7/13/2014

Stuart Gordon – a True Master of Horror


I was happy to meet Stuart Gordon at Fantasia film festival in Montreal, 2010. My interview with him is coming soon to Rue Morgue's special edition book, HORROR MOVIE HEROES (together with interviews I did with Jaume Balaguero, Sergio Stivaletti and Christopher Lee). Here's, briefly, why I love & respect Stuart Gordon.



Stuart Gordon has a unique talent to unite the things which are either considered too disparate (like sex and horror) or those which are rarely blended with such an unmitigated success (like horror and humor). Nowhere is this mixture so successful as in his debut, Re-Animator, a timeless classic which is at once sick, depraved, hilarious and utterly what-the-funny. Many directors aimed for that particular rainbow, but only a few (like The Return of the Living Dead /1985/ and Braindead /1992/) can parallel the insanity and unpredictability of Re-Animator's inspired splattstick.  
Unity of opposites? Hell, yeah! Rooted in literature and theater (where his productions were nominated for many important awards), Gordon mastered B-movie entertainment of the horrific and provocative kind. The same man who conceived the gleefully sadistic The Dentist (1996) also wrote the kiddy fantasy hit Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). 
With equal wit he adapts Lovecraft and Mamet (in Edmond, 2005); he is as inspired by the most outrageous fantasy of From Beyond (1986) as he is by the gritty reality of Stuck, 2007 (based on a true event). From the depths of the Charles Band and Brian Yuzna produced exploitation he is struggling to be political, socially conscious and subversive.
Gordon represents the true spirit of the independents which reigned in the bygone (?) days. His ability to join the unjoinable and make it enjoyable is all but forgotten in this day and age where young horror directors can barely concoct a story worth telling – far from imbuing it with wit, energy and subtext like Gordon so effortlessly could. 
As such, he is both a relic from the past and a lasting inspiration to all those who can see beneath the surface right into the bloody beating heart of B-moviemaking.


5/04/2014

Mutant sex and horror (NSFW)


Here is a gallery of recent works by Serbian artist and director Vanja Čanković. As can be seen, his main inspirations are H. R. Giger and Carpenter's THE THING. Enjoy – if you can!
If you want to buy his prints or just tell him how sick he is, or something, here's his mail: vcankovic at yahoo dot com

Click on each pic to see it bigger!
































2/16/2014

The best horror films of 2013



2013 was a poor year for horror cinema, plain and simple. From the selection in which even the best titles belong, more properly, to the half-assed "not too bad" category, I made the following list.


1. LORDS OF SALEM
USA, 13
***(*)       3+

2. STOKER
USA, 13
***   3+

3. CURANDERO

MEX, 05/13
***  3+

4. BYZANTIUM
UK, 13
***        3

5. RESOLUTION
USA, 12
***       3+

6. LESSON OF THE EVIL
JAP, 12
***       3

7. THE CONJURING
USA, 13
***      3-

8. INSENSIBLES
SPA, 12
***      3-

9. MANIAC
USA, 13
**(*)    3-

10. EVIL DEAD
USA, 13
**(*)    3-

11. CURSE OF CHUCKY
USA, 13
**(*)      3-

12. YOU'RE NEXT
CAN, 13
**(*)        3-

13. BAD MILO
USA, 13
**(*)     3-

14. ENTITY
UK, 12
**(*)    3-

15. BLIND ALLEY
SPA, 11
**(*)    3-

16. HORROR STORIES
KOR, 13
**(*)     3-

17. TALES FROM THE DARK
HK, 12
**(*)      3-

18. THE ABCS OF DEATH
USA etc, 12
**(*)    3-

19. ANTIVIRAL
CAN, 12
**(*)      3-

20. NO ONE LIVES
USA, 13
**(*)     3-

21. VHS 2
USA, 13
**(*)     3-

22. HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2; GHOSTS OF GEORGIA
USA, 13
**(*)    3-

23. HANSEL AND GRETEL, WITCH HUNTERS
USA, 13
**(*)    3-


The 23 titles listed above are more or less watchable.
Those below are mediocre, or worse. Listed in no particular order.

           
AMERICAN MARY
CAN, 12
**         2+

THE COLLECTION
USA, 12
**(*)    2+

MAMA
USA, 13
**(*)    2+

COME OUT AND PLAY
USA, 12
**        2-

Dario Argento's DRACULA 3D
ITA/HUN, 12
*(*)     2-

MODUS ANOMALI
13
*(*)     2-

KISS OF THE DAMNED
USA, 13
**(*)    2+

DEAD SHADOWS
FRA, 12
**        2

EXPIRATION
S. AFR, 12
**(*)    2+

DARK SKIES
USA, 13
**        2+

UNDER THE BED
USA, 13
*(*)       2-

ZOMBIE ASS
JAP, 12
**        2+

HOME SWEET HOME
USA, 13
**        2
  
STRANDED
USA, 13
**        2

LA SENDA (THE PATH)
SPA, 13
**(*)    2+

100 BLOODY ACRES
AUS, 13
**(*)    2+

THE DYATLOV PASS INCIDENT
USA/RUS, 13
**        2+

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH
CAN, 13
**(*)    2+

JUG FACE
USA, 13
**        2+

THE BUTTERFLY ROOM
ITA/USA, 12
**        2

SATURDAY MORNING MYSTERY
AUS, 13
**         2+

FRANKENSTEIN'S ARMY
13
**(*)     2+

THE CONSPIRACY
CAN, 13
**          2+

WORLD WAR Z
USA, 13
**          2+

KILL ZOMBIE! aka ZOMBIBI
HOL, 12
**          2+

WITHER
SWE, 13
**(*)      2+

NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR
USA, 13
**          2+

DARK TOUCH
UK, 13
**(*)      2+

BIG-ASS SPIDER!
USA, 13
**(*)      2+

HAUNTER
USA, 13
*(*)        2-

HELLBENDERS
CAN, 13
**(*)      2+

CARRIE
USA, 13
**          2-

CULT
JAP, 13
**(*)      2+

CONTRACTED
USA, 13
*(*)       2-

TOAD ROAD
USA, 13
*(*)       1+

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
USA, 13
**          2

HERE COMES THE DEVIL
MEX, 12
**(*)      2+

BATTERY
USA, 13
**           2

THE COMPLEX
JAP, 13
**(*)       2+

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2
USA, 13
**(*)       2+