Original Horror Shirts

The Midnight Hour (1985) review

The Midnight HourReviewed by Kevin Scott

The Midnight Hour (1985)
Written by: William Bleich
Directed by: Jack Bender
Cast: Shari Belafonte Harper (Melissa), Lee Montgomery (Phil), Jonna Lee (Sandy), LeVar Burton (Vinnie), Peter DeLuise (Mitch), Deedee Pfeiffer (Mary), Jonelle Allen (Lucinda Cavender), Kevin McCarthy (Judge Crandall), Dick Van Patten (Martin Grenville)

This is the very first time I’ve featured a TV movie on any of my reviews. I’m really surprised that it is. Some solid entries in the annals of horror and sci fi history made their debut on the small screen. “Salem’s Lot” is the first one to come to mind. Although the film that I’m going to talk about isn’t even remotely close to being anything like “Salem’s Lot” (except for having vampires), it does come from a bygone era where things might have been a little tighter on what could be shown on TV. Ironically enough, sometimes some really crazy stuff made it past the sensors, and broke the fertile ground of our young imaginations with images that we will forever remember as terrifying, even if they really weren’t. I was in junior high when this came out, so I was already scarred with stuff way more intense than this, but I still liked it. It’s horror lite with a cast of then young actors who you could have seen on those “The More You Know” PSA ads on Saturday morning. For me, it’s an important and pretty nostalgic Halloween memory, because network TV just doesn’t show stuff like this anymore. So I’m submitting my take on it, respectfully for your approval.

The small town of Pitchford Cove has a storied history of witchcraft. Through the years, it’s been watered down and now is nothing more than a tourist sideline with a museum on the town square. Back in the day, it wasn’t so quaint with a deplorably evil witch named Lucinda who was put to death. We get some exposition and learn all this early on when the lovable nerdy guy Phil is giving a school report. The lineage of everyone involved from the town’s witch trials are all still in Pitchford Cove. Phil is the descendant of the local Witchfinder General, and his classmate Melissa is the descendant of the evil witch, Lucinda. Everyone decides that it would be fun to raid the witch trials museum, steal the outfits off the wax figures, and go to the cemetery to do some faux conjuring. Well, when have you known any conjuring to be ineffective in a horror film. I don’t care how bad you flub the words. It either works perfectly as planned, or perfectly wrong in the other direction. All the dead in the cemetery rise up Thriller style, led by the evil Lucinda to take over the town.

Nosferatu (1922) review

Nosferatu PosterReviewed by Grace Fontaine

Nosferatu (1922)
Directed by F.W Murnau
Starring: Max Schreck (Count Orlok), Greta Schröder (Ellen Hutter), Gustav von Wangenheim (Jonathan Hutter) and Alexander Granach (Knock)

In all confidence, I feel it is safe to say that you are not a vampire fan if you have not seen, what is considered to be the grand-sire of vampire films, 'Nosferatu', a silent German Expression film directed by the visionary F.W Murnau. Nine years before Bela Lugosi became synonymous with the character of Dracula thanks to Universal, it was Max Schreck who was seen as the face of terror, and for God forsaken good reason.

Personally, I feel writing this review is highly redundant considering how well known and universally appreciated it is, honestly, what is there that I can say that will be any different? I got absolutely nothing to say that would do this film justice, hence why this review will be a little shorter than my previous work. It's a film that is not only a product of its own time, but it's also one that looked forward as well.

Silent cinema is obviously a defunct institution these days, but when you view films such as 'Nosferatu', films that aren't just visual-based, but also based upon story and atmosphere, they never fail to hold you within their grasp. To think, this film was almost lost, never to be seen again were it not for some quick artistic license on the part of the film makers. The way I figure it, 'Nosferatu' truly did pave the way for vampire cinema as well as the LANGUAGE of cinema in general. With it’s awe-inspiring design and composition, ‘Nosferatu’ set the bar for not just cinematic terror but also an affirmative style that would continue to be practiced to the here and now. Sure, Count Orlok isn't who the pop cultural consciousness automatically imagine hear the name 'Dracula' pipes up (Bela Lugosi had and always will have that honour), but Orlok is evidence that not all vampires have to be charming, well-suited lounge lizards who have a way with the ladies. In fact, he is a downright grotesque- shaven head, spindly fingers, soulless bug-eyes and sharp, ratty teeth, Orlok is more of an abomination rather than a human being.

