Sunday, February 9, 2014

5 Reasons why I Love Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge



Certainly Freddy's Revenge is not one of the best sequels in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, but it by no means is the worst one either.
Given an earlier article on our site where it was listed as one of the worst horror sequels ever made I feel compelled to list off a few of the reasons why I love Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Time and time again Freddy's Revenge gets blasted for being a bad sequel but in fact it has great 80s practical special effects, classic Freddy Krueger lines, and even a scene where Freddy gets a kiss from a pretty girl!  I think Freddy's Revenge is one of those films that Horror fans will overlook any short comings because we love a good cheesy film.  And this movie is just that.  Cheesy in all the best ways.
Freddy's Revenge starts out with Jesse (Mark Patton) and his family move into the former home of Nancy Thompson from the first movie.  It isn't long before Jesse starts having nightmares starring the one and only Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).  Jesse wakes up screaming every morning but his parents just claim he is on drugs.  Freddy makes it clear from the very beginning that he is trying to get Jesse to do his dirty work for him, which is quite different from the first movie where Freddy kills the teens in their dreams.
The Elm Street house becomes very hot for seemingly no reason and things start to melt and burst into flame.   Jesse eventually succumbs to being possessed by Freddy and a killing spree ensues.

The opening dream sequence

The opening dream sequence where Freddy Krueger is driving the bus into the desert is a work of cinematic art for a Horror film.  It is scary and suspenseful and reminds me of the first film more than any other scene in Freddy's Revenge.  Perhaps if Freddy's Revenge had more scenes like this one it wouldn't get so much flack for being a bad sequel.  An homage to the bus scene appears later in a horror anthology called Trick R Treat.

Homoerotic undertones

Freddy's Revenge has been scrutinized in the past by some horror fans claiming that it has homoerotic  undertones.  While I agree certain scenes seem quite obvious in hindsight, like the shower scene with the Coach, I am not completely convinced that the writer or director had that intention during filming.  The supposedly gay bar scene where Jesse runs into his coach looks more like a typical 80s Punk bar rather than a "gay bar" to me (even with the two men kissing).  But what do I know?  Even if all the innuendo was intentional, I think that makes the film more interesting and not just another typical 80s slasher.

Classic Freddy Krueger lines

Freddy's Revenge is full of classic lines like when Freddy says to Jesse... "you've got the body. I've got the brains." Also when Jesse finds the infamous glove, Freddy appears and says... "Go ahead Jesse.  Try it on for size.  Kill for me",   And during the pool scene Freddy opens his arms wide as if for a big hug and says... "You are all my children now".    Freddy is still somewhat serious in this movie and hasn't started spouting off all the corny one liners that will follow in later sequels that the character will be better known for.

The oh so 80s dance sequence

80s movies were full of cheesy dance scenes.  I suppose we have Tom Cruise in Risky Business to thank for that.  Jesse starts unpacking and cleaning his room.  Ofcourse he has to put on the radio and some silly sunglasses and dance like he is stripper for this job.  Even if it is cheesy as hell, I am the first to admit that every time I see this scene it makes me smile!

The pool party scene

Freddy finally lets loose with a killing spree when he shows up uninvited to a pool party.  One guy at the party even tries to tell Freddy to "just calm down and relax".  But Freddy doesn't take his advice.  The pool starts bubble and boil cooking the teens in the pool.  Freddy comes to life in this scene and in the real world he is vulnerable.  It is an unforgettable scene and has one of the best Freddy lines in the whole franchise.
To be perfectly honest, even after listing all my favourite bits of Freddy's Revenge, I still have some reservations with the film.  In every scene that Freddy appears in, it is made perfectly clear that Jesse is the one actually doing all the killing.  But my question is: If Freddy can kill in people's dreams why does he have to possess Jesse in order to kill?  And why in the "real world" does he look like Freddy instead of Jesse to all his victims if they aren't dreaming?  And finally there just isn't enough blood in this sequel.  The first film was brutal with its kills.  Unfortunately Freddy's Revenge just doesn't live up to the original in that respect.  Even with all its flaws, I still enjoy this movie thoroughly every time I see it.  There's no denying it is one of the better sequels in the series.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Truck Review and Interview with Lee Vervoort

Roger and Alice are a young couple in love.  Roger decides to surprise his girlfriend by taking her on a road trip in his classic car.  Not thinking clearly, Roger accidentally tosses a bottle at a passing truck. Unfortunately for Roger the driver is not in a forgiving mood and begins a deadly game of cat and mouse with the young couple.  Now Roger and Alice must fight for their lives.

