Thursday, 31 May 2012




ARTIST: Q Lazzarus

Maybe you don’t know the name of the song or artist, but if you’ve seen the film, you WILL remember the scene. It lodges in the brain, not just for what you see (which is pretty damn bizarre anyway) but for the superb use of music.
This little known 1988 synthpop ditty had been used by director Jonathan Demme in a previous film, Married to the Mob.
But the second use is the one we all remember…

THE SCENE: As the downright freaky serial killer, Buffalo Bill (played by Ted Levine) fashions a ‘woman suit’ from the skins of his previous victims, we are given a true insight into his disturbed mind. Previously turned down for a sex change, Buffalo Bill has become obsessed with transformation, symbolized by the Death’s-head Hawkmoth he stuffs into the throat of his victim. In the scene we see him apply makeup and a wig made from the scalp of one of his victims, before wrapping himself in a silk cape that he flaps (just like the wings of a butterfly) as he admires himself before a mirror. As he applies makeup his fantasies become more sexually charged, asking his reflection ‘Would you fuck me? I’d fuck me… I’d fuck me hard.’

As he dances and preens, finally Bill tucks his penis between his legs and shuffles back, admiring his now more feminine appearance. Throughout this scene, we are shown the plight of his latest victim as she plans to escape from the pit in his basement where she is being kept prisoner.

THE SONG: Written and produced by William Garvey, he is quoted as saying: ‘The song is about transcendence over those who see the world as only earthy and finite. The horses represent the five senses from Hindu philosophy (The Bhagavad Gita) and the ability to lift one’s perception above these physical limitations and to see beyond this limited Earthly perspective.’

Q Lazzarus is an American female vocalist. Nothing else she has released has reached anywhere near the level of success that this song has achieved.

WHY IT WORKS: PLENTY of reasons here!
First, the haunting and eerie synth sound perfectly complements the visuals on screen. I was reminded of 80s era Bowie with elements of OMD.
This is helped by Q Lazzarus’ vocals, which aren’t typically feminine, her androgynous sound echoing Buffalo Bill’s onscreen transformation.
Also, look at the writer’s description of the message behind the song… transcending the limits of physical being. How perfect for Buffalo Bill’s insane and misguided attempts to leave behind the limitations of his body and gender. Transcendence is just a short step from transformation after all.
Finally, the original script saw Clarice Starling mention horses as well as the sheep raised on the farm in which she grew up. The dialoge was tweaked and streamlined for pacing issues, but Goodbye Horses is a nice little throwback to that exchange.

Of course, no piece on this song would be complete without a shoutout to the parody of this scene in Clarks II.
Jason Mewes, you wonderful, wonderful lunatic. Good work, sir!

So, any suggestions for future pieces of iconic horror music I can cover?
Let me know!

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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012



Dir: Tony Maylam
Starring: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Jason Alexander

I watched this Friday the 13th ripoff when I was pretty young and remember having a fair bit of fun with it when the group I watched it with all adopted a character to see if we'd survive.
In retrospect, this was not the most cool thing I have ever done.
Does this slasher still have what it takes to make me smile?

SUMMARY: The film opens with an eerie flashback. Well, I think it was meant to be eerie.
At the awesomely named Camp Blackfoot a bunch of 70s/early 80s kids with white guy fros and shorts that are far too tiny decide they have taken enough shit from the caretaker, Cropsy. Seems he's kind of a dick to the kids so they're going to show him what's what. Prank time!
One of them (wearing a superb Camp Blackfoot t shirt that I now want to own) tiptoes into the shack where a hammered pissed Cropsy is sleeping and lights something in a box. Yeah, you're telling him, tight-short crew!
He slips back out and all the kids bang on the window to rouse Cropsy from his drunken stupor. He slowly comes around and is greeted with... a maggoty rotting skull thing with candles in it!
That is a bit beyond clingfilm over the khazi, dude.
Cropsy goes batshit, as you would, and knocks it over. His booze soaked shack and clothes go up in flames. The tiny-short crew leg it. Nice.
Cropsy is taken to hospital and a seriously pimpin' black orderly explains that Cropsy was burnt so badly it's a miracle he survived. He then invites a new doctor to come and gawp at Cropsy. PROFESSIONALISM.
As the superfly orderly refers to Cropsy as a Big Mac, I silently weep a little because I KNOW no other character will be as cool as this guy. The anticipation builds nicely as Dr Dolemite draws his D.I.S.COlleague closer to Cropsy... who grabs Shaft M.D. by the hand!

That jive turkey muthafucker!

At this point the orderly pulls a face which is a little less cool. I still feel you though, bro. In my head he leaves this scene and promptly works in every other horror film hospital in history. He would get on gangbusters with Budd in Halloween II!

Anyway from here we get some not at all derivative credits with a theme that sounds NOTHING like Halloween's. Oh no.

Anyway, despite his penchant for grabbing playahs, the docs let Cropsy out. Even though a voice over says he is hideously deformed on the outside and now homicidal with rage.
Cropsy gets out of hospital hiding under a big coat, hat and gloves... and promptly approaches a SERIOUSLY rough hooker. Hey, it's been 5 years, his wang now looks like the inside of a lava lamp, beggars can't be choosers.
The ropy old hooker shows lots of cleavage and leg. And smokes.

I'm sure she'll be fine.

Oh, then she sees his face and freaks out and tells Cropsy he is not getting any.
If a hooker says that to you, you'd probably feel pretty low.
Cropsy confirms this by butchering her with a pair of scissors and smashing her head through a window.

People in this film overreact A LOT.

