Monday, October 31, 2016

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Sisters, Heavy Metal, Another Hole in the Head (Week 2)

First off, Happy Halloween all you bay area horror nerds! It may be a Monday, but it's still the greatest holiday of the year. So let's celebrate with some horror!
Earlier today, Lord Battle divulged his Top 5 Halloween horror recommendations (find them here) but if you'd rather go out, Another Hole in the Head film festival has some classics screening tonight. The Alamo will also be screening a special Halloween edition of Video Vortex. San Francisco also has you covered for the rest of the week, with endless horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and indie titles. 

Halloween Special Video Vortex

Monday 31st @ 9pm (1hr 30min)
"A ninety-minute double feature of trash-horror bliss! Your host, the demon of the Video Vortex, emerges from a haze of third-generation VHS crust to present this unforgettable double-header from the D.I.Y. fringes."

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 1st @ 10:15pm (1hr 33min)
Thriller/ Indie (Google)
Inquisitive journalist Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) is horrified when she witnesses her neighbor, fashion model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder), violently murder a man. Panicking, she calls the police. But when the detective arrives at the scene and finds nothing amiss, Grace is forced to take matters into her own hands. Her first move is to recruit private investigator Joseph Larch (Charles Durning), who helps her to uncover a secret about Danielle's past that has them both seeing double.

Weird Wednesday

Wednesday 2nd @ 10:45pm (1hr 36min)
Bruce Lee is dead! Long live Bruce Lee! Not even slightly inconvenienced by the lack of an actual living Bruce Lee, opportunistic producers unleashed a tidal wave of Brucesploitation movies starring martial artists with names like Bruce Li, Bruce Le, and Bruce Leong. As the trend reached peak saturation the gimmicks got weirder: Bruce Lee vs Supermen, Bruce Lee vs the Clones of Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee vs. Gay Power! None of them are as weird, however, as DRAGON LIVES AGAIN which begins where Bruce's life ended.

Video Vortex

Thursday 3rd @ 9:25pm (1hr 25min)
Comedy (Google)
Tammy is kidnapped and led to a life of senseless violence and murder by her bisexual companions.

Balboa Classics

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Thursday 3rd @ 7:30pm (1hr 32min)
Drama/ Scifi (IMDB)
An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Multiple Maniacs (1970)
Monday 31st @ 5pm & 7pm (1hr 31min)
Comedy/ Crime/ Horror (IMDB)
Lady Divine becomes enraged when her boyfriend cheats on her, and descends into a life of murder and mayhem.

Midnight Madness

Friday 4th @ 11:55pm (1hr 26min)
Fantasy/ Sci-fi (Google)
Adventures from deep space to futuristic New York, and beyond. Each world and story is dominated by the presence of the Loch'nar -- the sum of all evils manifest as a glowing green sphere whose power infects all times, all galaxies, all dimensions. To some, it appears as treasure, a green jewel they must possess. Others worship it as a god. Few escape it. Even in death and through death its powers continue. From war to war and world to world it seems invincible.

(Also screening Saturday 5th @ 11:55pm)

Carrie (1976)
Friday 4th @ 10:30pm (1hr 38min)
Horror (IMDB)
Carrie White, a shy, friendless 17 year-old girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Tuesday 1st to Thursday 3rd @ 8:45pm (1hr 24min)
Horror (IMDB)
As a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the post-revolution, war-torn Tehran of the 1980s, a mysterious evil begins to haunt their home.

Tuesday 1st @ 7pm (1hr 34min)
Horror (IMDB)
A mysterious device designed to provide its owner with eternal life resurfaces after four hundred years, leaving a trail of destruction in its path.

Monday 31st @ 7pm (1hr 28min)
Comedy/ Horror/ Scifi (IMDB)
Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.

Monday 31st @ 9pm (1hr 38min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Scifi (IMDB)
Hospital emergency room Dr. Daniel "Dan" Challis (Tom Atkins) and Ellie Grimbridge (Stacey Nelkin), the daughter of a murder victim, uncover a terrible plot by small-town mask maker Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), a madman who's planning a Halloween mass murder utilizing an ancient Celtic ritual. The ritual involves a boulder stolen from Stonehenge, the use of Silver Shamrock masks and a triggering device contained in a television commercial -- all designed to kill millions of children.


Tuesday 1st @ 7pm
Horror/ Action/ Scifi (AHITH)
A man risks the secret of his invisibility to find his missing daughter.

