THE LAST KNOCK presents: Blue Collar Horror

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Blue Collar Horror">

THE LAST KNOCK opens the door to Blue Collar Horror!

Blue Collar Horror

Some horror films work harder for their scares than others. Blue Collar horror are those tales where working men and women, and their kids, not only fight to survive the trappings of everyday life, but from demons, vampires, serial killers, and all sorts of nasties that could care less about struggling with 9-to-5 drudgery.

From punching time clocks to wondering how to pay all the damn bills, most Blue Collar heroes have much against them. But when “The Other” comes calling, hard working men and women who face adversity on a daily basis may prove to be a creepy-crawly’s worst nightmare.

But it’s not just the people, it’s their jobs, their neighborhoods, their homes: The backdrop for exploitation from dark forces who deem a lack of education as a lack of intelligence. But if “money don’t make no man,” then beasts in search of prey had better look over their shoulder (if they have one) to see who’s hunting who.

We’ll step into the Blue Collar maelstrom with They Live and Stuck, and also venture into The Mothman Prophecies, Tremors, Stir of Echoes, and so much more – including the ultra-disturbing Red, White, and Blue.

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@palkodesigns @JanetCBrennan @MFFHorrorCorner @RealJillyG @BantersCider @NylaVox @DeadAsHellHP @RonGizmo @1carolinagirl @svbell @BleedingCritic @LoudGreenBird @WilliamFriedkin @TheHorrorMaster @MarkPellington @oliviawilde @CrispinGlover @OfficialSGordon @Bruce_Davison @mena13suvari @JenniferSkyreal @KateBeckinsale @RealTomHolland

The plot sickens: If you’re in search of more hard working men and women in horror, check out our episode featuring Train to Busan!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions’ featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Behind the Horror – Mask

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Behind the Horror – Mask ">

THE LAST KNOCK opens the door to Behind the Horror – Mask

Behind the Mask

The Mask conceals identity, hides intentions, lets us become someone else, and instills confidence due to anonymity.

But horror, as always, takes the wearing of one to deeper and darker depths. Sure, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers come to mind, but what about the others? We’re not just talking about the gang of killers in You’re Next and The Strangers, and not even “lunatic for a day” rioters in The Purge franchise. For even Freddy Kruger hides behind a mask of burns and scars he uses to instill terror into his sleeping victims.

And we can’t forget those who use a Mask in their profession: clowns and other talent at the circus, the carnival, and in The Funhouse. The Phantom of the Opera uses his to hide his secret weapon that stuns those around him.

We’ll look at masks, which characters wear them and way, what they reveal about character, and how they can make or break a horror film. From Eyes Without a Face and My Bloody Valentine to Halloween III: Season of the Witch to The Last House on Dead End Street, we’ll see what’s beneath the veneer. But seeing a Mask can drive one into a anxiety ridden frenzy, so you may want to close your eyes when we go Behind the Horror

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@Synr_X @PatriciaRisk3 @NylaVox @TraCee_tr @SCRMRadio @YourHorrorHost @RonGizmo @hellhorror @GorillaProducer @RECTORYFILM @jimjoneskoolai2 @RealJillyG @badchopsuey2 @Shriekfest @DeniseGossett @AFiendOnFilm @isaacrthorne @AuntieCreeps @KentHarper

The plot sickens: Check out some of the other shows in our Behind the Horror series: Mirror, Cemeteries, and Bathroom!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions’ featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

THE LAST KNOCK presents: 250th Anniversary Show!

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Door opening to the 250th Anniversary gif">

THE LAST KNOCK opens the door to our 250th Anniversary!

250th Anniversary Special!

Holy Hell! We’ve made it to our 250th Anniversary – thanks to listeners like you. And that’s why we’d like you to donate nothing but some of your time to our latest foray into celebration. After all, someone has to do it! And for the first time, we have a major show in the Halloween month of October instead of November, which we take as some sort of breakthrough.

