Monday, October 13, 2014

"The Walking Dead" Season 5 -501 "No Sanctuary"

"The Walking Dead" Season 5 -Episode 1 "No Sanctuary"

Walkers are starting to show their age!

Human abattoir.

Rick tells Gareth how he really feels.

"No Sanctuary"

Now that's a season premiere! I was very impressed with the entire episode. I believe that it is one of the top two episodes of the entire series at this point in time. It seemed to have a right balance of characterizations / story development & action than ever before.

I was glad to see Carol brought to the forefront as a tough, smart woman. That's a real turnaround since the early episodes! I think she might have the most actual character development than any of the others, with the exception of Rick.

This episode was as much about her as it was the fate of the main crew at the hands of the Terminus BBQ Bunch. 

I'm not going into the story blow by blow as I think most anyone that reads my silly blog has already seen it at least once! There are a few things that stand out though that I think are worthy of mention:

  • Why didn't Tyreese let Carol go back into the shack to see if he had actually killed the Termite spotter that threatened to kill Judith? I don't think he killed him.
  • Since it doesn't graphically show Gareth's death, I don't think he's dead.
  • After Eugene Porter tells the others "his secret", why in the hell didn't someone say "Bullshit"! I mean, c'mon! The crew isn't stupid & they didn't even question Porter's "explanation" regarding his participation in the human genome project? 
  • Damn, was that zombie Andrea that Carol killed on the railroad tracks? That handcuff is stuck in my brain! Clothes look right, shot must've missed the brain. As my sister said, "Damn, Michonne, you had one job and look!"

Here's the reality of it: 

Besides, I'm sure the characters have questions in their minds that they'd pondered regarding the how & why of the undead phenomenon. Surely one of them has the right questions to ask him.

Here's my take on it:

That's just me, folks, I'd have to question that especially if the whole group has decided to risk their lives to get him to Washington! I'd have to question the hell outta him before I'd do it. 

I am very glad that Morgan was shown in the "Marvel-esque" post end credits sequence! He looks like he's confident and has pulled himself together. He's one of the more interesting characters in the show and he's only been in two episodes! That says a lot.

If the rest of this season follows the pattern set by the premiere, I'm quite sure that this will be the best season of The Walking Dead yet!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

"George A. Romero's Day of the Dead" - Anchor Bay Divimax Edition

"George A. Romero's Day of the Dead" (1985) Anchor Bay Divimax Edition

Anchor Bay Edition (2003) Cover Art.

This is the sixth installment of 1980's splatter / monster DVD / Movie Reviews. This time, we're going with a very serious take on horror with 1985's masterpiece by George Romero, "Day of the Dead"!


"Night of the Living Dead" (1968) set the cornerstone for modern zombie horror, while 1979's "Dawn of the Dead" cemented it. Both were created by "The Zombie Godfather" Mr. George A. Romero.

At the time, we all heard about a third film to complete the trilogy. Fangoria magazine ran stories about it, the rumor mill was over loaded . Then, in 1985, we had another Romero zombie film to satisfy our need for 'real' zombie horror! ("Return of the Living Dead" doesn't count!)

It wasn't the comic book-type romp that "Dawn" was, which is what we kind of expected. It was dark...very dark. At the time, it didn't do well & was panned by a few critics, but in the fullness of time it became clear that "Day" was far more superior than the prior two. It took a while for the fan base to "get it" to "assimilate it". 

The original trilogy are all masterpieces in their own right. Each has it's unique merits and strengths that support, individually, their claim to the throne.

Romero's original script included a much more expansive landscape in which the story would unfold. However, he had to scale back his vision due to the budget being cut from $7 million to $3.6 Million.

I've read the original script and it's a whopper! I really wished that version could have been filmed.

Filming "Dr.Tongue" for the opening sequence.

Howard Sherman ("Bub") & FX Guru Tom Savini.


