Our final movie for this month is:
1978's Halloween (You were expecting something else?)
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers and Kyle Richards. Directed by John Carpenter
Whazzit about?: Michael Myers has been in an institution since he was a young boy, after murdering his sister. Now he's escaped and is heading back home to terrorize the quiet community which still remembers him.
Type of horror: Slasher
How it is: I'm physically incapable of saying anything bad about Halloween-I think it's THAT good.
"It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare": I am watching the movie right this minute, and it just showed the part where Laurie Strode is cowering in the corner, and you see Michael Myers emerge from the darkness just a few feet away, ever so slowly (see the above photo for a reference point.) Even if you ignore everything else in the movie, that scene alone is enough to get Halloween stamped with the 'scary' tag.
Well, that, and the part where she's trying to get away from him, and she's trying to get into the house, but the door is LOCKED and stuff and she can't get IN, and he's like RIGHT BEHIND HER, and she's yelling for the kid to open the DOOR, and it's taking him FOREVER and it made me pee my PANTS a little. For serious, if they'd based the whole film around just those 2 scenes, they would have had a scary-albeit short and confusing-movie, but they didn't. They decided to be super-nice and they threw a whole bunch of other creepifying stuff in there to fill it out, making Halloween one of the greatest horror movies EV-AR.
Highlights: The music:
When I checked Blog Music the other day to see if they had that song (which they did, obviously), I put my headphones on and checked to see if it worked, and swear to god, I kept looking over my shoulder the entire time it was playing to see if anyone was coming at me. It's a very, very effective little tune and it damn near made the movie.
Where it be?: There it be!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Our final movie for this month is:
Last year around Halloween, I posted "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and it made me happy. This year though, I've decided to move into the 21st century since apparently The young kids ain't 'down' with Snoopy no mo, and I live in abject horror of becoming irrelevant (actually I don't, but I've got a momentum going here.) So this Halloween I'm taking it to the next level and posting a SPOOF of "ITGPCB". Enjoy some Robot Chicken on this fine All Hallows Eve afternoon, and I'll be back later tonight with my final horror movie post.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Today's movie is:
1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Starring: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn and Gunnar Hansen. Directed by Tobe Hooper
Plot: Five friends visiting their grandpa's old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.
Type of horror: Splatter
Any good?: I liked it, save for one itty bitty detail, which I'll elaborate on directly.
Is it scary?: I'm from Texas, and I grew up being told that TCM was based on a true story (the film claims as much at the beginning, but that's been long since debunked) and that messed with my head a great deal. If you're 8 years old and you have grown-ups whom you trust telling you that a grunting, chainsaw wielding madman once shared your state, and he liked to don a mask made out of man-flesh, chase young teens, carve them up and EAT THEM, it tends to make a young lass uneasy. Thankfully I didn't actually SEE the film until after I'd been disabused of that nonsense, but it's still pretty terrifying.
Highlights: It's a small thing, but I liked the fact that Marilyn Burns, the lead chick, was monkeyshit crazy by the end of the movie. They could have had her play it all calm and filmogenic (what, filmogenic is a word. It doesn't mean what I'm implying it means but who says words can't evolve?), but they decided to go the realistic route and show how a person actually would respond to being subjected to those kinds of shenanigans.
Lowlights: I think this is the first time I've done a lowlights section, but something in TCM begs for it to be created: The character of Franklin, the whiny, obnoxious, annoying wheelchair-bound brother of Burns' character. I hated Franklin so much that, the first time I watched it-sorry to be all spoilery-when he got killed, I actually stood up and pointed at the TV Nelson Muntz-style and went "HAW-HAW!" No one else was in the room to hear my outburst, which makes me look really pathetic, but that doesn't make it any less true...
Monday, October 29, 2007
I've had a super-busy weekend, I'm tired, and Harper's birthday is today, so I don't particularly feel like (nor have the time to devote to) posting about a movie today. Instead, you get NOTHING! Good day, sir!
I'm kidding of course.
I ran across this video the other day of a special that was on American Movie Classics back in 2004-"20: Entertainment Weekly's Scariest Movies" and I thought I'd get it up on the ol' blog, since it pertains to what I've been doing. Well, that, and it gives me a chance to foist Bruce Campbell onto the more unsuspecting of my readers (he's the host of the special.)
