Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Child Eater

of 5 viewers "Liked" "Child Eater" (2017, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

The Berkeley Blazer - "While I missed some parts of the very beginning of Child Eater I liked what I saw of the rest of it enough to confidently give it a score of four stars. Starting out with low expectations upon entry, the trajectory of Child Eater really surprised and won me over. Our protagonist was quite likable for the most part; she had a realness, and down to earth quality that made her journey into the nightmare world of Child Eater that much more resonant. Child Eater himself was truly creepy and​ terrifying in a way that was fresh, but also kind of nostalgic like he could have been one of the hall of fame monsters from the nineties. Besides the stellar protagonist and antagonist, this movie does surprising things​ with the way it reveals it's surprising both on a moment to moment level as well as on a narrative level. To put it bluntly, this movie kept surprising me with jump scares that are brilliant story decisions. The filmmaker put some real craftsmanship and love into this movie, but occasionally its micro budget funding showed which normally wouldn't be a issue for me, but the acting of certain characters and the police uniforms that didn't fit were a distraction because so much of the film was really exciting and left me with quite memorable imagery.  If you're looking for a dark little surprise of a film to keep your dreams haunted, Child Eater might be the treat you've been hunting for." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "I don't want to say too​ much about this film because Math Mage's review is already spoiler ridden, so I'll give my Berkeley Blazer "basic bitch review". Child Eater is a micro budget Jeepers Creepers removed from the highways of America and planted in the ruins of the East Coast. Combine that with an interesting mythology, rad special effects, and locations that are permeated in history and you end up with the type of film that would be a perfect random watch on a streaming library. Erlingur Thoroddsen's Child Eater is an unmasked slasher film that will both make you laugh and say "oh shit". A must for indie horror fans." - 4 Stars

Trash - "Child Eater has a great opening, great music, is well shot and produced, and has a pretty good looking monster. In fact, the quality of this film belies what it actually is: a no-budget, very straight-forward monster flick. Certain moments stand out as excellent, and the kid gets some fantastically weird dialogue which is delivered so straight that I found myself laughing more to relieve the shock than because it was funny. A solid horror flick." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "Not a good name, no children were eaten. Only adults eyes are eaten by Nosferatu (who is an anti-stork that takes children instead of bringing them?), according to the ahab who escapes as a child with one eye." - 3.5 Stars

Huntress - "All it took was a name like Child Eater and an awesome looking poster to grab my attention and I'm happy to say that even with high hopes, stemming from all the movie stills I've been seeing, I walked away from Child Eater feeling fulfilled on multiple levels. I loved the urban legend aspect, all the sets both indoor looked great, and the film makers didn't seem too concerned with censoring themselves to be more mainstream. I wanted to preorder my copy as soon as the movie was over." - 4.5 Stars

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

After rereading the reviews I realized that I referred to Child Eater as an "Unmasked Slasher". This is of course some terminology that helps me categorize the many films I see and own into their own respective little sub-genres. The idea behind differentiating unmasked verse mask slashers (besides the obvious) comes from the way their stories are told and the type of fear they are trying to inspire in the audience. Masked slashers​ like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees are essentially strangers. Their mythology is mainly built from a number of sequels and a simple idea. A criminally insane man escapes a mental institution on Halloween and a boy left for dead has grown up in and now haunts the woods, killing those who trespass. Even a modern masked slasher like Fender Bender features a type of urban legend who although has more personality still lacks even a name, as Bill Sage is credited as "The Driver".
Unmasked slasher need a mythology unique to the character. Freddy has a deep backstory involving his birth, life, and death all in the first film! And it's no different for even the campiest of unmasked slashers. Take the Leprechaun for example. Before Warwick Davis helmed what may be the best horror-comedy franchise to date, Trimark released an 8-page prequel comic that had some continuity issues but contained things like the Leprechaun's true name. Talk about a horror trivia question.

At the end of Child Eater we learn that our slasher has been referred to previously as "The Black Stork" which seemed a little out of place and over the top to a couple of the creatures present at our screening. Naturally I had to see if this was referenced to an urban legend or something and found something a little more interesting.

A film was released in 1917 under the title The Black Stork. The film is about Dr. Dickey who is called into work to save a "defective" child's life. Dr. Dickey refuses to do anything as is illustrated by his refusal to take his apron from his nurse. Other doctors step in and save the child who grows up to be a shunned monster. The child later returns to kill Dr. Dicky who "condemned him to life". The interesting thing about this film is that Dr. Dickey is both played by and based on Harry J. Haiselden who is best known for his part in the Bollinger Case.


Bollinger case

On November 17, 1915 Harry J. Haiselden, despite public protest, allowed the syphilitic child John Bollinger to die. Haiselden convinced the child's parents that John would have grown up to be a miserable outcast and that death was this child's best option as well as in the best interests of society.

As the child was dying, an unknown kidnapper attempted to save John and the Catholic community protested the action; however activist Helen Keller and attorney Clarence Darrow each wrote separate articles in support of Dr. Haiselden's choice. Dr. Haiselden was an outspoken supporter of the eugenics movement prior to the case and, after the publicity made him famous, he took eugenics onto the national stage.

Haiselden was ultimately acquitted by a jury for allowing John Bollinger to die. The Illinois Board of Health attempted to revoke Haiselden's medical license but that action was dropped. A coroner's jury determined that the child was not syphilitic, but brain damaged and therefore defective. The Chicago Medical Society expelled Haiselden from their membership for The Black Stork and the publicity that he sought out after the infanticide.
- Wikipedia

What does all this mean? Nothing really but all this Black Stork lore would make for an awesome backstory. If you are more interested in Harry J. Haiselden's film you'll be sad to know that the originals of the film are all but gone as less than four partials are known to exist today. But The Black Stork is up in it's entirety on YouTube!
(Here is a small summary of what happened, told with footage from The Black Stork)

-Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on  3/28/2017
*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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Overlook Hour Guest Profile: The Hosts

This week the Overlook Hour hosts run a guest free episode, as they regularly try to do, in order to catch up with each other and you, the audience. And with engineer Randy the Reverberator (bottom right) having just returned from a weekend long road trip to Boise, Idaho and back, this felt like an appropriate week for an intimate episode. It also means that there was really no limit to the things they could cover...

Not wanting to spoil anything about this incredibly under watched art house horror from last year, they only briefly talked about The Eyes Of My Mother and spent a lot more time discussing post apocalyptic film worlds with two specific, very different examples.

One because someone was defending it, and the other...

Well, it had Bill Paxton in it. 

And what kind of weekend round up would it be without at least one new movie? 

For this episode, that movie was Life.

And in a strange turn of events, one of your hosts defends Your Highness, and it might surprise you who...

But that's all I'll say! Listen to episode 32 for the rest, and there's plenty more.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bluray Tuesday: Featuring Wishmaster Collection, A Monster Calls & Fantastic Beasts

March 28th 2017

Our favorite day of the week returns! There are a lot of releases to close out March. My favorite one this week is definitely from Vesteron Video, The Wishmaster 4 film Collection. I liked the first two films and actually never saw parts 3 and 4. I'm excited to marathon these real soon. J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits shelves today. From the world of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts is surprisingly really good. A bit slow in some moments but overall a solid film I'd recommend. A sequel is in the works as well. Best Buy will carry steelbook packaging for this film and Target will have an exclusive suitcase packaging. Fantasy/Drama film A Monster Calls is also out today.
 This film has gotten many good reviews. I don't know much about this one but do want to check it out soon. Arrow Video releases two Italian horror films Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight, both for the first time on bluray. Scream Factorybrings us What's The Matter With Helen? a horror musical that seems pretty interesting. Closing out the week is Patriot's Day, Silence, a comedy titled Why Him? starring Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston and The Handmaiden. So what will you be buying, renting or skipping this week? Let us know in the comments. Until next week!

