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Halloween Countdown – The Cabin in the Woods

Posted in halloween, halloween countdown, horror, HORROR MOVIES, the cabin in the woods, Uncategorized on 10/15/2012 by vincentstark

This film was held in limbo due to  MGM’s financial problems – those same problems that also kept the latest James Bond movie, Red Dawn  and The Hobbit from the big screen.It was actually made way back in 2009 but only saw the inside of a cinema in 2012.

It was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard with Goddard also taking the  directorial duties, and offers, believe it or not, a fresh take on the teens in the cabin in the wood scenario. Now there are major spoilers in this post so if you’ve not seen the film then do not read on, but the plot and that clever twist is given away elsewhere on the web and most horror fans would have seen the movie by now. We get the same kind of set up we’ve seen in countless other slasher movies – group of teens made up of the jock, the slut,the fool, the studious one and the virgin camping in a remote cabin in the woods and then they are picked off one by one in ever more inventive ways. So far so familiar but there’s something else going on here and every now and then we get a scene of a group of office workers watching our teens  on monitor screens and taking bets on how they will die and in which order. There is also an invisible force field around the woods which makes escape impossible – are we in some kind of reality TV show? Is this a slasher Big Brother?

I must admit that by the half way point I had decided that the film would reveal that we were in fact watching a reality TV show and I was going with that – you’ve got to give it up for the humour in the movie, as well as the knowing nods to countless other horror movies, but when the twist comes we discover that this is not a reality TV show but that the teens are to be sacrificed to the old Gods, and that similar sacrifices are being carried out all over the world The rules are that all of the teens, with the exception of the virgin must die otherwise the Gods will be displeased and the world will end. It’s a clever concept and seems to suggest that all those other horror movies – the Friday 13th’s, the Evil Dead and so on were actually ritualistic sacrifices to the Gods.

This time though, thanks to the survival abilities of stoner, Marty the world really is doomed and then movie ends with a sudden cut to nothing but blackness. Getting there however is great fun with some excellent entertainment – the massive monster rampage in which every monster imaginable goes berserk in mission control is absolutely awesome. You’ve got to give it up for that alone.

Nuff said – I loved this movie.

Halloween Countdown – American Horror Story: Asylum

Posted in Uncategorized on 10/14/2012 by vincentstark

Advance word is that the eagerly awaited second season of American Horror story is going to be something special indeed. Watch the first five  minutes of episode one HERE

Halloween Countdown – the great directors: Terence Fisher

Posted in dracula, halloween, halloween countdown, halloween movies, HAMMER FILMS, Uncategorized on 10/11/2012 by vincentstark

Terence Fisher is the most famous of the Hammer films directors – he started off directing low budget thrillers such as Colonel Bogey, Stolen Face and Four Sided Triangle and it wasn’t until he helmed Hammer’s first full colour gothic horror, The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 that he became a superstar. The movie starred Peter Cushing as the devious Baron Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the sympathetic though horrifying creature. Fisher collaborated with screenwriter, Jimmy Sangster and with producer, Anthony Hinds they became a team that would go onto rule horror cinema for a great many years. They followed up Frankenstein with the even more successful, The Horror of Dracula (1958) which gave is arguably the finest ever screen Dracula.
Fisher’s style can be traced back to the old Saturday Morning cliffhangers that were so popular in the cinema when he was growing up – his sense of pacing is legendary and his films, particularly those done for Hammer, are provide real edge of the seat viewing. In the same year as Horror of Dracula, Fisher also directed  The Revenge of Frankenstein which saw Cushing return as the baron and this time he is a true evil character, driven by his own selfish needs. And then in 1960 Fisher returned to Dracula, this time without Lee for The Brides of Dracula – this time the film made the eroticism, which was evident in The Horror of Dracula, much more explicit. Again the movie is an energetic romp with a widely inventive climax in which Cushing, bitten by a vampire, cauterizes the wound himself before tackling the vampire. The film remains great fun but suffered without Lee as Fisher was pleased when Lee returned as Dracula for Dracula: Prince of Darkness.


