Category Archives: Exploitation

“To be worthy of recognition, be humble.” – Debasish Mridha


Last year while doing battle with a bout of spring cleaning I came across a folder full of awards that I racked up from Jr. High/Middle School ranging from basic citizenship awards to being on the honor roll to having a strong immune system and not missing a single day of school in 7th grade. As I stood there thumbing through them I sort of chuckled as I began to wonder if these awards truly held any merit other than making use of cursive lettering and being printed on a thick/embossed piece of paper.

Surprisingly my immune system has held up rather well as its been around four years since an absolutely vicious strain of the flu virus knocked me to my knees. In terms of the person I’ve matured into I’ve never felt the need for affirmation of any sort to serve as a constant reminder of who I’ve become. While it may be a tad bit cliched to say this I’ve always tried to put my best foot forward and let my actions define how the rest of the world, in general, sees me.

As I was gearing up for Schlocktoberfest 2K16 this past September it was brought to my attention that I had become a recipient of The Deadly VHS Award  which is given to outstanding cult, exploitation, and horror movie bloggers. Modesty is  without question the single most important trait which keeps the rest of my personality in constant check. My deepest gratitude goes out to Fringe Void/The Devil’s DVD Bin for this prestigious award and for your years of friendship, continuous feedback, and unwavering support! Your presence on this blog has given me both the drive and determination to keep pushing forward and to above all else to stare defiantly into the face of procrastination. Once more thank you for this distinct honor my friend, words can only express gratefulness to a certain extent and this award goes beyond them.

To accept The Deadly VHS Award recipients must follow these steps:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Attach the award to your post.
3. Briefly explain your site.
4. List a few of the movies that shaped you and made you who you are today.
5. Select 3-5 other bloggers you want to give the award to.

  1. (Again) Thanks to Fringe Void/The Devils DVD Bin for acknowledging my little corner of the internet. This is modesty continuing to shine through as one will never see me refer to myself as a preeminent  horror movie virtuoso, I just do what I do and am beyond humbled to be given an award for an art form that brings some of the greatest passions in life. ***If you haven’t already please make sure to check out Fringe Void and The Devil’s DVD Bin as you won’t find a better set of websites to truly tap into the obscure/weirder side of horror.

2. *See Above*

3. The Direct 2 Video Dungeon began as an experiment sometime in 2011/2012. Quite honestly I didn’t know what to expect I just wanted to start blogging about some of my favorite direct to video features and before I knew it the blog started to take on a life of its own pulling down a substantial amount of web traffic. Mid-2013 is when other challenges in life began to rear their ugly head and it was becoming a chore to maintain the Direct To Video Dungeon so shortly thereafter I made the gut wrenching decision to shut things down. Thankfully this wasn’t a permanent vacation as D2VD 2.0 rebooted in time for Halloween 2014 with Schlocktoberfest a full 31 days devoted to exploring both mainstream and low budget horror. In the next two years the formula would be tweaked a little bit but October has proven to be my favorite time of the year where I can let variety off the leash and let it run uninhibited. As for what is coming next I can say with the utmost confidence that this blog will never fade into obscurity. The content featured will always remain and my general plan of attack going forward is to update whenever free time permits.

4. This next part is going to be the most difficult of this post – naming a few movies that shaped me and made me the person I am today. I could most likely write an entire book on this subject however I promise to keep it relatively short. Anyone who has become a longtime visitor of the Direct 2 Video Dungeon knows I share a deep affinity for the King of the Monsters – Godzilla. As for favorite interpretations the original 1954 Gojira goes beyond a masterpiece but other favorites include 1964’s Mothra vs. Godzilla, 1965’s Invasion of the Astro Monster aka Monster X, 1975’s Terror of Mechagodzilla, 1984’s Godzilla/The Return of Godzilla, 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, 1995’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and while it has had its fair share of critics 2014’s Hollywood blockbuster attempt on the property brought a sense of awe I haven’t felt since first discovering the king on TNT’s MonsterVision in the mid-1990s.

Outside of monster movies I grew up a child of the eighties it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise the influence the original Star Wars trilogy as well as the Indiana Jones and Back To The Future trilogies left on me. I am definitely what you’d consider a genre fan mainly focusing my attention on science fiction but every now and then will go through phases where weekends will be dedicated to Spaghetti Western or Film-Noir marathons. I’m also someone that when I come across a Jimmy Stewart film on TCM will immediately stop what I’m doing to sit and watch no matter what it is. My philosophy has always been that Jimmy Stewart never made a bad movie.

