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Favourite Five Series: DARIO ARGENTO

Posted in Favourite Five Series, Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by goregirl

My Favourite Five Series continues with director Dario Argento. Argento has 23 director credits on IMDB. I have seen all of Argento’s directorial efforts with the exception of the 2012 film Dracula 3D. It has been getting more and more difficult to be enthusiastic about Argento’s films as the years go by. The 70s and 80s were his high years, but he did produce a few intriguing efforts in the 90s also. Just the same, Argento’s name is still one of the first that comes to mind when I think of genre favourites. The following five films have endured multiple viewings and still shine with the lustre of a million jewel-filled treasure chests. Argento’s stylish visuals are what makes his unique, surreal, violent, sexy, dreamy-nightmarish and horrifying world so bloody special.


DEEP RED (1975)

Deep Red has long been not only a favourite Argento film but an all time favourite horror film period. It has had a place on my top 100 favourites of all time for as long as that list has existed. As a matter of fact the same can be said for the next two Argento films listed here. Deep Red boasts Argento’s unique and stylish visuals; prolonged shots of inanimate objects like windows, shots around corners and weird angles. The man can make the most mundane of objects eerie. It is packed with interesting and unique set pieces; especially appealing is a collection of odd toys. Love the faceless yarn Wicker Man-esque doll with pins in its chest and of course this guy…

Deep Red2

The score for Deep Red is fantastic. The performances are great. David Hemmings plays a pianist who lives below the film’s first murder victim and witnesses her death. He is a pianist not a detective and he trips and bumbles his way to the end with a likable and natural turn. Daria Nicolodi does a solid job as an aggressive liberated journalist/reporter who works with Hemmings to solve the mystery. The twist and finale are one of Argento’s finest. Argento offers plenty of variety with the death, from hatchet, to scalding, to decapitation. Argento’s flawless Gialli is a Classic!


TENEBRE (1982)

While all of Argento’s films feature creative death sequences Tenebre is one of his most graphic entries containing more violence and nudity than his previous offerings. Author Peter Neal has travelled to Italy to promote his latest book Tenebre. When he arrives at his temporary lodgings he is greeted by two police detectives. A local woman has been found slashed to death by a straight razor with several pages of his new book shoved into her mouth. This is only the beginning in a string of Tenebre inspired murders. As the bodies continue to pile up around him, Neal unwillingly becomes involved in the case and even does a little detective work of his own. Tenebre boasts plenty of twists and turns in what may be Argento’s most plot-driven offering. The Giallo features are firmly intact with red-herrings, black leather gloves and death most beautiful. There are several well-executed death sequences including a particularly impressive crane shot of the outside of a house that follows a busty woman in various states of undress whose life inevitably comes to a brutal end. There is also a dog attack, strangulation, stabbing, axing and razor slashing. There is also an outstanding reoccurring dream/flashback sequence of a woman in a white dress wearing red pumps. The viewer doesn’t know which character is having the vision, but the woman in the white dress clearly torments them and is central to the plot.


Anthony Franciosa is excellent as Peter Neal and Daria Nicolodi gives an amiable performances as his assistant. The two have great chemistry. The supporting cast give sweet support; John Saxon who plays Neal’s sleazy agent, Lara Wendel who plays Maria, the landlord’s jailbait daughter and Christian Borromeo who plays errand boy Gianni. Tenebre is a well-filmed, suspenseful and gory horror-thriller complimented by a brilliant score composed by ex-Goblin members Morante, Pignatelli and Simonetti. Tenebre is top drawer horror entertainment.



Suspiria is Dario Argento’s best known film and for good reason. It is without a doubt his most impressive film visually; particularly his epic use of color. Suspiria is the first installment in Dario Argento’s “Three Mothers” trilogy. The plot revolves around Suzy a new student at a prestigious dance academy run by a coven of witches. Inventive camera work, beautiful colors, impressively staged death scenes, an excellent cast and epic soundtrack are the icing on the cake.


Suspiria Without a doubt is one of the most beautiful horror films ever made; a truly stunning nightmare! There is pitch-perfect mood and a feeling of unease established from the moment Suzy Bannion arrives at the Ballet school that doesn’t let up until the final Credits. Its beauty is quite remarkable but is only one of its impressive qualities. Suspiria is claustrophobic, intense, suspenseful and thrilling. Suspiria is a bona fide horror masterpiece.


INFERNO (1980)

Inferno, Dario Argento’s second installment in the “Three Mothers” trilogy is one of his best and most under-appreciated flicks. The story moves from a prestigious dance school in Germany to an apartment building in the USA. An architect named Varelli built separate dwellings for the three mothers in Rome, Freiberg and New York. Writer Rose Elliot acquires a tome entitled The “Three Mothers”; a trio of sisters who ruled the world with darkness and sorrow. Rose believes her current dwelling to be the former home of one of the sisters. An investigation of the building reveals horrors that appear to inspire a chain of violent events. Easily one of Argento’s most gorgeous films it does not let down in the horror category either. Anyone who appreciates Argento’s style should rank Inferno high among their favorites. The colors, shadows, hidden passages, black gloved-killers, amazing sets and especially the superb underwater sequence are just a few of its notable assets.


Inferno is a visual extravaganza; the cinematography, lighting, fantastic surreal sets and beautifully bizarre and nasty images linger in the mind for days on end. Inferno is truly a feast for the eyes; sit back and let it wash over you with its dream logic.


The above four films have long been favourite Argento flicks but choosing a fifth was rather a bitch. I re-watched The Stendhal Syndrome, Opera, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Phenomena before making this list as I gave all four of these Argento entries a 4/5 rating. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage was the nicest looking film visually, The Stendhal Syndrome had the most intriguing story and Phenomena had the best effects but in the end it was Opera and its gore that won my heart and a spot on this list.


OPERA (1987)

Performing Macbeth is believed to bring bad luck. The urban legend appears to be true after the lead of a modern operatic version of the play is hit by a car. The dead diva’s reluctant understudy Betty is brought in to replace her. The bad luck continues into opening night when a huge lighting fixtures falls from a balcony and a stagehand is killed. Alas the show must go on but at what price? Betty soon finds out after being assaulted. Betty is tied to a column, her mouth is taped shut and her eyes are forced open with needles. She has no choice but to watch the brutal killing of her boyfriend and is then freed. This sets the stage for a gory whodunnit featuring a masked killer, ravens, weird dream sequences, pulsing brains and memorable death scenes. The film’s ravens are used to great effect throughout and are pivotal to exposing the identity of the killer.


The death scenes are all creative, bloody and grandly staged affairs. Specially notable and memorable is the perfectly executed bullet to the eye and a beautifully excessive stabbing death. The stunning opera house where most of the film takes place really is spectacular as are Argento’s countless trademark extended shots down hallways, up staircases not to mention a monumental dizzying birds-eye view. Opera has style in spades, but it does flounder just a touch in the substance category. Cristina Marsillach does a pretty good job with the wishy-washy character of Betty. Betty is downright useless for most of the film and really doesn’t do much of anything to help herself. I would have liked her character to have had a little more strength and depth. With the exception of Betty’s boyfriend who is as wishy-washy as she is, most of the supporting characters are actually far more interesting than Betty. Admittedly the killer’s identity isn’t much of a surprise although his motivation certainly was, and it left me sated nonetheless. The dream sequences are crazy cool and relevant to the plot so pay attention. I found the mix of opera and rock music interesting although the rock pieces do date the film; there is no mistaking this is a film from the late 1980s. Opera is perfectly paced and felt much shorter than its runtime and its visuals alone are easily worth the price of admission. A beautifully filmed, entertaining and energetic entry worthy of accolades.


