I recently found a copy of the rare horror movie ‘The Keep’ from 1983 and finally checked it out for the first time last night. I’ve wanted to see this one for a long time, mainly because of how damn awesome the movie’s cover/poster artwork is, the it’s VHS cover always stuck with from when I was a kid hanging around in the horror sections of the videos stores while my parents were distracted.
The Keep was directed by Michael Mann, who I’ve always loved for his 1986 movie Manhunter, which was the first big screen appearance of Hannibal Lecter. So it seems this particular movie has been kinda shoved under the rug as Mann has admitted that he’s not a big fan of it. At least not a fan of the cut that was theatrically released. Apparently his version of the movie was originally 210 minutes long! Whoah! Supposedly Paramount told him to edit it down to just two hours, that version still didn’t sit well with test audiences so they edited the movie down even further to a mere 96 minutes. Of course that’s one of the main reasons why the movie is admittedly pretty hard to make any real sense of. It’s a slow burn, but I knew that from the start, and knew it wasn’t really your typical horror movie. Instead I viewed it for what it really is, a surreal, dream like horror fantasy and it really works well as exactly that.
It’s based around a group of Nazis who are sent to guard an huge, old, mysterious fortress in a Romanian mountain pass. One of them releases an powerful force trapped within the walls while thinking they’ll discover some sort of treasure behind them. A weird stranger senses this from his home back in Greece and travels to the keep to try and destroy the sinister force. As Nazi soldiers are eliminated, a Jewish father / daughter duo who both have information on the secrets of the bizarre stronghold arrive on the scene to make sense of the ghostly happenings. It’s a cool set up, but it’s a bit hard to comprehend as it’s filled with plot holes and many unanswered questions, likely that’d been explored in the mega extended version.
It’s also more of an art film really than a horror flick at the end of the day. It’s filled with ripe, hazy dream like atmosphere from start to finish, it’s a visual treat with a mostly quiet pace to it. When the creature though arrives on the scene from the walls of the keep it does get pretty intense and the finale is filled with a ton of great sequences that surely must’ve influenced a modern film maker like Panos Cosmatos (Mandy, Beyond the Black Rainbow). There are some amazing set pieces here, most filled with creepy fog, a pretty impressive hulk of a monster and some really excellent special fx work to behold as well. It certainly excels in it’s creation of a portal from another dimension spilling into our reality.
The cast also is pretty awesome as well, Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne and a much younger Ian Mckellan make this whole experience that much more enjoyable. Byrne plays a crazy Nazi and Mckellan shines as a sort of hero of the movie, being forced to work alongside the Nazis. Yeah folks, Ian was at one time “young” even though he’s still oddly kinda old even way back in 1983! I also have to mention the totally epic score from soundtrack legends Tangerine Dream, I gotta track the soundtrack down. The Keep was a delight to finally see after all these years, this movie desperately needs a re-release on blu-ray/dvd this time with the full 210 minutes of Mann’s vision!!
Well, well, well, finally the day has arrived! The first look at the upcoming mega event blockbuster sequel to 1987’s Predator in the way of Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’. Slated for release in September 2018, I’ve had my eyes peeled for any info on this one, written by Fred (Monster Squad/Night of the Creeps) Dekker & Shane Black & directed by Black who also starred in the original 1987 creature feature masterpiece. Black has been boasting that this sequel is going to reignite The Predator franchise in a big way, being an event style movie that ramps up the vibes akin to to the original!
