Perfect Halloween viewing:
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Every horror fan worth their weight in Karo syrup knows that 1981 was a classic year for horror movies, especially slasher flicks. An American Werewolf In London, The Burning, The Evil Dead, Friday The 13th Part 2, Halloween II, The Howling, My Bloody Valentine, Scanners... and those are just the big names I can remember. There were countless other knock-offs and wannabes that I'm still finding out about after 28 years...
In 1996-97, there was a resurgence in the slasher genre led by Wes Craven's Scream. There were a few good films in this wave (Urban Legend, I Know What You Did Last Summer). There was A LOT of crap during this comeback as well (Do You Want To Know A Secret, The Curve) The sub-genre became a parody of itself, unfortunately making films like Scary Movie and Scream If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th popular for a time...
Well here we are, roughly a decade later, and it seems as though slasher flicks are again the order of the day. The reboots of Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine have ushered in the new slasher era. I, for one, think it's a great thing. While the 90's slasher craze focused on horror irony and fresh faces that they could cover a poster with, '09 seems to be bringing it back to the basics of blood, nudity, and shocks!
It got me thinking... If I'm still discovering 80's horror movies to enjoy, will the same thing happen to new genre fans 30 years from now? There have been movies I've heard about, and just HAD to see. Long out of print, I've had to scour and search for these films. The Burning, Night of the Creeps, Nightmare, Dellamorte Dellamore, Unmasked Part 25... I've had the pleasure of hunting these films as I read the (sometimes) fabled stories about them, and finally found copies. Now, most of them are currently (or soon to be) widely available on DVD. In 30 years, will horror fans be talking about Hatchet and Behind the Mask like we talk about Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street now?
It's more likely that we'll still be talking about Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street then too... and that's not at all a bad thing, mind you. But just in case, here are a list of some potential slasher "lost classics" that people might be looking frantically for come 2039...
Harper's Island... a pleasant surprise, considering it's a short run TV series on CBS. It surprised me a few times...
Frayed... This film definitely learned a few things from the slasher flicks that came before it. I was really happy to dig into this one. It rewarded me with several scares and a great feel to it.
Kids Go To The Woods...Kids Get Dead... An homage to the glut of slasher flicks that we were inundated with in the 1980's. A total gore fest worth the time of any fan of 80's slashers.
Midnight Movie... It's a flick that tries to throw in a new twist to the genre. I dont know how successful it was, but like most slasher flicks, turn off your brain and you'll have a super-duper time!
Hatchet... It entertains. Plenty of awesome cameos for sharp eyed viewers. The practical FX are definitely going to take you back.
Murder Loves Killers Too... A wonderful indie effort that goes way overboard all the time. It's a blood soaked love letter to it's fore bearers. Watch the special features for a list of titles they passed on...
Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon... Great film that shows the standard scenario from a new perspective. Who ever thought a maniacal murderer could be so likable!?
Speaking of likable... Dexter (Showtime Series)... Okay, you got me. It's not a slasher movie. But doesn't it get downright close when Dexter does what he does best...
So there you have it, these are the gems that are guaranteed* to be the lost classics that people 30 years from now will be paying absurd prices for!
Halloween is a great holiday. It's all inclusive, and can be tailored to anyone's taste. Some people go trick or treating. Others have a "party 'til you puke" attitude toward the special day. I, myself, choose to watch movies. With friends or alone, in public or private, that is how I celebrate.
Here are 13 films guaranteed to make your custom-made holiday even better! Some are newly released. Others are old standbys. All are just a little better when seen in autumn.
One of the greatest fright flicks of all time, being watched in October for maximum effectiveness...
Originally conceived as the Little Rascals meets the Universal Monsters, it's all the classic monsters, with an 80's twist. You'll thank me.
Would a halloween season be complete without one Vincent Price movie? I say "No!" Watch him in this cheesy cult classic.
Ghost stories seem really creepy to me this time of year. Living in New England will do that to ya, I suppose... This movie is beautifully shot and well acted. It will give you chills.
This is one movie that will polarize the horror viewing community. I'm on the "love it" side for it's off the wall story, catchy jingle, and unmerciful murder of a child.