Wishmaster Collection: Amazon - $38.99

Wishmaster: Magically powerful. Supernaturally evil. The ancient entity known in human legend as the Djinn can grant a person's wildest dreams. And in the process, it unleashes your darkest nightmares.The moral of the explosively terrifying, special-effects-powered, horror-fantasy spectacular: Be careful what you wish for!
Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies:When the legendary monster, the Djinn, is re-released, he begins his reign of terror, plunging the earth into horror and chaos. As the Dijnn reaches his goal of a thousand captured souls, it is up to Morgana to stand between the world as we know it and a terrifying future beyond our darkest fears.
Wishmaster 3: Beyond The Gates Of Hell: Horror goes to extremes with Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell, the goriest installment of the hit franchise yet. When Diana, a beautiful coed, discovers an ancient gem inside a mystical Persian case, she unwittingly releases the mercilessly evil "Djinn." The gut-slinging demon uses fiendish trickery to take the form of a professor in order to slice, dice and burn his way through the university staff and its students. If he can overpower Diana, his "waker," and grant her three sick and twisted wishes, the very gates of Hell will open up and engulf the world in eternal damnation. With help from the man she loves she must impale the bloodthirsty demon with a sword from Heaven to save herself and the entire world.
Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled:The unspeakable evil of the soul-devouring djinn rises again in this fourth electrifying installment of the unstoppable. Wishmaster horror legacy! But now, as a host of new victims see their most nightmarish wishes come true, the world faces the ultimate demonic terror; an onslaught of multiple djinns hell-bent on destroying everything in their path! 

Wishmaster Collection (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

A Monster Calls: Amazon - $19.99

Conor (Lewis MacDougall) is dealing with far more than other boys his age. His beloved and devoted mother (Felicity Jones) is ill. He has little in common with his imperious grandmother. His father has resettled thousands of miles away. But Conor finds a most unlikely ally when the Monster (Liam Neeson) appears at his bedroom window one night. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth that powerfully fuses imagination and reality.

A Monster Calls (Blu-ray)'

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: Amazon - $24.99
3D: Amazon - $29.99
4k: Amazon - $29.99

The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Blu-ray) 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3D (Blu-ray) 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 4K (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

Steelbook: Best Buy - $34.99
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 4K (Blu-ray) 

Exclusive Packaging: Target - $24.99
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

Silence: Amazon - $19.99

Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey to Japan to find their missing mentor (Liam Neeson). While there, the two men minister to the Christian villagers who worship in secret. If caught by feudal lords or ruling samurai, they must renounce their faith or face a prolonged and agonizing death.

Silence (Blu-ray) 

Death Walks On High Heels: Amazon - $18.99

A famed jewel thief named Rochard is slashed to death on a train. His daughter Nicole, a famous nightclub performer in Paris, is questioned by the police about some missing diamonds but she claims to know nothing about this. Nicole is then terrorized by a masked man with piercing blue eyes who demands to know where her father has hidden the stolen diamonds. Suspecting that her jealous boyfriend Michel may be the man who is harassing her, Nicole and her new-found friend Dr. Robert Matthews escape to England and apparant safety. But the killer will strike again... 

Death Walks on High Heels (Blu-ray) 

Death Walks At Midnight: Amazon - $19.99

Valentina, a beautiful fashion model, takes an experimental drug as part of a scientific experiment. While influenced by the drug, Valentina has a vision of a young woman being brutally murdered with a viciously spiked glove. It turns out that a woman was killed in exactly the same way not long ago and soon Valentina finds herself stalked by the same killer... 

Death Walks at Midnight (Blu-ray) 

Arsenal: Amazon - $17.99

A powerful action thriller, ARSENAL tells the intertwining stories of the Lindel brothers, Mikey and JP, who had only each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP found success as the owner of a construction company, while Mikey became a small-time mobster, mired in a life of petty crime. When Mikey is kidnapped and held for a ransom by ruthless crime boss Eddie King, JP turns to the brothers' old pal Sal, a plain clothes detective for help. In order to rescue his brother, JP must risk everything and unleash his vengeance against King's relentless army of gangsters.

Arsenal (Blu-ray) 

The Handmaiden: Amazon - $24.99

A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.
The Handmaiden (Blu-ray) 

Patriots Day: Amazon - $19.99
4K: Amazon - $24.99

Tragedy strikes on April 15, 2013, when two bombs explode during the Boston Marathon. In the aftermath of the attack, police Sgt. Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) and Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) join courageous survivors, first responders and other investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the suspects and bring them to justice.

Patriots Day (Blu-ray) 

Patriots Day 4K (Blu-ray) 

Witchtrap: Amazon - $17.99

Experts (James W. Quinn, Kathleen Bailey, Judy Tatum) try to exorcise a house which is haunted by the owner's heartless uncle.

