It’s time to elevate the Monster Men show and talk about Elevated Horror. What exactly is elevated horror? What does that term even mean? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? What are some of the best examples of elevated horror?
To help us tackle these questions, we welcome horror author Chad Lutzke to the show. This man has a legit horror resume. He’s written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance and Scream magazine. His books include: OF FOSTER HOMES & FLIES, STIRRING THE SHEETS, THE PALE WHITE, SKULLFACE BOY and THE NEON OWL.
It’s time again to take a look back at the year in horror movies and pick the cream of the crop. 2019 came out of the gate slowly and only few flicks seemed worthy of a top ten list, let alone a top thirteen list. Luckily, a lot of good stuff arrived later in the year. There’s plenty to like, so let’s get started.
Jordan Peele’s second movie was a huge hit and he has quickly risen to the top of the horror genre. US is a doppelganger movie with strong themes, striking visuals and a great cast. While I had a good time watching this movie, I was not as impressed with it as many others. I thought it kind of fell apart at the end. However, it did have some really creepy moments and a lot of well-placed laughs. I do love its originality and the effect it has had on popular culture. It’s great to see so many mainstream people embracing a horror movie. I look forward to more from Mr. Peele.
12: In Fabric
Yes, it’s the story of a haunted dress… and yes, it actually works. I had a hard time deciding if IN FABRIC would make my list, or if it would end up as an honorable mention. I decided to add it because it has stuck with me more than most of the movies I watched in 2019. It’s a throwback to 60s and 70s Italian horror movies but done with a healthy dose of twisted humor. It’s kind of like Suspiria mixed with a little Shawn of the Dead and Tales from the Crypt and a splash of Hammer horror aesthetics. I had super low expectations for this one and I was pleasantly surprised.
11: Zombieland: Double Tap
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP is like comfort food; it takes me to my happy place. Ten years after the beloved Zombieland gnawed its way into our hearts, comes the sequel we never expected. I was psyched when I heard they got they entire original cast back. They all are in top form, especially Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg. Newcomer Zoey Deutch practically steals the movie, but that honor goes to Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch. Their “doppelganger” scene is one of funniest things I’ve seen this year. Oh, and one last thing, be sure to stick around until after the credits.
The ultimate popcorn horror flick of the year. This movie crept up on me like a hungry gator in a dark crawlspace. CRAWL is just a good, old fashioned creature feature. It’s tense, fast paced and extremely entertaining. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.
9: One Cut of the Dead
This is a movie about a zombie movie, but it’s much more than that. ONE CUT OF THE DEAD was a ton of fun. You won’t know what the heck you are watching at first but stick with it. The payoff in the third act is amazing. I had such a good time watching this movie, and it’s astounding what they were able to pull off with such a tiny budget. If you are a horror fan, or a fan of filmmaking, be sure to check it out.
HARPOON was not on a lot on people’s radar this year and I am so happy someone suggested it to me. It’s about three friends stranded on a yacht in the middle of the ocean, caught in some kind of nasty, snarky love triangle. Will the elements kill them, or will they kill each other? This is a tight little thriller with a great sense of humor. Good writing and a sharp cast elevate this movie and comedian Brett Gelman’s narration takes it to the next level.
VILLIANS is the story of two small time crooks on the run who break into the wrong home. After they discover a frightening secret in the house they must contend with the crazy and sadistic homeowners. VILLIANS is darkly funny and full of surprises. It was in theaters for a second last summer and I missed it. Luckily, it finally showed up on VOD before the end of the year and immediately made it onto my best-of list. It boasts a killer line-up: Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan, and Kyra Sedgwick. Each one of these stars crush it.
In BLISS we meet Dezzy, a struggling artist who’s in a rut and up against deadlines for her paintings. She is introduced to a drug called Bliss and goes on a debaucherous bender in the clubs of LA. Afterwards, she’s invigorated, inspired and oddly enough, finds herself craving human blood. This is a wild, frenetic and grimy movie that features an amazing performance by Dora Madison, who throws everything she’s got into this role. For a low budget movie, they certainly got a lot of bang for their buck. I really enjoyed this one.
