. The competition was simply too strong and they just couldn’t survive any longer.

To this day I don’t understand why someone didn’t tell me what was happening sooner. Maybe I could have done something to help. Though in all honesty, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway, because the profit-driven, soulless, corporate video rental chains like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were gaining momentum in the video rental market, and it was only a matter of time before the small Mom-and-Pop video stores like Video Unlimited would soon disappear. However, the Laplata store was able to say in business for several more years until sadly, in 2002, it was destroyed by a devastating tornado that hit the strip mall where it was located. Last I had heard the owner decided not to rebuild the business.

I hadn’t been to the Laplata location in many years, but hearing the bad news was still a real bummer. It was like loosing contact with a close friend, and then years later finding out that they had passed away. For most of my childhood these two stores had been a very important part of my life. I know it’s just a couple of video stores to most people, but the movies that I was exposed to made me, Drive-in Dan, the B-movie fan that I am today. The movies that I rented from these stores led to other interests that have carried over into adulthood, like my passion for special effects makeup after seeing Tom Savini’s masterful work in films such as “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter”, “Dawn of the Dead”, and “The Burning.” Watching films such as “Halloween” and Dario Argento’s “Phenomena”exposed me to the unique musical styles of John Carpenter and the Italian Prog Rock band, Goblin, which I still enjoy to this day. After seeing “The Road Warrior” I was inspired to make vehicles and various contraptions using parts from miscellaneous model kits, and today I continue to create things from found objects.

I will always have fond memories of the two Video Unlimited stores. I’m glad that I grew up in the 80’s and was able to be a part of something truly awesome. Hopefully, other B-movie fans out there had their own Video Unlimited while growing up.


posted by admin | October 25, 2009 | B-movies, Halloween films, Horror movies

Comments Off on Top 10 Movies for Halloween Viewing 09′

The season of ghouls and things that go bump in the night is upon us once again. This means Lost Highway is digging up another list of some must see horror films to check out when all your trick or treaters have gone to bed. So turn off the porch lights early, blow out the candles in your Jack-o-Laterns, and get your big bowl of left over candy corn to sit down and watch these haunting tales.

Retroman Steve gives his top 5

1. Trick ‘r Treat

Delayed for nearly 2 years and hyped to the hilt as the perfect Halloween film, It was doubtful it was going to live up to expectations or even see any type of domestic release. Well it’s finally here and I can unequivocally say “yes” it’s hype worthy and truly garners a honored place among classics like the original Halloween, Night of the Demons, and even It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I’m proud to say that Trick ‘r Treat is my newest halloween tradition. Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt comparison aside, it does take it’s own direction with multiple tales of “All Hallows” eve creepingly interwoven. It earns praise more on great atmosphere and wonderful storytelling that outright scares or gore though you’ll find a few moments in it that are downright frightening mostly revolving around a school bus. But I really enjoyed it’s fun matinee horror that I haven’t seen in many films lately.

This is a modern horror fairy tale that understands the true essence of what Halloween is  and that essence takes the physical form of Sam. Sam is a little halloween demon in disguise that defends the holiday’s tradition with dire consequences for anyone that breaks the rules. Freddy, Jason, Pinhead, Leatherface and now we have Sam. You’d think they could have come up with a scarier name. But make no mistake Sam is a vicious little guy that won’t stop until he gets what he wants. My advice keep a bowl of candy always at the ready. This is a pretty recent direct to dvd release with plenty of good reviews around the web so it’s likely you’ve already seen it but for the few of you that have been on volunteer duty in Equador it’s time to get caught up. See it and I guarantee it’ll give you that warm fuzzy feeling like a big jack-o-latern glowing in your heart. Also check out the cartoon extra on the DVD. It’s a hand drawn short animated film that inspired the full length feature lovingly crafted by the director Michael Dougherty . Trick ‘r Treat is a fantastic little piece of halloween horror that should be a part of any horror buff’s collection.

