Thursday, October 9, 2008

Suspiria (1977)

Take a good look at the tag line that reads on the top of the poster on the left. How can any horror fan resist a line like that? The first time I ever read that wonderful sentence, it was 1990. I was a sophomore in high school, in the library of South Texas High School for Health Professions, sitting next to Julio, a guy from my English class and reading the The Psychotronik Encyclopedia of Film. It was an odd entry in our library's roster, but there it was in front of me and I was reading about this film about a girl who attends a high school that's actually a front for a coven of witches and how it was one of the most terrifying films ever made. The film was summed up in less than five sentences and it would be five sentences that would change my life forever.

Three years later, I would lay eyes on a Laserdisc copy of this film at the local Hastings. That same year, I held the Magnum version VHS of this film for the first time at that same store. Reading the back of the box and staring at the picture of a young girl in a room surrounded by flowers on the walls, this was the film I itched to see, but couldn't rent. There was something about it that just pulled me to it, those promises of how terrifying it was and how I would never feel safe in the dark once I'd laid eyes on it. Little did I know what was about to invade my life.

In 1996 while living in California, I ran into that same Magnum VHS version at Adventure Video in Selma. Being over 21, I remember grabbing it and not even thinking twice about renting it. My cousin was with me at the time and he was a newbie at the whole horror thing and this was the perfect film to get him started. And in my own mind, I was thinking that this would be just another horror film. Wow, was I wrong.

This was the film that introduced me to director Dario Argento and the genre of film known as the Italian giallo. Horror fans everywhere know the premise to this film: An American ballet student, Susy Banyon (played by Jessica Harper) comes to the Tanz Akadamie to further her studies. She is welcomed at the school's front door by an unknown voice telling her to go away, just after a young girl flees from the school out into the raging storm outside. The girl ends up at an apartment building in the city with a friend and both are brutally murdered by an unknown assailant in a way can only be described as "breathtaking". This particular double murder is so powerful that even Entertainment Weekly had to give it props in a Halloween issue back in 2001. Susy returns to the school the next morning to be received by the creepy Miss Tanner (Alida Valli) and the school's vice-directress, Madame Blanc (Joan Bennett, in her final cinematic role) and what follows is one of the most unique and amazing horror films in the history of cinema. I won't get into all the details of the film because this is one of those films I consider "essential viewing" if you're a horror fan so I already assume that if you're reading this, you've seen it. And I'm assuming that you know that this was the first film in a proposed trilogy exploring "The Three Mothers": Mater Suspirioum - the mother of sighs (dealt with in this film), Mater Tenebraeum - the mother of darkness (dealt with in Inferno), and Mater Lacrymaum - the mother of tears (dealt with in Argento's recent film, La Terza Madre), which was finally completed just last year.

The film was a milestone for me. I had no idea that a horror film could be presented with such beauty to where it could be considered a work of art. Everything from set pieces to the use of vibrant color to the use of pulsating electronic music is combined here to give the viewer a one-of-a-kind experience. From the moment Susy is shown walking through the airport and the automatic doors open to let her through, you know that this isn't going to be your typical horror film. Argento's use of colors, his use of placement and camera angles all add to the mystery of the film itself. Look at everything from the color combinations in the airport to the blood red hue of the school itself, it all has a purpose in the film. He even uses colors for names of the different rooms the girls take their lessons in. The murder sequences are fantastic and so over the top that they seem surreal, almost dreamlike. They are presented with such force and such panache that you have no choice but to see them as brilliant, almost beautiful. Knives plunging through hearts, giant shards of glass piercing through human skin, barbed wire used as a torture tool, it's all handed to the viewer in a way never presented on screen before. And it all works. That's what Argento is known for and it's the legacy he's left behind to the world of horror and the macabre.

