Showing posts from 2020
💀💀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! 💀💀

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He Casts A Long Shadow (Or DOES He?) [Happy Birthday Bela Lugosi!

Born on October 20th 1882, Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi started his career like many of his era with stage roles, eventually landing the role that would cement his place in history.In 1927 he was approached to play the immortal Bram Stoker vampire Dracula, and played him to great success. Despite that, he was on the bottom of the list of Carl Laemmle's potential choices to play The Count. However, destiny was fulfilled and the rest is history.There are many a great actor who have played Count Dracula. But Lugosi's image as Count Dracula has been imbedded into the culture and his place in horror history is as secure as an earthquake proof building.Sadly he was never able to get out of that casting (though he played some very interesting parts afterwards, including Ygor in "Son Of Frankenstein, Boris Karloff's final performance as the Frankenstein monster) and fell victim to bad habits before passing away on August 16th 1956 at 73. Like many typecast actors of the day, …

HALLOWEEN TREATS! Grab Some Virtual Goodies!

Staying home this Halloween? Are you planning a cozy indoor Halloween celebration rather than the crowds and frenzy and madness?Well then settle down, make a hot chocolate, tea, cider, or whatever beverage of your choosing and watch The Halloween Treats Video Playlist on the Ghoulish Grin Films YouTube channel!Enjoy a diverse collection of videos, including Maze walkthroughs, nostalgic commercials and holiday specials, music videos, concerts, and holiday listening, including classic vinyl Halloween recordings.Included in this is The Ghoulish Grin HOUSE OF HORRORS, the 2016 Halloween record tribute recording. And included in THAT is a free Mp3 recording that you can upload to use for your Halloween listening or to put on a CD disc. A collectors copy of that recording (including bonus tracks) is available at Amazon HERE: and please enjoy your holiday safely. Much holiday cheer from Ghoulish Grin Films!Halloween Treats Playlist!

The Original Action Heroine (Happy Birthday Sigourney Weaver!)

Born on October 8th, 1949 in New York City, Sigourney Weaver is a seven time Golden Globe nominee, a two time winner, and has a pair of Oscar nominations along with a Tony nomination. She was nominated for films like "Gorillas In The Mist" and "Working Girl" and has appeared in the box office juggernaut "Avatar."But for many of us that grew up in The '80's she is the star of the science fiction horror classic "Alien" (and the blockbuster sequels, including James Cameron's "Aliens") and the Ghostbusters franchise.As a kid, I was obsessed with Ghostbusters, and I knew her from those two films that starred the classic lineup of Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, and Annie Potts. I saw the films, watched the cartoon show religiously, had the toys, and pretended to be a Ghostbuster with my friends. They have since tried to revive the franchise, and are still trying to do so. But those two films …

Will The Theaters Return As They Once Were?

In late February, I went to see 2020's Universal Studios remake of "The Invisible Man."I was aware of what was going on in China and there was a lot of uncertainty and conflicting information coming from our leaders. It was in the back of my mind when I went to the show, but I felt that we were okay (though I was very aware of when a movie patron would cough or sneeze and would naively cover my face briefly with my shirt).I never thought that it would be the last film I would see in a theater. The entire country shut down and I was in lockdown for months until I had to go back to work. But here in my hometown the theaters are still closed. They may soon open, much like what's going on in the rest of the state of California, but the projection of us seeing the other side of this crisis is closer than it was then. So I'm not exactly sure if I even want to bother going. Most of the films I wanted to see anyways are either going straight to streaming or their releas…

He Makes This Look GOOD (Happy Birthday Will Smith!)

As an '80's kid, I would always tease my little brother about how my decade was better than his decade...The '90's. Which with hindsight was an absolutely stupid thing to say. Because The '90's was a great decade. Probably the last great decade. The decade that gave me childhood joy (I was a teenager after all). It had Michael Jordan's legendary basketball dynasty, grunge and hip hop making their marks, and the last strong era of VHS rental stores to name a few things. And there was "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air." Originally airing on September 10th, 1990, it created a star out of young rapper Will Smith. He was an absolute joy to behold every week and as the years went by you can see his rapid improvement as a top young actor.He would appear in hits like "Bad Boys," but it would be the science fiction genre that would put him over the top as the most bankable star in Hollywood. 1996's "Independence Day," a modern day ode t…

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…