Given their subject matter and lurid approach, Fisher’s films, though commercially successful, were largely dismissed by critics during his career. It is only in recent years that Fisher has become recognised as an auter  in his own right. His films are characterised by a blend of fairy-tale, myth and sexuality. They may have drawn heavily on Christian themes, and there is usually a hero who defeats the powers of darkness by a combination of faith and reason.


Fisher worked on a production line basis, often directing three films in a year, but no matter how flimsy the material his sense of style, pacing and use of bold saturated colours always resulted in an enjoyable picture. Many of the Fisher directed Hammer movies are classics – The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Mummy, The Curse of the Werewolf are all movies that feature the Fisher trademarks. During the mid-Sixties Fisher was offered directing duties on the James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice but he refused and instead remained with Hammer Pictures. And although he continued to work solidly for the rest of the decade he would never recapture the glory of the early films he made for Hammer.






Halloween Countdown – The Great Directors – James Whale

Posted in frankenstein, halloween countdown, james whale, Uncategorized on 10/10/2012 by vincentstark

James Whale had always intended on being an actor and it was while chasing this dream in the English theater that he found himself drawn more towards stage design which eventually led him to directing. He had experienced terrible times as a soldier in the first world war and so he seemed the perfect choice to helm the stage production of Journey’s End, a play by R C Sheriff which looked at the futile loss of young life in the trenches. The production was such a success that Whale was invited over to Hollywood where he became a dialog director on the Howard Hughes movie, Hells Angels (1930). And that same year Whale got to direct a movie himself with a version of Howard’s End. In 1931 he made Waterloo Bridge but the film that made the director a superstar was Frankenstein which was the first of four horror pictures Whale made for Universal.
The success of the picture meant that Whale was given a free hand with his next project, and the director turned in the classic The Old Dark House which again starred Boris Karloff, the actor who of course played the monster in Frankenstein. The movie was another huge success and Whale’s next picture was, The Invisible Man. Claude Rains starred in the movie and does a great job even if he does spend most of the picture wrapped in bandages.For the time the movie featured state of the art special effects.

Whale’s next movie was his masterpiece and is one of those rare occasions when a sequel turns out better than the original movie – 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein did everything this original did but did it bigger and better. Although much of the gallows humour of the original has been toned down, which in places leads to subtle slapstick. Still it’s a fine movie and an undisputed classic of the genre.

Whale was openly homosexual which was extremely rare at the time, and many feel that his flamboyant lifestyle prevented him from becoming as big a director as he should have been. Whale’s next movie, following Bride of Frankenstein was The Road Back, a sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front but by now his career was already in decline and he would never again reach the heights of his early work for Universal.

Whale committed suicide by drowning himself in his swimming pool on 29 May 1957 at the age of 67.He left a suicide note, which Lewis withheld until shortly before his own death decades later. Because the note was suppressed, the death was initially ruled accidental.

The note read in part:

“Do not grieve for me. My nerves are all shot and for the last year I have been in agony day and night—except when I sleep with sleeping pills—and any peace I have by day is when I am drugged by pills.
“I have had a wonderful life but it is over and my nerves get worse and I am afraid they will have to take me away. So please forgive me, all those I love and may God forgive me too, but I cannot bear the agony and it [is] best for everyone this way.
“The future is just old age and illness and pain. Goodbye and thank you for all your love. I must have peace and this is the only way.

Halloween countdown

Posted in Uncategorized on 09/29/2012 by vincentstark

During October there will be a new post each and every day here on Scarymotherfucker as we gear up for the big day.

Reviews, news and interviews – we’ve got them all lined up for you fright fans.

And to blow my own mouldering trumpet Halloween is a good time to jump onto my The Dead Walked eBook series, before the third and final eBook wraps up the story next year. Parts one and two are available now for a small amount of blood stained pennies.

