The Corman-Poe Cycle

 

No, it’s not some stupid new band. Or even some stupid old band. To be honest it does kind of sound like the name of some 70’s super group. But, no. The Corman-Poe cycle refers to a series of films in the 60’s by Roger Corman and based on works of Edgar Allan Poe. There’s a very good reason that I’m talking about it today though. Other than it being Halloween today, of course.

The other week Dave had me thinking about what got me into horror. Not just the things that I love now, but stuff from when I was a kid. I’ve spoken before about my ultra-permissive parents. I was pretty much allowed to watch whatever I wanted because I wasn’t easy to scare. Thinking back on it this might have come from the fact that by the time I was 10 (or however old I was when I started picking out scary stuff to watch) I had already read a lot of creepy books. My father always had tons of books around. While he wasn’t into horror novels he did have things like Lovecraft, Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe. I read all of them, but the Poe stories stuck with me. So much so that some of the first horror movies I ever saw were the Roger Corman films based on Poe’s stories.

vincent-price-in-the-raven-film-still-feature-640x340

Now most people think of Roger Corman in relation to schlock B-movies of the 50’s or the SyFy schlock of the 2000’s-the nows. There was this lovely time in the 60’s though where he produced and directed some really good schlock featuring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, and many other notable actors of the time. I was drawn in by the stories, but I stayed for the acting. I’m sure you can understand why. If you haven’t seen them I highly recommend you give at least one of them a shot. Clearly Corman and Price worked well together as they went on to do 7 films based (sometimes VERY loosely)on the works of Poe. They aren’t scary, but they are creepy and fun.
Continue reading “The Corman-Poe Cycle”

Home Again – October’s Blu-Ray Releases

Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media.

All info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.

It’s that time of year, Phantomaniacs – when all of the big companies get in on the spooky act that our favorites like Shout Factory and Arrow maintain all year long! Halloweeny Blu-rays and 4Ks should be coming out a  furious pace for the next few weeks, so be sure to check in every single Tuesday to see what’s coming! Continue reading “Home Again – October’s Blu-Ray Releases”

Toy Review – Friday the 13th 2009 Jason Voorhees Action Figure from NECA

Last week I got some flak for stating that nobody likes Alien Resurrection, so I will amend that today by saying that four people like Alien Resurrection.

Honestly I thought the whole vagina thing would be more controversial.

This week I definitely don’t want to alienate anyone (see what I did there?), so I don’t want to say that nobody likes the 2009 Friday the 13th remake.

Fortunately I don’t have to say that because the 2009 Friday the 13th remake is pretty darn good and definitely far better than Alien Resurrection.

The remake incorporates elements of the first three films and streamlines the mythology in a pretty logical way. It basically takes Marvel’s Ultimate approach to Jason and in my opinion does it very well. It doesn’t replace any of the originals, but to me it stands as a worthy update to the franchise.

Jason himself is, of course, updated as well. Lots of extremely dumb things could have been done with Jason’s design. Heck, some of them have happened in past movies. But this design gets back to basics, in a way, while bringing his signature look into modern times. Let’s face it – the khakis and olive button-down are classic, but not very visually interesting.

This time around the Crystal Lake Killer is wearing a strangely unique jacket over a ripped up t-shirt and some old, beat-up trousers. His face is more Wrong Turn mutant than the Madball we saw in a few of the original films. And both the head sack and hockey mask are used.

Jason was played by the 6’5” Derek Mears, making him one of the taller actors to take the role. The movie emphasizes and even enhances his size, making Jason seem bigger and more powerful than ever before.

Okay, maybe not more powerful. This Jason doesn’t turn doors into clouds of splinters. But his raw strength is almost supernatural.

This is not the first action figure of the 2009 Jason by a long shot. In what is a very unusual occurrence, both NECA and Mezco released figures back when the movie came out. Mezco’s was part of their slightly exaggerated, almost caricature-ish Cinema of Fear line while NECA’s was part of its more realistic Reel Toys range.

Looking at them now I’m surprised by the fact that I prefer the Mezco release. The NECA one is fine, but not totally accurate and kind of dull. Mezco’s at least has some personality.

Now, of course, we have this new Ultimate release from NECA. Is it truly “Ultimate” or even necessary? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – Friday the 13th 2009 Jason Voorhees Action Figure from NECA”

Needless Things Podcast 288 – 2019 Halloween Special

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-5uyg3-c4a798

Welcome to the final episode of the spooky season on the Needless Things Podcast!

