Tag Archives: Horror

The Padre (Alpha Test)

In the olden days of point-and-click gaming, there were no walkthroughs, no online forums, or even strategy guides. Beating such a game required hours of thought, effort, and tedious trial error.

In an era loaded with point-and-click survival horror games all too reliant on cheap jump scares and lazy mechanics comes a chilling Lovecraftian indie throwback to the good old days.

Enter “The Padre,” a story about a priest searching for his friend alone in a decrepit mansion where everything goes bump in the night – including our hero.

The first thing you’ll notice about The Padre is the block style visuals. While this design choice draws too many similarities to Minecraft, it’s the only modern thing players will compare it to. That said, it’s hard not to wonder how much better the game would look if the graphics were slightly more realistic, even if they maintained their cartoonish charm.

Don’t let these looks fool you, this game is beyond creepy.

The story of the twisted mansion and the struggle our man of the cloth must endure takes you into the mind of the human psyche. The mansion is loaded with plenty of fun horror cliche’s and abundant with terror thanks to a pitch-perfect soundtrack by developer Shotgun with Glitters.

In addition to a terrifyngly compelling story, there are puzzles galore throughout your quest and plenty of baddies and traps to keep you on edge and unravel the mystery of the mansion and our clergyman’s demented past. The Padre also contains a litany of items and old-school mechanics that will keep your brain wracked around the game.

Another part of The Padre’s charm is the downright hilarious voiceovers. Some lines are delivered with such cheese, it’s hard not to crack up at your PC, which will, of course, result in death.

Speaking of death, there is one horrendous glitch that will frustrate gamers to no end.

If you die after clicking the icon to enter another room and the entrance initiates, you will appear in the next room postmortem. Reloading the file will not fix this, as the game autosaves when you get to the next room. The only way out of this one is to restart the game from the beginning.

On the bright side, the game is still in its alpha testing stages, so it’s likely this issue will be resolved before the final product is available.

Aside from “Notchy” looking graphics and a perilous problem, The Padre is a winner for old-school gamers looking for a spooktacular challenge. Shotgun with Glitters has taken their time and done its due diligence on what gamers really want in a story and gameplay, hitting you right in the nostalgia button.

The Padre is currently garnering crowdfunding support through Brightlocker, where the demo may be downloaded in an effort to help the game earn its keep (and hopefully your hard-earned cash).

 

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10 Underrated Tobe Hooper and George. A. Romero Films

 

by Anthony Carioscia

2017 is a sad year in the horror world as we lost George Romero and Tobe Hooper, arguably two of the genre’s best directors .

When your average person thinks of Romero, his legendary Living Dead Trilogy is what normally comes to mind and for Hooper, The first two Texas Chainsaw Massacres and Poltergeist. While these are all amazing films, let’s not forget that both directors had plenty of other movies that helped them earn their titles of masters of horror. Here in no particular order are those films, with five underrated films from each director.

Tobe Hooper:

Invaders from Mars

The 1980’s had several great remakes of classic 50’s sci-fi horror genre such as The Thing and The Fly. One that gets forgotten is Hooper’s version of Invaders From Mars, which is a shame since this film is a fun 80’s cheese fest joy ride with awesome special effects.

Body Bags

This made for TV anthology film was a giant lot between Hooper, John Carpenter and Larry Sulkis. Hooper directed the third and final segment “Eye.”

This film is about a baseball player who gets a replacement right eye after he looses it. He then starts getting disturbing visions and soon learns of the eye’s secret origin as he plummets into madness. This segment is the best in the film, but the other two are also well worth your time.

Funhouse

This slasher classic is set in an amusement park where a small group of teens get stuck in the fun house ride and are attacked by a killer with severe physical deformities. The film stars Elizabeth Berridge, who would later become known for being in the huge hit film Amadeus about the legendary composer Mozart.

Lifeforce 

Written by horror and sci-fi master Dan O’Bannon (Dead and Buried, Alien) and based on the novel Space Vampires, Lifeforce is a must see for horror and sci-fi fans. In this film, vampires from space arrive in London and start infecting everyone. This picture’s style fuses primitive shlock with traditional Hammer style horror to make an experience that’s out of this world. It also has Patrick Stewart, which is always a plus!

Eaten Alive 

A spiritual follow up to Texas Chainsaw, Eaten Alive is a 70’s grindhouse classic. Like TCM, this film is about a sadistic killer redneck who feeds his victims to his pet crocodile.

Romero 

The Dark Half 

Based on the novel by Stephen King, this film tells the story of an author who creates a fake pen name sort of like what King did with Richard Bachman. This fake person now wants to take over the author’s life by any means neccessary.

Two Evil Eyes 

This overlooked gem is an anthology film involving both Romero and Italian, legend Dario Argento. It features two stories, both based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe with Argento directing The Black Cat and Romero directing The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. While Romero’s skit isn’t as good as Argento’s, it’s still excellent, well crafted gothic horror.

The Crazies 

Romero is most known for making films about the living dead. In The Crazies, he gives us a similar concept but with a virus causing people to become rabid and zombie like. The social commentary and military themes commonly found in Romero’s works are all here as it feels like a side film in the Living Dead franchise.

Martin 

George A. Romero is mostly know for his zombie films, but has several others well worth checking out – including the vampire classic Martin.

The film is about a young man who thinks he’s a vampire who goes to live with his insane elderly cousin who believes he’s a product of a family curse.

The film plays on the old-world hysteria that created vampires, but sets them in modern day. It also showcases Romero’s love for social commentary.

Creepshow

When master director George Romero teams up with Stephen King for a film, you know you have a masterpiece on your hands.

Creepshow is a horror anthology film that acts as a love letter to vintage horror comics such as Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. The film consists of five shorts with two of the shorts, Weeds and The Crate being based on King stories. The rest were written by King specifically for the movie. From start to finish, Creepshow is a fun, gory, creepy and hilarious joy ride.

My Experience at Hudson Horror Show XV

Another May meant another set of dates to look forward to.

That set of May dates in question being Memorial Day Weekend’s Maryland Deathfest and the Hudson Horror Show’s 15th outing a week prior.

This year had an awesome line up of Frankenhooker, Slaughterhouse, the traditional mystery film, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Hidden, and Piranha.

Although I had seen every film on this bill before (and highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t), I wanted to see them on a big screen. Unfortunately, I only wound up staying for the first four.

While I didn’t buy much merch this time around, I did win a copy of the film Hardware, which despite it being a pretty terrible movie it was pretty cool to win it.

Frankenhooker 

First up was the classic from the man behind Brain Damage and Basket Case. I had not seen this great horror comedy since high school but I remembered loving it.

Frankenhooker tells the story of a weird nerd name Jeffery who’s girlfriend dies in a freak accident. Jeffery then looks for ways to put her back together using the body parts of dead hookers. This is one flick that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s fun from front to back with its offensive humor, gross-out scenes, and of all things, exploding hookers.

Slaughterhouse 

The second film was the 80’s slasher Slaughterhouse which, ironically, I bought at the last Hudson Horror.

The film is a mix of 80’s teen slashers, redneck Texas Chainsaw Massacre type films, and dark humor. Slaughterhouse is about the owner of a slaughterhouse and his mentally challenged son who talks in pig sounds. When the town decides to shut them down, the two start capturing the town’s officals and making them into meat along with teenagers who try to joke about the place. Slaughterhouse is lots of fun and one to check out if you like slashers.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Between Dream Warriors and Slaughterhouse was the mystery film. While I can’t say what it was I will say it’s a violent non-horror movie based on an old Manga and it was awesome.

Dream Warriors is my favorite Freddy sequel as the film takes the series into a more comedic/fantasy direction. In the third Nightmare installment, a band of teenagers discover they have special powers in their dreams which they use to battle Freddy Krueger. This film is 80’s cheese at it’s finest and a perfect finale to end the fest.

 

Hudson Horror Show XIV

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Once again, the bi-yearly fest known as the Hudson Horror Show came around to the town of Poughkeepsie. As is tradition, I got there about an hour early to look at merch. In my conquest, I bought cheap DVD copies of the films Mutant, Futurekill, The Killing of Satan and Redeemer:Son of Satan. I met up with my friends David and Joe, who I normally hang with at this event and we grabbed some popcorn and soda before checking out the first film. The line up this year was I Spit on Your Grave, Deathrace 2000,a mystery movie, The Howling, The Hitcher and Robocop.

I Spit on Your Grave

Before the film played, the host, Chris Alo warned the audience, which did include several teenage girls about how extreme this movie is. For those that don’t know, I Spit on Your Grave is a highly controversial film that is Roger Ebert’s most hated movie of all time. I’d seen this film once before a few years ago after buying it at Wal-Mart.

It’s the story about a young writer named Jennifer who moves from New York City to the country side to work on her novel. During her writing, she’s stalked by a gang of thugs who lust after her and also want to use this lust as the perfect way to get their mentally challenged friend laid. One day while outside on a hammock in her bikini, she is gang raped by the guys and crawls to her house. When she tries to call the cops they find her, rape her again, tear up her book and leave her to die. Two weeks later she is revealed to have not died and goes about getting revenge on these dogs.

