Category Archives: Horror

These Pumpkins Are Pretty Smashing

Happy Halloween!

We all love Halloween here at Mondo, so we got especially excited when we heard that a few of our fans were participating in a pumpkin carving contest that used Mondo posters as inspiration. We thought it would be cool to share a few of them here. Big thanks to Paul Frasco and all of the other participants for creating these awesome Mondo-kins? Poster-lanterns? Whatever you call them, they are great and we hope to see some more next year!

Happy Halloween, ghouls and gals!

-Justin B.

31 Films In 31 Days – An October Challenge

Hey everyone, Mitch here. Late last month, I decided that I wanted to do something extraordinary for the month of October. The plan is this…I will watch one horror film every day this month, totaling 31 films in 31 days (this means even less sleep than usual). Some will be new to me, while others will be overdue re-watches. I have been posting my thoughts on each film daily, along with a quick rating, at 31FilmsIn31Days.com. Lots of great feedback has been coming in, and a handful of folks have even joined me on my grotesque journey (either with their own list, or by following mine, most often revealed the day before on Twitter). It might be grueling for some, but give it a try, it’ll be a cinematic feat you won’t soon forget. Cheers!

Mondo Video Is Here! VHS Lives!

I am a collector. This has been established before…shoes, toys, comics, films, etc. One thing I’m also crazy about is VHS. Everyone remembers them, everyone had them, they were a part of people’s lives. Then, Laserdisc came along, then dvd, then blu….and it died. It was a sad day in December of 2009, but they killed it. The last VHS tape was manufactured and the format that had introduced so many people to so many films was out. Until now….

We are very proud to announce, in association with Intervision, MONDO VIDEO. Here’s the meaty party of the press release that went out earlier today….

Mondo, the collectible art boutique arm of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is pleased to announce a partnership with Intervision Picture Corporation to release 1983′s SLEDGEHAMMER on VHS. SLEDGEHAMMER, the first shot-on-tape slasher movie for the home video market, will be the first video release of Mondo Video, a label created to release rare genre films in a collectible VHS format. The VHS release will coincide with the film’s first release on DVD and a Terror Tuesday screening on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Mondo Video’s SLEDGEHAMMER includes the original box art and copy from the 1983 VHS release and will be available for purchase only at MondoTees.com on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. The Intervision DVD will also be available for purchase on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at http://amzn.to/lmZGfa.

There ya go! We are beyond excited. I got back into town this morning and went straight from the airport to the store to tear the box open to check these out. If someone would’ve taped me opening it, I’m sure it would’ve went down as one of the most epic unboxing videos ever. Understand, the last time someone opened a box of VHS tapes with the intent to sell like this had to be years ago and I guarantee they weren’t as excited.

I’ve seen some stuff online calling us “ironic hipsters” and things like that for doing this, so let me retort by saying first… my legs are too big for skinny jeans and second, this is not an ironic venture at all. This is serious. Myself, Lars Nilsen, Zack Carlson, Evan Husney and everyone else involved with this project are seriously in love with the format. “Why would you want to watch an inferior format?” is the other thing that is asked a lot. We’re not sitting here saying that VHS looks better than a bluray or anything like that. No way. But, VHS has a charm to it that other formats don’t. It’s little things. The hum of the VCR as it plays, the noises it makes every time you load in the tape, the way it ejects, the way that only your tape messes up at certain points because you watched it so much and something that you once hated, but maybe miss… rewinding. To me, it’s very similar to putting a record on and listening to that, but also watching it spin. If you don’t understand this obsession, that’s totally understandable. Many people won’t get it, but for the ones that do get it, I hope you’re all as excited as we are.

Another reason we’re doing this is that there are hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of titles on VHS that have never been released on dvd and that probably won’t. Before us and Intervision put this out, SLEDGEHAMMER was a VERY expensive tape to track down so for many that would want to check it out, it was cost prohibitive. The artwork and design on VHS tapes is also amazing. Most DVDs these days are horseshit compared to the VHS version. It was a product of its time and I really can’t think of anyone doing this type of stuff now. There are some that try to ape it, but VHS art is truly gorgeous. That’s the main reason why we chose to release the VHS exactly as it was put out originally.