Craters of the Moon (2013) review

Craters of The MoonBy Jennica Lynn Johnson

When I first heard the title, Craters of the Moon (2013), I was expecting to see a sci-fi film with cheap special effects and rubber costumes. However, what I actually saw was a pleasant surprise. As it turns out, this film does not have anything to do with craters or the moon. As a California girl who has spent very little time in the northwestern part of the U.S., I was unaware that Craters of the Moon is actually a national monument and preserve in Idaho that formed as a result of numerous lava eruptions thousands of years ago. It is also where this film happens to take place.

The story takes off when an unhappily married couple, Molly and Roger, become stranded at Craters of the Moon when their car gets stuck during a severe snow storm. As the film progresses, the intensity of their relationship grows more and more apparent and they begin to compete against one another to survive the snow as well as each other.

With a small but talented cast, Craters of the Moon stars Breeda Wool as Molly, the fearful yet quick-witted wife of Roger, played by Cody Lightning. Nominated for the Jury Prize for Best Actress at the 2014 Indie Film Fest in Victoria, Texas, Wool proves that she is a force to be reckoned with. Through her performance, Wool shows a strong transformation from an emotionally battered woman to a resourceful, borderline psychotic bad-ass.

Like Wool, Cody Lightning is a budding actor who has mastered the art of subtlety through acting. His minor yet powerful reactions to his on-screen wife are just enough to keep viewers on edge, anxiously waiting what is yet to come.

Satan’s Little Helper (2004) review

Satans Little HelperReviewed by Kevin Scott

Satan’s Little Helper (2004)
Written by: Jeff Lieberman
Directed by: Jeff Lieberman
Cast: Alexander Brickel (Dougie), Kathryn Winnick (Jenna), Stephen Graham (Alex), Amanda Plummer (Merrill), Wass Stevens (Dean)

If there ever was a film that deterred me from watching it just by the poster art, it was this one. The demonic elf holding the pumpkin for some reason did not appeal to me. I’ve dodged watching this one for a good two years. I had heard some good things about it, so what the heck.

It really has absolutely nothing to do with a demonic elf, but it does take place on Halloween. Jenna is a college student who comes back home with her boyfriend, Alex to celebrate Halloween. They are met when they arrive by her mom, Merrill, and her little brother Dougie. Dougie loves Jenna and sees Alex as a deterrent to any time that he and his sister would be able to spend together trick or treating. Alex is a nice enough Dude. He has the “newsboy hat turned backwards with the long hair coming out from underneath it” thing happening, and it not nearly as pretentious as he could be sporting a look like that. Dougie is wearing a Devil suit for Halloween and going as Satan’s little helper. He’s obsessed with a video game of the same name that has the player help the Devil work his unholy deeds.

Before I go any further, just let me say that Dougie is the most irritating kid I have ever watched in a horror film. That’s saying a lot. It definitely doesn’t ruin this film for me, but I also have a high tolerance built up over a misspent (some would say) youth of watching sub par (some would say) horror films. Dougie beats them all as someone who can’t die fast enough. Unfortunately, usually if you are an irritating character like Dougie, you must be a little chubby and/or sexually awkward to get the business end of the axe or the machete. Dougie is safe for now, but when he hits puberty, his days are numbered.

He’s obsessed with finding Satan on Halloween, and helping him just like in the video game. He also wants Satan to kill Alex, while he’s at it. Dougie sets out on his own, and just happens to find a serial killer posing one of his dead victims on a porch. The killer is dressed as Satan, and Dougie asks him if he can tag along. I usually try to check my sensibilities at the door when I’m watching a movie. It makes things more fun. It’s really hard to do on this one as Dougie is supposed to be smart. He’s wearing glasses for pete’s sake! Anyway, I’ll get back to that. Alex wants to smooth things over with Dougie, and tells Jenna that he’s gonna dress up as Satan to bond with her pissed off little brother. He gets a costume to look like his overbearing father, oblivious to the fact that all that symbolism will be totally lost on Dougie. The serial killer and Dougie catch up with him first, and he never makes it back to the house. Dougie, does however take the killer back to his house to meet his Mom and Sister, and the killer makes a mute, head nodding promise to him that he will not hurt them. So everyone thinks that Alex has scored a really sweet Satan costume. The “Three’s Company” sitcom type of mistaken identity was working until he gets a little rough with Jenna, and reaches the limit of his civilities when their father comes home.

The Monkey’s Paw (2013) review

Monkey's PawReviewed by Kevin Scott

The Monkey’s Paw (2013)
Written by: W.W. Jacobs (short novel), Macon Blair (screenplay)
Directed by: Brett Simmons
Cast: C.J. Thomason (Jake), Stephen Lang (Tony Cobb), Daniel Hugh Kelly (Gillespie), Michelle Pierce (Olivia), Corbin Bleu (Catfish), Charles S. Dutton (Detective Margolis), James Minor III (Cory Cobb), Andy Favreau (Kevin)

Anyone that is familiar with the short story “The Monkey’s Paw” knows where the premise of this flick from Chiller Films is headed. It’s a pretty respectable premise though. Horror has always had a cautionary tale basis at its deepest foundations, and this is a timeless morality story that has been given a contemporary spin. Not the first time it’s been done for sure, but if it’s done well, I can definitely roll with it. This version takes place in New Orleans, which happens to be one of my favorite locales for a horror film anyway, so a little voodoo will fit right in.

Jake is the main protagonist. He’s an everyman with a heavy load of life’s problems at the moment. He’s gainfully employed at an industrial supply warehouse, but still hasn’t got enough money to get his own car. He’s been getting rides with the Creole guy named Catfish who has a cool redneck Mohawk, and has Jake’s back no matter what. That’s the only bright side. He also has a boss that not only is a total rich douchebag, but happens to be married to Jake’s old girlfriend. The worst part is that his mother is also gravely ill, and his brother constantly belittles him for not doing enough. He does however have a sympathetic middle management supervisor played by old “Cujo” and “Hardcastle and McCormick” alum Daniel Hugh Kelly. When his good boss is fired by the bad one, Jake, and his ne’er do well, but fun friend Tony run into him at a bar, and he gives Jake a mummified monkey’s paw. He explains to him that it’s been in his family since he was a boy, and legend has it that it will grant the owner three wishes. He then says that it’s a trinket, and gives it to Jake. Tony encourages Jake to make a wish and Jake wishes for the Mustang out in the parking lot. When closing time comes around, it’s the only car left and the keys are in it. Still not convinced, but willing to incur a possible stolen car charge, he and Tony take it for a drive. They are involved in a fatal auto accident, totaling the Mustang and setting off some really, really bad mojo.

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976) review

The Town That Dreaded SundownReviewed by Kevin Scott

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976)
Written by: Earl E. Smith
Directed by: Charles B. Pierce
Cast: Ben Johnson (Capt. J.D. Morales), Andrew Prine (Deputy Norman Ramsey), Dawn Wells (Helen Reed), Charles B. Pierce (Patrolman A.C. Benson), Robert Aquino (Sherriff Otis Barker), Jimmy Clem (Sgt. Mal Griffin), Jim Citty (Police Chief R.J. Sullivan), Cindy Butler (Peggy Loomis)

If I had seen this film, it’s been a fleeting memory, and my recollections of it were sketchy to non-existent. I had to watch it when I saw it on Netflix. This happens to be one of the granddaddy’s of the slasher film genre when there was no genre at all. At this particular point in 1976, there was only one other, and that was “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. No “Halloween” yet, and “Friday the 13th” was even further down the line. My expectations for this film were very different that how it actually is. I think that it’s an important film in horror for more than one reason.

I always try to put my finger on how the current trends in film are going to inspire future filmmakers. Cult shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Supernatural” are shaping what I’m going to be watching and hopefully reviewing in twenty years. This film is an amalgamation of several types of horror subgenres, and I was a little taken back by how subtly it works, and how it shaped the next two decades.

One thing that this film and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” have in common is that both are supposed to be based loosely on true events. They even have voice overs with official sounding narrators that add to the credibility. In the 1970’s there was no way to check facts and we were at the mercy of our better judgments and sensibilities to make our on call. There was always that slight shred of terrifying doubt that it really did happen. That innocence is lost today. Not only have smartphones forced killers in horror movies to make sure that they do their slaying in not only a remote area, but one with absolutely no cell service, but we can also do some first rate fact checking. The timing was perfect on all counts for “The Blair Witch Project”, but coming out at the dawn of internet for the masses made it the last film to fool us.

'Natural Born Filmmakers' Ends with a Bang!

Natural Born Filmmakers Posterby Dawna Lee Heising

“Natural Born Filmmakers” from Steve Oakley and Grunder-Oakley Productions ends with a scene in the swingers’ club owned by powerful Mob boss Giovanni Bonocore (Domiziano Arcangeli) and his wife Donna (Dawna Lee Heising).

The club is run by suave Russian ex-gangster Nikolai (Jack E. Curenton) and his assistant Markus (Mark Cirillo). Yakuza mobster Kazuko (Guil Claveria) comes to scope out the club with his girlfriend Anna (Brenna Rhea).

Detective Vanessa Ravenwood (Debra Lamb) enters to shake down Nikolai and harass the bad-ass bartender Brenda (Liane Langford), and ends up getting harassed herself by Loxley (Daniel Krause).

Meanwhile, Arlen (Arlan Godthaab) is treating his wife Jana (Diane Chambers) to a special birthday present, with the help of Louis (Terry Opp).

It’s a huge fun-filled, action-packed party scene, filled with vampires, murderers (Gregory Graham, Luciana Lagana and Jonathan Weichsel) and beautiful people, including Deborah Dutch, Joycelyne Lew, Sydney Raye Smith, Carrie Jones, Wil Reeves – and more!!!

The excellent crew included John Cox, Charlie Daniel, David Goldfarb, Gustave Whinnery and Robert Payne. Special thanks to Club Joi owner John Casey.

5 of the most haunted prisons in America

Haunted Prisons

Behind the cold, stone walls of America’s notorious prisons lies a wealth of suspicion, intrigue and horror.

Home to some of the world’s most feared criminals, these buildings are unsurprisingly terrifying but it’s not only the law-breaking citizens who reside in these creepy incarceration units. Indeed, for years people have reported all kinds of ghostly visitors lurking in the eerie hallways, so let’s take a look at five of the spookiest prisons in the USA. None of them are still active and won't be found on the Jail Exchange programme but certainly still command an eerie fascination for tourists.

Eastern State Penitentiary
Open from 1829 until 1971, Eastern State Penitentiary revolutionised the incarceration system by introducing separate confinement and quickly became one of the most feared prisons around. It was believed keeping prisoners in different cells helped them to repent and reform, however, solitary confinement often resulted in severe mental illness.

Chilling wails and ear-piercing shrieks became synonymous with this facility but as if that wasn’t scary enough the guards and inmates regularly reported spooky goings on including mysterious sounds and sightings. To this day, unsettled spirits are said to moan, whisper, shout and even cling on to anyone who might get in their way, so visit if you dare!

Alien: Isolation (2014) Video Game Review

Alien IsolationReviewed by Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com

The mouths of gamers and Alien fans everywhere were left sour after the rather lacklustre Aliens: Colonial Marines so when a new game was announced with Sega yet again behind the curtain, some folks started to panic yet another disaster was around the corner.

Sega, with developer Creative Assembly, sought to go back to the original 1979 film and recreate that sense of horror and dread in an original storyline that would take place 15 years after the events of that film and follow Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter, as she too comes into contact with the dreaded creature.

The end result for Alien: Isolation is probably one of the finest survival horror experiences in gaming I’ve had in years, as it’s relentlessly tense, rarely gives you a moment of peace and is often challenging.