Well it’s been a long wait and we finally get a look at the movie via the first official trailer today. What we’ve known so far is that this one takes place mainly in the suburbs, features an autistic child who can communicate with the alien hunters, pits the Predator up against a team of “deadly” assassins & will feature Jake Busey as the son of Predator 2’s crazy cop played by his dad Gary. We also have been told sadly that Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be reprising his role as Dutch. However still, many have speculated he may have indeed been included in the recent reshoots. From what we’ve been told they reshot the last third of the movie recently after early test screenings revealed lackluster responses from audiences. I hope that’s the case, as Arnold is like the Predator’s Luke Skywalker & this is likely the last chance we’ll have to include him as the iconic Dutch character, I mean let’s face it Arnie IS getting old and recently even had open heart surgery. Regardless, here it is finally, the trailer for the sequel Predator fanatics have all been patiently waiting for:
So…….what did you think? I guess I was hoping for so much more from this first trailer. I mean, it seemed ok for the most part, however nothing really got my blood a pumpin’. Let me remind everyone ‘AVP: Requiem’ took place largely in suburbia so it feels already a bit familiar already in maybe not the greatest way, as the AVP movies weren’t exactly cinematic gold. Perhaps we’ll all be surprised by the actual movie when it’s released, but in my opinion, at this point though I’d say the previous movie ‘Predators’ from 2010 had a much more interesting sounding premise and trailer. I’ve got a bad feeling about this installment as it doesn’t seem so far like it’s going to peak a helluva lot of interest from movie goers from this first trailer. At least if “Dutch” or even Danny Glover at this point was hinted at returning it might have garnered some interest from long time fans but as far as first trailers go this one feels a bit dead on arrival. I’m not sure ‘The Predator’ has got an intriguing enough story going for it to really fill seats in the theater. I hope I’m wrong, but god dammit if Hollywood is notorious for striking out when trying prey upon our nostalgia….
I’m always on the lookout for forgotten movie gems!! So I revisited a little creature feature called ‘The Kindred’ I’d seen waaaay back in the late 80’s and oddly never heard a peep about since. I came across the image of it’s excellent movie poster online and decided to track it down again. This one to my surprise, is one of those movies that was for some reason only released on VHS, so finding a copy was a little challenge at first. You might be able to check it out on Youtube, but I always try and avoid that if possible because the picture usually ends up a bit more blurry & pixelated.
Well turns out that this is a flick that really deserves far more love and could benefit greatly from official “cleaned up” release on dvd as the vhs transfer is pretty dark and muddy at times. But what we’ve got here is one heckuva solid monster movie from 1987 that’s largely influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. By the time I got to watching it I was a bit stoned so the plot was slightly confusing at first. Luckily that didn’t mean shit as the movie starts out with a bang and is full of plenty of awesome gruesome visuals throughout. Swift pacing can be a big problem with a lot of horror movies from the 80’s and The Kindred luckily moves along a pretty brisk pace.
Basically it’s about a guy who discovers upon his mother’s deathbed that he’s got a long lost brother named ‘Anthony’. Only problem is Anthony is small mutant monster who’s living a secluded lab, being experimented on by mad scientists. The guy goes on a quest to solve the mystery of the whereabouts of his ol’ lost bro Anthony and he gets a lot more than he bargains for. Because of course when he finds him it’s not your average family reunion full of hugs and kisses. As the mystery cleverly unfolds it’s clear Anthony isn’t your typical sibling. Nope, things get weird quick, people transform into mutant fish human hybrids and start turning up dead. I really enjoyed how towards the last 30 minutes the movie’s tone shifts & it suddenly becomes a full on “trapped in house with a monster fight for survival”.
Yep, Anthony escapes from the lab and mutates into a giant monster. The movie has got some awesome tentacled monsters, great practical fx work & an surprisingly intriguing story at it’s core. It also moves along without ever becoming a bore and when the shit hits the fan it’s a nice gory action packed spectacle to behold. I’d really love to see a cleaned up version of this movie on dvd to really appreciate the fx work that went into it, hoping Scream Factory or some releases this in the near future, I’ll be down for another viewing! If you love great monster movies of the 1980’s this one definitely worth tracking down!
