R.I.P. Herschell Gordon Lewis, the Godfather of Gore

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 26, 2016 08:02pm | Post a Comment

Today Something Weird Video broke the news that Herschell Gordon Lewis -- “godfather of gore,” Herschell Gordon Lewis“sultan of splatter,” and direct marketing guru -- passed away. He may have been 87 years old or he may have been 90 years old, he may have been a genius or he may have been a highly creative hack (he'd probably say, what's the difference?), but one thing is certain -- the world of cinema was changed forever when the former English professor-gone-ad exec-gone nudie cutie filmmaker decided to combine his interests in exploitation film, marketing, and bloody Grand Guignol-style theater with 1963's Blood Feast (made with his business partner David F. Friedman).

Considered the first American gore film, Blood Feast follows the adventures of Fuad Ramses as he Blood Feastmurders young women in order to create an "Egyptian feast" for the goddess Ishtar. A tongue is cut out, legs are cut off, brains are removed, and the viewing audience got to see it all in all it's bright red Technicolor glory. Like any forward-thinking writer/ad man/smut peddler, H.G. Lewis understood his market and his market was made up of the horny kids at the Drive-In. Lewis went on to make countless more works of gory art in quick succession, including Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), Color Me Blood Red (1965), A Taste of Blood and The Gruesome Twosome (1967), She-Devils on Wheels (1968), The Wizard of Gore (1970), and The Gore Gore Girls (1972), just to name some of the most memorable. Some years he released five to seven films, often designing the poster and hitting the booking market before making the film.

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Tonight: Witchcraft Double Feature At SF's Balboa Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 25, 2016 04:36pm | Post a Comment

Black Sunday

-- By Brett Stillo

1960 was a year of change for the horror film. Alfred Hitchcock drove a knife into the collective Black Sundayconsciousness of movie audiences with Psycho, and movies soon followed that twisted the blade. Peeping Tom, Eyes Without a Face, House of Usher...these films took a darker, twisted path, going further than most contemporary horror movies of the era. Two standout films of this seminal year, the supernatural thrillers Black Sunday and City of the Dead will play Tonight, Wednesday, May 25th, at San Francisco’s historic Balboa Theatre at 7pm.

Black Sunday is the stunning directorial debut of legendary Italian director Mario Bava It’s an old-fashioned tale of witches, ghosts, and vampires set amid rotting Victorian splendor, but Bava conjures a grisly visual style that’s bold and shocking. It's a bit ironic that this master of vivid color cinematography launched his directorial career with a black and white movie, and yet the color seems abundant in this gothic-goes-to-the-Drive-In opus. Bava crafts a tapestry of shadows, layer after layer of dark images from a palette that ranges from thick walls of black to opaque shades of pale grey. These monochromatic Horror Hotel, City of the Deadlayers create a weird pseudo-3D effect that makes the backgrounds seem to reach out beyond the screen. Add the haunting beauty of a 23-year-old actress named Barbara Steele and you have one of the true classics among horror films.

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The Mihmverse: The Wild & Retro Films of Christopher R. Mihm

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 18, 2016 06:13pm | Post a Comment

Christopher R. Mihm

-- By Brett Stillo

The Earth is once again under attack from giant mutated arachnids, deformed subhuman creatures Christopher R. Mihmbeneath the surface of the earth, and alien life forms from beyond space…all of whom are under control of a gentleman from Minnesota. Christopher R. Mihm is a prolific filmmaker (he's made ten feature films in ten years) with a singular vision. In this digital, high definition, hyper-streaming world, Mihm is dedicated to recreating the black and white, mutated, atomic terror of 1950’s sci-fi monster movies with a series of wild and wonderful tributes to B-Movie thrillers all linked together by a strange rift in space and time called “The Mihmverse.” Thanks to Mihm, the horror double feature is alive and well, and the Drive-In is still open for business.

Mihm will be at the Balboa Theatre in San Francisco on Wednesday, April 20th at 7:00pm, showing a double-fisted double-feature of his work with The Giant Spider and The Wall People. The Amoeblog recently caught up with Mihm in his secret underground laboratory somewhere in a strange realm beyond our imagination called Minnesota.

Amoeblog: Where does your love of movies come from?

CM: Growing up, going to the movies was a big thing in my family. My folks--and particularly my dad--treated movies like some people do sports. There was even a drive-in near our house that we'd hit almost every weekend when it was warm (being in Minnesota, you don't waste opportunities to be outside when it's not blisteringly cold).

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Talent Show: The Creepy Podcast

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 17, 2016 06:32pm | Post a Comment

For the Amoeblog's third installment of Talent Show, a place to show off new projects and acts that will The Creepy Podcastundoubtedly change life as you know it, we bring you The Creepy Podcast. If you love to hate and hate to love the user-generated horror ramblings of Creepypasta sites, fanfiction, and the like, you need to follow DJ4AM’s prolific The Creepy Podcast, which both mercilessly skewers and pays homage to this puzzling literary phenomenon. Listen to The Creepy Podcast on Bandcamp or Youtube.

DJ4AM (aka Jason Nevermind, aka Jason Chavez) has been an active DJ and musician for over 20 years. Formerly a member of Octavius and San Francisco indy band Black Fiction, he is currently a member of Dopestyle 1231, The Beta Macs, and Opal Heights. However, for his latest project this life-long cratedigger, storyteller, sound engineer, and aficionado of the obscure sample has funneled his numerous talents into a new and heretofore uncharted format: the comedy horror podcast. DJ4AM sources amateur tales of horror from Creepypasta sites and gives them the MST3K treatment, which is to say he furnishes them with simultaneous running commentary, over his original genius soundscapes. Sometimes he adds special guest readers/commenters to the mix and it feels like you’re trying to watch a movie with your funniest friends. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself jumping in with commentary of your own.

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The 10 Creepiest Kids Movies

Posted by Billy Gil, October 19, 2015 05:04pm | Post a Comment

10 creepiest kids movies

Our childhoods are littered with films that, for whatever reason, were in many ways equally as terrifying as their R-rated counterparts. Around Halloween, it’s always fun to revisit these movies and think about the times when Disney took a dark turn and parents were a lot more lax about what they let their kids watch. Here are 10 creepy cult movies, box office bombs and genuine hits that were probably a lot scarier than they needed to be.

The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)

the adventures of mark twin blu-rayClaymation already is and always has been disturbing to me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on with Gumby, and I didn’t want to know. The Adventures of Mark Twain doesn’t seem that creepy on the surface, telling the story of such beloved characters as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as they meet Twain himself, who’s on an airship to meet up with Halley’s Comet (which was a big deal in 1985 when this was released, as the comet became visible to the naked eye the following year in a once-in-a-lifetime event). So far, so good. But anyone who saw the film as a child knows there’s a disturbing scene based in part on Twain’s story “The Chronicle of Young Satan” in which a headless suit of armor carrying a mask claims to be the devil himself and capable of easily wiping out humans (“People are of no value,” is his existential response to smooshing some clay people). It’s always good to make sure that children learn life is futile early on. Read an interview with director Will Vinton here.

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