Thursday, December 24, 2009

George Romero's Original Zombie Novel!

Years ago, George Romero offered the first chapter of a zombie novel, The Death of Death, as an online exclusive PDF. It was expected that periodically new chapters would be released, but alas that never came to fruition. That beginning was just as rich as Romero's zombie films, and I'm pleased to announce that after far too long a wait, Romero has finally written a zombie novel, The Living Dead, which is now available for pre-order on

From the publisher's website:

In San Diego, an autopsy seems routine until the corpse sits up and begins to walk--after all of his organs have been removed. Suddenly, the rules of this world have been rewritten and the dead now walk the earth. In Atlanta, a reporter covers the epidemic, showing viewers glimpses of increasing chaos from across the globe. Nowhere, it seems, is safe. The captain of an aircraft carrier hopes to save his crew from the disease by remaining at sea, but seemingly within moments zombies are wreaking havoc on the ship. THE LIVING DEAD follows different groups of people as they react to the crisis, working together or, for some, using their limited knowledge of zombies to try to survive. But is survival even possible? Or desirable?

I've already pre-ordered copies of both the domestic and UK editions!

I do hope they'll be sending George around on a tour to promote the book when it's released next June, and that it will be his first of many novels. I've always been a fan of his only published piece of prose fiction, the short story Clay, and have long hoped he would write more. One more thing to look forward to in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Return of the Psychotronix Film Festival

It's back!

The Psychotronix Film Festival returns this Saturday night to its original venue at the Foothill Campus.

When: Saturday Night December 12 2009, 7:00 to 11:00 PM
Where: Room 5015 on the Foothill Campus
Price: $5 admission + $2 in quarters for parking

We've been to the last three events, and there's been something unique to enjoy at each one...

Any takers?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bookshelf of the Living Dead

If you thought 2009 was an exciting year for Night of the Living Dead fans - the Autopsy of the Dead DVD, the limited edition book Advertising Night of the Living Dead, and another Living Dead Festival, there's no sign of things slowing down in 2010.

A few releases may have flown under your radar, and there are some exciting new projects coming out next year that I want to be sure all Night fans are aware of. I plan to run reviews on each of these, and possibly even run interviews with the folks behind these projects.

The BFI Classics series of books each focus on an single film that is important in the history of cinema, and it's nice to see Night of the Living Dead recently added to that list (along with Star Wars!).

Many of you are surely familiar with John Russo's novelization of Night of the Living Dead that was initially published by Warner Books in 1974, and later reissued in 1982 by Pocket Books. And while we are all aware of the film's unfortunate public domain status, one would hope that Christopher Andrews' self-published 'novelization' will prove to be in direct violation of Russo's publishing copyright, and an example can be set for those who assume that anything relating to the film is theirs for the taking.

If you're not familiar with Jerad Walters Centipede Press, you're missing out on some beautifully produced books relating to horror fiction, art and film. His books are not inexpensive, but fine works of art in and of themselves, justifying the price. For this reason alone, I was thrilled to see that his Studies in the Horror Film series would have a volume on Night of the Living Dead.

Also scheduled for release next year is a book on the making of Night by the Phantom of the Movies himself, Joe Kane: Night Of The Living Dead: The Inside Story of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever.

I've included links to order the above titles (the unauthorized novelization notwithstanding) on the Night of the Living Dead page in The Slaughtered Lamb Cinema Store linked to the right.

P.S. In case anyone out there is still looking for a copy of our long out of print The Scream Factory Presents: Night of the Living Dead 25th Anniversary Tribute, there's one up for grabs on eBay right now. It's hard for me to believe that it's been more than 16 years since we did that...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I believe in America...

I grew up in the days before VCRs were a common household appliance. I was part of the generation who scoured the weekly TV guide in search of monster movies, to ensure I wouldn't miss something regardless of when it might be on. I stayed up late to watch Creature Features; in fact I still I vividly recall the night I saw Night of the Living Dead for the first time - and knowing that at 1am when it was over, I could switch from channel 2 over to channel 36 where Planet of the Apes was starting (frankly because I didn't want to make the trip from the TV back to my bed in the dark after turning it off).

When we got our first VCR, pre-recorded movies and video stores were just starting to pop-up. I remember when the local grocery store got the first bin of public domain VHS titles, at the amazing sell-through price of $14.99! That day, Dad shelled out $30 extra with the grocery bill as I picked out a copy of Spitfire (for him) and you guessed it, Night of the Living Dead for me.

The idea of actually owning a movie to watch whenever I wanted was such a thrill to me, I was able to forgive the poor print quality, splices and jump cuts throughout. It was mine, and you could take it from my cold, dead hands...

While in college, I was working in a bookstore pushing horror titles to anyone who would listen to me. One of the folks who did became a great friend, and Tony in turn got me hooked on LaserDiscs. While discs ranged from $35 for a standard film to $100 or more for a special edition (don't even ask me about the Japanese imports), I was also able to pick out a lot of titles as cut-outs at a fraction of the cost. We always had several LaserDisc stores in the Bay Area, and it was always an exciting treasure hunt when they got a new shipment of markdown cut-out titles.

