Welcome to the seventh installment of the series where I rank the films scheduled during Shudder’s 61 Days of Halloween event. What ghoulish delights were on offer on the penultimate week of the event?
Halloween won’t officially be over for me (and my obligations) until I have watched every movie presented during Shudder’s 61 Days of Halloween. Now, sometimes life and other obligations get in the way, but am I going to let that stop me? Never!
It’s good to be back and covering the remaining films that Shudder provided.
#7 – The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection
Contestants who lost out on previous seasons of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula are reunited in a socially-distanced remote horror drag completion.
This is a unique case in the rankings as it is not so much a movie, like virtually everything else in these recaps, but that is not to say it is a bad thing either. The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula is a reality competition series, but in the extraordinary circumstances of COVID19 required some cleverness. This played like a combination of documentary and compressed season of the normal show. The special featured past contestants from previous seasons who were reunited for a new, three-round, socially distanced competition that featured documentary-style explorations of their lives, stories, and processes. The slower pace of the competition playing out as little intertwining documentary vignettes was a refreshing approach to the competition format and led to some very interesting storytelling.
But as a Halloween marathon inclusion did it work? Not really. Don’t get me wrong, this was a lot of fun, and even pretty touching in spots, but as a film, especially in a Halloween marathon, it doesn’t quite land. It is worth a watch, even if you haven’t really watched any of Dragula before. It’s like a spookier, gorier version of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
#6 – 32 Malasaña Street
Another Spanish-language offering from Shudder, 32 Malasaña Street follows a rural, financially-struggling family who moves to an apartment in 1972 Madrid where they are quickly confronted by a vengeful spirit with a fixation on the youngest child.
The film features solid performances all around, especially the youngest actor, Iván Renedo, who plays a menaced and traumatized child quite well. The film is at its best when the pressures of living in a haunted apartment with nowhere to go drives the story; the pain of being unable to pack up and move, or even forcing oneself to go to work when your child is missing. The film presents some interesting, tense, and sometimes scary ideas and scenes.
The movie oozes some style and promise, at least initially, but by the end, most of the praise I could extend to it was squandered. The film went from being a stylish, period story about a haunted family and economic horror to having some very problematic and regressive ideas concerning gender identity and disability. Even if the film creates some generally creepy moments and has wonderful period-accurate stylings, those issues drag it down. It’s a shame, too.
#5 – The Tomb of Ligeia
October was filled with an absolute abundance of Vincent Price and week to week his work has always satisfied. The Tomb of Ligeia also has him working with the legendary Roger Corman, again, adapting (loosely) more works of Edgar Allen Poe. The film follows a man, haunted by the death of his wife, who remarries only to find that his first wife has not given him up from the afterlife. Throw a black cat into the mix and you have a fun slice of 1960s British gothic horror.
This 1965 film was the last of what is known as the Corman-Poe cycle, a collection of eight films starting with 1960’s House of Usher. All but one of these films starred Vincent Price. The Tomb of Ligeia is probably one of the more complicated of the films in regards to the story, yet the film definitely feels a bit like the spark of earlier films had faded a bit. The cinematography and visuals are not nearly as sumptuous as The Masque of the Red Death and most of the film feels fairly small in scale, featuring a cast working on a handful of sets. Despite this, the final 15 or so minutes, Ligeia’s revenge, is hellish and exciting.
#4 – Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis follows a family who moves into a house where a mysterious neighbor may be influencing terrifying circumstances in their new home. Soon they must turn to their uncle, a priest with his own tragic history, to uncover the horror.
This film surprised me in how much I enjoyed it. I wasn’t expecting the film to be bad, of course. I was very impressed by the story being told and how polished the production was. The film felt very much like a Hollywood horror film but from a distinctly Korean point-of-view. It was also interesting to get a film so heavily invested in Christian theology from a non-American/European perspective. There is a sizable Christian population in Korea, so this shouldn’t be completely surprising, but it is a perspective not seen regularly in mainstream film, much less horror. It feels like a Korean extension of something like The Conjuring universe.
