CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
CHICAGO – After making incredibly influential, low-budget horror films like “The Last House on the Left” and “The Hills Have Eyes,” Wes Craven was essentially at a career crossroads. Keep staying off the radar or join contemporaries like John Carpenter in a quest for more mainstream success. Thus, “Swamp Thing” was born. While it is seen as a cult B-movie now, this was Craven’s attempt at showing he could do something more crowd-pleasing than his dark fare.
CHICAGO – Scream Factory, the horror branch of the great Shout Factory, continues to impress with an ambitious slate of catalog films making their HD debut in the coming months, many of which were announced at Comic-Con last month (“Nightbreed”!). They also seem to be upping their release rate, unleashing two horror flicks last week, John Carpenter’s beloved “The Fog” and the truly horrendous “The Incredible Melting Man,” a cultural curiosity but a crap film.
CHICAGO – Our younger readers may find it hard to believe that John Carpenter was once one of the most inspiring filmmakers in the world. He’s still one of the truly influential voices of the ’70s and ’80s despite the tragedy that has been his career for the last couple decades. Save for the occasional flare-up (“Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns,” “In the Mouth of Madness”), Carpenter’s work has barely resembled his prime. For proof, check out the still-amazing and timeless “Escape From New York,” now available on Blu-ray for the first time.