I can't remember if I brought an LD player with me when I lived in the dorm at Santa Clara University, but I do know that while in school, I amassed a collection of over 100 discs. I recall distinctly that I decided I needed to create a FileMaker database to start tracking them (on my Mac LCII), before the collection got out of hand. It didn't and by 1997, when DVD had reared it's head and it was nary as ugly as we LD fanboys were thinking, I had around 700.

But those little shiny discs won me over in a heartbeat. They were light, they were smaller (more fit on even less shelf space), and by God, they were cheap! $25 a movie! And special editions didn't cost three times as much. Like I often do when faced with a new and exciting technology, I decided that I wouldn't need to upgrade all titles on DVD as they came out. The LDs were perfectly fine! And really, what were the odds that classic remasters like those done on LaserDisc for Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre would get similar treatment on DVD?

Well, despite being an early adopter (and one who quickly dismissed the notion of NOT upgrading darn near every LaserDisc I owned as the DVDs came out), I could not have dreamed what the future would hold with DVDs. Nor could I have imagined that one day I might own 1,000 titles, let alone our current count of 5,732 (which does not include the majority of things we've got recorded on DVD-R (a category I let slip, and now am woefully behind in cataloging). I used to say (in the early days) that I had more DVDs than your average Blockbuster. While they soon overtook me on quantity, I still feel I always gave them a run for their money on quality (Wild Wild West notwithstanding - Vonna's a Will Smith fan).

HD-DVD came and went (we still support it - and will as long as we have titles unavailable in any other format, thank you very much France for releasing Mulholland Drive!), and we waited until the price of PS3s made jumping on the Blu Ray bandwagon palatable. We're at 267 Blu Rays and counting (as of 8:10pm on 11/24/09 - haven't opened today's mail yet), and there appears to be no end in sight.

So where is this all going? I was thinking about how thankful I am to live in a time where there are unlimited worlds of cinema at my fingertips... where for $2 (shame on you if you're not following Amazon's Black Friday Week sales) one can own a copy of a movie like I Am Legend... Black Book... or Young Frankenstein.

Whether you have one movie in your own library or 100, I hope you appreciate that ability to relive your favorite movie experiences whenever you choose, knowing that it was not always a foregone conclusion.

At The Slaughtered Lamb Cinema, it is our mission to share our passion for cinema with our friends. And we're thankful that more than 60 times every year, many of you come out to share the experience with us.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Watch Night of the Living Dead Reanimated Online!

If you've held off signing up for Facebook, now's the time to give in and do it. This weekend, Facebook users have the opportunity to screen the animated recreation of Night of the Living Dead - aka Night of the Living Dead Reanimated, for the first time.

Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated a video based art show. Artists from around the world were invited to select scenes from the original film and make them their own. With no restrictions on style, media or process the resulting works ranged from oil paintings to comic illustrations and sock puppets to digital animation. These works were then curated into a visual track of artwork and set to the audio of George A. Romero's masterpiece, 'Night of the Living Dead'.

NOTLD:R is not meant to replace the original film but rather to supplement your viewing experience by allowing you to see the film through the eyes and hands of these talented individuals.

Sign into your Facebook account and click here for this rare opportunity!

Act quickly - as this will only be available through Sunday, 11/15!

Thanks to Kyra Schon for helping spread the word.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 Living Dead Festival T-Shirts

Did you miss the 2nd Annual Living Dead Fest held in Evans City, PA over Halloween weekend? If so, it's not too late to order one of the cool Festival T-shirts. It features the Festival logo (right) on a black shirt. Styles include long and short sleeves in S/M/L/XL/2XL.

Here's an inexpensive way to show your support for the festival, even if you were unable to attend in person. Quantities are limited, so act fast if you're interested.

I'm wearing mine proudly!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Advertising Night of the Living Dead

Last weekend, the 2nd Annual Living Dead Fest was held in Evans City, Pennsylvania. An unprecedented 17 Night of the Living Dead cast and crew members were in attendance. You can view a local news report on the event online.

On display at the event was a gallery of original Night of the Living Dead advertising and promotional materials from fan and collector Andrew Jones. In addition to the gallery, Andrew also produced 200 copies of a companion guide, including original Image Ten promos, Continental posters and press materials, FLESH EATERS and ANUBIS photos and more.

I've got a copy on the way, and based on the material that was on display at the show, it looks like another must have for Night of the Living Dead fans. Considering there are only 200 copies of the festival edition, expect the demand to exceed the supply.

I'll be back with a full review once my copy arrives. In the mean time, watch for the remaining copies to be sold through Andrew's eBay store, where you can check out more interior photos as well some shots of the beautifully arranged display at the event.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Universal Cult Horror Collection

Following in the footsteps of the Warner Archive Collection, Universal is making several titles through the TCM Vault Collection, including a set of five classic horror titles that have not been previously released on DVD.

The Universal Cult Horror Collection includes the following five films: Murders in the Zoo, House of Horrors, The Mad Ghoul, The Strange Case of Dr. RX and The Mad Doctor of Market Street. While each title is available individually for $19.99, a box set of all five is on sale for $49.99. Each disc includes bonus materials such as behind-the-scenes stills, posters and lobbycards, TCM Database info, and more.

