Archive for the Scott’s Horror Corner Category

Nightmare on Elm Street the Series (Did you order up a slice of Ham?)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates with tags , on December 29, 2012 by splatterpictures

Freddys_NightmaresIf there’s one thing you can count on in media, and this is something that may be even more prevalent today, it’s that they will run a thing into the ground if you give them a chance. That said, the odds of you seeing, say, Rob Zombie’s Halloween action figures marketed towards children are probably pretty low. No Michael Myers with rocket launching action, nor will there be a Cabin in the Woods playset. Perhaps parents now are more easily outraged, or maybe the movies are more intense. All I know is, I had a talking Freddy Kreuger doll growing up. So if they thought kids would buy it, they would make it. And it wasn’t just in merchandise, they also tried to parlay Freddy into almost-Prime-Time!


Many connoisseurs are aware, but some are not, that Freddy had his own television series, called Freddy’s Nightmares. It ran for two seasons, from 1988 to 1990 in syndication. For me, personally, it had the auspicious 1 AM to 2 AM time slot. In spite of being quite the scaredy-cat growing up, I still ended up watching it a lot in my formative years. What do you think a show called Freddy’s Nightmares would entail; an endless stream of teenagers being murdered by everybody’s favorite horribly burned child molester right? Incorrect! While Freddy was the focus of the first episode and had appearances in a few subsequent ones, he was mostly on bumper duty, doing some ridiculous gags or waxing philosophical about the episodes.


The show, for the most part, was in the style of ‘Tales from the Crypt’ or ‘Twilight Zone’. The binding element being that they all took place in the town of Springwood where Elm Street is located. Imagine what the property value in that town must be like? The hour long show would tell a story and would sometimes have a second story branch off from it. The content was, suffice to say, a lot less graphic than the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. There were many episodes that, without the intro and the bumpers, had nothing to tie them to Freddy at all.


The first season of the show definitely had a little more of a sense of morose from Freddy. In the second season, he was nearly up to Freddy’s Dead levels of pure comedy relief. The stories themselves ranged from interesting to pretty good. One episode in particular that I recall from my childhood was “Safe Sex” where a nerd tried to hit on a goth chick who was in love with Freddy. I mainly remember it for a line delivered by the nerd’s best friend. ‘That girl is bad news at six AND eleven’. The basis of the story is that Freddy is cockblocking for Caitlyn (the goth chick) and by cockblocking, I mean he apparently got used to her unyielding love and threatens to kill her if she goes out with a guy.


I will say that the non-Freddy episodes could easily be confused for the aforementioned shows because they fail to stand out very much. Some are more dramatic than they are scary. That sounds like they’re bad, but honestly the saviour, and this is especially true in the second season, is Freddy being hilarious. For example, there’s an episode about a bank heist that follows a man about to be released from prison after giving up his partner for a reduced sentence. Cut to Freddy and his cellmate Gus as Freddy drops the soap and beckons his new pal to pick it up. Freddy is an iconic character, and if you’re a fan of his, then chances are you’ll really enjoy the show in spite of the some of the slower episodes that pop up in the run. There are also a few noteworthy actors who ran through Springwood, including Lori Petty and Brad Pitt.


Unfortunately, this is another series that hasn’t seen a DVD release. The first three episodes were released in the UK on DVD, but that was it. You’ll have to scour the internet if you want to catch the show. Though honestly, some kind folks on YouTube have put up a lot of the best stuff. Despite being seemingly an afterthought in the ‘Nightmare’ history, the show is witty and at moments is even quite good. Consult google for some episodes, and here’s Freddy playing guitar.

Childhood Scares (Scott’s Horror Corner)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates with tags , on December 13, 2012 by splatterpictures

It’s been said that I have a better than average knowledge of horror movies from certain people who run this website. If that is the case, it is expressly because I grew up with weird friends and seemed to have some fascination with being terrified as a child. My perusing of the horror movies at the grocery story has given me a strange reference point to horror movies that are a bit more rare, like Chopping Mall and Slumber Party Massacre. Not that I’ve ever SEEN these movies, mind you, their images and synopsis merely line the back of my skull. Somehow through, or perhaps because of, a healthy terror, I have made it this far in my life. Though I haven’t seen all those VHS tapes from Buehler’s Buy Low that I stared at, I still somehow watched a lot of horror growing up. I had friends who thought that horror was great, and the powers of peer pressure assured I was to have seen and had every Nightmare on Elm Street.