As a fan of the Alien film series, it was spectacular to see this world brought to life. The spacecraft on which you are relentlessly stalked by the alien is meticulously detailed, echoing the worn and torn appearance of the Nostromo and its equipment while capturing the sound effects from the environment and brilliantly using the haunting and awe inspiring original musical score by Jerry Goldsmith.

This experience is the closest a fan will get to walking through the corridors of the iconic ship and fighting off one of cinema’s greatest creatures and experiencing the terror of being trapped in an environment with an unpredictable killing machine.

As Amanda Ripley, you will scavenge for weapons and be forced to move slowly through level design. Items such as gun ammo and materials to craft medkits are scarce and on top of this, Ripley Jr moves slowly, awkwardly even, through the environment. All of this adds to the fear and is exactly what Creative Assembly want – an old school survival horror piece.

In regards to graphics, it looks gorgeous. Environments are dazzling and character models are terrific, although a little stilted when it comes to the expressiveness of the eyes.

The Pact (2012) review

The PactReviewed By: Chris Wright, Morehorror.com

The Pact
Directed By: Nicholas McCarthy
Written By: Nicholas McCarthy

Starring: Caity Lotz (Annie), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Liz), Haley Hudson (Stevie), Sam Ball (Giles), Mark Steger (Charles), Agnes Bruckner (Nichole), Casper Van Dien (Creek), Dakota Bright (Eva), Petra Wright (Jennifer), Sam Zuckerman (County Clerk)

“The Pact” exceeded my expectations. I honestly had never heard of this film until I was doing a search for horror films during that particular year and decided to give this unnoticed film a shot. I am glad I did. I was expecting a rather predictable haunted house flick that turned out to be . . . the exact opposite of what I thought would happen. Upon research, I found out this film had a good reception at a festival and then the director was given a shot to make it “again” with a better budget. This is one of the better horror films of 2012!

The movie begins with a young woman named Annie having her past come back to haunt her after the death of her mother. Soon, she finds out all is not what it seems in the house she grew up in. The pacing is wonderful. To many who are use to a fast paced movie, this will not be the film for you. I would be the first to complain if a movie dragged and added more footage than it needed to have. I felt each scene was needed and it didn’t feel overly long to me at all. For a film to not have that many characters in it and still be well paced, that is a good achievement.

I have to give credit to Caity Lotz for putting up a good portrayal as Annie as the central character. Without her, this film would have fallen pretty flat. The character was to portray a lady who went through some abuse as a child in her parent’s home. What the movie does not do is give out every single detail that went on, which leads the audience to have to figure out what went on. I know many films pride themselves on telling you everything about the history, but this is not one of them. I think some imagination is in order in horror.

Jessica Cameron's 'MANIA' gets a little Risky

MANIA - Jessica Cameron, Tristan Risk and Ellie Churchby Seth Metoyer, MoreHorror.com

Scream Queen Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare, Silent Night, Camel Spiders) is bringing her vast knowledge of horror to the big screen again (and to the director's chair).

We've recently been told that Cameron's upcoming "Fucked up Lesbian Love Story" feature film MANIA has just cast one of my favorite actresses Tristan Risk (American Mary) in the film. Additionally, the beautiful Ellie Church (Time to Kill) has been added to the cast, and producer Mem Ferda has joined the production. Check out all the official details below.

From The Press Release
Jessica Cameron and Jonathan Scott Higgins have re-teamed with their Truth or Dare producer Mem Ferda on their next 3 films. Ferda will serve as the sole producer on all three movies. They have cast actress Tristan Risk of the Soska Sister’s American Mary in the feature film MANIA. Actress Ellie Church of the grindhouse film, Time to Kill has also joined the production. Risk will play the role of Brooke and Church will play the role of Mel.

MANIA is one of three features in Jessica Cameron’s triple feature cross-country extravaganza. In it, Risk will play the crazed lesbian lover of Church’s character Mel. It will mark her 2nd feature as a director from a script Higgins wrote. Desolation will be the 2nd feature film and directed by Ryan M. Andrews from a script he wrote. Risk has also signed on to star as the villain in Andrews’ movie. A feature length documentary titled Kill the Production Assitant, will chronicle the making of this very ambitious project.

