Showing posts from 2020
πŸ’€πŸ’€The Age Of Gods And Monsters lives on in the hearts and imaginations of those that wish to keep it alive. Ghoulish Grin Films is a small entity but its heart is on fire with the ghosts of old. It is an entity that cherishes the classics and gives it a modern platform. Long Live Indie Horror! πŸ’€πŸ’€

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Hail The King Of Horror! (Happy Birthday Stephen King!)

I believe it was 1984 (I would've been 8 years old) when I took a glimpse of the film "Cujo," and I was understandably shaken. I'm surprised I even wanted to attempt to return to that story and read the book but years later I did and was greatly entertained. I've quite enjoyed his books and film adaptations ever since.Born on September 21st 1947 in Portland, Maine, King displayed an early interest in horror, as he read some of the great classic horror comics like "Tales From The Crypt" and would later pay homage to those comics in the anthology "Creepshow." Dubbed 'The King Of Horror,' Stephen King has written 60 novels, 200 short stories, and his books and film adaptations have enjoyed great success over the years. Classics like "Carrie," "Salem's Lot," "The Shining," "IT," and "Pet Sematary" are ingrained in pop culture, as are many of his non horror entries like the film adaptat…

Halloween 2020 Cancelled...But The Flame Still Burns

2020 has sure taken its toll on humanity. So maybe reacting to one year of Halloween cancelled is being a bit selfish on my part. But as a major Halloween fan I'm heartbroken. I had held on to hope that out of all the holidays of the year, maybe Halloween would be the one that would be the most adaptable to these times. It has mask wearing. It's out in the open. And candy can be easily wiped down or quarantined. Apparently not so according to health officials. I didn't take into account the weather change to that cold atmosphere that helps spread and the mass congregation of people who either may or may not practice mask wearing or social distancing. The outcomes aren't predictable. The flu season and the current situation we're in don't seem to bode well for the fall and winter. Here in Ventura County, the numbers of cases is going down and there's a cl…

The 50th Anniversary Of PARANOID (An Enduring Metal Legacy)

Back when mainstream record stores were a thing, I purchased a cassette tape (look it up, kids) containing two Black Sabbath albums. One was 1970's PARANOID and the other was 1980's HEAVEN AND HELL, both classic albums from the great granddaddy of heavy metal, Black Sabbath. I was so jazzed, leaving Sam Goody (again, kids...look it up) with a great deal. Two albums from one legendary band that paved the way for my ongoing adventure into the world of heavy metal.I had already heard a handful of songs from the album on classic rock radio (including their two most popular hits "Iron Man" and the title track) and since I loved those tracks I was almost certain I would love the entire thing. And you know what? Sitting through that album was one of the great moments for me as a music lover. With Ozzy's signature wail, Tony Iommi's legendary riffs, Bill Ward's furious drumming, and Geezer Butler's head spinning bass playing, the album not only lived up to my…

A Place Among The Stars (Happy Birthday Hans Zimmer!)

Born on September 12th 1957 in Frankfurt am Main West Germany, Hans Zimmer took a few weeks of piano lessons before he decided he was against the discipline of formal lessons. Mainly self taught thanks to computers, he has integrated classical music with electronic music and has created a sizable and otherworldly sound, thanks to his longtime partnership with the great modern director Christopher Nolan.
His work from the '80's to today range from just about every genre in film. From dramas, comedy, animated, period pieces and genre film. He's created rousing pirate anthems for projects like The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise to soaring superhero epics like "Man Of Steel" and The Dark Knight Trilogy. His scores for Christopher Nolan's original features like "Inception" and "Interstellar" are as sublime as any great piece of movie music.
For all of his amazing work for any and all genre of film, I would like to point out his underrated …

Long Live The Emperor! (Happy Birthday Ian McDiarmid!)

In 1983, when I was seven years old, my uncle took my cousin and I to the movies to see "Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi." That one trip to the movies changed my live, as I became a lifelong Star Wars fan and would joyously pass it on to future generations.
In that film, the mighty Darth Vader emerged from his ship to the dread of his commanders. Later on in the film, in a surprise to a young kid like myself, he kneels to an old man draped in a black cloak. This was my first introduction to the Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine. I loathed the character immediately and cheered greatly when Vader threw him to his (what I originally thought was) death.
Fast forward to 1999, and I would see the character again. This time as Senator Palpatine, a member of the Galactic Senate but hidden in the shadows as Darth Sidious in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace." His character arc would be complete in 2005's "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith."