Witchtrap (Blu-ray) 

Why Him?: Amazon - $19.99
4K: Amazon - $24.99

During the holidays, loving but overprotective Ned (Bryan Cranston) travels to California to visit his daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) at Stanford University. While there, he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward boyfriend Laird (James Franco). Even though Laird is a billionaire, Ned disapproves of his freewheeling attitude and unfiltered language. His panic level escalates even further when he learns that Laird plans to ask for Stephanie's hand in marriage.

Why Him? (Blu-ray) 

Why Him? 4K (Blu-ray) 

What's The Matter With Helen?: Amazon - $19.99

The Midwestern mothers of two Leopold and Loeb--like murderers move to Hollywood, California in the 1930s and open a dancing school for would-be Shirley Temples seeking to break into the movies. Adelle falls in love with a Texas millionaire, but Helen turns to an evangelist and gradually goes off the deep end. Soon corpses of all kinds start piling up...

What's the Matter with Helen? (Blu-ray) 

 -The Impostor 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Peelers, Child Eater, Black Sabbath

Happy tail end of our last March Monday! We’re one day in to a very busy cinematic week; there are at least three highly anticipated VOD releases coming out this week, and several of them have actually have limited theatrical screenings too. Check their links to see if there’s one near you. Child Eater, which I’ve personally been really excited for, will be out on DVD and VOD this Tuesday, and I’m ordering it for sure! Unfortunately the only theatres it's playing in are hundreds of miles away from me.

Wednesday can be a potential double feature for any other theatre hoppers in the bay area. The Super Shangri-La show will be screening Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath at the Balboa Theatre at 7:30, which will leave you just enough time to get the Alamo Drafthouse for Son of Blob at 10:30. And if you want to spend some quality time in a beautiful theatre this weekend, the Stanford Theatre will be showing a double feature of I Walked with a Zombie and Cat People Friday through Sunday, with multiple showtimes on Saturday and Sunday. And their popcorn is some of the best!

Premiering This Week

VOD/Limited Theatres Tuesday 28th (1hr 35min)
Horror (IMDB)
A small town strip club owner must defend her bar, her strippers and her life when violent infected patrons show up on the final closing night and all hell breaks loose.

VOD/Limited Theatres Friday 31st (1hr 29min)
Drama/ Horror/ SciFi (IMDB)
Deep in New York's upstate wilderness, Ann, a young woman in her late 20's, struggles to survive after a mysterious epidemic decimates society. On the constant brink of starvation, Ann leads an isolated and regimented life. Haunted by memories of her past she also battles the current bloodthirsty threat that lurks just outside of the forests borders, those that the epidemic has infected. When her food stores run dangerously low Ann must make the desperate journey into a nearby town to forage for any remaining food. During one of these raids, a chance encounter brings Olivia, a teenage girl, and her injured stepfather, Chris, into Ann's life and regimen of survival. Learning that Chris and Olivia are trying to go further north, where the infection is supposedly contained, Ann allows them stay at her wooded camp so they can prepare for their journey.

On DVD/ VOD Tuesday 28th (1hr 22min)
Horror (IMDB)
A simple night of babysitting takes a horrifying turn when Helen realizes the boogeyman really is in little Lucas' closet.

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 28th @ 10:15pm (1hr 35min)
Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
After the phenomenal box-office and critical success of David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of The Fly, a series of big-budget remakes of '50s horror favorites rode in on its coattails in the late 1980s -- though none managed to rise above mere camp clones of their elders, albeit garnished with modern makeup effects in an attempt to draw modern teen horror-junkies. One remake that managed to live up to its cheesy inspiration was Chuck Russell's version of The Blob, in which the title goo crashes to earth and promptly begins digesting the residents of a small California town while growing to gargantuan proportions. The clean-cut teen hero originally portrayed by Steve McQueen (his first starring role) is replaced here with a rebellious outsider (Kevin Dillon) whose preppie rival (Donovan Leitch) for the affections of the cute heroine (Shawnee Smith) is quickly eliminated by the all-consuming space-gelatin. No sooner has the plasma menace set up house in the town sewers when a shadowy government Blob Squad shows up under the direction of the grandfatherly Dr. Meddows (Joe Seneca), to clean up the mess... or not.

Weird Wednesday

Wednesday 29th @ 10:30pm (1hr 31min)
Horror/ SciFi (Rotten Tomatoes)
Actor/director Larry Hagman brought forth this sequel to The Blob in which a woman unwittingly defrosts some gray matter her scientist husband brought back from the Arctic Circle. Soon, the insatiable goo proceeds to engulf anyone who may be in its close proximity.

