Stream Police: The Shudder Edition
Our journey to the far reaches of the world of streaming services continues this week as we look at a Shudder. For those who haven't heard of it, Shudder is a new streaming service that launched this past summer and features only horror films. The perfect service for fans of the genre, Shudder features a number of the genre's staples. Everything from slasher films to horror classics, Shudder even offers fair subscription fees, starting at only $5 a month. While I'm not the biggest fan of the horror genre, I've taken a look at just what this service has to offer, to let horror fans know if the service is worth looking into.
Once concidered to be one of the most controversial films of all time, Cannibal Holocaust isn't looked it in the same negative light that it was upon its original release in 1980. While the violence has been upstaged in the last 36 years, some controversy, like the abuse of animals in the film, still can make it hard to watch for some. If you're okay with watching something a little more extreme and you aren't okay with the films blatant animal cruelty, then it's probably worth a watch. However, don't go into Cannibal Holocaust expecting a great film, sadly the film's history and controvery are far more interesting than the film itself.
The brainchild of horror legend Clive Barker, Hellraiser was the begining of a series of films featuring one of the 80's horror icons, Pinhead. After Frank Cotton solves a puzzle box he purchased from a dealer in Morocco, he is killed, but his body is never found. After Frank's brother Larry moves into the house, Frank is ressurected and Larry's wife, Julia, begins bringing men into the house for Frank to kill to restore himself. The mystery of the puzzle box becomes even more strange after Larry and Julia's daughter Kristy solves the puzzle and brings forth the Cenobites and their mysterious leader, Pinhead.
While the film saw rave reviews in its native England, it recieved very mixed reviews during its intial US release. These days, many critics consider the film a classic, but no where near the level of Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th.
Based on the H.P. Lovecraft novella, Herbert West—Re-Animatior, this films features the fantastic Jeffery Combs as the titular Dr. Herbert West. Combs performance as West is one of the most memorable things about this film. After the doctor claims that he was able to bring a dead cat back to life, he attempts to move his experients to humans. Along with his friend, Dan Cain, the two attempt the experiement only to find that the reanimated bodies become frenzied zombies. Those around West start to see him decend into madness as he begins to care more about his work than even his own life.
The Hills Have Eyes
The original cult classic was directed by the late, great Wes Craven, but is most likely remember more for Micheal Berryman than the legendary director. Berryman was used in much of the film's advertising due to his unique look due to his hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. This has allowed him to make a career in horror films, so its likely that fans of the genre has been him in other projects over the years. The Hills Have Eyes revolves around the Carter family, who become the target of a strange group of people while traveling through Nevada.
If you are interested in Micheal Berryman, we have had him on our Tales from the Crypt podcast, Chronicles from the Crypt, as a guest in our sixteenth episode.
The Phantom of the Opera
This silent film from 1925 stars one of the most iconic horror actors in history, Lon Cheney, as the Phantom. While this film isn't going to get the impact it did nearly 100 years ago, the film's iconic unmasking scene was said to have caused extreme reactions from crowds, ranging from screaming to passing out from the sight of Cheney's make up. Fans of the horror genre owe it to themselves to watch this version of the film. It may not hold up to horror films of the day, but so much of Lon Cheney Sr.'s career has been lost over the years, that it's worth hunting down and seeing what movies are still available.