The Midnight Comic Club Episode 5 – Halloween Comics

Well, Halloween is just barely in the rearview, so it’s the perfect time to not only call another meeting of The Midnight Comic Club to order, but also talk about comics based on one of my all-time favorite horror franchises Halloween!

I’ve written a ton about my relationship with these movies here and there on this blog, most recently here. That might help give a little more context to the episode as it goes. Also, if you’re curious, like I said in the intro, these issues are very hard to find for a reasonable price, so happy hunting if you’re interested. Without further ado, here’s the episode.

Here’s the Stefan Hutchinson JoeBlo interview I mentioned.

If you’re wondering why I don’t mention the artist of Halloween III: The Devil’s Eyes, it’s because he’s a gross dude whose name will not be mentioned here. I didn’t realize it when I recorded the episode itself, otherwise, I would have probably approached it differently.

Halloween Scene: The Great Chronological Franchise Project

It’s that time again. Some horror fans celebrate October by watching a movie or two a day. Others do deep dives into all their favorite franchises. I’m mixing the two up and putting a slightly different spin on it all with The Great Chronological Franchise Project! Because I”m some kind of glutton for punishment, I decided to put all of the original (non remake) films in the Psycho, Romero Zombie, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Scanners, Phantasm, Return of the Living Dead and even Final Destination series’ in release order and watch them. Here’s the list I’m working off of:

Continue reading Halloween Scene: The Great Chronological Franchise Project

Halloween Scene: Old School Round-Up

bride-of-frankensteinAs I mentioned yesterday, I got to an early start when it came to watching horror movies this fall. So, I’ve got a lot to talk about! First, if you haven’t already, check out a pair of lists I wrote for CBR. One’s about movies and shows to follow Stranger Things up with while the other focused on the best classic horror movies to stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime!

Continue reading Halloween Scene: Old School Round-Up

Casting Internets: My Halloween Writing

Hi All, you might have noticed that I haven’t posted much here on UnitedMonkee.com recently. That’s because I’ve been pretty darn busy between work and the home buying process (which officially ends today!). I pitched a lot of different Halloween-themed freelance ideas this month, many of which got picked up. Now that they’re finally coming out, I wanted to share them with you.

john dies at the end

 

I worked on two lists for Spinoff Online focusing on horror movies from this decade. I was super impressed with everything I saw. Hopefully I can get to a roundup post soon.

5 Recent Slasher Flicks to Take a Stab at For Halloween

5 Recent Indie Supernatural Horror Movies Worth Watching

 

legion of monsters

 

Over on Marvel.com, I write four Halloween Spooklights on various scary characters from the Marvel U:

Halloween Spooklight: Morbius

Halloween Spooklight: Dracula

Halloween Spooklight: Man-Thing

Halloween Spooklight: The Legion Of Monsters

 

Michael Myers Halloween

Finally, I did two lists for Topless Robot that took a lot of work (if reading comics and watching movies can be considered as such):

John Constantine’s 10 Nastiest Moments from the Early Days Of Hellblazer

Michael Myers’ 10 Craziest Kills From the Original Halloween Franchise

 

Halloween Scene: Ten Notable Movies That Scared This Jaded Horror Fan

I’ve seen a lot of horror movies since I started getting into the genre around the age of 16. Like a lot of horror fans, I feel like I’ve become somewhat jaded over the years. Once you see enough of these things, you can see the Matrix a little bit and know when a scare is coming — if you can tell the difference between an impending jump scare and a legit one, you’ve got the super scardar. And yet, there are still the scenes that scared us when we started out and even though they’re fewer and farther between these days, the new films that still give us the willies or come out of nowhere to spook us. I figured with Halloween still in the air — and inspired by awesome horror blogger Stacie Ponder doing something similar over on her excellent Final Girl blog — I’d run down the ten movies that scared me over the years. I’m sure there’s more out there in the world, but these are the ones that came to mind, either because they entered my life at just the right time, scared me for a moment or created an atmosphere that still ooks me out to this day. So, in no particular order, here’s the ten movies the still spook me in no particular order. Consider yourself warned, spoilers abound after the jump!