I am lucky enough to know a very talented filmmaker as a regular on Horror-Movies.ca, Lee Vervoort. In his second independent Horror Movie, The Truck, Lee has decided to take to the road by bringing us a car movie that is set in the 80s. Lee's first film, Gun Town, was a fan favourite at HM.  The Truck stars John Morris and Rachelle Christine as Roger and Alice. And also Tim Emery and Andy Grace as the sheriff and his deputy.

I love a good car movie. Give me a chase scene with a cool classic car and I am a happy girl! The Truck does just that. It is full of old fashioned car chases and a hilarious shoot out. And at a budget of only $6000 it pulls off the look of a much more expensive film. The movie is full of interesting characters that play off each other well and there are several familiar faces returning from Gun Town. My only complaint was that the movie ended way too soon. I would have liked to have seen more key stone cops style hijinks from the sheriff and his deputy.

Lee has graciously agreed to answer some questions about his micro budget horror movie for me. Here is a behind the scenes look at making an independent car/road horror movie and some of the challenges he faced while filming The Truck.

DG- Have you always wanted to do a car movie? What inspired you to make this film?

Lee- Yes I have. I Love car movies. All of the classics like DUEL, The Wraith, Christine, The Car, etc. have always inspired me.

DG- What are the challenges involved in making a road movie? Did you have to get any type of special permission to film on the street?

Lee- There are safety challenges all the time. Everyone must understand what's going on at all times and have a clear head. I made the local Sheriff's dept. aware of what I was doing and most everyone in town knows me, so it wasn't hard to film what we needed.

DG- I loved seeing the classic cars in the film. Can you tell us what make/models they are and if you had to modify them in any way in order to film them?

Lee- The "Truck" is a 1980 Plymouth Trailduster with a 413 big block. The car was a 1970 Ford Fairlane 500 with a 302 V-8. The Camaro was a 1973 Z-28 with an after market 383 "stroker" engine. It was Extremely fast. The Cadillac was my personal car. It's a 1989 Sedan de Ville with a 4.5 liter fuel injected V-8 and front wheel drive. No modifications were needed for driving them, although I had to buy a new carburetor for the truck because the old one kept clogging up.

DG- You make a cameo appearance in The Truck as Captain Leadfoot. Can you tell us more about the character and the racing that he does with Roger?

Lee- Well, Captain Leadfoot was an extra character who's purpose was to appear in a badass muscle car. I wanted that in the movie to raise production value. I couldn't find anyone who has a car that was willing to be in the movie, so when Jimmy came along he said I could go ahead and drive it since he knew me. I went ahead and played the part myself because I wasn't about to let any actor drive a 30,000.00 muscle car.

DG- Roger and Alice are a cute young couple in love. Being married to a car guy myself, I didn't quite get why Alice was so against Roger's passion of car racing. Can you tell us more about their relationship?

Lee- Roger and Alice were the perfect "80's couple" for the film. Alice was more of a girl who wanted to accelerate into a more stable relationship with a solid future. At her stage in life, she didn't mind the racing thing, but it wasn't exactly her cup of tea. Roger being young and wild, wanted to make a career of it.

DG- My favourite characters in the film were the Sheriff and his deputy. They seem to have a great on screen rapport. Are the Actors good friends off the screen as well?

Lee- Yes. Tim Emery and Andy Grace have known each other for years. They naturally gab like that with each other. They are very good friends and work very well together in any type of film or theater project. Andy especially has always had the dream of being in movies, that dream has come true.