You can't watch an Argento film and expect it to make sense. Look at it this way: Think about the last nightmare you had. Think about how terrified you were. Did your surroundings make sense? Did things seem as they were in front of you? Did everything appear to sound coherent? That's how it is when you watch one of his films. You can't expect it to all match. You can't expect things to always make sense. You have to take bits and pieces and allow your mind to come to its own conclusion as you absorb every image and every sound. That's why many horror fans who don't think this film is everything it is feel the way they do. Some don't understand that a film presented in this fashion can't be viewed the way others are viewed. Especially with the ending when Susy escapes the burning academy. Look at her expressions as she pushes her hair back and smiles. It's like she awoke from a bad nightmare. She is calm. She is relieved. She is smiling because she's awake now and nothing can hurt her. Not any of the teachers, not even Helena Markos herself. You can't take Argento's work at face value. You have to look deeper within the film's layers to see just what the director is trying to portray. And that's the beauty of his films. They not make sense up front, but once you pull apart the various themes and elements, it begins to piece itself together.

This film cemented my love for Italian horror and it still remains my favorite sub-genre to this day. Argento is one of my favorite horror directors and I've almost been able to screen his entire catalogue. He's gone on to inspire and mentor so many other directors with his sense of style and direction and his films remain the favorites of millions. I also love the back story behind the conception of this film: Daria Nicolodi's grandmother told a story once of her fleeing a German academy of music because witchcraft was being practiced within its walls. On the Anchor Bay special 3-disc edition, you'll find her telling that story on the 25th anniversary interview disc. It's fantastic and is a must see for any fan of this film. This is a film that though she is given writing credit for, she does not appear in the film as a character (although she appears in the film's opening airport sequence for a brief moment). The film was originally intended to have young girls play the roles but when producers didn't allow it, adult actresses were cast. But notice how the dialogue between the girls in the film is almost child-like (i.e., when Olga teases Sara by saying, "I one heard that names that begin with "S" are the names of snakes!") and little things like the doorknobs on the doors being higher than normal still give off the illusion that the ladies are still playing the parts of young children. It's fascinating when you think about it. Especially to know that Argento used "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" as a model for the use of set and color.

If you're not a fan of the whole of Italian films, this still needs to be in your collection. I own the Magnum VHS version, the Quality Video re-release, the single-disc Anchor Bay edition, and the 3-disc Anchor Bay special edition. I have yet to stumble across the Laserdisc version (also by Magnum?) which is the holy grail for my ever-growing horror collection. If you see it or come across it, let me know. Nevertheless, this film is a remarkable piece of film making that has never been matched in the history of celluloid. Whether you love this film as I do, or you hate it, it still holds up, thirty one years later and packs the punch it did when it was first released. Each time I see it, it reminds me of why I love this genre the way I do and why I love the Italian films of the seventies and eighties.
Click here for the international trailer: And click here for a cool drive in TV spot: Below, enjoy the U.S. Trailer:

Nightmare (1982)

Note to distributors of 80's horror films of the slasher Golden-age: If the film you're pushing has the tag lines "Not for the faint of heart", "Not suitable for children", or "There is no explicit sex in this picture. However, there are scenes of violence that may be considered shocking. No one under 17 should view this film", you can guarantee that I'll pick said movie and watch it at least once. For some reason, any movie pre-1990 that is tagged this way will force me to pick it up and take it home. Horror fans always fall for this trap, though, only to be disappointed at some lackluster gore with an inept plot to boot. This film, though, pushes the limits and actually lives up to the tag line emblazoned on the front of its VHS big box.

For years, I would see this title off and on at little mom and pop and small variety stores for rent and once I had the nerve to pick up and read the back of it. I can actually remember where I was the first time I got to hold this ditty in my hand: I was standing in the little video rental area at El Chaparral Supermarket in La Feria, Texas somewhere around the summer of 1988. Not to sound lame, but it was something of a spiritual moment for me. It was excited to hold something so prohibited, so censored, so tagged by small stickers as "Over 18 only" and "Restricted Viewing". It brought a rush to me that still, to this day, I can't explain. I could only hold it for a short while since my parents were only a mere few feet away and just looking at something of this bizarre nature would have me grounded in a mere blink of an eye. As a kid, it was something that I couldn't wait to be 18 for. But, it seemed so close and yet so far away.

I can remember how those still scared me to shreds and I remember telling myself that I would never watch the film due to how repulsed, yet still intrigued, I was. Little did I know the brewing history that was taking place in the United Kingdom regarding this title and how it is the only horror film, or mainstream film in general for that matter, to ever lead to the incarceration of an individual for its distribution. And all for sixty seconds of print, mind you.

During that same summer during our summer vacation to my grandmother's home in Mexico, I used to fumble with the newspaper that came out of Monterrey so I could look at the promo ads and movie listings just to see what was showing and which American films had crossed the border, getting the sub-title treatment and to laugh at the translation for films like C.H.U.D. and The Dorm That Dripped Blood. One day, while rummaging through a weekend edition, I spotted a rather large advert for this particular film which both shocked me and intrigued me. I saw those stills again and had to keep myself collected as I felt my stomach churn and the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. The ad was for a one night only showing of Pesadilla - as it was called in Mexico - and I can remember the many tag lines surrounding the ad stating that it was the "most violent movie you will ever see", that "only a deviant could have made this film", and that "no one under 17 will be allowed in the theater under any circumstances", which of course, sparked my curiosity even more. Even now, I think about what it must have been like to sit in a downtown Monterrey grindhouse watching George Tatum look on as a prostitute behind a glass window pleasured herself with a vibrator. Those sticky floors, those cinder block walls, the broken and creaky wooden seats, the smell of palomitas and cigarette smoke filling the auditorium. It's no wonder I pine for the good 'ol days.

It wasn't up until about seven months ago that I decided to actually seek out this piece of horror film history and chose ebay as my method of the hunt. I did find it, all right. But I couldn't afford the silly money that was being asked for this. I wondered about those people paying up to $66 for this movie in its original big box released by Continental and if they had actually seen the film itself or if they were like me, just seeking it out to finally be able to say I've seen it and I own it, too. After weeks and weeks of trying, I was able to win an auction put up from a guy in Manassas, GA and surprisingly only had to bay about $11, including shipping. The guy who sold this didn't have a picture of the tape on the auction so naturally, I was expecting to receive the big box version. I didn't. What I got was a gorgeous black matte clam shell emblazoned with a silver sticker that had the Continental logo and the film's title across it. I wondered to myself if the video store that originally carried the title refused to carry the original box art and Continental provided a "black box alternative"? Or was this an exclusive and limited edition packaging version? Trust me, my wheels were rolling.

I had already read enough about this film to know what to look for as far as what the R-rated version and uncut versions had to offer. I called my cousin over and almost two decades of curiosity and waiting, I was finally seated in front of this notorious "video nasty". Horror fans all know the story: George Tatum (Baird Stafford) is released from a psychiatric hospital on an experimental drug program even though he is still having nightmares and trouble coping with reality. He makes his way to a small suburban house in Florida. I know I said on this blog's introduction posting that you should expect spoilers galore since I'm assuming everyone has seen these films, but for this one, I don't want to spoil it for you.

And there would be lots to spoil. To my own joy, the version that reached my hands was indeed, uncut.

The plot, in reality, isn't all that great. The acting is particularly sub par. But is that why you would want to watch a film like this? The gore and scares here deliver with such a punch that you would never expect. Just the first three minutes of the film are disturbing enough to make me glad I ever ventured out to find this and it will stay in your head for days. The clever and original murder sequences are spectacular and are done with such loving detail that you almost forget that it's all make up and prosthetics. And you almost wonder if the special effects were really done by Tom Savini. If you don't know the story behind that I'll make it short: Tom Savini is credited in the opening moments of the film as being responsible for the effects, but he was only a pre-production consultant. The effects themselves rival Savini's in many aspects so it's no surprise people mistook him for being the one behind all the blood and guts. The final flashback has got to be seen to be believed. It will leave you with your face on the floor and will make you wonder why horror films aren't made in this fashion anymore, when everything was thrown out the window and attention was placed on horrifying the viewer. Make no mistake, this film is not for the squeamish at all. This is one that has had its reputation precede itself throughout the years and there's good reason for it.

