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Dead By Words

Love horror movies and TV? So do we. Walk down our track and enter our cabin of horrors…

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Review: Evil Ed (1995)

New to buy from Arrow Video, Evil Ed is a fun Swedish horror comedy which plays loving homage to Evil Dead and other cult horror classics and definitely has its tongue firmly in its cheek.

Ed (Johan Rudebeck) is a film editor who is transferred to a ‘Splatter and Gore’ department to work on the gory Loose Limbs horror film series, editing hours upon hours of grisly footage. The on-screen violence soon gets to him, and Ed becomes a killer – despatching of his victims in increasingly gruesome ways.

Evil Ed is about the strong film censorship in Sweden, which ran until the mid 90s, but it’s also a true horror film fan’s movie – fast camera shots moving through houses from the perspective of Ed,  a staple of Sam Raimi/Evil Dead and one of the characters even says ‘Groovy!’ like Bruce Campbell. There’s hints of Troma and the comedy horror of Lloyd Kaufman. Keeping the movie going is Rudebeck’s portrayl of Ed – he is wonderful to watch and has a great, cult film face.

If you’re not familiar with it, check it out if you love horror. We think you’ll enjoy it.

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 1/5

DISTURBIA: 1/5

RATING: 6/10

Watch it for: A loving homage to horror 

Watch out for: The beaver did WHAT?! 

Review: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Tucker & Dale…is a refreshing comedy horror which reverses the ‘rednecks chase down and murder hopeless teens in the woods’ scenario. Turns out Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are actually quite sweet and the teens they meet end up accidentally killing themselves as the run away from them in fear, thinking our heroes are the enemy. Yep, running into wood chippers, impaling themselves on trees and accidental gunfire. These kids are stooopid.

It’s an enormous amount of fun and Labine’s Dale is especially endearing. There’s a guilty pleasure from watching the hapless teens scare themselves to death (literally) and a cute parallel love interest plot between Dale and ‘final girl’ Allison (Katrina Bowden).

With talks of a sequel in the pipeline, we’d love to see more of these two. It’s an enormous laugh and there’s plenty more escapades that Tucker and Dale could get into. And with so many grisly potential scenarios, there’s legs on this one (just like in the wood chipper – gross!)

 

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 2/5

DISTURBIA: 2/5

RATING: 8/10

Watch it for: A fresh take on the usual horror theme of ‘rednecks vs teens’

Watch out for: We told you – the wood chipper!

31 Days of Halloween – Day 31 – Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s Halloween is, of course, the number one Halloween horror movie. Carpenter introduces us to Michael Myers as a six year old, who kills his sister in Haddonfield, Illinois. Committed to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, he escapes aged 21 to steal an iconic mask and kill again in his home town. He doesn’t bank on tough cookie Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

Carpenter is the king of the wide angle shot, with Laurie and her high school friends walking the streets of Haddonfield not knowing that Myers is peeping around the corner at them. We’ve also got the tremendous shot of Myers after Laurie in the ‘perfect American dream house’ – see also Nancy’s home in Elm Street and all the houses copied in It Follows and Scream – where we think his threat may have gone,  but then he pops up again in the background. With Myers we know he’s always there, and even when he’s down he’s not out.

With Jamie Lee Curtis in her debut film, she’s also the original Final Girl and she kicks ass. Add in Donald Pleasence as Myers’ unsettling psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis and Carpenter’s haunting score, and you’ll never be able to look a Halloween pumpkin in the eye again.

BEST THING ABOUT HALLOWEEN: 31 days of horror movie watching!

GORE RATING: 4/5

SCARES: 5/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: THE iconic Halloween movie

Watch out for: Laurie finds her friends ‘upstairs’

We really hope you’ve enjoyed being with us for 31 days in October – see you again next year!

31 Days of Halloween – Day 25 – Psycho III (1986)

Yep, Psycho did have some sequels starring Anthony Perkins and this one is a complete sleazefest and a whollleeee lot of fun. It’s nasty, dirty and thoroughly entertaining.

A blitz of neon, casual sex and Perkins as an OTT Norman Bates, another bunch of unfortunate guests come to harm at the Bates Motel. There’s an absolutely divine soundtrack – perfect for Halloween, if you can get your paws on it – a track of which Aim sample in ‘Cold Water Music’.

For a completely schlocky Halloween watch, this is perfect viewing.

ANY SHOWER SCENES?: Of course! 

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 3/5

DISTURBIA: 3/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: It’s surprisingly entertaining

Watch out for: Don’t check the ice chest. Oh 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 20 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Freddy is one of the true horror icons, and Wes Craven sorely missed. Elm Street is responsible for many people in their late 30s/early 40s not being able to sleep properly as children – we can’t be alone when we thought Freddy was going to get us in our sleep?!

The original is the best as we meet Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her teen friends who are stalked in their sleep by the bladed-glove wearing Freddy (Robert Englund). There are images in the movie that have stayed with us for years – Freddy’s scraping nails, Nancy in the bath, Tina (Amanda Wyss) being dragged through the school corridors in a bloodied body bag, Glen (Johnny Depp) being liquidised in his bed…

It’s a classic and well deservedly one of the best, and most iconic, horror movies ever.