DG- The stunts were great. How difficult were the car stunts to film? Did you use any type of special camera or other equipment to film the driving scenes and who did most of the driving?

Lee- The vehicle stunts should have been much more than what they were, but I'm happy with them considering the time/budget we had. There was no special equipment really, other than the home made mount Jim Dougherty constructed for the side of the truck/hood of car shots. It consisted of pvc tubing and suction cups like they use at auto body repair shops. I did most of the hard riving. Chad Fuller and Glen Hecker filled in where needed.

DG- Since I own a classic car myself, I know that they do require some maintenance. Did you have any "technical difficulties" while filming? And if so, who was your mechanic?

Lee- Yes indeed. The Fairlane dropped the pin that held part of the shifter linkage together. I kept putting bolts in it's place to keep filming. They kept falling out, so I replaced them several times. The truck carburetor had to be replaced, so I did that as well. I did the mechanic work and it was all on the spot.

DG- There were some great locations in this movie (like the warehouse). Where did you find a town that was willing to look deserted for a film? And did you have to modify any buildings in order to make it work?

Lee- The locations were awesome, all of them. The abandoned town, Lafayette, Ky. was a ready made set. It's stuck in time with old buildings and such. There was no modifications necessary. All we had to do was block traffic once in a while. Mayor Francis granted us permission to do what we needed. It helped that I have known her for 20 years, lol.

DG- This film looks like it would be a lot of fun to work on. How much did you enjoy creating it and will there be a sequel in the future?


Lee- This film was a blast to work on despite some of the weather we had. I planned for 2 days of bad weather and we had 4. It was fun though. The fact that it was a road horror/vehicle movie made it all worth it. A film like this hasn't been made in a while and we wanted to give the fans something to enjoy, they are the most important reason for everything. Yes, if we do well with this one and acquire the proper funding...there will definitely be a sequel....and it will be 10 times more action packed than this one.



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep Book Review


Have you ever wondered what happened to little Danny Torrence and his mother after the destruction of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining? Well, Stephen King has finally answered that question 35 years later for his fans with his latest novel, Doctor Sleep.  Doctor Sleep is the long awaited sequel to one of King's most popular books, The Shining. One word of caution though... If you have only seen Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining and not read the original novel, there are several differences between the two stories including the ending and some major characters. So be sure to read The Shining before starting Doctor Sleep.

We pick up with a grown up Danny Torrence who is struggling with many demons of his own. Unfortunately for Dan, alcoholism runs in the family. He finds himself fighting the same battle his father lost all those years ago. Dan can not just stop at one or two drinks and this leads him to do some terrible things that he regrets later very much. Some of the ghostly guests from the Overlook Hotel still haunt him, and Dan finds the best way to deal with them is to drink to excess. Stephen King portrays a struggling alcoholic with a realism that only a writer that has experienced it first hand can describe so well. After hitting rock bottom, Dan is able to control his addiction by attending AA meetings regularly and lots of help from friends that support him.

Dan eventually settles down in a small New England town and begins work at a hospice helping dying patients pass on peacefully. He still has the shining but it has dwindled to only a small glow now because the shining decreases with strength as he ages. Dan becomes psychically linked to a young girl in town named Abra. Abra is very young and has the shining as well, only her gift is much stronger than Dan's ever was. She is being terrorized nightly by visions of a horrific death of a young boy with the shining. Abra is able to reach out to Dan for help dealing with the nightmares. They figure out together that there is a troupe of vampiric gypsies called the True Knot that roam the country in search of children with the shining. When they find them, the children suffer a long and agonizing death because the True Knot feeds off the steam created by their suffering. The True Knot has been in existence for hundreds of years and is run by a woman called Rose the Hat. Each True Knot member has a special ability and Rose's ability is to track down children with the shining. Rose the Hat knows about Abra and is coming to get her. It will take everything Danny and Abra have to fight off the ruthless True Knot.

