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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Russell G, Sep 25, 2009.
First time viewings in bold
CHAMBER OF HORRORS(1966)-
Can't wait. This year, I shall rule!!!!
Count me in again!
Unfortunately, I am one of the many unemployed this year, but that means I should easily break my record from last year. Hopefully none of those job interviews or having to pick up the kids from school will get in my way!
2009 October Scary Movie Challenge (first time viewings are in orange):
1. Horror of Dracula (1958) - What can I say? I always felt like this sucker trumped Tod Browning's version (sorry, Tod, I still adore Freaks). Love the atmosphere and the beautiful set design. Of course, one doesn't talk about this film without mentioning Lee's sinister Count, either. I'm going to try and make it through some of the lesser sequels this year (I've yet to see them all), but this one's been a favorite of mine for a while and the perfect way to kick off a month of horror movies. 10/1
2. Army of Darkness (1993) - I can never tire of this one, and the funhouse feel of it makes it perfect viewing for this time of the year. And personally, I am very happy with the Blu-ray. 10/1
3. End of the Line (2007) - Solid, if flawed, horror movie that has some scares and surprising brutality. The storyline about the doomsday cult possesses a satisfying creep factor even if the acting is uneven. Not bad for a modern horror film. Not bad at all. 10/2
4. Zombieland (2009) - Energetic horror/comedy somewhat misses the mark when it comes to its titular characters. In a lot of scenes, the zombies are afterthoughts and there's far too few of them around considering the word has been entirely overrun with them. That said, the cast is strong and there's pretty of great dialogue to enjoy. A fantastic celebrity cameo, too. A really fun time, though not quite as good as I'd been hoping for. 10/2
5. An American Werewolf in London (1981) - Classic. Enough said. 10/3
6. The Hills Run Red (2009) - I really thought this would be a better film, but that's what happens when you buy into the hype. The premise is that a hardcore horror fan sets out to find the lost 1982 slasher flick, The Hills Run Red, which was notoriously pulled from theaters immediately after its release. It's a nifty idea and the movie has lots of fun promotional material that helps sell the idea of a real "lost" slasher flick: dummy trailer, domestic and international one sheets, etc. But the movie itself doesn't quite hold together. I was baffled by the character behavior and the final act is very unsatisfying. It's an interesting movie, though, just not as good as the horror websites are claiming. 10/3
7. The Stepfather (1987) - 10/4
8. Stepfather II (1989) - 10/4
9. Grace (2009) - 10/5
10. Trick 'r Treat (2008) - 10/6
I'll do it this year. Think I'll work thru the Hammer Frankensteins that I have and maybe the mummy movies.
First time movie in Bold. Rating is
I will give it a go... going for the Ultimate Splatter Challenge!
1. Brotherhood of Blood
2. Dead Set
1. The Hunger: Season 1 - The Swords
1. The Hitch
No tv stuff from me, just movies. And I think I'll give Classic Universal and Hammer a break, I've watched those films far too many times. I'll pick some films I haven't seen in ages.
Like this one -
If we aren't in the contest, may we still post on the films watched? There isn't a rule against this, right?
Please do post! And keep track of them! It's not a competition, it's a challenge, so no reason not to play along!
I'm really excited, people seem as eager as I am to get started, roll on October!
Sounds good. I couldn't recall all of the rules.
I'm itching to watch a few horror films now.
I plan to keep separate lists of movies and TV shows I watch in this thread.
But one question...
Given your rule on TV shows, how should I count Dark Shadows?
Hmmm... I've never watched it, but I understand it's a vampire soap opera... I suggest not watching it! F'narr!
Kidding. Since the challenge hasn't started yet, I'm officially changing rule 6 for TV shows. I added it because last year (I think) Joe watched like, 60 plus episodes of "The Munsters" and didn't count them (his choice), which didn't seem all that fair since it was still a lot of watching, they should count for something right? And as we said before, we all counted stuff like "Masters Of Horror" and what not, so it's a real blurry line! So, here's the new rule for #6:
6. TV Shows officially count, to a point. They should be kept on a separate list to be tallied up at the end. The tallying is based on the following:
Anthology shows count as single entities. Each episode of "The Twilight Zone" is a self contained story, so each episode counts as one. Same with "Masters Of Horror" and other anthologies. These all basically replicate short films, if TV never came around, it would not be hard to imagine a "Twilight Zone" being a short subject before a film, and we've always counted those.