While the film is very disturbing it is also very entertaining. The rape scene is one of the most gruesome out there thanks to character development. The ways she gets back at the guys are really fun to watch as these guys deserve everything she gives to them. The film’s lack of score also gives it a really eerie mood.

Death Race 2000

After the intermission came on the film I was mostly here to see, the Roger Corman classic Death Race 2000. The film is a set during a 1970’s look at the future where the world’s most popular sport is a race where contestants race cross country, but unlike traditional racing, the goal is too get as many points as possible before you make it to the finish line. The racers get points by running people over, where the age of the person killed depends on the score they get. Among the racers are then-unknown Martin Cove, David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone.

I had not seen this film since I was around 15 years old, so seeing it again was refreshing. It reminded me how hilarious and over-the-top the film is, and I’d consider it to be Sly’s best film that isn’t Rocky or Rambo. After this was the mystery film, which I won’t reveal, but I will say it was a real treat as it is the best film to involve a box and one of my all time favorites. As great as Robocop, The Howling, and The Hitcher are, I was getting tired and decided to go home after another fun night at Poughkeepsie’s Cinema 8.

 

 

 

Louis R. Pisano and the Making of a Hollywood Sequel Story

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In 1975 the cinematic world of Hollywood changed forever.

A then-unknown Steven Speilberg would direct a horror film by the name of “Jaws” that unexpectedly brought in a record number of ticket sales; thus creating the first-ever summer blockbuster.  Due to its huge success, the studio decided to make a sequel simply titled “Jaws 2.” Released 38 years ago today, Jaws 2 naturally was a big success thanks to the original. Though still a well-liked film, people tend to forget how important it actually was to the film industry as Jaws 2 set the template for not only horror franchises but franchise films altogether.

This importance was not forgotten by two devoted fans named Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith when they wrote a book titled “Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel.” Released last September by BearManor Media, the project took five years to complete and contains interviews with just about every Jaws 2 cast member one could imagine. The book also talks about the original plans for the film and how Jaws 2 is the most important sequel in cinematic history. In this exclusive interview, Pisano shares how his and Smith’s vision came to life for this book that all Jaws and movie fans alike should dive into.

The Bonesaw: What made you decide to write “Jaws 2: the Making of the Hollywood Sequel?”

Pisano: We decided to write this book because “Jaws 2” is a much maligned film that really doesn’t deserve to be. The film is clearly a competent and entertaining follow up to what was at that time the biggest film ever, “Jaws.” However, sequels were a foreign concept in film in 1977/1978. They weren’t  a mainstream trend in motion pictures as they eventually became after the success of Jaws 2. Jaws 2 also left a historic mark on the motion picture industry much in the way the original did. The film’s teaser poster art featured the “All New” text which also appeared on future film sequel posters such as “Halloween II.” The film’s tagline “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…” also became famous, often closely imitated in many later films and has even become a synonym of sorts used in language when a circumstance leads you to believe something counter-intuitive.

Much in the way that the original created the summer blockbuster as a form of Hollywood business and left its mark on pop culture, Jaws 2 essentially created the notion of a film sequel as another new Hollywood business. In fact, the word “blockbuster” itself was born because of Jaws (referring to the massive ticket lines that stretched for several city blocks). Jaws 2 started the sequel as a movie business which is now almost the norm. Dozens of sequels are released every year now in cinemas as standard fare – not the case in any way back in 1978.

We felt that Jaws 2 – because it follows in the shadows of the near-perfect original, has been unfairly underappreciated for the wrong reasons. We wanted to present the fact that Jaws 2 had just as significant of an impact on the Hollywood movie business as the original.

The Bonesaw: How were you able to contact all these cast members for interviews?

Pisano: The embryonic stages of acquiring contact with all of the contributors to the book happened when I was seeking out autographs from the entire cast of Jaws 2 for my personal collection. Over the course of a couple years I eventually found all the “Amity Kids.” I reintroduced many of them to each other and from there it pretty much snowballed. They all even got together for a cast reunion in California a few years back.

My co-author Michael A. Smith had also been heavily involved in film research for years for his Mediamikes website and had many, many important connections in his network that were invaluable to the book in terms of securing interviews. Also as we were working on the book and news of its release spread on the internet, we were fortunate enough to actually have some of the contributors contact us out of the blue. We were very lucky that all of these things led to us finding every living cast or crew member to participate in the book.

Bonesaw: What was your first experience with Jaws 2? What do you like most about it?