Have I ever mentioned how much I love monster movies? Well being a huge fan of the creature feature I thought I’d showcase one of my personal favorites. Prophecy from 1979 is a damn good movie that still holds up quite well even in 2016. It’s a monster movie with a message, don’t pollute the rivers cuz if you do you just might end up with a wildly mutated pissed off monster grizzly bear in your forests! Yeah John Frankenheimer does a wonderful job bringing this twister creature feature to life and the box/ poster art is one of my favorites check it:
It really doesn’t get too much better than this as far as awesome cover art goes and also having a movie that’s actually as cool as it’s poster art in this era can at time be a difficult task. As a kid this cover always stuck with me from way back in the video store days. If you haven’t seen this one then make sure this Halloween you track it down, you won’t be disappointed!
Halloween is right around the corner come October & you’ll have every right to watch as many horror movies as you want any damn night you want! So naturally being a huge horror hound myself I’m always on the hunt for some quality flicks to look forward to. So today I’ll give you a quick list of six movies (One short and five features) I think have a shot at delivering the goods in the horror department! I’m usually a tough cookie to please so hopefully my predictions will pan out here and we’ll soon be watching five cool horror movies….here goes nothing!
I’m going to start this little list off with an excellent trailer for an intriguing looking short horror film about a hair stylist with some seemingly sinister plans of her very own. I dig this idea for a horror story as I can’t really think of anything quite like it off the top of my head.
After discovering the trailer online by chance I checked out some more of the director, Jill Gevargizian’s short films and they pack an incredibly healthy dose of creep out horror in such small packages, considering most of them are under ten minutes in length . Here’s the trailer for The Stylist:
Beyond The Gates
Here’s another movie with a super duper unique story that I’m super excited about. Beyond the Gates follows a two brothers who reunite after their father’s passing at his old video store. Surrounded by a tons of video tapes they discover an old VHS horror board game and decide to check it out one evening. Of course this is no ordinary board game it’s got some serious evil attached to it.
Just the premise of this gets me excited, I’m a big fan of old VHS and as a kid spent a ton of time at the video store wandering through the horror section. I also recently acquired the old VHS board game “Nightmare” from 1990 so I feel like this movie really hits a sweet spot. The trailer looks great and plus we get Barbara Crampton as the spooky VHS gamemaster! Plus I totally dig the poster so sign me up!
Being a big fan of monster movies can be tough in this day and age where it’s not that often you see a real good one hit the theaters! Well my hopes are always high that I just might see a good one each and every year and in 2017 so far it seems the pickins are a bit slim at the moment, but heck I need me some monster movies this year! Anyway I did a little poking around and found a five upcoming movies that look somewhat promising if you’re a monster maniac like me!
It‘s looking here like we might have a contender in the big pig genre of monster movies. Of course at number one we have “Razorback” from 1984 which is a perfect creature feature in my opinion. Let’s give this new Australian flick a chance though the trailer looks pretty awesome!
BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE:
I had to take a few moments to post a few really cool monster-centric trailers I’ve seen recently, hands down my favorite type of movie-first up is “A Monster Calls” which kinda feels like the brother film to Pan’s Labyrinth.
Check out this trailer if you haven’t already. It’s directed by Juan Antonio Bayona who also did the wonderfully creepy flick The Orphanage, this one won’t be out until October of 2016:
And now a little change of tone with “Lumberjack Man” a crazy probably idiotic supernatural slasher flick that’s got a deranged lumberjack who carts around giant pancakes and is in hot pursuit of bible campers blood to use as pancake syrup!
This one looks like a good stupid time and is out now all over the interwebz:
Next is a movie called “The Hallow” which has a family out in their cabin in the woods of Ireland facing off with pissed off fairy tale like creatures.
The trailer looks pretty awesome filled with some incredible visuals and super creepy creatures- Sign me up! This one is already released here this month in the USA and can be rented online all over.
Last we’ve got “Howl” a cool ass looking werewolf movie set on a train! The trailer looks awesome and Paul Hyett who did all the special effects in the Neil Marshall movies The Descent and Dog Soldiers is responsible for what you see here in Howl!
It also features Shauna Macdonald who starred as the lead in The Descent & Sean Pertwee from Dog Soldiers in this one-gotta love a great werewolf flick I hope this one tops that list…No release date yet here for the USA.