Review: 31, lost in the violence

Wondering whether to go out of your way to see the latest Rob Zombie standard “slaughterhouse full of rednecks” flick? Check out Ryan’s always on-point review from The Missing Reel before you spend your time and money on it–trust us, you’ll be grateful that you did!

Rob Zombie’s 31 is his most Rob Zombie movie yet, this time injecting his signature style of trashy characters, vile dialog, and brutal violence into a compact version of The Running Man. But despite it featuring all the typical tropes that make his films stand out, 31 has to be Zombie’s most disjointed of them all. It’s a top-to-bottom mess that never finds cohesion between its characters and the violent world in which they exist, ultimately meandering through an incoherent plot. In it, five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game of survival.

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“Evil Ed” (1995) – Throwback Review By Mrs. Horror Boom, Simply Titled “No”

So, ole Mrs. Horror Boom here had insomnia last night, and started searching Amazon Prime Video in hopes of finding free, newly released horror movies I hadn’t seen yet that were worth seeing (with very little hope, but it has been known to happen). I saw a review for a movie titled “Evil Ed,” which claimed to have the recent release date in 2016. I initially figured it was a new movie, though it had the same title of a really disappointing horror flick from the 1990s. Perhaps a remake? This review contained the one-word title, “No.”  That rang a bell. The more I read, the more familiar it sounded. Ever written a horror movie review fifteen years ago, started thinking you and the reviewer had a lot in common and would probably hit it off, then eventually something clicked and you realized it sounded familiar because you WERE that reviewer? No? Well, okay, but it has happened to me before. Not often, because I have used the same reviewer handle on Amazon and IMDB since I first got internet access in the mid-late 90s (drop me a line privately and I will share it with you; I built up quite a library which I am finally going to get off my ass and start recycling here), but it does happen. I was only thrown here–as I have been in the other rare cases–because for some reason my alias did not appear, and I was instead referred to as “a customer”. I actually find this concerning, since my reviews on both sites contain (or did, I’ll have to look into it)  a way to privately contact me, which resulted in some great networking with other horror fans, many offers of free review copies, and even a couple of job offers, but I digress.
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This cover art was actually kind of edgy at rental chains in the late 1990s.

I found that I still stand by this fifteen-year-old (yikes)* review. The only information I might add is that I literally just this moment realized that the movie is titled Evil Ed not as an homage to the beloved Fright Night character as portrayed by Stephen Geoffries, but because it rhymes with “Evil Dead”. Also, they manage to rip off American Werewolf in London in the end credits, another reason to be pissed off. I guess I could be more kind and say it was inspired by AWIL rather than calling it a rip-off, but I am not in a generous mood. Finally, keep it mind that I went into the movie with only mediocre expectations and was still let down. Below, therefore, is my review of the 1995 horror flick that I still do not recommend, Evil Ed. The header/title of my piece is simply, “No”.
evil ed terrible poster art

…and not in a good way.

Actually I feel like having my review be that one word. My friend, whose opinions I almost always trust about movies, especially horror movies, warned me NOT to rent this no matter how tempted or bored or desperate to see a new horror movie I was, because it was a complete waste of time. Unfortunately I haven’t talked to him in a while, and I was in a hurry to pick a movie, and thought, ‘what the heck, how bad could it be?’ WHY don’t I learn? What was I thinking? Did I think it would magically turn into a better movie while sitting there on the shelf for years waiting to be rented?

The ‘plot’ concerns a guy who edits films for some company. His boss is a jerk. The guy who had the job before him went insane and blew himself up in the pre-credits sequence, so for some reason the boss picks nerdy ‘Ed’ for the special project of editing “Loose Limbs” splatter movies. He never says what Ed is supposed to edit, but I guess that doesn’t matter. Ed is upset by some of the clips, working on them up at this house all by himself that the boss has decided to relocate him to for no apparent reason. He asks his boss if he can stop or do another project, but his boss doesn’t care. He starts to slowly go insane, supposedly from watching the clips, and wants to carry out the gory murders in real life. Or has he been this way all along? Please note that I am making this plot sound much more deep, interesting, and coherent than it actually is.

We don’t care about the characters at all, or have any sympathy for them, or even hate the bad guys. The plot is really, really boring and predictable. The splatter isn’t even that gruesome or creative-this is NOT worth renting just to see the gore, because what there is isn’t interesting or original.

