HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – POE Project of Evil

poe Project of EvilI believe one should honor Edgar Allan Poe in some way during the fright season, some read his stories, others listen to audio readings of his stories and some even seek out movies based on his works like i did. After searching for enjoyable Poe movies online i came across a Poe inspired anthology released by Brain Damage films called “POE project of Evil” which is 7 short films from filmmakers from around the world that are adaptations of Poe stories. And this little anthology packed with monsters, gory mayhem and bleak endings.

“the Pit and the Pendulum” is a rather different and modern take on the story. It is in a more futuristic torture chamber you can say and ends with a rather old school and cool looking monster.  “Alone” is one filled with Torture and a man forced to do horrendous acts, fans of the 00’s Torture subgenre might like this one. “Loss of Breath” is a sleazy tale of a porn star who gets tortured by some thugs and involves a graphic Castration scene.

Now the segment based on Murders in the Rue Morgue titled “Morgue Street” is perhaps the most powerful and shocking out of the whole anthology. It’s sleazy and disturbing, filled with flashing colored lighting reminiscent of Dario Argento. But the most shocking and horrific scene in the segment involves a prostitute getting cut up with a straight Razor in cringe inducing fashion and is then followed by a scene that left my jaw drop. I cannot spoil it, I would say seek out this anthology just for the “Morgue Street” segment.

The next Segments, “Tell Tale Heart” is a rather slow and thought provoking take on the tale and set in south east asia. “The System of Dr. Tar and Prof. Feather” is a powerful, gruesome and artsy one with some genuine gruesome moments and a stylistic feel to it and the final segment ‘the Premature Burial” has a nice twist at the ending that makes a good twist to the classic Poe story.

All in all this is a well put together Anthology film celebrating Edgar Allan Poe but all in different ways from different filmmakers. If you love indie horror, gruesome horror and the works of the great Mr. Poe then seek out this very obscure anthology. It is a great “Poe Movie” for you Halloween season – James J. Coker

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HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – Corpse Party Tortured Souls – 4 part OVA

Corpse PartyFor every Halloween viewing schedule i always try to throw in a Japanese horror film into the mix just to add some diversity and foreign flavors to the Halloween mix, Halloween season 2013 i watched Entrails of a Beautiful woman, Halloween season 2014 i watched the original Ring and so this Halloween season i decided to watch a Horror anime instead of the usual live action Japaneses Horror. Now i did not feel like anything too action packed (so no Hellsing) and nothing too sexual (im looking at you Legend of the Overfiend) luckily i discovered a 4 part OVA based on a popular Japanese horror game series called “Corpse Party” and after i read the synopsis for the franchise and I had to seek out this anime immediately…and oh what beautiful, ghoulish, ghostly and damn ghastly viewing pleasures awaited me when i popped in that rare Region 1 dvd of this hidden gem.

Now the synopsis of Corpse Party… The story is set in Heavenly Host Elementary School, an elementary school that was torn down following the murders and disappearances of several of its staff and students. By the start of the story, another school called Kisaragi Academy has been built over the elementary school site. One night, a group of students from Kisaragi are telling ghost stories when a sudden earthquake transports them to another dimension where Heavenly Host Elementary still exists and is haunted by the ghosts of the school’s murdered children. The students of Kisaragi Academy students try to find their way home and survive from the Ghost children who are out to murder them in gruesome ways with pairs of scissors!!!

Now with a synopsis like that you would think “oh typical ghost bullshit from Japan..YAWN” well…NO! not exactly yes the main baddies are ghosts but believe me this sucker is incredibly gruesome and gory, these ghosts do not play nice! but before i get into the red stuff, each episode has a mystery aspect to it where our characters are stitching together the pieces of where they are, what happened and how all these murderous ghost children came to be in this creepy otherworldly abandoned elementary school. Also it is noted that the first episode is a little rocky. It suffers from the usual anime “Bullshit” just a little and a few lines of dialogue that come out of nowhere that had me going “what the fuck!” and not in a good way. But just hold through horror fans because after the first death scene happens its one hell of a ghoulish and gruesome ride after that.

