horror

Return to Horror High Clooney

This week, Cargill and I go outside the Actor’s Studio to examine the early horror films of one Mr. George Clooney, or as you may now know him: God-King of Hollywood. Back in the glory days, the all-or-nothing days, before bestriding the narrow world like a colossus, Clooney was a struggling actor same as countless others, forced to take roles in b-horror outings in order to pay the rent. However, these horror films each had something special and of surprisingly quality to offer. Most interesting of the bunch is the never-released Grizzly II, on which Cargill and I go into startling detail. We also announce our July 4th appearance at CONvergence in Minneapolis! Can’t venture to America’s Hoth that weekend? No problem! We’ll be recording an episode during the CON and will make it available to you, our beloved Junkies, directly thereafter. You should follow Brian (@Briguysalisbury), Cargill (@Massawyrm), and the show (@Junkfoodcinema). Download Episode #14 Directly

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Sinister

Scott Derrickson, the writer/director behind The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, joins us this week to explain how to scare the hell out of someone at the cinema. Plus, FSR head-honcho-in-chief Neil Miller shares what movie prop he desperately wants to own, and we hear some of your responses. You should follow Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson), Neil Miller (@rejects), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #39 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Frankenstein 1931

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underrated seed

This far into the horror season you’ve hopefully dipped your severed toes into several horror films – perhaps you marathoned Jason Voorhees thanks to the new Blu-ray collection, or caught up with Freddy Kreuger on cable. Regardless, as long as the calendar says October, we believe it’s monster movie time, and stretching that into November is encouraged. With the ever lengthening calendar of horror appreciation, the viewing schedule can become repetitive. If you just go by what’s broadcast on television or popping up on Netflix, you’re likely faced with the same old choices. Classics, of course, but still – sometimes we want something a little bit different. Thus I come to you with 20 horror films that are, in my opinion, underrated, and generally lesser seen and shown. Now, I’m not trying to play a knowledge game and astound you with titles you’ve never heard of. These aren’t lost titles or hard to find films. This isn’t a list of 20 horror flicks you can only find on Japanese import Laser Discs. Many of those movies you will know, perhaps you’ve even seen them all, in which case – good on you. You have excellent tastes. If you haven’t seen some of these flicks, or have even actively avoided them, perhaps it’s time to take a chance and dive in. At the very least, I’m throwing my support behind these less respected horror flicks.

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The Empire Strikes Back

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psycho_commentary3

We’ve been doing our own scientific investigations into horror this month, but Filmmaker IQ has a humdinger of a video exploring why we flock to fear-based flicks and what makes them so effective. There are some surprising findings discussed here (particularly our brain activity while watching a horror film), and per usual, host John Hess is both thorough and thoroughly entertaining. Watch out for that lion:

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IntroObjects

There’s probably no funnier first-world fear than thinking your stuff might come alive and try to kill you. Then again, pretty much the entire horror genre is based around exploiting ridiculous irrational fears – it’s just that some fears are a little more irrational than others. Your toaster isn’t out to get you. To celebrate that, here are some of the most innocuous, completely stupid objects that horror films have found a way to demonize (successfully even!):

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IntroTransformations

There’s really no such thing as pleasant renewal when it comes to metamorphosis in a horror movie – only flesh falling off to expose whatever nightmare lurks beneath. It’s not unlike puberty, actually. Since we’re almost hitting the dark lord’s birthday, I thought we could celebrate by remembering some of the most nauseating horror movie transformations ever mashed onto the screen…

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Junkfood Christmas Movies

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; giving fruit cake is tantamount to treason. It’s that time of year again, when we put on ugly sweaters, drunkenly sing carols off-key, and forget how much we hate Aunt Bagatha. What? Who doesn’t have an Aunt Bagatha? For all of me here at Junkfood Cinema, Christmas is a time to suck down as many festively-shaped sugar cookies and assorted pies as humanly possible before slipping into the firm embrace of a ho ho heart attack. And of course, I give myself the gift that keeps on giving: a giant stack of my favorite holiday movies. These movies are often, as you might expect,  terrible, but every once in a while a highly-regarded classic slips in. When this oversight occurs, my baser impulses, the ones that account for my DiMaggio-like twenty-eight year streak as a resident of Santa’s naughty list, take over. I begin to image ways to corrupt said classic films and stuff them back in your stocking as twice-baked/half-baked/bake-me-something-right-now-I’m-hungry treats. Today’s subject, or rather subjects, offer a particularly easy corruption. Director Bob Clark is renowned for making one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time: A Christmas Story. It is a movie so adored that some TV stations actually showcase it in 24hr rotation on Christmas Eve. Luckily, A Christmas Story is quality enough that we overlook the fact that the one and only movie that should EVER be played on TV in 24hr rotation is Raw Deal. What some people […]