What a long, strange trip this movie is. Dani and Christian are a couple that should really break-up but won’t for various reasons. Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. Things slowly get weirder and scarier as the friendly villagers may be hiding a sinister agenda. MIDSOMMAR is Ari Aster’s follow up to Hereditary and he’s hit another home run.
4: Tigers Are Not Afraid
Wow, what a movie. TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID is a visually stunning film that combines horror and fantasy elements against the backdrop of the Mexican drug wars. It follows a group of homeless, orphaned children on the run from the drug lords and ghosts. The kids in this movie are flat out amazing and the story is heart-wrenching. TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID is a small and beautiful movie with equal amounts of dread and soul.
3: The Nightingale
Just between you and me, this is probably the best movie on this list. THE NIGHTINGALE is not necessarily a pure horror movie, but a lot of horrific things happen in it. It’s set in a British penal colony in Tasmania in 1825. It follows Clare Carroll, a young convict seeking revenge for violence committed upon her and her family by the British soldiers. She enlists the help of Billy, an Aboriginal tracker, whose people are also at odds with the British. The violence is brutal and graphic, but never gratuitous. It always serves the story. This is a dark and haunting movie, but surprisingly uplifting in the end. Director Jennifer Kent (of The Babadook fame) is brilliant, pure and simple. The entire cast is great, with Aisling Franciosi delivering a powerful performance in the lead role.
2: Ready or Not
READY OR NOT is a freaking a blast. A young bride must partake in her new husband’s family tradition of playing a game on their wedding night. She draws a card and gets Hide and Seek. What follows is a deadly, bloody and often hilarious game of cat and mouse, as the bride is hunted by her pretentious and homicidal in-laws. Can she survive until dawn? Can anyone? This was the most fun I had at the movies this year and READY OR NOT was almost my top pick overall. Once again, Samara Weaving shines bright here. Adam Brody is also a standout. Best of all, they really stick the landing. This movie had the best ending of any film this year.
1: Doctor Sleep
A sequel to The Shining? This movie could have pissed off a lot of people, including me. Young Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) may have escaped the Overlook Hotel, but 40 years later, his experience there still haunts him. He meets a girl with a “shine” lot like his. Now Danny must protect her from the evil that pursues her and finally confront the ghosts of his past. Hats off to Mike Flanagan because he pulled off a miracle. The Shining movie is sacred ground to a lot of people and so is the book. Many people love both and many don’t… particularly Stephen King, who is not shy in his disdain for Kubrick’s take on his novel. Somehow, Flanagan delivers an immensely entertaining movie that is satisfying to all parties involved, and even has the blessings of Mr. King himself. Flanagan clearly has a love of the material and it shows in every frame. Poor marketing hurt this movie at the box office, but it is one that should not be missed.
Honorable Mentions: Brightburn Satanic Panic The Perfection Daniel Isn’t Real The Lighthouse
But wait, there’s more!
Be sure check out Hunter Shea’s Top 13 list at his blog and listen to the Final Guys podcast to hear Hunter, Jason and I discuss our picks.
Let’s raise our glasses and propose a toast to our favorite holiday, Halloween! To celebrate, we have gathered an assortment of pumpkins ales to sample while tell some stories about the various horror conventions we’ve attend over the years.
So pull up a seat grab a glass and join us for some pumpkin ales and tall tales.
Bottoms up, Monster Friends! It’s that time of year again. Time for the Monster Men to sample a variety of horror themed foods and beverages including Walking Dead and Octopoda wine, Crystal Head vodka, Zombie Skittles and Bigfoot Ale. All served with a side of Boo Berry, of course.
These never end well.
Since it’s Halloween, many of these will be treats and other will be horrors. (Hint: More horrors.) Join us we indulge in a banquet of the macabre.
It’s Halloween season again and that means it’s time to watch a lot of horror movies. A great way to compile a list is to use 31 Days of Terror, a great book that turns compiling a watch list into a game. Using dice, we roll a 31-day list of movies for you to watch all October long. We had a blast, as we always do.
The book consists of movies from all over the horror map. New movies, old movies, well known movies and some forgotten gems. You’re sure to have a blast creating your list and discover some new films along the way. Let us know what you watch this Horrortober. 31 Days of Terror, Chapter 3.
