SCREAMING AT HALLOWEEN COMICS!

Howdy there, Scream Freaks! Trick ‘r treat, smell our feet, and give us somethin’ good to review! The Halloween season is upon us, and what better way to break it in than with an in depth look at Michael Myers’ stint in the funny books as everyone’s favorite killer shape. 

Yessir, we’ve been mired in Michael’s continuin’ murder spree as a sequential slasher, and what a turbulent history it is. From indie publications to mainstream comic racks, these graphic exploitations are just as controversial to the splintered Halloween continuity as they are gore-tastic reads. We cover the sweet return of some of Halloween’s most popular characters, wince at the sours of some ridiculous retcons, and lap up the amazin’ artwork it’s all told through. 

And if that weren’t ‘nough, we go deep into the talents behind these various publications and the events they were tied to, gloss over each comics’ impact on Halloween’s competin’ timelines, and give our two scents on the newer 2018 requels while throwin’ in stuff ’bout the young adult novels for a bonus. What more could you possibly ask for?!

Phew! After all that work, you’d think we’d be sick and tired of Billy Shatner’s disfigured mug in our faces, but Michael ain’t done with us yet. Thanks to our amigos over at our favorite toy chest of yesteryear and today’s playful plastics, Toy Federation, we’ll be spendin’ this Friday, October 1st, with none other than Tony Moran (aka Michael without his mask at the top of the staircase in the 1978 Halloween), and hostin’ his QnA with fans ‘fore enjoyin’ a late night screenin’ of John Carpenter’s original masterpiece that started it all. Who could ask for a better way to kick off our favorite holiday, right?

It’s gonna be a killer time, so if ya happen to be in the neighborhood, stop on by and catch us all at Camelot Cinemas in Greenville, SC. Find all the details HERE

Other than that, please show your support for our show with donations through Patreon, Buy Me A Coffee, and Ko-fi, catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our video channels, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail comin’. You can also warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV, Sluggo’s The Vortexx, and Mr. Lobo‘s OSI 74!

See ya later, Scream Freaks!

SCREAMING AT ESCAPE ROOM FLICKS!

Howdy there, Scream Freaks! If you’re claustrophobic, hate riddles, or rather gargle glass than solve puzzles, then you probably ain’t a fan of escape room attractions. Seems to be one of the biggest fads of the 21st century so far, and their numbers continue to grow ‘cross the world as more and more yahoos get their kicks payin’ strangers to lock them in a room with clues that will supposedly release them before a set deadline. It doesn’t take a lot to imagine this scenario as a perfect set-up for a horror movie, and plenty of filmmakers have done just that with varyin’ degrees of success. Makes us wonder how this whole craze got started . . .

At first, we thought Saw might have inspired it all with its story ’bout two guys chained in a gloomy basement full of clues that could help them escape. That’s what we instantly thought of, at least, the first time someone explained what an escape room was to us years ago. To our surprise, however, the origin of escape rooms actually stems from video games.

Blindly throwin’ our trust into the fallible resources of wikipedia, seems the concept of an escape room was first conceived ’round the late ’80s with escape-the-room themed computer games. These point and click adventures then blew up in 1993 with the arrival of the CD-ROM Myst games which took the buddin’ sub-genre a major leap forward with fully interactive puzzle solvin’ environments players could immerse themselves in. From what little research we’re willin’ to do, we can’t find any evidence these games influenced Saw‘s story, which the filmmakers claim was actually inspired by their limited resources, but the similarities Saw shares with escape rooms is there. Regardless, we still think Saw had to have partly stirred some folks’ interests in escape rooms as a pastime, and help develop it from TV and computer screens to a live-action experience.

Escape rooms really started catchin’ on toward the late 2000s as small business and megachain corporations alike were exploitin’ this novel attraction. To compete and stand out from other escape room businesses, companies kept tryin’ to up the ante with more interactive puzzles and crazy themes gamers could pretend to escape; prisons, mummy’s tombs, locked down labs with actors playin’ hungry zombies on chains – you get the picture. It was without question escape rooms would eventually become their own sub-genre of horror, remindin’ audiences of booby trapped escape flicks like the Cube trilogy, the Saw series, and maybe even The Collector movies.

With the premier of the newest escape room flick, Escape Room (such an original title ain’t it?), we’d like to share what few escape room horrors we’ve seen up to this point to compare this newest movie to.

