Hey there horrorfiends! the second episode of the Hidden horrors you must hear Podcast is here! Sterling SporkGuy Anno and James J. Coker remember and pay tribute to Betsy Palmer and Sir Christopher Lee, share some Hidden horrors starring Christopher Lee, talk about some obscure Summertime horror movies horror fans should really seek out, rant about why young Bloggers are getting so damn sensitive to movie deaths lately and finally RAVE about the indie ghost film that just came out called WE ARE STILL HERE. so hit that Download icon in the corner and enjoy!
Hello Horror Fiends, James J. Coker here letting you all know this is the very first podcast for the hidden horrors you must see blog. Sterling Anno and mysefl discuss a wide range of topics within the horror genre including what makes a horror movie a “Hidden Gem”. Two hidden horror films that we both love to death one being a super scary Japanese found footage film and the other being a batshit crazy Bigfoot film. Two other films we both find very underrated and cant understand why fans shit all over them. Then we spew nothing but love for a little indie film called IT FOLLOWS and finish it off with some new horror directors who we have started to follow there work and the Horror films coming out here most excited for. So have the time fly by with Sterling “the SporkGuy” and myself talking passionately about the Hidden Gems we love. Link down below. you can either listen or Download by clicking the downward pointing arrow icon on the corner of the link.
After the success of Halloween, he set his sights on turning the short into a feature length film, cashing in on the then fresh, but quickly escalating, “lonely babysitter being pursued by a psychopathic stalker” sub-genre. The outcome was a terrifying 20-minute opening sequence (the original short, based on the phone call came from within the house urban legend), followed by a drab 67 minutes of filler called When a Stranger Calls.
Fast-forward 24 years to the made-for-TV (and far superior) sequel, When a Stranger Calls Back.
It begins in the tradition of the original film, where an isolated babysitter named Julia (scream queen Jill Schoelen, The Stepfather, 1987) is being harassed by a stranger through her employers’ front door. In what unfolds to a truly horrific experience, Julia lives through the incident, but is scarred for life.
A few years later, Julia is enrolled in college, but knows that the stranger has been frequenting her apartment, playing games by infiltrating her home and moving objects while Julia is absent or sleeping.
After seeking help from the police, who merely laugh at the idea, Jill and John (Carol Kane and Charles Durning reprising their roles from the first film) come to Julia’s aid to catch the stranger and help her nightmare end. The pursuit eventually unfolds into one paralyzing moment after another, and it all leads up to one of the strangest and most realistically terrifying scenes ever put to film.
When a Stranger Calls Back is an atmospheric film through it’s use of lighting and camera techniques. It sets the scene and makes viewers feel very uncomfortable through long shots and plenty of dark spaces throughout.
The disturbing realism is reminiscent of other psychological thrillers that swept through the early 90s, unfortunately leaving this one over-shadowed. Films like The Silence of the Lambs, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Cape Fear and so on, but When a Stranger Calls Back deserves to be a top contender amongst them all.
It is one of the few films that has a realistically haunting climax that has stuck in my head since first viewing over twenty years ago. I was lucky enough to find this film in one of the last remaining video stores’ VHS bins to re-live it recently, and it’s undoubtedly the same copy I rented way back when.
~ Matthew McPhee
Shortly after the events of the first film, we find Brigitte on the run, searching for a cure for her lycanthropy while being pursued by a male werewolf determined on mating with her all while being haunted by apparitions of her dead sister, Ginger. After overdosing on monkshood, she is institutionalized in a rehabilitation centre for young women.
Without her wolf’s bane (which she has recently learned only slows the process of her changing into a werewolf) she is biding her time, intent on breaking out before the unknown werewolf tracks her down, or worse, before she changes into a savage beast herself.
In the hospital, Brigitte befriends a strange little girl named “Ghost” (Tatiana Maslany, TV’s Orphan Black), who embodies innocence, but has some skeletons in her closet. The two eventually flee the institution and seek refuge in Ghost’s sick grandmother’s desolate house in a wooded winter wonderland. Barricading the home before the anonymous wolf makes an appearance, Brigitte is getting closer to her transformation, which all leads up to a brutal climax and a bizarre denouement.
The sequel uses plenty of dark humor but lacks the satire that drove its predecessor. But one improvement is the special effects, which surpass the intriguing tangible effects of the first film in a time of increasingly popular computer-generated visual effects.
The film also takes on themes of suicide and drug addiction, not to stray too far from the original’s subjects of death and sex, and the winter setting gives the film an eerie feeling of desolation and despair, as if the landscape is a character itself.
~ Matthew McPhee
Originality and fright-factor had been gutted from the subgenre thanks to countless sequels and their antagonists, who had evolved into cartoon-like anti-heroes. Horror fans tended to root for these caricatures, who were no longer garnering screams, but harvesting cheers.
That is until 1996, when Scream rebooted the slasher genre, in a brilliant deconstruction of the slice-and-dice subject matter. But was Ghostface really that terrifying in a film that almost parodied the slasher?
