Tag Archives: horror films

DYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT (2010)

Dylan DogDYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT (2010) Halloween Month continues with a look at the luckless Brandon Routh’s turn as this film’s title character, Tiziano Sclavi’s horror hero from Italian comic books. Sclavi launched Dylan Dog’s series in October of 1986 and under various creative teams the series is still running.

(Years ago I reviewed the film version of Tiziano Sclavi’s Dellamorte Dellamore from 1994.) 

Dylan Dog, an investigator of vampires, werewolves and other monsters, is an international cult hero beloved by comics fans around the world … which, of course, meant that any deviation from what the fan-boys wanted would cause them to hamstring the movie adaptation at the box office. The internet giveth and the internet taketh away.

In my opinion Dylan Dog: Dead of Night does not deserve its bad reputation. Compared to the many, many other films and television programs about heroic battlers of the paranormal this was certainly a top shelf production. The fact that this cinematic adaptation came along decades later than it should have is the main problem.  

Dylan Dog 2Let’s go by the numbers, knowing full well that budget and projected box office returns limited many of the creative decisions:

I. The Dylan Dog comic book was set in London (?). This movie was set in New Orleans, a change of locale that I actually like, given London’s overuse in horror films. Needless to say, this put the worst type of fan-boys in a VERY bad mood right off the bat.

II. The creative team behind Dylan Dog: Dead of Night kept the mood light. I agree with that choice given the inherent campiness and absurdity of an investigator who encounters werewolves, vampires, zombies, etc in horrific settings that are often reminiscent of Film Noir detective stories. The worst type of fan-boys bemoaned the “lack of the sad and serious tone of the comic books.”

III. In the comic book Dylan Dog’s sidekick in his investigations was Groucho, a Groucho Marx impersonator whose built-in craziness caused him to BE Groucho 24/7. For obvious legal and monetary reasons an American film version could not use Groucho as Dylan’s sidekick. The worst type of fan-boys were even more disenchanted.

Dylan Dog 3IV. The cinematic sidekick for Dylan was a new creation – Marcus, played by Sam Huntington, who had previously appeared with star Brandon Routh in the ill-fated Superman Returns (2006).

(Poor Routh. If only he had also starred in Frank Miller’s 2008 movie The Spirit he could have notched an all-time Hat Trick for starring in unfortunate comic book adaptations.)    Continue reading

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FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH: THE ORPHAN (1977) – MOVIE REVIEW

Friday the 13th The Orphan biggerFRIDAY THE 13th: THE ORPHAN (1977) – H.H. Munro must have turned over in his grave at this adaptation of one of his short stories. This quasi-horror film was re-released in 1979 as just The Orphan and despite the original title it has no connection to the Friday the 13th series of slasher flicks. At least, no REAL connection. I’m surprised some unscrupulous distributor never tried sneaking this into theaters in the 1980’s as a “prequel” to the slasher movies by presenting the insane young boy in the movie as the grandfather of Jason Voorhees.

Even so the title makes it hard not to think of our wealthy young protagonist “David” (Mark Owens) as an ancestor of the hockey- masked slice and dice man from Crystal Lake. In the 1920’s David’s mother accidentally shoots his African Big Game Hunter father Kevin to death during an argument about his frequent overseas trips. David not only witnesses this but sees his mother put the gun in her mouth and kill herself immediately afterward.

Next David gets VERY disturbed when a presumed family member (an uncredited Christopher Lloyd in a “blink-and-you’ll- miss- him” appearance) forces him to kiss his dead father as he lies in his coffin. Continue reading

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FOUR NEGLECTED MEXICAN HORROR FILMS

Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with a look at four unjustly neglected horror films from Mexico.

la loba

La Loba

SHE WOLF (1964) – AKA La Loba, this film features a female lycanthrope in all her violent glory. Generally a very good film, with La Loba making several kills in the opening minutes of the story. The special effects for its time and budget are very nice and the unique way the She Wolf leaps around like she’s practically flying is visually appealing and memorable. Think of the way Wonder Woman leaped around on the tv show, but even better.

And the movie takes the common sense approach of having La Loba sprout full- body hair when she transforms, none of this cheap “just the head and hands get furry” look. The transformation rips our female lycanthrope’s clothing to pieces, too, but her hair, already long in her human form, becomes even longer in her lupine form and discreetly covers the parts of her body that might cause a problem for the prudish.   Continue reading

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HALLOWEEN MONTH IS HERE

Scary group photo

BALLADEER’S BLOG’S STAFF PICNIC PHOTO

October 1st means it’s the start of Halloween Month, the time of year when Balladeer’s Blog not only covers all of its usual topics but throws in reviews of neglected and obscure horror films, monsters and stories as well.

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BLOOD BEACH (1980) – T27FV

Blood Beach

Blood Beach

In the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the 1980s by way of my research through VERY old newspapers, my interviews with series co-star and co-creator Randy Clower and emails from my fellow fans of this program.

EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday February 22nd, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

*** NOTE: I’ve now received a different account saying that this episode really aired earlier in February and was accompanied by the final chapter of the serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. Any clarification would help us.

Radar Men from the MoonSERIAL: Before showing and mocking the movie machine-gun toting Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, as members of the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) showed and mocked Chapter Two of the Republic Serial Radar Men from the Moon (1952).

FILM VAULT LORE: Our Film Vault Technicians First Class would pull the usual Movie Host duties like providing background info on the films and serials, and would also do comedy sketches centered around their fictional Film Vault Corps before and after commercials. They protected their duty station from menaces like giant rats, cellumites and other threats.

That duty station – Level 31 Core 27 of the Film Vault System was accessed via an industrial park behind KDFI Channel 27’s headquarters off Highway 183 near Dallas. The show was directed by Karl Newman, who often good-naturedly bemoaned Randy and Richard’s tendency to ad-lib. Sometimes in print interviews Newman would joke that if they used a script they would need far too many takes for Clower and Malmos to read their lines right, hence the ad-libbing.

THE MOVIE: Blood Beach (1980) was one of  the least effective horror films of the 1980s. It had a half-decent premise – a monster beneath the sand at a California beach sucking victims down into its hellish maw – but squandered that premise with incredibly slow pacing. The inane dialogue spouted by the annoying characters didn’t help matters. Continue reading

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DEATH BED (1977)

I got a reader request to review the horror film Death Bed, but I already did in 2011. Here it is again and remember, to see if I already reviewed a movie click here: https://glitternight.com/bad-movies/ 

Death Bed (1977)

DEATH BED – (1977) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following.     

A bed that eats everyone who lies on it is the hilarious premise of this actual straight-faced attempt at a horror film. You know how water-beds have water in them? This living bed has digestive juices in it. Its victims are somehow sucked through the membraneous material of the mattress and are broken down and digested by those juices. 

The viewer is treated to countless shots of human bodies (plus for variety an apple, a fly and a bucket o’ chicken) dissolving in the acid, looking like they’re being torn apart by millions of tiny piranha fish.

If you’re wondering how a four-poster bed in an abandoned mansion became a living being with a taste for human flesh, we’re told a tree-demon (no relation to the tree-monster in From Hell It Came) temporarily incarnated as a human being to seduce a woman on the bed. At one point in the tale the blood-colored tears of the demon fell on the bed, thus creating our hungry, hungry hero. Continue reading

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FATHER’S DAY (2011) HORROR FILM

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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