A small group of scientists and soldiers have taken refuge in an underground missile silo where they struggle to control the zombie apocalypse that walks the world above them. 

Searching for survivors in a dead world.

Protagonist Sarah (Lori Cardille).

Pilot John played by Terry Alexander.

Dr. Logan (Richard Liberty) and "Bub" (Howard Sherman).

Joe Pilato as crazy-ass Capt. Rhodes.

What makes a zombie tick? 

An experiment breaks loose in the lab!

Zombie carnage as the living fail to escape the silo.

Rhodes meets his end in spectacular fashion.


Anchor Bay Divimax Edition - 2 Disc Set (2003)

Disc One:
  • Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TV's.
  • Dolby Digital 6.1 Surround EX DTS-EX Sound
  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director George A. Romero, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Production Designer Cletus Anderson and Actress Lori Cardille.
  • Audio Commentary with Filmmaker Roger Avery.
Disc Two:
  • "The Many Days of DAY OF THE DEAD" - An all new 39 minute documentary featuring interviews with Writer/Director George A. Romero, Producer David Ball, Special Make-Up Effects Artists Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero, Production Designer Cletus Anderson, Assistant Director Chris Romero, and Actors Lori Cardille and Howard Sherman.
  • DAY OF THE DEAD: Behind the Scenes - 31 minutes of production footage from Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini.
  • Audio Interview with actor Richard Liberty.
  • Wampum Mine Promotional Video.
  • Theatrical trailers.
  • TV Spots.
  • Production Stills.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Photos.
  • Posters & Advertising Art.
  • Gallery of Memorabilia.
  • Zombie Make-Up Photo Gallery.
  • Continuity Stills Gallery.
  • George Romero Bio.
  • DVD-ROM: Original Screenplay & Production Memos.

If you love zombies, then Romero is the one to study. This 3rd entry into his "Dead" Series is, to me, the best in many ways. However, "Dawn" is pretty cool too. Hey, watch the film and decide for yourself. For the splatter factor alone, Day is worth a top slot in any horror fans library.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"Evil Dead 2" 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray (Lions Gate 2012)

"Evil Dead 2" 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition (Lions Gate 2012)

"Evil Dead 2" 1987 theatrical poster art.


This is the fifth installment of DVD/Movie reviews of some of the best splat-fests the 1980's had to offer! This, arguably, could be the defining movie of the genre during that time! I was very lucky as a 17 year old to have been near a theater that played it first run! I'll never forget it! I still have my ticket stub from the now defunct "Village Theater" in Carrollton, Georgia as well. 

Also, I considered reviewing the Anchor Bay "Evil Dead 2" Book of the Dead 2 Limited Edition, but since I'd already posted the original "The Evil Dead" in that form, I decided not to. 


Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert & Bruce Campbell met with Dino De Laurentiis in December of 1985, after Stephen King had phoned De Laurentiis and told him he should really consider financing "Evil Dead 2". De Laurentiis was, at that time, setting up De Laurentiis Entertainment Group or "DEG" for short.

With two claps of his hands, De Laurentiis said to Rob Tapert; "We do it!" Just like that. The three had obtained a budget of $3.6 Million dollars to make the sequel.

Sam turned to his friend, Scott Spiegel to collaborate on the script which needed to be scaled back to fit the budget.

The famous cabin was faithfully recreated in J.R. Faison Junior High School near Wadesboro, N.C. and they let their imaginations (and odd-colored fluids) fly!

Filming Henrietta's attack. Campbell (L) & Nicotero (R).

Creating the filming miniature of the cabin.

Filming the "Eyeball Flyball" scene. 

A deleted scene of Linda's severed head puking on Ash.


The movie starts out with a short history of the Necronomicon and then picks up with a "recap of the decap" introduction. (That term is Raimi/Campbell shorthand for the re-telling of the original Evil Dead story up to the point where Linda's head is severed).