I can't tell you much about the special. I watched it when it first aired, but I don't remember much about it, except Bruce refers to Wilford Brimley as an "Unstoppable killing machine" and there's an interview with Michael Rooker of "Henry" fame and he doesn't slaughter the interviewer, so based on those 2 things alone, I'm putting "20" in the 'win' column.
You can watch it Here (Google won't let me embed the video. Bastards) and I will return tomorrow.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Today's movie is:
2004's Dawn of the Dead (As seen in my blog header thingy.)
Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell and Matt Frewer. Directed by Zack Snyder (300)
Plot: A nurse, a policeman, a street gang member, his wife, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.
Type of horror: Braaaaaains
Sucky or sweet?: I really, really liked it, which is strange because I'm usually the one bitching the loudest whenever I hear that someone is filming a remake of something. I might even go so far as to say that I liked it better than the first one, which was draggy in parts. Heresy? Maybe, but if you've seen the original you know I'm right (and just for the record, I loved the original.)
I don't wanna get eated: I mentioned in a conversation earlier that zombie movies don't scare me as a rule, because I know it can't happen. If you're dead, you're dead and you ain't coming back. But even I will admit that there were a couple of things in here that made me jump, specifically the part at the beginning when Ana (Sarah Polley) tries to make her escape from her zombified husband and the neighbor kid. Zombies may not bother me, but being chased does. Oh and if you aren't down with gore, you might want to stick with something like This instead. Then again that might be scary too-it's a big machine! And it freezes things! OH NOES!
Highlights: Um, well, I can think of a lot of things, but if I listed all of them, the highlights section would end up looking like a recap, and I got things to do. Alright, I'll narrow it down to 3:
1) Sarah Polley. She was totally believable and totally bad-ass, plus I think she's neat in just about anything, so it stands to reason that I would like her in this as well. Biased? Why yes, yes I am.
2) The music, namely Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around" during the opening credits, and the mall-living montage set to Richard Cheese's "Down With the Sickness"-they're the perfect compliment to their respective sequences. At least I thought so, and it's my blog, so there.
3) The celebrity shooting gallery. Ving Rhames' character hangs out on the roof of the mall quite a bit, and he develops a friendship with the guy from the gun shop across the way. They communicate by way of those dry erase boards like they have in diners, using them to chat, play chess, whatnot. Towards the middle of the film, when all of the characters are going a little stir crazy, they come up with a new game: they point out various zombies on the streets below who share a passing resemblance to various famous people, while Ving and Gun-Shop dude pick them off with rifles. It was hilarious and realistic in a warped way (I could see myself playing a game like that, you know, if there was a zombie invasion, which there won't be because it's zombies, doy.)
Where it's at: Braaaaains
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Quick one today, as I am cold and achy and in a hurry to crawl under the bed covers:
1986's Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Starring: Michael Rooker, Tom Towles and Tracy Arnold
Plot: Serial killer Henry serves as mentor to dim-witted fellow killer Otis and as the object of Otis' sister's affections. Loosely based on the confessions of Henry Lee Lucas.
Type of horror: It's not a slasher exactly, but it's the best descriptor that I can come up with right this minute.
How is it?: I would say that it is a good movie, but it would take-to borrow one of my father's pet phrases-an "act of congress" to get me to watch it again. There's a whole lotta ugly in this film.
Is it scary?: Yes. Henry and Otis have no redeeming qualities to speak of, and there's not a whole lot of character development, aside from making it very clear that these 2 just plain like killin' folks. There's no tension-breaking humor to make what you're seeing go down more smoothly, and there's nothing that happens that makes you think "That could never happen in real life". Henry and Otis aren't mask-wearing boogeymen, they aren't mad geniuses-they're the type of guys you see mugshots of on the news everyday. They're contemptible people, doing revolting, believable things and it makes for one bleak and disturbing movie.
Highlights: Michael Rooker was EXTREMELY believable as Henry. I don't know that that's a highlight (or even a compliment), but I didn't have anything else to put here, so there ya go.
You can find it Here.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Today's movie is:
1973's The Exorcist (For the purposes of this post I am covering the re-release, aka "The Version You Haven't Seen")
Starring: Jason Miller, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb and Linda Blair. Directed by William Friedkin
Plot: 2 priests attempt to exorcise a demon that has possessed the body of a young girl.