Pisano: My first experience with Jaws 2 was seeing the Lou Feck novel cover. Having already been fascinated by Roger Kastel’s masterpiece original Jaws image of the Benchley novel, the Feck Jaws 2 image was eye candy to me. Then of course, I saw the actual film in the cinema. I remember the audience reactions and the screams. The movie scared me enough, but the screams added to that fright and from there it became a cherished memory and created my love for this underrated and gutsy film.

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Lou Feck’s “Jaws 2” novel cover.

Bonesaw: Have you ever watched any of the old Jaws rip-offs? If so, which one’s your favorite?

Pisano: Funny question because my good friend John Campopiano is a huge Jaws rip-off fan! He holds an annual gathering among all of us local Jaws fans called “Rip-Off Fest,” so I’ve had the privilege of seeing many, many Jaws rip-offs over the years thanks to him.

However, my favorite one has to be the infamous “Great White” (also called “The Last Shark”). The reason? When I saw the ads on T.V. as a kid, I thought, “it might be Jaws 3!” So for the nostalgia of that film and the fact that it did very closely resemble Jaws – even outright robbing actual scenes from Jaws and Jaws 2! For all it’s awful glory, Great White is my favorite Jaws rip-off film.

You can purchase “Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel” from AmazonBearManor Media and where other books are sold.

Hudson Horror Show XIII

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After really enjoying the last showing 6 months ago, I knew I had to come I’d come back.

The lineup for the film festival consisted of “Dolomite,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Jaws 2,” “Nightbreed” and two mystery films.

Like last time, there were vendors with a myriad of horror DVDs, Blu-Rays, VHS tapes, t-shirts and signs. This time however, the Hudson Horror Show vendors had a larger variety of other items including comics and vinyl. The film festival also had exhibits such a model shark from Jaws that you could get pictures with.

I met up with some friends and purchased DVD copies of the films “Slaughterhouse” and “555” as well as a Blu-Ray of “Corruption” (which comes with the exploitation classic “Last House on Dead End Street!”). At around 12:15 p.m.  the mystery movie played. While I can’t reveal what it was I will say it was very enjoyable crap. After that came an intermission and then the first of the revealed films.

Dolomite

“Dolomite” is an iconic blaxplotation film (and one of the best). Starring stand-up comedian Rudy Ray Moore, the film is about a pimp named Dolomite who is let out of prison and hired to catch a bunch of notorious criminals. The film is very sleazy and humorous with the word “motherfucker” being said in every other scene. A good place to start for those looking into the blaxplotation genre along with “Shaft” and “Coffy.”

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The next feature was this well-known horror flick. For the two people that don’t know, the film is about a killer named Freddy Kreuger (played by fellow horror icon Robert Englund). Unlike your average serial killer, Kreuger is a demonic spirit that haunts people’s dreams. If he kills you in your dream, you die in real life. While trying to stop this from happening, the main protagonist Nancy finds out more about Krueger and his connection to the parents of her and her friends.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a horror classic. Kreuger’s mix of sadistic insanity and silly one-liners made the character a horror behemoth and England a legend to this day. Then-unknown Johnny Depp’s death scene remains a staple to the franchise and help project his career into the stratosphere. While I’d already seen the film several times it was nice to watch it again as it had been awhile.

Jaws 2

The following film was “Jaws 2” – a film with as much notoriety as the previous one.

Before the movie started a man by the name of Louis Pisano gave a short lecture on his book “Jaws 2: The making of a Hollywood Sequel.” The book is about pretty much everything there is to talk about in “Jaws 2” and how it was the first Hollywood sequel.

While not as good as the first, “Jaws 2” is still great. The film is pretty much just a direct follow up that tried to one-up the original in every way. Any fan of the first film would most likely enjoy this one as well.

After this film I started to head out. As much as I love “Nightbreed” and was curious to see what the last mystery film was, I was getting tired and it was getting late. On the way out I ran into Pisano and ordered his book off him (which I eventually plan to review) but that is something for another time.

Trailer Feedback: Five Nights at Freddy’s – Sister Location

Heere’s Baby.

Set in what looks more like a facility than a family restaurant, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location will contain at least four new haunted animatronics guaranteed to give you nightmares. There’s the ringmistress Baby, Funtime Foxy (who is possibly a hybrid of Foxy and the Mangle characters from the original series), Funtime Freddy (sporting a Springtrap puppet on his right hand) and the twisted ballerina Ballora – who’s eyes never appear to open.

The trailer for the FNAF spinoff begins with a cold open as the words “Fear, panic, dread and terror deep below ground where memories sleep. Anger is restless and secrets don’t keep” appear alongside flashing images of the beloved survival-horror franchise’s past installments. We are introduced to possibly new gameplay mechanics as the room/elevator descends into madness before divulging into a vent before we get a load of Baby and her nightmarish clan.