I Wanna Play A Birthday Game (Happy Birthday Tobin Bell!)

Born on August 6th 1942, the fantastic character actor Tobin Bell started his career as many character actors do...spending years in stand-in and background work. He made appearances in many notable films in the 1980's and '90's, including "Tootsie," "Mississippi Burning," and "Goodfellas."
Mr. Bell also starred in plenty of classic television, including episodes of "Seinfeld," "ER," "NYPD Blue," and "The X Files."
His visibility would be put in the spotlight as he portrayed John Kramer (A.K.A. Jigsaw) in James Wan's bloody 2004 horror classic "Saw."
He would go on to star in the entire SAW franchise, bringing his distinct voice to the big screen, scaring audiences (many times during the Halloween season).
He's made some appearances at conventions, but not much convention activity going on this year. Here's to the potential return of this wonderful modern horror icon as we fans awa…

Always The Master (Happy Birthday Wes Craven)

The late great Wes Craven left us in August of 2015, but his legacy in the genre of horror is so strong that his presence is still felt. That's the power of his films and his filmmaking.
Born on August 2nd, 1939, his first start in the film industry was as a sound editor, and under pseudonyms wrote and edited in the adult film industry.
With this type of creative freedom he made his first horror film, 1972's "The Last House On The Left." With his follow-up "The Hills Have Eyes," he cemented his role as 'horror maven.'
In 1984 he created what would be his signature film "A Nightmare On Elm Street," with his signature film creation...the ghoul of dreams Freddy Krueger.
One of the greatest horror concepts of all time, the monster Freddy Krueger hunted the children of Springwood, Ohio and were urged by their frightened parents to never fall asleep.
To this day Freddy Krueger (and the amazing character actor that played him, Mr. Robert Englund…

"The Mandalorian," "Stranger Things," Nab EMMY Nods!

The 2020 Emmy Award Nominations came out this morning, and with a few regular entries like "The Crown," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," an exciting new entry has just gained recognition...
Disney +'s "The Mandalorian."
Season One of "The Mandalorian" grabs an Outstanding Drama Series nomination!
One of the main reasons millions of streaming fans got the Disney streaming service was for this Star Wars Universe television show. The first for Lucasfilm (aside from cartoon shows and television movies and specials), this magnificent show became an instant classic, created many memes involving the adorable Baby Yoda, and not only expanded the world of Star Wars but brought a few disgruntled fans back into the fold.
Also a win for science fiction fans was the nomination for "Stranger Things."
Not new to The Emmys, this third season was a welcome return to the origina…

Ghoulish Grin Films At Amazon!

Ghoulish Grin Films is now streaming on Amazon with content ranging from classic horror to short films to documentaries.
Watch The END OF AN ERA Series with bonus content, or short film collections like 15 SECOND FRIGHT, or collections from The Classic Horror MONSTERS Collection.
Watch for FREE with an Amazon Prime Membership or rent or purchase select items.
Ghoulish Grin Films merchandise is also available, including shirts and DVD's.
Thank you as always for your support!

Queen Of The Underworld (Happy Birthday Kate Beckinsale!)

Kathrin Romary Beckinsale was born on July 26th 1973 and was a veteran of the stage and screen for a decade before she was cast in what would be her defining role of vampire Seline in the Underworld film series. A box office smash, the films pushed her to stardom and created a dark female icon for future horror generations to follow.
She initially starred in the role in 2003 and internationally the fifth film "Underworld: Blood Wars" was released in November of 2016. And true to her role, she didn't age a bit.
But aside from the obvious, which is her incredible beauty, she is truly a fantastic actress. She's starred in major horror blockbusters like 2004's Universal Monster mash "Van Helsing" and stinkers like 2016's "The Disappointments Room," but she never phones in her performance. Which is a quality in an actor that I always appreciate.
So happy birthday to The Queen Of The Underworld, Kate Beckinsale! Here's to a long and amazing…

A Legend Missed (Happy Birthday Robin Williams)

