Author Archives: Mat

Splattercast Trivia League


The Splattercast Trivia League is here! Mat and Rachel throw your favorite Dead Lantern and podcast personalities into the ring to watch them fight in an epic movie trivia challenge to get the inaugural Splattercup!

Each Splattercast, a new trivia segment will be attached (Subscribe to the feed here). But, you can always come here to download the individual segments, find the latest battles, rankings, and information about who is on tap. Each player will battle throughout a regular season to make it to the inaugural 6 man SplatterCup tournament!

This show is modeled off of the Schmoedown Challenges on Youtube with some modifications to make it work for a podcasting format. We encourage you to check them out and subscribe to the Schmoes Know and Collider youtube channels to get those videos each week. We’re big fans of the Schmoes, so go check them out!

Latest Battle!



Download Now: Megan, star of SHIVERS DOWN YOUR SPINE, goes up against local movie legend Eric Moyer!

Previous Episodes


Download Now: These week, two undefeated friends go up against each other for the right to get to 2-0!


Download Now: It’s here. Tony vs. Jodie for the right to challenge El Goro!


Download Now: Ronin has challenged Deejay so that he can get an “easy win”. Deejay has vowed to “step on Ronin’s throat”….who ya got?!


Download Now: It’s #1 vs. #2 in this huge matchup! T.J. versus El Goro!


Download Now: It’s Director Joshua Weixelman versus his acting legend, Mark Popejoy in a battle to determine local film supremacy. Long Necked Monsters!



Download Now: The two talented and beautiful ladies of the league do a trivia pillow fight for the Male Patriarchy of the Splattercast!


Download Now: Special FX artist and filmmaker Benito Garcia goes up against the cocksure legendary horror podhost Jeff of the Splattercast!


Download Now:  Two high school friends and fellow Splattercast/Dead Lantern founders go up against each other to determine who is the smartest trivia player around!


Download Now: This week, two compatriots from the Motherfuckin’ Round Table of MAN square off as Ronin from The Sleepy Cast and ElGoro of Talk Without Rhythm podcast battle!


Download Now: Our inaugural episode kicks off with two of the strongest competitors, Splattercast host T.J. and Dead Lantern writer Tony!


Rankings (will be updated the first Monday of each month beginning September 1st)



Roundtable of Man #14: Batman v Superman Discussion


RoundTable of Man #14 is up: Download mp3 | Subscribe via RSS | Subscribe via iTunes

Batman v Superman wakes ElGoro of Talk Without Rhythm, Ronin of Sleepy Cast, Professor Bleak of the Mad Writing Skills, and Mat from Splattercast out of their year and a half long slumber to discuss the film, The Napster guy’s new venture, The Screening Room, SPIDER-MAN, and Donald Trump.

Praise be upon Christina Hendricks.

Wanna buy SHIVERS DOWN YOUR SPINE? Click here, yo!

Review: Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood

ahpArrow Video is back with another great release, this one being AMERICAN HORROR PROJECT, an ongoing series of collections that will give Criterion level love to some of the most obscure and overlooked American horror films. This review will specifically look at MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD.


The second film in Arrow’s first AMERICAN HORROR PROJECT collection is a low rent Lynchian fever dream of a film called Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood. The film was released in a few drive-ins in the mid 70’s and then considered lost for 30 years before a print was “miraculously” discovered in the early 2000’s. With a bizarre title and a few cryptic glowing reviews that appeared in the sketchier recesses of the internet, MCoB was released to minor fanfare.  After you get past the initial fun factor of hearing about a long lost horror film suddenly uncovered, you realize that the film is a jumbled, nonsensical mess whose zero budget and amateur hour filmmaking make it no better than some of the travesties you’d find in the $5 Wal-Mart bin or on Netflix streaming.

There’s not really a coherent plot to MCoB and it can pretty much be summed up with one sentence. A family shows up to work at a carnival in search of their missing child only to find that the carnival is run by ghouls and vampires.  That’s it.  The rest of the film constitutes poorly framed shots, terrible acting, and laughable editing decisions.  There are a few moments of hilarious blood and gore. One sequence involves a decapitation on a roller coaster that looks like something a bunch of elementary school kids would do as a Halloween gag.  The “blood” looks like orange pudding and the zombies/ghouls have a generic flat face makeup that make them look like the low rent stuff you’d see at your local zombie walk.

