Friday, April 29, 2016

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday)


The weekend is upon us again people, and the San Francisco International Film Festival is about to fill up a majority of it! That isn't to say that there aren't also some great regularly scheduled screenings going on in the bay area too. In fact, today is the official release date for the highly anticipated Green Room, which I'm personally extremely excited for. Let's see what our weekend looks like.

New Release
Green Room (2015)
Opens Today (1hr 35min)
Crime/ Thriller (Google)
"Members (Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat) of a punk-rock band and a tough young woman (Imogen Poots) battle murderous white supremacists at a remote Oregon roadhouse."

(Friday tickets at the Alamo Drafthouse come with a free pizza!)




Friday 29th @ 11:30pm (1hr 24min)
Sunday 1st @ 10pm
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
"As a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the post-revolution, war torn Tehran of the 80's, a mysterious evil begins to haunt their home."


Saturday 30th @ 6:45pm (1hr 59min)
Drama (IMDB)
"Kadir is offered a conditional release from prison, and in return, he has to work in the new intelligence unit of garbage collectors."



Saturday 30th @ 3pm (1hr 39min)
Crime/ Thriller (IMDB)
"A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple."

Peter Becker and Jonathan Turell of Janus Films and the Criterion Collection, Blood Simple writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen and interviewer Scott Foundas expected to attend.


Saturday 30th @ 9:30pm (1hr 59min)
Fantasy/ Scifi (Google)
"A doctor (Tom Hiddleston) moves into a London skyscraper where rising tensions and class warfare lead to anarchy."



Saturday 30th @ 11:55pm (1hr 41min)
Comedy/ Musical/ Horror (Google)
"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.""



The Craft (1996)
Friday 29th @ 10:30pm (1hr 45min)
Drama/ Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
"A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them."


-Huntress

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: The Hallow

of 6 viewers "Liked" "The Hallow" (Ireland, 2015)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle - "The Hallow is a home invasion film staring a meaner type of Gremlin. This is another one of those horror films that is technically great but parts of the story implode. What I mean is that it works so well you can't help but really hate dumb characters, like Micah in Paranormal Activity. And Adam chose to smoke weed over calming a threat to his family... He also didn't use his flaming scythe enough." - 3.5 Stars

Speed Demon - "At first I liked this film but the more I thought bout it I realized I don't.
First half was super interesting but then it becomes very disappointing. Way too many why's and what's for me and this really starts to take affect during the second half of the film. I wish they would have explained the Hallow more significantly! They tease you with "oh it's a fairytale".. Ok well let's see some damn back story on the fairytale. I'd have to say my favorite thing in this film were the mini Pumpkinhead-like creatures running causing havoc. Cool idea and story but should have been executed better." - 3 Stars

Dabbles - "I admit I was scared a lot. But WTF, the characters annoyed me. The only thing I really liked was the one guy who warns them, and something that burns, watch and see." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "'Environmentalism is stupid cause nature is horrible.' Reminiscent of Leprechaun Origins except not terrible." - 3 Stars 

Huntress -"The Hallow starts off pretty somber but definitely does not stay that way; the story has some very tense moments that are made all the more nerve wracking by the presence of a baby. I loved all the settings used in the film, from the rustic old house to the overgrown forest, both of which worked well with the tone of the film. I'm happy to have The Hallow in my collection." - 4 Stars

The Creature of the ComiCombs - "This film started off great. I really enjoyed how things were building up but the second half just fell a bit flat for me. A few things seemed to happen for the sake of moving the plot along and just didn't make sense. While not a perfect film, it sets itself apart enough to put its shortcomings aside until the credits roll." - 3 Stars

The Impostor - "The Hallow starts off slow and picks up in its second act with a few genuinely frightening scenes. Acting was nicely done and the effects and makeup used were really good. While this film is predictable at times and nothing new is brought to the genre, I still enjoyed it. Overall this Irish bedtime story/fairy tale kept me entertained, I'd definitely recommend giving it a watch." - 3 Stars


 

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

Our film opens on a primeval forest. As our camera crawls along the lush undergrowth and passes deer grazing, we begin to approach a small cave. The cave appears ominous yet obviously is in symmetry with the forest and wildlife. After the title sequence we see a family on a boat, but this is no simple vacation as their baby, dog, and car loaded with belongings is on board too. This family is moving somewhere far. They drive off the boat and into the countryside while listening to reports of unhappy locals threatening to fight to protect their forest. The next shot finds us with Adam (the father) who is painting X’s on a bunch of trees. It is now painfully clear that he's scouting a treeline to cut down. We then jump back and forth from Clare, who is in the process of removing bars from a very old looking house, and Adam, who has taken the baby and dog on a scouting trip in the woods. As Clare is visited by some threatening looking strangers Adam discovers an odd looking corpse of an animal that oddly resembles our primordial deer from the very opening...

