Hell Night - Scream Factory

Scream Factory: Hell Night Collector’s Edition (1981)

Happy New Year, friends! While 2018 might have barely rolled around, hopefully you all had a safe and happy Holiday. Scream Factory is already unleashing retro fright films. Case in point the 1981 cult classic Hell Night. So what better way to usher in a bright and shiny new year than with some retro horror? Furthermore, how can you top 80s horror when Hell Night stars the like of Linda Blair?
Hell Night - Original Poster

The filmmakers on Hell Night were definitely inspired by the likes of 1980’s Friday the 13th. As well as possibly Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse. However having said that I would be remiss in pointing out that Hell Night has something those two films did not possess. Namely a VERY strong H.P. Lovecraft vibe to the plot of the movie.

Hell Night focuses on four college students who are experiencing a legendary hazing ritual. To be inducted into their chosen fraternities and sororities. Marti (Blair), Denise (Suki Goodwin), Jeff (Peter Barton), and Seth (Vincent Van Patten) must spend a whole night in the abandoned Garth mansion.
Hell Night - Garth manor

Obviously, our teenagers aren’t going to have it quite so easy. For one thing, the head of Alpha Sigma Rho, Peter (Kevin Brophy) and his cronies Scott and May, have set up the mansion with all manner of electronic devices. All of course in the hopes of giving the four youngsters a very sleepless night.
Hell Night - Ghost

However, for all involved – they should have listened to the legend of Garth Manor. The urban legend that 12 years previously, something horrible happened at the mansion. Raymond Garth decided to end his Family line. Killing his Wife and deformed children before taking his own life. But what about that other part of the legend? That one of the children survived and might very well be hiding in his old home?!

As a matter of fact, a lot of blood and tears could have been avoided. If of course Peter and his cronies had done a little more research on the mansion. But on the other hand that would have certainly made for a less entertaining film.
Hell Night - Garth

Hell Night is a great example of 80s horror done right. It has atmosphere, some nice scares, and more importantly you care about the characters. Thanks in no small part to the chemistry between Blair and the rest of the cast.
Hell Night - Linda Blair

Now Hell Night is a Scream Factory release so that means it has plenty of extras. Friends, let me tell you this one is chock full of goodies worthy of this Collector’s Edition!

Blu-Ray Features:

  • New 4K Scan Of The Film Taken From The Best Surviving Archival Print
  • Brand New Interviews With Actors Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Vincent Van Patten, Suki Goodwin, Kevin Brophy, And Jenny Neumann
  • Audio Commentary With Linda Blair, Tom DeSimone, Irwin Yablans, And Bruce Cohn Curtis
  • Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots
  • New Interview With Director Tom DeSimone
  • Interview With Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis
  • Interview With Writer Randolph Feldman
  • Anatomy Of The Death Scenes With Tom DeSimone, Randolph Feldman, Make-up Artist Pam Peitzman, Art Director Steven G. Legler, And Special Effects Artist John Eggett
  • On Location At The Kimberly Crest House With Tom DeSimone
  • Gothic Design In Hell Night With Steven G. Legler
  • Original Radio Spot
  • Photo Gallery Featuring Rare, Never-before-seen Stills
  • The DVD disc contains the following features:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Film Taken From The Best Surviving Archival Print
  • As well as the NEW Interviews With Actors Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Vincent Van Patten, Suki Goodwin, Kevin Brophy, And Jenny Neumann
  • Audio Commentary With Linda Blair, Tom DeSimone, Irwin Yablans, And Bruce Cohn Curtis
  • Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots

Hell Night is being released this very Tuesday, January 2nd! So that gives you more than ample time to rest up from your Holiday revelry, before heading out and picking up this classic. Of course you can also just hop on over to the and pre-order your copy today.

Enjoy one last vintage television spot for 1981’s Hell Night!

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Scream Factory

It’s A Christmas Miracle. Silent Night, Deadly Night Is Out On Scream Factory Blu-ray!

