Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bluray Tuesday Featuring: Red Christmas, Spider-Man Homecoming & Summer of Fear

October 17th 2017

New week, new Blurays to add to the collection, although this week is a bit on the lighter side than the past few. One of the highlights for me today is the Dee Wallace lead holiday horror film Red Christmas. If you missed our review on this film check it out here. I enjoyed Red Christmas and look forward to re-watching it this holiday season. Next up is Wes Craven's Summer of Fear, a supernatural horror film I sadly haven't heard of until recently. Summer of Fear is on my list for sure this week. Kino Lorber releases Rawhead Rex, a creature feature that I look forward to checking out in the near future. If anyone has seen it let me know what you thought. Stranger Things season 2 hits Netflix next week and only Target will be carrying an awesome VHS packaging that includes both The Bluray and DVD copies of season 1. It also comes with a poster while supplies last, so I'd recommend getting to Target early. I doubt there will be tons of copies. The biggest release today is the next installment of the Marvel Studios films, Spider-Man Homecoming. As usual, retailers have their exclusives with special bonuses. For this, Best Buy will have the exclusive steelbook and Target a bonus disc version with comic book. So what will you be buying, renting or skipping this week? Let us know in the comments. Until next week!

Red Christmas: Amazon - $14.99

A widow and her bickering family gather at her remote estate on Christmas Eve. She must soon protect them all from a hideously deformed killer who's out for bloody revenge.

Red Christmas (Blu-ray) 

Summer of Fear: Amazon - $15.99

A teenage girl's life is turned upside down after her cousin moves into her house, and as time goes by, she begins to suspect that she may be a practitioner of witchcraft.

Summer of Fear (Blu-ray) 

Spider-Man Homecoming: Amazon - $22.99
4K: Amazon - $27.99
3D: Amazon - $25.99

Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine -- distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (Blu-ray) 

Spider-Man: Homecoming 4K (Blu-ray) 

Spider-Man: Homecoming 3D (Blu-ray) 

Steelbook: Best Buy - $32.99

Spider-Man: Homecoming 4K (Blu-ray) 

Bonus Disc: Target - $24.99

Spider-Man: Homecoming (Blu-ray) 

Rawhead Rex: Amazon - $16.99

Ireland will never be the same after Rawhead Rex, a particularly nasty demon, is released from his underground prison by an unwitting farmer. The film follows Rex's cross country rampage, while a man struggles to stop it.

Rawhead Rex (Blu-ray) 

Girls Trip: Amazon - $19.99

Best friends Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Along the way, they rekindle their sisterhood and rediscover their wild side by doing enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

Girls Trip (Blu-ray) 

Samurai Jack: The Complete Series: Amazon - $87.99

After being sent into the future by evil wizard Aku, young samurai Jack makes a quest to return to the past and undo the destruction caused by the wizard. Along the way Jack enlists allies to defeat some of Aku's henchmen and other villains before getting to the top dog to defeat him and find the portal that can return Jack to his own time. "Samurai Jack" was created by Genndy Tartakovsky, who had previously created "Dexter's Laboratory," one of Cartoon Network's first original series.

Samurai Jack: The Complete Series (Blu-ray) 

Shot Caller: Amazon - $14.99

A newly released prison gangster is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.

Shot Caller (Blu-ray) 

Stranger Things: Season One: Target - $24.99

This thrilling Netflix original drama stars Golden Globe-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 -- inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce's 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.

Stranger Things: Season 1 (Blu-ray) 

Batman vs Two Face: Amazon - $17.99

Former Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent, one side of his face scarred by acid, goes on a crime spree based on the number '2'. All of his actions are decided by the flip of a defaced, two-headed silver dollar.

Batman vs. Two-Face (Blu-ray) 

Steelbook: Best Buy - $19.99

Batman vs. Two-Face (Blu-ray) 

American Gods: Season One: Amazon - $26.99

A recently released ex-convict named Shadow meets a mysterious man who calls himself "Wednesday" and who knows more than he first seems to about Shadow's life and past.