In terms of horror I’m a bit of a late bloomer not truly embracing the genre until my mid-20s. I come from the John Carpenter school of film making. While I won’t deny Carpenter made his name with Halloween my favorites of his are 1982’s The Thing which in my opinion is the greatest special effects picture ever made and 1980’s The Fog. Its with these two seminal works where I truly found my love for slow burns, tension building, and pure atmosphere.

5. My  Nominees for The Deadly VHS Award:

  • Direct To Video Connoisseur (Unfortunately the domain for DTVC has lapsed and wasn’t renewed. Matt where have you gone? I hope you’re doing well in life and planning your return soon.)
  • The B-Movie Shelf (One of my key influences I’ve always been impressed with the vast array of selections covered by the B-Movie Shelf.)
  • GoodBadFlicks (Okay technically Cecil over at GoodBadFlicks falls into the YouTuber category he still maintains a blog with his latest reviews/musings. He’s quickly become one of my favorite online personalities offering witty reviews and opinions as well as a web series where he gathers trivia about the making of a highlighted film presenting it in a professional/informative/never boring manner. Chances are  he probably won’t see this  but you never know who’s watching/reading – Keep up the stellar work Cecil!)

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 13: Horror Show by Greg Kihn (1996)

The best '50s B-Movie you'll ever read.
The best ’50s B-Movie you’ll ever read.

One of my favorite pastimes throughout a majority of 2016 has been reading.  This is a stark contrast to nearly two decades ago when the only time I’d crack a book was when it was absolutely essential in my pursuit of my high school diploma. While the years since have  been a continuous blur I’ve found that in between the hustle and bustle of life I still have a lot of free time to dedicate to passions which both drive me forward and help keep me grounded. The key reason I’ve been reading is the decision to invest in the very affordable Amazon Kindle Fire 7 tablet. Being a gadget lover the fact that I can have the Fire with me on the go whether I’m away from home on a road trip or casually sitting at the laundry mat having something that fits in the palm of my hand that I use to check my e-mail or browse the internet is one of my favorite ways to pass the time these days. When I started exploring the endless amount of ebooks that Amazon had in their digital marketplace is when I decided to take the plunge. Having a wide array of genres to explore both established and up and coming authors to look into and perhaps the greatest advantage of all not worrying about paper cuts when turning a page (if you can get a paper cut from swiping to the next page you’re a more die hard reader than I’ll ever be).

If my addiction to the Amazon Kindle Fire 7 was the primary reason for my total immersion back into the world of books the second thing that kept me reading was a little website by the name of Thanks to an introduction from a family member I signed up for free daily updates sent directly to my inbox. Part of the sign up process allows a user to pick favorite genres so that way you’re always kept in the loop when there’s a sale happening. The daily e-mail will also throw a couple free ebooks your way and while most of these freebies are by independent authors the ones I’ve picked up and read thus far have done a perfect job of keeping my attention. It was through Bookbub where I came across a deal on the debut novel from The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em) hit maker Greg Kihn. I’ve known of Kihn through a couple of old VH1 music specials and hearing The Breakup Song on Los Santos Rock Radio when playing Grand Theft Auto V from time to time. It was because of those reasons that I decided to spend $1.99 on Horror Show and unquestionably it was worth every penny. As the story began to unfold it didn’t take long to realize how big of a B-Movie fanatic Kihn was/is. Anyone who grew up watching Plan Nine From Outer Space, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, Attack of the Giant Leeches or any other drive in cheese from the 1950s will admire how Greg manages to tell a entirely original story in the same campy style without any of it feeling too tongue in cheek. The book starts off with a magazine writer tracking down a reclusive B-Movie director who hasn’t been heard from since finishing work on what many called his seminal masterpiece a zombie horror/thriller appropriately titled Cadaver. The entire production was filmed at the L.A. County morgue and rumors circulated for years that the film crew used actual dead bodies in several scenes. If I talk about Horror Show any further I risk spoiling the rest of the book so if you’re looking for the perfect read this Halloween season here is my instant recommendation. Greg has written three subsequent sequels to Horror Show but in the years since has focused more on the rock ‘n roll side of things. I can only hope that he decides to eventually return to horror considering its the 20th anniversary of Horror Show and I’ve just now discovered his creative genius. In the five months since I’ve yet to delete it off my Kindle and yes I know I could go and re-download it again for free since I purchased it, I think that shows the staying power of a good book you read it, it captivates you like no other and you want to hold on to it forever.

Final Grade: A

***Quick side note Greg Kihn did release an album called Horror Show back in 1996 but as far as I know has nothing to do with the book apart from the title. Speaking of which check out the title song from that album below. It has one of the most haunting melodies I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing…