Brainee's 2010 DVDTalk Horror Movie Challenge List
First Time Views
= first time viewing
1. ☼ Ghost Story
(1974) - No, not the Fred Astaire movie where the Borg Queen shows her boobs. I had never heard of this movie, but blind bought the R2 DVD since I was already placing an order and it was on sale. Apparently this is a bit of a cult item due to its cast: including a strung-out Marianne Faithfull and the real-life counterpart of "Withnail" (of "Withnail and I" fame). Taken on its own, I found it a solid little ghost story. Fairly reserved, and not quite coming together - but it has its creepy moments and doesn't overstay its welcome.
2 and 3. The Dark Secret of Harvest Home
(1978) - First time I've seen this since it was originally aired - so it was practically new to me. It's a crime this hasn't gotten a DVD release yet. Excellent story of building creepiness that has a similar vibe to "Wicker Man" and "Children of the Corn" (though Tryon's novel predates both of them). The mini-series running time (nearly 4 hours without commercials) allows this to have the depth of the a novel. Though a lot of 70s genre fair comes across of goofy today, this most certainly doesn't. The cast is an interesting mix of classic stars (Bette Davis, Donald Pleasance), future stars (Rosanna Arquette), and tv veterans (Rene Auberjonois, Tracey Gold, Joanna Miles).
4. Horror of Dracula
(1958) - Time for a triple feature of Hammer Dracula in HD (on TCMHD)! The first and still my favorite of the Hammer Dracula movies. Though I never noticed before how bad some of the actors were at "playing dead"
And Jonathan Harker is really an idiot here. Not even mentioning that his whole plan is kind of hair-brained. But at one point, he has the coffins of Dracula and his bride right in front of him. But there's only enough time to stake one, before the other wakes up. Guess which one he chooses?
5. Dracula, Prince of Darkness
(1966) - Takes a while to get the big guy resurrected, but once that happens the movies races along. And this is the movie where Dracula never spoke, with Lee explaining that the dialog was so bad he refused to do it. I tend to agree with screenwriter Jimmy Sangster's take on this - that his script never had any lines for Dracula to begin with. After all, he barely spoke in "Horror of Dracula" (after a couple of lines at the start, I think he was silent). And considering all the crap Lee has appeared in over the years, I find it hard to believe that, of all movies, this is the one where Lee makes that stand. No insult intended - you appear in as many movies as Lee and you'll work in some sinkers along the way.
6. Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
(1968) - It's interesting to see a weak-willed priest used as Dracula's human henchman. And I don't get the "G" rating this got. With all the gory impalings and biting, this would get a PG-13 today easily. I know the system wasn't the same in those days, but you would've thought that this would at least merit the "M" (all ages admitted, but parental discretion advised). I guess that sci-fi and horror was dismissing as "kiddie" fare, no matter the content (which explains other odd "G" ratings, such as "Planet of the Apes" and "2001").
7. ☼ Halloween II
(2009) - Dear Rob Zombie, Please stop making Halloween movies. Thank you.
8. ☼ Daughters of Satan
(1972) - I thought I had seen this before, but it turns out I was thinking of "Brotherhood of Satan". That was a good movie ... this was crap. It does have a few moments of unintentional hilarity going for it. My favorite is when one woman has to spit on a crucifix. Trouble is the actress doesn't really know how to spit. Instead, she just kind of flaps her lips making a raspberry sound. I think a little spit got on the crucifix, but I think the other actors in the scene got the worst of it.
9. ☼ Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
(1977) - How to describe "Death Bed"? I think one can only experience it. I will say this - Patton Oswald's bashing isn't really fair. Sure, it may make for a funny routine. But he didn't even see the movie. "Death Bed" may be ultra-low budget, have actors who can barely read their lines, and have a silly title. But it's captivating in its weird way, and has some imaginative touches.
10. ☼ The Hypnotic Eye
(1960) - There's a good plot at the core here. Some of the self-mutilations are pretty gruesome for the time. Unfortunately, there's only enough story for about 45 minutes. The rest of the running time is shamelessly padded - with lengthy stretches of the hypnotists stage show, and even a beatnik poetry reading. And really - what person keeps a huge bottle of sulfuric acid by the bathroom sink?!?! That's just asking for trouble, evil hypnotist or not.
