Friday, December 31, 2010


The following is a list of all the fantasy, science fiction and horror films that came out in 2010. This is my list, which means that I have left off most foreign films and all animated films. By the time most foreign films are released on DVD, they usually arrive too late to review in the year that they are released. Also, for the most part, I don’t enjoy the vast majority of non-English speaking films. There are always exceptions to this general rule of mine (Dead Snow and Let the Right One In come to mind), but for the purpose of keeping this list to a reasonable length, I’ve chosen to eliminate them. I will continue to maintain that animated films cannot be compared to live action films; regardless of the genre. Animated films by their very nature create a completely unrealistic visual representation of the world, which I feel is the polar opposite of the vast majority of live action films. Therefore, I have excluded animated films from this list as well.

There are 40 films total on my list of genre movies for 2010. Of these 40 films, I have seen 21 of them to date. I have broken the 40 films into three subject categories: science fiction, fantasy and horror. There are a few films that could fall into two of the three categories and I have added them to both lists where I feel they are applicable. There were 15 fantasy films, 11 science fiction films and 14 horror films released to theaters or direct-to-video on my list. I have broken down my BEST and WORST lists by each of the three genre categories of the films that I have seen. I’ve listed them from top (my favorites) to the bottom (my lesser favorites) in the BEST lists and similarly in the WORST lists. I have also added some brief comments beside the films by way of explaining my choices.


Robin Hood – I really liked Ridley Scott’s take on the early life of Robin Hood. This is the most realistic portrayal of the era since Richard Lester’s Robin and Marian (1976).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1 – I have not read any of the books, but I have watched every film and this is by far the darkest film to date. The actors have grown into their roles well.

Centurion – Neil Marshall has become one of my favorite directors. Marshall takes basic stories and fleshes them out with realistic characters and bloody fantastic action! This story of the legend of the lost 9th Roman Legion on the frontier of early 1st Century Britain packs more action, drama, comedy and romance into its 97 minute running time than any other film twice its length.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – This film adaptation of a video game that I’ve never played surprised me. This lush looking film gave me the same feel as the first Mummy movie and is almost as entertaining. This is a CGI film that has the look of the early Harryhausen Sinbad movies.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Not without flaws, this film has Cage and Molina chewing up the scenery like the old pros they are and the young leads aren’t half bad either. Great effects and an upbeat storyline make this good old-fashioned fun.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – A bit of a challenge, but this adaptation of the comic, which injects video game physics into its super-powered romantic comedy plot, rewarded me with a fantastic world filled with unique characters that only the best films are able to produce.


Kick-Ass – I really wanted to like this film adaptation of the even more violent graphic novel, but despite some nice acting by the leads – Chole Moretz as Hit Girl practically steals the movie – the extreme violence was off putting enough to keep me from enjoying it entirely.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief – I haven’t read this book either, but as a film it works well enough. Still, despite some interesting concepts and lavish special effects, it felt somewhat generic.

Jonah Hex – I have read many of the various comic book incarnations by DC over the years of this character and this film adaptation borrows from most of them. This could have been a good film, but there is just too much going on in it for it to work as a Western. It works better as a fantasy or horror film, but it never truly commits to either of these genres either.

Clash of the Titans – This remake of a very dated fantasy film was a mistake. The original was lightweight entertainment at best. This version tries to make it a dark dramatic epic and only succeeds in bogging down the fairly entertaining action sequences with tedious melodrama.

Legion – This mess fails on every level imaginable!


Inception – This is the best film of 2010 of any genre! I have not enjoyed any of Christopher Nolan’s previous films (yes – I disliked his overrated The Dark Knight), but he finally tempered his pessimistic view of humanity with some optimism in this one. Inception works on every level: it has a fascinating concept that is well told, complemented with solid acting, brisk editing and stupendous visuals.

Resident Evil: Afterlife – I find all these films thoroughly entertaining as both science fiction and action adventure. Afterlife maintains a brisk pace throughout and is different enough from its three predecessors to make it feel fresh.

Iron Man 2 – Like most super-hero movie sequels, they piled too much into this one, but it is still superior to most films in this genre.

Predators – Despite its logistic flaws, this is still an entertaining action sci-fi drama.

Splice – This works best as a science-fiction moral drama. It forces you to think, which is more than most films of its ilk can say.

Monsters - A very modest yet original take on the "alien invasion" genre.


Repo Men - I liked aspects of this film, but ultimately it failed on too many levels; worst of all its unlikely premise.

Daybreakers - I wanted to like this weird horror sci-fi action horror hybrid. Unfortunately, it ends up feeling too disjointed and directionless.

The Book of Eli – This is fine post-apocalyptic action-drama, which is spoiled by a ludicrous ending.

Skyline – A good sfnal concept that is ruined by a mistake in POV and uneven plotting.


Resident Evil: Afterlife – This also works as a wonderfully action-packed horror film, with some genuinely scary moments. There are more visceral thrills in this film than in most straight horror movies.

The Wolfman – This is the best modern dramatic adaptation of the classic monsters to date.

Daybreakers – This works far better as an action-horror hybrid, than as a sci-fi drama.

My Soul To Take – Wes Craven adds life to the tired "dead teenager" film.