On Truth or Dare, Cameron and Higgins were met with difficulties trying to secure a director who could handle the gory script until Cameron finally decided to pull up her sleeves and do it herself. They, along with Ferda, met a new challenge with casting the female leads in MANIA.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (2014) review

Haunted Hayride 2014by Jonathan Weichsel, MoreHorror.com

The sixth annual Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is a huge event with a county fair vibe that offers visitors a full night's worth of Halloween fun. There are two haunted houses, a haunted maze, a number of theatrical performances, and of course, the haunted hayride itself.

The two haunted houses are The Deadly Sins Sideshow, and The House of the Horsemen. The Deadly Sins Sideshow, set in a carnival sideshow, puts visitors face to face with grotesque reenactments of the seven deadly sins. Each of the sins is personified by a sideshow freak, who acts out one of the sins. For example, Sloth sits on a couch watching TV, literally covered in his own filth, while Gluttony eats disgusting rotting meat while lying in his own excrement.

The House of the Horsemen is based on the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and is set in a mental hospital. Visitors are ushered through scenes of deranged madmen and madwomen acting out apocalyptic scenes in a madhouse setting.

The haunted maze, called the In-Between Haunted Maze, is a lot of fun. It is the most interactive experience at the Haunted Hayride, and pits visitors against all sorts of monsters and ghouls as they try to figure out how to navigate the twisting and turning labyrinth.

Of course, the main attraction is the Haunted Hayride, an elaborate production that brings visitors through the nine circles of Hell. The Haunted Hayride features cool sets, amazing acrobatics, and the novelty of riding through a transformed Griffith Park while sitting on hay.

There are other events as well, such as live music, fortune tellers, live theater, and a photo opportunity where you can photograph your friends in execution devices such as the guillotine and electric chair.

Psycho (1960) review

Psycho Movie CoverReviewed by Grace Fontaine, MoreHorror.com

Psycho (1960)
Starring: Janet Leigh (Marion Crane), Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates), Vera Miles (Lila Crane), Martin Balsam (Detective Arbogast) and John Gavin (Sam Loomis)
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Well gee. What can be said about Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ that has not already been stated in the past by people better at writing than me? It’s one of the best horror thrillers ever made, oozing suspense, style and subliminal subtext. Well, there is nothing really I can say to argue against or support that because the way I see it, ‘Psycho’ was the birth of contemporary serial killer films with indomitable style to boot. However, what I can offer is how I personally see the film and how it affected me because to the best of my knowledge there is only one Grace Fontaine and she’s enough for the world to handle.

There are several aspects at work here; voyeurism, duplicity, psychosis, sexuality and the power of secrets are all part and parcel of what is undoubtedly Hitchcock’s seminal masterpiece and all of these things resonate loud and clear. However, allow me to give my take on two major themes in the film- birds and sexual politics.

One of the biggest visual motifs in the film is undoubtedly the fixation on birds. Let’s have a look at the evidence we are presented with;
- Janet Leigh’s lead role as Marion CRANE.
- Birds are highly inquisitive by nature which explains a vast majority of how characters behave in the film. Marion asks questions about Norman when they talk, Arbogast is a detective which requires him to inquire those involved in Marion’s disappearance and Norman while playing the gracious host is curious about Marion herself and why she has chosen to ‘fly’ away to the Bates Motel. Oh and the fact he was creeping on her while she was in the shower.
- Norman’s sizeable hobby of taxidermy as we see in his parlour has particular favour towards birds. In fact, the entire room comes off as an enormous statement in regards to the character differences between Marion and Norman Bates when they converse. A couple of inferences could be drawn from the physical depiction of the room with the types of birds and, part of the conversation between Marion and Norman. The owl and the hawk are predators; the crow and the raven are predators as well as scavengers. All of these things make up what Norman is and what he stands for. He’s a predator, but he is also incredibly opportunistic. The smaller, more docile avian species that reside in the parlour such as songbirds are the prey (or victims) of owls, hawks and often crows. At the beginning of their conversation Norman tells Marion that she "eats like a bird", which heavily imply her being a dainty, pretty and vulnerable songbird, not a predator. Janet Leigh seems to illustrate this by fastidiously picking a piece of bread throughout the brunt of the conversation.