ESCAPE ROOM (2017)

If you take all the grit and twists out of SAW, you get this flick ’bout a rich bunch of yahoos celebratin’ a friend’s birthday in a hush hush escape room that turns out to be some sicko’s unfair game of elaborate booby traps. This film looks amazin’ and boasts some creative kills, but there’s a major lack of tension ’til the last half of the movie, and the endin’ falls flatter than street pizza with accusations and/or reveals that go over my skull. Blind trust birthdays, folks guillotined in the vents, complex puzzle solvin’, crushed wrists, acid shower make-out scenes, caged nudies, stabbin’s, and poisonin’s! 3/5!   

NO ESCAPE ROOM (2018)

A travelin’ daddy daughter duo check into a small town’s escape room with other tourists for fun but eventually figure out they’re all stuck in some haunted time travel experiment with a ghost or somethin’ after them that’s never really explained enough. This is one of them frustratin’ kind of Syfy movies that has a lot of promise but ultimately drops the ball with the escalation of danger draggin’ its feet, scenes spinnin’ its wheels with the same ol’ actions, and me not understandin’ the exact nature of who or whatever’s after the players. Not a bad movie, but you may as well watch folks escape those Cube movies for a more satisfyin’ story. Guts full of keys, severed toilet bowl hands, creepy corpses, offscreen creatures, shadow people, hidden clues, haunted houses, time loops, time travel, ventilation crawlin’, blood drippin’, ghosts I think, calls from the future, hangin’s, wet sirens that are really chain entanglin’ gears, A-Ha paintin’s, time trippin’ restrooms, yanked fingernails, and never drink the complimentary tea! 3/5!

ESCAPE ROOM (2019)

Like nearly every other escape room movie I’ve ever seen, a gang of strangers are mysteriously invited to escape six puzzle rooms for money, but learn soon enough the danger is real, and they gotta be smart or be dead before time runs out. The difference between this and all the other Saw inspired knock-offs, however, is this flick has an ass-load of money behind it and elevates the scope and tension of the rooms and their traps like I’ve never seen before, easily makin’ this the best escape room themed flick I’ve seen to date. That said, as wildly creative as the rooms are, the deaths aren’t anythin’ memorable, even with an all-star cast keepin’ you on the edge of your seat with their performances. Oven baked rooms, freezin’ wilderness simulations, explodin’ ice, upside down bars, musical floors, electric shock paddle deaths, gassed infirmaries, bullets to the head, crushin’ walls, ball trippin’ rooms, needle stickin’, fatal freefalls, and stabbin’s! 4/5!

Reads like the same story over and over again, don’t it? Guess somethin’ with this simplistic of a plot can only have so many outcomes, which burdens the actin’ and creativity behind the danger with how successful one of these flicks can be.

Now, as far as we know, of all the escape rooms reported ’round the world, there’s only been one recorded incident that resulted in a death, and that was just a few weeks ago. An escape room in Poland had a gas leak and five 15-year-old girls suffocated in a fire 1/4/2019. While it’s not the work of some psychopath, these deaths still created a shockwave through the escape room community (specifically Poland) regardin’ safety hazards, and several have been shut down after failin’ inspections.

Other than that, be sure to catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our video channels, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail comin’. You can also warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV and Sluggo’s The Vortexx!

For all you fearmakers out there workin’ on your next scary feature, remember to shoot it our way as an entry in our Scream Freak Film Contest! Three winners will be reviewed in our 50th episode and promoted to all the Scream Freaks lookin’ for the next big thing Hollywood’s too scared to capitalize on. The deadline is open ’til we publish our 49th episode!

And remember to deface your calendars for Screaming Soup!’s first official convention appearance at Mad Monster Party Carolina Feb. 22-24 2019 where you can meet and greet the talents behind your favorite animated horror host show for free autographs!

See ya later, Scream Freaks!

 

SCREAMING AT CHRISTMAS HORROR 2018!