Survival of the Dead - Not one of Romero's best, but still good.


Let Me In - I liked the original Swedish film "Let the Right One In", but this almost exact duplicate of the of it added nothing other than some additional graphic violence.
30 Days of Night: Dark Days – I really liked the original, but this DTV sequel is just too small in scale by comparison. It’s a good effort that is marred by its obvious low budget.
The Crazies – I didn’t like Romero's original much and this remake adds little to it. It doesn't work as sociological sf or horror, but only as an average action drama.

The films that I have not seen I have put in the same categories as the ones I have seen, based on what I know of them and my own film preferences and prejudices. I will attempt to explain why I have put the films in the categories that I have.


The Lovely Bones – I like Peter Jackson, but this story of a murdered child’s ghost is not to my taste.

Alice in Wonderland – I dislike Tim Burton and have hated all his films since Mars Attacks!

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn – I found the first film dull, so I expect more of the same here. I also find children fighting in real killing battles to be both unrealistic and unsettling.

Gulliver’s Travels – Why turn this classic satire into a Jack Black modern farcical comedy?

The Last Airbender – M. Night Shyamalan and TV anime. Enough said!


Chain Letter – This one of those “I’ll watch it on cable when there is nothing else on” movies.

I Spit on Your Grave – Torture, rape and revenge mutilations and killings. Not my type of horror film.
Nightmare on Elm Street – The original was okay and the sequels were progressively worse. I didn’t see the point of a remake and I may just give it a pass entirely.

Paranormal Activity 2 – I was thoroughly bored by the first film, so why torture myself with another?

Piranha 3D – I would like this to be so bad that its good, but I don’t think it will be.

Saw 3D – I saw 3 Saws and that was three too many! Pass!

The Twilight Saga: New Moon – I didn’t see Twilight and will not see any of the sequels either.


Tron: Legacy – I’m not a geek of the original, but this looks like it could be fun.

Overall, I thought 2010 was a good year for genre films, but not one of the best. I would like to see more original films or movies adapted from properties that have not already been made into films. There are also too many sequels being made. I like a good film franchise as much as the next fan, but most series are milked far too long. Hopefully, we’ll see the trend of adapting good comic books series continue and not just more high-profile super hero films. I do think video game film adaptations can be good, but only if they are interesting concepts to being with. I’d also like to see some serious science fiction films made from classic genre literature. There are many excellent sf, horror and fantasy books that have yet to be made into films. Hopefully, we’ll get to see them made in the near future. I am looking forward to 2011 and beyond for genre films! It looks like we’ll have plenty of films to watch for years to come.

At the bottom of the blog page you'll find a "which 2011 genre movies are you looking forward to most?" poll. Please take a few minutes to pick you're most anticipated genre films for 2011. It will help me to decide which films to see at the theater this year to write reviews for all you cool ghouls, spastic spacemen and trippy trolls!

Friday, December 24, 2010


This is a fun home video that someone (I whish I could give them credit, but they didn't incluce credits in the video) posted on YouTube of my favorite Horror Holiday tune:

Monster's Holiday by Bobby "Boris" Pickett


It's a very busy time of year here at the Freakenstein laboratory. You wouldn't think that zombies would celebrate Christmas, but you'd be dead wrong. The zombies from Zombzany's graveyard hang their moldy stockings from their tombstones with care, hoping that this year the jolly old elf will fill them with fresh fleshy bits. Every year they're disapoited, as Zombzany the dreaded Dominator of the Dead and necromancing nincompoop casts a spell over his bone yard to ward off Santa Claus. So this Christmas Eve, just to piss him off, I'll sneak into Zombzany's graveyard and fill all his zombie slaves' stockings myself. It's not the most pleasant smelling of tasks, but it'll be worth it to see the zombie's rotten-toothed smiling faces as they unstuff their stockings and stuff their faces.

From myself and all my fellow Genre Guardians...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010



I was really looking forward to seeing Skyline, based almost entirely on the two minute and twenty second trailer that appeared online just two weeks prior to the film’s release. I am very selective about what films I see at the theater and I always do some research online before seeing them. The only solid reason that I had to hope that Skyline might be a first-rate sf film was that I had enjoyed the co-directors previous film Alien vs. Predators: Requiem. That and of course the previously mentioned awesome trailer.


Skyline plain and simple is an alien invasion movie. The difference between this film and almost every other sf film alien invasion movie is that it all takes place from the point of view of one small group of characters; all of whom have no professional background in science or any other field that would help them – and hence… the audience – understand what is happening outside of the apartment building that they have found themselves trapped in. The film is broken up into three acts: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Day 1 of Skyline deals with a small group of friends, who awake early in the morning in an alcoholic post-party haze, when they see streams of bright light beaming down from the sky. This gazing out of the windows of the penthouse apartment goes on for some time, until with the help of a telescope, they see that actual human bodies are being drawn up by the light and taken into some type of alien space craft. The beams of light begin to penetrate the windows of the apartment and they seem to have a mesmerizing effect on the person that it shims on. After one of the group is taken, the rest cover the windows with blankets in an attempt to hide.

