‘Suburban Gothic’, From The Director of ‘Excision’, Is A Likeably Wiseass Horror-Comedy

“Meanwhile, landscaper Hector (Mel Rodriguez) and his crew accidentally dig up a child’s skeleton in the family’s backyard, unleashing a vengeful spirit that first makes its presence known via visions and nightmares suffered by Raymond, who as a child used to experience “paranormal stuff.” He enlists a similarly caustic local misfit, goth-styled bartender Becca (Kat Dennings, of “2 Broke Girls” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”), to help him guide the ghost toward eternal peace before it wreaks total havoc.”


-From the Variety.com review by Dennis Harvey

Wow, this doesn’t sound at all like 2012’s Excision (the début feature from Richard Bates Jr.), but it sounds like fun. Big selling points for us: he got John Waters back in the cast AND Jeffrey Combs (who per IMDB, plays a doctor; Combs always shines playing doctors*, as Re-Animator and its two sequels, not to mention House on Haunted Hill, proved) in supporting roles. The Soska Sisters have cameos! Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Robocop, and the deeply disturbing Dead End) has a lead role. Matthew Gray Gubler (Life After Beth and Criminal Minds) won the Festival Trophy for Best Actor at Screamfest 2014, for this movie, too.

We’re all in on January 30th, when this horror-comedy hits VOD!

To read Variety.com’s entire review, click the “View original” link in the lower left.


The photo is not in the actual movie, it’s just a really cool-ass gothic house/home.


*He REALLY shines when he’s playing Edgar Allan Poe, too.


Variety Review: ‘The Mule’ Gives New Meaning To “Gut-Wrenching Suspense”

Why are we including this, you ask? Well, Leigh Whannell (who got famous ten years ago with Saw when he teamed up with James Wan) co-stars and co-wrote the screenplay. Apparently this is the first time he has played a really vile character– most of us have only seen him as “Specs”, half the ghost-hunting team that works with Lin Shaye’s character, psychic Elise Ranier, in Insidiuous and Insidious Chapter 2 (mainly as comic relief). He also was the unlucky half of the duo chained up in the original Saw, along with Cary Elwes. This isn’t a horror movie, but reviews say it is very intense… and stomach-turning at times. There is one scene referred to as “The one-Man Human Centipede sequence” that is apparently so gross that no-one will even describe it. Guess who came up with and wrote the scene? Our pal Leigh Whannell. Hit “View Original” in the lower left to read the entire review by Justin Chang on Variety.com!

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?














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.




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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Variety Has Nothing But Great Things To Say About Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” – Read The Rave Review Here

Although we’re a long way here from the View Askewniverse of Red Bank, New Jersey, “Tusk” runs thick with the director’s house blend of highbrow literary references, lowbrow bathroom humor and fast-food fetishism. As in “Red State,” Smith opts for a sleek widescreen look (courtesy of d.p. James Laxton), with far more attention paid to framing and fluid, motivated camera movements than on his rough-hewn early features. Makeup designer Robert Kurtzman’s impressively transformative practical effects are virtually a co-star unto themselves.


-From Variety’s review of Kevin Smith’s “Tusk”

We wanted to see this before, but now we REALLY want to see it. BRING IT! Any guesses on the mystery actor mentioned? Ben Affleck? Matt Damon? Johnny Depp? We did find out Quentin Tarantino was Kevin Smith’s first choice to play Guy LaPointe, but he turned it down, saying he “wasn’t doing much acting these days”.   We’re off to scour the internet, because we doubt we can wait under September 19th!* Click “View Original” in the lower left to read Variety’s entire review by Scott Foundas, Chief Film Critic for Variety.

*We found out, but gee, we‘d hate to spoil it for you!  caved and posted it shortly after this.

“ABCs Of Death 2” Gets a Release Date – Plus, See a Great ’26th Director’ Contest Finalist For The Letter M!

