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Our 24th podcast episode was vampire themed and it discussed the culture and films of our favorite blood sucking fiends. (LISTEN TO THE EPISODE). However, we overlooked one area of media, ANIME! The 80s and 90s had oodles of vampy anime with the most notable one probably being the 1985 feature-length animated film Vampire Hunter D.
Based on the manga of the same name, Vampire Hunter D featured artwork by Yoshitaka Amano. Amano has an impressive resume including artwork for much of the Final Fantasy game series. Even if you are not a connoisseur of anime you might have heard of Vampire Hunter D. It’s a Sci-Fi, Horror, Western, Fantasy mash-up and it’s a gory, glorious romp. Watch on as a mysterious, cloak-wearing badass only known as “D” slashes his way through hordes of ghouls, goblins, mutants, trolls, flesh-eating mists, and snake women across a post-apocalyptic wasteland on his steam-powered android horse to save a girl from the clutches of an evil vampire lord. It currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 83%. That’s pretty damn good for a non-Ghibli Studios anime feature-length film.
Vampire Hunter D had a sequel in 2000 called Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Hitoshi Yamaguchi was in charge of cinematography, and some other works of note of his include Ninja Scroll, Battle Angel Alita, and METROPOLIS. Once again we find D on a quest to save a girl from the local big bad vampire whose been terrorizing the countryside. A fun aside: In the first film, D has a parasitic entity living in his left hand, and while D hasn’t aged much from the previous film, his buddy ol’ Lefty has. I love those types of attention to detail and keeping with previously established canon.
Blood: The Last Vampire is a feature film which takes place during WWII and follows braid-rocking Saya, a stoic schoolgirl who is more than she seems (ain’t that always the way?). The monster designs are cool and creepy with plenty of blood and gore, so it lives up to the name. It was received very well in the film festival circuit and has won several film and animation awards. Blood: The Last Vampire has since spawned a Japanese live-action film, a video game, manga, and two animated series.
Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge is a mini-series based on the 1994 video game for the PlayStation and several of the characters from Night Warriors are featured in the arcade game Marvel Versus Capcom. One of my favorite characters to play is Morrigan Aensland (SOULFIST!). There was an animated Darkstalkers TV series made for America which aired on UPN and the violence and sexual themes were toned down for a younger demographic. I would shy away from the Americanized version, it looks terrible. Watch the original Japanese animated version if given a choice.
Other vampiric anime titles include serious and moody, Vampire Princess Miyu, comedy, Master of Mosquiton; magical girl comedy, Devil Hunter Yohko; and people rave about Hellsing, but haven’t seen much of it yet.
So if you are a horror fan and were thinking of dipping your toes into some anime, these are a great start. There are worthwhile horror titles that break preconceived notions about anime. As always, the trick is just finding them. Happy (vampire) hunting!
When looking into the vast genre of Texas horror films, I stumbled across The Aurora Encounter. Granted it’s more on the sci-fi side, it’s still a fun watch for fans of horror, aliens and Texas. It’s a strange film that has some interesting elements and I think it deserves a little attention. First of all, it’s based on “true events” as recorded by multiple credible sources, in the town of Aurora, in the late 1800s. A UFO was claimed to have been sighted by many of the town’s citizens, including the town doctor who allegedly attempted to save the alien’s life, after a crash into a silo. The present day Aurora Cemetery is a historical site, with a plaque recording the so-called incident. There is also a grave marker, where the alien is said to have been buried. In 2008, efforts were made to try and exhume the remains, but the cemetery did not give permission. Radar was used to see what may be buried there, but the remains are in such a condition, that they were not able to determine what exactly is down there.
And so I’ll review this odd film that attempts to re-enact those events. It was 1986 and the world was enamored with aliens. Four years earlier, E.T. was wildly popular, and the cute and cuddly alien had stolen everyone’s heart. This movie is not E.T., so don’t get caught up in the poster’s promise, and go in expecting less. Still, I think there are some reasons to watch.
