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Disclaimer

Unless otherwise noted in the post title, these are not
reviews, per se. They are articles for people who have already seen the film or read the book in question--meaning that there will be spoilers. If you're already familiar with the material being covered, or don't mind the plot being spoiled, please read on and leave a comment.

Friday, November 28, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] The Last Days Of The World (2011)

The Last Days Of The World - Japanese Theatrical Poster
Japanese Theatrical Poster
Teenager Kanou's life isn't exactly ideal. His father is unemployed and unable to land a new job, his mother is having an affair with another man, and Yumi, the girl he loves, is dating the school bully. He must have something going for him, though, because God appears to him alone to tell him about the impending end of the world. In fact, God wants his help putting a stop to it, by defeating "him" (presumably the antichrist).

Perhaps if God had chosen a more impressive form than a three-inch businessman, Kanou would have listened to his pleas for assistance. Instead, he decides to spend the last remaining days of existence living life however he wants to, no longer kowtowing to societal rules.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

[Movie Review] Deadly Revisions (2013)

Horror scriptwriter Grafton Torn (how's that for a name?) wakes up from a coma with no idea of
DEADLY REVISIONS - Poster Image
what happened to him. In fact, there's a sizable chunk of time prior to the mysterious accident that is either fuzzy or missing all together. When he is released from the hospital, he retires to an unused country home owned by friend and colleague Deter McMannus (Mikhail Blokh) to recuperate.

It's a secluded home, but he's not all together alone. There are some nocturnal deer on the premises, Deter stops by for the occasional visit, and he's frequently accosted by a possessed doll and a disturbed man with a noose—these last two being previous subjects of his horror films. What's real, what's not, what happened to Grafton before, and what's happening to him now? Those are the questions that the film wants you to ask yourself.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Iconography: My Name is Taylor


Today's iconography comes from the classic 1968 film PLANET OF THE APES.  Chuck Heston, sans voice, had to find some way to communicate with his damn dirty ape captors.  This hastily scrawled note was the result.

--J/Metro

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] Rock 'N' Roll High School (1979)

Rock 'N' Roll High School - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
When severe disciplinarian Evelyn Togar takes over as principal of Vince Lombardi High, she has one goal in mind: whipping the rebellious student body into shape. The method in which she plans to do this is by an outright war on rock music, which, she assures us, has proven dangerous to lab mice during scientific trials. The students aren't so keen on falling into line, though, especially rock fanatic Riff, whose sole ambition in life is writing songs for the Ramones...and basically just rockin' the hell out.

There's something of a romantic subplot involving a love triangle between the teens—Riff's best friend Kate (Dey Young) is crushing on football quarterback Tom (Vincent Van Patten), but Tom only has eyes for Riff—but basically the majority of the film is about rebelling against an oppressive system, scrambling to get to a rock concert, and then combining both into a (literally) explosive finale.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

More reading at WickedHorror

It's a few days old at this point, but I failed to mention it earlier.  I have a new post up over at WickedHorror.com, where I rewatched all four of the SCREAM films back-to-back in order to gear up for the impending MTV television series.

A Viewing Guide to the Scream Franchise.

Also, I seem to be getting a lot of hits on my Top Ten Urban Legends That Should Be Horror Movies, so make with the clickity-clickty and give that a read, too.


Check 'em out!
--J/Metro

Saturday, November 22, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] If.... (1968)

If.... - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
Classes are back in session for the student body of a British boarding school, and that means that the students are going to have to reorient themselves to the strict rules and discipline that go hand-in-hand with attending. Some fall quickly in line, but others are developing something of a rebellious streak.

Chief among the rebellious boys are Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell in his first major film role), Wallace (Richard Warwick) and Johnny (David Wood), all three of them roommates in their junior year. Initially, they act out in the expected ways—drinking, smoking, growing their hair out, and disrespecting authority figures—but as the punishment they are meted out intensifies, so does their behavior.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Headlines: How to be a Crack Whore


Today's headline comes from the 2005 horror flick HELLRAISER 7.  American expat reporter Amy Klein may be known for her hard hitting stories, but it's really her headlines that pull you in.  Dig a little deeper into the article, though, and you find this isn't a step-by-step guide, after all.  What a rip-off!

--J/Metro

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Moon Memories: Child's Play 2 (On Cable)

Right around the time that CHILD'S PLAY 2 was first being shown on cable television, my cousin
Adam was spending the night at my house. After our usual Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure fights, we settled down to watch Chucky do his thing on TV.

I remember very few moments from this particular viewing, but I do recall Adam's reaction when one of the characters drove into frame in a red car--which I now know to be a 1986 Ford Taurus station wagon.

"Wow!", he shouted, likely spraying sour cream and onion potato chips across the room. "That's a nice car!"

"Uh, yeah," I said outwardly.

But inside, I was thinking, "What an idiot."

--J/Metro

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Memo From Purgatory (1964)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Memo From Purgatory - Title Screen
Title Screen
Aspiring author Jay Shaw wants to write a novel about youth gangs, but he's not content to sit at his desk in the Midwest and hammer out some piece of pulp fiction that draws only on that which he has read about elsewhere. No, Shaw wants to go full gonzo for his art, so he moves to the infamous Red Hook neighborhood of New York, crafts a new identity for himself, and plans to infiltrate a youth gang under the guise of Phil Beldone.

It's not happenstance that Shaw stumbles into the soda shop that the Barons frequent, channeling the raw machismo of Marlon Brando. He had already done his research, and knew exactly where to find them, and who he had to impress when he got there. After a dust-up with prickly members Fish and Candle, Shaw is granted an audience with their fearless leader Tiger. Suitably impressed with the way that Shaw handled himself, Tiger offers him membership into the gang. But before he can earn his Baron jacket, he has to pass a three-step initiation process.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Documentary Review: Killer Legends (2014)

In 2009, filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills brought us CROPSEY, a fantastic documentary
Poster Image
that began as an investigation into a local legend and ended up delving into a true murder mystery and examining the treatment of the mentally ill.  In this long-anticipated (and sorely unpublicized) follow-up, Zeman and Mills give similar treatment to urban legends that extend beyond their hometown of Staten Island and into America at large.  Four different legends are explored, uncovering the possible real-life origins of the myths, or at the very least, genuine examples.

The first segment covers the myth of the Hook, in which young people on Lover’s Lane narrowly escape with their lives from an escaped convict with a hook for a hand.  Taken as a warning, this is an early example of the slasher-film trope that sex equals death, but it’s feasible that there is a kernel of truth to the story.  Only a few short years before the legend began making its way across America, the Moonlight Murders rocked the town of Texarkana, Texas.  A masked character known as the Phantom was murdering teenagers found in such locations, a crime spree that would eventually become the basis of the horror film THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (1976) and its 2014 remake.  In what is either a brilliant or tasteless move, the Texarkana Parks & Rec department puts on an annual showing of the original film in the area of the actual crime scenes.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Visit Me at Wicked Horror!

Hello reader!

I just wanted to give you a quick heads up that I have been asked to contribute to up-and-coming website Wicked Horror as a regular writer, so I hope that you will check me out over there.  Flag on the Moon will remain my home, but there's enough genre love in me to spread around.

My first article, A Guide to Robert Bloch's Psycho Trilogy, went live today, so please click HERE to give it a read.

Many thanks!
--J/Metro

Sunday, November 16, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Young One (1957)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Young One - Title Screen
Title Screen
Teenager Janice is tired of living under the old fashioned rules of her stodgy aunt Mae, always dreaming of living a life of luxury and freedom to do whatever she damn well pleases. She has latched onto Stan, wrapping him around her pretty little finger in an attempt to manipulate him into rescuing her. He is only 18, though, unemployed and unable to take her away from this life of doldrums.

Janice decides that she needs an older man, and so in the midst of her date with Stan, she breaks into a swing dance that earns the attention of the much older blue collar bad boy Tex. They have a fantastic bit of give-and-take, and he appears interested in her but ultimately blows her off when she tries to persuade him to run away with her. Rejected, she says she has to return to Stan, who has already stormed off in a huff but is waiting for her outside. How does she know he’s waiting? Because that’s what Stan does. “He always waits."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Unholy Grails: Coffin Joe Comics

I'm of the belief that Coffin Joe is the coolest horror movie villain in existence.  Sure, he's not as well known as Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees, but those who do know him tend to love him. Nowhere, though, is he quite so beloved as he is in his home country of Brazil.

With his black suit, top hat, cape, and obscenely long fingernails, Coffin Joe (played by writer-director Jose Mojica Marins) first appeared in 1963's AT MIDNIGHT I'LL TAKE YOUR SOUL, and went on to appear in THIS NIGHT I'LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE (1967) and EMBODIMENT OF EVIL (2008).  Although these three films comprise the official Coffin Joe Trilogy, the character appeared in other films of Marins, as well as TV shows.

Only a selection of these appearances are available to the English-speaking world (and, in the case of the TV appearances, some are lost all together).  But what I truly crave is the combination of freakery and geekery that can only be found in the art of the horror comic.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Artwork: Troll Hunter

 

Today's artwork comes from the 2010 film TROLL HUNTER.  These sketches are found in hunter Hans' headquarters, detailing a few of the mythical creatures that he is tracking. Godspeed, Hans!

--J/Metro

Thursday, November 13, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] Village Of The Giants (1965)

Village Of The Giants - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
A group of city kids out looking for kicks wreck their car and have to walk three miles to the nearest town—Hainesville, CA. Their leader Fred (Beau Bridges) makes an executive decision to spend a while checking out the local scene, so they find a crash pad in an abandoned theater.

Meanwhile across town, a young boy known as Genius (Ron Howard) is showing off the formula he created to his older sister Nancy (Charla Doherty) and her boyfriend Mike (Tommy Kirk). The formula, which he dubs Goo, has the power to increase the size of animals roughly six-fold when it is consumed. First a stray cat and then Genius's pet dog are accidentally giantized, and then they feed it to a few ducks, apparently just to be sure that it works. While Mike and Nancy are busy pontificating how to make a quick buck with the Goo (while simultaneously solving the world hunger crisis), the ducks fly away, threatening their plan to keep the Goo a secret until they can file a patent.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[Movie Review] Starry Eyes (2014)

Theatrical Poster
I've never been to Los Angeles, but from what I understand (based solely on film and television that depicts it, mind you), it is a cold and shallow place. It's a mecca where dreamers go to achieve success, thinking that they will somehow beat the odds and emerge as stars. Nine times out of ten, they are chewed up and spit out by the entertainment machine, a broken and drug-addled mess. If they are lucky, they might land halfheartedly in the porn industry. But if they're really, really lucky, they just might find their big break.

Welcome to La La Land, ladies and gentlemen, where nothing and nobody is what they seem.

Sarah Walker is young and attractive, and while she might appear to be just your average waitress at the local Big Taters establishment (Think a spud-centric Hooters), she's actually—surprise, surprise—an actress just playing the part of potato pusher until she hits the big time. Between auditions and work shifts, she hangs out with a bunch of other struggling Hollywood types (her apartment complex is lousy with them) and attends some pretentious art crowd parties. It's no wonder she's so desperate to make a name for herself, so she can move on to bigger and better things.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reccomended Reads: Five Series All Horror Fans Should Read

Dexter Series by Jeff Lindsay
Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004), Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005), Dexter in the Dark (2007), Dexter by Design (2009), Dexter is Delicious (2010), Double Dexter (2011), Dexter's Final Cut (2013)

If you've only seen the cable television series, you're missing half the fun. Season one followed the plot of the first novel fairly closely, but after that, both mediums ran off in drastically different directions--almost as if they are alternate universe adventures of the same character. In Book Dexter's world, there are serial killer children, mutilated enemy cops, supernatural cults, mad artists, cannibals, and much more to contend with. It may not be the Dexter you know, but any additional tales of a cult favorite anti-hero like this one deserve a fair shake.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Moon Memories: Addams Groove

To coincide with the new big-screen adaptation of cult favorite characters THE ADDAMS FAMILY  in 1991, Hammer (having recently dropped the MC from his name) released the hit single Addams Groove, which appeared not only the film's soundtrack, but also on his new album Too Legit To Quit.

MC Hammer - Addams Groove

I was only 12 years old, and my taste in music obviously hadn't matured much, as I fell in love first with the music video and then with the song itself.  Can you blame me?  Check out these lyrics: 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)

Teenagers From Outer Space - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
A scouting group of extraterrestrials land on earth to determine if the conditions are suitable to support their primary food source, a mysterious creature called the gargon. When the results come back positive, they plan to leave one gargon behind as a test subject, and return later with the rest of the intergalactic livestock in tow. Sensitive alien Derek realizes that the planet is populated with civilized beings and doesn't want to turn it into a feeding and breeding ground for the lethal gargon. Dubbed a traitor and threatened with torture by the rest of his crew, he flees the scene. Alpha-male Thor is dispatched to capture him while the others return to base.

Derek becomes entwined with the pretty human Betty and her kindhearted Grandfather, accidentally placing them in danger as Thor vaporizes anyone who stands in his way. Derek has to not only stay one step ahead of his pursuer, but also find a way to halt the impending invasion that will leave the planet in decimation...and maybe, just maybe, find love.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Poster Art of Jakub Erol

In recent years, blog posts celebrating foreign editions of popular American movie posters have become rather common.  These alternate versions seem quite alien to our Western eyes, almost as if they had fallen from a different dimension and landed on our doorstep.  One of my favorites has always been this Polish poster for ALIEN, which is as amazing as it is inexplicable.


Turns out that this is from artist Jakub Erol, whose posters are routinely surreal. A quick search at the Movie Poster Database turned up a number of other sterling examples, my favorites of which that I have included here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

[Movie Review] The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

A crew of documentary filmmakers (Michelle Ang, Brett Gentile and Jeremy DeCarlos) looking to make a thesis film on Alzheimer's contacts the Logan family, hoping to document the effects of the disease on both the sufferer and the family. Daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsay) is all for the project, as the stipend they will receive will go a long way towards paying off the increasing medical bills. Mother Deborah (Jill Larson), though, is hesitant, fearful of being exploited. Exploitation is a fine line, though, and she is eventually convinced that their motives are pure. 

The effects of the disease are horrifying and otherworldly in and of themselves, but they are very much grounded in reality. They are captured on film by our documentarians, but eventually symptoms begin to manifest that can't readily be explained by medical texts. It seems that Mrs. Logan—along with the too-protective neighbor Harris (Ryan Cutrona)—has a secret history, and it is finally catching up to her.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Short Film: Red Balloon (2010)

Not to be confused with 1956's THE RED BALLOON, this 2010 short film from directors Damien Macé and Alexis Wajsbrot is something of a twist on the "babysitter-in-danger" subgenre of films.  Julie (the beautiful Rachel Bright) is babysitting young Dorothy (Niamh Palmer Watson), who is having difficulty sleeping.  Julie first assumes that the girl is suffering from nightmares, but as we soon discover...the nightmare is hers.

Clocking in at only 13 minutes, there isn't a lot of time for character development, but the filmmakers still manage to squeeze in an impressive amount of feats.  There is a definite creep factor on display the entire way through, not only through the character interactions but also through some less-noticeable background elements that help to weave the fear into a more complete tapestry (i.e., the news report on television, and the unusual family photo).  There are also some truly fantastic shots, such as when the camera backs through the house, through a glass vase, through the pierced ear of a Buddha statue, through the window, and into the garden before reversing its trajectory and taking us into the upstairs bedroom.

The character design showcased at the end was pretty cool looking, although it was never clearly shown.  It would be an unnecessary move to turn this into a full-length feature as the short pretty much stands on its own, but I would still be in line to see it.  Picture this as an epic pre-credit sequence to a movie that unfolds on a grander scale, and you would probably be in line, too.


RED BALLOON from Alexis Wajsbrot on Vimeo.
--J/Metro

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

[Ephebiphobia] The Beatniks (1960)

The Beatniks - Theatrical Poster
Theatrical Poster
Four young hoods in masks get their kicking-around money by knocking over local businesses at gunpoint, while the sole lady of the group waits behind the wheel of their getaway vehicle. After the latest robbery turns up enough scratch for chicken fried steaks at the local diner, Iris (Karen Kadler), drops a couple of shiny nickels in the juke box and pleads to her gang leader boyfriend, "Sing to me, Eddy." Which he does, an interesting little novelty tune with the unforgettable lyrics "Sideburns don't need your sympathy."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Movie Review] Fantasm: A Convention Documentary (2013)

Lifelong horror fan Kyle Kuchta attended his first horror convention at age fifteen.  Years later, he returned to the convention circuit with a camera to document the events, and attempt to capture the heart and the spirit of them.  Interviewing fans, stars, filmmakers and merchants alike, he often fails to portray the experience of attending, but it is, at least, an honorable attempt.  The problems with these sorts of documentaries, which rely primarily on “talking head” footage, is that all they do is talk—and it’s exceedingly difficult to capture an experience simply by talking about an experience.  That is something that a good documentary does, but a great documentary will somehow manage to show you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Artwork: Return to Horror High


Today's artwork comes from 1987's RETURN TO HORROR HIGH.  With the neck of a turtle and the mane of a (red) lion, this mystery man must have had all of the cheerleaders taking numbers to meet him beneath the bleachers.

--J/Metro

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Bedroom of Fright Night's Charley Brewster

I always find it interesting how Hollywood films depict the bedrooms of "average" teenagers.  While watching the original FRIGHT NIGHT (1985) the other day, I was struck by the bizarre combination of things that were packed into Charley Brewster's room, and decided to take a closer look.

Television, always playing horror movies

Saturday, November 1, 2014

AUTOMATONOPHOBIA is now available to download...FREE!

The AUTOMATONOPHOBIA 'zine is now available to download for absolutely free, simply by clicking HERE!

Automatonophobia - Cover Image
Automatonophobia: The Fear of Dummies