Cut to a lovely tranquil lake and another summer camp - Camp Stonewater.
(So this takes place at a summercamp where a bunch of irritating teens are butchered by an inhuman killer. HOW original. Why did nobody else ever think of this great idea?)
There are lots of teens playing a wholesome game of what appears to be No Bra Baseball. This acts as an intro to our victims. Hey look, there's George Costanza from Seinfeld! He's young(er)! And slim(mer)! And he has (some) hair! YAY! The rest are pretty non-descript. There's the girl who will clearly survive, a skinny boy whose tiny shorts make me start to panic about what kind of film this is, a guy who's name should be Hero McSquarejoy, a slutty blonde and a dick called Glazer. He is kind of muscular and a total tit.
He rules.
Amongst this bustling hubbub of (non) character development Cropsy turns up.
And fails to kill someone.

Er, so he's a bit shit?

More character stuff. It's so mindnumbingly awful I start thinking about Superfly Orderly and Budd having a weekly medical procedural tv show. Kind of like House but with dopeass bitches. Yeeeeeah.

Oh, hang on, the slutty blonde is having a shower. And there are boobies. She has just got more naked than the hooker earlier. Life expectancy 0.000000000000021%.
Suddenly she catches WEIRD GUY ogling her.
[Every man watching this film blushes]

Her indignant cries draw other people along. WEIRD GUY says he just planned to scare her. Yeah, that is some NORMAL behaviour right there. Hero McSquarejaw and the survivor girl have a bit of a tiff over whether they should kick him out. They don't.
My god, these teenagers are 35 if they're a day.
Meanwhile Glazer pounces on WEIRD GUY. Seems he has his sights on slutty blonde and he will whoop some booty if WEIRD GUY doesn't do one.
Glazer here does something BRILLIANT. After lambasting WEIRD GUY he gives him an alpha male Pec Flex of DOMINANCE that sends him skittering for the hills. Ha ha ha, Glazer, you're such a twat.
It seems George Costanza and his tiny shorted friends agree because a bit later they shoot Glazer up the jacksy with an airgun, then moon him.
There is a whole screen of manbutt and a couple of droopy nutsacks here. No wonder this film was banned.

That night WEIRD GUY sees Cropsy stalking around outside the cabins. One of the nameless fodder girls says she will sleep with the letchy fodder guy. NOBODY in the world gives half a shit about eiher of these developments.
Next day the, ahem, 'kids' go canoeing. They splash each other. FFS it's been 30 minutes since anybody died!!!!!!!!
Superfly Orderly and Budd wouldn't put up with this shit.

Ooooh, now we have a campfire! Hero McSquarejaw tells Cropsy's origin story. You know, for people that skipped the first chapter on the dvd because they're high-rolling jetsetters and time is money.
Finally those two that plan to shag nip off together and go skinny dipping. She kind of changes her mind at how pushy he's being and he spits his dummy like a total dirty sleazebag.
The girl storms off... but her clothes have gone!
Cut to a naked girl walking about in the woods. Hmmm, this was clearly made before razor companies invented ladyfuzz trimmers. That thing is like Tina Turner's head!!!!
Oh and then Cropsy cuts her throat with his KILLER SHEARS. About bloody time too. 45 minutes passed without a kill!

The next day the girl is missing (obviously) so everybody blames the sleazebag. He had that coming. They then notice that the canoes are gone and Survivor Girl and Hero McSquarejaw decide that nameless fodder girl took all of them.


Rather than say that these two are fucking idiots, the other teens decide to build a raft to get back to the main camp. Once it's done, we get the sequence that lead to this film getting banned.
Some of the kids row the raft down the river and spot one of the canoes. They head over to it... and Cropsy jumps out to kill the shit out of them!
Tom Savini (THE GENIUS) did the effects for this scene and, fucking hell, is it gory. Body bits go flying, blood pumps everywhere, we get close ups of the shears slicing into flesh, the whole shebang.

This makes up for that 45 minutes of bollocks.

Meanwhile Hero takes some of the boys, including WEIRD GUY on a bit of a hike.
Finally Glazer and slutty girl get some jiggerypokery time. Go on my so..., oh, he went off halfcocked. Glazer, man! He feels a bit embarrassed but she doesn't mind so he runs off to get matches... CROPSY!
Byebye slutty girl! That was such a shock to me!
Glazer returns but WEIRD GUY follows because he is a PERV. Glazer approaches slutty girl's sleeping bag... but Cropsy jumps out! FUCKER! Then slams Glazer into tree with his inhuman psycho killer mega strength! FUCKER! And then pins Glazer to said tree by his throat!!! FUCKER! WEIRD GUY shits his tiny shorts so hard they stretch to full size ones and runs off to warn the others. FUC.. oh, wait, that's kind of sensible. Carry on.
WEIRD GUY wakes up Hero McSquarejaw and tells him what happened. Remembering WEIRD GUY's silliness re: a scary dude outside the cabin earlier (which I had already forgot about because it was SO BORING) Hero decides to investigate rather than believe WEIRD GUY. So Cropsy knocks him the fuck out. Since when did he do that shit? Cut his heroic jaw off or something!
WEIRD GUY legs it. Cropsy follows. In time Hero comes around and follows after them with a heroic axe.
Back at Camp Nonentity, the boring faceless, nameless kids find the raft and all the bits of their friends. Finally people start to realise that shit is amiss. They hop on the raft and skedaddle back to the camp. Survivor Girl does the most useless girly run in history as she grabs a mate, radios for help and jumps back into a motorboat to go back for Hero and Weird Guy.
But WEIRD GUY has been captured by Cropsy and taken into an abandoned mine while Hero McSquare jaw follows.

I won't give the ending away other to say that the final reveal of Cropsy's melty, Harry Redknappesque face is ace AND stupid all at once.
Much like this whole film. It's oddly compelling, but borrows so heavily from Halloween and (especially) Friday the 13th that you can't help but feel you've seen it all before. Plus that dead 45 minutes in the middle of the film is EXCRUCIATING.
Tom Savini's effects are pretty much the saving grace to this film. It's worth watching if only for those, especially during the gory Raft Massacre, which is (wait for it, wait for it...) SHEAR brilliance.