Aliens love chess. (Elam and Hays)
The top draw to this film may be seeing an adult George McFarland — a.k.a “Spanky” from the Our Gang/ Little Rascals series. He was nearly unrecognizable and his part as the governor is small, but there was something familiar around the eyes and you’ll have an “a-ha” moment, once you realize you’ve spotted him.
A second reason to watch this film is the support from character actors. Jack Elam (Once Upon A Time In The West, High Noon) is an actor that adds a bit of old fashioned western credibility to his role as the town snake oil salesman, Charlie. He sells Dr. Neptune’s Elixir, which the alien seems to enjoy drinking.
Country superstar Dottie West plays the widow, Irene. We almost get some cheesecake shots, as she gets ready for bed, and the little alien spies on her silhouette as she brushes her hair behind a shaded window. You’ll laugh out loud, when you see that she is wearing pantaloons that go past her knees. Nothing R-rated to see here.
I take back the top draw to this film, being the adult “little rascal”. The top draw to this film, hands down is the alien (credited as The Spaceman). The actor who played the alien, Mickey Hays, was a happy-go-lucky kid, even though he had a life-shortening illness, progeria. In the 80s, he was often seen on the talk show circuit, telling the world about his rare disease, which was aging him rapidly. Progeria causes baldness, gray hair, and wrinkles. 90% of people with the disease die before 13, but Mickey managed to survive until 20. He was 14 when he made this film. To see more about his life, see the made for television documentary, I Am Not a Freak. I was completely fascinated. The documentary includes a trip to Disneyland and a glimpse into his relationship with Aurora co-star, Elam. Some would suspect that Mickey was exploited in his movie role. It was said that the only makeup used on him were a pair of prosthetic ears. It seemed like the kid was outgoing and friendly, and I suspect he enjoyed his moment in the spotlight, after watching his segment in the documentary. Jack Elam and Mickey continued their friendship for over a decade, after the making of this film.
The movie was filmed around Dallas and Waxahachie. That elevates The Aurora Encounter in my book — since we all can tell when a movie is filmed in a Hollywood backlot — if you look carefully, you will get a glimpse of some familiar buildings and landscape.
The slow parts are s-l-o-w. Things pick up a bit, when the kiddos of the town are in danger and the little alien comes to their rescue. At that point in the film, the town loves him and we love him too. BUT WAIT! Just when your heart is warmed, it happens. I won’t tell you what it is, but take my word for it, stick around.
The ending of this film will make you reach for the bottle.
If you endure The Aurora Encounter to the end, you will be rewarded with a JAW DROPPING ending that will leave you shaking your head and wishing you had some of Dr. Neptune’s elixir.
WHY IT’S WORTH YOUR TIME: Based on true (?) events, aliens, a moon-dog, weird western, plenty of 80s plasma globe effects, famous people (a few who can actually act), charming kids, ending that will make you lose your mind!
Available on DVD and VHS formats. Check out the trailer…
Join Bunny Voodoo and the B.O.T. crew — co-host Eric, Shelly, Tessa and Producer Bradley — with our special guest, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Texas State University, Joseph Laycock. On this episode “Speakin’ Of The Devil, we talk with our guest about Satanic Panic, the occult, horror movies and how all of this plays out in the horror world. It’s a devilish episode!
Enjoy our usual segments during the Black Mass: Eric’s Double Dog Dare You film challenge of the movie Satan’s School For Girls, Shelly’s Hammered Horror drunken movie review of 31,Coming Out of The Grave (a look at select horror movies coming out in April), the Name. That. Terror Game (Satan So Cray edition) and play along with our podcast drinking game if you dare, Mr. Tingles Is A D*#@khead. When the crazy clown laughs, you drink.
For about a year, I’ve been addicted. ADDICTED to watching the movies on Beta Max TV. This channel, available on Roku, makes me feel like a kid in a candy (make that video) store. They’ve got horror movies — sorted by category 60s, 70s, 80s — and a variety of sci-fi and action films available. I was able to speak to John Ary, who runs the project out of Leander, Texas about his channel. There are two ways you can watch the films, one is via live streaming content (my preference) and the other is videos on demand. With the streaming content, you get old drive-in movie commercials between films. On Saturday nights, there is a fun horror host line up.
B.O.T:Tell me about Beta Max TV?
John: Roku is amazing. There are so many channels. You’ve got to get it! There is such a variety of things to see. Our movies are in the public domain. There is some surprising stuff out there. From classics like Night of the Living Dead and The House on Haunted Hill to Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci films. Newer content for Beta Max TV is by submission and we are always looking for short films and horror hosted shows to bring to our audience.
B.O.T:How did you get the idea to start the channel?
The Night Owl
John: Horror hosts are a dying breed. I started looking at how I could bring shows that were still happening to a wider audience. We have a variety of shows to offer from different parts of the country. A cool find was Fritz the Night Owl. A fan grew up to be a video producer and worked on a new show with him. Another cool find was the station tapes from the old shows. [Fritz the Night Owl is the former host of Night Owl Theater out of Columbus, Ohio. There is quite a lineup of horror-hosted movies, on both the live streaming and video on demand. Beta Max TV has the retro version of The Night Owl, along with the newer episodes.]
B.O.T:What’s up next for Beta Max TV?
John: We are constantly adding new content. Check the website and our social media for announcements. We are looking for films and shorts to add to our content. There is a submission page on our website.
B.O.T:The readers at Blood Over Texas are obsessed with horror movies. Do you have any stand out recommendations, from the channel?
John: Here would be my top 5 Beta Max TV horror movies to watch for someone new to the channel,,,
Mama Dracula (1980) — The lady who played Nurse Ratchet is a vampire aristocrat aided by her two twin vampire sons who help her harvest virgin blood in order to stay immortal. It’s a weird ass comedy/horror flick that features equal parts blood sucking and slapstick humor.
The Werewolf Vs. The Vampire Woman(1971) — Paul Naschy, the most famous horror icon in Spanish movie history, plays a man who must fall in love with in order to free himself of a werewolf curse. Unfortunately for him a newly resurrected vampire queen has set her sites on his new love.
Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973) — B-Movie god William Smith investigates a strange alien phenomenon that is turning the worlds women into sex starved deadly bee ladies that feed off of men’s sexual energy.
Last Man on Earth (1964) – This gorgeous black and white horror film follows Vincent Price as he attempts to survive the vampire/zombie apocalypse as the only human left in the world.
City of the Living Dead (1980) — Fulci brings the gore as a priest opens the gates of hell, allowing the dead to roam the Earth. Only a psychic and a reporter stand in the way of zombies eating everyone’s brains.
If you are a horror fan, you really need Beta Max TV in your life!
THE FEBRUARY EPISODE OF BLOOD OVER TEXAS RADIO IS A-LIVE!
EP. 023: “INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRES”
With Special Guests, and Modern Vampires,
Joey Slayne and Alyssa Onyx
Join Bunny Voodoo and the B.O.T. crew — co-host Eric, Shelly and Producer Bradley — with our special guests, and modern vampires, Joey Slayne and Alyssa Onyx as we talk about the vampire lifestyle, have lots of vamp fun and find out how our guests feel about how vampires are portrayed in horror movies. Do they get it right? Which movies represent the modern vampire the best? Get your garlic and crucifixes ready and find out. And .. this is February and that means it’s Women In Horror Month so we also talk about some bad-ass women in horror.
Listen to our usual segments: Eric’s Double Dog Dare You film challenge of the movie Vampire Camp, Shelly’s Hammered Horror drunken movie review of The Greasy Strangler,Coming Out of The Grave (a look at select horror movies coming out in March), the Name. That. Terror Game (Vampire and Chick edition), a new segment from our new contributor, Tessa Talks Terror and play along with our podcast drinking game, Mr. Tingles Is A D*#@khead. When the crazy clown laughs, you drink.