Horns (2013) review

Horns Movie PosterBy Jonathan Weichsel

I had an experience while watching Horns, which given the way things are going in entertainment, is becoming an increasingly common part of the movie going experience. Sometime during the first act of the film, my ears pricked up at some of the strange dialogue about The Lord working in mysterious ways and some of the other odd banter about religion spouting out of the character's mouths, and I thought to myself, "Oh fuck. Am I watching a faith based feature?" I quickly pushed the thought out of my mind. "I can't be watching a faith based feature," I thought. "This film has cursing. It has gore. It has nudity and sex." But then, at the end of the second act, it became clear and undeniable that I was, in fact, watching a faith based feature.

You see, at the end of the first act of the film, Daniel Radcliff's character, "Ig" Perrish, smashes a Virgin Mary statue that is part of the memorial for his murdered girlfriend, declaring that she went to church every week and believed in God, and didn't deserve to have this happen to her. He decides that there is no God, and that Christianity is all a lie. The next morning he has horns sprouting out of his head. At the end of the second act of the film, Perrish puts on a cross that was worn by his murdered girlfriend, and has a sudden moment of clarity. His horns disappear, he regains his faith, and now has the power to make things right in the world. So the entire second act of the film, although it is constructed as a murder mystery, is actually about a guy who has lost his faith, and must regain it in order to correct an evil in the world.

There are other hallmarks of faith based filmmaking present in Horns. For example, the lives of the main characters revolve around church, and they are defined for the most part by their relationship to Christianity. There are devout Christians, hypocritical Christians, non-believers, and so on, the soundtrack features Christian rock interspersed with alternative music, the license plates on many of the cars are chapters and versus of scripture, and (spoiler alert) at the end of the movie Perrish is reunited with his murdered girlfriend in heaven.

Rabid (1977) review

RABIDReviewed by Emir Husain

“[C]an we truly call this a monster club, if we do not boast amongst our membership a single member of the human race?”
---Vincent Price as vampire “Eramus” in The Monster Club (1981)

Ivory Snow cover “girl” (depicting hygienic motherhood). Groundbreaking porn star. “Body horror” actress. While each job might sound exclusive of the others, Marilyn Chambers (1952-2009), of Behind the Green Door fame/infamy, wore these hats and then some. The artistic American jill-of-all-trades crossed over from smut into the latter role through Canadian director David Cronenberg’s Rabid (1977), bringing her diverse professional experience to an arguably rich and deep character portrayal. For the record, this person, for one, has never watched any hardcore pornos, Green Door or no, but we could still say she was made for the part, given that the film’s premise oddly mirrors Chambers’ sharp career departure from an image of wholesome innocence.

The ensuing description of Rabid, one of the earliest feature films both written and directed by Cronenberg, should provide some idea of what body horror is (a genre type widely identified with the long-running auteur). Chambers’ character, Quebec-based Canuck “Rose,” is traumatically injured in a highway collision while riding on her boyfriend’s motorcycle. Faster than you can say crash makeover, she receives urgent yet untried, experimental plastic surgery with “morphologically neutralized” transfer tissue, despite remaining unwittingly comatose in the wake of the accident. Nevertheless, the operation is successful and she eventually comes to, but with a completely unexpected need to feed on warm blood.

And talk about new twists on vampire lore, its implied eroticism and all, Rose 2.0 seductively and sensuously gets her bloodsucking on through a stinging phallus-like organ housed in an orifice under one of her armpits! But good times, that’s not the whole story. We have an early variant of the zombie apocalypse, no less: Survivors among Rose’s victims become violent, rampaging maniacs, causing social pandemonium and, through their virulent bites, an epidemic rise in their numbers.


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