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Another week of horror and intrigue in Shudder‘s own Halloween surprise, the 61 Days of Halloween. How did the movies stack up for week six? Let’s see…

#7 – Lovely Molly

This 2011 film follows a married couple who return to the Bride’s childhood home, only for her to begins to be haunted by the past intruding on her present. Lovely Molly dips into themes of mental illness, trauma, and sexual abuse. It is unfortunately just overly moody and not really in that cathartic sort of way like other films in the past few weeks It’s pretty slow overall with some elements left a bit too ambiguous to be truly satisfying.

The film does have some interesting moments, but then tend to be few and far between overly one-note drama.

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1317143513004269568

#6 – The Deeper You Dig

This movie was interesting, created by a family of filmmakers, and while it was a very budget sort of movie, but the budget goes a surprisingly long way. The Deeper You Dig is a movie about a tragic accident and poor choices that link a woman, her daughter, and a stranger in a rural community. It is a fun concept but it the run-time stretches the material farther than it needs to be.

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The film also uses some interesting surrealistic imagery that is surprisingly effective, however it feels out of place given the main story. This film could have benefit from a less is more approach, honestly, focusing on the haunting and less on the otherworldly psychic dives.

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1317142711246356481

#5 – The House by the Cemetery

So this film wasn’t a 1970s film at all, but it has that leftover 1970s-vibe present up through the early 1980s. The House by the Cemetery (1981) is a Lucio Fulci film, but not among his best.

It’s one of those Italian films that is set in America and largely kind of occupies that strange sort of there-but-not-really aesthetic. The film follows a family that moves into a house… by a cemetery in New England. However, a series of murders leads to a strange and horrible mystery.

The film is kind of slow and slightly bonkers in that way a lot of Italian horror can be, but the reveal of the “Doctor” is absolutely awesome and the final handful of deaths are exciting. However, all this is undercut by a frankly goofy ending.

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1317143114688073733

#4 – Terrified

Terrified, set in Buenos Aires is an interesting film, but ultimately suffers from some unnecessary bloat and complications to what could have been a leaner, more exciting horror film. The film involves a neighborhood dealing with a series of supernatural events and focuses on two paranormal experts and a couple of police officers dealing with three separate houses.

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The problem is, the haunting across three locations feels thin. The lack of focus on a major threat creates some undercooked ideas. You have two potentially strong, singular hauntings that don’t get the attention they deserve. The other thing is that while the different hauntings are related, they are separate enough to where it feels more anthologized than a connected, singular narrative. There is good stuff to be found here, don’t get me wrong.

I just wish they limited their focus.

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1317145320006975488

#3 – Theater of Blood

An hour and a half of Vincent Price vamping around the screen in the 1970s as a jilted psychopathic actor? That’s what you get with Theatre of Blood.

It’s goofy, ridiculous, and utterly charming as a Vincent Price movie can be. It has some hilariously awful black humor-driven murders that stand out, and while the central mystery is a non-issue, it’s fun to watch these society-types get picked off in increasingly elaborate and dramatic ways.

Plus, you get Vincent Price in an afro and Diana Rigg as his accomplice. You’re welcome.

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https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1314439746131640320

#2 – The Cleansing Hour

A surprisingly fun film, not that I was expecting anything low-quality, mind you. The Cleansing Hour would make a fun double-feature with Shudder’s Host given the tech focus.

This movie is about a group that livestreams fake exorcisms to fans around the world, only to become involved with a real demonic possession. It’s a bleakly hilarious sort of horror film about comeuppance and forgiveness and it also has one ridiculously fun ending with a real sequel hook. I’d love to see a follow-up set in this world.

The movie also features a fun bonus: there are a ton of blink-and-you-miss-them jokes in the chatroom for the livestream. The Cleansing Hour definitely will be a movie that will reward a second or third watch.

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1317144045483823104

#1 – Belzebuth

I saw this one a while back and enjoyed the hell out of it, and after another watch is still one of the better films on offer on Shudder. Belzebuth is a fantastic bit of religious horror and dour as hell. It’s limited to a community in Mexico but has an absolutely global-scale conflict and implication.

The movie follows a Detective, still struggling with a family tragedy, who must investigate a massacre at a school. The nature of the killings, however, may have biblical consequences when a priest from the Vatican joins the investigation.

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This is one of those films that introduces world-shattering consequences in a limited way, which I appreciate. Much like The Cleansing Hour this week, or The Beach House in previous weeks, the film introduces some horror weirdness that will change the world but keeps the focus on a small group of people and how that horror effects their lives. I live for that sort of stuff.

