HALLOWEEN HOTTIES: HALLOWEEN HOTTIE OF 2016…DANA DeLORENZO!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S HALLOWEEN HOTTIE OF 2016…DANA DeLORENZO!

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This newest installment of Halloween Hotties features our Halloween Hottie Of 2016, the beautiful and very talented Dana DeLorenzo (her hilarious and dead-on celebrity impressions can be seen here in her Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbuMPeuUZlM ), who easily earns this title by appearing in the hit horror/comedy series Ash vs. Evil Dead. Lorenzo plays Ash sidekick and kick-ass Deadite fighter Kelly Maxwell, whose smoldering intensity and sexy sarcasm makes it easy to see she was chosen this year. Kelly gets drawn into the Deadite drama when she comes to work with Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his bud Pablo (Ray Santiago) at the Value Stop, just as Ash foolishly releases the Deadite’s again. When the Evil Dead menace hits too close to home, Kelly vows to smash the ancient evil alongside her neighbor Pablo and our chainsaw-handed hero. The show premiered on October 31st, 2015, just after we announced last year’s winner Maika Monroe, and her work in the first season and the now in-progress season 2, by far earns the versatile Ohio-born actress the title Halloween Hottie Of 2016!

(Click on the highlighted links or on the show poster to read a review of the hit horror series that have earned Dana Halloween Hottie of 2016!)

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ASH vs. EVIL DEAD seasons 1 & 2

with Dana DeLorenzo as sexy Deadite fighting sidekick, Kelly Maxwell!

Ash vs Evil Dead

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Ash vs. Evil Dead Key Art and Marketing Shoot 2015

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Gotta love a Deadite fighting babe with attitude!

HALLOWEEN HOTTIE OF 2016 RUNNER UP, KATE SIEGAL!

This year, like last, I also have a runner-up who made a memorable impression. Kate Siegal portrayed quite a resourceful and strong-willed heroine as Maddie Young, a deaf writer whose secluded home in the woods comes under siege by a homicidal psychopath in Mike Flanagan’s intense suspense thriller Hush. The actress (who is also co-writer and Mrs. Flanagan) got our attention as her sexy girl-next-door Maddie tries to outwit her stronger and more well-armed opponent, even using her disability against him. Kate created an intelligent and resourceful character to root for and we definitely want to see more of this writer/actress in future fright flicks!…and she just appeared in a small role in her husband’s Ouija: Origin Of Evil!

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And don’t forget to check out our previous Halloween Hotties including Addison TimlinMelanie PapaliaBriana EviganKatrina BowdenAlexandra DaddarioKatie FeatherstonKatharine IsabelleAmber Heard and Danielle Harris! (just click on their names to go to their pages or simply go to our Halloween Hotties main page!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATE OCT 28-30

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Boo! A Madea Halloween” $16.6 Million

2. “Inferno” $15 Million

3. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” $9.55 Million

4. “The Accountant” $8.5 Million

5. “Ouija: Origin Of Evil” $7 Million

6. “The Girl On The Train” $4.2 Million

7. “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” $3.9 Million

8. “Keeping Up With The Joneses” $3.3 Million

9. “Storks” $2.7 Million

10. “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” $2.1 Million

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (2016)

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OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (2016)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Flick is a prequel to the 2014 Ouija, a much criticized, but extremely successful teen centric horror. New chapter takes us back to 1967 and tells the story of Doris Zander (Lulu Wilson) who was the malevolent entity in the first installment. The story opens with pretty widow Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser) who is trying to support her two daughters, nine year-old Doris and teen Lina (Annalise Basso), as a fraudulent fortune teller. Upon hearing Lina used a Ouija board at a party, Alice decides to add one to her act. This brings a presence into the house that fixates on Doris and claims to be her father. As they use the board more and more and Doris’ behavior starts to change, it appears something malevolent has entered their home…and Doris.

Origin of Evil is directed by Mike (Absentia, HushOculus) Flanagan from a script he co-wrote with Oculus co-writer Jeff Howard. While it is an improvement over the silly but amusing original, it is Flanagan’s most routine and familiar movie yet. Perhaps having to follow-up an established property without alienating it’s core audience put restrictions on just how much the usually inventive writer/director could do with it, but aside from a few interesting touches, we get a story that is extremely familiar with an evil entity entering a home and targeting a child. The use of Mrs. Zander as a phony medium does work well and there was some nice depth to the characters, which is one of Flanagan’s strengths. It’s just that the core story has been done before and the film rarely gets scary because it’s all so familiar. Flanagan does deliver some spooky moments, but far fewer than in his previous films, which is surprising as spooky is something he does well. It’s the character drama that is more involving than the supernatural elements, which at least keeps our attention, if not slightly disappoints those looking for something with a far steadier scare factor for the Halloween season which it was released. His visual style is strong as always, but here he relies a bit too much on tired CGI creations that resemble every other PG-13 horror film manifestation thrown at teenagers today. It’s not a bad movie, just far too ‘been there, done that’ for a director who got our attention with some very original takes on his supernatural tales.