Now, Jonny and I thought long and hard for an entire thirteen seconds about what to do for our Sestercentennial because we had to top these monsters:

For our 100th Episode on November 30, 2014, we answered questions from fans.

The 150th show from November 22, 2015 had us diving into some of our favorite films outside of horror – but still resonated with awesomeness.

We brought the show back to fans on November 6, 2016 for the 200th bicentennial edition.

So what on Earth could we do for our 250th Anniversary?

Well, lend an ear, strap yourself in, put the pedal to the floor, and drive like a demon as we careen through a particular venue that may have you climbing the walls, jumping for your life, running scared, and making every punch count!

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@LoudGreenBird @KeyzKeyzworth @AaronGritsch @theshirerose @byMorganWright @sl_ember @hellhorror @ktanimara @AuthorEllie @AuthorGiaLee @SCRMRadio @TraCee_tr @KristenKivo @NonprofitHorror @CharlizeAfrica @LoveTinaTurner @TheRock @sharlto @seanpertwee @KarlUrban @IAMLenaHeadey @ShoutFactory @CasperVanDien @DinaMeyer @DENISE_RICHARDS @TheMarshallBell @edneumeier @MuldoonPatrick @ActuallyNPH @TheJakeBusey @JimCameron

The plot sickens: If you missed our first “test podcast,” here it is where we review The Day, starring Ashley Bell!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness (Part 3) by Jonny Numb

<img src="Tobe.jpg" alt="Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness">

Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness (Part 3)

Tobe Hooper Keeps Dancing…

Jak and Boxx (Ryan McDonald) are post-apocalyptic rebels without causes, living the dropout life in a world that has given the cold shoulder to notions of civility, decency, and human survival. While Jak is a sincere foil to Peggy’s small-town-girl skepticism, his wide-eyed optimism is shrouded in a questionable, drug-propelled haze. In one sequence, bright-colored rear projection, quick cuts, and the roar of a car engine – while characters try to scream above the noise – effortlessly captures the dissociative feeling of a drug high. And it’s a great example of Tobe Hooper’s audio-visual madness.

The blood Jak and Boxx (ha-ha) siphon from the population’s remnants is sold to the MC and used to reanimate corpses (typically young women) who “dance” in a mix of epileptic seizure and electro-shock, for the entertainment of a salivating crowd of degenerates. The suggestion that hedonism is the opiate of the irradiated masses is strong, but Tobe Hooper isn’t just looking to tell a tale of debauchery and excess.

In a seemingly peripheral scene early on, the corpses of used-up dancers are presented with a crass “disposability” that resembles cruel pornography: topless, dead-eyed female bodies are unceremoniously tossed into a back-alley dumpster and set ablaze. An explicit statement is made: even the new lease on life that accompanies re-animation – however far-removed from actual notions of “humanity” – has a fleeting sell-by date.

Like Texas Chainsaw and Poltergeist, the buried core of “Dance” is its focus on family dynamics. Peggy has grown accustomed to her position as Mother’s Perfect Angel, but it raises questions as to why Kate is so overprotective. Conversely, what does Jak see in Peggy, besides an uncorrupted soul to – in his own naïve, uncomprehending way – bring down to his degraded level? Is the greatest gesture of “caring” to keep a person confined, or to set them loose in a world on fire?

As the story progresses, we see the truth of the matter is far more dire. Therein also lies the unfortunate position of being the coveted child when another goes missing or dies. I like how the grownups here convey authority, wisdom, and confidence – all in service to obscuring transgressions they’d rather forget. To that end, the MC – who’s as sleazy and morally bankrupt as they come – is ultimately a more honest character, as he never tries to justify or excuse the corruption of his trade. He knows he’s pandering to a bunch of drugged-out misfits – why belabor the fact? Near the end of “Dance,” he casually drops a revelation about the fate of Anna that is damning for all within earshot, and the irony of the closing images is in how each generation consumes and exploits the previous generation, whether for financial, political, or personal ends. There are notes of genuine tragedy and despair amid the incoherent club noise, stuttering imagery, and strobe-lit interiors of the episode’s final minutes, to the point where “Dance of the Dead” becomes the most emotionally resonant of all the Masters of Horror episodes.