American Gods: Season 1 (Blu-ray) 

 -The Impostor

Monday, October 16, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): The Snowman, Martin, Halloween

We are so close to Halloween, I can taste it! And it puts the biggest smile on my face to see the bay area's programming reflect that too. This week, The Snowman sneaks into theatres. I haven't heard too much about this one, but I know it's a serial killer type mystery, and I'm definitely interested. Halloween is the midnight movie at the Clay Theatre this week, on both Friday and Saturday.  And George Romero's Martin is finally up for its Terror Tuesday this week.

This weekend, the next film festival we've been waiting for arrives to the Balboa Theatre. It is none other than The Space Visitor's Film Fest and will take place all of Saturday. It's only 20 bucks, so you guys should come by!

Opening This Week

Early Screening Thursday 19th (1hr 59min)
Opens Friday 20th
Crime/ Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
When an elite crime squad's lead detective (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 17th @ 9:35pm (1hr 35min)
Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
One of horror filmmaker George Romero's many "small" 1970s films, Martin was fortunate enough to foster a cult following that has enabled it to take its proper place as a minor classic. 17-year-old Martin (John Amplas) has convinced himself that he's actually an aged vampire. Since he has no fangs, Martin must resort to razor blades to draw blood. A regular caller to a local radio talk show, Martin is encouraged by the ratings-conscious host to persist in his vampiric behavior. Despite his random bloodletting, no one takes Martin too seriously except his grandfather Lincoln Maazel, who knows all too well that a vampire curse has befallen the boy. As is the case with all of Romero's films, Martin is best enjoyed on an empty stomach.

Weird Wednesday

Wednesday 18th @ 10:45pm
From the depths of the archives we've unearthed an extremely rare classic drive-in favorite. Not recommended for the faint of heart or those of weak constitution, expect the regular Weird Wednesday mix of the bizarre and the titillating.

Thursday 19th @ 6:30pm (1hr 43min)
Horror/ family/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange... he is a prisoner of his own imagination - the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it's suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.

With exclusive video intro by R.L. Stein

I Wake Up Dreaming 2017

Murder By Contract (1958)
Monday 16th @ 6pm & 9:25pm (1hr 21min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.


The Crimson Kimono (1959)
Monday 16th @ 7:45pm 
Crime/ Drama/ Mystery (IMDB)
Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Wednesday 18th @ 2:45pm & 7pm (1hr 48min)
Drama/ Thriller (Google)
"Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) visits his relatives in Santa Rosa. He is a very charming man, but his niece slowly realizes that he is wanted for murder and he soon recognizes her suspicions. Although one of the suspected murderers is killed and the case is considered closed, she still has her suspicions.


Smile (1975)
Wednesday 18th @ 4:45pm & 9pm (1hr53min)
Comedy/ drama (Rotten Tomatoes)
The backstage maneuverings at a California beauty pageant are the subject of this often cynical satire, which has developed a strong cult following. While much humor is found in the brutal competitiveness of the young contestants, the film's sharpest barbs are saved for the pageant's shallow yet driven organizers.

Under the Skin (2013)
Thursday 19th @ 7pm (1hr 48min)
Drama/ Horror/ Scifi (IMDB)
A mysterious woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. Events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.


Enter the Void (2009)
Thursday19h @ 9:05pm (2hrs 41min)
Drama/ Fantasy (IMDB)
A French drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection.

Midnight Madness

Friday 20th @ 11:55pm (1hr 50min)
Saturday 21st @ 11:55pm
Slasher/ Thriller (Google)
On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith's Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

Also screening Saturday @ 11:55pm

Thursday 19th @ 9pm (2hrs 17min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
A young couple move into an apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Friday 20th @ 10:30pm (104 minutes)
Comedy/ Horror/ Scifi (IMDB)
"A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus

Thursday 19th @ 9:30pm (1hr 59min)
Action/ Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
A Tokyo college student is attacked by a ghoul, a superpowered human who feeds on human flesh. He survives, but has become part ghoul and becomes a fugitive on the run.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): Happy Death Day, Frankenstein Triple Feature, SpookFest

