Archive for Jeffrey Combs

Help Stuart Gordon’s NEVERMORE on Kickstarter

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by goregirl

I just backed Nevermore on Kickstarter; the new project from Stuart Gordon & Jeffrey Combs. The same Stuart Gordon who gave to me two of my favourite horror films from the 1980s; Re-Animator and From Beyond. A crapload of other entertaining entries too like Dolls, The Pit and the Pendulum, Castle Freak, Space Truckers and Dagon. I NEED to see Gordon’s Nevermore so PLEDGE NOW! I just had a look at the Kickstarter page and Nevermore has raised $77,315 of its $375,000 goal with 7 days to go. The thing with Kickstarter is it is all or nothing; if the goal isn’t reached they get no money. You can donate as much or as little as you like and they have all sorts of nifty incentives too. Watch the video and/or read about Nevermore below and than head on over to their Kickstarter page and make a pledge.

Taken from the Kickstarter page:

Master Horror director Stuart Gordon, brilliant actor Jeffrey Combs and inspired screenwriter Dennis Paoli – the team that brought you From Beyond and Re-Animator – team up again to bring you a brand new feature film – NEVERMORE.

The incredible Jeffrey Combs stars as Edgar Allan Poe, haunted by spirits of the dead and the imp of the perverse as he attempts one last recitation of The Raven to save himself from a life of crushing poverty and soul destroying alcoholism. The screenplay is adapted from the script for the stage play Nevermore – which ran in Los Angeles and toured the country to sold out houses and great acclaim. A selection of reviews and articles: Los Angeles Times, Shock Till You Drop, The Batimore Sun and Fear Net.

NEVERMORE is set in 1848, a year after the death of Poe’s beloved wife Virginia (and a year before his own.) He had become internationally famous as the author of ‘The Raven’ and his ‘Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.’ But his fame did not provide fortune and so he was constantly seeking financial security and respect from the literary establishment.

This is Poe in his own words. Our text is taken from his letters and essays and we have based our evening on reviews and reports of his actual appearances. Our goal is to present a sense of the fascinating man behind the poetry and brilliant tales, a man who could be his own worst enemy, and whose life was even more bizarre and tragic than his strangest story.

The film will expand on the stage play by dramatizing some of Poe’s most famous works, including The Raven, The Tell Tale Heart and Annabel Lee.

Nevermore will be presented with period sets and costumes true to the era including gas lamp lighting.

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Alan Hynes’ Posters

CASTLE FREAK (1995) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2012 by goregirl

Stuart Gordon is awesome. Gordon’s Re-Animator and From Beyond are two of my favourite horror films of all time! His 1987 film Dolls is a lot of fun too. Gordon continued to deliver the horror goods through the 90s with The Pit and the Pendulum and Castle Freak. The Pit and the Pendulum (review pending) is my favourite of the two but Castle Freak does have its share of neato. Evidently Gordon has continued to make films through the 2000s; I am particularly fond of his 2001 film Dagon. Now that I have established I am a fan of Stuart Gordon’s I will talk a little about Castle Freak.

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Castle Freak opens with a scene where an elderly lady throws some bread and meat in a metal bowl and walks down to a dungeon. We don’t get a full glimpse of what is in the cell but we do see the old woman whip someone or something with a cat o’ nine tails. We get just a glimpse of the poor Castle Freak’s back. He is clearly man not creature and he has some pretty freaking nasty scars! He is one gnarly messed up looking dude! You can’t really blame him for having issues, but I won’t give away his story. Our unfortunate Castle Freak sports some pretty sweet and impressive effects makeup. It really is quite grotesque. Castle Freak also provides the film’s gore. There isn’t much of a body count in the film but they certainly make the gore that is included memorable. If you remember nothing else about this film you will remember the nipple/cunnilingus scene. Not much bothers me when it comes to horror and gore but animal violence does get under my skin; even when it clearly looks like a stuffed animal. I could have lived without the cat scene, but it is quick. Be warned you do have to wait a while to see our Castle-Freaking bad boy in action.

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Enter John Reilly and his family who have inherited the castle. The family have their own drama to deal with and will only be staying in the castle long enough to take inventory of the contents. John was in an accident while driving drunk that killed his son and left his daughter blind. His wife Susan has struggled to come to terms with the event but cannot bring herself to forgive John. Susan is overprotective of their daughter Rebecca who has been living with her blindness for several years. Rebecca wants to deal with her affliction in her own way. I wouldn’t call Castle Freak a heavy-handed drama, but I was a little surprised by the serious tone considering it is called Castle Freak. Come on! Castle Freak?! That name screams camp! That said Castle Freak is a pretty twisted tale. Castle Freak is a 90s style Quasimodo or Frankenstein type story smushed together with a family drama. I would have gone lighter on the family stuff but the two storylines intertwine pretty well. Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton both play it straight here and do a decent job of it. Jessica Dollarhide is also pretty good as Rebecca.

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Castle Freak is lightly based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Outsider. Gordon does love his Lovecraft! A couple early scenes lagged just a little but otherwise Castle Freak has a fairly steady pace that ramps up nicely towards the finale. I thought the effects were great particularly the makeup for the Castle Freak and although not plentiful the gore leaves an impression. Castle Freak has a decent story but the visuals definitely help sell it. The castle itself was very cool and the film has a perfect gothic atmosphere. Castle Freak is not a perfect film but just the same it is a solid and entertaining watch. Recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Stuart Gordon

Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jonathan Fuller, Jessica Dollarhide, Massimo Sarchielli, Elisabeth Kaza, Luca Zingaretti, Helen Stirling, Alessandro Sebastian Satta, Raffaella Offidani, Marco Stefanelli, Tunny Piras, Rolando Cortegiani

NECRONOMICON (1993) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2012 by goregirl

Hey! Hey! It’s another 90s film! You can expect a couple more before the month ends! How wrong could you go with an anthology based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft (loosely based as it might be) with Brian Yuzna directing a segment and the wraparound story and the great Jeffrey Combs playing Mr. Lovecraft? There was definitely potential for awesomeness! Well, awesome it is not, but it does have some admirable qualities. Necronomicon is three stories with three different directors. The story that connects the trilogy sees H.P. Lovecraft finding the Necronomicon and reading three of its gnarly tales. Warning SPOILERS ahead.

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The Drowned

The Drowned is directed by Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Silent Hill) and is quite impressive visually. A dilapidated old mansion is the setting for this story. Edward de Lapoer has inherited the old mansion and finds the diary of his relative that tells of how he resurrected his dead wife and son. This great opening flashback scene was promising but the rest of the film that focuses on Edward was rather tiresome. The Drowned really does lose its mojo something awful once its story returns to the present which makes up half of its runtime. Edward immediately seeks out the Necronomicon which is hiding behind a portrait and bad things happen. What saved The Drowned from being a complete wash were some pretty damn nifty creature effects. It has an awesome Cthulhu-esque sea creature thing that makes an appearance in the finale. The Drowned was definitely my least favourite of the trio but it was not without a few highlights.

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The Cold

The Cold is directed by Shûsuke Kaneko (Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Crossfire, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack) and has the most cohesive story of the three. I enjoyed this tale despite its rather obvious final twist. A reporter is sent to the home of a woman they believe is connected to several murders. The woman tells the reporter how she came to be in the former home of Dr. Madden. The story she relays is that of her mother Emily and how she came to meet and fall in love with the doctor who learned the secret of eternal life. I wasn’t super crazy about the Emily Character played by Bess Meyer but Dr. Madden played by the talented David Warner was a real highlight. I didn’t think Warner and Meyer had any chemistry and I found it hard to buy that Madden would fall for this woman. There isn’t much in the way of special effects in this segment; what little is included didn’t look too bad though. The Cold is flawed, but I enjoyed the story and Warner enough to say I found it fairly entertaining.

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Whispers

Whispers is directed by Brian Yuzna (Society, Bride of Re-Animator, The Dentist, Progeny, Return of the Living Dead III) and was my favourite of the three. It is definitely light on story but the visuals are something else! A pregnant cop named Sarah and her partner/lover Paul are in a car accident and Paul is pulled out of the vehicle and dragged away. Sarah frees herself and pursues the man they call The Butcher. This is definitely the nastiest and goriest of the segments. There are some really neato effects and creatures in this one. The building and its many room, halls and hidden passages are properly spooky and creepy. Nothing beats the cave scene with Sarah’s discovery of Paul and the ugly flying beasts! Oh and what a properly wonderful grim ending! Despite a flimsy story Whispers is a helluva lot of fun to watch!

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Necronomicon ends with the H.P. Lovecraft connecting story. The finale did feel a bit rushed and I think they re-used the monster from the first segment, but it is energetic and Yuzna throws in some funky looking effects and a pretty cool creature! Jeffrey Combs is always some fun ain’t he?

Necronomicon

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Necronomicon is flawed all over the place but definitely has its share of memorable moments. Most anthologies have a weak link and that is certainly the case with Necronomicon’s first story The Drowned. Each of the films, even The Drowned has at least a little something to offer although I can not say any of these stories blew me away. As is the case with most Lovecraft adaptations I’ve seen they take plenty of liberties with the material and a limited budget prevents it from meeting the sheer spectacularness of Lovecraft’s written word. That said there are certainly a few Lovecraft adaptations that kick some rather serious ass; I would not call Necronomicon one of them. My feelings about Necronomicon overall are a bit lukewarm, but it is not a bad way to spend 90ish minutes. Lightly recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 3/5

Directed By: Christophe Gans, Shûsuke Kaneko, Brian Yuzna

Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Tony Azito, Juan Fernández, Brian Yuzna, Bruce Payne, Belinda Bauer, Richard Lynch, Maria Ford, Peter Jasienski, Denice D. Lewis, William Jess Russell, Vladimir Kulich, David Warner, Bess Meyer, Millie Perkins, Dennis Christopher, Gary Graham, Curt Lowens, James Paradise, Sebastian White, Signy Coleman, Obba Babatundé, Don Calfa, Judith Drake