On this week’s episode, Dave hosts a nonstop cavalcade of Halloween goodness! Featuring Toy Stories, spooky songs, nightmarish news, and all manner of pop culture creepiness!
Listen in as Dave turns the Needless Things Podcast into a Halloween radio show!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?
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Hungry for more movies, music, and pop culture? Visit the Needless Things Archives for a decade of dorkery!

Crawl – Movie Review

lm4xH0YwFbVvTgdtau1thNK5S6JYou know how sometimes your friends suck? Oh wait, some of my friends might be reading this. In that case: you guys suck sometimes. Like when I want them to go see a stupid movie with me. I couldn’t interest a single person in the movie Crawl. We can get a whole group together to see The Meg, but not one person for Crawl? Maybe I love creature features too much. Maybe I’m just more into seeing crappy b-movies on the big screen than everyone else. Whatever it is I’m glad I finally got to see Crawl, but maybe my friends were right after all.

When it was released I didn’t even know that this movie was produced by Sam Raimi, and directed by Alexandre Aja. If you don’t know him that’s the guy who did The Hills Have Eyes remake, Piranha 3D, and High Tension. So maybe the first two on that list aren’t the greatest, but High Tension was genuinely good. The ending was a little wacky, but if you haven’t seen it you definitely should. Anyway, if I’d known all this when Crawl came out I’d have paid one of my friends to go with me. I don’t have a problem seeing a movie alone, but I like company for horror movies. 
Continue reading “Crawl – Movie Review”

Retro Movie Review – 9 Thoughts About The Devil Rides Out

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR HAMMER FILM PRODUCTIONS’ THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, AKA THE DEVIL’S BRIDE, WHICH IS 41 YEARS OLD SO MAYBE DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT

In 2001 the band Fantômas released an album called The Director’s Cut. This album is, in my opinion, their best work and one of the coolest albums I own. It features covers, rearrangements, and updates of themes from various genre films, ranging from Der Golem to Cape Fear to Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer.

Side Note: Another track on the album, inspired by Ronald Stein’s theme to Spider Baby, is the greatest Halloween song ever recorded.

One of the tracks on the album is an arrangement of James Bernard’s theme to Hammer Horror’s The Devil Rides Out. The title and the track were very compelling to me. I wasn’t familiar with the film, but as soon as I found out it was a Hammer production, I wanted to see it. Hammer Horror played a huge role in my development as a horror fan.

American releases of this film have been few and far between, to the point where I’m having trouble finding out if there have even been any aside from the original theatrical run, when the movie was retitled The Devil’s Bride because there was concern the original title made it sound like a Western.

I will go ahead and confirm their concern was correct, because that’s exactly what I thought when I saw the title. And I kind of still want the movie that conjured in my head.

Since 2001 I have been casually keeping an eye out for this movie. I don’t get terribly obsessive about specific things, as there are always other movies, books, and toys to keep my interest. So it was more a matter of being generally aware of a release, not poring over the dark recesses of the internet desperate to find a copy. Obviously I would have if that had been the case, as there have been foreign releases over the years and I’m sure it’s available via more nefarious methods that I do not, personally employ.

Earlier this year Shout Factory – that wonderful hero of genre film – announced they would be releasing The Devil Rides Out on Blu-ray; a new 2K scan with the original effects intact. Honestly I didn’t care about the details, I was just delighted that I’d finally be able to see this oddly elusive film.

This movie represents the time when Hammer was looking for genres other than classic monsters. They had gone to that well a few too many times and turned to the looming threat of Satanism for inspiration.

Starring Christopher Lee and Charles Gray, the film presents a clash between good and evil in the south of England in 1929; a literal battle for a man’s soul.

Did it deliver or had I built my expectations up too high based on very little information? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Retro Movie Review – 9 Thoughts About The Devil Rides Out”

Home Again – October’s Blu-Ray Releases

Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media.

All info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.

It’s that time of year, Phantomaniacs – when all of the big companies get in on the spooky act that our favorites like Shout Factory and Arrow maintain all year long! Halloweeny Blu-rays and 4Ks should be coming out a  furious pace for the next few weeks, so be sure to check in every single Tuesday to see what’s coming! Continue reading “Home Again – October’s Blu-Ray Releases”