So, what’s SLEDGEHAMMER about anyways? Well, allow Zack Carlson to explain it…

1940s scientists put years of study into creating the nuclear bomb, but it wasn’t until the first tests at Los Alamos that they realized its inhuman powers of absolute destruction. Four decades later, filmmaker David Prior similarly unveiled SLEDGEHAMMER, a shot-on-VHS masterstroke of anti-intellectual decimation. On that day, cinema quietly crumbled into dust.

Ted Prior (star of Deadly Prey; brother of the director) leads a cast of self-loathing alcoholics who face off against a shape-shifting, dimension-crossing spectre with a penchant for blunt object trauma. By the end, brains, bowels and Budweiser will be smeared across every inch of the walls. A rewardingly lethal collision of ‘80s slasher video-vomit, suburban legend and unintentional surrealist art, Prior’s supernaturally disabled death opera is the most visionary migraine to ever pummel its way into your skull. If you survive it, you’ll never ever forget it.

One of the funnest parts of this was designing the Mondo Video intro. It would not be a proper release if we didn’t have this on there as every VHS company worth its salt had one. Check out some of the classics here:

We needed a logo for the label, so went back to the sketches Mike Saputo provided when we were reworking the Mondo logo and settled on this one. Not much changed on it except for the “video” text on the bottom.

We then took it over to The Silent Giants who animated it. We decided that it would be a good idea to send them several of our favorite video intros from VHS labels of the past (see video above) so they could replicate the feel. One thing that we definitely wanted was a trailing effect from the logo against a background with a “Tron”-esque grid. Think spacey. Add a little Dylan Ettinger synth and here is our Mondo Video intro slug.

That’s it! I could go on and on and on, but I’m going to leave at this. We’ll have these for sale at the Terror Tuesday screening tomorrow night and the rest on sale Wednesday morning. Like we said earlier, we’re very excited about this and we plan on bringing you some real crazy videos in the very near future.

-Justin

Nightmare on Elm St. and Scream On Sale Now!

We are very excited about adding the one and only Wes Craven to our Director’s Series and to kick things off, we have Alex Pardee’s NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST. and SCREAM up for sale now! Keep an eye out for posters of other Craven films like SWAMP THING, HILLS HAVE EYES and a bunch more!

Poster by Alex Pardee. 16″ x 24″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 160. Printed by D&L Screen Printing. Click HERE to buy.


Poster by Alex Pardee. 16″ x 24″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 140. Printed by D&L Screen Printing. Click HERE to buy.
-Justin

Wax Pack Adventures – Jaws 3-D

[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Maverick. I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll discover a hologram or two.]


Title: Jaws 3-D
Publisher
: Topps
Year: 1983
Details: 6 Cards || 1 Viewed || 1 Stick Bubble Gum


Full disclosure up front: I haven’t seen Jaws 3-D. For that matter, I haven’t seen Jaws 2, and thought Jaws 1 was just ok the one time I saw it. So, depending on your point of view, I’m either the worst or best person to review a pack of Jaws 3-D trading cards. Given that I have no idea what the plot of Jaws 3-D is, I figured I’d just post the cards in chronological order and tell you what I think the movie is about.

A Topps 44-Card Series - In 3D: The cast of "Jaws 3-D", a terrifying entry in the popular series that boasts dimensional photography and unique special effects.

Ok. A diverse group of water enthusiasts. Other than the dude with a beret, a pretty normal-looking sea-side-living bunch.

Bloody Remains! Kathryn Morgan offers a snack to her friend, the killer whale Shamu.

Hmm. Ok. Didn’t expect to see Shamu. Does part of this movie take place at Sea World?

The New Peril! Kathryn Morgan is shocked to learn that the shark has been transferred to a different tank and may not survive.

Well… there’s another shot that seems to be set in Sea World. That’s strange. Surely the entire movie isn’t water-theme-park based.

Also, I’m pretty sure I can see that dude in the blue gym short’s right ball.

Seeking Human Prey! The horribly mangled body of Shelby Overman is discovered and a startling discovery is made: there's another, even larger shark in the vicinity!

Poor Shelby Overman! Was his (her?) body discovered under that sheet? Pretty convenient for the survivors, though I don’t see how that could possibly be blamed on a shark. There are sharks in this movie, right?

Oh, wait… there’s a shark reference. Apparently there’s an “even larger shark in the vicinity.” Which I presume means the vicinity of  Sea World. Not sure how that’s even possible.

