Dawn of the Living Dead (Evil Grave: Curse of the Maya) (2004)

“Dawn of the Living Dead” is such a blatant attempt to garner the Romero fan’s attention, especially with the tagline “In the tradition of “Night of the Living Dead…” If we’re splitting hairs here, pretty much all of these zombie movies that copy Romero are in the tradition of “Night of the Living Dead.” David Heavener’s “Dawn of the Living Dead” (or “Evil Grave: Curse of the Maya”) induced my optimism and I pleaded that perhaps this movie would be a so bad its good little independent foreign horror comedy. Instead it’s just a film that revels in tedium, padding, and glacial pacing.

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Scare Package (2019) [Blu-Ray]

I guess you could classify “Scare Package” as a horror movie, and yes even a horror comedy. But if my arm were twisted I’d be more comfortable just classifying it as a comedy. “Scare Package” is that movie that has a great time breaking down horror tropes and satirizing the clichés we’ve seen in various horror movies, but never actually includes any kind of scary content. Every single segment in this anthology is played with a tongue in cheek, and it’s a shame since a movie with this concept has a chance to re-imagine horror tropes.

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Shorts Round Up of the Week: October Terrors, Part II: The Sequel

Halfway through October already? I wish we could have a few more days to revel in the holiday, but alas. With our festivities in full swing, I checked out more short horror films for your Halloween viewing pleasure! Have a safe, fun Halloween, all.

Warning: Some of the reviews include the short films, while others are just the teaser.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.

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Never Hike in the Snow: A Friday the 13th Fan Film (2020)

With the fate of the movie series still up in the air, the likelihood of “Friday the 13th” fans getting a new film within the next three years seems like pipe dreams. The fan community has managed to keep the franchise alive, though, including Vincente DiSanti. After his incredibly popular 2017 fan film “Never Hike Alone,” DiSanti continues his take on the series, this time giving fans what we’ve been asking for, since “The New Blood”: Jason Voorhees slashing his way through the snowy terrain of Crystal Lake.

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Fan Theory: Roy Burns is possessed by Jason Voorhees in “A New Beginning”

There’s some supernatural element in “Friday the 13th” that doesn’t fully reveal itself until “Jason Lives.” Before that, Jason was more of a mortal superhuman capable of being killed and he is presumably stopped in “The Final Chapter.” In Danny Steinmann’s “A New Beginning,” Jason is definitely dead and Tommy has difficulty moving on as he’s haunted by Jason’s image time and time again. Since the fifth film apparently still takes place in the town of Crystal Lake, Tommy is still facing the trauma of battling Jason, even though it’s established he’s buried.

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You Have to See This! Terror Tract (2000)

Lance W. Dreesen and Clint Hutchison’s horror anthology is a movie that’s managed to slip under the radar and remain fairly obscure. Even in the age where old titles are being revived for physical releases, and even in the age of the anthology renaissance, not too many people talk about “Terror Tract.” It’s a shame, since the 2000 horror film is a bold mix of terror, dark comedy, and zany violence that make it feel like an EC Comic that is slowly losing its sanity as it unfolds. You wouldn’t think that the late John Ritter could have been a great person to lead such a stellar horror anthology, but he’s top notch in a film that’s so unfairly overlooked.

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Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006)

2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.

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Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Director Rudy De Luca amassed a career working with and writing for Mel Brooks, so it’s likely intentional that “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like an attempted companion piece to “Young Frankenstein.” It seems to aspire to do so more times than the viewer would like. “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like a pseudo or spiritual sequel to “Young Frankenstein” which is a good element in some instances and works to its detriment in other instances.

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