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Note: All stills were provided by Arrow Video. Check out more Arrow Video information at Free trials are currently available!

This review is thanks to Arrow Video, a UK-based film restoring and distributing company, also now dabbling in streaming services. Not only do they sell DVDs and Blu-Ray of giallo classics, Japanese kaiju, and horror staples, they sell the massively under-appreciated, Blade of the Axe,……… Europeans and in the UK. Bummer, but I’m glad it’s getting out there. (European/UK friends! You’ve been called upon!)

Arrow Films

“We are a true indie SVOD service created and run by people that love cult films of all kinds. We relish the opportunity of finding new ways to champion movies we are excited about. We want to get these often rarely seen – but fantastic – stories to a wider audience whilst developing a strong community with likeminded fans.

ARROW is building on our decades of experience in the Cult film and physical media worlds. We believe in film, from horror to action to westerns to the truly bizarre. We are using our experience as a distributor and our recent digital presence to deliver a very different SVOD service in ARROW.

Our approach to supporting each release on ARROW includes looking to supplement the feature films with hours of additional content that paints a fuller story of the filmmakers, genres and the movies themselves. We commission stunning artwork from some of the best illustrators and artists from around the world and work as closely as we can with the filmmakers themselves in how their film is released.

So, how ‘bout that streaming/movie? 


Well, I was given the film, The Deeper You Dig, to try it out. Thank you, Arrow for the opportunity to try your digital wares, let’s get into the film.

I sense….a review coming…from a total square…

The Plot:

Teenage daughter Echo and mother Ivy have a closer-than-close relationship. It seems like in the small town in this isolated wilderness, they have bonded tightly together.

However, Echo is murdered by loner and recluse, Kurt, after a sledding accident gone awry. 

Kurt attempts to hide the body, but cannot escape the ghost of Echo and the suspicion of Ivy. As Ivy grows closer to Kurt and the secrets he hides, the line of sanity begins to blur…


Okay, I’m going to say this straight-up so we can move past it. Stiff, awkward acting. For a family (like real-honest family) who made this movie, it seems so bland and muted with their acting. I get the “art-house” feel they were going for (and, in some ways, succeed in), but it falls like damp corrugated cardboard in some really emotional scenes.

In fact, the flat affect was sometimes so pronounced, I laughed during times I think were meant to be higher tension scenes (SEE: when Echo’s ghost first shows up and says, “‘Sup…”).

Uhg, lame, this is totally going on Twitter…

However, alien-Saltine-cracker-acting aside…there are really fantastic moments, both visually and writing-wise. The build up is a slow-burn, but so visually engaging and fun to watch, it’s a genuine treat. The movie asks to be viewed with a deeper sincerity than your average indie. With the budget being low, they did some really interesting shots and transitions, especially as the story became more surreal and cerebral. 

Seriously, it’s been a year and you’re still renovating this PoS?

Some might find the soundtrack lacking, but I found the natural sounds instead of music a pure aesthetic delight that grounded me more to the setting surrounding these characters and the role that isolation played within the story. Most of the score was diegetic, so it brought you closer into the story, and was very simplistic, rustic, and raw. It matched the austere scenes of Northern winters and as the seasons blurred into themselves, muted by the pain of a mother losing her daughter and maybe her sanity (along with Kurt). 

Also, because I’m a stickler for this, the effects were really good. I was surprised at how naturally they flowed. I’m a huge //ahem// advocate, let’s say, for practical effects, but these CG effects (mixed with practical and clever edits) were really fluid within the scenes. Honestly better than some bigger budget movies in the theater, so terrific job and kudos. 


I’m not going to spoil the end. I wasn’t a super fan of the very, very end choice, but I appreciated the journey and where we ended up.

Brain Roll Juice:

There’s a lot of symbolism here. Tarot cards. Coldness. Isolation. Sleds…

But let’s just talk about teenager girls, or more aptly, teenage ghosts. Zelda Adams plays Echo, the Girl Who Sleds at Midnight, and subsequently becomes a ghost. But not any ghost, a teenage ghost. 

There were times I probably wasn’t meant to laugh at her complete nonchalance and angsty detachment, but I did…and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

It’s a refreshing, different take from your normal haunting. She isn’t some mid-century waif that died from tuberculosis or a broken-heart when her fiance didn’t come back from The War (pick one). While she’s still vengeful, she’s a modern teenage hipster – annoying her killer with her hipster music, scoffing at his inadequacies, and blandly there to torment him into madness. 

She has nowhere else to go and just like a teenager on a court-appointed weekend with her estranged father, she will make him feel every uncomfortable second between them one-hundred-fold. She will make damn sure he knows she isn’t happy with this at all.   


Maybe it’s because he really is her dad in real life, but the chemistry works so well in this movie. That ambivalent resentment and biting apathy Adams instills in this ghost is not one like the creepy, hell-bent Sadako, but a numbly sarcastic ghoul, belittling her killer’s every action and reaction, kicking him when he’s down and keeping him there.

And…it’s sometimes really funny.

Step one: cut a hole in the box; step two: put your ghost in the box


An indie, sometimes surreal, film that makes a few refreshing choices. Not for a bad movie night with friends, but a much better date movie than Roller Gator. If you want something a little deeper, then you might dig this movie. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Once again, check out more Arrow Video information at Free trials, check it out, a lot of fun movies on there for horror and other genres.


When not ravaging through the wilds of Detroit with Jellybeans the Cat, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is dubiously HauntedMTL's Voice of Reason. Aside from writing, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, and is the composer of many of HauntedMTL's podcast themes.

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Breaking News

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



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)


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

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Movies n TV

X-Files, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas



Airing in December of 1998, How the Ghosts Stole Christmas is a classic monster of the week episode of the X-Files. Except, of course, it’s ghosts, not monsters. Because it’s Christmas, and there’s no better time for a little ghost story than that.