AH HA HA HA HA HA HA... oh, please yourselves.

Superfly Orderly would have loved that.

HEY, I KNOW YOU: JASON ALEXANDER - George Costanza. Seinfeld. Nuff said.
HOLLY HUNTER - Yes, THAT Holly Hunter plays one of the boring, faceless, personalityless dwellers of Camp Nonentity. I do not imagine her role in this film features too prominently on her CV...

EVIL ON TWO LEGS: Cropsy is your generic, hideously burnt, hardware toting psycho driven by homicidal rage. The level of characterisation for him is ABYSMAL.
He was a caretaker at Camp Blackfoot. He was mean to the kids. He was a drunk and would beat/harass certain campers. And one day they got angry at his shitty 'tude and accidentally burnt him. The extent of his injuries was so severe that it left him seriously disfigured and insane. So he heads to a neighbouring camp and starts taking his misplaced rage out on the teens with a pair of shears. 

Um, that's about it.

A little more interestingly, the name Cropsy seems to be a bastardisation of Cropsey, a name used for an urban legend bogeyman, most notably in Staten Island and up and down the Hudson Valley. The Cropsey Maniac (to give him his full name) is the equivalent of the man with a hook for a hand, the axe wielding maniac under the bed. There has even been an award-winning documentary produced on this urban legend.

However, I bet none of these versions look as awesome as THIS!




Tom Savini's amazing gore effects are on full display here! AWESOME!

Ok, I need to be more specific? Fine: 'Let's see whatcha got,' 25-YEAR-OLD TEENAGERS!, HEY, WE'RE THE FUN GUYS! CHECK OUT HOW MUCH WE LOVE TO CHECK OUT GIRLS!, SHOWERBOOBS!, 'Who's there?', 'I'm gonna tear you up so bad, your own mother won't recognise ya!', SO THIS IS WHAT THE KILLER SEES THEN..., 'I saw it! It was there!', EVERYBODY GATHER ROUND THE FIRE AND LISTEN TO THIS EXPOSITION,'You're crazy!', NUDITY = DEATH, SEX = DEATH, 'I'm coming right back', EVEN IF YOU RUN A WALKING BADGUY CAN CATCH YOU, ONLY MY OWN WEAPON CAN KILL ME... (or not), FLAMETHROWERS ARE COOL

DIALOL: Tiny Short Crew Leader: 'Tonight's the night that we scare shit out of Cropsy!'
SUPERFLY ORDERLY: 'After two months of working here, you'll start to feel like an old man. Guys like you won't last five minutes. Hey, there's this guy down the hall in the burn center I'd like you to see. After you see this guy, you'll never want to come back in here again. Man, this guy is so burned, he's cooked! A fucking Big Mac, overdone! You know what I mean? And, it's a miracle that he's still alive. If it was me, I'd prefer to be dead. No way I'd want to be this freak. He's a monster, man! I've been working here 10 years and I'm telling you, I've never seen anything like this. Come on in here, man. This is what you've got to see. This is where it's at!'
Slutty Blonde: 'He's a sexual pervert!'
HERO McSQUAREJAW: 'There used to be a camp not far from here, just across the lake. It was called Camp Blackfoot. No one goes there anymore. Everything burnt down. This camp had a caretaker, and his name was Cropsy. Now, this Cropsy was a drunkard... a sadist, and he got real pleasure out of hurting... scaring. And he had these garden shears. The kind with long, thin blades. He carried them all the time, wherever he went. And he had this kind of demonic way of looking at you. One time, Cropsy really went after this kid from Brooklyn, followed him around night and day. He made this kid's life a living hell. But this time, he chose the wrong guy, 'cause the kid and some of his buddies had planned a little prank. Only problem was, the gag went wrong. The next thing anybody knows, Cropsy's trapped alive and burning in his bunk. They try to get him out, but the fire's so fierce, they can't reach him. All they can do is stand outside and listen to him cry out in agony. They say his smashed his way through the bunkroom door in just a mass of flames. And as he burned alive, he cried out, "I will return! I will have my revenge!" They never found his body, but he survived. He lives on whatever he can catch. Eats them raw, alive. No longer human. Right now, he's out there. Watching, waiting. Don't look; he'll see you. Don't move; he'll hear you. Don't breathe; you're dead!'

10 WORD WRAP UP: Silly Friday the 13th clone with cool gore effects (eventually)

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


‘We’re all in this together.’

That’s the line so often used in a horror film when the shit hits the fan, the bodies start piling up and each of the characters starts to eye everybody else as if they might be the axe wielding maniac/shape-shifting mutant/undead fiend in their midst.

But I wonder if they have any idea just how many other horror characters are in this together?

You see, their are a number of very cool links between horror films that suggest these films take place in the same shared ‘universe’.

That's right, the teenagers in this universe REALLY have a lot to worry about.

So where to start? A good jumping on point would be Friday the 13th IX: Jason Goes To Hell.

While the film is pretty ropy, it’s got a couple of lovely references. One of the best is that when Steven goes poking around in the old Voorhees house, we catch sight of a certain book that should be all too familiar to horror fans: the Evil Dead’s Naturan Demonata AKA Necronomicon Ex-Mortis AKA The Book of the Dead! (This is already a direct reference to the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft, one of the greatest horror authors in history)
Quite what it's doing there isn’t exactly explained.

Fans of completely unfounded conjecture (and who ISN’T?) have suggested that maybe the cabin in the woods that housed Professor Knowby’s research into Kandarian demons isn’t too far from Camp Crystal Lake. Another rather cute theory suggests that Pamela Voorhees herself may have used the resurrection incantations within the book to bring back her son after he was drowned as a child.
These are both beautiful theories, but unfortunately neither has a shred of evidence to support them!

