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Frame Of Mind
For the most part, horror movie antagonists are somewhat tangible, whether they’re human killers, monstrous creatures, or demonic spirits. Sometimes, however, the villain isn’t so clear cut. Movies like It Follows, Sole Survivor, and the Final Destination movies have more abstract villains, and therefore, they are a different kind of frightening. The 1988 movie Pulse also falls into the unconventional antagonist category.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla’ – Rest In Peace To Haruo Nakajima, The Man In The Godzilla Suit
Another death rocked the pop culture world earlier this week. The name Haruo Nakajima is not instantly recognizable by most, but he was a key figure in many people’s youths - he was the first man to don the Godzilla suit way back in 1954. He played the King of the Monsters twelve times over the course of 18 years (not including stock footage appearances), beginning with the original 1954 Gojira (and its 1956 American re-edit Godzilla, King of the Monsters!) all the way up to Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972. Right in the middle, in 1962, Nakajima got to portray the big guy as he did battle with the other King of the Monsters, King Kong, in the aptly titled King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Most horror fans will agree that the genre experienced a bit of a lull in the nineties. Sure, there were some bright spots, like Event Horizon, Nightbreed, and Candyman, but much of the decade’s horror output was dedicated to high-gloss, hip-cast clones of Scream. Some of these too-cool, slick-and-glossy productions weren’t all that bad, though. Case in point – the 1998 sci-fi horror flick Disturbing Behavior.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘C.H.U.D.’ – The Late John Heard In A Classic Eco-Political Creature Feature
It seems as if 2017 picked up right where 2016 left off when it comes to Hollywood deaths. Last week, the passing of influential director George Romero overshadowed that of master thespian Martin Landau. Unfortunately, this past weekend brought another death to the movie community; character actor John Heard died at the age of 71. Heard was best known for his portrayal of Macauley Culkin’s father in the Home Alone movies, but the prolific actor had a rich resume of both television and film that spanned from the mid-seventies right up to today. In between appearances in high-profile movies and regular stints on network television series, Heard stuck his tongue firmly into his cheek and made fun horror movies, from Cat People to Sharknado…as well as the subject of this installment of Cinema Fearité, the classic 1984 fright flick C.H.U.D.
Cinema Fearité Says Goodbye To George A. Romero With ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ – The King Of The Independent Zombie Movies
To say that the horror world lost an irreplaceable icon this past weekend when George A. Romero passed away is an understatement. Although he made movies about vampires (Martin), witches (Season of the Witch), and killer monkeys (Monkey Shines), and had some legendary collaborations with superstar horror writer Stephen King (Creepshow, The Dark Half), Romero was, and always will be, known as the father of the modern zombie movie with his “Living Dead” series of fright flicks. And it all started in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead.
Horror movie titles can be confusing, and we’re not just talking about the endless sequels, remakes, and movies that are called Don’t (insert activity here). There are the completely different movies that share a common name like Stage Fright, Beneath, or The Boy. There are the very similarly titled movies that are often mistaken for each other, such as Trick or Treats, Trick or Treat, and Trick ‘r Treat. It only adds to the quagmire when the same director makes two different movies with titles that are very much alike, such as what writer/director Kevin S. Tenney (Night of the Demons) did when he followed up his 1986 classic Witchboard with his 1989 offering Witchtrap.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Encounter With The Unknown’ – Rod Serling Narrates Recycled – But “True” - Urban Legends
As one of the premier voices in the science fiction and horror genres, Rod Serling made his mark in the world as a screenwriter. But, it’s impossible to overlook how effective of a narrator he was. Between “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery,” Serling’s soothing and calm introductions to tales of the mystical and macabre are burned into the minds of fans everywhere. He was even enlisted as a narrator on projects that he didn’t write, everything from Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise to Delbert Mann’s The Legendary Curse of the Hope Diamond. He also slummed it sometimes, such as when he narrated the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité – the 1973 anthology Encounter with the Unknown.
Cinema Fearite Presents ‘White Of The Eye’ - A Thriller That Lets The Audience Put The Pieces Together
Most thrillers go from point A to point B in chronological order. A few, like Irreversible or Memento, work their way backwards. Still others will skip around in a Tarantino-esque kind of way. White of the Eye falls into this last category.
Last week, Stephen Furst passed away at the age of 62 from complications related to type 2 diabetes. Furst was one of those actors with a face more famous than his name, his most instantly recognizable role being that of Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in Animal House. Although his early career saw him in mostly comedic roles, he also worked in drama, action, and, yep, you guessed it, horror. In 1980, just a couple of short years after he made Animal House, Furst played the “title” role in The Unseen.
After getting his start in nonfiction television, documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld has carved out a nice little niche for himself in the music film world with his The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?). Keeping up the momentum, he now explores the life of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in his newest film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary.
Geek culture lost one of its biggest icons this past weekend when Adam West passed away at the age of 88. West was easily most well-known and loved for fighting crime on television in the sixties as “Batman” (the Pow! Zap! Bam! era), but he also won over millennial audiences by playing a cartoon version of himself, Adam West, the mayor of Quahog, Rhode Island, on the animated series “Family Guy.” But West had a plentiful and prolific career on both the big and small screens, even venturing into horror a few times with movies like Zombie Nightmare, Curse of the Moon Child, and the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité: the 1982 supernatural thriller One Dark Night.
In the rapidly declining world of print journalism, newspapers are known for their different sections. There’s the news and politics section, the funny papers, the sports page…and the obituary column. Obit takes a good look at the surprisingly lively writers who are responsible for producing the content for that last section.
British science fiction writer H.G. Wells was one of the most inventive and prolific writers of the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries, and it seems as if every one of his stories has been turned into a movie. Of course, there are the popular big name films, like The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man, but a deeper examination of the adaptations of Wells’ bibliography will bring up awesome fright flicks like the subject of this week’s Cinema Fearité: Empire of the Ants.
Documentaries about subcultures are usually fun because they give the viewer a glimpse into a world that they might otherwise have never even known existed. The new film from Jon Manning, Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe does just that, and does it in a way that is both informative and entertaining.