Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Halloween”

Shudder Launches Halloween Hotline

Happy Halloween! Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, offers the best, hand-selected collection of horror movies around. But sometimes you need a little extra help picking exactly which great slasher, ghost story, giallo or monster movie to watch next. In celebration of Halloween, Shudder’s head curator, Samuel Zimmerman, will be offering callers his live, personalized picks for their perfect Halloween night/weekend viewing.

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Movie Review: Holiday Hell

Just when I thought I had my fill of horror anthologies, Holiday Hell comes along. This Christmas-themed film stars the wonderful Jeffrey Combs as a shopkeeper who entertains a curious customer with the terrifying tales behind specific items he has for sale. Collectively, these stories comprise this entertaining movie. Aside from Combs, Joel Murray steals the show with his incredible performance as an alcoholic who is down on his luck in a variety of ways. I was completely enthralled by his performance, which was nuanced and emotive. Murray is an exceptional actor who deserves much more attention for his stellar work.

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Joe Bob’s Halloween Hootenanny Premieres October 25

Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, announced today that Joe Bob Briggs, the world’s foremost drive-in movie critic, will return on October 25 with an all-new special, Joe Bob’s Halloween Hootenanny. The hosted triple feature will stream live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Shudder in the U.S. and Canada. It will also be made available on demand later in October.  Read more…

Shudder October Highlights

October is upon us, and Halloween is just a few weeks away! With this in mind, there’s no better way to celebrate this spooky time of the year than by watching all of the excellent content on Shudder. Last week, the first episode of the long-awaited Creepshow series debuted and it’s spectacular. New episodes will drop every week throughout the month, so be on the look out for that, as well as a whole host of movies and shows, including new episodes of NOS4A2.

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My Favorite Horror Movies

new-nightmareWith Halloween upon us, I want to share with you my favorite horror movies. There are many horror films I love, but these are the cream of the crop. Happy Halloween!

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Music Review – A Nightmare On Elm Street 8-CD Box Set

nightmare_layout_2048x2048With it being Halloween, I figured now was the perfect time to review the recently release CD box set celebrating the original Nightmare on Elm Street films. This deluxe collection contains nearly three hours of bonus tracks and is beautifully packaged. However, it’s limited to only 2,000 copies. If you’re curious about whether or not you should pick one up before they’re gone, watch my video review below:

Blu-ray Sale: A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

A Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-rayThis week only, Amazon.com has the A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection Blu-ray box set on sale for $25.99 – that’s nearly 60% off the full retail price. For horror fans that don’t own all the Freddy films in high-definition, this is an excellent deal you should check out. You can buy it here: http://tinyurl.com/myhytuw.

Review – Evil Dead: The Musical

Evil Dead: The Musical is at The Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia from September 25-October 20, 2013.

Evil Dead: The Musical is at The Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia from September 25-October 20.

Evil Dead: The Musical, a show that made its debut in Toronto in 2003 and has had many successful productions around the world since, has just come to Philadelphia. It will be at The Prince Music Theater from September 25-October 20, 2013, so be sure to get your tickets now. I had the pleasure of seeing the musical last night, and I can confidently say that whether you’re a fan of the film franchise or someone who loves fun musicals infused with irreverent humor, Evil Dead: The Musical delivers.

When I approached the box office to get my ticket, I was asked if I’d like to sit in the “splatter zone.” After asking what she meant, the woman behind the glass partition explained that at the end of the show the first few rows get “blood” on them. While the fake blood washes out pretty easily, I decided to sit a few rows back. I must admit, at the end of the show, watching people get squirted, misted and splattered with blood was very amusing; a handful of them wore ponchos, while the others took it in stride.

Evil Dead The MusicalWhile waiting for the show to begin, I was treated to mix of classic 1980’s rock music – which I love – including, KISS, The Scorpions and Twisted Sister, among others. It was a great way to set the mood for a fun show based on a horror franchise born out of the same era. And the music was reflective of the jovial mood in the room. The fans were eagerly awaiting the dimming of the lights and the rising curtain.

The musical kicked off with a fun, infectious song, “Cabin in the Woods,” that did a great job of setting the tone for the show. It also provided the shows’ five central stars with the perfect opportunity to showcase their chemistry with one another and vocal prowess.

The next musical number, “Housewares Employee,” was easily my favorite. Ryan Ward, who plays the lead character, Ash, stole the show and this song illustrates why he was the perfect person for the role. He’s funny, has an impressive voice and can convincingly sing wonderfully absurd power ballads. What’s not to love?

Another fun song that stuck with me was “What The Fuck Was That.” After a character becomes possessed by the Evil Dead, Ash and Scott sing and, eventually, tango to this number. It made for a fun and humorous break in the action.

Other than Ash, my favorite character was Jake. This role was masterfully assumed by Daniel Williston, who did a terrific job both with his lines and body language. At one point, his ear piece came out, in the middle of a dance number, but he quickly tucked it into his pocket and kept dancing, undeterred. In addition to being light on his feet, Williston turned in an impressive vocal with “Good Old Reliable Jake” that conjured up visions of Meat Loaf. This song, along with the others I mentioned, make listening to the full album worth your while.

In case it’s not already abundantly clear, Evil Dead: The Musical is a lot of fun. If you live in Philadelphia and you’re looking for something unique and exciting to do, make sure to see the show. It’s a great tribute to the films that inspired it, as well as an impressive musical production.

KISS Kruise III – I’ll Be There!

KISS Kruise III

This October I’ll be boarding my first cruise, but it won’t be just any cruise. It’ll be KISS Kruise III. What is a KISS Kruise, you ask? It’s a five-day luxury cruise with the “Hottest Band in the World,” KISS. This is the third year the band is setting off on this rock and roll sea voyage, and I felt the need to experience it at least once in my lifetime.

KISS Kruise III - What You GetThe cruise itself is a round trip from the Port of Miami to Key West and Great Stirrup Cay. It includes admission to two KISS concerts, one of which is an acoustic sail-away show without makeup. Everyone also gets a photo with the band and a pre-autographed commemorative item. Members of the “KISS Navy” also get to participate in a KISS Q&A and engage in group activities with the band members in between concerts.

KISS Kruise III - DestinationsIn addition to KISS, other bands will be providing a steady supply of rock and roll concerts for people to enjoy. As of right now, three bands are scheduled to join KISS on this year’s cruise: Night Ranger, Leogun and Big Rock Show.

And just like regular cruises, all meals and non-carbonated beverages are included in the ticket price. Of course, certain activities and items come at an additional cost, like gambling, spa services and various off-board activities in Key West and Great Stirrup Cay.

Considering all the great music, activities and food that’s covered by the price of admission – not to mention the vacation itself – I think this is a great deal. It’s going to be an amazing trip filled with wild stories and crazy experiences that I look forward to sharing with you on my blog.

Until then, check out the acoustic sail-away show and Q&A with KISS’ Manager, Doc McGhee, from KISS Kruise II in 2012:

Movie Review – The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin In The WoodsI recently watched The Cabin in the Woods for the first time and, overall, it was enjoyable. When it came out in 2012, I remember hearing a lot of hype around it being a top-notch horror film, and it was marketed as “the Inception of horror.” Let me set something straight: This film wasn’t nearly as intricate as Inception, and, in some ways, that’s a good thing.

Being a horror-movie buff, I assumed that a film about a bunch of kids in the woods would be a straight-up slasher in the style of Friday the 13th. Thankfully, I was wrong. While there was plenty of blood and guts spilled in and around the cabin, the plot was deeper than that. Similar to The Hunger Games, it involved an organization controlling the action. What is this organization? And what is its purpose? These questions were answered towards the end of the film.

To me, the greatest horror film of all time was Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. This film doesn’t even come close to that. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think it’s more compelling or clever than the original Saw. But it is entertaining and it tried to do something different. The acting was a mixed bag, but some terrific thespians made up the supporting cast, one of which blew my mind when she appeared on the screen at the end.

If you like horror films, check this out. Just don’t expect it to be the next Halloween – no, not Rob Zombie’s Halloween – or Hellraiser.

Official Synopsis

Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. Bad things happen. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes The Cabin in the Woods, a mind blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.

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