All the ‘tributes’ to Sam Raimi just come off like really bad rip-offs, and no-one in the movie is anywhere near good-looking enough as Bruce Campbell, so you can’t distract yourself with that. I think an “Evil Dead II-Dead by Dawn” poster is only prominently displayed in one scene in the hopes that Sam Raimi will be flattered and not consider any sort of legal action. A trained chimp could have written a better screenplay. Every time I hear lines like “Are we having fun…yet?” (which even Bride of Re-Animator couldn’t pull off without making me wince) I start feeling like picking up some sort of deadly weapon myself. Characters just appear out of nowhere with no explanation, wandering in only to get killed. This might be okay if the movie was even remotely amusing or entertaining, but it was all I could do to keep from fast-forwarding through most of it. Fortunately I chose to pay some bills and balance my checkbook at the same time the movie was playing. Trust me, it did not require my full attention-I still felt like 90+ minutes of my life were wasted just by having this on in the background.

Don’t watch it, no matter HOW tempted you are- you’ll hate yourself for wasting your time and money. Horror fans will be completely disgusted by how incompetent it is. Even those who haven’t seen too many splatter movies should stay away, as there are so, so many movies out there you could rent that are much more well worth your while. If you want something brainless, low-budget and fun, rent something else. Complete waste of time with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Be smarter than I was at the time and don’t be fooled by the “Warning-Not For the Faint of Heart” on the box. You have been warned!
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Here’s the NSFW (technically, I guess) trailer for the 1995 movie (appears to be the unedited version; read more on that here), which contains much of the gore (and big Raimi horror fans can count the references) contained in the flick. Please just watch the trailer rather than the movie; you will do yourself a favor.

Also, this You Tube reviewer seemed to find it more entertaining than I did (in a “so bad it’s good” way-more power to him, I guess). Still curious? Then here is another way to avoid sitting through the movie, as the rest of the gore and practical effects more or less appear in this short “Monster Madness” review below.

 

*After hitting the age of forty, you will often make the unpleasant discovery that what occurred fifteen years ago seems more like a five-to-seven year old memory than something that apparently happened THREE TIMES LONGER AGO THAN THAT.  Beware, millennials, this could very well be in your future… take it from a Gen-X’er.

 

Happy Horrordays and Holidays From Horror Boom!

“Look, Mommy! I told you Santa would come!”

 

Yes, we’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Horrorday Holiday! Sorry things have been a little sparse as the holiday grows closer,  it snuck up on us this year and we got really busy as it zoomed closer. Also, did Your Old Pal The Cryptkeeper send this guy by to see if you’ve been naughty or nice?

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No? Good! Really good!

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If you don’t know how THIS story ends, you can watch the Tales From The Crypt episode in this post!

Again, happy holidays from…

e, then took it from there. If I can get VHS tapes, machetes, and popcorn boxes to add to the explosion, I will!

Horror Boom’s 2014 Holiday Gift Countdown- Part 5 of 5 – Edgar Allan Poe Sweater!

Yes, this actually exists. Archie McPhee’s (based locally, and another store it is not wise for me to go into with a credit card, they expanded and there’s way too much cool shit) carries a variety of unusual Edgar Allan Poe-themed gifts, such as temporary tattoos and Poe lunch boxes. Check out the temporary tattoos if you have time, most of them are pretty clever and would only mean something to or be recognized by another devoted reader of Poe. Cool way to meet like-minded friends, huh? This one takes the cake, though!

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The Edgar Allan Poe sweater is in stock now (which means if you live within reasonable driving distance of Seattle, you could definitely get one in time to give as a gift), costs $42.50, and is ‘One Size Fits Most’. It’s also unisex, which means ladies with curves could have a problem fitting into it, but we have yet to hear a female complain about it. Here’s the more detailed write-up direct from the Archie McPhee product page for this cool item:

Just say Poe to Halloween sweaters

This is a limited quantity, exclusive item! Some people prefer Halloween to any other holiday and this Edgar Allan Poe Sweater is for them. You could wear it as a Christmas sweater, but it’s designed to be worn on a brisk autumn evening as you contemplate your own mortality while sitting in a graveyard next to an abandoned church. Featuring an honest, but misguided attempt to accurately capture the likeness of Edgar Allan Poe, this sweater is sure to be a conversation piece with you and your friends as you play with a Ouija board and read poetry from your tear-stained journal. This one-size-fits-most sweater is sausage-casing-tight on a 2XL person and awkwardly loose on a medium frame. 100% acrylic. Buy it fast—these won’t last long!!