Okay! Want the good news or the bad news first?  Let’s get that less-than-positive news out of the way. You may recall an announcement in January that among the hundreds of entries for the 2013 “26th Director Contest” for the letter M this year, the winner (“M is for Masticate”) was chosen last December. Then in January 2014, we got all excited when there was an official press release that told us there would be an “ABCs of Death 1.5” that would be composed of 26 of the top entries for the contest, released in “early 2014”. Here’s the short version:

Drafthouse Films has announced that producers Ant Timpson and Tim League, in association with producer and competition organizer Ted Geoghegan, have selected 26 of the 541 entries for ABCs OF DEATH 2 (the winner was Robert Boocheck’s “M is for Masticate”), and combined them for ABCs OF DEATH 1.5. This omnibus will be available digitally early this year, and will also screen at select Alamo Drafthouse cinemas. “The production team had a real blast selecting the 26 shorts that make up ABCs OF DEATH 1.5,” says Timpson. “The hard part was only selecting 26, as the competition provided so many outstanding entries. We couldn’t be happier with the final lineup. There’s enough horror, humor, weirdness and, frankly, truly f**ked-up material to give even the most jaded fan a wakeup call from hell.”

You can read the longer version o trusty ole’ Fangoria.com that includes the titles of the shorts here. Well, as you may have noticed,early 2014 has come and gone, and we looked around all over the net but sadly could find absolutely no further mention of this release after the initial one. Other than someone else asking on a message board, “What the hell happened to ABCs of Death 1.5?” you could pretty much hear a pin drop since the January press release. We’ll try to find out. Several of them are available on You Tube, Vimeo, and the contest entry page, but we like the reveal of the title AFTER the short – in some cases, giving the cause-of-death word is even a spoiler.

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OK, on to way betters news: The ABCs of Death 2 (tagline: Some People Never Learn) will be released on VOD October 2nd (a Thursday), and in select theaters on Friday, October 31st – now there’s a fun release date for you! No trailer or teaser yet, so we found something else entertaining that’ll be on The ABCs of Death 1.5 (whenever the hell THAT is- we’re thinking it’s not going to make it out before the main release, but we hope to be proven wrong).

We watched several of the “M” contest entries from last year, and as with the letter T, there’s several standouts. The one we picked to show you in this piece inexplicably didn’t make it into the top 26th, and there’s no reason why not (especially since it’s better in every way than a few entries –that we’ll be nice and keep nameless– that did make it to the top 26). We’re 99% sure that, if they’d gone by voting, and not the production team’s selections, it would have. Watch below for one of the best entries, “M is for Matchmaker” (no spoilers in the title), written and directed by Sean Tretta, with Tiffany Shepis (Nightmare man, The Violent Kind), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), and Sebastian Kunnappilly (The Frankenstein Syndrome).

We’ll bring you more “M” finalists and their entries as the countdown to October 2nd (come on, even if you live in one of the select areas, can you REALLY wait an extra month when you could watch it on VOD in the comfort of your home?) continues. We actually held a couple of winners back because they were so gruesome and graphic we almost felt guilty posting them… almost!

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‘Zombeavers’ director Jordan Rubin on his dammed horror-comedy — EXCLUSIVE NSFW IMAGES (EW.com)

OK, I’m not saying this doesn’t look ridiculous, but it also doesn’t look half-bad. I’d rather watch prosthetic creature effects over half-ass CGI anyway. Plus, Bill Burr is in it, and he usually doesn’t sign on to act in shitty movies (or TV series – case in point, Breaking Bad) and he’s also funny as hell. Check out the photos (at least one is really gory; I almost used it as the ‘featured image’ but chickened out at the last second) and the trailer. Director Jordan Rubin also digs 80s horror and says in the EW.com article that “I would say it’s a horror movie in the traditional, ‘80s-sense… it’s played completely straight in the face of the ludicrous conceit, which is obviously complete insanity.” So far, so good. (Click on “View Original” to check out all the gory pics and the fun trailer)