2. Magic

The commercial for this movie played on televison in the late 70’s during some saturday morning cartoons much to the horror of the children everywhere watching it at the time. Parent complaints flooded the TV stations as they were in an uproar over a creepy little ventriloquist doll talking about evil hocus pocus and death while the kids were watching the Smurfs. I fortuntately missed that early childhood scaring opportunity as I must have been watching Soul Train instead. Hey It’s where I learned to dance like the funky white boy that I am, but I did check it out the commercial on YouTube and was very intrigued with what I saw.

Anthony Hopkins in his pre Silence of the Lambs phase shows his early chops as a deranged psychopath/failed magician named Corky. After many lame cards tricks, his newest ventriloquist act with Fats the foul mouth puppet becomes a huge hit. Soon the promise of TV fame comes knocking on his door but fearing his his mental disease may get exposed, he disappears into upper state New York instead. Corky finds an isolated town and his highschool sweetheart/resident crazy lady Ann Margaret renting out cabins. Somehow she’s impressed by his comb over hair and lack of social skills and soon they fall in love. Unfortunately she’s still married and despite him always having his hand up the rear end of a wood doll things get even more creepy as Corky continues his downward spiral into madness. An interesting fact, the doll was actually designed by Disney but that company would cut ties with being involved with the film as it was all too dark and twisted to have their seal of approval. Sure Disney you won’t be associated with that horror film but then you’ll make Herbie the Love Bug. Magic was and is a great psychological thriller but never did well in the box office and missed out on any of that Oscar buzz due to all that early negative press. Definitely some great performances all around as Fats terrifying voice will be stuck in your head long after. Who is really the puppet pulling the strings is never quite clear but this is a very well crafted thriller that I highly recommend.

3. One Dark Night

A pre-breast enhanced Meg Tilly stars in this great 80’s gem about a deceased evil psychic recently buried in the town’s Mosoluem. He’s just waiting around for a group of teenagers that he can zap some brain juice from so that he can return from the dead. Meg’s character Julie is happy to oblige when she decides to spend the night there as part of a highschool gang initiation. Shiny purple club jackets apparently gave you a lot of street cred back then. Little does she realize that a few of her friends are going to crash the party and to give her a good fright including resurrected floating zombies on strings and ineffectual boyfriends on motorcylces who get tossed around like muppets.

Surprisingly a creepy film once the dead start to rise despite their dry cleaned and pressed appearance. Even the Dark Knight himself Adam West makes a cameo sans tights and bat utility belt as an alcoholic husband. Not sure if this was such an acting stretch. Give One Dark Night a try for a good Halloween fright film and be sure to read the full review here.

4. The Burning

How did this movie slip by my slasher radar in the 80’s. My SLASHdar as I’d like to call it, can detect great slashers simply from a quick glance of the back of a VHS box covers from up to 300 ft. away. But “The Burning” had totally gotten by and I only viewed it recently based on some positive talk about it on the Twittersphere. Well Friday the 13th should pay back some royalties to these guys because The Burning does everything right all the way through and in some ways is a better film than Friday. A psychopath on a vengful kiling spree, characters you actually care about, decent acting, and a river kill scene that shocks you to the core. The strength of this film rests on it’s plausibility and sense of impending dread as Cropsy the dark shrowded killer offs these teens in increasingly brutal fasion. You’ll never feel comfortable around a gardner with pruning sheers again…well you’ll feel even less comfortable and the forboding atmosphere is punctuated with a great soundtrack from Rick Wakeman who played in the rock band Yes. Everything hits the right note of perfect b-movie fright and slashertude. Yeah I just made up another b-movie term “slashertude” the attitude of a pefect slasher film. Pass it on.

5. Let the Right One in

One thing I thought we could do with a little less these days was vampire flicks. I think the last good one I saw involved Corey Haim pushing a vampire into a bathtub of holy water. Then came Twilight and all it’s Transylvania 90210 cheesiness and that put the proverbial nails in the coffin for vampire flicks for me. Hesitatingly I gave “let the Right one in” a foreign vampire film a last chance since it was referred to me by @chrisbanzai. Hey the man has got great taste in hats so I was hoping that would translate to great taste in vampire flicks. Ding ding ding we have a winner! Even though it’s from Swedish subtitled and I hate reading my movies this one is is actually quite engrossing (with an emphasis on the gross) and was more of a slow burning horror film that delves a lot into the character relationship rather than just going for the throat which is also does quiet well.

