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Frame Of Mind
This past weekend, Canadian-born actress Margot Kidder passed away at the age of 69. Although Kidder was known primarily as Lois Lane from the classic Superman series of movies, horror fans remember her as both Barb in Black Christmas and Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror. However, her first fright flick, made two short years before Black Christmas in 1972, was Sisters.
In 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the Papacy and took the name Pope Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi. Almost immediately, he became a controversial figure because of his progressive views. A few years later, documentary filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, The Salt of the Earth) was given unprecedented access to the Pope in order to make a movie. That movie is simply called Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Nightmare Sisters’ – David DeCoteau, Three Scream Queens, And Some Leftover Film Stock
In 1987, cult director David DeCoteau (Dreamaniac, Creepozoids) got together with scream queens Linnea Quigley (Graduation Day, Silent Night, Deadly Night), Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre), and Michelle Bauer (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) and made the camp classic Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. But that’s not the only movie that particular quartet made in 1987. It’s not even the campiest. That title goes to Nightmare Sisters.
In her long and storied career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has gone from lawyer to judge to Supreme Court justice. But perhaps her most interesting accomplishment has been becoming an internet meme, an inspirational figure for both modern women and liberal activists all over America. Her fascinating story is the subject of a new documentary, appropriately entitled RBG.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein could possibly be the most adapted novel in horror history. Starting with a silent version in 1910, the tale has been told countless times on the screen. Some are classics, like the iconic 1931 Universal adaptation that made Boris Karloff a star. Others are looser retellings, such as the more recent Victor Frankenstein. Still others are speculative reboots, like I, Frankenstein. There has even been Gothic, which explored the circumstances around the novel’s very creation. And then, there are the parodies, the more comedic movies that take the general concept of Frankenstein and run with it, like Frankenweenie and Young Frankenstein. The 1990 shocker Frankenhooker falls firmly into that last category.
Alien intruder movies come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, the aliens are friendly, like in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial or Arrival. Sometimes, they’re horrifying, as in Xtro or The Dark. And sometimes, not even the audience can tell the difference. That’s the case with the 1977 schlocker Prey.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Don’t Go To Sleep’ – One More Spooky TV Movie From The Eighties Telling You What Not To Do
Over the years, Cinema Fearité has covered plenty of movies that tell their audience what NOT to do, movies such as Don’t Look Now, Don’t Answer the Phone, Don’t Look in the Basement, and Don’t Open Till Christmas. And that’s not even counting movies like Don’t Breathe and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark that are non-Cinema Fearité, regular section reviews here at FilmFracture. Well, there’s no shortage of negative commanding horror movies, and this week, we’re going to add another one to the pile – the 1982 television movie Don’t Go to Sleep.
Several years ago, Cinema Fearité covered The Astral Factor, aka Invisible Strangler, which is a 1976 movie about a killer who has mastered the psychic art of astral projection, allowing him to commit his crimes without being detected. However, a year before The Astral Factor was made, in 1975, another movie beat it to the conceptual punch. That movie is Psychic Killer.
Let’s face it. Cats are cool animals to have in horror movies. Whether it’s a classic like The Black Cat or a modern masterpiece like Cat’s Eye, a feline presence adds just the right amount of cuddly creepiness to any fright flick. Cats are even cute when they turn into the antagonists of the movie, such as in Cat People, because in the end, the cat is not to blame, right? Director Jean Yarbrough (The Devil Bat, She-Wolf of London) played around with the cat-like villain motif with his aptly named 1948 noir thriller The Creeper.
Even the slimiest of schlock filmmakers grows up eventually. Aside from Drag Me to Hell, Sam Raimi hasn’t looked back towards his Evil Dead days since The Quick and the Dead. Wes Craven took a break from making slasher movies to make his passion project Music of the Heart (with Meryl Streep and Angels Bassett, no less). John Carpenter also put away the scary stuff long enough in the mid-eighties to direct Starman. Even the goopiest of the goop directors, David Cronenberg, turned a corner and started making Oscar bait movies. For Cronenberg, the transition film between the weird eXistenZ and the brilliant A History of Violence came in 2002 with his somewhere-in-between movie Spider.
One of the most tried and tested ways that Hollywood has found to sell horror movies to the public is to bill them as “based on a true story” or “inspired by actual events.” This piques the interest of moviegoers, no matter how dubious the claim may be. Case in point: the 1979 classic The Amityville Horror.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ – Horror Oscar Gold Twenty-Six Years Before ‘The Shape Of Water’
Horror fans everywhere are celebrating the Oscar success of Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which won best picture and best director (among a handful of other honors), and Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which took best original screenplay, at this year’s awards. Horror(ish) movies at the Oscars are rare, but not unheard of. The last (and only, until now) horror(ish) movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture was 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs.
Fueled by the success of the Friday the 13th and the Evil Dead franchises, the cabin-in-the-woods motif has become a staple of the modern horror movie. Sometimes it’s played for gore, as in Cabin Fever, and sometimes it generates real horror, as in Misery, but the trope itself is one of the most recognizable in cinematic history, even garnering a parody, simply called The Cabin in the Woods, which turned out to be one of the best movies of 2012. Because of its familiarity, however, the archetype is usually played for laughs, even way back when it was in its infancy in 1990 and Demon Wind was made.
Sometimes, science fiction horror movies are subtle, like the modern classics Ex Machina and 10 Cloverfield Lane. Other times, they’re pants-poopingly frightening, like Alien and Event Horizon. Still other times, however, they walk the line, becoming so crazy that the viewer is unsure as to what to think, like Phase IV and Prophecy. And then, there are movies like Embryo.