Day 2 begins with smaller ships, which look more like flying squids, attacking the apartment and trying to pull the people out of the building. Their numbers dwindling, the group forms an escape plan. They take two vehicles from the garage – a sports car and an SUV – and the smaller car upon exiting is immediately stepped on by some sort of alien bi-peddle tank like creature. With only three of the group remaining, they retreat to the penthouse apartment, feeling entrapped and hopeless.

Day 3 finds the trio of survivors awoken by the thundering of jet planes. They peek out through the draped windows to find the sky full of air force jets of all types, dog-fighting with the smaller alien craft and firing air-to-air missiles at the larger ships. As the battle continues, it becomes apparent that the human forces are losing the immediate battle. In one desperate move, a stealth fighter fires a small nuclear device at one of the larger ships and it hits. The ship explodes in a burst of fire and begins falling from the sky. This gives hope to the remaining survivors, but the hope is short lived.

I have intentionally avoided describing any of the characters in the film, because none of them are fully realized. Even the male and female leads, who are the viewpoint characters, and who I assume we are supposed to sympathize with, aren’t given more than the briefest of backstory. The actors playing these characters are fine, so I don’t blame them that I didn’t find them particularly likable or sympathetic. This is a real weakness for Skyline, because the entire film takes place from their point of view. Telling the story this way was a risky move on the part of the filmmakers, because it places all of the emotional gravitas on just two characters. The second problem this causes is that all the crucial plot information comes from characters who are completely unaware (unlike the sci-fi fans in the audience) of what is happening to them. It seems to take them far too much time for them to understand the tremendous scale of the danger that they are in. I can understand their initial shock, but you would think by the end of the first day, they would be at least be trying to find a means of escape.

Even with these faults, there are still moments of Skyline that were interesting and exciting. Unfortunately, most of these moments take place on Day 3 and in sporadic fashion at that. If you are patient, this segment of Skyline does reward you with some genuinely scary and exciting action that finally affects the two lead characters. I think the film would have been better served if the first two acts were combined into one and reduced by half. The problem with this is that the film would run to about 60 minutes, instead of its already short 92 minute running time. This brings me to the final problem with Skyline: It ends on a cliffhanger! I don’t want to ruin the film for those brave enough to watch Skyline despite all the negative reviews (of which this one would most likely qualify), by revealing what happens in the last ten minutes of the film. You’ll just have to take my word for it that Skyline would have had to have been a 3 hour film to complete the new plot line that is begun in those last 10 minutes! I left the theater at the end of Skyline feeling like I had watched the first half of an above –average TV mini-series. I do hope that despite the poor reviews and the lackluster first weekend grosses that the makers of Skyline will be able to finish the story that they began with this film.

I also hope that that Colin and Greg Strause (the directors) are able to finish the story that they began in Skyline with a sequel, because it may enable them to correct some of the mistakes they made in the first film. I honestly don’t think that Skyline is a good film, but I do think it was a good attempt and had it been executed better, may have even been a great film.

There have been so few truly SCIENCE fiction films, that I like to support even imperfect attempts at it. I think even a failed attempt like Skyline deserves to have both the positive and negative aspects of the film as a whole pointed out, so that we as fans can hopefully encourage film makers to continue to make not only good sf films, but excellent ones.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Thanks to one of my fellow bloggers Dempsey Sanders, I found this posting on Bantam Street's web site by Larry Blamire about his next film project.

After THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA I never really considered a sequel. I tend to not like them. They usually don’t work. Particularly the ones that simply recycle the original material. No way, I said.

But an idea came to me that I just thought was too good to pass up. I felt THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN would be fresh enough, a fairly different kind of movie.

Then recently, as some of you know, an idea for a third film hit me, something I felt I simply had to do. So we announced there would be yet another sequel, a third installment in the Skeleton Saga (as it’s now starting to look like, terrifyingly enough).

Well, a couple of days ago, Mike Schlesinger took great amusement in pointing out something I’d completely forgotten. Evidently, in an interview, shortly after wrapping LSRA, I stated quite flatly that this was it, no more Lost Skeleton films. I laughed, and responded that I was truly the Brett Favre of independent filmmakers.

I’ll never say never again. Well, maybe.

Anyway, thought it was a good time to unleash the title.

May God have mercy on us all…

—Larry Blamire

Monday, November 15, 2010



The fourth and final film of the Scare-a-thon was another film directed by Larry Blamire and a sequel to the previous film in our Scare-a-thon, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. The Lost Skeleton Returns Again brings back many of the characters from the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, but instead of a parody of the 50’s b&w sci-fi cheapies, it is more of a satire of the low-budget jungle serials of the 30’s and 40’s.

