Ray Gabriel

Halloween 2013: It’s the Final Countdown Saturday Before Halloween. Time For Some Creepshow 2!

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I can clearly remember the first time I ever saw Creepshow 2. I was in the sixth grade and a friend of mine managed to talk the guy who worked at our tiny neighborhood video store into renting it to us despite the fact that it was rated R and we were only 11 years old. We took it back to his place since his parents weren’t home and popped it into the VCR. There was something so awesome about that whole scenario. We were doing something “bad” simply by watching it and even if I didn’t think it was very good (which I actually do), that reason alone would be enough to instill a deep fondness. Well that and its one of my earliest memories of seeing a woman topless.

A love affair was born.
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Halloween 2013: Evil Dead 2, I’ve Got a Few Hundred Words For You.

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I’m just gonna come right out with this: If I were to compile a list of my personal top 50 Directors of all time, Sam Raimi wouldn’t crack 25 and most likely not even make the cut at all. How he has such a rabid following drives me nuts and whenever I’m forced to sit through some movie “geek” lose his shit over the guy, it’s everything I can do to keep my eyes from spinning like a slot machine. Just look back at his career on imdb and scan over the Evil Dead stuff for a second. Crimewave? Crap. Darkman? Amateur schlock. For Love of the Game? Y’mean the ONE Kevin Costner baseball movie nobody remembers. And of course, the Spider-Man trilogy. Really? I mean come on people.

Really!?
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Halloween 2013: Sorry, Jack…Chucky’s Back! Let’s Watch Child’s Play 2!

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There’s something about that first sequel in a horror franchise that I’ve always been a sucker for. The scenario is typically this: A noob filmmaker or writer or whatever will come up with a low budget, high concept movie that goes on to become a pop culture sensation. Making tons of money, some studio will inevitably grant this person a slightly larger budget and they’ll craft a second installment that plays host to tons of ideas left out of the first due to time and money constraints. This isn’t an instance restricted to the horror genre of course, but since we’re in October and I don’t feel like writing up a 500 page paper before strolling into snoozy town, we’ll be focusing on Part 2′s of scary movies for the rest of the month.

Oh, and if you happened to notice that the header image is promotional art from Child’s Play 3 and not actually Part 2, high-five!

You win nothing.
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Halloween 2013 (DSi Ware REVIEW) Halloween: Trick or Treat aka GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY!!

Y’know what? I was totally ready to give this game a legitimate review. Despite knowing there’d probably be absolutely nothing worth recommending, I figured the theme would be enough to justify its inclusion in my annual festivities. Yet here I am, trying to bring myself to type up details and explain what Trick or Treat is all about and I can’t do it. It is HORRIBLE and I just don’t want to think about it anymore. Yet I already went to the trouble of getting all the images up and posting tags and yada, yada, yada. Dammit, I will not let you get the last laugh on me, Trick or Treat. You screwed me out of a few bucks already. No way you’re screwing me out of precious October time that could be better spent watching some crap 80′s horror movie too.

Wait, what am I doing!?
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Halloween 2013: Welcome to The Top Seven SCARIEST Tales From the Darkside Episodes EVER That I Could Find On Youtube!

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It’s no secret around these parts that Tales From the Darkside is my favorite television show of all time. Yes, even more so than The Twilight Zone and no I don’t have any rational explanation for that. This George Romero produced anthology series ran from 1983 to 1988 and in large part thanks to the Sci-Fi Channel, for many years beyond in syndication. It featured the occasional writing talents of not only Romero himself but also some guy named Stephen King (lots of scary books) and even a one shot by Clive Barker (sex torture). I caught it at every chance as a kid but it wasn’t until my early to mid teenage years where the show would come to rule my 5-6 pm programming block (along with Night Court of course). So through the miracle of the internet and in the spirit of this wonderful season, I present you, dear reader with seven of my favorite installments of this glorious product of 80′s horror.
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Halloween 2013: Let’s Take a Look At How This Whole Thing Got Started!

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While scouring through the ol’ youtube this morning looking for vintage clips to write about, I stumbled upon a pretty solid little mini-doc courtesy of the History Channel (AKA The Nazi Network). Titled “The Real Story of Halloween,” this 40-ish minute special does a nice job detailing the origins of only like the best holiday ever (omg). There are even a few bits here and there that I was completely unfamiliar with such as where the trick or treating tradition actually came from and WHOA! It’s actually kind of creepy! Some nice interviews are included too with none other than John “The Man” Carpenter poking his head in with a little commentary here and there. This is seriously worth a watch sometime this month so I’ve included all three parts right here for you to enjoy!

(I’m looking at you Scott)


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Halloween 2013: Time To Jumpstart This Holiday With “The Worst Witch!”

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Oh God, it’s October 9th and I’m already beginning to feel the anxiety seep in! Even though I kicked off my Halloween write ups back in late August, it feels like this season is passing waaaay too quickly. AYE, it may be time to consider putting up spooky decorations in January from now on. Well as fun as it was to dip into the golden age of horror this past week, it’s time to get on with the serious classics. This of course means cheesy 80′s sequels, cartoons and specials! Beginning tonight with an old Disney channel movie that ranks among my most watched Halloween traditions of all time: The Worst Witch.
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Halloween 2013: This Year’s Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Opening is Probably the Greatest of All Time!