It may be limited edition, but the sweater is in stock. That’s a pretty awesome self-justification reason to pick one up– hey, they have them now, but once they’re gone, they’re gone! You might be able to find one on eBay after they go out of stock, but you know they’ll crank up the price, even if they’re used. Hey, you might as well grab the tattoos while you’re at it. The price is reasonable, and come on, check out this sample (click on it to go to the Archie McPhee’s purchase/detail page for the item). HOP FROG is on there, for Chrissakes!

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Click image to go to Archie McPhee’s and get a better look! Maybe you will find your lost Lenore…

So, there you have it, give great gifts for horror fans to give and get.  We ran this countdown admittedly a little closer to Christmas than we’d like, but we wanted to find extra cool stuff …and all of it ended up merited featuring in a post of its own, rather than lumping them all up in one novella-length post. In case you missed them, here are links to the other items.

The Babadook Actual Pop-Up Book (limited edition)

Festive Cthulhu Tree Ornament

The Journal/Sketchbook Made of Human Skin that looks like it was cooked up by an early Sam Raimi prop department, plus two other unique journals (there’s a good chance that if you go and find one of the Monster Skin ones gone, yours truly finally caved and purchased it for herself).

USB Waving Tentacle (that may or may not summon the Elder Gods)

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Aaand of course, the good old Poe Sweater. We hoped you’ve found these items entertaining, if a little late to buy (though you could still make it happen by paying extra shipping). We don’t get a cut of anything sold, and we are also not responsible for any wild spending sprees you go on while looking them up on the Archie McPhee site, Etsy.com, or ThinkGeek.com.

If you buy any of the recommended items, we’d love to see your photos of it! Especially anyone wearing the sweater.

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Horror Boom’s 2014 Gift Holiday Countdown – Part 4 of 5 – USB Squirming Tentacle

Okay, this isn’t quite as impressive as the Monster Skin Spell Book, but we put these in random order. Plus, it’s still pretty fun. We’re still regretting not picking one up as a gift when we did some holiday shopping at Thinkgeek.com a couple of weeks ago. Check it out:

Pretty cool, huh? At the very least, it will fascinate your cat, though you may want to keep an eye on kitty to make sure he/she does not pounce and sink his/her teeth and claws into your device. Here’s what the Thinkgeek.com website has to say on the product page:

Wiggly evil

Back in the day, the coolest thing ever was the USB Humping Dog. What did it do? You stuck it in your USB port and it… well, it humped your computer, much like an amorous male dog is wont to do. We’re beyond such juvenile humor (on most days), but we wanted a fun toy to use at the office.

Show your love for Cthulhu (or just octopi or kraken) with the USB Squirming Tentacle. Simply plug it into your USB port and it will fill your computer with unspeakable evils. Just kidding, it doesn’t store any data. (Just evil.) The USB Squirming Tentacle will draw a small amount of power from your computer, enabling it to squirm and wiggle like an Elder God trying to escape your laptop.

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Product Specifications

  • Tentacle wiggles and squirms when plugged into a computer
  • Uses power from your USB port
  • Fills your computer with unspeakable evils (just kidding!)
  • Note: The USB Squirming Tentacle does not store any data, however, it may summon the Elder Gods from the depths. Use at your own risk.

We’ve used thinkgeek.com before, and have had nothing but excellent service. Another nice stocking stuffer would be their “Infections Disease Balls”.  Be careful not to squeeze them too hard, though, or pierce them, or you’ll end up with a handful of neon goo. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! It’s too crowded down here already. Click here to check them out.

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Horror Boom’s 2014 Holiday Gift Countdown, Part 3 of 5- The Dead Skin Journal (On Etsy)!

There is a reason I don’t go visit Etsy much– Mrs. Horror Boom is a recovered compulsive shopper/spender. I start looking around on there and get the same feeling I do when entering the merchandise room at a horror convention: BUY EVERYTHING, OR BUY NOTHING. It’s too much for my central nervous system –and willpower–to take and I have to leave and give my husband my pocketbook to hold onto if I’m going to go back.

Anyway, I was doing a different search when I stumbled onto OzOtheClown’s store, “OzO’s Circus of Horrors” on Etsy.com. Did you like yesterday’s Cthulhu Ornament post? You should see the fucking Christmas ornaments here!*  Here’s a taste of one of them, the Evil Clown (the tickets are our favorite touch to this work of art):

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That’s for you to take a look at later, though. What caught our eye as a horror fan were the blank books and diaries bound in either ‘human’ or ‘monster’ skin. These look amazing, and needless to say they are handmade with care.

