Rec 3: Genesis red band trailer is bloody good – Paco Plaza’s Rec 3: Genesis seems to be shaping up quite nicely – if this gory red band trailer is any indication.
The third installment in the popular series moves away from the quarantined apartment building that was ground zero for the first two films and instead takes place at a wedding reception. Wedding receptions are often boring affairs – but this one proves to be an exception to the rule. When the groom is sporting plate armor and a broadsword while the bride is hacking up monsters with a chainsaw, you know you’ve stumbled across a pretty wild event.
Magnet is set to release the film on VOD this August 3rd, with a limited theatrical run beginning on September 7th.
Holliston: The Complete First Season coming to Blu-ray and DVD – If you’ve not been lucky enough to catch FEARnet’s original series Holliston, you’re in luck – it’s coming to DVD and Blu-ray on October 9th.
The show, which is more comedy than horror, stars horror filmmakers Joe Lynch and Adam Green as a couple of aspiring horror directors living mundane lives and chasing their dreams. The show features a quirky ensemble cast, including a 54-year-old crossdressing glam rocker who is not only the frontman for a Van Halen tribute band, but also Joe’s boss, and an imaginary alien who advises Adam about his life.
Green and Lynch are two of our most likable genre filmmakers and the show is quite entertaining. No word on extras on the season one package yet, but fans who like a few laughs based around their favorite genre will want to grab this disc when it releases.
Help pick the Wrong Turn 5 poster art – I’m not gonna lie…I bailed on the Wrong Turn franchise after the dreadful third film. However, apparently someone out there is still watching the adventures of Three Finger and his fellow inbred cannibal hillbillies because a Wrong Turn 5 is in production. If you want to be part of the movie-making process, without having to go to film school or pony up producer money, then you can fulfill your dream by helping to choose the poster art for this new installment. The series previously allowed fans to vote for the DVD cover art for the third film in the series – so maybe this is a good way to drum up awareness for the new entry.
Dread Central has both images for your perusal – so head over to the site and check them out. When you’ve selected the one that looks best to you, click the “like” button and then tell your friends and family that you’re now a bigtime Hollywood player.
Bad Kids Go to Hell Trailer launches – What would you get if you remade The Breakfast Club as a horror movie? Probably something very similar to the upcoming Bad Kids Go to Hell – a new feature film based on the graphic novel of the same name.
A group of students find themselves in dire straits while spending all day in detention. Something or someone is knocking them off one by one until only a handful remain in this clever updating of John Hughes’ classic story.
Cameron Deane Stewart, Augie Duke, Amanda Alch, Ali Faulkner, Marc Donato, Roger Edwards, and Ben Browder star in Matthew Spradlin’s film – which also features an appearance from Breakfast Club alum Judd Nelson just to tie things together. Check out the trailer below.
We take a trip down memory lane this week – with a look at cult classic slasher film Sorority House Massacre.
By the time 1986 rolled around, the golden days of slasher cinema were long behind it. All that was really left for fans of the form that had come to prominence with the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween was a series of unimaginative low budget knock offs and sequels to the holy trinity of the subgenre (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street). Unfortunately, Carol Frank’s Sorority House Massacre falls into that first category – although it’s not without its charms.
The film’s plot borrows liberally from Carpenter’s Halloween and merges it with elements cribbed from Wes Craven’s wildly popular Nightmare on Elm Street, but Frank doesn’t have the skill to pull off what either of those filmmakers did. Instead, Sorority House Massacre plays as a microbudgeted riff on those two other, better, slasher movies – but hey, if you’re going to borrow, borrow from the best, right?
Angela O’Neill headlines as Beth, a young woman living the college life with her girlfriends – however, like all slasher film final girls, Beth’s a little more chaste and reserved than her chums. She’s not sleeping around or wearing provocative clothing or any of that. What she does have is a tortured past – one wherein her brother murdered her family. Beth escaped and grew up with a new family – but naturally she doesn’t remember any of this. So when she starts having a weird series of very violent dreams, we all know it’s only a matter of time before big brother bolts from the sanitarium and heads home to finish what he started. Sound familiar?
