Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi


31 Nights of Halloween: The Last Halloween!

We're closing out this year's 31 Nights of Halloween with a tale of four trick-or-treaters on a very unusual All Hallows Eve.

The Last Halloween (2014)
Starring: Ron Basch, Emily Alatalo, and Brendan Heard
Director: Marc Roussel
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

There are one or two more posts coming before we're done with this year's Halloween festival... and we hope to be back next year! Who knows... there may even be a review or two that'll show up between now and then.

Until then--we encourage you live every day like it's the Last Halloween!

31 Nights of Halloween: Is That You?

Here's hoping you have more fun this Halloween than poor Whitney...

Is That You? (2016)
Starring: Karlee Broschinsky and Charla Cochran Bocchicchio
Director: James Morris
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi

Halloween day is here! Here are some more spooky, sexy dark imagers of the late Alessandro Biffignandi to kick things off!

31 Nights of Halloween: The Jester

Well... this is what it's all been building to! There's going to be several short films posted here through the day, to help get you in the mood, and to perhaps warn you about pitfalls on this day of monsters.

For example, don't end up like the guy in this film. Even if you're working, wear something you can claim is a costume.

The Jester (2016)
Starring: Colin Krawchuck and Grant Palmer
Director: Colin Krawchuck
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Monday, October 30, 2017

Musical Monday: Grim Grinning Ghosts!

Halloween is almost here, and it's Monday... so it's time for more music and one last return to the Haunted Mansion and its grim grinning ghosts!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: The Prey

If the Halloween party dissapoints, maybe the after-party will deliver the fun and the chills. Take, for example, Mel's experience.

Tonight's offering is extremely well executed. The creature reveal is just a tad too slow, but otherwise everything else is fantastic.

The Prey (2015)
Starring: Rebecca Van Cleave, James Alexandrou, and Sam Gittens
Director: James Webber
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi

Here's another showcase of sexy horror art from the great Alessandro Biffignandi (1935 - 2017), brought to you as part of Terror Titan's countdown to Halloween!

31 Nights of Halloween: The Long Walk

Another bridge, another incident... on this, one of the final 31 Nights of Halloween!

The Long Walk (2017)
Starring: Carlos Lenz
Director: Carlos Lenz
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Friday, October 27, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Ouiji

Today's film gives you insight into the life of that most mysterious of creatures--the solitary writer in his or her natural habitat. (Yes... we do sit around and write in our underwear!)

Oh yeah... it also features a Ouija board with an evil spirit attached. This film is a little too slow moving for its own good, and the set (which is a room in some crewmember's house I assume) left me with a very annoying and distracting question ("why does a writer have four desktop computers sitting around her house?"), but it's still plenty creepy and well worth your time!

Ouiji (2016)
Starring: Laura Overton
Director: Azron Shai
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Thursday, October 26, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: The Rattler

During the 31 Nights of Halloween, it’s not safe for beautiful young ladies to answer their front doors, their cellphones, or even their VoIP, as the woman in tonight's tale learns. (This is another internet-based chiller from writer/director Deric Nunez that starts out strong but sort of falters at the end. I would have liked it far more if it had stayed black after the fade.)

The Rattler (2015)
Starring: Ana Valverde
Director: Deric Nunez
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: On the Road Again

While driving along a back road at night, a young man (Manguray) encounters and is pursued by a twisted apparition.

"On the Road Again" is nearly flawless on a technical level--with great use of music and sound to raise the tension and excellent cinematography My only complaint is that I would have liked a little more context for the events, but it's a minor one.

On the Road Again (2017)
Starring: Andio Manguray
Directors: Loghan Strong & Andio Manguray
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi

Welcome to another set of paintings from the late, great Alessandro Biffignandi. He was an Italian artist best known for the cover paintings he did for adult-oriented horror comics during the 1970s and 1980s.

31 Nights of Halloween: Rasp

Tonight's offering is a refreshing change from horror films, be they short or long: It's about a guy who is smart enough to NOT open the door! He wins the 2017 award for Smartest Horror Movie Character in a Short Film!

That said... you should still open the door when the Trick-or-Treaters come around, exactly one week from today.

Rasp (2017)
Starring: Jamie Daniels
Director: Danny Donahue
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Monday, October 23, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Killer Kart

Just when you thought it was safe to go to the grocery store, it strikes!

Killer Kart (2012)
Starring: Christine Rodriquez, Ray Bouchard, and Ella Shaefer
Director: James Feeney
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

I LOVED this monster movie spoof... but the central ridiculousness also annoyed me slightly, especially at the end. Like many killer dolls (such as the ones featured in so many Charles Band productions), it seems like there's a fairly easy way to defeat a Killer Kart. (Although maybe knocking over a shopping cart isn't as easy as I think it is. If I didn't fear arrest, I'd conduct an experiment or two.)

That said, you should view "Killer Kart" as a cautionary tale and get the Trick-or-Treat candy now. Things may get weirder and weirder as Halloween draws closer...

Sunday, October 22, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: The Open Doors

Here's an excellent adaptation of a classic gothic twist-ending story. It's a perfect mood-setter for the tricks and treats of Halloween!

The Open Doors (2004)
Starring: Charlotte Ritchie, Michael Sheen, and Cherie Lunghi
Director: James Rogan
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Saturday, October 21, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Last Bus Home

All alone, while waiting for a late-night bus, a young woman (Bennett) encounters a yob. Any guesses how things turn out, given that we're entering the home stretch of the 31 Nights of Halloween?

Last Bus Home (2013)
Starring: Alicia Bennett and Todd von Joel
Director: Mark Jackson
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi

Another selection of scary-sexy-violent paintings by Italian artist Alessandro Biffignandi. They originally appeared as covers on adult-oriented horror comics.

