Happy Birthday to Hammer’s sensational Satanic SuspenStory, The Devil Rides Out!
Based on the Dennis Wheatley novel of the same name, The Devil Rides Out is an unusual entry in the Hammer canon. While still technically a period piece (set in 1929), it’s not the normal Victorian Gothic fare one associates with the studio. The classically cinematic monsters Hammer was so fond of are absent here, instead replaced with a far more flagitious form of evil: the Devil himself. The Devil Rides Out represents the very best of British ho-rror cinema. Enveloped in supernatural terror and drenched in menace, the film is perhaps the most legitimately terrifying beast unleashed by Hammer Studios and director Terence Fisher. It moves at an incredibly brisk pace, each moment rich with exquisite horror. Hammer music maniac James Bernard provides a superbly thunderous score that ranks among his best.
The film also gives the inimitable Sir Christopher Lee the rare chance to play the hero, an opportunity taken to its full potential. As The Duc de Richleau, Sir Christopher is as suave and urbane as ever, playing the part like an occultist Sherlock Holmes. In a career of perfect performances, Lee’s work here is among his best. As his Satanic adversary, Charles “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Gray gives a brilliantly silky portrayal of pure evil. Makes ya wish these two had another Hammer film to go at each other’s throats…
In ho-nor of this fright film favorite, here’s a clip from the film. I must issue a word of friendly warning: if you are arachnophobic, I strongly urge you NOT to watch this clip.
(Ho-stess’s Note: Mr. Browning’s bday was actually yesterday, but my comp got itself an STD and needed a day to recover. Can’t NOT celebrate someone so rad, though, so as always when I’m late w stuff, just #gowithit, please… 😉 xoxo)
Happy Birthday(ish ;)) to cinema’s dark ringmaster, Mr. Tod Browning! While he directed a wide variety of films in many genres, Mr. Browning is known for his many ho-orr films and bizarre melodramas. Like many of us, Browning was utterly obsessed with carnivals and circuses. So much so that he literally ran away with the circus. Tod lived the dream and traveled with many sideshows, carnivals, and circuses. Some of Browning’s jobs included being a talker for the The Wild Man of Borneo, performed a burial act as “The Living Corpse,” and performed as a clown with Ringling Brothers Circus. Browning later worked in vaudeville as an actor, dancer, and magician. Browning may have left the circus, but the circus never left him. Many of Browning’s films dealt with the sideshow in fascinating, often macabre ways. No doubt due to his eXXXperience, his circus pictures has an air of authenticity to them. Browning would hire actual sideshow performers, giving audiences a genuine taste of the beautifully unique side of show business. Of all his circus pictures, his most beloved is 1932’s Freaks, a cl-ass-sick of ho-rror sinema that’s as powerful today as it was back then. Browning often collaborated with site favorite Lon Chaney, resulting in some of the best work in both men’s careers. Between 1919 and 1929, Browning and Chaney made 10 films together, most dealing with misfits and the bizarre. Among their films was London After Midnight, the legendary lost vampire film that still fascinates and eludes horror aficionados. While they made many great films together, our favorite is 1927’s The Unknown and we recommend it to anyone who wants an introduction to their peculiar style,
The Unknown, in its entirety:
Beyond the circus pictures, Browning made other brilliant contributions to the ho-rror genre. In 1931, he directed Dracula with Bela Lugosi. The film was originally intended to be another Chaney/Browning collaboration, but Chaney sadly passed away before it could happen. However, the film we got is one of the most important American ho-rror films ever made and launched the career of another great macabre movie star. Lugosi and Browning would later sink their teeth into Mark of the Vampire, a remake of the aforementioned London After Midnight. Browning’s final fright film was The Devil Doll, a wonderfully weird picture about a cross-dressing criminal using miniaturized humans to exact his revenge. Happy Birthday, Tod! You made sinema a circus of ho-rrors! 🙂 xoxo
Happy Birthday to the always amazing Ms. Shelley Duvall! 🙂
Shelley Duvall is one of the most awesomely eccentric women in entertainment history. She made her film debut in Robert Altman’s utterly bizarre Brewster McCloud. After that, Ms. Duvall teamed up with Altman for six more films: McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Thieves Like Us (1974), Nashville (1975), Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976), 3 Women (1977), and Popeye (1980). For her work in 3 Women, she earned the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Beyond Mr. Altman, Ms. Duvall worked with Woody Allen in Annie Hall (1977), Terry Gilliam in Time Bandits (1981), and Steve Martin in Roxanne (1987).