I've always been a big fan of The Mad Ghoul, and also enjoy House of Horrors and Murders in the Zoo. For the sale price of $10 a disc, you can't go wrong with this set. And it's important to remember that supporting these lines early is the only way you can ensure to see more overlooked films finally released on DVD.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Night of the Living Dead Photo Book Review

I received my copy of the Night of the Living Dead Collector's Edition Photo Book in the mail today. I give Lulu credit for doing a nice job in the packaging of the book for shipping, but that's about all they did worth praising.

While neither horribly nor brilliantly designed, ultimately the failing of this book is in the poor production values. The glossy external cover is perfectly acceptable for a trade paperback, but the interior pages are reproduced on par with a black and white photocopy. The copy of the book I received appeared to be miscut, as most interior pages are laid out on a black background, and every page has 1/8" of white on the bottom.

For a book that's all text, using photocopy quality reproduction might be passable, but for a book of photographs, in this case key frames from the film, it just doesn't do the images justice.

While no author is credited, there is a synopsis at the beginning of the book and some notes on the film at the back. Upon a quick review, I noticed a few typos and some factual errors relating the history of the script (confusing Romero's comments in The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh about having written a story in three parts from which Night evolved as the first; claiming that the sequels he later directed were born out of his original Night script), and a rather amusing statement most likely derived from the focus of Roger Ebert's Reader's Digest article, that makes it sound as if children were actually being scared to death, outraging many parents. I would think so!

Sorry to report that this one is for Night of the Living Dead completists only.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deluxe Twin Peaks Book coming in 2010

Just in time for the 20th anniversary of the amazing David Lynch/Mark Frost television show, Twin Peaks, the Twin Peaks Archive will be publishing Northwest Passages, a coffee table book of photography by Paula K. Shimatsu-U, the unit publicist, stills photographer and assistant to Mark Frost

The book will be released in a numbered, limited hardcover edition in early 2010. For more information, including the opportunity to register your interest and lock in the chance to pre-order, check out the Twin Peaks Archive.

I'm not aware of any other forthcoming releases related to the 2oth anniversary (a Blu Ray complete series set would be nice, hint-hint, as well as a Blu Ray of Fire Walk With Me with the long awaited deleted scenes included). In the absence of either of those wish-list items, Northwest Passages will likely be the must-have item for Twin Peaks fans next year.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Night of the Living Dead Photo Book Sale

The price of the Night of the Living Dead Photo Book I mentioned previously has been dropped from $31.70 down to only $19.95 - and if you use the discount code TRICK this weekend, you'll get an additional 15% off. You can order it here.

If you were on the fence about picking up a copy (as I was), here's your chance to do so at a rate lower than copies have been selling on eBay. The image above is the back cover.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vic Mizzy (1916-2009)

Vic Mizzy lived for 93 years, and left behind a legacy of music that shall never be forgotten.

To me, his greatest achievement will always be the masterful score to the classic Don Knotts horror-comedy, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. I don't have many items in the collection from that film, but right up there with a lobby card inscribed by Don Knotts, "Atta boy John!" is my CD soundtrack autographed by Mr. Mizzy.

His greatness obviously extended much further, and into much more widely recognized themes - The Addams Family and Green Acres being perhaps the most famous. But there were loads of other Don Knotts scores for Universal, and of course The Night Walker.

If you've never seen it yourself, or know someone who hasn't, why not schedule a Halloween screening of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken in Vic's honor this year.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Round 2 of Autopsy of the Dead bonus clips online

This next round of bonus clips from the great Night of the Living Dead documentary Autopsy of the Dead are up courtesy the folks at

These include extended interviews with Charles Craig, ghoul extras Ella Mae Smith and Herbert Summer, Posse extra Dick Heckard and the film's lighting director, Joe Unitas.

There's lots of great history here, and if you haven't yet ordered a copy of Autopsy of the Dead, remember that these clips include outtakes that didn't make the final documentary. If you enjoy these supplemental materials, you'll definitely appreciate the meat that remained on the bone, so to speak.

New Night of the Living Dead Photo Book

It's October, Halloween is right around the corner, so I don't feel too bad that so many posts of later are focused on zombies, and Night of the Living Dead in particular.

I just stumbled across a new item NOTLD collectors will surely be interested in. Forgotten Films have produced a 110-page 6" x 9" paperback Collector's Edition Photo Book (you can see it and some sample interiors here).

The images in the book are a variety of key frames from the film, and it's currently available for $19.95 through at the link provided above.

If you have a copy, please feel free to post your comments!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Autopsy of the Dead Extended Interview Clips Online

As promised, the makers of Autopsy of the Dead have uploaded some additional interview clips, available on homepageofthedead. This batch (what I hope will be the first of several) includes Bill Hinzman talking about his work with The Latent Image before Night of the Living Dead, as well as being a second unit cameraman on Jack's Wife and Director of Photography on The Crazies. Also featured are clips of Kyra Schon talking about watching her friends watch the premiere of Night of the Living Dead, working with Duane Jones, and more.

The clips are definitely worth checking out, as is the documentary in its entirety. If you haven't ordered your copy yet, it's not too late to get it in time for Halloween viewing. I'm not sure if there are any copies left with the signed 5x7 photographs, but it's still cheaper to order direct than it is to order through Amazon.

It's worth noting that the DVD back cover (shown) features a couple of the original on set color photographs uncovered by the filmmakers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rigor Mortis Magazine

Rigor Mortis is a cool little 60-page digest devoted to all things zombie. I bought the first issue as soon as I read about it, and just placed my order for the second issue.

