Back for the attack with flicks up the crack!
THE DEAD NEXT DOOR: ULTIMATE EDITION
• RELEASE DATE: Available Now on Blu-ray
• WRITTEN BY: J.R. Bookwalter
• DIRECTED BY: J.R. Bookwalter
• STARRING: Pete Ferry, Bogdan Pecic, Michael Grossi
As a young horror hound, I was inundated with stills and stories about an upcomin’ zombie bomb that was sure to make all of us EVIL DEAD-lovin’ psychos positively explode with gorish-glee! That flick, THE DEAD NEXT DOOR, never seemed to materialize. Well, flash forward four years, and ol’ TDND sails through a stormy sea of financial and production to reach its completion, with a gentle nudge from Sam Raimi’s wallet (Master Cylinder my arse), in 1989. Finally gore-mets were served their bloody buffet!
And what a smorgasbord it is, my fiends! We follow the adventures of a government sanctioned zombie kill squad in a walking-dead-ravaged apocalypse as they travel to Ohio in search of a cure for the bitey plague. Well, before you can say “Kool-aid”, they run afoul of a Jonestown-like cult hell bent on creating a new world via the preservation of the zombies. All of this leads to more splat-tastic practical gore and makeups than seems possible from a film of this budget—you get geysers of arterial spray, severed digits, decapitations, body melts… hell, there are even full-on zombie puppets for the more desiccated members of the gut-munchin’ marauders!
Now that’s all fine and good, and more than likely a lot of you creeps own this flick in one format or another, but I’m going to tell you that you don’t own s–t unless you have this release! First of all, you get a new HD remaster all fancy like on a Blu-ray, and you also get the original DVD release. Not enough? How about a transfer of the one that started it all? That’s right, the VHS version is included as well. S–t, they even through in the complete motion picture soundtrack! You also get a ton of commentaries, interviews, featurettes… like seriously you’re going to have to tell work you have to set aside like a week just to get through all of this rad-ass content!
Simply put, this is one of the most in-depth and thorough releases of any film I have ever seen (it’s only equal is the latest release of ARMY OF DARKNESS from Scream Factory, which is fitting given this film’s pedigree). While the majority of folks who pick this up are going to already be fans of the flick, I can’t recommend this enough to anyone with an interest of making their own low budget film. Writer/die-rector J.R. Bookwalter went through a ton of hardships to bring this baby to the screen, and he details it all throughout the special features. It’s an invaluable learning tool! Ya know, J.R. should sell this edition to film schools, and when he’s sittin’ on a mountain of cash from that deal, he should give ol’ XIII eleventy million dollars for thinking it up. OK, that’s a tad ludicrous… but you should really buy this right now!
THE ANATOMY OF MONSTERS
• RELEASE DATE: Available Now on VOD
• WRITTEN BY: Byron C. Miller , Paul Morgan
• DIRECTED BY: Byron C. Miller
• STARRING: Tabitha Bastien, Jesse Lee Keeter, Conner Marx
Here’s one that flies in the face of what I usually dig on (namely copious amounts of gore and or creatures and over-the-top assfoolery). Nay, ol’ THE ANATOMY OF MONSTERS here is filled to the brim with strong performances and story nuances, so I’m a lil’ out of my comfort zone here…
Speaking of comfort zones, Andrew (Keeter) is a homicidal kind o’ dude that thinks he’s well within his wheelhouse when he lures a comely young lass named Sarah (Bastien) back to his hotel room for a bit of the old murdilation mambo. Well, as lady luck would have it, Sarah is a bit of a Grade-A psycho herself! What we are then treated to are the two terror tales that brought these krazy killers together in a room at yer local Motel 666.
THE ANATOMY OF MONSTERS is kind of an anomaly. It’s a low budget affair for sure, but the quality of performances and the strength of the dialogue (which comprises most of the films content, though there are kills for sure… more on them in a bit) is a real cut above what you’d find in your average fright flick of this ilk. As a viewer we are taken full force into the mind of a psycho, and it isn’t a fun place to be, that’s for sure, but goddamn if the folks involved don’t make it an engaging journey.
As I mentioned above, I love me some gore, and as I also mentioned above, this flick does contain some kills, but that chocolate never gets in the peanut butter as the murders are of the more realistic variety and don’t feature any gore geysers. So if you’re expecting that kind of horror biz, I gotta tell ya to look elsewhere.
While not my fav type of sin-ema, I really dug THE ANATOMY OF MONSTERS; it was cerebral, well written and acted, and really made me feel like I needed a few extra showers (the kind where you switch out a wire brush for your loofah) after I watched it.