Shelley Duvall went on to become an unconventional icon of fantasy television. In 1982, Duvall narrated, ho-sted, and was eXXXecutive producer on the fantasy anthology Faerie Tale Theatre, which won a Peabody Award, TCA Award and Golden CableACE. The series is quite wonderful, filled with beloved Ho-llywood stars, theatrical effects, and an offbeat charm. Any series that has Vincent Price as the Magic Mirror in Snow White and Jeff Goldblum as the Big Bad Wolf in Three Little Pigs is pure magic in my book. 🙂 In 1985, she created Tall Tales & Legends, another fantasy anthology. That series only lasted 9 episodes, but it earned Duvall an Emmy nomination. It’s worth noting that one of the 9 episodes is an adaptation of ho-rror classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. That’s a story we lose our heads over… 😉
Speaking of ho-rror, Ms. Duvall has dabbled in spooky stuff a few times. As most of you know, she played Wendy Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, a favorite of many, many fright fans. She also starred in Frankenweenie (1984) by Tim Burton, who would go on to direct a Faerie Tale Theater episode. In the (jugular) vein of her previous shows, Duvall created a short-lived ho-rror anthology called Nightmare Classics. Keep it kreepy, Ms. Duvall! 🙂
In ho-nor of her birthday, we dug up an episode of Nightmare Classics! It’s a vamp-tastic retelling of Sheridan le Fanu’s Carmilla, starring Meg “Psycho II” Tilly and Roddy “Fright Night“ McDowall. Enjoy, Fright Fiends!
Happy Birthday, Shelley Duvall! You truly are a Shining star! 🙂 xoxo
Happy Birthday to Cinema’s Great Magician, Ray Harryhausen!
As you cool ghouls and groovy ghoulies probably know, Ray Harryhausen was the mightiest stop motion animator in the cosmos. He was both Prometheus and Athena, sculpting creatures from clay and breathing life into them. Mr. Harryhausen brought many great monsters into existence with just his skilled hands and superhuman patience. What he did was magic, pure and simple.
In ho-nor of Mr. Harryhausen, we’ve dug up this groovy interview… conducted by Mr. Tim Burton! In it, you’ll hear Ray talk about the birth of several of his creations, watch Tim Burton try not give in to his inner-fanboy, and see the two mess around with a flying saucer from Earth vs. The Flying Saucers! It’s an incredible watch for lovers of fantastic cinema and Master Harryhausen. Enjoy, Kinky Ho-mies! 🙂 xoxo
Happy Birthday, Ray! Thanks for all the cinematic magic. 🙂 xoxo
(#TBT to yesterday when I should’ve posted this…The sentiment remains the same, though, even if I’m sliiiiiiiiiiightly late with it. 😉 xoxo)
Happy 91st Birthday to a legend among legends, Mr. Mel Brooks!
There are really no words to properly describe the gargantuan impact Mr. Brooks has had on comedy, film, and, well… everything. In his seven decades in show business, he’s pushed boundaries, made generations ho-wl with laughter, brought the film parody to its zenith, and showed us the high value of a cheap joke. He’s one of the very few people to score an EGOT (an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony) and, with a one-man show opening in Vegas, shows no signs of slowing down at 91. In addition to all of that, Mel Brooks also has some serious ho-rror cred. He directed Young Frankenstein and Dracula: Dead and Loving It, the former being (arguably) one of the greatest and most respectful horror spoofs of all time. As for actual ho-rror films, Brooks produced Cronenberg’s The Fly and The Doctor and the Devils by Hammer legend Freddie Francis. While not strictly horror, he also produced David Lynch’s haunting The Elephant Man. In 2015, Mr. Brooks lent his voice to the vampire Vlad in Hotel Transylvania 2.