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The craftsmanship–and imagination–is excellent, even for a talented Etsy seller. Check out the detail on the book’s spine!

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This specific item, the Dead Skin Sketch Diary, boasts the following (per the seller):

Overview

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: latex, hard cover journal, doll eye
  • Feedback: 13 reviews
  • Ships worldwide from United States

Also, there’s only one of these. Here’s a little more detail:

Approximately 200 pages 5×8

Sketch book made to look as if it were bound with the flesh of a cadaver. Makes for a perfect book of spells, necronomicon, art journal, lyric book, Halloween decor, or gift for your creepy backwoods friend. Order now! You have nothing to lose, and everything to Gein…

***Disclaimer***
NONE OF MY PRODUCTS CONTAIN ANY REAL HUMAN REMAINS
Nor do I support real acts of violence or murder

How cool is that? It’s also a steal at $30.00, given the high quality.  If you do go to try to obtain this item as a holiday gift and it’s gone, not to worry! The seller has two similar items, and they’re just as cool (the gore is dialed down a notch, but don’t let that stop you). There is the Periwinkle Monster Spell Journal…

This one is actually pretty cute! Think the little guy might still be alive?

This one is actually pretty cute! Think the little guy might still be alive?

…and the Scum Green Monster Journal! Seller: “This Creature has one eye that never sleeps, or even blinks, and a menacing mouth full of sharp teeth to ward off unwanted prying eyes”. We were already complete sold on it, so the descriptions are just the icing on the cake.  The seller also has perfect ratings and rave reviews. This is going on our wish list for the next gift-giving occasion for sure… we just have to hope they haven’t sold out yet.

Worried they won’t show in time for Christmas morning? You can also give (or ask for) one of the Etsy Gift Cards (or buy one for yourself if you are lucky to get a check as a gift). The seller’s shop gladly accepts them.

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Check out the journals, spell-books, and all the cool things this seller has to offer at their shop, OzO’s Circus of Horrors, over at Etsy via this link. All three have only one available, though the seller will do custom work. Not only is this gift ultra-cool, they are one of a kind. “Geez, I wish I didn’t already have a monster skin-bound Spell Journal!” are words you are in 0% danger of your gift recipient saying.

Click on any of the images–taken directly from the item’s pages–to cut to the chase and go visit the shop. Horror Boom does not own the images, the artist does (and if OzO happens to read this and would rather we remove the images, drop us a line in comments or via email (we give contact info at the bottom of the “About” page). And no, we don’t get a cut of the sales, this just had to go on the Holiday list. Can you blame us for featuring it?

 

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*Holy crap, if we had the money I’d clean them out and use them exclusively on our tree, which might cause our guests (relatives all over age 60, not that they’re not cool) to wonder about our mental state.We usually just leave our tree– which we bought because it looks like the one Henry Hill brings home to Karen and their kids in Goodfellas after the big Lufthansa heist bare because it still looks great, but our cats can and will do anything to destroy every ornament, even if it’s not easily breakable, so it would look more disconcerting to them if we went from a large vintage tree with only lights to one festooned with grotesque (if awesome) monsters and what appear to be balls of flesh and eyes.

Horror Boom’s 2014 Holiday Gift Countdown – Part 2 of 5, Cthulhu Tree Ornament/Stocking Stuffer

So, most of you probably know about the Cthulhu plush toys (“Cuddly Cthulhu”), but this is the first time we’ve seen one of these – an actual Christmas tree ornament! It’s pretty nice quality, and we wish we had the dough this year to pick one up for the tree… even better, a dozen.

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Right now,  Amazon (among other places) sells them for a little under $10.50, free shipping, and it even looks like as of this writing you can get it delivered just in time for Christmas. The guy also has a 4/5 average star rating– not bad at all. Cthulhu (the ornament also features, according to the manufacturer:

  • Comes in a cool illustrated box and is packaged for gift-giving.
  • Putting Cthulhu on your tree balances out all your happy ornaments. Attached string makes for easy hanging.

If you’d like a little something extra for a stocking stuffer, you can also get Cthulhu mints, in a nice collectible tin, for less than six bucks, and free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

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Stay tuned for more cool gift ideas, or things to put on your wish list!

Next Week’s American Horror Story Freak Show Episode Has An Entertaining New Title

This week’s upcoming episode, 4X09,  was previously titled, “The Fat Lady Sings”. Some time during the two-week hiatus, it got retitled…

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Tupperware Party Massacre!