Episodic shows like "X-Files" and "Dark Shadows" now count, but not as single entities. Typically on shows like this, a season is a storyline, which would not be fair to count as one. So the compromise is this. The average modern horror film is 90 minutes, so episodic shows are counted based on this mark. So two episodes of a hour long TV show count as "One" title on the list, three 30 minute episodes of some other 30 minute horror based show ("The Munsters") would also count as "One" title on the list.
At the end of the challenge, the TV content will be added up, and then added to the final total.
Is this fair, or too convoluted? Should we just flat out scrap TV shows under a 60 minute run time? I know that people can still inflate their numbers by watching the Twilight Zone, I still hope that people remember that it's not a competition with a prize at the end, but a fun challenge about sharing ideas about movies. Keep in mind, it would be jsut as easy to watch every theatrical cartoon made with a halloween theme to inflate your numbers if you wanted to do so, so TV shows aren't all that different. People who want to inflate their numbers will do just that. I'm always impressed by the guys sit through the truly dreadful stuff, like 90% of what SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO has put out.
It seems like we might miss out on something we might not know of if we flat out scrap TV, but I'm not losing sleep over it.
I don't know if I'll watch any tv episodes. I'll have to think about it. I just finished watching this past 6 months all of the X-files, Buffy and Angel series so I don't want to delve into that so soon. I do have Millennium and it's been awhile since I've watched that series so maybe.
I just purchased Hammer Horror 8 Cult Classics so I think I'll start off with Brides of Dracula tomorrow. The only movie I've seen on this set is Phantom of the Opera. I might have seen a couple of others but unsure until I start watching them.
I personally don't like including TV shows. Last year some people were even counting shorts that had a horror theme. Most of those where way under 60 minutes. I think watching a 20 minute Three Stooges short that has a horror theme should not be counted, but some people feel differently. It makes it harder for people who are watching full length movies to compete, but like was already stated, it is not a competition but a challenge.
I don't know if I'll included much episodic tv myself but I feel those who want to should. I think two hour long episodes = 1 movie sounds fair. I also liked the idea of separating the tv episodes from movies watched.
I think the "grouping" solution to TV shows is a good happy medium. Two 1-hour eps, or three 30-min eps = one feature. That should make the time investment fairly equitable for all concerned when it comes to overall totals.
That way we can still count TV eps, but those who view all/mostly feature films are not at a time disadvantage.
I'm in favor of including TV shows as well. As stated before, we've always included short films in the challenge, so TV is no different. Especially when you do the "grouping" for episodic programs such as X-Files.
Can't wait to start the challenge officially late night tonight! Watching Dead Girl to start off the challenge. Heard great things about it. We'll see. Watched The Hills Run Red yesterday. Babyface is great. Story had some good ideas. Cinematography was WEAK though. Some in the horror circles have been really talking this one up, but I can't say I agree. Good, and definitely worth a rental during the challenge for those who haven't seen it. But this isn't the next great slasher.
[SIZE= larger]Bob McLaughlin's 2009 Scary Movie Challenge list...[/SIZE]
1. The Golem (1920) (first time viewing)
This story was supposedly the source of inspiration for Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". While no one is going to be frightened by this movie any more, it's easy to see why this is a horror classic. It has scorcery, evil spirits, sex, and an indestructable monster with a weird Beatles haircut. Some of the Jewish stereotyping is cringe-worthy (what's with all the witch-hats?), but the Golem was a heroic figure for the Jewish people. An interesting piece of history.
2. Onibaba (first time viewing)
I really liked this one. My favorite horror is not always necessarily supernatural, or it is left vague enough that you're not sure. An eerie sense of menace pervades throughout. Also, the mask is supposedly the inspiration for the demon face seen briefly in The Exorcist. Great stuff!
3. Fire in the Sky
When I saw this back in the early 90's, the movie packed a lot more punch. However, now it seemed slower-paced and not as riveting. I knew what was going to happen so the cat was out of the bag, and the movie suffered for it. However, the last scene involving the alien medical exam is still scary as heck! Nowadays it would all be CGI, so there's something creepy about those "real" aliens.
4. Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde (first-time viewing)
A great matchup of the classic comedy duo and horror legend Boris Karloff in the titular role(s). If you've seen one Abbot & Costello movie, you've seen them all, but the focus here is on fun and a few tame scares. Hard to believe that back in the day, the UK rated this movie as an "X" due to the supposedly too-scary Mr. Hyde transformation scenes! My 4-year old daughter enjoyed this movie, how times have changed!
5. Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (first-time viewing)
I wanted to like this low-budget monster movie, but I was put off by awkward scenes (such as the hero repeatedly going to see a counselor), annoying Canadian accents ("soarry" "aboat" that), and generally it just took too long to get to the actual monster slaying. If your movie has the phrase "monster slayer" in the title, then don't just throw that part in the last 15 minutes of the movie. A more accurate title would have been "weird teacher, angry plumber" but I guess that wouldn't encourage many rentals.
6. Ju-On (first-time viewing)
As a device to scare, this was quite effective. The movie never let me relax and was very effective at creeping me out. However, as a movie, it was not as effective. It was very repetitive in its methods--basically the same type of scare was used over and over for 92 minutes. It was kind of like being tickled in the same spot for too long--after a while it doesn't work. Also, I had a very hard time making sense of it all. Still, I would recommend this for anyone who wants to see something that can actually scare them!
7. The Fearless Vampire Killers
With Roman Polanski back in the headlines again for all the wrong reasons, I thought I'd give this one another spin. This movie has a great, fairy-tale look to it. The snow-covered sets and countryside are amazing. Sharon Tate is drop-dead gorgeous. A fun little vampire movie!
8. The Girl Next Door (2007) - First time viewing
Rough, rough, rough stuff. Very grim, and I have a pretty high tolerance for 'difficult' movies. Nothing supernatural, no jump-scares, just real human monsters and the evil that people are capable of. Frightening to think this was based on a true story. Amazing performance by Blanche Baker, who has bravely secured herself a place as one of cinema's worst villains.
9. Deep Red (first time viewing)
Dario Argento delivers the goods as usual. More of a mystery/thriller with horrific elements sprinkled throughout, "Deep Red" kept me guessing--I was sure I figured out who the killer was, but I was wrong. It was cool to see a post "Blow-Up" David Hemmings, once again playing the role of man who isn't quite sure what he's really seen. And of course, since this is an Argento movie, there is a lot of very red blood and over-the-top violence! One annoyance was the movie couldn't decide whether to be in English or Italian with English subtitles, it kept switching back and forth. I know that was the director's intent but it kept taking me out of the movie. That aside, I enjoyed it.
10. Deadgirl (first time viewing)
Feels like sloppy seconds at this point, but it's my turn to jump on the Deadgirl bandwagon! (Bad joke, I know.) Sick and twisted but always interesting. I'm a big fan of any movie that shows people exploiting the supernatural, because let's face it, exploitation is what really would happen if people encountered something supernatural! Well maybe not exactly this way, but there are some sick people out there, right? Also a few good creepy scares and jumps, particularly in the first half.
11. Frightmare (first-time viewing)
Ah, the family that slays together, stays together. I didn't know much about this movie but I just bought the British Horror Quadruple Feature box set, which is actually a collection of 4 movies by the same British director, Pete Walker. This movie was interesting in that the "bad guy" is an elderly British woman! This was probably a nice slap in the face to the youth movement of the 60's and 70's, and the movie still holds up. A decent body count and some effective gore, but also many good interesting characters.
12. Zombieland (first-time viewing)
Wow! This movie was so fun, and kicked so much ass! This may represent the pinnacle of the modern zombie comedy. Great characters, great everything. I laughed, I applauded, I even shed a tear. I will not spoil anything by mentioning specifics--just go see it!
13. Paranormal Activity (first-time viewing)
You know, Blair Witch didn't work for me, and this one didn't either. (I really wanted to like both). Not enough story to keep me involved, and the scares just weren't working for me. The audience seemed split on this one--about half were saying "That's it?" when it was over (some even laughed in exasperation), but the other half seemed very scared by the movie. Unfortunately I fell into the former and not the latter group. Go see for yourself and decide.
14. The Nightmare Before Christmas
I've always liked this movie and now that I have kids, I guess I'm going to watch it every year. Not really horror but definitely has its place on a pre-Halloween viewing list!