I am not exactly praising the film for skewing closer to western sensibilities, though. I was just shocked by how closely it executed certain conventions in a way that almost exceeded what I’d expect from a mainstream Hollywood possession film. Granted mainstream Hollywood isn’t a guarantee of quality when it comes to horror, but in this case, I’d say Metamorphosis is an example of what the best western-style possession movies can offer.
#3 – Joe Bob’s Halloween Hideaway
So, technically this was an additional two films with the Joe Bob Briggs dressing. I went ahead and did my usual review and recap of the festivities, so I’d direct you over to that at this point. While it was not my favorite installment of The Last Drive-In, it was still a ton of fun and definitely ranks among the highlights of the week. Go ahead and open the review in a new tap as you wrap up this week’s list.
#2 – Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snaps is a classic horror film now in many ways and a highlight in Canadian horror. The film still holds up after 20 years and still presents one of the most unique spins on the werewolf genre around. The film follows a pair of gothy, death-obsessed Canadian teenagers who must deal with the fact that one of them has recently been bitten by a werewolf that has been menacing their community.
Ginger Snaps is a movie that uses the werewolf metaphor to explore issues of identity in teenage girls has a lot to say and not always subtly. The film features Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle as the sisters, and who turn out masterful performances. It’s more of a cult film that most on the list this week but is probably pretty well known around horror fans, especially if you’re a Canadian horror fan. There is not much else to say beyond the fact that it is a damn good choice to include in the marathon. It comes highly recommended.
#1 – Host
Host is a Shudder original. It is about friends who gather over a Zoom meeting for a socially-distanced séance that has deadly and terrifying consequences.
No horror film has seemed so suited to its time as Host since The Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Scream. Is Host a perfect film? Not really, nor was Scream (I contend the Chain Saw is, however), but as a sign of the times and tapping into the collective zeitgeist, Host has become an instant classic. It is one of the most highly-praised releases of 2020 and really stood out among Shudder’s originals. It’s a terrifying movie for a terrifying time in America and plays with a modern aspect of life and twists it in some fairly ingenious ways.
It helps that the film is legitimately good outside of the initial gimmick. The characters as a whole are reasonably well-drawn as individuals, and the fact that the events are all taking place across a group Zoom session does not strain credulity any further than most horror films. If you can handle a bunch of teens going to a camp known for yearly murders you should easily handle a virtual séance that goes terribly wrong.
Drop by Haunted MTL next week for the final installment of this series, covering the last batch of films of the event.
The Last Drive-In Season 5 Premiering April 21st Exclusively on Shudder!
They say good things come to those who wait, and boy have we been patient. It has been close to a year since our eyes have indulged a full season of ‘The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’, in fact, the season 4 finale premiered on Shudder July 1st, 2022. Since then, we have been able to satisfy our appetites with festive holiday specials sprinkled throughout the past year. Specials such as ‘Joe Bob’s Halloween Hangout’ guest starring horror’s favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira (played by the legendary Cassandra Peterson) and ‘Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get-Together’. Last month was a treat in itself, as we were able to witness Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) marry one lucky couple for the first time on the show with ‘Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine‘ special.
While the current changes in staff at Shudder have left fans questioning whether we will receive a new season of the popular series, I can happily say mutant family, we need not worry. In fact, to our wonderous surprise, Joe Bob Briggs has officially announced via Twitter, season 5 of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ will be premiering April 21st, exclusively on Shudder! One thing that is noteworthy, is unlike previous seasons, it has been reported by 1428Elm that season 5 will be broken up into two parts of five double-feature blood-curdling episodes. Though we have not been provided the official release schedule for the second block of season 5, here is a sneak peek of what we can expect for the first half of the season:
April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama’s Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!