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1317144591779336198

So, those are my rankings for week six. What do you think? Am I off base? Do you want to fight me? Come at me in the comments.

We tackle some really fun movies next time, so stick around, won’t you?

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David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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Joe Bob Briggs Creepy Christmas spooktacular: The Last Drive-In Special Charity phenomena

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Famed horror host, Pulitzer Prize nominated, and Cracker Barrel aficionado Joe Bob Briggs is back in action, ready to bring some macabre merriment to your holiday season with Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas. It also gives us horror fans something to take into the new year, be that something Darcy’s panties (sorry, box, I tried) or just the intangible good feels of hanging with friends and supporting a lot of good causes.

The Return of Joe Bob Briggs’s Christmas Special

The Joe Bob Briggs’s Christmas event is akin to a Jerry Lewis telethon for Gen X, with a twist of ‘the last drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs’. This ‘Briggs’ auction of sorts is a nostalgic nod to the past, especially for those who remember the telethons. The dread, however, has shifted from the … well… whatever Jerry was supposed to do (see Sam Kinison’s bit on this for more info) to that of evil goodies.

Without a doubt, this Joe Bob Briggs special is the event we eagerly anticipate each year. It’s a tradition, and a worthy one at that. We hope to see everyone on the interwebs, joining the ‘creepy links’ and engaging in the conversation (We’ll be on Threads and Twitter….tag us as you wish!) ‘live’ the only way anyone should ever watch a tv show (oh, and I guess on demand, but ya weirdos will never know the sting of the Iron Mutant Award!). ‘Live’ is the only way anyone should ever watch a TV show, especially ‘the last drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs’ (as it’s far too hard to watch tv whilst dead).

Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas The ‘Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl’ special will hit the airwaves live on Shudder TV and AMC+ TV on Friday, December 15th at 9 p.m. ET. Fans of ‘the last drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs’ can also catch the special on-demand starting Sunday, December 17th.

A Creepy Christmas with a Cause

In its fourth year, the holiday tradition of The Last Drive-In goes beyond mere entertainment. It aims to use the platform to raise funds for four vital causes. The charity auction will feature unique props and exclusive merchandise from The Last Drive-In and memorabilia from Briggs’ illustrious 35-year career…including some of his unspoken work as John Bloom. I say Unspoken, because if anyone remembers the first Christmas Special, the autographed copy of Eccentric Orbits was featured (sincerely, a good book–check it out if you haven’t. Jim gives it 4.5/5)

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The supported charities for Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas will include:

The Mystery of the Joe Bob Briggs’s Creepy Christmas Special

The anticipation for Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas is high, with fans wildly speculating what films will be featured. Personally, nothing can beat the #1 top horror Christmas film of all time, the Easter classic: Passion of the Christ (if a snuff film about a guy who doesn’t fit in getting whipped and nailed up doesn’t scream horror story, I don’t know what does. Also: See Sam Kinison’s concept on crosses and resurrection). However, a Christmas movie I really want to see up on this is Hogzilla and Kiss Save Santa Clause! BOOMMM!! Christmas Won!

As we eagerly wait for December 15th, we wonder what surprises our favorite horror host, Joe Bob Briggs, has in store this time. Will there be exclusive ‘merch’ that Jim will buy and then accidentally put in a Toys for Tots box in the mall?

Join the Fun, Join the Cause, Join the Joe Bob Briggs Christmas event!

Are you ready to dive into the world of Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas? Do you dare to watch along and help raise money for a good cause? If so, join us at HauntedMTL on Threads (_HauntedMTL_) and maybe Twitter (@HauntedMTL) as we experience the thrill and chills that only Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy can deliver.

Remember, this is not just about indulging in some good old horror fun with ‘Joe Bob’s’ double feature. It’s about giving back and making a difference. So, let’s gear up to have a creepy Christmas with ‘Joe Bob Briggs’, filled with ‘christmas horror films’, ‘christmas demons’, ‘christmas slasher films’, ‘ho-ho-horror’, ‘yuletide horror’ and insightful ‘horror commentary’.Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas and make this holiday season memorable for all the right reasons! I’m sure Fright Rags will have another stellar set this year, too. They are perfect for the horror fan in your life (even if that fan is you!). I can’t wait to see what they have in store (no pun).

SPECIAL — IF YOU WANT Freeeeeeeee (as supplies last) Fright Rags Joe Bob Briggs merch for this year, just tweet/thread at us during the event and Jim will pick the one that makes him chuckle the most (you will need to give us your address and size in DMs)

No subscription to watch Joe Bob Briggs’s Creepy Christmas yet? No problem! Check the link below:

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. For a 7-day, risk-free trial, visit Joe Bob at www.shudder.com.