Rewind one year to the release of a truly terrifying slasher that spent five years in development hell. Through countless rewrites, a multitude of on-board directors and one big legal battle, the follow up to 1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers finally saw the light of day.
The Curse of Michael Myers was intended to answer many questions about Myers’ past and counter the ambiguous ending of its predecessor.
It’s also the most panned Halloween film (with Michael Myers) of them all, by fans and critics alike. Not to mention the best sequel in the Halloween franchise.
After the traumatic events of the original Halloween, Tommy Doyle (a young Paul Rudd in his film debut) has spent his entire life as an introvert, researching Myers on his sweet-ass Commodore 64 while waiting for him to return home to Haddonfield.
When Tommy tunes in to a radio show on Devil’s Night, that just so happens to be broadcasting a Michael Myers special, he listens in on a call made by Jamie Lloyd, who tells the shock-jock that her uncle Michael is back and he is coming to get her.
After Tommy’s investigation into the strange call he finds Jamie’s baby, who she had stashed away before meeting her demise, and Tommy takes the infant on as his charge.
The next day, Tommy and Dr. Sam Loomis reunite for the first time in over fifteen years, and they begin to anticipate the Shape’s return.
Meanwhile, Laurie’s adoptive father’s brother John Strode (Bradford English), of Strode Real Estate, has recently moved his family into the old Myers’ house after years of being on the market and being unsuccessful to sell (one wonders why).
Without giving too much of the plot away, let’s just say there’s a new child contingent on taking on the mantle of the Boogeyman, after a much thought out plan and some information on why Michael is the way he is. But everybody who has viewed Halloween H20: 20 Years Later or Halloween: Resurrection knows how that turns out.
Not only is Curse one of the most forgotten films of the franchise, but it’s also the third film that H20 forgot about by not including the story arc of Jamie Lloyd in each film’s recapitulation (including Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers).
Sadly, Curse is also Donald Pleasence’s last turn as Dr. Loomis, as the brilliant actor had passed away months before the film’s release, causing filmmakers to alter the ending (a “Producer’s Cut” of Curse has been circulating around the Internet for many years before getting a much approved – by Halloween enthusiasts – “liberation” in the latest box set release).
The film has much going for it including a joke about Michael Myers in space (before Jason Voorhees and the Leprechaun did it), a rock n roll twist on the original score (as if Randy Rhodes laid some licks over top of John Carpenter’s original score), and a throwback to the ridiculous amount of white bed sheets people owned in 1980’s slasher flicks (and happened to wash them all on the same day).
The greatest thing about the death of the slasher film was the booming psychological thrillers that captivated audiences throughout the nineties (The Silence of the Lambs was the first horror film to win an Oscar). But keep in mind that there were still a few worthwhile horror films out there that buoyed the slasher subgenre throughout the grunge era, and most have yet to be seen by the laymen (that is, non-horror fiends) or have been brushed off since first viewing. So take a piece of that Halloween nostalgia everybody feels this time of year, and revisit Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. You may come out with a totally different perspective, or just be entertained as much as the first viewing – like me.
~ Mad Matthew McPhee
Now before you all flip your shit screaming “WHAT THE FUCK! JASON GOES TO HELL FUCKING SUCKS! JASONS ISNT EVEN IN IT AND ITS NOT THE SAME OLD SAME OLD LIKE ALL THE OTHER JASON MOVIES!” first just let me say CALM THE FUCK DOWN! and let me tell you why Jason Goes to Hell is a breath of fresh air for the Friday the 13th franchise and should really be more appreciated more. Jason Goes to Hell is truly a departure from the same old shit from all the other friday the 13ths. The Plot is much more involving then the previous films which to me makes it far more engaging and (SHOCKER) most of the characters are grown ass adults who have more then one dimension to them and theres alot of little very logical things througout the movie which should of been in the previous film but werent. Not to mention it is by far the most gruesome of all the Friday the 13th films. But lets get into the far more engaging plot already.
The movie starts off as usual with a naked young woman being chased from her cabin into the woods by Jason Voorhees but then it is revealed that the whole thing is a FBI sting operation and Jason is gunned down and actually blown up into little pieces..and this is in the beginning of the film! HOLY SHIT! now it makes you wonder if Jason killed how many fucking people throughout all the previous film why the hell didnt this happen earlier? it took nine fucking movies just to get to this? just one of the many logical and more realistic things that happen in this movie but back to the plot. Jason Voorhees charred and bullet ridden pieces along with his heart still intact is taken to a federal morgue. Soon things arent quite over for dear Mr.Voorhees as the coroner falls into a trance like state and starts to devour Jasons heart with black slime spewing from the heart while he devours it and is now Possessed by Jason Voorhees!…told you this movie is a departure from the rest of the films. Anyway the jason possessed coroner then kills another coroner and two security guards (one played by Jason voorhees himself Kane Hodder out of makeup) and goes on a long trek back to Crystal Lake.