Unfortunately, we do not have an official list of the brand-new double feature films for the first half of season 5 but, with amusing episode titles such as these, one can only imagine what grindhouse-classics will be joining ‘The Last Drive-In’s’ already eclectic list of sloshy goodness. For those impatient mutants eagerly waiting for more hilarious Joe Bob rant-filled commentaries, or those newcomers who’ve yet to experience the magic that is ‘The Last Drive-In‘, all previous four seasons, including past holiday specials are currently available to stream now on Shudder.
If you are just as big of fans of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ as we here at HauntedMTL are, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @HauntedMTL and join us April 21st as we tweet along with Joe Bob and Darcy the Mail Girl for the season premier. As is tradition, we will be hosting live watch parties every Friday with each new episode, including fresh holiday specials. The road to season 5 is upon us…let the countdown begin!
April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama's Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!
. . . and that's only the beginning.#TheLastDriveIn pic.twitter.com/WfeTx0shNa— Joe Bob Briggs (@therealjoebob) March 16, 2023
Shudder March 2023 Release Schedule
Mutant family, please gather ’round as February kicks rocks and we shove our way into March. With the new month comes the shifting from winter to spring as death beautifully resurrects back to life, drunken patrons swarm our local bars like rabid locusts for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and of course new exclusives and returning favorites on Shudder to satisfy the horror fiend in us all. To quote the prestigious Samuel L. Jackson, “hold onto your butts” and let’s dive right into Shudder’s March 2023 release schedule.
While it is true that the release schedule for the start of 2023 on Shudder has been minor and slightly mixed, with films such as the much talked about experimental low-budget indie ‘Skinamarink‘, the surprisingly entertaining horror comedy ‘Sorry About the Demon‘, and writer/director Neil Marshall’s return to the genre with ‘The Lair‘. We also graciously received the wildly fun ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine” special, with season 5 currently in production and premiering later this year; though it can’t come soon enough. As we like to do here at HauntedMTL, let’s kick off March with Shudder’s newest exclusives currently streaming now and in the coming weeks.
Spoonful of Sugar – Now Streaming
Starting off this list we begin with director Mercedes Bryce Morgan and writer Leah Saint Marie’s latest film ‘Spoonful of Sugar‘, now currently streaming.
Millicent (Morgan Saylor), a disturbed college student working on her thesis about children with severe allergies, is hired to babysit little Johnny (Danilo Crovetti), a sickly, mute child who suffers from every allergy under the sun. His mother Rebecca (Kate Foster) is an accomplished author currently focused on her newest book release, while his father Jacob (Myko Olivier) spends his days in the backyard working on frivolous carpentry projects. After experiencing a bizarre sexual awakening while using LSD as an alternative treatment for Johnny, she soon uncovers the family’s dark secrets as things begin to become unhinged.
Leave – Premiering Friday 3/17
After having been abandoned as an infant at a cemetery wrapped in a cloth with satanic symbols, Hunter White (Alicia von Rittberg) grows obsessed with figuring out who her biological parents are and why they seemingly abandoned her. However, as she gets closer to the answers she so desperately seeks, a malevolent spirit is warning her to leave.
‘Leave‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/17 and is directed by Alex Herron and written by Thomas Moldestad, starring Alicia von Rittberg, Herman Tømmeraas, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, and Stig R. Amda
The Unheard – Premiering Friday 03/31
‘The Unheard‘ follows the story of deaf 20-year-old Chloe Grayden (Lachlan Watson) after she undergoes an experimental treatment to restore her hearing. While recovering at her family’s beach home after the successful procedure, Chloe begins to fear she is not alone as she begins to experience auditory hallucinations related to the mysterious disappearance of her mother.
‘The Unheard’ is directed by Shudder alumni Jeffrey A. Brown (The Beach House) and written by brothers/screenwriting partners Shawn Rasmussen and Michael Rasmussen (Crawl), co-starring Michele Hicks and Nick Sandow. ‘The Unheard‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/31.
