Short and sweet: I’ve been thinking about changing the look of my blog. It’s been the same for about 2 years now and I’m getting itchy about changing it. That is where you come in. Should I change the theme entirely? Should I keep the same theme and make a few cosmetic changes? Should I leave it just the way it is?

I’ll run this for one week. Give me your input, please. Peace out…I mean-take care…and stay scared.


From A Nightmare on Elm Street:


One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.





Robert Englund as The MC

Robert Englund as The MC

Directed by Tobe Hooper

Teleplay by Richard Christian Matheson

Based on the short story by Richard Matheson

Pop Quiz, boys and girls; what do you get when you take an episode of Masters of Horror, directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw MassacrePoltergeist) and starring Jonathan Tucker(The Ruins) and Jessica Lowndes (AutopsyThe Haunting of Molly Hartley) as star-crossed lovers, and finally you throw in Mr. Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, as an eyeliner wearing, slick talking MC and toss it all into a post-apocalyptic tale written by Richard Christian Matheson, based on a story by Richard Matheson where youth run wild, blood is valued and the dead dance for our entertainment?

Answer: You get a steaming pile of nothing.

The first two episodes of Masters of Horror, flawed though they were, showed flashes of promise and kept things interesting enough to return for episode three, Dance of the Dead. This is where the series took a big step backward; and if this was only the third episode then that is not a good thing.

I don’t know what the hell has happened to Tobe Hooper over the years; but if he keeps directing crap like this then he’s going to lose the Master of Horror title he’s hanging on to so loosely. Jonathan Tucker and Jessica Lowndes have no chemistry in their roles. As for Robert Englund, I barely recognized him in the role of the MC. It wasn’t until he spoke that I knew who I was watching. Basically, Englund is playing Freddy Krueger; only without the razor fingers, the burnt face, the hat or the sweater. Take all that away and he’s pretty much playing a giant dick.

I know that I have a few friends out there who are big on post-apocalyptic cinema and the like. I admit that although I like the genre, my knowledge of it is not that extensive. However it would seem to me that one of the main ideas or points would be to have a whole lot of something happening in a world that’s become a whole lot of nothing. Dance of the Dead takes that old Billy Preston song too seriously; ‘nothing from nothing leaves nothing’.




Wow, I’ve done ten editions of “What’s Their Best Film?” already. In that time I have received great response from some of my regular and my non-regular commentators. I’m sure that a lot of you have voiced your opinion of not what you thought a particular filmmaker’s best movie was; but listed your favorite film from said director instead. Hey, that’s cool; because in order to accurately give an opinion of a director’s best movie you would have had to have seen every film in their catalog. I love movies, but I will not and cannot watch movies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are more important things such as work, supporting a family and figuring out ways to get Honey Boo Boo off the air. Damn what an annoying kid and her equally annoying mother!

So why am I babbling on and on? I shall tell you. In the last ten editions of “WTBF?” it has been you, dear reader, who has voiced your humble opinion. Now it’s my turn to give you my opinion. I will list each director below and I will tell what I think is their best movie or my favorite movie; whatever you want to call it.

Let’s begin:


Is it any surprise that I’m going with Goodfellas for this one? In my opinion it’s the greatest gangster flick ever made.

Runner-up: Taxi Driver



Most of what Bay puts out is complete shit; but if I had to choose a movie of his to watch I’d go with Armageddon . At least it got the Criterion Collection treatment.

Runner-up: Transformers


Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho. It’s my favorite “Hitch” film and in my humble opinion it is also his best. The shower scene alone is worth the price of admission.

Runner-up: Rear Window



Schlinder’s List. Spielberg may have given us the first summer blockbuster with Jaws; but with Schindler’s List he gave us his first and finest masterpiece. Ralph Fiennes is chilling as Amon Goeth.

Runner-up: Jaws



Two words: Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2, Okay, so that’s six words. That’s because these movies rock so hard they blow up two words and turn them into six!

Runner-up: Pulp Fiction



I loved Magnolia and watch it at least three times every year. There are just so many great performances in this film from Julianne Moore to John C. Reilly. Tom Cruise was robbed of an Oscar for his role as informercial sex guru Frank ‘T.J.’ Mackey.

