NETHERWORLD Haunted House Presents THE HORROR!! Cult Classic Horror Films on the Big Screen For Just A Buck!
First movie up: From Beyond
When: April 8th (Easter) – 8:00pm
Where: Studio Movie Grill – 2880 Holcomb Bridge Road – Alpharetta, GA 30022
It’s no secret that one of the biggest inspirations to the crew of NETHERWORLD Haunted House is the work of H.P. Lovecraft, the master of weird tales…so when the line-up for the new film series The Horror was selected, the choice for the first presentation seemed obvious.
Strange things are underway at 666 Benevolent Street, in Stuart Gordon’s creepy, kinky adaptation of Lovecraft’s “From Beyond”. Here, inside the home of brilliant Dr. Edward Pretorious, a device known as The Resonator stimulates the brain’s pineal gland (or sixth sense) and open’s up the mind to creatures from another dimension – leading to the unfortunate demise of the good doctor. Seeking to determine exactly what happened to Pretorious and clear the name of his partner Crawford Tillinghast, Dr. Katherine McMichaels and Detective Bubba Brownlee return to The Resonator…with horrific results.
Starring the always-entertaining Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, as well as Ken Foree and Ted Sorel, Gordon’s loose retelling of the Lovecraft short story features everything a sci-fi/horror fan could wish for. Quirky characters, grotesque monsters, and a generous dose of squirm-inducing violence add to the trippy atmosphere of this 1986 cult classic. Produced for just 2.5 million dollars, “From Beyond” holds it’s own as a unique and engaging venture into the consequences of man’s continuing desire to unleash the mysteries of the human psyche. The slow decent of our protagonists into their own individual madnesses is what drives this film. Watching Combs and Crampton transform under the influence of The Resonator’s pineal awakening is pure horror movie genius, as these two do what they do best: Combs making the onset of insanity entertaining and Crampton managing to add real sex appeal amid all the gore.
The creature designs are an added treat. Billy Messina, co-owner of Netherworld Haunted House (and once and sometimes still a make-up effects artist himself), credits From Beyond with more than being just a fun horror romp. From Beyond was an inspiration for many kids aspiring to work in the make-up effects field in the late 80s and early 90sâ€¦for such a low budget movie, it helped kick-start the careers of many a great talent in the fx industry and inspired many more to enter the field. This era was a glory days of sorts for make-up effects artists because what you created was what was seen on the screen…this was before the advent of cgi, and post production embellishment was limited at best. So although the fx may seem a bit dated, you have to admire that everything seen on screen was real, you could pretty much touch it all…there was a crew of f/x guys just out of frame puppetteering; pumping slime and wrangling push/pull cables to control early day animatronics. This makes those floating serpents with a taste for human flesh, deformed former humans, and that snakelike third eye all the more impressive.
Disturbing, yet with a deliciously dark sense of humor, “From Beyond” has stood the test of time and surpassed much of its horror genre competition with solid performances and effects that weave an eerie cautionary tale.
Plus, you can get great food and beverages delivered right to your table at Studio Movie Grill…check out their menu here: http://www.studiomoviegrill.com/Menu.aspx?s=60&m=1
So come out and enjoy a new cult classic with NETHERWORLD HAUNTED HOUSE on The Second Sunday of each month at Studio Movie Grill!
With summer now in full swing, and July 4th right around the corner, I’m reminded of those magical summers of my childhood. The days seemed full of endless opportunities for a youngster – carefree, optimistic, and loaded with energy (probably due to a couple of bowls or Fruit Loops or Sugar Smacks each morning), every new day opened the door to a world of fun and play. Out the door you were sent (Mom’s daily reprieve), only getting called back in for lunch and dinner. The world was a blank slate, and a child’s mind was the designer. And for me, that design was quite often dictated by my love of monsters of every shape and size. Armed with my Marx Universal Monsters plastic figures and a handful of horror-based comics (long live Swamp Thing and Morbius the Living Vampire!), I ventured out into the great wide world (commonly known as my neighborhood) with a head full of imagination. But the truth was, for a fan of horror and monsters, daylight was a handicap. It wasn’t until the sun set each evening that you could really get in the macabre mood.
Growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, summer nights were fairly synonomous with scary movies. Many was the Friday evening we gathered a group of fearless peers for an outing to the local cinema or drive-in to soak in a spooky flick or two, followed by a few hours of trying to out-scare one another before calling it a night and heading home. Any time the drive-in featured a double billing of horror films we were in the car, stocked up on junk food and drinks, ready for what was typically the most fun we could find as a child in Western New York. Blood, guts, thrills and chills made for a fine diversion from the everyday humdrum of suburban life.
I can recall at the tender age of ten years old taking in a screening of the original “Tales from the Crypt” with a car load of family at a Pennsylvania drive-in while visiting my father’s family. It was a double feature, and although I can’t for the life of me recall what the second movie was, I remember the adrenaline rush of knowing that I was about to sit through a hot summer evening of horrifying enertainment surrounded by people I trusted. See, as a youngster, that was the key to surviving – safety in numbers. Be it a trip to the corner store, hanging out in the schoolyard, or a trip to the monster movie marathon, having a familiar crew on hand was essential. Silver screen terror was not so terrifying if you could glance over at a friendly face…
I can’t quite put my finger on it now, but there was a real charm about a summer night with a scary movie when I was a kid. Maybe it was the calming warmth of a usual New York evening, the occasional buzz of insects, the random glow of fireflies, or perhaps it was the feeling of comfort that came from knowing the doors were locked and everyone except the crowd at the theater was in for the night that made it possible to endure a couple of hours of sheer terror. Whatever the reason, I found comfort in fear. Over-the-top, cinematic, special effects and makeup-laden fear. It started out with the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s creature, follwed up by radiation-charged monstrosities like Godzilla and Them!, eventually to be replaced by Freddy and Jason and the Predators and Aliens. Over the course of a couple of decades, there was always a fresh fiend or freak of nature to supply me with summer scares.
In looking back, much of what I found frightening as a youth seems somewhat silly and contrived by modern standards, but a good bit of it holds up. There is a handful of classic films that just ooze “summertime” for me, movies that regardless of what time of year they air somehow magically transport me to a muggy New York night, sprawled out on the floor with a copy of “House of Mystery” flipped open and a glass of Pepsi on the coffee table. “Bride of Frankenstein”, “The Creature from the Black Laggon”, “Carrie”, “Jaws”, “Trilogy of Terror”, “Legend of Boggy Creek” and “The Town that Dreaded Sundown” are just a few of the season-altering movies that whisper “summer” in my ear. I’ve never been too captivated by the “Friday the 13th” flicks, but they do feature all the key summer points – camping, swimming, boating, hooking up with lovely ladies, hockey masks(?) – and are a fun guilty pleasure when I need a quick fix.
Associated Content released its list of the top ten scary summer movies last year: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5571382/top_ten_scary_summer_horror_movies.html
While some seem like obvious choices, others may surprise you. Scary is, of course, a relative term, and what one person finds frightening may not phase another in the least. But this will at least give you a jumping-off point for putting together your own summer-themed frightfest. So throw a pan of Jiffy Pop on the stove, stock up on marshmallows, pour some cola on the rocks, and get ready to while away the sweltering summer nights with your very own top ten scary movie picks.
Comic book creepiness coming to a screen near you!
Hollywood’s love of the comic book world is hotter than ever, and this spring’s offerings are (un)living proof. A handful of horror-tinged titles are opening soon among the Thors and Captain Americas and Green Lanterns, for those who prefer their heroes sans spandex.
First up is Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (dylandogdeadofnight.com). Starring Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh as the title character, Dylan Dog tells the story of a private detective and his walking-dead partner Marcus investigating the paranormal. Originating as an Italian comic, Dylan Dog was introduced to US audiences by Dark Horse Comics in 1999 with new covers by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. The films blend og comedy and horror is rated PG-13 and opens nationwide on April 29.
Opening Friday, May 13 is Priest (priest-themovie.com). Paul Bettany stars as a legendary Warrior Priest from the last Vampire War, who searches for his niece after her abduction by murderous vamps. Also starring Star Trek’s Karl Urban and Nikita’s Maggie Q, the film is an adaptation of the popular Korean comics series created by Min-Woo Hyung. Expect plenty of action and bloodcurdling creature effects from this PG-13 release.