I am sure what you really want to know is whether or not the sequel lives up to the original? That's a hard question to answer because the two books are not really that similar at all. The Shining was a classic ghost story mixed with the story of a man slowly going insane. Whereas, Doctor Sleep is more of a thriller that ends with a showdown between good and evil. After all, Stephen King was a very different person when he wrote The Shining all those years ago. What Doctor Sleep lacks in scares it more than makes up for in suspense. Make no mistake, Doctor Sleep will make a great movie some day filled with complex and unforgettable characters that are begging to be brought to life on the big screen.  It is a must read for any Stephen King fan.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Horror Lovers Challenge (Part 1)

While reading one of my favourite horror blogs to follow called Freddy In Space  , I came across a post about a Horror Lovers Challenge that was originally posted by @Lizzyiztwizted on twitter. Lizzy made up an interesting list of questions that any Horror Fan would enjoy answering.   Considering I am always up for a challenge and because I had a lot of fun reading Freddy in Space's responses, I decided to take the challenge myself!  So here goes nothing...







1-  Scariest Kid Character in a Horror Movie

Salem's Lot- If you have seen Salem's Lot, then you know it is hard to erase the image of little Ralphie Glick floating outside his brothers window.  After Ralphie mysteriously disappears in the woods on the way home one night, he reappears at his brother's window as a "child of the night" floating in mid air.    Danny mistakenly lets his brother in the room and soon turns into a monster also.  




2- Best Sex Scene Murder

The Hunger-  When it comes to best sex scenes in Horror Movies, the Vampire genre wins every time.   Because Vampires use sex appeal to lure their victims, naturally Vamp movies and sex scenes go hand in hand, so of course the best sex scene would be in a Vampire movie!  The Hunger has a couple of sexy scenes that are worth watching, first the shower scene with Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie and later in the movie, another love scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon.  




3- Creepiest Dead Body

Black Sabbath-  This Mario Bava anthology full of classic horror stories and a great performance from Boris Karloff.  The shortest but most memorable story of the three is called The Drop of Water.  A woman with questionable morals decides to steal a ring from a dead woman's body.  Of course things don't turn out very well for her and she is haunted by the woman she stole from.  The final scene of the dead body rising is creepy as hell!




4- A Horror Musical You Enjoy

Rocky Horror Picture Show- Although I really enjoyed Repo the Genetic Opera, I still have to go with my favourite musical of all time: The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I love watching Rocky at home, but the best way to see it is in a packed theatre with a shadow cast.   I was even lucky enough to see it recently with a shadow cast and introduced by none other than Magenta herself, Patricia Quinn.  That was a fun evening!




5- Funniest Horror Movie Character

Shaun of the Dead- This is one of my favourite Horror comedies of all time.  Shaun of the Dead is actually three movies rolled into one:  Romantic comedy, Buddy movie, and Zombie Apocalypse movie.  Some how the combination is an absolute perfect mix of horror and comedy.  "So let's go to the Winchester, have a pint, and wait for this all to blow over. "




6- Favourite Woman in the World of Horror

Ripley-  Now this is a tough one to answer.   There are so many great women in  horror.  In fact we have a whole month to celebrate all the best ladies in the genre.  One of my favourite things about the horror genre is "the final girl"concept.  I love that there is almost always a girl who survives and kills off the bad guy at the end of most slashers.  And who better to represent them all then Ripley, who seriously kicks some alien butt in Aliens.  




7- A Horror Movie You'd Be In

Horror of Dracula- I would give anything to travel back in time and play the part of Mina Holmwood in Horror of Dracula just so Christopher Lee can bite me!  I really should have been born earlier so I could have been a Hammer Glamour girl.  




8- Favourite Alien Related Horror Movie

Alien-  The chest bursting scene in Alien is what lifts this Sci-Fi thriller above all the other alien related movies for me.  Along with John Carpenter's The Thing, it is one of my favourite Sci-Fi movies of all time.  Alien is truly terrifying and plays out like a classic gothic horror movie but in space! 