Howdy there, Scream Freaks! You know, I hate to admit it, but as fun as it is to watch our traditional holiday horrors this time of year, we’re startin’ to feel a little burned out on them. We still love ’em as much as we ever have, mind ya, like Silent Night Deadly Night, Krampus, and Black Christmas, but it’s just after watchin’ them umpteen times for so many years in a row, we start to lose that enthusiasm for throwin’ them up on the TV ‘less it’s for background noise. That’s why this year, we’re not content to simply watchin’ the same ol’ killer Santas and snowmen. No sir, we’re committed to checkin’ out everythin’ new under the tree this Christmas, and see what’s worth startin’ new couch potato traditions for!

Minus a flick called Anna and the Apocalypse (which isn’t available to us yet), we’re pretty sure we’ve seen all 2018 has to offer this yuletide season and thought we’d share what we found with ya in one sweet list of what we consider the worst to best. Judged on storytellin’, level of fun, and amount of Christmas spirit, here’s what you should avoid and enjoy!

POOKA (2018)

A strugglin’ actor gets a gig makin’ exclusive appearances as the holiday season’s hottest new toy, Pooka, but things get weird when the mascot uniform starts fuckin’ with his head with trippy visions headin’ for a homicidal turn. While this flicks starts off on a promisin’ boot I hoped would be somethin’ ’bout evil corporations ruinin’ young’ns lives like in Halloween III, it quickly detours into one of them pointless artsy metaphor kinda flicks where everythin’s an inconsequential dream in the actor’s head to help him cope/remember/fight to forget what an asshole he is in real life after destroyin’ some folks’ lives. Without more cues regardin’ his real life for a more meaningful comparison, the twist endin’ falls miserably flat and leaves me feelin’ like I wasted my time. The only memorable thin’ you’ll take away from this is Pooka doin’ the dirty between the sheets for a brief second, and a tasteful shot of the actor masterbatin’ in the corner while wearin’ the Pooka mask. 2/5!

HOT SPANKING ROD (2018)

Direct from Krampus’s homeland, this artsy fartsy flick features a gang of cosplayin’ yahoos catchin’ and releasin’ a bunch of dirty mouth beauties for repetitive spankin’s, and that’s ’bout all I can understand among all the weird Euro antics played for laughs. This is actually an 11 part series, but if ya binge it all at once, it’s feature length and will either give ya a good laugh watchin’ ladies try to keep a straight face while wooly boogers whip their bottoms or leave ya at a complete loss for what’s exactly happenin’ story wise. Somethin’ ’bout range shootin’ friends feudin’ over the same ass while the town dances with the very creatures they jeer on Krampus night? I dunno . . . I still can’t figure out why there’s a pumpkin smashin’ muscleman threaded throughout the whole thing! Kidnappin’, women in cages, whippin’, women in trunks, Krampus employed tractor drivers, Krampus dance parties, melodramatic fireworks, repetitive music and sound effects, and poor edits galore! 2/5!

UGLY SWEATER PARTY (2018)

A pair of horny yahoos are duped into attendin’ an ugly sweater party at a jeerful Bible camp, and one of them is wearing an eyesore that’s haunted by the ghost of a serial killer who possesses him to slaughter the doomed Bible thumpers in the name of somethin’ called Sweaterface. A fresh take on Christmas horror that surprises ya with every twist and turn, this is kitchen sink filmmakin’ at its most metal with manic edits, kinetic camerawork, and a shameless ensemble of actors that includes horror hottie hall of famer, Felissa Rose. The only thing that can make this flick better than it already is is developin’ more of the relationships among the characters to give the story arc more trajectory. Bum beatin’s, head crushin’, police brutality, cursed Christmas attire, dick rippin’, blood squirtin’ facials, disgruntled employees, random rock videos, ray guns, head explosions, pub shavin’ in bowls of cereal, minimum Christmas decor, homo showers, ghosts, psychic visions, baptisms, dick props, evil time jumpin’, monstrous sweater transformations, zero boobs, skinny dippin, and Felissa Rose guest stars as a cheatin’ milf! 2/5!

