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Photos From The 2014, 4th Annual Calgary Horror Con

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Alien Horror Week – Movie 5: Deadly Spawn (1983)

ThedeadlyspawnIt was a toss up as to whether or not we were going to watch Alien or Deadly Spawn. My buddy made the argument for Deadly Spawn as it is a much less known movie, and I went along.

So, a small town is invaded by a life form from space that looks a lot like a giant multiple headed lamprey with a penchant for making slug like babies (lots of them), and eating the locals. A group of four geeky science nerd teens and a young boy do their best to save the town (and most likely the world) from this infestation. It’s kind of weird that three of our movies had similar themes and creatures (Slither, Night of the Creeps and Deadly Spawn), not in that they are alien infestation movies (it’s kind of the theme), but the fact that the three creatures in the mentioned movies all propagate by releasing slug like grubs, liked to enter through the mouth id possible, and the main “mother” creature found someplace out of the way to grow and develop. Well, if they copied each other, this is the progenitor of all of ‘em.  A silly movie, Deadly Spawn stays entertaining, and cheezy which is perfect for me. Lots of campiness to go around, and some really questionable actions by it’s characters may make you moan at times…but don’;t let that stop you from enjoying the movie. A true representative of it’s time, the early 1980’s, it still stands out as a fun, throwback to the creature features of the 50’s and 60’s…

Watch this film, my friends!


Alien Horror Week – Movie 3: Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)–Now This… This is A Movie You Should Watch

Killer_klowns_poster1988’s way over the top, Killer Klowns From Outer Space tells the tale of a group of evil aliens that come to Earth, specifically Crescent Cove, California, in their space craft  to harvest humans. Pretty typical of a Sci-Fi horror film, I know, but these aliens look like demented clowns, and their space ship looks like a giant circus tent.

Starting off with a farmer going to investigate what looked like a comet that has fallen to Earth (he thinks it is Halley’s Comet), and stumbling across the Circus tent like Alien spacecraft, he and his dog are quickly captured by the Aliens. Now, of course the Farmer wasn’t the only one to see this shooting star like object. Mike (Grant Cramer), and his girlfriend Debbie (Suzanne Snyder), decide to also check it out. They find the spacecraft (just like the farmer did), and manage to find a way in, where they discover the remains of the farmer and his dog, cocooned in a cotton candy like substance (hey – they’re alien clowns… errr “Klowns”), and themselves just barely missing being capture by one of the aliens. After a hairy escape (including being chased by a balloon animal, they head to the police station. They tell their story to officer Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson), who happens to be Debbie’s ex boyfriend. The story, of course sounds ridiculous – I mean, really? Space Alien Clowns? Bodies cocooned in cotton candy? It’s fair to say that Dave is is sceptical, but his fellow officer, the gruff jerk of a cop Mooney (played by the awesome John Vernon) calls them outright liars and wants to put them in jail for making up stories about murders and such. Dave at least agrees to chesk out what they are saying as they did say a couple of people were killed. Dropping Debbie off first (against her wishes), Mike takes Dave out to where they found the ship and the bodies, but unfortunately the ship is no longer there and Dave thinks they made the whole thing up and places under arrest. Well with the clowns loose in the town and more and more people falling victim to their ridiculously amusing weapons and ways, Dave and Mike don’t get far before Dave sees for himself the Killer Klowns and what they are capable of. Meanwhile, back at the police station, Maloney has himself that the entire town is trying to mess with his head with a coordinated series of call from all over town about killer clowns. When Dave calls into the station and instructs Maloney to call for back up, describing the Klown menace, he just thinks Dave is in on the whole thing to and refuses to get or give help. It’s not until one actually strolls into the station that he actually realizes this isn’t hoax. Of coarse, by that time… well, you know. So it’s all up to Mike, Dave and Debbie to infiltrate the Klown ship and save the day… Okay, I left a whole bunch out there at the end because I realized I was just rattling off the movie instead of reviewing it. I don’t want to do that. What I do want is for you to watch this movie because it’s cool, crazy and funny and desreves to be watched by soimeone who can appreciate it for what it is: a fun movie.  No one can argue that it isn’t original – Hell, I doubt there is any movie that even resembles this film. A crazy concept, wrapped in a funny script and created by people that must love the genre, this is a film for any Sci-Fi/Horror or Comedy fan. Yeah, it is ridiculous, but it is supposed to be so. Sure, if you watch this movie expecting it to be a serious horror/sci-fi film, you will be mistaken – and most likely stupid, too. I mean, really: it’s about Killer Aliens from space that travel in a Circus tent space craft and look like demented clowns. Still,

it’s great ands it’s fun and you should watch it. Oh, you already saw it? Well, see it again!