9- Best Horror TV Series

Buffy the Vampire Slayer- What can I say?  I am a die hard Buffy fan through and through.  I have watched the series at least three times now.  Not to mention the original movie starring Donald Sutherland and Kristy Swanson and the excellent spin off series as well, Angel.  There were so many great episodes in Buffy, but my favourite one has to be Hush.  Hush is by far the scariest episode in the series. 




10- A Serial Killer You Hate

Ed Gein-  I am not really sure with this question, if Lizzy means a fictional serial killer or a real one?  If I had to list a real serial killer, I would have to say Ed Gein.  Ed Gein was such a notoriously evil serial killer that he inspired many Horror Movies including Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre just to name a few.




11- Most Ditzy Horror Character

Zarabeth in Witchboard- Zarabeth is a very ditzy psychic that is called in to help a couple with an evil spirit problem they created when they played around with a friend's Ouija board at a house party.  Witchboard is one of those movies where you start out not really expecting much from it ( it is pretty cheesy after all), but actually end up enjoying it quite a bit.   And it stars a young and very pretty Tawny Kitaen. 




12- Favourite Horror Movie of the Year

The Conjuring- I love it when modern movies are a throw back to classic horror.  The Conjuring was a good old fashioned ghost story.   I am starting to become a fan of James Wan because of it, and am looking forward to seeing what he directs next.  




13- Best Impalement

The Omen- The Impalement scene in The Omen is such a classic horror scene. After Father Brennan tries to warn Robert Thorn about his son, Damon, he ends up being "chased" through a park to a church.   It is almost as if the Devil himself is chasing Father Brennan through the park and the scene ends with a spectacular impalement from a lightning rod.  




14- Killer Who Has the Best Weapon

Freddy Krueger- Freddy wins this contest hands down. Or should I say gloves down?  What other Horror character has such an iconic weapon?  




15- A Horror Love Story

Return of the Living Dead 3- Curt and Julie are young lovers.  After a tragic accident in which Julie dies, Curt desperately tries to reanimate her.   He succeeds in bringing her back, but now she is a soul less zombie.  She feels no pain and is constantly hungry for human flesh.  Even though I enjoyed the Zombie love story Warm Bodies recently, Return of the Living Dead 3 was a much better film.  Maybe because the end was more tragic and not glossed over with a happy ending the way Warm Bodies was.  




That is the end of part 1 of The Horror Lovers Challenge for me.  Please feel free to leave your own answers to the questions in the comments below.  I look forward to reading everyone's lists.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nightmare Castle (1965) Review

Poor innocent Jenny has married a psychopathic Mad Scientist and moved into a castle of nightmares that is haunted by her late sister, Muriel, and her lover, David.  Jenny's new husband, The evil Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith, tortured and then murdered his ex wife and her lover when he finds them making love in the greenhouse.  In a fit of jealousy, Stephen ties the lovers up and then electrocutes and burns them with acid. After they are dead he removes their hearts so that he can cure his own lover, Solange, of a disfiguring disease.

What Stephen does not realize is that his wife's fortune passes onto her sister in the event of her death.  So Stephen then has to court and marry the sister, Jenny, in order to carry on in the lifestyle he has grown accustomed to... A huge castle, his own laboratory, and his now youthful and lovely assistant.  Stephen Brings his new bride home to the castle.  Unfortunately his plans all go out the window when the restless spirits start haunting the very emotionally fragile Jenny. She quickly goes mad from the stress of it all.  
Scream Queen Barbara Steele plays the duo roles of  Muriel and Jenny.  The two characters couldn't be more different,  Muriel is conniving and adulterous, while Jenny is sweetly innocent and mentally unstable. This duality creates a perfect venue to showcase the talent of Ms. Steele.  Barbara Steele is best known for her striking good looks and grace in The Pit and the Pendulum, where she co-starred along side Vincent Price.   Nightmare Castle was directed by Mario Caiano and was originally filmed in Italian but has been dubbed over in English.  The DVD version I own is uncut, but when this film was originally screened in the US, all the best scenes were cut out of it. In fact 20 minutes was cut out from the Italian version because the torture scenes were considered far too risqué for american audiences.


