The Cellar Review

The Cellar (1980)

Written by: Richard Laymon
Published by: Dorchester Publishing (Originally), 47North

It's been a while since I've posted, I know. I've been focusing on writing and some reading as well. That being said, this little gem was suggested to me by a good friend and after finishing it, I felt it needed to be broadcast to you wonderful readers.

The Cellar is a thrilling horror novel by the talented Richard Laymon. It follows mother and daughter, Donna and Sandy as they flee their home after being tipped off that Donna's ex-husband, Roy has just been released from prison. Their journey intertwines with that of a mercenary by the name of Judgement Rucker and his benefactor, Larry as they are en route to an infamous tourist trap known as Beast House to slay the legendary Beast, for which it is named.

It's hard to pinpoint what exactly I like best about this story. There are so many facets that blend so well together: lust, hate, brutality, sensuality, etc. In the end you get this sort of goulash of good writing that keeps you sucked in and wanting to know what happens next.

Each character in the story pulls their own weight, as it were. There is a great deal of variety between them all. With Jud and Larry, you get a sort of odd rapport that just seems to work. Between Donna and Sandy, there is a bit of whimsy that keeps the story grounded. With Roy, you get the sick perverseness that turns your stomach in just the right places. Mix them all together and you have yourself a cluster-fuck of just the right magnitude to satisfy that inner voice that beckons for controlled chaos.

As an example, here's a small excerpt from the book I'm sure will make your day:

He sliced through the left side of her bikini pants. The edges flopped away. She clamped her legs shut to keep the pants from slipping down.
     "What time does your husband get home?"
     "What time?" He pulled the pants down to her ankles.
     "Maybe four-thirty."
     "It's only three now. That gives us lots of time."
     "I don't know where they went."
     "Oh?" He laughed. "You may be able to take a lot of pain. I'll be happy to give it to you. But let me tell you something: If you love that husband of yours, you'll tell me what I want to know before he gets home. When you tell me where they are, I'll leave. I won't hurt you, I won't hurt your husband. If I'm still here when he gets home, though, I'm going to kill you and him both."
     "I don't know where she is."
     "Sure you do."
     "I don't."
     "Well then, that's too bad for both of you, isn't it?"
     She said nothing.
     "Where did they go?"
     Crouching, he drew a question mark on the white flesh of her buttocks, and watched it bleed.

I can't say there was really anything I didn't like. It was one of those books that had me itching to pick it back up every time I set it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It was different from what I've normally read and thus a sort of breath of fresh air. Especially the ending. I won't spoil anything, but I will say you won't see it coming. I plan to get my hands on the next title in the series soon, The Beast House.

For all you lovers of horror out there, I would highly recommend starting this series off right with The Cellar. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy on You will be delightfully repulsed and perhaps even mortified. I know I was.



Special Effects

Overall Rating: Beastly

Chain Letter Review

Chain Letter (2010)

Starring: Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif
Directed by: Deon Taylor

We all remember back in the day (about, say, 2004, maybe earlier) when text and email chain letters were all the rage, right? Yeah, I hated it, too. And that brings us to today's film, Chain Letter.

In Chain Letter, a group of friends are slowly killed off one by one when they fail to pass along an ominous chain letter email.

This was one of those movies I'd classify very closely to "torture porn" status. Perhaps "gore porn"? I really wanted to like it, but as a story, it's a little lame. Even with three of my favorite actors (Brad Dourif, Keith David, and Noah Segan), it was sort of hard to really want to sit through this. I will give credit where it is due and say the kill scenes weren't too bad. They were gruesome, to say the least. But that being said, it wasn't enough to save this film from a poor script and in some cases, ham-fisted acting.

I guess you can say this is one of those movies helmed for the sake of taking advantage of the gore crowd and little, if anything more. Then again, according to the iMDB score, even they didn't really care so much for this movie.