ELVES (2018)

In this Hispanic sequel to The Elf  that openly compares itself to It Follows and Truth or Dare, a gang of yahoos are duped into playin’ some confusin’ game involvin’ a misfit toy Elf who instructs them to hurt folks or suffer their own grisly fate. First and foremost, the posters and descriptions for this sucker are only half true. There is more than one evil elf, but they’re each runnin’ their own separate games with very little cohesion or overlap with the core group of gamers who’d rather split up to finish the movie than stick together. The only thing worse than the convoluted game rules is the elves’ biblical backstory I can’t begin to understand, and that the filmmakers must have chosen to spend their effects budget on Instagram face distortions over killer CGI elf animations like the first movie. Evil whisperin’ elf dolls, gouged eyes, possessed suicides, wrenches to the head, Christmas light strangulation, seances, unknown copies of naughty lists, car wrecks, roofied drinks, random therapy group massacres, slit throats, elf possessions with twisto morph faces, stabbin’s, homicidal home runs, lots poorly hidden lapel mics and battery packs, folks rollin’ ’round the floor while huggin’ elf dolls to their chests, folks beaten with Christmas trees, and unexplained helper elf hench wench assassins with unclear motives! 2/5!

KRAMPUS ORIGINS (2018)

A World War 1 soldier’s spoil of war becomes his wife’s burden as she inherits a spell book for summonin’ Krampus, unleashin’ Christmas carnage at the orphanage she works at when curious young’ns dick ’round with its passages. I’m gonna warn ya right now, there’s barely any Krampus in this sucker! After a snooze worthy hour of Ruin My Lifetime drama with widows, orphans, and nuns, Krampus is FINALLY summoned and seen the last third of the flick, but just barely with most if not all his action happenin’ off screen with only the sudden aftermath of dead bodies cluin’ me in to what happened. This flop has all the ingredients for bein’ a good movie, but it’s soured by its lack of Krampus, energy, Christmas, and the sound quality sucks too. Peepin’ toms, World War 1 battles, shnookered priests, practicin’ alchemists, interdimensional Krampuses, jump cut massacres, incantations, bullies, and mean girls! 2/5! 

CHRISTMAS PRESENCE aka WHY HIDE? (2018)

A convoy of miserable Brits have a intimate Christmas reunion in the middle of bumfuck nowhere and are eventually attacked by a shapeshiftin’ spider ghost. This Shudder original is one of them kind of flicks that has a lot of the right elements for a decent horror, but it fumbles its establishment of the lead character and loses a lot of momentum and holiday appeal as soon as Christmas day arrives midway through. Cool monster, though. Song and dance boo-gers, kidnappin’ spirits, button vomitin’, evil mirror twins, sacrificial rituals, lingerie runways with proud muffin tops, stiffs in the snow, hypnosis, and folks killed with a sofa bed! 2/5!

ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING (2018)

A black box theater presents an anthology of holiday horrors on Christmas, but we’re luckily shown the cinematic interpretations of each short to make it to the take it or leave it endin’. All in all, this ain’t a bad way to spend bein’ scared of Christmas, but there’s not a lot to take away from it since everything’s presented as pure fiction a bunch of yahoos are strugglin’ to sit through. The shorts are creative none the less, but I’ve seen several of them done better when watchin’ YouTube Red’s 12 Deadly Days. Weirdo stares, Rudolph-Vision, tinsel snortin’, out of body experiences, E.T. Christmas guests, Twilight Zone nods, office parties gone Saw, throat slittin’, suicides, cursed vans, clingy demons, Scrooge parodies, roadkill reindeer, dark spirits, booby trap yankee swap, and bullets to the head! 3/5!

MOTHER KRAMPUS 2: SLAY RIDE (2018)

If ya thought ya felt gypped when the first Mother Krampus turned out to really be ’bout the Christmas witch Frau Perchta, you’re gonna be doubly pissed when I tell ya neither she nor Krampus is in this sequel! This Christmas Eve horror features an ax happy mental patient in an altered Michael Myers mask who slaughters an entire family and assumes their granny’s identity. Shortly after, the soup kitchen sends an entertainin’ gang of community service criminals to clean the family’s house and the crazy ol’ loon invites them in for more holiday hackin’. Despite the misleadin’ title, this flick’s got a lot of good ideas and decent enough actin’ to stand as its own flick outside of the Mother Krampus series. The film’s biggest short comin’ is how long the interval between the openin’ and closin’ kills is, almost makin’ me forget this is even a horror film. Eye gougin’ with glass decor, poisoned soup, merry drag queen musicals, axes to the faces and back, stab happy overkill, stiffs in the attic, girls in lingerie, cripple deaths, undercover police operations, bangin’ in the car without nudity, and booger sugar! 3/5!

