HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Here’s one final treat to finish off the 2016 season.
THE GALLOWS MAN – This is another neglected American horror legend which has been presented in many different versions over the years. Ralph Sutherland was born in 1702 in either New York City or a town near the Catskills, depending on the version.
Sutherland was born into the New York gentry but in his adult years his drinking and gambling eventually embarrassed the family enough that they stopped associating with him. After boozing, whoring and gambling away a large part of his money Ralph was left with just one reasonably-sized home surrounded by a stone wall. He had enough funds left to maintain that house and took in an indentured servant – a beautiful teen girl from Scotland.
Sutherland’s foul and obnoxious nature soon led the girl to flee. In a rage Ralph mounted a horse and tracked her down before she got far. The black-hearted man tied the terrified girl to his horse and rode back to his home, but was either so furious or so drunk that he inadvertently dragged the poor female to her death. Continue reading
The living dead emerging from The Dead Pit (1989)
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! If you’re like me you’re bored with zombies and pseudo-zombies. The 21st Century is as mired in tiresome, cookie-cutter zombie flicks as the 1980s were in tiresome, cookie-cutter slasher flicks.
Here is a look at seven films which, while technically classified as zombie movies at least adopt unique perspectives and don’t follow established formulas.
THE DEAD PIT (1989) – This horror film was the directorial debut of the very prolific director Brett Leonard. While not a four-star movie The Dead Pit is enjoyable enough for the Halloween Season and should certainly appeal to anyone into 1980s horror flicks. This movie’s hybrid of zombie elements and slasher elements is both its charm AND the reason behind its love-it-or-hate-it status.
Don’t expect non-stop Resident Evil-level action but DO expect to see some in-your-face gore very early in the flick for lovers of guts and decomposition. A physician (Dr Swan) at a mental hospital discovers the secret sub-basement where a rival MD (Dr Ramzi) is subjecting hopeless patients to horrific experiments involving a combination of science and the supernatural. Continue reading
CREDIT GOES TO BEN GARRISON AT GRRRGRAPHICS.COM
Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with this look at two neglected werewolf legends from Detroit.
I. Jacques Morand – Roughly 300 years ago Jacques Morand was in love with Genevieve Parent. Unfortunately for him Genevieve decided to join a convent. When Morand could not change her mind through pleading he turned to threats, which drew warnings from Genevieve’s father and brothers.
In desperation Jacques sold his soul through one of the White Witches of the Woods. In return he gained the unholy power to turn himself into a werewolf after dark. After preying on Genevieve’s father one night he followed that up the next by picking off one of her brothers. Continue reading
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KNOCKING OFF NUMBER SEVEN – Yesterday the unranked MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES welcomed the number 7 team in the nation – the ASHLAND UNIVERSITY EAGLES. The Huskies defied all the prognosticators and made believers out of everyone by toppling the stunned Eagles in a 27-24 game for the ages!
HANGING NINETY – The 6th ranked GRAND VIEW UNIVERSITY VIKINGS traveled to face the CULVER-STOCKTON COLLEGE WILDCATS. The Vikings – apparently sharing Balladeer’s Blog’s weariness with teams called Wildcats, Eagles, Tigers and Bulldogs – proceeded to fold, spindle and mutilate their opponents. In the end Grand View University emerged with a NINETY to NOTHING win. Continue reading
Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog! Marvel Comics’ Doctor Strange movie is coming out soon.
With every single Marvel Comics character apparently coming to a large or small screen near you it’s only a matter of time before we’re treated to Brother Voodoo – another of their neglected horror heroes.
And here’s another look: Continue reading
PHANTASM V: RAVAGER (2016) – Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with a review of what is supposedly the final installment of the Phantasm horror film series and what is DEFINITELY the final appearance of Angus Scrimm as the Tall Man. Scrimm passed away early this year, so that’s why I wrote “definitely” and given the obsession with reboots that’s why the “supposedly.”
This 5th Phantasm film answers the musical question “Ya mean there was a Phantasm FOUR?!” Yes, there was. It was released directly to video and was called Phantasm IV: Oblivion with the “iv” in Oblivion forming the Roman Numeral 4 in the title. Similarly the “v” in Ravager forms the Roman Numeral 5 in the title.
From 1979 to this calendar year the movies in this under-appreciated horror franchise forever changed the way we look at funeral homes. And funeral home directors. And Roman Numerals for that matter. For better or worse writer/director Don Coscarelli never sold out, never let the sinister Tall Man become an outer-space joke like Jason Voorhees or a Borscht-Belt Charles Manson like Freddy Krueger. (And it’s hard to believe the first Phantasm was rated X for violence in 1979.) Continue reading