As with previous Flanagan flicks he gets strong work out of his cast. He is a director that works well with actors. Little Lulu Wilson is really good as Doris. She can be really creepy at times and very sweet and precocious at others. She is asked to handle a lot of strong material for a kid and does so very well. Elizabeth Reaser is solid as a loving mother just trying to provide for her daughters. She’s not trying to scam people, but sees her services as a way to help those suffering from loss. When Doris’ ouija use seems to be genuine, she jumps at the chance to do some real good. Annalise Basso is also very good as Doris’ caring teenage sister. She plays the character that was played by the incomparable Lin Shaye in the original and we see the journey that got her to that point and essayed very well by the young actress. There is also E.T.’s Henry Thomas all grown up and playing a widowed priest who is the principal at the girls’ Catholic school and has an interest in Alice. He obviously gets involved when it appears there is something sinister going on. The cast also features a small appearance in the opening sequence played by Hush star and co-writer Kate Siegal, who is also Mrs. Flanagan. A good cast that helps keep the flick interesting and our attention.

This wasn’t a bad flick just a surprisingly familiar one coming from Flanagan who has been very innovative with his use of traditional story elements, like in Hush. This movie could have used some of that thriller’s intensity as the scare level was fairly low and despite a more mature story than the first installment, we got a lot of elements that we have seen often and recently. Maybe picking up someone else’s franchise didn’t fit Flanagan all that well, or possibly having to follow up a previous film he wasn’t involved in, handcuffed him a bit. It passed the time, had a few spooky moments and was an improvement over it’s 2014 predecessor, but coming from one of the brightest new director’s to hit the genre in some time, it was a little bit of a disappointment.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 planchettes as the solid cast earns some extra points.

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JOHN “THE COOL GHOUL” ZACHERLE PASSES AWAY AT 98!

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John “The Cool Ghoul” Zacherle 1918-2016

John Zacherle was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and came to the attention of horror fans as first “Roland” and then simply “Zacherle” or “Zacherley” as a TV horror show host and radio personality. Dressed in ghoulish make-up and in black, he made comic commentary on the films being viewed and performed comedic bits between breaks on shows such as Shock Theater. He also recorded a few horror themed albums and songs such as Dinner with Drac and Spook Along With Zacherley and his own version of Bobby Pickett’s The Monster Mash. In later years Zacherle became a beloved fixture at New Jersey’s epic Chiller Theater Convention to which he appear regularly, until only recently. He was a charming man, loved by all who met him and a horror icon who will never be forgotten. He was 98 at the time of his passing.

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-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 10 FOREIGN HORRORS TO WATCH AT HALLOWEEN!

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Horror films are loved all over the world and while Halloween seems to be primarily an American custom, that doesn’t mean you can’t add some international titles to your Halloween viewing list! Here are ten suggestions to get you started!

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(Click on the titles below the movie poster gallery to get to our reviews!)

 

Click on the titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!

  1. ZOMBIE
  2. THE ORPHANAGE
  3. THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE
  4. THE BEYOND
  5. RINGU (THE RING)
  6. JU-ON (THE GRUDGE)
  7. VIY
  8. SUSPIRIA
  9. THE LOVED ONES
  10. MARTYRS

-MonsterZero NJbars

HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: FEAR, INC. (2016)

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FEAR, INC. (2016)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Fear, Inc. is an OK horror/comedy that finds man-bun sporting horror movie fan Joe Foster (Lucas Neff) turning to a mysterious organization for some thrills and chills at Halloween. The group called Fear, Inc. apparently will deliver some hardcore scares, but Joe and his friends (Caitlin Stasey, Chris Marquette and Stephanie Drake) may not be prepared for just how far these folks will go to frighten them.

Written by Luke Barnett and directed by Vincent Masciale, this is a moderately amusing, if not familiar tale of a horror movie buff going to extreme lengths to gets some hardcore scares during the spooky time of year. While there is a level of amusement, the film is fairly predictable and the attempts at humor never really makes one laugh. The movie references are obvious and annoyingly Neff’s Joe has to shout them out when he sees them just in case we are too dumb to get them. If you don’t trust your target audience to get your references, then why bother? There is little suspense, though there is some decent gore and on a few occasions the film does give us some doubts as to whether it’s all a game. The cast are all decent enough, though I found Neff’s Joe to be more annoying than cool as the big kid in a man’s body. The mix of hipster and horror buff didn’t quite gel. Production value is solid enough and I can say that on a technical level it wasn’t badly directed, it just didn’t really scare and wasn’t overly clever or funny…and part of that is the fault of the script. There is some basic entertainment value here, but there is nothing daring or inventive about it and the film never takes any risks.

