After some hiatus… NEW EPISODE!!!!

Sorry for the Hiatus Horrorfiends! Technical difficulties…
A NEW EPISODE OF HIDDEN HORRORS IS HERE! and just for the incredibly hot summer. This episode is all about an underrated little talked about Summer Camp Slasher movie…no its not Friday the 13th…no its not Sleepaway Camp…. its THE BURNING !

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TERROR TV FOR HALLOWEEN – TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE – Inside the Closet

02 Inside the Closet.avi_001128094The 1980’s anthology show TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE had a number of good and memorable episodes. One episode that is well remembered and is actually in IMDB’s top three episodes of the whole series!! is an episode about a girl haunted by some little creature inside her closet. An episode that can terrify children who dare watch this one. For children can be afraid of what goes bump in the closet and this Tales from the Darkside episode will only further cement that fear to terrifying new heights…Perfect to scare the shit out of little ones for the Halloween season muhahahahaha!!!

from IMDB : What is scurrying around inside the closet of the upstairs room that grad student Gail Aynsley rents from veterinary school dean Dr. Fenner? Gail doesn’t know, but she is determined to find out and Dr Fenner isn’t telling.

now “Inside the Closet” is not only one of the best Tales from the Darkside episodes ever but one of the best moments of horror on Television ever! the way one remembers the creepy build up to a terrifying conclusion on there favorite Twillight zone or tales from the Crypt episode is the way “Inside the Closet” is remembered. Actress Roberta Weiss plays her character perfectly as that very innocent girl who is away from home for the first that and all those uncomfortable feelings that go with that, the episode really plays on that by making the one room setting almost feel like a character in its self. Not only is Roberta Weiss and the room itself the high points but the direction by Tom Savini…yes that Tom Savini is superb with Tom making excellent use of lighting and shadows not to show the monster just yet but to build up the creepiness slowly until the end.

But all in all the two best aspects of the episode is the build up in which both our poor character and you are slowly wondering what could be hiding in her room while the slow subtle creep factor builds and buils upon the viewer and secondly all the creepy slow build all comes to a terrifying conclusion when we finally see the thing haunting Gail and it is a strong “WHOA!” factor from adult viewers and from children viewers (if they see it) it can be fucking terrorizing! i mean look at the pic that goes along with this review…if I saw this episode when i was very little i would not of been able to sleep for a week.

So this Halloween season if you want to add to your halloween viewing schedule something quick yet has a good creep factor, great buildup and some terrifying little monster. Seek out the Tales from the Darkside episode “INSIDE THE CLOSET” and make sure no little children watch with you muhahahahaha! – James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR – The Burning

TheBurningfinal The 1980s saw a hurricane of slasher movies from Friday the 13th to Nightmare on Elm Street as well as many many “one hit wonder” slasher films. A common setting for those 1980s slasher films was the summer camp as in the numerous Friday the 13th movies, Sleepaway Camp, and Madman. One summer camp slasher film  worthy of the “Hidden Horror” title is never heard of from normal movie goers and rarely talked about in the horror community because dear old Jason Voorhees gets all the summer camp horror love. That little known summer camp slasher film is THE BURNING.

It’s your typical slasher movie plot: A janitor at a summer camp is accidentally burned severely from a prank. Years later, he is released from an institute, and returns to the camp with a pair of hedge clippers to take revenge on a new group of young campers.

Though the plot is something we’ve all seen before, what makes The Burning stand out from the rest of the 80s slasher crop is that where in most slasher films the young victims are pretentious unlikable pricks waiting to be slaughtered, The Burning‘s  young camper victims are quite likeable and realistic. Hell even the bully is a likeable and realistic character. The film really takes its time with its characters, making you like them more and more as they get into hijinks, play pranks, and tell dirty jokes with each other. It’s practically a Meatballs movie with a young Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), still with a full head of hair! So because we spend so much time liking these wonderful young victims when the killer, Cropsy, does start killing them it’s quite heaving hitting and you feel bad for them. Cropsy is not a typical horror movie slasher who plays nice…or plays by slasher film rules for that matter. Where as a typical slasher will pick off the kids one by one, usually at night, Cropsy practically throws that rule right out the window in what is known as the infamous “Raft Massacre” sequence to lovers of the film. I am sorry but SPOILERS: In the “Raft Massacre” sequence Cropsy kills five, count em, five teens all at the same time in broad daylight with his garden shears in a mean spirited fashion, Tom Savini gore effects flying. How many horror movie slashers can take that title? Not many.

