Splatter king Tom Savini brings “dead things” to life remaking Romero

By Steve Newton When Tom Savini's remake of George Romero's zombie classic The Night of the Living Dead came out in 1990 I did a phone interview with the gore-FX guru. That was cool. Blood and guts aren’t pretty. Neither is brain matter. But when it comes to the horror genre, those type of bodily components … Continue reading Splatter king Tom Savini brings “dead things” to life remaking Romero

RoboCop remake suffers from lack of gore and scumbags

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 12, 2014 If you're gonna remake Paul Verhoeven's satirically twisted, sci-fi/action classic RoboCop, you'd better damn well bring your "A" game. Apparently, director José Padilha didn't get that memo because—despite his best efforts—his version winds up closer to C+ territory. The movie starts off well, depicting a U.S. military intervention in 2028 titled … Continue reading RoboCop remake suffers from lack of gore and scumbags

Horror review: The Haunting

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 29, 1999 I remember seeing the original Haunting when I was a kid, and it scared the stuffing out of me, mostly because of what director Robert Wise didn’t show in his 1963 haunted-house study. The scene I recall most vividly is that of a terrified Julie Harris … Continue reading Horror review: The Haunting

Horror review: Village of the Damned

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 4, 1995 By Steve Newton It’s hard being a proud horror fan in 1995, when movies based on the works of genre kings Dean Koontz and Clive Barker turn out to be as lame as Hideaway and Candyman 2, respectively. Then you’ve got former terror titan Tobe (Poltergeist) … Continue reading Horror review: Village of the Damned

Horror review: Oldboy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 27, 2013 Hard-core fans of the original Oldboy likely had two main concerns about the 2003 South Korean shocker’s Hollywood remaking. They probably wondered why anyone would screw with the ultraviolent masterpiece in the first place. And also why—when the flick had Tarantino written all over it—Spike Lee was doing the screwing. … Continue reading Horror review: Oldboy

Horror review: The Thing

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 14, 2011 By Steve Newton John Carpenter’s The Thing—his 1982 Antarctic update of a 1951 B movie about an alien organism on a rampage at a remote Arctic outpost—was one of the best horror movies ever made. It was a seamless work of dread-inducing art that boasted a brooding score by … Continue reading Horror review: The Thing

Horror review: A Nightmare on Elm Street

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 30, 2010 I remember seeing the original A Nightmare on Elm Street when it was released in 1984 and thinking it was pretty decent as far as slasher flicks go. Its FX–heavy death scenes were a lot more inventive than the stalk ’n’ stab routine that defined most ’80s body-count films, and … Continue reading Horror review: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Horror review: The Crazies

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 24, 2010 If you’ve never been particularly concerned about the safety of your drinking water, The Crazies might make you think again. It’s a rip-roaring, topnotch terror fest that’s sure to boost sales of Brita filters. Smalltown Iowa sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) is cheerfully mingling with citizens at the local ballpark … Continue reading Horror review: The Crazies

Horror review: The Stepfather

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 19, 2009 Before he became known for his starring turns in Vancouver-shot TV series like Millennium and Harsh Realm, Terry O’Quinn dazzled in The Stepfather as a serial killer bent on forming a family and keeping it happily together—no matter what. Working from a script by novelist Donald E. Westlake, O’Quinn brought quiet menace and … Continue reading Horror review: The Stepfather

Horror review: The House on Sorority Row

It’s no surprise that Hollywood has spawned remakes of classic slasher flicks like Friday the 13th and Halloween, but why would it bother with 1983’s barely remembered The House on Sorority Row? Maybe a forensic accountant toiling in some studio basement discovered that upon its theatrical release at the height of the slasher craze the film grossed more than … Continue reading Horror review: The House on Sorority Row

Horror review: Halloween II

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 27, 2009 Does anyone remember which horror icon came out on top in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason? Me neither. But I do know that the Michael Myers you see slaughtering folks in Halloween II would make both Krueger and Voorhees his bitches in two seconds flat. The most impressive thing about HII—Rob Zombie’s follow-up … Continue reading Horror review: Halloween II

Rob Zombie goes for the jugular with Halloween II

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 26, 2009 By Steve Newton Rob Zombie likes to fuck with people’s heads. That’s why in his sadistic 2005 shocker The Devil's Rejects, during the scene where two captive men are being driven to a remote location to be butchered by a psycho, the song playing on the van’s radio … Continue reading Rob Zombie goes for the jugular with Halloween II

Horror review: Friday the 13th

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 13, 2009 Boy, am I a sucker for punishment. Back in 1980 I was so freaked out by the original Friday the 13th that ever since I’ve felt compelled to follow the gruesome exploits of Jason Voorhees, hoping to catch an equally terrifying buzz. But as anyone who’ll sheepishly admit to seeing … Continue reading Horror review: Friday the 13th

Horror review: My Bloody Valentine 3-D

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 19, 2009 When Jason Voorhees squeezed a victim’s head so hard in Friday the 13th Part III that one of the poor sap’s eyeballs came poppin’ out at ya, horror fans thought they’d witnessed the ultimate 3-D gross-out. But the makers of My Bloody Valentine 3-D are up for the challenge. Near the start … Continue reading Horror review: My Bloody Valentine 3-D

Horror review: Prom Night

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 16, 2008 Prom Night is an in-name-only remake of the Canadian slasher flick from 1980, in which Jamie Lee Curtis built on the scream-queen title she’d begun to establish two years earlier in Halloween. The original Prom Night was best forgotten for its re-creation of a dance scene from Saturday … Continue reading Horror review: Prom Night

Horror review: The Hitcher

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 24, 2007 Back in 1986, when many Vancouverites were preoccupied with the pricey pomp of Expo, a nasty little horror flick called The Hitcher slithered into town. It quickly vanished off mainstream radar screens, but fright fanatics who happened to catch its split-second theatrical run knew they’d uncovered a gleaming … Continue reading Horror review: The Hitcher