Runner-up: Boogie Nights



Do you honestly think I would choose anything other than The Thing?

Runner-up: Halloween



Jeff Goldblum had the role of a lifetime in Cronenberg’s vision of the George Langelaan short story The Fly. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Runner-up: The Dead Zone



Some might say Carrie, some might say Scarface; I’m going with Blow Out as De Palma’s best. Travolta’s performance is one of the key reasons Tarantino wanted him for Pulp Fiction.

Runner-up: Carrie or Scarface (tie)



I loved Short Cuts the first time I saw it and every time after that. Fantastic ensemble acting.

Runner-up: M*A*S*H



Not only is Sin City Rodriguez’ best film; but it is also the single most faithful adaptation of a graphic novel from page to screen that I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s also the movie that once again made a contender out of Mickey Rourke.

Runner-up: From Dusk ’til Dawn



Unforgiven is one of the greatest westerns ever made. It was directed by Clint Eastwood; who in turn learned a few tricks from one of the greatest filmmakers, Sergio Leone.

Runner-up: Million Dollar Baby or Mystic River (tie)



This is cheating, but I’m going with the entire Evil Dead trilogy for this one. Who needs Spider-man when you’ve got Ash? Bruce Campbell rocks!!

Runner-up: Spider-man 2



To be honest, I’ve only seen three Argento films: Suspiria, Mother of Tears and Opera. Of the three of those I suppose my choice for his best would be Suspiria. What a creepy and atmospheric film.

Runner-up: Opera



I have to go with The Wrestler on this one. I’ve been a fan of the squared circle for quite a long time and it’s the first film to take the subject matter seriously. Mickey Rourke was amazing as Randy “The Ram” Robinson.

Runner-up: Black Swan



I could be a complete asshole and go totally against the popular choice of A Nightmare on Elm Street as Craven’s best; but that would just be stupid. He gave us Freddy Fucking Krueger with this one, for crying out loud!

Runner-up: The Last House on the Left or Scream (tie)



Just as Craven brought usFreddy Krueger with his greatest film A Nightmare on Elm Street; so did Tobe Hooper bring us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Leatherface 10 years prior. Watch this movie and you’ll think twice about picking up hitchhikers and eating Texas Bar-B-Que.

Runner-up: Poltergeist



It may seem like a strange choice, but I pick his remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes over High Tension (aka Haute Tension aka Switchblade Romance) as Aja’s best film. It’s close though; both movies are fucking brutal.

Runner-up: High Tension 



Some people seem to love Rob Zombie’s films and other people seem to hate his films and his fucking guts. There’s no middle ground. What’s his best film? That’s easy: The Devil’s Rejects.

Runner-up: Halloween



What have I said before? The Howling is the greatest werewolf movie ever made; so the choice here is a no-brainer.

Runner-up: Gremlins



Re-animator, of course. Those of you who disagree can get a job in a sideshow. This film brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘giving head.’

Runner-up: From Beyond



I haven’t seen everything by Del Toro, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil’s Backbone. It was an amazing little ghost story.

Runner-up: Hellboy



There is no question that Night of the Living Dead is Romero’s greatest film; the trouble is that Dawn of the Dead is every bit as awesome. Folks, we have a tie! Zombies everywhere have Uncle George to thank for their popularity.

Runner-up: Day of the Dead



I loved Session 9 and The Machinist on equal terms; but if I had to choose I’d have to go with the latter based simply on the strength of the performance from Christian Bale. The Machinist is a brilliant film about guilt and how it can affect us so deeply.

Runner-up: Session 9



William Friedkin

The Exorcist. Nothing else need be said.

Runner-up: The French Connection



Lucky McKee

I choose May as McKee’s best for one simple reason: the deliciously disturbing performance from Angela Bettis. She deserved an Oscar for that movie.

Runner-up: The Woman



Eduardo Sanchez

It’s going to take Sanchez a long time before he gets out from under the shadow of The Blair Witch Project. He’s been making heavy strides with films like Altered and Lovely Molly. Still, it is the witch who holds sway over all.

Runner-up: Altered



I’ve only seen one Bava film and that is Black Sunday. I do want to see more.



