THE DOG DAYS OF HORROR: 10 AWESOME DOGS FROM HORROR MOVIES!

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“Ok, who brought the dog?”

 

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THE DOG DAYS OF HORROR: 10 AWESOME DOGS FROM HORROR MOVIES!

We are deep into the dog days of summer, but what about the dog days of horror? No better example that dogs are man’s best friend than in horror flicks, though they can be a ghoul’s best friend, too. To celebrate some of horror’s most awesome…or scary…pooches, here are 10 awesome dogs from horror movies!

(To find the reviews for the films listed below, just type the title in the above right search engine!)



A runner up for sure, Beast from Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes!

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 ORIGINAL HORRORS ON SHUDDER YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 ORIGINAL HORRORS ON SHUDDER YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING!

At this point, Shudder is almost a must have for horror fans. There is a lot of spooky content from classic movies to original flicks and series. So to help navigate this awesome streaming service, here is a list of 15 original horrors you might want to watch!…

(To find the reviews for the films listed below, just type the title in the above right search engine!)_



Harper (Katie Stevens) finds herself in the wrong Halloween haunt in the Shudder original Haunt.

 

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 20 SUMMER THEMED HORRORS!

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Are campers Constance (Deborah Benson) and Warren (Gregg Henry) being stalked by vicious mountain folk? Chances are good in Just Before Dawn!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 20 SUMMER THEMED HORRORS!

Memorial Day Weekend¬†ūüáļūüᳬ†is here and that means the start to the summer vacation season!‚ĶIt also means camping, barbecuing, swimming, cabins in the woods, summer camp and maniacs in hockey masks! Halloween isn’t the only time of the year when things go bump in the night, as these 20 fright flicks prove! (‚Ķand no, I didn’t forget the cabin set Evil Dead films, they take place in the¬†fall!)

To find the reviews for the films listed below, just type the title in the above right search engine!


A summer marina job is the least of his worries as Ben might have a witch living next door in The Wretched!  Photo: IFC MIDNIGHT

 

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY FROM MONSTERZERO NJ!¬†ūüáļūüáł

-MonsterZero NJ

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HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY TO FRIDAY THE 13th!

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The woman that started it all, Jason’s mom, Mrs. Voorhees!

40 years ago today the original Friday the 13th was released in theaters and a horror classic, a legendary franchise and a horror icon were born! Sure, Jason didn’t come along as the killer till part 2, but this is the installment were his iconic character first came to life! HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY FRIDAY THE 13th!

-MonsterZero NJ

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A TALENT GONE TOO SOON: THE FILMS OF WILLIAM GIRDLER!

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A TALENT GONE TOO SOON: THE FILMS

 OF WILLIAM GIRDLER!

WIlliam Girdler 1947 ‚Äď 1978

photo: williamgirdler.com

William Girdler was a low budget filmmaker who made nine movies between 1972 and 1978. They were B-movies, rip-offs and exploitation flicks, but they were entertaining and displayed a man with a love for what he was doing. Name actors of the era, like Austin Stoker, Leslie Nielsen, Christopher George and Michael Ansara, worked with him on more than one film. A few of his titles are now considered cult classics. He not only directed, but wrote six of the films he made, produced two and wrote the score for three films, two of those, his own. His directing career started out with two low budget horrors, Asylum of Satan (1972) and 3 on a Meathook (1972), which were both filmed in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

What will this pretty girl (Sherry Steiner) find behind that door? 3 on a Meathook, perhaps?

His next three films were for prolific exploitation studio American International Pictures. They were Blaxploitation titles, The Zebra Killer (1974), the Exorcist rip-off Abby (1974), with William Marshall, and the Pam Grier detective flick Sheba, Baby (1975). Abby¬†was on the way to big box office profits, on a mere $100,000 investment, when Warner Brothers¬†sued to have it pulled from release, due to it’s similarities to William Friedkin’s classic. Girdler’s first five films were lensed in his native Kentucky.

The great William (Blacula) Marshall as¬†Bishop Garnet Williams in Girdler’s Abby!

Girdler left Kentucky for the Philippines for his next film, the Leslie Nielsen action flick, Project Kill (1976). It’s the oft-told story of a lethally skilled soldier battling his prot√©g√©e (Gary Lockwood). The film was an early Troma release.¬†Girdler’s next two films were for Film Ventures International. They included the Jaws rip-off¬†Grizzy (1976), his most financially successful picture, with a $39 million box office gross and the eco-horror Day of the Animals (1977).

