Parlor of Horror – 2016 – Year in review

 happy-new-years-eve-2016-images


Parlor of Horror – 2016 – Year in review


I started the year off with reviews of my Top 10 TV Horror movies from the top 1970's TV horror - small1970’s. From The Night Stalker to Trilogy of Terror to Gargoyles to Salem’s Lot, it was a great decade for TV Horror flicks. In the end I did a tally of favorites and a poll, you can check it out here:
Top 10 TV Movies from the 1970’s

 


Creature Features logo

Creature Feature films I reviewed this year included, Attack of the Giant Crabs, Tarantula and 20 Million Miles to Earth.

I would also include, Triclops in this category even though it is a new film (2016).

 


 Identity 2003 - pic 1

After reviewing 1408 and Identity, I decided it would be fun to do a feature on Top Motel/Hotel Horror films, just in time for summer vacation.

 


 

Also, in preparing for Summer I had a feature, Rise of the Furkini, a pictorial showing the ever present Furkini thru the years (2 posts). In between reviewing a rush of summer horror films, I also reviewed several of the early Gamera flicks. (because nothing is hotter than a fire breathing turtle!)


my-top-10-1980s-horror 
(thanks for the ride lady!)

For the Halloween Season, I returned to Top 80s Horror Films – reviewing, Silver Bullet and Creepshow II – and reviewed some more Horror Themed Television Shows. I posted perhaps my favorite article for the year in October’s Horror’s Creepiest Homes in a Guess the Horror House quiz.
dont-be-afraid-of-the-dark-1973


Covering some Classic & New horror TV shows, during the course of the year I posted articles about Ash vs Evil Dead, Stranger Things, Tales From the Crypt and The Outer Limits.

outer-limits-the-galaxy-being-pic-1 top-horror-tv-shows


 


 

best-free-read-award-runner-up 

I held my second annual Halloween Horror Fiction Free Read event highlighting underground writers and their works.

 


 

witches coven

In my Strange but True category I had a feature on Walpurgis Night, a post describing evil grimoires and spell books, and in the fall a feature on Homer Tate and his Roadside Attractions.


In the Horror Art Category, I had 5 posts featuring Dinosaur Fantasy art, followed by a Horror Tattoo pictorial. Later in the year around Halloween I showcased the amazing sculpture art of Chris Andres.

 


moebius-mummy-custom-by-mike-k-pic-12 godzilla-prototype-by-mike-k-pic-10

I built a half dozen horror and Sci-fi themed model kits this year, most of which you can see here, Model Kits 2016

 


 

the-bazaar-of-bad-dreams-book

I reviewed 6 books this year, that’s about 1 every 2 months. Check them out in Horror Book Reviews.


 


 

and now,

THE BEST OF 2016…


Okay, so My Top Horror Films of the Year:

3 – Don’t Breathe

2- The VVitch

1- The Shallows


shin-godzilla-2016

Biggest disappointment:

Godzilla Resurgence – Shin Godzilla

Although I love the end look of Godzilla, the film is just not what I had hoped for and did not remind me of the old Toho films.


batman-vs-superman-pic-19

Surprise Favorite:

Batman vs Superman
after reading all the negatives about the film I enjoyed it quite a bit.


the-bazaar-of-bad-dreams-book Chad Lutzke - of foster homes and flies knockemstiff-book-cover
Best Horror Fiction Books of 2016:

mainstream:
Stephen King – Bazaar of Bad Dreams

indie:
Chad Lutzke – Of Foster Homes and Flies

older entry:
Donald Ray Pollock – Knockemstiff


Overall, 2016 wasn’t a bad year for horror and Sci-fi films. I enjoyed my posts this year, especially the ones that were more quiz-like and challenged my fellow bloggers and readers to think.


As always I’ll have a separate post about my fiction writing, coming soon!

Halloween Music – Classical and Classically Influenced Music

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Halloween Music – Classical and Classically Influenced Music

Halloween music – in past years we looked at Halloween tunes in the genres of Rock Music and Oldies (1920’s to 1950’s) (see links below). This year I thought it would be good to take a look at classical and classically influenced music. We have some great selections to choose from to add atmosphere to your Halloween parties and events.

