February 17th, 2008, 03:53 AM
The Horror Thread
Thought I'd create a thread dedicated to my chief passion and hobby --
Horror films are a wonderful thing, yet they suffer from a crippling stigma. They are so diverse and encompass so many genres yet they garner so little respect. Truly underrated, discarded as juvenile and lacking in any real depth or intelligence -- which is total elitist crap. Also annoys me how this reflects on the fans too. I mean, I'm pretty strait lace, I just happen to love horror films. I'm not up all night sharpening butchers knifes (do that before lunch ;P).
Anyway, here's a place to chat about anything horror for us devotees.
Well, I got a second-hand VHS player the other day for the sole purpose of watching all those hard to find and as yet unreleased on DVD (at least here in AUS) horror films. So went down the local Blockbuster, which still has a video section (yay), and checked out the horror selection. I was in heaven. So many movies I wanted to see – but I was limited to 10 (had a voucher). So me and my girlfriend (an equally large horror head) went trawling through the vast quantity of titles. Heres what I ended up with:
From Beyond, dir. Stuart Gordon (1986): I've wanted to see this for ages. Love Re-Animator (1985) to death, and am very fond of other works like Dolls (1987) and Castle Freak (1995). Was another great take on a H.P. Lovecraft novel, so bizarre and otherworldly - a grotesque spectacle, with Gordon's trademark black humour. Lived up to hype. 8/10
Grizzly, dir. William Girdler (1976): Always remembered the poster with a tower bear and the tagline ”18 feet of gut-crunching, man-eating terror!”, and it delivered. It was exactly what I wanted, right up my alley. Shameless fun. Good for a laugh and to entertain. Loved matinée chainsmoking ranger too. 6/10
Chopping Mall, dir. Jim Wynorski (1986): Another of the numberless slashers, but with a twist. Bunch of teenagers lock themselves in a department store for a night of partying, only to battle a force of new, top of the line, security bots. So campy and dumb, but at the same time hugely watchable. If only for the lame Dalek like drones and their one liners. Incidentally my girlfriends favorite. 6/10
Werewolves on Wheels, dir. Michel Levesque (1971): Heard about this cult classic a year or two ago and it sounded intriguing. The Snakes-on-a-Plane-esque title alone warrants it a look-in. Totally cheesy, deranged, drugged out movie about rowdy bikers who stumble upon a satanist cult in the desert. A few incantations later, and the motley leader and his girl are transformed into children of the night. Another really fun watch even if it doesn't make sense half the time. Near perfect b-movie. 6/10
Spasms, dir. William Fruet (1983): Got this spur of the moment based on the cover (looked like Scanners (1981)). Chalk it off as a mistake. Peter Fonda and Oliver Reed slum it in this boring, derivate, nonsensical movie about the capture of a devil incarnated giant snake and attempts to study it. Apparently the production company ran out of money and had to pad the final scenes with flashbacks. Might explain some of its short comings, but really, it's just a below average movie. Oh well, least I've now seen it. 3/10
Final Exam, dir. Jimmy Huston (1981): Forgotten by-the-numbers slasher with an unknown killer stalking campus kids. Very generic cast of characters, though the doomsday obsessed nerd was somehow endearing. The ambiguous ending brings no closure at all and is somewhat frustrating, but its a nice change from the Scooby Doo reveal we're normally accustomed to. 5/10
Curtains, dir. Richard Ciupka (1983): Underrated, intelligent slasher about a group of actresses who gather at a womanizing directors house to audition for a screen role. Lots of twists and turns with surprisingly good acting and direction. It often captures an eerie atmosphere thanks to its surreal filming style. The killer is really creepy and reason or killing even stranger and culminates in a memorable finale. 7/10
The Stuff, dir. Larry Cohen (1985): I love Larry Cohen movies, and this film was one that seemed like I'd never see thanks to its scarcity - Lucky enough though, the video store had it. Very original movie about a mysterious new dessert called 'The Stuff' that takes control of general population, as more and more consume it. A private detective is hired by a rival dessert manufacturer to find out the delicacies secret ingredient, only to find himself compelled to bring down the company after finding out its true nature. Well directed and always interesting like most Cohen movies, this lived up to my lofty expectations. I really like it. 7/10
Martin, dir. George A. Romero (1977): One of Horror's greatest luminaries forgotten little gem, Martin is a movie I hold in high company. Teenage Martin believes himself a vampire, and is re-located to live with his elderly superstitious cousin in Pennsylvania. The great strength of this movie is that its never really revealed whether Martin is truly a vampire, or merely a delusional person fulfilling fantasies. It is directed with great prowess and competence, with small subtleties and underlying humor adding even more to the final result. Surreal and intriguing. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Romero. 8/10
Wow, that took a while. Oh well, I love horror.
Still got one more to get through called Alone in the Dark (1982) – not to be confused with Uwe (Toilet)Boll's bastardized game adaption. Should get through that tonight and post back her tomorrow sometime. Going to rent a whole new batch on Tuesday me-thinks, no good films at the cinema at this time. Oh, and for Valentines day, we each gave each other some money to spend. I ended up getting some books among other things, but my girlfriend got herself (or us, if you look at it that way ) some horror DVD's:
The Burning (1981)
Massacre at Central High (1976)
American Gothic (1988)
Sleepaway Camp II(1988)
Sleepaway Camp III (1989)
Chopping Mall (1986) - she liked it so much
and is still eyeing Slumber Party Massacre (1982) and Hide and Go Shriek (1988). As you can tell, her fav sub-genre is Slashers.
Damn, that is bigger than I thought. Oh well, I really hope it takes off. Love talking horror. So yeah, feel free to comment, review, post or whatever you feel like here.
Last edited by Messiahknot; February 17th, 2008 at 04:56 AM.
Reason: links were funny
February 18th, 2008, 07:57 AM
Gentleman and Scholar
I used to be quite a big horror film fan. I was very big on Romero - particually the Dead series. I still quite like zombie films - not so much the modern ones but...
Horror Films I quite like:
Dead of Night
Night of the Demon
Carnival of Souls (not the "Wes Craven Presents" version)
February 18th, 2008, 09:41 AM
Yeah, Romero is a treasure. Can't wait for his Cloverfield-esque Diary of the Dead. They are all great movies by the way. Which 'Dead of Night' movie are you referring to? Because there are lots that go by that title. Is it Dead of Night (1975) AKA Deathdream, which, coincidentally I quoted and use as a signature on some other forms
Originally Posted by Wulfa_Jones
My absolute favs would have to be:
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Don't Look Now (1973)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Southern Comfort (1981)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
The Vanishing (1988)
The Wicker Man (1973)
There are so many more though.
Here's that review:
Alone in the Dark, dir. Jack Sholder (1982): Surprisingly good movie with a great cast (Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Donald Pleasence) about a bunch of asylum patients who's paranoia makes them believe their new overseer actually killed the former, and they embark on a crusade to bring him down when their electric powered holding areas are downed by a black out. Tense and well paced, I really enjoyed this. Especially the acting, which was great. The end, too, was really satisfying. 7/10
Anyway, got some more good 'o grainy VHS'.
Bloody Birthday (1981)
Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
Visiting Hours (1982)
The Video Dead (1987)
Should hopefully get past these in a week.
Last edited by Messiahknot; February 18th, 2008 at 09:47 AM.