In fact, the Voorhees house seems to be kind of a dumping ground for horror artifacts. The rather decrepit basement is shown to house a large packing crate. On the side you can read the words ‘ARCTIC EXPEDITION JULIA CARPENTER HORLICKS UNIVERSITY’.
‘So what?’ you may ask. Well, it just so happens that this is the same box from the story ‘The Crate’ in Creepshow. A nice touch here is that in Creepshow, Professor Northrup disposed of the crate by throwing it in a nearby lake. Could that lake have been Crystal Lake?
The stories in Creepshow all take place in the same cinematic world (that within the pages of the Creepshow comic book). In this case, it’s worth noting that in the segment ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’ a road sign can be seen to Castle Rock, one of Stephen King’s trademark fictional towns (alongside Derry). Any fan of King knows that all of his work seems to be interlinked via a complex threadwork of connections, shared appearances and characters (not least of which his frankly SUPERB Dark Tower series). So how’s that for a cool link, people? This horror universe is also home to the master of modern horror's nightmarish creations!

Of course, King’s work has already provided links to other creations. In smash TV show Lost a parachute is seen emblazoned with the logo of Nozz-A-La, a fictional brand of soda from The Dark Tower series. JJ Abrams, Lost’s creator, is known for tying in links between his works. The fictional brand Slusho appears in a number of Abram’s works: Alias, Cloverfield, Fringe, Super 8, his Star Trek reboot and even in the TV show Heroes! The Lost character Charlie’s band, Driveshaft, can be heard playing their hit song ‘You All Everybody’ at a birthday party in Alias; the logo for Lost’s mysterious Dharma Initiative is viewed on the screen in Cloverfield. Furthermore, Oceanic Airlines, the airline of Lost’s crashed plane makes an appearance in a number of programmes, including Abram’s own Fringe (the specific flight 815 is name-checked in Chuck while the airline is also referenced in the film Executive Decision, Joss Whedon’s comic book season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even the computer game Dead Island. However, I am not going to open this list up to games, as it will become never ending! I’ll just give honorable mentions to the two Saw games which actually help to fill in some plot gaps and perfectly complement the films and the fact that a certain Freddy Krueger has appeared as a downloadable player in the Mortal Kombat series). A superb horror/sci fi hybrid, Fringe boasts links to two of its greatest predecessors.
One of the very coolest occurs in the episode ‘Firefly’ Walter is seen wearing a pair of very distinctive sunglasses. When asked about them, he replies: ‘They were sent to me by a Dr. Jacoby from Washington State.'
The classic series Twin Peaks took place in the town of Twin Peaks, Washington. The town’s resident psychiatrist Dr Lawrence Jacoby wore these very same glasses. It appears the two were once in correspondence!

And in the season 2 episode ‘New Day In An Old Town’ Senator Schell tells head of Fringe Division Chief Broyles that ‘The old X designation, and your Fringe investigations, have been indulgences in the Federal budget for over half a century’. A Federal investigation team dealing with paranormal and unusual cases? With the X designation? Who ever could they mean?
Of course, this is a none-to subtle reference to The X Files. The X Files itself was linked to multiple other shows, most notably spinoff The Lone Gunmen and LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN’s Millennium. The character of Jose Chung appears in both series while LFH’s Frank Black took a decent guest appearance in the X Files episode Millennium.
Coincidentally, online rumours persist that photos of Laura Palmer, the murder victim who sparked the events of Twin Peaks, have appeared in The X Files (most notably on Mulder’s noteboard in the Pilot). I’ve never been able to spot them, but if any of you do, let me know!

Anyway, enough of this distraction let’s head back to Jason Goes To Hell, where a key plot point sees Duke present Jessica with a mystical dagger to finally kill Jason. This dagger was the same Kandarian dagger that put in an appearance in The Evil Dead II.
As a neat aside, I’d like to point out that outside the Voorhees house we see a rickety old climbing frame. This is the same frame from the Alfred Hitchcock classic, The Birds.

At this point I need to take a little break to tell you guys I LOVE THIS SHIT.

Ahem, anyway, moving on, while this world of brilliance may already seem crazily busy, we have a couple more cool connections. One you probably already know, the other, well, it’s a little subtler.
You see, after Jessica kicks Steve out of the car Sheriff Landis asks where about on Lake Road she did it. Her reply? ‘I don’t know, out past the Myers’ place.’
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, I’m sure you all know that the psychotic Michael Myers was the villain in the Halloween films. While Camp Crystal Lake clearly isn't in Haddonfield, Illinois (the setting of Myers’ Halloween rampages) perhaps Mikey has family in Mr Voorhees old stamping ground?
The final (and most obvious) connection to another horror film takes place in the final moments of the film. While Jason’s mask lies discarded on the ground, a hand bursts through the dirt and snatches it before dragging it down to hell. This hand is wearing an all too familiar glove with knife blade claws.

In much the same way that an Alien xenomorph’s skull hanging on display onboard a Predator spacecraft in Predator II leads to Alien vs Predator, from this scene the surprisingly great Freddy vs Jason was born.

Now the Alien and Predator series are huge kings of the crossover. First off the numerous comic book match ups — including 2000A.D’s Judge Dredd and DC heroes such as Batman and Superman — open up a huge world of cross overs including Image Comics’ Spawn, rivals Marvel and tonnes more! 

Perhaps the most exciting of these though, is the link to the works of Joss Whedon. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, Angel featured a demonic law firm by the name of Wolfram and Hart. During a corporate video shown on the episode Harm’s Way it is revealed that Wolfram and Hart have a number of large corporate clients. Listed among these are Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems, first mentioned in the Thomas Pynchon’s novel V, then referenced again in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. Another company listed with ties to Wolfram and Hart is Weyland-Yutani. That’s right, the self same company that sent the Nostromo into space in Alien and went looking for the crashed ship on LV-426 in Aliens. The company founded by Peter Weyland as seen in the upcoming Prometheus.
HOLY CRAP, right?
But it doesn’t stop there. Whedon’s work continues to embrace this connection. In the pilot of the criminally short-lived sci fi show Firefly, Captain Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds uses a UA 57-D Ground Sentry (an anti-aircraft cannon emplacement) at the Battle of Serenity Valley. When the gun’s HUD is displayed onscreen we are clearly shown the corporate logo of Weyland-Yutani. The Company created the cannon. BOOM!

Yet Joss Whedon toys with us and horror continuity even more. This is some thing we shall return to later.

Anyway, back to F vs J, and if ever there was evidence that these films are taking place in the same world, a film in which two of the most popular antagonists in horror go head to head is the greatest example.

Seeing Voorhees and Krueger face off was a dream come true for many horror fans... and things nearly got so much better.

After the film proved to be a tremendous financial success, writers went to work on ideas for a sequel. This sequel? Freddy vs Jason vs Ash.


BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE CAMPBELL's character from the Evil Dead series.

Things even got so far that a treatment was drawn up, describing exactly what would happen in this horror mega mash up. A quick look online will probably turn it up in just a few seconds. I'll wait here while you do.

Back? Good.
Unfortunately the film was never made, but this treatment was adapted into a comic series and even spawned a sequel. It was pretty good fun too!

Of course, this isn’t the first horror property to head to the pages of funny books. Voorhees, Krueger, Ash and Myers have all had their own individual efforts, but some familiar faces join them. One more big name bad guy to feature in comics would be the Goodguy doll formerly known as Charles Lee Ray. That’s right, Child's Play's Chucky.
As well as featuring in his own limited series, Chucky also guested in probably THE greatest horror comic out there, Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it features Cassie Hack, a girl who was forced to kill her own psycho mother, the ghoulish Lunch Lady, and her hulking partner Vlad. These two tough as hell heroes travel from town to town taking on and vanquishing Slashers, the undead and seemingly invincible villains that all too often stalk the screens in horror films. The series is excellent and features it’s own links to other horror icons. As well as Chucky, Cassie and Vlad have thrown down with another horror comic star, Edgar Dill from the short-lived Fangoria Comic's BUMP. In terms of silver screen villains, the dynamic duo have also crossed swords with the Hatchet films’ Victor Crowley and, perhaps even more exciting, Dr Herbert West from the Re-Animator series (as an aside, West also battled the Evil Dead’s Ash in Army of Darkness vs Re-Animator while Ash has found himself battling undead superheroes in the Marvel Zombies series).
Of course, if comics aren’t your thing, Chucky also has onscreen links to more of his contemporaries. These all occur during his fourth outing, Bride of Chucky.

This mainly comes down to one key scene at the beginning of the film. In the police evidence storeroom that holds Chucky’s remains, we are also treated to a number of key distinctive props: Jason Voorhees’ hockey mask can be seen alongside Freddy Krueger’s trademark glove. Elsewhere you can spot a huge chainsaw, the killing weapon of choice of Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and a customised white William Shatner mask... as worn by Halloween’s Michael Myers.
As if this treasure trove of links wasn’t enough, after brutally slaying one victim with a nailgun, Chucky looks at the corpse and asks out loud: ‘Why does that look so familiar?’ With his head pierced by multiple nails, John Ritter’s victim bears a striking resemblance to the lead Cenobite from the Hellraiser films, Pinhead.
The implication here is clearly that Chucky has seen Pinhead before. Perhaps Charles Lee Ray's soul received some personal attention from the Cenobites in the underworld? (Coincidentally, an earlier draft of the script for Freddy vs Jason saw the two horror villains dragged down to Hell where they still attempted to continue their battle... right up until a number of hooks and chains drag them apart and Pinhead steps between them to ask: ‘Gentlemen, what seems to be the problem?’)

But Bride of Chucky isn’t the only film to write itself into the big boys’ league. Perhaps the most awesome and comprehensive young pretender to do this would be Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. If you haven’t seen it, WATCH THIS FILM!
A kickass deconstruction of the slasher genre, the film follows a documentary crew as they film the title character Leslie Vernon as he plans his rampage to join the ranks of his idols: Myers, Voorhees et al.
The film takes place in a world where these horror film monsters are real and gives us plenty of links to prove it. These include (but aren’t limited to): Leslie standing outside the Rabbit in Red Lounge — in the original Halloween when Dr Loomis travels to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium with Marion Chambers, she lights her cigarettes with matches from the Rabbit in Red Lounge (In Rob Zombie’s remake the bar is revealed to be a strip joint where Michael’s mother Deborah worked. Quite what this says about Nurse Chambers is entirely up to you to decide…); in her documentary, Taylor name checks Haddonfield, Illinois; 1428 Elm Street (Nancy’s address), Springwood and Crystal Lake; the Lament Configuration (Lemarchand’s puzzle box from Hellraiser) can be seen in Leslie’s mentor, Eugene’s house; in fact Eugene’s car is a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 — the same car used in the Evil Dead and all the rest of Sam Raimi’s films; when Leslie is stalking his prey outside the school the three Elm Street skipping girls can be seen in the background; a bottle of ‘Stay Awake’, the medicine from A Nightmare on Elm Street can be seen in Leslie’s home; Leslie’s pet turtles Church and Zowie are an allusion to two of the pets in the Pet Sematary films; and in a deleted scene from the film Leslie mentions that he has ‘spent some time in Texas, helping a friend kind of reinvent his thing’ — this is a reference to the remake of Texas Chain Saw Massacre (the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, see what they did there?) and suggests that Leslie and Leatherface are friends.

Phew, let’s take a breath while you take all of that in.

Back? Good, because it doesn’t end there! In Hatchet 2, one of Reverend Zombie’s hunting party reveals that his hometown had it’s own psycho killer, much like their intended target, Victor Crowley. This killer’s name?
Leslie Vernon.


But that’s not the only connection in Hatchet 2. For those of you who haven’t seen Green’s Frozen, the film about a group of friends who become stranded on a ski lift, look away now…
SPOILERS: Parker, the sole survivor of Frozen is shown recounting her ordeal on a news programme on the TV in the background.

Of course Green isn’t the only director to deliberately link his films. With interconnectivity and crossovers in everything from Charles Band’s numerous Full Moon titles, including Puppet Master, Doll Man and Demonic Toys, to ‘Bloody’ Bill Pon’s Dollboy and Circus of the Dead sharing characters, this is a very common practice. A quick link can be spotted between the Saw series and writer and director Leigh Whannell and James Wan’s Dead Silence. In the theatre that the terrifying, tongue-stealing witch Mary Shaw made her home, Billy, Jigsaw’s creepy ventriloquist’s dummy is quite clearly shown nestled among Shaw’s collection of puppets.

Furthermore Billy the puppet’s face can be seen in graffiti on a wall in Wan’s Death Sentence, while in the creepy Insidious Billy can be seen drawn on a blackboard in Josh’s classroom. Insidious also depicts a certain mask used to travel into the dream world… this mask is the very same worn by the title character in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic series. Now, if we’re allowing the comic connections, Sandman has links to Hellblazer’s John Constantine and Swamp Thing. Of course Swamp Thing has his ties to the Justice League, who, featuring Batman and Superman can now link us back to the Alien/Predator world and their link to Joss Whedon’s work.
A-ha, THAT man again. And don’t worry, I hadn’t forgot. Soooo… this is where I’m going to discuss some spoilers to his recent Cabin In The Woods.
If you haven’t seen this film look away! You do NOT want it spoiled.
Still here?
Sure you’ve seen it and are ready for the discussion to come?
On your head be it…

SPOILERS: the main plot of The Cabin In The Woods follows a worldwide conspiracy in which all major and common horror stories are part of an elaborate conspiracy to pacify Lovecraftian (him again!) Ancient Gods and prevent them from destroying our world.
The climax of the film features all manner of hideous horror filmesque bad guys running amok. Among these you can see a Reaver, the insane space wildmen from Whedon’s own Firefly… bringing this film into that world too.

Now this is all well and good and under this framework you could argue that ALL the other horror films tie into it.
But that’s not enough for you? ‘None of the actual horror villains are mentioned!’ I hear you cry!
WRONG. The employees of the mysterious conspiracy take bets on what form the sacrifice will take each year. As part of this pool all the creatures’ names are jotted down on a whiteboard.

Among the Vampires, Merman and Dolls there are a couple of other interesting names… Angry Molesting Tree and (even more specific) Deadites.
The very same name given to the possessed villains of the Evil Dead.

The same Evil Dead that boast BRUUUUUUCE CAMPBELL’s Ash character, plus the Necronomicon I mentioned that made a guest appearance all the way back at the beginning of this piece in Jason Goes To Hell.
So that’s just about EVERYTHING drawn together. Thank you, thank you very much.

Before I wrap up, I’d just like to point out one more connection. Not a link, so much as a crazy paradox. In the first Scream, Randy’s character is clearly seen to be watching Halloween on TV. In the world of Scream, Halloween is fiction… yet in the Halloween sequel H2O, the characters are shown watching Scream 2. So Scream is fiction in the world of Halloween? But events in Halloween are commented on in the previous film? Or maybe both worlds are viewing each other through the TV screen!


Anyway, of course with the links I’ve listed it’s entirely possible to dismiss some or even find a few that I have undoubtedly missed. The ongoing continuity of such epic, ongoing stories is BOUND to cause problems trying to balance each timeline.
But that’s the fun of these films. Of course they don’t exist in an actual, physical universe. Their home is the imagination of the people that create them and the people that love the genre: us, the fans.

So what do you think? Have I missed anything obvious? Reached a little too far with some? Drop a comment or two and I’ll update this regularly.
If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Friday, 18 May 2012



Dir: Stan Winston
Starring: LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN, George ‘Buck’ Flower and NOBODY else of any consequence whatsoever

This film is one of my all time guilty pleasures. It’s got a cool, Deep South feel, an awesome monster, a nice little morality tale and LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN.