 


Berloiz Symphonie Fantastique – End excerpt (The Shining mix)
The Low key, painstakingly slow, gloom and doom melody was used quite successfully to open the film, The Shining (1980). It was also used in the openning of The Screaming Skull and the Amicus anthology film.

 

 


Mussorgsky – Night On Bald Mountain
M
ajestic and foreboding melody, signifying the rise of evil in the animated film Fantasia, will set an oppressive mood at any Halloween get-together.

 


Toccata and Fugue in D Minor – Bach
The famous ‘haunted house’ music made ever more popular by its use in Amicus and Hammer films will get any creepy party started.

 


Brooding, Doom and Gloom…the fabulous music of Akira Ifukube

Godzilla theme-  Akira Ifukube – from Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster

Godzilla theme 1954 – Akira Ifukube

Destroy All Monsters – Main Theme -Akira Ifukube (Also used in War of the Gargantuas)


Adrian von Ziegler – Dark Music


Hope you enjoyed this year’s selections. All are examples of wonderful music to add atmosphere and mood to your Halloween get-together and parties.

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Check out past Halloween Music choices from Parlor of Horror:

Vintage Halloween Songs for Parties

13 Fright Tunes for a Rockin’ Halloween

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Silver Bullet (1985) – movie review

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Silver Bullet (1985)

Directed by Dan Attiasmy-top-10-1980s-horror

Starring:
Corey Haim
Gary Busey
Everett McGill
Megan Follows

 

More than a horror tale, Silver Bullet is a family story. It portrays the reconciliation between a brother and sister from a small town family, whose lives could have went on a path of division, considering their relationship. Marty (Corey Haim) is your average 10-year old but crippled and confined to a wheelchair. Jane, approx. 15, is resentful of Marty because their parents always expects her to look after him. Uncle Red (Gary Busey) comes by for dinner one night and secretly gives Marty some fireworks. Marty sneaks off in the late hour of the night, down the road in his motorized wheelchair to shoot off his fireworks. There, he witnesses a werewolf killing one of the townsfolk. When the werewolf attacks Marty, he shoots him in the eye with a rocket and makes hissilver-bullter narrow escape. As more townsfolk go missing it’s up to Marty and Jane to work together to find the person with the injured eye and alert the authorities to the werewolf’s true identity. However, the werewolf knows of their plan and comes for them.

Some of the highlights of the film include a scene where a vigilante posse heads out into the woods to hunt the beast and ends up being the hunted. Another fantastic scene is a dream sequence that has the town’s preacher, Reverend Lowe, witnessing his whole church congregation turning into werewolves before his eyes. Aside from these sensationalist scenes, the film does have a story with heart and leads into highly suspenseful territory.

Cory Haim is a natural actor with a likeability that reaches beyond the screen and gives the viewer instant empathy. The werewolf isn’t anything super as far as FX and make-up but the story allows for some real tense moments when he’s on the prowl. Gary Busey plays one of his best parts as Uncle Red, (pretty much just being himself) a familiar styled character in many families. The ending has a tense build-up as Marty and Jane finally convince Uncle Red they are being stalked by a werewolf and the three of them defend their home against the evil that has embodied their town for the past year. Despite the “R” rating, I’ve watched SB with my kids when they were 10-12 years of age and they were able to handle the violence, but make that decision at your own discretion.

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Trivia: Adapted from Stephen King’s “Cycle of the Werewolf”
The 1985 version included illustrations by Berni Wright
cycleofthewerewolf-1985paperback

Corey Haim: Anyone alive in the 1980’s would know the bright spirited personality of child/teen actor, Corey Haim. His smile lit up the screen in a dozen films and he was especially known for horror films (Watchers, Lost Boys). He became good friends with his Lost Boys co-star Corey Feldman, leading to a reality show as an adult called, The Two Corey’s (2007 – 08). Ironically, his childhood fame lead to a troubled adulthood and he died of a prescription drug overdose in 2010.