Video Vortex

Thursday 30th @ 9pm (1hr 20min)
Action/ Scifi (Google)
Two seemingly invincible fighters -- one good, one evil -- square off in this sci-fi action opus from Japan. When a four-man terrorist group known as Team Phantom begins raising havoc in downtown Tokyo, the city is in desperate need of a hero. An unexpected champion appears in the form of Lady Battle Cop, a former female tennis champion who has been transformed into a seemingly unstoppable cyborg. But when Team Phantom obtain a secret weapon from an underground military facility -- Amadeus, a psychotic murderer with the ability to kill using psychic powers -- it's anyone's guess who will emerge triumphant. Produced in Japan in 1991, Lady Battle Cop didn't reach American screens until 2001.

Super Shangri-La Show Presents

Wednesday 29th @ 7:30pm (1hr 33min)
Horror (IMDB)
This anthology features three chilling horror stories. "Il Telefono" is credited to Guy de Maupassant, although he never wrote such a story, and concerns a woman (Michele Mercier) receiving telephone calls from beyond the grave. "Wurdulak", by Alexei Tolstoi, stars Boris Karloff as an aging vampire who can only feed on those he loves. Co-starring Mark Damon and Susy Andersen, it is clearly the best story of the three. The final tale, "La Goccia d'Acqua," is falsely credited to Anton Chekhov. It features Jacqueline Pierreux stealing a ring from a corpse she is preparing for burial, only to be murdered by the old woman's ghost. The American version differs in four major areas: the print is shorter, the stories appear in a different order, there is a linking device with Karloff speaking directly to the audience from a foggy void, and Roberto Nicolosi's musical score is replaced with one by lounge-icon Les Baxter. The American release of the film is also missing a comic coda featuring Karloff riding on horseback (or is he?); this appears in most Eurpoean prints of the film, including Mario Bava's original cut. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Midnight Madness

Friday 31st @ 11:55pm (2hrs 4min)
Scifi/ Fantasy (Rotten Tomatoes)
A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Double Feature

I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
Friday 31st @ 7:30pm (1hr 9min)
Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.


Cat People (1942)
Friday 31st @ 6:05pm & 8:50pm (1hr 13min)
Drama/ Horror/ Romance (Rotten Tomatoes)
An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Night of the Demon

of 5 viewers "Liked" "Night of the Demon" (1980, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle -  The definition of an exploitation film on wikipedia is; "a film that attempts to succeed financially by exploiting current trends, niche genres, or lurid content." But it wasn't until the midnight screening of James C. Wasson's (only credit) 1980's slasher Night of the Demon that I truly understood the meaning. After spending 20 hours among Bigfoot fans, believers, and hunters (Pro kill included) it was painfully clear that Jim L. Ball (story (only credit)), Mike Williams (screenplay (only credit)) were not interested in the actual Bigfoot lore, the lore which Bigfooters live and breathe. If the Bigfoot community felt betrayed by the Harry and the Hendersons writer/director William Dear, a man who cared enough to name characters in his film after obscure cryptozoology heros that only the community would know about (More about that HERE) and they still curse the film, then imagine how the crowd at Bigfoot Bonanza (in the Crabtree theatre) would react to a Bigfoot vindictively murdering people with an axe! The blatant mischaracterization of Bigfoot made me sympathetic to the community as I know this portrayal would deeply upset them. I just remember how upset I was about the dumbass mischaracterization of the beholders in the first Dungeons and Dragons (2000) film but at the same time I can't help but celebrate how awesome the idea of a cult worshiping a Bigfoot slasher and offering him sexual sacrifices is! I mean come on, blood pools into a Bigfoot footprint that's the unprecedented yet awesome imagery that could only come from an exploitive mind and only be seen in a true Sasquatchsploitation film!!" - 5 Stars

KillDozer - "I was sold on this title by a local classic monster horror host who claimed it was "the bloodiest BigFoot film ever made!". He wasn't kidding!!! Night of the Demon made in 1980 is an incredible display of gore, violence, cult sacrifices, and interspecies rape! Sadly this is the director's only credit as I feel as though he may have been well on his way to being a legend in the genre. As if Bigfoot wasn't a good enough selling point, this film also features some mind blowing and cringe worthy kills by our favorite cryptozoology creature. It even has a sleeping bag kill that rivals Jason Vorhees!! I can't recommend this title enough to all those horror nerds out there looking for a bloody diamond in the rough. This is a monster cult slasher that belongs on the shelf of every genre collector!"- 5 Stars (worth of over the top 80's bloody monster violence :) a great film to see with a fun crowd)

