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Dynamic Range Radio is one of the few radio stations, internet or otherwise, that adds no dynamic range compression to its audio signal. To learn more about what this means and why I think Dynamic Range Radio offers the best […]
Having been a fan of eclectic radio stations for many years, I’ve found that the term “eclectic radio” can be confusing for some people. I assume most people know what the word “radio” means, so the word “eclectic” seems to […]
I’m getting a little tired of hearing my own voice on Dynamic Range Radio, so I thought it would be fun to get listeners recording their own station IDs and sweepers. As long as you have the ability to record […]
If the weather forecast is to be believed, it’ll be raining here in Vancouver pretty much non-stop between now and Halloween, so it sounds like a perfect time to curl up at home with a cup of hot chocolate, some homemade snacks, and one of these lesser-known horror movies you may not have seen before.
For the purposes of this article, I’ve limited my picks to horror movies with less than 50,000 votes on the IMDB, which seems to be a good, objective criteria for establishing how well known a movie is with today’s consumers. Frankly, I was shocked at how some of the iconic movies of my youth weren’t passed down to the next generation of movie lovers.
#5 – The Lords Of Salem (15,796 votes)
Director Rob Zombie moved from the grindhouse to the arthouse with this incredibly stylish and surprisingly well-acted throwback to the trippy European horror films of the 60s and 70s.
Sherri-Moon Zombie, Rob’s wife, stars as Heidi, a recovering junkie who works as a DJ at a rock station in Salem, Massachusetts. When she receives a mysterious record and plays it on the air, it casts a spell over the women of Salem and opens a doorway for the return of an infamous witch who had been burned at the stake centuries before.
The soundtrack is terrific, the cinematography is often stunning, and I was particularly impressed by Jeff Daniel Phillips, a Rob Zombie look alike, who plays Heidi’s lovestruck fellow DJ. You don’t normally get characters or performances like this in a low-budget horror movie.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a black and white, arthouse, Farsi Vampire movie shot in California but set in Iran. I know what you’re thinking: not that old gimmick!
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night won’t be challenging Twilight or Dracula Untold at the box office any time soon, but it’s an interesting addition to the vampire canon for people who prefer Jim Jarmusch to J.J. Abrams
The movie stars Sheila Vand as the titular vampire, and you may recognize her from Argo where she played the housekeeper who knew what was happening at the Canadian ambassador’s residence but kept quiet, even when it meant risking her own life.
Here she plays an unnamed vampire who stalks a run-down Iranian community known only as Bad City, which is a sparsely populated ghost town where bodies are left to rot in a dried-out riverbed for reasons that are never explained.
Housebound is a very funny horror-comedy from New Zealand that I managed to catch Saturday night during the Vancouver International Film Fest (VIFF).
Housebound goes for Shaun Of The Dead levels of self-aware homage, but ultimately falls a bit short. The lead actors, director, and composer all do good work, but I couldn’t suspend my disbelief far enough to accept some of the absurd twists the script takes or the coincidences the movie relies on, and characters sometimes do things no human being would ever do, simply to move the plot forward. If you’ve seen the movie you probably remember the denture stealing sequence, so you know what I’m talking about. Still, every time the movie lost me with a head-scratching plot point, it won me back with a side-splitting gag, and I enjoyed it more than I probably would if I watched it a second time now that I know all the jokes in advance.
Here’s the trailer, to give you an idea of what to expect:
It Follows is an indie horror film that received good reviews at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals earlier this year, and now that the Vancouver International Film Festival is under way I’ve had the pleasure of seeing It Follows at a special midnight screening at the Rio Theatre.
Don’t be put off by the poster, which gives the impression that It Follows might be a torture porn movie, because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The film has almost no gore and relies instead on tension and atmosphere to generate most of its thrills, and it also has much stronger characters and performances than you would expect to find in the Saw franchise.
It Follows offers an interesting twist on the classic horror cliche which states that any teenager who has sex in a horror movie will be viciously killed before the post-coital bliss has a chance to wear off. In this film, our main character Jay (Maika Monroe) has sex for the first time with her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Wearie) who then explains that he’s passed a sort of sexually transmitted curse on to her and that she will now be followed everywhere she goes by a shape-shifting entity that only she can see, and that will kill her if it ever catches her. The twist is that Jay can transfer the curse to someone else by sleeping with them, thereby turning the cliche on its ear by having a teenager save their lives, albeit temporarily, by having sex. However, once the entity catches up to anyone Jay sleeps with and kills them, the curse transfers back to Jay and she’ll begin to get stalked all over again.
The good news is that the entity moves slowly on foot, zombie-like, so she’ll always see it coming if she’s in a wide open area, and it’s easy to out-run as long as she keeps moving. It can assume different forms, so it may appear as an old woman in a hospital gown walking down a high school hallway, or it could appear as your best friend. The sights of these incongruous people making a beeline toward our protagonist like lifeless automatons while the audience is begging her to turn around is one of this movie’s chief delights.