(Photo by NBC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Photo by NBC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images)

 

Horror’s Creepiest Homes

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Horror’s Creepiest Homes – test your knowledge

Ok, folks! Let’s test your horror knowledge. Below are pics of horror film’s most infamous homes. Without looking at the answer key below it, how many of the homes/movies can you guess.


Part I – we’ll start off with some easy ones to get your mind in gear…

    1. psycho-home
    2. munsters-home-real
    3. black-chsitmas-house
    4. elm-street-house
    5. halloween-1978-the-myers-house
    6. theamityvillehorror
    7. the-legend-of-hell-house-01
    8. the-haunting-1963
    9. crimson-peak-pic-11

Ok, folks. Give yourself 5 pts for each correct answer. How many of you got #4? That was a hard one…

Take a deep breath… Are you ready for Part II? Go!

 


Part II – Some of these are going to be difficult, but you will probably recognize them all…

      1. salems-lot-the-marsten-house
      2. burnt-offerings-1976
      3. dont-be-afraid-of-the-dark-1973
      4. the-changling-house-1980
      5. houseonhauntedhill
      6. the-texas-chainsaw-massacre-2003-b
      7. poltergeist-house-1982
      8. the-conjuring-house-2
      9. beetlejuice-house-at-night
      10. the-house-that-dripped-blood-pic-2

Once again, give yourself 5 pts for each correct answer.

 


 

Bonus:
Add 2 points for each of the homes below that you guess correctly:

  1. 13-ghosts-1960
  2. house-1986
  3. the-others-2001

 

Super Bonus:
Name 3 of the 5 films this England Mansion (below) was used in and add 5 bonus points! The actual place is Oakley Court in Berkshire England

oakley-court



 

Part I answers:

1)The Woman in Black – 2012 – Eel Marsh House, 2)Psycho – 1960 – the Bate’s Home, 3)The The Munsters – 1313 Mockingbird Lane, 4)Black Christmas – 1976, 5)Nightmare on Elm Street – 1984 – 1428 Elm Street, 6)Halloween – 1978, 7)The Amityville Horror – 1979, 8)Legend of Hell House – 1973, 9)The Haunting – 1963, 10)Crimson Peak – 2015

Part II answers:

1)Salem’s Lot – 1979, 2)Burnt Offerings – 1976, 3)Don’t be Afraid of the Dark – 1973, 4)The Changeling – 1980, 5)House on Haunted Hill – 1959, 6)The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – 2003, 7)Poltergeist – 1982, 8)The Conjuring – 2013, 9)Beetlejuice – 1988, 10)The House that Dripped Blood – 1971

Bonus answers:

13 Ghosts – 1960, House – 1986, The Others – 2001

Super Bonus answers:

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), The Brides of Dracula (1960), Nightmare (1963), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), And Now the Screaming Starts (1973)



Score:

Below 50You’re a horror novice. You should go and find yourself a good romantic comedy on Netflix to watch because you sure ain’t no horror fan!

50 – 75Not bad! You have obviously watched and enjoyed many horror flicks in your lifetime and retain some memory of creepy places in these movies. Your awareness will probably serve you well in real life. If you were to come across a home like any of these, you would know to stay away.

75 – 90You are a horror buff with a keen eye and good memory. You would probably want to live in a home that resembled some of these, just so you could frighten the neighbors and scare your friends.

90 and aboveYou are obsessed with horror and I think it’s probably at an unhealthy point by now. You should go find yourself a good romantic comedy to get your mind out of this psychotic state of horror obsession you’re in!


An additional look at some of the lovely homes. Are you in the market for a new home?

Creepshow II (1987) – movie review

creepshow-2-the-raft-pic-5

Creepshow II -1987

Directed by Michael Gornickmy-top-10-1980s-horror

Based on stories by Stephen King
Screenplay by George A. Romero and Lucille Fletcher

 

Many movie critics called Creepshow II, lackluster and gave it generally negative reviews. I strongly disagree. How many of us that originally saw this film spent the rest of 1987 gurgling out the phrase, “thanks for the ride, lady!” If you remember that phrase then you remember The Hitchhiker segment from which the line was spoken. I’m sure you all had a s much fun with it as I did. We’ll get to that segment, but I want to review the stories in order so let’s start from the top.

