Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Now That's Art!

The Gauntlet -1977

Clip of the Week

Andrew W.K. - 55 Cadillac Advertisement

If I'm not mistaken, he's also hosting a show called Destroy Build Destroy on Cartoon Network.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Clip of the Week

The Baloney Detection Kit

Michael Shermer, The Richard Dawkins Foundation, Josh Timonen

Cool Swag

Big Screen Bears

So, this may not be the coolest swag we here at the 'Choke have ever come up with, but it is defintely some of the oddest. Check out these Big Screen Bears! That's right, got a daughter or a girlfriend at home that likes cuddly little teddy bears? How about sado-masochistic demon teddy bears from hell? Ah, good, the Pinhead teddy bear will be perfect. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, you've always wanted to be able to give a bear dressed up as Uma Thurman's Bride character from Kill Bill, haven't you? Of course you have, and now is your chance. Excellent. These weird little bastards can be found over at Baron Bob's and they are waiting for you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Top Ten Horror Movies of the 1980s

Top Ten Horror Movies of the 1980's (That Aren't Part of a Series)

Ah, yes, I know you want Friday the 13th and Evil Dead II to be on any list of the best of the eighties, but in order to make it a more interesting list, I've done away with convention, and am strictly using films that were never part of a series. That includes even just having a single sequel. So, bye-bye Nightmare on Elm St., Night of the Demons, Re-Animator, Slumber Party Massacre, Hellraiser, and all of you would-be top tenners. This is actually harder to do, because in the eighties, they wanted to enfranchise pretty much everything. On with the list:

10. Dead Heat (1988) - In the eighties, buddy cop movies were all the rage. And, dammit, I enjoy them. So what better possible idea could there be than to add zombies into the mix? Think Lethal Weapons meets Dawn of the Dead as directed by Harold Ramis. While it may not actually be as good as either on of the films mentioned, Dead Heat manages to be an extremely entertaining, campy-as-hell flick that makes for one great saturday night viewing experience. And, really, when a film features both Darren McGavin and and aged Vincent Price, you can count me in anytime.

9. The Burning (1981)
0 - One of the best slashers to never be franchised (and, subsequentily completely beaten to death), The Burning is very similar to Friday the 13th in that both take place at secluded summer camps and both feature creative kills. Interestingly enough, this and Friday the 13th both were filmed in the same year, and, somehow the producers of The Burning were able to seduce Tom Savini away from doing the effects in Sean Cunningham's film in order to do this one. What's different about the two is that, of course, in Friday the 13th the killer is Jason's mother, where as the killer in The Burning (Cropsy) is actually kind of a prototype for Jason.

8. Night of the Creeps (1986) - Fred Dekker is the man responsible for three wonderful genre expereinces from the eighties: Monster Squad, House, and Night of the Creeps. The latter makes out list at number seven. Coming soon to DVD (with both endings!), Night of the Creeps is the story of two college freshmen trying their best to make a good impression on some sorority chicks, when a prank goes horribly wrong, releasing a horde of parasitic "creeps" on their unsuspecting town. The film very deftly mixes that eighties college sex-comedy humor, with campy sci-fi/horror action to deliver a really excellent picture, that is enhanced even more by Tom Atkins excellently hammy turn as a local police detective out for revenge.

7. From Beyond (1986) - Along with his Re-Animator (which can't make the list due to its specifications), Stuart Gordon's From Beyond is an excellent example of what made eighties horror so great. A loose adaptation of an HP Lovecraft work, From Beyond relies on excellent, and gooey, practical effects to carry the picture along. The always wonderful Jeffery Combs and Barbara Crampton kind of switch roles from Re-Animator, and both do really great work here, in a story about scientists attempting to stimulate the pineal gland and gain access to a parallel universe.

6. City of the Living Dead (1980) - Lucio Fulci's first entry on the list comes in the form of his zombie opus City of the Living Dead (sometimes known as The Gates of Hell). Renowned for it's generally disgusting gore (gut vomit, anyone?), the film is enveloped with a sense of dread that can only be created by Fulci or Lovecraft. As is the case with most Fulci flicks, the atmosphere, set pieces, and gags take center stage above pesky things like plot, but anyone who can appreciate what the man brings to the table will love it. The first part of Fulci's loosely knit, themeatic "Gates of Hell" or "Dead" trilogy, this film should be a requisite DVD in any genre fan's collection.

5. Near Dark (1987) - Forget Twilight, this is the real get your frills deal when it comes to vampire love stories. Near Dark is the tale of a young man from Oklahoma that happens to find himself in a bit of prickly situation. So, the ending is a little implausible, big deal. Don't let the "romance" tag that I used, or the poster, fool you, there are significant scenes of brutality in this film. Tune in for fantastic performances by Bill Paxton and genre staple Lance Henriksen, as they maim and slice there way through the countryside.

4. The Beyond (1981) - Fulci lifts his hand out of the grave one more time and comes in fourth on the list, this time with his epic film The Beyond (aka The Seven Doors of Death). The Beyond is a very Lovecraftian story, that, similarly to City of the Living Dead, places most of the emphasis on anything but the story. If you must know, the plot is something like this: "a young lady inherits a very old hotel in Louisiana. Eventually, after some incidents, she comes to the knowledge that the hotel was actually built over one of seven entrances to Hell." Kind of trite, but workable. Regardless, the film manages to be an extremely creepy and macabre mix of gothic horrors and gory goodies.

3. The Shining (1980) - Stanley Kubrick's only true foray into horror as a genre is still one of the greatest films ever made. I'd be remiss if the first thing I mentioned wasn't Jack Nicholson's perforamnce as Jack Torrance in the film. Nicholson delivers the performance of his life in this one, as he shows us the transformation from recovering alcoholic father into all out, ghost-seeing maniac. Kubrick's eye for composition is really showcased in this one as well, as the enormous hotel provides him with a great canvas on which to work. If you haven't seen The Shining, you are doing yourself a grave disservice.

2. Videodrome (1983) - Sometimes difficult for me to actually categorize as horror, there's no doubt that David Cronenberg's Videodrome is a phenomenally, horrific tale of intrigue and exploitation. The film stars James Woods as Max Renn, a sleazy cable operator that gets caught up in a very mysterious and shady conspiracy. The film is what I would call a surrealist mind-fuck that really begs to be watched on more than once to fully try to come to terms with its intricacies. Videodrome is definitely one of the best sci-fi/horror films out there, and has a lot of underlying facets, which is typical of David Cronenberg's work.

1. The Thing (1982) - To me, there aren't very many films that are as taut and suspensful as John Carpenter's masterpiece The Thing. A loose remake of The Thing from Another World, The Thing is an exercise in crafting both eerily claustrophobic atmosphere and stunning pratical effects. Not for the paranoid, The Thing is the story of a small group of people in the arctic that are having to deal with a very strange epidemic that has infected their camp...that being, an alien being. Who's good? Who's bad? And there's lots of ugly to be seen in this fantastic picture.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Name That Vampire

Name that Vampire: Episode III

Welcome back for the third installment of Name that Vampire. The rules are simple, take a look at the picture, and NAME THE FILM THAT THE VAMPIRE FROM THE SCREEN CAP IS IN. Alright then, let's get started:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Clip of the Week

Susumu Hirasawa - Forces (TV version)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

From the O'Choke Archives...

With more readers now than ever before, I think we should revisit some O'Choke articles from the past that weren't ever seen by anyone. I like to think we had some good stuff, so I hope that you enjoy it:

Top Twenty Films of 2008 by The Warfreak
15 Songs to Make a Macabre Mix-CD by The Warfreak
Top Ten Horror Movie Deaths by The Warfreak
Epic Baseball Uniform Fail by Pop Newmo
Baseball Players that Should be Captains by The Warfreak
Top Ten Band Names by The Warfreak
Top Ten Slashers by The Warfreak
Top 15 Horror-Themed Video Games by The Warfreak
Top Ten Canadians by The Warfreak
Top Five Horror Remakes by The Warfreak
Top Ten Aliens by The Warfreak
Top Ten Ninjas by The Warfreak
Top Twenty Zombie Films
Top Ten Robots Ever by The Warfreak
Top 15 Baseball Players (26 and Under) by The Warfreak

Also, don't forget that we have everything archived on the right-hand side of the page. Take a look at some of the old Clips of the Week, The Top Ten Albums by Decade, Newmo's baseball analysis, articles strictly dealing with horror, all of the lists from the past, Films from the Crypt, and lots more. And, if all else fails, there's always our OFFICIAL FORUM to keep you busy with forum games, film talk, baseball stuff, and lots of other crap. Check it out.

Upcoming Film Preview: Jennifer's Body

Upcoming Film Preview: Jennifer's Body
Directed by: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody
Country: USA
Release date: September 18, 2009

Plot synopsis: The film follows little-miss-perfect cheerleader Jennifer Check(Megan Fox), who becomes possessed by a demon and starts feeding off the boys in a Minnesota farming town. Her best friend is forced to kill her, escape from a correctional facility, and track down the devil-worshiping rock band that caused her transformation.

The film has a super interesting premise, although it was written by the over-hyped Diablo Cody (Juno). The casting of Megan Fox ain't gonna hurt the films draw with the male crowd, and I'm actually pretty interested to see if they can pull something like this off. Amy Sedaris is getting thrown somewhere into the mix, and that's never a bad thing. Director Kusama has directed Aeon Flux and Girl Fight, neither of which I have seen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Top Ten Horror Films of the 2000s

A Decade of the Dead

This list is (hopefully) likely to change, but here are my revised picks for the best horror pictures of this decade. I say revised picks, because I've already made one such list, less than a year ago as a matter fact, but it has changed significantly. Check out my old list here and see the difference!

10. Slither (2006) - From the mind of former Tromaville resident James Gunn comes a wickedly funny B-movie in the tradition of Night of the Creeps. Slither stars Henry himself, Michael Rooker, as Grant Grant, the guy that eventually becomes the host for some strange alien creature that really like to eat. If you're a fan of campy, fun-filled horror romps through icky muck and goo, if you liked Slime City or Street Trash, you'll enjoy this little homage to all things gross-out. Check it out, some great laughs, and a pretty enjoyable little story!

9. Inside (2007) - One of the most brutal films in recent memory, Inside is the story of a young pregnant woman that is mercilessly accosted by a madwoman. Yes, you read that right. This violent-ass flick features a female antagonist (and protagonist, too!). See it for the visceral experience, see it for the gore, whatever reason you've got, just see it. Especially before the requisite American remake (it's bound to happen) comes out, so you can act smarmy to all of your friends about it (I do!). (SPOILERS AHEAD) Did anyone else notice it takes a turn for the weird at the end when one of the dead cops gets up at the end and begins to assault the main character? Wtf?

8. Grindhouse (Deathproof/Planet Terror) (2007) - Yeah, we are putting both films together. Tarantino and Rodriguez came together with a very solid one-two punch with Grindhouse. Of course, the entire thing is a throwback, not just the films themselves, but the way that's it is crafted together, including the little trailers in between the pictures, the missing second reels, and all of that. Tarantino and Rodriguez put together a theater-going experience that you just can't get anymore, for themselves, but also for the fans of genre pictures like these. Now, if that's not worth getting a nod on this list, I don't know what is. And, luckily, this homage is crafted by two expert film-makers, with a penchant for sensational film-making. The movies themseleves were actually quite good. Certainly this was a daunting project for Rodriguez and Tarrantino, and a lot of work, but it pays off.

7. Haute Tension (High Tension) (2003) - The French are really starting to make a name for themselves in the horror community with stuff like Inside, but it seems like it can all be traced back to Alexander Aja and his crimson-soaked (almost) masterpiece Haute Tension. I'll be the first to admit it, I don't like the ending either. I found it pretty trite, and a bit of a cop-out. Maybe that's because I had just seen so many flicks with similar endings around the same time period, but maybe it was just overdone. Regardless of its flaws, High Tension lives up to its title, keeping you on the edge of your seat. And my goodness, does Aja ever keep the red stuff coming. And The Warfreak likey.

6. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Another film that is conceptually an homage (in case you are extremely uninformed, the name is a riff on Dawn of the Dead), and is gut-bustingly funny in execution. Shaun of the Dead keeps the gore at a hard R, but still manages to be bitingly funny, and even sometimes romantic! Writer/Director Edgar Wright is definitely going to continue to be a comedic force to be reckoned with over his career, and I look forward to more forays into the horror genre from him.

5. [REC] (2007) - This little Spanish film (remade in America as Quarantine) clocks in at just over and hour, but the experience will last much longer than that. [rec] is yet another found footage film (Cloverfield, Blair Witch, Home Movie, etc.), but is more effectively scary than the rest. I mean it when I say that, this film is scary. Unfortunately, the trailers for the American remake probably ruined most of the scares (from what I understand it's basically shot-for-shot), but I still suggest you watch it.

4. American Psycho (2000) - You say what you will, but American Psycho is a straight up exploitation film in the mold of all my favorites. It's the story of Patrick Batemen, a well-manacured psychotic killer in the 1980s. It's like Wall Street meets Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Forget the ambiguity of the ending, and focus on the whacked out, twistedness of the film. It's definitely one of the most quotable movies on the list ("I have to return some video tapes"), and that's always a plus. Look, I'm not suggesting Patrcik Bateman is a role model, but you could do worse.

3. Martyrs (2008) - The final French film to make our list, Martyrs in an excercise sadism. What makes the movie so chilling is not the explicit, horrific violence shown on the screen (which there is plenty of), but the bleak worldview that film exudes. The whole thing will leave you cold and numb and asking for your mommy. Maybe that's a bit much, but if you don't feel something after you watch this one you may already be dead. Not for the weak of stomach, Martyrs delivers on every level, it's both cerebral and visceral, disgusting and beautiful.

2. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) - Don Coscarelli makes weird movies (almost exclusively Phantasms and Beastmasters), and Bubba Ho-Tep is no exception. This hilarious B-movie pits Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell's old-ass Elvis Presley and the late Ossie Davis' JFK (yep) against an ancient mummy in a showdown at a retirement home. Yeah, that's the plot. As ridiculous as that sounds, the laughs keep rolling, especially thanks to Campbell and Davis' great turns as the deceased historical figures. Great campy fun.

1. Let the Right One In (2008) - Absolutely the single best vampire movie I've ever seen, LTROI is a wonderful little Swedish masterpiece, full of all the things horror movies never contain. The movie is rather sweet, has endearing characters, features young romance, and all of the things you never knew you wanted in a horror movie. Luckily, the craftsmanship behind this cold beauty carries everything, it's an absolutely breathtaking film, the cinematography is spectacular, and the direction is sometimes inspired, and always good.

Got an opinion on this article? Sound off on the OA OFFICIAL FORUM, or leave us a comment in the 'comments' section.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Name That Vampire

Name that Vampire: Episode II

Welcome back for the second episode of Name that Vampire. The rules are simple, take a look at the picture, and NAME THE FILM THAT THE VAMPIRE FROM THE SCREEN CAP IS IN.Okay, today's image should be fairly easy. See what you can do with it:

Clip of the Week

Yello - Goldrush

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Name That Vampire

Name That Vampire - Episode I

So, I've decided to start yet another new section on the 'choke today. Recently, I've seen a lot of "name that" type stuff. You can find a few different takes on the game on sites like Freddy in Space and Kindertrauma that are really fun (great sites if you haven't seen them, btw). I really enjoy these games, and it occurs to me that I've seen tons of vampire films. Put these two loves together and voila! So, now it's time for the inaugural edition of NAME THAT VAMPIRE!

The rules are simple, you take a look at the screen cap (or cover art, depending on what mood I'm in) and you post the name of the film that the image is from. Doesn't sound too hard. What do you win, you say? How about pride...does that do anything for ya? Well, it should. Give it a go:

Cool Swag

Tyler Stout
Recently, we featured a Lost Boys print by Tyler Stout in our "Now That's Art!" section. Well, turns out that Mr. Stout has done many prints for many different movies, not to mention some concert posters (Flight of the Conchords!), and some of these can be yours. Check out Tyler's homepage here to give 'em a gander. Unfortunately, most of the best ones are sold out. But, they are fun to look at. It's seems that most of the movie prints are actually used at noneother than Austin, Texas' own Alamo Drafthouse (they get the coolest stuff).

Check out the two we've got on here. Big Trouble in Little China and Robocop. Two absolutely essential eighties flicks, given new life through Stout's great imagery. I really want these for my "man room".

Of course, there are other sites than just his own personal page that displays Tyler Stout works. You can go to The Original Winger and check out a sweet NY Knicks poster and more. Every now and then, Mondo Tees will have some of his stuff, but it seems to sell out quickly. If you're really hurtin' for some Stout, there's always eBay.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Now That's Art!

Here are four pieces I selected from the Bruce Pennington catalog. Bruce Pennington is a science fiction/fantasy novel cover artist. Much of his work can be found on the covers of Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein books.

Ghost Rider

cover art for Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos Volume 1

cover art for The Green Brain by Frank Herbert

cover art for Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein

For more about Bruce Pennington and his artwork go to this website The Art of Bruce Pennington.

David Carradine Found Dead

David Carradine Found Dead

Actor David Carradine has been found dead in the Thai capital, Bangkok. Carradine was shooting his latest feature in Bangkok at the time. A news report said he was found hanged in his hotel room and was believed to have committed suicide. Since then, there have been other reports reporting that the death was from "natural causes". An investigation is underway. Carradine had a prolific movie and television career, but he's probably best known from his days as Caine in the TV series "Kung Fu". Carradine is a big name in genre film, and he will be sorely missed. For more information, read here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Now That's Art!

Poster for a Screening of The Lost Boys by Tyler Stout

Monday, June 1, 2009

Clip of the Week

Dead Milkmen - Methodist Coloring Book
Olympic Artichoke banners designed by Whalehead

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