With that in mind, I present to you, the terror of the constantly terrified. A look at what did the most damage to me as a child and gave me unreasonable fears into adulthood.


I mentioned Nightmare on Elm Street before and it is probably the most prominent movie to scare me. I had a friend who loved it and somehow this became “both kids love it”. I mean, I thought it was pretty cool, but my idea of a good viewing was in the middle of a crowded city at noon, maybe projected onto a building. But no, instead he would run up to me and show me stuff like this.


The back of that Dream Warriors VHS was my first run-in with Kreuger and would sadly not be my last in adolescence. I never even saw the movie until I was much older and could reach the light switch on my own, thankfully, but I had an irrational fear of dream snake-men from ages 7-9. I still won’t pet them.


That was the first, but not last time a box cover haunted me. I’ve had some assurance that I wasn’t the only one disturbed by this next picture so apologies if this brings back bad memories. As noted, my local grocery store had a lot of fringe horror movies sitting out. Not all were outwardly scary, many were unassuming and just had your standard scary font or something. And then others were Ghoulies.


Need I explain what’s terrifying about a monster coming out of the toilet when you’re 7?! If you’re curious about the plot, there’s an excellent review elsewhere on this site with details about directors and so on, from me you just get A GREEN MONSTER COMING OUT OF THE HOPPER! Going to the bathroom is a pretty terrifying experience as a kid on its own, without the worry of monsters in the plumbing.


The final reason why I have social problems is a movie called the Video Dead. I did not even know the name of this film until recently. It existed only as the most horrifying Thanksgiving ever. Thanks to the internet classifying everything, including stuff like, ‘what’s that movie with this part in it?’ I became more educated. Back to Thanksgiving, though. As it wound down, everyone had gone outside or downstairs, everywhere but where I was which was the dining room. Adjacent was the living room , where the tv was left on. I was playing with trucks or breaking something I imagine, and then I hear the ominous horror chords that accompany many an 80’s movie kill. So I wander to the living room because I’m stupid. The lights are out and as I peak in I see this:




I handled it pretty well for 5 seconds, except that my aunt has her laundry room right beside her living room. I spent the rest of Thanksgiving avoiding anything that could conceal a zombie, which made getting into the car fun on the way home. Anyway, I’m guessing this is why I haven’t gotten married yet.


I hope you enjoyed reading about my scarred childhood, feel free to share any illogical horror-related phobias in the comments section!

Monster (Scott’s Horror Corner!)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates with tags , , on December 5, 2012 by splatterpictures



I feel like I’ve got a nice pattern going, do a review, give a recommendation. So I thought I’d take a look at something else near and dear to my heart. There have been anime recommendations in this blog before, and I definitely think there’s some crossover between the horror fans and anime fans. Wes reviewed the show Another and so I thought I would throw another hat in the anime horror ring with the show Monster.


Monster is an anime about, well, a monster. Dr. Tenma is a brilliant surgeon in Germany, just married to a wealthy wife. It becomes apparent quickly that the corruption of the hospital he is working at runs deep. As he preps for surgery on a Turkish man, he’s pulled just before to instead go work on a famous opera singer. The impoverished Turkish man dies, while the opera singer’s recovery is well documented on tv and in the papers. Tenma becomes very torn between the idea of acquiring wealth and status and doing what is right.


Over the course of the first two episodes Monster completes this parable by introducing a small family, a mother and father who adopted twins (brother and sister) and moved to Germany. Tenma is called in in the middle of the night as the family is massacred by an unknown assailant, the sister is alive but in shock, the brother has a bullet in his head. As he’s washing up to work on the young boy he’s again told to work on an important patient; the Mayor will be arriving shortly by helicopter and they want Tenma working on him. Not wanting to make another mistake, he works on the young boy and saves his life. Of course, doing the right thing doesn’t always work out the best for everyone.


As he sits beside the young boy, Johan, who is still in a coma, he talks about his situation. He no longer has the flourishing future he was promised after disobeying his superiors (and in effect letting the Mayor die) and his wife also wants nothing to do with him now. “They’d all be better off dead!” He says before calming down and leaving. The young girl seems terrified of Johan as she’s brought in for a photo op, she faints in terror. That night, two of Tenma’s superior’s were shot, one poisoned.