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks! May you live to be 2000! 🙂 xoxoxo
“You see, Jason was my son, and today is his birthday…”
Happy Birthday to the seXXXiest, man-meatiest, machete-swingingest movie monster to ever camp it up: Jason “Mah Boo” Voorhees!!! 🙂
Born on June 13th of 1946, Jason was a humble child destined for greatness. After a childhood spent at Camp Crystal Lake (mostly the lake), Jason matured faster than most children… in that he went from 11 to 30 in just five years.
They grow up so fast…
After heroically saving his town from loitering teenagers, Jason became one of the biggest icons of the ’80s. His beautiful mug was plastered on t-shits, toys, a video game for the NES, and just about everything else a ghoul could dream of. The success of Jason Voorhees really opened the doors for Undead American actors in Hollywood. Jason lives… in the hearts and minds of us. After over 30 years of slashin’, stabbin’, and face-smashin’, the ol’ boy shows no sign of stoppin’. In fact, Jason recently made his grand return to video games, proving that he’s taken over all forms of media as easily as he took Manhattan.
Happy Birthday, Jason! We raise our machetes high in you ho-nor. xoxo
On this day in 1984, two of the most important films of all time were unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses…
Yes indeed, 1984 really hit the “G” spot with Gremlins and Ghostbusters! These two ho-rror comedies are among the most beloved fright funnies in all of ho-rror, and the fact that they were released on the same day is nothing short of a miracle! How is this not a federal holiday??! Sure, social media is on fire with “Ghostbusters Day” posts, but it’s not the same and it eXXXcludes the undeniable awesome that is Gremlins.
In ho-nor of these two masterpieces of ho-rror, we’re giving you a double dose of monster movie magic! At the bottom of this post, we’ve provided two behind-the-scream videos, one for each film. Both of ’em are loaded with ’80s goodness and eXXXcellent nostalgia. The Ghostbusters one gets eXXXtra points for its overwhelming seXXXiness… yes, dear kreeps, it features a generous dose of young Rick Moranis! Mercy! I do believe I’m getting the vapors! 😉
Happy Birthday, Ghostbusters and Gremlins…We love you forever!! xoxo 🙂
Happy Birthday to the Man of our Nightmares, Mr. Robert Englund!! (I hear a lot of folks born on June 6 are pretty badass… ;))
Good Ol’ Robby E…. we all know him as Freddy Krueger, the pizza-faced freak who gives good glove. I mean, there’s no denyin’ that ghoul’s place in ho-rror history. At this point, he’s (arguably) on the same level as Dracula and Frankenstein. As Heather Langenkampsaid in New Nightmare,“Every kid knows who Freddy is. He’s like Santa Claus, or King Kong.”
However, as eXXXcellent as Mr. Englund is in that role, we feel that some of his other work goes underappreciated. In ho-nor of birthday, we’re shining a light on some Robert Englund characters that don’t get nearly the same amount of love as Fred Krueger! They may not be as dreamy as The Springwood Slasher, but these performances are a cut above the rest! Without any further a-BOO (I kill myself! ;)), here are five kickass Krueger-free Robert Englund performances! 🙂
1.) The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (1989) Let’s start off with a Fright at the Opera! Yes, my Dark-lings… Mr. Englund took a stab at one of the all-time great monsters of cinema and showed that he really has an ear for music… but I’m not sure whose ear it is! 🙂
This film is an awesomely bizarre (and bizarrely awesome) fusion of Gothic Ho-rror and Slasher Terror, loaded with both gruesome gore and chilling atmosphere. Englund is simply amazing here, juggling hammy monster awesomeness and real emotion with ghoulish grace. Take a bow, Mr. Englund!
2.) Doc Halloran in Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see that much of this “Ahab” (the heroic nemesis of the slasher) in this awesome horror-comedy mockumentary, but what we do see is freakin’ magic! Essentially, Doc Halloran (named after Dick Hallorann from The Shining) is Robert Englund playing Dr. Loomis from Halloween,,, and that’s as cool as it gets! He may not be in it for long, but it’s great to see Robert Englund play a hero for once.
