Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)

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While it can be a tad silly at times, I think “Omen IV” is very underrated. What you think is just a goofy reboot with a switching of genders for the anti-Christ ends up being something so much cleverer. Asia Veira plays the cute but deadly Delia, a young girl adopted by Gene and Karen York, two attorneys that have had a tough time conceiving. While Karen begins focusing on motherhood, Gene finds himself being pushed by his coworkers toward a political career that could become very beneficial to the family.

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Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)

936full-omen-iii-the-final-One thing I never understood about Damien Thorne is his character as a whole. Is Damien pre-programmed to be evil? Did his disciples and handler have to brainwash him to believe his God is the only God? Did Damien believe this stuff? And why does he seem to fully embrace his role as the anti-Christ in the third film when in the second film, he was a young boy struggling with his urges for good and evil? What clicked in him to inspire him to continue his plan for world domination?

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“Shocktober” Memories

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Before it became the WB, then the CW, now CW PIX 11, once upon a time, channel 11 in New York was called WPIX Channel 11. And it was referred to as New York’s Movie Station. In other words, if you didn’t have cable television to watch uncut movies, then channel 11 was your next best option for watching movies of all kinds. Most of the catalogue from WPIX featured movies from the late seventies and the eighties, and on rare occasions the nineties. My apartment building wasn’t wired for cable television well into October of 1994, so until I was eleven, “New York’s Movie Station” is where I went to, to watch movies that weren’t in my mom or dad’s VHS collection.

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

the-rocky-horror-picture-shThe first time I ever saw “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was back in 1993 when the FOX Network in New York decided to air it one Halloween. My brother and I sat down to watch it thinking we were in for a horror movie. And we tuned in to watch the cult musical with the audience following along with every single moment on-screen. Twenty minutes in it was the first time I literally asked “What the fuck is this?” Then I turned the channel and never looked back.

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Grave Shivers (2014)

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It’s hard enough to produce a decent anthology horror film, but director Brent Sims composes a trio of horror tales with a fourteen minute window. You wouldn’t think it were possible since a lot of anthology movies get ninety minutes and botch it big time (ahem—“Tales from the Hood”), but director Brent Sims’ horror anthology short isn’t just a success, it’s an impressive horror film altogether. Filled with imagination, excellent plot twists, and incredible special effects, “Grave Shivers” is a dark horror comedy that delights in offering audiences the unexpected.

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Wolfcop (2014)

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Director Lowell Dean’s indie horror actioner “Wolfcop” is probably one of my favorite superhero movies of the year. While it’s a loving tribute to horror schlock, it’s also an unabashed superhero movie filled with mythos, a bonafide origin, and even a customized vehicle that our titular wolf cop travels around to maul bad guys in. You’d think wolf puns and a Dirty Harry-esque vigilante with claws would be a complete and utter misfire, but director Dean embraces his premise and offers up a great horror action comedy.

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Zombeavers (2014)

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Absurd as it may sound, it takes a special kind of talent to pull off a movie like “Zombeavers.” A movie with this premise could either be a flat affair, or so terrible it loses sight of its punch line. Thankfully, the crew behind the production has it in the bag. “Zombeavers” is a bonafide new kind of zombie movie, but one that pays tribute to a ton of classic movies from “Creepshow 2,” and “The Thing,” right down to “Die Hard.” And the good part is, if you hate the movie, you can at least count how many beaver jokes writers Al Kaplan, Jordan Rubin, and Jon Kaplan squeezes in to ninety minutes run time. “Zombeavers” may not be for everyone, but I had a blast. It’s clever, witty, and over the top horror comedy that mixes nature run amok movies with the zombie sub-genre.

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Strippers vs. Werewolves (2012)

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I appreciated “Strippers vs. Werewolves” for being just a good enough movie with a lot of fun moments. Surely, it’s not a flawless film, as it aims mainly for cult appeal with goofy comedy, and a meta-format that breaks the fourth wall on occasion. You have to appreciate how writer Phillip Barron tries to inject an interesting story in a movie where you expect nothing but strippers fighting werewolves. To be honest, the fact that there’s an actual story with twists makes up for the fact that a movie with strippers doesn’t actually feature any bare skin at any point.

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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

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Director Ron William Neill’s “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” is a sequel to “The Wolfman” and a prequel to “Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” One of the many future crossovers for monsters, Neill’s movie is often incoherent, but at least delivers on the promise of the wolf man meeting Frankenstein. They only do battle for about four minutes in the finale, but technically they cross paths, so your expectations should be low for this sequel. The reasoning for bringing the characters together stretches all ideas of logic and suspension of disbelief. So “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” is really a process of asking the audience to willingly ignore its inconsistencies and wait for the monsters to meet up and fight.

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Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)

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In this follow up to “Meet Frankenstein,” Abbott and Costello don’t so much meet Boris Karloff, as they do a character Karloff plays named Swami Talpur. I still think the potential for Abbott and Costello meeting Karloff is potential never realized, and that’s pretty sad. Karloff only plays a side character, and appears for a few scenes, including an extended bit with character Freddie Phillips (Lou Costello) that’s still hilarious, at least. You don’t often see someone’s sheer idiocy save their lives, but you have to love how Freddie avoids all forms of vicious death by his slow wittedness.

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