man is the warmest place to hide.

eighties horror you might have missed

Rodney Ascher's documentary feature Room 237 (2012) is not only a search for hidden meanings within THE SHINING, it is also an exploration of our relationship with the films that we love and demonstrates how an exceptional film can inspire methodical analysis, even obsession. Room 237 also extends the techniques that Ascher experimented with in his first film, The S From Hell (2010), a documentary short about the Screen Gems title card from 1964. Both films rely on a series of unseen interviewees as narration, recontextualized footage from other films, a synthesizer score and superb editing. I talked with Rodney about eighties horror films, electronic music, Errol Morris documentaries, and of course, Room 237...

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Check out the previous cards in the series too!

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Mark Irwin is responsible for some of the best horror cinematography produced during the eighties. His earliest work was on low- and no-budget films (including many documentaries for the National Film Board of Canada, NFB), so it makes sense that he would become known for his usage of low-light, lens flares, and other vérité techniques. Coming up through the ranks in the late 70s, he worked on many genre films, including those with Wes Craven, William Fruet and Ed Hunt, but his crowning achievement during this period is his work with David Cronenberg. Starting in 1979 with Fast Company, Irwin was the director of photography for all of Cronenberg's work into the mid-80s: The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, and The Fly...

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Many of us had a special teddy bear when we were kids. My bear's name was Fred E. Bear - he came with a poster that showed him as an astronaut floating in space, which was Blu-Tacked above my bunk bed's lower bunk for a brief period of time (later replaced by posters for RunawayRemo Williams: The Adventure Begins, then finally the Star Wars Blueprint for R2D2). In The Pit, 12-year-old Jamie has a special bear, too.

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Whether you're wandering the aisles of your favorite video store or scrolling through Netflix's endless thumbnail grid, our rental guide can help you pick out great horror films this Halloween (and beyond). Since our blog is focused on 80s and late-70s horror, many of the films listed are from that period, but I've thrown in a couple recent titles as well. You can print out the handy 1-page PDF below and take it with you to the video store or just continue reading...

DOWNLOAD THE PDF

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Here's the latest! The Overlook Hotel has a nice behind-the-scenes photo of Lisa and Louise here.

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Hi there! To celebrate Man Is The Warmest Place To Hide's first Halloween, we're having a little contest. It will go from now until October 24th. The winner will get a copy of the just-released Halloween II Collector's Edition Blu-ray (which is packed with new special features and two different cuts of the film - more info here). Here's how it works:

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I know, I know - you've probably seen it already. But if you're like me and haven't watched From Beyond (Stuart Gordon's second film, following Re-Animator) since VHS days, it's definitely time to see it again - this time unrated and with missing footage restored!...

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After watching The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1981), I thought I'd check out some of the other films by co-directors Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow. The film that they made next was The Power (1984), which I tried to find - turns out the only way to get that one is to buy an $80 videocassette on ebay! So instead I settled for The Kindred, which they made in 1987. And it is great...

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I just received the shirt pictured above from Fright Rags and I love it. The print quality is sharp, the ink is thick, and the shirt fabric is soft; it evens come with a free prize. Just to clear up any confusion, the shirt art is a direct reference to They Live and is not part of Shepard Fairey's Obey brand. As you may already know...

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By the mid-80s, most holidays had already been co-opted for horror films, following in the tradition started by Halloween and Friday the 13th. And that's why in 1986 there were three different films in production based on April Fool's Day; only one of them, directed by Fred Walton, was released as "April Fool's Day". The other two were retitled: Slaughter High and Killer Party...

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Here's number three in my ongoing series of trading cards for The Shining. You can see all of them on this page. A short note about the card's title...

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aka Death Dorm
aka Pranks
I love the setup for this one: a small group of college students are in charge of clearing out a dorm building over a holiday, so that it can be decommissioned - reminds me of Intruder a little bit. Apparently the film was made under similar conditions, with the directors filming in their old dorm buildings at USC during...