Even the film’s title – which evokes memories of both The House on Sorority Row and Slumber Party Massacre – fails to be original. And yet, there’s something oddly comforting about Sorority House Massacre – it’s almost like sleeping in your own bed after a long trip abroad.
While the film is undeniably a knock-off, it does manage to be entertaining in spite of its familiarity. The ‘80s fashions, big hair, and wooden acting of O’Neill are classic reminders of an era where low budget B-movies actually got theatrical releases instead of dumped on DVD. The movie appears to have been shot on film as well – which is something else you don’t always see in today’s low budget slasher flicks.
The problem is that Carol Frank’s film is saddled a not even remotely frightening protagonist. I’m not sure if it’s due to Sorority House Massacre’s budget or not, but for whatever reason, the villain doesn’t even bother with a mask. Our killer is some generic looking schlub you’d pass at the grocery store without a second look. So when he grabs a knife and gets to carving, it’s hard to take him seriously. Carpenter understood that giving Michael Myers that classic blank-faced Captain Kirk mask made him creepy – he was a monster who looked like us, but yet was not really human in a traditional sense. Actor John C. Russell just looks the weird guy up the street who occasionally talks to his cat in public. Had a little more care been used in coming up with a signature “look” for the killer, Sorority House Massacre might have been more effective at creating some genuinely frightening moments. It was never going to be Halloween – but it could have at least been a creepy copy.
The film’s other problem is O’Neill – who just wasn’t really cut out for being a leading lady or a final girl. Contrast her with the best the subgenre has to offer – including her obvious inspirations Laurie Strode and Nancy Thompson – and she comes up significantly short. A good final girl needs to be likable even though she’s kind of a goody two-shoes. O’Neill fails to pull that off – her emotional pitch rarely changes regardless of the scene. She’s too subdued – and most damning of all is that she doesn’t even have a particularly memorable scream. Hard to be a “scream queen” without that…
In O’Neill’s defense, Frank’s script doesn’t give her a whole lot to do. At a mere 74 minutes, Sorority House Massacre still manages to feel padded. Some of the dialogue is laughably absurd, and a montage segment of the female co-stars trying on clothes is so laughably awful that it could have been a sitcom bit if not for the exposed breasts.
The real reason most people still even remember this film is because it was one of the rare slasher movies to be directed by a woman. It’s probably no surprise that the film hews closely to Slumber Party Massacre because she served as assistant director to Amy Holden Jones on that cult classic. Unfortunately, Jones’ film is a lot more interesting than Frank’s – which is largely bloodless, and lacking in titillation factor aside from a few exposed breasts. It has nothing even approaching Slumber Party Massacre’s bizarre commentary on feminism and slasher cinema (which, really, could be a book of its own…)
After reading all of that, it probably seems like I really didn’t like Sorority House Massacre – but that’s not entirely accurate. While the film certainly has its share of problems, there’s no discounting nostalgia. This is not a good film, even by the subgenre’s standards – but it is a decent reminder of an era when slasher films were a dominant force at the box-office and the movie business was a lot simpler. If you miss the good old days of slasher-mania, when the only things bigger than the hair were the butcher knives, then Sorority House Massacre will give you a quick trip down memory lane.
Horror on the Horizon
It’s slim pickings for horror fans looking for big screen frights – there’s not a single horror release for the next two weeks. Probably for the best – it leaves us more time for repeat viewings of The Dark Knight Rises.
Things are a little better on the homefront – where several high profile theatrical releases finally make their DVD and Blu-ray debut.
July 17th heralds the arrival of Intruders, which features Clive Owen taking on a spooky monster hellbent on terrorizing his young daughter. Also that week, fans can grab a copy of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers on both DVD and Blu-ray. I highly recommend it – classic fright flick.
The week of the 24th brings us the remake of The Silent House – which features Elizabeth Olsen menaced by a supernatural force in a haunted house. The other selling point here is that the film was shot in one single long-take. The Silent House will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.