11. Taste the Blood of Dracula
(1970) - I'm pretty sure I've seen these two Dracula movies before, but I couldn't remember a thing about them. Hammer amps up the sex here. And like "Dracula, Prince of Darkness", it takes about half the movie to get Dracula resurrected. There's enough violence and debauchery to keep things interesting, though.
12. The Scars of Dracula
(1970) - I think Hammer's period piece Dracula movies are starting to run out of steam here, though there's a memorably gruesome opening. And I really couldn't stand the "Tom Jones"-like character, who is the focus of the movie in the first half. And the bats-on-strings are awfully silly. Dracula has perhaps his most humiliating death scene:
13. Dracula A.D. 1972
(1972) - Updating the series to modern times gives things a shot in the arm - and getting Peter Cushing back to play Van Helsing is even better! All is not great though. James Bernard's music is sorely missed. It gave the period-piece Dracula's excitement and class. Instead, we get some goofy "groovy" rock score that elicits giggles at what are supposed to be dramatic/scary moments. It's funny how the older Hammer movies have aged tremendously, but these "modern" efforts are horribly dated. The series also suffers from not having one of the top tier of Hammer directors on the job: like Terrence Fischer, Freddie Francis, and Roy Ward Baker. And Van Helsing's first name was Larry? Really?!?
14. ☼ The Satanic Rites of Dracula
(1973) - This was a pleasant surprise - nowhere near as bad as its reputation. I liked how this had more of an action-thriller vibe. And Dracula's certainly upping the stakes by plotting to destroy the world with a super-plague. Though another dumb-ass death - for a guy that's lived for centuries, he seems about as death-prone as South Park's Kenny. This time:
15. ☼ The White Reindeer
(1952) - Leave it to the Fins to come up with a horror movie about a killer were-reindeer. Actually this is quite good - it has more the tone of folk-story than horror movie. The entire movie has an otherworldly feel to it: from the "midnight sun" setting of Lapland, the rustic society where the supernatural is an accepted part of daily life, vast landscapes of snow, and almost a "silent movie" theatricality. Highly recommended if you're up for something different.
16. ☼ I Married a Witch
(1942) - Old time comedies are really hit-and-miss with me. When they're bad, they're just unwatchable. I think a great cast is key - actors who can sell the material and keep you interested, no matter how dated the humor. And I really enjoyed this. Fredric March is a legend. I had never seen a Veronica Lake movie, but she's absolutely adorable in this - though I liked her more in the first half when she was "evil", rather than all lovey-dovey later on.
17. ☼ The World Beyond: "Monster"
(1978); ☼ Supernatural: "Two and a Half Men" (2010) - If I had managed to watch "The World Beyond" when it aired, it would've scared the crap out of me. Apparently, this was a failed tv pilot. Too bad, because the one episode is fantastic. It starts with the briefest of set-ups - the hero had some sort of near-death experience, and dead people talk to him and send him on missions to help their loved ones. Yeah, it sounds like some sappy "Ghost Whisperer" crap. But the first mission is to help a ghost's sister (Poltergeist's JoBeth Williams) trapped on an island with a rampaging mud golem. It's intense, survival horror, with a small group trapped in a house with this thing's horrific screaming. The monster actually looks really good, and there were a number of "jump-in-your-chair" scares.
18. ☼ Fringe: "The Box" (2010); ☼ The Event: "Protect Them From the Truth" (2010) - Wildcard #1
I figure sci-thrillers are a reasonable wildcard
19. Horror Hotel
(1960) - A couple of days late for the group watch, but better late than never. There are tons of "burned witch returns" movies. Though this one is near the top of the sub-genre, thanks in part to terrific atmosphere and cinematography. Damn, that's got to be one of the creepiest towns of all time. Not sure what was keeping the cute antique dealer in town all that time.
20. ☼ Evil Eye
(1975) - Surprisingly well-done Italian supernatural thriller. I thought it was going to be another giallo, but turned out to be something else entirely. Lots of style, good music, and attractive (and often naked) women - what more could you ask for? Well, I suppose you could ask for the last 10 minutes to not fall completely apart - with the grand finale being the lamest of plot twists:
21. ☼ The Devil's Nightmare
(1971) - Another cool, yet little known, 70s Euro-horror. This one kind of bridges the atmospheric gothic horrors of the 60s to the sleazier and gorier 70s movies. You've got a spooky castle, stranded tourists, a creepy butler, a cursed baron, naked lesbians, a sexy succubus - and even Satan himself drops in on the proceedings!