The same goes for Lucio Fulci and Zombie. I know, I know I need to watch more Fulci and Bava.



The man who gave us The Man with No Name. It’s hard to pick one great Leone film. A Fistful of Dollars? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Once Upon a Time in the West? Once Upon a Time in America? Nope, I just can’t do it.


There you go; my choices. Some are your choices as well and some are not. Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and they make the world go ’round.


Before I get started I want to get a few things out of the way. First, here is the somewhat mandatory Nostalgiathon badge:


Then there is the also somewhat mandatory link back to Andy Watches Movies and his post regarding Nostalgiathon. Don’t be afraid to click it.

Okay, now that that’s all out of the way I can get down to this business of nostalgia. What is nostalgia, exactly? To me, nostalgia is when we fondly remember the good things about our past that we are never going to experience again. Maybe it was Sunday dinner with the entire family in one room; eating, laughing and communicating about the events of the day. Maybe it was your first kiss from your first girlfriend or boyfriend. It’s always the good things we remember and look back on with fond remembrance. You never hear someone say “Do you remember when Uncle Ted was working under the car and the engine fell on him and Aunt Gracie didn’t find him until three hours later? *Sigh* those were the days.”

So, what was a nostalgic time for me? I don’t think it was so much a time as it was a friend and a mutual adoration that our elementary and junior high school brains shared for all things horror. His name was T.J. Johnson; and every Saturday, and later Sunday, I would be glued to my TV as Shock Theater and the monsters that I first feared but soon grew to love would play out their macabre adventures before my eyes. It was here that I first made acquaintances with Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Fly, The Invisible Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. My parents couldn’t understand why I loved these ghouls so much, but that was because they didn’t understand that to a boy who was smaller than most and picked on constantly by his larger peers that these monsters were the bodyguards that I had always dreamed of. With that much said, let’s fast forward to Monday morning and homeroom.

Monday was the best day of the week. It was the day that T.J. and I could compare notes and wax on and on about the movies that we both knew the other had watched over the weekend.

“You see it when Frankenstein killed Igor?”

“Did you hear the screams as she ripped the hood from the Fly’s head?”

“Man that was sure cool seeing that guy turn into the Wolf Man!”

On and on we would go. It was because of T.J. that I discovered a love for the trivia behind the scenes. I began to devour, at first, issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland and later Fangoria and now the latter magazine and Rue Morgue and HorrorHound magazine. The Universal Monsters gave way to Hammer Films and Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as his arch-nemesis Van Helsing. Oliver Reed howled with the Curse of the Werewolf and Herbert Lom was the lonely Phantom lurking beneath the streets of London. Then as seasons change and people live and die then again these monsters would give way to the violent and silent Leatherface and Michael Myers, the undying and relentless Jason Voorhees and the razor sharp knives and wit of Freddy Krueger. I ramble on and on and I apologize; but what I am trying to say is that though the monsters may have changed and the movies may be color instead of black and white and we see the blood and the gore instead of just imagining it is that my love for horror all started with a long canceled TV show, Shock Theater, and a long unseen friend, T.J. Johnson.

I lost touch with T.J. in the ninth grade. I can’t tell him about all the great horror movies or about my life and its ups and downs and about the wonderful woman that I call my wife and best friend. I don’t know whether he’s alive or dead. I like to think that he reads my blog and say ‘hey, I remember that guy.’ If he is then I just want to say thanks for some good fuckin’ times.

So, there you go; that’s what nostalgia means to me.

Take care and stay scared.

A Q and A with Jody S. Dean

Jody Dean is an independent filmmaker. His film is entitled “Don’t Go on the Trail”. He was kind enough to grant me an informal Q and A. Check it out.

Let’s do this. First of all, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what lead you to pursue a career in film making?

Well, my name is Jody Dean; I was born and raised in Largo Florida. I’m 28 years old. I’m a father to a beautiful little girl and a handsome young man. I have the best girlfriend in the world; she even plays the role of being a personal assistant on set/script supervisor. I have been addicted to good horror films since I was a little boy. I started writing music/songs at the age of 9 years old and was pursuing a career in music until the end of 2011. The music game made me sick after trying to catch my big break for 17 years and a couple years ago I started making films. I never thought I would be able to make movies. It sounded like only something Hollywood could do. But with technology and a little bit of money over time I was able to acquire all I needed to make feature film – straight to DVD releases.

I think what pulled me into this role of being a film maker is my passion for writing and making art, I’ve always had a very vivid imagination and what better way to use my talent than making movies of my own. Making films is so much fun, I can’t see myself quitting; only advancing and trying to always top my last piece of work.

One thing I think people will learn about me is I prefer to work with a small crew. My movie “Don’t Go on the Trail” was made by me and some help from my girlfriend. I do almost 30 different people jobs and that’s why I was able to pull this film off for $10,000 dollars. All the money went into equipment, sfx, make up and props.

Photo courtesy of Jody Dean

Okay, sounds good. Why horror?

I love horror, I love monsters, I love getting scared, and I really love seeing other people get scared. I have learned to enjoy my nightmares instead of fearing them and sometimes I even write them down thinking ‘hey this is a movie!’ Horror gets my blood going. For some its bungee jumping; for me its 1O gallons of fake blood and a crazy deformed killer baring a jagged blade standing over his victim.

Mr. Dean, I like the way you think. It appears to me that you subscribe to the ‘gore is more’ sub-genre of horror. Who and what were some of your influences once you decided to tread the dark path of horror?

Well thank you! In the beginning it was “Child’s Play”, Freddy Krueger, “Halloween”, “The Exorcist” and even “Scream”. But now “Wrong Turn”, “Resident Evil”,” Dawn of the Dead”,” The Last House on the Left”, “I Spit on Your Grave” and “28 Weeks Later” are some of my favorite films and I would say they’re influences. I would say learning Special FX has been influencing, knowing that I can bring nightmares to life by making them into a movie and I’ve always loved acting so to act in the kind of film I love is beautiful.

Photo courtesy of Jody Dean

From seeing the trailer for “Don’t Go on the Trail” it seems that the film is a combination somewhere between “Hatchet” and “I Spit on Your Grave.” Not to mention also that the title hearkens back to all those old films that had the word ‘don’t’ in the title. Am I fairly close? How did the project start for you?

Well, I have yet to see “Hatchet” but it looks great! I actually wrote the script (for “Don’t Go on the Trail”) before I ever saw “I Spit on Your Grave”, but I can see a connection as far as a girl gets raped and then seeks revenge, but like I said I wrote “Don’t Go on the Trail” a long time ago and until last year I’m sorry to say I didn’t even know “I Spit on your Grave” was a remake, late bloomer to the oldies. As far as how it started: I had a vision of the character, I saw the movie and how it would play out in my mind, I started writing and 3 months later the script was finished. Lots of blood, sex, profanity, intensity, scares and overall it’s a film that needed to be made.

How hard was it to raise the funds for the production? I did a similar Q and A with Christina Raia and she used as a way to raise the $12,000 she needed for her first feature film, “Summit”. Was your experience anything like hers?

Well, not like hers at all. I have raised money before for other projects, but this particular project was funded partially from a settlement I received back in January of this year and the rest from my personal life savings. If this film doesn’t blow up I’m out 10k. But I have faith it’s going to blow up and if it doesn’t I’m okay with that, at the end of the day I’m proud I made something so brutally fucking awesome! But like I said I think this film is going to blow up and I believe it will have the same impact as a major when it comes to DVD sales.

So, is it safe to say that you still have both kidneys? As for direct to DVD I used to be a major snob when it came to that. But then I realized how much I was actually missing out on. There have been some great movies and there have been those that have been total shit.

Yeah, I still have both kidneys and I’m hoping to keep them. Yeah, I can see your point. I think there may be a time I probably felt the same, but I love the fact that when you hear about the movie you can also buy it on DVD a couple months later, opposed to hearing about a movie then having to wait 2 months until it hits theaters and having to pay an arm and a leg to go see it; then 3 to 6 months in some cases before it comes out. If your film flops at that rate you already missed time where you could have been on set working on your next movie. That’s just my minds comparison of straight to DVD releases and major releases.

Tell us about “Don’t Go on the Trail”. Who stars in it? When can we hope to see it?