Toronto Film Review: ‘Horns’

Eric: Well, I’ll be goddamned.
Ig: You and me both. *

We consider the fact that the movie adaptation of Horns (2013) sticks closely to the source material a good thing, since it may likely contains the above dialogue from the novel. We searched, but as of this writing/posting, still can’t find an official U.S. release date, which is really too goddamned (har) bad. On the very bright side: the makers of the film wisely recast the role of Ig with Daniel Radcliffe, since Shia LaBouf (who we do not respect enough to even consider checking the correct spelling of his name) was originally signed to play the lead. We were not exactly thrilled about the mis casting of Juno Temple as Merrin, then we read the news about what a close call they had with casting Ig and that put things in perspective pretty fast. We highly recommend that if you haven’t already, pick up and read the Joe Hill novel to pass the time while we all wait for a release date… but if you tear through it as fast as we did, it won’t kill much time.  It’s an average-length novel, but a very fucking fast–and highly addictive– blast to read.  When we hear about a US (or even a UK) release date–theatrical or otherwise, but let’s cross our fingers for a theatrical release instead of VOD–we’ll post it here (and we happily welcome anyone who does have that info to please enlighten us, by email or by posting in the comments).

Here’s a link to an informative piece from CinemaBlend, giving the news that at least the movie HAS been picked up for distribution, and talks some more about the adaptations. It’s also one of the few articles that show more than one publicity photo.

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*Dialogue paraphrased from the novel Horns written by Joe King and HarperCollins Publishing, ©2010. He created it, he and the publishing company owns all the rights, not us.

Ten Unsettling Things We Learned From American Horror Story Coven Episode 3, “The Replacements” (SPOILERS)

Note: Yep, I’m aware this is the Episode 3 piece and that Episode 5 will have aired by the time I post ‘Ten Things’ on Episode 4. Better late than never, and I’m hustling to catch up to get things current, even though an avalanche of “Things We Learned’ will be crashing down all around us while I get up to date. I hope you’ll still get a kick out of some part of these slightly tardy pieces, late or not).


The original adjective I was going to use in the title was ‘disturbing’, then I realized I’d better save it for later when things got really disturbing. Because if you know American Horror Story, then you know Murphy and Falchuck are only getting warmed up.

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The accompanying sound effect for this in a well-done comic book version would be: SSSSHHHUK!

I have a little surprise for you.

1. Fiona killed the Supreme (who also happened to be her mentor)  before her, Anna Leigh, in 1971. “As I get stronger, you …get ...weaker,“* Fiona tells her, before almost casually cutting Anna Leigh’s throat with a flick her wrist …and a very sharp knife. I’m pretty sure her facial expression didn’t even change. It turns out Spalding saw the whole thing, unfortunately (for him).

SIDEBAR:  I think they should have tried a little harder when it came to casting young Fiona. The actress has Lange’s speech patterns and manner nailed down, but doesn’t even resemble Jessica Lange when she was in her early 20s (or at any age).  They’ve got the blonde hair, but the style looks like it’s more from the present day than 1971. Lange was much more beautiful in her 20s (and 30s, and 40s, and 50s) than the actress playing her. Emma Roberts looks more feasible as a young version of Lange, and she doesn’t have much of a resemblance either. I didn’t expect a dead ringer, but they dropped the ball enough on this that it was actually distracting in all her scenes.

2. We’re pretty sure what he saw is directly responsible for him losing his tongue (episode 4 has aired since I organized this list; now we know it – though if Myrtle hadn’t enchanted his vocal chords to tell nothing but the truth, he probably would have kept his tongue).