The fifteen foot tall Grizzly from Girdler’s largest grossing film of the same name.

His final feature was for the legendary Avco Embassy Pictures and was The Manitou (1978) with Tony Curtis, Susan Strasberg, Michael Ansara and Burgess Meredith. The Manitou was his most expensive film, budgeted at an estimated $3 million and was released a few months after his untimely death. It also was a box office success.

Michael Ansara and Tony Curtis set out to battle The Manitou!

Sadly, Girdler’s career was tragically cut short, when he was killed on January 21st, 1978 in a helicopter crash in the Philippines, while location scouting for his next project. His films were getting better from a production standpoint and even he once commented on his hands-on learning experiences making these movies…

“Other people learned how to make movies in film schools. I learned by doing it. Nobody saw Billy Friedkin’s or Steven Spielberg’s mistakes, but all my mistakes were right up there on the screen for everybody to see.” (Louisville Times, 1977)*

It’s a shame that an up and coming filmmaker like Girdler had his life and career cut short. Many highly regarded film talents, like James Cameron for one, got their start on movies like these. We may never know what he would have accomplished, if not for that tragic accident, but he has left behind a film legacy that B-movie fans will always cherish.

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THE FILMS OF WILLIAM GIRDLER

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-MonsterZero NJ

 

Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB and WIlliamgirdler.com

*quote from WIlliamgirdler.com

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 10 HORROR/SCI-FI FLICKS THAT INVOLVE EGGS!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 10 HORROR/SCI-FI FLICKS THAT INVOLVE EGGS!

Some of the most famous and feared eggs in movie history from Alien

Decide to do something a little different this Easter and do a list of horror, or science fiction, films that have eggs as a plot element. Whether something hatches from an egg, or is laying them about, here are ten movies that include some very un-Easter eggs in their stories…

Michael Moriarty’s bargain basement crook thinks he’s found his fortune in Q: The Winged Serpent

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(To get to the reviews of the titles listed above covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just type the title in the search engine to find the corresponding critique!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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EQUINOX and EVIL DEAD I & II: A COMPARISON IN HORROR!

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EQUINOX and EVIL DEAD I & II: A COMPARISON IN HORROR!

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING! In order to properly compare these three films, I have to give DETAILED SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen Equinox, or Sam Raimi’s¬†The Evil Dead¬†and Evil Dead II,¬†there are MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW¬†for each film. You have been warned!

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For years horror movie fans have debated as to whether or not the 1970 low budget horror Equinox was an influence on Sam Raimi’s 1981¬†Evil Deadthough there are also strong similarities with¬†it’s 1987 sequel¬†Evil Dead II,¬†as well.¬†Sam Raimi has never mentioned seeing it, though Evil Dead FX man Tom Sullivan has. We may never know for sure and it’s up to us then to decide for ourselves. So read on to take a look at just how these flicks compare…

(Click on the highlighted movie titles to go to the full length reviews and on the photos to enlarge them!)

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THE STORY

Equinox finds Four college students David, Susan, Jim and Vicki (Edward Connell, Barbara Hewitt, Frank Bonner and Robin Christopher), venturing into the woods to meet a Prof. Waterman (Fritz Leiber), who, unknown to them, has discovered an ancient book of evil. They find his cabin destroyed and once acquiring the book from a creepy old man (Irving L. Lichtenstein), soon have the devil himself after them to get it back. In this film the evil has already been unleashed when our main characters arrive.

Sam Raimi’s classic The¬†Evil Dead¬†has¬†five young people, Ash, his sister Cheryl, his girlfriend Linda, Scott and Scott’s girlfriend Shelly (Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich and Theresa Tilly),¬†going up to a secluded cabin in the woods for a weekend of partying and fun. When they get to the rundown cabin, they find an old book and a tape recording in the creepy cellar that claims it is the book of the dead and wrapped in human flesh. Thinking it‚Äôs all a joke, they play the recording, which includes someone reading from the book, and find out the hard way that it‚Äôs all too real, as they unleash horror beyond their imaginations.

Evil Dead II finds Ash, now alone, trapped in the cabin with the forces of evil trying to get at him. Ash is soon joined by the daughter (Sarah Berry) of the archeologist, who formally inhabited the cabin and is the finder of the book. She and her party (Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley and Richard Domeier) first think Ash has murdered her parents. Soon enough, though, the evil in the woods makes itself known and Ash joins forces with his new companions. Their numbers start to dwindle as the evil lays siege to the cabin and Ash must face this ancient terror in a final showdown.

There are some differences in plot details, but all three flicks have a cabin, a book of evil discovered by a professor and a group of unsuspecting characters, being attacked by an ancient evil. All three have demons and demonic manifestations from the book. All three have a story or backstory that is revealed by way of a reel to reel tape recording.

 

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THE EVIL

Equinox has the devil himself in the human disguise of park ranger, Mr. Asmodeus (theatrical cut director Jack Woods) pursuing the four characters to get the book back. He can take on the guise of one of the other characters and appears in a flying demon form near it’s climax. He also sends various minions to get the book, such as an octopus-like creature, a mutant ape and a blue giant. His minions appear to be able to be killed by conventional means, while he can be warded off with protection symbols from the book.

The Evil Dead Films feature ancient evil spirits known as Deadites, that are unleashed when either the book is read from directly, or a recorded reading from the book is played back. They want the souls of all those in the cabin¬†and possess and torment the occupants claiming them one by one. Raimi’s film requires the possessed victim be totally dismembered to render them harmless. The Deadites seem to hail from somewhere around ancient Sumer and there are, like in Equinox,¬†some creature-like minions in Evil Dead II.¬†The Deadites appear to be only able to attack at night, while Equinox‘s evil is active both day and night.

 

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THE HEROES

Equinox’s¬†ill-fated hero is college student David Fielding (Edward Connell). He’s a clean-cut all-American college student who is forced to come up against some supernatural odds. He’s resilient and brave and is pretty much the strongest and quickest thinker of his group of friends. Poor Dave ends up doomed and in an insane asylum, but before all that, he stands up to some intimidating evil.

Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is the¬†Evil Dead¬†franchise’s¬†beleaguered hero. The now iconic Ash is a mild mannered fellow and a little on the cowardly side in the first film. He leaves it up to alpha male Scott to hack up his possessed sister Cheryl and generally do the hero stuff till the Deadites get Scott, too. This leaves¬†Ash all¬†alone¬†to man-up and battle the Deadites. It’s not till the sequel that he starts to take on the mantle of a hero, although an arrogant and bumbling one.

 

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THE SETTINGS

Here, settings differ slightly though both include cabins and woods. The cabin we are traveling to in Equinox is already destroyed by the time our characters get there and the film takes place primarily after that in the surrounding forest.

Both Evil Dead and Evil Dead II take place primarily inside the cabin with a few unsuccessful sojourns out into the woods.

The cabins in all three films were previously occupied by professors who found the books of evil in question.

 

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THE BOOKS

All Three movies contain books of evil that trigger the horrific ordeals the respective films’ characters endure. Equinox‘s book is discovered in the Persian Gulf by a Prof. Waterman and it is his examining the book and it’s contents that opens a portal allowing the evil to enter this world and seek the book’s return. It is described as a bible of evil.

The book of the Evil Dead films is the Naturan Demanto or Necronomicon…the book of the dead…and is described as Sumerian in origin and thus is discovered by a Professor Knowby (John Peaks), also¬†in the Persian Gulf area.

Both books are filled with cryptic languages and spooky illustrations and are not only filled with dark rituals, but also ways to protect from the evils evoked.

 

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THE OPENING SCENES

Equinox¬†opens interestingly at it’s climax with David on the run through the woods from the demonic evil and finding himself in a hospital after being hit on the road by a driverless car. A year later he’s gone insane and a reporter named Sloan (James Philips) investigates the story to find out what happen to him. It’s his reviewing David’s initial taped testimony that sets us on a flashback to what happened.

The Evil Dead opens with the camera racing through the woods with some ominous growling heard as it reaches the car carrying our main protagonists. It is quick and to the point, but sets the tone right away that something bad is going to happen to our five unsuspecting travelers as they head towards the cabin.

Evil Dead II simply picks up where the first left off, after a brief recap, with the evil attacking and briefly possessing Ash, who is saved by the rising sun. So, there is little similarity here.

All three films’ openings are perfect for setting us up¬†for what is to come, starting us off with an atmosphere of fear¬†and foreboding. Though there are only minor similarities here between Equinox¬†andThe¬†Evil Dead, none really with Evil Dead II…except, of course, for the woods setting each share.

 

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THE ENDINGS

In terms of their climaxes, all the films have endings that resonate.