The story revolves around Oskar, a swedish boy who one night meets another neighborhood kid named Eli. Eli is a quiet girl who also happens to be a neck sucking vampire hell beast, but in a kind and thoughtful way. When Oskar isn’t making modular furniture, he’s bullied by kids at school but fortunately his new girlfriend can remove their head with a good right hook and also clean up the mess afterwards. Oh if only I had dated Eli in highschool and I could have avoided all those times stuffed in a locker smelling like a gym bag. The atmosphere in this one is bleak and while the acts of Eli are horrifying you’ll find it difficult not to sympathize with her and the relationship these two have. A good story about growing up and how it can be a pain in the neck..literally. Retroman says check it out.

Drive-in Dan gives his top 5.

1. Night of the Demons

Don’t bother to RSVP for the upcoming remake, and just check out director Kevin Tenney’s horror classic from the 80’s.  You are invited for a get-together at Hull House on Halloween night, so don’t forget to dress up in your favorite costume. Your sexy hostess for the night will be Angela.  But there’s one thing that I should tell you about her: she’s a demon in disguise who has a taste for human souls.  And word has it that she steals souls by kissing.  So if she tries to give you a smooch, just play it safe and go with a handshake instead.  This is a great film to watch on Halloween.  For starters it takes place on the spookiest night of the year.  Then there is the eerie animated opening title sequence that sets the mood for the whole movie.  And I can’t forget to mention a couple of freaky visuals like a possessed Angela floating down the hallway looking for more victims, and scream queen, Linnea Quiggley, doing a magic trick involving a tube of lipstick.  Plus, the director’s brother, Dennis Michael Tenney, contributes a great electro-synth soundtrack that gives what’s happening onscreen another layer of creepiness. Read a full review here.

2. Lighting Bug

Green Graves (sounds like a tv horror host) is a young makeup effects prodigy who creates thrills and chills using clay and latex.  Unfortunately he’s stuck in a pint-sized town filled with small-minded people who don’t recognize or appreciate his creative abilities.  However, things start to look up for Green when he lands his dream gig designing and creating nightmarish creatures and effects at the “Spook House”, a local haunted house attraction where he lives.  Shortly thereafter he meets his first love, Angevin (Laura Prepon), who works at a video store and shares his passion for horror movies.  But soon he is faced with real-life monsters (an abusive stepfather, and a religious nutjob) who are more teriffying than any of his made-up creations and stand in the way of his becoming a makeup effects star in Hollywood.  Will Green survive small town life, or will the misguided townsfolk crush his childhood dream?  I won’t say what happens; you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out.  Director and accomplished special effects artist Robert Hall (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) really succeeds in making a heartfelt masterpiece that is at times funny, and at others very distrubing, with his first trip behind the camera.  And from what I’ve read, some of the events in this movie may have been based on Hall’s real life.  This movie does for small towns what “Jaws” did for public beaches.

3. Phantasm

A teenager named Mike discovers that something very distrubing is happening over at the local mortuary, and it’s not how much they are charging for funerals.  Turns out a towering and mysterious figure with Dracula’s sense of style called the Tall Man is snatching the town’s dead from their graves, and turning them into hoodie-wearing half-pints of terror in a desparate attempt to supply workers for the Red Planet he calls home.  Now there has to be a better way to find employees…  Hasn’t this guy ever heard of Manpower?  Anyway, to help carry out his diabolical scheme, the evil undertaker has a floating Christmas tree ornament gone wild that is armed like a Swiss Army Knife and will kill anyone who tries to stop him.  Director Don Coscarelli and actor Reggie Bannister, who stars as the heroic, balding ice cream vendor–also named Reggie, became instant celebrities among horror fans after doing this film.  And Angus Scrimm’s onscreen presence and bone-chilling peformance as the Tall Man makes him one of the most original and creepiest horror villians ever.  A word of warning, though: don’t try to figure out the plot because you’ll probably give yourself an anneurism trying to make sense of what’s happening on screen.