31 Nights of Halloween: 3 Verses

After a frightening encounter with the supernatural, a pair of sisters seek the help of a local medium.

"3 Verses" is a Mexican horror short (the first I think I've featured from that nation in the many years of doing 31 Nights of Halloween)--and it's a doozy! Even if you're the sort of person who usually says "Yuck! Subtitles!" this one is worth it. It is guaranteed to get that Halloween spirit started! Its Ten-Star rating is well-deserved.

3 Verses (aka "3 Versos") (2013)
Starring: Edvan Galvan, Laura Mariscal, Dayhana Garcia, Daniela Lopez. and Cirilo Cortez
Director: Antonio Yee
Rating: Ten of Ten Stars

Thursday, October 19, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Not So Fast

The troubles of Lotta Losten  continue in tonight's short fright film...

Not So Fast (2013)
Starring: Lotta Losten and David F. Sandberg
Director: David F. Sandberg
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

31 Days of Halloween: The Last Bus

Tonight's offering is another example of "less is more" when it comes to scary movies. (In fact, I wonder if as far as the musical score goes, even a little less might not have been called for.)

This tale of an ill-fated bus ride is great viewing to get you ready for Halloween!

The Last Bus (2017)
Starring: Megan Statchani
Director: Danny Lowman
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Mirrored

A young man (Rome) gets a new mirror installed in this bathroom... and it's not functioning as it should.

Funny and scary in equal parts, "Mirrored" is just the sort of thing to get you in the mood for Halloween. I don't like the way the last few seconds were handled, but up to the very end, This is an exceptionally strong film.

Mirrored (2015)
Starring: Aaron Jay Rome, David Colan, and Bryan Mordechai Jackson
Director: Ryan Shovey
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi

Here's another selection of paintings from the late great Italian artist Alessandro Biffignandi. Can you name all the famous movie monsters in the first ones and/or the film's they're from?

Musical Monday: Grim Grinning Ghosts

As I mentioned earlier this month, the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland was my favorite ride as a kid. Here's the original version of the theme song for the place. May your Halloween be filled with happy haunts and grinning ghosts this year!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Clickbait

Tonight’s journey into terror has an all-too-familiar beginning to those us who spend way too much time online, surfing weird “news” sites. I would have given it a higher rating if the pay-off felt more in line with the set-up, as it’s a great little film up until it falters at the very end.

Clickbait (2016) 
Starring: Rachel Lynn David
Director: Deric Nunez
Rating: Six of Ten Stars


Saturday, October 14, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Selfie

Here's a spooky film about the camera capturing what the eye can't see. It also does what it does without a single line of spoken dialogue.

(Phones are featuring rather heavily in this year's film selection. It's the whole "horror films evolve to keep up with technology" trend I've commented on a few times over the years.)

Selfie (2017) 
Starring: Unknown [I don’t read Japanese]
Director: Unknown [I don’t read Japanese]
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars


Friday, October 13, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: Drudge

It's Friday the 13th, so this 31 Nights of Halloween offering is a concentrated version of the standards set by Jason Vohrees and Michael Myers.

Drudge (2013)
Starring: Jessica Mann, Cameron Simmons, and Cheetah Plattt
Director: Kheireddine El-Helou
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Friday the 13th Musical Special (featuring Mr. Friday the Thirteenth Himself!)

Next Friday, he'll do it all again!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi

Here are three more graphic chillers from the brush of the late, great Alessandro Biffignandi (1935-2017), as we continue our showcase of his work as part of the 31 Nights of Halloween.

31 Nights of Halloween: The 5th Floor

Today we offer a cautionary tale: Don't get on the lift if there's someone in it who appears to a ghost that's escaped from a Japanese horror film.

While I'm being a bit flippant above, "The Fifth Floor" is a technically competent little horror film that hits the ground running and stays strong until the finish. (I still would have taken the stairs if I'd been the main character, however.)

The 5th Floor (2017)
Starring: Georgia Burnette and Charlie Falconer
Director: Peter Falconer
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: The Dress

A young woman (Boulet) finds that the former occupant of her new apartment has left some things behind in tonight's excellent mini-chiller.

The Dress (2017)
Starring: Amandine Boulet
Director: Erwann Kerroc'h
Rating: Nine of Ten Stars

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

31 Nights of Halloween: The Devil's Grave

Things go from bad to worse when a pair of lovers set out to bury her husband's dead body in the back yard.

Like other works I'm finding for this year's traditional mini-film festival, I think the music soundtrack is a bit overblown, but otherwise it's a nice effort. The script is especially good for this--although I feel the direction stumbles a bit at the end. I think the film would have been better served by keeping the delivery of the final line calmer and more low key like everything else had been up to that point..

The Devil's Grave (2012)
Starring: Amanda Kari McHugh and Dean Ghaffari
Director: Steven Aguilera
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Monday, October 9, 2017

Musical Monday: Ghosts

Here's a musical interlude for our countdown to Halloween--"Ghosts" by Michael Jackson! It's not quite "Thriller," (which was featured here, during the 2012 31 Nights of Halloween) but it is a nicely done video that's a homage to classic horror films.

There are two videos in this post. They were originally within a short film titled "Ghosts" that is too long to be part of the 31 Nights of Halloween, but it was directed by special effects wizard Stan Winston, from a script by Stephen King.)

Ghosts: The Music, Part One

Ghosts: The Music, Part Two

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fear-filled Phantasms: Alessandro Biffignandi

We continue our showcase of art by the late Alessandro Biffignandi. Many of the paintings featured were done as covers for Zora la Vampira, an adult-only comics series that chronicled the erotic horror adventures of the blonde vampire of the title... and this explains the many well-endowed blonde vampires you'll be seeing in these posts.