Bill Sienkiewicz did it again! Yes this time likely in 5 minutes or less! I’m going to be honest, I’ve never seen this comic book cover until a few days ago but now my curiosity level is through the roof on this 3-part Spidey adventure way back from 1987. Sienkiewicz never disappoints and these three covers are proof- the first one here really does seem like it was likely something he threw together in a few minutes, and it’s still fucking brilliant! Check out the first two covers, it looks like he spent more time on those obviously. This story took place inside of the Kingpin’s insane asylum-and Bill conveys the madness with pure perfection…
The latest episode of the Movie Melt podcast is a special one, especially for all of you “cheeseheads” out there-We cover the third Fangoria Films bizarro teen mad scientist monster flick ‘SEVERED TIES’ from 1992! This mostly forgotten gem was filmed in my home state of Wisconsin, way up north in my old stomping grounds-Rhinelander! WTF right? Why in the world would they choose the small town northwoods area to film NOT just Severed Ties but ALL three of their first feature films up there?!
Well the story is truly intriguing and on this episode we bring on special FX artist and native northern Wisconsinite Hank Carlson to tell his wild story of Windsor Lake Studios, the team behind ‘Hellraiser’ who decided to set up shop there. Hank fills us in on how as a small town teen with an unlikely dream of cracking into the biz as a make up artist, he somehow lands his dream job in the late 80s!
We get the scoop on horror history in the making and discuss ‘Severed Ties’ in all of it’s gooey glory! Plus a Wisconsin themed Battle of the bands in this ALL things Wisconsin horror movie mash up..
Who says dreams can’t come true?! Tune in RIGHT HERE to check out the episode and delve head on into one of the strangest horror films of the 1990’s: a practical fx creature feature that’s in desperate need of a fancy blu ray release and a devoted cult following…
Here’s a sweet alternate Incredible Hulk cover from Brazil’s O Incrivel HULK #50-an interesting version of the American issue #297 shown below. I’m not quite sure why they redrew the cover? At least the top half appears to be a more “Sal Buscema” take on the green goliath? It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this, but it’s a real treat and it makes me wonder if there are other alternate versions of classic Hulk issues?
The original cover from 1984 again features the Incredible art from Bill Sienkiewicz, this was a real sweet era of The Hulk as he slowly loses his “Banner Hulk” persona and further transforms into a truly “mindless” monster. I miss the feel of these 80s Hulk comic books-they were truly a blast-all over the world! Which one do you prefer?
Reggie Banister of “Phantasm fame” is one of my favorite horror heroes-hands down! The horror franchise is my all time favorite of the genre, Reggie is one of the main reasons why it resonates with me so hard. What I’ve noticed though is Reg really doesn’t take center stage in any other movies I can think of, it’s usually just brief cameos in things like ‘Bubba Ho-tep’ or even ‘Kenny & Company’. Well that’s what I was led to believe but low and behold through the Netflix “red envelope” dvd mailer program (that’s sadly coming to an end soon), I received a movie from queue that’d been sitting there for years! The 2004 (or 2006?) horror flick CEMETERY GATES finally arrived in the mail, I really had quite low expectations and quickly noticed Reggie Banister was appearing, I figured he’d likely be doing another “horror cameo” in a low budget production. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I was pleasantly surprised, Reggie is one of the main characters in this one & better yet even the movie is somehow a total gem-a gore soaked, practical fx creature feature with heart and a heroic dose of humor while also a somewhat intriguing story at play. Yeah I was expecting a steamin’ load of shit and what I got was one of my new favorites of the 2000’s horror movies. It’s filled with a cast of fun characters, many of which are total boneheads, which make this little gnarly flick even more of a blast. It’s the story of an escaped lab animal-a giant mutated Tasmanian devil named “Precious” who goes on a muderous rampage in the countryside when set loose by some numbskull animal rights activists.
The lab Precious came from is owned by……Reggie Banister, a seasoned scientist who’s sad about his son moving out on his own. His son an aspiring horror filmmaker is heading out to the country with his horny numb nut buddies to film a zombie film, little does he know his childhood now mutated “pet” Precious (who was experimented on) is running wild in the vicinity.
Precious though is not the only threat, there’s some horny braindead hillbillies, who look like the perfect lunch for a tasmanian devil, also raising hell. Reggie and his sexy scientist buddy soon discover the missing creature and set out to the countryside to try and track it down before it goes completely bonkers on the local population.
Cemetery Gates has got a lot going for it, Reggie pretty awesome in it and there’s a certain bit of idiotic charm to his relationship with his son AND his son’s relationship with the former lab pet turned mutant. It’s also a load of fun to see all these utterly moronic characters get ripped to shreds by Precious. We’ve got the idiotic hillbillies, some middle aged stoners, Richard Elfman as an insane fisherman, the bonehead amateur actors and a few random hikers that suffer the brunt of the gore. The fun is really had when we see Precious in the flesh on it’s killing spree. She tears limbs, decapitates and rips apart a ton of people all in gloriously gooey practical fx and real onscreen “blood” galore. The creature looks pretty damn good too in that sorta 1980s style monster mayhem.
It’s so absurdly charming looking in the flesh and when the final confrontation goes down with Precious it becomes a “family affair’. Reggie, his son, his girlfriend and Reggie’s hot lab partner go all in on taking down the mutated ‘taz in a dark subterranean lair beneath a cemetery. There’s some real heart here at it’s core that sincerely shines through all of the moronic antics that occur and I really appreciate the entire fiasco.
It to me, hits all the right beats, finally another film essentially featuring Reggie front and center to love. He’s here in all of his hair dyed glory to kick some monster booty once again & who’d have thought it’d be again in the mid 2000’s? There’s some good atmosphere and plenty of mischief for Reggie & co to get into as well. If this thing had been released in the 80s it’d be a bonafide cult classic. I’ve NEVER heard anyone speak a peep about Cemetery Gates, so I’m taking it to my platform to get the damn word out.
It’s the perfect midnight movie to rock with some starving cinemaniacs-they may doubt it’s merit by it’s cover but chances are it’ll quench any gorehounds thirst as well as tickle their funny bone. Cemetery Gates is true 2000’s cult classic in the wings….
The end of an era will soon be upon us, the red envelope Netflix “dvd by mail” system will finally come to an end later this year. Sigh…..It’s a bit depressing, I had a lot of fun awaiting these mini movie packages for soooo many years. Truth be told I discovered some truly unique lil’ hidden gems over the years as their dvd selection was once a wildly vast treasure trove…so here in honor I’m gonna blog weekly about my all time faves. The first being 1993’s DARKNESS: The Vampire Version-which I just got delivered for a second time. The dvd online is quite rare and fetches a pretty penny on eBay!
So here’s a really unique movie that still remains in their library- ‘Darkness’ is a cool little vampire movie with a cast completely made of what looks like no one over twenty years old. Leif Jonker the director was apparently only 17 when he started conceptually with the production and started filming in 1988, wrapping it up in 1991. He filmed it on super 8 and the whole affair is a mega blood drenched teenage nightmare in the best way possible.
Jonker doesn’t play for laughs here either which is refreshing, it’s all played as straight as it can be with machetes, chainsaws and teen vamps that sadly have no fangs! But alas, it’s a bit of marvel to behold just how ambitious this little splatter flick really is for a gang of ravenous teen punks who set out to shock their audience and for the most part do a bang up job at it all.
Darkness is filled with some legit action, suspense, blood, guts and some great attempts at serious acting. Even though the “vampires” feel more like a rabid gang of cannibals they still show their supernatural side while succumbing to the more traditional vampire trappings. Sunlight and holy water in particular. One sequence where the main characters a being chased through a river by vampires and a bottle of holy water is poured into the water causing some cool carnage as it mixes and destroys them is a real inventive highlight.
It’s a race to the sunrise as a cast of teens are chased across the countryside fleeing from blood thirsty vamps. There’s not more much to the plot honestly, but It’s so damn charming that Jonker went the full distance on it’s production it really doesn’t need to have an intricate story. The finale is well Wirth the wait to, as there’s an over abundance of exploding heads, melting flesh and crudely animatronic decrepit vampire’s to watch meet their gnarly demise. Sadly Jonker didn’t go on to put out much more-the only thing officially listed on Letterboxd is a short film from 1983 called ‘Ghost Carol’ described as a “Super 8 short about a ghost that kills a group of teenagers at Christmastime”. It’s a 22 minute horror film I need to find a way to see!