Nightmare Castle and The Whip and the Body are good examples of classic Italian Gothic Horror that pushes the limits of the sensors of the early 60s.  In a lot of ways these movies were way ahead of their times for the torture and sex that is depicted on screen.  The Gothic scenery is beautiful with exquisitely decorated Victorian rooms and the leading ladies are dressed in ruffled and corseted dresses of the time.  The Castle is charming and creepy at the same time, with carnivorous bleeding plants, dark shadowed corners, and cobwebs.  Even though the movie is beautiful to watch, the dialogue and storyline is a little far-fetched at times. 

In the end, Nightmare Castle is a real treat for Gothic Horror Movie lovers that love the scenery and costumes but for those who don't know and love the genre might find it a little slow and tedious.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Conjuring Review


I always love a good ghost story that is based on a true haunting.  The saying goes that the truth is stranger than fiction and this is definitely true in the case of the Perrons.   In The Conjuring, The Perrons, a close family of seven,  Carolyn, Roger and their girls Andrea, Nancy, Christine, Cindy, and April all move into a beautiful farm house in a rural picturesque property by a lake.  They bought the farmhouse at auction and don't know anything about the history of the house.  As soon as they arrive strange things start to happen.  All the clocks stop every night at 3:07 am (The witching hour).  While playing a game of Clap and go seek, one of the girls finds a hidden doorway to the cellar filled with antiques from the previous owners of the house.

April finds a small jack in the box toy hidden in a tree on the property.   The smallest girl, April starts talking to an imaginary friend named Rorry, whom she claims can only be seen through the mirror on the Jack in the box.   Another game of Clap and go seek leads to a strange discovery in an antique armoire in one of the girls rooms.  The Father of the girls is a long haul trucker and has to leave on an extended business trip, of course that's when things start to escalate around the house.  After several sleepless nights in the house,  the family seeks help from professional Paranormal Investigators, Lorraine ( a clairvoyant) and Ed Warren (a Demonologist).  The Warrens are well known in the Paranormal field and come to stay with the family in order to help.  The Warrens tell them that there is a demon attached to the family and they must contact the Vatican for permission for an exorcism.  And in order to get permission they must show proof of the possession.  And so the Warrens and the Perrons set up house to catch a demon by installing cameras and recorders all over the house that only trigger with a sudden drop of temperature.  They are hoping to get a few snapshots of the ghosts or demon.

The Conjurring is a classic ghost story directed by James Wan who also brought us Saw, Insidious, and Dead Silence.  The film pays homage to older ghost movies like The Haunting, The Amityville Horror, The Changeling, Burnt Offerings, and Poltergeist without outright copying any of them.  What makes The Conjuring different is that it focuses not only on the family but the Paranormal investigators.  The film has a slow and deliberate build of tension but is never boring.  There are a few jump scares along the way but for the most part the movie relies on old fashioned scare tactics and practical effects.  This is the type of ghost story that I love.  I always find myself doing research on the real story behind the movie.  Usually Hollywood takes a real story and changes it dramatically to make it scarier, but in this case the real story was just as frightening.  The biggest surprise to me was that the doll named Anabelle is real!   If you don't already have a fear of dolls, you might just develop one after watching this movie.

Now, I am one of those people that have seen so many Horror movies over time, that they no longer scare me.  This is something I truly hate!  The big scare is what drew me into the genre to begin with.  I love the adrenaline rush of a truly scary movie.  Besides jumping a few times, I didn't find The Conjuring very scary at the theatre.  I emphasize the theatre part, because late that night when I went to bed,  I kept imagining or perhaps dreaming that someone or something was trying to grab at my legs!  So those of you that are easily scared may have a few sleepless nights with the lights on after watching The Conjuring.  But, those sleepless nights are what being a Horror Geek are all about, so enjoy the thrill of the scare.