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SVHS Movie

As we all know, S-VHS stands for Super VHS, so either the filmmaking team behind V/H/S has gotten marketing savvy and is dipping into the comic book genre, or they’re sticking with cleverness over craven name-recognition by picking S-VHS as the name of their sequel. See if you can spot any capes in this first image – which comes from the segment from Gareth Evans (The Raid) and Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre). No? No capes? Just a creepy blood-covered man wearing an adult diaper from the POV of someone wielding what looks like a used paper towel roll? Well, fine then. The project will also see short installments from Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch), directing with his producer partner Greg Hale; Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun); Adam Wingard (who directed the wrap-around for V/H/S); and writer Simon Barrett directing for the first time. Rumor has it that all the filmmakers will dress like this guy for the red carpet premiere.  [Twitch]

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  Why Watch? Bursting with iconography and horror know-how, this proof of concept was picked to play at Fantastic Fest after winning the Lionsgate-sponsored Cabin in the Woods filmmaking competition over at Vimeo. No surprise that it went on to become a Staff Pick on the video site. The movie from director Chris Cullari focuses on a young boy spending the night over at a friend’s house during a strange moment “between the sequels” of the town’s terrifying masked killer. The sharp script is a heavy dose of youthful bliss with a dash of genre awareness and the pungent aroma of a campfire tale. Well-acted and shot with quickness and grace, it’s a solid lesson in taking the stories your parents scare you with seriously. The production team is looking to make a feature film version. Do you think they’ve earned it? What will it cost you? Only 5 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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Wolfenstein

Producer Samuel Hadida announced at the American Film Market that he and Panorama Media have put a plan together to finally bring us a movie version of all those classic Wolfenstein video games. A few years ago Pulp Fiction writer Roger Avary was attached to this project, which was then titled Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but some personal issues derailed the film before it could get off the ground. Well, fret not, because Avary has been brought back to write and direct, and the film, now just titled Castle Wolfenstein, is once again ready to go.

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Why Watch? Punk rockers The Brain Deads are playing an out of towner, but when they show up, the venue looks totally empty. The promotor is a sinister creep, but they take the stage anyway, lose their bass player, have a fan flash them the goods, and keep thrashing even though the majority of the audience is comprised of hell beasts. By the time an arm gets ripped off, everything seems blood-thirstily clear. These power chord slingers are a human sacrifice. With reverb from 80s punk classics like Return of the Living Dead, this short from Dan Riesser uses a cool crew of characters, flashy editing and some grisly gore to craft a hell of a good movie. Plus, the song “Lawnmower Massacre” is pretty damned catchy, and the film answer the question of what happened to Luke Edwards, the kid who beat “Super Mario 3″ in The Wizard. Apparently he joined a punk band and got attacked by demons. What will it cost you? Only 19 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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Boiling Point

Dear Creepy Advisory Weirdos, First and foremost I would like to thank you for your willingness to offer advice and commend you on your steadfastness in courting danger everyday by continuing to live in areas most of us consider haunted, damned, or forbidden. Yes, Weirdos, this letter is for you denizens of the Hollywood horror film with all your broken teeth, matted hair, and sour dispositions. I know it can’t be easy being you. After all, the townspeople generally seem to have a strong disdain for your continued residence in the area. They’d rather you move off, or perhaps preferably, fall victim to the unknown horror you’re always warning the new kids about. Your reputation around town is the stuff of legend. Embarrassing, creepy legend. Indeed, you must be made of strong stuff, suffering the slings and looks of your fellow townspeople whenever you’re around and when you’re not, you’re living in squalid shack-conditions out in the wilderness. As bad as things are, weird guy, that’s not the worst of it.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge, so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis Also known as Operation Fear, Curse of the Living Dead, Don’t Walk in the Park and many other titles, this Mario Bava flick tells the story of a small Carpathian village plagued by a series of bloody murders where the victim is left with a gold coin in her heart. Will the scientific-minded Dr. Paul Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) survive a supernatural test? Is the town witch (Fabienne Dali) helping or is she behind the murders? What lies at the mysterious Graps Estate? And which hut does Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters 2 live in?

