Surprisingly Good

THEY EXIST: Ten Horror Remakes That Are Actually Really Good

Posted on Oct 18, 2013 in Best of the Best, Lists & Countdowns, Surprisingly Good | 4 comments

I recently revisited a movie that was a remake of a great horror film – and one that has been remade itself. But it is a beloved horror film by fans and regular movie buffs alike. It’s a genuinely terrifying movie, folks. You should see it if you haven’t, but more on it later.

 

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Anyway, this got me thinking about horror remakes and about how while the bulk of them are turds so big and wretched that they are nearly unflushable once looked at, there are actually some remakes out there that are great and even… dare I say it… transcend the originals. Others are merely decent fright flicks in their own right, even if they stray far from the source material. But in this day and age of watered-down tripe, it’s nice to have decency if nothing else.

So today we’re looking at my personal top ten, solid remakes, because there are more of them than we horror fans like to admit. We’re purists. I myself can get on a tall fuckin’ soapbox about how Rob Zombie’s Halloween takes all the mystery, and therefore the horror, away for mighty, mighty Myers. I also tend to hate remakes because I feel that many great horror scripts are sitting in rusting filing cabinets while beloved classics are being poorly remade, needlessly.

As Calvin and Hobbes‘ creator Bill Watterson once put it:

“You can’t really blame people for preferring more of what they already know and like. The trade-off, of course, is that predictability is boring. Repetition is the death of magic.”

 

I agree with Mr. Watterson, but some remakes, albeit few and far between, make us rethink the story they are founded upon, and really use the term re-imagining to its full potential. Those are the diamonds in the re-do ruff I care to discuss with y’all today.

 

Let’s check out my Top Ten Favorite Remakes…

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SHOCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE

Posted on Mar 27, 2013 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Featured, Surprisingly Good | 1 comment

Shock Em DeadMuch like Pat Boone was in 1997, I have been in a metal mood, and recently meeting Lita Ford just turned it up to 11.

Followers of my insane ramblings will surely know by now that I was self-fed a steady audio diet of hair metal as a young teen. That germinated into a death metal phase in my late teens, which then transformed into Nick Cave worship in my twenties. Now that I am in my mid-thirties I find myself drawn back to the music I loved as a thirteen-year-old aspiring vandal. There is something so fantastic about the 80’s hair metal era and the stadium-packing mania that came with it. It was rock n’ roll at its most decadent: filled with sex, drugs and hairspray. It was the most fun music has ever been, and it’s sad to me that the one long suicide note of alternative rock came in and ruined everything by September of 1991.

All we have now are the golden records of yesteryear: the pounding anthems of Def Leppard, the sex-crazed rollercoaster of Motley Crue’s hits, and the untouchable awesomeness juggernaut we call Judas Priest. Sure, we’ve still got our Bullet Boys and Danger Danger cassettes, but now they’re played on the “classic” rock station. But we still have the memories, still have the songs that our wives have helped us convert to MP3s (in my case, anyway), and we still have the occasional B-movie from that bygone era that aptly showcases all the liquid eyeliner, dry ice, and topless babes that made hair metal the rainbow in the dark we so fondly remember.

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FLICKS GET KINDA CRAZY WITH A SPOOKY LITTLE TURD LIKE YOU

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 in All Reviews, Featured, Please Rewind: Revisiting My Youth, Surprisingly Good | 1 comment

tavernofterror.comYesterday I had a day off and a pile of old horror movies to sift through, when it dawned on me that I hadn’t done a Please, Rewind segment in a while. Horror fans that are my age (old) tend to dig nostalgia, and 80’s horror is what made me yearn to start a blog in the first place, so I thought doing a new rewind post would be a good way to kick off a whole new year of Tavern of Terror.

This particular pile of horror movies is a stack of never-been-released-on-DVD treasures I scored during VHSPS’s Black Friday sale. One of these gems was a movie I once owned on regular VHS. It was the year 2000 and all the video stores (remember them?) were jettisoning their VHS tapes to make room for DVDs, which had dominated the market. Former rentals were selling cheap, and when I saw a copy of the late eighties indie shocker Spookies sitting in the dusty bin I knew it was time to dig out some change from my pocket. I enjoyed revisiting that lost video boom turd, but then loaned it to some asshat who never gave it back. Obviously the friendship died and I never reclaimed my copy of Spookies. But now VHSPS has helped me with that tragedy.

Question: what happens when skilled special effects artists slap together a movie without skilled directors, writers or actors involved?

Answer: Spookies.

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FLICKS GET KINDA CRAZY WITH A SPOOKY LITTLE TURD LIKE YOU

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 in All Reviews, Please Rewind: Revisiting My Youth, Surprisingly Good | 0 comments

tavernofterror.comYesterday I had a day off and a pile of old horror movies to sift through, when it dawned on me that I hadn’t done a Please, Rewind segment in a while. Horror fans that are my age (old) tend to dig nostalgia, and 80’s horror is what made me yearn to start a blog in the first place, so I thought doing a new rewind post would be a good way to kick off a whole new year of Tavern of Terror.

This particular pile of horror movies is a stack of never-been-released-on-DVD treasures I scored during VHSPS’s Black Friday sale. One of these gems was a movie I once owned on regular VHS. It was the year 2000 and all the video stores (remember them?) were jettisoning their VHS tapes to make room for DVDs, which had dominated the market. Former rentals were selling cheap, and when I saw a copy of the late eighties indie shocker Spookies sitting in the dusty bin I knew it was time to dig out some change from my pocket. I enjoyed revisiting that lost video boom turd, but then loaned it to some asshat who never gave it back. Obviously the friendship died and I never reclaimed my copy of Spookies. But now VHSPS has helped me with that tragedy.

Question: what happens when skilled special effects artists slap together a movie without skilled directors, writers or actors involved?

Answer: Spookies.

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RETURN OF THE SEXY, SATANIC SEQUEL

Posted on Oct 24, 2012 in All Reviews, Best of the Best, Featured, Surprisingly Good | 5 comments

www.tavernofterror.comBack in the 80’s and 90s, instead of barfing out remakes of horror movies the studios instead flooded the markets with endless sequels.

Not only did horror heavyweights like Jason and Michael get endless (and sometimes yearly) continuations of their slaughter sagas, but even lesser demons like Leprechaun and Wishmaster found themselves traveling to Hawaii, The Hood, and even into space just to have yet another theater-seat-filling romp. Thanks to the old horror sequel train, Chucky got a bride, the Ghoulies went to college, and Pinhead built new cenobites at Radio Shack… all in efforts to keep the party going.

But if one 80’s fright fiend really wanted to keep the killer party going, it would have to be Night of the Demons’ Angela. That bitch really knew how to party.

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Let’s Commit Aerobicide (part 2)

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 in All Reviews, Surprisingly Good | 2 comments

KILLER WORKOUT vs. DEATH SPA (part 2)

Yesterday, I posted the first half of Let's Commit Aerobicide: Killer Workout vs. Death Spa.

As you may remember, I’m reviewing and comparing both films here to help celebrate our friends at Nature’s Market and their I’m Losing It 2012 program. While we enjoy moderate drinking, we at the Tavern are also fitness enthusiasts! We’re so pumped that we’re giving away free movie tickets to Nature’s Market’s Losing It program as one of the prizes in their weekly raffle. If you live in the central Florida area, we encourage you to check it out, drop of few pounds, and maybe get to see The Dark Knight Rises on our dime.

Now let’s get to the splatter-vision showdown. Two workout-themed retro horror movies. Which will prove the victor?

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