On August 11th 2014 the entertainment industry lost a giant.
The great Robin Williams passed, and the world mourned. Not just a comedian (though had he only been recognized as a comedian, he STILL would be legendary) but a versatile actor, his manic energy, insanely head spinning improv skills, and dramatic chops made him something the world rarely sees. The complete package.
He of course will be recognized for his comedy, both on the stage and screen. From Mork & Mindy to Popeye (a film that was very much a part of my childhood), to Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji, his films made masses of filmgoers happy. Still do.
But as someone who works within the underground horror scene and covers many things creepy, I really want to recognize him in a small and very underrated thriller, 2002's "One Hour Photo."
His absolutely chilling performance as a photo technician in a squeaky clean retail mart, it's a performance against type that rivals anything in thriller films. It ca…

Music Is Always The Healing Factor (The Pretty Reckless)

THE PRETTY RECKLESS's TAYLOR MOMSEN On Dealing With Coronavirus Crisis: 'I Keep Telling Everyone To Turn To Music As A Salvation': In a new interview with 'Whiplash', the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, THE PRETTY RECKLESS frontwoman Taylor Momsen was asked how the coronavirus crisis has changed her worldview in t...

What I love about music is that is IS the healing factor. The way to take you to different worlds and existences in your head. To give yourself a cathartic space. To raise your spirituality.

Music can be fun, light, and temporary too, but even those tunes can signify a moment in time that brings you joy.

Music can be, most importantly, a friend during troubled times. And I embrace that friend. And never forget why music is a gift. From The Heavens, from our existence...whatever. Music is a gift. A great gift. Remember that this gift you can enjoy at all times...and not worry about overdosing. Not worry about the outside world.

It is the ul…

Happy Christmas In July From Ghoulish Grin Films!

Yeah...2020 is, well...2020.
It looks like here in The States, we're going to have to tough it through at least one more year (maybe less) of 'The New Normal.'
So why not immerse yourself in that holiday that during our old normal wasn't taken all that seriously, but now can rekindle some of those old holiday vibes.
I'm talking about Christmas In July!
Yes...that weird 'holiday' where Christmas fanatics just couldn't wait for their holiday cheer. The odd blend of surf and winter vibes was something I was always pretty fascinated with, and now you can escape with Santa to that beach out in the middle of nowhere and relax with your Pina Colada and think of sugarplums dancing.
Keep hope alive. We're going to get through this, so keep those old holiday vibes alive and stay positive.
Oh yeah...and have a holly, jolly, Christmas In July!

Happy Anniversary BATMAN '89 (And A Surprise To Come?)

On June 23rd 1989, the world was reintroduced to The Dark Knight.
As a kid, I grew up with the campy Adam West television show "Batman 66." It's still a hoot to watch the show these days. But for many, that was Batman, as well as his Blue Suited version on the Super Friends cartoon show, which I also loved.
So when I went with my family to the movie theaters to see 1989's "Batman," I was thrilled to see a much darker, weirder version of Gotham City. And to see this new, ominous, black suited Batman was...just so cool. With an amazing performance from the legendary Jack Nicholson as The Joker, a new era of Batman mythology was born.
It was a box office blockbuster, the first of it's kind since 1978's "Superman: The Movie." And it was fitting to have the two greatest superheroes have such massive hit films.
I grew up as a Superman guy, but I had to admit that in 1989, the torch was passed. Batman became (and still is to this day) the Top Do…

Happy Fathers Day From Ghoulish Grin Films!

To all of those fathers out there, I hope you have a great Fathers Day.
It's definitely a new world we live in (at least for now), and though the next Fathers Day may present a better world and a more joyous time, I hope you can find some joy in the day...with celebrations with family in a more intimate setting.
Thank you to all of the great fathers out there who have raised great kids who will work towards a better world. Things will get better and here's to those fathers seeing better days ahead. And to those fathers acting as mad scientists creating monstrous kids...well...lets just hope that creation of yours doesn't run into crazy mobs with pitchforks and torches!
From Ghoulish Grin Films, enjoy your Fathers Day.

The Gentleman Of Horror (Happy Birthday Peter Cushing!)