Another aspect of the film that shows its intentional ignorance of typical slasher cliches is while usually there is a “Final Girl” who survives the killers attack, here there is actually a “Final Boy” that is stalked and survives at the end. So not only does this wonderful film ignore several slasher cliches by actually having likeable characters, a terrific massacre scene in broad daylight, and a final boy, it also sports a good sense of direction from Director Tony Maylem, good gore effects from Tom Savini, a terrific score from Rick Wakeman that screams “synthesize horror” and a noteworthy and gruesome looking villain.

So if you want a summer camp slasher film this Summer but aren’t in the mood for a millionth viewing of Friday the 13th then seek out and give The Burning a watch. It’s hard to not enjoy this well-made slasher film with a terrific rule-breaking villain, gory and mean-spirited death scenes and very likeable characters.

– James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR-Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

tales-from-the-darkside-the-movie-movie-poster-1990-1020244031“Tales from the Darkside: The Movie” is a 1990 American anthology horror film directed by John Harrison. It it based on the ‘80s anthology horror TV series of the same name. While known in the horror community it gets overlooked by your average movie goer, and that is a shame because this film is a gem. I first saw it when I was seven and it helped me get hooked on horror, and I’m sure there are other horror fanatics that can say the same.

Since this is an anthology film there are three stories and a framing device. Let’s talk about the framing device first. Blondie’s Debby Harry plays Betty, a suburban housewife and modern day witch who is planning a dinner party. What is she cooking? Human child of course. Earlier in the day she captured a young boy named Timmy. To stall for time Timmy decides to tell her some stories from the book “Tales from the Darkside.”

The first true segment is “Lot 249”, which is inspired by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle short story “Lot No. 249.” Steve Buscemi plays a graduate student and antique collector who gets his hands on a mummy. He brings it back to life, by using a scroll found in the mummy’s sarcophagus, and uses it to get revenge on some fellow students who have wronged him. Imagine Boris Karloff’s “The Mummy” mixed with a Lucio Fulci film and this is what you get. A very gory and very entertaining segment. Horror fans will love it.

Next segment is “Cat from Hell,” which is written by George Romero and based off the Stephen King story of the same name. This one is dark, brutal but intelligent at the same time. A hit man, played by David Johansen of the New York Dolls, is hired by a wealthy, wheelchair bound old man, played by William Hickey. However the old man does not want him to kill a person, but rather a black cat. According to the old man the cat just showed up at his mansion one day and his other family members that lived there started dying of mysterious circumstance. The old man was once the owner of a pharmaceutical company that tested its products on cats, killing thousands in the process. He believes the cat is some sort of supernatural being that is there to punish him for what he had done.

The hit man thinks the old man is crazy but he kills the cat anyways, only to be taught a brutal and powerful lesson. A very brutal, very gory tale that goes to show what goes around comes around. The ending is very powerful and has stuck with me since I first saw this movie as a child. Only Stephen King could have come up with a story like this. However it is interesting to note that King’s story ends differently than this one does.

Last is the best and most powerful segment “Lovers Vow.” It tells the story of a down-on-his luck New York City artist named Preston, played by James Remar. One day Preston looses everything and goes to a bar to drink his trouble’s away. The bar closes and he and the bartender go outback to lock up for the night. Suddenly, a gargoyle comes out and brutally murders the bartender. The gargoyle spares Preston’s life and says that if Preston ever tells anybody about what he saw, he will come back and kill him. Present then meets a mysterious woman, his luck begins to turn around and he becomes extremely successful. I don’t want to go into any more details about the story but I will say the ending will haunt you as it is powerful and quite sad.