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#ChadGetsTheAxe Coming Out September 1st

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Look, I’m a simple guy. Sure, I like my Small Town Monsters and my silly-billy movies about cats eating people.

But sometimes there comes a film that’s smartly written, full of humor and social commentary, plus great acting. Oh, and scares that actually scare the shit out of me.

Almost a year to the date, I got to watch such a film called #CHADGETSTHEAXE that I saw as a screener for FilmQuest Fest in October, 2022. And I was blown away by the talents of director/co-writer Travis Bible and co-writer/producer Kemerton Hargrove; starring Spencer Harrison Levin (Black Jesus), Michael Bonini (New Amsterdam), Taneisha Figueroa (Duck World), Cameron Vitosh (Walker), Brandon Doyle (Murder Made Me Famous), and Shun Hagins (Snitch).

Mini-Review, I swear it’s short:

And, I know, I know, I know. ‘But Brannyyyyk, isn’t livestreaming horror movies just a flash in the pan? Hasn’t it been done beforeeee?’ For one, stop saying it like that, it’s weird. For two, not like this. The care and attention that went into #CHADGETSTHEAXE is wickedly clever with such tongue-in-cheek humor of influencers, humanity, and the toxic culture of fandom. It’s the shining example of live-streaming movies because it’s so f-ing smart.

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Case in point, the characters are living up to their personas. However, even when the personas are ragged and driven to the edge of life and death, we never see them as people, fully dimensional people, because we never see them break away from their devices. There’s never a shot that shows us ‘hey, this is a film, now let’s see them as the real character they are’. The actors are really carrying dual roles as the personas and the real people underneath; as they are struggling to keep up appearances in front of the millions of viewers.

Plus, don’t get me started on the characters within the livestream feed, along with running jokes and clues to the haunted house.

Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away as I’m going to be covering it on Streamin’ Demons soon. But I wanted to also tease about the fact that I’m going to be interviewing some VIPs from the movie for What’s Kraken? So, shhh, only tell your closest friends because it’s going to be incredible.

It has the characters taking selfies in front of an axe killer

Join the Hype Train:

Adapted from an award-winning short with the same title, #ChadGetsTheAxe follows four social media influencers as they live-stream their trip to Devil’s Manor, former home to a Satanic Cult. Things don’t go well. And as the violence ramps up… so do the views.

The film premiered at FilmQuest in October 2022 and Internationally at FrightFest Glasgow in March 2023 where it was well received by critics. #ChadGetsTheAxe was produced by Travis Bible, Eric Gibson, Kemerton Hargrove, and Frances O’Hanlon, while Dream Big Group serves as executive producers.

The Horror Collective is the genre label of Entertainment Squad — a production and distribution company founded by veteran producer Shaked Berenson (TURBO KID, TALES OF HALLOWEEN). The label’s latest releases include the Daytime Emmy nominated Limited Series DOOMSDAY, the killer-pants Shudder Original SLAXX, and the critically acclaimed horror-comedy SUMMONING SYLVIA.

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Website: https://thehorrorcollective.com/

I’m hoping it gets DVD distribution one day because I’m old and I need DVDs for when the zombie apocalypse happens.

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June Title for Arrow Streaming

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Welcome to June! There’s so much on the hopper for Arrow that I just have to give you, my friends, the hot goss.

Just a picture of the stuff I'm talking about after the picture.

June 2nd:  Paul Joyce Documentaries

June 2nd kicks off the month with ARROW’s latest curation of Paul Joyce documentaries, this time looking at legendary filmmaker John Cassavetes, straight from the mouth of his friend and collaborator co-star Peter Falk (Columbo) in Out of the Shadows: The Films of John Cassavetes.

After a six year directing hiatus, Monte Hellman sat down with Paul Joyce and just talked for an hour while Joyce filmed. The result is Plunging on Alone: Monte Hellman’s Life In a Day.

June 2nd: the wild world of Ero Guro  

What is Ero Guro? Well, the Japanese sub-genre of horror and pink films Ero Guro combines the erotic (ero) and the grotesque (guro) to deviant, decadent and unforgettable effect. ARROW’s Ero Guro collection features the unholy trinity of core Ero Guro films, Teruo Ishii’s Shogun’s Joy of Torture and Horrors of Malformed Men and Yasuzo Masumura’s Blind Beast, plus plenty more exciting, explicit and enticingly depraved delights to delve into.

Titles Include: Shogun’s Joy of Torture, Blind Beast, Irezumi.

