MONSTERZERO NJ’S 10 HORRORS/THRILLERS THAT’LL GET YOUR BIKINI BLOODY!

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HAPPY 4th of JULY!

Bathing beauties Katherine McPhee and Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers) stranded on an island in a shark infested lake in Shark Night!

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The Fourth of July has arrived filled with beaches, BBQs and babes in bikinis! And as summer is bikini season…and horror’s second favorite time of year…MonsterZero NJ has made a list of ten fright/suspense flicks with lasses in less getting tanned and terrorized!…and because I know you’re going to ask, Jaws 2 was chosen over the original because it has more bikinis for the buck and is structured more like a slasher flick than it’s classic predecessor!

Armed with a machete and a bikini, Melissa George plans to keep her organs in Turistas!

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

-MonsterZero NJbars

CULT CLASSIC CUTIES: CINDY WEINTRAUB in HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP and THE PROWLER!

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Cult Classic Cuties are characters from some of our favorite cult classics and midnight movies who captured our hearts and/or actresses who got our attention, but sadly never returned to these type of flicks. They’re femme fatales and final girls whose sexy stars shined only briefly, not quite achieving scream queen status. And this installment’s cutie is…

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CINDY WEINTRAUB

This installment of Cult Classic Cuties, much like the previous one, is going to be a little different as it won’t profile an actress in a particular role, but this time, in a double feature of her only two horror appearances! Actress Cindy Weintraub definitely fits the definition of Cult Classic Cutie as she only made two films in her brief career and both of those are horror cult classics. Her first role was playing pretty girl-next door, wife and mother Carol Hill in Humanoids from the Deep and the second as sassy, sexy Lisa in The Prowler.

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Carol and husband Jim (the man, the myth, the legend…Doug McClure) find trouble in their little coastal fishing village in Humanoids from the Deep

When the hubby’s away, the humanoids are out to play, but Carol is armed and ready!

Carol Hill is one Noyo mom a fish-man may not want to mess with!

As sexy, flirtatious Lisa in the cult classic slasher The Prowler

Lisa’s sexy midnight swim is certainly going to attract attention…

…the WRONG kind of attention!

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After starring in these two cult classics, Cindy appeared in all six episodes of the 1982 tv series Baker’s Dozen before disappearing from show biz. She recently reappeared for the Humanoids from the Deep special edition extras in which she relates her time spent on Corman’s creature feature.

Cindy offering commentary on the extras for Shout Factory’s Humanoids from the Deep DVD and Blu-ray special edition. Still a looker!

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Be sure to check out our Cult Classic Cuties (click right here on the link) section to see more crush worthy ladies from cult films and midnight movies!

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 FAVORITE CLASSICS AND CULT CLASSICS I SAW AT THE LEGENDARY ORITANI THEATER!

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The Oritani Theater

Photo from the Mitchell Dvoskin collection

If you’ve been visiting this site for a while you’ve probably heard me mention more than once, The Oritani Theater in Hackensack, N.J. The Oritani was a grind house, that presented badly dubbed martial arts movies, horror flicks, and raunchy low budget comedies during the late seventies and early 80s. I lived only a town away, so this was a go-to theater on a Friday and Saturday night for my friends and I, who shared a love of B-Movie horror and sci-fi. I decided to compose a list of 12 favorite flicks that I saw there, which are now regarded as classics, cult classics, or fan favorites. Some of these were seen when first released and a few of the older titles were at revivals or midnight shows there!

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

  1. Escape From New York
  2. Galaxy of Terror
  3. Humanoids from the Deep
  4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  5. Night of the Living Dead
  6. Scanners
  7. Mad Max
  8. The Boogens
  9. Shogun Assassin
  10. The Incredible Melting Man
  11. Laserblast
  12. Without Warning

 

-MonsterZero NJbars

MONSTERZERO NJ’S 10 HORRORS/THRILLERS THAT’LL GET YOUR BIKINI BLOODY!

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Bathing beauties Katherine McPhee and Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers) stranded on an island in a shark infested lake in Shark Night!

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The Fourth of July has arrived filled with beaches, BBQs and babes in bikinis! And as summer is bikini season…and horror’s second favorite time of year…MonsterZero NJ has made a list of ten fright/suspense flicks with lasses in less getting tanned and terrorized!…and because I know you’re going to ask, Jaws 2 was chosen over the original because it has more bikinis for the buck and is structured more like a slasher flick than it’s classic predecessor!

TURISTAS

Armed with a machete and a bikini, Melissa George plans to keep her organs in Turistas!

-MonsterZero NJbars

FROM FINAL GIRLS TO FILMMAKERS: HOW ROGER CORMAN HELPED GIVE WOMEN A VOICE IN HORROR!

