New Zealand Director Jonathon King gave us a new farm friend to fear this day in 2007 with the release of Black Sheep! Inspired in part by the great splatter films (Braindead & Bad Taste) of Peter Jackson (also from New Zealand). The film is a freak fest of over the top effects and gore mixed with a fairly massive kill count, bestiality,mutated killer sheep and slap stick comedy, and I feel like I am just barely touching of the enormity of fun this film holds. Black Sheep is one of those films you just have to see to believe! My only question is why aren't there more?? New Zealand exports some absolutely fantastic horror films, definitely check all of them mentioned out!
Hitchcock terrifies the nation with his release of THE BIRDS in 1963. Starring Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor Suzanne Pleshette and Jessica Tandy, its the story of a small community, Bodega Bay, that is inexplicably suddenly the scene of vicious bird attacks. The film came in with a budget of 3.3 million and pulled in almost 11.5 million in box office sales! Many fans of Hitchcock believe this film was just as influential as Psycho, and that it was one of his finest works. The Birds has found much prestige over the years with The National Film Institute naming it the seventh greatest thriller, and Bravo putting it at 96th in their list of 100 scariest movie moments. This is definitely a Hitchcock masterpiece, and if you haven't seen it you should! There have been several rumors and attempts at remaking this film over the years but none have panned out as of yet, and Tippi Hedren is probably pretty happy about that as she has been vocal about her disapproval of possibility of remaking the film.
We can't let today pass with out wishing one of the premier Directors of our generation a HAPPY BIRTHDAY. So raise your glasses in a cheer to movie phenom, Quentin Tarantino who celebrates his 51st Birthday! Born in Knoxville Tennessee in 1963, he has gone on to direct some of the most influential movies of the last 22 yrs. And while many of his films aren't true horror, they are extremely dark and graphic in violence which makes many argue that a number of them (past his "Grindhouse" feature and From dusk Till Dawn) could be grouped into the genre whatever your opinion may be we all in the Horror Nation wish Mr Tarantino a wonderful Birthday and many, many more!
In a rare modern day mass suicide Marshall Applewhite and 38 members of the Heavens Gate cult were found dead in San Diego in 1997. It is believed the suicides began on the 24th with the first group of 15 and proceeded thru the next two days as two additional groups of followers and Applewhite himself eventually followed suit. The believers had been convinced that the upcoming Hale-Bopp Comet would be followed by a UFO. The UFO was to transport their souls to the next world where human bodies wouldn't be needed. As the investigation and news continued through the days following the discovery it was learned that they had ingested a cocktail of downers, pineapple and vodka and tied plastic bags around their heads to ensure self asphyxiation. All were found wear the same thing, and carrying $5.75 (the cost of the interplanetary toll) each, and many of the males had castrated themselves, as part of their belief system and purification. This was definitely one of those moments in history where you realize truth is much stranger than fiction, and today we wish the families left behind strength on what is sure to be a difficult anniversary.
Couch potato's everywhere give praise this day in 1954 as RCA manufactures its first color television set with a screen that was a whopping 12 & 1/2 inches and costing about $1000 dollars!! Needless to say at that cost it wasn't a viable option for most and it was several years before you would find color televisions in most homes. Buuuuuuut lets raise a toast to RCA! Cant imagine my favorite gore and splatter films without that brilliant bloody red!
Delores Claiborne, adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, has its US release in 1995. Its a powerful story of a mothers willingness to go to extremes to protect her child, and the tumultuous relationships that seem to follow her through life. The film stars Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Christopher plummer. This was not the first role for Kathy Bates in A King adaptation, as she found fame after her portrayal in "Misery" which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1990.
With a heavy heart we remember the passing of Peter Lorre in 1964 at age 59. Born in what is now Slovakia, Lorre really came into his own after starring in the German film "M" in 1931, a movie in which he played a child killer. It was the beginning of a long career of many villainous portrayals, including Le Chiffre in the tv version of Bonds "Casino Royale". Of course as horror fans we loved him in part for his multiple pairings with Vincent Price in some of the great Poe adaptations. His daughter made news 1977 for a very unusual reason. Kenneth Bianchi (one of the Hillside Stranglers) confessed to police that he and his cousin had pulled Catherine Lorre over disguised as police officers with the intent of kidnapping and killing her, but upon finding out who she was the daughter of the two decided instead to let her go.