This week in horror history saw the birth of two men who would change the face of the genre forever. Edgar Allen Poe, king of all-thing macabre and haunter of teen Goth dreams, was born January 19, 1809.
Nearly 150 years later director John Carpenter was born on January 16, 1948. Carpenter came out of USC film school with a number of other talented writers and directors. He was instrumental in changing the face of horror movie industry, making it the blockbuster business it is today, and creating what we know as the contemporary slasher. As a side note, there’s a fascinating book out there, Jason Zinoman’s Shock Value, that’s a great read if you want to know more about Carpenter and other directors of ‘70s horror classics.
“There’s a doctor present, Dr. Gatinau.”
One of my all-time favorite films was released this week, Cronenberg’s Scanners. If you haven’t seen it, please see it soon. It’s Cronenberg at his finest, combining corporate greed, sci-fi, societal fears, and body horror into a story that will make your head explode. Just like in the movie.
Also out this week in 1996, the ultra-cheesy, ultra-fun, biker-vampire bloodbath courtesy of Robert Rodriquez, From Dusk Till Dawn. George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino star as outlaw brothers who kidnap a family and head for a bar/stripclub on the border … of hell. Tarantino wrote it and was cast in the role of the psychotic, sexual predator Richie. Like most Rodriquez and Tarantino films, it’s chock full of a-list actors and genre favorites including Tom Savini as the biker Sex Machine.
Watch clips from the films below:
Released: January 14, 1981
Tagline: There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created... and they are winning
Title: From Dusk Till Dawn
Released: January 19, 1996
Tagline: Vampires. No Interviews.