There seems to be some confusion even among fans as to whether Ash returns to the cabin a second time or if the re-cap is just truncated for newer viewers. The truth is, they couldn't obtain all the rights for the footage from the first film and the original cast wasn't available, so they cut the re-cap down to it's bare essentials.

The end of the first film left us in doubt as to whether Ash was dead or alive, but this starts at exactly that point and we see Ash grabbed and propelled at great speed through the woods until he crashes into a tree. After splashing into a muddle puddle, he arises - possessed by the Unseen Force. Lucky for Ash, the Sun light drives the evil out of his body.

Possessed Ash just before the Sun drives it out of his body.

Annie, Jake, Ash & Bobby Jo...after killing Ed.

Here's why they had to kill Ed! Now, that's possession!

Jake got a little too close to the cellar trap door.

Ash groovily readies himself for battle.

The Unseen Force, manifested in flesh, gets an eyeful of chainsaw from Ash.


Lions Gate Films, Inc Issue:
2012 Blu-Ray Cover Artwork.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary with writer / director Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel & FX artist Greg Nicotero.
  • "Dead by Dawn" - the film makers reflect on the long journey this sequel took to reach the silver screen.
  • "The Chosen One"- interviews with actors Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Danny Hicks, Ted Raimi, Kessie Wesley & Richard Domeier.
  • "Madman Sam" - cast & crew reflect on working with legendary director Sam Raimi.
  • "Dead Effects" - a look at the films insane make=up effects with creators Mark Shostrom, Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, Robert Kurtzman, Shannon Shea & others!
  • "Re-Animated" - animators Doug Beswick, Tom Sullivan and Rick Catizone detail the extensive stop-motion work from the film.
  • "Method to Madness" - a close look at the cinematography and production design along with cast & crew memories of some of the most memorable moments on set.
  • "Rosebud" - a detailed examination of the films editing, original release and eventual cult status.
  • "Road to Wadesboro" - an all new journey back to the original shooting location with property master and filmmaker Tony Elwood.
  • "Cabin Fever" - a series of production videos taken on the set by Greg Nicotero.
  • Archival featurettes, Still Galleries and Trailers.

84 Minutes Running Time
1080P High Definition
1.85:1 Widescreen Presentation
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Do I recommend this film? Hell yes I do! It has yet to be surpassed in it's ability to correctly mix horror and comedy by any other film in existence.
'Nuff Said

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"The Evil Dead" DVD / Movie Review (Anchor Bay "Book of the Dead" Edition)

"The Evil Dead" DVD / Movie Review (Anchor Bay "Book of the Dead" Edition)


This is the fourth installment of blood splattered cinema from the 1980's! This time around we're hitting closer to the mark with the original "The Evil Dead" from 1981!

1981 Theatrical Poster.

The story goes that childhood friends Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi & Robert Tapert were making 8mm short films as kids. One day, one of them said, "Let's make a real movie!" Well, that's what the modern myth is of the origins of the most famous horror film ever made.

The real story is close, but a lot more interesting.

The idea first sprang into existence in the minds of those young men sometime in October of 1978 regarding making a horror movie.By Spring of 1979, they had raised about $1,600 to make a "Within the Woods" - the seed in which the mighty "Evil Dead" would be grown.

I'm not going to go into detail regarding the production here, as it would suffice to say that even the most lightly interested individual should pick up a copy of "The Evil Dead Companion" by Bill Warren. His book is an absolute treasure trove of information regarding all three movies comprising the "Evil Dead Trilogy".


By todays standards, the story seems cliche but at the time it was an original piece of work using fantastic elements, great effects (albeit low budget), and unique film making techniques.

Five Michigan State students Ash (Bruce Campbell), Linda (Betsy Baker ), Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Scotty (Hal Delrich ), and Shelly (Sarah York) go to a secluded cabin in the woods of Tennessee for their Spring Break.

In the basement of the cabin, they find the Necronomicon (aka "Noturon Demonto"). This cabin had been used by Professor Raymond Knowby to translate the book in seclusion. Of course, playing the recordings of Knowbys translations unleashes a demonic force that possesses and successively kills each of the students.