Silent Night, Deadly Night is not necessarily one of the “must sees” for the casual horror fan looking for a campy thrill. It’s savage, violent and punishing. The story opens with young Billy Chapman whose dreams of a white Christmas are obliterated when he witnesses a deranged criminal, dressed in a dime store Santa suit, brutally murder his father and mother on Christmas Eve. Orphaned after the killing of his parents, Billy and his little brother are raised under the oppressive arm of a devout nun who teaches Billy the consequences of being naughty, which mostly ends up with him being tied to his bed or beaten.

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Old Man Peabody

Old Man Peabody sharing the bad news to young Billy about Santa Claus.

When Billy turns eighteen, he half-wittedly gets a job at a toy store around (wait for it) Christmas and ends up having to play (wait for it) Santa. Needless to say, the years of pent up anger and confusion surrounding the death of his parents at the hand of jolly St. Nick rip loose the fractured wiring in Billy’s head and off he goes hacking up anyone he deems is on the naughty list, which is pretty much anyone he meets. Nothing is left to the imagination as Billy dices his way through a blood splattered winter wonderland and the film’s conclusion shares very little with the Capra’esque triumph of George Bailey – it is inevitably not a wonderful life.

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Snowman

“Snowmen were absolutely harmed or injured during the making of this film.”

I LOVE this movie. Like many kids of the 80s who remember the TV commercial, I was terrified and mesmerized at the same time. The image of Santa pulling the gun from his red velvet pocket was burned in my brain, etched there to this day. The film’s poster of an axe wielding Santa sliding down a chimney is macabre and brilliant marketing. However, all this violent Santa imagery didn’t sit well with parents and they pressured TriStar Pictures for the film’s removal from theaters. At the Beyond Fest screening of the film a few years back, the producers discussed this controversy and explained the money trail : Tri-Star Pictures (the distributor), Columbia Pictures (partnered with TriStar) and Coca-Cola (owned Columbia). Coca-Cola has a long advertising history with Santa Claus and the stirrings from angry parents didn’t sit well with the family friendly soft drink company. Mind you, this anger was all based on commercials only! It’s not like the film was meant for kids. Regardless, it was yanked from theaters.

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Poster

“Maybe he’s just a fireman?”

I finally discovered the film on VHS in the 90s and immediately started having Silent Night, Deadly Night parties that consisted of four guys sitting around my dumpy Miami apartment drunkenly watching the film. Those humble beginnings turned into a full blown event in Hollywood that lasted for several years. I’ve owned the film on VHS, Laserdisc and DVD. I’ve got the Death Waltz vinyl signed by the cast and crew. The film’s eerie Doo-wop styled Christmas carol “Santa’s Watching” becomes my ringtone every December. Setting aside the conventional slasher fare of numerous creative kills, Silent Night, Deadly Night adds a very rich backstory to why Billy becomes a killer. Instead of a five minute flashback origin story, the filmmakers treat us to twenty five minutes of set up. I think that’s what separates it from the rest of the Halloween/Friday the 13th knockoffs and why I think we are still talking about the film 30+ years later.

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Laserdisc

“My new Scream Factory Blu-ray along with my signed Death Waltz Vinyl, my Laserdisc and a bloody axe hand crafted by my wife as a prop for our former SNDN/Die Hard Christmas Party.”

This year, it’s a Christmas miracle because Scream Factory has released Silent Night, Deadly Night on Blu-ray, and it’s the best I’ve ever seen it! Scream Factory has done their established awesome job of loading the release up with fun extras (notably a “then and now” locations tour), but the centerpiece is the disc’s HD transfer from the original camera negative. How these guys at Scream Factory dig up the bones of these classics is beyond me, but thank goodness they do. Now, this two disc set also comes with the un-cut version, which has been available on Laserdisc and DVD. Sadly, the original camera negatives from the extended scenes could not be found, so Scream Factory used the best available standard definition versions and cut them in with their new mastered footage. It’s a bumpy contrast, but they did the best they could and the serious fan will enjoy it. Honestly, after having seen both versions over the years, you aren’t missing much in those extended scenes – some blood, guts and the occasional added sleaze – but to view the crispest version would be to watch the theatrical release. One thing I wanted to shine the Retroist spotlight on is the incredible shots from Ira’s Toy Store.