Wednesday 2nd @ 7pm (1hr 25min)
Thriller (AHITN)
Two women, both actresses with differing degrees of success, travel north from Los Angeles to Big Sur for a weekend vacation. Both see the trip as an opportunity to reconnect after years of competition and jealousy have driven a wedge between them. Upon arrival at their isolated forest retreat, the pair discover that their once intimate friendship has deteriorated into forced conversations, betrayals, petty jealousies, and deep-seated resentment.

Wednesday 2nd @ 9pm (2hrs)
Fantasy/ Horror (AHITH)
In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

Thursday 3rd @ 9pm (1hr 332min)
Sci-fi/ Thriller/ Noir/ Adventure (AHITH)
In 2047, most of the population spend all of their time online, connected into virtual worlds where they can fulfill all their fantasies, losing all interest for reality and leaving it to a small minority. A shadow Agent is tracking and eliminating terrorists who want to destroy this system...

Friday 4th @ 7pm (1hr 30min)
Horror/ Comedy (AHITH)
After encountering a ghost in his family's vacation home, Dan a modern artist and his wife Mary hire an "industrial-grade exorcist" named Os to get rid of the beings. But Dan soon realizes that ridding the home of evil won't be as simple as it seems.

Friday 4th @ 9pm (1hr 38min)
Horror/ Scifi/ Thriller (IMDB)
A genre-defying mixture of horror, sci-fi, myth, mystery and thrills told as four interlocking tales in one intelligent, original anthology.

Friday 4th @ 11pm (1hr 41min)
Horror/ Scifi/ Art (AHITH)
Through a surreal chase of spying, Catafuse, a dubiously dressed creature, hunts humans with the help of Molosstrap. But in a world ruled by the pharma industry, reality become so complex, that the mastering of insanity might just be the only way out.


Lord Battle's Top 5 Hidden Halloween Horrors

Every year around Halloween we see social media light up with horror fans celebrating their favorite films to watch during the season. The problem is that everyone celebrates the same 10 films (Halloween, Trick R' Treat, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown), which is fine since I actually tend to agree with these choices, but as an elitist Halloween/horror enthusiast who likes to share new ideas and force new film upon the creatures that listen... I've conjured up 5 personal favorites of mine, some old, some new, but all perfect for Halloween. And just to be clear, I agree with Adam Green and believe it's not a Halloween film unless there's at least one Jack-o-lantern but I also like to see costumes (preferably characters from other films), pumpkin carving, candy, decorations, and parties/dances.

#5 Pumpkin Carver

Far from being a great film but entertaining as hell. Pumpkin Carver is a slasher containing lots of costumes, pumpkins, and a poor-man's Bill  & Ted that really bring the film's Halloween party to life! Watch this one in a party setting with people who don't wanna pay attention or with some really gnarly/rad horror fans.

#4 Hell House

Hell House is the newest addition to my list and the only non-fiction pick. Part 90's time capsule, part expose, and one large part horror culture history, Hell House gives an insiders view of a church run haunt. Imagine a haunt that acts as a Scared-Straight for nonbelievers. Hell House may not work for a party environment but will kill a crowd of high-brow, ivory tower Halloween trick-or-treaters.

#3 Satan's Little Helper

This little indie horror is written and directed by Jeff Lieberman, who you may not know by name but has directed films you may be familiar with, like Squirm or Blue Sunshine. And after a hiatus that felt like an eternity (but was actual around 10 years) he returned to horror film making with this very, very dark comedy horror. Full of decorations, pranks, and a huge costume party, this movie bleeds Halloween. Just make sure you screen this one with close friends that won't judge you.

#2 All Hallows Eve

Micro budget indie horror is awesome. Micro budget indie horror anthologies are amazing. Micro budget indie horror anthologies that take place on Halloween and feature a cursed VHS tape and some bratty kids, are modern classics. If you can look past some amateurish acting (and very little at that), then screening All Hallows Eve will entertain even the most avid horror haters (Yes, that means KillDozer even liked it).

#1 Goosebumps The Haunting Hour:
Don't Think About It

If you follow me on instagram you must have seen this one coming.  In 2007, the TV series The Haunting Hour released a straight to video film called Don't Think About It, staring a Hot Topic style goth version of Hannah Montanna co-star Emily Osment, Codey Linley (aka Hannah Montanna's zombie hunter love interest who plays basically the same character in this film), and a long haired cursed antique peddling Tobin Bell fresh off of Saw 3. This one's not only kid friendly, it's got some smart homage to past horror and some surprisingly good special effects! And if that's not enough to pique your interest, it's also written by the same guy who wrote John Carpenter's Body Bags, Dan Angel. 

If you'd like your Halloween get together to be cutting edge, hip, and original, I can't help you. But if you want to show some films that will have an audience laugh, cringe, scream, and warm their rotten little hearts, take a page outta my flesh bound book and show something different.

-Lord Battle

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Parasyte: The Maxim is Not a Horror Comedy Anime

For whatever reason, I thought that Parasyte: The Maxim was a comedy horror anime before I started watching it. I was extremely wrong. I only got ten episodes into the show before I had to turn it off because of the mental exhaustion I was feeling as a result of watching it. Basically Parasyte is kind of like Tokyo Ghoul and Invasion of the Body Snatchers combined into one. To summarize the basic plot, one night Shinichi Izumi wakes up to a small snake like creature trying to burrow into his body and in the struggle to get it away from him the snake ends up digging into his arm. He of course thinks this is all a dream and then later finds out that it wasn't a dream and yes there is now a parasitic alien that has eaten his arm and now lives inside of him. These aliens have started burrowing inside of thousands of people and it turns out that they happen to be cannibals. The objective of the aliens is to burrow into the minds of people and take over their brains and then eradicate the human race. They're also super intelligent and have no empathetic qualities whatsoever. Izumi is special in that his parasyte failed to get inside of his brain and thus the two have to come to a type of understanding if they wish to survive.

I was actually really shocked by how dark this anime is. The first episode opens up to a man who was taken over by an alien beheading his wife and then killing his daughter. The series of murders in the show that are committed by the aliens are called the mincemeat murders by the public because of how shredded the victims' bodies are after their contact with the parasytes. There is a ton of body horror within the anime and it's enough that a lot of it actually made me cringe because of how graphic it got. The plot also continually gets darker as the story goes on too. The main character starts off as a naive nerdy type with a nice family and he is soon stripped of everything as his parents go away on a trip and his mom is killed and taken over by an alien in front of his dad's eyes. She then returns to their family home to finish the father off and ends up killing Izumi instead who is then saved by his parasyte. He then gets super human strength and a whole new look to go with it and goes on his quest for revenge to kill the alien that killed his mom. There are also several school massacres that happen because of him being hunted by the parasytes and people I thought had no chance of dying die all the time. Basically I feel like there is no hope in this anime. There is no winning situation for any of the characters because no matter what they try to fight the parasytes with they probably can't win because they can change their appearances, there's no real way of telling them apart from normal humans, and the ones' that are "working" with humans don't feel any sort of need to help them out.

I personally think that it would be best for the people in the anime to just reveal the existence of the parasytes to the public and have them live Tokyo Ghoul style where everyone knows that the scary cannibalistic creatures exist and people know to be wary of them. It's made very clear in the anime that the local police forces know of the existence of the parasytes and they even talk about revealing them to the public, but they choose not to. (At least as far as I watched they decided not to tell the public about them). Also there are some mentions of the parasytes coexisting with humans and that lead me to another Tokyo Ghoul example where the parasytes could just live off of dead humans or humans that have killed themselves so that they wouldn't have to go around massacring people and could actually have a chance at coexistence. What I think makes Tokyo Ghoul and Parayste both so depressing is the stark transformation the two main characters go through. Bright and cheery Kaneki Ken becomes something akin to a mafia boss after going through intense torture and loses almost every part of him that made him human and likeable to the people watching the show. Similarly after being stabbed through the heart by his own mom and brought back to life by his parasyte he gradually starts becoming colder and colder to everyone around him and losing his human qualities including the ability to cry and shed tears. At one point he even throws a dying puppy in the garbage.

I'm definitely going to finish this anime all the way through because I can't stop thinking about it and wondering if there is an actual happy end for all of these characters. I also found out there's a live action movie and I really really want to watch it because I can't imagine what the fights between the parasytes might look like and if it's anything like the Assassination Classroom live action movie was than I have to see it. I would definitely recommend this anime to people who liked Tokyo Ghoul and people who enjoy dark horror anime's. I personally think the story is written very well and coupled with it's smooth animation even non anime fans could watch this and end up liking it. This anime is definitely not for the light hearted and for those of you seeking something that you can watch and then forget about I would recommend something like Dangan Ronpa which has a lighter element, but is still pretty messed up.


Friday, October 28, 2016

Screening in the Bay Part 2: Another Hole in the Head Film Fest

This is the second day of the 13th Another Hole in the Head film fest in San Francisco. Day one had a pretty good turn out, considering it was the wettest Thursday we've had in a long time, but this weekend will be a different story. There are some very cool titles screening, some found footage and sci-fi, and a whole lot of horror! Let's look at some of the highlights.