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FROM FINAL GIRLS TO FILMMAKERS: HOW ROGER CORMAN HELPED GIVE WOMEN A VOICE IN HORROR!

(Just click on the movie titles to go to our full length reviews!)

Catching up with some Corman produced 80s horror, I came to realize just how ahead of his time legendary producer Roger Corman was in giving women a voice in horror as filmmakers and not just final girls!…

Roger Corman is legendary for his exploitation flicks and while some may debate the involvement of women in those films as objects of T&A elements and/or final girls in his horror flicks, they may not be aware that Corman was also boundary breaking in giving women opportunities as filmmakers behind the camera, which, especially in the horror genre and at the time…the 80s…was practically unheard of.

Today women have been showing their voice in the horror genre behind the cameras more than ever. With the starkly original works of the Soska Sisters and their American Mary or See No Evil 2, taking the horror world by storm…along with filmmakers like Jennifer (The Babadook) Kent and Leigh (Honeymoon) Janiak…that voice is louder than ever. The boundaries are starting to come down finally in a very male dominated genre and it’s a blessing to horror movie fans to be getting the works and perspectives of a whole new generation of female filmmakers, previously unheard from…but as these talents tear down the walls, is it possible there were already cracks there from an earlier time?

Three decades before this refreshing opening of doors, those doors were unlocked partially by a man that some may unfairly claim made his money exploiting women in movies, Roger Corman. During the 80s, women were just starting to make waves as filmmakers, let alone in the horror genre and Roger Corman not only produced numerous horror flicks with women writing and/or directing, but gave start to the careers of some renown producers too, like Gale Anne Hurd and his own wife, Julie Corman as well!

Corman, under his New World Pictures banner, produced Humanoids From The Deep with Barabara Peeters at the helm in 1981 and a year later gave the directing reigns to Amy Holden Jones on the slasher Slumber Party Massacre, which was also written by Rita Mae Brown. While the 1983 Suburbia, was not a horror flick, Corman gave new filmmaker Penelope (Wayne’s World) Spheeris a chance, producing her unflinching vision of a group of outcast punk rockers. It is now considered a cult classic and she a very successful filmmaker. After selling New World and starting Concorde Pictures, this trend continued. Sorority House Massacre was written and directed by Carol Frank and between 1987 and 1990 there were second and third installments of the Slumber Party Massacre series, helmed by Deborah Brock and Sally Mattison respectively. Corman even gave one of his regular actresses a chance behind the camera. Kat Shea (Barbarian Queen) co-wrote and directed Stripped To Kill for Corman in 1987 after starring in a few of his productions and doing some second unit work and writing for the legendary producer. She made a few more films for Concorde and Corman afterwards, including the immensely underrated vampire romance Dance Of The Damned in 1987. Shea…then Shea-Rubin…went on to a prolific career as a writer/director after striking out on her own. I personally find her to be a highly underrated filmmaker, whose most well-know film is probably the sexy thriller Poison Ivy with Drew Barrymore.

Corman was not the only one shaking the boundaries that are now finally coming down. John Carpenter stood by the late Debra Hill as his producer and she produced a number of his most classic films with him, including the horror masterpiece Halloween and that was only the beginning for this now legendary producer. Kathryn Bigelow burst on the scene with the vampire classic Near Dark in 1987 as did Mary Lambert in 1989 with the Stephen King adaptation, Pet Semetery. Rachel Talalay killed Freddy Krueger in Freddy’s Dead in 1991 and if not for the vision of Mary Harron, we wouldn’t have the modern classic American Psycho, which also showed us what a relatively unknown Christian Bale could do in front of the camera. Corman was not solely responsible, but certainly led the way during the 80s giving women a voice in horror behind the camera as well as in front of it…long before today’s generation of female horror filmmakers are making their presence known.

So, we are finally getting to see women make a strong mark as filmmakers in the horror genre. Their emergence was a long time coming, but there were pioneers that paved the way. While Roger Corman was not the only producer to give female filmmakers a chance on the creative end of the horror genre…and there were a handful of female directed horrors before the 80s, too…he did do it at a time where it was practically unheard of and he did it often. Do today’s filmmakers like Jen and Sylvia Soska have Roger Corman to thank for putting cracks in the barriers that they are now tearing down with their unique and talented visions as women in horror?…I’ll let you decide that for yourselves!

-MonsterZero NJ

 

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25 CULT CLASSIC HORROR FLICKS TO SPICE UP YOUR HALLOWEEN MOVIE LIST!