DR. JEKYLL AND HIS WOMEN (1981) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in France, movies with tags , , , , , , on August 5, 2013 by goregirl

Screenshot from 2013-08-03 19:39:00

I am most intrigued by the work of Walerian Borowczyk. I have seen just two of Borowczyk’s 43 director credits; The Beast and Dr. Jekyll and His Women. Accompanying the film were trailers for other Borowczyk offerings. Particularly intriguing were Immoral Tales and Behind Convent Walls which look like they are packed full of sex and surrealism. Borowczyk’s films range genres but all the titles I read up on all seem to have a heavy sexual vibe. Borowczyk is quoted as saying “Eroticism, sex, is one of the most moral parts of life. Eroticism does not kill, exterminate, encourage evil, lead to crime. On the contrary, it makes people gentler, brings joy, gives fulfillment, leads to selfless pleasure.” The Beast and Dr. Jekyll and His Women was enough to prod me into investigating the director; the more I read about Borowczyk the more I feel compelled to seek out his films. Unfortunately it would seem that Mr. Borowczyk’s films are hard to come by. The version of Dr. Jekyll and his Women I watched is apparently the only uncut version that exists for the film. It was dubbed and had Dutch subtitles. Even under these less than ideal conditions I thoroughly enjoyed it. There really needs to be an original French language version with English subtitles! Until then you can pick this version up from Trash Palace.

Dr. Jekyll and His Women opens with a quote from Robert-Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

“There was something strange in my sensations, indescribably new, and incredibly sweet. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be tenfold more wicked and the thought delighted me like wine.”

-Robert-Louis Stevenson

We begin on a dark street; a little girl is being pursued by a man who eventually beats her to death. We are than whisked off to the Jekyll manor where a celebration is going on. The celebration is in honor of the engagement of Doctor Henry Jekyll to Miss Fanny Osborne. Their youngest guest performs a dance recital while Henry’s mother accompanies on piano. Afterwards the group dine together and engage in a heated discussion on the validity of Jekyll’s research into transcendental medicine. We are shown violent snippets of murderous acts among the dinner dialog. Meanwhile the young dancer seen falling asleep at the table is resting in a guest room. A scream alarms the group who discover the body of the young dancer. Panic breaks out in the house as a maniac lurks and Dr. Jekyll is nowhere to be found.

This is definitely one of the more warped versions of Stevenson’s story I have seen adapted to film. The stuffy Victorian setting is rocked by Hyde’s presence. Doctor Henry Jekyll’s alter ego Edward Hyde is a sexual sadist with a huge penis. I specifically mentioned that he has a huge penis as we are given great detail and visual evidence. During an examination of one of Hyde’s victims we are told the penis is 6 centimetres in diameter and 35 centimeters in length. “Due to the unusually pointed tip and the hardness of the shaft Miss Victoria’s belly was perforated from inside just below the stomach.” Egadz! And this is the guy Henry Jekyll trusts with his life and has left all his worldly possessions to. Of course Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde are one person. Borowczyk uses two different actors to portray the two characters. Udo Kier is Henry Jekyll and Gerard Zalcberg is Edward Hyde. Kier is studious and mild-mannered as the Jekyll character is traditionally portrayed, but Kier’s version is definitely hornier than others. Kier is a fascinating man to watch and he is a perfect choice for the serious Jekyll. I instantly recognized Zalcberg from Jess Franco’s 1987 film Faceless; which I recently watched and reviewed. In Faceless Zalcberg plays Gordon an Igor/henchman type and he is pretty damn creepy. He is an unusual looking guy whose face and sinister performance stays with you. He plays Edward Hyde, another odious character, in Dr. Jekyll and the Women just as convincingly. The General is one of the guests invited to the celebration of Henry and Fanny’s engagement. What a crazy character! The General is surly and bombastic and exhibits some rather erratic behavior. He brings arrows with poisonous tips from “The Dark Continent” as an engagement gift (they cause a bit of havoc later on). For no apparent reason whatsoever, the General attacks Fanny who pushes him away causing the General to walk off in a huff.

“Look who’s come to join us…your lovely daughter! Eager and willing….”

The General is cornered and overtaken by Hyde. He is tied up and submitted to watching his daughter have sex. The General’s daughter voluntarily bends over and exposes her bare buttocks for Hyde. After the General is untied he slaps his daughter around and then gives her bare ass a spanking with some rope. Patrick Magee is as mad as a hatter and is very watchable as the General! Howard Vernon has a memorable supporting role as the combative and arrogant Dr. Lanyon. So where does the “and His Women” part of the title come in?

Dr. Jekyll doesn’t really have “women” he has “a woman”; that woman being the lovely Miss Fanny Osborne. The happy bride to be does a little spying on her intended. She sees Henry pour something into a running bath. Once immersed Henry thrashes about the tub and emerges as Edward Hyde. Later Fanny gets the wrong end of a poisonous arrow and also ends up bathing in Hyde juice. Fanny’s bathing transformation scene is the most superb, sexy, trippy thing and it doesn’t let up until the credits role. Celebrate with anarchy; stab your mother, drink blood, set some stuff on fire, The lovers remain in each other’s arms to the end. Marina Pierro has been featured in several of Borowczyk’s films as well as Jean Rollin’s Living Dead Girl. In Dr. Jekyll and the Woman Pierro plays the confident and comely Fanny Osborne and has a strong presence. She is also a lovely psychotic Hydess!

I can not lie, the dubbing and the subtitles are a bummer. It was distracting at times. There was also a couple of bits of editing that were sketchy. Why does the General attack Fanny? I have no idea if it was bad editing or I missed something really subtle that provoked it. I watched Dr. Jekyll and His Women twice in the last 3 weeks and it eluded me. A scene featuring Fanny and Hyde and the General’s poisonous arrows actually made me chuckle. Fanny has an arm full of arrows that she throws like a girl in Hyde’s direction and manages to hit him. Not scratch him but put an arrow right through his arm! This is followed by Fanny running down a set of stairs to stand idle as Hyde loads his arrow into his bow and shoots her. It is a mess of a scene but its a fleeting moment in what was otherwise an enthralling watch.

Dr. Jekyll and His Women offers drama, violence and sex that will probably make your mother uncomfortable; so don’t watch it with her. Borowczyk mocks the stuffy Victorian characters he focuses on and throws in an ample amount of sadism. Borowczyk’s violent, erotic, quirky and poetic Dr. Jekyll and the Women is a unique and twisted take on Stevenson’s classic story that is well worth a look. Highly recommended.





Howard Vernon plays the arrogant Dr. Lanyon.


A dance recital is performed to entertain the guests.




Patrick Magee plays the General. The General is one erratic and bombastic son of a bitch.

Screenshot from 2013-08-03 21:03:41

Fanny spies on Henry and learns his heinous secret.



Jekyll is amazed at how close a shave he got with that new straight razor.


The General’s Daughter. “Look who’s come to join us…your lovely daughter! Eager and willing….”


Hyde practices his archery while the General’s daughter cheers him on.


Gerard Zalcberg plays Edward Hyde.


Fanny Alexander played by Marina Pierro.

Screenshot from 2013-06-17 22:43:27

Doctor Henry Jekyll played by Udo Kier.

dr j1

Burn all proof.

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Walerian Borowczyk

Starring: Udo Kier, Marina Pierro, Patrick Magee, Gerard Zalcberg, Howard Vernon, Clement Harari

RUE MORGUE FESTIVAL OF FEAR 2009 – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2009 by goregirl

Hey! Hey! I’m back! It is so good to be home! Before I get into my Festival of Fear experience I had to share this hilarious freaky wicker man I caught a glimpse of on the way to the cottage. From my family’s home to the cottage it is a three hour drive. It was the perfect way to start my vacation. My frighteningly white body got nicely BBQ’d, and my skin is still peeling as I type this. Revenge of the lizard woman! Ontario has its share of tourist attractions and one such attraction is
the ‘DWIGHT TRADING POST’. In front of this is a monstrous man made of twigs. Much like the ‘Wicker Man’ anyone who is caught shoplifting is put inside of the structure which is then set on fire as the population of Dwight dance around it feverishly. Below is a picture of the beast. Unfortunately, I could not catch a picture of the actual ritual itself.
wicker man dwight

This was the first time I have ever attended an event like this. My friend has been to this Rue Morgue Festival of Fear every year since it started and got us “Deluxe passes”. The best thing about this pass was that it got us in two hours early on the Friday. Lot’s of roaming room, and having experienced the nightmare hordes on the Saturday, it was definitely worth the price. I was expecting to see a million and one things I would need to buy, but in fact there was very little. The Festival of Fear was combined with comics, anime, gaming and sci-fi and the horror was only a small part of it all. Anchor Bay, one of the better horror labels had a booth but didn’t have any DVD’s for sale. Instead they had a lovely glossy booklet that showed there upcoming features and the DVD’s you could purchase to have autographed by this years guests, but rerouted you to the Cinema One booth. I understand as a distributor that they wouldn’t want to step on the toes of the rue morgue boothcompanies buying their product. I guess I was just not expecting chain stores to be at this thing. I wanted to see coffin bath mats and skull ice cube trays and the like, but there was next to nothing like that. There were a shitload of booths selling movie maniacs, which you can get at just about any comic book store. Snore! There were, however, some freebies from the few horror labels that were present. I did score some groovy stickers, a couple posters and a set of magnets. Long and short, I was disappointed in the marketplace aspect of the festival. The price the guests were asking for autographs were steep. $35.00 for Udo Kier’s autograph!? Honestly! I think Udo is great but I am not paying that kind of coin for his signature! One of the better deals was Barbara Steele who at least sold you a copy of The ‘Nightmare Castle’ DVD autographed for the same $35.00. Like I said, this is my first time going to something like this, so I was a little shocked. It was cool catching a glimpse of some of the great icons of horror like the aforementioned and Roger Corman and Tobin Bell but I just couldn’t justify spending the cash.

laid to rest picI was hoping to have all sorts of pictures to post here, but the pictures I took sucked ass. The zoom on my camera made everyone blurry. Unfortunately I have very few pics of the fest. This is starting to sound like a big old whine fest, but it did have its highlights. One of my favorite moments came in the form of a sneak peak for the film ‘Stan Helsing’. They showed a trailer, a making of featurette and scenes from the film. The panel, made up of director/writer Bo Zenga, three of the cast members, Diora Baird, Desi Lydic and Leslie Nielsen. The guy who did the music was also present (sorry buddy! I can’t find your name!). It was extremely entertaining! Most of the audience had questions for Nielsen that were unrelated to the film, but his answers were amusing none the less. Highlight two, was a Q and A with Bruce Campbell. We were way back and I couldn’t see him that well, but I could hear him just fine. Campbell was hysterical. He definitely seems to have a love/hate relationship with his role in horror cult cinema. Highlight number three was a free showing of ‘Laid To Rest’. The film had been on my “to see” list for a while. The film has actually been available to rent for some time. Anchor Bay had the director Robert Hall and two cast members, Thomas Dekker who plays Tommy and Nick Principe who plays Chrome Skull at the booth before the showing. Even though I had not seen the film I got in the line up so I could take some close up pictures for the blog. These guys were so freaking nice! They were just psyched to be there and have a chance to promote there great little film. They also did a Q & A after the film. Hall is a horror fan himself and in his own words, made a film for people who love the genre. Tomorrow I will have a full review of the film. I definitely had fun at the ‘Festival of Fear’, and I really dug hanging out with someone who loves horror as much as I do. I would, however, be unlikely to attend this function again. I think I’ll be sticking strictly to film festivals. It is all about the films for me, and I love hearing about the process from the people who make the art. The Vancouver International Film Festival is coming up soon, and I hope to catch all the horror films on the schedule this year.
chrome skull laid to rest


Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by goregirl

festival of fear 2009
Seriously!! That is one fantastic promo poster!! Well, here it is, the Guest Line up for the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear. I will definitely have to meet Roger Corman and Tom Savini! This is a cut and paste job. To check out the original document go to

The RUE MORGUE FESTIVAL OF FEAR is the country’s largest horror expo, attracting an average of 40,000+ fans to the heart of downtown Toronto over three days in August. This powerhouse event is an extravaganza of celebrity guests, autograph signings, parties, Q&A sessions, seminars and workshops, and a colossal selection of movies and movie memorabilia, including books, comic books, toys, video games, trading cards, posters, anime, manga, and tons more.

Check out the line up Below!!!

(The Evil Dead trilogy, Bubba Ho-Tep)

Bruce Campbell began his lustrous film career making Super-8 movies with legendary director Sam Raimi back in 1975. Three years later, the pair would create a Super-8 short film called “Within the Woods” which would later be made into the full-length film called THE EVIL DEAD, an instant cult classic praised at the Cannes Film Festival by Stephen King. Campbell and Raimi’s creative union was crystallized with the two classic sequels to the Evil Dead: EVIL DEAD II and ARMY OF DARKNESS.
Additional Campbell/Raimi collaborations include DARKMAN, CRIMEWAVE and the SPIDERMAN films. A cult film staple, Campbell has also been seen in other notable genre films, including Don Coscarelli’s BUBBA HO-TEP, John Carpenter’s ESCAPE FROM L.A., MANIAC COP, INTRUDER, and many more. His extensive television career includes roles on XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS. Bruce is also the author of the book IF CHINS COULD KILL: CONFESSIONS OF A ‘B’ MOVIE ACTOR and writer/director of the recent films MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN and MY NAME IS BRUCE. Rue Morgue is proud to present Bruce Campbell as ‘Guest of Honour’ to the 2009 Festival of Fear.

(The Masque of the Red Death, The Tomb of Ligeia and A Bucket of Blood)

Roger Corman’s amazing influence on modern American cinema is as incalculable as it is legendary. Corman began his involvement in cinema in 1953 as a producer/screenwriter, making his debut as director in 1955 and turning out five films in just one year. In 1957, Corman directed the horror-cult classic A BUCKET OF BLOOD; in 1960 he gave the world the original THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Through the 1960s Corman made a series of now classic adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories starring Vincent Price. These included THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, co-starring horror icon Barbara Steele, HOUSE OF USHER, THE HAUNTED PALACE, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, THE TOMB OF LIGEIA and THE RAVEN co-starring Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. The prolific director also boasts one of the most extensive resumes as producer, having realized classic films like NOT OF THIS EARTH, THE DUNWICH HORROR, DEATH RACE 2000, PIRANHA, HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, GALAXY OF TERROR, and many, many more. In 1990
Corman retired from directing to concentrate on production and distribution through his company New World/Concorde Pictures,
making exploitation films and using profits to distribute distinguished art films. Among the world-class names who were employed by him in the early days are Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Joe Dante, Robert DeNiro, William Shatner, and many others. Rue Morgue is proud to present a rare public appearance by Roger Corman to the 2009 Festival of Fear.

(Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Mark of the Devil)

Udo Kier was born in Cologne, Germany, during World War II. While learning English in the UK he took acting courses and was eventually offered a role by director Michael Sarne in the film ROAD TO ST. TROPEZ in 1966. His first hit film was in 1970 with the banned horror classic MARK OF THE DEVIL. Kier then met director Paul Morrissey who offered him the lead role in the film FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN, a film that solidified Kier as a cult icon. Kier later took the lead role in Morrissey’s masterpiece BLOOD FOR DRACULA; both films were so beloved by Andy Warhol that he attached his name to them. In the 1970s Kier’s work included THE STORY OF O and Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA. As he gained more visibility in America his breakthrough role was in MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO in 1991. The remainder of the 90’s included roles in the cult favorite BARB WIRE, Lars Von Trier’s BREAKING THE WAVES, and the action vampire flick BLADE. Kier can be seen more recently in ROB ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN, Quentin Tarantino’s GRINDHOUSE and John Carpenter’s MASTERS OF HORROR episode. Rue Morgue is proud to present a very rare public appearance by Udo Kier to the 2009 Festival of Fear.

(Black Sunday, Pit and the Pendulum and Dark Shadows)

Barbara Steele was born in Cheshire, England and is loved for her dark mysterious beauty. She is considered the most beautiful star of the greatest horror masterpiece of Italian film, Mario Bava’s La Maschera Del Demonio (1960), also known as BLACK SUNDAY. After the film’s success, Steele was brought to America to star in Roger Corman’s PIT AND THE PENDULUM alongside Vincent Price. By now Steele was a horror film superstar and in 1962, she answered an open-casting call and won a role in Federico Fellini’s groundbreaking 8 1/2. In 1963 she started work on her next horror movie, THE HORRIBLE DR. HITCHCOCK. Many more horror films followed including THE SPECTRE, CASTLE OF BLOOD, ANGEL FOR SATAN and others. Her horror fans were delighted when she showed up on TV in Rod Serling’s NIGHT GALLERY and the new episodes of DARK SHADOWS. Steele has developed a relative fondness about her horror queen status which was evident in her appearance in the Clive Barker documentary A-Z of HORROR. Some of her additional films include CEMETARY OF THE LIVING DEAD, CAGED HEAT and SILENT SCREAM. Rue Morgue is proud to present a very rare appearance by Barbara Steele at the 2009 Festival of Fear.

(Planet Terror, Day of the Dead and Creepshow)

Over the decades Tom Savini has established himself as the Beethoven of Special FX. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Savini was always fascinated with movie magic and was notably attracted to another horror film pioneer: Lon Chaney. Savini’s wartime experience in Vietnam spurred his move into special effects where he worked closely with George Romero throughout the latter’s career. First came MARTIN in 1977; a year later he was working with Romero again on DAWN OF THE DEAD and then DAY OF THE DEAD in 1985. In 1990, Savini directed a striking re-make of Romero’s original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Savini has also worked alongside such horror gods as Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez. Some of his other well known projects include special effects, acting, and/or stunt work in the films FRIDAY THE 13TH, CREEPSHOW, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, MONKEY SHINES, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, LAND OF THE DEAD, and recently LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE.

(Donnie Darko, May and Doom Generation)

James Duval is an American actor and heart-throb most famous for his roles in the Gregg Araki trilogy, TOTALLY FUCKED UP, THE DOOM GENERATION, and NOWHERE, in addition to being the man in the eerie bunny rabbit suit in Richard Kelly’s DONNIE DARKO, Blank in Lucky McGee’s MAY, and Singh in the film GO. Duvall’s other notable horror work includes MAD COWGIRL, THE CLOWN AT MIDNIGHT, and recently EVERYTHING WILL HAPPEN BEFORE YOU DIE. James also plays guitar in his music group Antoneus Maximus & The Nuthouze Band.

(World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide)

Max Brooks is an Emmy Award winning television writer, author, and actor who also happens to be the son of film legends Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft. Max attended film school at American University in Washington, DC, and went on to write acclaimed sketch comedy for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and create the best selling satire book THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE. Most recently, Paramount Pictures have acquired the screen rights for Max’s WORLD WAR Z: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE ZOMBIE WAR, the follow-up to ZSG which will be a major motion picture slated for release in 2010.

(Children of the Corn and The Terminator)

Linda Hamilton is a multiple Emmy and Golden Award nominated actress is best known for her unforgettable role of Sarah Connor from THE TERMINATOR feature films. She is also beloved for her portrayal of Catherine Chandler in the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST television series from the late 1980s opposite Ron Perlman. Some of her other television appearances include FRASIER and HILLSTREET BLUES. Primarily a film actress, Hamilton starred in a string of successful movies including CHILDREN OF THE CORN, BLACK MOON RISING, KING KONG LIVES, and DANTE’S PEAK. Hamilton has also lent her talents to voice over work in animation where she provided the voice of many well known animated characters in projects such as BATMAN BEYOND.

(The Toxic Avenger and Poultrygeist)

Lloyd Kaufman is the certifiable granddaddy of low-budget, lowbrow splatter comedies stretching back to the early ’80s. He is a director, producer, actor as well as the president of Troma, which has done much to influence independent filmmakers the world over, including Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Kaufman achieved new levels of success with his 1984 breakthrough movie THE TOXIC AVENGER, which spawned three sequels, an animated series for kids and even a cereal. He has also directed the Troma faves TROMEO & JULIET, TERROR FIRMER, POULTRYGEIST and many more.

(co-creator Swamp Thing and Wolverine)

Len Wein is an American comic book writer and editor best known for co-creating DC Comics’ SWAMP THING and Marvel Comics’ WOLVERINE character, and for helping revive the Marvel superhero team the X-Men including the co-creation of NIGHTCRAWLER, STORM, and COLOSSUS. Additionally, he was the editor for writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons’ influential DC miniseries WATCHMEN. Len Wein was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2008.

(author – Bitten and The Summoning)

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She’s the author of the NYT-best selling WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD paranormal suspense series, BITTEN, and the DARKEST POWERS to name a few. Kelley’s current books and short stories include THE SUMMONING, ZEN AND THE ART OF VAMPIRISM, and LIVING WITH THE DEAD.

(After Dark, My Sweet)

Joshua Hoffine is a world renowned horror photographer whose work frequently deals with childhood fears. Hoffine stages his photographs like small movies, with sets, elaborate props, fog machines and special effects make-up with the help of his family and friends. His photographs have been featured in dozens of publications around the world, including Rue Morgue, The London Times, and Russian Playboy. Joshua is based out of Kansas City, where he lives and works with his four young daughters.

(Horror Rawkillbilly)

Possibly New Jersey’s most dangerous band, Psycho Charger is a witches brew of psychobilly fire, cold industrial steel and distortion surf punk served up with horror movie sound bites. Spewing hymns from their very own dark gospel of murder, zombies and rednecks, PSYCHO CHARGER will damn your soul in a cyclone of vocal distortion and menacing guitar twang. PSYCHO CHARGER makes their Canadian premiere with an exclusive live performance at the official party of the 2009 Festival of Fear on Saturday, August 29 in celebration of their new record MARK OF THE PSYCHO released in June 2009.

(Canada’s Vampire Expert)

Elizabeth Miller is recognized internationally for her expertise on Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula – its origins in folklore, literature and history, and its influence on the culture over the centuries. She has lectured throughout Canada as well as in the United States, England, Ireland, Germany, Poland and Romania. Dr. Miller has been interviewed by major media including the BBC, CBC, the New York Times, the Globe & Mail, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Her
publications on Dracula include dozens of articles and six books, including REFLECTIONS ON DRACULA, DRACULA: THE SHADE AND

(multi-media artist Marilyn Manson and Floria Sigismondi)

Antonella Sigismondi is an alumni of the Ontario College of Art and Design and has worked on, consulted, appeared in, and created art for many music videos for such artists as MARILYN MANSON, DAVID BOWIE, AMON TOBIN, THE HEADSTONES, THE TEA PARTY, and DANIEL LANOIS to name a few. Her sister Floria Sigismondi has been a life long collaborator with Antonella on many creative projects. On the stage, Sigismondi recently performed the daring character Joan in DOMESTIC SCIENCE DUB. Sigismondi is also acclaimed for her use of metal and glass in creating original art.

(Wizard of Gore)

Suicide Girls are part alternative cult community, and part pin-up girl showcase for close to one thousand fantastic tattooed and pierced bad girls, from Finland to Columbia and beyond. They are a throwback to the glamorous days of retro poster vixens when models were beautifully imperfect but stunningly hypnotic. Suicide Girls are artistically bent emo, goth, and punk rocker women, and an international sensation. A selection of the SG damsels can be seen in Jeremy Kasten’s remake of the H. G. Lewis horror classic THE WIZARD OF GORE.