A Distinct Experience

There are other, smaller tidbits that contribute to “Dance” being a distinct Tobe Hooper experience: the décor of the club, which has the same dumpster-dive aesthetic of the abandoned amusement part in Chainsaw 2; the halved water bottles the punks drink A Clockwork Orange-style drug enhancer from; feral performances from a cast let off the leash (McDonald – a dead ringer for Jack Black – embodies this particularly well); and the way the actors find a pathos amid the chaos. Jak may be “protecting” Peggy from the dangers of an unfamiliar world, but by the end, she has become her own person – something that was stifled for years. She may be going down a path of self-destruction, but imbued with a greater understanding of the harsh realities of the world, has become a stronger and more knowing individual.

Even in the opening moments, set against the over-saturated colors of the idyllic suburban birthday party, 7-year old Peggy exhibits the bud of a rebellious streak by correcting her mother when she calls her “Peg.” And if we want to further that notion (alongside the Jack-in-the-Box naming convention), it can be said that she’s a square “peg” in a round hole, left to “fit in” with a world that’s been decimated; where social contact – in addition to being greatly reduced – carries the risk of contagion.

Without fail, Tobe Hooper created worlds that were distortions and perversions of the one we know. His approach to cinema was unlike that of his horror peers – or any other director who came before. Imbued with an intuition toward what makes people get loopy under the all-encompassing light of a full moon, he forged one of the most distinctive filmographies in the history of motion pictures.

All the rest is cattle prods, screaming, and the compulsion to laugh hysterically in the face of inexplicable, mind-bending horror.

 

The Plot Sickens: Missed the initial installments? Then check out Part 1 and Part 2 – and don’t forget to catch THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast tribute to Tobe Hooper.

(Gif of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre via giphy.)

Crash Analysis Support Team

<img src="jonnynumb.jpg" alt="Jonny Numb">Jonny Numb

(Aka Jonathan Weidler), he only plays favorites when it comes to review sites like Crash Palace Productions and Loud Green Bird. He co-hosts THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast on iTunes, and can also be found on Twitter and Letterboxd.

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Door opening to Apocalypse Two - Electric Bugaloo">

Open the door to Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo…

So much Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo, so little time…

If horror brings fear and a lack of hope, then stories about the Apocalypse fit perfectly into the genre. Dystopian cinema has come in the form of “disaster movies,” but all of them had some grace in the end. Not every character made it, but there was light and life at the end of the ever-closing tunnel. However, Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo is a bit different to say the least.

With the films we’re venturing into, if one does survive, the living may envy the dead. We’ll take an introspective look at Ashley Bell in The Day, Yannick Dahan’s French zombie thrill-ride, The Horde, a world ending from a different perspective with Sam Neill and Ethan Hawke in Daybreakers, head Into the Forest with Patricia Rozema, Ellen Page, and Evan Rachel Wood, and end up trying to not kill each other in The Walking Dead.

At the heart of any end of the world film are the people and how the hell they’re going to handle things. Will they go down with dignity and a love for their fellow human beings, or is it time to become obnoxious and take whatever, or whomever, you can grab? Regardless, we end up rooting for at least person who probably doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell – unless that netherworld’s frozen over.

Hoops of Armageddon

The worst element in Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo is the simple fact that many will fight to survive when maybe they should just kick back, take a strong drink, and toast the end of all things – or at least do some break dancing! But the human animal isn’t like that. Whether fight or flight, the desire’s to live another day. An Apocalypse doesn’t make that possible, but it’s not easy to fight how we’re hard-wired.

The hardest part may be the knowledge that as many hoops as one jumps through, there are more to come, and that number may be infinite. Sooner or later, no matter how many rivers of lava you cross, or mountains you climb, or floods you navigate, or zombies you kill, there’s a ceaseless supply of mayhem coming your way.