4. Warlock

A time traveling Warlock (Julian Sands) racks up some serious frequent flyer miles trying to track down a puzzle book for his daddy, the Devil, that supposedly contains God’s true identity.  He needs the Big Guy’s real name so that he can undo all of his hard work.  You know that whole “creation” thing.  But Warlock better hurry up and find the book because a 16th century bounty hunter has followed him to the future, and it’s not to tell him that he just saved 200 pounds on his sorcerer’s insurance by switching to Geico.  Now, I don’t understand why the Wiz didn’t just wait and get a copy of the book off of eBay, or from a rare/used bookstore; he could have saved himself a lot of trouble.  The movie contains some cheesy goodness in the effects department; features a dark and campy performance by Julian Sands in the title role; and an effective music score by the late Jerry Goldsmith.  Steve Miner, who directed “Friday the 13th” parts 2 and 3 creates a fun little horror movie with a supernatural theme that should get you in the Hallowen spirit.

5. Nightmare on Elmstreet 3: Dream Warriors

Finally–a sequel that won’t divide the horror community.  Most fans will agree that this installment is as good as the original, or even better.  Wes Craven comes aboard to co-write the script, bringing the series back to its roots, and as a result helps to create one of my favorite ‘Nightmare on Elm Street” sequels and horror movies in general.  The story has Freddy, the man of your nightmares, taking care of some unfinished business by going after the last remaining Springwood children.  But things won’t be so easy for Mr. Burnt Cheeseface because the group of teens are at a pysch ward (Westin Hills), and they have the power to use their imaginations to become Dream Warriors.  Fans will be happy to know that Nancy from the original ‘Nightmare on Elm Street” returns, but can she and the kids finally put Freddy to sleep for good, or will he channel their inner demons and get the best of them?  This installment features creative dream sequences like the one where Kreuger rips a guy’s arteries out and controls him like a puppet.  “Nightmare on Elm Street 3” does deliver some laughs as the scarred and crispy one shows his sense of humor by saying some hilarously dark one-liners, but don’t worry–he doesn’t do a stand-up routine like he does in later films.

UK readers can pick up a cheap DVD player from Tesco Direct to watch these top 5 Halloween films.


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“Well, she warned Horace to stop staring at her chest”

Once again, Wes fails to impress with his 1989 Nightmare on Elm Street knock-off called “Shocker.”

While showing off some Deon Sanders style moves during football practice, future Heisman trophy winner Jonathan Parker hits his head on a goal post harder than a K.O. punch from Mike Tyson and suddenly without any explanation at all becomes a crime-solving clairvoyant. Could it be one of those famous Craven plot holes? Or, maybe Jonboy suffered temporary amnesia after hitting his head… Anyway, Jonathan uses a kind of psychic GPS in his dreams to track down and help catch a serial killer who’s been eluding the entire police department in his hometown.

Later that evening, Horace arrives at the “big house” for the prison BBQ they’re having in his honor the next morning. Man, that was fast. No trial, no courthouse hearing or any kind of legal proceedings… Even suspected witches in Salem got a trial. And we all know how those witch trials usually turned out ( the ol’ burned at the stake routine), but at least they got a trial. Well, time is running out for Pinker just like retail chain Circuit City and he better do something fast before he becomes fuel for that big furnace down below because he sure isn’t visiting that big antenna in the sky. So, Horace does what any Death Row inmate who’s about to be executed would do, he decides to catch up on his soaps which seems harmless enough, right? However, when the prison guards arrive to escort Horace to his date with death they see him getting the shock of his life from a television set. Could it be a Poltergeist from the netherworld who got angry after finding out he really wasn’t Carol Anne? Is it a possible suicide attempt? Or, did he get caught stealing cable from cable provider Comcraptic? Hey, wait a second… Why is he kneeling in front of what appears to be a makeshift altar with buring candles and several open books scattered on the floor? Hmmm… I’m not really sure what’s going on here, but something doesn’t seem right.