Check out the trailer below:


Eastwood Week Movie 3 – Any Which Way You Can (1980)–Clint’s Great Follow Up To Every Which Way But Loose

Any_which_way_you_canIf you read my review of Every Which Way But Loose, then you know I like that movie. Well, this is the sequel to that movie, and you know what? I like this one too.

Any Which Way You Can is the 1980 follow up to the block buster comedy, Every Which Way But Loose, and it is damned funny. Clint Eastwood returns as the Truck Driver/prize fighter, Orangutan owning Philo Beddle, as well as Geoffrey Lewis as Orville Boggs as Philo’s best human buddy, and Manis the Ape as Clyde, Philo’s best non human buddy. Also returning is Ruth Gordon as Philo’s cantankerous mother and Sandra Locke as Philo’s love interest, Lynn Halsey-Taylor. In this movie, we find Philo has continued his side line as a tough son of a bitch prize fighter. Only he’s decided to retire, having noticed he was starting to enjoy the pain. Unfortunately, the Mafia wants to setup a match between Philo and Jack Wilson, a new style of fighter that mixes boxing and martial arts together, and has managed to kill three opponents and scramble the brains of a fourth victim. Approached by the Mafia, hoping to setup this fight, Philo initially says no, but when the mob ups it to $50,000, win or lose, Philo changes his mind and accepts the fight. When Philo and Jack actually meet, it turns out that they actually get a long. They decide there is no real reason for the fight and mutually decide to call it off. The Mafia, seeing that they are about to lose the biggest grossing illegal prize fight ever, decide to kidnap Lynn Halsey-Taylor, Philo’s returning (and redeemed), love interest in order to force the fight. Frank and Philo take care of that situation, but both realize that they can’t leave the question of who would have won the fight open, so they decide to battle it out. Oh! Also returning the is Black Widows: a comical outlaw biker gang that really have it in for Philo, despite the fact that when ever they come into conflict with him, he ends up kicking their ass and they end up with less bikes. This time though, things end on a high note for them and their relationship with Philo.

This is such a fun movie, and watched back to back with Every Which Way But Loose would make for a great evening of movie watching. I heartily recommend this film and it’s predecessor. Check out the trailer below:


Eastwood Week Movie 1 – High Plains Drifter (1973)

High_Plains_Drifter_posterWow… Wowwowwow.

Wow.

How have I not seen High Plains Drifter before this? this 1973 Western is a gritty, dark tale. A tale of deceit, of murder and vengeance. Heck, it’s even a ghost story. This is a very unique film, and a very good one at that. A drifter enters a small town, apparently looking for a drink, a shave, a bath and a bed. Once there he is confronted by three guys, Company men, they are called. In defense he kills all three. The local sheriff tells him they were known to be trouble and that he didn’t have to worry about charges. Heck, the sheriff would like to hire him to protect the town from three gun fighters, just released from jail that will most likely be coming back to the town to seek vengeance for their incarceration. The stranger, played by Clint Eastwood, at first declines, but when the sheriff offers him “anything he wants,” he accepts the job, and goes about making big changes to the town. These changes cause some of the town to question the decision to put him in charge of the town’s defense. The stranger is also troubled by dreams, dreams of the town’s Marshal being whipped to death by the men who he is hired to protect the town. While the murder is taking place, the people of the town stand by and do nothing to stop it. Is it a dream? Or are these memories? It seems pretty obvious to me. The stranger gets the town busy making changes. He run drills simulating an attack and has the town folk put up resistance, preparing them for the inevitable attack that is to come. He also orders unusual things to be done, like painting the town red, and having the towns people tear apart a livery barn to build picnic tables an such… The business men of the town are really questioning their initial decision to hire this stranger. So much so that they try to kill him themselves… Yeah, good luck boys. When the attack comes, the towns people’s weak attempts at fighting off the gun men come to little, and eventually (hell, pretty damned quickly), they have the upper hand, and have gathered the remaining towns folk together in the saloon. Well, this isn’t over folks – they still have to deal with the Stranger…

Okay, let’s not give it all away. I will say that this is a creepy, dark Western. It’s also one of the best Westerns I have ever seen. Actually this is just a really good movie, chock full of darkness and hidden meanings. Heck, it’s a Western and a Ghost story, and it does both great. For the first movie of Eastwood Week, I have to say it’s an incredible start. Check out the trailer below, and then immediately go find yourself a copy and watch it today!