The special effects in this segment are great. The gargoyle looks very life like, slimy and hideous. There is also plenty of atmosphere, creepy moments and lots and lots of gore.

A fantastic movie and one that I can’t recommend enough. You just have to watch it to see how great it truly is. While it shares the same name as the anthology series the movie is quite different from the show in terms of the content. The show was creepy but never violent or gory. The movie on the other hand has a lot of gore, making it more similar to another anthology film “Creepshow.”

Speaking of “Creepshow,” according to Tom Savini this is the real “Creepshow 3,” not that piece of crap movie that has nothing to do with George Romero or Stephen King. “Creepshow 3” is a piece of shit and all copies of it should be burned.

Mainstream critics seem not to like this film and that is messed up as it is a great fucking movie. What I like about the film is that you can watch as it either three R-rated “Tales from the Darkside” episodes or you can watch it as the true “Creepshow 3.” I believe this film deserves a spot in the collection of any horror enthusiasts. I have had it in my collection forever and everyone in a while I pop it out and give it a watch. Chances are, you will too after watching it.

-Dakota Bailey

31 HIDDEN HORRORS FOR HALLOWEEN – OCT.5th – HIDDEN HORROR – NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990 Remake

Night of the Living Dead 1990Why is the 1990 remake of George A. Romero’s 1968 zombie classic a Hidden Horror? It’s because while most horror fans know of this films existence the average movie goer does not, they only know of the original film.

In terms of plot…there is no need to tell you the plot if you’re familiar with the original film and if your not familiar with the original…WHY IN THE WORLD ARE YOU ON THIS SITE?!

But anyway, Tom Savini’s, yes that Tom Savini, remake of the Romero’s classic is actually one of the better remakes out there. It has a sort of nonstop energy to it plus a few slight twists from the original. Being an update it ups the ante in the action and gore department. There are also solid performances from Tony Todd and Patricia Tallman.  Another great thing about the movie is that it has probably the SMARTEST CHARACTER EVER IN A ZOMBIE MOVIE!!! Believe me I REALLY REALLY want to spoil it for you guys but I wont. If you love zombies like a lot of people do these days then you definitely need check this one out

-James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR – Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2

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Before I talk about the best of the Chainsaw sequels I just want to say that yes, this counts as a Hidden Horror because most non-horror loving normal people don’t even know there are sequels to the original film…yeah…so anyway back to the film….

WARNING! To all those who love the original 1974 masterpiece but have never seen this one, the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 are completely different animals in terms of tone. The original film is grizzly, in your face and unrelentingly horrifying and Part 2 is an over-the-top dark comedy with over-the-top gore and set pieces.

Part 2 is where the Chainsaw family has moved to Dallas and lives under an abandoned amusement park in a creepy lair filled with christmas lights, skeletons and human meat hanging around. They make a profitable business running a food truck selling chili with their own special “meat.” When a disc jockey listens to the Chainsaw family hack up a couple of annoying yuppie callers on the air she enlists the help of a batshit crazy lawman (played by the wonderful late Dennis Hopper) who’s been tracking down the crazed family for years. She plays the tape on the radio and the crazed family then hunt her down.

What’s so good about this sequels is that it’s completely different in tone from the original and is very much a product of its time. Where as the original is a product of the 70’s the sequels is very much a product of the 80s.  C’mon the poster is a spoof of “The Breakfast Club” for gods sake. Example: In the original Leatherface is killing hippies, in the 80’s sequel he’s killing annoying Yuppies. Where the original doesn’t show a whole lot of blood ttheres some good scenes of over the top Tom Savini Splatter effects in the 80‘s sequel. The film can also be seen as a comically dark comedy about the 1980’s Reagan era society and American entrepreneurship.

If you love the Chainsaw Franchise but have never seen this wonderful sequel (shame on you if you haven’t. GET ON IT!) give this one a definite chance. I strongly urge that you be aware this is a completely different movie in terms of tone and everything else from the original. if you have that in mind then you’ll hopefully have a blast with “Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2”

-James J. Coker