Happy Valentine's Day, horror fans! Do you hate Valentine's Day? Do you get sick of all the lovey-dovey couples out there? Or maybe you just like to celebrate your Valentine's Day with a twist of horror?
Well, look no further. This year, Crypt TV has released two horror shorts to celebrate the season of love!
The first video, titled Be Mine, is just shy or two minutes and gives you a quick bite sized bit of Valentine's horror that is watchable on your coffee break, on the toilet, or in between Valentine Tantra sessions with your significant other.
Be Mine is a super simplistic story where a Valentine obsessed killer with a bolt action crossbow descends upon an unwitting couple and kills them off. I thoroughly enjoyed this little video, as it reminded me a lot of classic slashers (such as My Bloody Valentine) from the 80s (my favorite sub-genre).
I would love to see this movie expanded into a full length slasher, maybe even turning it into a period piece by setting it in the 80s proper and having the killer slowly taking out happy couples just for being in love. His motive should probably be as cliche as "My own girlfriend dumped me," "I hate being alone on Valentine's," or "I've never had a girlfriend so no one else should either."
Watch Be Mine now!
The second video released by Crypt TV is titled Valentine's Die. It has a slightly longer running time of just over five minutes and also has more humor to it.
In this holiday horror entry, a couple on the rocks during Valentine's Day is hunted down by a murderous and somewhat demonic version of cupid who seems to have the singular goal of killing off anyone who cheats on their significant other during the season of love.
This video definitely was totally goofy and had more to it than the other, and it had some fun moments with the cupid character flying around, but I felt it was also lacking in spots. For one, cupid seems to be a combo of a real life doll and CGI. I would have preferred if the doll was only done with practical effects, as the CGI makes it look almost too ridiculous.
Being a huge fan of Full Moon Features such as Ginger Dead Man, Evil Bong, and Puppet Master, I know it's possible to make "little" murderers look really cool. I think that could have benefited this movie.
My second complaint is the kills. They could have gotten a little more creative. At one point, the boyfriend traps cupid in a stock pot and holds the pot against his stomach/crotch. I thought it would have been awesome to have the cupid dig or eat it's way through his body. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.
But, make a judgement for yourself. Watch Valentine's Die now.
Both of these short videos are great ways to get your Valentine's horror fix. Neither one is bad and both have their own holiday charm. However, I felt they both could have been made even better with a few extra tweaks.
RATING: 3 OUT OF 5 PENTAGRAMS
It's never too far away from October to celebrate Halloween--even during the Valentine's season. This is obviously the mentality of Crypt TVs latest short horror offering: Jack O' Lantern.
In this video, a group of teen/college aged kids (who all look much too old to be in either high school or college) are running around the city on Halloween night destroying pumpkins and jack o' lanterns with an ax. The ring leader, a jock in a letter jacket, keeps on pushing the others to join in. One of the girls is reluctant to do any smashing to the point of refusing to hang out with the group any longer. However, as is the case in many horror films, the idiot of a jock gets a satisfying punishment as the video comes to an end.
Jack O' Lantern is dripping with Halloween atmosphere, right down to an almost 80s synth soundtrack. The characters never talk the entire film, thus lending more to the imagery and sound effects. On the other hand, the mute characters come off a little odd at times, just grunting and laughing like neanderthals. This was obviously a directorial choice, which works in some respects and not in others.
Additionally, the age of the characters is a little odd, seeing as they all look like adults in their late twenties or earlier thirties. It seems strange for grown people to be acting in such an immature manner on Halloween night. However, once you get over the fact that the actors are meant to portray teens/college students, it's easier to forgive.
In the end, I enjoyed the final moments of the video, but would have preferred a little blood splatter or squishier sound effects. As it is, I think it works well, but could have been better.
It's a good little film with just the right touch of Halloween "cheer." If your looking for a spooky fix, this could scratch the itch. Just don't expect too much, either.
RATING: 3 OUT OF 5 PENTAGRAMS
It's officially February and the Valentine's season! This time of year is filled to the brim with red and pink decorations, candy hearts, boxes of chocolate, flowers, fancy dinners . . . and murder!
Okay, so maybe not everyone's Valentine's Day includes murder, but when it comes to R.L. Stine and Fear Street, you are guaranteed a death or two. Such is the case in his 1993 (republished in 2011) novel: Broken Hearts.
This story of holiday horror revolves around two main characters, Josie and Melissa. After a horrible horse riding accident (caused by the two teenager's carelessness) these two girl's lives change forever. When a close friend is left with serious injuries from the incident, they both try their best to move on with their lives.
However, it seems that someone doesn't want them to move on. Someone wants them to remember . . . and pay for their mistakes.
It all begins when Josie starts receiving threatening Valentine's in the mail. Poems that foretell of death and murder are the last thing either of these girl's expected during this season of love. However, a killer is out to get them before they can hold their final celebrations.
Broken Hearts is probably one of my favorite Fear Street novels I've read to date. The tone seemed somewhat more serious than other entries in the series thus lent itself to a more "80s slasher movie" style story line.
While Stine doesn't shy away from a few false scares and fake outs, the majority of the horror is true and really happening. This is one reason I love this book. The thrills are more tense and frightening since you know for a fact that something truly sinister is going on. Someone is really killing people and seems to have their sights set on Josie and Melissa.
Additionally, I have a great love for any kind of holiday horror fiction--and Valentine's Day is no exception. While Stine could have worked in a little more "holiday cheer" along with the horrors, he has just enough love letters, decorations, and even Valentine's parties to give it the right flavor.
Best of all, I really enjoyed the story's climax when the killer is revealed. I thought I had it all figured out but was blown away when I realized I'd been wrong. It made for a satisfying conclusion to a well written and evenly paced horror thriller.
If you're looking for something to read this Valentine's Day, go ahead and order a copy of this book. You won't regret it.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 PENTAGRAMS
For the past few years, the legend of Krampus (also known as the Anti-Santa or Anti-Claus) has rose to popularity in horror culture. This is partially thanks to Michael Dougherty's (of Trick r' Treat fame) 2015 film of the same name. However, today I'm not talking about the feature length film.
Crypt TV, a fan favorite YouTube channel for horror, has just uploaded a short horror film also titled Krampus. In this story, an unruly teen sits unhappily on Christmas Eve as her sweet grandmother and typical middle America parents read The Night Before Christmas. When it come to her turn to read, she has her own sinister spin on the story.
Take one guess that it involves Krampus.
This short video provides a fun bit of holiday horror to wet your taste buds (with blood). There is nothing really special or new here. There isn't even a twist or surprise like many of the Crypt TV videos. However, if you're looking for a very quick horror pick-me-up, this will provide with enough Christmas spirit, blood, and chills, to make you happy--even if only for a second.
Thanks Crypt TV, and Merry Christmas!
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 PENTAGRAMS
Occult Concept is a horror podcast and blog focusing on discussions of independent and cult horror film from the 70's, 80's, and beyond--including current media which is inspired by these movies.