“Don’t go on the Trail” is going to be epic! It stars a new face to the game, Allie Madison, who plays the role of the killer Hellady Marie James, and then you’ve got Morgan Middlebrook who has delivered an electrifying performance, and me.

This film has what the horror hounds want, lots of blood, real special effects; none of that CGI stuff, great music and scoring. It will keep you interested beginning to end. The actors all delivered a great performance and the style of my work will separate me from everyone else and give horror hounds something new to look forward to for years to come.

Photo courtesy of Jody Dean

Wow! Those are bold words from a man who is confident in his work. Jody, I wish you the best of luck and in keeping with the informal tone of this Q and A I have one final question: you’re trapped on an elevator with a midget, a machete, a hamster and a copy of Fangoria magazine. What do you do?

I would eat the hamster, then stand on the midget’s shoulders and make him read Fangoria so he would be sure to stay focused while I use the machete to cut my way out the top of the elevator.

Jody, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

Absolutely, thank you!

Photo courtesy of Jody Dean

For more of Jody Dean you can visit the following sites:


CANDYMAN-United States-1992

Virginia Madsen as Helen Lyle

Tony Todd as Candyman/Daniel Robitaille

Xander Berkeley as Trevor Lyle

Kasi Lemmons as Bernadette Walsh

Directed by Bernard Rose

Screenplay by Bernard Rose

Based on “The Forbidden” by Clive Barker

They will say that I have shed innocent blood. What’s blood for, if not for shedding?’-”Candyman”

Leave it to the mind of Clive Barker to create an urban legend from an urban legend. What, didn’t you know? The legend of “Candyman” is a variation on the tale of Bloody Mary. Go into your bathroom, turn off your lights and say ‘bloody Mary’ three times into the mirror. When you do, she’ll appear behind you with a bloody butcher knife and slice your throat from ear to ear. Or maybe it was a razor. I heard the story from a friend of a friend’s second cousin twice removed on his uncle’s roommate’s side, so the story may have gotten a little diluted or maybe even embellished. Anyway, go try it. I’ll wait right here.

Hmmm, I see that you’re back but that there are less of you. Oh well, for those of you still here I can assure you that although “Candyman” is a derivative of an old urban legend that certainly doesn’t make it any less frightening. Quite the contrary actually; the film, which is loosely based on Barker’s “The Forbidden” from his “Books of Blood”, is one of the most atmospherically unsettling films I’ve seen in a long time. There is a feel to certain scenes that make you feel as if you are watching with a lead weight on your chest. The first time I watched the film I literally felt as if the room were closing in on me and I am not claustrophobic in the least.

Tony Todd as the “Candyman” brings to life a character that is deservedly every bit the horror icon that Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees has become. He is pure menace wrapped in vengeance and angry evil. The best way to describe the “Candyman” is by his own words: ‘I am the writing on the wall, the whisper in the classroom’…’I am rumor’…’To be whispered about at street corners, to live in other people’s dreams. But not have to be.’

To give you an example of the effect that “Candyman” has on us I will share with you this little tidbit; of all the friends that I have who have seen the film not one of them has ever had the guts to say his name five times in the mirror as the film suggests. ‘Whisper in the classroom’, my eye. We all believe in the “Candyman”.


There is a Guy Fawkes mask hanging next to Helen’s bathroom mirror. Fawkes is an infamous figure in English history (an influence from Clive Barker’s original story perhaps), who attempted to blow up the English Parliament on November 5, 1605. Every year the British celebrate Guy Fawkes Day by lighting bonfires and burning Fawkes in effigy.

Virginia Madsen is allergic to bees, so an ambulance was always on set while filming the bee sequence.

Exterior, hallway and stairway scenes were actually filmed for a few days in the infamous Cabrini-Green housing projects, though the producers had to make a deal with the ruling gang members to put them in the movie as extras to ensure the cast and crew’s safety during filming. Even with this arrangement, a sniper put a bullet through the production van on the last day of filming, though no one was injured.

The architecture flaw of the medicine chests and people being able to sneak in, is something that Bernard Rose discovered in his research for the film and there was actually a series of murders that were committed this way.