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Holy shit, I can’t believe that the above image even exists! When I heard that Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Robot Jox) was directing the opening of the new Treehouse of Horror, the first thought that popped into my head was how stupid it was that it hadn’t already happened at some point. After reading a general breakdown of all the horror references he managed to squeeze into 3 minutes, one bit leaped out at me: It described a scene where Lisa is practicing her sax with every version of the Phantom of the Opera. At that moment I knew, just fucking knew Del Toro, a massive fan of Brian DePalma’s beloved cult classic Phantom of the Paradise would not be able to help himself from making my year. And tonight’s viewing was confirmation because there it is: Winslow Leach in all of his Simpsons-ized glory.
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Halloween 2013: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is One Beautiful Headfuck.

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Unlike the last three movies in this month’s marathon, I’ve actually seen tonight’s feature many, many times. I became kinda sorta maybe a little obsessed with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari a few years back when I heard it had started streaming on Netflix. It quickly found a comfy spot as my go-to choice to have playing in the background anytime I needed to relax or was having trouble sleeping, stuff like that. Not because it was boring, nooooo. The reason is that it’s a goddamned visual masterpiece featuring a gorgeous musical score. That equation right there adds up to instant chill out territory after a long day of work.
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Halloween 2013: Alright! It’s Finally Time to Watch… uh, “The Golem?” (1920)

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I wouldn’t have thought I’d be getting so weird with my selections this year, let alone this early into the month but here we have it. Based on a strong recommendation from a highly valuable source, I’ll be giving this tale a whirl in the old movie machine. The Golem takes place in 16th century Prague where a rabbi decides to sculpt a giant monster out of clay to protect his loved ones from the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II (Some dipshit I read about on wikipedia just now). Everything goes well for a while as the monster (Golem) does indeed defend the rabbi’s people but of course eventually everything goes straight to hell. When the rabbi’s assistant decides to use the poor guy for his own purposes, let’s just say smart money is on getting the hell out of Dodge.

Hey, why does this sound really familiar?
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Wii U REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (Sehr Mehnee Feeerring)

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I couldn’t help myself. Physical copies of the The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD hit store shelves today but the digital version has been available through the Wii U’s eShop for a couple weeks now. As much as I can appreciate owning an actual disc, there’s no way I ever plan on reselling this and downloading it spared me the “experience” of “engaging” with my “community.” Enjoy your little Ganondorf toy you bastards. So at the stroke of midnight on September 20th, my Wii U welcomed into its tiny little baby hard drive this once highly divisive, now univerally acclaimed installment in the franchise. After 2 weeks of playing it pretty much nonstop, how well does the gameplay hold up? What’s been improved? Does it really look that much better? Is Tingle a convicted pedophile? Well, easy does it because I’m here to address most of that as well as force you to wade through a LOT of pics that I snapped through Miiverse!

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Halloween 2013: Let’s Keep This Silent Flick Kick Rolling With “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1928)

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The same as last night, I’ve decided to venture into unknown territory this evening with one of many but apparently the best adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher. Based on a short story by none other than Edgar Allan Poe, this silent version from the 20′s is directed by Jean Epstein. Someone that I plan on name-dropping from now on whenever the opportunity presents itself because get a load of how cool this dude is. I can just see the hipster douchebag that rocks this look now, leaning against his single speed with one pant leg rolled up and talking about how “Yeah, I used to make like silent horror films in the 20′s but, y’know whatever.”
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Halloween 2013: Phantom of the Opera (1925): I’m About to Watch this Shit For the First Time!

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It’s true. For as iconic of a horror movie as it is, until tonight I’ve never actually sat down and watched this Lon Chaney classic from beginning to end. The blu-ray I’ve been so generously lent features several different accompanying scores to choose from and I’m on the fence as to which one to go with. A friend of mine assured me that the Alloy Orchestra is the “hipster” option and that I should just stick to the classical piano piece, but this is the sort of decision that can drive a movie nerd NUTS. Have I lost you yet? Hello?

Hellloooooo???

Halloween 2013: Happy October 1st, People! Let’s Watch Vampyr (1932)

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The time has finally come! We are now officially in Halloween territory and I plan on classing up my nightly horror selections for October 2013 beginning with Vampyr. An absolutely stunning piece of filmmaking overflowing with gorgeous visuals that are impossible to get out of your brain long after they’ve been shot through your eyes. This seemingly simple tale revolves around a young man named Allan Gray (a handsome Nicolas de Gunzburg) as he checks into a small village Inn and almost instantaneously begins to discover the town’s terrible secrets. Sounds pretty spooky huh?
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Halloween 2013: Let’s Watch C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.!

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Here’s a fun little quiz for you to try sometime during this Halloween season: Go into a bar or any place serving drinks where you can initiate a casual chat with whoever’s working. Gradually turn your conversation toward horror movies (specifically ones from the 80′s) and after a while, mention C.H.U.D.. If the person you’re yapping it up with recites what those letters actually stand for (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller), congratulations! You’ve just met someone pretty cool. However what happens next will determine whether he/she (they?) is actually awesome. Say this: “Yeah, C.H.U.D. is pretty good but man, C.H.U.D. II is even better.” There are only two things that can happen after making such a bold statement. You’ll either have your ass instantly kicked and thrown out into some sketchy back alley where it will be beaten on some more. Or the bartender is buying your drinks for the rest of the night.

Let me know how that shakes out.
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