Tom Atkins

thefog-commentary1

It’s Halloween, which means it’s the last day you can obsessively watch scary movies until tomorrow and the day after that. Obviously, one of the greatest Halloween films of all time is John Carpenter’s seminal slasher named after the holiday. As a follow-up, Carpenter eked together another small budget classic with co-writer and producer Debra Hill: 1980’s The Fog. While it was a horror film at its core, it was a decidedly different movie. Instead of being a simple stalker film, The Fog is a throwback feature to the older ghost story movies from the 40s and 50s that Carpenter watched as a kid. It may not hold up as well as Halloween, but The Fog is still a fun relic made during Carpenter’s heyday (which included 1981’s Escape from New York and 1982’s The Thing). Recorded shortly after Carpenter shot his 1995 stinker Village of the Damned, the commentary on the original DVD release features Carpenter and Hill reminiscing about the production that appears larger than it actually was.

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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: A small northern California town celebrates its centennial, but when a thick, mysterious fog envelops the town the residents discover their history may not be one worth celebrating. Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis) is just passing through when the nightmare begins, but she’s quickly drawn into a fight for her life alongside the studly Nick Castle (Tom Atkins), suspiciously guilty priest (Hal Holbrook) and sexy-voiced DJ Stevie (Adrienne Barbeau). Something is in the fog, and it’s armed with sharp-edged weapons.

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You have the right to remain silent… forever! It should surprise no one that Larry Cohen came up with the tag line above before a single word of his script for Maniac Cop was written. It’s beyond perfect, and it sums up the attitude behind the film pretty damn well. Director William Lustig had been best known for his Joe Spinell slasher, Maniac, so Cohen worked his magic and scripted this film with a similar sounding title but a more blackly comic tone. The result is a genre “classic” that spawned two sequels of varying quality and remains an entertaining slice of horror cinema. Arrow Video in the UK released Maniac Cop to Blu-ray last month, and we gave it a test drive below.

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Nicolas Cage is miffed; you might say perturbed. His daughter and her husband have been murdered and his infant granddaughter has been abducted. The perpetrator of these vile acts is the leader of a satanic cult of which his daughter was a former member. Cage proceeds to scorch the Earth between him and this madman in an effort to recover the only remaining connection he has to his beloved daughter. Along the way, he becomes involved with a waitress who accompanies him on his odyssey of rage. They are set upon by a mysterious suited man who calls himself The Accountant and seems to have a knack for seemingly impossible homicides. Will our intrepid anti-heroes be able to rescue the child before the forces of darkness claim her? What is the secret the vengeful rider seems to be harboring? Is that Tom Atkins?! Sometimes unique providence shines upon a critic when he is presented with a film that perfectly speaks to him. Every element, every frame, every absurdity seems suspiciously designed to strike just the right chord. The drawback inherent in a situation like this is that it becomes difficult to write a review that will communicate the quality of such a film for the masses. In short, trying to convince you that Drive Angry is a great film outside of an extremely esoteric appreciation may prove difficult. Drive Angry is essentially the perfect example of Junkfood Cinema fare: technically terrible but nevertheless lovable. If that doesn’t sound like your […]

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema: now with 100% more! Time to shake off the cobwebs, crack the padlock on the pantry, and get back to ruining your weekends by filling your eye sockets with tasty schlock. Yes, I have been away for awhile, but I have returned with a renewed fervor to liquefy your brains whilst simultaneously broadening your silhouette. Each week I investigate every nook and cranny of my favorite turkeys while also lavishing it with a sweet, geeky dressing of praise. I will also pair each film with a deliciously terrible-for-you snack food in the hopes that you too can obtain the Adonis-like physique of Gene Shalit. In honor of October, I will be serving up the best of the bad horror movies all month long. First up is the threequel with no equal… Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It’s the story of a man investigating a company that makes Halloween masks which seem to do more harm to children than just make them visually-impaired speed bumps like they are supposed to.

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