July 29 marks the debut of Cowboys and Aliens (cowboysand aliensmovie.com), a sci-fi western monster mash-up starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. Based on the 2006 graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, the film chronicles the efforts of a wild west town’s inhabitants as they fight off a threat from beyond. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau, the film is not yet rated.
And coming down the small screen pike is Locke and Key, based on the comic book series from IDW Publishing by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, about the Locke family and the strange goings on in the family estate of Keyhouse, located in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. A second season of AMC’s The Walking Dead is on the way, and fans can anticipate a television film based on Steve Niles’ Remains from the Chiller Network.
With horror entertainment as popular as ever, and Hollywood continuing to mine the riches of the comic book world, expect more frightening four-color film fare in the near future.
Crawling to a theater near you…
Bloodthirsty for up-to-the-minute news from the world of horror films? Perhaps you should be connected to the a few of the premier horror entertainment sites around the web.
Bloody Disgusting is a teriffic place to find all the latest info from the world of horror. Movies, DVDs, comics, video games and more are covered extensively on this popular website:
Shock Till You Drop is another fine resource for news and reviews: http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/
An attractive site with blogs, previews and images, you’ll want to make frequent stops at this one.
Heavily populated with content and updated daily, HorrorMovies.ca is chock-full of ghoulish goodness: http://www.horror-movies.ca/
Extra credit is awarded for their “Fresh Meat – Indie Horror Vixens” page, spotlighting the lovely new ladies of horror!
CHUD has been around a good long time, and offers up a plethora of information on all genres of film: www.chud.com
Look for giveaways and contests regularly!
Horror Movie News is exactly what is says – horror movie news: http://www.horrormovienews.com/
There’s no shortage of information and content on any of the following sites, all worth regular visits:
In the year 2011, no true horror fan should have an excuse to be out of the loop when it comes to entertainment information. Stay informed, and ensure that when a zombie eats your brain, it won’t be considered junk food.
Upcoming horror movies, from Upcoming Horror Movies!
For close to 12 years, Upcoming Horror Movies has been alerting the public to theatrical and home video horror film releases. With updated schedules, forums and news, UHM is a great resource for keeping abreast of the horror entertainment world.
With categories broken down for quicker reference (fantasy, prequel, vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc.), as well as an easy alphabetized quick-search link, the site is comprehensive and easy to use.
Bookmark it for repeated visits, and never miss out on satisfying your bloodlust again!
And now, your humble blogger has prepared a list of his favorite creature designs of all time.
Some from film, some from television, and some from comics and fiction, all are etched in my mind as hallmarks of good creature design. I’ve credited the creator(s) where possible.
1) Swamp Thing (Bernie Wrightson). The big kahuna of bog-based beasties, Swamp Thing is simply stunning character design at its finest. This hulking mockery of a man has gone through many interpretations and incarnations, but the original Wrightson will always hold a special piece of my heart.
2) Creature from the Black Lagoon. If there had never been a Swamp Thing, he’d top my list.
3) Predator (Stan Winston). The first time I saw this badass creature I was hooked. Although the films have been less than stellar along the way, the monsters have always been worth the price of admission.
4) Alien Queen (Stan Winston). Another grand-slam by Winston – this one is just sheer terror personified.
5) Gargoyles (Stan Winston). This television movie scared the pants off a nine-year-old me, and the designs still hold up today. Winston was the master, and this was early evidence of that.
6) Locusts from Gears of War (Epic Games). Although I don’t actually play video games, I love the top-notch imaginations that create and design the worlds of these mini-masterpieces. The relentless Locusts from this wildly popular franchise are classic monster mayhem – reptillian in appearance, insectlike in nature, and violent to an extreme, they send a shudder (and guilty thrill) down my spine every time I see them in action.
7) Reapers from Blade 2 (Steve Wang). Creepy. This shocking twist on the modern vampire design from the Guillermo del Toro Blade sequel is just plain wicked.
8) Orcs from Lord of the Rings (WETA). I never – ever – want to spend time in Moria or Mordor. Ever.
9) Davey Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Industrial Light and Magic). Inspired.
