ARTISTS BEHIND THE IMAGE is intended to put a name (and sometimes face) to the talented men and women who created the most iconic images to adorn horror VHS boxes and posters from ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Their art is vital; it’s the reason I (and many of you, certainly) fell in love with horror movies in the first place. This is not only intended as a tribute, but also a minor compendium, meant to collect their works in one single spot. Corrections, additions, or other info? Email me.
The name Bill Morrison probably won’t ring any bells, but I guarantee you’ve see stuff he’s done. In fact, it’s his scope as an artist – which is so wide and wildly varied – that assures you’re familiar with his work. Whether you’re a child or a parent with a child (he’s done the covers for Disney movies), a horny teen (he’s done the covers for ’80s screwball comedies), or a gorehound (his horror covers are iconic) – or perhaps an odd combination of all three – you’ve undoubtedly come face to face with the work of Bill Morrison, and loved it. Continue reading ARTISTS BEHIND THE IMAGE: Bill Morrison
I love talking about the ’80s for nostalgic reasons of course, but more and more I find that I like talking about that decade because I’m awed at just how archaic it seems now; compared to today’s Instant Everything culture where omnipotence is just a click away, the 1980s feel downright Paleolithic. And it’s especially hard for me to remember that the ’80s were 30+ years ago while we as a culture are stuck in this perma-’80s & ’90s closed circuit loop. I’m sure people in 1970 felt light years ahead of 1940, but 2016 feels like it could still be 1983-1997. It’s all very weird. Okay, okay, this old man’ll stop yelling at you to get off his lawn and get to the point. Continue reading The Weird World of WATCH AND WEAR!
Even if you’ve never read one, you’re probably still familiar with Fangoria Magazine.
Fangoria debuted in 1979 and originally only focused on fantasy subject matter. But by issue 7 it had become entirely dedicated to horror cinema, and since it was Fangoria‘s first issue to turn a profit, they stuck with it. In fact it was the “first issue of any national magazine to wholly concern itself with horror film as produced in the closing quarter of the 20th Century.”
Loyal readers of the publication probably have their favorite sections of the magazine, especially the old issues: maybe you’re into the Postal Zone, or Video Chopping List, The Video Eye of Dr. Cyclops, or the random odd assortment of ads for toys, masks, shirts, and other over-priced goodies that I’m now wishing I’d bought because they’d be worth a pretty penny. Personally, I liked David Schow’s Raving and Drooling, and I also liked the incessant Joe Blasco Make-up Artist Training Center ads. I also like how the inside of the back cover was invariably VHS art promoting the latest Full Moon Pictures release. And dig them classifieds, baby! Continue reading Fangoria’s SCREAM GREATS!
With slight hints of giallo, this Spanish film feels, at times, like one of its Italian counterparts — what with the mysterious black-gloved madman, befuddled detectives, and the unnecessarily overdubbed American actors — but make no mistake, this gristly, sweaty ‘piece’ of cinema is pure early-80s sleaze.
I don’t know why this film is so overlooked when it comes to great horror. It has all the components of a classic: a chainsaw-wielding psycho attacks innocent girls on a college campus. What more could you ask for? The acting is shoddy and the blood is pure ketchup — everything you could ever want from a great horror film.
Upon watching this movie, initially I was really afraid it was going to take the easy way out and go down the ‘torture porn’ route, but I was pleasantly surprised when that just happened to just be a fleeting moment in the second act. The movie actually borrows from my favorite genre: the home invasion. However in this case, in an interesting spin, the protagonists in this film are actually the interlopers.
A young couple decide to take a woody retreat one weekend. While on a secluded beach, some loud and thuggish youngsters show up and blast music and let their dog run free. The young couple request that they keep it down and keep the dog leashed, to which the kids reply “you’re on our territory”. Here’s where the reversal comes in. Suddenly it’s the good guys who are invading the bad guys territory. The couple is insistent, but the young punks don’t relent. Soon it escalates well beyond what it should and all fucking hell breaks loose. The movies becomes very bad very quickly.
I really, really, really enjoyed this film. I didn’t know what to expect when I started it, nor did I realize the handsome lead was a pre-fame Michael Fassbender, but the movie is full of surprises, including the ending (which I won’t give away). The movie had me edgy the whole time, wondering what was going to happen next. It also brought to mind something that happens on a daily basis: when do you back down? When do you swallow your pride and move on? I guess you never know until you’re being chased by a group of drugged-up teens.