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Walker Stalker Con 2018: ‘The Walking Dead’ FanFest Takes NJ
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Walker Stalker Con zombie logo

All reports of The Walking Dead’s demise have been greatly overstated. By 9:15am on Saturday (over an hour before doors opened to the general public), the parking lot of the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center was jam packed and lines were forming outside for this year’s Walker Stalker Con. When the doors opened at 10:30am, it was as if the zombies had broken through the gates! Fans of the AMC television series, which is currently in its ninth season, packed the convention hall to meet their favorite stars, get autographs, take photos, and sit for Q&A panels.

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NYCHFF 2018: NYC Horror Film Festival Day 3
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYC Horror Film Festival 2018 NYCHFF

The NYC Horror Film Festival had a huge day planned on Saturday. The third day of the festival opened at noon and played all through the night with a main event featuring the Candyman, Tony Todd, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 16th year of the festival originated by the late Michael J. Hein saw packed houses this year since Thursday and already set their festival attendance record. I got to the Cinepolis Chelsea at around 4:00pm, right in time to catch two awesome programs including a feature that is likely to end up in my Top 10 horror films of 2018.

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NYCHFF 2018: ‘Candyman’ Actor Tony Todd Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYCHFF Tony Todd Candyman NYCHFF 2018: Candyman Actor Tony Todd Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year for over a decade and half, the New York City Horror Film Festival has handed out its Lifetime Achievement Award to an icon of horror cinema. The festival was created and organized by the late Michael J. Hein back in 2002 and the first two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award were George A. Romero and Tom Savini.

Perhaps fittingly this year’s recipient was Tony Todd, who broke into the horror genre in Savini’s 1990 remake of Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead. Two years later, he became a true horror legend when he played the titular hook-handed Candyman in Bernard Rose’s film based on the Clive Barker story The Forbidden. Since then Todd has used his massive 6’5″ frame, size-16 shoe, and deep voice to leave a lasting impression on the horror industry with appearances in the Final Destination franchise, Hatchet 1 & 2, Masters of Horror, and more. Saturday night at the Cinepolis Chelsea, The Candyman showed up to a sell-out crowd (with probably 50+ others standing in the aisle) to accept his award and partake in a Q&A.

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NYCHFF 2018: NYC Horror Film Festival Day 2
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYC Horror Film Festival 2018 NYCHFF

While others are getting ready to light the menorah and decorate the tree, the fine folks at the New York City Horror Film Festival are still in pure Halloween mode. The 16th annual film festival, which started Thursday night, November 29th, was dedicated to its late founder and director Michael J. Hein, and emanated out of the Cinepolis Chelsea. Opening night saw an appearance from acclaimed horror producer/writer/director Mick Garris (The Stand, Masters of Horror), who was there to help kick off the festival with the horror anthology Nightmare Cinema, to which he contributed. Also there was Tony Timpone, longtime editor of Fangoria magazine. I made it in time for night 2 and was treated to an amazing evening of short- and feature-length horror from the cerebral to the emotional to the utterly insane.

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‘She-Ra Princesses Of Power’ Debuts On Netflix
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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She-Ra Netflix 02

Growing up in the early to mid 1980s one thing was for sure, the cartoons were epic! Nothing was better than coming home from school right in time to watch the 2-hour block of cartoons: She-Ra, He-Man, Thundercats, and Voltron. Now just as I grew up with those classic shows, my kids get to grow with the latest incarnations thanks to Netflix. Last week on November 13th, season one of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power hit the streaming service. Each of the 13 episodes is 24 minutes long, mirroring a typical weekday afternoon cartoon minus commercials.

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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2018: Blu-ray and DVD Edition
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Holiday Blu-ray Gift Guide 2018

This was a tremendous year for horror, no matter what the snobs at Vogue magazine will have you believe. For the horror fan in your life, there is a virtual cornucopia of Blu-rays and special edition sets for both new and classic films as well as TV favorites. But, there were also some great offerings in comedy, drama, and scifi too, as well as animated features. So if you’re celebrating Hanukkah and need eight gifts for eight crazy nights, or just want to stack the gifts under the Christmas tree, here are some Blu-rays and DVDs we recommend this holiday season. Hopefully these are enough to quell the movie lovers in your family. Whether it’s the 4K-Ultras, Blu-rays, collector’s sets, or plain old DVD, these gifts will hit the spot this holiday season.

Check out this year’s Holiday Geek Gift Guide: Blu-ray & DVD Edition

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NYC Horror Film Festival Returns Later This Month
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYCHFF NYC Horror Film Festival

Even though Halloween is past, it’s not safe to put away the horror films just yet. The New York City Horror Film Festival returns to the city for 4 gory days starting on Thursday, November 29th and running through Sunday, December 2nd at the Cinepolis Chelsea. This is the 16th edition of the festival started by the late Michael J. Hein and continued by his family and friends. When all is said and done nearly 40 feature-length and short horror films will be screened at the festival.

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Blu-ray Review: Maximum Overdrive (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Maximum Overdrive review

Maximum Overdrive
Vestron Video Collector’s Series
Blu-ray
Written and directed by Stephen King
Starring Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 23, 2018

Maximum Overdrive marked the directorial debut of the most successful horror author of all time, Stephen King. The film and King’s direction were widely panned to the tune of 24% on Metacritic and a measly 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. Time has been kind however, as the film built a cult following over the years and now there’s a brand new collector’s edition Blu-ray out by Vestron Video.

Based on King’s short story “Trucks,” Maximum Overdrive is about a rag tag group of survivors battling sentient machines sprung to life due to a mysterious comet. While no one will confuse this with an Oscar-winning classic, or even a top King adaptation, there is a certain charm about this weird movie.

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Book Review: Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History review

Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History
Hardcover
By James Mottram & David S. Cohen
Foreword by John McTiernan
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release date: October 30, 2018

In this writer’s opinion, Die Hard is the greatest action film ever made. Based on Roderick Thorp’s Nothing Lasts Forever, John McTiernan’s 1988 classic combined all the elements that make for the perfect action movie: a great protagonist, an equally detestable villain, tremendous action set pieces, and insanely quotable dialogue. It made the careers of its stars, Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, and it proved that an ’80s blockbuster didn’t need a muscle-bound hero to sell tickets. Willis played John McClane like the everyman who wanted to be a Will Rogers-esque cowboy, and Rickman’s delightfully evil Hans Gruber became the prototype for action bad guys. 30 years and 4 sequels later, James Mottram and David S. Cohen along with Insight Editions bring you Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History. This epic 230+ page book is the perfect holiday gift for the Die Hard enthusiast in your life.

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Interview: Chris Moore, Director Of ‘Blessed Are The Children’
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Blessed Are The Children

Over the summer I caught a screening of Chris Moore’s Triggered and I absolutely loved it. The film is currently running the festival circuit and is scheduled to come out in wide release next year. Moore’s first horror film Blessed are the Children was just picked up by Wild Eye Releasing and is available today on Amazon and Amazon Instant Video. His films are slashers with a taboos twists. Blessed are the Children is about a woman who terminates a pregnancy is stalked by masked maniacs who protest outside abortion clinics, while Triggered takes a unique turn at portraying social justice warriors. One thing for sure, the young filmmaker has a flair all his own. I got a chance to speak with about his upcoming films, his influences and aspirations.

Check out the interview below (with some spoilers!).

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