It features zombie movie reviews, zombie book reviews, zombie graphic novel reviews and more. This is the kind of zine I'd be doing if I could bring myself to go back to a print periodical; thankfully do to the diligence of the editors of Rigor Mortis, I don't have to.

You can order the first and second issue here. For $3 an issue (shipped) it's a steal. I know from personal experience they can't be making money at rates like that, so it's important that we all order the issues as they come out to keep it alive! John Bob says check it out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autopsy of the Dead DVD Review

Back in April, I posted a link to the first trailer for this long-awaited documentary. As a lifelong fan of Night of the Living Dead, I've devoured every article, book and documentary that's been released related to the film. While some folks may ask if there's anything left to be said about a classic film such as this, filmmakers Jeff Carney and Jim Cirronella have answered with a resounding YES!

First, let's clarify about what Autopsy of the Dead isn't. It's not a full-on documentary focused on interviews with the principles you've seen interviewed time and time again. The recent release of Night of the Living Dead on DVD included just such a documentary, One For the Fire. While I admittedly found that documentary lacking in some ways, it did include numerous interviews with the key surviving cast and crew members.

Autopsy of the Dead is the perfect companion piece to that film, of interest to those of you who like me, can't get enough information on the making of this seminal horror film. Running over two hours, it tells the story of the making of the film through the voices of the lesser known talents behind Night of the Living Dead, from actor Charles Craig (who played the TV reporter), to Gary Streiner (original investor, sound engineer and brother of producer Russ Streiner), to the owners of the original farmhouse! Kudos to Carney and Cirronella for leaving no stone unturned when it came to digging up so many of the normal folks who found themselves a part of this film phenomenon shot more than 40 years ago.

Charles Craig leads things off, and he not only has a wealth of information to share, his recollections are sharp and you can tell that while his was a relatively small part, it's no mystery why he helped lend the film the credibility it needed to be successful.

Also of great interest were local television personality Dave James (the last ghoul shot in the film), Lighting director Joe Unitas, and Ella Mae Smith, who portrayed a ghoul with her husband, and who saved his mortician's wax appliance for 40-odd years!

While contributions from Kyra Schon (Karen Cooper) and Bill Hinzman (Ghoul #1) keep this from being solely comprised of relative unknowns, almost every contributor has something interesting to add (save perhaps one, whose self proclaimed contribution was holding up a tape as cricket recordings were looped!).

The quality of the interviews themselves can vary based on the location where they were shot, and while it would have been great to have these interviews captured for posterity in high definition, having them at all is a real treasure.

The filmmakers also return to several of the original filming locations, including the road from the opening shot of the film as well as the location of the original (long since demolished) farmhouse. As someone who has been out to the Evan's City Cemetery, seeing some of the other locations inspires a return trip...

While the feature itself is more than worth the price of admission, it's as we get to the extras that the package really shines. As one might expect, locating the original players also meant finding some buried treasures including some fantastic behind the scenes color photographs, which to this viewer are worth their weight in gold.

Other extras include fantastic behind the scenes newsreel footage, an amazing archive of prop photos and video (I had no idea that Ben's rifle was in a private prop collection!), theatrical trailers and much rarer TV spots, some fun radio spots (particularly those from a late 70s re-issue post Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and a profile on Rick Catizone of The Animators (who worked on the closing credit sequence of Night and the animated opening of Creepshow!).

Fans will want to digest everything on the disc; I was rewarded by starting first with the DVD Credits which revealed a brief bonus feature.

While there's tons of information of interest to the any fan of Night of the Living Dead, Autopsy of the Dead was really created with devout deadhead in mind. It's a very nicely produced documentary, obviously a labor of love for the team behind it, and deserving of our support for going to such great lengths to capture these original stories.

You can order a copy through Amazon, however I highly recommend ordering directly from their website, where you'll get your copy shipped within the U.S. for only $24.99 - and while supplies last, you can get a limited edition hand-signed 5x7 from one of the film's interview subjects. With only 200 signed copies available, you'll want to act fast to take advantage of that special offer.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Order Autopsy of the Dead and get a signed 5x7 Photo

If you pre-order Autopsy of the Dead from the official website, while supplies last your copy will come with an autographed 5x7 photo.

I was thrilled to get an autograph of Chuck Craig, the television reporter and intestines-wrangling zombie.

I'll be back with a full report on Autopsy of the Dead, but based on what I've seen thus far, it's a must for NOTLD fans!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Return of the Ewok

So maybe you've heard about the short film Warwick Davis was involved with during the making of Return of the Jedi. Titled Return of the Ewok, it was shot by Jedi First A.D. David Tomblin (and producer of The Prisoner!). It features all the major players of the film, and is worth checking out.

Unreleased on any official video format, here it is in its entirety:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Survival of the Dead Roundup

George A. Romero is back, and the advance word on his latest zombie effort is good!

Here's an early trailer:

And some interesting behind the scenes footage:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Night of the Living Dead Fest 2009

Gary Streiner's second annual Night of the Living Dead Fest has an very cool line-up of guests this year!

Held in Evans City, PA, home of the cemetery made famous (or infamous) in the original Night of the Living Dead, I'm seriously considering making a trip out there this year.