The reason I’ve painstakingly retraced our steps through the opening sequence is simple; it’s awesome! The amount of setup we get from this mostly silent montage is not only effective but beautifully shot by Martijn Van Broekhuizen. And it’s important that these opening shots look beautiful and serine, since as an audience we should feel for the family. Not completely side with them, but at least sympathize with them.

John Carpenter often speaks about how all horror falls into two categories that relate to humanity's tribal instinct. In this case we are dealing with outsiders (the Hitchens) who are invading an ancient land with the intention of stealing its resources. Of course this story isn’t as black and white as that and with little flourishes in the opening, like the baby’s pacifier falling in the creek, we tend to sympathise with the nuclear family out of place. I mean the family ends up dealing with outsiders also, just these ones aren’t even human.


The Pumpkin Head-esque creatures of legend we see in this film seem to be a type of fairyfolk distorted by the need to defend their home. Now the cave in the intro seems to imply that these little ones have always been evil, just never needed defend their land. This has always been a missed opportunity in my mind, since we as a community have a lot of love for monsters (thanks to auteurs like Guillermo Del Toro and Fred Dekker) but we’ve never delved into the dark petty nature of these creatures, at least not the fairy kind.

One of my favorite things about The Hallow is the stealing of the baby but this doesn’t mean Lord Battle likes to see children kidnapped. What it means is the dungeon crawling greedy nature in this adventurer wants ancient tombs holding evil secrets and monsters that will steal your child and replace it with one of their own for no better reason than to play a prank.

-Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Treasures From The ComiCombs



As April winds down we see our final Wednesday full of great releases. This week we will be taking a break from our normal head to head matchup and instead I have something just as cool for you but first my picks for this week!


Aliens (Dark Horse)

For the 30th anniversary of the 1986 film of the same name, Dark Horse is releasing the original comic series from 1988 in this awesome hardcover edition. If you’re a fan of the franchise then this is a book that should be in your collection. This series was the original sequel to the Aliens film so pick this one up and see the story before Alien 3 came along and swept it all under the rug.



Aliens Defiance (Dark Horse)

2016 is the 30th Anniversary of Aliens and if you’re like me and just can’t get enough of this franchise then Dark Horse has you covered. Just one day after Alien Day we see the release of this new #1 from Dark horse.

“Battling demons from her past while fighting for her life, Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks, in the company of Weyland-Yutani synthetics, is forced to question her strength and loyalty when the discovery of an insidious alien species on a derelict hauler sends her on a dangerous journey across the stars.”



Black Magick Volume 001 Awakening Part One (Image)

If you haven’t been following this book, now is the time get on board. Greg Rucka writes a good story and this book has some of my favorite art this year done by the talented Nicola Scott.

“Rowan Black is a detective with the Portsmouth PD... and a witch, two aspects of her life she has struggled to keep separate. Now someone is targeting Rowan, someone who knows her secrets and means to expose her... or worse.”



The Walking Dead: The Alien (Panel Syndicate)

Earlier this year we got news that master storyteller Brian K. Vaughan would be writing a Walking Dead story. This one managed to slip under my radar last week and it’s not one to be missed. Before you run out to your local comic shop to pick it up, this is only available digitally from panelsyndicate.com. This is a good addition to the world of The Walking Dead so definitely check this out if you’re a fan and even if you aren’t.


If you’re a comic book fan chances are your tastes span beyond horror. While horror comes in many forms, it’s not often that you will find anything of the sort in hero books. While you might not find hero problems very entertaining, I have a few reasons why horror fans shouldn’t sleep on hero books.


Inferno (Marvel 1989)

Inferno was one of Marvel's big crossover events that affected the whole Marvel Universe. While the story mainly involved the Mutants, it still has all the popular heroes including the Avengers, Daredevil, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man.

Why horror fans should care: Inferno isn’t just a normal hero saves the day story. This is a straight up demonic invasion of New York City. This story is full of deceit and sees multiple parties in a battle for control over Limbo and Earth. Villains get possessed and we even see inanimate objects become demonically possessed and start attacking people Maximum Overdrive style. The X-Men (while under a spell) kill without hesitation and enjoy it. The scariest part of all is that during the invasion, the residents of New York City continue their daily routines and go about their lives as if this sort of thing happens on the regular.