Happy Friday the 13th!!! I've got my Camp Crystal Lake shirt on, so I'm  safe from Lord Battle pinching me 😁 This is going to be a good weekend in the bay area, Happy Death Day gets its wide release today and I'd say it's worth checking out, the Castro Theatre is screening a Frankenstein triple feature on Saturday, and SpookFest is going to be at the Roxie Theatre tonight only! We also have some really cool stuff on the horizon, with the Space Visitors Film Fest happening next week, and Another Hole in the Head kicking off the week after. I'm so giddy over the fact that San Francisco is growing its domestic film festival list, and both of these sound amazing!

Opening Today

Opens Friday 13th (1hr 36min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
Blumhouse (Split, Get Out, Whiplash) produces an original and inventive rewinding thriller in Happy Death Day, in which a college student (Jessica Rothe, La La Land) relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer's identity. Happy Death Day is directed by Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) and written by Scott Lobdell and Landon.

Triple Feature!

Frankenstein (1931)
Sunday 15th @ 3pm & 8pm (1hr 10min)
Drama/ Horror/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
"Frankenstein" is a film about a mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Henry Frankenstein", who creates a monster, by taking body parts from dead people. Upon placing a brain inside the head of the monster, Henry and his assistant Fritz are amazed that the experiment is alive. When the monster mistakenly kills Maria, a young girl he meets down by the river, the town is up in arms and aims to bring the monster to justice. They find the monster and his creator in an old windmill, where the monster is attempting to kill his maker.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Sunday 14th @ 4:30pm & 9:30pm 
Drama/ Horror/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.


Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Sunday 14th @ 6pm (1hr 39min)
Drama/ Horror/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

Friday 13th @ 4pm (1hr 31min)
Saturday 14th @ 11:45am
Sunday 15th @ 1pm
Horror/ Family/ Sci-fi (Rotten Tomatoes)
A little boy and his kindly grandmother thwart the efforts of a coven of witches to rid Britain of children by turning them into mice.

Friday 13th @ 10pm (1hr 35min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Friday 13th @ 8pm (1hr 23min)
Horror (IMDB)
Just as Hitchcock's Psycho was based on the life of deeply disturbed farmer Ed Gein, so is this little story of depravity and dementia. When a sister and her brother take a group of friends to visit the farmhouse of their deceased grandfather, they discover that just next door lives a whole family of repugnant psycho killers. Most noteworthy is "Leatherface" who is the bloke who wields the power saw and has a penchant for human flesh. Though the film did not enjoy immediate success at the box office, it has since gathered a hefty cult following. Directed by Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is considered by many to be groundbreaking work in the genre of horror.

Saturday 14st @ 10pm (1hr 42min)
Slasher/ Cult Film (Google)
Over ten years after making the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper returns to his deranged family of reclusive cannibals for another round of chainsaw chases and non-stop screaming. Hooper brings a real budget this time (having recently directed Poltergeist for Steven Spielberg) and the talents of veteran make-up artist Tom Savini. This means he can make things bigger, louder, and gorier than ever before; and they are. He also brings a wacky, self-deprecating sense of humor, as if deliberately flaunting Texas Chainsaw Massacre's status as one of the first and still greatest "slasher" movies. The result is an impish take-off on the original film (and contemporary horror movies in general) which elevates its own cliches (buckets of blood and gore, droll dialogue, the screaming female lead) to the level of high camp.

Sunday 15th @ 3:05pm (1hr 7min)
Fantasy/ Horror/ Mystery (IMDB)
At a carnival in Germany, Francis (Friedrich Feher) and his friend Alan (Rudolf Lettinger) encounter the crazed Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss). The men see Caligari showing off his somnambulist, Cesare (Conrad Veidt), a hypnotized man who the doctor claims can see into the future. Shockingly, Cesare then predicts Alan's death, and by morning his chilling prophecy has come true -- making Cesare the prime suspect. However, is Cesare guilty, or is the doctor controlling him?