As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I knew the great Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin. His icy cool demeanor was noticeable as a kid, though every youngster tends to gravitate towards the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
It wasn't until my teen years that I realized the true greatness of Mr. Cushing.
Boris Karloff's legendary turn as "Frankenstein" was immortal, and even at a very young age I understood the greatness of that film. So seeing a remake of it was something I was interested in but thought it would never achieve the classic heights of that Universal Studios masterpiece.
I was wrong.
To this day, I don't shun remakes simply on the strength of "The Curse Of Frankenstein." It didn't copy that original film. In fact, it's a whole new thing. A true horror classic in its own right. And the strength of that film fell on the performance of Victor Frankenstein. Mr. Cushing was truly brilliant in the film.
So it was on to "Horror Of Dracula" a…

The Beginning And End Of The Prequels (Star Wars Anniversary)

On May 19th 1999, I was besides myself as I entered the movie theater. I was about to see the first Star Wars movie in 16 years!
After 1983's "Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi" had closed the pages of the Original Trilogy, I had a few things. A couple of Ewok movies. An Ewok cartoon show, along with a Droids cartoon show (with toys to accompany them). Some great Extended Universe comics and books ("Shadows Of The Empire" being my all time favorite). But not a new film.
I had said before that I literally dreamed of new Star Wars toys during this dry spell. So seeing brand new Star Wars toys in Toys R Us hyped me up to dizzying levels.
I can look back at it all now and really understand how this film could never live up to the hype. The film still isn't as perfect as those original films, but I always felt that "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" aged well and thanks to analysis from Star Wars sages like Dave Filoni, the layers are de…

Will THE DARK UNIVERSE Ever Take Shape?

In 2014, Universal Studios attempted to resurrect it's legendary Universal Monsters and create their own cinematic universe, seeing the success of Marvel and the attempts of other studios, with "Dracula Untold." This origin story of the iconic vampire starred Luke Evans as Dracula. Though it did make money, it wasn't the result that Universal Studios wanted and it was received with mixed criticism.
The connection of "Dracula Untold" to the 2017 reboot of "The Mummy" starring Tom Cruise was ultimately scrapped and "The Mummy" was supposed to usher in The Dark Universe, the new dubbing of it's cinematic universe. The film made more than "Dracula Untold," but unfortunately it cost much more to make, thanks to the star power of Cruise. It lost the studio money and with that...The Dark Universe was dead.
Because of this failure, Universal returned to stand-alone Universal Monsters films. In 2020, the remake of "The Invisib…

Boba Fett Returns! ("The Mandalorian" Season 2 Casting)

I was aware of the extended universe stories (now referred to as Legends) of Boba Fett and how they brought him back from the Sarlacc Pit. "Return Of The Jedi" is my favorite film in the Skywalker Saga and seeing it as a kid back in 1983 I never really wanted (or cared) if Boba Fett lived or died. I thought he was a cool character but I wasn't as obsessed with him as certain other fanboys were.
The same thing ended up happening to Darth Maul. I originally thought that bringing him back from the dead was absolutely ridiculous, but now having seen his character give purpose to the overall story arc of The Clone Wars I have come to respect the decision and I now think it was a great call.
So thanks to The Hollywood Reporter who broke the news the characters demise from the original trilogy now has brought Boba Fett back to the Star Wars Universe...and is now officially canon. He did survive and will now serve his purpose in the upcoming season of "The Mandalorian,&quo…

Revenge Of The Fifth! (Happy Cinco De Mayo!)

Attention Rebel Scum!
You had your fun with your silly Star Wars Day! May The 4th Be With You? I think NOT!
Declare your allegiance to The First Order or prepare to be terminated!
By order of our Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, you are ORDERED to dismiss with all Rebel alliances and hokey Jedi religions and bow to us!
Order must be preserved! Join our Stormtrooper legion or DIE!

May The 4th Be With You! (Happy Star Wars Day!)

Back in 1977, the first film in what would be a nine episode saga would be released. "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" would change the cinematic landscape forever and create a fandom that would have its ups and downs but ultimately would come to love the core of the story. The Force. The Dark Side. Space scoundrels and galactic princesses. A fantasy for the ages.
As we enter another year of Star Wars, lets celebrate it as family. For whatever we love or hate about the franchise, we can all agree that...we love and hate things about the franchise.
A fan is a fan for accepting their love for what it is. Warts and all. You can like one episode and hate another. Love the movies and not get into the animated series. Love the animated series but not the extended universe. And so on and so forth. But if you like a small corner of that galaxy, you're a fan.
For whatever you think of the past, you can always root for it's future.
My love for this universe, this saga, conti…