The 13th Floor

Films Real Life Scares 

Hygiene Horrors: The Nightmarish Lesson of ’70s PSA Short THE FINISHING LINE

THE FINISHING LINE was meant to teach kids about train track safety. The only thing I took away from it was that in England in the 1970s, kids were training for BATTLE ROYALE with trains. A teacher’s warning about playing on the train tracks echoes through a young boy’s head… right before he fantasizes about killing […]

Films 

The Pope of Trash: A Tribute to John Waters

To a misfit kid, growing up on the other side of the tracks in a single-parent family and noticeably queer in an isolated part of the (pre-decriminalization) Irish countryside — an environment akin to the purgatorial villages conjured up from the dark depths of a Patrick McCabe (THE BUTCHER BOY, BREAKFAST ON PLUTO, WINTERWOOD) novel — […]

Films 

Five Underrated Slasher Movies from the 1980s

Everything devolves. In only a decade, the high bar set by seminal 1970s slasher films like BLACK CHRISTMAS, HALLOWEEN and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE became a giant heap of crap. Hollywood released a ton of often boring higher-end slasher movies, while smaller companies churned out creatively vacant, straight-to-video flicks to feed the product-hungry shelves of video […]

Films 

Slashback! Is 1978’s THE TOOLBOX MURDERS Based on a Real-Life Crime Spree?

[Warning: NSFW content ahead] Before we get into the seedy, grimy and straight-up deranged exercise that is Dennis Donnelly’s THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, let’s jump all the way to the film’s dubious one-paragraph epilogue (don’t worry, no serious spoilers here), which begins with the following statement: “The events dramatized in this film actually took place in […]

Films 

Never Forget Your Mama: Looking Back at the Still-Controversial MOTHER’S DAY

Sure, there’s a dedicated day for it on your calendar, but you really shouldn’t need a reminder to do right by your mom… even if you’re a homicidal inbred psycho who collects human heads and eats cereal and cat food from a bucket. That’s the gist of Charles Kaufman’s controversial backwoods horror and rape/revenge flick MOTHER’S DAY — […]

Music 

BROKEN: The Horrifying Nine Inch Nails Movie Trent Reznor Doesn’t (Officially) Want You to See

[NSFW warning: graphic and disturbing images ahead] Not too long ago, we corralled a collection of the most extreme Nine Inch Nails music videos ever made, and you should definitely check those out pronto. But as my fellow NIN superfan Rob Galuzzo rightly pointed out in that article, many of the most eyeball-burning, stomach-churning clips featured therein […]

Films 

Relive the Hideous Horror of Tod Browning’s FREAKS!

“Do we dare tell the REAL truth on the screen? Do we dare hold up the mirror to nature in all its grim reality?” screamed the posters for Tod Browning’s 1932 pre-code shriek show FREAKS. The film delivers in spades on its grim promise by starring real-life freaks, but instead of instilling compassion for the sideshow […]

Is COWS the Most Disgusting Horror Novel Ever Written?

In the Summer of 1998, when I was living merrily through my largely-broke college milieu, I returned to my high school job as box office wonk at Mann’s Criterion, a now-defunct six-screen movie theater in Santa Monica, CA. This was a job that not only afforded me unlimited free movies (and, yes, that privilege led […]

Films Real Life Scares 

The Horrifying, Controversial and Secret History of the Snuff Film

[Warning: graphic images ahead] Hang on, folks — this is gonna to be a rough ride. You see, from a journalistic standpoint, it’s tricky to approach any story about so-called “snuff” films, for a couple of very important reasons. First, it’s never been conclusively proven that these films even exist at all — in the […]

Films 

Eye of the Beholder: The Voyeuristic Horror of PEEPING TOM

Director Michael Powell’s undeniable psychological horror classic PEEPING TOM has the power to disturb us today — and for good reason. While the film was initially reviled upon its release (in the UK in 1960 and the US in 1962), PEEPING TOM is a lurid thriller that savagely satirizes not only the film industry, but […]

Films Scary Fun Toys 

The 1979 ALIEN Toy That Was Too Terrifying For Kids To Play With

Ridley Scott made quite an impact with his second feature, unleashing the Dan O’Bannon-scripted ALIEN on audiences in 1979. Films like THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and HALLOWEEN had by that point already become ingrained in the nightmares of movie-goers, and Scott’s sci-fi/horror masterpiece rounded out that golden age of truly terrifying films by giving rise to […]

Music Scary Fun 

The 13 Scariest Heavy Metal Album Covers [NSFW]

Since the dawn of rock and roll, there have been detractors who heard the devil in the music. Years later the offshoot “heavy metal” began to take shape and officially embraced the idea of horror in popular music, featuring disturbing lyrics, confrontational themes and Grand Guignol album covers that many well-intentioned parents wouldn’t even allow […]