The mythical Doctor Frankenstein spent years perfecting his monster which was tragically chased in to the maniacal doctor’s castle for all eternity. Hoping to escape the hatred from the villagers, the doctor travels to Hollywood in hopes of finding a way to perfect a formula. They accidentally cross paths with Alvin and the Chipmunks who are performing at a theme park very similar to Universal and Disney. While there they accidentally interrupt the Doctor who is performing experiments on his monster.
No better way to celebrate Halloween than with David, Alvin, Simon and Theodore. As usual, the Chipmunks dynasty is always on point to celebrate any occasion. This time out they celebrate Halloween with five Halloween and horror themed animated shorts that I had a really good time with. It’s tough to dislike the Chipmunks, and even in modern times there’s just something about their misadventures and brotherly dynamic that makes them charming and entertaining. Alvin is still Alvin, and his family is still the lovable characters that either put up with his antics, or match wits with him.
[Horrible Imaginings Film Festival San Diego 2015]
Every year, Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in San Diego offers a carefully selected collection of genre short films. At this festival, the shorts are organized by blocks instead of being each paired with a feature length film each. The blocks at this year’s festival were “Child’s Nightmares”, “Horror-Comedy”, “Creature Features”, “Youth and Student Showcase”, “Horror for Humanity”, “LGBT”, “Natural Born Killers”, “Supernatural”, and “Animation”. Due to prior engagements and obligations, it was not possible to see all of them. Missed were the “Child’s Nightmares”, “LGBT”, “Natural Born Killers”, “Animation” blocks and most of the “Supernatural” one. 30 shorts were viewed and enjoyed and 33 were missed. Here are the best ones, the ones you should track down from the ones viewed (in no specific order):
A homeless man who used to have everything and lost it all wanders until he finds an unlocked house which beckons to him. This house is perfect, food and booze waiting for him in the fridge, a warm place to stay, a nice bath … However, soon he realizes that the house will not let him leave. As he explored the house and spends some time thinking, he starts to question why he is there, what brought him to this point in his life, what he could have done differently? To give away more would be to do the film and the viewers a disservice.
Director Ryan Spindell’s short horror film is something of sheer brilliance if only for the fact that he perpetuates the horror of the dentist. Going to the dentist is something no one enjoys doing and “The Root of the Problem” plays upon that fear by taking a young woman and putting her in to the hot seat of delirium and what may or may not be a heinous plot to take her wisdom teeth.
The horror community has lost a lot of proponents and big names in 2015, but perhaps the passing that’s hurt me the most has been the passing of Juan Reyes. To others he was known as Juan, but to his friends and colleagues he was known simply as “Gory.” I was very fortunate enough to know Juan for a few years. We’d talk about horror movies, joke about pop culture, and he was always enthusiastic about them. Juan was also a consummate musician who scoredindependent horror films like “Horno,” and was a humongous advocate of indie film.
He knew as well as many others do that indie film is where you can find real horror gems. Juan was funny, energetic, and very friendly, and I was able to cultivate a friendship with him in a few years, and was lucky to see the type of guy he really was. It’s heartbreaking Juan won’t be able to contribute to horror as he used to, but he’ll live on forever in the memories he created, the friends he made, and the good times he shared with so many people.
We were lucky enough to garner a written contribution from Gory years ago and though it was the only article he ever contributed to Cinema Crazed, we were happy to have him lend his ideas and thoughts to our readers.
We dedicate the rest of Halloween Horror Month 2015 to the memory of Gory. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gory’s family during this terrible time. Thanks for the friendship and laughs, Gory. We’ll never forget you.
The only terrifying thing about “Ouija” is that there’s going to be a sequel. In the final scene our main character holds up the pointer to the screen to look in to it, almost as if warning us that a second part is inevitable. It’s horrifying to see how little is made up of such a paper thin concept. If it didn’t take itself so seriously, I think “Ouija” could have been good old fashioned fun. It should have been a self aware and very tongue in cheek horror comedy about a board game that channels ghosts. Almost like a supernatural Jumanji. Instead we’re given the cinematic equivalent of a sleeping pill that fails to channel anything horrific in its entire ninety minutes.
The first time I ever watched “Mosquito” was on late night cable on the USA Network when cable channels were fun. Right around the nineties when horror was kind of a killjoy with overly serious horror movies, “Mosquito” is that hard shot that really goes down well. It has gratuitous nudity, giant monsters, stop motion, and even Gunnar Hansen brandishing a chainsaw a few times. How can you bash something that genuinely tries to make the most out of very little? Director Gary Jones comprises a fun little science fiction horror fest in where an alien crash landing turns the local mosquito population in to truck sized predators that get off on feeding on people in the worst ways. Apparently mosquitoes just aren’t biased when it comes to feeding off of living things, so when the ship crash lands, the mosquitoes begin feeding on the blood of its dead alien pilot.
Like most people, I was introduced to “Manos” through the spectators of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in what is perhaps their funniest episode. Sadly, while the episode itself is a riot, “Manos” doesn’t hold up well to watching for the pure fun of it. That’s because “Manos” is primarily a really awful movie with nothing worth salvaging. There are absolutely no pros that can be taken from watching “Manos,” and it’s mainly appreciated for being so awful and nothing more. It’s shocking how a film that’s barely seventy minutes feels like an utter eternity to sit through. Many films are given “Worst” tags by everyone, but “Manos” genuinely deserves its label as one of the worst movies ever made.
For folks that want to learn everything and anything about Tom Savini, “Scream Greats” is the crème de la crème of horror documentaries. Savini-philes will love the anecdotes and insight pulled from “Scream Greats,” all the while savoring much of what the man and his company have produced for American horror cinema, from guts, gore, and basic prosthetics. “Scream Greats” is infamous for me, mainly because it’s one of those documentaries that revels in zombie cinema made famous by Savini. And anyone who knows me knows I was absolutely petrified of zombies for most of my childhood.