There is a twist at the film's end and as cheesy and as pointless as it really is, it's only because there's no reasoning behind it, in my opinion. It is never explained as to why it happens and there's no denouement afterward to have it all make sense the way it should. But with a film like this, you have to pull all reasoning aside and take it all at face value. You could easily compare this to William Lustig's Maniac as this film could be considered a study into the mind of a homicidal maniac, but I can't put it into that sort of classification. Tatum's character isn't explored enough to be able to say you're looking into the mind of a cold-blooded killer. The film itself doesn't give enough history behind George himself to be able to truly grasp any sort of real feeling or contempt for him. You see what he's going through on screen but since most of it isn't really explained until the final act of the film, there's no connection to him as the viewer. You really don't feel sorry for him, even though I tried during his brief New York 42nd street scene, live sex shows and all. When the film comes to a close, there isn't enough explained as to why George went on his killing spree and why George went back to that house in Florida. Even with the main reason being explained in flashback form at the film's close, there is still no concrete reason as to what all that had to do with George going back to haunt his family. There are many unanswered questions that leave you pondering and you wonder if the filmmakers did it that way on purpose so you'd have something to think about and discuss as you walked out of the cinema. The film itself screams sleaze and low budget perversion, but the good thing is that it screams loudly. The set pieces and shots scream kitsch in the same loud volume along with the shag rugs and late seventies room decor. You actually feel that's the close of the disco-era.

If you're a die hard 80's horror fan, this film needs to be on your 'must-see' list. Whatever you need to do to get this one into your collection, do it. It lives up to the hype and controversy that have surrounded it since it's premiere. While I'm against paying silly money for it on a place like ebay, get it if you can find it at a decent price. I know that DVD distributors Code Red are already in the works to give this one the proper treatment within the next few months which, hopefully, will be chock full of extras and interviews. Now, the question for you is, was this film worth the incarceration of the head of UK video distributor Oppidan Video just for selling the uncut version? Aren't you glad that we live in the U.S. where censorship isn't the big deal that it is in other countries? Even in the 80's we never saw the banning of horror films, no matter how explicit they were. Sure, most of them were cut and trimmed until they remained as trim as turkey carcasses on the Thanksgiving dinner table, but never did we see outright banning. Even atrocities like Cannibal Ferox and Cannibal Holocaust. see the light of day in makeshift grindhouses all over the country in midnight screenings to this day.

It's surprising how something as low budget and sleazy can actually stand side-by-side with the more popular and well known horror films of that time period and can still, at some points, beat them by a long shot. It still remains as one of the most bizarre film I've ever seen. Seek this movie out at all costs. You won't believe it until you see it.

Here is the trailer, only because I know after reading this review, you're dying to know a little more about the film. I love the end where the announcer states, "No one under 17 will be admitted." Trust me, there's a reason why he's saying it!

Cannibal Ferox (1981)

In every genre of film, there are those that aficionados would consider to be essential viewing. Whether it be because of superb acting and/or directing or sound and engineering, some films are considered superior to their similar counterparts mostly because of word of mouth. Back in the late seventies and early eighties, the cannibal sub-genre of horror was a huge hit all over the world and some of the most memorable films in horror history belong to that sub-class. I, myself, still have not yet found a palpable taste for these films, but Cannibal Ferox is one of those exceptions I had to make, just because of the controversy surrounding it, still after all these years.

Promoted as being banned in 31 countries, the film was released under the original title, Make Them Die Slowly. Since I began my hunt for the movies on my "must have" list, slowly, but surely, this one climbed it's way closer and closer to the top and after several years of searching for either a copy on VHS or DVD - for not wanting to resort to the high prices of mail order - I gave up. I have read countless reviews of this film and have delved into many opinions from critics and every-day viewers like myself and the more that I read, the more my own curiosity grew. Being the huge fan of Italian giallo and gore, I knew that sometime I would have to give in and take a look at this, only to finally know what the hullabaloo was all about. Could this film really push the limits to the degree that people said it had?

Back in the summer of 2004, I was vacationing in Dallas, Texas for my birthday and as I cruised Cedar Springs with some of my closest friends and browsing through Tape Lenders, I noticed the community bulletin board, wanting to know what was going on that weekend. From a distance, I saw an 11"X17" mini-poster with what I thought were the words "Make Them Die Slowly" across the front. I ran over to it and to my own school-boy glee, it was indeed a poster advertising the exclusive one-night showing of the film at the Angelika Film Center. And it just so happened that exact night was the night of its exhibition. After hours of trying to convince everyone to go and see this with me, I was immediately shot down and wasn't able to see this in all its wide-screen glory. Sure, it would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sure, I would have been able to brag that I'd seen it on the big screen and surrounded by fans of the film, but fate had other plans for me that weekend and still, to this day, I regret not having pushed harder to convince the group.

Then one day four years later, I walked into the local Video Liquidators in Fresno - where I have been lucky enough to have found some great finds - and lo and behold, this was sitting atop the back of the registers, propped up and smiling at me. I couldn't resist. I paid the (hefty) price tag - hey, after searching for this film for a good number of years, I wasn't going to walk away from it with the DVD being right there - and walked out of the store, practically squealing.

That night, I called my brother over and we sat down in front of it. The Grindhouse Releasing copy I'd purchase had a fantastic easter egg of a showing of the film at the Vine in Hollywood. I watched and thought about the night I could have seen this in Dallas and as my heart raced, I dove into the film first and didn't look back.

The introduction to this film has got to be one of the best in horror history: The disco-tinged opening track and the shots of New York City were just fantastic. Somewhere, some die-hard horror fan has this opening track as an MP3 in their iPod and jams to it every day while jogging or mowing the lawn and I can tell you right now that if I could get that awesome track into my collection, I'd probably end up doing the same thing. Listening and grooving to the track got me even more excited. And this is where the story takes a different turn.

Every horror fan knows the synopsis of this film: Gloria (Lorraine de Selle of The House on the Edge of the Park) ventures into the jumbles of the Amazon to write her college thesis on whether or not cannibalism still exists in the modern world. She takes along her friend Pat and brother Rudy and while in the jungle, they come across cocaine-wielding thugs Joe (Robert Kerman) and Mike (Italo-horror veteran Giovanni Lombardo Radice). Joe has been hurt and as the story unfolds of how Mike has brutally castrated and murdered one of the members of the local tribe, so did my boredom. Nobody seemed to mention that there's more story than gore - most of it doesn't begin until almost half-way into the film itself. I will make a note here that one things that did bother me about this movie was the portrayal of actual animal deaths. I was shocked more by this than the actual human murders that came to follow later on.. I had read somewhere that Cannibal Holocaust is guilty of the same atrocity, but I never read that Ferox had them, also.

I will say that once the gore begins, it begins. There's plenty of originality to some of the death scenes, but I was actually expecting to be appalled to the point of nausea and perhaps vomiting. But, that wasn't the case for me. Sure, some of the scenes were over the top and unexpected but nothing that I would consider worth losing my food over. So many reviews I've read about how atrocious and how reprehensible some of the latter scenes in the film are but I have to say that I didn't really find myself running for the bathroom. The scene where Joe is taken out to the middle of the village and is sliced open by the natives was impressive, though. Some of the scenes actually confused me: when the tribe turns on the group and they tie Mike to the tree to castrate him, it looks like they're slicing a piece of ham for a sandwich. I didn't believe it at all. Now, the castration scene in I Spit On Your Grave? That's a castration. There was no blood here, period. Wouldn't have mike bled to death? But I digress. His death by machete to the head was probably the best gore scene of the whole film.

The only one to escape in the end is poor Gloria, only to return to New York to receive her doctoral degree. I like how for a brief moment in the film, she utters a political statement in which she feels that outside society has kept the tribes people as the cannibals that they are. I sat and pondered on that for a while when the film came to a close and though the statement could be somewhat true, it should have been explored more in the film itself. The whole revenge of the tribe on Mike and the group as a retribution for the murder of one of their own is understandable and actually, I was expecting the film to go in that direction eventually.

Now, to call this film "The most violent film ever", in my opinion, is a bit of a long shot. At the time of this writing, I have yet to see Cannibal Holocaust which is supposed to blow this movie right out of the water. Whether or not I will sit and view that particular film is being decided, only because of my naivety of the cannibal genre as a whole. I have seen films more violent on both the sadistic and artistic levels and though these scenes are brutal in their own right, the final murders of the group can hold their own. If you aren't a stranger to this short-lived sub-genre, and you haven't seen this one, make sure you get a hold of it. I've only seen less than a handful of cannibal films and sadly, they do nothing for me. Give me stalk and slash any day.

Even if you're not a fan of this type of film, it will stay with you long after you see it. It's earned its place in horror history and for good reason. I will compare the experience of viewing this to my experience of seeing The Exorcist when I was in my mid-twenties: If I had seen this movie as a young kid, it would have scarred me for life. I can only imagine what people back in the early eighties felt as they packed grindhouses and little theatres to catch a glimpse of atrocities that had never been shown on the big screen before. Knowing me, I probably would have run for the men's room at some point after having downed a hot dog and a Pepsi. But even seeing it for the first time in my thirties, it was an experience I won't soon forget.

Here is the trailer - it's pretty dark, but it does the job.

Friday the 13th (1980)

This was the first horror film that got me onto the genre back in 1983. There's an actual story regarding me coming across this film but I'll get into that at a later date, only because it's a lengthy - and comical- one and I prefer to have that as a separate entry. I was actually subjected to this film at a mom and pop television store in Fresno, California as my father purchased the RCA Select-A-Vision CED Video Disc player. To 'test out' the system, the sales guy put this film in and I got to see the first few minutes of it, up until Annie's death. Those few minutes scared the hell out of me and it was burned into core of my soul forever.

The film scared me on many levels: First, I was a young kid, in the second grade and before my knowledge of this film, I had no idea that there was even such a thing as a horror film. Second, I was in a boy's program in which we were taken out to remote forest areas for camp outs and pow-wows just like the one shown in the film. Along with the way that my father presented the film to me in the first place - more on that later - it was enough to scar me for life. And that it almost did.

We all know the core of the film's synopsis: Camp Crystal Lake (actually Camp NoBeBesCo in New Jersey) is shut down in the 50's due to the murder of two camp counselors and various fires that plagued the campsite. Along with the murders, a young boy named Jason Voorhees died in the lake due to the negligence of the slain counselors. In the present day, the camp is going to be opened by Steve Cristy and as some young camp counselors come along to aid in getting the camp ready, they are offed one by one by an unseen killer. The film was beautifully photographed, scene after scene of luscious countryside, forestry, and shots of the sun hovering over Camp Crystal Lake. It was something most teenagers of the time were familiar with since back in that time period, kids spent their summers at camps just like the one portrayed. But the eeriness of the secluded campsite, the idea of being alone in a forest miles away from the rest of the world with an unknown presence threatening your very life, is nothing to joke about. And the filmmakers did this one right. There is both an innocence and a sinister quality to this film that surprised the world when it was released in 1980. Why else would a slew of sequels wanting to capitalize on the brilliance of this film be unleashed onto a generation of young film goers and become the defining horror film franchise of all time? The film was bloody, relentless in its presentation of graphic murders that had been unmatched up until then, and gave everyone the "final scare" that gave this movie a permanent staple in the list of best slasher films of the twentieth century.

I've read that the Motion Picture Association of America originally threatened to give this film an 'X' rating before it was released due to some gore scenes that weren't suitable for theatrical release. I've also read that there is an "uncut" version out there within the Japanese and other Asians markets that shows the film completely in tact before the cuts were made (a longer version of Jack's "arrow through the neck" scene, the shot of the axe in Marcie's face, etc). There is also a lobby card for the film which shows Mrs. Voorhees pressed up against either a window or some form of plastic sheet with her mouth open and screaming. I've done some research and still can't find out what that particular scene is. Was it cut from the U.S. Paramount release before it opened? If it was, what was the story behind it? (If anyone knows, please leave me a note). It's one of the few questions about this film that is still unanswered for me. Here is a picture of said lobby card.