Math Mage - "I was worried that this film included brutal Bigfoot attacks, I was not expecting competent anthropologists fighting demon cultists." - 5 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "I can't really review this movie. I viewed Night of the Demon at the tail end of a massive Bigfoot marathon. We were promised one of the goriest Bigfoot movies ever and while I didn't want to miss it, I also felt the tender kiss of sleep burrowing its way into my brain. The sound of the dialog and the quality of writing didn't seem like one of NotD strengths, so I compromised and listened to Childish Gambino's "Awaken, My Love" and Cradles of Filth's "Nymphetamine" album, effectively experiencing Night of the Demon as a music video, and it worked, it so worked. During an instantly classic scene (to be continued)" - 3 Stars

Huntress - "With elements of a monster movie as well as a Scooby Doo type mystery, Night of the Demon makes for a pretty bloody adventure movie, much different from the rest of the lineup at Bigfoot Bonanza. Although I think the alternative title, The Curse of Bigfoot, is a better representation and also a lot more fun, Night of the Demon must have made more than a couple people reconsider squatching in the 80’s." - 3.5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Night of the Demon introduced me to the phrase Sasquatchsploitation and with a little research (a quick Google search) I came across a site "A watchdog for the exploitation of Bigfoot and sasquatch in film, tv, books, internet and other media" and they've got quite a few amazingly cringe-worthy videos to share, below are a couple of my favorites:

This Purple Protector commercial features a conspiracy theorist Bigfoot, a bedwetting baby Bigfoot, and a few terrible puns. Perfectly awesome and exploitive.

Here is a kickstarter for Sasquatch I: It Begins: The Curse of the Were-Squatch a film which I won't try to describe. Just watch the video. I will say however that the perks offered for this project are amazing and cheap! Check those out HERE.

-Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in the Balboa theatre for Bigfoot Bonanza on 3/11/2017
*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.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories to Make You Jump

I finally watched something that made me jump! I came across this scrolling through Crunchyroll  and finally gave in and watched it one night at 3 AM. This anime has been going on for a while and has over fifty episodes, but they are all only about five minutes long so you could potentially finish an entire season in a little over an hour. Also the art style is super weird and unique, but I'll get to that later.

Yamishibai is an anthology anime kind of similar to what I reviewed last time, Fuan no Tane. Each episode is a new short story that has either been a Japanese urban legend or was a rumored event. Every story told is kind of unsettling in that because they were supposed to have happened in real life they make you feel as though the same thing could happen to you, or as if the same monster is watching you. This feeling is especially prevalent if you happen to binge watch this at three in the morning one night like I did. Some of the shorts feature jump scares, and even if you are anticipating them, it's hard for them not to get you.

As you probably noticed from the pictures, the art style in Yamishiba is not as traditionally anime as you may have guessed. The show is done in a sort of picture book animation where everything is hand drawn (I think, it might just look like that...) and there are no actual movements, but rather one standee moving from side to side. That was a horrible attempt at explanation so I'll try to link an example of it below lol. I thought this style of animation was really cool. I had never seen anything like it before and it kind of reminded me of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, while also making me recall picture books from my childhood.

(This was the closest I could get to finding an episode on YouTube 😅)

I really enjoyed watching this anime despite being scared by it because it was something new and unexpected. There was also no need for commitment as each episode is standalone with no long plot line running through the series. So if you need to put it down you can. Some of the shorts do fall flat because the stories are kind of Japanese culture specific and aren't really enough to scare me, but most of them are super creepy and spooky. In the later seasons some episodes feature different art styles and a little more movement making me wonder if maybe they got some guest artists to do an episode or something which would actually be really cool if it were true. (Also a side note if you like Vocaloid, the first two seasons have some good Vocaloid songs for the OP/ED themes.) If you've got a tight schedule, but still want to check out a good horror anime Yamishibai is the one for you!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): Life, Prevenge, House on Willow Street

Can you believe we're already nearing the end of March? And that means we're mere weeks away from events like the 60th annual San Francisco International Film Festival and Monsterpalooza! So I guess it seems fitting to stay indoors this last weekend of March and avoid any retail temptation... and to watch some of the new movies coming out on VOD today! I usually don't pay too much attention, or just find out about on demand movies late, but I came across so many for today that I had to include them. And luckily, one of them will be exclusively on Shudder.

Of course, there are also some new releases coming to theatres, the most notable of which is Life, the next installment of the Alien franchise. I still don't know what to think about this one (I never stopped disliking Ryan Reynolds after Buried) but I'm sure some of the Overlook creatures will take a trip the the movies to check this out some time soon. It can't be any worse than what I've been hearing about the new Predator movie... 

Opening Today

Opens Today (1hr 43min)
Horror/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller (IMDB)
Life tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.

Opens Friday 24th (1hr 25min)
Fantasy/ Horror/ Mystery (IMDB)
A girl's obsession with her brother's disappearance leads her on a nightmarish journey through a small town's Gothic landscape where she is faced with a deadly proposition. How far will she go to save the people she loves?

Available On VOD

Streaming on Shudder Friday 24th (1hr 32min)
Arthouse/ Comedy/ Drama/ Sci-Fi (Rotten Tomatoes)
A pitch black, wryly British comedy from the mind of Alice Lowe, "Prevenge" follows Ruth, a pregnant woman on a killing spree that's as funny as it is vicious. It's her misanthropic unborn baby dictating Ruth's actions, holding society responsible for the absence of a father. The child speaks to Ruth from the womb, coaching her to lure and ultimately kill her unsuspecting victims. Struggling with her conscience, loneliness, and a strange strain of prepartum madness, Ruth must ultimately choose between redemption and destruction at the moment of motherhood. "Prevenge" marks the directorial debut from Lowe, who is a triple threat, writing, directing, and acting in the film during her own pregnancy. Prevenge opens theatrically in New York and Los Angeles, and will be available nationwide on Shudder, on March 24th.

Opens Today (1hr 30min)
Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
The perfect kidnapping goes gruesomely awry in this shock-a-minute, supernatural wild ride. Led by the tough-as-nails Hazel (You're Next's Sharni Vinson), a band of desperate criminals abduct Katherine (Carlyn Burchell), the daughter of an ultra-wealthy family, for ransom. What the gang doesn't realize is that although they have Katherine's body, her soul is already in possession of a demonic force that's about to turn the tables on them. Cue a cavalcade of carnage, all building up to a totally twisted, off-the-rails finale.

Double Feature

Vertigo (1958)
Friday 24th @ 7pm (2hrs 9min)
Mystery/ Romance/ Thriller (MDB)
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.


Last Embrace (1979)
Friday 23rd @ 9:25pm (1hr 42min)
Mystery/ Romance/ Thriller (Rotten Tomatoes)
In 1979, Jonathan Demme was still a cutting-edge director and The Last Embrace was his first effort at a completely commercial assignment. Very much in the Hitchcock vein, The Last Embrace is an intense suspense film concerning Harry Hannan (Roy Scheider), a government agent recovering from a catatonic collapse after the murder of his wife. After Harry's recovery, he is back on the job, but he can't figure out whether he is suffering from self-induced paranoia or if his former employers want to kill him. These conflicting feelings are exacerbated when he forms a connection with a nervous graduate student, Ellie Fabian (Janet Margolin), whom he discovers is living in his apartment. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Double Feature

Vertigo (1958)
Saturday 25th @ 2pm, 4:30pm & 7pm

Vertigo is also screening solo Sunday 26th @ 3pm, 5:30pm & 8pm


Basic Instinct (1992)
Saturday 25th @ 9:25pm (2hrs 8min)
Drama/ Horror/ Suspense/ Romance (Rotten Tomatoes)
The mysterious Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a beautiful crime novelist, becomes a suspect when she is linked to the brutal death of a rock star. Investigated by homicide detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), Catherine seduces him into an intense relationship. Meanwhile, the murder case becomes increasingly complicated when more seemingly connected deaths occur and Nick's psychologist and lover, Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), appears to be another suspect.

Midnight Madness

Saturday 26th @11:55pm (hr 41min)
Comedy Musical/ Horror/ SciFi/ (Rotten Tomatoes)
In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O'Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named "Rocky."