ONE, TWO…: Stop!

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 4/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: It’s a masterpiece of horror

Watch out for: Johnny Depp’s death scene 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 14 – House of Wax (2005)

A remake of the 1953 chiller with Vincent Price (a remake itself of 1933’s Mystery of the Wax Museum), House of Wax is creepy and a solid Halloween watch – yep, even with Paris Hilton in it.

Despite the first hour of boredom as our vacant teen protagonists are set up for what’s ahead of them, things spice up when we get to the ghost town of Ambrose and yes – THE HOUSE OF WAX. Everything is made of wax! It takes a while to get there, believe us.

Once we’re there, it’s gory, it’s horrific and there’s a fantastic ending. We can even put up with Chad Michael Murray for it.

BEST THING MADE OF WAX IN THE FILM?: Wax church congregation 

GORE RATING: 4/5

SCARES: 2/5

DISTURBIA: 2/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 8/10

Watch it for: Ambrose will give you the creepies 

Watch out for: NEVER put your finger through a grate when a psychopath is around 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 13 – Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

You know the saying that two beautiful people often have an ugly baby? That’s kind of like Freddy vs. Jason – two horror maestros give birth to a really awful film. This should be a clash of the titans. It’s just a snorefest.

We start off with Freddy (Robert Englund) redundant in Springwood, and forgotten about. To make his comeback, he manipulates Jason (Ken Kirzinger) into coming back to ‘life’ and to Springwood – striking fear into the teens of the town. The fear enables Freddy to come back, they fight over a victim and this then sets off the mother of all fights between them. Yep, it’s a completely dumb plot.

Aside from a few funny lines and some inventive kills, the film makes no sense and you don’t care about what’s happening on screen. Freddy vs. Jason turns out to be the most disappointing title fight ever.

WHO WINS?: Yeahhhh, we can’t say. 

GORE RATING: 4/5

SCARES: 1/5

DISTURBIA: 1/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 4/10

Watch it for: It’s a bit of a gas to see them on screen together

Watch out for: Death by folding bed 

The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971)

The second film in the recently released double bill Dual-Format Blu-Ray and DVD ‘Killer Dames: Two Gothic Chillers by Emilio P. Miraglia’, this is a kinky little affair with great style and glorious giallo thrills.

Anthony Steffan plays Alan, an aristocrat who has been released from a mental institution following the death of his wife Evelyn. Evelyn was a redhead and it turns out Alan has quite the fetish for them, as he lures redheaded prostitutes and strippers back to his English mansion to torture and kill them. He does it as revenge for seeing Evelyn having sex with another man and to deal with his own grief and guilt. The scenes in his mansion are still quite shocking, even by today’s standards, and uncomfortable to watch.

Alan then meets Gladys (Marina Malfatti), another redhead, whom he marries and she’s in  the heart of the danger. There’s some spectacular shots of Evelyn – like an undead siren – beckoning Alan to her tomb and a build-up to a gruesome conclusion.

It’s an intelligent entry in the Italian giallo collection, and Miraglia is a solid director with a talent for beautiful filmmaking which makes his movies a joy to watch. Once again, Arrow Video releases another classic. Don’t miss too the spectacular Go-go dancing scene – so groovy!

TOTAL RATING: 7/10

GORE RATING: 2/5

SCARES: 2/5

DISTURBIA: 2/5

Watch it for: Evelyn rises

Watch out for: Alan’s very creepy Room of Pain

Review: The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972)

Recently released by Arrow Video as part of the double bill Dual-Format Blu-Ray and DVD ‘Killer Dames: Two Gothic Chillers by Emilio P. Miraglia’, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times is a captivating Italian giallo movie that explores a hundred year-cycle curse from a family painting where a Red Queen rises to…you’ve guessed it… kill seven times.

Family members Kitty (Barbara Bouchet) and Franziska (Marina Malfatti) suspect the curse after the death of Kitty’s grandfather, and that the back-from-the-dead Red Queen could be Kitty’s deceased sister Evelyn. The grandfather had told Kitty and Evelyn about the curse when they were children –  always fighting – and when older in another fight with Kitty, Evelyn accidentally hits her head and dies in a moat. Kitty blames herself for her sister’s death but the family covers it up as ‘Evelyn has gone to America’. Has Evelyn now risen again to take her revenge? Was the curse inevitable?

The film is stylish and thrilling, with some truly memorable shots from Kitty’s dreams of how the Red Queen strikes. It ramps up well with suspense towards the final big reveal, and there’s some elaborate deaths for the Red Queen’s victims including a man being dragged along and squashed on the side of the road by a car, and a nasty end for a fashion house mogul.

A solid part of any giallo collection, The Red Queen…is well worth checking out.

TOTAL RATING: 7/10

GORE RATING: 2/5

SCARES: 2/5

DISTURBIA: 2/5

Watch it for: Some great dream sequences

Watch out for: The Red Queen’s POV – she’s coming!

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