Then why do we watch movies like this? Maybe it’s because we know we’re all going to die, but we’d like to see just how far we can get before Death comes calling.

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@vanyavetto @300mushrooms @reielys1280 @PhoenixFiery7 @TraCee_tr @isaacrthorne @palkodesigns @RealJillyG @RonGizmo @AnnThraxx @dixiefairy @patriciatallman @THETomSavini @JG_Ballard @LoveAndBananas @MichaelSpierig @PeterSpierig @TwoPaddocks @ThatKevinSmith @helenshaver @mcbridemelissa @wwwbigbaldhead @patriciarozema @IntoTheForest @EllenPage @evanrachelwood

The plot sickens: If you missed, Apocalypse – Fan Edition, well, now’s the time to check it out!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness (Part 2) by Jonny Numb

<img src="Aesthetics.jpg" alt="Tobe Hooper’s Aesthetics of Madness">

The Aesthetics of Madness (Part 2): Tobe Hooper’s “Chainsaw” dinner scene.

The Aesthetics of Madness – Chainsaw Style

You need not look further than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 for a full-bore taste of Tobe Hooper’s subversive aesthetics-infused spirit. The fact that some viewed the film as a kitchen-sink mess and others saw it as a cheeky, gory commentary on ‘80’s excess underlined the persistent divisiveness of his vision.

If anything, “Dance of the Dead” confirmed this notion. One of the keystones of Masters of Horror was putting each filmmaker on equal footing in terms of budget, shooting schedule, and casting considerations. With the exception of the censorship issues with Argento and Miike, the episodes would sink or swim based on the individual directorial approach.

“Dance” showed Hooper at his most defiantly stylish and rebellious. Richard Matheson’s short story – anarchic in a controlled sort of way (yes, I realize the paradox) – was a burst of apocalyptic brilliance, following a handful of post-nuke punks while intercutting the action with details on the escapist drug they gorge themselves on. In many ways, it was the ideal foundation for a Tobe Hooper film.

Looking at Eaten Alive, Chainsaw 1 and 2, and the remake of Mortuary, it’s apparent that Hooper had immense sympathy for the Outsider. While he never went so far as to condone the actions of the killers at the heart of those tales, he at least sought to understand their motives. “Madness” was not some pop-psychology catch-all to Hooper, but a fully-formed state of mind that permeated all aspects of his aesthetic, from sound design (the clanging pots and pans of Chainsaw) to visuals (the red-saturated exteriors of Eaten Alive). Dialog possessed an improvised feel, and the sound sync – particularly in Eaten Alive – bordered on the surreal, especially when Neville Brand chased his victims around with a scythe. Consider, also, the infamous “dinner scene” from Chainsaw, where the victim’s screams and the howling laughter of her tormentors commingled into a jarringly ethereal birdcall.

Corgan’s death-metal soundtrack to “Dance of the Dead” may be on the nose, but it’s consistent with the plot and visuals, and a complement to the nihilistic, dead-end characters that populate the story. It feels like an evolution of the experimental soundscape of Chainsaw, regressing into garbled noise in tandem with the dissonant characters – a group of delinquent drug addicts siphoning blood (referred to as “the red”) for the sleazy MC (Robert Englund) of a nightclub in the mysterious city of Muskeet.

Muskeet is a place of secrets and revelations for our lead character, Peggy (Jessica Lowndes), who, on her seventh birthday, witnessed her friends die due to a biological agent (dubbed “Blitz”) raining down from the sky. The images of skin dissolving from adult and child bodies alike is both shocking and impishly deceiving – Peggy’s mother, Kate (Marilyn Norry) corrals her and her older sister, Anna (Genevieve Buechner) into the family home, while friends and relatives perish outside. Years later, what remains of the United States is divided among those who managed to evade Blitz, and those who wander the ruined landscape, scavenging for drugs and other essentials.

