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‘Last American Horror Show’ Review

  • Nerdly
Stars: Arch Hall Jr., Darrell Lewis, Lynn Lowry, Robert Allen Mukes, Felissa Rose, Jim Van Bebber, Tino Zamora | Written and Directed by Michael S Rodriguez

Every so often I like to delve into Amazon Prime and try to find the hidden gems within. Now given how laborious it is to browse these huge online repositories I find myself going down a rabbit hole of searching for a movie I like then clicking through the recommendations, ultimately plunging deeper into the darker, more obscure recesses of Prime Video.

And that’s how I found Michael S Rodriguez’s Last American Horror Show. Originally released in 2018 this surprisingly passed me by. I say surprisingly as a) it stars Felissa Rose And Lynn Lowry, and anything starring either of those actresses usually it promoted like crazy online; and 2) its anthology movie, billed as a trifecta of 80s throwback terror… so whats not to like?
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Mean-spirited ‘Bad Movie’ satirists forget that production values aren’t everything, even if the collected works of Barry Mahon and Coleman Francis say otherwise. This threadbare backyard production has ‘endearing’ written all over it. I judge many independent movies to be like picture puzzles with pieces missing, and this one is missing a Lot of them. But back when the drive-in was king, there was hope for just about any picture with a determined producer. The Last Time We Saw Arch Hall (we never saw him a first time), he may have been cooking up a sequel to this maladroit teenage caveman epic … if only he hadn’t killed off his main character. But this Turkey actually performed in release: Eegah would rate its niche in film history even if Richard Kiel hadn’t become a star in James Bond movies. Don’t miss the Trade Paper clipping feature at the bottom of the review.
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Horror Highlights: Taking Shape: Developing Halloween From Script To Scream, Blood & Gourd, Eegah (1962) Blu-ray and DVD, Red Letter Day Blu-ray

*Cue the music* Do, da, do, da, do, da, do, da, six more days 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Six more days 'til Halloween... I will let our readers finish the rest. Halloween is next week, so what's better than a book dedicated to the Halloween franchise? Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream by Dustin McNeill and Travis Mullins is available now. Also in today's Horror Highlights: a Blood & Gourd animated teaser, the newly restored Eegah (1962) on Blu-ray and DVD, and Red Letter Day Blu-ray release details.

Taking Shape: Developing Halloween from Script to Scream Book Release Details: "Silver Shamrock. Thorn. White Horses. It’s all in here. Join authors Dustin McNeill and Travis Mullins for a deep dive into the evolution of Halloween’s vast mythology. Extensively researched, this is the ultimate guide to the first forty years of Haddonfield history. Rejected scripts, deleted scenes, unused ideas, alternate
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Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Singles Collection Review

Brad Cook reviews Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Singles Collection…

Yes, MST3K Volume Xxxix was the final new volume of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes, but Shout! Factory has been rereleasing the old Rhino sets and will continue to do so. The Singles Collection has five episodes that were released singly on DVD, or in the case of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, paired with another episode, Manos The Hands of Fate. It also features The Shorts Vol. 3, which has seven shorts that were skewered before the main movies.

Shout! has also thrown in some new bonus features, which is always appreciated since the Rhino releases were typical bare bones sets.

Here’s what you’ll find in this one:

The Crawling Hand: This is a first season episode with Josh Weinstein voicing Tom Servo. In an earlier MST3K set, Kevin Murphy, who played Servo for the rest of the series,
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The Sadist

It took decades for this sleaze classic to be appreciated. It provided Vilmos Zsigmond with his first solo d.p. credit (as William Zsigmond), and it looks terrific. Grinning lunatic Arch Hall Jr. terrorizes three teachers in a desert junk yard for 94 real-time minutes in a little-seen but powerfully intense mini-budget drive-in staple. Hall even resembles Charles Starkweather, whose real-life teenage killing spree also inspired Badlands in 1973.
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Interview with 'Lamb Feed' Director Michael S. Rodriguez

Jonathan Weichsel

Michael S. Rodriguez is the director of the twenty-seven minute short Lamb Feed and the thirty minute short Night of the Sea Monkey. I sat down and interviewed him about his work.