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 5.23.04 AM

3. Misty Day is lonely. Early in the episode she lays on her bed with Kyle (who wears his usual thousand-yard-stare), listening to “Sara” by Fleetwood Mac —click here for the lyrics, some definitely plaintive– and comments that Stevie Nicks didn’t really find her voice until she found her tribe, and looks suddenly wistful. “That’s the thing. Can’t be your best self until you find your tribe. …I’m still looking for mine,”  she finishes sadly. Misty didn’t want Kyle to leave her, and she wanted Zoe to stay, too. Anyone else start to get nervous when it got physical and looked like they might both start pulling him in opposite directions?

What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?


4. Taking Kyle back to his mom (who seemed likeable enough at first, smoking a little weed and not stuck up or unfriendly) turned out to be a horrible idea–not that Zoe had any way of knowing, she was trying to be compassionate. It turned out that Kyle’s mom had been molesting him since her husband “left them”. It didn’t appear to be consensual–like, not at all— and was very hard to watch. Which leads us to…

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5. Stay out of Kyle’s “personal space”. Unless he makes the first move–like he’s done more than once with Zoe when he tentatively reached out to touch, then stroke, her hair– just stay the hell away. He got upset and made an angry animal noise when Misty got a little too touchy-feely when she was trying to get him to stay. When his mother started touching him in a very un-motherly way one too many times, he snapped and completely lost his shit; he also spoke his first word since being resurrected: NO!  Kyle ends up caving her head in (literally, her face was pretty much gone when Zoe found her body) with one of the sports trophies in his bedroom. No means no, Mrs. Spencer.

Too late for tears, damage is done.



6. If you piss off Marie Laveau, she’ll not only fuck you up, but extend it to your entire immediate family. Cordelia and Fiona (more on her later) both got very, very bad news from their fertility specialist and plastic surgeon, respectively. Fiona’s was worse, but Cordelia became desperate when she got the news that she would never, ever be able to bear children.  She called up Cornrow City and made an appointment to see Marie Laveau about a voodoo fertility rite/spell they both call the “Pochaut Medicine”. Marie, lounging casually but regally on her really bad-ass throne with her iPad, interrupts her game of solitaire to tell Cordelia that she knows who she is AND knows her mother.  She explains the steps of the spell to a very eager Cordelia. The spell (“Ain’t no picnic for anyone involved”) involves the following steps, according to Marie:

  • Pay her $50,000.00 and wait till the next full moon
  • Bring two ounces of her man’s ‘baby gravy’ in a Mason jar (eccch)
  • Add about ten of Marie’s acolytes dressed in full voodoo garb, including a few with painted skull faces)  to provide various percussion instruments, dance, and help with the goat
  • Toss jar onto fire so it appears to boil, no matter how nasty it looks
  • Take a guinea pepper “hotter than Hades” that has been roasting over hot coals for Marie to eat and swallow whole, the suffering of which will get the god’s attention
  • Two guys will pick up Cordelia and ceremonially lay her down, then pull up her red gown to show her lace underwear
  • Sacrifice some poor goat with a sharp blade–as the jar in the fire cracks open- and let the blood drain over her, specifically below the waist, as the aforementioned goat bleeds out
  • When it’s over Marie will sleep for four days and nights.

There is a 100% success rate, and wh–PSYCH! Marie laughs heartily in Cordelia’s face and tells her she will not do the spell for any amount of money, because “you the daughter of my sworn enemy!” Marie stops laughing long enough to look Cordelia right in the eye to tell her, “She done messed with the wrong witch… and she knows it. And now you know it.

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 5.51.45 AM

7.  Queenie is either really lonely, or even braver than we thought, or both.  When Queenie’s new maid, one Delphine LaLaurie, recognizes the monster that Marie Laveau (she calls the Minotaur “Bastian”) has sent her way and actually drops to her knees and beseeches Queenie to save her, Queenie doesn’t toss LaLaurie out the door, yell “SHE’S OVER HERE!” and then slam the door behind the evil bitch and lock all the bolts on the doors and windows.** She cuts Delphine’s hand (rather enthusiastically) to soak up some of her blood on a piece of cloth, then relatively calmly–and a little bit coyly–leads the bull away. She talks softly to the Minotaur. “She told me what you did to her daughter. You just wanted love.”  The more seductive she is, the more the bull seems to calm down, seeming thrown off at first by Queenie’s actions.*** You know, suddenly I’m not that comfortable describing what starts to happen, you saw it, but the scene ends with the Minotaur abruptly lunging at her in a blur (it was probably all FX would let the show get away with, content-wise) and Queenie’s muffled scream of pain. I’m sure that and the scenes with Kyle’s monster mom were kind of awkward to film, and hopefully they didn’t need repeated takes.

Self-preservation: it’s the most primal instinct in the human psyche. So what would it take to make a person disregard their will to survive?


8. The new neighbors (moving in next door to the Academy) aren’t any fun–well, the teenage son with his shirt off seemed okay (especially when he blew off Madison and was much more friendly to Nan), but his mother, Joan? Not so much.  “Hell is naked before him and destruction hath no covering,” she quotes to her son when she sees he’s taken his sweat-soaked shirt off while moving boxes. We see her causing serious problems for Fiona ahead. I’m pretty sure she’s down with burning every witch in existence at the stake, even if some of the witches are completely benign.

I wish I was as sweet as you think.


9. Joan pisses Madison off so much that we learn she has developed pyrokinesis to go with her telekinesis. After Fiona discovers this, she speedily develops a keen interest in Madison …and what else Madison might be able to do, and takes her out to lunch… and later, for drinks.

It’s a dance, a dance no-one ever had to teach me. A dance I’ve known since I first saw my reflection in my father’s eyes. My partners have been princes and starving artists,  Greek gods and clowns. And every one of them certain they lead. But it’s always my dance. I make the first move, which is no move it all. I’ve always just understood they would eventually find themselves in front of me. Beautiful, primitive animals, their bodies responding to the inevitability of it all. It’s my dance, and I have performed it with finesse and abandon with countless partners. Only the faces change. And all this time …I never suspected the night would come when the dance would end.

-Fiona’s ultimately heartbreaking monologue to her surgeon that kicks off Act One of “The Replacements”

10. Along with learning how desperate both Cordelia and Fiona are when they find out that their bodies have turned on them, we learn Fiona is not only desperate, but deadly.  Almost as soon as they return to the Academy, drunk and laughing, Fiona starts spilling her guts. Madison gets really giddy when Fiona tells her she will be the next Supreme, but not so thrilled when Fiona tells her that she learned recently that she has cancer. All through her. She’ll be dead in a year; Fiona’s life force is pouring out of her and into Madison (who has now stopped smiling).  Madison seems to sober up pretty quick when Fiona blurts out her murder confession (along with other regrets about her past decisions). She learns the hard way what we horror fans already know: when someone –who also appears mentally unstable, including violent mood swings–  confesses to a murder and then points out the murder took place in that very room, right where she’s standing now, right with this same weapon here that they’ve kept all these years? Now would be a good time to get the fuck out of there. Instead Madison starts to freak out (but not run–perhaps making the same mistake as Anna Leigh did in 1971: thinking Fiona wasn’t powerful enough at the time to really hurt her) when Fiona turns panicky as well, her eyes wild, beseeching Madison to kill her for the good of the coven, trying to give her the knife while Madison pushes it away. In the confusion, Madison’s throat is neatly sliced and it’s hard to say who looks more shocked (and suddenly sober) for the silent moment before Madison crumples to the floor.  Dead (and still dead, as of this writing).

This coven doesn’t need a new Supreme.  It needs a new rug.


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Stray thoughts:

  • I liked the way the 1971 flashback started with Fiona getting up for a midnight snack of alcohol and pills, regarding the painting of Supreme Anna Leigh, and then flashing to the real thing (in the same hair and dress). Also, that the young Fiona wore a black choker.
  • Dephine’s tearful reaction to seeing on “that magic box” that we have a “Negro” President was priceless.  So was her hiss of “LIIIEEESSSS!” to Fiona when she confirmed it. Kathy Bates is really having fun being on the show.
  • A certain popular recap of “The Replacements” referred to the episode (I think it may have even been the headline of the piece) as “Kink-tastic!” That immediately made me lose respect for the writer and their reviews. No. Not “kink-tastic” (which I assume was their cutesy, lazy way of calling it fantastically kinky). There have been scenes in the history of the series where the characters had kinky fun, but not in this episode. Really? Was it kinky fun when Kyle’s mom sexually abused her son? Do you think that in the preview for the next episode, where we saw Queenie with blood soaking the lower half of her dress, that indicated she had kinky fun? I’m definitely no prude, but that casual attitude made me sick. Still does.
  • I have no idea whether Fiona cutting Madison’s throat was planned, an accident, or a spur-of-the moment thing. For the ‘planned’ argument: We saw a shot of Fiona coldly and deliberately pouring her drink on the floor after she’d watched all the men’s eyes glued to Madison in her white bandage dress as she laughed and got noticeably hammered and played pool. Also, she didn’t exactly shed a tear for Madison; instead she sighed, took the fancy napkin Spalding handed to her (we find out in Episode 4 that he heard the shouting and came down to the Great Room to see what was going on) to wipe the blood from her hands, and calmly told him, “Bury her deep. God knows what all that shit in her body will do to the lawn when it comes up in the spring”, and casually sits down and lights a cigarette before delivering the final line.
    For the “unplanned” argument, Fiona was pretty convincing and insistent that Madison cut her throat like she cut Anna Leigh’s, and seemed shocked when the younger girl suddenly had a cut throat. She also put her hands over it for a moment, maybe to try to stop the bleeding, but that didn’t last long after she saw Spalding standing at the base of the staircase again (and after “Fearful Pranks Ensue,” we know why he helped her–both times.  I finally have come to the conclusion as of this writing –I mean literally, as I was typing this up– that Fiona had good temporary intentions of mentoring Madison as the new Supreme, but things speed up quite a bit unexpectedly after she watched Madison in the bar/pool hall and decided she was being replaced… but after watching the struggle with the knife and Madison refusing to take it, I noticed towards the end Fiona looked more furious than desperate and yelled, “Take it, you stupid girl!” into her face as Madison refused to take it. I think her temper (Fiona did have a really shitty day, worse that Cordelia’s) flared at the last second and got the better of her, then Fiona quickly added together what it would mean and decided it was for the best. “She would have made a lousy Supreme,” Fiona tells Spalding at the start of the following episode (but we’ll cover that next time).
  • Nice touch that when Fiona and Madison were out drinking and Jerry Lee Lewis singing “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going on,” was on the jukebox, the editors decided to leave in that line about “We got the bull by the horns.”  Speaking of which, the half-hand, half-hooves were a clever and creative contribution from whoever did the Creature Design for the Minotaur.
  • Jessica Lange looked more amazing during the final scene in that chic little red dress than she has so far in any scene in the series.

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*Anna Leigh’s response to this is to call young Fiona a “vicious little gash” (damn!) and a “selfish, craven child little child” who will bring the Coven to ruin if she’s allowed to take power.

**Which is probably what I would have done once she told me who she really was Sorry, but I’m not risking my life to try to save the hide of one of the most evil bitches in history. Especially after that comment about how she’d “padlock the icebox and throw away the key” if I was her daughter.



***Doubt the Minotaur ever had a victim begin to act that way before. “What the hell?  Why isn’t she screaming her head off and flailing around like the other ones do when they see me approach?”

Coming up next, THIS happens in the cold open of “Fearful Pranks Ensue”:

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Gallery: Count The Homages in Guillermo del Toro’s Killer ‘Treehouse of Horror XXIV’ From The Simpsons

Del Toro wound up creating a mash-up love letter to all sorts of his horror/fantasy inspirations in paying tribute to The Simpsons, while taking a page from Mad magazine’s Mort Drucker, Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman. “They would try to cram so many references in,” he says. “You as a kid could spend an afternoon on your bed with your magnifying glass going through a frame of Mad magazine and finding all these references to this and that.” Keep your eyes peeled for a Futurama nod too. (“I integrate[d] Lisa falling through the couch like Alice in Wonderland but in the dress of the girl from Pan’s Labyrinth, and instead of landing next to the giant toad in Pan’s Labyrinth, she lands next to the Hypnotoad from Futurama.) He stuffed in as many horror/fantasy masters and iconic characters as he could (from H.P. Lovecraft to Edgar Allen Poe to Stephen King to the Universal monsters), though many more had to be left on the cutting room floor. “At the last minute I wanted to put a Mexican wrestler in there,” he notes with a chuckle, “but [casting producer] Bonnie Pietila said to me, ‘We’ve got to go! We cannot keep adding and adding stuff.”

–From the EW.com piece by Dan Snierson (see below)

First of all, if you haven’t read the EW.com piece and watched the opening credits created by Guillermo Del Toro for The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror XXIV (airing this Sunday, October 6th) check the piece AND the especially awesome (and horror homage-packed) out right here.

Seen it now? Told you it was pretty goddamned cool! The below gallery would be bigger (and we’d have some informal ‘catch the obscure horror references’ contest), but we’re having a couple technical difficulties, plus this writer has a splitting headache. We’ll add to it before Sunday if we can.

(Click on any screen-cap to enlarge) Let’s see, off the top of my (tired, aching) head, what did you spot besides the following:

  • Charles Burns (the artist)
  • The Shining
  • Clash of The Titans
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original)
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • The Illustrated Man
  • Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds
  • The Fly (original)
  • Cronos
  • The Invisible Man
  • Blade
  • Classic Universal Studios monsters
  • Hellboy
  • The Mist
  • Hot Fuzz (we think)
  • Todd Browning’s Freaks
  • HP Lovecraft
  • Mars Attacks! Trading cards
  • Pan’s Labyrinth (you don’t need a sharp eye to spot these particular homages)
  • Brian DePalma‘s Phantom of Paradise
  • Ray Harryhausen
  • Mexican wrestler

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‘The Simpsons’: Guillermo del Toro on creating the epic opening to ‘Treehouse of Horror XXIV’

If you’re getting the sense that del Toro is a big fan of The Simpsons, you’re right. Not only did he slip a few homages to The Simpsons in Hellboy (“Mmmm, nachos” “Why you little…!”), he has a room in his house that’s brimming with Simpsons memorabilia. “My favorite is a 30-inch tall Mr. Burns as Dracula that they only make in Germany,” he says. “It’s a really good sculpture. It’s going to run away eventually, but I think that’s very appropriate.”

-from the EW.com article by Dan Snierson

Don’t miss this! It is almost impossible to count the homages and references here. The classic Universal Studios monsters, artist Charles Burns, Brian DePalma‘s Phantom of Paradise, Lovecraft, Bong June Ho’s The Host, Ray Bradbury‘s The Illustrated Man (short story collection and the movie), Todd Browning’s Freaks (watch for the pinhead from the movie; I’d say it was an American Horror Story Asylum reference but it’s in a shot with a bunch of really old-school monsters and aliens, including the Ray Harryhausen skeletons)… they have to be into the triple-digits. Mrs. Horror Boom was going to be all clever and try and list them all, but that’s pretty time-consuming even without a nasty headache. Of course, special attention is paid to Guillermo Del Toro‘s movies (even ones that most moviegoers aren’t familiar with), especially Pan’s Labyrinth. Just check out the screen caps in the gallery link right here, and see how many you can spot… and enjoy this year’s Treehouse of Horror, which airs this Sunday, October 6th!

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