Time to Dine

The dreary restaurant Kate runs isn’t altogether different from the roadside barbeque joint in Chainsaw, or the hotel in Eaten Alive; while located along what used to be a main drag, it bears the hallmarks of a neglected, long-forgotten place, clinging to the ways of a bygone era. Peggy, now 17, has lived under her mother’s watchful eye since Anna’s disappearance. When the drugged-up punks, led by Jak (Jonathan Tucker – The Ruins) stop in for coffee one day, Peggy is cautiously intrigued – she appraises them like some new life form spawned from a petri dish. Sensing danger, Kate quickly forces the punks out, but not before Peggy makes eyes with the blank yet seemingly benign Jak. That night, Peggy defies her mother and travels with Jak and company to Muskeet for a date with destiny.

As always, Tobe Hooper’s base intention was to beat the viewer silly with his blunt-force aesthetics; but for those able to abide that pummeling, the subtext is where the real meat of the story lies. The clashing of social and economic classes was always a huge part of his commentary (with The Mangler in particular underlining the thankless plight of factory workers in a dead-end town), and part of the perverse joy of a Hooper film was seeing the well-adjusted middle class (think Poltergeist) caught off guard when brought face-to-face with The Other.

To be continued…

The Plot Sickens: Missed the first installment? Then check out Part 1 – and don’t forget to catch THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast tribute to Tobe Hooper.

(Gif of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre via giphy.)

Crash Analysis Support Team

<img src="jonnynumb.jpg" alt="Jonny Numb">Jonny Numb

(Aka Jonathan Weidler), he only plays favorites when it comes to review sites like Crash Palace Productions and Loud Green Bird. He co-hosts THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast on iTunes, and can also be found on Twitter and Letterboxd.

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Apocalypse – Fan Edition

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Door opening to the Apocalypse">

Open the door to the Apocalypse…

Isn’t every Apocalypse movie a horror?

We think so, and so do many who’ve responded to Jonny Numb‘s poll about those feel good end of the world films! In Apocalypse – Fan Edition, you’ll hear what horror fans have to say, what we had to add, and why laughing in the face of death may be the most powerful thing humans could ever do.

And don’t think we’re focused solely on zombie cinema. We’ll look at famine, war, exploding suns, pyroclastic flows, disease, alien invasions, and other great stuff that adds fuel to nihilism.

End of the world just a cosmic flyby away…

Apocalyptic thinking has captured the imagination of humanity for eons. But why the hell would people focus on doom and gloom instead of making the world a better place? We’ll explore that in this episode, but why have one Apocalypse when you can have two?! That’s right, the end of the world’s so nice, we had to do it twice. Next week, we’ll look at other films in this dystopian sub-genre and explore what they have to offer in the “Game over, man!” category.

But how close are we to the end of the world? On September 1, Asteroid Florence Nightingale, passed within seven million miles of Earth. She’s about three miles wide and could have done a helluva lot of damage to our little blue ball if she’d hit. (Talk about the irony if an object named after one of the world’s greatest nurses ended up killing millions.)

So put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye, because it’s time for Apocalypse – Fan Edition!

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@Israel_Finn @AFiendOnFilm @TraCee_tr @RSBrzoska @loveandmonsters @RonGizmo @DavidWilde49 @Mrbluelouboyle @motherraven5 @pierre @mjlambert1 @GarySinese @MollyRingwald @StephenKing @synapsefilms @IamSandraOh @ChrisEvans and from Facebook Joel, Pierre, and Karen Rice Young

The plot sickens: Take a look at Ron Shaw‘s intense piece about the reality behind Night of the Living Dead!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness (Part I) by Jonny Numb

<img src="danceofthedead.jpg" alt="The Aesthetics of Madness Tobe Hooper’s Dance of the Dead">

The Aesthetics of Madness (Part 1): Tobe Hooper’s “Dance of the Dead.”

Madness and Cinema

Tobe Hooper’s career echoed that of many a seminal genre director from a particular, boundary-busting era. His struggles, his achievements, and his character iconography contributed to the horror canon. As with other directors who have passed on, his impact on cinema as a whole will continue to be felt.

George A. Romero gave us the black-and-white blood and guts of Night of the Living Dead in 1968, which also laid bare the genre’s potential to make social and political statements – in addition to subverting traditional notions of horror antagonism (“We have met the enemy, and he is us” indeed).

Wes Craven’s first feature, a take on Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring, brought grit, grunge, color, and a documentary-style aesthetic to a tale of criminal scumbags who subject two flower children to a “coming of age” that hinges on defilement, humiliation, and death. Last House on the Left, despite its self-doubting segues into humor and a banjo-twangin’ theme song, nonetheless brought savagery to the suburbs, breaking the illusions of “security” afforded to the upper class.

For me, this trinity always embodied the humanizing ups and downs of filmmaking business madness. You can find many interviews and commentaries of the late Craven and Romero looking back on scraping together funding, dealing with censor-happy studio heads, and succumbing to compromise when all other avenues failed. These are sadly familiar tales, but their recollections are imbued with a self-deprecating honesty that makes their stories all the more endearing and instructive.

Yet, while Craven and Romero had at least several critically conceded masterpieces under their belts, Tobe Hooper only had one.

But I don’t want to talk about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The conversation about who did or didn’t direct Poltergeist is the type of gossipy crap that bores me. And I’ll let Billy Crash write the apologias for the cult-beloved Lifeforce.

What I’m proposing here, is: While Hooper was just as much a product of a studio system that treated horror as disposable content to turn a profit, his projects over the years maintained signatures of style, characterization, and tonal sensibility. His films were always messy (in the literal and figurative sense), but not due to a lack of skill or temperament.

Maybe someday I’ll do a piece on the virtues of Spontaneous Combustion – the film and the phenomenon – but I’d wager that Brad Dourif’s flamethrower finger was a none-too-subtle reflection of what Hooper wanted to do to the money men who frequently, ahem, “mangled” his work. (Too bad the flames weren’t shooting from Dourif’s middle finger.)

While Tobe Hooper’s output in the new millennium produced successful, off-the-wall remakes of The Toolbox Murders and Mortuary, those films still remain divisive, with support that only falls in line with “cult” status. Even when left to his own devices, Hooper created his own form of madness by drawing wildly opposing reactions.

Dance of the Dead

And his first-season Masters of Horror episode, “Dance of the Dead,” was no exception.

Before I ever had a chance to watch it, I had noticed numerous negative user reviews cropping up on the IMDb. Many claimed that, if it wasn’t the worst episode of that first season, it was one of the worst.

I think Masters of Horror was ahead of the curve – a general precursor to the type of harder-edged, content-unrestricted fare that had been spearheaded by HBO, and later came to dominate Netflix’s programming roster. As a result, though, the show’s ability to push boundaries (with some network-mandated cuts to Dario Argento’s “Jenifer” and the outright banning of Takashi Miike’s “Imprint”) sometimes came off as leaning on gore or nudity for its own sake.

“Dance of the Dead,” however, felt like the one episode that embraced its own crazed boundlessness. Its gore was as organic as its nudity and skeevy presentation of sexuality (which is telling, since the closest it gets to sex is practically necrophilia). Its aesthetic – a series of hammering edits, heavy-metal music (courtesy of Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan), and jittery “ghosting” effects – which most IMDb users decried, came across as perfectly fitting for the tale (an adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic short story).

Consider some of Hooper’s previous works, and a pattern starts to appear: sets that resemble a claustrophobic notion of a hoarder’s lair. Characters with crazed motives, ranging from the external to the idiosyncratic. Action that storms its way into the frame with the recklessness of a wrecking ball through a brick wall.

Tobe Hooper’s detractors attributed the chaos of his films to a general lack of talent (“Texas Chainsaw was a fluke” being the laziest of article-starters), but less consideration was given to the possibility that Hooper’s brand of chaos was chaos by design.

To be continued…

(Photo of “Dance of the Dead” DVD cover via Undead Review.)

