News Last Week
Keeping things light here on the Nightmare Feed as we hopefully round the long end of the 2020 Pandemic Shut-in. This week we decided to talk B Movie Horror. And not just any B Horror movies, but those that intentionally aspired to be B Horror.
What is it about the B rolls that almost seems to command more admiration than the Hollywood A listers? Is it because part of what makes them so charming is how bad they are? Maybe it’s because they’re absolute trash that makes them so damn fun? Or maybe, it’s the tenacity of the director to “shoot no matter what!” Indeed, Ed Wood, the original master of the B roll saw it as almost his duty to shoot, no matter the hang-up. As a matter of fact, Wood kept horror alive when it was starting to get stale; even overlooked by the rest of the industry.
This week on the Nightmare Feed we celebrate the ‘New B’ with gems keeping it alive as a tradition, even though Hollywood now takes Horror seriously. We’ll talk about B from the 90s to the 2010’s and we’ll look at total disasters to come (hopefully once this plague is over).
Shut in 2020
Good news heading into April and Social Distancing is finally starting to flatten the curve. April 5th, finally reported less new cases of COVID-19 then the day previous. This is good, as it almost assure that we’ve reached the plateau of the epidemic. But we’re not out of the woods yet, so keep up the good work, keep streaming them horror movies and shows, and keep right on social distancing.
While an official release date ha not yet been set, this wacky B Slasher has been scheduled for a 2020 release. Art the Clown originally made his first appearance in the low budget, horror anthology, All Hallows’ Eve (2013). While he was only the central villain of one short on the anthology, he captivated audiences and eventually got his own full release, Terrifier (2018). Well, the daffy, murderous, psychopath is back and writer/director, Damien Leone promises the most shocking kills we’ve ever seen.
Train to Busan 2: Peninsula
If you’re a fan of Reed Alexander’s Horror Review, you’ll know Train to Busan (2016) is one of Reed’s favorite Zombie Survival Flicks, second only to Dawn of the Dead (2004). It’s an intense rollercoaster of violence Reed described as ‘The Futility of Emotional Attachments’ The Movie. Train to Busan 2 looks like it’s going to have an even steeper survival curve, as it take place 4 years into the apocalyptic future of the Zombie Pandemic of the first movie.
Look for it coming out in August and the producers are pushing hard for an American release date in theaters.
Release date changes due to COVID-19:
A Quiet Place 2: September 3rd, just in time for my birth day.
New Mutants: December 31st, just in time for the New Year.
Antlers: Seems to be hanging on for theaters to reopen with a continuing release date of April 17th
Candyman: Has a new release date of June 11th.
Tails from the Loop
Streaming now! A series based on a roll playing game, based on a collection of sci-horror ‘Norman Rockwell esk’ paintings, set in a decaying futuristic world. The RPG was supposed to have a deeply unsettling foundation similar to Netflix Stranger Things. Players of the game took on the rolls of children dealing with worldly sci-fi nightmares, well outside of what they were supposed to be able to handle.
If the streaming show (exclusive to Amazon Prime) is anything close to the setting of the game, it should prove to be a fantastic anthology series similar to Love, Death, and Robots.
Stories Untold (2017) an episodic horror adventure–puzzle video game developed by No Code and published by Devolver Digital. Written and directed by Jon McKellan, It is a mix of adventure game genres, including text-based adventure, first-person exploration, and puzzle solving, and is themed after technology from the 1980s.
The game consists of four episodes, each of them an adventure and horror game. The first, notably, is a remastered version of The House Abandon, a shorter adventure game released as free-to-play in August 2016.
The story takes place in England, 1986. The first three episodes are essentially standalone games. In the first episode, the player has no name or even specified gender. It’s revealed in the concluding fourth episode that the games are actually all connected in a single story revolving around one player character, James Aition. Most of the game is spent with interacting with fictional computers, either in a single viewpoint, or with the ability to switch between two viewpoints; the third and fourth episodes also involve small segments of first person exploration.
