Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.
Subscribe

Archive for ‘Horror Films You’ll Never See’

The Monstrosity Exhibition: Lost Terrors of VHS Sleeve Cover Art

April 19, 2010 By: Category: Horror Films You'll Never See, Movie Reviews, Movies

The Monstrosity Exhibition: Lost Terrors of VHS Sleeve Cover Art
written by Clay McLeod Chapman

Black Christmas

Video World was tucked off into a topiary-barricaded alcove of the Stony Point Shopping Centre, a swift five-minute Schwinn sojourn from my front door.

No bigger than a boutique, this early-80′s video store was infinitesimal in comparison to the cancerous sprawl of the Blockbuster Video chain that had begun to malignantly metastasize its way through America’s suburban strip malls, eventually putting all the mom-and-pop operations like Video World out of business. I was fortunate enough to push through my preadolescence before the big blue-and-yellow Blockbuster awnings started cropping up all across my hometown. Walking into Video World was like immersing myself in a Betamax Shangri-La. Every last inch of wall space, from floor-to-ceiling, was lined entirely in video cassettes. At 8 years old, I had officially found my home-away-from home. Each 4 by 7-and-a-half inch VHS cassette contained a different story, just waiting to be told – and I made it my mission to watch them all. Or as many as my allowance would allow.

Hidden at the rear of the store, buried behind comedy, family, drama (but before you reached the “private room” of adult films at the very, very back) – there remained a single row of videos off-limits to children. Little boys and girls were not allowed to rent the videos from back here at the shadowy edge of the forest.

The horror section.

A kid like me couldn’t help but feel a shift in the atmosphere upon entering the aisle, suddenly surrounded by so many R-rated movies. The carpet seemed to darken, stained somehow. Even the air had a miasma of decrepit breath to it, thicker than the air in the childrens section. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be here, which only made me want to explore even more – go deeper, take just another couple steps in, see if I could make my way past the A’s, past the B’s, even the C’s, until I was utterly immersed in the aisle, enveloped in images of terror from all around.

This – this was where fear resided.

Every kind of fear you could think of, or not think of, was right here – captured on magnetic tape and sealed inside its own cardboard box – little gift-wrapped packages presented in a tableau of carnage.

Deadly Spawn. Faces of Death. Def-Con 4. Xtro. The Stepfather. The Driller Killer. The Stuff. Texas Chainsaw Massacre II. I Spit On Your Grave. The Dead Pit. Black Roses. Headless Eyes. Magic. Black Christmas. He Knows You’re Alone. Class of Nuke ‘Em High. Cellar Dweller. Mother’s Day. The Prowler.

So go ahead, kid – I dare you. Slip a video off the shelf.

Pick any horror film and take the cassette into your hand. Rub your finger over the cardboard cover with its softened edges. Feel how fuzzy and worn the corners are?

Now look at the cover.

(more…)

Horror Films You’ll Never See: Carriers

January 13, 2010 By: Category: Horror Films You'll Never See, Movie Reviews

Carriers (2009)
Written and directed by Alex and David Pastor
Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0806203/

Probably one of the principle arguments for Paramount dumping the virus road-trip horror film Carriers onto DVD just before Christmas was to capitalize on the newfound fame of leading man Chris Pine, the rejuvenated Captain Kirk of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Carriers had less impact in theatres than a common house cold upon its initial release. To be honest – there really wasn’t much of a release to speak of. The film didn’t even play in New York where I’d patiently been anticipating its arrival. Sadly, the film quickly sniffled into obscurity – until fate beamed up and cast Pine as Shatner’s heir to the command chair. It wasn’t until I myself was on a plane coming home from Dubai with fourteen hours to kill that I discovered the film on my roster of in-flight movies and decided to give it a shot. Not like there were many other horror movies to pick and choose from in economy class. This Abercombie & Fitch teen-ensemble shocker was it.

My argument to you for actually watching this film, however – isn’t going to be Pine.

It’s Christopher Meloni.

That’s right. You heard me. Christopher Meloni. As in – Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’s Christopher Meloni. Lantern-jawed, eggplant-foreheaded, switched-at-birth-with-that-other-character-actor-Elias-Koteas Christopher Meloni. (more…)

Top Ten Horror Movies of 2009 That You Probably Didn’t See

December 07, 2009 By: Category: Best of 2009, Horror Films You'll Never See, Lists, Movie Reviews

2009-header

So – here is my contribution to the Awkward Press end-of-the-year Top Ten blowout. Given that Jeffrey requested we pick a topic near and dear to our hearts, I went ahead and came up with the Top Ten Horror Movies of 2009 That You Probably Didn’t See. Considering most of the horror movies you probably did see in the theatres this year were absolutely dreadful (Orphan, The Fourth Kind, Saw VI, Drag Me To Hell, The Collector, The Final Destination, Friday the 13th, Halloween II, Sorority Row, The Unborn, The Uninvited), with the potential exception of the box office phenom of Paranormal Activity – chances are, you haven’t seen or even heard of the following horror movies. Unless you’re a total horror film geek like me.

Clay#1010. THE BURROWERS
Written and directed by J.T. Petty.
(Watch the preview here.)

J.T. Petty is one of those filmmakers that seems to volley between making interesting, complex, thought-provoking horror films (such as the amazing S@Man) and bizarro mainstream direct-to-DVD sequels (such as the unnecessary Mimic: Sentinel). The Burrowers is somewhere in between – a Tremors-inspired western yarn, complete with shades of Pitch Black and Young Guns thrown in for good measure. While the movie suffers in the center, it is most definitely a fun film that prefers patience over cheap thrills. Considering Petty is a compatriot to such New York-based indie-horror filmmakers as Ti West and Larry Fessenden, it’s exciting to think what scares he’ll be coming up with next year. (more…)