Crash Analysis Support Team:

<img src="jonnynumb.jpg" alt="Jonny Numb">Jonny Numb

(Aka Jonathan Weidler), he only plays favorites when it comes to review sites like Crash Palace Productions and Loud Green Bird. He co-hosts THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast on iTunes, and can also be found on Twitter and Letterboxd.

THE LAST KNOCK presents: IT

THE LAST KNOCK from Palko Designs.

Door opening to It and the dire realm of Pennywise…

IT: The post-summer blockbuster

Andy Muschietti’s film IT out-shined all comers for best opening on a Thursday and best opening on a September weekend – beating out the competition by $75 million. But that’s just the North American market. The film secured the largest opening for a horror film in Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom, among others. After the worst summer in twenty years for Hollywood, IT has blown away expectations, even from analysts – who are no doubt now floating in Pennywise’s lair.

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema definitely created an excellent marketing campaign, red balloons and all, but seeing IT on the big screen has been a long time coming for many a horror fan.

Does IT live up to expectations?

Billy Crash and Jonny Numb take a look at the film from all angles – even sewer level – and see how IT holds up against Stephen King’s beloved novel as well as the original mini-series. We check out the narrative, the story behind the story, the directing and acting, and so much more because we don’t clown around.

A Pennywise for your thoughts: Did IT make you float, or did you want to move out of dear old Derry never to return? Leave a comment below and let us know!

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@hellhorror @MyLittleRascal1 @ScreamHorrorMag @Tammysdragonfly @dkarner @Israel_Finn @PromoteHorror @Scream_Factory @hiltonarielruiz @NYCHorrorFest @dixiefairy @RonGizmo @Shriekfest @AFiendOnFilm @LoudGreenBird @FriscoKidTX @FANGORIA @StephenKing @ITMovieOfficial @andymuschietti_ @jaedenlieberher @JeremyRayTaylor @FinnSkata  @jackgrazer4ya @Nic_Hamilton @imchosenjacobs @Cinemark @SMZofficial @RobZombie @RobertBEnglund @LisaWilcox1 @NewLine_Cinema @jes_chastain and Cheryl Betz

The plot sickens: Want more Stephen King? Don’t miss Jonny Numb’s reviews of The Dark Tower and Carrie!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Movies in the Morgue

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Door opening to the Morgue">

Door opening to the morgue…

Horror is best served on a cold slab in the morgue…

As odd as it sounds, Movies in the Morgue, rue or otherwise, is a rare thing in horror. Simply put, not many films in the genre have explored or exploited what one might think would be an overused setting, device, or gimmick.

Even so, when it comes to morgue movies, we take a look at some of the best – and some of the rest, which should remain rotting on a slab, in a drawer, and locked under heavy chain. And we’ll do an autopsy on: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Epitaph, Men Behind the Sun, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Mortuary, Return of the Living Dead, as well as others.

The morgue, or mortuary, is simply a place that stores bodies. Most morgues can handle our dead with ease, but in cases where human calamity takes its toll, many may find themselves at their peak of capacity. On August 31, 2017, the Harris County morgue in Houston found itself in a horrible situation. Due to the intense rains and subsequent flooding from Hurricane Harvey, the facility had 175 bodies in storage with room for 25 more. They called upon the state for help and have a refrigerated 18-wheeler on stand by if the death toll continues to rise.

Regardless of what horror writers dream up, there always seems to something far worse in reality, once again making the claim from Mark Twain that “truth is stranger than fiction.”

Now, snap on your gloves, grab a scalpel, and cut your way into the bowels of Movies in the Morgue

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@RealJillyG @GuyRicketts @dixiefairy @RSBrzoska @AnnThraxx @BleedingCritic @RonGizmo @d_m_elms @MachineMeanBlog @inthenightdoc @FriscoKidTX @TheDeniseCrosby @DonRiemer @tarah_paige @VicsMovieDen @StephenFolklore @palkodesigns @blunderground @IMDb @nikolajcw @RobertBEnglund @EmileHirsch @liamneson @justinlong @CultEpics

The plot sickens: Check out our podcast on Cemeteries!

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)