Ohio producer/director J.R. Bookwalter has launched an Indiegogo pre-ordering campaign for an upcoming "25th Anniversary Ultimate Edition" bluray of his first feature, the shot-on-Super 8 zombie epic (and namesake of this blog) The Dead Next Door.
The 3-disc set will launch whether or not he reaches his campaign goal, but if you're willing to pledge you can get early access to the limited edition release. The set will include four (!) unrated versions of the film, two of them created from a brand-new 2K restoration using original film elements. The remastered version will be offered in both the original 4:3 aspect ration and in a new 16:9 cropped widescreen option. the two previous VHS and DVD versions will also be included (along with all of the original extras).
The set will also include some a new commentary track, a new trailer, and a CD that includes the original soundtrack and some previously unreleased tracks from the film.
Here's a Troma release from NYU film school grad and award winning playwright Jocelyn Beard. Director Billy Parolini is producing a documentary, A Man Called God, about actor Christopher St. John and cult leader Sai Baba.
Delighted to see that the next round of Vinegar Syndrome releases includes this oddball sci-fi superhero blaxploitation comedy from Miami,Wildman Steve's Super Soul Brother, direct from the Austin American Genre Film Archive (AGFA).No trailer online, but plenty of not-safe-for-work clips.
I overlooked this one when I published the book, but Code Red released this Pueblo, Colorado-based film on disc a few years back. Local filmmaker John Henry Johnson was at the helm, and the film is periodically screened in Pueblo by the Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center.
I can't actually find a trailer online (although one was included on the DVD), so here's the whole movie, thanks to a YouTube poster.
I'll be reviewing the Blu-ray release of Island Claws for an upcoming issue of SCREEM magazine, a piece that will include comments from two of the film's stars. In advance of that, I thought I'd share a few images from the film's various marketing campaigns that I stumbled across.
First up is the VHS cover art, which was re-used for the new Scorpion Blu-ray.
Then there's this poster image, which appears to be for the overseas, Spanish-language video release.
And finally, this mysterious image that I found in a chat room that may have been from some pre-release promotional material, sporting a completely different title.
My Island Claws coverage will be in the spring issue of SCREEM.
To answer the question, "Did Claude Akins ever appear in a regional horror film?" we present this Florida obscurity that was finally released on DVD in 2012 by Troma. Shot in Stuart, Fla., on 16mm as Trilogy of Fear, this horror anthology failed to find a distributor during the dark days of the early 1990s when the fright film market bottomed out.
You can read more about it here and here. Watch the original promo below, along with Troma's revamped trailer.
A highlight of the most recent "snowpocalypse" coverage (for me, at least) was the image of a local prankster wandering the streets of Somerville in a Yeti costume during the storm. You can read The Boston Yeti's Twitter feed here.
I don't know if The Boston Yeti is related to his Massachusetts neighbors, Winterbeast or Sasqua, but he bares more than a passing resemblance to some of our other favorite regional horror cryptids. See below.
This weird western from Arizona is the one and only directing credit for bit player Jack Dunlap. I used to see it on video store shelves pretty frequently back in the VHS days, but it has since dropped off the map. There's another trailer, for the Elvira-hosted edition of the tape on Thriller Video, here.
I've been neglecting the blog for awhile, but hope to get back on track in the new year. Since some of you may have some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket, I thought I'd start by catching up on some recent and upcoming DVD and blu-ray releases.
Code Red's release strategy and distribution methods have gotten increasingly erratic and confusing over the past couple of years, but for the time being over at the Big Cartel store, you can pick up the loopy, Florida-lensed and incredibly amateurish kung-fu/blaxploitation flick The Guy From Harlem (on a double feature with Force Four). They also a released a (now sold out) three pack of Andy Milligan films onblu-ray that included Bloodthirsty Butchers, The Man with 2 Heads, and TortureDungeon.
You can also get the Arkansas film Psycho From Texas on a six-pack set with a bunch of non-horror titles.
Vinegar Syndrome, meanwhile, released a DVD/blu-ray combo of Lewis Jackson's Christmas Evil, and a limited edition (now sold out) DVD of the lost Alan Ormsby film Murder on the Emerald Seas. They've also got downloads available of Silent Night, Bloody Night, Guru the Mad Monk, and Fleshpot on 42nd Street.
Scream Factory/Shout Factory continues to impress, with From a Whisper to a Scream (TheOffspring) coming in March, along with a special edition Blu-ray of Scarecrows. They join an already strong slate of releases that includes Sleepaway Camp, The Burning, Squirm, and The Townthat Dreaded Sundown.
Fred Olen Ray announced that his Retromedia imprint would unleash an Andy Milligan triple feature in March, with Guru the Mad Monk, The Ghastly Ones, and The Body Beneath, in widescreen with extras.
Finally, Synapse has announced that it will be releasing the HD restoration of Manos, the Hands of Fate (see more here) later this year, along with one of our faves, The Creature From Black Lake.
Ohio-born director Jeff Burr made this fun anthology in Georgia, and secured the services of Vincent Price for the wraparound segments (one of his last genre performances) by cold calling him at his house, showing up uninvited with the script and a bottle of wine. Scream Factory will deliver the film on Blu-ray in March.
Fred Olen Ray has dug into his vault and made another 50 or so copies of his RetroMedia Beast Collection DVD set available on Amazon (get 'em while you can). The set is a cornucopia of regional horror flicks, including Ed Adlum's Shriek of the Mutilated, Bill Rebane's Capture of Bigfoot, Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot, Larry Buchanan's The Eye Creatures, and the subject of our trailer of the week, Zontar: The Thing From Venus. Since Zontar was originally a made for TV project, we've posted a series of homemade trailers below that range from sublime to ridiculous.
I was happy to hear that one of my favorite Florida films, William Wesley's Scarecrows, will be getting the special edition blu-ray treatment from Scream Factory later this year. Unlike the bare-bones MGM disc, there should be a number of extras (effects guy Norman Cabrera is involved, at least), and a new transfer. Originally announced as one half of a double feature, Scarecrows will now be released as a two-disc set in March.
I still can't find an English-language trailer, but here's one in Spanish.
The Dead Next Door is a blog about regional or "backyard" horror and science fiction films made from the late 1950s to the earlyl 1990s (and beyond). These films were released during the peak years of independent film production, created by a motley crew of seasoned pros, gifted amateurs, and enthusiastic genre fans, along with dozens of eccentric dreamers -- doctors, lawyers, insurance salesmen, publishers, commercial filmmakers, TV production crews and moonlighting pornographers -- all looking for their big break or a fast buck or both.