3.) The Riddler in The Batman (2004) Riddle me this: what happens when Freddy Krueger and Marilyn Manson have a son together? This version of The Riddler from The Batman, of corpse! While this animated series was nowhere near The Animated Series, it still had its fair share Bat-Awesome, including Mr. Englund’s creepy take on The Riddler. Talk about a Questionable character!
4.) Bill Gartley in The Mangler (1995)
The Mangler is perhaps the finest film about a demonic industry laundry press that folds people to death. Stephen King, Tobe Hooper, and our boy Robert join forces to create a pretty bonkers movie about the evils of Capitalism! Caked in old-age make-up, Mr. Englund is deliciously evil, but I suppose that a man who owns a machine called “The Mangler” has to be. You gotta know when to fold ’em!
5.) Prof. William Wexler in Urban Legend (1998)
Last but not BEAST is the mysterious Prof. WeXXXler, my personal favorite! Okay, so it’s not a flashy part, but I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE me some Urban Legend! Robert Englund may just be a red herring (or is he…? ;)) but he rocks every bit of it! Props, Prof!
Salutations, Students of the Macabre! Today is an eXXXtra special day for us Kinky Krees! We’re skull-ebrating the birthdays (and pure amazingness) of a peerless Triple Threat of Classic Ho-rror Greatness: the abominable Vincent Price, the vampiric Christopher Lee, and the madly scientific Peter Cushing! Yessiree, Blob! Vinnie P. and Chris Lee were born on this day and Peter C. was born yesterday! We’ve ho-nored the un-ho-ly heck out of these Princes of Darkness many times before, but they deserve it! These three gentle-monsters represent the very best that ho-rror cinema has to offer. Even in the goofiest, ho-kiest picture, these gentleman brought a supernatural grace and dignity. They made our collective nightmares pleasant ones and gave the Creatures of the Night a cool elegance. If there were a Mount Rushmore of Ho-rror (Mount Blood-Gushmore? Mount Rushgore?), you better believe these ghoulish gents would be on it! For their Birthdays, we’ve put together the very first Kinky Horror Virtual Drive-In! We’re giving you a spooky-cool drive-in eXXXperience from the (dis)comfort of your tomb! There’s just no better way to ho-nor our Birthday Boils than to show off the ghoulish performances that stole our hearts and turned our hairwhite!. First, a cartoon starring Mr. Price! After all, it is Saturday morning (somewhere ;)), so let us do it up right! The cartoon is an episode of 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo and it features Vincent Price as… well, Dr. Strange! A legally safe knock-off, that is. Since Vinnie P. inspired Dr. Strange, I suppose we can’t get TOO mad. 🙂 Besides, anything that features Vincent Price fighting ghosts and demons with black magic (and the Scooby Gang! :)) is spooky-cool by me!
Next, a friendly word from our sponsor and Mr. Cushing. (#GushingForCushing :)) You’ll have to pardon Peter… he’s having a guest DROP in! 🙂
Now, an important educational short from Mr. Lee. If you’re going to stay in this crazy game called Life, you’re gonna have to do The Time Warp! You may even need to The Time Warp… again! Mr. Lee is here to show you how it’s done! 🙂
Hammer Films gave history the (severed) finger with Rasputin – The Mad Monk! Christopher Lee gives one of his best performances as the maniacal mystic. If you ever wanted to see the story of Rasputin done as a Dracula film, this one’s for you!
The Doctor is In… Sane! Vincent Price slays again in this Art Deco nightmare! (Not to be confused with the Kinky Ho-rror writer of the same name…That’s totally a coincidence! ;)0
And for the last of the trailers, Peter Cushing is one of eight potential werewolves in The Beast Must Die, a ho-wlin’ whodunit from the folks at Amicus. The only film with the WEREWOLF BREAK, an inserted 30-second break that asks YOU to guess the werewolf’s identity! (So. Freaking. Rad!!! :))
And now it’s time for our…
Our first film is The Satanic Rites of Dracula, the last of the Hammer Dracula films. It’s nowhere near the quality of the earlier films, but it’s an interesting mix of spy thriller and Gothic ho-rror. Dracula really thinks big in this one. Instead of biting the necks a few buXXXom maidens, he plans on destroying the world! No, Drac! It’s best place to find awesome ho-rror films!