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There are few really good books on 80s horror and this is one of them. This is despite the fact that the only true 80s film it discusses is Friday the 13th (1980). Actually, Shock Value is more about the pre-80s period that recreated horror cinema, and caused an explosion of the genre in the early eighties...

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Duch means "Spirit" in Polish

Jakub Erol is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer who started creating Polish-language movie posters in 1966...(includes more posters)

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At the end of The Stepfather (the first film), Terry O'Quinn's character (Jerry) was shot by his wife and stabbed in the chest by his stepdaughter, then fell down a flight of stairs. Stepfather II is operating under the premise that Jerry survived that attack and is now undergoing psychiatric treatment in a mental institution. It is two years later - Jerry is balder and wearing thick glasses...

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Nell Dickerson worked on several horror films during the eighties, including Night Life, Rockula and Critters 2. She's worked in both the lighting and art departments, and has been an art director. These days, Nell is also an architect and photographer. We asked her to discuss working in the horror genre, specifically her work in the lighting department on Vamp (1986), starring Grace Jones...

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There are many reasons that I will rent a horror film - it could be a favorite director (or actor), a recommendation from a friend, or that it warranted a special edition (or blu ray release). The reason I rented Girls Nite Out is because I had read that the killer wears a bear suit - that was really all I needed to know. Anyone who has seen The Shining knows that's creepy. I had planned to show a screenshot of the bear...

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One year ago, I completed a Kickstarter project called THE SHINING THE, which was a screensaver based on The Shining...

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Not to be confused with Wes Craven's later film Deadly Friend. No, this is Deadly Blessing, starring Athena from Battlestar Galactica (Maren Jensen) and Sharon Stone (in her first speaking part). Ernest Borgnine (fresh off of Escape from New York) and Craven-regular Michael Berryman both play Amish-like members of the nearby "Hittite" village, who fear their neighbor Martha (Jensen) may be something called "the incubus" (which is odd because an incubus is a demon in male form; a succubus is a demon in female form, but whatever). To my wife: don't read any further - I'm going to talk about spiders...

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This is a story that's been told before, but back when Quentin Tarantino was working at a video store in Manhattan Beach, he created an alternate cut of one of his favorite films, The Sender, using extra footage culled from a videotaped television broadcast. The resulting tape was the one that he rented to customers...

UPDATE: my friend at A Cloister of Wolves just put up an awesome set of screenshots for The Sender - check them out.

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I love camping - even more than I love watching horror films! Several years ago my wife and I started going on regular camping trips, at least once a year, mainly on Mount Hood and in Eastern Oregon. Growing up, I camped sporadically, both with the Boy Scouts and on my own (in a dark-red dome tent, often curled up in a mummy bag). And all of that must be directly related to why Camping Horror is my favorite sub-genre of 80s horror. While Sleepaway Camp, The Burning and Friday the 13th are all favorites,  I enjoyed Just Before Dawn more than any of those. There is so much great stuff going on in this film, that it's hard for me to properly encapsulate it, but I'm going to try...

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Ok, guys - here's the second one, which I just finished. If you missed the first one, look here. Enjoy!

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In 1984, Charles Bernstein composed the score for Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street and established what is probably the most recognizable theme of 80s horror film. During his music career, Charles has worked on over 100 films (in a variety of genres), won an Emmy, scored a documentary about Maya Lin, taught courses at USC and UCLA, and written two books on film music. Quentin Tarantino has used cues from his scores in Kill Bill Vol.1 and Inglorious Basterds. Some of the other horror films he has scored include: The Entity (highly recommended), Deadly Friend (which we discussed a few weeks ago), April Fools Day, and Cujo. Charles was kind enough to take some time to discuss his score for A Nightmare on Elm Street with us, including some details about the synthesizers and unique sound design he used to construct it...

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While Mike has this filed under "Thrillers", I would say it really belongs on the "Horror - Stalkers" shelf (that is an actual section at my video store). The opening scene starts things off...

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