The story

Our story begins like any good holiday evening should. Mulder is telling Scully a ghost story. They’re sitting together outside a supposedly haunted house on Christmas Eve, waiting for the ghosts of two lovers to appear. The story is that they killed each other eighty-one years ago, that very night. Mulder is very excited to see some ghosts. Scully would rather be at home celebrating the holiday.

One of these people has a family life and a dog. The other only has his partner.


Eventually, the two of them do make it inside, where they find an elderly couple named Maurice and Lydia. They seem like a nice enough couple until things start getting weird. Doors lock and unlock as they please. Lydia and Maurice seem to appear and vanish. And, of course, some dead bodies are found.

Edward Asner and Lily Tomlin in X-Files.

As Scully and Mulder try to find each other in this sprawling maze of a house, the ghosts are after them. They tell them terrible, insightful things about themselves and each other. The scary thing is that some of this is good advice.

The scary thing is how much of this Mulder and Scully needed to hear.

Eventually, our heroes escape, though they sure don’t exorcise the ghosts in the house or themselves. Lydia and Maurice are left to enjoy their quiet Christmas Eve in the comfort of their love, no longer a raging fire of passion, but a warm bed of glowing embers.

What worked

First off, let me say that I’m a sucker for a bottle episode. Especially in a show like X-Files. (And it is a true bottle episode, being the cheapest episode of the season.) For the most part, our story takes place in one location, with just four actors. It is tense, it is tight, and it is intimate.


Honestly, this episode has everything going for it. Of course, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson bring their A Game. And they’re joined by two of the funniest comedic actors of all time, Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin. These people could read you the phone book and have you in stitches.

But the writing is also exemplary. Mulder and Scully are forced to take a good look at how they treat each other, for better or worse. They have to consider their relationship, the way they live their lives, and the darker voices in their heads.

In the end, I think they come together beautifully.

Finally, I want to praise the location. The haunted house looks so much like Hill House, it can’t be an accident. It’s in turn freezing and warm, falling apart and beautifully maintained. The cobwebs and hanging sheets on the unused furniture are just classic. And with the massive fireplaces, bookshelves to the ceiling, and the well-stocked bar, the whole place has an air of old-fashioned comfort, left to rot.

X-Files How The Ghosts Stole Christmas.

What didn’t work

I honestly cannot think of one thing that didn’t work in this episode. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s dark. It’s the perfect Christmas episode of television.


In the end, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas is a dark, spooky little tale. It’s filled with scares and chills but still manages to warm your heart. And if you want to fit a little more blood and gore into your holiday watch list, this is a great way to do it.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Jack Frost



Released in 1997, it would be understandable if you confused this Jack Frost with the movie of the same title that was released in 1998 and starred Michael Keaton. We are not talking about the Michael Keaton Jack Frost because it’s not horror. It’s also not good.

(Look at that, you’re getting two reviews in one today. Merry Christmas.)

No, today we are talking about Jack Frost, starring Christopher Allport and Scott MacDonald. And it is possibly the most bonkers Christmas movie I have ever seen.

The story

We begin our tale in a very messed up fashion. A little girl asks her uncle for a bedtime story on Christmas Eve. The uncle tells her about a serial killer named Jack Frost who was caught after leaving bits of his victims inside pies. But there’s no need to worry, the uncle explains. Because Jack Frost was caught and is being executed that very night.

Marsha Clark in Jack Frost.

And we won’t be hearing from these two characters again for the whole movie.

Instead, we cut to Jack, being transported to his execution. Somehow he manages to escape, only to be doused with some sort of acid and melted into the snow.

Meanwhile, the sheriff who caught Jack Frost, Sam, is trying to come to terms with his death. He’s thankful that he’s gone, but the nightmare just doesn’t feel over yet.

Then, of course, people start turning up dead in his little town. And in spectacular ways.

Slowly, Jack Frost seems to work his way through a family called the Metzners. Even though it appears that this family didn’t have a single thing to do with him. First, he murders their son, then proceeds to stalk the entire family.

Sam is joined by an FBI agent named Agent Manners and a scientist named Stone. Together they fumble around the tiny little town, trying to figure out how to kill Jack. Bullets do nothing. He can melt and slip through cracks. But hairdryers seem to do the trick.

A still from 1997 Jack Frost.

What worked

I’m going to be honest here. Nothing in this movie was good. The effects were bad. The writing is bad. The constant snow puns are bad. The acting is bad.

But it is this exact combination of bad aspects that makes Jack Frost funny. It is so intentionally bad that it is hilarious. None of the characters are likable, so we’re not overly upset when they’re murdered in horrific ways. None of the effects look real, but they look fun. The writing is awful, but it’s hilarious.

And here’s the greatest thing about Jack Frost. Everyone working on it is having fun. You can just tell that every single actor is having the time of their lives. Nobody was having a single bad day on stage here. And that alone makes Jack Frost enjoyable to watch.

What didn’t work

One thing I have to say here is that the acting was just bad. It was not, I believe, intentionally bad acting. That is to say, it wasn’t a talented actor acting badly for comedic effect. This was just bad acting from almost everyone in the cast. The two exceptions are Allport and Marsha Clark, who plays Marla. Everybody else is overacting so hard that they’re pulling muscles. They’re chewing the scenery so much that they’re not going to have room for Christmas cookies.

Or oatmeal.

To enjoy Jack Frost, you need to have a deep appreciation for campy effects, bad snow puns, and really inappropriate humor. It’s one of those movies where you turn off your brain, make sure all loose items are secured and your lap bar is completely locked, and enjoy the ride.


If you can do that, then you’re going to have a great time with this movie. If not, don’t worry. There’s lots more holiday horror to come. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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