The Newly Released Deceased

Want something new to watch this Hallowe’en? There’s only so many times you can watch Fright Night or John Carpenter’s The Thing. Adam Clarke and Rodney Wall have heard your screams and moans for some fresh meat in the horror genre. These are the new cult classics, the fresh video nasties and, best of all, they’re all readily available on DVD.

Blood Car

(2007) Mike Brune plays Archie Andrews, a vegan kindergarten teacher who’s working on building a car engine that runs on wheat grass in this very funny horror comedy. Blood Car is set in the near future where gas costs nearly 40 dollars a gallon. The wheat grass engine never quite works—until the day Archie ACcidentally cuts his hand and bleeds into the fuel. Things take a predictably Little Shop Of Horrors turn as Archie gets a taste of the elevated social status that comes with car ownership. Things are further complicated by two potential love interests (One being My Girl’s Anna Chlumsky), and a shadowy government agency. While it lags a little in the middle, what makes this no-budget movie work is the sly social commentary, an understanding of it’s own limitations, and the knowledge of when to take things way too far. RW

Crowley

(2008) What if I told you there was a fairly new horror movie out, about the high tech reincarnation of Alister Crowley, The Wickedest Man In The World? Would you be excited? What if I told you it was written by Iron Maiden? …Well, by Bruce Dickinson anyway. Chemical Wedding, as this is known in Britain, is a delightful throwback to the kind stories that might have shown up on Hammer’s House Of Horror, or a particularly scary episode of Doctor Who. The convoluted plot is goofy, and watching Simon Callow who plays the title character is gobs of fun. Keep an eye out for Dickinson in a cameo. RW

Deadgirl

(2008) In this off-beat, grotesque story, Ricky (Shiloh Fernandez) and J.T. (Noah Segan) are two emotionally-stunted teenaged CHUDs who can’t talk to girls. When they happen to find a nude, semi-conscious woman chained up in a condemned building, J.T. instantly wants to make her a sex slave, much to Ricky’s disgust. Eventually, J.T. realizes the feral “deadgirl” is an immortal zombie, thus allowing his sordid indiscretions to go on forever. Things get complicated when news of J.T’s prisoner makes its way ACross the high school. Deadgirl, like the 2007 film Teeth, is a provocative, feminist take on horror. Deadgirl benefits from a thoughtful script. Equal parts sad, funny and gory, this is an astute film that will make you really uncomfortable. Given time, it will rightly earn its place as a celebrated film in the horror genre. AC

The Host

(2006) When a giant sea monster shows up to terrorize the people of Seoul, it’s up to the American military to save the day! Oh, wait a minute, they have no idea what they’re doing or what they’re dealing with and have invaded a foreign territory solely on misinformation. What’re the chances? This Korean monster movie is the true successor to the original Gojira/Godzilla crown. It tells a memorable, unpredictable story and offers up some audaciously funny political satire to boot. AC

Otto

or Up With Dead People (2008) Toronto porn artist provocateur Bruce Labruce turns the zombie genre on its head with his newest film. Follow the adventures of a gay zombie as he tries to figure out the meaning of death while starring in an underground zombie movie. Many of the usual Labruce themes arise, such as revolutionary chic, and dude-on-dude sex, but more attention is spent on building an ACtual story than in his past movies. Definitely less porn on display here, but by the end you might just feel touched. RW

Pontypool

(2008) From the always-excellent Canadian director Bruce McDonald (Highway 61, Hard Core Logo), comes this inventive tale of a washed-up radio personality (Stephen McHattie) who breaks the story of an unusual disease that grips Pontypool, Ontario. The infected are transformed into hyper-violent maniacs who parrot the last words they hear. The cause of this pandemic? The English language itself. Pontypool is reminiscent of George A. Romero’s The Crazies and the famous BBC special, Ghostwatch. AC

Session 9

(2001) Sanitation workers must contend with forces out to drive them mad as they remove asbestos from a condemned mental institution. Yes, it stars David Caruso and the presence of CSI Miami’s Horatio One-Liner is a little off-putting—especially since he appears alongside CSI’s Paul Guilfoyle. That said, the ACting is very low key and natural, which works very well with the eerie script and direction of Brad Anderson. Best of all, this is a modern horror film without a partying teen or ghostly child. That alone is a triumph. AC

Three Extremes

(2004) This film, like the recent Grindhouse, is an anthology film that is very much a star director attraction. Korean director Park Chan-Wook (of Oldboy fame) directs “Cut”, in which a loathsome extra kidnaps a famous film director. From Hong Kong, Fruit Chan directs “Dumplings”, in which a vain ACtress keeps herself looking beautiful by eating the unborn. The last and best segment, the beautiful and terrifying “Box”, comes from the infamous Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi The Killer). AC

Tokyo Gore Police

(2008) Sometimes a bitten off penis is just a bitten off penis, but other times it grows into a powerful weapon! Tokyo Gore Police is one of those times. Set in a dystopic future, where the Japanese police force has been privatized and dangerous mutants prowl the streets, Tokyo Gore Police (which more than lives up to its name) is somewhere between Evil Dead 2, Testsuo The Iron Man, and a Gwar concert. I guarantee you’ve never seen anything quite this gleefully gross—and it’s that gleeful quality that sets it apart from other gore-fests. Turn off your brain and enjoy the ride. RW

Trick R Treat

(2008) Trick R’ Treat is a good old fashioned horror anthology that proudly wears it’s influences on its sleeve. It features five interlocking stories that take place on Halloween night in a small middle American town. All the stories involve people who break the traditions of Halloween and pay the ultimate price for their lack of holiday spirit. Find out what happens if you blow out your Jack O’Lantern before Halloween is over, and see how great non-CGi special effects can look. It’s a mix of genuine scares, and genuine laughs made by people having genuine fun. RW

For more horror movie reviews visit our website. Throughout the month of October, Rodney and Adam are reviewing 31 fantastic horror movies you’ve never seen. Only at thescope.ca/blogoween