Friday, August 28, 2015

Creepshow (1982)

I came home recently to find Mike bursting with news: "Look what I have! I'm pretty sure we don't already own it!"  It was a DVD copy of Creepshow - he found it in a box full of movies donated to the pubic (thank you sidewalk free piles).

In response I bounced around, thanked him, and agreed. Naturally, if we owned this classic then we would know it ... right...?

We agreed to watch it soon and I went to file it away in our movie case. Being the constant organizer, all our movies are sorted alphabetically. So imagine my astonishment when I went to file Creepshow right next to: CREEPSHOW.

That's right, folks. We already owned Creepshow. How did this happen!? Surely somewhere this is a blasphemous act. What does that say about me/Horror Habit, and what does that say about the size of our movie collection?!

We had to right this wrong, quick.

So I phoned my brother Matthew, told him I had a surprise gift for him, and we agreed to meet up later that day. While in route to meet me, he called: "Jolie, I'm going to be late - not sure how late. A guy on the bus just threw a can of beer at the driver, then jumped out the bus window and ran off."

My first two thoughts:

#1: Whhaaaaaaaattt?!
#2: Now he really needs this copy of Creepshow.

But wait, there's more!

Not only did my brother see a live, insane, drunk version of Mission Impossible, but a couple days later, while camping, a SPIDER CRAWLED OUT OF HIS EAR.

Few scenarios come to mind where a free copy of Creepshow is more deserving than: seeing a drunk man jump out a bus window AND having a spider crawl out of your ear. That spider was deep in his ear canal too. He spent an agonizing hour feeling/hearing it scratch around, just to give you a more terrifying visualization. And if you're brave enough for one more spider story, check out what's living in my friend's back yard!

In the end, my traumatized but recovering brother is very grateful for the movie, and my Husband and I promptly watched our copy (after we made sure the home was spider free).

This is such a great film. If you haven't seen it yet then slap the back of your hand right now because: for shame. With the simply excellent and perfectly applicable tag line: "The most fun you'll ever have being scared!" how could this one ever get by the Excellent Horror Movie radar?

Creepshow has five short, sweet, sharp, and completely entertaining stories made possible by the brilliance of Stephen King and George R. Romero. Some stories are sad, some are funny, and some feed that deep, dark, vengeance arachnid that lives in the heads of us all. These stories are rock solid, filmed with fantastic creativity, and do right by all the horror comic book fans out there. Myself included. precious....

And that's really all I have to say. I know this review turned into more of a story about public transportation, spiders, and movie collections - but Creepshow is also funny, gross, icky, disturbing, wrong, and yet oh so right. That all said, I have no idea why this movie ended up in a free pile. Let's just assume the donator also had a spare copy...

This is great film to watch alone, in a small group, or share the fun in a jam-packed theater. Quite simply, this film never disappoints. Recommended pairing: Favorite food, favorite snacks, favorite drinks - bring them all.

Obviously, I watched our personal DVD but use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this superb classic.

And now, here's the trailer to get you started on the fun:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)

I absolutely had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started Silent Night, Bloody Night (not to be confused with the 1980's film Silent Night, Deadly Night).

I had heard some vague rumblings about its comparison to the 1974 Black Christmas, and I'm sure I've seen it on some "Horror Movies For The Holidays!" lists. While I'm certain I heard echoing arguments of this being a Super Fantastic Classic, I'm also pretty sure I heard it was a super terrible waste of time.

So I decided to (more or less) ignore all whisperings and wander right into watching a story about snow, New England winters, and trusty holiday madness with no assumptions and a strong desire for this oppressive summer heat to end.

Folks, this is a disturbing film. Very disturbing. Okay okay okay, so the quality of the actual film isn't perfect, but the story line is bone-chillingly dark, twisted, and original. The dialog and characters are strong and menacing, and it really took me right up until the end before I put all the pieces of this alarming horror show together.

Although entertaining, I would not call this one a 'fun' film, by any means. No, no, no, folks. I highly recommend you have your guard up when approaching. I saw one comment header in the IMDB message board titled "Yikes!". This word still resonates with me - I couldn't have summed up this movie watching experience better. Yikes!

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I think many people would also thoroughly enjoy this film but it's not one for the inpatient or loud horror movie fan. I have a lot of respect for this little dark horse. It took on some challenging subjects with grit, creativity, and hair-raising suspense.