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Need some spooky diversions for your Halloween movie watching this year? Something a little off-beat? These are 25 cult classic horrors that add some ghoulishly refreshing spice to your movie playlist for the upcoming Halloween season!

(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. THE BOOGENS
  2. THE PROWLER
  3. BLACULA
  4. THE EVIL
  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
  6. PROM NIGHT
  7. CHRISTNE
  8. SUPERSTITION
  9. THE CAR
  10. FIEND WITHOUT A FACE
  11. RE-ANIMATOR
  12. GALAXY OF TERROR
  13. PRINCE OF DARKNESS
  14. GARGOYLES
  15. DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK
  16. THE BURNING
  17. HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP
  18. THE MONSTER SQUAD
  19. NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
  20. JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES
  21. MY BLOODY VALENTINE
  22. BUG
  23. DEADLY BLESSING
  24. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
  25. EATEN ALIVE

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MORE SAD NEWS AS CULT FILM DIRECTOR JIMMY MURAKAMI HAS PASSED AWAY!

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Teruaki “Jimmy” Murakami  1933-2014

Fans of both Roger Corman films and animation also receive sad news as the helmer of the cult classic Battle Beyond The Stars, director and animator Jimmy Murakami, passed away earlier this month with word only reaching us today through Roger Corman himself. Not only did Murakami direct Corman’s delightfully campy answer to Star Wars, but was the un-credited director of the additional footage for Corman’s Humanoids From The Deep when Corman felt that film’s initial cut needed more of the ‘Corman touch’. Murakami was also known for his work as an animator on films such as When The Wind Blows and most recently Christmas Carol: The Movie featuring the voices of Kate Winslet and Nicolas Cage. Murakami, who was also an artist and designer as well, literally worked on films all over the world and will be missed by those fortunate enough to have experienced his talent.

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S SATURDAY NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE: PIRANHA AND HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP!

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PIRANHA (1978)

Classic Jaws rip-off from Roger Corman is a lot of fun mostly because it playfully acknowledges it’s inspiration yet, becomes it’s own movie and is all the more entertaining for it. The story revolves around a school of genetically altered piranha in a remote mountain military research station. When they claim the lives of two teens, the investigator searching for them, Maggie (Heather Menzies) and her reluctant, alcoholic mountain guide, Paul (Bradford Dillman) accidentally free the ferocious fish into the local river and are now frantically trying to stop them before they reach a summer camp and a water theme park. Piranha is gory and campy but, not without some tense sequences too as when the carnivorous fish attack the summer camp filled with kids. The cast has fun but, treats their roles just serious enough to make it work and that allows the audience to buy into it just enough to have a good time. Directed with equal parts humor and horror by Joe Dante (who went on to direct The Howling and Gremlins) from a witty script by Howling scribe John Sayles, Piranha transcends it’s rip-off status to become a classic in it’s own right. Also stars Kevin McCarthy as the scientist who created them, Barbara Steele, Keenan Wynn and Corman regulars Paul Bartel, as a grumpy camp counselor and Dick Miller, as a shady theme park owner. Another Corman flick filled with talents who would go on to their own fame and fortune.

If you like this, Alexandre Aja’s 2010 remake is also a real blast too, taking the boobs and blood to new heights!

3 and 1/2 fanged fish!

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HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (1980)

Yet another camp classic from Roger Corman and his New World Pictures and one I’m proud to say I saw at my beloved Oritani Theater in Hackensack, N.J. Humanoids has an army of fish creatures, born of genetic experiments on salmon, descending on a quiet coastal fishing village to kill and mate… with human women. As with the best of Corman’s productions, this one is made with just the right mix of seriousness and camp to make the story work. The film is well directed by Barbara Peeters though Corman felt the film lacked the more exploitative elements needed to sell it and brought in James Sbardellati to direct the more graphic scenes of sex, nudity and gore to be added in. Peeters was apparently very unhappy with the changes Corman made, as was star Ann Turkel who plays scientist Dr. Susan Drake, who created the creatures and now seeks to help destroy them. And as for the cast… a cast lead by Doug McClure (as fisherman Jim Hill) and Vic Morrow (as rival fisherman and town douchebag, Hank Slattery)… they treat the material with the respect it deserves and that adds weight despite it’s far fetched story. Despite the artistic differences between Corman and his director, the film is bloody good time and loaded with all the fun characteristics we expect from a Roger Corman movie and that’s what counts. Also characteristic of a Roger Corman film, future talents are present behind the scenes. Here it is makeup FX legend Rob Bottin providing creatures and plentiful gore and, one of today’s top composers, James Horner. A really gory, fun movie of the kind they rarely make anymore.

3 and 1/2 horny hybrid horrors!

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