Supposedly Arrow video will be giving this a fancy blu release sometime in the future? It looked like it was supposed to come out a few years back, the trailer below is from four years ago. If it ever sees the “light of day”(no pun intended) I’ll be picking up a copy for sure. In the meantime if you’ve still got the red Netflix envelope system intact (at least until it ends later this year) put this bloody little nugget in your “queue” and get ready to rock! One of my favorite weird back catalog Netflix dvd finds-especially first time seeing it years back…..
I saw ‘Leprechaun’ IN the theater back in ’93, my girlfriend and I were the ONLY ones in the entire theater! Of course I had a damn good time and believe that ‘Leprechaun’ sort of kick-started a little mini genre of “fairytale horror” in the 1990s. While the director of the original Leprechaun also made another movie a few years later 1995 Rumpelstiltskin! Yep Mark Jones the writer and director of the ’93 cult classic also gave the a similar treatment to this weird little one without the “success” of the Warwick Davis fronted franchise.
Well last night I Pulled out my cool promotional copy of the VHS along with my projector, some friends, drinks and checked it out on the “big” screen. In all honesty I’m not entirely sure that I’ve ever really seen this movie before (even though I could have sworn that I had). Nonetheless Rumpelstiltskin delivered the same ridiculous goods in the same fashion as the original Leprechaun. The best way to describe this one would be a sort of “Terminator style” road chase movie- but instead of an imposing hulking cyborg you get a gimpy numb-nut fairy tale villain, who cracks ridiculous one liners while he chases a woman down trying to steal her baby to suck it’s soul!
In other words it’s a god damn good time! Our main mischievous villain here, Rumpelstiltskin, looks like he was plucked right out of Stephen King’s horror anthology ‘Cat’s Eye’. He wakes up from a 1000 year slumber and dropped into the 1990s. This all after being turned into a small stone sculpture after a group of villagers hunt him down after he steals one of their babies. You might think that this guy would have a hard time navigating the ’90s, but quite the opposite. Rumpelstiltskin seems to be quite adept in nearly everything he tries, Whether it’s riding a Harley or driving a stick shift semi truck- ‘ol ‘Rumpy can do it! The funny thing is he comes across more like a character that might appear in ‘Ernest Scared Stupid’ than a wicked soul sucking goblin!
It’s your fairly standard “being chased through the countryside road trip” horror formula (which I FUCKING love)- but it definitely does have a few really fun tricks up its dirty little sleeve. Our main character is a widowed single mom (Kim Johnston Ulrich) with a baby of course and some of this actually plays out a bit like a “Sex in the City” episode. She hangs out with her horny female friends, drinks wine and tries to navigate being single in the era with a baby…the last thing she needs is THIS weirdo throwing a wrench into being a mom!
There’s definitely a certain degree of unpredictability to some the characters we’re introduced to which makes this an even more interesting watch. Particularly when we’re introduced to a sleazy, cheezy, sexist TV host, who comes across a bit like a second rate Howard Stern. The type of character you won’t be seeing “rise to the occasion” in any movie coming out in 2023 that’s for sure.
However I’m a sucker for an unlikely pairing of characters ‘on the run’ from true danger in horror movies and this one really BRINGS it. You’re never quite sure who’s going to suffer the consequences from an encounter with ol’ Rumpy! If you’re a fan of the original ‘Leprechaun’ there’s definitely a lot right here to love, Some cool make up effects, pretty sweet action sequences, explosions and like Warwick Davis’s character, some great idiotically witty banter! Rumpelstiltskin is prime candidate for a sweet new blu ray. It’s really long overdue that he gets a cult following and the true recognition he deserves-this is a really sweet totally 90s horror comedy, jam packed with ridiculous fashion of the time and characters you’re likely not to see anytime soon on the big or small screen. A great example that the 90s indeed does have some horror gems hidden within the decade! Track down this weird little fairy tale & turn off your brain to thoroughly enjoy the ride..
It’s quite an interesting appointment when you’re set to pay a visit to a brand new new doctor & this week on the MOVIE MELT podcast we got one helluva check up by checking out 1989’s wildly erotic horror flick DR. CALIGARI! A bizarre nightmare from the director of the legendary plot centric-porno ‘Cafe Flesh’, Stephen Sayadian comes this equally strange dive into complete madness!
