13 Days of Halloween: Day 13 – The Cinefessions Podcast – Episode 08 – The Top 5 Halloween Special


Welcome back to The Cinefessions Podcast! We are topping off the 13 Days of Halloween in the best way we know how: with a new podcast episode! This time, the crew goes over five Top 5 lists, all horror related.

We list our top five horror films, remakes/sequels we want to see, horror performances, sequels, and horror cinefessions (horror movies we have not yet watched). If you like lists, or the horror genre, this episode is for you! Oh, and Chris propositions Kevin Williamson on-air. Yeah, it happens.

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Remember that you can find The Cinefessions Podcast on Stitcher Radio, iTunes, and right here on the website. Be sure to send any comments, questions, or complaints our way as well, via twitter (@cinefessions or @psymin1), email, or the comments section below. Our email address is contact@cinefessions.com. As always, thanks for listening!


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13 Days of Halloween: Day 12.75 – Ashe Collins on The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Return of the Living DeadTitle: The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Director: Dan O’Bannon
Runtime: 91 minutes

I know I’ve said this on twitter, and I’ll repeat it again here: The Return of the Living Dead is one of the best horror-based comedy films out there. It’s not a film you want to take seriously at all. While they definitely take their gore seriously, and the zombie design and effects, the script is most definitely played more as a comedy, and a tie-in to the original Night of the Living Dead, and can work as a sequel provided you don’t follow Night with Dawn or Day and go to this one instead. Think of this as the start of a “What if” scenario, but with a really dark humor twist. By the way, this is, in fact, from the same guy who wrote the original script to Alien (Dan O’Bannon).  Continue reading

13 Days of Halloween: Day 12.5 – Chris Ranson on Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)

Krampus The Christmas DevilTitle: Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
Director: Jason Hull
Runtime: 82 minutes

Sometimes I picture Branden’s face and the look of pure glee that comes across it when he sends me a film like Krampus: The Christmas Devil. Granted, the idea behind it is solid and could have been very entertaining, but looking at the DVD cover, I can’t imagine anyone going “hey, I want to see this”. Judging by the fact that I am now the only person on Letterboxd to view this piece of cinematic fun, I can safely assume the cover has steered many a potential viewer away.

As a small child, Jeremy was kidnapped, tossed in a frozen lake inside a burlap sack, and somehow managed to escape. He’s now a local police officer, and when kids start being taken again, he pieces it all together and believes it’s Krampus, Santa’s brother who handles the naughty side of the Christmas list. Okay, this could have seriously been awesome. Just imagine the possibilities! Having finished the film, I can say that they missed the mark, most likely due to the low budget ($200K), and subpar script. Continue reading

13 Days of Halloween: Day 12 – Chris Ranson on the Halloween Series

A Cinefessions Series Review is a periodic column that sees one or more writers watching and reviewing an entire film series. Cinefessions considers any film franchise that has two or more films a series, and thus available for review in this column. This is a way to get a quick look at an entire collection of films in one column. Today, as a final celebration of our favorite horror film series during the 13 Days of Halloween, Chris revisits the man that terrifies him: Michael Myers and the Halloween series.

It’s that time of year where I like to settle in for the night and watch a scary movie. I have my own personal favorites I try and watch every year, like Scream and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not only that, but I am more of a Friday the 13th fan than an Elm Street or Halloween guy. However, I just had to buy the Halloween Complete Blu-ray Collection from Scream Factory so I could see the much talked about Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. For my viewing pleasure, I made sure to watch every film in the order of release, and to watch and review both versions of Curse of Michael Myers because they feel like two different films. Without further adieu, let the bloodbath commence!

Halloween (1978, dir. John Carpenter)



Halloween isn’t my favorite of the Big Three™. I prefer Jason to Michael, but that doesn’t mean that Halloween isn’t the scarier film. Ever since I was a kid, Michael Myers has scared the living hell out of me. I couldn’t stand seeing his mask anywhere, and it always gave me nightmares. I remember seeing one of the middle films in the theatre with my mom and having to walk out and play The Simpsons arcade game because it scared me that badly. By today’s standards, these films aren’t really that scary, and the “jump scares” don’t exist. Continue reading

13 Days of Halloween: Day 11.5 – Chris Ranson on Tusk (2014)

TuskTitle: Tusk (2014)
Director: Kevin Smith
Runtime: 102 minutes

With Red State, Kevin Smith decided to do things his own way, and try something different and completely out of his realm. He missed a few marks there, and it wasn’t a good film by any means, but it takes gusto for a director of comedies to step out of his comfort zone. So when word came out that he was going to do a full-blown horror film next, I was stoked. Tusk had great buzz from preview screenings, and I was stoked. Hell, even the trailer looked creepy and crazy.

If I tried to label Tusk I would be falling victim to Smith’s obvious joke. The outer shell for Tusk is a horror film through and through. Wallace is the host of “The Not-See Party”, a podcast covering all things crazy on the internet. His best friend, Teddy (played by a moderately chubby Haley Joel Osment), co-hosts with him and they decide Wallace should go to Canada to interview a kid who accidently chopped his leg off while doing a Kill Bill routine. Things don’t go as planned and Wallace finds an ad in a bathroom. He ends up meeting Howard Howe, who has a story to tell him. Too bad Howard wants to turn him into a walrus, the same creature that saved his life years ago. Continue reading

13 Days of Halloween: Day 11 – Chris Ranson on Horns (2014)

HornsTitle: Horns (2014)
Director: Alexandre Aja
Runtime: 120 minutes

I fell in love with Joe Hill’s work after I read his debut novel, Heart Shaped Box (Hill is the son of famed horror novelist Stephen King). Since then, I read all of his books as they release, and constantly tell my Podcast buddies that they have to check this guy out. Hill’s weakest novel is Horns, which means I was not only disappointed when I found out that this was the movie that was being developed, but that the studios actually felt this was a better story to tell than Heart Shaped Box.

Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) wakes up one morning after a night of drinking and finds himself in the woods near where his girlfriend had been murdered. His girlfriend’s murder is a crime that he is being blamed for, but due to a lack of evidence, he’s still a free man. The other weird thing going on is the fact that he suddenly seems to be growing horns. If that isn’t strange enough, he quickly finds out that these horns have given him the ability to make people say what they are truly feeling. Continue reading

13 Days of Halloween: Day 10.5 – Chris Ranson on Ghostquake (2012)

GhostquakeTitle: Ghostquake (2012)
Director: Jeffery Scott Lando
Runtime: 84 minutes

Before Sharknado there was Ghostquake, also known as Haunted High if you caught it on the SyFy channel where it premiered. I was lucky enough to get this DVD in the mail to review, and while I’d heard nothing about it, and went in thinking it was going to be awful, it blew my expectations out of the water.

After an earthquake hits a private school somewhere in New England, the ghost of a previous headmaster shows up and starts slaughtering the faculty and students one by one. Thankfully, the janitor is a demon hunter! The characters are completely one dimensional and just human fodder for our merciless entertainment. Every stereotype is present, from the glee club student who is in love with her teacher, to the rather large and in charge nerd, whom is by far my favorite character because he breaks the expectations I’d have for such a role. Continue reading