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Toy Store

“Ira’s reminds me of Cut-Rate toys on Devon Avenue in Chicago.”

The store is featured heavily in the film’s second act and showcased some big toys of the era. These days that would be problematic and tricky with licenses and clearances, but this was the 80s man! Greydon Clark’s Joysticks features every popular coin-op game of the era, think he got the licenses to use Pac Man? Think again, internet lawyer troll. Now, for full transparency, I had spent time doing a bunch of screen grabs to curate a collection of stills from the movie but then I thought, ‘Hey, I bet some other toy nerd has already done this.” Lo and behold, a quick Google search turned up a few sites that have done a marvelous (and probably better) job cataloging and identifying the toys in Ira’s. One was written by the supremely talented John Squires (aka @FreddyInSpace) and he’s got a nice post you can read over at Bloody Disgusting.

Also, here’s a funny post from 2010 by writer David W. About how disorganized Ira’s shelves are.

I will add one more to the mix. Seen behind the shrewd Mr. Sims is the Zaxxon board game. I had that game, but for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you how to play it. In doing some research, I had no recollection of the board or pieces. My guess is I didn’t play it much, but I do love that artwork!

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Zaxxon

“Mr. Sims is nobody’s friend.

So, grab your milk and cookies and get your copy of Silent Night, Deadly Night on Blu-ray here!
Silent Night, Deadly Night - Scream Factory - Blu Ray

One last thing, I started my review stating that “Silent Night, Deadly Night is not necessarily one of the “must sees” for the casual horror fan looking for a campy thrill.” Please take that to heart. It’s not a goofy slasher romp. With the right audience, it’s totally entertaining. But with the wrong audience, you might get a few raised eyebrows. Definitely not for the faint of heart and certainly not for anyone who might take offense with a raging, axe throwing, homicidal Santa Claus. Before you share with your loved ones this holiday season, consider your audience.

Silent Night, Deadly Night - Patrick J. Doody and Patrick Brian Wilson

Meeting Billy Chapman himself, Robert Brian Wilson. The Egyptian Theater, Hollywood. 2014.”

Paul Naschy - Scream Factory

Scream Factory: The Paul Naschy Collection II

Paul Naschy has been described as being the Spanish equivalent of the legendary Lon Chaney. I think that is a rather apt comparsion. In fact with Scream Factory’s Blu-Ray release of the Paul Naschy Collection II. I think you too will see why he is held in such high regard as well.
Paul Naschy - Table

You might remember back in June of this year, when I wrote about Scream Factory’s release for the first Paul Naschy collection. For this go around they are presenting another set of five films. Representing a good dose of the actor’s filmography.

Paul Naschy - Hunchback
HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (EL JOROBADO DE LA MORGUE)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Rod Barnett And Troy Guinn Of The Podcast, NaschyCast
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • Still Gallery

Paul Naschy - Devil's Possessed
THE DEVIL’S POSSESSED (EL MARISCAL DEL INFIERNO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)

Paul Naschy - Werewolf
THE WEREWOLF AND THE YETI (LA MALDICION DE LA BESTIA) (I won’t lie, friends. This is absolutely the one film I would had given anything to have had commentary on as a special feature.)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Still Gallery

Paul Naschy - Exorcism
EXORCISM (EXORCISMO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • English Credit Sequence
  • Still Gallery


A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE (UNA LIBELULA PARA CADA MUERTO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Still Gallery

Now that you know what is in the Paul Naschy Collection II, how about where to get it?

The 5-disc collection will be available this Tuesday at better Blu-Ray dealers everywhere. Of course you can also order your copy from Scream Factory itself. I should also add that the collection contains a 24-page booklet written by Mirek Lipinski!