All time top New ‘B’
Reed’s #5) Residue (2017)
This movie is by NO MEANS perfect. The costuming, and FX even detract a little from the atmosphere. The acting is also pretty hammy, narrated in first person like an old film noir movie. Despite all that, you can still feel the downward spiral into insanity. It’s not even slow. The weird thing is, everything about this movie is so intensely insane, the low budget sort of seems normal. The madness escalates on such a steep curve, you don’t think it could get any more ridiculous. Yet, despite this movies many hangups, they somehow kept going.
The best part was you can see they knew how bad it all fit together and they just soldiered on. They didn’t shy from the sillyness, they fucking embraced it. They leaned into it HARD. And that’s what made it so damn good.
Joe’s #5) Wolves (2014)
Wolves is a fun werewolf movie starring Lucas Till and Jason Momoa among others. It follows a teenager by the name of Cayden (Lucas Till) who becomes progressively violent in the beginnings of the movie. After his parents are viciously murdered and he is suspected of the crime that he has no memory of he goes on the run and searches to find his origins. Werewolf movies make for great, fun B horror movies and while this one (like most werewolf movies) has meh acting and the creature effects are nothing spectacular it does a great job of being enjoyable.
Reed’s #4) Frankenstein’s Army (2013)
Don’t go into this expecting a great plot. Sure, there is a plot, but it’s basically just a backdrop to what this movie really brings… FUCKING INDUSTRIAL MECHANICAL NAZIS!!! This made every portion of the teenage metal head inside of me squee with delight. If you played Wolfenstine, Doom, Blood, or Quake, mechanized Nazis where the primary antagonist you so looked forward to drilling bullets into. Horror, Metal, and Video Games defined my generation. I’m actually shocked it took the horror industry this long to pander to us as adults.
This move is just a gore spectacle, but the effort they put into it was impressive. I was fucking shocked how good the acting was, even for horror. The Practical FX are even pretty stellar, regardless how silly the concept is. I mean, these fuckers look frightening AND seriously fucking cool. But it’s shot like a Found Footage movie, ‘Shaky Camera’ style, and I’d be lying if I said this movie was anything outside of an epic excuse for violence. But do your really need another reason to watch it?
Joe’s #4) High Tension (2003)
A French slasher film. A beautiful young Frenchwoman, Alex (Maïwenn Le Besco), travels out to the country to visit her family and brings along her friend Marie (Cécile de France). Soon after they get settled in the secluded home, Alex’s parents are brutally attacked by a psychotic truck driver (Philippe Nahon), who proceeds to stalk the two women as well. When the killer kidnaps Alex in his truck, Marie hides in the back to try and rescue her, but the bloodshed is far from over.
This movie is intense and definitely not on the light side. It was originally rated NC-17 but Lionsgated re-edited the movie to get the R rating. One of my favorite B movies – I worked at a video store when it was released and a whole bunch of us gather to watch this one and I have watched it a few more times since.
Reed’s #3) Tremors (1990)
I’m not completely sure, but I do believe this was the first time a big studio did a major production of a horror that in NO WAY was intended to be serious. There were plenty of B studios at the time, turning out movies that felt more like horror comedy than horror. Bad Moon comes to mind, who brought us Cabin Fever AND Puppet Master. This is by no means the first horror Universal Pictures produced, it’s by no means the first B Horror movie that Universal produced, but I can’t recall a production from Universal, that was intentionally campy while still staying true to horror.
The fact is, Tremors (1990) is actually pretty good for horror. There’s a lot about it that’s down right freaky. Everything from how the creatures work to how nasty it is when they get you can certainly make the skin crawl. And the practical FX are second to none. These monsters are believable and look really good. While there wasn’t a ton of effort put into things like the plot or the characters, all of which was intentionally rife with tropes, it all comes together pretty nicely. There doesn’t feel like a need for meaningful story or character development. Everyone is too busy cracking wise and running for their life.
Joe’s #3) Ginger Snaps (2000)
Another werewolf movie for the list here. Ginger Snaos is the story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey Downs. On the night of Ginger’s first period, she is savagely attacked by a wild creature. Ginger’s wounds miraculously heal but something is not quite right. Now Brigitte must save her sister and save herself.