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Frankenstein DVD Commentary

IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE! For 81 years, those words have surely been said from at least one person to another every year around Halloween time, and for good reason. Not only is Frankenstein arguably the best of the Universal monsters from the 1930s, the monster at the film’s center has become a pivotal image for October 31st. So, to round our horror slate of commentaries, we’re diving into the classic original, our oldest film covered to date. Naturally, this means we aren’t listening to any of the cast or crew from the film (although we get some quotations from director James Whale). Since the first commentary track came out in 1984 – King Kong Criterion Collection, which will be covered at some point here – films from days of old have to settle for film historians to talk shop while they play out. That’s not to say there aren’t invaluable bits of information found here, but expect lots of film theory and LOTS of snobbery. Who knows? Maybe Rudy Behlmer, who is featured here, likes to check his brain at the door with the rest of us. Checking brains at the door. Frankenstein’s monster. There’s a joke in there somewhere, but probably not a very funny one. Let’s get the commentary started, shall we?

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Although different in style and tone, celebrating Halloween and Suspiria together is an obviously great idea after speaking with Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, two horror writers who have created wicked traps for the Saw franchise, played lifeguard for Piranha 3DD and continue the terror of their own masked killer with the forthcoming The Collection. From grisly realism to stylized violence, we discuss how they both prove horror films can be beautiful and revel in Melton’s still-fierce fear of the plants outside his window. Plus, we check in with Bloody Good Horror co-host Casey Criswell to get his take on the new Evil Dead (2013) trailer. Download Episode #154

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Dario Argento

The word “Giallo” is Italian for “Yellow” which was the color of the covers of old pulp novels from the Mondadori publishing house. It’s also the color of the urine that’s scared out of you while watching the best horror flicks. There are a lot of names associated with the film movement (which usually focuses on the very stylish, very violent removal of blood from someone’s body), but at the top of the list is Dario Argento (sorry, Fulci fans). The Italian filmmaker has delivered the truly bizarre and beautiful, making movies like Suspiria and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage amongst many, many others. He was also instrumental in bringing Dawn of the Dead to life and influenced a new generation of horror directors (not to mention leagues of fans). So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the master of Yellow.

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The Scariest Movie Ever

It was a tough few days for movies about creatures from other worlds slashing their way through flimsy human flesh. Both Alien and The Thing lost handedly in the semi-final. That means we have the two movies you’ve chosen to fight to the death in the Championship Arena (which is currently being built in a part of the Australian outback that’s not being ravaged by a mutant pig). After a week of match-ups, you’ve chosen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Exorcist to vie for the title of Scariest Movie Ever. Not a bad pair, friends. It will be fascinating to see what goes through the minds of voters when choosing between these drastically different films. One is an aggressive, raw death-fest which is far less gory than people remember it being; the other is a more carefully constructed examination of a single powerful entity that involves vomit but not a lot of death. One hunts you down; the other invades your body and home. One has Leatherface; the other has Captain Howdy. So how do you even choose? What will go into your consideration? TIME TO VOTE FOR A CHAMPION

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Three friends decide to go camping near a lake, and yeah, yeah, yeah. If this short from Ben Franklin sounds predictable, simply know that it’s not. It’s a fantastic horror short film that uses standard conventions in order to subvert them. So, sure, there’s the horny couple checking their watches until they can shake the tent, there’s the goofy friend who is obsessed with blasting fireworks, and there’s the bloodied horror that finds them in the woods. But Dead Man’s Lake is the kind of short that entertains before it pulls the damned rug out from under you. The result is something devastating and terrifying in a far more fundamental way than your average slasher re-hash. It’s not wink-and-nod like Cabin in the Woods, but it knows its horror and sidesteps every cliche in order to build something that punches you right in the chest. What will it cost you? Only 9 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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