Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Horror”

Meeting Clive Barker

On August 18, I met one of my horror idols: Clive Barker. A multi-talented artist who has mastered numerous mediums, Clive is a playwright, an author, a director, and a painter. He created, wrote and directed Hellraiser, his most famous work, and he’s also known for Candyman and Nightbreed, as well as more than 20 novels, hundreds of incredible paintings, and so much more. Stephen King once said, “I’ve seen the future of horror, and his name is Clive Barker.” That’s the highest praise one can get in this genre, and Clive lived up to that prophecy and then some.

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Meeting Joe Bob Briggs

In March, at NJ Horror Con and Film Festival, I met Joe Bob Briggs, who is an actor, writer, and the host of The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs on Shudder. For decades Joe Bob has been sharing his insightful film commentary and witticisms with millions of viewers. You might know him from TMC’s Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater or MonsterVision on TNT, which were popular programming in the 1980s and 1990s, or The Last Drive-In on Shudder, where he literally broke the internet in 2018. You might even know Joe Bob for his reviews of movies in the Dallas Herald Times in the early 1980s. Regardless of where or when you first discovered Joe Bob, he’s not the kind of person that you forget.

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Shudder – What’s New In August

Shudder, a premium streaming video service from AMC focused on horror, thrillers and the supernatural, has some exciting new content this month. As I write this, I have a live Shudder movie marathon playing in the background of the first six films in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, which were just added to the streaming service. For more details regarding Shudder’s Freddy Krueger offering and other great additions this month, keep reading.

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The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs – March 29 On Shudder

This Saturday I’m meeting Joe Bob Briggs at the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival. A day prior, March 29, his new weekly series debuts on Shudder: The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs. For those that are unfamiliar with it, Shudder is a premium streaming video service owned and operated by AMC, serving fans of horror, thrillers, and supernatural movies and TV shows. I think it’s a wonderful service that is overflowing with excellent content that I’m constantly backlogged on. Having thoroughly enjoyed Joe Bob’s standalone Shudder specials over the past several months, I look forward to his weekly Friday night double-features. Below are more details on this show and a trailer. Enjoy!

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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:

Monster-Mania 30: A Nightmare Worth Living

Meeting Tobin Bell at Monster-Mania 30.

Meeting Tobin Bell at Monster-Mania 30.

Last Saturday I attended Monster-Mania. This biannual event features notable actors and actresses from the horror, action, comedy, and science fiction genres, as well as professional wrestlers. For the thousands that attend, this is an opportunity to meet their idols, get autographs, participate in photo-ops, watch Q&A panels, browse through aisles of cool merchandise, and enjoy hours upon hours of movies.

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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.

Movie Review – Evil Dead

Evil DeadEvil Dead is the most shocking, violent and bloody horror film I’ve ever seen. This 2013 reboot of the classic film franchise was produced by the original team behind the 1981 cult classic. I can’t compare Evil Dead to its predecessors because I don’t recall seeing any of them from start to finish, which is shocking since I’m an ardent fan of horror movies. Nonetheless, I can tell you with great confidence that this movie is only meant to be seen by those who don’t mind a lot of gore. If you have a weak stomach, steer clear of this one. However, if you’re game, what you’ll find here is a gritty horror film with excellent acting, terrific cinematography and a compelling narrative. I also enjoyed Evil Dead’s score. Whether it was a tender moment or an adrenaline-infused showdown, the music elevated the visuals and amplified the emotion in every scene. For horror fans with a strong stomach, I can’t recommend Evil Dead enough. It’s one of the most disturbing films I’ve ever seen, and also one of the most satisfying.

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