Yes! ‘Doctor Caligari’ is most definitely a weird one, an erotically gross dreamlike voyage into an insane asylum led by the daughter of the legendary 1920’s mad practitioner! There’s some serious problems when people become human guinea pigs of sultry doc as she performs experiments on patients with the most extreme shock therapies and hormone treatments. the results are quite shocking in this avante garde slice of madness. It’s filled to the brim with neon sets, strange creatures, human sized tongues, babes, hunks, scarecrow hand-jobs and lots of nonsensical plot points that will drive you absolutely NUTS!
Also on this episode is a “best of” battle of the bands, featuring the most idiotic musical numbers and artists to grace the damn internet-listen to the stupidest songs duke it out for the ultimate prize-MOVIE MELT’s seal of approval. Plus we discuss some cool movies we think you’ve just gotta see and so much MORE including a discussion on deepfake penises!
Grab a case of beer, get cozy and ready for the good times to roll as we plunge into the weird ass cinematic world of DR. CALIGARI on the latest episode of MOVIE MELT!
I still think one of Marvel Comic’s weirdest superheroes has got to be the Son of Satan! A handsome red haired devil of guy who fights on the side of good?! Yeah well you wouldn’t think so judging by the pentagram he boldly and proudly wears on his bare chest! Anyway you get the gist-a bit of a controversial fellow to say the LEAST. Well here’s a great cover all the way back from 1977 showing Daimon Hellstrom in a big battle with some pretty vicious demons! A great simple cover by legend Gil Cane!
Yowza!! I’ve always thought some of the cool lesser known horror movies of the late 80s/early 90s should get modern sequels-I mean why not?! Especially with many of these lost classics now getting discovered by masses of new horror fans with awesome blu ray labels cleaning up often “only released on VHS” gems and repackaging them with lots of cool extras as well as a super sharp new restoration. Vinegar Syndrome did exactly that with 1990’s DEMON WIND and now it’s confirmed it’s going to get a brand new sequel 33 years later!! Ok though, before getting too excited here let’s see what the details are exactly on this one!
First, the official title is apparently going to be ‘DEMON WIND 2: The Serpents Coil’ and it’s NOT being made by the original’s director Charles Phillip Moore and from what I can tell he isn’t writing this one like he did the original. I think it’d have been cool to have the original writer craft the story plus I’m a fan of one of his other movies, ANGEL OF DESTRUCTION from 1994 featuring Maria Ford. Oh well….Instead part 2 will be directed by Eric Mathis from Grime House Films, who’s got only one feature film under his belt, a 2022 horror anthology called ‘The Macabre’, I’ve never seen it-so hey Eric if you’re reading this send me a copy for review! 😉 I guess I’d be basing how promising the ‘Demon Wind’ sequel will be on how well his first movie translates. Curious indeed. Here’s the trailer:
Hmmm…obviously ‘Demon Wind 2’ has too look a little more slick than this-but considering it’s a first effort, at least from the trailer, I’d say there’s still potential. Next I’m wondering if the sequel will have some of the 1990’s films original cast returning? I heard at least one of the cast members from the original might be on board, but to really add that legit inter-connective tissue it’s going to need some real ties to the first film.
Also I think, this modern sequel is going to need to have a similar look and steer away from shoddy CGI fx. I recommend going ALL in on practical effects-gory, gooey, slimey and bloody…oh and NO CGI blood-don’t make that mistake! It seems so far that he’s got a few peeps involved from ‘Full Moon’ and an FX artist Joe Castro who did work on ‘The Barn 2’. I’ve seen the first one and dug it-but I do need to check out the sequel, from the trailer though I’ll be honest the FX stuff doesn’t look quite on par with the first film-and that was a little ruff too.
Still that doesn’t mean Demon Wind 2 won’t look awesome.. here’s what the director had to say himself about the sequel coming at us all 33 years later:
“I’ve dreamed of doing this for so long. Like many of us, I’ve been a huge fan of the original Demon Wind since I was a kid, when my older brother rented it and I secretly watched it after he left it out. For years, I’ve been trying to track down the rights owners, and I finally managed to arrange a phone meeting and work out a deal to produce this film!