Type of horror: Supernatural/Psychological
Gooderbad?: I like it, I do, but I'd probably like it more if I hadn't heard all my life that it's the GREATEST HORROR MOVIE EVER. I hear that and my instinct is to rebel and say it sucks, which it does not, not by a long shot. Is it the greatest horror movie ever made? I can't say, but it's damn near perfect regardless of what genre it falls into. So if you haven't seen it, I recommend giving it a shot, even if you don't like horror movies.
Like, how scary is it?: You know something? I've seen this movie twice: once when I was 15 and once when I was 30. At 15 it didn't faze me in the slightest. At 30, it did. The difference (one of them) between me at 15 and me at 30? Motherhood. The idea of something hurting your child and you not being able to do anything about it is just about the worst thing in the world, and I felt a lot of empathy for Ellen Burstyn's character.
Second worst thing in the world? Guilt, and as such, the other thing about this movie that got under my skin was Father Karras' anguish over the death of his mother and the way the critter that possessed Regan taunted him with it. This movie fucked with my head and not in a fun way. As for the whole demon angle, I suppose that if pressed I can admit to finding This a teensy, weensy bit unsettling. That's not normal...
Highlights: I managed to get a chuckle during the movie, amazingly enough. Shortly after Regan begins to exhibit some slight changes in her behavior (long before she gets busy with a crucifix), her mother takes her to a doctor for testing, and the doctor comes up with a brilliant solution: Ritalin. Oh how I laughed and laughed. Then I think I cried a little bit.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Today's movie is:
1981's The Evil Dead (I'm gonna go overboard, I just know it.)
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker and Theresa Tilly. Directed by Sam Raimi
Plot: Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.
Type of horror: Supernatural/Splatter
Didja like it?: "Like" is a gross understatement of how I feel about this movie. I want to marry and have little growly, foggy demon offspring with The Evil Dead. They'd be a bitch to clean up after, though. Seriously, I do love this movie, but in all fairness, it's not perfect. Some of it is really amatuerish, some of the dialogue is painfully corny, and the acting (not that I would EVER speak ill of Bruce, you understand) is perhaps not so good. I love it despite all that.
Or maybe it's BECAUSE of all that. This movie was made for practically no money, by a bunch of kids (Sam Raimi was around 20 years old during filming) who did it just because they liked making movies and they ended up crafting a horror classic. Some of the inexperience was bound to show up in the finished product, but you also see a lot of creativity and an arseload of innovation that money can't buy (but it can EARN it after years of hard work-hello, Spider-Man movies.) You can watch it and focus on the faults I suppose, but you'll be missing out if you do. It's a fun, violent, occasionally disgusting movie about demon possession-take the stick out of your butt and enjoy it.
I'm scared, hold me: This movie had a reputation when I was a youngster of being hella scary. So much so, that I couldn't even bring myself to watch it until I was 17. After I watched it, it hit me that I had been surrounded by weak-stomached weenies during my entire childhood. Alright, alright-some of it is pretty nasty: you've got blood spurting out of orifices that were not made to spurt blood; body parts alternately imploding and EXploding; PUS; putrified innards-it's a very...WET movie I guess you could say.
And then there's the tree rape. For those that are unaware, there's a scene in the movie where one of the female characters gets violently molested by a bunch of roots and branches. It was called misogynistic by some when the movie first came out, and Sam Raimi later said that he regretted including it in the film. I don't know. There's no way to make light of rape in any instance (unless someone is raping a clown, maybe), but I never got the fuss over it. It's a very creepy scene (shortly after I saw it for the first time, I flipped my shit during a walk in the woods when I snagged my foot on a tree root) and while I'm very much against rape (doy) in any form-real or fictional-I didn't think it was anything to get pissed over. It's foliage-what, a bunch of trees are gonna sit around watching E.D. and get it into their tree-heads to go out and rape someone? And now that I've put that thought in my mind, I'm never going to be able to look at Treebeard the same way ever again...
Highlights: Shit, I think I covered everything already. I guess I can show some love for Bruce Campbell's unibrow:
Where it's at: Here
Monday, October 22, 2007
Today's movie is:
1986's The Hitcher
Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jeffrey DeMunn
Plot: A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher's crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.
Type of horror: Errr, slasher?
Like it or not?: I really, really, really like Rutger Hauer, and he's really, really good in this so I liked it for him. That's about it.