Jw: I reached out to you to watch your films after you wished me happy birthday on Facebook, because I enjoyed Meghan Chadeayne's performance in Naked Zombie Girl, which I caught at Beyond The Beaten Path, and I saw you had directed a short starring her, Lamb Feed, and I was interested in seeing what else she has done. So I am wondering, what is it like working with Meghan? What is it that attracts you to her work?

Mr: Along with being close personal friends we are also business partners and I find Meg to be a completely focused professional that is an absolute delight to work with. When I call action
See full article at MoreHorror »

Indie Spotlight

After a brief hiatus due to our live coverage of Comic-Con, we’re back with a double-sized edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes a new trailer for Come Back to Me and I Spill Your Guts 2, release details on Schism, Silent Retreat, and the Class of Nuke ‘Em High soundtrack, and much more:

Come Back to Me Trailer: “Sarah (Walder) and Josh McLaren (Passmore) are a young married couple living in suburban Las Vegas. Shortly after a car accident, Sarah begins to suffer a series of disturbing memory lapses and frequent blackouts that seem to be increasing in intensity. Unsure of what is happening, and feeling as though she is losing her mind, Sarah comes to learn she is pregnant. To add to her shock, she subsequently discovers that her husband is sterile. As her marriage and world begin to fall apart,
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Upcoming Short Invites You to the Lamb Feed

A brutal assault on the senses is what's promised from the upcoming short film Lamb Feed, which sounds pretty damn good to us right about now. Read on for all the details and to gaze those peepers on some gruesome promo art!

From the Press Release

The creative mind that brought you the 2013 film festival hit Night of the Sea Monkey: A Disturbing Tale is at it again. Writer/director Michael S. Rodriguez is cooking up something special for the hardcore horror fans this year with Lamb Feed.

The film follows over-confident businessman Mitchell Barnes (Luke Church) as he seeks assistance after a blowout in a quaint sleepy town. Instead of help from the townspeople, he gets an invite to the darkest corner of his own fears... an invite to their annual Lamb Feed.

Promising to be a total assault on the senses, Lamb Feed also boasts a wonderfully diverse
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B-Sides: Eegah! It's Arch Hall, Jr.

It’s not easy being a 1960’s teen idol, especially when you’re trying to sing a romantic song about the girl you love in a low budget b-movie about a rampaging caveman. Arch Hall, Jr., gives it his all crooning a love song about his lady love, Valerie, even though his lady love was actually named Roxy.

Eegah is a classic of bad cinema whose legacy was fully cemented when it was immortalized on “Mystery Science Theater 3000”. Arch Hall, Sr.’s attempt to turn his son, Arch Hall, Jr., into a matinee idol in this music-filled mix of teenage drama and monster movie may be the source of much ridicule today, but given what a financial hit the $15,000 movie was back in 1962, it’s easy to say they got the real last laugh.

Throughout the film Junior performs romantic numbers about girls named “Vicky” and “Valerie”. That his
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2012 Milwaukee Underground Film Festival: Official Lineup

Student-run at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival will once again screen a selection of phenomenal experimental and avant-garde short films from all over the world. The 2012 edition will run May 4-5 at various locations around Milwaukee, including the Uwm Union Theatre, Walker’s Point Center for the Arts and the the Peck School of the Arts Kenilworth Studios.

Some films to look out for at the fest include Georg Koszulinski‘s tranquil landscape experimental documentary The Search for Norumbega; new animation films by Jodie Mack (Point de Gaze) and Ben Popp (Lazslo Lassu); Clint Enns‘ environmental search for the spiritual, Connecting With Nature; two films by Winnipeg’s Aaron Zeghers, The Story of Thomas Edison and I See a Light; a visually arresting Chromadepth experiment from Kerry Laitala, Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof; plus, films by Jim Haverkamp, Lyn Elliot, Tony Gault, Kelly Sears and more.

See full article at Underground Film Journal »

The Sadist Review: Arch Hall, Jr.; d: James Landis

The Sadist (1963) Direction and Screenplay: James Landis Cast: Arch Hall, Jr., Richard Alden, Marilyn Manning, Don Russell, Helen Hovey Arch Hall Jr, The Sadist Say what you will about Arch Hall, Jr. (and I know many people have), but he gives an outstanding performance in James Landis' The Sadist — one that is quite unlike his amateurish appearance opposite his father in Eegah, only a year earlier. In fact, Hall Jr.'s chilling portrayal of a psychotic, gun-toting, homicidal maniac is what makes this "bad" movie so "good." Before the credits are displayed, we see a closeup on his eyes, with the following narration (by Arch Hall, Sr.): "I have been hurt by others. And I will hurt them. I will make them suffer like they have made me suffer." Three treacly sweet school teachers are on their way to a ball game when their car stalls in a
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Farrah Fawcett's red swimsuit on display at Smithsonian. What pop culture-centric exhibits are you dying to see?