With a little more effort, I think there really could have been more to Chain Letter, had it been a bit more streamlined and less cryptic in execution. I get the concept of an anti-technology cult, but if the killer was in relation to them, why did he use technology to kill? What was the deal with the chains? Was there supposed to be a sequel to explain the many questions left from the first? I honestly don't think we'll ever find out at this point.

As someone who has sat through this film several times just to make sure I didn't miss anything, I would say for most, but the biggest Brad Dourif fans (granted he was in it for all of maybe five minutes...), avoid this movie. I love Brad and Keith and Noah, but I just can't honestly recommend this one to anyone. It's not the worst film out there, but it sure as hell isn't really much good, either.

But that being said, at least I liked it more than Smiley.



Special Effects

Overall Rating: Deleted and Forgotten

The Grays Anatomy Review

The Grays Anatomy (2014)

Written by: Rob Shepherd
Published by: Stanhope Books

It's been a long time coming that I put out another review. Those of you in the know are already familiar with the fact that I've decided to devote a lot more of my time to writing. This book is one of the reasons why. The Grays Anatomy is a horror anthology of twelve unique short stories written by up and comer, Rob Shepherd. These stories are some of the best I've read in a long time and I should warn you, it's hard to put this book down once you've started it. Even the stories revolving around the well known sub-genre of zombies are great reads for all you horror hounds out there.

I found this book to be very enjoyable due to the writer's unique perspective on the horror genre. I'm also not afraid to say some of that perspective has helped to inspire some of my own writing recently, which I think is a good thing. Here's an excerpt of one of the stories available entitled, "With Friends Like These"

All the time Ryan could feel it looking at him directly in the eyes, burning a hole through him, destroying his soul. “who...” Ryan began to ask barely able to spit and sputter out the question. The question he didn't want to know the answer to. The question he already knew the answer too. The answer was already there in-front of him. “Who...are you” “I am lost, I am broken, but I am whole” came the cryptic reply. But it didn't come from the things mouth, if he could have seen it, but his head again. The creature was talking to him through his head again. This time though, Ryan knew it was all business. Job at hand. The creature slithered towards Ryan and into the light leaking out from the warm glow of the house. That was when Ryan knew he had to be going mad. This wasn't right, he had personally buried Oliver in that grave right there, beside him now. The creature looked down at the grave, stared at it, almost mournfully and then focused back on Ryan. It was almost a dare to do it. Ryan needed no encouragement, he had to do this both to satisfy himself and to rid everything of this ridiculous idea that ghosts or the undead actually exist. Suddenly the shovel was in his hand and Ryan was digging furiously, until he was 6 feet down. He threw the shovel up onto the ground above him and stopped. “Where's the body, where is the fucking body?” Ryan cried out. Immediately he felt like he should regret that.

 Each story in this book has a nice clutch of well-rounded characters and development many writers can only hope for. Personally, I had a great time reading every story in this book. With such tales as "King-Pin", "Majique" and "The Poe Paradox", it was hard to find myself at a loss for entertainment. I hope you feel the same way when you give it a try. The Grays Anatomy can be found here for ebook purchase. I'd suggest you pick up a copy today!




Special Effects

Overall Rating: Eerily Amusing

The Human Centipede 3 Cometh!

So, after a long wait, we have some news on The Human Centipede 3. Those of you anxious to be grossed out by the 500 body 'pede will be happy to know there has finally been a release date set. We're looking at May 22 for the theatrical as well as VOD release.
A story synopsis is available at

Big Ass Spider! Review

Big Ass Spider! (2013)

Starring: Ray Wise, Greg Grunberg, Clare Kramer
Directed by: Mike Mendez

Coming out the gate, I'm going to say normally, I don't care for spider flicks. Save for Arachnophobia, of course. That movie was the shit. But this comedy laden CGI fest was actually enjoyable from beginning to end.

In Big Ass Spider!, exterminator Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) has his work cut out for him when a giant spider is accidentally delivered to the hospital and begins preying on the citizens of the city while rapidly growing in size.

In my personal opinion, I thought this film had a good plot to start from. It started with a tiny Brown Recluse and then quickly spun out of control with a spider that, while CGI, was still fun to watch get its kills. The thing I liked so much was that it was like the opposite of Eight-Legged Freaks. Instead of the majority of the film involving multitudes of arachnids munching on people, there was (for the majority of the movie) one solitary, bad ass spider taking what it wanted and just generally not giving a flying fuck.

The best part about the film was probably the characters. The rapport between Alex and Jose was perfect. They played off each other like Batman and Robin. There is funny cameo by Lynn Shaye in the very beginning of the film as well. The only bad side of the characters was that the military was ridiculously stupid. With the amount of firepower they have at their disposal, throughout the film, every engagement with the spider (who gets bigger every time, mind you) is met with the same submachine guns that do less and less. Being the military, I'm sure they had a Hummer with a .50 Cal lying around somewhere, right? But then again, if the military had been smart, we wouldn't have this hilarious movie to watch.

The general setting of Big Ass Spider! is a simple cityscape. Most of the film takes place either in the hospital, the park or in Little Tokyo. Speaking of which, I probably should have mentioned this before, but most of this movie is actually a flashback. It starts off with the giant spider being attacked by helicopters and causing utter mayhem as a nice cover of "Where Is My Mind" (the song at the end of Fight Club) plays. It's actually a really nice opening. I think this does play towards the atmosphere of the film because it goes from the chaos back in time to before all hell breaks loose and then builds up from there.

The thing about the special effects in Big Ass Spider! is that even though the spider looks pretty bad ass, it still has the "bad CGI" touch that gives this movie some of its comedic power. You know, the funny without trying effect? The moments where victims are netted with webbing are particularly noticeable as being SyFy quality, but it doesn't slow the movie down one bit.

Overall, Big Ass Spider! is a fun film for everyone. There's no nudity, but plenty of violence to make up for it. There is plenty of humor and more or less, a good story to play with. I personally really enjoyed this film and I think if you're willing to sit through something like Eight Legged Freaks, you can definitely sit through Big Ass Spider!




Special Effects

Overall Rating: Big Ass Fun!

My 10 Favorite Death Scenes

It's no surprised, one of my favorite things about horror movies is the death scene. Hell, more often than not, what's the point, right? What his horror without the threat of death? The thrill of the kill? In many cases, boring. So, today, I've compiled a short list of 10 of my favorite kills from some of my favorite horror films. I hope you enjoy!

10. Silent Hill -- Cop Cooker
Just to throw it out there, I have nothing against most cops. I've never been unnecessarily harassed or anything like that. I just really like this scene because of how terrifying it is to imagine being roasted alive like a pig on a spit (no pun intended). 

9. Hostel -- Achilles Slice
Again, another kill that gets a good cringe out of the audience. This was one of the most iconic kill scenes from the gore fest that was Hostel.

8. A Nightmare on Elm Street -- What A Mess!
In his first role, Johnny Depp was murdered in one of the coolest ways ever. He was turned into a human margarita and then tossed up on the ceiling like the blender exploded. This was another iconic death scene that still manages to look better than a lot of the more modern movie kills.

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 -- Bug Girl
This kill scene had two things that make people cringe regularly. Bugs and the thought of getting crushed alive. Though it was a little silly, it was still a personal favorite.

6. Friday the 13th Part 7 -- Sleeping Bag Slam
I've always found this kill to be both funny and terrifying at the same time. Something about being stuffed into a sleeping bag and slammed into a tree like the worst game of Pillow Fight ever just gets to me, ya know?

5. Day of the Dead -- Head Pull
This is one of the craziest scenes ever right here. After the shit has hit the fan in the facility, the military goons run around with nowhere to go. One of them is bitten and eats a bullet. Another gets his face torn off. This guy gets his fucking head ripped off while he's still screaming. Epic.

4. Hatchet -- Pac-Man Decapitation
One of the best films of the modern era, Hatchet comes loaded with two things: buckets of blood and excellent practical effects. In this scene, Victor Crowley has gotten hold of one of the members of the ill-fated boat tour and proceeds to turn her into one of those old toothbrush commercials.