SUMMARY: Back in the 50s a kid who will grow to be LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN witnesses two guys get savaged by some massive, evil demon thing while his mum and dad are all “This don’t not be our business nor nuthin’ thar, boy.” This is because they are rednecks, not retarded.
Fast forward to the present day (well, the 80s, check out those hairstyles!!!! YEAH! Bring back the mullet-fro, that look was AWESOME) and LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN is all grown up and owns a grocery store in the middle of nowhere. He lives with his son who is the spitting image of the Milky Bar Kid. Seriously. They also have a dog called Gypsy. Traveller was probably too much of a mouthful.
When we first see LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN it’s ace because he’s got a flamethrower and is topless and sucking his gut in, with a look on his face that says: “Ladies, I know your boyfriend forced you into watching this, so to thank you for your patience, check out LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN’s FUCKING ABS. Grrrrrrr.”
You can tell LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN and the Milky Bar Kid love each other because young Milky gives him a really shitty clay necklace thing that he made. LFH is all “Oh wow, thanks, I’ll never take this off… um, now let’s go to work and NEVER speak of this again.”
They head down the road to his shop, which is conveniently placed by the side of the road to catch the trade of any city folk on their way to places that no city folk would ever really want to go to. LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN is a genius.
After a while a pair of cars full of city fodder teenagers arrive on their way to some cabin in the woods that no real teenagers would ever really want to go to. There are six of them but only one has any personality. He’s called Joel and I’m guessing the only character notes on his script read: “JOEL IS A COMPLETE COCKHOLE.” He proves this by taking the piss out of the Milky Bar Kid’s glasses.
The rest of the teens say some stuff and one may be COMPLETE COCKHOLE’s brother or something, but seriously, they’re so bland they might as well have arrived wearing body bags.
At this point a group of really grotty rednecks arrives. To show how poor and southern they are, half of them appear to be wearing potato sacks with holes cut in for the arms and head. Not as cool as my body bag idea, but hey ho.
The patriarch of this bunch is George ‘Buck’ Flower. Flower and LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN on screen together? My pants just shit themselves!!!!!
As the fodder teens gawp at the amusing poor people the Sack Cloth Kids chant a creepy poem about Pumpkinhead. At this point I realise my life is so much richer for this film.
It seems that while LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN has an astute business mind and the chiselled physique of a weatherworn Adonis, he’s shit at remembering things like what his customers want. So after George ‘Buck’ Flower reminds him that he needs his stuff, LFH says he’ll deliver it later. George heads off home with the Sack Cloth Kids and LFH asks the Milky Bar Kid to mind the store while he gets George’s shit.
As this happens COMPLETE COCKHOLE decides to start riding his dirtbike around outside the shop and talks one of the fodder into joining him.
In a completely unexpected turn of events Gypsy runs in front of the bikes, the Milky Bar Kid runs after her and COMPLETE COCKHOLE hits him with his bike. Unfortunately the Milky Bar Kid is not strong and tough enough to survive this.
Then just to compound what a COMPLETE COCKHOLE he is, Joel runs away and tells the fodder they can’t call for help. The others seem nice enough but they’re all so wet nobody calls him on this. So a couple of them stay there with the boy until LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN comes home while the others head to the cabin. I reckon killing a little boy would ruin a holiday even more than if it kept raining. Probably.
LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN comes back, and this is good because he’s the best actor in this film by a country mile. He sees the Milky Bar Kid all dead and stuff and LOSES HIS SHIT. One of the fodder tries to say “Sorry, it was an accident” but LFH gives him a BRILLIANT look of DEATH. This is only the second best face in the film though.
LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN’s look of DEATH was just the beginning though. From here he chucks the Milky Bar Kid’s corpse in his truck and drives to see George ‘Buck’ Flower and the Sack Cloth Kids in their hut in the middle of nowhere. He isn’t just dropping off George’s shopping though (although he does remember it this time — SEE, EVEN AFTER SUFFERING A PERSONAL BEREAVEMENT HE KEEPS HIS SHIT TOGETHER? LFH RULES!), no, he wants directions to an old woman’s house.
For a while I panicked that maybe LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN had decided to deliver meals on wheels to work through his grief, then he clears that up by saying she has ‘powers’. Whoo hoo hoo, YEAH!
George ‘Buck’ Flowers may only have four teeth, a tramp beard and a shack full of kids who will undoubtedly all end up marrying each other, but EVEN he thinks this is a bad idea. Luckily one of the grasping little gormless kids is greedy enough to fuck his advice off and offer to show LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN where she lives himself.
Cue: THE SCARIEST LITTLE SWAMP SHACK IN HISTORY. YESSSSSS! I correct myself, NOW is the moment where I realise my life is so much richer for this film.
LFH slowly walks inside the dingy, cobwebbed, candlelit shack as all manner of creepy crawlies and odd beasties appear on screen to remind you that SHIT JUST GOT REAL. He walks inside (carrying the Milky Bar Kid’s corpse) and sees, illuminated only by flickering flames, a venomous old crone, wizened to the point of appearing deathly.
Called Haggis.




It’s a shame, because the character Haggis is fantastic, a nightmarish old witch who just exudes menace. She may be old and decrepit, but she’s survived out in the middle of this swamp for all these years. She knows her shit. LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN looks suitably awestruck. I do not blame him, this bitch is BAD NEWS.
At this point the film really hits its stride. After assuring LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN that while she’s a fucking badass black magic ninja bitch from hell, even SHE can’t bring back the dead, Neeps and Tatties offers LFH a different deal — Vengeance. And by golly he takes it.
If the film hadn’t veered far enough into some kind of twisted dark fairy tale by Stephen King, Sporran sends LFH out into the woods with a shovel and tells him to dig up a particular grave. LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN is still pretty pissed off that he won’t get any more free Milky Bars, so he does it. The pumpkin patch graveyard he discovers is BRILLIANT. If EVER somewhere would be the unholy resting place of the demonic embodiment of vengeance, it’s here.
Also pretty handy for Halloween, I reckon.
So LFH digs up a maggoty, weird giant foetus thing and carries it back to Bagpipes’ shack.
Here Kilt does a seriously evil spell. You can tell it’s evil because a) she takes blood from LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN and the Milky Bar Kid; b) the lighting suddenly goes REALLY red and c) LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN faints. If LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN can’t handle this shit, NATO just went to Red Alert.
Then, in a really cool sequence, the weird maggoty foetus thing grows and transforms into the badass, uber-monster from the beginning of the film. As Stan Winston was a special effects guy who chose this film as his first directorial effort, the monster looks awesome.
Pretty much as soon as Pumpkinhead is revealed, he hares off out the door and after COMPLETE COCKHOLE and the Fodder Crew. So far so good right? I mean LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN had to do a bit of digging but we’ve already seen that godlike physique, haven’t we ladies? That’s no sweat for LFH.
But LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN didn’t know about the TRUE price of summoning Pumpkinhead. Even though Kestrel Lager mentioned it about a hundred times before the summoning. Sometimes LFH needs to read the small print. Or actually listen to what the terrifying old witch crone is telling him.
Anyway, as the demon mercilessly torments and picks off the teens, LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN receives psychic flashes of their fates, forced to share their suffering… and there is even worse yet to come.

