Monday, November 29, 2010

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

Apparently this is a remake of an old made for TV horror flick. But this looks all types of sick! Written by the great Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins, directed by Troy Nixey. Starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, and Bailee Madison.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh, The Horror! #57: Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil

A TON of fun is what this one-shot was. To begin, I am a Hellboy fan, from the movies to the animated series and the comics, although I'm not too well versed on the universe of the character in the funny books. I have two trades and a few issues here and there. I know the essentials of the character and I feel whatever story I read of the universe always leaves me pleased and satisfied. The last one-shot I recall was the issue with the Mexican wrestlers teaming up with our hero to battle some demons. Good fun.

This issue once again was no different. Mike Mignola continues to breathe life and horrific enjoyment into the mythos of his character as he scripts a double feature piece, two short Hellboy stories where he encounters two different types of evil. The first being a haunted house that pays it's "resident" coins every time he leaves a poor victim for the house to snake on. The second story being a gift shop employee at a museum who gains the powers to summon assistance of Egyptian Gods and control mummies. These stories are big epic stories with deep meanings. While there are other Hellboy tales of that ilk, this one-shot was a way to just entertain you and make you laugh. The ending of both stories got a good chuckle out of me and you can sense the enjoyment Mignola has for this character all these years.

Richard Corben's art just works perfect with these two stories. I'm one of the majority of Hellboy fans who wish Mignola continued on art for his character. No one can beat Mignola when it comes to his Hellboyverse, but he always finds the perfect artists that still captures his spirit on each new story. The art, like typical Corben fashion, is grainy but filled with fluidity. It reminds me a lot of the old school horror movies where the film stock was filled with grain and added to overall texture and mood of the film. This book captures that perfectly. And let's not leave out Dave Stewart on colors, both muted and dull yet seemingly sharp and direct at the same time.

And speaking of films, starting and ending each stories with a group of corpses sitting down in an old, deserted movie theater and watching the Hellboy adventures introduced us to just what to expect and it left a wonderful smile on my face and a good chuckle at the end when the corpses clapped at the end of the book. Bravo indeed, Hellboy crew. Another winner in your hands.

Also, geekgasm at the poster of Val Lewton's Cat People!!!!

Rating 11/10

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh, The Horror! # 56: What's Your Horror? Part 2: Movies

Part 2 of my recent comic column where I ask creators about their favorite horror movies.

Nathan Edmondson
birdsevil_copy(Image Comics' The Light and Who Is
Jake Ellis?): THE BIRDS because its execution is flawless and its viewers are left clawing after, but at the mercy of the mystery in the end. THE SHINING because those halls will never lose their dread.

Jimmie Robinson (Image Comics' Bomb Queen): This is harder [than books] because, and I'll be honest... I'm pretty desensitized to horror films. Nowadays I search for the most obscure, extreme and surreal horror because it takes a lot to get my motor running. It's not that I need to see the knife going into the eye without cutting away, I also want to see and feel something unique and horrible. Most horror is made for an audience that already knows the rules. Sure, some films have bent those rules but not many have completely broken them and replaced them with a new language of horror.

But if I must pick something perhaps the French film, MARTYRS could float my raft off a deserted island. Not just for the violence, but for the deeper meaning found in the twist ending -- which makes an impact after sitting through an hour of torture porn. It's an interesting take on the subject of gore, plus the horror aspects dwell in the extremes that some people justify for *their* cause -- whatever it may be. It also keeps you guessing to the end and that's brilliant.

Erik Larsen (Image Comics' Savage Dragon): PLANET TERROR from GRINDHOUSE comes closest.

Mahmud Asrar
(Marvel Comics' Shadowland: Powerman): I think I'd go for THE RING by Gore RingVerbinski. Although I watch a lot of horror movies and have many favourites, The Ring was really a movie that terrified me especially came at a time when I gave up on the horror cinema. Great visuals, lots of atmosphere and that said I do enjoy a wide variety of horror films from the likes of ROSEMARY'S BABY to NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET to ALIEN to THE DESCENT.

Hector Casanova (Image Comics' Screamland): It's hard to have a single favorite horror movie, especially for a horror movie fan. So I am breaking it down into subcategories, as the Horror genre really is much too diverse. I am a HUGE fan of certain subgenres of horror, like Creature Features and Magical Realism, whereas I do not care at all for others, like Torture Porn or Slasher flicks... and then there are the ones that could go either way: Vampires, Haunted House, Dark Fantasy, etc.

SO, favorite Creature movie: THE HOST (2006) by Joon-ho Bong- A giant walking fish monster that swallows its victims whole only to vomit them up again later back in its den for slower enjoyment? A 10-year-old girl survives regurgitation and tries to escape? There is nothing not-awesome about this movie. Plus, it has the most realistic, freakiest, grossest creature I've seen yet, and just enough slapstick humor to keep you from being completely traumatized. If all creature movies were this good...

exorcistTomm Coker (Marvel Comics' Daredevil Noir and Image Comics' Undying Love): THE EXORCIST is the scariest film ever made. William Friedkin approached the subject matter with an almost documentary style, playing the situations as real rather than fantastic, and in doing so grounded the story in a way that was believable and relatable and therefore more frightening.

eraserheadDavid Hine (DC Comics' Azrael and The Spirit, Image Comics' Bulletproof Coffin, and Radical Comics' Ryder on the Storm): ERASERHEAD because it's the most innovative and disturbing film ever made. The Radiator Lady alone would have made it a classic, or the embryo/baby, the chicken dinner, Jack Nance's hair!

Harold Sipe (Image Comics' Screamland and IDW's Garter and Ghouls): My favorite horror movie in forever was THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE. There are such horrifying subtleties in that film. The scene where you first see the ghost still gives me chills to think about.

Phil Hester
(Image Comics' Firebreather and Top Cow's The Darkness and Boom! Comics' The Anchor): I find NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to be the scariest, mostly for the matter of fact presentation, newscasts, and claustrophobia. For newer stuff, I really dug THE RING, but not the sequels and knock offs. I should also add that my favorite monster movie is AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. Perfect blend of horror and humor.

Alex Grecian (Image Comics' Proof: Endangered) : I'm gonna go ahead and be conventional and say that THE EXORCIST is still the scariest film I've ever seen. I saw it when I was a little kid and it kept me awake for weeks afterward, terrified that I might end up possessed by a demon. (Or worse, visited by a priest in my bedroom.) On the other hand, I also saw the first HALLOWEEN film and Kubrick's THE SHINING when I was a kid and thought they were great. The Shining was amazing fun and Halloween was just the right amount of creepy. Speaking of creepy, there was a scene in SALEM'S LOT with a little boy vampire hovering outside another kid's window that prompted me to keep my curtains closed at night. More recently, THE RING gave me goosebumps. (I know a lot of horror fans make fun of that film, but who isn't scared of little girl ghosts?) And LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was a wonderful movie on nearly every level.

Reginald Hudlin
(Marvel Comics' Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of our Fathers): Hmmmm, I guess 28 DAYS LATER because it felt really logical and totally terrifying.

Shaky Kane (Image Comics' Bulletproof Coffin):human-cen-2 When it comes to movies it changes all the time. Although saying that as far as impact goes it would be hard to beat THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE. Its a 'once in a life time' idea, and what a great character Dr Heiter is.

Visionary and fucked-up I loved every thing about this movie.