Back at Crystal Lake the citizens of the town are celebrating Jason “Final” destruction and even a local dinner is celebrating by selling hamburgers in the shape of hockey masks. Also there are 90’s style televized tabloid show about Jason Voorhees and it seems like the whole country knows about Jasons numerous murder sprees..again why the fuck didnt this happen in the previous films. Along with the town and the countries knowledge of Jason a very mysterious, tough yet odd Bounty Hunter Creighton Duke is seen about town and claims Jason isnt really dead and knows of the only way to truly put Jason reign of terror to Rest. He reveales that though Jason now can pass through bodies via a demonic slug thing more on that in a bit. But the bodies he passes through cannot sustain themselves for too long and those bodies eventually start to melt and dissolve into goo in truly horrific and gruesome fashion. The only way Jason can truly be reborn into his old body is if he passes through another Voorhees and in this film (surprise Surprise) there are other Voorhees family members in town that Jason is seeking and only through a voorhees can Jason truly Die. So Craighton Duke along with Steven Freeman who is the estranged boyfriend of one of the Voorhees daughters are now in a race to protect the rest of the voorhees family and the demonic slug baby body hoping Jason Voorhees. And since it technically is still Jason Voorhees citizens of Crystal Lake are dealt with in particularly mean spirited and gruesome fashion.
Now with a batshit crazy plot like that for a Friday the 13th film is really REALLY new and very different for the franchise and to me thats one of the reasons why I like it. Now i know demon baby body hopping Jason can pretty weird and in all honestly were never really given a why as to how Jason got these abilities but we are given a quick possible glimpse as to why. You see when Steven goes to the Voorhees house he actually discovers …the NECRONOMICON from the evil dead series in the house (I shit you not) so its very possible that Pamela Voorhees possibly dabbled in the necronomicons power and maybe Jason is some sort of all powereful Deadite!?!?! maybe, and its great speculations for Jason Voorhees fans.
Now before i go into a rant about Friday the 13th fans and all the really realistic and logical things that happen in Jason Goes to hell ill just like to point out the more apparent aspects of the film that I love and should be more apprieciated by Horror fans. First even though Jason in his typical HockeyMask self is only really in the beginning and ending of the film, his look here is at its nightmareish best, his flesh is rotten and practically “Melty” and his hockeymask has practically melted into his face! I remember this look of jason scared the shit out of me when i was little and actually gave me numerous nightmares. Along with jasons gruesome “Melty” look all the kill scenes are incredibly graphic, gory, mean spirited and particularly gruesome even by Friday the 13th standards! There is one particular kill scene involving two horny young 20 somethings fucking in tent where the Jason Possessed Coroner sticks a spear into the girl as shes having sex and sticks the spear into her the exact second she cums and then splits her in half in gory and fucking really mean spirited detail. Its a very hard hitting and shocking death scenes and gruesome mix of sex and death. Also for this Friday the 13th film the majority of the characters are not incredibly dumb and horny teens but instead grown ass adults with working class jumps and are actually not one dimensional…for a friday the 13th film thats actually shocking! Also to note there is a fast pacing to the whole film and theres actually some crazy John Woo style shots throughout and some good use of eerie blue lighting too. And finally there is one scene that i wont go into too much detail about but it involves…man shaving… as much as I like this movie even I go “what the fuck” during this scene and Steve Barton from DreadCentral famously calls it “Homoerotic Shaving!”. Just watch the movie and youll see what I mean.
Now for me the best aspect of Jason Goes to Hell is just how Logical all the little things are. A swat team actually is brought in to deal with Jason which should of happened in earlier films. I mean if there is a killer who has been commiting multiple murder sprees with an incredibly high body count how the fuck do dumb teens keep going back to Camp Crystal Lake and how the hell does the country not notice that? glad all that finally happens in Jasons goes to Hell and the entire country and the town of Crystal Lake is well aware of Jason Voorhees and the stigma the town has gotten because of it and the whole town feels very much apart of the story. Also Camp Crystal lake has been abandoned for years, all little details that should of been mentioned in the previous films but no. Because most of the previous just did the same thing over and over again and somehow fans just love that! for me it is annoying and actually depressing that Friday the 13th fans and even horror franchise fans in general always want the same old same old shit every single time and when one film in a franchise does something new and different they shit all over it for years and years. Hell the hatred for Jason goes to hell is soo bad that HorrorBid.com’s Facebook page compared Jason goes to Hell director Adam Marcus to a known child molester! ….yeah and I know im going to get some shit for this review and just liking the movie. But you know what im sticking to my guns.
So my fellow horror fans if your in a forgiving mood this Halloween season and want to throw Jason Voorhees into your halloween viewing schedule (I always felt Jason Goes to Hell is best viewed in October) I say please PLEASE give Jason goes to Hell another chance and just see just how Different, new, incredibly gory, Gruesome, realistic, Logical and refreshing it can be compared to the rest of the Franchise…C’mon guys. – James J. Coker
P.S….Freddy Krueger makes a quick cameo at the end of this one.