22. ☼ Dead End
(2003) - OK micro-budget horror. Maybe a little disappointing considering rave reviews that I read. The characters were so aggressively annoying was it was hard to give a shit about anything that happened to them. And maybe this is more a sign of me having seen way too many horror movies - but I called the "twist" ending just a few minutes into the movie.
23. ☼ Death Knows Your Name
(2007) - Not a single comment on imdb? I'm not even sure how this ended up in my Netflix queue - but it showed up and I watched it! Another micro-budget horror. Like a lot of those it suffers from cheap "shot-on-video" feel, though the acting is surprisingly solid. And the story is engaging - about a psychiatrist who uncovers a skull in the abandoned wing of the hospital he works. Forensic reconstruction (which is his father's profession) shows the face on the skull to be his own, and the whole thing gets tied into a gruesome plague outbreak, a possessed patient, an evil old man, and an ancient murder.
24. ☼ Return to Horror High
(1987) - I liked this more than other 80s slasher spoofs, like "Student Bodies" or "Saturday the 14th". Maybe because this was generous with the blood and boobs. And it felt more like a horror movie with comedic elements, than a comedy with horror elements. The story structure felt overly convoluted - bouncing between flashbacks, flashbacks that turned out to be scenes from a movie, "fake-out" nightmare scenes, and a "present-time" crime investigation scene. Lots of familiar faces in this one. Plenty of character actors, Marcia Brady (as a perverted policewoman turned on by all the gory body parts), and a young George Clooney. Of course George Clooney gets top billing on the DVD - though he only has a few moments of screen time.
25. ☼ Crooked House
(2008) - This was a blind buy of a R2 DVD from Amazon.uk. And quite a good little movie too. A creepy, atmospheric anthology of three ghost stories in the tradition of "Dead of Night". A very classy BBC production with some nice scares and twists.
26. The Reptile
(1966) - Another solid Hammer movie. Disappointing that TCMHD's print was so poor (non-HD, scratchy, and pan-and-scan). Nice to see Michael Ripper (the guy practically appears in every Hammer movie) with a juicy part. Sorry to say, I still find the snake-woman monster pretty silly looking.
27. The Gorgon
(1964) - There's good and bad here. The good is that Hammer has its "A-list" on board to make this one: Cushing, Lee, and Fisher. And it's a nice idea updating a horror from Greek mythology to Hammer's typical period piece setting. This is a rather talky movie though. And for all the talking, we never get a good explanation for what the Gorgon is doing on continental Europe circa 1900 in the first place. And the monster ... Lee is on record for saying how the poor monster effects hurt the movie. The makeup on the Gorgon was solid, and the "stoning" effects on the victims were convincing. Just those stupid plastic wiggling snakes. Where was Ray Harryhausen when you really needed him?
28. ☼ Let's Kill Uncle
(1966) - Starting off TCM's double feature of William Castle ... a couple I hadn't seen, no less! The premise of this is pretty good. Though it feels more like a kid's program than other Castle movies I've seen. And the ending is extremely lame:
29. ☼ 13 Frightened Girls!
(1963) - Despite the title and the director (Williams Castle again), this isn't a horror movie. Instead it's a silly spy comedy, with teen girls getting involved in espionage because one girl wants to help out a real spy on whom she has a crush on.
30. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
(1973) - I won't pretend this is a masterpiece, but I do have a soft spot for this movie. It was one of the first (if not the first) zombie movie I saw as a kid, and it made an impression on me. One thing that still strikes me is the use of sound. The music and background sounds are unrelentingly creepy - keeps an atmosphere of dread going even when nothing in particular is happening.
31. ☼ Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare
(1987) - Like "Death Bed", this is a movie that defies description. You know you're in for something special when the writer/musician/producer/star of the movie is named Thor! And he looks like a Thor, with long blond hair and body-builder physique. You have lengthy musical numbers by Thor's hair-metal band, The Tritons. You've got lots of hot girls with big 80's hair getting naked and having sex with the band. You've got a wonderful array of hand puppets serving as the minions of Satan. And the final battle between Thor and Satan himself?!?! You really have to see it to believe it. In fact, here it is (of course, this spoils the end of the movie - and may ruin the emotional impact of viewing this scene out of its context):
32. The Devil's Bride
(1968) - One of Hammer's best. Lee, Fisher, and a crackerjack script from horror master Richard Matheson that just doesn't let up.