I seriously love this movie. It is, in my opinion, one of the best werewolf movies out there. While definitely a B movie the acting was pretty solid and the characters were very well developed. Such a good time, this is one that everyone should see.
Reed’s #2) House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
When I saw HO1kC in the theaters, it received a standing ovation. That’s the first time I’d ever encountered such a thing. It’s not like Rob Zombie or the cast was going to walk out from behind the screen and take a bow. They were all hundreds of miles away at what ever screening they’d attended. It smacked as odd, but it was hard to resist joining in. HO1kC was just that good.
Rob went for the ultimate B Horror feel, a Grindhouse exploitation feature of a sorts, where blood violence and nudity were kinda of the point. I mean, the plot is basically just stolen from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with a complete redo of the family and their odd hillbilly traditions. They also put a lot of background in to the bizarre nature and even the ethos of the Firefly family. It was an exposition on violent and weird, intentionally designed like a freak show (or in this case a road side tourist trap, putting extra emphasis on ‘trap’). But, when violence and nudity are the point, if falls firmly into the traditions of B Horror, and HO1kC is undoubtedly one of the best.
Joe’s #2) Cabin Fever (2002)
Ok, so I am getting into a few here that a lot of people would argue that are not B movies, but they are – first is Cabin Fever from 2002.
Bert (James DeBello), a college student vacationing with friends in the mountains, mistakenly shoots a local man (Arie Verveen) with a skin infection while hunting in the woods. Panicking, he abandons the scene and leaves the man for dead. When the man stumbles into a reservoir, he infects the water supply, and soon one of Bert’s friends becomes infected. The friends struggle to stop the contagious, flesh-eating disease while on the run from a group of ornery backwoods locals out for revenge.
This was Eli Roths (Hostel) directorial debut. Cabin Fever pays homage to a lot of great low-budget horror films and ushers in a new wave and feel into modern B horror movies.
Reed’s #1) Slither (2006)
Can we just talk about the ridiculous effort that the writer put into the gestation cycle of the organism in this wacky creature feature? Listen, this movie was designed to be charming, silly, a little hammy, and all around good fun. But holy fuck that didn’t stop the writers from putting almost outlandish effort into making the organism somewhat scientifically explicable. They put serious effort, and I mean solid effort, into explaining how a parasitic organism could be landing on the planet in an asteroid.
And here’s the thing. Since The Blob (1958), there hasn’t been a movie where something crash landed, impacted, or was dumped on this planet, that could be taken seriously (save The Blob 1988 but it was following the model of the original). Hell, Slither (2006) is in part inspired by Night of the Creeps (1986), which starts off with the most ridiculous scene of a rubber alien dumping the parasite off on the planet. It doesn’t get much hammier. But some how, it’s almost more hammy to put the level of science Slither did into the plausibility of it’s parasite.
Joe’s #1) A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
So….Nightmare On Elm Street is on my list again, big surprise. A lot of people will say that this is not a B Horror movie, but it certainly is. I know Wes Craven is considered one of the masters of horror, but at the time of this movie he was struggling and had only had a couple of movies before this one such as The Hills Have Eyes. And while in retrospect we view this as one of the greatest horror movies and his best, at the time it was not an overwhelming success and the Nightmare On Elm Street Franchise didnt move from just a cult following status until the second installments huge commercial success.
So take a trip down memory lane in to the boileroom with Freddy and re-watch this classic horror movie with the knowledge that this film was going to either make or break Wes Craven as well as New Line Cinemas career. Thankfully for us, it became the mainstream franchise that it did and Wes Craven went on to make even more spectacular horror movies such as Serpent and The Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs and Scream.
Viral content this week
Don’t forget to stop in regularly for our Meme of the Day, and the new content that comes with them. Remember, we always have horror related quizzes, surveys, art, and reviews posted along with the memes. And to top it all off, a pod cast where we discus all the latest horror. Thursday’s review is gonna be Tremors (1990), so look out for it.
Also, remember to check in Friday for Team Manticore’s latest.