While the name might not instantly ring a bell, Tom Sullivan’s work definitely will: ever heard of a little film franchise called Evil Dead? All the crazy special effects that essentially made the Evil Dead films watchable cult hits were created by none other than Mr. Sullivan himself. The terrifying Cheryl-zombie in the basement, the campy Harryhausen inspired skeleton battles, and the unforgettable Book of the Dead are just a few of the awesome effects supplemented by Tom. But he isn’t a one-trick pony, no no no. He’s kept himself plenty busy with all his other endeavors. In preparation for Chicago’s own Terror in the Aisles 2, Dr. Jose was able to get Mr. Sullivan to talk about what he’s been up to lately and if there is any possibility of another Evil Dead film. Continue reading INTERVIEW: Tom Sullivan!
Despite being fairly unknown (or at least hardly talked about among so-called gorehounds) Intruder was the last great slasher film of the 80s — and maybe even since. As a grocery store closes for the night, one of the cashiers gets into an argument with her boyfriend. Some of the stock-boys give him the what for and kick him out before locking up. Soon, however, the nightcrew is picked off one by one by a mysterious presence lurking around the store. Is it the boyfriend intent on revenge…or someone far more dangerous?
This movie is great for several reasons: it was directed by frequent Sam Raimi collaborator Scott Spiegel, and produced by Quentin Tarantino collaborator Lawrence Bender — so you know you have a good production team. Next, it stars the Raimi brothers (Sam and Ted), Bruce Campbell (briefly), and almost-80s scream queen Renee Estevez. Lastly, all the make-up effects are done by KNB (Kurtzman, Nicotero, Berger), and ho-lee sheeeeit are they graphic! It’s imperative you get the uncut/unrated version of this film or you’ll be missing out. If you’re a fan of the stalk-and-slash genre, do not miss this.
This one has been shit on for years and I really don’t know why. It stars the great Bruce Campbell and the great Tom Atkins and it was directed by William “Maniac” Lustig.
The premise isn’t spectacular, but it’s still creative: a by-the-book cop (Robert “The Chin” Z’Dar) gets jailed on a technicality, and while incarcerated, is attacked by several inmates he helped lock up. Left for dead, he’s removed from the prison and sent to the morgue. Soon after, criminals and bystanders alike are being killed on the streets of New York. When the wife of a young cop (Bruce Campbell) winds up dead, it’s assumed that he’s been doing the killing all along. However, Campbell aims to prove his innocence and find out who has actually been doing the killing. Eventually he uncovers the truth: Z’Dar wasn’t actually killed in prison — just maimed and disfigured — and now he’s out for revenge on everyone.
Sure, the plot has some loopholes, the main one being: he wasn’t killed in prison, he merely had a faint pulse (as admitted by the coroner)…but how come he’s suddenly able to withstand getting shot numerous times, including in the head? Like, did getting jumped in the shower somehow make him supernatural?
Look, you’ll just have to suspend disbelief and roll with it. It’s 80s horror at it’s best: crime, undead cops exacting revenge, and New York – as filthy as ever.