15. Deathdream (aka Dead of Night) (first-time viewing)
It's low-budget and the acting is a little bit "TV-movie-ish", but this isn't a bad little slice of 70's Americana. If you're familiar with the short story "The Monkey's Paw", you'll get the setup for this movie. A mother refuses to accept that her son has died in Vietnam, and sure enough, he shows up at their doorstep--but he's different now. Required viewing for fans of Tom Savini, who contributed some frightfully effective makeup for this movie.
16. Trick 'r Treat (first-time viewing)
What a fun movie! Also a very good movie to get you into the Halloween mood! I liked the intertwining stories and creepy atmosphere. Tales of suburban paranoia never felt so good! At times the movie felt a little constrained by its low budget but that is a minor gripe. The emphasis was on dark humor and lots of tricks!
17. Mother of Tears (first-time viewing)
A worthy entry in Argento's "Three Mothers" trilogy. Very over-the-top at times (how about that meat cleaver to the face?) but always watchable and interesting. Lots of gratuitous blood and nudity and violence--hurray! Asia Argento's acting is probably the film's weakest element, given that she is in just about every scene, I wish they had gone with someone else.
18. A Tale of Two Sisters (first-time viewing)
I'm surprised I hadn't heard about this movie sooner, it is that good. I was a bit lost through a lot of the movie, but it made a lot more sense by the ending. I really want to see this one again now that I've put together a lot of things. A good mystery and very scary too!
19. Dance of the Dead
I first saw this one during last year's horror marathon; I believe Airboss recommended it and he hasn't steered me wrong yet. Very fun and funny! It held up well to a second viewing and I suspect I will continue to watch this for years to come.
20. Nightmare (first-time viewing)
I had to work in some Hammer Horror to my viewing list. This was a half-decent early 60's Hammer film. A little short on sympathetic or interesting characters but sometimes effectively creepy, but not enough of the time. We've seen all the standard elements of a these kind of psychological horror thrillers before: creepy house, woman doubting her sanity, a conspiracy, etc. so there's not much new here.
21. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) (first-time viewing)
It's easy to see why this is considered superior to the 1941 version of the movie. This movie brings to light Dr. Jekyll's real motivations for doing what he does: his sex drive! This movie features, among other things, a barely covered naked woman in a bed kissing the doctor, probably a movie first at the time. No wonder the man's hormones raged out of control! Mr. Hyde's manner is mostly comical to our modern eyes, what with his ape-like twitchiness, but some of the transformation scenes are still creepy.
22. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (first-time viewing)
Alternately strange and a delight, this 1970 Czech movie barely qualifies as horror, despite the presence of mysterious cloaked vampires, magic earrings, lecherous rapist priests and a woman being burned at the stake. It's presented in such a glowing beautiful way, it's more like a daydream than a nightmare. Don't bother trying to make sense of this one, though, that would be an exercise in frustration. Just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
23. Blacula (first-time viewing)
Not nearly as bad as I was anticipating, but certainly not in danger of becoming a classic. I was expecting deliberate camp and comedy, but for the most part they play this straight. The movie's more hokey qualities came from the usual 70s blaxploitation cliches and some stereotyped depictions of gays. The jive-talkin' and club music make this kinda fun at times (not to mention William Marshall's titular performance), but it's hard to understand why this was included on the "101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die" list.
24. Them (aka Ils) (first-time Viewing)
Who knew the French could put together an effective little horror thriller? If you fear bumps in the night and creaky houses, this has it in spades. Probably the most effective home-invasion movie scene since "Straw Dogs". The plot is a little thin and the movie is mostly one-note, but it's one note played very well. Entertaining and scary!
25. Hour of the Wolf (first-time viewing)
For Ingmar Bergman fans only. Bergman's only true horror film is maddening, nightmarish, frustrating and of course full of those brilliant Bergman moments that make the difficult viewing worthwhile. Things pick up in the final third when the movie takes a turn for the surreal. Also, it was interesting to see where the R.E.M. video "Losing My Religion" stole some of its imagery from. Don't watch this unless you have some experience with inpenetrable art films.
26. Silk (first-time viewing)
Very cool movie! It had ghosts, mystery, science fiction, and thrills. I liked the characters too, they were interesting and varied. This reminded me of some of the movies of the 80's that combined pseudo-science and metaphysics, such as "Brainstorm", "Altered States", "Dreamscape", but it was definitely up-to-date in its execution.