Returning Classic and Fan Favorites
Now that we’ve removed the veil for the new exclusive titles dropping this month, I think it’s time we reveal the returning classics jump starting our transition into spring for 2023. Allow me to highlight some of my favorite films returning to Shudder for March including ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ and ‘The Company of Wolves‘; grim re-telling’s of popular children’s fairy tales. We also cannot forget John Carpenter’s haunted coastal horror ‘The Fog‘; no, not the remake…thankfully.
Gretel and Hansel – Now Streaming
Directed by Osgood Perkins, ‘Gretel and Hansel’ is a terrifyingly dark and unique vision to one of history’s most famous childhood fairy tales. After being thrown out of their mother’s home, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) leads her younger brother, Hansel (Samuel Leakey), through the woods in search of food and work. The children soon discover a quaint cottage where a fragile old woman Holda (Alice Krige) offers fresh food and bed. The children accept all Holda has to offer, with little thought as to what may be asked of them in return.
Though it has been met with mixed reviews, ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ offers astounding performances by veteran actress Alice Krige as the films iconic Witch of the woods and Sophia Lillis as lead Gretel. Director Osgood Perkins does well to draw his viewer in with a beautifully haunting score and unnerving cinematography, making this one grim re-telling worth checking out at least once. ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ is available to stream now.
The Company of Wolves – Now Streaming
Continuing our list of returning classics, we have yet another bold re-telling of a beloved children’s fairy tale, 1984’s ‘The Company of Wolves‘. While the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood‘ has been retold through various forms of media, including numerous films, ‘The Company of Wolves‘ is a beloved horror interpretation with adult themes and memorable practical effects including one of the genres best werewolf transformations.
A wise grandmother (Angela Lansbury) tells her granddaughter Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) a disturbing tale of innocent maidens falling in love with handsome strangers … and of their sudden mysterious disappearances when the moon is full and accompanied by the strange sound of a beast in the woods.
‘The Company of Wolves’ is co-written and directed by Neil Jordan and stars Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, Micha Bergese, and David Warner, streaming now.
John Carpenter’s The Fog – Streaming 03/31
Writer, director, musician, and horror master John Carpenter is a legend in the genre having provided countless classics such as ‘The Thing‘, a terrifyingly gruesome remake of ‘The Thing from Another World‘. Or his sci-fi action/horror ‘They Live’ where he deals with societal control through corporations and government. And of course, my personal favorite, the film that jumpstarted his career and created one of horror’s most iconic slashers…’Halloween‘.
1980’s ‘The Fog‘ is a terrifying shoreside tale of vengeful spirits haunting the fictional coastal town of Antonio Bay, OR. as they begin preparations to celebrate its centenary. Following exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in the town’s waters, a thick unearthly fog harboring the souls of those who perished rolls in and with them, the dark secrets of Antonio Bay’s past.
John Carpenter’s ‘The Fog’ stars scream queen and recent Academy Award winner Jamie Lee Curtis, genre alums Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, and Nancy Kyes, and was co-written by the late Debra Hill. ‘The Fog‘ will be available to stream on Shudder 03/31.
Full Shudder March 2023 Film Releases
For a full comprehensive list of all the titles being added to Shudder for the month of January, please refer to the graphic below. Please be on the lookout for our review of ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine’ to drop later this week here on HauntedMTL and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more Shudder news and spooky reviews!
Gretel and Hansel
Spoonful of Sugar
The Company of Wolves
Jack be Nimble
The Blair Witch Project & Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine Special Live Watch Party February 10th!
The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub mascot, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine, premiering live at 9pm EST.
Love Spells Abound…
Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, as a special treat, Briggs has announced for the first time on The Last Drive-In, he will be marrying one lucky couple during the live showing. We here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo so, as is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the broadcasting of The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder, @therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.
What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.
Breaking News7 days ago
The Last Drive-In Season 5 Premiering April 21st Exclusively on Shudder!
Movies n TV5 days ago
The Wolf of Snow Hollow, a Film Review
Sound5 days ago
Unwell, a Midwestern Gothic Mystery, Season three
Original Creations1 day ago
Reanimating Dead Art with Monsters by Jennifer Weigel