Now the real strength of this 4 part Horror anime lies in the creepy atmosphere of the abandoned other dimensional Heavenly Host elementary school and its incredibly fucked up and gruesome death scenes. Guts are spilled open numerous times, eyeballs are stabbed numerous times to the point it would make Fulci proud, and tongues are sliced off numerous times too, Seriously folks you can make a fucking drinking game out of how many times this anime spills guts, stabs eyeballs or slices off tongues. Along with all that we are also treated to gruesome stabbings, hangings, faces being skinned off, a mans body being skinned in half and a quick surprise decapitation all gruesome unrelenting fashion… believe me horror fiends the splatter is high in this one. But the most grueling scene involves a small girl being mutilated with a pair of scissors BUT you dont see most of it…you hear it and see a grizzly aftermath of it.

A noteworthy thing to add about Corpse Party Tortured Souls is that is also kills off children with reckless abandon. Seriously this fucker brutally kills off children in a mean spirited fashion like it is delighting in disturbing you. Just imagine if Lucio Fulci got to make a horror anime about murderous ghost children and was given permission to kill off child characters in it…and thats Corpse Party Tortured Souls. But believe me horrorfiends finding this sucker is a little hard to come by, Amazon.com and Ebay only have the japanese import and it is pricey, luckily i found a cheap region 1 english subtitled UNCUT version on a special anime website right here

http://www.shopanimedvd.com/product_info.php?products_id=781242

Now horror fiends if you want to add some rare horror anime to your Halloween movie mix then seek out this ghoulish and mean little fucker soon! It is perfect for a October viewing.

Oh and P. S. there is a surprise end credits scene that is mean-spirited in a psychological and emotional way and it is completely unnecessary but it is just there to make the thing that much more fucked up…youve been warned MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  – James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – Hellions

01 Hellions_1sheet_webNow dear horrorfiends i know this one might seem like a cheat since this film just came out two weeks ago, but lets face it normal movie viewers are not going to know about this film so technically it can count as a Hidden Horror. And not just a Hidden Horror but a Hidden Halloween gem horror fans should seriously check out for this Halloween season and make it a annual viewing every October, It is the Canadian made demonic Trick or Treater movie HELLIONS.

Hellions is about a teenage girl named Dora on Halloween during a blood moon who lives in a town famous for his Pumpkin Patch and discovers that she is pregnant and soon finds everyself being terrorized by creepy, demonic Trick or Treaters who want her unborn baby.

This film is Bruce McDonalds return to Horror after his incredibly cerebral zombie film “PontyPool” back in 2009. And boy i can say Bruce McDonald has not lost it. The character of Dora is a very rootable character and you denuinely dont want to see her in any peril, so when the trick or treaters attack it can be very tense. The demonic trick or treaters manage to be creepy, incredibly menacing and nightmarish all at the same time.  the film also adopts a surrealistic tone to the terror as soon as the trick or treaters attack. As soon as the terror begins the film adopts a pinkish-red color correction throughout the rest of the movie, almost suggesting a sense of surrealism is not adopted the area our poor Dora is in. But as the terror progresses more odd and surreal things begin to happen making the viewer question if everything truly is happening to Dora.

I believe the best way to describe this film is its a Halloween nightmare and should be sought out by horror fans immediately for this Halloween season. Hopefully this movie will become recommended viewing every October my dear horrorfiends. – James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR – POD

pod-2015-posterNow i know this might be considered cheating since this film just came out last month, but i honestly believe this little and tension filled creature feature will be considered a hidden gem of 2015.

POD  is about a brother and sister played wonderful by Lauren Ashley Carter and Dean Cates who go up to the mountains for a intervention for there younger brother who has locked himself into a cabin and what they believe suffers from schizophrenia. The brother tells them that a government made monster attacked him and has been tracking him and that we captured the creature inside his basement. Tensions and paranoia run high.

POD may be considered slow to some but for me the film racks up the characters and the tension and snowbound atmosphere quite well. All three actors do a bang up job and you really believe what each one is going through with there constant bickering to each other. The arguments they all have feel like real arguing among siblings in there older 20s and finally the film keeps you guessing as to if there really is some creature in the basement or is the younger brother just crazy…until the last 30 minutes. I wont spoil too much but all ill say is the last shot of the film takes you both by surprise and racks up the creep and scare factor pretty well.