This Friday has the best Halloween feel to me, especially during the scenes at night. Jason is to be feared.
The tag line says it all: "The most fun you ever have being scared." 5 great stories with a creepy, disturbing wraparound story, this flick is perfect for Halloween.
Typical stereotypes mess with evil forces beyond their control, a few surprises, laugh-out-loud funny moments, nuns getting massacred... It is as awesome as it sounds!
The original is great, but this is better (in my opinion). Barbara is better developed as a character, Tony Todd is awesome, Cooper gets it the way he should. 'Nuff said.
This has a similar feel to The Convent. Kids messing with scary things that are better left alone...Possession...naughty placement of a lipstick...gore...awesome!
A forgotten gem of the 80's, this is about a Sorority Halloween dance. From the movie-within-a-music-video-within-a-movie opening, to the demonic possession of the finale, this is a movie that has it all... And you'll expect none of it! (and dig that theme song!)
This is simply the best Poe adaptation of recent years. Combs is awesome, the gore is plentiful, the paranoia is palpable, and the end is unexpected.
The new addition to the Halloween perennials. It's funny, spooky, scary, gory, and best of all, clever. This is the new standard by which all Halloween movies will be held in the future. I was skeptical about it after hearing everyone's praise, but it is one movie that lives up to all the hubbub.
Also, there are a few films that I will never pull off the shelf until October rolls around. And while I'm not a huge ghost fan, I really enjoy watching ghost/haunted house stories this time of year. There's just something about ghost stories and New England...
Anyway, here's a scene from one of my October faves.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Halloween is nearly upon us. In my opinion, New England is the best place to be this time of year.
The picture on top is a creepy nursery display from the local Halloween Spirit store.
There's one of my neighbor's front yard. I need to get a better picture of that, but I sure am proud of them.
My 6 year old niece got to make her first Jack-o-Lantern, and I've got pictures! She and I play this game where we shout "Picture Day!" and we make a retarded/funny/stupid face, like we are having our school picture taken. This is our "Picture Day Pumpkin."
These are a few reasons why Halloween is awesome!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Ahh, the slasher movie...
While a sub genre of horror, the slasher has many of its own SUB sub genres... If you can think of a place/situation/holiday, chances are there has been a slasher movie made to accomodate it. Of the many, many types of slasher movies out there, there are those that I will seek out and watch just because of the locale. Whether the movie is a hidden gem or a real stinker, I'll give it a shot. And after it's had it's fair chance to wow me or let me down, I'll still give it the benefit of the doubt.
These are my top 3 slasher sub genres.
The SCHOOL Slasher:
Anytime there are horny students eluding a psychopath with some pointy implements of destruction you can count me in! Whether it's crazy Mary Lou possessing students to exact her revenge or the teacher turning the tables on the students in Hell High, I can't get enough. I hardly went to school when I was supposed to, now I yearn for it... in the movies anyway.
The CAMP Slasher:
I worked at a summer camp through my teen years... in the woods of Maine. We would watch these movies and tell scary stories, then walk through the woods to a haunted camp a mile away and scare the crap out of each other. Whatever it is, I love me some camp slashers. Even if they stink, I'll watch 'em and enjoy 'em. Don't Go In The Woods...Alone!, Final Terror, Friday the 13th part 3, Madman... they are all aces in my books.
The CHRISTMAS Slasher:
I love Christmas. It's a time for families to come together. It's a time to let people know you appreciate them. It gets dark and cold out, so people bundle up. Everything is just cozy and quaint... That is why Christmas slashers work so well for me. Let's keep everyone on edge by taking all those familiar holiday sights and giving them a twist of evil. Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, Christmas Evil, The Gingerdead Man... While good Christmas slashers are few and far between, they always give the gifts that seem so appropriate to us horror fans.
So there you have it. If a movie takes place at a school, a camp or at Christmastime I'm going to watch it!
And I'll probably like it too...
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I've so been neglecting my duties at this here blog...
This week, the week of Halloween, I'll be on full steam ahead! I'll have a few entries into The Horror Canon, as well as some fun stuff for Halloween...
Until then, something to get you in that festive mood...