Five Movies to Prepare for Eli Roth’s “Thanksgiving”

After sixteen whole years Eli Roth finally got around to taking his fake trailer from 2007’s “Grindhouse” and transforming it in to an actual feature length slasher film. We’re not bereft of holiday themed horror movies, but we’re about due for a slasher revival, and if you’re in the mood for “Thanksgiving” be sure to visit (or re-visit) these five horror titles that influenced “Thanksgivng.” 

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Mad Heidi (2023)

Tickets are now on sale at Fathom Events; coming to theaters nationwide for a special one-night engagement on Wednesday, June 21st at 7pm, local time.

A lot of the media likes to use the words “Indie film” whenever referring to a movie that isn’t entirely mainstream. The word has been homogenized over the years, as films like “Mad Heidi” are lost in the shuffle. “Mad Heidi” is a real indie film that worked hard to get a distribution deal, and it is here for us to gorge on. According to the press release, “Mad Heidi” initially made waves for its innovative crowdfunded approach, bypassing traditional financing tactics to ensure that the film’s original vision was preserved while placing profits back in the hands of the creators and backers. Even if neo-grindhouse isn’t your cup of tea, “Mad Heidi” deserves a lot of love for its willingness to embrace its indie roots, while also being literally as cheesy as it can possibly be.

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I Spit on Your Grave (1978): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray] (3 Disc Set)

Meir Zarchi’s revenge rape thriller is a movie that continues to inspire immense bile from movie critics and movie buffs since its release in 1978. Much like its contemporary “Cannibal Holocaust,” Zarchi horror movie is deeply upsetting and requires the viewer to endure it in a certain state of mind. It’s a film you’ll either love or despise, and it gets a very good treatment from Roninflix who brings it home to fans like yours truly.

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The Hills Run Red (2009) [Blu-Ray]

Recently, Scream Factory put out a filled to the gills Blu-Ray of “The Hills Run Red” which felt like a “finally” on this film as it’s one that seems under-seen and under-appreciated. This slasher is one that came and seemingly went with the general public, but that slasher fans and many horror fans have been loving its release. It’s a brutal, meta slasher film that is a fun watch for fans of the genre and is a bit much for casual horror fans, which is exactly why it’s so great. The film itself is greatly entertaining and the kills are violent and bloody. It’s what a slasher fan wants and it’s what a horror fan in general wants. The story itself is strong enough to support the film without the blood, but there is more than that to this film. There is a lot here to unpack and it’s definitely a must see.

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X-Rated Alley: 42nd Street Forever The Peepshow Collection Vol. 15 & 16

xratedalley-logoFor folks that have been following “The Peep Show Collection” for the last few years, Impulse Pictures is back with two new volumes of loops on DVD. Porn and erotica aficionados will enjoy what Impulse has to offer followers of the vintage material, as it’s all still rough and poorly directed, but has a charm to it that’s hard to ignore. Impulse isn’t just about adult film, they also offer up hard to find material and these two volumes continue he tradition of “42nd Street Forever.”

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X-Rated Alley: 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. 13 & 14

xratedalley-logoImpulse Pictures is back with Volumes 13 and 14 of “The Peep Show Collection” now on DVD. As always these collections are prime artifacts for many niche movie collectors. If you’re a porn aficionado, remember the days of going to grindhouses in the seventies, or just want to watch vintage erotic cinema to chronicle its evolution, “The Peepshow Collection” is the best place to chart your journey. Though every DVD from Impulse only runs a little under two hours or so, they pack a hefty load of erotic and adult short reels.

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ICYMI: Five Worst Movie Going Experiences

movie-theater

I haven’t been to the movies since 2011, but I don’t remember a time where going to the movies resulted in an undisturbed experience. The only times I ever spent watching movies in a theater without an asshole destroying my experience were when I took in a matinee during the middle of a work and school week. That said, I spent a good portion of my childhood in movie theaters, and though the novelty eventually wore off, I left with some great and some horrible anecdotes to spare. Years ago I wrote a list of my worst experiences for Crave, and thought I’d re-post the five worst from the original top ten. I still love movies and the movie going experience. It’s magical. I just wish people had some grasp of consideration for others in this age of self-entitlement.

Have any bad movie going experiences of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974): 40th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]

TCM40Forty years later and there’s still nothing like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Not a single film no matter how brutal has managed to be as unsettling and nerve rattling as Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece. It’s astonishing how Hooper’s master work hasn’t aged a day and still retains much of its raw guerilla filmmaking aura. The man and the cast suffered to make his horror thriller about maniacs in the South, and it shows through every single film cell.

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is a horror film I not only respect, but revere, if only because it bears such a realism to it that feels as if Tobe Hooper let loose a bunch of lunatics on an unwitting cast of actors. Much in the realm of Ruggero Deodato’s “Cannibal Holocaust,” there’s the sense that Hooper clings very closely to reality, and covers every single aspect of this vicious environment. You can sense the thick stifling heat, the horrific confusion and chaos, and Leatherface. Leatherface is still the wild insane rabid dog let off of his collar, free to roam as he pleases. Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface is still a terrible force of nature who spares no one, and inflicts immense punishment on the flower children.

It’s interesting to see how Tobe Hooper doesn’t just provide a flawless masterwork of horror, but also manages to depict a very rotten and disgusting environment by sight alone. Every aspect of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” feels very aged and filled with years of decay, and Hooper is a master at creating so much out of very little. Hooper’s horror film is still an iconic artifact in grade A horror filmmaking, as well as building an entire narrative around chaos and pure anxiety. From Sally’s forced attendance at the family dinner, to her insane cackling in the final scene of the film as she bathes in blood, director Tobe Hooper’s film takes on a pulse all its own that’s yet to be duplicated or rivaled to this day.

The 40th Anniversary Edition comes with four audio commentaries. There are about six hours worth of commentaries, with director Hooper sitting down with the surviving cast and crew of the film. There’s an audio commentary with Director/Writer/Producer Tobe Hooper, Actor Gunnar Hansen, and Cinematrographer Daniel Pearl, there’s a second commentary with Production Designer Robert Burns and cast members Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, and Paul A. Partain. There’s an audio commentary with Tobe Hooper, and finally a commentary with Cinematographer Daniel Pearl, Editor J. Larry Carroll, and Sound Recordist Ted Nicolaou.