The film has gone on to leave a legacy unexpected by both filmmakers and audiences and still remains a classic within its own right. There are arguments among horror fans that this film is superior to its slasher predecessor, Halloween. I, laughably, am one of those fans that prefers this to John Carpenter's magnum opus. The clever twist at the film's finale - presenting Mrs. Voorhees as the unknown killing machine - was something not expected and remains one of the best in horror history, along with the final battle between she and camp counselor Alice. What got audiences everywhere (and me for that matter) was the final scene, in which the young Jason appears out of Crystal Lake to grab Alice and pull her beneath the cold wet furor of Crystal Lake. Though it mirrored a similar 'final scare' scene in Carrie, it delivered an image still not shaken by horror fans around the world. For a film that was supposed to have been just a filler in between kiddie projects being helmed by Sean S. Cunningham, it became his legacy to the horror generation that has yet to be duplicated.

Sadly, Paramount's DVD of this classic is bare-boned, with just one trailer. I've got some TV spots in my private collection, but I think everyone expected more. I haven't seen the version in the From Crystal Lake to Manhattan DVD set so I can't tell you the difference between the two. I also have the original Paramount VHS release (with it's rarely-seen teaser for Part 2 at the tape's end claiming "Coming Next Year"), the Paramount re-release from the late 90's, and the original CED version on Video Disc (in which the latter shows a shot of the controversial and censored 'axe in the face' scene). The film is a must-see for those trying to get their fingers in the slasher genre. For the rest of us, it's imperative essential viewing.

Here is the trailer - I wonder who came up with the whole "counting" thing?

(Update 5/25/12): So Paramount has released Special Editions of the entire series up to Jason Goes to Hell. This one was finally released uncut, which had been released in that fashion overseas from the very beginning. Regardless that the excised footage comprises a mere 10 seconds, it makes it just a little nastier and it's nice to finally see what everyone else in the foreign . Especially, Kevin Bacon's arrow-through-the-neck death. The packaging is great, the slipcover, though derivative of the original poster art (we'll let is slide), is a very nice touch. The soundtrack is remixed and sounds fantastic. Special features aren't all that impressive but they'll do, yet the one I love to watch are the comparisons between filming locations in 1979 and today. At all costs, avoid the feature titled Tales from Camp Blood. It's nothing but shit and not even worth wasting your time on. All I need now is to find this on Laserdisc (and maybe Betamax) as I own it now on CED, VHS and DVD. I hear that the Blu-Ray release kicks major ass but I don't see myself owning it in that format anytime soon.)


Welcome to Linus Loves 80's Horror, a blog page dedicated to the review of and tribute to the classic horror films from the best decade in history: The 1980's. I've been viewing and collecting these films since I was a teen and many of them, thankfully, have found their ways into my hands. This blog is to give you all, the readers, my opinions and viewpoints on some of these great - and not-so-great - films that defined a generation and have become nostalgic reminders of the era when horror movie-making was at its pinnacle.

The viewpoints here are for entertainment purposes only. I want those of you reading to have a good time and see what another avid horror fan thinks about those same movies you've gown to love and cherish over the past 20 years. I might warn you, this blog will have many spoilers and I will assume that those of you reading have either seen these films in their entirety or know enough about them to see what someone else thinks and recommends. I'm not going to tell you scene-by-scene details like other horror tribute sites do, not because I don't want to, but because, again, if you're a fan, you've seen most of these.

Feel free to leave comments and ideas for discussion. I'd love to know what some of you think about these films.

I currently own appoximately 200 horror films in which 98% of them are from the period 1974-1989. Now, some more recent films deserve to be noted so from time to time, you'll see me review something a bit more modern, only because I would highly reccomend the film in question and would urge you as a fan to seek it out. I will review everything that I have in my collection and as I acquire new pieces, I will post them on here as well.

Every so often, I will post essays on the genre and film sub-genres and just opinions and thoughts I have about living with these films during the course of the 1980's and beyond. again, your feedback is always appreciated.

Happy reading!