The Army has sent Reet Pappin (Dietz) to Betty Armstrong (Masterson) to help them find Professor Paul Armstrong (Blamire) who has been lost in the Amazon for two years searching for Jerranium 90, a ” little rock that made all the papers”. Meanwhile, the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra’s skull has awakened to command Peter Fleming, the “good twin” brother of Dr. Roger Fleming. The skull forces Peter to the Amazon’s “Valley of The Monsters” to retrieve the Delph of Anicram that can restore his skeleton. The Armstrongs, Pappin and Fleming, who disguises the skull as an umbrella holder, join together. A crooked importer Handscomb Draile, slimy Gondreau Slykes, cheap crook Carl Traeger and evil scientist Dr. Ellamy Royne also search the Amazom for the rock and are joined by the aliens from Manerva, Lattis (McConnell) and Kro-Bar (Parks), who have returned to Earth in an attempt to help their friends Paul and Betty from the dangers they will soon find themselves in. The divergent parties soon converge in the dreaded Valley of the Monsters, and meet the ancient race known as the Cantaloupe People, who are led by their haughty queen, Chinfa (Matin). Will the Armstongs be able to defeat the monstrous Magraclop that guards the Delph of Anicram and find the hidden Jerranium 90 before evil Dr. Royne? And how the heck does Anmailia (Blaire) find herself in the Amazon and in the middle of these meddlesome people? You’ll have to watch The Lost Skeleton Returns to find those answers out for yourself!

Larry Blamire’s budget was evidently larger on this project than its predecessor, because he fills this sequel with even more bizarre and wonderful characters than the first film. Just like some of the films of the late 30’s, The Lost Skeleton Returns Again begins in black and white, but when everyone arrives in the Valley of the Monsters, the film is in full “SuperSkeletoRama” color. Like many film sequels, this one doesn’t have some of the innocent magic of the original. However, it does make up for it with even more cheesy dialogue, stiff acting, cheap effects and goofy monsters. The Lost Skeleton Returns Again is a fun way to spend 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010



Our next movie was The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, which was Larry Blamire’s directorial debut. I had watched this film way back in 2004 when it was first released on DVD, but I hadn’t seen it since then, so I was hoping it would be as funny as the first time I had watched it. I needn’t have worried as this spot on satire of the sci-fi horror films of the 1950’s was just as clever and subtly humorous as I’d remembered. The story of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra involves a scientist, Dr. Paul Armstrong - played by Larry Blamire himself – searching for and then finding a fallen meteor in the middle of a mountainous forest that “could mean actual advances in the field of science”. He is aided by his wife Betty – played by the lovely Fay Masterson - who is loyal, but not so keen on "this science stuff." They encounter an alien couple from the planet Marva, Kro-Bar and Lattis – played to a straight-faced tee by Andrew Parks and Susan McConnell – who disguise themselves as ordinary humans and attempt to obtain the meteor, from Dr. Armstrong. The meteor contains the rare ore Atmosphereum, which powers the Marvaian spaceship. Meanwhile, the evil scientist Dr. Roger Fleming (Brian Howe) is wandering the same forest, looking for the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra that will enable him to “conquer the world”. He finds the skeleton, but the immobile remains informs Fleming that he must obtain the rare ore in the fallen meteor to effect his full recovery! Fleming uses a discarded alien devise to create a female companion from various forest animals, so that he can steal the meteor from Armstrong without drawing suspicion. Animalia (played seductively by Jennifer Blamire), as he dubs her, is less than convincing, as she insists on eating with her mouth and walking on all fours. Fleming steals the meteor, reviving the skeleton, and it is up to the Armstrongs and the aliens to join forces to stop the mad plans of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra!

Anyone who has watched any of the many low budget sci fi films of the 1950s, will appreciate the care with witch Larry Blamire has recreated the look and sound of these awful, yet entertaining films. The silly silver spacesuits of the aliens, the ray gun made from a caulk gun, the rocket ship model made from a silver spray-painted toilet paper roll, the giant “mutant” that looks like a Sid and Marty Krofft reject, the skeleton that “walks” and climbs on very visible wires… are all calculated details that make The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra look like its preposterous predecessors. Larry Blamire’s script is wickedly funny in its use of stilted dialogue, that would make Ed Wood, Jr. proud. This exchange between Dr. Armstrong and his wife Betty early in the film sets the tone for the entire film.

Dr. Paul Armstrong: Looks like a perfect day for hunting space rocks, wouldn't you say Betty?

Betty Armstrong: Oh Paul, I'm frightened.

Dr. Paul Armstrong: Wh-what is it darling? What's the matter? Tell me?

Betty Armstrong: I don't know. Nothing I can put my finger on. Not something I can see or touch or feel. But something I can't quite see or touch or feel or put my finger on.

Dr. Paul Armstrong: Oh well. Shall we find that meteor?

This is satire at its best! If you “get” The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra’s brand of humor, then you will be rewarded with many laughs throughout its entirety.

The final film in the Scare-a-thon was another Larry Blamire film and a sequel to The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra: The Lost Skeleton Returns Again, which I'll be reviewing in my post on the 15th Annual Scare-a-thon - Part 4!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



Keeping with the theme of funny and scary films, our next feature segued neatly from the horror happenings of The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters. Dark and Stormy Night is a modern movie (made in 2009, but just released on DVD this year) that looks like a film made in the 1940’s. The man behind this tribute and subtle satire of the classic B-movies of the 40’s is Larry Blamire. I first became aware of Larry’s films at a local science fiction convention, where Larry and many of his cast and crew, had a panel to talk about his then new film The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. As soon as the film was released to DVD I bought it and have been a fan of Larry Blamire’s films ever since!

