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Shock-O-Rama: Black Sabbath by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(December 08, 2012)
Anthology films have to face more challenges than their contemporaries. It isn't enough that they tell a compelling tale; they have bring their A game to the plate several times, typically giving us at least three complete, bite size experiences. And film

Shock-O-Rama: Pet Sematary by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(December 01, 2012)
If there's a better form of birth control than Gage Creed, the murderous reanimated toddler from Pet Sematary, I'm having trouble thinking of it. If you aren't freaked out when Gage wickedly coos "Now I want to play wiff yew", then your heart's made of sto

Shock-O-Rama: Dawn of the Deal by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(November 24, 2012)
If there's anything more fitting than watching George A. Romero's 1978 skewering of our twisted consumerist culture, on Black Friday, it would have to be doing so on VHS. The first major vessel from which we could quench our "own it all" conditioning, VHS

Shock-O-Rama: The Convent by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(November 17, 2012)
Many are the days that we long for foods which we know are atrociously bad for us (I'll take a whole Blooming' Onion please!). Some find the temptation more alluring than others, who can resist and (more often then not) choose a healthier, more substantial

Shock-O-Rama: Wicked, Wicked by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Insomniac
(November 10, 2012)
Many movies, especially of the horror and exploitation persuasion, lived and died along a central gimmick. The film catalogue of William Castle typifies this, with shock buzzers attached to seats for The Tingler, a skeleton on a wire for House on Haunted H

Shock-O-Rama: Exhumed Films Horror-Thon Recap by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(November 03, 2012)
It takes a special kind of lunatic to commit to twenty-four straight hours in a theater among 350 like minded mad men (and mad ladies). The celluloid lineup assails your eyeballs unrelentingly, with a perfect boxer's combo of sub genres, mixed and matched

Shock-O-Rama: Thriller by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(October 27, 2012)
As All Hallows Eve draws near, and you've been soaking your brain in the pickling juices of all things monstrous and wicked, I thought it might be time to pay homage to the most influential thirteen minutes and forty seconds of horror content ever crafted.

Shock-O-Rama: A Different Set of Jaws by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(October 20, 2012)
It's your first time. A ball of nervous energy rolls in your stomach, like two angry battling dragons. You adjust the cheap, Internet purchased costume, conscious of all the surrounding eyes; watching tauntingly. It's laughable to be concerned with your co

Shock-O-Rama: Monsters Run Amok! by Chuck Francisco , Columnist and Critic
(October 13, 2012)
The sinews of the Internet are ablaze with Universal's Monsters. Rightly so, as the essential Blu-Ray set offers visuals so crisp that we can make out Boris Karloff's individual bandages. This is the perfect time of year to revisit those old friends, who

Shock-O-Rama: The Plague of the Zombies by Chuck Francisco , Columnist
(October 06, 2012)
There's something to be said about selecting the proper protagonist. One false move by the casting director can do a film irreparable harm (see: Kristin Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman, or rather don't). Conversely, a strong leading man or woman can

Shock-O-Rama: Faster Killbot! Kill! Kill! by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(September 29, 2012)
If you searched the dictionary for "80's time capsule", you wouldn't find anything. But if you did, then an image of the poster from 1986's Chopping Mall should accompany it. In the pantheon of film making, there may not exist a better example of a title m

Shock-O-Rama: Complete Guide to Cabin in the Woods by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(September 22, 2012)
With Cabin in the Woods hitting the home market this week (Mania review here), we can once again worship at the alter of Whedon with impunity. This is seriously a very important horror film (my favorite so far this year), and today's Shock-o-Rama is going

Shock-O-Rama: Babes from Out of this World by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(September 15, 2012)
A dark suited stranger carries an odd briefcase. His mannerisms are difficult to place. Is he a foreigner? His intentions are unreadable behind sunglasses, which he never removes until it's time to dish out a look which can kill. Doggedly determined to car

All Night Italian Splatterfest II Recap by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(September 11, 2012)
Countless pots of digital ink have been splashed across these world wide pages in support of the dark madness of true cinematic adventure. The last weekend in August provided yet another gut wrenching, brain peeling cannonball into the sopping gore pool of

Shock-O-Rama: Incognito Cinema Warriors XP by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Rock Climber
(September 08, 2012)
Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans (MSTies) have a wide assortment of options available to them, when it comes to riffing. With Shout! Factory putting out dynamite MST3K episode releases, Cinematic Titanic performing live around the country, and Riff Trax g

Shock-O-Rama: Getting Filthy with Blue Underground by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Rock Climber
(September 01, 2012)
Back in the late 90's, those of the cult horror persuasion worshiped at the altar of Anchor Bay. From Argento classics like Suspiria, to genre monolith Evil Dead 2, their hands made busy putting out quality home releases. Most importantly, they specialized

Shock-O-Rama: A Legendary Pedigree by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(August 25, 2012)
We live in a world of lists. "Top ten" or "best of" whatever, as humans we instinctually expend effort in quantifying the chaotic world around us. We've been doing it for our whole existence, in various forms. So the natural evolution of this should not ca

Shock-O-Rama: Vintage Movie Appetizers by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Rock Climber
(August 18, 2012)
The art of the movie trailer. The subtle science of audience manipulation and expectation gamesmanship. Quick edits reveal tantalizingly juicy bits, only to deny you the full course. Trailers are visual appetizers, designed to whet the appetite, leaving yo

Shock-O-Rama: The Crow by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Critic
(August 14, 2012)
As my hands hover, hesitatingly poised above the glossy slick iPad keyboard, a growing sense of trepidation weighs upon my choice of topics. Don't misunderstand my reservation as disrespect for The Crow; I hold fond admiration and genuine hero worship for

Shock-O-Rama: Shades of Lugosi by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Rock Climber
(August 11, 2012)
With a heavy, deliberate accent, I bid you welcome, to this week's Shock-O-Rama. After that famous, stone stairway entrance, Bela Lugosi and Count Dracula would be forever linked together. Fired like a cannon into the public pop stratosphere, where Lugosi

Shock-O-Rama: Celluloidal Genocide by Chuck Francisco, Columnist and Rock Climber
(August 04, 2012)
A paper ticket, torn roughly into halves, rests hidden in your back pocket. There it will likely remain hidden until wash day, when you regretfully realize that it went through the machine, making a mess of your laundry load. Tonight your mind is not conce

Shock-O-Rama: Hausu by Chuck Francisco, Columnist
(July 28, 2012)
Perusing the fiscally dangerous Barnes and Noble sale on all releases by Criterion (50% off everything until 7/31), my eye was suckered in by the bright orange cover art of Nobuhiko Obayashi's Hausu (or simply House if you hate words that end in U). The ev

Shock-O-Rama: Blobfest 2012 Recap by Chuck Francisco , Columnist and Insomniac
(July 21, 2012)
Note: If you're not familiar with 1958's The Blob, you can get up to speed with Shock-O-Rama from a few weeks ago.

Shock-O-Rama: Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine by Chuck Francisco , Columnist and Insomniac
(July 14, 2012)
Let me come right out and tell you that Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine is not the name of a 60's progressive rock band from Alberta. Nor is it a hippy commune or the name of a cocktail (but it should be). Would you believe me if I told you that it's a

Shock-O-Rama: Death to the Undead! by Chuck Francisco , Columnist and Insomniac
(July 07, 2012)
If there's one sub genre of cinema which I love above all others, it would have to be zombies films. Shambling hordes of broken humans turned hunters holds an almost insatiable appeal for me. The flavor of ferocious former loved ones doesn't even matter: f