MS. CLAUS (2018)

In this throwback to formulaic slasher movies that defined the ’80s, some psycho cosplayin’ as Santa’s duller half crashes a sorority’s Christmas party and slaughters guests with yuletide yard decorations. Caught somewhere between low budget and no budget, this is a respectable attempt at a holiday horror that hits all the plot points for a decent scary flick. It’s got tragic backstories, damaged last girls, and, most importantly, a masked killer graphically hackin’ folks to an unexpected twist endin’. Far from a masterpiece, there’s plenty of little things that can be punched up to make this more excitin’ to watch, like the camerawork and lightin’, but it ain’t nothin’ spiked eggnog can’t help ya through. Deep throat candy canes, slumberin’ stabbin’s, mellow yellow hazin’, dildo initiations, pasty boobs, strangulation, skewered lovers, decapitations, fatal gunshots, wacky tobacky, suicidal hangin’s, bullyin’ PSAs, upset mothers on emotional rollercoasters, tree topper eye gougin’, and Brinke Stevens guest stars as Snoopy Tits! 3/5!

SANTA JAWS (2018)

Brace yourself for a nutty mash-up of ideas as a teenage artist accidentally doodles a Christmas shark to life with a magic pen and spends Christmas Eve rescuin’ his friends and family from bein’ eaten by the imaginary killer. Part Cellar Dweller, part Krampus, and all silly shark, this has to be one of the craziest TV shark movies I’ve ever seen. That said, the CGI’s decent, the filmmakers do a good job keepin’ things Christmasy from scene to scene, and there’s a solid story from beginnin’ to end, but the actin’ ain’t convincin’ when it comes to realistic reactions, the rules for Santa Jaws are all over the place, and the family barely has chemistry. Bikini trophy wives, fantasy Russian girls, greedy comic shop owners, explodin’ ornaments, bunch of folks eaten whole, impalements, senseless sacrifices, magic pens, explodin’ turkey dinners, medieval defenses, bitch mamas, fist fightin’ Santa fantasies, mulligan endin’s, and yes, Santa Jaws wears the hat the whole time while wrapped in Christmas lights and even gains a candycane horn and busted ornaments for teeth! 3/5!

SLAY BELLES (2018)

Three bubbly urban explores take their web show to the boonies on Christmas Eve to check out an abandoned Santa Land, but find out it’s the real Santa’s retirement home, and he needs their help stoppin’ a recently escaped Krampus from deliverin’ toothy hairball critters to young’ns ‘cross the world for reasons only he knows. I’ve seen a lot if not EVERY Krampus movie to date, and by far, this is horns and shoulders above the majority of them. The production’s slick and crisp, Krampus’s make-up is amaze-balls, every character from biker Santa to a disenchanted Ms. Claus is engagin’, the story’s fresh and excitin’, and overall, this is just a lot of fun to watch! Slay Belles is the closest thing to my idea of what a Krampus movie should be. The only sour is the dime store lookin’ cop uniforms. Krampus-vision, air-borne slay rides, explosions, decapitations, monstrous transformations, gift wrapped puppet creatures, Christmas magic, cookie addictions, magic staffs, wardrobe change with boobs, disemboweled young’ns, horns through the chest, tasers, and Krampus dong! 5/5!

Other than that, be sure to catch up on all past Screaming Soup! Seasons, check out this week’s Howl’n Hottie, read recent reviews for the newer horror films and comics we’re checkin’ out in our blogs, R-Rated Reviews and Sequential Slime, and help us get the word out about the web’s #1 animated horror host show! Please use our social buttons in the upper right corner of the site and follow our tweets, subscribe to our video channels, like our Facebook, watch and share all our vids, and keep that fan mail comin’. You can also warm up some Screaming Soup! leftovers with reruns currently playin’ on Beta Max TV and Sluggo’s The Vortexx!

For all you fearmakers out there workin’ on your next scary feature, remember to shoot it our way as an entry in our Scream Freak Film Contest! Three winners will be reviewed in our 50th episode and promoted to all the Scream Freaks lookin’ for the next big thing Hollywood’s too scared to capitalize on. The deadline is open ’til we publish our 49th episode!

And remember to deface your calendars for Screaming Soup!’s first official convention appearance at Mad Monster Party Carolina Feb. 22-24 2019 where you can meet and greet the talents behind your favorite animated horror host show for free autographs!

See ya later, Scream Freaks!

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