Trailers of Terror: A Halloween Countdown (#21)

Now here is one from the vaults.

Writer/Director Avery Crounse has made three films since 1983, including some award winners- but I’ll always know him for this weird little gem.

Eyes Of Fire had a haunting video box back in the late 80s/early 90s. And to anyone reading who grew up during the era of mom & pop video stores- you know what I mean by that. The box art was what drew you to renting a movie, because there was no internet, and if there was no word of mouth there was nothing else to go on.

A group of outcasts in the Colonies venture into a valley where the local Indians won’t go- and a frontiersman even warns them that the ground has had much blood spilled on it.

I truly enjoy this movie and treasure my VHS copy- Guy Boyd is terrific in it, so is Dennis Lipscomb. But the movie really belongs to Karlene Crockett as Leah- the strange witch girl who tries to help the settlers.

The theme of a place being just bad is a great one, a place where birds don’t sing and animals know instinctively not to cross it. This flick is a neat little gem- you should seek it out.

Trailers of Terror- a Halloween Countdown (#20)

Charging… Roaring… Breathing Fire and Hell…The White Earthquake Is Here!!!

Now, caveat: I’ve never seen this, so I don’t know if it actually is a Horror Film- but the trailer sure makes it seem like one, doesn’t it?

On the one hand, Bronson is a really weird choice for Hickock, but he’s a solid actor and probably pulls it off. That is a really good supporting cast too.

J. Lee Thompson also directed a number of B action, horror and sci-fi pics over the years, including the bugfuck Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (also with Bronson), the fantastically postered Happy Birthday To Me, the WTF Chuck Norris/Louis Gossett Jr. treasure-hunter/buddy comedy Firewalker and the final two installations of the original Planet of the Apes franchise.

Bonus feature: the poster to White Buffalo is SO GODDAMNED BADASS- I really want it, don’t you? I mean c’mon- can it get more badass than that?

Trailer Terror- Halloween Countdown #19

Made on a ridiculously low-budget with local actors by industrial filmmaker Herk Harvey, Carnival of Souls was shot primarily near Lawrence, KS, with the carnival sequences shot at the Saltair Amusement Park in Salt Lake City.

Lead Candace Hilligoss, a former Copacabana dancer and a stage actress, was good- very good- in this weird, haunting little movie. She would go on to star in Del Tenney’s Curse of the Living Corpse with Roy Scheider.

Carnival of Souls is one of those movies horror fans talk about, like Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, in that the atmosphere and the performances, the quality of the film is so much higher than the budget (and other, lesser movies made for more) would seem to support.

Currently avail on Netflix Instant- check it out.

Halloween Horror Trailer- #18

The don’t call Lucio Fulci the “Godfather of Gore” for nuthin.

Beware! Quella villa accanto al cimitero is a Video Nasty!

Truly the patron saint of Gorehound type horror-fans, Fulci does share that odd, nightmare asthetic that makes Italian horror stand out from the pack- but his movies definitely aren’t for the weak of stomach, or for those who insist on a movie making any kind of sense.

The House By The Cemetary is standard Italian horror fare for the early 80s- riffing on and borrowing heavily from popular American movies of the genre, but with more gore, and crazier plots.

I’m not a huge Fulci fan personally, but I certainly respect his contributions to the genre.

Trailer # 17- Halloween Horror

One of these eight people will turn into a werewolf when the moon is full.

Will it be Peter Cushing? Michael Gambon? Calvin Lockhart? Charles Gray? Marlene Clark? Or one of those other actors you may or may not have seen in something, but probably haven’t unless you are English and over the age of 30?

And don’t you kind of wish we still had those William Castle-esq gimmicks with movies, like a “werewolf break” in the movie to discuss and vote on who might be the werewolf- rather than post-converted 3-D?

Halloween Horror Countdown- Trailer #16

It isn’t a “good” movie, though it has a great cast.

It is, though, kind of a great B-Movie- one of the last, even though it is relatively recent.

The trailer is fucking awful, isn’t it?

Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight stars William Sadler, Jada Pinkett, Billy Zane, CCH Pounder, Dick Miller, Brenda Bakke, Thomas Haden Church, Gary Farmer, John Schuck- I mean that is a great B cast, and all of them play it big, fun and surprisingly honest. It is a remarkably well acted B-horror movie.

The story is cool, creepy, fun, and quite creative. Ernest Dickerson’s direction is solid, he makes it work.

And if you took out the Tales From The Crypt bumpers, it would be a really solid horror flick.

The funny thing about that awful trailer, is how much of it is from the bumpers.

This is a movie my wife and I just love.

Last time we saw it, it was at a guerilla drive-in theater in Hollywood, we ate popcorn and made out and giggled- as one should at a drive-in. Today is our Iron wedding Anniversary- 6 years legally wed. Come this winter, we’ll have been together for 13 years.

Happily, we have never watched Tales From The Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood together.

Horror Countdown Trailer Halloween something-something #15

Do you remember the first time you saw someone devoured by a swarm of flies?

I remember my first. Sadly, you cannot experience it during this trailer- you have to see the movie.

Jennifer Connelly? Patrick Bauchau? Donald Pleasence? Daria Nicolodi? Future director Michele Soavi?

You betcha. Dario Argento’s Phenomena (released as Creepers here in the US)

Horror Trailer Countdown to Halloween #14

“You don’t understand! I stabbed my father last night… and he’s already dead!!!

Michael Wimmer’s B-horror classic is an odd duck. On the one hand, it is a compelling, creepy horror flick.

But then there is that whole, casting people suffering from physical (and mental) deformities to portray “the damned of hell” thing, which takes “exploitive” to a new level.

Hell of a cast too, isn’t it? Plus, if you look closely you can spot Jeff Goldblum, Beverly D’Angelo, and baby-faced Christopher Walken in the trailer. Not in the trailer or worth mentioning in the cast list: Jerry Orbach, Nana Visitor, Tom Berenger, William Hickey.

Now that is a hell of a cast.

Eeeeeh-heee-heee-heeeee!!!!! *John Kassir shriek*

Halloween Horror Trailer Countdown- #13

Ignore the title, because it has no meaning.

Watch Zohra Lampert’s perf- it is really something quite wonderful. The rest of the cast, mostly NYC stage folk, give performances miles better than the ones in low-budget horror film of the mid-70s usually are.

On the one hand, it is a terrible trailer- if you’ve seen the movie, you say: “aw shit, man, it shows so much-” but if you haven’t, and you don’t know the story, it doesn’t give away anything.

If you do watch it alone, late at night, as I did about two years ago- maybe don’t do it on a windy night with the porch door open.

Countdown to Halloween- Horror Trailer #12

It was a snowy evening in Washington D.C. when I started to watch Ghost Story. I was probably eleven or twelve, and it was on TV and had Fred Astaire and Douglas Fairbanks Jr- actors I loved from their old musicals and swashbucklers.

“Mmmm,” my father said. “You might want to know, that ones pretty scary, at least if it follows the book at all.”

I think I got creeped out and turned it off before it was halfway through. My best friend, Chris, gave me shit for doing so the next day and told me what I’d missed. The way he described it, it didn’t sound scary. But then, Chris didn’t scare easily. I did.

Many years later, I read the Straub novel the movie was adapted from, it creeped me out quite a bit.

Now how is that for a trailer? Sure, it starts off vague and slow and with “the voice” but do you notice how as the tension and mood mount, the voice drops off? How well paced the last thirty seconds or so of the trailer are?

Maybe its time to give Ghost Story another shot- I found that trailer to be really effective. How about you?

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