POD is a little creature feature that is not that pricey to see, $7.99 on google play. So give it a chance.  – James J. Coker

 

 

HIDDEN HORROR – Motivational Growth

MotivationalGrowth_PosterNow if your looking for a obscure horror film that many horror fans and horror websites seemingly ignored and didnt even fly under there radar from last year…one that is just a ballsy weird trip then ive got the horror for you dear horrorfiends. It is Don Thacker’s Motivational Growth and oh is this a weird one.

from IMDB : Ian Folivor, a depressed and reclusive 30-something, finds himself taking advice from a growth in his bathroom after a failed suicide attempt. The Mold, a smooth talking fungus who was born of the filth collecting in a corner of Ian’s neglected bathroom, works to win Ian’s trust by helping him clean himself up and remodel his lifestyle. With The Mold’s help, Ian attracts the attention of a neighbor he’s been ogling through his peephole, Leah, and he manages to find a slice of happiness despite his unnatural circumstances. But Ian starts to receive strange messages from his old and broken down TV set that make him realize that The Mold may not be as helpful as it seems to be, and strange characters combined with stranger events cast Ian’s life in the shadow making him and the viewer question what is real and what isnt.

Let me just say that though one can say that in a way Motivational Growth isnt a real horror movie, it is a pretty bizarre Hyberbole of a movie. The first scenes is introducing the character of Ian as he talks directly towards the camera while in the center of his apartment almost making it feel like its all a theatrical play, and the apartment practically becomes a character in itself too because we the viewer never leave it. And when the Mold finally comes into play (voiced by the terrific Jeffrey Combs of Re-Animator fame) that is where the film really goes head first into the bizarre hyberbole nature of it all with 8-bit graphic sequence, weird things growing from the mold that alter Ian’s life, odd characters that come into the movie with strange dialogue, the Mold itself talking in riddles confusing the viewer and finally little strange things here and there that make you question whether or not everything that is happening to Ian is really happening or not.

Motivational Growth is truly a hidden Gem of a horror movie and shows what can be done with a small budget, one shooting location good synth music and impressive puppet Fx. Its a highly entertaining,satrical, trippy and just plain weird little film that you need to put on our radar. dont believe me…watch the trailer below.Youll thank me later – James J. Coker

 

HIDDEN HORROR – SHORT FILM – Coffer

cofferSwedish filmmaker David F. Sandberg has a number of atmospheric short horror films under his belt – most notably (and viral), the 2014 Who’s There Film Challenge winner Lights Out – and they all prove filmmakers do not need a large crew, expensive equipment or even a budget to make an effective horror film. Each one of Sandberg’s productions are all beautifully lit with cheap IKEA lights and feature one character (Sandberg’s wife and frequent writing/producing collaborator Lotta Losten), including his 2014 supernatural short, Coffer.

When a lone woman begins hearing strange noises coming from her chest or ‘coffer’ one night, she investigates the box and discovers something sinister dwelling within.

Apart from the beautiful IKEA lighting (he has stated on his website, “I don’t let the
absence of budgets stop me from creating. I’ll make due with what I have.”), Sandberg also employs brilliant sound design throughout his films, which play out as characters themselves and increase the creepiness tenfold.

The director is a jack-of-all-trades, taking on all the technical roles of his productions, and the end results are more effective than studio-produced horror films as of late.

~ Matthew McPhee

And for anybody who has not yet viewed Lights Out, his viral, award-winning short film.

HIDDEN HORROR FOR CHRISTMAS – SHORT FILM – HE SEES YOU…

heseesyouWanting to take part in the “adult” Christmas tradition of pitting the Elf on the Shelf in compromising photographs for the world wide web to see, Rich and his girlfriend Karen pose St. Nick’s spy in several explicit positions with a nude Barbie.

Obviously, this is a big no-no, as Santa’s little stool pigeon spills the beans, and the big guy himself spills some guts. His weapon of choice: a menacing-looking icicle.

But Kris Kringle doesn’t stop there, as he punishes a potty-mouth lush, and he also shows his lighter side when rewarding one of the “good” ones.

Instead of the familiar slasher santa from horror films of Christmas past, filmmakers Blair Downey and Michael Hickey (winners of Scariest and Best Film awards in the Nickel Independent Film Festival’s 48-Hour Horror Challenge for The Calming) also tie in the magic of Christmas, from the storybook opening to Santa’s ghost-like presence, and it’s all tied together with a warm rhyming Seuss-like narration from actor Bruce Brenton. He Sees You… is all wrapped as the best Christmas short to surface this year.

~ Matthew McPhee

I was so impressed with He Sees You…, I decided to dig a little deeper and have a look at their award-winning The Calming. Think of this as your stocking stuffer from Hidden Horrors this year: