Featured Articles o'the Month

The Curse of La Llorona - Movie Review

La Llorona, the teary-eyed phantom of Mexican folklore, has always been something of a horror icon; the image of a sobbing spectre in a wedding gown is as indelible as that of a bloody hook hanging from the handle of a car door. It is a legend that has inspired songs, TV shows, haunted attractions, comic books, and movies. Now, there have been some pretty groovy movies about La Llorona (we are particularly fond of The Curse of the Crying Woman from 1960), but there wasn't really a film that the general public associated with the legend... until now, that is. Though FAR from a masterpiece, The Curse of La Llorona may have given cinema its quintessential Weeping Woman.

Okay, it's way too early to tell for sure, but this La Llorona has something that other filmic La Lloronas lacked: a tie to a popular franchise. You see, for some unfathomable reason, the marketing for the film downplayed the fact that this is a movie set within The Conjuring universe! Without spoiling TOO much, we must tell you that this film should not be missed by Annabelle fans. I don't know why they hid the Conjuring ties, but they are rather significant.

The plot is basic: social worker/mother endeavors to rescue her children from the eldritch evil that is La Llorona. You've seen a movie like this before; you've seen MANY movies like this before. Unless you had been encased in a casket for two centuries and were unearthed for the sole purpose of watching this movie, this will not be a new experience for you. So, why bother with a movie like this? 

Because it's fun! The scares are beautifully executed, the film is well-shot, and it's never boring. Sometimes, all we want is a solid spookhouse picture, and that is what we got here. First-time director Michael Chaves does an impressive job of creating the palpable atmosphere that is so essential to a movie like this. Linda Cardellini, Patricia Valesquez,  and Raymond Cruz all give excellent performances, further elevating this film.

Yes, this is a fairly conventional horror picture, but it does include most of the classic iconography of the legend. In our opinion, La Llorona deserved a solid cinematic representation for the average audience; this film delivers. It didn't twist the story in radical ways, and it will hopefully introduce the ghostly legend to a new crowd. 

It's unlikely that La Llorona will supplant your favorite Conjuring movie; what is conceivable is that you'll have damn good time with it. Though lacking originality and depth, it does have its fair share of weeps and creeps. As a true ghost train of a movie, it's a gas. And that's nothing to cry about. 

image14

Notre-Dame de Paris and the Hunchback

The Notre-Dame de Paris is many things to a great many people: an architectural marvel, a historical landmark of incalculable significance, a sacred house of worship, an icon of French culture, and even more still. Production of the Notre-Dame began in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345; a cathedral created over the course of 200 years. It has seen kings crowned, witnessed key events in European history (including the French Revolution and the Coronation of Napoleon I), and has survived for about 856 years. On April 15th of 2019, the storied edifice was engulfed in flames; its spire and roof had collapsed and its interior, upper walls, and windows had been severely damaged; many works of art and treasures were salvaged, but others were damaged or destroyed.

While we are greatly saddened by this tragedy, we are relieved by the fact that the Notre-Dame still remains. The Notre-Dame has been damaged before: by Huguenots in 1548, during the French Revolution, and altered during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV. And despite all of that, the cathedral has stood for over 800 years. As long as Our Lady of Paris stands, she will persevere. Bruised and wounded though she may be, she is not slain. 

When Victor Hugo wrote "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" in 1829, the great church was in a state of disrepair. Through his fiction, Hugo sought to raise interest in Notre-Dame, and his success led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864. In that and many other ways, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is a truly remarkable story. Its popularity through subsequent tellings has helped to keep the Notre-Dame alive in the minds of people all over the world. 

And, in a way, the Notre-Dame was a factor in the development of the horror genre: the 1923 Hunchback's success inspired Universal to film "Phantom of the Opera," which led to "Frankenstein," "Dracula," "The Mummy," and so on. Notre-Dame inspired Hugo, Hugo inspired Universal, and Universal inspired the modern horror film. Without that magnificent cathedral, the history of the genre may have played out in an entirely different manner. 

To honor the Notre-Dame and its history, we are presenting the 1923 version of "Hunchback of Notre Dame" in its entirety. It's a story important to both the Notre-Dame and the horror genre, so we feel it is appropriate celebrate Our Lady of Paris with this seminal story. 

Click on the picture to watch the film below and never forget the Notre-Dame: 

Click to view film.

Click to view film.

Hellboy (2019) - Review

Hellboy (2019) is an absurd movie; a cacophonous cornucopia of carnage and creatures. It has more guts than brains, and the brains that it did have are now splattered against the wall. The heart and poetry of Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy movies have been jettisoned in favor of utter chaos and barf-bag excess. Gleefully gross and remorselessly revolting, Hellboy (2019) has more in common with a Gwar concert than a Del Toro fantasy. And we absolutely love it. 

Don't get us wrong: we adore the unholy hell out of the Del Toro films! They're beautiful in every way, and they are superior pictures. However, the new Hellboy is just an absolute gas; a Hellboy for the Fangoria follower. Del Toro told us a fairytale; director Neil Marshall gave us a freak show. Hellboy '19 is not pretty in the way the others were, but it didn't need to be! Sometimes, splatterhouse spectacle is enough.  

If you revel in the gruesome and find solace in the grotesque, there's no reason why you shouldn't dig this like a grave! Not a minute goes by without an exquisitely crafted creature stomping across the screen. The sets are fantastically freaky; the gore is wickedly over-the-top. The whole bloody affair reminds us of a Shaw Brothers fantasy from 1970s: low on story, high on style and fun. Its Hellzapoppin' approach to the macabre never allows a dull second. 

David Harbour won't erase Ron Perlman from your mind, but he does a commendable job as the hellish hero. Milla Jovovich is bewitching as a sinister sorceress, and Sasha Lane is delightful as Hellboy's psychic companion. Thomas Haden Church is enjoyable as pulpish hero Lobster Johnson, though we wish we had seen more of him. Ian McShane is just incredible, but that goes without saying at this point. 

Hellboy has been ripped to shreds by critics and currently sits at a 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, we're not going to say that the film is flawless, but we think it deserves far better than that. If you take it as a weirdo actioner for monster lovers and not as a reboot of the beloved Del Toro movies, there's much to love. Sure, the "Stop the Apocalypse" plot is tired, but Marvel has made many beloved films around that same basic concept for about a decade. Like those movies, the plot is only a frame for the whiz-bang fun. 

Though it's far too early to say for sure, we believe that Hellboy will find its audience; it's too strange to be ignored.  We urge our fellow scare-seekers to see this one while its flame is still burning. For you, the lovers of the weird and wild, this film was created. 

image15

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2 - Review

Lo, a witch returns!

Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch continues to tread the path bizarre in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2, the second season of the Netflix horror series! Based on the Archie comics, the season further pushes the sorcerous Sabrina away from the sunlit realm of mortals. Part 1 saw Sabrina torn between worlds; Part 2 sees her embracing her occult heritage. Though not completely divorced from the temporal, Part 2 accentuates the fantastical elements of the show, moving us away from much of the high school melodrama from the first part. While this may be disconcerting to some viewers, we dug the hell out of Part 2.

As much as we loved Part 1, we felt that it placed far too much emphasis on the mundane aspects of Sabrina's existence; we wanted more monsters, mayhem, and magic, which is exactly what we got with Part 2. It's tacky, lurid, and absolutely delightful! By the time Sabrina is revealed as the "Herald of Hell,"  we knew we were in the heart of Weirdsville. There's nothing here that's entirely new to horror fans, but the frankensteining of classical elements makes for good, strange fun.

Like the first, Part 2 is chockablock with references to the genre's past: characters are named after beloved horror authors, an entire episode is an homage to Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, the influence of Pickman's Model is apparent in a segment, Dorian Gray is a recurring character, and so on. These references and its retro horror aesthetic give Part 2 a weirdly homey feel, even when it becomes epic fantasy. The amalgamation of genre tropes and soap storytelling reminded us of Dark Shadows, even if Part 2 leans more into macabre spectacle than DS did.

