Yes it’s 2021 and I’ve STILL got the old skool big red envelope Netflix by mail service! Deal with it peeps! In fact the DVD service is so much more superior and satisfying than the boring vanilla streaming service I suggest everyone go back to simpler times and try waiting a few days for a damn movie to arrive. That being said going into 2020’s ‘The Wolf of Snow Hollow’ (yep on DVD) I’d assumed it was going to be some flimsy-ass modern werewolf tale I’d likely forget an hour after viewing. Not the case, this one was a total gem and really defied all expectations which admittedly were pretty freakin’ low. I personally find most modern horror movies to be a chore to get through lately, but every now and again one hits all the right beats.
What starts out as a simple tale turns into something quite complex, then somehow morphs at the end into something completely different than what I’d expected to unfold. It tells the tale of a small mountain town that’s gripped by horror, when mauled bodies are mysteriously discovered apparently after each full moon. Small town cop, Officer Marshall is hot on the case and stressed the fuck out. While raising a teenage daughter and covering for his aging father, Robert Forster (who also happens to be the Sheriff), he’s losing lotsa sleep, trying to solve the murders while desperately trying to convince the the town that there’s no such thing as a killer beast on the prowl. Most importantly NOT werewolves. But what are his true motives? Does the small town cop have bigger secrets he’s trying to hide?
This sweet little horror comedy has a lot to offer, some charming characters work their way through this unique little mystery while the creep factor is cranked up with the presence of a menacing monster who shows up to shred his victims for all the town to behold. Officer Marshall is a pretty hilarious character and following him as he seemingly tries to solve the caper is a true delight, the clues subtly placed out there for the audience make this a unique little tale of terror. The cozy little winter ski town of Snow Hollow is the perfect place for the mayhem to unfold, giving this one a slightly “Scooby Doo-esque” vibe to it all. It can also double as a holiday movie as it’s clearly the Christmas season in Snow Hollow when the animal attacks hit their stride. The werewolf aspect of it is also pretty compelling with a menacing hulking monster on the prowl of the dark snow bound streets of the small town. There’s no bad CGI werewolves to rain on the parade here either, instead an impressive creature who doesn’t wear out his welcome by remaining fairly elusive never fully revealing his full form too clearly in the moonlight.
This one doesn’t follow the traditional tropes of older werewolf tales or the trending formulas newer horror films that are trying to work in any sort of political angle. Like I mentioned before, it’s really like a violent Scooby Doo mystery with a dash of 1985’s ‘Silver Bullet’ that knows how to keep the audience guessing until the very end. As soon as you think you’ve got it all firmly figured out it throws a loop that send the viewer down a different trail. Director Jim Cummings, who also plays Officer Marshall, has does great job here bringing this offbeat werewolf tale to life and making his character a memorable one for the modern horror genre-check this one out if you’re looking for a wildly fun, gory little mystery!
With the recent announcement of ‘American Horror Story: 1984’ looking to cash in on success of 80’s throwback series like ‘Stranger Things’ and Stephen King’s reboot of ‘IT’ I thought it’d be nice to give a shout out to a great flick from 1983 called ‘The House on Sorority Row’ I watched a couple days ago. ‘American Horror Story: 1984’ is going to be fully immersed in the 1980’s slasher genre. That being said here’s a pitch perfect Slasher flick I recommend they watch before releasing the new season, they likely’ll need all the help they can get by trying to convincingly tackle the genre. This mysterious little flick from 1983 deserves a helluva lot more praise than it’s gotten throughout the years. Director Mark Rosman brings one of the best to the genre!
The House on Sorority Row’s filled with a pretty tightly knit little mystery that’s full of fairly unpredictable twists and turns that never lag in it’s execution. Hitting all the slasher tropes in a pretty unique way, considering it was released back in 1983. First off we’ve got a full cast of great characters, almost entirely female as well and rather than giving us a troop of the usual moronic teenagers for the killer to prey upon, we get ones who you just might care about getting off’d. Our gang of sorority sisters here are a pleasure to see onscreen and most definitely take the plot into some fascinating territory. There’s the old seemingly mentally unstable sorority house mother who desperately wants the girls out of the house for the summer. However determined to throw one final grand graduation bash at the house, the sorority sisters get into a heated argument with her that quickly escalates to uncomfortable levels. They devise a plan to play a wicked prank on her, and in doing so set into motion a night of terror as they try and cover up their actions from the public. Deciding the show must go on they reluctantly continue with the big bash and soon find them being stalked by a ruthless slasher out to put the kebosh on their festivities.
Sounds simple enough, but there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye, the set up to this one is pretty awesome as the girls quickly prove they can be just as nasty and cunning as any 80’s frat boy. The acting for the most part is rock solid here too, but don’t fret, as there’s still plenty of 80’s cheez to go around. One of the highlights being the grad party and it’s totally rad live power pop band ‘4 Out of 5 Doctors’ who perform there that boost the level of fun up a few notches alone. It’s the kind of party that makes you wanna jump into a time machine to attend & get down in the 1980’s. We’ve also got a great final girl here that’s totally worth rooting for as she slowly throughout the evening puts the pieces of the bizarre mystery together while her & her friends are stalked on the spooky campus. It feels a bit like a demented Scooby Doo mystery that takes itself fully seriously in the best way possible.
It’s also not afraid to get nasty with it’s gore fx there’s plenty of inventive kills scattered about to revel in as well. The finale really ramps things up and keeps you for the most part guessing til the end about what the fuck is actually going one here. The killer is pretty awesome too and the last 5 minutes (which I wish would’ve lasted longer actually) are filled with tension, thoroughly impressive camera work & the reveal of the maniac in the flesh is pretty iconic in it’s own right. This one’s really got it all as far as slashers go, a stunning orchestral score from Richard Band, great spooky sets, sweet fx, excellent characters, a cool mystery and a pretty sweet ass slasher villain. If you’ve never seen this one and are a fan of the genre this one hits a home run!
Damn, how I love me some good ol’ classic Scooby-Doo mysteries! Well here’s something I just saw for the first time a few days ago, a genius short film from 1999 when Scooby and the gang went out searching for the Blair Witch! Yeah The The Scooby-Doo Project is a rad Halloween short film that aired during the “Scooby-doo Where are You?” marathon way back on October 31, 1999. It was presented in short segments during commercial breaks, but later the segments were re-broadcast in complete form, with a longer ending. It parodied The Blair Witch Project which had been released earlier that year and it’s an excellent hilarious little largely forgotten gem of a Scooby adventure!
It features clear nods to the iconic found footage horror movie and also some cool little throwbacks to the 60’s cartoon. This is the perfect time of year to give ‘The Scooby-Doo Project’ another watch as “Mystery Inc.” get quite a bit more than they bargained for!! Check this out!
I saw a couple really cool animated music videos this week and it really got me wondering – what are the greatest cartoon / animated music videos of all time?! There’s a few that come to mind immediately and I know there are a ton that likely have fallen under the radar over the years.
The videos I’ve chosen are official ones by the actual artist, mainly more of an old school traditional animated or hand drawn style & I’ve steered away this time of the modern CG style stuff. Maybe some day I’ll investigate that further in the mean time check this out and most definitely let me know if I have left something off of the list – so let’s get crackin’ here as we figure out exactly what the coolest animated videos of all time are!!
Descendents – No Fat Burger (2016)
Here’s a brand spankin’ new video from one of my personal favorite bands of all time. The Descendents have been around since 1978 and packing the pop into punk like no other band can. This cool frantic animated video finally finds it’s cartoon mascot (and lead singer) “Milo” growing older and trying to resist eating everything unhealthy in sight. The band now in their fifties still has the energy but let’s face the facts, they just can’t eat the way they used to as teenagers. This is a call back to their classic song ‘I Like Food’. I always wanted to see the Milo character come to life in animation and the wait is finally over.
A-ha – Take On Me (1985)
Here’s one of the most popular videos of all time and it’s animated! Aside from this song being one of the best pop tunes of the 1980’s it also featured this incredible video filled with adventure & pure heart. The song was released several times but failed to chart, however when they produced this amazing video the whole thing exploded. One of the best things about it is that it tells a short action packed story that really sticks with you long after the video is over. The cool rotoscoping animation also gives it a hyper realistic quality no one had ever seen before in a music video. A true classic.
Housebound has got to be one of my favorite movies of 2014, easily one of the best “horror” comedies I’ve seen in quite some time! This splendid little flick from New Zealand is filled with a ton of mystery, some great scares, creepy cool atmosphere and a lot of laughs. This one kinda plays out like a twisted Scooby Doo adventure. It’s a simple premise here, our troubled heroine Kylie gets caught trying to rob an ATM and is soon sentenced to home detention back to the house she grew up with her mother. And what a large creepy house it is!
It doesn’t take long before things get weird as Kylie one evening insists on using the phone, while her chatty mother tells her she’s taking an important phone call. Leading to one of my favorite moments in the movie, as Kylie heads of flustered into her bedroom she turns on the radio to a station that’s got a “Coast to Coast” style paranormal program in progress. She notices they’re taking a live phone call from a woman who sounds oddly just like her mother, claiming that the house she lives in is haunted.