Equinox ends with David in the asylum screaming for his cross which “accidentally” is now in the hands of reporter Sloan. It’s a year and a day after the incident at the park, the day the demon predicted David’s demise. As Sloan leaves the building, David’s dead girlfriend Susan is seen walking into the hospital. As we hear David’s cries for his cross over the soundtrack, a wicked smile appears on Susan’s face. Ominous and spooky, a last chill before you leave the theater.

The Evil Dead ends with Ash having barely escaped a vicious assault from his possessed friends by burning the book in the fireplace resulting in a roller coaster bloodbath of gore. As the sun starts to rise, he limps out the door only to have the camera race towards him growling like in the opening and coming right at his face as Ash utters a horrible scream. The film cuts to black and ends with the credits rolling; Ash apparently not as triumphant as he believed. It is ferociously quick and very effective, a last jolt before you leave the theater.

Evil Dead II comically has Ash being sucked into a vortex and deposited in the Middle Ages, where, at the moment, he is seen as a deliverer come to defeat the Deadites. Again as with the opening scene, no similarity here to Equinox other than the visual of a castle.

…though all three endings do involve screaming.

 

 

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MISC.

Here, pictures speak louder than words, with these visual similarities…

 

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IN CONCLUSION…

So,¬†we have one flick that is a horror masterpiece and one of the greatest horror flicks of all time and another that is a cult classic, midnight movie from a decade earlier that may…or may not…have inspired it. Both were derived from short films. Equinox was re-edited with new footage added from the original The Equinox … A Journey into the Supernatural, a 70 minute film expanded for theatrical release. The¬†Evil Dead was created from the short film Within the Woods, a thirty minute version of the same story made to attract investors. They both feature some startling SPFX on incredibly small budgets and took three or more years to finally hit theaters. Both are also first films made by young aspiring filmmakers, that made an impression and got careers off the ground for some of their makers and stars.

We may never know the actual truth as to whether Sam Raimi saw and was inspired by Equinox, but the story and visual similarities make for a striking argument. At this point it’s up to you to decide as to what you believe. Did Equinox inspire The¬†Evil Dead, or is it just a cinematic coincidence? Either way, they are both horror classics in their own rights that are now held in high regard.

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 CONTEMPORARY VAMPIRE FLICKS THAT ADD BITE TO THE GENRE!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 CONTEMPORARY VAMPIRE FLICKS

THAT ADD BITE TO THE GENRE!

Bliss’s Dezzy (Dora Madison) finds a designer drug that has a nasty side effect

The first two decades of the 2000s have shown a nice resurgence in horror, especially indie horror. Obviously, certain popular sub-genres are being revisited by today’s filmmakers. As such, contemporary talent are mixing their own ideas with those of their inspirations when making their films. No better example than the vampire sub-genre. The first vampire film was Nosferatu made in 1922 making this particular type of horror film one of the oldest. With decades of inspiration to draw from and new filmmakers putting their own spin on these creatures of the night, here are 12 new millennium horror films that give new bite to the vampire movie…

A Nosferatu inspired blood-sucker from the Irish vampire flick From The Dark

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(To get to the reviews of the titles listed above covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just type the title in the search engine to find the corresponding critique!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 CABIN IN THE WOODS HORRORS!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 CABIN IN THE WOODS HORRORS!

The Granddaddy of the modern cabin in the woods horror, Evil Dead 1981!

Despite being a horror film no-no, folks are always vacationing in, or moving into, remote cabins or houses in the woods. Win, win for us horror movie fans, as this almost always means bad news for the occupants! So…here are 15 such chillers, that can be found on various streaming outlets such as¬†iTunes, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon, Tubi, Google Play, Netflix and Youtube Movies. Just Google the title and they’ll tell you where it’s available and how much to rent, if it applies!

 

Here are three old school honorable mentions that were remote house/cabin flicks before it was cool!

Decades later, no one has learned from the movies!…as Evil Dead 2013‘s bunch will soon find out!

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(To get to the reviews of the titles listed above covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just type the title in the search engine to find the corresponding critique!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 20 REASONS IFC MIDNIGHT HAS DELIVERED A DECADE OF HORROR!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 20 REASONS IFC MIDNIGHT HAS DELIVERED A DECADE OF HORROR!

IFC Midnight was created by IFC Films in 2010 as a distributor for their horror movie releases. They have been going strong for ten years, now delivering dozens of genre flicks! So, without further ado, here are twenty reasons why it’s been a decade of horror, because of the great folks at IFC Midnight! Their movies can be found on various streaming or VOD outlets!

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(To get to the reviews of the titles listed above covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just type the title in the search engine to find the corresponding critique!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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