Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Criterion Collection: CRONOS

To double dip...or not to double dip?

That is the question!

When George Lucas decides to release STAR WARS on Blu ray,you know and I know, that you are going buy it...yet,AGAIN!!!!

For me,it'll be my gazillionth copy of that film.Beta, VHS,Laser Disc,DVD..Arrrgh!!! :)

You know I've gotta see Slave Leia in all her glory and Jar Jar in all his....no ,waitaminute...hesa still needsa to die!

Well boys and girls..I've got a film for you that is well worth the double dip.

It is Guillermo del Toro's CRONOS.

This time around ,it is given The Criterion Collection treatment and well deserved.

Out of print and harder to find than the male genitalia in Disney's Little Mermaid one sheet poster. Del Toro's first film ,CRONOS remastered and transferred for the first time in HD,Criterion does not disappoint here.The disc is lush,the colors and sound POP!It is truly the way del Toro intended it to be viewed.

For those of you few who haven't seen it(and shame on YOU)

here is a quick synopsis:

CRONOS, a highly unorthodox tale about seductiveness of the idea of immortality.Kindly antiques dealer Jesus Gris(Fererico Luppi) happens upon an ancient golden device in the shape of a scarab,and soon finds himself the possessor and victim of its sinister,addictive powers,as well as the target of a mysterious American named Angel(Rod Perlman).

If the beautiful remaster and transfer were not enough...

It is the supplemental material that make this disc ,KING!

First off you get the rarely seen ,unreleased 1987 del Toro film ,GEOMETRIA remastered for this exquisite edition with new music provided by Warner Brother's Animation composer ,Christopher Drake.*Fun Facts* not only is del Toro's mother ,Guadalupe one of the stars in the short,but del Toro himself provides ALL the voices in Italian.

And the extras keep coming .There are all new interviews with del Toro, star Ron Perlman, Academy Award winning cinematographer,Guillermo Navarro, and star Ferderico Luppi.

But for me the diamond amongst all these gems is a walking tour of The Man Cave or Bleak House by the man himself ,Guillermo del Toro!!! If The Smithsonian had a Geek wing ,it would be similar ,but not as awesome as this glimpse into del Toro's mind brought to life.

One could spend hours going frame by frame and still not truly appreciate all the wonders collected .*Fun Fact* There is a bronze statue in the backyard of Ray Harryhausen,one of only three in existence ,one owned by Peter Jackson, one by Harryhausen and the last owned by del Toro himself.

The peek into the man cave is worth the price itself...True Geek Porn!

Convinced yet?...you better be.

So go recycle all of your Diet Dr. Pepper cans and double dip,triple dip...heck, quadruple dip!!!

buy this edition...BUY. IT. NOW! :)

Show Criterion that all of del Toro's masterpieces need...no,deserve The Criterion treatment.

'til next time Cabrones!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

"...The tastes of the many ,outweigh the tastes of the EWWWWWW!"

And so I paraphrase the almighty Spock....Well,this pretty much summarizes my opinion of Tom Six's "The Human Centipede" out on DVD October 5th.

Ever since the film's made its infamous horror film fest circuit run,"The Human Centipede" has been the much talked about horror film to see.After seeing the trailer,one pretty much gets the gist of what the film is about.

Here's a short synopsis... two female tourists get stranded in the backwoods of Germany,only to find refuge in the company of a former plastic surgeon who specialized in separating Siamese twins.Now the fun begins...After drugging the two tourists and tranquilizing a third "patient"...Herr Doctor,reveals his plan to create the first Siamese triplets by connecting his three unwilling participants via their gastric systems(let the hilarity ensue...NOT!).

This movies running or in this case crawling"joke",runs/crawls an hour too long.My gag reflexes got quite the work out.No real scares here, just a "horror" film that is quite horrific. Now ,I'm not being a horror snob..it's just that this film is equivalent to a horror snuff film.I get the whole fascination with the current rash of "gore-porn"...but The Human Centipede makes Eli Roth's "Hostel" look like "My Little Pony :The Movie".

Six has found his niche..the first film generated enough buzz to spawn a forthcoming sequel.

Six likes to shock..so I don't see him branching out to do mainstream films...We'll never see "Tom Six Presents :Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"...cuz that would give the term turtles are "bottom feeders" a whole new meaning(rim shot). Now even after ALL that ,if you feel that your curiosity is still piqued...then go for it and experience it for yourself. Don't say I didn't warn ya! This film will leave a bad taste in your mouth...literally!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Well my little demons...October heralds in 31 days of zombies,ghouls ,witches and sons o' b......

oh you know :) We start off with the last stop of Guillermo del Toro's The Fall book tour.

Then 8 Days of Horror flicks at Screamfest LA

..then The Reaper Awards

..then The Weekend of Horror.

At The Mountains of Madness art exhibit.

then The 2nd Annual Long Beach Comic Con.

The Premiere of The Walking Dead

and a little event called Halloween..Damn ,I NEED a clone..check back here for pics,chicks, and tons o' Twix!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"What an excellent day for an exorcism"


In fact it was an excellent evening!

For one night only the extended director's cut of "The Exorcist" played nationwide on September 30th, to near capacity crowds.From the east coast to west coast ,the nation was possessed for an evening to enjoy William Friedken's masterpiece on the big screen."The Exorcist",often re imagined but never improved upon...Shows moviegoers what an indelible effect this classic had and has on the Horror genre.To coincide with the newly remastered bluray out October 5th ,Warner Bros. gave audiences a sneak peek at never before behind the scenes footage of the making of The Exorcist.Does this classic still hold up after its initial release some 30years ago?...HELL, YES!!!...so exorcise that money from your piggy banks and go out and re-experience "The Exorcist" in all its glory....it'll make your head spin!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


"This is not the end.It is not the beginning of the end.But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning."

-Winston Churchill

When we last left the world that Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan created for us in The Strain, New York City was slowly but surely being blanketed by a plague that can only be described as Viral Vampirism.Where The Strain introduced us to the real-life ,practical biologies of how Vampirism can manifest and spread,The Fall builds on those said biologies and runs wild.

The Fall ,the second installment of The Strain Trilogy brings back our heroes,Eph Goodweater,fellow CDC doctor Nora Martinez,veteran vampire hunter Professor Abraham Setrakian , vermin(now vampire) exterminator Vasiliy Fet, and Gus Elizalde, newly crowned leader of a wild bunch of vampire slayers.These "heroes" are ready to serve up all varieties of bad-assery on every creature of the night.

To our heroes opposition return The Master, who unfolds his ultimate endgame,assisted by the reclusive multi-millionaire,Eldritch Palmer. Palmer himself thrives to gain from his evil alliance with The Master.To aid the Master in his quest to infect all mankind are former rock god (now Vampire General) Gabriel Bolivar and the Master's minions at his disposal(I will leave this review spoiler -free,because if I were to describe these "minions",I'd freak myself out ).
And in the middle of all this are The Elders who were previously mentioned briefly in The Strain...the part that they play in this struggle for humanity is craftily revealed.

In The Strain, the reader was embraced not unlike a vampire with its narrative. In The Fall,the reader is now enveloped in the tale .Invested before,but now fully immersed.

Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have hit their stride with The Fall .The story is dark ...how dark you may ask?..close your eyes tight!...Even darker than that.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? If there was in The Strain,it has been extinguished here. Even the quiet moments are equally as jarring as the action scenes,a testament to great writing.

One feels the impending doom...but like our heroes,the reader will dust themselves off and fight(or in this case,read) on. Page turner seems so cliche but not in this case,the story never lets you catch your breath.The Fall hits the ground running.The back stories effectively give the reader even more insight to what drives these characters to accomplish their agendas.To del Toro and Hogan's credit, The Fall (as in The Strain) is broken up into scenes rather than chapters, further effectively keeping the reader enthralled and interested.The story latches onto the readers jugular and never lets go.

To say I've fallen for The Fall is an understatement.It is del Toro and Hogan's best effort to date. Where sparkling vampires that walk out in the daylight have figuratively driven a stake into the vampire culture's heart....The Strain Trilogy resurrects the genre and puts it back on top of it's respective pedestal.

If The Strain was a delicious blood feast..The Fall is a heart-y and satisfying second helping !

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vampire-Con Film Fest 2010

"It was a dark and stormy night..."
Who am I kidding? This is sunny California!!!
And so is the setting of the 2nd Annual Vampire-Con Film Fest!
This a festival that celebrates the ever so popular genre of VAMPIRES!
Throughout the three night fest a wide variety of Vampire-centric films were shown.
The event was held at the legendary, New Beverly Cinema
The premiere evenings affair titled"Summer of Vampire Love"
featured the films,
"The Fearless Vampire Killers' by Roman Polanski
and "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave" starring Christopher Lee
The closing night, titled "Saturday Night Vampire Fever"
featured director Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski starring in "Nosferatu The Vampyre"
John Badham's 1979 version of "Dracula"
and George Hamilton starring in the classic comedy "Love at First Bite"
And "torta'd" in between these Vampire-riffic nights,
was a vampire themed night ,touted to spice up the festivies.
"There will Be Sangre" was the festivals' co-presentation with LatinHorror.com
The evenings' pachanga began with a screening on the 1931 Spanish version of "Dracula"
A couple fun facts about this version of the film.
-Dracula ,starring the iconic Bela Lugosi shot his now classic version of the film during the day and then when film wrapped for the day,the Spanish crew filmed their version utilizing the same sets at night.Praised by fans to be the better shot version of the two for its risque wardrobe and dramatic camera work.-Star Lupita Tovar is the grandmother of Chris Weitz,the director of Twilight Saga's"New Moon"
(so... the fang doesn't fall too far from the tree).
The second feature for the evening was the erotic ,vampiric gore tale"The Blood Spattered Bride"(La Novia Ensangrentada)
What a night,what a feast,sorry...fest!
A couple of Gran Gracias to all the Vamps involved.
To Micheal Togan,The Togan Family and staff at The New Beverly Cinema.
Thanks for providing the venue for such a wonderful festival and for continually presenting
classic genre films to the fans!
To Quentin Tarantino,for not only providing the print of "The Blood Spattered Bride" from his personal and vast library collection,but for saving the New Beverly Cinema !
The New Beverly Cinema is a landmark theatre here in Los Angeles,that continues to provide
nostalgic films of days gone by and current genre based movies to all film fanatics!
Thanks, Quentin!
A BIG Gracias and Bienvenidos to my West Coast Comadre and fellow Latin Horror.com collegue
Irene"La Loba" Villalobos!!! Cannot wait to share more Horrorifically fun times!!!
And last...but not least, the ever so wonderful individuals at Vampire-Con
To The lovely Wendi Mirabella,Lotti Pharris Knowles,Heidi Johnson, and the equally lovely John Knowles and staff...Gracias for honoring me with the opportunity to co host this great evening.I hope that is a the beginning of wonderful and long association!
The things we have planned for next years pachanga ,make me do the salsa in my sarcophagus!!!
Gracias once again to my Blood Brothers and Sisters!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mortality is the "Splice" of Life.

Once again I had the great fortune to attend the premiere of Vincenzo Natali's "Splice"

here's a quick synopsis:

Clive(Adrien Brody) and Elsa(Sarah Polley) are a pair of brilliant scientists whose cutting-edge experiments in genetic engineering make them superstars in their field. As devoted to their careers as they are to one another, they start conducting unauthorized experiments with new animal species that show great promise. Drunk with their god-like powers, they introduce human DNA into one of their creations,the result is Dren(Delphine Chaneac),an amazing strangely beautiful creature of uncommon intelligence and an array of unexpected physical developments. While Dren inspires maternal feelings in Elsa, she evokes something far-from-paternal in Clive, something that poses a threat to them all. Then, when this seemingly perfect organism makes a final, shocking metamorphosis, it is mankind itself that is threatened.
If their first mistake was creating Dren,their second is letting her live...
Words to live(or die) by.
From the opening credits one can sense that this film is not a "Species" re-imagining,
you get totally immersed in to this movie.
Director ,Vincenzo Natali(who also co-wrote the story and screenplay)
is quite the filmmaker.As the film progresses,you know the proverbial bag o' dookie is gonna hit the fan(you know that "dookie"is an actually medical term ...go on "Google" it.I'll wait 'til you come back......you know I'm joking ,right?)and the strange thing about it is ... you are going to want to watch as the horror unfolds.One of the main ingredients of a great thriller.

This film will make you feel uncomfortable...not "Human Centipede" uncomfortable,but heeby jeeby(another medical term )uncomfortable.
Brody and Polley work well together...their performances are a true collaboration.Oscar -winning Brody ,doesn't pull the old Nicholas Cage and use his Oscar as a crutch .Brody does a great job.And I have to say this is Polley's best effort to date.The stand out here is ,Chaneac. Her performance as Dren ,the bird/reptile/America's Next Top Model ,is a scene stealer...you don't know whether to be attracted to her or freaked the hell out.(freaking out ,still kid of a turn-on ,no? TMI,grandpa,TMI.)
Guillermo del Toro(one of the producers along with Joel Silver) calls "Splice"...the movie that has everything...The perfect Date movie!"...hmmm,to me"Splice" is a great Horror/Thriller flick with plenty of scares.A perfect "Date Movie"? I guess ...if your date was the aforementioned "Human Centipede".(again...not necessarily a bad thing)
Good o' Horror is back,Baby!!!
and it's name is "Splice"

"Splice" opens nationwide, June 4th

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm such a "Loser"!!!

....and I kinda like it!!!

here's a quick rundown on the plot.


Members of an elite U.S. Special Forces unit are sent into the Bolivian jungle on a search and destroy mission. The team -- Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch and Cougar -- find themselves the target of a lethal betrayal instigated from inside by a powerful enemy known only as Max. Presumed dead, the group makes plans to even the score when they're joined by the mysterious Aisha, a beautiful operative with her own agenda. Working together, they must remain deep undercover while tracking the heavily-guarded Max, a ruthless man bent on embroiling the world in a new high-tech global war.

I got the opportunity to attend the Red Carpet Premiere of 'The Losers".

Here's my spoiler-free review...

This film is based on the DC/Vertigo graphic novel created by Andy Diggle and Jock.

Comic to Film adaptions have for the most part ,been pretty underwhelming these days.

If you are a purist and loved the source material that this film is based on..you are setting yourself up for some serious PAIN!

Though some of the action sequences are fully realized in the film version...the story is where the main differences lay.Director, Sylvain White and writer ,Peter Berg pretty much bastardized the graphic novel and produced a film that though entertaining ,vaguely resembles the comic.

There are your cringe worthy cliched slo-mo "Armageddon" walk ,to an ending so sweet...my teeth fell out.

Where "Kick-Ass" went right..."The Losers" went wrong.

don't get me wrong...this is actually a positive review(though it would be hard to tell ,form my three paragraphs of whining) I believe folks that are not familiar with the comic will like it.

The cast is great ...Chris "Captain Human Torch" Evans owns his role and is a joy to watch,as is Jeffery Dean Morgan as Clay.Zoe Saldana also brings on the heat (and it's not only because she is HOT!!!)She does another great job as the reigning Queen of Geekdom (yeah...i just coined that term).But the one actor who steals every scene that he's in ....is none other than Jason Patric!Yes ...THAT Jason Patric ,his role as Max may just jump start his career and dissolve the bad taste in every ones' mouth from"Speed 2: Cruise Control"

Overall this is a pretty fun movie.I enjoyed it.

If you are looking to see the graphic novel come to life...you better check your hermetically sealed bag and board at the door and enjoy this popcorn movie!

THE LOSERS opens wide 4/23/10

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wizard World Anaheim 2010

What a weekend!
This weekend showcased the triumphant return of Wizard World to California...Anaheim to be exact,home of a mouse named Mickey!
Wizard pulled out all the stops...Bringing in top-named talent from the world of comics and celebrity!This years attendants included comicbook luminaries such as Stan "The Man" Lee,Simon Bisley,Arthur Suydam, and legend ,Tony DeZuniga of Jonah Hex fame.But the big draw of the weekend was the reunion of the 1960's TV show ,"Batman"!!
Adam West, Burt Ward ,Julie Newmar,Lee Meriweather,and Yvonne Craig...yes folks ,all under one roof! Other notable celebs of yesteryear and today were William Shatner, Mickey Rooney and Doug Jones of the Hellboy movies and Guillermo del Toro's ,Pan's Labyrinth.

This con had something for the young and not so young!
There were rows and rows of toys and collectibles as well as gear and fine works of art, catering to all the geeks.The cons' artist alley was full of very talented folks from comics to voice actors..i told you this awesome con had something to appeal to everyone!The Panels were mostly at capacity, especially "The Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary" with Lando Calrissian himself, Billy Dee Williams.

The attendees at Wizard World Anaheim were treated to a weekend of fun ,excitement and wonder.
I only hope that this great con rolls around next year....it's gonna be tough to top this one,but knowing Wizard..it will!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Monsterpalooza 2010

Vampires,Werewolves and Zombies..oh my!!!
I had the pleasure of attending Eliot Brodsky's MONSTERPALOOZA

Monsterpalooza is convention that celebrates all the talented artists that are in the make-up and creature effects business.Everything imaginable that relates to creature effect were well represented this weekend.The line-up at Monsterpalooza was like a who's who in the Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy industry.From artists William Stout and Bernie Wrightson to legendary effects artists Steve Wang and Mike Hill were in attendance to display all their stunning work.

Because the convention was held in Burbank ,CA(the home of Universal,Warner Bros.,and Disney) this con brought out a lot of the industry's most notable and talented, who work and live in and around Burbank.Seen shopping and perusing the exhibit floor were such luminaries as Guillermo del Toro,Rick Baker,Drew Struzan,J.J. Abrams,Mike Elizalde ,Steve Niles and more.All King 's of their craft.
If you have ever wanted to see life-sized busts and models ,this is the show for you.This show takes one across the velvet rope .Where you can get up-close and personal or "Face to Fang" with theses works of art.One can truly appreciate all the hard work that goes into creating these masterpieces.One of the awesome features of this show was the walk-through museum.On display there was a life-sized T-Rex head,a 4' Kong head.a Hannibal Lector set complete with jail cell and Clarisse Starling drawings,and more.Truly indescribable.Something one would have to see for themselves.
Another cool aspect to this show is the accessibility to these masters of this industry.All the professionals there were willing not only to sell their wares but to give out advice and knowledge about their craftsmanship.
All in all a great show .

This show runs April 9-11th

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

'Kick-Ass" kicked my ass..and I LOVED every minute of it!

Hey All!

Just got back from a sneak peek of Matthew Vaughn's new film ,"Kick-Ass"

And boys and girls...whatta ride!

Adapted from the Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. Marvel /Icon graphic novel by the same name.

'Kick-Ass" tells the story of Dave Lizewski, a comic-book fanboy, who decides to take his obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. As any good superhero would, he chooses a new name -- Kick-Ass -- assembles a suit and mask to wear, and gets to work fighting crime. There's only one problem standing in his way: Kick-Ass has absolutely no superpowers. His life is forever changed as he inspires a subculture of copy cats, is hunted by assorted violent and unpleasant characters, and meets up with a pair of crazed vigilantes, including an 11-year-old sword-wielding dynamo, Hit Girl and her father, Big Daddy.

Gonna make this as spoiler -free as possible for y'all.

The film is pretty faithful to the graphic novel..some liberties were taken,but all for the greater good.Vaughn along with screenwriter Jane Goldman,turn Millar's great comic into an even greater flick.(yes folks, it's a "Flick" not a "Film".Flicks are made to be FUN.A film would be "Schindler's List".Last time I checked,Schindler didn't use jet-packs and Gatling-guns to defeat his enemies.Maybe in the Michael Bay reboot of "Schinder's List".Movie tag for that film..."he's gotta list and boy is he pissed".But I digress..where was I?..oh yeah,"Kick-Ass")

The cast is great. Aaron Johnson(Kick-Ass) does a decent job as the zero turned hero.(btw..dude's from England.Totally convincing as a New Yorker..that alone earns some kudos or at least a "Nature Valley's " multi-grain health bar...yeah I went there...Don't forget to tip your waitress).
Christopher Mintz -Plasse as McLovin..i mean Red Mist is okay in this...though i kept on thinking ,"dude,that's McLovin...jigga,jigga,wha'?".

Nic Cage ,normally hot and cold in most of his films(mostly arctic,icicle ,dead of winter, cold)as Big Daddy turns out to be surprisingly very good in this role.I'm gonna say it, but this is his best role in a looooooong and I mean loooong time. I'm not gonna spoil it for you kiddies,but when Cage has dialogue in his Big Daddy mode...it is laugh out loud hi-larious!

But the stand out performance goes to lil' Chloe Moretz as Hit-Girl.She does such a great job.Funny, foul-mouthed, lethal and adorable.(weren't those the names of Snow White's Dwarfs or Santa's Reindeer?I always get those two sets confused)Moretz puts on such a memorable performance especially in the third act,that this movie should be called "Hit-Girl".One of the highlights in the flick for me was John Romita Jr.'s artwork come to life.It gives a whole new meaning to "motion -comics"

Is it perfect? No.With a budget of around a rumored $25 million( lunch money these days) Hollywood may rethink spending a billion Spiderman 3 dollars in the future and focus on storytelling.
Bloody...check! Funny...check! and overall enjoyable!(there are those stupid reindeer names again)...Check!!!

It's kinda hard to fit a five issue comic into a two hour flick(yeah, there's that word again)but I think purists and moviegoers alike will definitely get their money's worth.

"Kick-Ass."..Kicked -Ass!!! Cliche ,I know but actually true.

Kick-Ass opens April 16th
Update...those of you in L.A.
here's a fun and oh so cool event with tons o' swag and prizes to give away!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The "Legion" Heirs

"When God loses faith in mankind,he sends his legion of angels to bring on the apocalypse.
Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael."....and so goes the synopsis of Sony Pictures "Legion" legionmovie.com (opening January 22).
I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive panel and sneak peek of the film at The Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention http://www.comicbookscifi.com/ .
In attendance were the films director, Scott Stewart and cast members, Tyrese Gibson(Transformers),Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights) and Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth).

The Red Band trailer was shown along with and exclusive fight scene between the angels ,Michael(Paul Bettany) and Gabriel(Kevin Durand) to the near capacity panel. After a a quick Q & A ,the cast and director signed movie one-sheets for the fans. As a surprise ,also in attendance was actress Jeanette Miller who plays "Gladys" the creepy lady in the movie trailer http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3208906009/
Tyrese kept the audience in stitches saying that Miss Miller kept on flirting and touching him.
Director Stewart said that if the film (though self-contained ) does well ,he has planned for a trilogy. A big "Thank You " goes out to Bruce of the LA ComicbookSciFiCon ,John Zander,Tyrese, and of course ,the incomparable Doug Jones .This film actually looks cool....hey, how can you go wrong? It's got Doug Jones as a freaky Ice Cream Man.