The gang looks on as...

...Scotty approaches the cabin.

Ash finds the "Book of the Dead".

Possessed Cheryl locked in the basement.

Possessed Linda with the Kandarian Dagger.

Possessed corpse of Scotty.

Scotty is having trouble with his eyes, thanks to Ash.

Scotty has a slight meltdown.



This is probably my favorite edition of this movie! It's a replica "Necronomicon" built from latex (for that fleshy feel!)! Tom Sullivan (FX & original sculptor of the book) re-creates the infamous tome in a perfectly good-humored way! You can even "translate" the book which reveals various in-jokes from the film & production. 

Special Features:

Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TV's.
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Sam Raimi & Robert Tapert
Audio Commentary with star Bruce Campbell.
Behind the scenes footage & outtakes.
Fanalysis: An all-new 26 minute Documentary by Bruce Campbell.
Discovering Evil Dead: An all-new featurette tracing the films history.
Theatrical trailer.
TV Spots.
Poster 7 Still Gallery.
Talent Bios.
Languages: English & French

(Plus: a few hidden Easter Eggs you gotta find for yourself!!)

Hey, "Evil Dead" is one of my favorite movies of all time. Of course I recommend it!

But, since we're about to get really groovy in the next installment, I'll let you be the judge of which is better..."Evil Dead" or..."EVIL DEAD 2" (1987)!!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Basket Case 2" DVD / Movie Review (Synapse Films 2007 Issue)

"Basket Case 2" DVD / Movie Review (Synapse Films 2007 Issue)

Synapse Films DVD Cover Art (2007 Issue)
*Image Courtesy


This is the third installment of 1980's B-Movie blood splattered monster DVD / Movie Reviews! I know, I know, this sequel was released March 2nd, 1990, but it was filmed in 1989 and I think it has a place here from 1980-1990 anyway. Now, "Basket Case 3: The Progeny" will be in a later series of reviews from the 1990-2000 time frame. 


 Watch out! This time Director Frank Henenlotter was given a budget of $2.5 Million to make the sequel to "Basket Case"! What was he thinking? I tell you what he was thinking: "This shit is going to be outrageous as hell!". And so it is!
Bob Baldwin working the shot of Belial on the wall.

Rehearsing a scene.

Filming Duane in the hospital.


This crazy sequel takes place immediately after the events of the first film. Duane Bradley (again played by Kevin Van Hentenryck) and Belial (a big old rubber puppet), are recovering in the hospital after their dramatic fall at the climax of the first film.

Belial in chains at the local hospital.

Duane, badly in need of a haircut, recuperating in hospital.

Duane & Belial make their escape!

Duane & Belial escape from the hospital and are rescued by Granny Ruth (Annie Ross) and taken to a secluded mansion where other freaks are kept safe and away from public eyes.

Granny Ruth & Susan (Heather Rattray) watch the news.

Some of the other "unique individuals" at a picnic.

Once at the mansion, Granny Ruth takes Belial on some "buisness" at a local sideshow who claims to have the remains of "the Bradley Monster". The owner, of course, is introduced to the real Belial.

He shouldn't have lied about them bones...

There are several deaths, including a police detective, a couple of snooping newspaper journalists, etc. But, it's all about Duane falling in love with the seemingly "normal" Susan at the mansion. Not all is as it seems. Also, Belial finds love with another, er, "thing" like him- but a female named "Eve". This is where Director Henenlotter goes all "Freak Porn" and shows these two blobs of twisted flesh having intercourse! The way it's shown is downright comedic in nature.

After some good-old sibling rivalry and Susan revealing that she's been pregnant for years with what looks like "The Deadly Spawn"- Duane discovers a way for Belial and he to be back together again forever.

Using a knitting needle & yarn....

Together again...just like least Duane got his hair cut.