From here the story gets incredibly interesting taking twists and turns galore and to give away anymore of the plot would be a crime! Housebound is a nonstop thrill ride and will have you guessing right up to the very end. It’s a crazy little adventure, with real heart at it’s core. That’s not to say it’s devoid of scares or even gore, this one has it all tightly wrapped into one helluva humorous yet creepy package. The house where much of it takes place is pretty awesome as well, filled with more than enough odd rooms, long hallways, creaking doors and mysterious closets and cabinets! It’s also got a great sequence with a Teddy Ruxpin type talking bear that’s pretty damn incredible as well as the most genius use of a cheese grater you’re likely to ever see. So I highly recommend checking this one out if you’re looking for a great Saturday night popcorn flick! A ton of fun & one of the best flicks I’ve seen all year…
I checked out the much hyped indie flick “Saturday Morning Mystery” the other evening with high hopes. In case you have no idea what this new movie is all about it can be summed up pretty simply: live action Scooby Doo in an R-rated horror flick. Sounds pretty fantastic right? It’s clearly a pretty great idea but beware, these characters though clearly based on the cartoons aren’t really the comic relief you might be expecting. This is a more realistic take on the group, so don’t expect the dog, named Hamlet to be talking in this one. The rest of the characters are more true to life as well Floyd(Shaggy) smokes weed and does acid, Chadwick(Fred) & Gwen(Daphne) have wild sex and Nancy(Velma) has a crush of her own on one of the team members.
The movie starts out pretty strong, with the gang investigating a haunted house, but soon like the cartoon find that behind the curtains are just some normal yet truly sick people. They’re even reprimanded by the police for messing up their covert operation-those meddling kids!! It’s not long before the gang is running low on funding for their paranormal investigations so they decide to tackle one last case in hopes of maybe discovering something supernatural before throwing in the towel. Their last case leads them in their vintage van to an abandoned “haunted school” where there’s rumors of satanists and ghosts within it’s walls.
There’s not too much more I can or should tell you about the story. It’s got a few twists and turns and for the the most part is a pretty solid horror flick with a great premise. However I think the premise of this film is by far it’s strongest attribute. If you take away the whole “Scooby Doo” theme there honestly wouldn’t be a heck of a lot to really separate this from anything else out there. To me they could have benefited by adding a little more comedy, naivety and color to the characters and the story. There could have been more of “Scooby” or Hamlet I should say, in the story as it seemed maybe the film was played a little too real, at least for what I was hoping for.
I also hoped for the sets to be a bit more interesting, it’s have been cool to see them an truly unique and colorful haunted setting. An old haunted school should have looked and felt more like it would have in the cartoon, but perhaps it wasn’t in the budget? The settings (at the very least the inside of the school) were a bit bland for my expectations. The film takes a turn in it’s third act and gets gory and gritty and this really would have been more effective had out gang acted a little more like their cartoon counterparts. At times it brought to mind say “Night of the Demons” or “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” but clearly operating on a lower level. “Evil Dead meets Scooby Doo” is what Aint it Cool News called it-not quite. In the end though I think it was a decent, solid effort that doesn’t quite live up to the hype. On a more positive note, I gotta give it best movie concept of the year!
I have just read a review for “Saturday Morning Massacre” at Ain’t It Cool and it’s mighty clear they thought it was one of the coolest movies around! Basically the premise is that of a real life Scooby Doo adventure, two male and two female mystery hunters and their dog cruise the countryside in their vintage van in search of things that go bump in the night! Only after solving countless mysteries they come to the conclusion that ghosts and monsters really don’t exist, that is until they venture into one creepy old mansion. There they come face to face with pure evil and their ghost busting skills are put to the ultimate test!
Sounds pretty rad to me and they so far described it as equal parts comedy and true horror. So naturally I hunted down the trailer to see what all the hype is about and found the trailer to be a little bland. What do you think? This movie premieres in LA later this month but otherwise has no release date. I hope it lives up to the Aintitcool hype-meter!
It’s bummed me out big time today upon finding out that Davy Jones, my favorite Monkee passed away today. I LOVE the Monkees, I always have they have been a huge part of my childhood with my parents playing their music, watching the tv show as a child after school and even more so as a kid seeing Davy Jones guest star on Scooby Doo! Below are the concept Davy Jones Scooby cartoon art for the epsiode!
Yeah he appeared on the legendary 1972 episode of the New Scooby Doo Movies called “The Haunted Horsemen of Hagglethorn Hall”. These episodes were an hour long and featured guest stars like Batman & Robin, Phyllis Diller, Don Knotts and The Harlem Globetrotters. From what I remember of this episode was that Scooby and the Gang were off to help Davy Jones solve a mystery of a castle he inherited-He sang a super groovy song to a huge monster toad too. Davy was my favorite voice of the Monkees, I never got to see them live, but I should have…rest in Peace Davy….