Dark And Stormy Night begins just after the death of the wealthy Sinas Cavinder. Coming in out of a torrential storm, family members, friends, reporters, and even a cabbie arrive at the Cavinder estate to hear the reading of Sinas' last will and testament. At the conclusion of the reading of the will, Cavinder's attorney reveals an additional sealed envelope, containing a provisional to the will. Sudddenly the lights go out and on top of the envelope going missing, the attorney is found dead with a knife sticking out of his back. Naturally, because of the storm, the phones are out and the only bridge leading to the mansion is washed out, so it is up to the guests to figure out who is responsible for the murder.

Every hoary gag and character stereotype is satirized to great effect in this film. There is the mysterious hooded figure lurking in the shadows, the deadpan butler, the wisecracking reporters and even a man-in-ape-suit. If you are a fan of old fashioned murder mysteries and scary old house movies, this is the perfect film for you. Even if you are not familiar with the tropes that Blamire so faithfully mimicks in this film, you’ll still enjoy the fast paced and cleverly written banter of the many divergent characters in Dark and Stormy Night.

The next film in the Scare-a-thon was also a Larry Blamire film: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, which I'll be reviewing in my post on the 15th Annual Scare-a-thon - Part 3!

Sunday, October 31, 2010



Every Halloween, my friends and I get together for a wicked scary horror movie marathon! I started this at my lab back in 1996, dubbing it the Scare-a-thon and we just had our fifteenth consecutive monster movie mash this year! I try to create a theme to each Scare-a-thon and this year’s was Old Skool Scares. I found a bunch of films on Netflix, and some on cable, that were satires or homages of my favorite horror films from the 40’s and 50’s.

The exception to this was the first feature of the day: The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters. This short feature starring the Bowery Boys was released in 1954 and was one of several films that put the boys in scary situations. The Bowery Boys have a long film history, which I won’t bore you with here. At this time, the gang consisted of Leo “Slip” Gorcey, Huntz “Sach” Hall, David “Chuck” Condon and Bennie “Butch” Bartlett. If you’ve seen one of these slapstick-filled classic style comedies, you’ve seen them all. Much like the Three Stooges, your enjoyment of these old gags is dependent on your like or dislike of the performers. The two stars of the Bowery Boys are Slip Mahoney and Sach Jones. Slip is the tough leader of the boys and his main characteristic is to use complex words incorrectly. Sach is the gentle idiot, who is the focus of most of the trouble that the “boys” get into.

In The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters, the story begins in Louie's Sweet Shop. After numerous baseballs smash Louie’s storefront windows, the Bowery Boys decide that a nearby vacant lot would be a better location for the kids to play ball, because it would be out of range of Louie’s Shop. Slip and Sach visit the owners of the lot at their home, hoping to convince them to allow the kids to use it. Unfortunately, the Gravesons are completely insane. Of course, the boys arrive in a torrential rain storm and Dereck and Anton Graveson invite them to stay the night. Both brothers are mad scientist:. Dereck wants Slip’s brain for his gorilla and Anton wants Sach’s brain for his robot. Their sister Amelia wants to feed one of them to her carnivorous tree and their niece Francine, who looks like an elderly Vampira, wants to drink their blood. When the boys don’t return from the Graveson’s home, Louie, Butch, and Chuck go there to search for Slip and Sach. However, it's not too long before they too get involved in the Graveson’s nefarious plans.

Even at sixty-five minutes, The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters is a little long. My favorite gag is one that the Three Stooges used in several of their comedy shorts. Slip and Sach are locked in a closet, while the mad scientist brothers make preparations for Slip’s operation to transplant his brain into a gorilla. Looking to escape, Sach uses some tools he conveniently finds in the closet to chisel a hole in the wall. Of course, the wall is the back of the gorilla’s cage and mayhem ensues. If you are looking for a few gentle laughs, and have tired of watching Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, you could do worse than The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters.
I couldn't find a trailer for The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters, but here is a trailer from one of their earlier scary comedies: 1946's Spook Busters.

That was just the beginning of our film fun. Watch out of for the 15th Annual Scare-A-Thon! Part 2 for my review of our second fright flick: Dark and Stormy Night.

Sunday, October 24, 2010



Despite being a huge Hellboy fan, I admit I passed on buying or reading Baltimore when it was first published in 2007. However, after buying the new comic sequel to the novel, I had to give it a go. Fortunately, the local library had a copy and I was able to read it before the comics. I was glad I gave Baltimore a try. This Gothic horror vampire novel is not a complete departure from Mignola’s Hellboy stories. However, the 19th Century story telling technique of relating each story from the point-of-view of a different character telling the tale to each other, is at first distracting; but eventually it won me over as it created the atmosphere of the time in which Baltimore was meant to take place. If I have any complaint about this novel is because of the format. It reads more like a series of short stories. Also, the middle section of the book spends a little too much time telling the stories of each of the supporting characters. However, the final part on the book that features Lord Baltimore confronting the evil that transformed his life was truly mesmerizing. Baltimore is also filled with wonderful black and white illustrations by Mike Mignola that help to set the tone of the prose as well.

The current five issue series, Baltimore, the Plague of ships is a direct sequel to the novel. It is co-written by Mignola and Golden and features moody artwork by Ben Stenbeck that captures the feel of early 20th Century illustrations. I recommend both the novel and the comics for fans of turn of the century literature and horror. Hmmm... I think even that old zombie windbag Zombzany would like Baltimore. I think I'll get Bill E. Bones to leave a copy of the comic in his crypt.