Friday 13th @ 7pm (2hrs)
SpookFest is the film festival that goes bump in the night! We’re bringing you 13 new homegrown shorts about oddball creatures, diligent aliens, and mutant grocery produce, all with a touch of humor and a splash of fake blood.

Friday 13th @ 9:30pm (1hr 50min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Suspense (Rrotten Tomatoes)
She was born in Detroit... on an automobile assembly line. But she is no ordinary automobile. Deep within her chassis lives an unholy presence. She is Christine - a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury whose unique standard equipment includes an evil, indestructible vengeance that will destroy anyone in her way. She seduces 17-year-old Arnie Cunningham (KEITH GORDON), who becomes consumed with passion for her sleek, rounded, chrome-laden body. She demands his complete and unquestioned devotion and when outsiders seek to interfere, they become the victims of Christine's horrifying wrath.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Night of Something Strange

6 of 8 viewers "Liked" "Night of Something Strange" (2016, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

The Ascendant (R) - "Director/Writer Jonathan Straiton's 2016 film Night of Something Strange plays like an ungodly concrescence of Evil Dead II (1987), Night of the Creeps (1986) and Teen Sex Comedies released in the 2000's. While the film woefully sputters when its cast attempts to emit nuanced emotions, it's one hell of a (hilarious) ride when it plays close to its chest, filling the screen with gooey STD-Riddled Zombies & absurd (comedic) one-liners. Be forewarned, this film oozes more fluids than a bad Tinder date. It's best enjoyed with a group of friends, a Six-Pack and a box of Trojan Ultra Ribbed." - 4 Stars

KillDozer - "If you look closely at the incredible poster art for this film, you should know exactly what kind of ride you are taking. What started off as a fun over the top gore flick quickly turned into a one a one trick dick and fart joke pony. Plenty of bro humor for the American Pie fans and a running time too long to keep the "shock humor" entertaining. This would have worked well as a short but it seems as though the plot is purely written around a long list of gags and sex humor. Again the poster should prepare you at least a little. If films like Feast are on your top ten list, then watch that because it does what this film wanted to do 🙂 " - 2 Stars (for fun gore and an imaginative list of gags)

Trash (R) - "Gross out is a really specific subgenre of horror, one that certainly turns off most casual viewers, and often is nothing more than wicked glee and shock-factor. I'm certainly a fan, but even I have to admit, a gross-out horror as accomplished as Night of Something Strange is incredibly rare. The dumb jokes are actually funny, it's actually shocking, and most of all, it's ridiculously well-made. Like, too well-made. Director Jonathan Straiton is a crazy talented filmmaker, understanding exactly how to put together a well-shot, compelling scene, and direct his cast to exemplify their talents. No one comes off as stiff, which is practically unbelievable in a low budget niche movie like that. He and his team clearly know movies and how to make one that looks amazing, and they've also got a sick sense of humor and a ton of passion. This movie will probably offend you and make you cringe! But if murderous sex zombies in a rundown motel make you smile, you're gonna love NOSS." - 4.5 Stars

Wandering Panda - "Enjoyably ridiculous good time. Not to be taken seriously. Watcher be warned, this is a stupid movie but very entertaining." - 3 Stars 

Huntress - "After watching the trailer, my immediate impression was that Night of Something Strange was not going to be for me. It looked like it relied on gross comedy, rather than actually having a story and with me not being a fan of purely gross cinema was going to cause problems. Either way, that didn’t stop me from watching it. And I’m glad because I turned out to be wrong. That’s not to say Night of Something Strange isn’t gross, there are plenty of brow furrowing moments that I’d never think to put in a movie or build a  prosthetic for, but there’s so much more; unique characters, very unique situations, and some good jokes, all while maintaining that indie unpredictability. I’d say it was an overall success." - 3.5 Stars