Tarantino Week–Movie 3: True Romance (1993)

True_romance

True Romance is a crazy, wild ride of a movie. Written by Quentin Tarantino, and starring Christian Slater as Clarence Worley and Patricia Arquette as Alabama Whitman, a young couple who meet at a Sonny Chiba triple play at a theatre in Detroit. They hit off real good, have dinner and then both end up at Clarence’s apartment, having sex. Alabama then admits she’s a hooker hired by his boss, to help him blow off some steam. She also admits that she’s managed to fall in love with him over the course of the evening.  This is fortunate, as apparently Clarence has fallen in love with her also. Having known each other for a whole night, they do the logical thing and get married. Now Clarence has to deal with Alabama’s Pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman). What confronting the pimp, and after a ruckus, and a visit from Clarence’s muse/alter ego/imaginary friend in his head, Drexl ends up dead, and Clarence accidentally ends up with a suitcase full of cocaine. The newly webs hatch a plan to sell the cocaine and restart their lives somewhere warm… Well, the coke was the Mobs, and soon the two are being tracked down by some unsavoury characters, one being the always awesome Christopher Walken as gangster Vincenzo Coccotti. Before the duo leave Detroit for California, they stop by Clarence’s estranged fathers, a police officer by the name of Clifford, played by Dennis Hopper a Detroit police officer, to find out what the police believe the motive for Drexl’s murder. After they leave, Coccotti and his crew end up at Cliffords to drill him on the location of Clarence and Alabama… A great exchange between two great actors happens…only one survives.

Off to Cali, the dynamic duo meet up with an old friends of Clarence, who begrudgingly agrees to help him sell the cocaine to a director he kind of knows, using a go between, played by Bronson Pinchot. Things go wrong, cops get involved, a meeting happend and everything goes to crap…

This movie is crazy and cool – crazy cool? Yeah. Unlike the Kill Bill movies (and the others I will be reviewing), this is written by Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott, and therefore has a different feeling than Tanatino directed films – but don’t think that is a bad thing, it’s just different. This is a great film and deserves to be watched.

Check out the trailer:


Switchblade Sisters (1975)–Gloriously Terrible

switchbladesisters1975’s Switchblade Sisters (a.k.a. “Maggie’s Stiletto Sisters) is a mid-1970’s exploitation flick on steroids.

Telling the story of a female gang, know as the Dagger Debs (a sub gang made of the girl friends of The Daggers, and all male gang), run by tough chick Lace (played by Robbie Lee) who rules her gang through fear. Soon a small time confrontation in a diner ends with a new member of the gang, Maggie, who impressed Lace with her whip like skills and lack of fear.Lace and Maggie grow closer, which get’s fellow gang member, Patch (played by Monica Gayle), jealous as Maggie seems to be displacing her as Lace’s right hand girl. At the same time, Dominic (played by Asher Brauner), leader of the Daggers and Lace’s man takes a fancy to Maggie, forcing himself on her in her home one night. Seeing an opportunity, Patch starts laying the seeds of dissent by planting the idea that Maggie is actually after Dominic.

After a raid on a rival gang at a roller rink goes bad, and Dominic is killed, and Lace ends up in the hospital, Maggie decides that the remaining Daggers are just too weak to follow, she brings the girls to a “Black” neighbourhood and meets up with some militaristic woman gang members whom they team up with to take out that rival gang. Successfully destroying the rivals, now a conflict breaks out between Lace and Maggie. Believing Maggie is trying to usurp her as leader, and that she was trying to take Dominic (before he died of course), Maggie and Lace engage in a switchblade fight…

Okay, enough… I actually had fun watching this terrible movie. There are very few redeeming qualities to this film, or even this genre of film, but it is damn fun. The incredible cheeziness of the script, acting and overall concept makes this an almost must watch!

Check out the trailer below and make your own decision.