What this film does have going for it is the strange way it is filmed. Almost everything in this has a bizarre, dream like quality to it. As I stated before, it’s very David Lynchian in terms of weird stuff that doesn’t make sense. You’ll see a shot of a creepy carnival clown, then a slow motion shot of a girl running down a road. It has a very artsy fartsy look and feel to it and though some of the shots do, indeed, look good, a broken clock is right twice a day.  I’d almost call this an experimental film if I didn’t know that the director was actually *trying* to do something non-experimental.  I’ve read some reviews of people claiming that this film has merit due to the weirdness of everything involved (zombies in the basement that like to watch silent horror films of the 20’s, vampires running the carnival, etc.) but I’d have to strongly disagree. This thing is painful to try and get through.  It doesn’t work as an experimental film and it certainly doesn’t work as a narrative film. Sometimes, people give a pass to old films and ascribe value and worth where there is none. MCoB is one of those films. I’ve seen this movie made by many filmmakers today and they are all just as bad.

The Arrow disc has a few interviews but I can’t honestly say you’ll want to watch any of them if you can actually make it to the end of this.  This is probably the first Arrow release that I felt was just outright terrible and doubly disappointing coming off the excellent The Witch Who Came from the Sea, part of this very 3 disc collection. But hey, you can’t win them all. Only recommended if you like doing LSD while watching no-budget David Lynch knockoffs.



Review: The Witch Who Came From the Sea

ahpArrow Video is back with another great release, this one being AMERICAN HORROR PROJECT, an ongoing series of collections that will give Criterion level love to some of the most obscure and overlooked American horror films. This review will specifically look at THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA.


The Witch Who Came From the Sea is a film shot in 1971 and released in 1976, directed by Matt Cimber (known for the notoriously awful Orson Welles flick Butterfly), and one of the original films put on the United Kingdom’s Video Nasty list. The film centers on a mentally unstable young woman named Molly (Millie Perkins) who is struggling to come to grips with her dead father and their dark, incestuous past.  As NFL stars begin to die, the audience begins to wonder whether Molly is hallucinating these strange visions of death, or if something more nefarious is going on.

I had heard of this film a number of years back in Stephen Thrower’s great book Nightmare USA (a must own for any serious horror fan) but had never had the opportunity to see it. It’s pretty great that Arrow is bringing this to a wide release because it’s a real hidden gem of a film. Most of the films that were labeled “Video Nasties” were low budget gore fests or exploitative schlock that, compared to today, were pretty tame and only seem to affect stodgy old British film censors who couldn’t come to grips with naked girls getting carved up by salivating monsters.   Witch is so far beyond what you normally attribute to a Video Nasty that  it’s almost jarring when you view it.  The film is a meditation on the effects of severe child molestation wrapped around a pretty impressive display of the fracturing of a woman’s psyche as she attempts to deal with it.

This is almost not a horror film. It definitely has sequences that fit well into the horror genre. One such sequence involves Molly having a three way with two NFL superstars, tying them to the bed, and then proceeding to slice their dicks off.  Another involves Molly hacking off the penis of a guy with his own razor. Sex and the subsequent violence that comes from it is due to Molly’s long term, incestuous relationship with her dead father.  The film does not shy away from flashbacks to a young Molly, no more than 10 years old, being systematically raped by her sea captain father. In one particularly disturbing sequence, Molly comes home from school and opens a closet to put away her school books only to find her father crouching inside naked in wait for her. Somewhat shockingly, you do get scenes indicating thrusting and the filmmakers show her father literally having a heart attack and dying on top of her in mid thrust.  I can sort of see how something like this, in 1975, would have shocked the hell out of censors.  The fact that it’s an actual little girl who is participating in these scenes makes it all the more unseemly.

That being said, the film is not trying to be exploitative in how it shows these scenes. It’s all part of showing Molly’s mental fracturing as an adult and how her relationship with her father instructs her relationships with men. Molly is also shown being extremely motherly to her sisters’ two children, who seem to love her more than the sister. What all this adds up to is an audience who not only has empathy for a woman going around and murdering these innocent people, but in the final scenes, coming to an understanding of *why* she’s doing it.  It’s a really interesting take that is much deeper than a typical exploitation film of its type. If there is any problem with the film it’s that it is hampered a bit by its low budget.  The film looks great, as it is shot by Dean Cundey, the same cinematographer that would go on, a few short years later, to cement his place in horror cinematographer history with Halloween.  But you can really see that they didn’t have a ton to work with here.  There’s also a lot of nudity in the film that hampers the film in that I think it makes it more easy for people to dismiss it as simple exploitation.  There’s really no gore, as all of the cutting and blood take place off camera with sounds to let your imagination fill in the blanks and because of that, the film is a real slow burn.  I can foresee a lot of viewers getting bored with the film and that’s a shame because if you stick with it, it’s actually a really interesting film.