27. Phantom of the Opera (first-time viewing)
This version of Phantom isn't all bad: I liked the down-and-dirty version of London that is presented here, with roving bands of hags, a rat-catcher (of course the rats get loose) and lots of brackish dirty water. But there is much that is unsatisfying about this version: the Phantom doesn't do much himself, he has an "Igor"/"Quasimodo" assistant do most of his bidding, and the bad guy director doesn't get much of a come-uppance at the end. Watch the original silent instead.
28. Blue Sunshine (first-time viewing)
This movie preyed on the worst fears of the post-hippie generation. Remember that bad acid you did back in the late 60's? (I don't either, I was only a baby). Well, it comes back to haunt you 10 years later, making you lose your hair and turning you into a murderous maniac! Not really scary but a couple of disturbing scenes, the movie is more thriller than horror, but it's hard to take the movie as seriously as it seems to want us to.
29. Opera (first-time viewing)
Another stylish entry from Argento. That's 3 Argentos this month so far! Opera shows the director at his most confident. The camera whizzes pleasingly around the opera house and other settings. This hits on all the usual Argento images and does it well, but also a lot of energy and even humor. My only complaint is the Netflix DVD I received was a terrible transfer.
30. Wizard of Gore (first-time viewing)
This was an impressive, sleazy and stylish movie that I am surprised I haven't heard more about. Don't expect subtlety--the movie is very "in your face" and doesn't let you forget you're watching a show, but the dark film noir-ish qualities and twisty/turny plot kept me fascinated. Things got a little bogged down in the film's final act and left me wondering what the heck just happened. A must-see for fans of weirdo actor Crispin Glover, who puts on a bravura performance as Montag the Magnificent.
31. Daughters of Darkness (first-time viewing)
A European newlywed couple (looking much like the blonde half of ABBA) go to a summer resort in the winter, wanting solitude. Instead they encounter a mysterious Countess and her hottie "assistant" who seem to have a strong appetite for human blood. A little slow going at times, but beautifully atmospheric and modern-feeling despite being a 1971 movie.
32. Fear(s) of the Dark (first-time viewing)
Great little creepy animated feature! Six different French animators explore dark themes in stark black and white. Don't expect big, broad "Hollywood" type scares. Rather, sit back and soak up the dread, the discomfort, and the atmosphere. One of the segments truly didn't belong--an angsty philosphical piece that didn't seem to fit the overall theme--but aside from that, I was entranced. The final segment is required viewing for those of us lucky enough to have total blackout home theaters.
The first and best of the "Halloween" movies, I know it's a bit of a cliche to watch this on Halloween night, but what the heck. Still effective after dozens of viewings. Donald Pleasence really raises this to something more than just a teen slasher. Strange to see Jamie Lee Curtis so young.
I wanted to post this in a separate post:
One of my goals this year is to polish off the remaining horror movies I haven't seen from the "101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die" book. I have seen 83 of these, so 18 to go. Some of the ones I haven't seen are not available on Netflix but many are. Please feel free to use this list for reference!
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
The Golem (1920)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
White Zombie (1932)
The Old Dark House (1932)
Island of Lost Souls (1932)
King Kong (1933)
The Black Cat (1934)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Wolf Man (1941)
Cat People (1942)
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
The Bad Seed (1956)
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
The Horror of Dracula (1958)
The Tingler (1959)
Eyes Without a Face (1959)
Peeping Tom (1960)
Black Sunday (1960)
The Innocents (1961)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
The Haunting (1963)
The Birds (1963)
The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
Hour of the Wolf (1968)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Daughters of Darkness (1971)
The Last House on the Left (1972)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Wicker Man (1973)
Don't Look Now (1973)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Deep Red (1975)
The Omen (1976)
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
The Brood (1979)
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Dressed to Kill (1980)
Friday the 13th (1980)
The Shining (1980)
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
The Howling (1981)
The Beyond (1981)
The Hunger (1983)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Fly (1986)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
The Vanishing (1988)
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Man Bites Dog (1991)
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Cemetery Man (1994)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Devil's Backbone (2001)
The Others (2001)
28 Days Later (2002)
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
High Tension (2003)
The Descent (2005)
The Orphanage (2007)