Madness and Mayhem! Innocent water skiers are oblivious to the presence of the monster shark..!

Really? REALLY? This movie has a Shark vs. Synchronized Lady Water Skiers scene? Was it a parody? What kind of person would let a shark into Sea World in the first place?

Diverting the Monster! Calvin Bouchard has accidentally allowed the killer shark to enter Sea World!

Oh. A Calvin Bouchard type of person. That jerk.

So after seeing six still images from Jaws 3-D I am thoroughly confused. Partially about the film’s plot, and mostly about how I could have made it 25+ years without knowing that Jaws 3-D was set IN A SEA WORLD! That’s a major cinematic knowledge gap. Thanks for filling it, Topps!

PS: The promised 3-D Viewer? Completely missing from my pack. Who do I call for a refund?

Wax Pack Adventures – Fright Flicks

[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.  I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll discover a hologram or two.]


Title: Fright Flicks
Publisher
: Topps
Year: 1985
Details: 9 Cards || 1 Sticker || 1 Stick Bubble Gum


Many horror fans who were kids in the mid-80s fondly remember Fright Flicks, a short-lived trading card collection that combined stills from (mostly) beloved horror and sci-fi films, lame puns and silly quips, and Ripley’s-style can-you-believe-it? creepy factoids.

The pack I bought contained cards with images from Aliens, Day of the Dead, A Nightmare on Elm Street I, II, & III, Poltergeist, The Fly (1986), Ghostbusters, and Predator:









Of the nine images, my favorite – based on the badass-image/non-sequitur-tagline combo -  is the “Okay, Who Took A Bite Out Of My Bran Muffin?”/The Fly card (Card #9).  I’ve always been partial to the toungue-in-phone gag from A Nightmare on Elm Street, so Card #8 is a great find for me as well.

The pack also had a striking Fright Night sticker that I’m currently in the process of finding a home for. (One problem with my day job is that I have relatively few occasions to carry a sticker-covered Trapper Keeper):

That's Slimer's chin on the reverse-side puzzle piece

Finally, this pack contained a piece of the ubiquitous Topps chewing gum:

Card-collecting readers of a certain age should get an immediate and powerful sense memory from viewing this image

Although I haven’t had a piece of Topps gum for close to two decades, seeing the stick immediately made my mouth water. Even when fresh, Topps gum wasn’t objectively good. But I remember loving it as a kid because… hey… free gum! Also, it was such an integral part of the card-collecting process (open pack, chew gum, see if you got anything good) that I never even questioned whether it was a good as a stick of Big Red or a chunk of Bazooka Joe (note: it wasn’t).

In the interest of journalistic integrity, I decided to chew the 25-plus-year-old stick while writing this post, and include my thoughts on how it tasted. Like a connoisseur of fine beer, I sniffed the gum before chewing it. I was surprised to discover that it was completely devoid of any discernible odor. I suppose it was made of iocane powder.

Undeterred, I put the gum in my mouth. I expected it to be tough and difficult to chew, but the opposite was true. Within seconds, the gum had completely liquefied, leaving behind a glaze of slightly-thicker-and-sweeter-than-normal saliva in my mouth. I don’t know what the substance was that made Topps gum chewy, but it apparently self destructs in less than two-and-a-half decades.

If I die in my sleep, please bury me under this tombstone:

Best. Epitaph. Ever.

If you remember buying Fright Flicks, let me know your favorite cards or memories of collecting them in the comments.

Micah :: Reel Distraction

[I recently bought several packs of film- and tv-related trading cards: everything from Growing Pains to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. I plan to open one pack a week and document every card, sticker, and stick of gum I find.]

A Hopeless Video Nerd’s Review Of The House Of The Devil VHS

We talk about VHS quite a bit here on the blog and today, I’m very excited to review the new VHS for HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. Yes….I said that and I can hardly believe it myself. I’m reviewing a new release VHS!

There are a lot of “throwback” products these days. Lunchboxes, toys, t-shirts with the worn look, etc. Most of them are complete trash, so I’m really going to put the screws to this. I’m actually going to go into my collection and pull some VHS out from that era and compare them to the HOUSE OF THE DEVIL release. Let’s see what we find, shall we?

FRONT COVER

VHS tapes have a long history of amazing covers. Entire books have been written about them and movies were even banned in the UK based just off the imagery on the covers alone(called Video Nasties).  To this day, artwork is a MAJOR part of what makes people rent or buy your film. HOUSE OF THE DEVIL understood that and made some of the best poster and box art I’ve seen in a long time. It was even recognized as having the best horror poster of 2009 in Rue Morgue magazine. I really appreciate the fact that they didn’t try to make the art EXTREME or SHOCKING. The people that did this must have a real knowledge and love for the genre.

hotdvhsfront

The HOUSE OF THE DEVIL VHS is packaged in a white clamshell VHS box and has faux weathering on it which I normally despise, but it really works for this project. They added a cool “New Release” sticker on the box like so many other VHS in my collection have, too. Even though they reused the poster art (great choice) the format and layout of the box totally works. They kept everything really simple, didn’t over think it and it came out great.

hotdcomparisondrgore

Here is the VHS next to another big box of DOCTOR GORE. Notice the real wear at the top of DOCTOR GORE compared to the “wear” at the top of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. From the pictures and even in person, you’d never tell it was designed that way.

hotdcomparisonnah

Here it is compared to the HALLOWEEN rip-off, THE NIGHT AFTER HALLOWEEN. It totally matches the feel and tone of the old VHS. So far, so good.

BACK  COVER

hotdvhsback

The back cover is inspired as well. There are lots of different styles for back covers and they went with text only which I kind of prefer.  Some of my favorite big box VHS’ have went this route, too. Many tapes went with the notion of more is better and  threw a shitload of images on the back cover of monsters and women. Don’t get me wrong, that’s cool and all, but I much prefer the simpler text. Also, click on the image to zoom in and read the write up. It’s pretty incredible. There are actually some write ups simliar to this that actually give away the entire movie. So much so, that it will end with a line like, “Then Jim killed the demon and got into his car and rode away. The End.”

hotdvhscomparisonbackcover

hotdvhscomparisonddream

As you can see, the back cover is almost exactly like the back cover of DEATH DREAM (minus UPC code). It’s also worth mentioning that they were both released by Gorgon Video which was one of the biggest distributors back in the day. Gorgon still carries a lot of weight and get lots of respect from cinephiles and VHS nerds. I thought that they might’ve put the Gorgon logo on the new tape as an homage, but I think it’s an official release.

ACTUAL VHS

hotdcomparisonvhslabels

It’s uncanny! I keep on looking for something they slacked on with this and I can’t find it. IT’S JUST NOT THERE. Even the inner label has been recreated EXACTLY, just inversed.

The video played fine all the way through. I was kind of terrified by the thought of them adding in tracking issues or making the image all fucked up, but thankfully, they didn’t. The video is clean. Speaking of Gorgon Video, they even put the old, AMAZING animated Gorgon intro before the movie. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the video:

I don’t know about you, but watching that TOTALLY puts me in the mood to watch a movie like HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. The only thing better than the Gorgon Video intro was the 80′s HBO intro. I swear to you that the music in the HBO intro is WAY more inspiring than anything in ROCKY. I want it played at my wedding, funeral and at any other major even in my life. Rant over.

SPINE

When I pulled it out of the package this afternoon, the first thing I thought was, how will this look next to other titles on the shelf? Observe:

hotdvhscomparison1

hotdvhsspinecloseup

It’s totally legit. I guess if I had a bitch at all about the VHS, it’s that I would’ve liked to see the Gorgon logo on the back of the tape instead of the spine, but that’s like saying I’d like 2 cherries on my sundae instead of just 1. The fact that I’m reviewing a new release VHS in 2010 has not been lost on me. It’s kinda unbelievable this exists. The final test…this VHS in with the general population!

hotdvhsonshelf

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a dream come true. I did NOT expect this thing to be as quality as it is. From it being a Gorgon release to the design to the goddamn inner label, this thing is perfect. You’ve seen the pics….it totally goes toe to toe with almost any video in my collection and it looks great on the shelf. I hope they sell a billion of these so that maybe Gorgon can start putting out limited runs of VHS tapes for movies in the old style. I know I’d buy them. If MOON came out on VHS with a cool sci-fi case or something like that, I’m in line. Speaking of selling a billion, you can help with that. We’ve actually had a lot of people asking where they can get one and I just looked on Amazon and you can get the DVD and this VHS for only $23.99. Click HERE to buy. That’s pretty nuts. A truly great deal.

Seriously, even if you don’t have a VCR, be ironic and buy this….this is one of my favorite things this year, for sure.

-Justin

The Monster Squad Posters By T. Stout On Sale Now!

UPDATE: All MONSTER SQUAD posters are SOLD OUT!

monsterregfull

THE MONSTER SQUAD

Poster by Tyler Stout. 24″x 36″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 450. $40


monstervariantfull
THE MONSTER SQUAD VARIANT

Poster by Tyler Stout. 24″x 36″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 120. $80

Tyler Stout is back with this amazing poster to the 80′s classic, THE MONSTER SQUAD. Last weekend, the Alamo Drafthouse screened the film with cast members in attendance including writer/director Fred Dekker. During the Q and A session, Fred Dekker proclaimed that this poster was the best piece of art ever created for the film! High praise indeed considering the original THE MONSTER SQUAD posters are beautiful themselves.

We have very limited numbers of these posters left, so buy now!

StephenKingRules

Stephen King Rules T-Shirt

We also printed up a special batch of the shirt Andre Gower wore in the movie. These are printed on super soft American Apparel shirts. Supplies are limited as we almost sold out of these at last week’s show.

-Justin

VHS Covers I Love: The Other Hell (1981)

The Other Hell - Front Art

The Other Hell - Front Art

THE OTHER HELL is the U.S. title for L’ALTRO INFERNO (1981), a nunsploitation flick directed by prolific Italian genre director Bruno Mattei (credited on the back of VHS box as Stefan Oblowsky) and co-written by Mattei and Claudio Fragasso (he of TROLL 2 fame). Interestingly, Mattei and Fragasso were shooting a second nunsploitation film – THE TRUE STORY OF THE NUN OF MONZA (1980) – at the same time, in the same building, and using most of the same cast and crew.

The Other Hell - Full Artwork

The Other Hell - Full Artwork

THE OTHER HELL infamously features a scene where a nun boils a baby to death. But don’t worry… the baby gets even:


Goblin provided THE OTHER HELL‘s score, albeit inadvertently: Mattei and Fragasso lifted most of it from Joe D’Amato‘s BEYOND THE DARKNESS (1979). Still, it’s put to good use, as seen here (wait for the catchy groove to kick in at the 30-second mark):

This VHS was released by Inter-Light Video, and primarily uses just four colors (white, black, blue, and reddish-orange) to achieve a simplistic but striking end product. The blood-splattered nun in the bottom right corner is clearly terrified, and I like that it’s unclear whether the nun in the center of the box shares – or is the source of – that terror. The lightning bolt off the tip of the enlarged sword is another nice touch. Incidentally, the artist’s depiction of the terrified nun is a fairly accurate rendition of the source material, as shown below:

The Other Hell - Nun Comparison

The Other Hell - Nun Comparison

More information about THE OTHER HELL can be found at the excellent (but NSFW) Nunsploitation.net.

Micah :: Reel Distraction

Alex Pardee Basket Case Poster, Shirt And Tremors Poster On Sale Now!

TREMORS_FINAL-1

Returning to the poster series is horror aficionado, Alex Pardee! Pardee decided that since the original TREMORS poster was a nod to the JAWS poster, he would do his version as a nod to the JAWS 2 poster. This poster is printed on black paper and is 9 colors!

Poster by Alex Pardee. Approximately 24″x36″ screen print on black paper. 9 COLORS! Signed and numbered by the artist. Edition of 100. Printed at D&L Screen Printing in Seattle, WA.

basket1 copy

BASKET CASE is one of Alex Pardee’s all time favorite films and for good reason! This is Frank Hennenlotter’s masterpiece. Not all horror fans have good taste, but Alex’s is impeccable.

Poster by Alex Pardee. 24″x36″ screen print. Signed and numbered by the artist. Edition of 100. Printed by D&L Screen Printing in Seattle, WA.

TERRORTUESDAY

If you’ve seen a picture of Alex Pardee at a gallery show in the last 15 years, there is a 99% chance that he was wearing a BASKET CASE shirt. Well, that shirt has been officially retired and this is his NEW BASKET CASE shirt of choice…after all, he designed it!

-Justin