From there, Tenma realizes that he made the wrong choice. What he did out of compassion actually brought about something much more evil than he could’ve imagined. I suppose this review has a lot in common with my write up with Dr. Loomis, as Tenma gives off some of those same vibes. Tenma’s case is a bit more literal as he’s the only reason Johan is walking around still. It becomes his only duty to stop Johan, a task easier said than done. The show is a real page turner, or I guess now it might be called a mouse clicker. In fact, when I finished the show I watched the last 20 episodes consecutively; I wasn’t even in college at the time! It’s full of deep characters, (Inspector Runge for example who shows up in episode 3) plot twists and really just great storytelling.


If I had to find faults with it, I would say that the length of the series leaves it meandering at times. I think you could tighten up the show and still have it be just as good. That said, it stays true to the manga it comes from, but obviously there are episode number requirements for tv and it stretches itself a bit thin because of it. Another fault, and this one falls on distributors, is that it’s still not available in North America beyond episode 15. Viz Entertainment released a box set of the first 15 episodes and then promptly decided to just can the rest. It is apparently available online from retailers, but it would be nice to have a definitive box set for all 74 episodes.


If you have any passing interest in suspense/thriller/horror as an animated genre then watch this. I would say this is the apex of the genre(s) thus far. It’s not the goriest thing I’ve seen by a long shot, but it remains the creepiest anime I’ve watched. In fact, one of the central points of the anime is this book about a ‘monster’ which has a cameo in the end credits and it never failed to get under my skin paired with the haunting end theme. Monster is still near the very top of my best anime list (if I had such a thing). You really need to watch it.


Santos vs Las Lobas (Scott’s horror corner!)

Posted in Scott's Horror Corner, Updates on November 24, 2012 by splatterpictures



What’s the number one problem plaguing Mexico today?  Mexican Drug Cartels.  You know what is NOT the number one problems?

