Show: The Day After
I hope this post doesn't feel like a cop-out. I tried really hard to find a more traditional scary character and couldn't think of one; the fact of the matter is, monsters and freaks don't scare me. I don't really have an explanation for this other than the fact that I live in New Jersey so seeing monsters and freaks isn't that big a deal.
The Day After is about nuclear holocaust. It might be hard for some of our younger readers to understand just how scary the world was in the early eighties. To give you some historical context: we had a right-wing hawkish president in office, there were rising tensions with the Russians, and the Middle East was destabilized.
Uh, you know what, maybe our younger readers actually don't need any historical context to understand The Day After. Here's all you need to know about the movie: it was scary as hell...
I love horror movies, and I've seen a lot of scary things in my time, but this might possibly be the most horrifying thing I've ever seen. Watch with a mixture of awe and complete abject terror as a relatively normal-looking guy slowly morphs into a humanoid version of Homer Simpson.
I think it's a pretty good likeness, though the eyes should be rounder and less almond-shaped. Still, who am I to complain? I wouldn't even know how to make something this cool, so kudos to the creator.
I must say, however, that I like artist Roberto Parada's "human" version of Homer Simpson a lot more. It's both beautiful and grotesque at the same time, and the bulging vein-y eyes really sell it.
There are also many examples of human actors portrayed as cartoon images. For example:
Not long ago Kevin hepped us all to the new Chiller channel from NBC/Universal for DirecTV. Now we have a full schedule and some details on some more of the programs that will be a part of the new horror-themed channel. Here's what folks can look forward to:
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents
- New Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985 version)
- Night Gallery
- Tales From the Crypt
- Friday the 13th: The Series
- Freddy's Nightmares
- G Vs. E
- American Gothic
- Twin Peaks
The new channel launches on March 1. Sitcoms Online has the full schedule here. As Kevin pointed out, it's all recycled content, but it's good recycled content (at least to a horror fan like myself), so I'm not complaining. Aside from the TV series, the new channel will also feature movies like The Shining, Psycho, Cat's Eye, The Andromeda Strain, and some of those great Abbot and Costello Meet [Blank] flicks.
One final thought: No Tales From the Darkside? What's up with that nonsense?
While the channel is tailor-made for horror fans, they are just using this new channel to recycle old content, and it would be nice to see an original show or two. I can already smell a "Who Wants to be a Serial Killer?" reality show to fit with the Fangoria crowd.
That's right, Fuse TV will be presenting the Chainsaw Awards on October 22 at 9:30 pm. Who will take home the trophy this year? Will it be the Partner K950 gas-powered chainsaw with decompression valve for easy pull starting? Or what about the eighteen-inch Homelite chainsaw with automatic chain brake, which has lost out for the past five years to the fourteen-inch Remington electric chainsaw? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm excited to find out which of th--
Hang on, someone just tapped me on the shoulder and told me the Chainsaw Awards is actually a special from Fuse and Fangoria honoring horror movies. I guess that's cool, too. Categories include "Killer Movie," "Looks That Kill," and "Best Butcher." Sounds like a fun-filled night of blood and gore. I'm looking forward to it. The awards have been handed out since 1992, but this marks the first time they've been televised.
If you're looking for some spooky online viewing, you should check out the recently-launched Halloween Channel from AOL's In2TV. The free online channel features some old school horror films like House of Wax, The Mummy, Horror of Dracula and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. There are also some spooky cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Batman, The Flintstones and Casper, as well as episodes of Freddy's Nightmares, The Nightmare Room, and Night Visions. Fans should also check out the Heroes and Horror section of the site for more scary stuff, including Godzilla, which I suppose isn't really all that scary, but still, Godzilla will never be not cool.
AOL is the parent company of TV Squad.
Bill Melendez was an animator for several of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, but these days he's most recognized outside animation circles as producer/director of the Peanuts animated specials. Melendez, now 89, spoke to the guys at Just My Show about It's the great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and you can download or listen to the podcast here (link is to an MP3 file). It may be hard for some to believe that Melendez was also an animator for Warner Bros, given the flatness of the Peanuts specials compared to the likes of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, but those specials were meant to reflect the simplicity of Charles Schulz's drawing style. Melendez claims the special was original and not based on anything from the comic strip, which is actually false, the Great Pumpkin story did appear in the comic strip long before the special debuted in 1966. I'll forgive him, though, because he's pushing 90 and he helped to create the greatest Halloween special of all time.
[via Cartoon Brew]
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of my favorite movies of all time, but it wasn't until just recently I finally got around to seeing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which I also enjoyed tremendously, though it's really more of a pitch black comedy than a horror film. After seeing a movie for the first time, I always like to go online and learn all I can about it, and while poking around the Web I discovered that the E! True Hollywood Story would be taking a look at the popular horror franchise, though hopefully not at the god awful remakes that have come out recently. The synopsis on the E! Web page says the movie was based on serial killer Ed Gein, which isn't exactly true. The plot of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is entirely made up, though director Tobe Hooper used some elements of Ed Gein's true-life crimes, such as creating furniture and masks from skin and bones, in his film.
You might notice this special originally aired several days ago, so yeah, I'm a little late on this. However, it re-airs today at 4 pm, so check it out if you can.
Bob's recent post about Madame got me thinking about all the puppets that have appeared on television over the years, and specifically the ones that creeped me the heck out. If you're like me and some of those characters that were meant to entertain you only left you with nightmares and a life-long fear of anything even remotely puppet-like, share your tales of woe in the comments. Think of this as group therapy. Let's get started:
Madame: This aging diva may have been hilarious, but as a very young child when I saw her on shows like Hollywood Squares and Solid Gold she only managed to send me cowering behind the sofa. That jutting chin! That piercing voice! Those horrible satanic eyes! Clearly, she was the Banshee of Celtic lore, and I imagined that after every show she returned to her real occupation: flying around screaming to portend the death of Irish family members.
On Friday, October 13th, horror legend Wes Craven and several others will discuss slasher films for a documentary on Starz titled Going to Pieces: The Rise and the Fall of the Slasher Film. The documentary is based on Adam Rockoff's book, Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978 to 1986. Wes Craven, the man behind such modern horror classics as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Last House on the Left, and The Hills Have Eyes has been doing a lot of press lately for the special. As a fan of horror movies, specifically of this era, I always love to hear his philosophical take on what many consider to be a genre not worthy of serious consideration. Craven disagrees, claiming such movies can reflect what's happening in society at the time. Other directors such as Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) and John Carpenter (Halloween) will also appear, along with actors such as Johnny Depp and Jamie Lee Curtis who got their first big breaks in horror films.
In 1990, when I was in middle school, ABC aired a two-part miniseries based on Stephen King's gargantuan novel IT. I had a television in my room, so I had a place to watch shows my parents didn't want to watch, so I stretched out on my bed and watched the movie. Perhaps I was just a wuss (and I was) but the movie scared the living crap out of me. Fast forward to college, and my then girlfriend and I decide to rent IT, which I had not seen since those two nail-biting nights in my room back in 1990. I have to say I didn't have the same reaction as before. I found it to be rather mediocre, and mildly frightening at best. Also, by that time I had actually read the book, so I knew what most fans of King's work already know, which is that movie and television adaptations of his work can be very hit and miss, but mostly miss.
But that's not going to stop them from trying it again. Peter Filardi, who already adapted 'Salem's Lot for TNT and is helming "The Road Virus Heads North" segment of the upcoming Nightmares and Dreamscapes series, told Fangoria he's developing IT for the SciFi Channel. Originally he was to make a two-hour version of the novel for TNT, but will instead stretch it out to a four-hour movie for SciFi. The article further states that the adaptation will tell the story "through the eyes of the character of Beverly Marsh."
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