Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lovin' Some Lovecraft: H.P. Lovecraft: Complete and Unabridged


This is the biggest chunk of cosmic horror from the master you can get for your buck. I've been a huge fan of Howard Phillips Lovecraft since I was a wee little mutant and I've got several different editions of his works but none surpass this one (except a first-edition Arkham Press, and Andy don't have that kind of cash).

You get it all here folks. Early works as a teenager, Lovecraft in his prime, essays, novellas, poetry, you name it. Hankering for some Necronomicon action? Look no further.

I picked this up on the cheapy-cheap shelves at Barnes and Noble for less than twenty bucks and now it's in heavy rotation as bed-side reading.

So, what's it missing you ask? Ummmmm....illustrations by Bernie Wrightson, the only artist in this blogger's humble opinion that could do Lovecraft justice. Or maybe we shouldn't know what Azathoth looks like. Usually that's bad news for Lovecraft's protagonists.

Toolshed score? 9 shocking sawblades.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Alive (1974)

Okay, so I haven't watched [Rec] yet but I did manage to catch It's Alive (1974) last night. I was digging it, remembering seeing it as a wee lad on the CBS late movie. Still a pretty scary flick. Man, John Ryan was horror gold back in the day, I tells ya. I was about an hour into the movie when I realized how much he reminded me of Lance Henrikson. Sweaty+intense=John Ryan
john p. ryan

So, a quick plot summary: Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell, respectively) are eagerly awaiting the birth of their second child. Sadly, this one turns out to be a blood-thirsty mutant who kills everyone in the delivery room and escapes to terrorize Los Angeles. Lenore goes slightly cuckoo and Frank stalks around glowering,denying paternity and smoking. Demon baby makes with the kill-kill (including one foxy mama in white go-go boots) and wackiness ensues.

Rick Baker's evil baby puppet was pretty horrific especially when considering he was in his early twenties and still counting his production credits on one hand. I made a kid in my early twenties and he wasn't nearly as scary as this.

Anywho, the real star of It's Alive was Guy Stockwell's way-too-short role as Ryan's boss. My man Guy just exudes cheesy 70's hipness. Whether "rapping" with his subordinates, snapping breakfast orders to his secretary or just flaunting the chest mane in a half-open floral print, Guy is definitely too with it to deal with this mutant baby drag and the downer it's causing for his PR firm.

It's Alive spawned two sequels (It Lives Again! and Island of the Alive) and has recently been remade by Josef Rusnak with the shockingly original title of It's Alive.

While I'm on the subject, let me state for the record that while I don't feel that any movie is so epic or genre-defining that it can't be remade, I'm more than a little exasperated by the flood of horror "re-imaginings" Hollywood has foisted upon us for the last few years. Fahcryinoutloud, it's not like there aren't original writers and directors out there with something new to show us! Sure, the occasional retread is cool but for every success (Dawn of the Dead) there are about a dozen crash-n-burns (>cough! cough! Black Christmas).

Thus endeth the sermon. For now.

So, final verdict for It's Alive!: 6 1/2 brain splattered trowels.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Horror Blogger Award

Quick post, just caught has just released it's nominees for the Horror Blogger award. Please scoot over and vote for your fave (if you're wondering, Stacie Ponder at caught my vote, just edging out Johnny at as my personal tops. Sorry, Johnny Boots, next time sir!)

Oh, yeah, gonna try n catch [Rec] (2007) tonight.

Hatchet (2006)

What a great love letter to slasher fans, courtesy of Adam Green! Hatchet had really been hyped to me and for the most part lived up to it. But first, quick summary:

A group of tourists in pre-Katrina New Orleans take a haunted swamp tour and run afoul Victor Crowley. Crowley, a deformed and deranged legend of the swamps takes "no trespassing" very seriously.

So, where to begin? First, the good. Kudos to Mr. Green for casting Joel Moore as the lead. Nothing against Mr. Moore but he's not the typical "pretty" male Hollywood shoves at as ad nauseum. He was an interesting choice.

Also, the cameos! Robert Englund! Tony Todd! Kane Hodder! John Beuchler! And veteran character-actor Richard Riehle.

The gore quotient was just short of over the top, perfect for this flick. I especially dug one semi-decapitation. I can't really describe it without spoiling a neat sequence, so check it out.

Nudity? Hatchet is set during Mardi Gras in pre-Katrina New Orleans. 'Nuff said?

The Bad? Well, some of the acting was very sub-par. I'm looking at you, Mercedes McNab. You've been in enough movies to expect a little better than that. (By the way, just a little strange to see McNab do several topless scenes when I remember her turn as a Girl Scout in The Addams Family very clearly. God, I feel a little creepy for that.)

The Ugly? Nothing springs to mind. Hatchet is a neat little slasher that rewards casual horror buffs as well as hardcore blood fiends.

Toolshed score? 8 out of 10 blood-soaked hedge clippers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Welcome all!

Greetings from the Toolshed of Horror! After a lifetime of loving all things gory n gruesome in pop culture, I finally jumped into the blogosphere with (I hope) a unique perspective into horror movies, novels and whatever I feel like holding forth on.

So, what's in store for you at the Toolshed? Well, I have an extensive library of horror flicks, novels, non-fiction books on the macabre, a very active Netflix account and a for reals drive-in theater about 6 miles from home. Unfortunately, I also have a for reals job and family, so demands on my time are pretty extensive. Let me apologize right up front if I can't blog every day. But let me begin with a movie from a couple years back highly recommended by Johnny at

Tonight's viewing will be Hatchet (2006) courtesy of Netflix instant viewing. Tune in tomorrow for my thoughts and please let me know what you thought of Hatchet!