You will not walk away from this one feeling like you just got off an awesome roller-coaster ride. Instead, I suspect many will walk away as I did: cold, sad, confused, and a little bit mind-blown.

For the best movie watching experience I recommend watching this one alone on a cold, dark night. All lights off. Keep food and beverages to an absolute minimum. Although the Christmas holiday is looming large in the background of this film, it's not necessary to watch during the holiday season. In fact, I think it might just be best to watch in the middle of summer.

I saw this film for free through PubDHub channel on my Roku. And now you can watch it for free too, compliments of the Internet Archive:

Tin Can Man (2007)

I wasn't expecting to see Tin Can Man anytime soon. I just figured it was one of those movies you had to see when in a particular state of mind - and I wasn't quite sure what type of mind set that was supposed to be.

...and now I feel it's pretty safe to say that this movie may be best appreciated when you are not in a particularly good mood...

I was grumpy, tired, and straight up not having any of it, so I turned on my trusty Roku to search for something that was going to make me feel better.

Tin Can Man did not make me feel better!!


it did have me check myself before I wreck myself (in that things could be worse, A LOT WORSE. Stop whining).

This movie is perhaps one of the most terrifying films I've ever seen. Not terrifying in that I'm afraid to sleep at night, camp in the woods, or will forever give unusual noises a sideways glance. No, I mean terrifying in that you've lost your mind. Poof. Gone. Officially insane now: welcome to your new living nightmare.

Not only is Tin Can Man brilliantly filmed in black and white, but it also prohibits the viewer from seeing anything outside the up close and uncomfortably personal space of poor Pete and his new worst best friend ever, Dave. In fact, the viewer will quickly begin to experience the torture game of I'm Not Touching You! (but while also trapped in a broom closet manufactured in the bowels of Hell).

This is a psychological horror film that is very fast, very uncomfortable, and very curl up in the corner and cry your eyes out because: Insanity. Fantastic work Ivan Kavanagh and your team of six disturbingly creative people.

I watched this film while grumpy and tired of the world's crap, then walked away thinking: "I'm good. We're good now. That's right, everything's good..." All while rubbing my arms to get the cold, hard, chill out. A warning to those who watch it when in a super happy place: this one might take you down a couple pegs - but in an incredibly entertaining way!

This not a movie for a large group. Three people tops. Sit in a very very very very small, dark space. Eat cake - no wait - don't simply eat it, shove it in your face (or have someone else shove it) piece by piece. Turn off all phones and do not, I repeat!, do not answer that knock at your door.

I watched this movie for free on my Thriller Theatre Roku channel. Use the links under Find It. Watch It. on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this delicious little gem.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Devil of Kreuzberg (2015)

Attention! Attention!: David Lynch, Dario Argento, and Lucio Fulci fans.

Step right up, eyes over here!: Art-house horror followers and devotees of the raw and interpersonal terror that ran rampant in 1970s-80s horror films.

I got a little something special for you...

I was recently contacted by Alex Bakshaev, director and producer of the independent film, The Devil of Kreuzberg. He kindly asked that I review his movie. After one look at the trailer (and taking into account that my horror tastes fall under all the categories listed above), I was more than happy to oblige. 

Let me start off by saying the soundtrack is phenomenal. Interwoven perfectly with the settings and actions, this completely stunning backdrop for the mind and ears is a work of art, folks. Work of art. So well done.

Speaking of the settings: they could not have been better chosen for the story. Dark, damp, cold, minimalist and maddening, it doesn't take long to realize that you are in a completely unfriendly environment that will quickly drag you into something akin to a drug-induced nightmare. 

Top it all off with great use of small cast, short but sweet dialog, and superb cinematography, one will soon feel lost and alone in a world built for monsters. The protagonist perfectly summed it up in one line: "I'm trapped in an endless nightmare".

I thoroughly enjoyed this film but I'm not sure it's for everyone. Especially not for those looking for logic, answers or clear and defining reasons. There really are no answers here, that's part of the horror of it all (see also the specific calls for attention listed above). 

Simply put: this is a shocking, strange, lovely, jarring and uncomfortable film. It should be enjoyed alone or in a very small, silent group. Your jaw will drop at times and your mind will probably need a moment to process what is happening. Be patient and understand that is exactly how you should react - it is all coming along swimmingly. My Husband asked me for suggested food and beverage pairings for this film and I actually struggled. It's a shorter film and your jaw will drop so ... perhaps a damp sandwich and tart shot of liquor will work well to set the right mood and atmosphere.

I feel it's important to add that the movie summary posted in IMDB might give you a strange initial reaction to this film, specifically the first two opening lines: "Linda and Jakob are happily in love until one night, Jakob begins to have horrific nightmares in which Linda appears as a darkly seductive creature. Tormented by these visions, Jakob asks his best friend Kurt to murder Linda for him, thus beginning a slow decent into madness." My first reactions to reading this: 

#1: Well THAT escalated quickly
#2: I think that whole 'decent into madness' thing was probably happening before the nightmares...
#3: Kurt must be some friend

Rest assured folks, insane as these initial lines sound, they are pivotal for the film. See also: there are no answers here, that's part of the horror of it all.

This film recently debuted in Berlin, Germany and I anticipate it will be making its rounds in the film festival circuit soon. So please keep your eyes open for it! You can learn more about Alex, his other projects, and The Devil of Kreuzberg here. I'll also post updates about future showings as I learn about them.

Now, the trailer (also on YouTube) to whet your appetite, enjoy!:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Xtro (1982)

Some major things happened yesterday:

#1: I got heat sick. Bad. As in I probably should have called a doctor about it.
#2: I was asked by not one, but two different friends at two different times of the day, how they could locate the movies I reviewed.
#3: I discovered the completely awesome and insane British film Xtro (or X-tro as it's sometimes called).

Lessons I learned:

#1: The sun and heat is my enemy. Number One Enemy.
#2: I should really provide some sort of movie search tool.
#3: Everyone must see Xtro.


#1: Global warming.
#2: I watch most of my films by renting them from the local video store or finding them hidden in my obscure special interest Roku channels, such as CrypticTV, Cultorama, The Grindhouse Channel, and Midnight Pulp. Not exactly sure how available this movie search option is to non-Roku owners.
#3: Your mind will be blown. BLOWN.


#1: Explore ways to keep from boiling my insides - currently in progress.
#2: Alongside my recommended pairings, I'll inform readers where I watched the film, advise they rent from their local video store (because we gotta keep those babies alive!), and then provide either the GoWatchIt or WhereToWatch search tools.
#3: Watch Xtro. Watch It!

I spent several hours testing many different online movie search engines. I liked these two the best because GoWatchIt searches everything from Netflix (both streaming and video), to YouTube, to Crackle, and Viewster. While WhereToWatch provided more results when I searched for television shows. Both search engines also have a kick ass movie channel search. I highly recommend you check these innovative bad boys out.

Whew. Good grief, this is a link laden post.

So there you have it folks, it's going to take a little time to make this search option all fancy and pretty, but it's getting started here and now.

SOOOOOO, moving on to the movie:

I stumbled upon this beautiful B movie gem while browsing creature clips on YouTube. Someone cut the famous roadside scene of Xtro, posted a single image of it on the internets and claimed a "Skinwalker" was roaming New Mexico. The internets went wild.

Here's the news report about it:

Here's the famous Xtro roadside scene:

No doubt - that is one CREEPY CREATURE.

Famously insane creepy creature? Famously insane obscure B horror movie? I had to track this one down and watch it, stat (just as soon as I was able to function from my near heat stroke). The unfortunate thing about famously insane obscure B horror movies is that they are not always available to see right away. A first world on demand problem, I know.

I was only able to locate it on YouTube - a video watching option that I have conflicted feels about. But watch it I did and I fell madly in love with it. So much so that it will be in my movie collection ASAP.

After the movie I was immediately directed to the absolutely wonderful RedLetterMedia review: Best of the Worst Episode 3: The Killer Eye, They Bite, and Xtro. I also fell madly in love with this crew. Their review is hilarious, spot-on and very fun. I dare say, near word for word, we had the exact same reaction to Xtro (for example: " of the greatest films all of us have ever seen..."). Watch these guys watch this film:


If I hadn't already provided too many links, resources, videos, and information you probably didn't need, I'm going to top this whole post off by asking that you watch the Xtro trailer. I know I didn't really go into depth about the film itself but if you've seen the news clip, the roadside scene, the Best of the Worst review and then finally this trailer, you'll understand that it all speaks for itself.

Recommended pairing: Saturday night film fest with friends. Rent this one from your local video store or if you're lucky enough to know someone who's obtained the latest DVD release (which apparently has lots and lots of goodies) then, I'm jealous.

I hope you enjoy this film, folks. It's something to be seen: