Dylan’s New Nightmare: A Nightmare on Elm Street Fan Film (2023)

I love a good fan film. On rare occasions they can offer up interesting ideas and concepts. “Dylan’s New Nightmare” is an ambitious and interesting fan film in that its concept works for and against the final film, in the end. While the whole concept of a follow up to “New Nightmare” is a good one, it’s problematic in that: it basically feels like a proof of concept for a sequel, and “New Nightmare” isn’t canonical to the rest of the series. With “New Nightmare,” Wes Craven was holding up a magnifying glass, stepping back to examine the overwhelming expectations and pains of success.

It was also not on the timeline of Freddy Krueger, as the monster in the film was not Freddy Krueger.

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Here For Blood (2023)

Warning: Spoilers pertaining to the movie abound.

You really haven’t seen it all until you’ve seen a wrestler elbow drop a flesh eating zombie multiple times until its head explodes. That’s that thing about “Here for Blood.” It has a ton of good ideas and a great sense of humor about itself, but it gets lost in so much filler and narrative excess. What could have been a simple and fun home invasion thriller turns in to a convoluted survival film about cults, and sacrifices, and masked killers, and anointed prophets. It’s all a movie that could have been so much better with tighter editing and fifteen minutes trimmed down.

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The review I did for RISE OF SKYWALKER was a bit serious and gloomy. So I’m going to lighten things up a bit and talk about something fun this time. Today’s review is for a movie called DEADTIME STORIES, a horror anthology from 1986 that retells twisted versions of old fairy tales. Well, kinda. They do Little Red Riding Hood, and they do Goldilocks and The Three Bears, but the first story about witches isn’t really based on anything specific. That’s okay though, there’s enough nudity and gore in all three of these stories to make up for any disappointment that we’re not going to be getting a story about Humpty Dumpty as a serial killer or something. The film stars Scott Valentine as Peter, Nicole Picard as Rachel, Matt Mitler as Willie, Cathryn de Prume as Goldi Lox, and Melissa Leo as Judith “MaMa” Baer. It was directed by Jeffrey Delman. It was written by Delman, and J. Edward Kiernan, and Charles F. Shelton.
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Bad Girl Boogey (2023)

I give filmmaker Alice Maio Mackay a lot of credit for pressing forward with a slasher movie that’s based a lot around the LGBTQ community and a slasher that’s centered on murdering citizens of that community. There aren’t many horror movies that focus on the whole LGBTQ experience and on a slasher that’s centered on them and only them. While I do credit director and writer Alice Maio Mackay for trying to offer something different, “Bad Girl Boogey” excels in the directorial department but sorely needed work in the script department. The script is an aspect of “Bad Girl Boogey” that could have stood at least a few more rewrites and re-thinking.

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Pillow Party Massacre (2023)

One of the things I wish horror movies would stop doing is the meta-dialogue drop where a character proclaims “I feel like I’m in a horror movie!” to which someone replies “Well this isn’t a horror movie! This is real life.” Please stop that. I know I’m watching a horror movie. I don’t need to know that the characters know that we’re watching a horror movie. That said, “Pillow Party Massacre” is a mix of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Slaughter High” but with none of the fun hacking and slashing that goes with them. There’s nary a pillow party or a respectable massacre to be had.

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The Third Saturday in October: Part I (2023)

Hey even if you don’t like the experiment that Jay Burleson has concocted, you have to give “The Third Saturday in October” its credit for being so ambitious. The movies seem to have been made on a very modest budget, but director Burleson has an obvious adoration for slasher movies of all kinds. “Part I” of the series is a love letter to John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and seventies slasher films in general, and while embracing slasher tropes, he does a rare thing and gives us an African American movie maniac. Not just that, but a horrifying African American movie maniac.

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The Third Saturday in October: Part V (2023)

There’s a ton of creativity and fun to be had behind writer and director Jay Burleson’s pair of slasher films. With the pair of movies you have what is an admirably constructed mythology, along with a cast of performers that are the absolute highlight of the movie. Even the more irritating characters eventually won me over, and that’s saying a lot. In spite of the warts and all, Burleson gets creative from the outset with a pair of films that have to be appreciated and experienced backward.

So, you have to watch “Part V” before you can even watch “Part I.”

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