I was disappointed to find out about last year's inaugural event (in the 40th anniversary year) too late to make arrangements to attend, however as many of you know, we celebrated in our own way with our All Day of the Dead festival.

Anybody else up for a trip to the Land of the Dead this fall?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Autopsy of the Dead documentary is coming!

Autopsy of the Dead, a new documentary on the making of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, is now available to order on You can pre-order your copy through the Slaughtered Lamb Cinema Store link on the right.

With a running time of over two hours, and featuring all new never before seen cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes color photos, and a myriad of other cool extras, it looks to be a dream come true for Night fans. I personally can't wait to see what Jeff Carney and Jim Cirronella have assembled.

Check out the latest teaser trailer:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Unwigged & Unplugged on DVD!

If you missed the Unwigged & Unplugged Tour, our favorite concert of 2009, we've got great news! You'll be able to experience it on DVD September 1st!

At 2 hours, it looks like it will contain a full show - including an excellent version of Spinal Tap's Big Bottom, and the unforgettable reading of the Standards & Practices memo regarding the first attempt to air Spinal Tap on television. Also worthy of note are the inclusion of classic songs from A Mighty Wind and Waiting for Guffman.

I'm hoping the initial data is wrong and it's not formatted 4:3, but I'll take it any way I can get it. It's like Christmas (with the Devil) in September!

You can pre-order your copy today through the Slaughtered Lamb Cinema store link on the right.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Making The Empire Strikes Back

Jonathan Rinzler follows up his indispensable volumes The Making of Star Wars and The Making of Indiana Jones with next year's The Making of The Empire Strikes Back.

We had a chance to see some pages from this book at Ralph McQuarrie's 80th birthday party, and it will definitely be another must have volume for your library. You can pre-order your copy through The Slaughtered Lamb Cinema Store link on the right.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Return of the Universal Monsters?

Man do I wish we had the following film to pair with House of Dracula on Wednesday night: House of the Wolf Man.

"Dr. Bela Reinhardt (Ron Chaney) has invited five people to his castle to see which of them will inherit his estate. He has arranged for a competition of sorts, the victor shall be determined through process of... elimination," McGarr tells Bloody-Disgusting. "The film was shot in black and white, 1:33 aspect ratio and is a good old fashioned monster movie that you could bring your kids to."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Planet of the Apes illustrated novel coming in 2010

One of the problems with the immense scale of Comic Con is that you're bound to miss some really cool announcements from smaller publishers.

Case in point - Blam Ventures had original art on display promoting their forthcoming, fully authorized illustrated Planet of the Apes novel, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes.

The premise for this first volume is telling the story of Colonel Taylor's fellow astronaut Landon - who we didn't see after the ape round-up until it is discovered later that he is in fact still alive, albeit lobotomized. An interesting unexplored area of the franchise - I do hope it leads to further explorations of our future world of talking simians.

You can read all about it on their website.

Tonight of the Living Dead

400 Lonely Things have done something pretty interesting. Using the soundtrack from Night of the Living Dead, they have created a "collage of treated audio."

It's definitely worth a listen.

You can download it on iTunes, or order a physical copy with liner notes on their website.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Remembering John Hughes - UPDATED!

Everyone has a favorite John Hughes movie - or several, as the case may be. I'd have to pick Weird Science as the one that reached out and touched me most directly, although Ferris Beuller's Day Off is a close second.

But forgetting about his golden years as a director, John Hughes was a gifted writer. He wrote each of the screenplays for the films he directed, in addition to screenplays for several classic films, including Some Kind of Wonderful and National Lampoon's Vacation.

We lost John today at the all too young age of 59. It's oddly appropriate that we had scheduled our 'Vacation Smack-Down' for our August movie party, pitting the original Vacation against Christmas Vacation in a battle royale to pick the best of the two excellent comedies. We'll get to some of his directorial efforts in the future, but for now, you'll get your chance to appreciate some of his body of work on August 22.

I only found out today that John's screenplay for Vacation was adapted from his short story, "Vacation '58" that appeared in National Lampoon. I'm pleased to be able to offer a link to that story for your enjoyment. Also, here is a link to the Foreword Hughes wrote to a 2008 reprinting of said story.

As survivors of the eighties, we'll forever be in his debt.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pimp Your Poison

Next week we put Frankenstein and pals to bed, closing out the Slaughtered Lamb Cinema's History of Horror (1931-1945). Rather than jump right into another series, we're going to follow up our viewer favorite Pick Your Poison series with a slight twist offering everyone a chance to suggest what becomes our next regular Wednesday night programming.

Same general rules apply - you can select anything you want to show within 150 minutes, but this time you're selling the group on why we should select your series to run with on Wednesday nights. You might show a few episodes of a TV series, or a film in a series you're interested in. You might suggest a theme (Academy Award winners) and show one and describe what you have in mind for the series. We'll vote and schedule our next Wednesday night selections based on what's the most popular.

We'll draw lots for scheduling the Pimp Your Poison schedule next week, so be sure to show up (or let us know you're up for participating) and we'll save you a slot.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comic Con 2009 - A Post mortem

I hadn't really thought about blogging on our trip to Comic Con this year, as I spent most of the weekend in our booth evangelizing the art of Ralph McQuarrie. That said, we did have a few interesting encounters, and a couple of folks have expressed an interest, so here's a brief recap.