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June 6th: Warriors Two (US/CA)

After making his directorial debut with the intense The Iron-Fisted Monk and firmly solidifying his worth at Golden Harvest, Sammo Hung would be given more creative control behind the camera. Now able to inject more of his own personality, Hung would bring to life the more upbeat (yet only slightly less violent) Wing Chun cult classic: Warriors Two!

Predating the Ip Man tetralogy by three decades – as well as Hung’s own The Prodigal Son (starring Yuen Biao as the younger incarnation of Leung Tsan) by a few years – Warriors Two is one of the earliest films to authentically portray the teachings of Wing Chun while also delivering the kind of kinetic and pulse-pounding fights synonymous with the name Sammo Hung!

June 16th: Eli Roth Selects (UK/IRE/US/CA)

Splatter icon Eli Roth takes a stroll through the archives with Eli Roth Selects (UK/IRE/US/CA). “I absolutely love Arrow and have been a collector of their editions for years, and Arrow Player is the most streamed channel in my house. I’ve seen a lot of Select lists, and while I agree with them, I wanted to highlight some that people might have otherwise overlooked.”

Titles Include: Basket Case, Contamination, Madhouse.

June 19th: Toru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy (UK/IRE/US/CA)

Made at the end of the 1970s, Toru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy launched actor Yûsaku Matsuda as the Toei tough guy for a new generation. Matsuda was the definitive screen icon of 1980s until his career was tragically cut short by cancer at the age of 40, following his Hollywood debut in Ridley Scott’s Black Rain.

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The Most Dangerous Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): In this career-defining triptych, Matsuda is Shohei Narumi, an ice cool hitman of few words, a steely trigger finger, and a heart of stone, hired in The Most Dangerous Game by a company bidding for a lucrative government air defence contract to take out the competition.

The Killing Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): Narumi finds himself caught in the midst of violent yakuza gang warfare, while his own brutal past catches up with him in the form of two beautiful women still bearing the emotional scars of his past assignments.

The Execution Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): Narumi falls for a mysterious saloon bar chanteuse who may or may not be part of the same, shadowy underworld organization as the rival hitmen he is employed to rub out. (I’m assuming the tough-guy way and not the sexy way)

June 23rd: SHAAAARKS!!!

Yessss, Cruel Jaws is coming to Arrow!

ARROW heads to the beach for some terror with shark attacks.

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Cruel Jaws (US/CA): A huge shark terrorizes a beach in Florida, and the locals try everything to kill it.

Deep Blood (US/CA): Several young men have to stop an ancient native American evil in the form of a killer shark which is attacking a small beach community.

June 23rd: Sci-fi Stunners (UK/IRE/US/CA)

For the penultimate SeasonARROW boldly goes to the stars on June 23, seeking out new life and new cinema.

Sci-fi Stunners (UK/IRE/US/CA): There are other worlds than these. Come and explore them in this collection of cybernetic, planet-probing, time-travelling, cosmos-trotting, aliens-zapping, virtual and far-too-real adventures in Sci-fi Stunners – ARROW’s home world for the coolest Cult science-fiction films in the galaxy.

Titles Include: No Escape, Donnie Darko, Crimes of the Future.

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Last but not least

Cosa Nostra Collection (UK/IRE/US/CA):

The most American of directors according to celebrated critic Paolo Mereghetti, Damiano Damiani (A Bullet for the General) nevertheless surveyed his own country’s mafia history unlike anyone before him, to critical and box office success.

Full of twists and a fascinating meta-commentary on cinema, Damiani points the camera at himself and the genre as he investigates the social impact of mafia violence, a fitting end to this survey of Damiani’s Cosa Nostra.

Titles Include: Day of the Owl, The Case is Closed, Forget It, How To Kill a Judge.

About ARROW:

From Arrow Films, a recognized world-leader in curation and creation, ARROW is a premium platform giving audiences an unparalleled viewing experience across multiple devices, so fans can explore the films and TV shows that the Arrow brand is famous for.

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Specially curated by members of the ARROW team, ARROW is home to premium film and TV entertainment, exclusive new premieres, cutting edge cinema, international classics and cult favorites – such as the works of Lars Von Trier, Brian De Palma, Dario Argento, David Cronenberg and Park Chan-wook, and brand-new short films from both new and established filmmakers.

In the coming months, ARROW will be adding Oscar-winning hits, European classics, Asian cinema masterworks, rediscovered Westerns, offbeat gems and much more as part of ARROW’s international strategy to support and celebrate the medium of film.

For more information on ARROW and its titles, please contact: justin@justincookpr.com or visit https://www.arrow-player.com.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ArrowVideoUK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arrowPlayer

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

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