Now I’m not going to spoil the whole film here (but I will mention my favourite scenes involving the abandoned old church and when Pumpkinhead gets face to face with the greedy Sack Cloth Kid late on… BEST. FACE. EVER.) so needless to say shit goes down, people get thrown off things (LOTS), the animatronic guys show off their nifty Pumpkinhead model by making him walk around and do cool things and the whole thing comes to suitably ghoulish conclusion. The final sting involving the Milky Bar Kid’s shitty clay necklace is a work of art too.

It’s just a shame they fucking called her Haggis.


STAN WINSTON was a special effects genius. He did some of the very best practical effects. The Terminator series, Aliens, the Predator films, Jurassic Park, Iron Man… seriously, the dude was a GOD. May he rest in peace, he made a damn fine contribution to my formative years.

LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN is in loads of brilliant things. He’s Bishop in Aliens, a cop in Terminator, he played the lead role, Frank Black, in the TV series Millennium and is mayor of Awesome Town. If I were to make a new version of The Dirty Dozen, LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN would probably be at least two of them.

George ‘Buck’ Flower is one of those character actors who have been in more 80s films than you realise. He usually played a wino and is ace. Examples of his work include Back To The Future, They Live!, The Fog, Escape From New York and on and on. He’s alright!

John D’Aquino played Joel the COMPLETE COCKHOLE. He’s been in tonnes of shitty TV series. This is still a lot more than all the rest of the cast of this film managed.

‘WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT THING?’ Pumpkinhead is a demon. Notably, the embodiment of vengeance. Beautifully designed and brought to life by the effects guys, Pumpkinhead looks kind of like a bigger, more expressive version of the knobblier xenomorphs in Aliens.

Also, Pumpkinhead is a FUCKER. He’s properly sadistic with his victims, prolonging their deaths and even taunting the remaining fodder with his prey. The scene where he holds a seriously injured girl’s face to the window to scare the fodder hiding inside is so bastardly, it’s great.
Furthermore, he seems like he’s having fun with it and is especially contemptuous of faith. He carves a crucifix into the face of one victim, mocking her religious views and goes batshit in the abandoned church, smashing a crucifix to buggery just because he can.
It also appears to know a little bit about motorbikes. Hmmmm.
In terms of deadliness, Pumpkinhead is crazy strong, super resilient to damage and one helluva climber to boot. His only real weakness seems to be… SPOILERS… the psychic link he shares with his summoner. If any harm befalls them, it damages him too. Needless to say, this plays a pretty big role in the resolution of the film.
One last thing of note… SPOILERS… those who summon Pumpkinhead are doomed to become him in death. SO that’s right… in the sequel it would be LANCE FUCKING PUMPKINHEAD taking on the world.
Game over, man! GAME OVER!!!!!
PS It’s also A THING (see DIALOL)

BODY COUNT: 11 (6 to Pumpkinhead)

CREATIVE CARNAGE: Pumpkinhead is a FUCKER, so there’s a surprisingly tasty amount to choose from. The best, perhaps unsurprisingly, is when COMPLETE COCKHOLE finally gets his comeuppance. A broken arm, then a broken leg, then impaled through the gut with a shotgun, then lifted up bodily into the air while skewered on said shotgun and finally sliding down the barrel while Pumpkinhead sniggers at him. That’s the only way to describe what he does! He’s like a big, grey bastard Muttley.

CLICHÉ CHECKLIST: AAAAARGH! A SCARECROW!, I’M SO SCARED MY LEGS DON’T WORK!, LOCAL HARBINGER OF DOOM! (although this one is at least decent enough to not say “Y’all gonna die up in them thar hills, y’all.” Instead he stares at them. WITH A BEARD!) CHARACTER’S CREEPY POEM INTRODUCTION, ‘Are you man enough?’, NUMEROUS ‘Goddamn you!’s, FOG = EVIL!, ‘This is all I got’, ‘Oh, you’ll know… you’ll know!’, AAAAARGH! A BIRD!, THIS PLACE WOULD LOOK JUST SWELL WITH SOME BONE DECORATIONS!, ‘Now it begins!’, ‘We’ve gotta get the hell outta here!’ (only one! BOOOOOO!), PETS CAN SENSE EVIL (more than once!), IT’S A HOLY PLACE — IT MUST BE SAFE, OMINOUS THUNDER AND LIGHTNING (pretty much EVERY time Pumpkinhead turns up), FLAMETHROWERS ARE COOL!

DIALOL: Just about everything that Haggis says should go here.
Even the way she says LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN’s character’s name — ‘Eeeeeed Harrrr-leh’. I can only assume this is why they don’t just call him LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN.
COMPLETE COCKHOLE: ‘If you want to stay here and play with the vegetables, that’s fine with me’ (to the others as they talk to the Milky Bar Kid)
George ‘Buck’ Flowers: ‘She can’t help him, all she can do is take you straight to Hell!”
Haggis: ‘What you ask for got a powerful price…’
Haggis: ‘There’s an old graveyard way back in them woods. Mountainfolk used to bury kin in there — kin they’s ashamed of’
Haggis: ‘For each of man’s evils a special demon exists. You’re looking at Vengeance — cruel, devious, pure-as-venom Vengeance.’
LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN: ‘God Damn you! God Damn you!’ Haggis: ‘He already has, son. He already has.’
COMPLETE FUCKING COCKHOLE: ‘It’s got her!’ Fodder: ‘What’s got her?’ COMPLETE FUCKING COCKHOLE: ‘It’s a thing!’ Fodder: ‘What thing, man?’ COMPLETE FUCKING COCKHOLE: ‘I don’t know, IT’S A THING!!!!!!’

10 WORD WRAP UP: LANCE FUCKING HENRIKSEN in Stephen Kingesque redneck vengeance demon classic

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.