Fear, Inc. passed the time with moderate entertainment, but really didn’t take it’s premise and run with it like it could have. The script could have pushed the boundaries a bit and Masciale played it safe as a director. It’s a routine horror comedy that was a bit too obvious and mainstream with it’s horror references and didn’t seem to trust it’s target audience to get those references without help. Worth a look if there is nothing else on, but as it is the Halloween season, I’d much rather re-watch the movies referenced. Not a complete waste of time but overall, forgettable.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1/2 Fear, Inc business cards.

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S DIRECTORS WHOM IT WOULDN’T BE HALLOWEEN WITHOUT!

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Everyone has their own favorite filmmakers whose works they watch during this spooky time of year. For me, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without the films of these legendary directors…

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02/13/2013 - Sam Raimi - "OZ The Great And Powerful" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals - El Capitan Theatre - Hollywood, CA, USA - Keywords: Orientation: Portrait Face Count: 1 - False - Photo Credit: Glenn Harris / PR Photos - Contact (1-866-551-7827) - Portrait Face Count: 1

GEORGE ROMERO

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WES CRAVEN

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TOBE HOOPER

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02/13/2013 - Sam Raimi - "OZ The Great And Powerful" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals - El Capitan Theatre - Hollywood, CA, USA - Keywords: Orientation: Portrait Face Count: 1 - False - Photo Credit: Glenn Harris / PR Photos - Contact (1-866-551-7827) - Portrait Face Count: 1

JOHN CARPENTER

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02/13/2013 - Sam Raimi - "OZ The Great And Powerful" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals - El Capitan Theatre - Hollywood, CA, USA - Keywords: Orientation: Portrait Face Count: 1 - False - Photo Credit: Glenn Harris / PR Photos - Contact (1-866-551-7827) - Portrait Face Count: 1

SAM  RAIMI

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02/13/2013 - Sam Raimi - "OZ The Great And Powerful" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals - El Capitan Theatre - Hollywood, CA, USA - Keywords: Orientation: Portrait Face Count: 1 - False - Photo Credit: Glenn Harris / PR Photos - Contact (1-866-551-7827) - Portrait Face Count: 1

DON COSCARELLI

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-MonsterZero NJ

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATE OCT 21-23

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Boo! A Madea Halloween” $27.6 Million

2. “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” $23 Million

3. “Ouija: Origin Of Evil” $14.06 Million

4. “The Accountant” $14.02 Million

5. “The Girl On The Train” $7.2 Million

6. “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” $6 Million

7. “Keeping Up With The Joneses” $5.6 Million

8. “Kevin Hart: What Now?” $4.1 Million

9. “Storks” $4 Million

10. “Deepwater Horizon” $3.6 Million

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE (1980)

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DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE (1980)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Don’t Answer The Phone is a dull slasher that I actually saw at the now gone Fox Theater in Hackensack, N.J. back in 1980. It has a simple and routine plot where deranged serial killer Kirk Smith (Nicholas Worth) is going around Hollywood strangling women and defiling their dead bodies while taking obscene photos of their corpses. He periodically calls in to a radio show to talk to radio psychologist Dr. Lindsay Gale (Flo Lawrence) and obviously, she’s added to his list of wannabe models. All the while he is hunted by a homicide detective (James Westmoreland) who also falls for the pretty Dr. Gale.

Boring and sometimes silly flick was written by Michael D. Castle and Robert Hammer, who also directed. It’s a weak script that contains some awful dialog and has us following the deranged and pudgy Smith as he operates around sleazy Hollywood Boulevard. There is little or no suspense and since we meet Smith’s victims just moments before he kills them, there is little or no emotional investment in them, as opposed to Laurie Strode’s friend’s in Halloween which we are given time to know and like. The dumb script has police doing things that even in the 80s would have caused a scandal and the scenes of Smith talking to himself elicit far more laughs than chills. There is some sleaziness to the proceedings that adds an uncomfortable atmosphere, but as Hammer’s direction is completely pedestrian, once must assume that any atmosphere was dumb luck. There is minimal bloodshed and even the kills are routine and dull.

As serial killer and war veteran Kirk Smith, Nicholas Worth seems to be trying hard, but isn’t much of an actor and his awful dialog makes things even worse, especially evident during a racist monologue after besting a victim’s pimp during an altercation. Maybe it was the lack of guidance from Director Hammer as Worth was far better as buffoonish thug Bruno in Wes Craven’s 1982 Swamp Thing. Lawrence is a pretty but dull heroine as Dr. Gale and Westmoreland is almost laughable as a hard nosed police detective. An ineffectual cast for an ineffectual slasher.

Overall, a revisit to this flick didn’t add much, even with the now 80s nostalgia. It’s a routine and dull slasher whose plot could have been used for any 70s/early 80s police show. It’s an un-involving 94 minutes with un-involving characters and no suspense or intensity, despite the killer’s creepy modus operandi. There are some unintentional laughs to be had, especially during Worth’s soliloquies as Smith and at least the settings add some appropriate sleaziness. Forgettable, but did make money for Crown International Pictures.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 phones.

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