Continue reading Halloween Scene: Ten Notable Movies That Scared This Jaded Horror Fan

Halloween Scene: Scream Factory’s Halloween II

Seeing as how it’s Halloween, I wanted to watch a few new horror flicks today, but instead decided to stop wasting time with something that might suck and watching a movie I already know I like presented by the best DVD-makers around, Shout Factory. I actually got the Halloween II Collector’s Edition from their Scream Factory imprint back when I got the one for Halloween III: Season of the Witch, but was saving it for a special occasion. Today seemed appropriate enough, so I went with it.

Before getting into the bonus features, of which I only got through about half, I want to say a few nice things about this movie. I reviewed this one way back in 2008, and while that post is filled to the gills with spelling errors, I still agree with it. ,mv I think this is an underrated sequel. It doesn’t come near topping the o/. riginal, but I give it a lot of credit for mixing things up, getting into a different location and keeping the horror a lot more tight and claustrophobic.

I didn’t realize before how important the setting is to this film. In addition to giving Michael Myers one specific place to haunt for a period of time, you’re also dealing with a lot of the inherent fears that come from being in a hospital. While in a hospital you’re by definition not feeling well or something’s wrong, so you’re altered emotionally, but then you’ve got all these strangers walking in and out and doing things to you you might not understand. Who’s to say all of those people have your best interest in mind? Put a masked killer on top of all that and you’ve got a pretty great recipe for scares.

Okay, now on to the bonus features. I haven’t watched the second disc which contains the TV version of the film, something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, so that’s something to look forward to. I also didn’t have time to re-watch the movie with commentary, but will keep it in mind next time I need something to listen to while working. I did watch the documentary The Nightmare Isn’t Over: The Making Of Halloween II which is a great viewing experience, just like its brother over on the H3 Scream Factory release.

One of the most interesting pieces of info I learned from the doc is that they actually shot an ending where it’s revealed that Jimmy lived. The interesting part isn’t that it got cut, but that director Rick Rosenthal didn’t know it got cut. He said there were a lot of cooks in the kitchen and he didn’t know who cut it. They then talked about the TV cut, which was apparently done more under John Carpenter’s direction and included newly shot scenes with the cast when Rosenthal wasn’t there.

I also once again enjoyed an installment of Horror’s Hollowed Grounds with HorrorHound‘s Sean Clark. He’s not joined by the director like he was with the H3 version, but he’s still full of info and it’s always neat to see locations from the flicks and how they’ve changed or, more interestingly, not changed over the decades. Clark’s attention to detail is always impressive. It’s also fun to see locations from other movies right next to these shooting locations.

Once again, Shout’s Scream Factory arm did an awesome job putting together the kind of presentation that the second best Michael Myers movie deserves. This is far better than the single disc version I already had in my collection and will take that spot with ease.

Official Jersey Shore Halloween Costumes

I know what you were just thinking, “Should I go as Pauly D or Snooki for Halloween?” Well Rubies has you covered with a trio of costumes based on the fun cast members of Jersey Shore: The Situation, DJ Pauly D and Snooki. You can buy these ridiculous pieces at stores like Entertainment Earth who I swiped the pics from (but also linked back to their store, so I think it’s fair). Is it me or does the Snooki costume look more like JWOWW? YOU DECIDE!

Halloween Scene: Going To Pieces (2006)

Are you guys psyched? It’s almost October and you know what that means? Hundreds and hundreds of horror movie reviews on blogs just like this one. After a brief sabbatical from horror, I’m back in the game myself as any regular reader might have noticed. So much so, that I’ve actually got a list on my computer with all the backed-up reviews I want to do. One such movie is Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall Of The Slasher Film (note to NetBox users, it’s missing the “Going To Pieces” title in the beginning, but, as far as I know, it’s still on there). Holy crap, this is a great movie.

I haven’t seen too many documentaries about horror, in fact, I haven’t seen too many docs on the whole, but that’s for another day. What I loved about this movie is that it doesn’t just cover the obvious like Halloween and Friday the 13th. You also get fairly long segments from the likes of Jeff Katz (a dude I got to interview before being bounced from Wizard, who was rad) and the girl who starred in Sleepaway Camp on movies like Sleepaway Camp and Slumber Party Massacre. These are the weird slasher flicks that I cut my horror teeth on back at the Family Video in Toledo and it’s cool to see other people talking about them with such gusto.

You also get a look at horror luminaries like John Carpenter and Wes Craven today, which is interesting. One problem I had with the movie is that they didn’t show who each person was on a regular basis. So, seeing as how I was working on the computer part of the time and have a generally crappy memory, I had no idea who the tall man sporting sunglasses and long white hair was until the very end, and it turned out to be Carpenter.

Like I said, though, I loved this movie and it is an absolute must for slasher fans. I was even jazzed to find out that movies I have only seen recently like Graduation Day, The Burning, April Fool’s Day & My Bloody Valentine. It’s also a great way to check out new movies to add to your “to see” list, though beware of spoilers. Now I gotta check out Happy Birthday To Me! Thanks Going To Pieces!

2007 Danny Trejo Interview

With all the buzz flying around the Machete movie, especially the news that Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson (Nash Bridges reunion!!!) and Steven Seagal will all be in it, I figured I would dig up an interview I did with Mr. Trejo right before the release of Rob Zombie’s Halloween hit on DVD along with a drawing I did a few weeks back when I was relatively bored of Machete. I’m not sure if anything ever happened with the interview (it was originally done for wizarduniverse.com, but I can’t find it on the net), but the interview went down on November 30, 2007 and it was absolutely one of the most fun I’ve ever conducted. Danny was a joy to talk to and really sounds like a dude you could just hang with. Maybe someday… Anyway, here’s the full interview.

Dietsch: How are you doing, man?
Trejo: I was just in TJ [Tijuana]. Who was it with? It was Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta and Eli Morales.

Dietsch: I looked at your IMDB page and you seem busy all the time.
Trejo: Yeah, yeah. Thank God. A busy man who’s trying to do everything.

Dietsch: So I want to start with a few Halloween questions.
Trejo: Sure. Great movie by the way.

Dietsch: Were you a fan of the series, the previous series, before you worked on this one?
Trejo: You know what, I hate to say it, but no I wasn’t. I knew the movie, but I didn’t really get into horror movies until I did From Dusk Til Dawn. I thought, “Wow, this is cool.” And horror fans are probably the most loyal fans that you can get. It’s either horror fans or John Wayne fans.

Dietsch: Do you have any favorite horror movies?
Trejo: Well, I go back to Frankenstein and Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, that era. I think that one of my favorite movies of all time is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But wait a minute, I don’t know if you saw this kind of comedy that was called Dracula: Dead and Loving It. I laugh thinking about that [laughs]. Me and my son watch that and just go hysterical for it.

Dietsch: You’ve worked with a lot of directors in the past. What did Rob Zombie bring to the table for this one? Was there anything that you hadn’t experienced before?
Trejo: You know what, I say it all the time. Rob Zombie brings the same thing that Robert Rodriguez does. They love what they’re doing and any time that you work with anybody that loves what they’re doing it’s just a joy. It’s a joy to show up for work. If you’re working with a plumber that loves what he’s doing it’s a joy to be around him because he not only likes what he’s doing, but he likes teaching you. If you’re ever around with Rob [Zombie] or with Robert Rodriguez or Quentin [Tarantino], if you’re standing by them – I hate to say this because I’m a lot older than them, but they’re actually holding class. “And the reason we’re shooting this is because if we get this angel we can edit it like this.” They’re holding class because they love doing what they’re doing.

Dietsch: That’s got to make it really fun to be on set, I’m sure.
Trejo: Oh, yeah. It just makes it really fun.

Dietsch: Now, when you’re working on a horror movie do you ever get creeped out by the atmosphere of the whole thing, especially with something like Halloween where your character gets killed? Is that strange to see?
Trejo: No. I think it’s a lot of fun and people who work on horror movies especially really have to love what they’re doing. Even the stunt guys. If you think that jumping off a building is tough try it in a guerilla suit or try it in a werewolf suit. It makes it a lot more difficult. So everybody that’s on the set loves the costumes and the makeup and everything like that. So I think it just brings a lot more fun to the table.

Dietsch: Would you say that there’s a different energy on set when making a horror movie, more excitement?
Trejo: Yeah, absolutely because people are comparing it to this horror movie and that horror movie. It’s tough to compare a drama or something like Gone With The Wind, but with horror you’ve got all these little different quirks.