Creepy music ensues before presumably Baby utters the phrases “Don’t hold it against us. You don’t know what we’ve been through” at the trailers end.

The demented cat known as Sister Location was semi-let out of the bag in the second FNAF World update ending, which was released May 13th (which of course, fell on a Friday). During the ending, the player finds  FNAF creator Scott Cawthon at a desk explaining that he’s created something terrible and that her name is Baby. The lights dim, glowing eyes appear in the corner and when the lights come back on, Cawthon is found lying in a pool of his own blood.

This Fall, gamers and horror enthusiasts alike will uncover the terrifying reasons why nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Bonesaw Podcast – Episode 34: Exhumed and Gruesome’s Matt Harvey

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Things get heavy when we sit down with death metal mastermind Matt Harvey. Harvey talks his bands Gruesome and Exhumed, singing for Exodus and much more in this brutal podcast.

 

Bonesaw Podcast: Episode 31 – Scythe Director Jim Rothman

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Jim Rothman is our first director on the show and he’s here to tell you about his crowdfunding campaign for his latest flick, “Scythe” – a realistic horror film. We talk Rothman’s roots, love for the genre, how he broke into becoming a director and all things Scythe in this scary-good show.

Check out the Scythe campaign here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/413608…ic-slasher-film

My Experience At Hudson Horror Show XII

Twice a year in Poughkeepsie, NY the Hudson Horror Show is held. The Hudson Horror Show is a film festival where for 12 hours, classic horror and cult films are shown while vendors sell horror films on all formats as well as all kinds of other horror merch.

This year’s lineup of films were “The Warriors,” “Halloween 2,” “Friday the 13th Part 2,” “Demonoid,” “Stunt Rock”  and a mystery movie. This showing was also going to have two theater rooms instead of one, making it not sell out as fast as others.

I drove to the South Hill mall, arriving about a half hour before the first film started and ran into some friends. We went over to the vendor tables where the merch was pretty cool; ranging from horror shirts, Blu-Rays and DVDs from Vinegar Syndrome, horror signs made by Rob Sinclair of the Orange Ulster Horror Club to metal and punk records. I ended up buying  a VHS copy of “Demons” as well as a Blu-Ray of “Madman.”

12:15 rolled around and it was time to see “Demonoid.”

Demonoid (1981) 

I went into this film knowing nothing other then it being considered “fun crap.” As a fan of “fun crap,” I was pretty eager to see this.

“Demonoid” is about a married couple who explore a mine in Mexico and find a mummified hand in a coffin.  They take the hand home and while they are sleeping, the hand tries to possess the wife.The husband stops it from doing so but ends up getting his right hand possessed in the process.   He eventually dies and the hand goes from person to person until the widow teams up with a priest  to try to stop The Devils Hand.

The film is very poorly made, but in a way that makes it a hell of a good time to watch. The Nonsense story, poor acting, awkward dialogue, over the top scenes and unfitting pop songs that play at the most random parts all make up the films charm.

Stunt Rock (1980)

The Australian “Stunt Rock” is about real-life stunt man Grant Page (played by himself) who reunites with his cousin who plays Satan in the stage shows for a rock band called Sorcery (who also played themselves).

Their stage shows consists of special effects and magic tricks as Merlin and Satan fighting each other while the band plays.There was also a story with a female reporter falling in love with Page but was uninteresting and boring.

For the most part I found the film to be pretty boring. The stunts and the concert footage scenes were pretty fun to watch but everything else was uninteresting. Socery’s sound was pretty cool, reminding me a bit of older Alice Cooper with some Led Zepplin and Black Sabbath influences thrown it. I might want to pick up a Sorcery album when I have the chance.

Halloween 2-1981

After “Stunt Rock” came the mystery movie. I can’t tell what the film is but I will mention it was a film I had wanted to see for awhile and ended up being really good. Hint: the lead actor plays the President on a popular tv show now.

After that great mystery film it was time for “Halloween 2.” I hadn’t seen this installment to the saga in years so I was pretty excited.

“Halloween 2” is pretty much a continuation of the first movie with more violence, a more OP Micheal Myers, a more dedicated Dr. Loomis and Laurie Strode barley able to walk the whole film. “Halloween 2” is my third favorite in the franchise right behind the first and third films. After “Halloween 2” I headed home. As awesome as “Friday the 13th Part 2” and “The Warriors” are, I had stuff I needed to do at home.  Maybe next time I will stay for the whole show as it was a great experience.