The Resurrected - Scream Factory

Scream Factory Resurrects 1991’s The Resurrected!

Rejoice, Fright Fans as The Resurrected is finally being given its Blu-Ray release. Thanks of course to our friends from Scream Factory! Just in time when our thoughts began to turn to things Halloween. Furthermore The Resurrected is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward!

The Resurrected boasts some incredible talents. For example in front of the camera you have the likes of Chris Sarandon (Fright Night). As well as John Terry (Hawk the Slayer, Lost). Rounding out the cast are Jane Sibbett (Herman’s Head) and Robert Romanus (Fast Times at Ridgemont High). The film is directed by the late and great Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Return of the Living Dead).

I will admit that back in my youth, while working at the local video store. I knew of The Resurrected. However for some reason I never actually rented the film itself. I think it might actually have had to do with the VHS cover of the time. While I certainly knew of Chris Sarandon thanks to 1985’s Fright Night I wasn’t aware of the Lovecraft connection.
The Resurrected - VHS

The story for The Resurrected concerns a private investigator named John March (Terry). Who takes a case for a distraught Claire Ward (Sibbett) concerning her husband, Charles Dexter Ward (Sarandon). Claire is quite worried about her husband’s actions lately. The scientist’s late night disappearances as well as working with an odd Doctor, they have led her to hire John to find out the truth. Lonnie (Romanus) is John’s right-hand man who aids in uncovering disturbing things about Ward.

There is also that matter regarding the portrait found of Charles’ kinsman, Joseph Curwen.

[Via] ScreamFactoryTV

It would appear that Charles isn’t exactly feeling quite himself anymore. That might have more than a little to do with finding his lost kinsman’s diary. Which as it turns out contains the secrets of achieving immortality. But who is to stay that gift is meant for Ward and the betterment of humanity?
The Resurrected - Chris Sarandon

So what did I think of The Resurrected?

O’Bannon crafted a very well done H.P. Lovecraft adaptation. And trust me, I know there are more than a few bad film adaptations of the author’s work out there. While it may indeed have been an early 90s movie, it feels like it came from the 80s. The horrors slowly pay themselves out, including generous doses of blood and gore. All of the elements wrapped in a quasi-noir movie.
The Resurrected - John Terry

What about the Scream Factory extra features?

You can rest easy. They have most definitely added worthy special features. Although I was shocked they didn’t include in the listed extras, the fact they have a clip from the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. Featuring none other than Bruce Campbell and Quentin Tarantino, presenting the award to Dan O’Bannon for The Resurrected.

  • 2K transfer from the film’s vaulted interpositive film element
  • Claire’s Conundrum – an interview with actress Jane Sibbett
  • The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward – an interview with S.T. Joshi, author of I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft
  • Audio Commentary with producers Mark Borde and Kenneth Raich, screenwriter Brent V. Friedman, actor Robert Romanus and make-up effects artist Todd Masters
  • The Resurrected Man – an interview with Chris Sarandon
  • Abominations & Adaptations – an interview with screenwriter Brent Friedman
  • Grotesque Melodies – an interview with composer Richard Band
  • Lovecraftian Landscapes – an interview with production designer Brent Thomas
  • Human Experiments – an interview with special effects artist Todd Masters
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes from the workprint
  • Home Video Trailer & Japanese Trailer
  • Photo Gallery

The good news is you can head out today and pick up a copy of The Resurrected for yourself. Although if you are worried about the gruesome horrors that might be lurking outside your door. You can hop on over to Scream Factory and place your order online!

The Resurrected - Attack

“Say Ahh!”

Creature Feature

1980’s Topps Creature Feature Cards

#GhoulMourningManiacs!

Let’s look at some trading cards. 1980 brought us the wonderful trading card series known as Creature Feature or You’ll Die Laughing and there’s one card in particular that holds a special meaning and moment for me. This series was first produced in the early seventies and Topps decided to resurrect the series with some packaging, design and content changes.
Creature Feature

What was better than riding a bike to the corner store to get milk and cigarettes for your stepmother and maybe using some of the change on candy or comics? (Yes it’s true, she wrote me a note in case of any trouble. I’m certain I wasn’t the only kid to have that as a chore?) Anyway, while at the store, getting a pack of Creature Feature cards was worth the effort!

