Dee Wallace

cc the lords of salem

Rob Zombie‘s latest film is a bit of a surprise. It’s horror, but it’s a completely different beast from his previous movies. There’s a real (and mostly intentional) sense of humor about it, too. And perhaps most surprising? It’s actually a pretty fun watch at times. (My review.) The Lords of Salem made the festival circuit for several months before getting a limited release this past April, and one of its stops was Austin’s SXSW Film Festival with both Zombie and his wife/the film’s star Sheri Moon Zombie in attendance. The audience response wasn’t quite what the couple had hoped for, leaving the director to tackle a post-screening Q&A solo when Sheri bolted for the exit. But rather than accept defeat, Zombie proved himself an incredibly entertaining speaker with a great sense of humor about himself and the business as well as an endless stream of anecdotes. His tale of witches in modern day Salem who try to bring Satan’s spawn into our world is a wacky one, but his vision remains clear. Granted, it’s clearer in the way he describes it than in the way it actually unfolds onscreen, but you’d be surprised how much good will a little dancing turkey demon can buy you.

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blu howling

1981 was the greatest year ever for fans of werewolf cinema. Bold statement? Possibly. Plain silly in light of Sybil Danning’s 1985 entry into the genre? Most assuredly. But if you were to make a list of the top five werewolf movies of all time it’s a near certainty that two of them were released in 1981. Late summer ’81 saw the August release of John Landis’ classic horror/comedy An American Werewolf in London, and just four months earlier Joe Dante‘s The Howling tore its way onto screens across America. While the two films are often spoken of in the same breath thanks to their chronological proximity and successful mix of laughs and terror, they’re also bonded through their unique but equally mesmerizing werewolf transformation scenes. A very young Rob Bottin handled the effects for Dante’s film, and they’ve never looked better than they do on Scream Factory‘s brand new Blu-ray of the film.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Tooth Fairy, Legion and Extraordinary Measures can make the grade.

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