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Five Richard Matheson Movies


One of the greatest American Horror and Sci-Fi authors of all time has passed away at the age of 87.  Richard Matheson wrote some incredibly influential novels such as I am Legend, The Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, Hell House, Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come just to name a few.  Several of his short stories were made into episodes of the Twilight Zone and Rod Serling's Night Gallery such as Nightmare at 20,000 Feet featuring William Shatner In the lead role.


Matheson also wrote some excellent made for TV movies in the 70s including Duel, Kolchak:  The Night Stalker, Kolchak: The Night Strangler, Dead of Night, Dan Curtis' Dracula, and Trilogy of Terror.  Trilogy of Terror was unforgettable with an amazing performance by Karen Black in an anthology of three short stories written by Matheson.  Kolchak went on to inspire a very successful TV series starring Darren McGavin that in turn inspired many modern shows like X-Files and Supernatural.  Matheson has often been compared to Ray Bradbury, another prolific Sci-Fi author,  for his many contributions to classic TV.  Even Stephen King says he was a huge influence on his own writing.

Matheson will be sorely missed in the Horror community but he leaves behind an impressive following.  What a legacy of Horror to leave behind for his fans.  Thank you Mr. Matheson  for all the stories and nightmares, but thanks especially for the dreams that may come.

After going through the extensive list of movies and TV shows that Matheson was involved with, I have come up with an excellent list of movies to try out...

5.  Duel (1971)
Duel is a perfect example of how a simple story with only a few characters can be full of suspense.  The film was directed by Stephen Speilberg and is based on one of Matheson's short stories by the same name.  It stars Dennis Weaver who is on the run from a psychotic Truck driver toying with him on a long road trip.  During the filming of Duel there was only one truck on hand for the shooting of all the scenes, so Speiberg had just one shot to get the final scene right.
duel


4.  The Devil Rides Out  (1968)
The Devil Rides Out is actually based on a 1934 novel by Dennis Wheatley.  The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson for Hammer Studios and was directed by Terence Fisher, one of the best directors employed by Hammer.  The film stars Christopher Lee in one of the few roles where he gets to play the hero instead of the villain and is one of my favourite Hammer Movies  starring Lee.  Lee finds a strange Cult that is worshipping Satan and even manages to manifest the devil himself in a ceremony.  Lee and a group of friends must fight off the evil Mocata before he raises the Devil again for good.
devilridesout



3.  The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Matheson wote the screenplay for Legend of Hell House and is based on a novel of his simply called Hell House.  It stars Roddy McDowall as a psychic medium that is invited back to Hell House in order to provide proof that it is haunted even though he barely escaped with his life on a previous visit.  An out of the ordinary and extremely effective ghost story is the result.  The suspense is slowly built up and you are not really sure what is going on until the surprise ending.
HHLegendofhellhouse



2.  The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
During the sixties Roger Corman and Vincent Price collaborated on several films together based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe.  It became a very successful franchise and attempted to compete with the wildly popular Hammer Horror Studio from Britain.   Matheson wrote the screenplays for several of Roger Corman's well known movies such as House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum, Tales of Terror, and The Raven all starring Vincent Price.  Roger Corman recently tweeted "Richard Matheson was a close friend and the best screen writer I ever worked with.  I always shot his first draft.  I miss him".  Pit and the Pendulum is the second movie from Corman and Matheson, and its a true classic of Gothic Horror.
pitandpendulum



1.  The Last Man on Earth (1964)
There are several movie versions of I am Legend including the recent one starring Will Smith and the 70s version, The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston.  However the closest adaptation of the novel is the original movie starring the one and only Vincent Price.  Not only is it one of Mr. Price's best performances but I think it best depicts the despair and agony that Dr. Morgan feels being the sole survivor of world wide plague of Vampirism. At night Morgan locks himself in his house safely away from the vampires but during the day he ventures out to stake as many vampires as he can and burns their bodies.  Matheson has said that he was inspired by a screening of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi when he was very young for the story of I am Legend.  He said if one Vampire is scary, then what if the entire world were Vampires and you were the only human left?