Sunday, December 29, 2013

McBASTARD'S BEST OF 2013


McBASTARD'S TOP 10 OF 2013
1. MANIAC  - when I found out a remake of the depraved 80's slasher was on the way my first instinct was 'fuck that' but gotta say that this creepy and brutal entry that made my skin crawl, truly excellent.
2. EVIL DEAD  - another remake, wtf. This was brutal and unrelenting and was one of the best theater going experiences I had in 2013, awesome. 
3. THE CONJURING - a first-rate creepy chiller with some genuine scares, another great theater experience, quality haunter that made me jump a few times. 
4. V/H/S/2 - was not a fan of the first V/H/S entry, the sequel amps up the thrills with a bit more creativity and way better execution, loved the doomsday cult segment 'Safe Haven' directed by Timo Tjahanto (The ABCs of Death) and Gareth Huw Evans (The Raid) and Jason Eisner's 'Slumber Party Alien Abduction' was great fun, the wrap-a-around still blows. 
5. JOHN DIES AT THE END - any entry from Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep, Phantasm) is a cause for celebration in my opinion and this acid-tinged slice of surrealism was a blast - give this guy more money Hollywood! 
6. JUG FACE  - a well crafted indie about simple wood folk worshiping a Lovecraftian demon that lives in the bottom of a muddy pit. Thrown in a little incest and you have one of the best surprises of the year. 
7. ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE - Jonathan Levin's shelved slasher
finally gets a region 1 release after sitting in a vault for six years, the aesthetic falls somewhere between The Virgin Suicides and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, a hypnotic slice and dicer.
8. INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 - Seriously, this film and it's predecessor feel like an unofficial remake of the Poltergeist series and I am totally okay with that, poor voice-dubbing aside this was a blast, not perfect but a great theater experience with a fun crowd. 

9. THIS IS THE END - I love this comedy crew and I laughed non-stop, one of the year's best comedies with some fun apocalyptic gags.
10. SIGHTSEERS - Ben Wheatley up to this point was an interesting film maker but I wasn't in love with what I'd seen (Kill List, Down Terrace). This one was different, the humor worked for me and the interactions of this demented murderous couple pleased me to no end, quite a wonderful love story. Looking forward to his new one A Field in England (2013) in the near future, I'm a believer.  


HONORABLE MENTION:
BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO - this one appealed to my arthouse tendencies but didn't wrap up satisfyingly, unfortunately. 
GRABBERS - a fun, drunken romp streaming on Netflix, watch it

When it came to dragging myself to the cinema to support horror in 2013 I fell pretty short of the mark and have not yet watched MAMA, WORLD WAR Z, YOU'RE NEXT, CARRIE, and THE PURGE yet somehow I managed to watch TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (GROAN)...

TOP 10 RE-ISSUES OF 2013 

1. SCREAM FACTORY! - maybe a bit of a cheat, but hands down the bulk of my most anticipated re-issues in 2013 came from Shout! Factory horror imprint Scream Factory and their outstanding slate releases this past year. What a year with four John Carpenter classics in 1080p, Tobe Hooper's space-vamp epic LIFEFORCE and THE FUNHOUSE, Stuart Gordon's gooey classic FROM BEYOND, the camp-slasher classic THE BURNING, Don Coscarelli's PHANTSM II, a fantastic VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION plus bringing TERRORVISION, THE VIDEO DEAD and THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN to Blu-ray for the first time. What a banner year and I've chosen to recognize their body of work over a singular title which would have been just too difficult. What's to come in 2014? Read our preview of Scream factory's 2014 roster HERE
2. ARROW VIDEO: Arrow's Brian DePalma re-issues this past year have been fantastic with awesome new special features from Fiction factory and sweet 1080p presentations. If you love DePalma you need to pick-up DRESSED TO KILL, BLOW OUT and THE FURY - these are must-own editions and there's more to come in 2014 - read about it right HERE
3. THE TELEPHONE BOOK (Vinegar Syndrome) - Vinegar Syndrome's 1080p edition of this kinky slice of art house cinema is gorgeous, an oddball sexpoitation film that's both cute and smutty. 
4. HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN (Mondo Macabro) - Jess Franco's wild-eyed orgy of lurid depravity and lesbian delights starring Euro-cult goddesses Lina Romay, Alice Arno and Tania Busselier plus a sweet transfer, drool. 
5. THE HOT NIGHTS OF LINDA (Severin) - a deeply satisfying slice of 70's voyeuristic sleaze with all the depravity and eroticism you've come to expect from Jess Franco and this Severin Blu-ray is double-stuffed with extras.
6. ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS (Arrow Video) - a gorgeous edition with some fantastic special features, a gut-munching, eye-gouging slice of 1080p from gore-master Lucio Fulci.

7. POSSESSION (Second Sight) -  this video nasty is a taut, paranoid psychological thriller with horrific elements, an uncomfortable watch from start to finish. A phenomenal Blu-ray with some great value-added extras, 
8. STREET TRASH (Synapse) - a true cult classic, this is a nasty slice of 80's splatter-comedythat looks stunningly good in 1080p from Synapse.
9. CORRUPTION (Grindhouse Releasing) - it's Peter Cushing as you've never seen him before in this surgical proto-slasher, a first-rate edition from Grindhouse Releasing, a stunner.

10. MANIAC COP 2 (Blue Underground) - a kick-ass revenger with supernatural elements and brutal deaths plus a fantastic action-slammed finale that's engulfed in flames, a sweet 1080p presentation. 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN (Distribpix)
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (Full Moon Features)
HALLOWEEN (Anchor Bay)
BODY DOUBLE (Twilight Time)

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