Sunday, March 8, 2020

New Episode of The Midnight Manor Podcast

In this episode of The Midnight Manor Podcast, The Losman and Lady Winters talk about their trip to Bastrop for the Cult Classic Convention, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Candyman, and the appeal of Urban Legends in horror.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Tremors (1990)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Tremors (1990)
Dir- Ron Underwood

Remember those movies of the fifties.  The ones that relied on the big scary monster and our fear of the unknown pretending to be Communism. Tremors take us to those beautiful days and give us a good scare and a dose of fifties style horror. It seems that an unidentified creature is killing the folks of a sleepy desert town. Two junks dealers meet up with a researcher and discover the monster at hand. They return to town to the amazed looks of the locals and are suddenly held hostage by even more of the tunnel dwellers. Tremors did not rely on mere gore like many monster movies of this period; it uses the fear of the unknown and places its heroes at odds with an unstoppable menace that has trapped them. Great practical creature effects highlight the intense performances by Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon as the two junk dealers. The real kudos go to Reba McIntyre and Michael Gross, who play a pair of survivalists in roles that are very far from their usual selves. A welcome addition to the field that was sorely lacking in a great monster movie.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Cloverfield (2008)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Cloverfield (2008)
Dir- Matt Reeves

A monster attack on New York City is seen through the shaky video camera of a group of friends who flee the city and face threats from the creature as it tears through the city. Matt Reeves directs this found footage film that made excellent use of viral marketing to play up the fear as we see the events unfold before seeing the creature entirely.

Scanners (1981)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Scanners (1981)
Dir- David Cronenberg

A homeless man named Vale with psychic abilities is recruited by a group to do battle with a powerful psychic known as Revok. Both men are known as Scanners and possess the ability to read minds and other skills that would make them powerful weapons. As Vale is trained to understand his abilities, he has to avoid assassins sent out by Revok and learn the secret of their abilities. Scanners is a 1981 sci-fi horror movie directed by Canadian David Cronenberg. The film was notable for the fantastic special effects created by makeup artist Dick Smith that included the famous head explosions. The film has become a cult classic and one of Cronenberg's most memorable movies along with The Fly remake.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Women Who Made An Impact in Horror in 2019

Allison Williams
The daughter of former NBC anchor Brian Williams, Ms. Williams made a name for herself with a popular Youtube video that got the attention of Judd Apatow, who cast her on the HBO series Girls. Her role as Peter Pan drew the attention of Jordan Peele, who cast her in his hit 2017 black comedy Get Out. She added to her horror movie resume with a part in the 2019 Netflix horror movie The Perfection as well as the black comedy series A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Logan Browning
With a career spanning 15 years, Ms. Browning appeared in the Bratz movie, Meet the Browns and Dear White People. Her role in the 2019 horror film The Perfection won her praise alongside her costar Allison Williams. The twist-filled thriller was released in May 2019 after premiering at Fantastic Fest in 2018.

Samara Weaving
An Australian television and screen actress who has made quite an impact in several roles, including The Babysitter, Mayhem, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbings Montana. Ms. Weaving starred in the 2019 black comedy Ready or Not and won praise from critics and audiences for her outstanding role as the newlywed bride caught in a deadly game of hide and seek.

Rebecca Ferguson
A Swedish actress who came to the attention of audiences worldwide for her portrayal of Elizabeth Woodville in The White Queen. Ms. Ferguson also starred in two Mission Impossible movies, the sci-fi horror movie Life Men in Black: International. Her role as the cult leader Rose the Hat in the 2019 Stephen King adaptation of Doctor Sleep terrified audiences with her scene-stealing presence and evil intent.

Lupita Nyong'o
An Oscar-winning actress who showed great success in roles that include 12 Years a Slave, the recent Star Wars franchise, and Marvels Black Panther. In 2019 Ms. Nyong'o starred in the zombie movie Little Monsters and won further acclaim for her role in Jordan Peele's Us as the wife and mother of a family who is confronted by doppelgangers. 

Florence Pugh
English actress Florence Pugh had a significant impact in 2019 with breakthrough roles in Fighting with My Family, Midsommar, and Little Women. Ari Aster's Midsommar was one of the most talked-about horror films of the summer of 2019 with Ms. Pugh delivering an incredible performance that shows her range as an emerging superstar.

Jen and Sylvia Soska
Jen and Sylvia Soska are Canadian sisters who write, produce and direct films such as Dead Hooker in a Trunk, See No Evil 2, and the cult favorite American Mary. They released a remake of the David Cronenberg film Rabid in 2019 with Laura Vandervoort in the starring role.

Brea Grant
An actress, writer, and director who specializes in horror, Ms. Grant appeared in the popular tv show Heroes, Dexter, and Friday Night Lights. Along with her numerous acting roles, Ms. Grant has written and directed two movies, including the 2012 dark comedy Best Friends Forever and the forthcoming horror film 12 Hour Shift set for a 2020 release.

Barbara Crampton
With a career going back to the 1980s, Ms. Crampton appeared in several popular horror films including Chopping Mall, Re-Animator, From Beyond and Castle Freak. After a hiatus, she returned to horror films in 2011 with the home invasion film. You're Next. Ms. Crampton has since appeared in over 15 movies in recent years, attends fan conventions, and, in 2019, added producer credits with a remake of the film Castle Freak. 

Issa Lopez
A Mexican Director whose film Tigers Are Not Afraid shows the aftermath of the violence of the drug cartels in Mexico on the children who are orphaned. The award-winning film drew praise from Stephen King and Guillermo Del Toro, with Del Toro offering to produce her next project.

Diana Prince
Ms. Diana Prince is an actress, producer, and cosplay personality who has made an impact on the horror scene as the Mail Girl Darcy on Shudders The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs. Her role on the show also includes handling the social media as well as making appearances with Joe Bob at fan conventions, movie screenings, and events related to The Last Drive-In. Ms. Prince is quite active on social media and reaches out to fans of horror, sharing her insight with the horror community.

Kreepazoid Kelly
Ms. Kelly has been active in the horror fan scene since the early 90s visiting Universal Halloween horror nights and reaching out to fans since 2003 on MySpace and Twitter since 2006. Her work also included horror modeling for conventions and product advertisements. Despite her illness Ms. Kelly is active on Twitter and Instagram, supporting the horror fan community, independent horror films, and encouraging horror content creators.

Jill Sixx
Jill Gevargizian, aka Jill Sixx, is an actress, director, and producer who has made several short movies, including the award-winning film The Stylist, which features a character based on her experience as a hairstylist. Ms. Sixx started a monthly showcase called Slaughter MOvie House in her home town of Kansas City that she runs to this day. Her current project is a full-length version of The Stylist starring Najarra Townsend and Brea Grant. 

Sophia Takal
Sophia Takal is known for her many roles in independent films as an actress, producer, and director. In 2019 she was tasked with directing a reimagined version of the classic horror film Black Christmas for Blumhouse. Despite the film's modest performance, it was welcomed by young female fans who embraced the strong feminist theme and cast of women who the audience found it easy to cheer for as final girls.

Natasha Pascetta
A writer and producer, Ms. Pascetta is the director of Digital Production at Cinestate and Fangoria. As the "Vanguard of the Vault," she is responsible for creating and producing podcasts for Fangoria Podcast Network and the horror community. Ms. Pascetta is also the director of the award-winning short film Road Trash and has a second movie Dark Ages coming soon.

Chelsea Stardust
After graduating from film school, Ms. Stardust moved to Los Angeles. She worked as Jason Blum's executive assistant for four years, allowing her to pursue her love for horror with several short movies as well as a musical theater production Slashed: The Musical. Her full-length film directorial debut came with 2019s Stanic Panic as well as an episode of Into the Dark. 

Maya Hawke
The daughter of actors Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, Maya Hawke, won praise for her role as Robin Buckley in the third season of the Netflix series Stranger Things. Ms. Hawke started her acting career in the tv miniseries Little Women and has appeared in Ladyworld, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Human Capital.

Laura Vandervoort
The Canadian actress is known for roles on Instant Star, Haven, Smallville, and V, as well as many television movies. In 2019 Ms. Vandervoort appeared in the sci-fi series V-Wars and was involved in the remake of the David Cronenberg movie Rabid directed by the Soska sisters. 

Veronika Franz
Austrian director who directed the films Goodnight Mommy and a segment in the anthology The Field Guide to Evil. Her latest movie is the isolation thriller The Lodge starring Riley Keough and Richard Armitage scheduled for release in early 2020.

Heather Wixson
A journalist and frequent blogger, Ms. Wixson, enjoys sharing her love for horror and indie cinema. A former writer for Dread Central and, Ms. Wixson is now the Managing Editor for Her first book, Monster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema's Most Memorable Creatures, was published in 2018, and she is currently working on a follow-up book on Special Effects Artists.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Son of Frankenstein (1939)- The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

Son of Frankenstein (1939)
Dir- Rowland V. Lee

Boris Karloff's final appearance as the famed monster. In this sequel to the classic movie Bride of Frankenstein, we find Basil Rathbone playing the son of a famed doctor who happens to discover the still-living monster in the ruins of the laboratory. Lugosi is perfect as Ygor, who has cared for the monster in the time before his discovery. Great settings and an impressive score only help to make this movie a classic. This film was a huge success and helped to reinvigorate the market for monster movies after a brief hiatus due to issues with British censorship and the Hays Code.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

A Bucket of Blood (1959) - The Los 366

For 2020 I will be listing what I feel are 366 essential horror films that all fans should watch. This list will include many of the best horror movies ever made as well as important films that I believe should be watched as well.

A Bucket of Blood (1959)
Dir- Roger Corman

A standard Roger Corman quickie that does the job and manages to spoof the beatnik movement as well as the new craze of horror movies like House of Wax and Curse of the Demon. A bumbling busboy has a fascination with art and tries a new and unique style. After accidentally killing a neighbor's cat, he gets inspired to cover up the evidence with some molding clay. He then half-wittingly murders people and covers their body with earth and displays them at his coffee house to get attention from the customers. All in the hopes of impressing the artistic types with whom he wishes to befriend. With all idiots comes his eventual discovery, and the finale is somewhat novel in his wanting to go out in style. In the form of Corman's more famous Little Shop of Horrors, which he would make the next year. A real delight to those who want to see even more of Corman's early little-known work.