Horror of Dracula (1958)
While it’s not their best film, Satanic Rites of Dracula features Christopher Lee’s Dracula and Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing together again for the last time. Heck, Chris Lee’s Drac even gets some decent lines in this one! It ain’t perfect, but it does showcase two greats doing their freaky thing!
For a bit o’ Lee and Cushing, check out the film below:
We’re back! Our last attraction is The Last Man on Earth with, you guessed it, Vincent Price! The film is the first adaptation of Richard Matheson and the closest to the source material. Vinnie P. goes a full-blown stake-out here, eXXXisting as the only human in a world of vampires. What’s great about this film is that it’s one of the few times Vincent Price got to be the hero in a fright film. In this film, he’s not the monster… or is he!?!!? 😉
To see that the Price is Fright, check out the film below:
Here’s toyou, gents! Thanks for making the world a creepier place! 🙂
Ho-wdy, Ho-rror Ho-mies! Happy John Waters’ 71st Birthday Day!
In ho-nor of the Pope of Trash’s birthaversary, we have a review of his Serial Mom submitted by our very own Mr.Andrew Peters! Thanks, Ho-rror Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxoxo
The ‘90s was a strange time, especially for movies. The ‘90s didn’t quite have the identity that previous decades had, especially the ‘80s and it seemed like it wanted to forget all about the ‘80s while mimicking it at the same time, making it feel lost. Movies from that time suffered the most, especially the horror and comedy genres. Horror flicks thought they were being clever by attempting to mock the films of the ‘70s and ‘80, but it had a very cynical attitude about it, especially the slasher genre. I think we got the worst slashers out of the ‘90s. Comedies didn’t fare any better. They lacked the heart and characters that carried the films of previous years and decided to focus on cliched stereotypes they felt what their audiences perceived as cool. Oh, and help us if the two genres were attempted to be combined and you know how I feel about those. It’s like nobody knew how to speak to the generation of that time or what was happening in the world.
Nobody except for John Waters, that is. He’s a fashionable man that captures the look and style of a more pop art version of the swinging ‘60s. There’s also something very sleazy and mischievous about him that you can’t help but be fascinated with. He turned everyone’s heads – and stomachs – with the 1972 bizarre trash flick Pink Flamingos that featured both someone performing oral sex and that same person, Divine, eating dog shit. It also showcases someone bending their legs to expose their butthole and open it and close it in a rhythmic fashion. I’m just giving you an idea of what kind of filmmaker John Waters is. He loves to shock you with his sense of humor, but what if you were to take that style out of the trailer park and move it into suburbia? Well, you’d get Serial Mom.
Serial Mom has that humble ‘50s and ‘60s white, wholesome family with a ‘90s aesthetic, but underneath is a sweltering, festering nest of sleaze slowly oozing out and infecting the rest of the film, but by the time you notice it’s too late. Violence and the very mild gore is meant to both disgust you and make you laugh. The film is not only a more subtle parody of the horror genre, but it’s also a very dark comedy that is far more relevant today than it was at the time. It very intelligently brings to attention just what a media circus a famous court case can be and how we over sensationalize and idolize a serial killer, turning a blind eye to the horrors they’ve caused when we shouldn’t. In a way, this movie predicted the OJ Simpson trial if you can believe it. This isn’t just some low budget, made on the fly type of shlock. This film actually looks like a real film, meaning that the production value is high, cinematography is well done and certain things in have a soft focus to give it a very dreamy or more wholesome quality to it. Serial Mom even has a killer cast to help bring it to a more professional sense (even though it’s just a clever disguise), like Kathleen Turner in the lead role as Beverly Sutphin and Sam Waterston as her husband Eugene, with Matthew Lillard in his first role as her son Chip and Ricki Lake (yes, from The Ricki Lake Show) as her daughter Misty. Together, they appear to be the most perfect family. Mom prepares dinner and cleans the house as dad reads the paper and gets ready for work. Chip and Misty bicker before school about their seemingly important teenage lives, but when everyone leaves and Beverly is all by herself, she immediately partakes in her current favorite hobby; making obscene phone calls to her neighbor Dottie Hinkle. Just the look of pure joy that dons Beverly’s face as she asks Dottie about the pussywillows and if the Cocksucker residents live at 4215 Pussy Way. Immediately, a whiplashing tone is set that’s gonna keep juggling you back and forth. It’s like an amusement park ride; it’s gonna spin you around and make you nauseous, but dammit if it’s not fun.