Batman: The Long Halloween (DC 1996-1997)

The Long Halloween is a 13 issue series that ran from 1996-1997 written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale. This story takes place early on in Batman’s crime fighting career and we get appearances from his most notable villains such as the Joker, Two-Face and Poison Ivy among others.

Why horror fans should care: Batman’s roots have always been in horror; if you give it just a quick glance you will find some nods to H.P Lovecraft. Gotham City is by far one of the most broken cities in comic books and his rogues gallery is filled with some of the most violent criminals. This story follows Batman as he’s trying to stop a crime war between the Maroni and Falcone families. During the course of the book, a mysterious killer emerges who is murdering people on holidays. This is a really dark book and one that acts as an origin story for Two-Face as we see Harvey Dents descent into madness. Excellent story telling from Jeph Loeb and some dark and moody art from Tim Sale make this a must read for horror fans and just fans of comics in general. 



Blackest Night (DC 2009-2010)

Blackest Night is one of DC's crossover events stemming from the pages of The Green Lantern. The main story is written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Ivan Reis. This is one of the best Green Lantern stories out there and a personal favorite.

Why horror fans should care: While there is a lot going on in the pages of Blackest Night, this is an awesome zombie story. If you’re a fan of films like Army of Darkness or Return of the Living Dead, this is a story you should pick up. You can see where some of the inspiration for this story comes from but Geoff Johns makes this his own. Nekron, the embodiment of death, leads an army of black lanterns and seeks to destroy all life from the universe. Black power rings are used to raise an army of the dead and at the time of publication and during this run, many familiar faces from DCs lineup are dead. Blackest Night is a great story and we get some very cool zombie battles that can only be done in a Green Lantern book. We are also treated to black lantern versions of Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, Aquaman, Animal Man, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Superman and even Batman. This is only the tip of the iceberg and you can expect a well written story all the way through with many twists, turns and revelations.


There you have it, some pretty great hero stories that step into the realm of horror and succeed. If you haven’t read these, definitely check them out! Make sure to come back next week, I’ll have a special selection of comics being released on free comic book day that you should definitely pick up. I’ll also be back with two new books going head to head!

-Creature of the ComiCombs

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bluray Tuesday!


April 26th 2016


Our favorite day of the week returns. Not many new releases this week but a few collection worthy Blurays to add to our growing collections. My must buy this week is Krampus for sure. I'm looking forward to finally owning this soon to be holiday horror classic. Read our review of it here if you missed it. This week Scream Factory releases 1992's cult classic film Death Becomes Her for the first time on Bluray and with a few new bonus features. Older catalog film Sssssss (1972) is released from Scream Factory as well for the first time on Bluray. Sssssss looks promising and may be a blind buy for me this week. Last but not least, Adrien Brody's new horror thriller Backtrack is released from Lionsgate. I haven't heard much about this one but am looking forward to checking it out soon. What will you be buying, renting or just skipping this week? Let us know in the comments. Also check out our Instagram page here.We love conversation and talking all things horror. Until next week.

Krampus: Amazon - $19.99

While the holiday season represents the most magical time of year, ancient European folklore warns of Krampus, a horned beast who punishes naughty children at Christmastime. When dysfunctional family squabbling causes young Max (Emjay Anthony) to lose his festive spirit, it unleashes the wrath of the fearsome demon. As Krampus lays siege to the Engel home, mom (Toni Collette), pop (Adam Scott), sister (Stefania LaVie Owen) and brother must band together to save one another from a monstrous fate.

Krampus (Blu-ray) 

Death Becomes Her: Amazon - $21.99

When a novelist loses her man to a movie star and former friend, she winds up in a psychiatric hospital. Years later, she returns home to confront the now-married couple, looking radiant. Her ex-husband's new wife wants to know her secret, and discovers that she has been taking a mysterious drug which grants eternal life to the person who drinks it. The actress follows suit, but discovers that immortality has a price.

Death Becomes Her (Blu-ray) 

Sssssss (1973): Amazon - $19.99

Short on cash, undergrad David Blake (Dirk Benedict) takes a job working as a lab assistant for snake expert Dr. Carl Stoner (Strother Martin). When Stoner begins giving David a series of antibiotics as a safeguard against snakebites, he at first thinks nothing of it. But gradually David begins to notices curious changes in his body, and his new girlfriend, Dr. Stoner's daughter, Kristina (Heather Menzies), notices them too. Could Dr. Stoner really be trying to turn his assistant into a snake?