 

Which sounds pretty damn great.  If we could, we would have used a font that appeared to drip blood for the snappy new title! Supposedly, it has a really high body count (as you can tell from the preview, and the title), and is definitely at least as bloody.

"Honey, I'm home! How did the Tupperware party goooOOOOOAAAHHHHHH!"

Honey, I’m home! How did the Tupperware party goooOOOOOAAAHHHHHH!

The title is kind of a spoiler; then again, you have a pretty good idea that something along these lines is going to happen from the preview. Dandy seems to take it up a notch with every episode. If he does what it looks like he did with his mother’s body in the preview,  it’s going to be pretty horrifying.

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American Horror Story Freak Show Opening Credits Are Here, You Won’t BELIEVE What FX Let Them Get Away With!

Let’s just get this out of the way, and clear out the easily offended. We see conjoined skeleton twins masturbating. Not once, mind you, but TWICE. One shares a head, the other shares a body and has two heads (Sarah Paulson had an ‘insight’ on what this may be hinting at, but we’ll get to that later).

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Okay, so Ryan Murphy has said that S4 of American Horror Story will have a “very different look.” We couldn’t really see a difference in the PR photos or the long trailer that debuted Tuesday night (more on that later, we are seriously having trouble keeping up with the new promos/media) on Sons Of Anarchy.Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 7.54.02 AM

 

You can sure as hell see it here. Nothing is really hinted at as in the first three (we liked all three, and consider the Coven title credits to end up being scarier than the season itself). We have stop-motion animation (or CGI set up to look like stop-motion)!  Everything is bright and colorful and sometimes in-your-face.. So far only tiny snippets–fast ones– of the opening credits of Murder House and Asylum were in color, and it looked washed out. Coven was all black and white. OK, watch the credits to Freak Show in HD right here, and then we’ll point out a few things. If you are scared of clowns, AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE (then again, I doubt anyone with a clown phobia will have anything to do with this season).

These may be a slightly extended version of the credits, since it runs about a minute long (also unlike other seasons).

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So plenty of evil clown imagery, including Twisty the Clown making balloon animals and then stabbing them with a giant butcher’s knife. A guy with a third leg (with a SHOE on it) instead of genitalia. Stuff that looks like they borrowed it from the more horrifying sections of the Mutter Museum. Plenty of two-headed creatures (including clowns). Did you catch the conjoined twins touching themselves? In the second shot they’re doing it through their skirt, but it’s still not especially subtle.

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We’re going to pick this up later, because after watching The ABCs of Death 2 we already have a ton of nightmare material in our brains waiting to pounce on us the second we hit dreamland. Until the, let your Freak Flag fly!

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And The A-List Mystery Actor Playing Guy LaPointe in Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” Is… (SPOILER)

OK… last chance to keep from spoiling who the unbilled, “quirky”, well-liked A-List actor playing the detective in Kevin Smith’s body horror opus Tusk. Are you sure you don’t want to preserve the surprise?

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Mr. Johnny Depp! Just who we had hoped it would be. His daughter also appears in the movie.

This isn't necessarily him in character, just a photo of Mr. Depp. We looked really hard for one of him appearing in the movie, too.

This isn’t necessarily him in character, just a photo of Mr. Depp. We looked really hard for one of him appearing in the movie, too.

Kevin Smith’s first choice for the role was Quentin Tarantino, whom Smith says turned the part down because he’s not really focusing on acting so much these days. This may be–OK, will be– the only time in history Johnny Depp was the second choice for an acting role after the part was declined by Tarantino! Wikipedia (with Smith’s podcast as the source) says that Tusk’s starting date was delayed to November  2013 due to the filming location moving from Canada to North Carolina, “then an additional two days of filming occurred in Los Angeles for scenes involving Johnny Depp’s character Guy LaPointe”. Here’s the citation for that.

Sources:

Fangoria.com

Wikipedia

plus some guy starring in the movie names Justin Long.

Who knows, they all could be lying their asses off as part of some elaborate prank, but that would actually hurt rather than help the movie. All sources point to Johnny Depp as the unbilled actor playing a (retired) detective looking into the missing-persons case of Justin Long’s character.  We’re also going out on a limb here and guessing the detective will be killed right after he discovers that Michael Parks character has kidnapped him. A moment too late!

Here’s the first full-length trailer for Tusk, and honestly, we think it looks pretty goddamned horrifying (“fucked-up” seems to be the most used adjective by fans who caught the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Midnight Madness showing recently).

That’s what he gets for growing that hipster walrus mustache, huh?

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