Here’s our list:
10/1 – Interview with the Vampire 1994
10/2 – The Hole 2001
10/3 – The First Purge 2018
10/4 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 2018
10/5 – Session 9 2001
10/6 – Predator 2 1990
10/7 – The Sixth Sense 1999
10/8 – Dracula 1979
10/9 – Ginger Snaps Unleashed 2004
10/10 – Re-Animator 1985
10/11 – Saturday the 14th 1981
10/12 – Willard 2003
10/13 – The Willies 2003
10/14 – Psycho III 1986
10/15 – Knock Knock 2015
10/16 – Krampus 2015 10/17 Cabin Fever 2002
10/18 – Attack of the Puppet People 1956
10/19 – Little Shop of Horrors 1986
10/20 – Detention 2011
10/21 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984
10/22 – Prometheus 2012
10/23 – Death Becomes Her 1992
10/24 – House of Wax 2005
10/25 – An American Werewolf in London 1981
10/26 – The Blair Witch Project 1999
10/27 – Dawn of the Dead 2004
10/28 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master 1988
10/29 – In the Mouth of Madness 1995
10/30 – Misery 1990
10/31 – Dead Alive 1992
Don’t forget to tell us what you are watching.
Monster Men Ep: 140
On this episode of the Monster Men video podcast, we discuss all things horror with one of the great people in the industry, Terry M. West. This is a guy with stories. Lots of stories. Stories about the world of horror. Movies, books, stars, the business… you name it, he’s got a great story about it. And was nice enough to share a few with us.
Terry M. West is a horror author. His work includes: What Price Gory, Car Nex, Dreg and his Night Things series. He even has a YA graphic novel series, Confessions of a Teenage Vampire. Terry has also been a film maker and even ran a Halloween business.
The Monster Men are back and this time we decided to pick a year and go through the list of horror movies released and offer our thoughts, memories, and comments on the ones the jump out at us. Come with us on a trip down the memory lane of horror.
Movies discussed include: Angel Heart The Believers Blood Diner Creepshow 2 Evil Dead II Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II Hellraiser The Hidden Jaws: The Revenge The Lost Boys The Monster Squad Monster in the Closet Munchies Near Dark A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors Flowers in the Attic The Howling 3 Predator Prince of Darkness A Return to Salem’s Lot Slumber Party Massacre 2 The Stepfather
Hail to the king! On this episode of Monster Men, we discuss the movies and some of the books of Stephen King. While he is an undisputed legend of the genre, and a genius, not all of his films and novels are created equal.
This show, as with many Monster Men episodes, was completely spontaneous, so what you get is an honest, barroom conversation about the highs and lows of the King filmography… in our opinion, of course.
Movies and books discussed include Salem’s Lot, The Mist, Cujo, PerSemetary, It, Firestarter, Misery, Stand By Me, The Tommyknockers, The Night Flyer, Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, The Green Mile, Delores Claiborne, Creepshow, 1408, Children of the Corn, The Dead Zone, Maximum Overdrive, The Shawshank Redemption, Christine and more.
We are back with and we’ve got a ton of summer themed horror movies to keep you entertained when you need to get out of the hot summer sun.
Movies discussed in this episode include JAWS, Bait, The Reef, The Shallows, The Meg, Shark Night 3D, Sleepaway Camp, The Burning, Piranha, Humanoids from the Deep, Blood Sand, Blood Beach, The Lost Boys, The Ruins and more. Put on some sunscreen, grab a boat drink and join us.
What are your favorite summer themed horror movies? And what did we miss?
In the final Monster Men of the year we turn our attention to one of the most beloved categories of horror, the slasher! This time we discuss Hunter Shea’s list of must see slasher movies. You’ll find a lot of familiar faces on our list, and a few of them may even have masks on.
The films discussed include; Psycho, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, The Burning and more. Since these lists a 100% objective, you must have an opinion on the subject. Which of these movies have you seen? What did we leave off the list? Which of these movies have you seen? What did we leave off the list? What are your favorites? Join the conversation! Enjoy the show and for god sakes, don’t go in the woods alone!