Sssssss (Blu-ray) 

Backtrack: Amazon - $14.99

Psychologist Peter Bower's life is thrown into turmoil when he discovers that the patients he has been seeing are ghosts. Risking his own sanity, Peter delves into his past to uncover a terrifying secret which only he can put right.

Backtrack (Blu-ray) 

Ride Along 2: Amazon - $19.99

Rookie lawman Ben Barber (Kevin Hart) aspires to become a detective like James Payton (Ice Cube), his future brother-in-law. James reluctantly takes Ben to Miami to follow up on a lead that's connected to a drug ring. The case brings them to a homicide detective and a computer hacker who reveals evidence that implicates a respected businessman. It's now up to James and Ben to prove that charismatic executive Antonio Pope is actually a violent crime lord who rules southern Florida's drug trade.

Ride Along 2 (Blu-ray) 


   
-The Impostor 

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday)

We're back from our weekend at Monsterpalooza and we're ready to hit the theatres! There are more than a couple of International Film Fest movies that I'd love to check out, one of them is even screening tonight! 




Monday 25th @ 9:15pm (1hr 33min)
Comedy/ Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
"Ronnie runs a Disco walking tour with his son, Brayden. When a sexy woman takes the tour, it begins a competition between father and son for her love. It also signals the arrival of an oily strangler who stalks the streets at night."


Wednesday 27th @ 10pm (1hr 50min)
Action/ Scifi (IMDB)
"Students must kill an octopus-like alien who portrays a teacher. Otherwise, he will destroy the Earth once the school year is over."

Thursday 28th @ 6pm (1hr 58min)
Drama (Google)
"FĂ©lix, a 10-year-old boy in Montreal, is afraid of everything, and when kidnappers start targeting boys, his imaginary demons merge with reality."

Friday 29th @ 11:30pm (1hr 24min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
"As a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the post-revolution, war torn Tehran of the 80s, a mysterious evil begins to haunt their home."


Monday 25th @ 9:30pm (1hr 40min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
"While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests."


Starts Friday 29th (1hr 35min)
Crime/ Thriller (Google)
"Members (Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat) of a punk-rock band and a tough young woman (Imogen Poots) battle murderous white supremacists at a remote Oregon roadhouse."

-Also playing at Sundance Theatre-



Monday 25th @ 8:45pm (1hr 47min)
Drama/ History (IMDB)
"Two haunting Italian tales from different centuries in the convent prison of Bobbio, caught somewhere between past and present: a young 17th century priest falls under the spell of a bewitching nun and a modern-day tax investigator tries to push a mysterious old man out of hiding."



Super Shangri-La Show Presents
The Fantastic Argoman (1967)
Wednesday 27th @ 7pm 
Action/ Adventure/ Scifi (IMDB)
"Argoman is practically invincible with powers beyond the scope of mortal man. Who is Sir Reginald Hoover, he seems to know what mission Argoman is involved with? Will Jenabell become the Queen of the World and achieve her wishes to outsmart Argoman?"


-Huntress

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Monsterpalooza Invades the Pasadena Convention Center


So Monsterpalooza weekend is now in its final stages and I'm glad we were here to see the whole thing play out. Personally, I was worried about the convention moving to a new location; Burbank was just so small and intimate, it didn't seem like there could be a better place for it. If you were early enough to reserve room at the convention hotel, you got to really feel immersed in the community that you were there to celebrate with. everyone you met in the elevator or stuck out in the lobby was a potential new friend because you knew what they were there for. But the Pasadena Convention center ended up being a great place. There is more room in the vendor room and more rooms in general, which means a lot of panels and screenings (sort of...). One of my only issues was that all of the screenings were scheduled for Friday, the least attended day, and there was so much overlapping that you were forced to leave one thing prematurely in order to catch even a taste of the other. But even with that happening, we were able to see and experience a lot at this year's convention. And even though the majority of people weren't all staying at the same place, we still found a lot of that community that Monsterpalooza always manages to nurture.


We started our weekend off by getting lost trying to find our way out of the parking garage and to the convention hall, and in the process met the creator of Moggy Creatures, which I can't wait to see completed! You can check out the trailer at MoggyCreatures.com. 