Friday 28th

Friday 28th @ 9pm 
There's a chill in the air, so it must be Fall, which as any 90s TV watcher knows means it's HalloweenSpecial time on your favorite shows: Saved by the Bell, My So Called Life, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and of course The Simpsons. So this version of our insanely popular 90s Music Video Sing A Long Show will feature all the fly video hits and one hit wonders you jammed to in school plus some seasonal extras.

Friday 28th @ 11pm 
Action/ Comedy/ Scifi (SF Indie)
Three ordinary guys are thrust into a parallel world of an old Sci-Fi movie. Trapped in a low budget universe they must somehow fight their way home before it is too late.

Saturday 29th

Saturday is packed with blocks of shorts from 11 am to 5 pm. 

Saturday 29th @ 7pm (1hr 34min)
Horror/ Thriller/ Suspense (SF Indie)
A teenager struggles to keep his father's faith in God when his family falls victim to a devil's plot.

Saturday 29th @ 9pm (1hr 23min)
Horror (SF Indie)
Mahal is a part of an elite squad of skilled hunters responsible for keeping the world safe from vampires and other creatures of the night. Her mission to rid the world of this undead threat becomes compromised when her fate intertwines with an aswang (a vampire of Philippine folklore), forcing her to choose sides in an age old war.

Saturday 29th @ 11pm (1hr 28min)
Horror (SF Indie)
Four twentysomethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death. Plagued with frightening hallucinations, they must figure out the bed's secrets before they are ultimately picked off one by one.

Sunday 30th 

More Shorts! Here's the list.

Sunday 30th @ 7pm (1hr 26min)
Thriller/ Suspense (SF Indie)
Panopticon is about a man with a sunlight allergy that isolates him from the outside world. Living in a beachside town, he is surrounded by spoils he cannot partake in. Desperate for connection, he hacks into webcams to take part in the lives of others.

All screenings are at the New People Cinema on Post Street in San Francisco. 


Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): Haunted House Double Feature, Horrific Women Lineup, Silver Bullets Marathon

What can I say? When it rains, it pours! (Pun originally not, but now fully intended!) This weekend is the craziest thing yet, every theatre seems to be putting their best lineups up and it's all in the span of just three days. It's almost too much, considering Another Hole in the Head film fest is also going on. Luckily, that's going to be going on for two weeks, but even they have some great stuff planned for this Halloween Eve weekend. I didn't to smother you guys, so I'll put up a screenings part 2 later today.

Today, the Alamo Drafthouse will be screening Little Sister in theatre 5, along with special guest Barbara Crampton who will be doing a Q&A with a surprise interviewer afterwards. Also today, the Roxie kicks off their celebration of female horror directors with a 35mm screening of Near Dark. This Horrific Women lineup will last right up to Sunday night. Then, on Saturday the Yerba Buena Theatre will be having their tribute to werewolves, the Silver Bullet Marathon, which will run from 1 to 9 pm.

There's so much more to talk about, so be sure to check back later today for part two!

Starts Friday 28th @ 7:30pm (1hr 31min)
Comedy (IMDB)
Young nun Colleen (Addison Timlin) is avoiding all contact with her family until an email from her mother announces that her brother is home. Upon returning to her childhood home in Asheville, N.C., she finds her old room exactly how she left it - painted black and covered in goth/metal posters. Although her parents are happy to see her, unease and awkwardness abound, and her brother is living as a recluse in the guesthouse since returning home from the war in Iraq.

Special guest Barbara Crampton on 10-28-16
Filmmaker Zach Clark on 10-31-16 - there will also be a goth nun costume contest

Drafthouse Recommends

Screening All Weekend (2hr 47min)
Drama/ Thriller (Google)
With help from an orphaned pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri), a Korean con man (Ha Jung-woo) devises an elaborate plot to seduce and bilk a Japanese woman (Kim Min-hee) out of her inheritance.

(Also playing at Landmark Embarcadero Theatre)

Playing All Weekend (1hr 33min)
Music Documentary (Google)
Glam rock band X Japan ignited a musical revolution in Japan during the late 1980s. Twenty years after disbanding, Yokshiki X, the leader of the band, wrestles with physical and spiritual demons to bring the band's music to the world.

Sunday  30th @ 7pm & 10pm (1hr 40min)
Comedy/ Horror (IMDB)
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

"This is just one of those movies that's too difficult to shut up throughout, and since you're going to at least be mouthing your favorite words to yourself anyway we figured it was only proper to give it the Drafthouse's Movie Party treatment. We'll provide inflatable cricket bats so you can smack your neighbor every time Shaun smacks a zombie on screen, all while enjoying delicious pints just like the guys on screen! You can’t smoke at the Alamo Drafthouse, but it’s still a pretty decent place to hole up for a couple of hours until this all blows over."

