Wednesday, August 30, 2017

'31 Nights of Halloween' mini-film festival to return again this year!

The days are getting shorter, and soon Halloween will be here... and the 31 Nights of Halloween will once again herald its arrival.

One month from today, Terror Titans will shamble back to life with 31 short horror films that can be viewed right here on the blog, to help you get in the mood for the Big Day. No film will be longer than 15 minutes, and the majority will be shorter than 10 or even 5.

I hope to see you all back here every evening in October! (And you can click here to check out the selections from previous years.)

And if you know of a short film I should share during the 31 Nights of Halloween, get in touch!

Monday, April 10, 2017

John Williams's "The Fury"

John Williams is unarguably one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and he may well be the most talented person to ever write and conduct music for film. So many of the movies he's written music for didn't deserve him, and the presence of his music didn't just enhance them, it elevated them.

John Williams circa 1978

One Williams score that has stayed with me to the point where its main theme pops unexpectedly into my head every so often is "The Fury." It was written for a 1978 Brian De Palma film that mixed elements of a spy thriller with horror, as a retired spy (Krik Douglas) seeks to rescue his son from a sinister government agency that is hoping to train psychics into super-spies.,, and far worse.

"The Fury" is one of Brian De Palma's best films--I know that isn't saying much, but this is truly a great movie. If you liked "Scanners" or "Firestarter," you need to see this one. It's better than either and it came before either. It's a great movie, and Williams created a score that's worth of its greatness.

For some reason, however, "The Fury" appears to be one of Williams' lesser known efforts. I hope to change that a little with this post. Click on any of the YouTube videos below. Sit back and enjoy. The let me know if you don't think whatever piece and cue you consider to be Williams's greatest doesn't pale in comparison.

First... the "Main Theme from 'The Fury'" as it was heard on the soundtrack album. It starts quiet and more than a little sinister, but Emperor Palpatine wishes he had a theme this majestic, and Darth Vader is clenching his fists in jealousy that it wasn't written for him.

After that taste, here's a symphonic arrangement of the main themes from "The Fury," arranged and conducted by John Williams himself. Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Yummy Meat

The Big Night is here! Remember to be nice to the trick-or-treaters... or you might find yourself in a situation like the one featured in this, our last (and one of the best) films for this year's 31 Nights of Halloween.

Yummy Meat (2015)
Starring: Miracle Laurie, Luke Albright, Lucas Jaye, and Lou Ferrigno Jr.
Director: John Fitzpatrick
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

31 Nights of Halloween: American Witch

I'm not exactly a Rob Zombie fan, but I like his 2006 song "American Witch"... and I like the cartoon music video that goes with it even better. It seemed like the perfect choice to feature among the several items that are closing out this year's 31 Nights of Halloween!

If you're a roleplaying gamer, you can bring the action of this video to your gaming table with the d20 System supplement Secrets of the Witchkind, written and designed by yours truly! Check it out, let me know how your games go!

31 Nights of Halloween: Candy

The Big Night is here! At sundown, ghouls and goblins will be on the prowl--so beware! If you don't have any treats for them, those goblins may subject you to tricks! Like the unfortunate couple learns in this story, which is one of the best films I've featured this month.

Candy (2014)
Starring: Stassi Rebecca Pryce, Mykey Cooper, and Zach Beitel
Director: Nelson Vicens
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Sunday, October 30, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: The Cut

The Big Night for "tricks or treats" is almost here. Tonight's short horror film embodies the Halloween spirit, I think.

The Cut (2015)
Starring: Kirill Ermichev
Director: Alexy Treskov
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Saturday, October 29, 2016

31 Nights of Halloween: Welcome to the Circus

Tonight's offering doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but it's plenty creepy. Maybe someone out there in Halloweenland can explain it to me in the comments?

Welcome to the Circus (2016)
Starring: Adrienne Smith, Guilford Adams, and Miles Chandler.
Director: John Fitzpatrick
Rating: Six of Ten Stars