Monday, October 18, 2010



It suddenly dawned on me that I haven’t posted many movie reviews on this blog – especially movies that I’ve watched either on cable or blu-ray. Most of the time it’s because I don’t want to waste mine or your time with mediocre posts about films that I just felt were okay or even just good or entertaining. I wanted to reserve the Guardians of the Genre for pimpin’ wicked cool films that I felt are overlooked or that I thought I could give a slightly different perspective on; even if that perspective were just weird or funny. I did want to let anybody who does wonder if I actually watch any of the genre movies that I profess to love know what I have been watching, if for no other reason, to keep up my genre movie cred.

Here are all the films I have watched in my tripped out home theater just in the past month:

Survival of the Dead (2009)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Lost City (1935 - 12 chapter serial)

Ninja Assassin (2009)

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Push (2009)

Gamer (2009)

Bitch Slap (2009)

Halloween 2 (2009)

The Decent Part 2 (2009)

Paranormal Activity (2007)

30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)

If any of these films had really pushed my buttons I would have posted a postal blog on it. Unfortunately, most of these flicks were at best entertaining and some were just down and dirty dreadful. I can’t recommend any of them highly; nor can I say that the worst of the lot were completely without merit (although Paranormal (in)Activity comes mighty close).

If I find the time I will post a short review on a few of them; but more than likely I’ll only post on something that I find wicked cool! I have to run now…. I have to watch Zombieland again… for the fourth time… or is that the fifth time? Freak out!

Saturday, October 16, 2010



Halloween is my favorite time of year! As I busy my bad-self in the lab making all my preparations for the big day, I always play my favorite scary music: Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s Monster Mash! I still have my old-skool vinyl copy of the Monster Mash album and I play this for my undead fiends throughout the month of October. I’ve wanted to upgrade my Monster Mash tunes, but the CD has been out of print for decades now. Still, I found many different versions of Monster Mash on YouTube to rock to!
Here is something I think every ghoul should dig: Monster Mash sung live by the legend himself (with a little help from Zacherley – the cool ghoul) Bobby Pickett!

Here is the description of the clip by Kevin “Mr. Chiller” Clement himself:
“One of the brightest events in the history of the Chiller Theatre Expo took place that stormy October 2006 weekend when Bobby 'Boris' Pickett took the concert stage with The Dead Elvi and Chiller's favorite son Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul. None of in The Elvi knew at the time that Bobby was very ill. But, like the trouper he was, he proceeded to blast out one of his best performances ever ... if not his best... of his Halloween classic The Monster Mash!”
“Zach, who had covered this tune some 40-plus years earlier, let Bobby do his thing and take center stage. None of us on stage knew that this great performance would be Bobby's last live concert in front of a live ( mmmm...that's questionable ) audience! It was a night to remember not only for the Dead Elvi but for all who attended this now legendary performance!”


Monday, October 11, 2010



Head's up Elvira fans! As I promised in my blog post labeled ELVIRA - MISSING IN THE DARK I was going to record the Sunday early morning broadcast on THIS TV of Night of the Living Dead, in the hope that it was Elvira's first airing of her new show Elvira's Movie Macabre. I am wicked pleased to report that it was a success, boils and ghouls!

THIS-TV in Boston MA will be showing Elvira's Movie Macabre on Sunday morning from 5AM - 7AM (with a repeat on Monday at 1AM - 3 AM). Elvira's second episode will be listed under the movie title THE TERROR on October 17 and her third episode will be listed under the movie title THE GIANT GLA MONSTER on October 25.

Thanks to modern technology - okay, the DVR that I rent from Comcast - I don't have to stay up all night to watch Elvira's new show. I did watch her first new show and it was a fine example of Elvira doing her usual puns and double entendres to poke fun at herself and the terrible movies that she is hosting. Personally, I like Night of the Living Dead and have watched it more times now than I can count, so I did not watch the entire film again. However, as I was fast forwarding through it to get to Elvira's host segments, I noticed she was popping up in a small window at the bottom-left side of the screen. She was making jokes and snide comments (Zacherley-style; or MST3K-style for you younger viewers) directed at the characters or events in the movie. I liked this new feature; even if it means I'm going to have to sit though bad films that I've seen before -- in some cases, many times before. Speaking of the movies: Unfortunately, all her films (so far) are Public Domain and if you are a fan of horror hosted films (which I most assuredly am) you have seen all of these many times. Still, Elvira’s sparkling whit does help to make them more enjoyable and I’ll be watching her new show for its entire run.

Here is a list of all the affiliates that carry THIS TV in the United States. This TV is currently carried on 138 over-the-air TV stations in the United States, most of whom carry the network on a digital sub channel.