Synapse Films must really love B-Movie horror because they issue some pretty cool flicks with some cool features that fans really dig.

Special Features:

Rated R
90 Minute Running Time
Dolby Digital Stereo

Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) High Def transfer from original 35mm negatives.

Two Monsterous featurettes:

THE MAN IN THE MOON MASK- An all new interview with Actor David Emge 
BEYOND THE WICKER- Behind the Scenes Featurette.

Hey, this movie is silly, bloody and outrageous- which is just the way old Frank wanted it! Worth a look!

For more information regarding the films of Frank Henenlotter please go to:

Friday, October 3, 2014

"Basket Case" DVD / Movie Review 20th Anniversary Special Edition

"Basket Case" Something Weird Video 20th Anniversary Issue (2001)

DVD Cover Art (2001)


This is the second installment of 1980's blood splattered DVD & movie reviews. This time around, let's take a look at 1982's "Basket Case"! 


What does a budget of $33,000 get you when you give it to a director raised in the sleaze pit cinemas of 1970's NYC's 42 Street? "Basket Case"!!

Director Frank Henenlotter, who also wrote this gem of a splatter flick, took his outrageous script and stretches it into pure fun and blood! 

Belial's sequences were usually Henenlotter's hand in a rubber glove and the stop-motion sequences are truly disturbing in their campiness! The blood flows in this film and the FX are straight out of a big bucket of flesh colored putty- but it doesn't distract from the film itself. The dark humor present was intentional.

Filmed in 16mm, Henenlotter didn't have control over post-production so much of the theatrical prints and early VHS tapes were dark & murky. Changing the aspect ratio wasn't a great idea either.

Analysis Film Corporation released the film and I was lucky enough to see it in theaters. I still have the paper "surgical mask" provided by the ticket booth "to keep the blood off your face"! What a gimmick!


Duane Bradley (played by Kevin Van Hentenryck) was born with a semi-formed twin attached to his right side. It's basically a head with two arms. Duane names him Belial and has a telepathic link to him as well.

Duanes father, tired of their son being a freak and blaming Belial for his wife's death upon giving birth and unable to find doctors willing to perform a separation on the boy, hire veterinarians to separate the two and throw Belial in the trash.

Belial lives and the two kill their father and set out on a bloody revenge trip against the doctors that separated them.

A clandestine operation...

A grown Duane Bradley with Belial in the basket.

Dr.Needleman (Lloyd Pace) slaughtered by Belial.

Dr. Kutter (Diana Brown) is killed by Belial.

A Hotel Broslin resident "O'Donovan (Joe Clarke) gets it too.

Duane warns girlfriend Sharon (Terri Smith) about Belials jealousy.

Belial is a little pissed about life and his brothers romance.


Something Weird Video really went out to make "Basket Case" look better, sound better and provide extra material for the fans. This DVD issue has already been OOP and replaced by the Blu-Ray 30th Anniversary Edition.

Special Feature:

Running Time: 91 minutes
Dolby Digital Mono

New Film to Tape Transfer
Audio Commentary by Director Frank Henenlotter, Producer Edgar Levins and Actress Beverly Bonner.

Two Theatrical Trailers
TV Spot

One-of-a-Kind Outtakes and Behind-the-Scenes Footage from the Directors Personal Collection

Special Video Short "In Search of the Hotel Broslin" featuring "R.A The Rugged Man"

Two rare "Basket Case" Radio Spots

Two Radio interviews with actress Terri Susan Smith.

Clips from Beverly Bonners "Laugh Track" Public Access TV Show.

This horror gem is a funny and gory sign of the times. If you're looking for something along the lines of modern horror films- this ain't it. Go rent some Takashi Miike shit that just makes you disgusted with the subject matter. If you want real low-budget gore, laughs and creepiness- then watch "Basket Case"....or one of it's two sequels!!

I'm biased though as I have a fondness for these gory old movies. Go check it out.

For more information check out: