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Feature Article

Totally Awesome 1980’s Consumerism & TerrorVision-ism

Why TerrorVision? The 1986 Empire Pictures production caught my eye even after getting dogged by “dog” ratings. Poor reviews didn’t stop me from eventually checking out the old Lightning Video VHS tape one day in 1987 or 1988. The oddball film impressed few back then, but today the low-budget sci-fi/horror/comedy/travesty gets the occasional second look as an understated parody of …

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Making Beware! Children at Play! – Part Three

Welcome back to the final chapter of Beware Children at Play. And, being our final chapter, we’ll cut straight to the film’s finale—the notorious, ‘kill all the children scene.’ On paper the idea of a dozen children being shot, stabbed and bludgeoned by their own parents sounds truly reprehensible. But due to budgetary restraints, and inexperienced child actors the scene …

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The Best Horror of 2022

It’s that time again to make the 2022 list. I was able to interview a lot of new directors’ writers’ actors’ producers’ artist’s musicians’ singers, and more. I was able to watch some amazing films. It was a good year for Horror. It was a stressful chaotic year for some of us, and we strived to work and take care …

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The Kids Are Not Alright: Making Beware! Children at Play! – Part Two

Welcome back to the penultimate chapter of the Beware Children at Play saga, where we finally dive into the nuts and bolts of a zero-budget production. Beware Children at Play’s child actors were cast via newspaper ads and through some local modeling agencies. Some of the kids were surprisingly good, and I hope they look back on their movie experience …

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The Children of a Lesser Corn: Making Beware! Children at Play! – Part One

When I think back on the thirty plus movies and television shows I’ve worked on, one always stands out—a little gem entitled BEWARE CHILDREN AT PLAY. If the title doesn’t ring a bell, it’s that infamous movie where a dozen children are brutally slaughtered on camera. When Troma Films screened Beware’s trailer at the Cannes Film Festival it allegedly inspired …

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A Slow Walk to the Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)

Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972) stands alongside Night of Walpurgis (1970) and The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974) as one of Spain’s most iconic horror films. The depiction of creepy, sightless walking corpses who must find their victims through sound evokes the excellent A Quiet Place (2018), another film relying on visionless creatures to build tension. The optic …

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The Sword and the Sorcerer and the Horror(s)

The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) sometimes appears in horror movie resource books, despite being a “fantasy” film. Maybe including the film is appropriate. Fantasy often serves a mix-and-match genre, with horror creatures finding their way into a sword-and-magic tale. The marketing and distribution team that cut the epic theatrical and TV trailers stressed frightening horror elements – witches, deformed …

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Failure to Communicate at Manchester Morgue

Long-time fans of horror films likely can’t shake the shock from seeing “cannibal zombie entertainment” find mainstream acceptance. Decades ago, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead pulled in well over $5 million during its original 1968 theatrical run, yet few production companies took a change releasing an equally violent copycat. It wasn’t until 1974 that a creepy film …

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It’s Not Really About The Alligator (1980), Is It David?

The opening sequence of Alligator (1980) brings audiences to Florida to watch a man lose a wrestling match – and almost his foot – to an alligator. The spectacle prompts an announcer to say, ”Sometimes the alligators win.” Hardboiled and burned-out police officer David Madison could substitute many words for “alligator” in that statement, and the sentiment wouldn’t change much. …

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