In a show of this nature, genuine change is not something one expects. Once the central conflict of a season is resolved, everything usually returns to status quo, allowing the universe to reset and for events to unfold in a familiar manner. However, by the end of Part 2, Sabrina's world does feel irrevocably altered; everything is different now and we cannot wait to see how they address the changes in Part 3. The seeds have been planted; let's see how they grow. 

C(h)AOS looks just as gorgeous as it did in the first, and the performances/characters are just as wonderful. Though we greatly enjoyed Kiernan Shipka in Part 1, we dug her even more as a more confident, defiant Sabrina. Genre vet Veronica Cartwright is superb as a fortune teller in the aforementioned Dr. Terror's episode. Non-binary actor Lachlan Watson is given more chances to shine in this part.

Sabrina still has plenty of spells to cast. If you found yourself bewitched by the first season but wanted some more of that ol' black magic, Part 2 ought to do the trick. For fans of camp, creeps, and classics, Sabrina: Part 2 is spellbinding. 

image16

Awesome Articles...Of Doom!!!

Mail Grrl Duties

Attn. Mutants: Here's where you can find Mr. Joe Bob (and sometimes me ;),  if'n that's a thing that interests ya! (Updated on the reg, so check back often!  :) 

04/19/2019

The Last Drive In Week 4

9 pm EST/ 6 pm PST

Shudder

+ Event Details

04/19/2019

The Last Drive In Week 4

Mr. Joe Bob and I are back to share 2 more Fright Flicks with our Ho-rror Fam! :) 

9 pm EST/ 6 pm PST

Shudder

04/20/2019

Ho-w Rednecks Saved Ho-llywood

7:30 pm

C3 Lab Charlotte, NC

+ Event Details

04/20/2019

Ho-w Rednecks Saved Ho-llywood

The High Ho-ly Day Edition! ;) 

7:30 pm

C3 Lab Charlotte, NC

04/26/2019

The Last Drive In Week 5

9 pm PST/ 6 pm PST

Shudder

+ Event Details

04/26/2019

The Last Drive In Week 5

The halfway mark of our Weekly Series on Shudder! Join Mr. Joe Bob and me as we watch 2 more freaky films, fam! :)

9 pm PST/ 6 pm PST

Shudder

04/26-04/28 2019

Shock Stock

All Weekend

Ramada Inn, London, Ontario

+ Event Details

04/26-04/28 2019

Shock Stock

 Joe Bob will be hanging out all weekend, and screening a 35mm print of Freakmaker

All Weekend

Ramada Inn, London, Ontario

05/03-05/05 2019

TeXXX-ass Frightmare

All Weekend

Hyatt Regency, Dallas TXxx

+ Event Details

05/03-05/05 2019

TeXXX-ass Frightmare

Mr. Joe Bob and I will both be partying all weekend long! :) 

All Weekend

Hyatt Regency, Dallas TXxx

More Events

OG Kinky Kontent

My epic, extended, erotic (for those of us into 6 foot bunnies) shower death from the upcoming Bunnyman 3, Grindhouse edition.

Big thanks to the fine folks at  MasiMedia who got this shindig together, and also to Mr. Roger Jackson (pictured intro-ing a screening of the film in Stu's backyard!! :) who not only came out to party with us, but-t also left me this terrifying vm that I will treasure for the neXXXt billion centuries!! :) xoxo

The 2018 Dark Circus did NOT disappoint!!  It was going to be hard to live up to what I had told people about last year's, but I'm happy to report another five out of five, upside down crosses for this year's festivities.  Check out the video and see for yourself.  :)

My Interview with Clint Freakin' Howard!!!


(nude Clint Howard and snow globes...need I say more?)

High History:  Why I love Scream so much!

Karnal Kombat 

(remember to finish him)

This shit is legit.

ThanXXX so much for stopping by...Let's be Ho-rror Ho-mies!

Questions? Comments? Got A "Stump Joe Bob" for me? Hit me up, Mutants! ;) xoxo

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.