Fear Factor: On his own, my man Rutger was totally horrifying as John Ryder, one of the best villains ever. BUT! For a horror movie to work well, you have to give a rat's ass about the intended victim(s). If you feel nothing for the hero (or worse, you actively hate them), it's not scary because part of you is rooting for their grisly death and it puts you on the side of the villain by default. C. Thomas Howell's character in this movie was so damned annoying that I was PRAYING for him to buy it (same goes for Jennifer Jason Leigh, sadly) and thus I felt no fear on his behalf. So in summation: The Hitcher=not that scary. Or maybe I'm just a sociopath, I don't know.
Highlights: That's got to hurt (Spoiler)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I am not feeling my best, so I'm going to take a break from doing my little horror movie posts for a few days. However, I don't really want to NOT post something, so I'm harkening back to the semi-old days and posting a movie. In keeping with the current theme all things scary movies, it's a horror film-possibly THE horror film: Nosferatu (it scared me, it did, and I don't care what anyone thinks of me for admitting that, either.)
Enjoy (or not) and I will return on Monday (probably.)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Shawnee Smith and Tobin Bell.
Plot: A sadistic serial killer known as 'Jigsaw' is kidnapping people to teach them the value of life by making them choose between losing a part of their body or hurting someone else to survive.
Type of horror: Splatter
Good or bad?: I liked it a lot, although I don't know that I think it warranted having a sequel released Every Single Year since it first came out.
Scary?: There's some extremely gory and cringe-inducing moments in here: if that's what sets your heart to racin', then sure, it's scary.
Highlights: I wouldn't call it a highlight, but the thing I liked most about Saw was the reasoning behind the kidnappings/tests. Most of the victims were chosen by Jigsaw because of something he perceived in them to be a flaw and he felt that they were throwing their lives away. The basic idea was that when faced with their own mortality the victims would see the error of their ways and change accordingly. His motives weren't completely altruistic (he was a sadistic monster to be sure), but that little glimmer of twisted good samaritanism helped raise Saw a few notches above being mere Torture Porn.
But when I heard him announce this on his show last night, it just made me uneasy. I'm sure he knows what he's doing though.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert has announced his candidacy for president on "The Colbert Report," tossing his satirical hat into the ring of an already crowded race.
"I shall seek the office of the president of the United States," Colbert said Tuesday on his Comedy Central show as red, white and blue balloons fell around him.
Colbert, 43, had recently satirized the coyness of would-be presidential candidates by refusing to disclose whether he would seek the country's highest office — a refusal that often came without any prompting.
Shortly before making the announcement, Colbert appeared on "The Daily Show" (the show that spawned Colbert's spin-off) and played cagey, claiming he was only ready to consider a White House bid. He entered the studio set pulled by a bicycle pedaled by Uncle Sam and quickly pulled out a bale of hay and a bottle of beer to show that he was "an Average Joe."
Colbert said his final decision would be announced on a "more prestigious show," which turned out to be his own.
"After nearly 15 minutes of soul-searching, I have heard the call," said Colbert...
The rest of the article: AP
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Today's movie is:
1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Johnny Depp and Robert Englund. Directed by Wes Craven.
The dealie: The teenaged children of Elm Street start to die, one-by-one, apparently killed off by something in their dreams. Nancy Thompson determines to find out what it is before she too falls victim and comes to believe that the killer is child murderer Freddy Kreuger, who just happens to have been burned alive by the parents of said teenagers.
Type of horror: Supernatural
Likey?: Sure, I think it's a good movie. The acting isn't so great, the music is kind of lame, some of the dialogue is a bit stilted ("Screw your pass" indeed), but it's a very clever and effective movie despite all of that.
Is it scary?: I must confess, the first time I saw this movie, it freaked my 9-year-old shit OUT. I still remember it: I watched it one day after school with my mom, my aunt and 2 of my cousins, who were about 12 and 13 at the time. I was all brave while I watched it, mocking my cousins' fear and doing various things to scare the hell out of them during the viewing (this seems to be a running theme throughout my horror movie-watching life now that I think about it.) I was fine and everything was cool.
Until it was over. My cousins left, my mom went to make dinner and I was left alone with my thoughts, which were populated by a burned-up boogerman who was going to slice me open and wear my guts as a belt. I didn't sleep but maybe 3 hours that night, and in fact, it took about a month before I was back to my normal sleeping habits. I've seen it numerous times since then, and it doesn't frighten me at all now, but based on the effect it had on me at age 9, I still consider it a scary movie. So my short answer: yes.
Highlights: The bloody murder of one Johnny Depp. Not that I don't like Johnny, I just thought the whole sucked-into-the-bed thing was NEAT. I liked that, and when Freddy's arms went all Stretch Armstrong-y: I think that bothered me more than any of the murders.
1,2 Freddy's coming for you, 3,4 better lock your door, 5, 6 grab your
crucifix copy of NoES: Here
Monday, October 15, 2007
My final Stephen King movie (unless I get a wild hair and decide to do another one) is:
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, John Travolta and P.J. Soles. Directed by Brian DePalma.
The dealio: A mousy and abused girl with telekinetic powers gets pushed too far on one special night.
Type of horror: Supernatural
Yes? No? Maybe? I don't know?: It's a good movie, but not one of my favorites.
Scary?: I have to say that the ending is one of the greatest "OMGWTF!?" moments in the history of horror films. I won't give it away for the 3 people on Earth who haven't seen it, but yes, it made me jump. Piper Laurie was pretty horrifying as Carrie's mother, too (I ain't down with crazy religious folks), but taken as a whole, the movie ended up depressing me more than it scared me.
Highlights: Damn near everything about this movie has covered ad nauseum in the past 31 years-the Prom scene, the bit in the locker room, the 'dirty pillows', etc.-and I have nothing to add to that. All I have left to say is that Sissy Spacek was rilly, rilly good in this movie. I'm probably biased, but I don't care: she was wicked awesome.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Quick one today:
1985's Silver Bullet
Starring: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows and Terry O'Quinn
Plotzakhstan: A young paraplegic boy, his sister and his uncle hunt down a werewolf that is terrorizing their small town.
Type of horror movie: Werewolf
Which is absolutely fascinating, BTW.
Love, hate, tolerate?: There's one thing about this movie that makes me completely love it (more on that in a second.) Aside from THAT, it's merely an okay movie, but the thing I'm gonna mention puts it over the top.
Skurry?: I say no, but werewolf movies don't bother me very much on the whole as it is. It's a big doggy-who cares?
Highlights: I remember seeing this movie as a kid and thinking how cool it would be to have a cranky, funny uncle like Gary Busey (his character in the movie, not the real one-even as a youngster I knew crazy when I saw it.) It's been over 20 years since I first saw this movie and I still feel that way. He builds a souped-up wheelchair for his crippled nephew (can we still call them crippled? I forget), helps him chase down a werewolf, and does it all through a major alcoholic haze. He's the shizznit, fo' real. Yo.
Do you want it?: Go fetch
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Today's movie is:
Starring: Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur and Tim Curry
About: Seven youths have to defeat a demonic creature named Pennywise which dresses in a clown suit and terrorizes a 1960's town in Maine.
Type of horror: Supernatural
Like it?: Yes'm. Mainly for sentimental reasons, not because I think it's a good movie. It's not bad, but it's not good enough to warrant me liking it as much as I do, which is a hell of a lot. It was originally a miniseries and if I'm being objective, I'd have to say that the first half-which deals with the characters as children-is substantially better than the second half-which deals with them as adults. Of course, if you watch it, you have to watch both parts, so it doesn't really matter if the first part is better than the second. Don't even know why I brought it up really...
Piss your pants-yes or no?: Did you not look at that picture I posted? It's a movie about a clown-a clown that kills people. A CLOWN. To answer the question: YES.
Highlights: Well, CLOWN. Tim Curry is totally freaky (and occasionally pretty damn funny) as Pennywise. A lot of people consider Pennywise to be up there with Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers on the list of great horror villains-pretty impressive for a TV movie character. Oh and the chirrens did a pretty good job too, even this little nerd:
Where can I find it?: CLOWN
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Today's movie is:
1983's The Dead Zone
Starring: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Colleen Dewhurst, Nicholas Campbell and Martin Sheen. Directed by David Cronenberg.
Ploteroonie: Teacher Johnny Smith gets in a horrible accident which forces him into a coma for five years. Once Johnny wakes up, he discovers he has the ability to read a person's future just by making physical contact with them. When the local police find out about Johnny's "powers", they bring him in on a murder case.
Type of horror: Supernatural
Any good?: I still like it, but it hasn't really held up well.
Scary?: Not really. A lot of the scares in the movie hinge upon the subplot about Martin Sheen's wannabe senator, but the whole thing comes off as really hokey and heavy-handed. Some of Johnny's visions make for tense viewing, but on the whole, this is one of those movies that probably scared you as a kid, but as an adult, not so much. However, there is a scene in the movie that has stayed with me for years...
Highlights: Not to give anything away for anyone that hasn't seen it, but there's a bit with Nicholas Campbell in the bathroom that still freaks me out to this day. I've seen much worse horror movie scenes since I first saw this, but it still never fails to make my stomach lurch. Other than that, I guess my favorite thing about the movie is the fact that Christopher Walken was quite the dumpling when he was younger. I may be alone in that opinion, but I really don't care.
Where can I get it?: Guess.
PS-It didn't dawn on me while I was picking this movie that it's the second Stephen King adaptation I've posted on in as many days. I guess I'll just go ahead and do a King theme this week. Yay, I like themes!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
My dog Pepper got loose earlier and I had to run all over the neighborhood to catch her. Ergo, I'm tired and I've picked kind of an easy movie today so I won't have to tax myself any further. Tired, and very, very achy. Arms kinda hurt, got this thing with my neck-- I'll be alright, don't worry about me any...
If anyone stops by the blog and is wondering what the eff is up with all the movie posts, click Here.
Now...Today's movie is:
1980's The Shining
Who it is: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd and Scatman Crothers. Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
What it be: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
Type of horror: Psychological/ supernatural
Good? Bad? Or mediocre?: Damn near perfect.
But what if I don't like scary movies?: Then stay far away. Between the big, spooky, isolated hotel, drunken crazy Jack, blood gushing out of the elevators, yicky bathtub lady in room 237, those damn twins and whatever the hell This is, there's enough in this movie to send someone with a weak constitution into the nut house.
Highlights: I wouldn't know where to begin. But when I think of this movie, the thing that always stands out for me isn't all the creepy stuff I mentioned above, it's the fact that it's one of the most gorgeous and well-shot movies I've ever seen. Yes, I'm the nerd that notices shit like cinematography. Seriously though, pay attention next time you watch it-it's breathtaking.
Just for kicks, do you wanna see something funny?: "Don't mind if I do!"
Monday, October 08, 2007
I need something light to make up for the memory of the bummer that is Last House on the Left, and with that in mind I bring you:
2000's The Convent
With: Joanna Canton, Renée Graham, Richard Trapp, Adrienne Barbeau and Coolio.
What do we have here?: A group of college students break into an abandoned convent and become possessed by demonic spirits.
Type of horror: If I had to peg it, I'd say
Any good?: I don't know that I'd say it's 'good', per say, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. It's a mindless B-movie, and it doesn't take itself seriously. So if you want high-quality horror, rent 'The Exorcist'; If you want a fun, silly movie then 'The Convent' is a fine choice.
Skurry?: Nah. It's a bit gory, but the effects are a tad on the cartoonish side. For example, whenever a demon appears on screen, everything goes all day-glo and blacklight-y. Mostly everything is played for laughs, so even the gore itself was funny. Aside from that, the fact that Coolio is in it should make it apparent that it's not scary
Highlights: I cannot express just how awesome Adrienne Barbeau is as Christine, who, as a bad-ass teenager, put the kibosh on the demon nuns' doings. Christine became an even more bad-ass adult, and she's fairly annoyed that some idiot kids have undone all her hard work. She's not in the movie very long, but when she is, it's heaven on Earth and 'The Convent' is worth watching for her alone.
Where it's at: Here.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Today's movie is:
1972's Last House on the Left
With: Sandra Cassel, Lucy Grantham, and David Hess. Directed by Wes Craven
Plotzky: After kidnapping and butchering two teenagers, a gang of rapists and murderers unknowingly seeks refuge with the parents of one of the victims.
Type of horror:
Was it good for you?: Gonna have to say no, Bob.
Was it scary?: Hmmm. When something in a movie scares me, I enjoy it-my heart rate speeds up, I get a vicarious surge of adrenaline-it's fun. When I watched LHotL, I just got this hollow feeling in my stomach and I got really sad afterwards-kinda like how I felt when I watched Requiem for a Dream. This movie is really bleak and disturbing, so I guess it is scary in that it makes you afraid for humanity.