We spent the week below a huge hi-def video screen promoting the latest offerings from Lucasfilm, including the fan favorite trailer for The Old Republic MMO game, as well as Star Wars in Concert that's coming to San Jose on October 11.

We met up with some of the art department from The Clone Wars, and supervising director Dave Filoni stopped by the booth to chat with us for a bit about his fondness for Ralph McQuarrie. The trailer for the next season of the show looks pretty amazing.

Joe Hill was there promoting his current comic series Locke & Key. If you've never read any of his work, I highly recommend his novel Heart Shaped Box. His highly acclaimed short story, "Pop Art", from his collection 20th Century Ghosts is also very much worth tracking down.

There were several celebrity near misses by our booth, from Wesley Snipes to Nick (son of Gene) Simmons. If you caught any footage of the G4 show in the Lucasfilm Pavilion, it's likely we were no more than 10-15 feet away. Also signing not too far from us were three of the stars of the Battlestar Galactica remix - Edward James Olmos, as well as the actors who portrayed Col. Tigh and Baltar. Mark Hamill was also signing, but I didn't see him on this trip.

We were able to meet up with artist Tim Bradstreet, who we're looking forward to working with in the very near future, and he introduced me to Thomas Jane, star of The Punisher, The Mist, and most recently the HBO series Hung.

I also met the creators of Hoops and Yo Yo. If you've been in a Hallmark store in the last few years, you'd recognize them instantly.

There was a lot of talk around the con about James Cameron's Avatar, Tron: Legacy, and Time Burton's Alice in Wonderland - I unfortunately didn't get a chance to take in any panels. I previously posted a link to the Tron footage - I'm amazed at how much buzz this is generating.

I did manage to come away with several nice art books, and a small plastic tub of zombies.

After trips to SDCC in 2004 and 2006, I swore I'd never return due to the size of the crowds and the related insanity they bring. but it was an interesting opportunity to have a booth in the Lucasfilm Pavilion. Will we be back? That remains to be seen - but there are aspects of the show I do continue to enjoy, and would be willing to brave the crowds to experience yet again, so who knows...

Fortunately, we had a nice place to stay on a hillside about 15 minutes north of downtown, and Vonna prepared amazing meals for us each night of the show.

Next up for us will be Star Wars Fan III Days in Texas in October - and then next year's Star Wars Celebration V... date and location TBD.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tron: Legacy

Are you Ready for the return of Tron?

We obviously are...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Get ready for a Vacation Smackdown!

Next month, with your help we'll settle a long standing debate in The Slaughtered Lamb Cinema. I have always believed that the original Vacation is by far the best film in the series. Vonna is equally vocal that the second sequel, Christmas Vacation, is the best.

Come enjoy the pair (both are great comedies), and cast your vote for the greatest vacation of them all.

The vacation starts on Saturday, August 22 from 6pm-10pm. And stay tuned for the September announcement, which we're currently referring to as the Class of 1979 party!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Prisoner revisited

If anything, I should probably be surprised it's taken more than 40 years for a remake of The Prisoner to get off the ground. While I think McKellan will make a good #2, I'm already somewhat disappointed that #2 would appear to have such a prominent role in the entire series.

Only time will tell... For now, you can check out this teaser trailer for the series, coming this November...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cemetery Junction

Ricky Gervais and Stepehen Merchant team up for a feature film! If it lives up to The Office and Extras, we may have a winner.

Check out the amusing teaser trailer here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


A time waster to be sure, but as time wasters go, I've been enjoying this. Watch the trailer, sign up, and start rating movies. Look for me, resrvordog, so we can compare notes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Return of the SLC History of Horror

This Wednesday we resume the Slaughtered Lamb History of Horror with the Universal Frankenstein sequels (as well as The Wolf Man, for reasons that become apparent in time), and we'll close things out with Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein in HD.

7/8 The Bride of Frankenstein with The Mad Ghoul
7/15 Son of Frankenstein (solo feature)
7/22 Off week - No Programming scheduled
7/29 Ghost of Frankenstein with The Wolf Man
8/5 Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man with House of Frankenstein
8/12 House of Dracula with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

While we have not yet selected our next Wednesday night series - we are considering a 50th anniversary screening of the first season of The Twilight Zone. We can watch 4-5 episodes a night, completing the series in 7-9 weeks. Keep checking the blog for the final announcement!

First annual(?) Pick Your Poison Wrap-up

I wanted to post an official follow up to our first run of the Pick Your Poison program that wrapped up last week.

Here's the official program:

5/13 Kyle
Wild Man of Borneo (Little Rascals short)

5/20 Vonna -
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Academy Award winning short film/Twilight Zone episode)
The Beguiled

5/27 John
George A. Romero's Knightriders

6/3 Martin
The Last of Sheila

6/10 Paul

6/17 Mikk
Kentucky Fried Movie

6/24 Stan

7/1 Michael
Northwest Hounded Police (Droopy cartoon)
The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (short subject)
Forbidden Planet

The group managed to select an eclectic mix of films that all in all were greatly enjoyed by everyone, and for the most part had gone unseen by the majority of the group. It was such a success, we will definitely be doing it again. If you want in on it - all you have to do is join us on Wednesdays!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spinal Tapalooza Trailer

You can check out the trailer for the July Tapalooza event here.

What should you expect? The most comprehensive Night of Tap you can imagine:

• The band's first appearance on US television
• The original short film that spawned the feature documentary
• The feature film THIS IS SPINAL TAP in high definition
• Over 1 hour of documentary footage from the cutting room floor
• THIS IS SPINAL TAP commentary from David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls
• The best of the band's music videos, including: HELL HOLE, BITCH SCHOOL
• Video commentary on their greatest hits

In one night, we promise to bring you the Tap, the full Tap, and nothing but the Tap.

Your eardrums might just bleed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What's wrong with DVDs

Every now and then, you stumble across something and think, that's exactly what I was thinking...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Celebrity Day at the Lamb

We celebrated Ralph McQuarrie's 80th birthday yesterday, with an amazing group of Ralph's friends and fans in attendance.

With the projector back up and running we're on track for the remainder of the Pick Your Poison series starting this Wednesday. Mikk's up next, to be followed by Stan and Michael in the week's ahead.

Also, don't forget that the Mad Movie Party returns this Saturday with a salute to Ed Wood on the 50th anniversary of the release of his classic Plan 9 From Outer Space. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Open for Business!

After a brief closure for a projector repair, The Slaughtered Lamb is back open for business!

Friday, June 5, 2009

40 Years, 40 Movies Index

Here's a handy index to the films we'll be showing, by date.

2001 A Space Odyssey January 20, 2010
American Graffiti January 18, 2010
Army of Darkness January 16, 2010
Assault on Precinct 13 January 15, 2010
Attack of the Clones January 1, 2010
Big Trouble in Little China January 23, 2010
Breaking Away January 18, 2010
Carlito's Way January 22, 2010
Carnival of Souls January 12, 2010
The Crow January 28, 2010
The Dark Half January 26, 2010
Dawn of the Dead (146 minute cut) January 6, 2010
The Empire Strikes Back January 1, 2010
Escape From New York January 23, 2010
Escape From the Planet of the Apes January 14, 2010
Eyes Wide Shut January 30, 2010
Godzilla's Revenge January 21, 2010
Golden Voyage of Sinbad January 7, 2010
The Great Escape January 13, 2010

Heat January 29, 2010
Hellraiser January 19, 2010
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull January 2, 2010
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade January 2, 2010
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom January 2, 2010
Magnum Force January 8, 2010
Midnight Run January 25, 2010
A Mighty Wind January 11, 2010
Mulholland Drive January 30, 2010
Night at the Opera January 4, 2010
The Phantom Menace January 1, 2010
Psycho January 5, 2010
Pulp Fiction January 9, 2010
Raiders of the Lost Ark January 2, 2010
Reservoir Dogs January 9, 2010
Return of the Jedi January 1, 2010
Revenge of the Sith January 1, 2010
Ronin January 27, 2010
Shaun of the Dead January 16, 2010
Star Wars January 1, 2010
The Thing January 23, 2010

40 Years, 40 Movies

The 40 Years, 40 Movies schedule for next January has been posted.

Beginning on Friday, January 1st and running through Saturday, January 30th, The Slaughtered Lamb Cinema brings you an eclectic line-up of films in our largest screening program to date.

Opening ceremonies will take place on:
1/1 Star Wars Marathon
1/2 Indiana Jones Marathon

The remainder of the month is scheduled as follows:
Sundays - NO screenings
Monday Night Laughs
Tuesday Night Horrors
Wednesday Night Epics
Thursday Night Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Friday Night Crime
Saturday Double Bills (and the monthly Mad Movie Party)

The closing event is a special double feature on 1/30 of Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

You can view the entire line-up by clicking on the Calendar link, viewing by month, and advancing to January 2010. Plan your schedule now for the screenings you'd like to attend. It was more difficult than you might imagine narrowing the list to just 40 films. In an effort to offer the greatest variety for this unique series, we frequently opted not to show films that we have recently screened in The Slaughtered Lamb, as important as those films might be. Rest assured we give every film in this series our highest recommendation, so it's a great opportunity to introduce yourself to some gems you may not have seen before on the big screen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Carradine 1936-2009

I apologize for our current inability to fast track a Kill Bill double feature in his memory at this time. We'll work on getting that scheduled as soon as Theater 'A' has re-opened.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A packed house for The Last of Sheila

Theater 'B' was at capacity for Martin's Pick Your Poison screening of The Last of Sheila.

We started off with a pair of trailers from two other features from 1973: Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon and The Exorcist.

The Last of Sheila is a fun little murder mystery with an all-star cast including James Coburn, Raquel Welch, Richard Benjamin, and an unrecognizable Ian McShane.

The plot had everyone guessing right to the very end.

To complement the film's Mediterranean setting, Vonna prepared a full-on Mediterranean feast that was enjoyed by all.

Next on tap - Michael will Pick Our Poison.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Theater 'A' Closed for Repairs

We hope to have Theater A back up and running by next Wednesday, but the show must go on, so we're running Martin's Pick Your Poison in the Slaughtered Lamb Theater 'B' tomorrow. Mikk's presentation has been rescheduled to show on the big screen in Martin's slot in two weeks.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we get the projector repaired.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

George A. Romero's Knightriders

Live by the code. Know who you are. Survive outside the establishment. Realize that your dreams and ideals will live on long after you are gone.

Knightriders may very well be Romero's most accomplished, if most under-appreciated film.

It was my 'Pick Your Poison' selection for this week in The Slaughtered Lamb Cinema.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Keeping up with The Slaughtered Lamb Cinema

Tired of missing out on the goings on at The Slaughtered Lamb? There are a couple of key ways to stay on top of things. Obviously, this blog is the centerpiece of our information network, but if you don't have the time to check this frequently, you might prefer some of the other options available.

Twitter: I don't use this to report on my minute-by-minute goings on, but all blog posts are sent to the Twitter account within an hour of posting.

Facebook: There is a Slaughtered Lamb Cinema group on Facebook that you can become a 'fan' of, and we post and send out invites to our monthly events.

The Calendar: While you won't see some events until after they happen, all regularly scheduled events are posted in advance.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let it Snow, Let is Snow, Let it Snow

In 2004, before the Slaughtered Lamb Cinema even existed, we had a run of several consecutive movie parties that were successful premieres of international films. The Nest, Dog Soldiers and Shaun of the Dead. It's a real treat to screen something that no one has seen before, other than having seen the available trailers or clips, and have it exceed everyone's expectations.

We did that tonight with Norway's Dead Snow. I'll go so far as to say Dead Snow may be the most entertaining Nazi zombie film of all time. Sure, Shock Waves had Peter Cushing, and Oasis of the Zombies is notable for offering the 'alternate clothed sequences' on DVD, but Dead Snow pays a debt to classic low budget horror of the 80s (most notably the Evil Dead films and pre-Academy Award efforts of Peter Jackson) while giving back to the genre several fun and original twists.

Dead Snow is coming later this year to a therater near you. In the mean time, check out a bunch of clips here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Poison goes down smooth

Last week, Kyle surprised us with a double feature of The Wildman of Borneo (a non-PC Little Rascals 2-reeler) and the musical Dreamgirls, which everyone enjoyed.

This week, Vonna scored high marks with a pair of unusual Civil War stories - An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge from the story by Ambrose Bierce (the only episode of The Twilight Zone not originally produced for the show), and the Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood collaboration The Beguiled. The bar has been set pretty high, so I've got my work cut out for next week.

But before we get to that, we have a special screening of the highly anticipated Dead Snow scheduled for tomorrow night.

And don't think we've forgotten this Saturday is our next monthly event. We hope you'll join us for The Terminator trilogy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why all the Star Wars fans love the new Trek

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Thanks to Kyle for passing this on.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keep on Trekkin!

So we caught J.J. Abram's reboot of Star Trek yesterday. Much of what you've been hearing is true - although I'd go so far as to say this may be the best Star Trek film yet - no slight to Wrath of Khan (however I've found that the other fan favorite, The Voyage Home, doesn't hold up quite as well).

Without delving into spoilers, I do give the writers credit for developing a story that will allow this ensemble to have their own adventures without ignoring all of the baggage and backstory that has come before.

The cast does a very good job: Spock is just as you would expect (with one minor element that is sure to irk the die hard fans), Kirk grows on you, Sulu and Uhura are each given a chance to shine - however I'd have to say the real standouts are Simon Pegg (while perhaps underused in this film), Chekov, and McCoy - who may do the best job channeling his original series counterpart without coming off like an impersonation.

While not without it's flaws, in particular the random insertion of obligartory aliens (characters in masks in the background - or occasionally foreground) to remind you this is all happening in the future where man and alien, at least the bipedal kind that can still shop for clothes in our outlet stores, comingle. There is a green skinned throwback to the original series that is funny if not somewhat poorly executed, and there is a comedic sidekick that makes a brief appearance for whom they couldn't seem to afford a mask better than you might find at your local Spirit store (my guess is, you'll see him this Halloween).

But those are issues that don't bear on the plot itself, which serves the purpose of allowing new fans to engage with these characters and stories, whether or not they've been followers of the Trek mythos for the past 40 years. And to that end, I think he has succeeded grandly. We're looking forward to revisiting this on the big screen in a few months when it makes its Blu Ray debut (hey - appreciate that we made a trip OUT to the theater on opening weekend to see it!).

It's definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Guess Who's Picking the Poison

The lineup has been selected. Over the next seven weeks, the Wednesday night programming will be selected by:

5/13 Kyle
5/20 Vonna
5/27 John
6/3 Mikk
6/10 Mike
6/17 Martin
6/24 Stan

Screenings will be updated on the Calendar AFTER they happen. You'll have to be there on the night to see what we're watching.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's time to Pick Your Poison!

Next Wednesday we close out the the first leg of the Slaughtered Lamb Cinema's Wednesday Night History of Horror.

This week saw Claude Rains in the classic H.G. Wells tale, The Invisible Man paired with the late, great Fay Wray in the first of three consecutive appearances in The Mystery of the Wax Museum. A fun pre-code flick that was the inspiration for the 1950s 3-D classic House of Wax with Vincent Price.

We close out with the Fay Wray double-feature of The Most Dangerous Game and King Kong. It will be quite a night, during which we'll also announce the first program in the Pick Your Poison Wednesday series that starts up on 5/13. Check the blog and calendar for those weekly announcements if you're not here in person. It's sure to be an interesting if ecclectic lineup for the next several weeks. You too can participate in the programming - you just need to show up!