So, after finishing up his farewell tour and grabbing a quick bite to eat (two fingers and a lip) from the guards, Horace gets strapped in and prepares for ignition. And just as the festivities are about to get under way, Pinker reveals a truly shocking revelation like something from one of his favorite daytime soaps. That he is…”Dun, da, Dun” Jonathan’s father. Sadly, though the heart-warming reunion doesn’t last very long as the executioner pulls the lever and Horace rides the lightning which causes his body to convulse like a bobble head figure sitting on a rodeo bull during an earthquake. Not surprisingly, in true horror movie fashion it appears that the execution attempt has failed after only a few seconds. Immediately, the prison doctor goes to check his vital signs. Little does she know that Horace was only warming up and is about to do his own version of Shock n’ Awe. He quickly knocks the doc out and then vanishes under a shocktacular cover of electrical flashes and thick smoke like a ninja who has watched one too many David Copperfield television specials. But, before you can say free jelly doughnuts, every available law enforcement officer at the prison charges into the execution chamber room looking for the deep-fried demon. When Pinker is finally discovered, he bursts into flames and leaves behind an extra crispy meat suit in a scene that’ll remind you of Freddy’s exit at the end of Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Apparently, hothead Horace couldn’t handle being in the hot seat.

Thanks to some black magic shenanigans via a telecast from the Darkside, Pinker has returned from the dead after a short commercial break. Now, you didn’t really think that Horace was using those candles and books for aromatherapy or mediation, did you? We soon find out that during the confusion of the botched execution, Horace possessed the injured prison doctor and left the “Slammer” undetected as she was put in the back of a police car and taken to a hospital for treatment. While chilling out in the doc’s body and recharging his batteries, Pinker/Doc suddenly lurches forward, killing the other officer who’s riding shotgun, and then forces Officer Pastori to crash into a fuel tanker which causes a huge Michael Bay style explosion that nearly knocked me out of my seat. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for emergency and law enforcement personnel on the scene to find Pastori alive, not too far away from the smoldering wreckage. Amazingly, he has sustained very little physical damage to his body, not even a flash burn. It’s a good thing that he remembered to put on his fire retardant gel that morning before leaving for work because you never know when an electrically charged up psycho is going to take over your body and crash the car your driving into a tanker filled with flammable fuel. Soon, the movie short-circuits into supernatural silliness as Pinker body-jacks (an idea he got after watching the Hidden) bodies left and right in his quest to re-connect with Jonathan and make up for all of those missed birthdays and holidays. Will Father and Son meet again? To be continued…

Well, I would be “Sleepless on Lost Highway” if I left you guys and gals with a cliffhanger like that. So, here it is… Father Horace and Son Jonathan do reunite for a final time in a clever EFX sequence that has them battling it out WWE style (but I won’t say who gets canceled) as they channel surf through old television reruns that plays like a kid with ADD who got their hands on a TV remote after drinking a six pack of Jolt Cola. And while this TV Land action spectacle won’t make your heart race with suspense, it will give you a good laugh, and showed that Wes did have a brief creative spark during the filming process. The rest of the visual effects are so bad that if the effects saw their own reflections, they would immediately pull the plug on themselves. Also, don’t expect any scares in this one. The only way you would jump during any part of this movie is if you accidentally sat on a “live wire.”

And since Craven doesn’t give us any memorable screen exits or T & A, (not even a pair of perky nipples poking through a t-shirt) the best part of this movie is without a doubt the soundtrack that has bands like Megadeth who do a respectable cover of Alice Cooper’s rock classic, “No More Mr. Nice Guy. So, if you’re a fan of music from the 80’s seek out a copy of this high voltage, bang your head until snaps off soundtrack. If you want to see Craven when his movies were a nightmare scarier or a scream louder than the competition, then check out horror gems like “Last House on the Left”, “The Hills Have Eyes”(original) or his mainstream horror classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

In the end Wes just carried too much cinematic baggage from his earlier efforts into this production which prevented Shocker from being it’s own movie.

– 1 Seriously wet dream
– 1 Plug n’ Slay serial killer
– 1 Mother and Daughter demonic possession
– 1 Foul-mouthed kid
– 2 Kicks in the gnads
– 1 Botched execution
– 1 Power of love punch
– 1 Faked heart attack

Rated 2.0 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Shocker


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.

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Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>