Monday, November 13, 2017

31 Days of Horror 2017: Top 10


October 2017 was another glorious month of non-stop blood, death and devils in the annual tradition of 31 Days of Horror, jam-packing as many horror movies into the month as possible. This year I have parsed down the list into a rock solid Top 10, most of which are readily available for streaming or at least renting. As uninspiring as Netflix's movie catalog has seemed recently, they have a surprising number of really effective horror movies in the catalog currently. So as autumn winds down into winter, here are some movies for cold days and long nights.

1. Green Room (2016)

 

This economical horror thriller from director Jeremy Saulnier is best seen without watching the trailer. Knowing little or nothing about the story contributes to its overall effect, which is quite unnerving. It was filmed in and around Portland, OR and it is #1 on this list because there is no bullshit filler here. No contrived heroics, narrative fluff or clunky arcs - just a violent, confidently directed, well-acted story about a punk show gone horribly wrong. Available on Amazon Prime. 

2. Raw (2016) 

I've seen Raw described as an "emotionally driven coming-of-age story," which is a bit funny considering how this movie goes down. That doesn't mean it's not an apt description, but you've probably never experienced a bildungsroman that will make you squirm like this one. This is a strangely sexy, well-paced and ultimately grisly horror movie by French director Julia Ducournau. Best viewed while eating a juicy steak. Available on Netflix.

3. Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan is Korean director Sang-ho Yeon's first live-action movie, and I would make the argument that it is an instant classic of the zombie genre. The story centers on a self-absorbed father and his young daughter, on the train from Seoul to Busan as the country experiences the bloody onset of a zombie outbreak. The premise may sound simple, but this movie shines because of its execution, practical gore, and the emotional heart of the movie which lies in the relationship between father and daughter. Available on Netflix.

4. The Wailing (2016)

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One of the more strange and ambitious movies on this list, The Wailing runs for 156 minutes and combines themes of Korean and Nepalese folk religions, Catholicism, true crim and the occult. Don't be deterred by the 2.5+ hour length - while it is a long movie, it isn't a slow one. It is a quickly paced film in which seemingly every scene presents a new crime or crazy new plot point, and the tone (for the first half at least) switches deftly from humor to dread and back again. Nobody is laughing in the last third of the film however, which really challenges the viewer with its violence, sudden plot turns and heavy symbolism. Available on Netflix.

5. Don't Breathe (2016)

Similar to Green Room, Don't Breathe is another efficient thriller which works best without watching the trailer. There are a couple dark surprises in this tense Michigan-set crime story which was made for $10 million. Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez previously directed 2013's hyper-violent Evil Dead remake, but this movie tones down the gore in exchange for more realistic suspense and a more thoughtfully crafted plot. A truly well-executed horror film which will cleverly subvert your initial expectations. Available on STARZ.

6. The Canal (2014)


 
Filmed in Dublin by Irish filmmaker Ivan Kavanagh, The Canal pulls from numerous inspirations to make a deliberately paced mystery which is part crime thriller, part ghost story and part occult horror - all under an umbrella of pervasive psychological terror. While it begins with a seemingly mundane story of marital discord, the horrific supernatural elements are revealed gradually and in waves, with an emphasis on our unreliable perceptions of reality. Like all movies on this list, best watched in the dark with the volume turned up. Available on Netflix.

7. Under the Shadow (2016)



Set in the immediate aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, Under the Shadow revolves around the life of a mother and daughter in Tehran during the tumultuous Iran-Iraq conflict. It is a film which is by definition a political and cultural study even as it operates as a supernatural horror, the darker aspects of which reveal themselves slowly throughout the second half of the movie. It has been compared to The Babadook for its thoughtful script and sparing effects which illustrate themes of motherhood, childhood fears, and emotional and cultural symbolism. An impressive debut from Iranian filmmaker Babak Anvari. Available on Netflix. 

8. A Dark Song (2016)



Another movie on this list filmed entirely in Dublin, Ireland, shot mostly in a 20-day span in a large country house that forms the base of operations for the two primary characters. This is a deliberately slow-paced film which revels in the details and traumas of its occult ritual, the effects of which come on slowly and menacingly. Its stately pacing and attention to detail are amplified greatly by a tremendous score by Ray Harman. Its climax finally opens up to the violence and horror one might expect, but for this film especially it's not so much about the destination as it is the journey. Available on Netflix. 

9. The Last House on the Left (1972)

 

This 1972 cult classic belongs on this list because of its cultural impact and importance to American horror, but don't mistake this as an outright recommendation. There are few people I would actually recommend this to, considering its overt theme of violent sadism and numerous acts of sexual violence and mutilation. It is the debut film of Hall of Fame horror director Wes Craven, and was actually a modest box office hit despite (or perhaps because of?) being heavily censored and outright banned in some countries. It is an impressive and perverse classic of extreme violence, shot in a mere 21 days by a rookie director, but its audience is limited by its extreme subject matter. Available for rental on FandangoNOW.