Arrow’s disc is filled with extras, including documentaries and audio commentaries. The print looks good, but there are quite a few spots that are a bit rough. This is probably due to a lack of being able to get a really great print 40 years after the fact. The Witch Who Came from the Sea is a very unique and effective psychological horror film dealing with very taboo subject matter in a much more mature way than I would have suspected coming from a “Video Nasty”. It has its flaws, but the positives well outweigh the negatives. Recommended if you want to see something a little different.


Review: The Mutilator


There is a special place in many horror fans’ hearts (mine included) for low budget, cheesy 80’s slasher films. The Mutilator, renamed from its original title of Fall Break by distributors wanting an edgier title to bring in the kids, is just one of those films.  The film opens with a young boy who decides to clean his father’s gun collection while his mother cooks dinner. As happens with kids and guns, the cleaning goes awry and he ends up blowing a hole into his mom’s back, killing her in classic 80’s slow motion, and dealing with the wrath of his father who comes home to the horrific scene. Dad goes a little crazy, including pouring scotch in his dead wife’s mouth, and then we flash forward 15 years or so. The young boy is now a horny teen and takes his friends to a secluded beach house where his father, still fucked up from the death of his wife years earlier, decides to battle-axe these nubile 80’s bodies in all sorts of gruesome ways.

By any objective measure, The Mutilator is pretty terrible. From the ridiculous opening title credit pop song, to the brutally bad acting, to committing the ultimate slasher sin of showing you exactly who the killer is immediately, the film is the definition of amateur hour. First time director Buddy Cooper dropped his entire life savings of $84,000 into a choice: buy a vineyard in France or make a horror movie. As he himself admits in the fascinating feature length documentary included on the blu-ray, he chose poorly. However, slasher fans are a unique niche within the greater horror fandom.  Generally speaking, quality is not a high priority for the Slasher Fan.  All you really need is charm, some T&A, and, most importantly, some fantastic kills and gore fx. And The Mutilator has all of that in spades.

The charm comes from the delightfully hokey acting and 80’s fashion and verbiage.  This is classic 80’s low budget slasher and the beach house setting offers up a fun locale for the gory events to follow.  The whole production really comes off as low rent, but it works. You do get some T&A during a skinny dipping pool scene, but the real standout here are the kills and gore fx.  For such a low budget, this stuff looks damn great. I’d say it’s nearly on par with early Savini stuff in classic slashers such as The Prowler and The Burning.  There’s a particularly nasty sequence where the killer takes a fishing gaff and jams it straight through a girls’ vagina, puncturing out through her stomach. It’s one of those scenes you’ll see that is pretty unforgettable. We also get battle-axe (seriously) slashings, decapitations, drownings, machetes to the face, pitchforks to the neck, and much more. This film is worth watching just for the gore fx and I’d be surprised if even the most jaded horror fan didn’t enjoy them considering the fx are sort of a hidden gem that many people might not be aware of.

My main problem with the film was that they show the face of the killer immediately. It’s not spoiling anything to say that it’s the kid’s dad who is going around murdering everyone. He now lives in a locked room in the garage and apparently his son accidentally killing his wife has made him lose his mind. I almost feel that these sorts of film are a subset genre all their own. Slasher films where the killers are immediately revealed always feel a little off to me. I like my slashers to have dudes and gals in masks, giving me a bit of mystery as to who is doing these ghastly deeds. By definition, slasher films are light on story, so the mystery is an integral element that helps keep your brain invested during the boring scenes between boobs and blood. The Mutilator doesn’t have that and it’s hurt as a result, turning it into an fx waiting game rather than an engaging fun romp.

Arrow has really outdone themselves with this bluray.  The movie looks gorgeous and there are a ton of special features, including the aforementioned feature length documentary consisting of multiple cast and crew discussing their little cult film. It’s filled with fun anecdotes and if you are a fan of this film, is an invaluable resource.  Other features include a special fx featurette, behind the scenes reels, audio commentaries, storyboards, and more.  Big thumbs up from me on this whole package. If you’re a fan of bad, but charming low budget 80’s slashers with lots of great gore, The Mutilator is highly recommended.