Some said it was viral.
Others claimed it was an act of God.
Either way the result was the same and the dead walked.

September was her favourite time of the year, and late September, when the autumn was just preparing to hand over to winter, when there was still a residue of the late summer warmth in the air, as well as the crisp promise of the iciness to come, had always been, as far as Missy was concerned, the finest chunk of that particular month.
Not for her was the spectacle of high summer, nor the morose beauty of mid winter. Of course they both had their fineries but these paled next to the season when the leaves glittered with reflected sunlight. It was the autumn, with September being the highlight of that season, which she loved – a time when nature put on its finest display as the lush summer growth was magically transformed.
The sky itself seemed to glow at this time of year.
September was a time of promise.
A time of rebirth.
Not this September, though.
This September, Missy would remember as, the time the dead walked.


Check them out on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.

The Dead Walked Book 2 – the first reviews are in

Posted in the dead walked, the dead weekend, tony masero, Uncategorized, vincent stark, walkers walkers everywhere, WALKING DEAD, zombies on 09/05/2012 by vincentstark

The Dead Walked Book 2

Amazon Five star review by GEORGE R JOHNSON

Missy and Johnny continue their travels through this strange world, looking for other survivors.

They do, a group inside a fenced compound, but Missy is uncomfortable. She’s the lone female among seven males, the group recently reduced when a factory inside the fence was opened to release a horde of the dead, unknown until they fell on the humans. By the time that was under control, the group had been cut from sixty to six. And now Missy was getting eyes from one of them that made her nervous.

Missy is also having dreams where the dead are talking to her, demanding, and she doesn’t understand what it means.

The author carries this segment of his story into new ground once again. His extremely readable prose has me wondering what he wil come up with in the third installment. I eagerly await it.

The Walking Dead – What next?

Posted in the dead walked, Uncategorized, vincent stark, WALKING DEAD, zombies on 09/04/2012 by vincentstark

I had mixed feelings about the second season of The Walking Dead, and so I was pleased to re-watch the entire season when it was released on DVD last week – I still have mixed feelings but am eager for the third season which is now just a month away from airing. The biggest problem this season was that the storyline got bogged down for the first few episodes, and it wasn’t until the seventh episode that things really hit boiling point. The first episode,although visually impressive, made several mistakes in that it contradicted rules set up in the far superior opening season. In that first season it was established that the walkers could smell the living and in one memorable scene Rick and Glenn smeared themselves in zombie innards and walked undetected among the dead. However the opening of season two saw our survivors hide under abandoned vehicles while a herd of the undead went past. This happens later in the season too with characters in various scenes simply ducking out of sight of the zombies.


Small gripes aside though things did heat up when we concluded the, ‘ let’s find Sophia’ arc and we witnessed Shane do a Travis Bickle and go insane which culminated with Rick killing Shane, and then his son Carl shooting the reanimated Shane. After this the show really delivered the goods as the zombies overwhelmed Hershel’s farm and scattered the survivors for the third season. The reasons for the inconsistent first half of the season could be because of the problems off screen when the director and driving hand Frank Durabont was sacked and a new creative team brought in, but after stumbling through several episodes they did seem to find their feet in the latter episodes, with some great character moments as well as those all important scares.


We ended the season with three main characters gone – Sophia, Shane and Dale and season three promises to see the loss of yet more main characters. We know that the third season is going to follow the prison storyline from the comics and introduce the character of The Governor – a character who was recently voted the all time most evil comic book character, even topping Batman’s, The Joker in the poll. How closely the story will follow the comic book arc is anyone’s guess. There are already many differences – Shane died far earlier in the comics, and Sophia survived while it was her mother, Carol who died. It they do follow the comic arc then this season should see the death of both Lori and her and Rick’s new baby.

Ahh well, here’s to an action packed third season!

While you’re waiting for the undead might I suggest getting in on my series The Dead Walked, the first two parts are available from Amazon now.