 

The first story, Old Chief Wooden Head concerns an elderly couple, owners of a general store in a dying Midwest town, loaning goods to the local tribe. They can barely afford to loan products to the tribe chief, but trust his word to be paid back in full. When a young renegade native from the tribe decides to make his own path in life and rob the store’s proprietor, he is not prepared for the wooden statue with the soul of a native warrior to take offense by his actions. Flush with cash and valuables the renegade and his henchmen prepare to leave the dusty old town in their rear creepshow-2-dvdview mirror forever. Unfortunately for them, old Chief Wooden Head has other plans for the thieving youth.

In The Raft, two young couples find a beautiful roadside lake calling them for a swim. The warm morning leads to a swim to the diving raft secured some 30 yards out in the lake. The swimmers soon find that an oily-tar looking sludge seems to be following their every move. At first chance the oil slick swallows one of the swimmers, digesting them in its folds. The remaining three have to decide how they will survive and escape the confines of The Raft.

In the last story, The Hitchhiker, a woman having an affair overslept in the hotel room and needs to get back home before her husband gets suspicious. She pushes the limits of speed on the highway while concentrating on an alibi. With her mind distracted she doesn’t see the hitchhiker at roadside and accidentally runs him over. She leaves the scene of the incident, leaving the man to die. When she finally seems to be calming down she sees the hitchhiker ahead on the road again. He’s calling, “how bout a ride lady.” She keeps seeing him every few miles and finally runs him down again, making sure he could not possibly survive. It’s only a few miles more when she sees him once again exclaiming, “thanks for the ride lady!” This continues until the spectacular and horrifying ending, when she finally reaches home.

The cartoon/comic wrap around story is a simple but coherent story involving a boy who is bullied and purchases a Venus Fly Trap from the back page ads in his comics. When I was that age, the mail order items in the back of comics and Famous Monsters magazine kept my young mind active with possibilities. I completely related to this aspect of the film and found it wonderfully portrayed.

The only reason I have for thinking the first Creepshow was better than II is it had more stories. The truth is you could exchange any of the stories in II with those in I and not notice much of a difference. I think both films are equally good.

creepshow-2-woodenhead-pic-3


Trivia:

Another segment called, The Cat from Hell, was originally planned for Creepshow II, but trimming of the budget caused it to be abandoned. It was later filmed for the Tales from the Dark Side movie in 1990.


 

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Top 5 Vampire Kills – Memorable vampire deaths in film

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Top 5 Vampire Kills in film


I think it’s safe to do a vampire post without attracting the attention of a bunch of fan girls swooning over team Edward. It’s quite possible that we can even see some vampire stories showing up in books and film again. No?

The subject for today’s post…Vampire Deathsvampires

No bursting into digital flames and flaking glowing embers, here.  You kill a creature that sucks the blood from its victims and there’s no blood when it dies? Give me a break! Those sparkly glowing embers are just a cop out – a way to PG everything. This powerful demon of the night, that has perhaps lived for eons, gets cornered and all of a sudden ‘poof’ it’s gone. Sorry, but that seems lame to me. Ever since those CGI flame-outs became easy to master on film, there are barely any bloody vampire deaths anymore. A good vampire death has to include blood, guts, and gore; and take longer than a split- second. We are looking for gruesome vampire deaths here. If you have some in mind that I may have missed, please add them to the comments and I’ll find some photos to add to Honorable mentions.


First, let’s take a look at the tools of the trade: If you’re going to kill a vampire, it would be best to have an easy-to-carry kit with the best weapons against the night creatures.

vampire-kill-kit vampire-kill-kit

Items should include: a Mirror (for detection), Holy water, Garlic, a Crucifix, a large knife for decapitation, and a Wooden Stake and Mallet to drive through the vampire’s heart.