Dietsch: Michael Myers is a character who’s been around for a long time. Do you have your own take on him? Do you see him as pure evil or that he was abused and this is kind of the result of his growing up?
Trejo: Well, I’ve taken the abuse so far [laughs]. I mean, come on. It’s funny because Michael Myers, at first he didn’t kill me. At first I lived and then after they saw the movie everybody noticed that, “Hey, he didn’t kill Trejo”’ So this kind of gave him a redeeming quality which they didn’t want him to have and so they brought me back for it. Rob called me back and said, “Hey, Danny. You know what? We have to kill you.” I said, “Get your other checkbook out.” [laughs] They killed me and re-shot it. I think it was better that they didn’t let me live because tthat took away his redeeming quality.

Dietsch: Do you have a preference for the kinds of movies that you work on?
Trejo: I love action movies. I love action movies. What’s the body count?! Even my agent knows that if the first five pages don’t have a body count of at least three to pass on it. I go to movies to be entertained. Don’t give me anything too heavy because I don’t want to walk out of there going, “Oh, I’m thinking.” [laughs] Not too much plot for me. Just shoot ‘em up.

Dietsch: Do you have a favorite action movie hero like maybe Dirty Harry or somebody?
Trejo: Like I said, I love John Wayne and Kirk Douglas and all the old action hero guys. [Clint] Eastwood was awesome. What can I say? I love movies. I love good movies. I love good action movies.

Dietsch: Do you think that Machete could take Michael Myers?
Trejo: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Machete can take out Superman. We’re going to do that. This is a Robert Rodriguez quote here. You can quote this from Robert Rodriguez. He promises all his fans that we are going to start Machete in January. So that’s a go. I call him every day and I tell him, “Robert, everybody is asking me when we’re doing Machete. He said, “Well, tell them we’re doing it in January.”

Dietsch: Is there a projected release time yet?
Trejo: Probably in the summer. He wants to get it done pretty quick.

Dietsch: We heard that it was going to originally be direct to video, but now it’s theatrical?
Trejo: Oh, yeah, definitely. That’s another quote by Rodriguez.

Dietsch: Can you talk about the plot at all?
Trejo: Well, you know that he’s a federal agent that comes out here from Mexico and he’s double crossed by the mob who’s trying to kill this senator. They double cross him and so he just comes back with a vengeance and I love it because it’s a Charles Bronson Death Wise-type, take no prisoners [movie]. I cut guys in half on that one.

Dietsch: Everyone here is super excited to see it when it comes out.
Trejo: Put that in your article and send it to Robert [laughs].

Dietsch: So the trailer that was in front of Grindhouse, is that still the trailer for the movie or was that a goof?
Trejo: That was just kind of a preview. There’s a whole lot more stuff that they’re doing. There’s stuff when I land that motorcycle. There’s stuff where I cut one guy in half and his legs keep running – some funny shit. It’s really, really heavy stuff.

Dietsch: So the scenes in the trailer will be in the movie?
Trejo: Oh, yeah, absolutely, but the continuation of those scenes because those were just short little scenes.

Dietsch: You’re slated right now to be in Sin City II. Do you know anything about your character or when that will start?
Trejo: Not a thing. I was supposed to be in Sin City and what happened was that I was shooting another film and Robert said, “I have to do this, Danny.” I said, “Go ahead. Go ahead.” So they re-started Mickey Rourke’s character and I’m glad that he did that. He was great in that.

Dietsch: Have you read any of the comics and have a favorite character?
Trejo: Yeah. I met what’s his name [Frank Miller?], but it’s like I said, I have no idea what they’re going to do with me. You never know with Robert. I mean, Robert, that line of his, “Are you a MexiCan or a MexiCan’t?” Robert made that up on the set, right before me and Johnny Depp shot that scene [from Once Upon A Time In Mexico]. It was like, “Here Danny, say this.”

Dietsch: Do you have a favorite Robert Rodriguez movie, one you’ve been in or one that you just love even though you’re not in it?
Trejo: A favorite Rodriguez movie? God, when Salma Hayek was pouring that wine down her leg [in Desperado?], I could’ve watched that for the whole movie [laughs]. That’s what I love. I love those action movies. I loved Spy Kids and that movie gave me this whole new audience.

Dietsch: Do you get recognized a lot when you’re out? I would imagine that you do because you’ve doing films for a long time.
Trejo: Oh, yeah. It’s funny. It’s like people complain about the paparazzi and all that stuff, but I kind of make a decision before I leave the house that I’m going to deal with this. If not, I’ll send someone out and I won’t go out. I tell all actors that if you don’t want to be bothered, don’t go outside. You can avoid it. I see all these people yelling at these camera guys and stuff and I just laugh. It’s like, “Shut up. You did it.”