We also got to see the world premiere of Dry Blood, which I read about on instagram a while ago and have been waiting to watch. My fingers are crossed that this will play in one of the bay area theatres that I love so we can bring more of the Overlook creatures to watch it and give it a proper review. You can find out more about this new horror at their instagram and DryBlood.com


Our night ended with the very small panel for The Lost Boys, which was carried on by Billy Wirth and G Tom Mac, who wrote the iconic theme song for the film. They shared stories about the filming the movie and memories with Brooke McCarter, who passed away in December of last year. Tom Mac put together a tribute video for the lost lost boy and performed the first acoustic rendition of Cry Little Sister

Saturday, as with every year, was a lot more crowded at the convention center, which was when I realized how much better more room is for this convention. The exhibitor's hall was packed, but that number of people trying to cram into an even smaller hall would have been a punishment for sure. 

Much of Saturday was also spent in panels, including a panel dedicated to the wolfman with speakers including Mike Hill and Mick Garris. They discussed decades of the wolfman, his impact on them and his evolution throughout the years. And yes, they talked about the 2010 movie.

The most packed panel that we went to that day was the Starship Troopers 20 year reunion panel with guests Dina Meyer, Casper Van Dien, and Jake Busey. It was like a group of old friends getting together after years to talk about their high school days! Super relaxed and a really fun panel. And it definitely made me want to re-watch Starship Troopers, since it's been at least ten years since I've seen it.

There's something so exciting about walking around the same convention hall as real life monsters, even if they are just people with makeup on. Even as I'm writing this, I am constantly getting distracted by the intricate and creative costumes people are wearing. It's something we don't get to experience every day, and something that would be hard to explain to someone who wasn't already on the same page about how fun conventions are. The day before we left the bay area to drive down to Pasadena, my coworkers were staring at my Predator shirt baffled and simply asked, "Why?" while gesturing to my favorite movie monster. And I've been thinking about that moment a lot this weekend. I realized I'm as confused by their question as they are for my love of horror. Even if they can't understand loving monsters and slashers, I think they can relate to loving a community. 

Which is why I can't wait for next year!

-Huntress

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Screenings in the Bay (Saturday to Sunday)

We've come to the end of another week, and with it comes the end of Hitchcock fest at the Stanford Theatre as well as a two week break from Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday at the Alamo in order to dedicate more time to the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival! There are a lot of interesting and awesome movies in this festival's programming, and you can check out which movies are playing this weekend below. (I missed Friday this week because I was in a car driving to Monsterpalooza, it won't happen again!) 



Saturday 23rd @ 11pm (1hr 50min)
Action/ Scifi (IMDB)
"Students must kill an octopus-like alien who portrays a teacher. Otherwise, he will destroy the Earth once the school year is over."


Sunday 24th @ 4pm (1hr 47min)
Drama/ History (IMDB)
"Two haunting Italian tales from different centuries in the convent prison of Bobbio, caught somewhere between past and present: a young 17th century priest falls under the spell of a bewitching nun and a modern-day tax investigator tries to push a mysterious old man out of hiding."



Saturday 23th @ 5pm (1hr 22min)
Thriller/ Noir (IMDB)
"Edward "Teddy" Bare (Dirk Bogarde) is a ruthless schemer who thinks he's hit the big time when he kills his older wife (Mona Washbourne), believing he will inherit a fortune. When things don't go according to plan, Teddy sets his sights on a new victim: wealthy widow Freda Jeffries (Margaret Lockwood). Unfortunately for the unscrupulous criminal, Freda is much more guarded and sassy than his last wife, making separating her from her money considerably more challenging."

(Also Playing at BAMPFA Sunday)



Saturday 23rd @ 11:55pm (2hrs 5min)
Fantasy/ Scifi (Google)
"In 1988 the Japanese government drops an atomic bomb on Tokyo after ESP experiments on children go awry. In 2019, 31 years after nuking the city, Kaneda, a bike gang leader, tries to save his friend Tetsuo from a secret government project. He battles against anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader until Tetsuo's supernatural power suddenly manifest. A final battle is fought in Tokyo Olympiad exposing the experiment's secrets."




Hitchcock fest!
The Birds (1963)
Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th @ 2:55pm & 7:30pm (2hrs)
Horror (IMDB)
"A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people."

-with-

Marnie (1964)
Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th @ 5:05pm & 9:40pm (2hrs 10min)
Crime/ Drama/ Mysrery (IMDB)
"Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them."


-Huntress