OUR BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW B.O.T. CONTRIBUTOR: TESSA MORRISON
We’re proud to announce our new contributor at Blood Over Texas, Tessa Morrison. Well-rounded nerd, writer, and artist, Tessa, grew up in the misty mountains of West Virginia where she was constantly ridiculed for being a “weirdo.” Now residing in Austin, she still gets called a weirdo, just now it’s in an endearing tone. The earliest Horror films she can recall watching were Akira when she was 3 years old then Alien, Gremlins, and Child’s Play around 8 years old. She is still convinced that teddy bears and androids bleed milk.
When she isn’t contributing to Blood Over Texas she works an office job by day then creates puppets and fiber art by night. The photo on the left is “daytime” Tessa and the one on right is “after midnight” Tessa. Don’t get her wet. Tessa’s art is pop culture themed and based on video games, comics, cartoons, and SciFi and Horror films. She is the Outreach Director for Austin’s premiere SciFi film festival, Other Worlds Austin and also is a contributor for Strange Kids Club.comand Strange Kids Magazine.
Tessa will be jumping into all of our Blood Over Texas antics; including, our podcast, Blood Over Texas Radio, blogs, interviews and whatever else we can get her to do when she’s not out killing deadites.
Tonight is LADIES NIGHT on Zombie Life TV! Blood Over Texas‘s own, Bunny Voodoo, Lydia Gallardo (Austin Horror Society), Tessa Morrison (Other Worlds Austin and new B.O.T. contributor), Colleen Hanson and Kara L. Hardin represent on tonight’s show celebrating February’s Women In Horror Month. Watch as they join the whole ZLTV team, live music from Alice Cooper tribute band, Pretties For You, some crazy challenges and and a live audience. Send ’em gorey vibes and blood won’t you?
If you’re in Austin you can watch on Time Warner Channel 10 and ATT U-verse Channel 99 at 10pm tonight, Feb. 9th, 2017. You can also stream live or watch later HERE. In fact, they invite all of you crazed Austin horror fans to join the live audience. Check out their site to find out how and where to show up to cheer on the craziness.
Join us as we watch the mid-season premiere of Season 7 on the 25-foot screen of The North Door this Sunday, Feb. 12th. Once again we host another exciting premiere of our favorite zombie drama, The Walking Dead. This time Rick’s gang is tired of Negan’s crap and they decide to “Rise Up” to the occasion: a.k.a. time to TCB. Rick is over his breakdown, the gang’s back together and ready to kick some Savior butt — with some zombies along the way. At least we hope so.
Don’t stay hiding in your lair, it’s actually way more fun to watch with us other crazy TWD fans. The North Door will be offering themed drink specials and their new kitchen is up and running. You can’t go wrong with tacos and zombies.
Doors open at 7pm. The last episode — Ep. 8 “Hearts Still Beating” — will show at 8pm and then the premiere of Ep. 9 “Rock in the Road” at 9pm.
With Our Special Guests William Instone and Matt Rifley of Texas Indie Horror, Among The Dead
Join Bunny Voodoo and the B.O.T. crew — co-host Eric, Brian and Producer Bradley — with our special guests, William Instone and Matt Rifley of the Texas indie horror project, Among The Dead. We talk about making an indie horror and what it takes to make it to the big screen. This episode is also infected with Zombie Attacks (everything zombie) and lots of fun and drunken hijinks with our usual segments.
Shelly’s Hammered Horror reviews the horror comedy, Grabbers, and Eric is subjected to a Double Dog Dare You challenge of the movie, Monster Brawl. Did he make it through the movie? He wasn’t happy about it. Our Name. That. Terror. game tests your knowledge of Horror Comedies and Mr. Tingles is his usual d*#k self in our podcast drinking game, Mr. Tingles Is A D*#@khead. When the crazy clown laughs, you drink.
*Unfortunately the album, Glad Rags and Body Bags, is out of stock and we couldn’t find anywhere to buy it or the songs. ZGT does have other great albums that are available. If you want this album, ask your favorite psychobilly friend for a hook up.