I saw Phantasm Remastered at Chicago’s Flashback Weekend.

Flashback Weekend is a yearly horror convention held in Chicago.  For the past couple years I’ve been meaning to go, but circumstances conspired against me.  This year, my fiancee and I made it down there for the 2016 outing — Flashback’s fourteenth year of operation. Our plans were originally just to catch the screening of Phantasm Remastered.  That changed when we inadvertently booked our hotel at the Rosemont, the same hotel where Flashback Weekend was taking place.     Continue reading

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Phantasm II (1988)

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Sometime in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, I was hanging out in the lobby of a movie theater with my parents looking at posters and being enthralled at one for an upcoming film called Phantasm II.  “What’s a phantasm?”, I asked my mom, followed by “There’s a Phantasm part one?”.  I immediately had to look up the word “phantasm” in the dictionary, and tried to get my parents to let me rent the first movie.  I was unsuccessful on the latter, but somehow managed to get them to rent Phantasm II for me shortly upon it’s release on VHS.  We had a car that was broken down and I think they were more preoccupied with getting it fixed than what I was watching on TV.  And so I finally saw a film that would become one of my favorites and introduce me to a series that would become a lifelong obsession. Continue reading

A Coffee Fueled Rant On Silent Hill

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As most of you know, yesterday a big announcement was made for the scariest game franchise of all time:  Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro are teaming up to make a new Silent Hill game, called Silent Hills.  The project stars Norman Reedus as what seems to be the  games protagonist.  The project re-teams Del Toro and Reedus who previously worked together on the kick-ass Blade 2.  We can probably bet that Reedus is the star of the game, but Silent Hill by it’s very nature is designed to mind-screw with people and is now being supervised by the evil genius Hideo Kojma (who has his own history of subverting players expectations), he could turn into Tom Cruise…..or Clint Howard, midway through the game for no real reason.

But I’m going to back up a bit before I get more involved in talking about Silent Hills.

Way back in Spring Break in my junior year of high school (1999) quite a few of my classmates went to the beach, or on vacation, or somewhere fun.  I was in a pretty terrible depression at the time for various reasons, and just wanted to be left alone.  I took the week off work, planning to sleep and watch re-runs of Dark Shadows on Sci-Fi.   However, a trip to the mom and pop video store led me to rent a video game that changed the way I saw the medium.  I took a vacation all my own.

I went to Silent Hill. Continue reading

Splatterfest

So I’m toying with the idea of writing a novel again, I get this bug around this time of year and loose it a couple weeks later, but I really like this story.  It’s deeply personal for me, and I feel I could see it through.  The title of it is the same as this post.  Basically, I’m just trying to get myself hyped up more to make this thing happen, and it’d be really great if people actually enjoyed reading it.

To give a little bit of what it’s about (as I envision it thus far), it’s like the low budget horror movie version of Super 8 mixed with Phantasm.  A coming of age story set in the blessed year of our Lord 1988, when NES and hair bands ruled, and seven year olds were first starting to watch the films whose box art scarred their souls when they walked into VHS stores.  To help capture the feel of that last part, I’m going to share with you some of my fave box arts from back in the day.  To those of you who did not get the chance to haunt the horror section in the heyday of VHS tapes, take a walk with me back into the past and enjoy the hucksterism and sideshow atmosphere of movies competing to get your $2.

To those who know what what I’m talking about — welcome home. Welcome to Splatterfest! Continue reading

Phantasm (1979)

Released in 1979, Don Cosceralli’s Phantasm was one of the strangest and most creative horror films of that decade. This is no small feat considering the same decade brought us Suspiria, Death Bed: The Bed that Eats, Rabid, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Eraserhead. Followed by three sequels, Phantasm has carved it’s own brand of carnage over a 20 year period that still embeds itself firmly into the skulls of new and old “phans” alike. Continue reading