The cards had great still photography of movie monsters in black and white, from the thirties on up to the modern era. Giant radioactive creatures, human monsters, aliens, oh my! The photos (let’s pick the Mummy carrying a damsel) had goofy captions, like “Gee kid, you weigh a ton!” Each pack of cards came with a sticker. The backs of those stickers each had a section of a larger photo. Once you assembled them, they made a photo of a movie monster. On the back of the cards, were jokes and rhymes.
Creature Feature - The Mummy

Which card , even now, has a hold on me and is one of many influences on my writing as the Man of a Thousand Bad Monster Jokes? Any guesses? How about you, the freaky thing lurking in the corner? Ok, I’ll let the black cat out of the bag. It’s number 79. It Came From Outer Space.
Creature Feature - It Came From Outer Space

I’m not a huge fan of the alien on the front, but the rhyme on the back still has me! I can recite it without looking , even now.

“A thought inside my cranium.
This prophecy that I make-
If a monster eats uranium.
He’ll get atomic ache.”

It’s weirdly wonderful and I thought, if I were ever to write a poem, I’d try to write something like that. I understood the mix of monsters and humor from Mad Magazine and Famous Monsters and these cards, but I didn’t have the writing bug or the mechanics of it. Not a lot of eleven year old boys did. Little did I know that I’d have a writing assignment for school that year, that required poetry.
Creature Feature

I chose a limerick for my style and I had card number 79 as my guide or template. I tried to fuse the words with the imagery and I didn’t have it. I wrote the card’s rhyme on a sheet of paper and left it in my desk. I was out sick for a few days and when I got back, the paper was gone. I thought I had to makeup the work, as my limerick was nowhere near complete. But, nothing was said until a month or two later. I was told that my poem was selected for a school anthology of poetry. I was a little confused because I couldn’t recall what I submitted. When I saw what was in my copy of the anthology, I wanted to barf! It was the contents of my sheet of paper- the copied limerick from the card!

When I got home, I tried to explain what happened to my parents and maybe I was so intimidated by them that it didn’t come out right, maybe it would, but it didn’t. They thought I willfully turned in that paper. I got so verbally chastised that I felt like a monster, myself! Oh, I was told that as a plagiarizer,(yeah they jumped that far) I could go to juvenile hall or get fined by the government. Add to that, they let it be known that I couldn’t have possibly come up something so well done as that! My eleven year old brain, writing and vocabulary were simply that of a filthy chimpanzee. Well, that was a fun month. I knew that one day, I would write something of equal value. Ok, it took awhile, but I think I have. In fact, one of my books, “Ha-Ha! Horror,” won an award for humor. A gold medal.

My next book, “Bride of Ha-Ha! Horror,” was nominated for a Rondo Classic Horror award. I’m working on the upcoming book, “Son of Ha-Ha! Horror.” Each book has over 500 Bad Monster Jokes, rhymes, cartoons, song parody lyrics, etc.

Rhymes and jokes like…

Why was Wolfman mad at his health care provider?

They won’t pay for his FLEA DIPS!

What’s the Phantom of the Opera’s favorite coffee drink?

“La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-LATTE!”

It’s raining, it’s pouring.

The old Vampire Bat is soaring,

Across the lake to flee the stakes,

That Van Helsing is carving and scoring.

After all of that, do I love or loathe the Creature Feature cards? LOVE! It’s the only answer. The cards are a form of monster fun and entertainment as well as a reminder of what it’s like to see a path and follow it, no matter how long it takes . To get there and take those steps. Knowing in your heart, that you have what it takes to do it.

If you’re interested in hunting down these cards, they are relatively easy to find, not too expensive. They are a blast! If you need a note from your stepmother for cigarettes, you’re on your own.