Category Archives: Halloween Season


Father's DayFATHER’S DAY (2011) – Brace yourself for a gory time in this enjoyably outrageous cult classic.

Ahab, the eye-patch sporting hero of the Astron 6 horror film Father’s Day is in my opinion the one true successor to Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. And considering how unfair the ending of this movie is for Ahab and his two sidekicks a case could even be made for them replacing Ash as the most royally screwed character in the history of gore-soaked horror comedies.     

It’s difficult to review this dark, grotesque gem without resorting to a series of catch phrases like “Goes where Dead Alive and similar movies failed to go” or “What Grindhouse hath wrought” or even “Twink and Walnut: They’re NOT Muppets!” Let me start with a more practical line: Do not watch this movie if you can not handle the most offensive violence, concepts, gore and deranged sexuality imaginable.  Continue reading


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Brain Dead 1990Scream Factory has announced that on September 11th it will be releasing its edition of the 1990 cult movie Brain Dead, with Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton. 

It’s an enjoyable little head-trip of a movie that tries to keep you guessing about what’s really going on. Extras for the release will be announced at a later date.

I’m not sure if even I would want to own this movie but it’s at least nice for a one-time viewing. Once you know what’s really going on subsequent viewings lack any real oomph.  


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CORPSE EATERS (1974) EATERS (1974) – No, not The Brain Eaters and not The Worm Eaters, both of which are real movies, but Corpse Eaters without any “the” in front. This 57 minute wonder actually manages to overstay its welcome, believe it or not, which is just as well because the similar low-budget film Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things did everything better than this film does. 

The people behind Corpse Eaters know JUST what horror fans want to see … water-skiing and plenty of it! This baby takes the concept of padding to the next level with interminable footage of two couples having a great time boating and otherwise whooping it up at lakeside. I’m not old enough to have ever sat through a suburban family’s hellishly boring home-movies but thanks to this film I can experience it as if I was alive back then! Sweeeeet!

The aforementioned lakeside footage comes after the audience is treated to several loooong minutes of a mortician and his assistant talking about what a creepy job they have. Then it’s on to our “stars” if that isn’t too strong a word for them. The frolicing couples note that it’s Friday the 13th and decide to spend the night in a graveyard just for the heck of it. Continue reading

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It's Alive trilogyIt’s Alive from 1974 is a psychotronic classic. It Lives Again from 1978 features Frederic Forrest, the “I’m a saucier” guy in his second-worst onscreen relationship – the worst was with Teri Garr in One From the Heart. It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive is fairly lame but at least it has Michael Moriarty.

Yes, the It’s Alive Trilogy is coming out on Blu-ray! You can pre-order this May 15th release at the link below, plus here’s the menu of extras for each of the 3 films:  


• NEW 2K scan of the original film elements 
• NEW Cohen’s Alive: Looking Back at the It’s Alive Films featuring interviews with writer/producer/director Larry Cohen, actors James Dixon, Michael Moriarty and Laurene Landon and more… 
• NEW It’s Alive at the Nuart: The 40th Anniversary Screening with Larry Cohen
• Audio Commentary with writer/producer/director Larry Cohen
• Radio Spots
TV Spots
• Theatrical Trailer
• Still Gallery

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Black Roses 1BLACK ROSES (1988) – This legendarily laughable attempt at a horror film belongs to quite a few niche sub-genres. It’s a Canadian horror movie, it’s one of the wonderfully campy Heavy Metal Horror productions of the 1980s and most importantly for trivia lovers Black Roses is one of the Big Three Canadian turkeys to feature Frank Dietz in a supporting role. (The other two are Rock’N’Roll Nightmare and Zombie Nightmare. ) 

Dietz looked too young to be a police detective in Zombie Nightmare and he looks too OLD to be a high school student in Black Roses. But that’s part of his – and the movie’s – charm. He also plays one of the Black Roses in monster form during the film.

You want more kitsch-casting? How about Julie Adams of Creature From The Black Lagoon playing an elderly frump outraged over Heavy Metal’s supposed “Satanic” element?

How about noted musician Carmine Appice as Vinny Apache, one of the demonic members of the band Black Roses?

How about Vincent Pastore from The Sopranos as a Heavy Metal-hating parent who pays for that by getting mauled by a $1.49 spider-puppet AND getting sucked into a speaker playing Black Roses songs?  Continue reading

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Death MasterTHE DEATHMASTER (1972) – In between his pair of movies as the vampire named Count Yorga the one and only Robert Quarry starred as a vampiric Charles Manson wannabe in this film. The Deathmaster starts out with a great bit that wouldn’t look out of place in a Jean Rollin horror flick from France: the huge, hulking Barbado (Le Sesne Hilton) plays eerie flute music, seemingly luring ashore a sea-tossed coffin. Naturally this casket holds our “Deathmaster” – a vampire called Khorda.

Unfortunately it’s all downhill from there unless you’re like me and you really enjoy bad movies. Khorda eschews the usual vampire shtick of being a suave ladies’ man. His approach is to dress like early 1970s hippies do and model his coiffure and facial hair after Charles Manson. The filmmakers even admitted that was indeed the look they were going for.

Khorda feeds on assorted Californians while spending his spare time gathering around him a collection of 1960s losers and retreads plus some biker gang members just for good measure. Our undead heavy becomes their guru, spouting the type of generic, faddish spiritual nonsense that is always a good way to sound deep while not really saying anything at all.     Continue reading

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Coffin JoeHere at Balladeer’s Blog we wring down the curtain on Halloween 2017 by revisiting our old friend Jose “Mojica” Marins, Brazil’s notorious King of Horror.

Marins’ most famous character is Ze do Caixao aka Coffin Joe, a figure who belongs alongside Dracula, Freddy Krueger, La Llorona and other horror icons from around the world.

Noteworthy movies include :

At Midnight I'll Steal Your SoulAt Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963) – Brazil’s first-ever home-grown horror film was also the very first appearance of Coffin Joe, an undertaker who relishes exploiting and mocking the religious beliefs of the community.

The transgressive, hypnotic figure lords it over those he considers to be ignorant peasants and lesser beings. Ze’s reign of terror sees him inflict physical and psychological torture on his victims, including gouging their eyes out with his incredibly long fingernails.

The vile but charismatic monster is searching for a superior woman to mate with while killing off male rivals as well as women who don’t meet his expectations.  

This Night I will possess your corpseThis Night I Will Possess Your Corpse (1967) – In this sequel Coffin Joe is even more powerful and depraved as he subjects Sao Paulo to another reign of terror. Ze is still searching for the perfect woman to bear his child and inflicting all manner of torture on his victims but this time around the viewer is treated to even more of the villain’s bizarre philosophy, which seems to be composed of equal parts Nietzsche and de Sade with a healthy sprinkling of Aleister Crowley tossed in. 

This film is black & white like the original but features the acclaimed color portion featuring a trip to a Hell ruled by Coffin Joe himself.  Continue reading


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