Highlights: I guess I can be nice and give a shout-out to chainsaw dad, otherwise I'm drawing a blank.
Yeah, well, what if I still want to see it?:
Friday, October 05, 2007
Starring: Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto and Anna Faris
What's the deal?: A lonely young woman who was traumatized by a difficult childhood desperately attempts to connect with the people around her.
Didja like it?: Yes, I liked it a lot, but not at first. I've seen it twice, and the first time I watched it I came very close to turning it off before it was even half over. I didn't have any issues with the overall quality of the movie-the performances are good, decent story, etc-it's a nifty little flick. My problem with the movie had more to do with me than anything: the character of May was so horribly socially awkward that it made me cringe, and it was painful to watch her interact with the other characters. I hate feeling embarrassed for another person about as much as I hate being embarrassed for myself, and May made me feel mortified on her behalf times 10.
Scary?: No. The ending is a bit on the disturbing side, but it wasn't scary.
Highlights: 'Member how I said the ending was kinda disturbing? That. And Angela Bettis did an amazing job as May, regardless of how uncomfortable she made ME feel.
Can I haz it?: You can find it
And not that I condone such a thing, but someone has the whole movie uploaded onto YouTube, so you can hunt it down there if you like. I ain't linking it, though. Damn the copyright Nazis, they ruin everything.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Today's movie is:
1992's Dead Alive aka Braindead
With: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody and directed by some dude named Peter Jackson. I think he's still making movies, I dunno.
Plot: A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.
Kind of horror movie:
Yay? Nay?: YAY!
Is it scary?: Bwhahahahahaha...No. It's a comedy for Christ's sake-not scary in the least. HOWEVER, it's totally gross and disgusting, so if you have a weak stomach I'd advise against watching it. Just be sure and tell me if you can't watch it so I can call you a wiener.
Where might I find such a film?
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
In case you hadn't noticed, the glorious month of October is here. October is probably my favorite month: my mom and my daughter both made their entrances into the world in October; it finally starts to get cool outside; and most importantly, Halloween is in October.
I bitch and gripe when I see stores dragging out their Christmas stuff 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, but I don't have this problem when I see the same stores displaying costumes and candy in the middle of September. I LOVE Halloween, you see, and one of the reasons I love Halloween is because you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a horror movie on TV during the entire month of October. (Worst. Metaphor. Ever.)
I like horror movies a whole lot, and I figured that I could do some posts relating to that all during the month of October. I pondered watching a horror movie a day, and then posting about it, but amazingly enough, some days I don't feel like watching anything, so I quashed that idea rather than set myself up for failure. Also, more often than not, I tend to ramble when I talk about something I've just seen, and I don't have the time or energy lately to devote to a daily, long-winded shpiel.
So, what I have decided to do is this: For the rest of the month, I will post some basic info about various horror movies that I've seen over the years, both good and bad. I will TRY to do this on a daily basis, but I make no promises. Even if it's not daily, I figure I can at least get about 4-5 new posts up a week during this time, so the blog will be updated more often than it has been in the last several months. Yay.
1974's Black Christmas
Starring:Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon and Andrea Martin.
Whazzit about: A Canadian sorority house prepares for the Christmas break. An unseen psychopath sneaks into the attic, menacing the girls with obscene phone calls, and starts to kill them one by one.
Type of horror:
Good? Bad?: Excellent. Well-acted, well-written, creepy-as-fuck, and also rather innocent for a slasher movie (translation: no boobies. Not that I have anything against boobies.)
Is it scary?: Yah. It's not all-out mayhem, but it's got atmosphere out the wazoo. Plus you never actually see the killer's face, which heightens the aforementioned 'creepy-as-fuck' factor.
Highlights: Margot Kidder as foul-mouthed, drunken sorority sister Barb. Bless her heart, you just want to keep her in your purse so you can whip her out at parties.
Um, like, if I wanted to see this movie, like, where could I, you know, find it?
Warning: If you decide to see Black Christmas, make sure it's the 1974 version, and not the 2006 version starring Michelle "Dawn" Trachtenberg. That movie couldn't have stunk more if someone had rubbed a turd all over the film stock. Blech.