Lord Battle - "Night of Something Strange feels like an episode of Skins set in a dark house film, as a car full of the worst people from high school set off on a road trip to the beach. They abuse each other and everyone in their way until they stop for the night in an ominous motel. Night of Something Strange is a triumph of talent, as this low budget, lower brow gross out horror is executed with a style and skill that's almost more surprising than some of the shit in this movie. If possible watch Night of Something Strange with an audience, as it's always interesting to see how friends and strangers react. I mean who will be offended, turn out squeamish, or get waaay to excited by some genital mutilation?" - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "I was hoping that there would be a murder hotel in the middle of a zombie apocalypse movie, I was not disappointed. I was disappointed by most of the rest of the film." - 2 Stars

Dabbles - "There's a fine line between art and entertainment, this wasn't anywhere near it. It was fun and interesting but something I wouldn't watch again." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

If you're reading this now it means you've braved the likes of Night of Something Strange. Now whether you claim to have liked it or not, you're sick enough to see what kind of strange wrap up we could come up with. This week it's actually a weird combo of things. Directly below is an image of a skull affected by the STD syphilis, this image will tie in with the text about actual STD zombies. The images other than the skull however are taken for a couple different blogs documenting two particularly strange motels. This wrap up may feel a little artsy or dare I say avant-garde, if you haven't watched the film, so support indie horror and watch it!


For most people, it’s easy to dismiss zombie movies as something that we’ll never need to deal with in our real life. That’s why the not necessarily horror loving masses can watch The Walking Dead and not even flinch at reanimated bodies with sticky fingers and an insatiable crazing for flesh. That is, until they get their hands on a favored character… But what about outbreak movies? What about outbreak movies whose disease is somewhat grounded in reality?

Clown Motel

Night of Something Strange takes the ridiculous route when dealing with a widespread infection, but when you think about the fact that it started with one guy and one fetish… Well, the possibility of it happening takes several step closer to reality, especially when you realize that we are not ourselves when a degenerative disease takes effect. 

Skinny Dick's Halfway INN
This excerpt from Looking Back: This Fascinating and Fatal Disease gives a bit of background on the one such disease, associated with late stage syphilis: 

"Though GPI had been identified as a distinct disease earlier in the 1800s by a number of French writers – notably Antoine-Laurent Bayle and Jean-Étienne Esquirol – the accumulation of incurable cases in asylums, along with a feeling that insanity in general was increasing, led to renewed efforts in the last quarter of the century to determine the cause (and thus cure) of general paralysis. Among the exciting causes listed by William Julius Mickle in his extensive 1880 study General Paralysis of the Insane were excessive mental labour, heavy physical work, emotional strain, alcohol and sexual excess. Others suggested GPI could be brought about by a blow to the head, or as a consequence of railway accidents that injured the spine. It would be ‘wine and women’ however, that came to be seen as the most pertinent factors, based on the demographic characteristics of the disease.

The predominance of men among GPI patients was evident to all observers, with the military particularly susceptible, yet many writers noticed that the clergy tended to escape its ravages. On those occasions when the disease appeared in women, they were said to be prostitutes or innocent victims infected by their philandering husbands. R.S. Stewart, a Scottish alienist (as psychiatrists were then known), commented on the apparent increase of GPI during the 1880s and pointed to its prevalence in port and mining towns. This link between urban, industrial life and GPI was made by many writers, with the condition frequently characterised as ‘a disease of civilisation’. General paralysis spoke to wider fears about degeneration – the sense that with progress came a risk of ‘de-evolution’, a regression back to man’s primal nature. The conceptualisation of GPI as a ‘lower form’ of brain disease thus cast it as nature’s rebellion against the stresses of modernity. This didn’t mean that the patient entirely escaped censure. Stewart condemned the disease as ‘the apotheosis of selfishness’ – port and mining towns, he said, were renowned as centres of sexual and alcoholic over-indulgence."

Clown Motel 

And to add to that, most of the movie takes place at an isolated motel in the middle of the night. Prime time and place for weird sex and shady people, as several articles can attest to.

The moral of this wrap up: Night of Something Strange is closer than you think.
Or not. So go ahead and stay at the Clown Motel, you'll probably be fine.


The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 9/21/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.