10. The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

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Another debut feature, this one from Brooklyn-based director Nicolas Pesce, who was honored with the Official Selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival for the film. This black and white arthouse horror has been called Hitchcockian, albeit with a quiet and disturbing infusion of gore. This story of isolation and loneliness in the remote countryside finds an extra layer of repulsion in the way it tells the story of its heroine - slow pacing, careful editing and a reliance on long, static shots imparts a placid and matter-of-fact tone to its violent and disturbing subject matter. Available on Netflix. 

- Jonathan Ross

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Honeycomb Hideout Episode 48: A Wind Down of Mass Distraction


ALRIGHT, 'COMBIES!! Now, we've reached a point in time in which there's so much unfortunateness and ugliness in our day-to-day lives. I mean, it's everywhere you turn! So, in an attempt to combat this and keep our audience's moods on the upswing, your boys have got you covered with another melee episode! We're busting out our nuclear option to make sure y'all remember that, while things may suck A LOT, they don't have to all the time. So kick back and relax with ya' boys and let's ride this wave of good vibes out togethere!

Download this episode (right click and save)

For the sake of reference, here's Joe's favorite Spider-Man theme (commence the judgement): Spectacular Spider-Man theme
And of course, here we have the ever astonishing Gwendoline Christie: AwesomeStunning, and the Show-stopper!
And then there is, the Marvel Legacy trailer. Maybe you'll get something from it we didn't... LOL

And feel free to hit up your boys on the social media!
Joe: Twitter and Instagram
Drew: Twitter and Instagram
Paul the Engineer: Twitter and Instagram

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Honeycomb Hideout Episode 47: The Million Dollar Mustache



Alright, 'Combies!! Your boys have combed through the news and interesting goings-on before and since San Diego Comic-Con. We've got geek and regular news galore as well as an in-depth breakdown of gender as it exists today. So yeah, we're all over the place in this one too, but don't worry, you won't be disappointed.  ;)  So come on down, break open a cold one and get informed!
Download this episode (right click and save)

The Justice League of Laughs: 12
And the best is saved for last... Whatchu want, Tim Curry?

And feel free to hit up your boys on the social media!
Joe: Twitter and Instagram
Drew: Twitter and Instagram
Paul the Engineer: Twitter and Instagram

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Juda Fist Finally!!!

Hey guys, I just wanted to take the time to let you know I am finally working on Juda Fist: 7 Deaths of the Yobi Issue 1. Here is a sneak peak at some of he layouts and sketches so far.










Stay tuned as I talk more about my process!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Honeycomb Hideout Episode 46: Who's Really Gonna Tell Diana No?


Alright, 'Combies! The boys are giving you another meal-style roller coaster of an episode for you. We talk a bit more about long-standing cases reaching undesirable resolutions and the inherent trends surrounding them (police keep messing up and people in general can't stop sucking in bad ways). BUT! We aren't just talking about depressing stuff (though a lot of it is pretty heavy), we're also going to be reviewing a little piece of awesomeness that defied all expectations. That's right, Wonder Woman came out and get ready to hear our thoughts on it and beware for there be spoilers ahead. So come on down and let's enjoy the ride!

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Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman script: 0.o
And for context to something fun, the full Zeus Meme

And feel free to hit up your boys on the social media!
Joe: Twitter and Instagram
Drew: Twitter and Instagram
Paul the Engineer: Twitter and Instagram

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Honeycomb Hideout Episode 45: Unmoderated Moderation



Alright, 'Combies!! The boys are back again and they've got a pretty interesting topical ascension this time around. They're bringing an  all too necessary discussion of the insanely frequent unarmed shootings of people of color, the ridiculous outrage over the "Women Only" showing of "Wonder Woman" at the Alamo Drafthouse and a long overdue review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. So come on and down and prepare yourself for some real talk this time around, y'all!

For reference to the stories we talked about this episode:
-The Officer fired for not shooting suspect: LINK
-The Men that got mad that Women got to see "Wonder Woman" first: LINK
-Far Cry 5 and its white antagonists: LINK
-Oh and what say you all? Think this belongs on a shirt? "Guys... I think we fucked up."

Download this episode (right click and save)

And feel free to hit up your boys on the social media!
Joe: Twitter and Instagram
Paul the Engineer: Twitter and Instagram

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Honeycomb Hideout Episode 44: The Grinder



Alright, 'Combies! The boys have returned with another melee of sorts as they tackle a full range of topics the in the most difficult and unorganized way possible: through stream of consciousness. Listen to them ramble as they tackle the spectrum of recent pop culture events, recollections of past awesome, hatred of Apple and ask questions like "Why?" and "WTF?". Also, listen as the boys incur the wrath of one with far more authority and power than they. It's all great fun, y'all, so come on down and hear it unfold.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Also, for Drew's favorite Timothy Olyphant's face: The Timothy Oly-Face

And feel free to hit up your boys on the social media!
Joe: Twitter and Instagram
Drew: Twitter and Instagram
Paul the Engineer: Twitter and Instagram