Dietsch: I wouldn’t think that they get in your face too much.
Trejo: No, no. They’re polite and they ask real nice. “Hey, can we take a picture with you” [And I say,] “Yeah, sure.”

Dietsch: My wife wanted me to ask you what it was like when you did Desperate Housewives.
Trejo: [laughs] You know what, let me tell you something. At first I said no to that. My agent said, “They want you to do Desperate Housewives. They called you.” I said, “No way. Come on, Danny Trejo on Desperate Housewives? That doesn’t fit.” My wife happened to walk by and heard that. She goes, “Are you crazy?! That’s the most popular show on TV.” So I ended up doing it and it’s funny because I hang out at this place called Chubby’s Automotive. It’s over in Sylmar on Polk and San Fernando Road. All of my old ex-convict friends and all my old drug addict friends, ex-drug addict friends, they all hangout there. So they’re always ragging on me when I walk up, like, “Ooh, here comes the movie star,” and all of that stuff. I walked up there and they said, “Ooh, here comes the movie star. What are you working on now?” So I told them Desperate Housewives and if you can imagine all these guys with tattoos and all buffed up and wife beaters on going, “Oh, that’s my favorite show!” They love Desperate Housewives. “Say hello to Eva [Longoria],” [they said].

Dietsch: What was that shoot like? How long were you on the set?
Trejo: About three days and it was blast. They’re so fun and Eva Longoria is like – I love basketball and so I got an autograph picture [of her husband, Tony Parker]. She kind of cracked up because I went over to her and asked her, “Can I have an autographed picture of your old man?” She was a doll.

Dietsch: You’ve done quite a few videogame voices and animated voice work. How is that different than going to the set and working on an actual live action movie?
Trejo: Just showing up. You can show up in pajamas if you want to [laughs]. No makeup or nothing. You just show up in pajamas and say, “Hey, what’s up?” You do it and I hate to say it, but it’s EM: “easy money.”

Dietsch: Do you ever play the games that you’re in?
Trejo: God, no. It takes a genius to play them games.

Halloween Scene: Halloween H2O & Zombie Island Massacre

Hey, even though things aren’t all rosy, doesn’t mean you can’t depend on me for reviews of old movies you’ve either seen or have no intention of seeing. Yesterday, on what will be my last Train-Ing Video in a while, I watched Halloween H20 (1998) for the very first. time. As long time readers will remember, from my posts about the Halloween movies last year, I had seen the first 5 movies in the original series and then watched Rob Zombie’s remake, but I watched Curse for the first time and hadn’t seen H20 or Resurrection yet.

So, it wasn’t a bad movie. It had Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin (from Chicago Hope), Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Nash Bridges AND Prison Break!) and Janet Leigh (who I had forgotten was Jamie Lee Curtis’ mom). The whole ignoring-4-6 and being a little too Scream were definitely annoying and don’t make the series hold up in the long run, but I can see how it would be a good introduction to teenagers in the 90s who maybe hadn’t seen the originals yet. I’m not going to really get into it, because, frankly, BC over at HMAD summed my thoughts up pretty well in his review from 2007 (except for the whole “different opinion every time he sees it” thing, cause, you know, I’ve only seen it once).

I do think it would have been cool if this was the end of the original series of movies, but, not having seen Resurrection, but still reading a few things, I know that Michael got better from that decapitation (or it was a paramedic or some such nonsense?). While I’m not planning on seeing Zombie’s Halloween 2 any time soon, I probably will check out Resurrection relatively soon and let you know what’s up.

I also watched a little movie called Zombie Island Massacre (1984) on NetBox this morning. Yes it’s stupid, and SPOILER, no, there aren’t any actual zombies in it (hence the lack of the “zombie” label), but any movie that starts with a white guy in a tribal mask sneaking up on his girlfriend/wife who’s taking a shower, then jumps into Hatchet-territory with a tour group going to see some weird stuff, then it kind of gets into Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Night of the Living Dead zones. It really is a pastiche and it’s not bad, but it’s also not good and if you’ve ever seen a movie like this you’ll know what the twist ending will be.

One question I had though: how did they take a bus to the resort’s sister island? I could have easily missed a simple plot point about this, but I still laughed later once I saw the bus. Oh well. It’s got very little gore, but enough nudity to kind of make up for it.