3. Trailer Park of Terror -- No Happy Ending!'s just say, I don't ever want a massage from this woman. EVER. Any man who has seen this movie knows damn well what I'm talking about! And if you haven't, go do so. It's worth it.

2. Halloween 2 -- Nurse Backstab
I love this scene because, well, for one it's Michael Meyers doing what he does best. And secondly, he's stabbed this woman in the back and lifted her off the ground with nothing but a scalpel. That's fucking terrifying!

1. Day of the Dead -- Captain Rhodes
Okay, I don't like spoiling things, but let's be frank--we knew Rhodes was gonna die. He was too big an asshole to not, am I right? Well, aside from this scene being Bub's payback, it also holds a spot in my heart for being one of the most macabre jokes ever in a horror film. If you pause just as the first zombie pulls something out of the good ol' Captain and look closely, you'll find he's pulled a rubber chicken out of him. A rubber fucking chicken. Because of that, I like to pretend he's been running around the movie pissed off because he can't get the chicken out of his ass. Totally changes the perspective of the story, doesn't it?

(Disclaimer: If you watch the film with commentary, they state they "almost" put the chicken in and then immediately afterwards comment that what was pulled out first looked just like a rubber chicken and had to have been snuck in. I'm in the camp that it was a rubber chicken because, well, that's funny as shit. Don't agree? That's fine, you can't hardly tell what the hell all is in there.)

So there you have 10 of my favorite horror movie kill scenes. I'd love to see what you creeps like in the comments below. List your favorite scene or scenes. Don't be shy!

Trailer Park of Terror Review

Trailer Park of Terror (2008)

Starring: Nichole Hiltz, Lew Temple, Jeanette Brox
Directed by: Stephen Goldmann

I've had this movie in my collection for a while and always wanted to do a review of it, mainly because it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. It's one of those movies that you can put on for just about anything. Pizza night, background noise, it's all good.

Trailer Park of Terror is about a group of six troubled teens and their chaperon getting stranded in the middle of a haunted trailer park when their bus crashes. Soon into the ordeal, zombie hillbillies appear and begin slaughtering the teens simply for the hell of it.

This is one of those movies I truly adore. The general plot is something as simple and akin to the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre mixed with Friday the 13th with a dash of southern hospitality. A group of (more or less) innocent teens are minding their own business when trouble strikes and causes them to run afoul of a blip on the map they would have missed had they made it 30 more minutes up the road. They stop for help only to be slaughtered one by one by a handful of psychotic zombies.

The back story to the trailer park actually makes you feel bad for one of the zombies, Norma (Nichole Hiltz) and gives a good bit of foreshadowing for the ending scenes. In both the beginning and the end, there is a small cameo by country star Trace Adkins. Honestly, I think he was perfect for that spot. The kids, on the other hand, were mostly douche-tastic. The real stars of the movie are the zombies. I particularly liked Roach, partially because I'm also a guitar player.

The overall atmosphere of the film is dark, but oddly light-hearted. Luckily, it's not enough to completely throw out the tension. That's something I did like about Trailer Park of Terror.

The real shining point of the film was the special effects. They were somewhat silly, but gruesome all at the same time. One of my favorite scenes involved a character getting into Roach's stash and let's just say, she'll never get caught red-handed again. Another sickening scene involved the ghost of the resident masseuse doing what she does best. Unfortunately, there was no happy ending.

There is a lot more good than bad about Trailer Park of Terror, to say the least. There's something in it for just about any horror fan. The only thing really missing is nudity, but that's honestly fine. This is a shining example of doing it right. It has the gore. It has some tension. Unfortunately, the characters, the protagonists, actually, are kinda unlikable, but it's more than made up for with the crazy situations they are put through. You will root for the zombies and you won't feel bad about it.




Special Effects

Overall Rating: Ghoulishly Delightful