Abilene, TX KTES-LP 40 Bonten Media Group

Albany, GA WALB² 10.2 Raycom Media

Amarillo,TX KCIT 14.2 Mission Broadcasting

Atlanta, GA WANN-LD 32.3 Prism Broadcasting

Augusta, GA WFXG 54.2 Southeastern Media Holdings

Baltimore, MD WBFF 45.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group

Baton Rouge, LA WVLA-TV² 33.2, Cox: 133 White Knight Broadcasting

Biloxi, Mississippi WLOX² 13.3, Cox: 133 Raycom Media

Bloomington/Indianapolis, IN WTTV 4.2 Tribune Broadcasting

Boise, ID KTRV-TV¹ 12.2 Block Communications

Boston, MA WHDH² 7.2, Comcast 297, Verizon FiOS 460 Sunbeam Television

Burlington, IA/Quad-Cities, IL/IA KGCW 26.2 Grant Broadcasting System II

Charlotte, NC WBTV 3.2, Comcast: 297, Verizon FiOS: 460 Raycom Media

Charlotte Amalie/St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands WVXF 17.1 LKK Group

Charlottesville, VA WAHU-LD 27.2 Gray Television

Chattanooga, TN WTVC 9.2 Freedom Communications

Chicago, IL WCIU-TV 26.4, Comcast: 246 Weigel Broadcasting

Clermont/Orlando, FL WKCF 18.2, Comcast: 208 Hearst Television

Columbia, SC WIS² 10.2 Raycom Media

Columbus, GA WXTX 54.2 Southeastern Media Holdings

Columbus, OH WSYX¹ 6.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group

Coos Bay, OR KCBY-TV 11.2 Fisher Communications

Crandon, WI WMOW 4.3 Quincy Newspapers

Dallas/Fort Worth, TX WFAA 8.3, Time Warner Cable: 372 Belo

Dayton, OH WRGT-TV¹ 45.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group

Decatur/Springfield, IL WBUI 23.2 GOCOM Media

Demopolis, AL WJMY-CA 25 TTI, Inc.

Des Moines, IA KDMI 19.1 Pappas Telecasting Companies

Detroit, MI WDIV-TV² 4.2, Comcast: 249, WOW!: 130 Post-Newsweek Stations

Dothan, Alabama WTVY¹ 4.2 Gray Television

Eagle River, WI WYOW 34.3 Quincy Newspapers

Eau Claire, WI WQOW 18.3 Quincy Newspapers

El Paso, TX KDBC-TV 4.2 Titan TV Broadcast Group

Eugene, OR KVAL-TV 13.2 Fisher Communications

Eureka, CA KBVU 2.2, Suddenlink: 128 Sainte Partners II, L.P.

Evansville, IN WFIE 14.3 Raycom Media

Fargo, ND KVLY-TV 11.2 Hoak Media Corporation

Fort Smith, AR KFDF-CA 10 Pinnacle Media

Fort Walton Beach/Pensacola, FL / Mobile, AL WFGX¹ 35.1 Sinclair Broadcast Group

Fredericksburg/San Antonio, TX KCWX 2.2 Corridor Television

Grand Rapids, MI WXMI 17.2 Tribune Broadcasting

Harrison, AR K26GS-D 26.3 Reynolds Media

Harrisonburg, VA WHSV-TV 3.3 Gray Television

Houston, TX KPRC-TV² 2.2Comcast: 320 Post-Newsweek Stations

Huntington/Charleston, WV WSAZ-TV¹ 3.2 Gray Television

Huntsville, AL WAFF² 48.2 Raycom Media

Huron, SD KTTM 12.2 Independent Communications

Jackson, MS WLBT² 3.3 Raycom Media

Jackson, WY KJWY[1] 2.1 PMCM TV, LLC

Jacksonville, FL WJXT 4.2 Post-Newsweek Stations

Kansas City, MO KCWE 29.2 Hearst Television

Knoxville, TN WTNZ 34.2 Raycom Media

Kokomo, IN WTTK 29.2 Tribune Broadcasting

La Crosse, WI WXOW 19.3 Quincy Newspapers

Lafayette, LA KXKW-LD 32.1 Delta Media Corporation

Lakeland/Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL WMOR-TV 32.2 Hearst Television

Lake Charles, Louisiana KPLC 7.2 Raycom Media

Lancaster, PA WGAL² 8.2, Comcast: 248, Verizon FiOS: 460 Hearst Television

Las Vegas, NV KVCW 33.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group

Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, NE KHAS-TV 5.2 Hoak Media Corporation

Little Rock, Arkansas KARZ-TV 42.2 Nexstar Broadcasting Group

Laurel/Hattiesburg, Mississippi WDAM-TV 7.2 Raycom Media

Lorain/Cleveland, OH WUAB 43.2 Raycom Media

Los Angeles, CA KTLA[2] 5.2, Cox: 811 Tribune Broadcasting

Louisville, KY WAVE 3.2 Raycom Media

Lubbock, TX KCBD² 11.2 Raycom Media

Madison, WI WKOW 27.3 Quincy Newspapers

Marquette, MI WZMQ 19.1 MMMRC, Inc.

Medford, OR KFBI-LD 48.2 Sainte Partners II, L.P.

Memphis, TN WMC-TV² 5.3 Raycom Media

Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL WSFL-TV 39.3 Tribune Broadcasting

Milwaukee, WI WDJT-TV 58.3 Weigel Broadcasting

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN KSTC-TV 45.2 Hubbard Broadcasting

Monterey, CA KYMB-LD 27.1, Comcast: 19 Cocola Broadcasting

Montgomery, Alabama WCOV-TV 20.3 Woods Communications Corporation

Moundville, AL WDVZ-CA 3 TTI, Inc.

Mountain Home, AR K07XL-D 7.3 Reynolds Media

Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC WMBF-TV 32.3 Raycom Media

Nashville, TN WTVF 5.3 Landmark Media Enterprises

New Bern/Greenville/Washington, NC WCTI-TV 12.3 Bonten Media Group

New Iberia/Lafayette, LA KLWB 50.1 Delta Media Corporation

New Orleans, LA WNOL-TV 38.2 Tribune Broadcasting

New York, NY WPIX 11.3 Tribune Broadcasting

Newport, KY / Cincinnati, OH WXIX-TV 19.2 Raycom Media

North Pole/Plattsburgh, NY / Burlington, VT WPTZ² 5.2 Hearst Television

Odessa/Midland, TX KWWT 30.4 JB Broadcasting, Inc.

Oklahoma City, OK KOCB 34.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group

Omaha, Nebraska KPTM 42.2 Titan TV Broadcast Group

Panama City, FL WMBB 13.2 Hoak Media

Pendleton/Tri-Cities, WA KFFX-TV 11.2 Stainless Broadcasting Company

Perry/Macon, GA WPGA-TV 58.2 Register Communications

Philadelphia, PA WPHL-TV[2] 17.2, Comcast: 240, Verizon FiOS: 467 Tribune Broadcasting

Phoenix, AZ KTVK 3.2 Belo

Pittsburgh, PA WTAE-TV[3] 4.2 Hearst Television

Pocatello/Idaho Falls, ID KPVI-DT 6.3 Sunbelt Communications Company

Portlnd, OR KATU[4] 2.2 Fisher Communications

Raleigh-Durham, NC WRAL-TV 5.2 Capitol Broadcasting Company

Rapid City, SD KOTA-TV 3.3 Duhamel Broadcasting

Redding/Chico, CA KCVU 20.2, Comcast: 195, Charter: 285 Sainte Partners II, L.P.

Reno, NV KRNV-DT 4.2 Sunbelt Communications Company

Richland/Pasco/Kennewick, WA KBWU-LD 36.2 Stainless Broadcasting Company

Richmond, VA WRLH-TV¹ 35.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group

Roseburg, R KPIC 4.2 South West Oregon TV Broadcasting Corporation

Salt Lake City, UT KUTV¹ 2.2 Four Points Media Group

Savannah, GA WTOC-TV 11.3 Raycom Media

Schenectady/Albany, NY WRGB 6.2, Time Warner Cable: 1896 Freedom Communications

Scottsbluff, NE KDUH-TV 4.3 Duhamel Broadcasting

Seattle, WA KOMO-TV[4] 4.2 Fisher Communications

Sheridan, WY KSGW-TV 11.3 Duhamel Broadcasting

Shreveport,LA KSLA 12.2 Raycom Media

Sioux Falls, SD KTTW 7.2 Independent Communications

South Bend, IN WCWW-LD 25.2 Weigel Broadcasting

Spokane, WA KAYU-TV 28.2 Stainless Broadcasting Company

Springville/Buffalo, NY WNGS 67.1 ITV of Buffalo

St. George, UT KUSG¹ 12.1 Four Points Media Group

St. Louis, MO KPLR-TV 11.2 Tribune Broadcasting

Stockton/Sacramento, CA KQCA 58.2 Hearst Television

Sweetwater/Abilene, TX KTXS-TV 12.3 Bonten Media Group

Temple/Waco, TX KCEN-TV 6.2 London Broadcasting Company

Thomasville, GA / Tallahassee, FL WCTV¹ 6.2 Gray Television

Toccoa/Athens, GA WNEG-TV 32.1 University of Georgia

Tucson, AZ KMSB 11.2 Belo

Tulsa, OK KOTV-DT 6.3 Griffin Communications

Tuscaloosa/Birmingham, AL WUOA 23.1 University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa/Northport, AL WVUA-CA 7 University of Alabama

Tyler/Longview, TX KLTV 7.2 Raycom Media

Twin Falls, Idaho KXTF 35.2 Sunbelt Communications Company

Victoria, TX KVCT 19.3 Surtsey Productions
Visalia/Fresno, CA KMPH-TV 26.2 Titan TV Broadcast Group
Washington, DC WDCW[2] 50.2 Tribune Broadcasting

Wausau, WI WAOW 9.3 Quincy Newspapers

Waterloo/Cedar Rapids/Dubuque/Iowa City, IA KWWL² 7.2 Quincy Newspapers

Waterbury/Hartford/New Haven, CT WCCT-TV[2] 20.2 Tribune Broadcasting

West Point/Tupelo/Columbus, MS WLOV-TV 27.2 Lingard Broadcasting

Wilmington, NC WSFX-TV 26.2 Southeastern Media Holdings
Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point, NC WXII-TV² 12.2 Hearst Television
Yakima, WA KCYU-LD 41.2 Stainless Broadcasting Company
Yuma, AZ / El Centro, CA KYMA-DT 11.2,Time Warner Cable: 311 Sunbelt Communications Company