Farrah Fawcett's red swimsuit on display at Smithsonian. What pop culture-centric exhibits are you dying to see?
So Farrah Fawcett’s iconic red swimsuit went on display in the Smithsonian today, which would have been her 64th birthday. This is awesome for all sorts of reasons — mainly because it gives me hope that there are swimsuits out there somewhere that manage to not get tangled and destroyed in the dryer just weeks after you buy them. But, also, because nothing quite matches the glee every pop culture addict feels when they recognize some of their favorite TV/movie paraphernalia from mere feet away. It’s the best nostalgia high you could ask for, and the closest you
See full article at - PopWatch »

An Academic look at the Horror Genre...

One of the perceptions about Academic Conferences is that they are dry dusty affairs with about as much excitement as ball of coughed up cat hair. However within the last decade, the perception is frankly untrue. More and more professors and academics are looking toward popular culture to study and talk about and horror is no exception. In fact, horror may be one of the biggest areas of study within the academy these days. Films, game, and sequential art studies are “popping” all over campuses. (I know guy here at Texas Tech University who is doing his dissertation on narrative structure within the Friday The 13th movie series. So for all you Fangoria readers, there do seem to be niches within the academy that is growing and growing.

Just a few weeks back, The Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association met for its 30th meeting in Albuquerque New Mexico.
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Vintage horror and genre historians on DVD

• Horror/rockabilly personality Johnny Legend has three new DVDs coming out on his new Raunchy Tonk label. A 50th Anniversary Edition of House On Haunted Hill, a new disc of The Sadist and an update of his Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street all arrive next Tuesday, February 24.

House, the William Castle classic starring Vincent Price, has been newly restored in an anamorphic 1.66:1 transfer, accompanied by the following extras:

• Return to the House: featurette with Legend visiting Haunted Hill and exploring the film’s history • Profile of actress Carol Ohmart, with comments by Jack Hill (who directed Ohmart in Spider Baby) • Golden Age Price: The actor’s TV appearances on classic TV shows • Original theatrical trailers and TV spot • 25 minutes of further Castle and Price previews • Surprise William Castle TV spot

In the ahead-of-its-time 1963 shocker The Sadist, written and directed by James Landis, Arch Hall Jr. plays
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R.I.P. Ray Dennis Steckler

Psychotronic filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler lost his battle with heart disease on January 7, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada; he was 70 years old. With his passing so goes Cash Flagg, his hoodlum alter ego and star of Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, The Thrill Killers, Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters and Wild Guitar. We also say farewell to Sven Christian, Wolfgang Schmidt, and Cindy Lou Sutters; other Steckler pseudonyms; there were 12 of them at last count and I am sure we will miss them all.

Steckler started his film career by finishing principal photography on Timothy Carey’s World’s Greatest Sinner. He then went on to capture Arch Hall Jr.’s delinquent delight in 1962's Wild Guitar, and after that he was off and running, shooting films without ever a finished screenplay in hand.

Steckler always did the best he could with what he had,
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Rip Ray Dennis Steckler

Ray Dennis Steckler, the maverick producer/director/writer/actor/cinematographer (and-and-and) who created such cult flicks as The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-up Zombies!!? (1964) and The Thrill Killers (1964), died Wednesday night at age 70. At the beginning of his nearly half-century career, the rebel moviemaker was a fixture at Fairway International, the Burbank-based indie film company established by Arch Hall, Sr.

Steckler began as a camera assistant on Fairway’s caveman-on-the-loose-in-Palm-Springs campfest Eegah (1962) and then directed their next feature Wild Guitar the same year. Using his frequent nom de screen “Cash Flagg,” he also co-starred in the latter as the thuggish henchman of a record company executive (Hall Sr.).

The star of Eegah and Wild Guitar, Arch Hall Jr. knew Steckler from the Fairway days until what was his final public appearance on November 14, 2008: a special Los Angeles County Museum of Art screening of No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos,
See full article at Fangoria »

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