Between her daughter’s unfaithful boyfriend, a neighbor that don’t recycle and her son’s friend that won’t buckle up, now she has to deal with two detectives nosing around. At first, it’s routine. The police are only digging up clues to find the culprit behind Dottie Hinkle’s phone calls, but with everyone misbehaving, Beverly has to do something about it. After the garbage men and her family wish that certain people were dead, she decides that for the good of her family, she must kill those that can’t be nice or abide by society’s rules. Like one of Chip’s teachers, for example, who believes all of the horror movies that Chip watches is affecting his mental health and that he should seek professional help and that Beverly is a poor parent for allowing him to see such garbage. Well, she’ll show him! Using her car, she runs the sucker down and drives away with no one but a stoner as a witness. Still, the witnesses story summons the police to the Sutphin residence and now they are suspicious, especially after digging through her garbage and finding books on serial killers. The suspicion is heightened when Beverly gores her daughter’s cheating boyfriend with a fireplace poker after catching him shopping around with another girl (Traci Lords in a cameo). Now the police are sniffing around long enough to catch her in the act when she goes after Chip’s friend who is ranting about her being a killer, but fortunately he’s literally caught with his pants down by the Sutphin family and is saved. For now.
That doesn’t thwart Beverly’s rampage, but she’s eventually apprehended by the police and taken to court for her heinous crimes, but like they say, innocent until proven guilty. The final act of the film is her court hearing and it has become a full blown media circus with Misty selling Serial Mom merchandise and Chip acting as her agent for the film being made about her life that will be starring Suzanne Somers who appears as herself. With nobody to defend Beverly but herself, the tables seem like they will be against her, but just wait until how she charms the judge and the jury and proves that maybe she’s not crazy… although she really is.
Scream Factory’s release of Serial Mom is to kill for. I don’t believe this is a 2K transfer, but it certainly looks as sharp as a butcher knife and it also has some killer extra features. Sick of my puns yet? Anyway, the main attraction for the features in my opinion is the feature commentary with director John Waters, who is always entertaining. He also does another new commentary with star Kathleen turner which I also recommend checking out. If you aren’t familiar with John Waters’ commentary, check out his commentary on Christmas Evil. He has nothing to do with the film, but he and the director talk about the movie and it’s pretty funny. Other features include John Waters talking with Kathleen Turner and Mink Stole about the making of the movie and there also a featurette called Serial Mom: Surreal Moments that has interviews with the aforementioned trio along with Matthew Lillard, Ricki Lake, Patricia Hearst and a few others. There’s also an original promotional featurette, The Making of Serial Mom along with The Kings of Gore that looks at the works of Herschel Gordon Lewis and David Friedman and the theatrical trailer for good measure.
Serial Mom is one of the funniest horror comedies to come of… well, ever. We seem to be hitting a wave of them now and they all seem to confuse nostalgia and homage with a half hearted attempt at long running fart jokes made of fads from the era they are supposedly paying respects to. Serial Mom is smart, hilarious and dark. It’s a perfect blend of everything you could want and although it’s not as sleazy as previous John Waters’ films, it really doesn’t need to be and I have to say it’s probably his most well made film. Happy Birthday, John Waters! Stay filthy, you Prince of Puke! 🙂 xoxoxo