13 Ghosts (1960)
Friday 28th @ 10pm (1hr 25min)
Horror (IMDB)
When Cyrus Zorba (Donald Woods) and his poverty-stricken family inherit an old mansion, they can't believe their good luck. However, not long after they move in they realize that the house is haunted by 12 ghosts and run by a housekeeper (Margaret Hamilton) who works in the dark arts. Though the ghosts are intent on killing a member of the family, the Zorbas insist on staying in the house because they have learned that a large fortune is hidden somewhere inside it.


Hausu (1977)
Friday 28th @ 11:55pm (1hr 28min)
Comedy/ Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
In an effort to avoid spending time with her father and his creepy new lover, young Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) resolves to visit her aunt's remote mansion. With six of her closest friends in tow, including the musically inclined Melody (Eriko Tanaka) and the geeky Prof (Ai Matsubara), Gorgeous arrives at the estate, where supernatural events occur almost immediately. A severed head takes flight, household appliances come to life and a portrait of a cat seems to contain an evil spirit.

Popcorn Palace

Halloween Cartoons Free!
Saturday 29th @ 10am 

Double Feature

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Sunday 30th @ 2:35pm & 7pm (2hrs 16min)
Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
A young couple move into an apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.


The Sentinel (1977)
Sunday 30th @ 5:10pm & 9:30pm (1hr 32min)
Horror (IMDB)
Not ready for marriage, a fashion model moves into an unbelievably nice Brooklyn Heights apartment, where scary occurrences turn into a much more frightening turn of events.

Friday 28th @ 10:30pm (1hr 50min)
Slasher/ Thriller (Google)
On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith's Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

Saturday 29th @ 10pm (1hr 25min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Sunday 30th @ 3pm (1hr 34min)
Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Starts Friday 28th (1hr 24min)
Thriller/ Horror (IMDB)
As a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the post-revolution, war-torn Tehran of the 1980's, a mysterious evil begins to haunt their home.

Friday 28th @ 9:15pm (1hr 34min)
Cult/ Teen Film (Google)
A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned by a beautiful drifter.

Saturday 29th @ 5pm (1hr 33min)
Drama/ Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Saturday 29th @ 7pm (1hr 42min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller
Following the disappearance of his wife, a man finds himself on a dark and twisted trail of discovery through the labyrinthine halls of his apartment building. Led on a wild goose chase by cryptic messages from his mysterious neighbours, he becomes entangled in a hellish nightmare as he unlocks their strange fantasies of sensuality and bloodshed. The Strange Colour Of Your Body's Tears is a visually dazzling experience from the creators of Amer that takes you on a journey into mystery and blood soaked terror that you will never forget.

Saturday 29th @ 9:30pm (1hr 42min)
Fantasy/ Horror (Google)
A newly possessed high school cheerleader turns into a succubus who specializes in killing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

Sunday 30th @ 5:15pm (1hr 5min)
Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
Leah's grief over her toddler's death turns into paranoia when she begins to suspect her neighbors are part of a satanic cult.

Sunday 30th @ 6:45pm (1hr 30min)
Horror (IMDB)
A young woman goes searching for her missing artist father. Her journey takes her to a strange Californian seaside town governed by a mysterious undead cult.

Sunday 30th @ 9pm (1hr 41min)
Slasher/ Thriller (Google)
Upon receiving reports of missing persons at Fort Spencer, a remote Army outpost on the Western frontier, Capt. John Boyd (Guy Pearce) investigates. After arriving at his new post, Boyd and his regiment aid a wounded frontiersman, F.W. Colghoun (Robert Carlyle), who recounts a horrifying tale of a wagon train murdered by its supposed guide -- a vicious U.S. Army colonel gone rogue. Fearing the worst, the regiment heads out into the wilderness to verify Colghoun's gruesome claims.

Silver Bullets Werewolf Marathon

Teen Wolf (1985)
Saturday 29th @ 1pm (1hr 31min)
Comedy (IMDB)
A struggling high school student discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself turning into a werewolf.

The Wolf Man (1941)
Saturday 29th @ 2:45pm (1hr 11min)
Horror (IMDB)
A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Ginger Snaps (2000)
Saturday 29th @ 5pm (1hr 48min)
Drama/ Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.

Wolfcop (2014)
Saturday 29th @ 7:15pm (1hr 19min)
Comedy/ Horror (IMDB)
As a series of strange and violent events begin to occur, an alcoholic policeman realizes that he has been turned into a werewolf as part of a larger plan.

To be continued...