10) Splicers from BioShock (2K Games). Another brilliant video game creation. These nightmare residents of the underwater Rapture are absolutley deranged and terrifying. Damaged vintage masquerade masks and deformed physiques only add to the creep-out quotient of the most memorable video villains to come along in a while…
11) The Borg from Star Trek: First Contact (Michael Westmore). Resistance is futile. So is not being a little scared of these galaxy-assimilating sci-fi fear factories.
12) Solomon Grundy (DC Comics). 19th century zombie gangsters resurrected in the swamp just don’t come any cooler than this.
13) Terror Dogs from Ghostbusters (Bernie Wrightson). Sorry, but these things are just too cool!
Agree, disagree? Discuss amongst yourselves…
I’m not such a fan of “lists”. I mean, I’m the first to offer up my personal selections for “5 Hottest Actresses with Accents”, but those media-driven concoctions designed to guide your opinions leave me cold. You know, the “Top 10 Shocking Hollywood Divorces Among Actors Over 60” type of list?
But occasionally they have their merits, and if they come from the right source in the right spirit, they can be an affective tool for generating interest or opening discussions. One such source is the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). A fantastic reference guide, IMDB is the first place I stop when trying to remember where I saw that guy in the movie I just watched before, or try to figure out why I recognize that particular voiceover, or wish to compile a catalog of fims by that particular actress with the accent…
I recently stumbled across IMDB’s “Top Rated Horror Titles” list on their site imdb.com/chart/horror
See, I have that common condition of not being able to come up with good ideas when I need to. IMDB has taken that responsibility out of my hands, giving me a nice checklist of movies to quench my horror thirst. It was refreshing to see a comprehensive list of titles both expected (“The Exorcist”, “Psycho”, and “Frankenstein”) and unexpected (“Zombieland” and “The Testament of Dr. Mabuse”) to pick from when I’m seeking dark entertainment. I was surprised, as a fan of the horror genre, how many of these “top rated” films I have not only never seen, but actually never heard of! Now I have a nice little grocery list of grim cinema to catch up on in the weeks leading into Halloween.
It was fun, as well, to see a short list of “Bottom Rated Horror Titles” (which included the ever popular “Frankenstein Island” and “Monster a-Go-Go”), because we all know that truly bad entertainment can be truly GREAT entertainment…
I suggest bookmarking the page, and returning occasionally before placing that regular Netflix order. Or, compile your own “Top Horror Titles” list and organize a weekly screening with fans and friends. A couple of bowls of candy corn, some serious mood lighting, and you can enjoy a little Halloween every weekend until the big day arrives! Just think what a hit you’ll be at parties when you break out your vast knowledge of “The Testament of Dr. Mabuse”…
The Haunted Mansion” film to focus on Hatbox Ghost!
Fans rejoiced at last summer’s Comic-Con International in San Diego when the suprise announcement was made that none other than visionary filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro would helm a new Haunted Mansion film for Disney! Revealed through an animated teaser designed by artist Ragnar, Del Toro indicated that this version – unlike the 2003 Eddie Murphy film – would be “truly scary”.
Adding to the buzz was Del Toro’s comment that the movie would focus on the Hatbox Ghost, a character originally removed from the Disneyland attraction due to technical complications. Featured prominently in Disney marketing throughout the years, the character has retained a cult popularity among fans of the attraction.
The Hatbox Ghost was initially slated to appear in the attic scene, leaning on a cane and holding a hatbox in his hand. His head would disappear from his shoulders, only to reappear in the hatbox in time with an adjacent bride figure’s beating heart. Lighting issues prevented the effect from succeeding, and after a two-night stint for cast members the Hatbox Ghost was removed from the ride before opening to the public on August 9, 1969. It has been rumored that the decision was made due to the character’s frightening appearance, and some visitors to the park claim to have seen the chap during the first couple of weeks of the ride’s opening – suggesting that attempts to remedy the technical issues were made.
Regardless of what the real reasons were, this grim fellow has made quite an impression on Mansion fans. Dig into the collection of any Haunted Mansion afficianado worth his or her salt, and you’ll find this unlucky gent lurking about. Recently immortalized in a gorgeous Disney Big Figure sculpture, we’ll look forward to learning more about this elusive spook when the film opens!