 

1) Fright Night 1985 – Jerry Dandridge vs Peter Vincent

The battle between vampire, Jerry Dandridge and Vampire Hunter, Peter Vincent is one of the iconic monster vs human battles in film. It lasts about 25 minutes starting with Vincent’s initial attack where he draws his crucifix upon the steps in the Dandridge home and hits Dandridge with sunlight through the stained glass window. During the battle Dandridge turns into a large vampire bat, calls on his underlings to do battle, is staked inefficiently in the heart and finally goes up in flames (real fire) in the final death as sunlight is flooded into the room.

fright-night-1985-jerry-hit-by-sunlight

 


2) Interview With a Vampire

Louis with a scythe dices and slices his way through his fellow vampires. Blood splatters everywhere!

intv-with-a-vampire-8


3) Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Lucy’s un-Death

A brutal stake through the heart and decapitation at the hands of Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins). This was one violent and bloody vampire death made all the more pronounced because Lucy was wearing white.

lucy-death-2


4) Dracula Has Risen From the Grave

Christopher Lee – Impaled by a giant golden cross, it takes him several minutes to die as he struggles to dislodge the massive weapon.

dracula-has-risen-from-the-grave-death-2-pic-2


5) Dracula – Andy Warhol’s Dracula

Hack attack – the young farm hand having discovered Dracula’s identity hacks off his limbs, one by one, as Dracula runs for shelter. Arms flying, blood gushing, legs severed…it’s a scene man! (very comical)

andy-warhols-dracula

 


 

Honorable mentions:

a) The Lost Boys

The garlic and Holy water bath – glub, glub…

lost-boys-garlic-n-holy-water-bath

b) From Dusk ‘til Dawn

the table-leg foursome stake. Can’t find a traditional stake? Just turn over a wooden table. A body slam, a blood splash, a little wiggling, and behold, the vampire dies. Repeat 3 more times.

dusk-till-dawn-table

c) Dracula 1972 AD – Christopher Lee

Impaled with a broken stage coach wheel at the very beginning of the film. Hammer sure knew how to grab your attention in gory fashion.

dracula-1972-ad-pic-2



Gallery of gruesome vampire deaths!


Did I miss something? Give me your top choice(s) and I’ll add them to the list and include a link to your blog…

Parlor of Horror’s “best of…” and Top 10 lists

Fall Harvest 2016 – another Halloween season at Parlor of Horror

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Gearing up for another Halloween season at Parlor of Horror

Here’s a little preview of what you will have to look forward to and a look at some past Halloween posts.my-top-10-1980s-horror

This year I will once again be reviewing a few more 1980’s horror movies for ‘The Top 10 Horror Movies of the 80’s”

I will pick a couple of my favorite horror/sci-fi themed Television Shows and review my favorite episodes in “Top Horror  TV Show episodes”

Of course I’ve already announced that the Halloween “Free Read” Best Stories on the Internet will return with some of the best flash and short horror fiction from underground writers.

There will also be an expose about horror art and collectables. Featuring some fine work by artists you may not have known about.top-horror-tv-shows

We’ll also take a closer look at Vampire Kills, Creepy Houses and Final Girls in articles being put together for PoH.

And, any local Halloween Haunts I’m able to visit this year will get coverage here on Parlor of Horror.



halloween-past

Ghosts of Halloween Past…

Last year for my Top 10 Horror Movies of the 1980’s,  I reviewed:

Killer Klowns From Outer Space
Re-Animator

Twilight Zone: The Movie

Galaxy of Terror

killer-klowns

Last year I featured a post on Haunted House Attractions and Rides of Yesteryear

haunted-house-spook-show-rides-scenes-5

In past posts of Top Horror TV Shows I featured my fave episodes from
Tales from the Dark Side

The Night Gallery
Tales From the Crypt

The Night Stalker.
I have a couple of oldie but goodies lined up for this year.

twilight_zone

and here’s a few articles to check out for your Halloween Holiday fun!

Halloween Games – Spooky games to play on Halloween

Halloween Cartoons Sleepy Hollow, Peanuts, and Scooby-doo amongst others..


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