Werewolves.  Much like Frankenstein monsters (in my first review) they were on the wrong side of a vs. with El Santo!  While he has a son, El Hijo Del Santo, unfortunately he has not had as many high profile run-ins with monsters.
Let’s not preface too much though, let me tell you how Santo got rid of the werewolves.  It seems that the Queen of the Wolves is in trouble.  She’s come to end of her life and frankly it’s looking a little bleak.  So she convinces a leggy blonde girl to stab her and I guess forcibly reincarnate her into the woman.  The lady seemed okay with it, so who am I to judge?  Then what do we get?  Further information on the wolves?  Maybe some background on how the lineage works; something to orientate ourselves?
Wrestling!  Santo and a guy who is of no consequence vs. a couple of other guys.  I say the guy is of no consequence because Santo beats the shit out of both the guys by himself.  When he finally tags out, the nameless tag partner proceeds to get beat up before Santo submits everyone.  In the back, the aforementioned new Queen of the Wolves comes to visit Santo and hits on him, but he breaks out the flying cockblock and shuts her down.  After she leaves he gets another visitor, this time it’s a representative from a small village.
Santos isn’t buying this werewolf jive and sends him off as well.  Queen Wolf wasn’t happy with the results of our visit and we get our second match!  Santo vs. a pack of dogs!  Thankfully, they follow the rules of Professional Wrestling and only one dog comes in the ring at a time.  Meanwhile, Queen Wolf convinces the rep that she was attacked by…something.  So he does what any gentleman would do.  Takes her to her hotel room, tells her she was imagining things and starts to seduce her.  Meanwhile….
Santo tries to call that weirdo, but he’s busy getting killed by Queen Wolf.  Santo shows up at the location the representative gave him and meets…a werewolf hunter.  This man briefly explains that since Santo has been bitten by one of the dogs, he’s a victim of the curse of the werewolf and has to stop them before the ‘accession of the red moon’.  We get a quick cut to a girl in the nearby pool calling out for help and before we can quick cut back, this nameless man is already running.  Guess what?!  It’s a werewolf!  She tries to drown him, but Santo intervenes and she escapes.  In a hotel room he further explains that his family is immune to the curse and now they’re trying to kill him ‘in original ways’ to make it look accidental.  They then show him at a golf course and I’m not at all sure what they’re insinuating here…I think the werewolves were hitting golf balls at his head?  Is that a natural cause of death?  I’m surprised we didn’t get a montage of werewolves placing strategic banana peels on sidewalks.  Why not just do Werewolf Home Alone?
Mere moments later our mysterious stranger is jumped in a barn by a she-wolf!  His, apparently, minions seem to think he’s in trouble though are in no great hurry to help.  They do know exactly which wolf did it though and track her down where she dies of…natural causes?  She just sort of lays down.  Apparently that was Queen Wolf, too.  So they’re fucked.  Unless…
Santo arrives at the airport and meets an old train station hand who points out an eerie package from Transylvania!  We learn that that guy who died a few scenes ago was named Cesar Harker.  A good name for a good man.  Santo instead is put in contact with his identical twin brother who was nice enough to lay his dead brother out on the coffee room table.
Guess who’s dying!?  It’s the train station hand.  He actually gets the goriest death I’ve seen in a Santo movie thus far.  The box from Transylvania is open and IT’S THE KING WEREWOLF!  Is my lore wrong?  Are all iconic monsters from there?  I thought it was just vampires.  Well, he’s here to take things over and pick a new Queen.  How can a man choose just one of these lovely, hairy ladies?  But no!  It’s a random girl in a room somewhere!
Santo heads to the border town he was told about originally where they give him the traditional Mexican greeting of beating him with pitchforks and throwing rocks.  His buddy Rob Halford from Judas Priest shows up and they’re friends now walking through a cornfield to escape the scorn of this little village.  I know it sounds like I didn’t watch this movie carefully enough and that’s why I keep using phrases like ‘I guess that…’ and ‘Apparently…’ but in fact I’ve watched this movie three times now and I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on.  For instance, men surround them in the corn field with guns!  I’m assuming these aren’t werewolves…were they paid by werewolves?  Where do werewolves get money?  Are they villagers?  If so, that escalated pretty quickly.  Well, Gipsy (aka Rob Halford) and Santo split up in the corn field.  How will they escape this?!  Well, they don’t really have to because the worst sniper in history proceeds to shoot all of his friends.  His one alive friend tells him to stop shooting and runs away.  Meanwhile, Gipsy is laughing in a tree eating bamboo, apparently impervious to conventional weapons through years of waxing himself? Poor Cesar’s funeral is today, Santo wears his finest suit and mask, Gipsy his best vest with no shirt.
We’re introduced to the mysterious…actually mysterious implies a kind of calculated suspense; this is more like they didn’t feel like having any continuity so they threw him out there.  Anyway, here’s Dr. Marcus…wonder who this guy who just showed up could be?  He invites everyone to his mansion for a party.  Probably best to forget about all this werewolf stuff and the impending doom that assumedly will accompany the red moon.  This begins the climactic ending!  The lights are turned out and werewolves descend upon Santo, Gipsy and the girl who was the supposed new Wolf Queen maybe…after about 2 minutes they realize “hey, maybe we should turn the lights back on so people can see the fight.”  Anyway, Santos body slams some werewolves (for any faults this movie has, and there are plenty, I’ll watch them all for that) and they get away after incapacitating the Wolf King.
It turns out the reason Santo is so important is because of his silver mask.  You see, because the bane of Werewolves is silver.  He’s the silver symbol they were told about!  Just in case, though, he hands out silver bullet-shooting rifles to a bunch of villagers as they prepare for the REAL final battle. Hey guys, remember about a paragraph ago, I mentioned how the poor lighting was ruining the fight scene but then they came to their senses?  Well, sense is for people who do not make these movies.  Yes, as you’ll recall it’s the night of the RED MOON.  And the moon is SO FREAKING RED that everyone looks like a bland, detail-less blob.
I tried adjusting the picture using brightness and contrast, tried adjusting the colour to no avail.  On third viewing, it actually is starting to slowly become apparent…I guess my eyes now suck as much as the editing.  Santo chases down the Wolf King.  Santo doesn’t take offense from anybody!  He basically beats the crud out of the Wolfman, and throws him off a cliff.  Fin.
Seriously, the poor guy hits the bottom of the valley and that’s it.  I’d be disappointed but aside from maybe a killer rendition of “Breaking the Law” I can’t say I’d really care for anything else this movie might have offered in the way of an epilogue.
You may ask, what have we learned?  That werewolves are cunning?  That Santo doesn’t job to any movie monsters?  That life itself is fleeting and we must fly at it with the fury of a 70’s luchador and ride that momentum until you finally crash?