My goal is to honor the tradition of the original, which had so many incredible and memorable creature and kill effects. We’re bringing the huge creature FX, loads of gory kills, and all the things we love as horror fans, and delivering them in a major way! We’ll explore the past, the characters, and their stories, and revisit the farm and Harcourt’s gas station, really play on all the things that made the original so great!”
I’m down for this film 100%, I definitely have my reservations though trying to recapture the B-movie magic of a for the most part, underrated gem from 1990. I like the idea of re-visiting the original’s locales but also hope they take it to a few new unique new creepy places. The last thing I’d want is essentially a modern remake/reboot that doesn’t live up to the original. I often times think someone attempting this type of sequel should really research what made the movies from this period look soooo good. Watching the trailer for ‘The Barn 2’ made me realize how cheap things can look when shot digitally, it looks just like it was shot in 2022, while trying to masquerade as an 80s film. Demon Wind 2 needs to have the look and atmosphere of the original even though I’m assuming it indeed takes place in current times. 1990’s Demon Wind was a lot of fun and the plot for part 2 sounds promising with occult researchers investigating a satanic murder site and stumbling upon an evil cursed ancient artifact that opens a gate from hell. Of course unleashing sinister creatures for another total bloodbath.
Fingers crossed that ‘Demon Wind 2’ delivers the gory goods, brings back some original characters and looks and feels a lot like the 1990 original. I don’t know if the original writer/director is still around or alive-but I think meeting or consulting with him would be a great idea too! I’m cautiously curious about modern sequels to lesser know horror classic-but I’ll be there for the show for SURE! Follow Grime House Films on Instagram for more juicy details!
Today I’m starting a new series on U-Dork called “Needs to be Blu” Where I’m going to start documenting all of the movies that I’ve seen that most desperately need a fancy ass blu ray release! There are still some real gems out there that just aren’t getting the attention they deserve, are out of print on dvd or have only EVER been released on VHS format.
Today my recommendation to all those fancy labels out there like Vinegar Syndrome, Culture Shock, Arrow video, Visual Vengeance etc is Brigitte Nielsen’s sci-fi actioner GALAXIS aka Terminal Force released in 1994. Brigitte Nielson stars as a inter-galactic space babe who kicks a lot of ass coming across like Dolph Lundgren’s lady action counterpart. Check it out:
I wish she’d have had more cheesy roles like this(I’ve got to check out BODY COUNT still), she’s such charming presence and iconic femme fatale. In this particular film she really looks the part too, she dwarfs most of the men in height and doesn’t take a lick a shit from a single one of them. It’s a bit of a mix between The Terminator and Highlander and feels like it was shot in the late 1980s. It hits all the right beats for me- the fish out of water, light romance, charmingly idiotic characters, some genuinely fun special fx as well as a good sense of humor throughout. Plus Moll here who’s a great B-movie villain (check out ‘Dungeonmaster’ from 1984 for more proof of that) is of course a lot of fun to watch ham it up!
A cool little sci-fi “run for your life in a big city” adventure where Brigitte is your guide and Richard Moll reprises his “bad guy” role again as a sort of Darth Vader type villain. Top top it all off Sam Raimi even shows up for some of the fun early on and so do some stop motion robots thankfully. Lots of lasers, dark steamy alleys, ridiculous bad guys and of course Nielsen looking all sexy as the amazonian leather clad lead, just legit dumb fun that I’m always all in for.
Aside from Brigitte the co-lead John Brennan plays a charismatic numbskull treasure hunter who’s on the hunt for some strange artifact, one that Brigitte and Moll are on the hunt for as well. Along the way he of course gets mixed up in a boatload of shenanigans that Nielson usually has to solve by kicking someone’s ass.
The lucky guy gets to join forces with Nielson, and the two slowly fall for each other, too bad the evil Moll always seems to arrive before anything can ever really happen for the two! As far as dumb bad guys go too there’s a really over the top mob boss guy played by Fred Asparagus who somehow manages to be a major player in the action all the way up to it’s boiler room style finale. Obviously this is prime cheez, it’s fun, fast paced and largely forgotten- Someone release this on blu ray!