33. ☼ Night Train to Terror
(1985) - Holy crap! Make it stop ... make it stop!!! The band (repeating one song over and over) makes Jon-Mikl Thor's Tritons look like Led Zeppelin in comparison. And the "meat" of the movie, 3 horror anthology stories, is utterly incoherent. Researching things a little bit, it's not so surprising that the 3 segments were all full-length movies - edited to hell to fit here. Philip Yordan, the screenwriter, has actually won an Oscar (and been nominated 2 other times). However, this movie was overlooked by the Academy.
34. ☼ Dexter: "Hello, Bandit", "Practically Perfect" (2010)
35. ☼ The Devil's Mask
36. ☼ The Unknown
(1946) - I'm kind of sorry I didn't DVR the first movie in this trilogy ("I Love a Mystery"). Looking at imdb reviews now, it sounds the best of the bunch (and nominally horror as well). These two movies have creepy elements, but are mainly mysteries. "Devil's Mask" has shrunken heads and a man-eating panther named Diablo. "The Unknown" has a nice southern Gothic feel to it: a old mansion, a will-reading, a shadowy killer, secret passages, insanity, a mysterious crying baby, a hidden corpse, and a matriarch who may or may not be back from the grave.
37. Ninja III: The Domination
(1984) - What do you get when you cross "The Exorcist", "Flashdance", and ninjas? Why, this movie of course! One of my favorite cheeseball 80s movies - I remember the joy I had as a kid when I discovered this for the first time on HBO one afternoon. Not only entertaining, but educational. We learn: 1) If you are golfing, and a ninja jumps out of the bushes and crushes your ball, DO NOT fight the ninja. Instead, take the stroke penalty and play on. 2) Only a ninja can destroy a ninja!
38. ☼ Fringe: "The Plateau" (2010); ☼ The Event: "A Matter of Life and Death" (2010) Wildcard #2
39. ☼ I Love a Mystery
(1945) - I think this has more than enough macabre elements to count in the challenge. A man is told that an Asian cult, because of his similarity to their dead leader, will take his head in a year. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way, before finishing up with a ghoulishly ironic ending that seemed like something out of "Tales From the Crypt". Don't be put off by the corny title - give it a shot if you can enjoy an old-time shocker.
40. The Mummy
(1959) - Solid and typically classy Hammer horror movie, blessed with Hammer's "A" team talent. After watching the later Hammer mummy movies, I appreciate Lee's effort in this more - despite only his eyes showing while in the mummy makeup, he brought life (so to speak) to the character.
41. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
(1964) - There's a lot of competition in this one for the most miscast Egyptian: Hammer vet Michael Ripper, good Pharaoh son Dickie Owen, or evil Pharaoh son Terence Morgan. As much as I love the guy, I'll have to go with Ripper. When you need a British villager with character, he's your man. But comedy relief Egyptian? Not a great movie by Hammer standards. It picks up when the mummy starts rampaging, but by that point there's less than 30 minutes left. And despite a very cute French love interest, she's in the middle of a god-awful romantic triangle (in which every character comes across like an idiot). I did like that they tried to something a little different with a mummy story here, with an interesting twist late in the movie.
42. ☼ The Mummy's Shroud
(1967) - I'm saying I never saw this before, but honestly the movie is so forgettable that I may have (but just didn't remember a thing about it). I've seen this all before: archaeologists break into tomb, take out mummy, mummy comes to life, kills everyone one-at-a-time until stopped. Painfully dull until the mummy starts killing (a long 50 minutes in).
43. ☼ Blood from the Mummy's Tomb
(1971) - I thought I had seen this before, but turns out it was the other
adaptation of Stoker's work: "The Awakening". Hammer was wise to not make another shambling killer mummy movie (despite the title, there are no mummies in this movie). Instead, this has a "Rosemary's Baby"/"The Omen" kind of vibe to it. That's the turn Hammer really needed to take in the 70s - instead of adding more sex and violence to the classic monsters, try to tell more adult and modern horror stories. Pokes along at times, but I like the ironic ending.
44. ☼ The Lovely Bones
(2009) - Wildcard #3
This played a lot more like a horror/thriller than I was led to believe. Which is perhaps why so many seemed to hate it (I didn't read the book, but I've heard it has a different tone). Not bad, but falls short of the emotional impact I'm sure Jackson and company were aiming for.
45. ☼ Supernatural: "The Third Man"; ☼ Dexter: "Beauty and the Beast"
46. ☼ The Vampire's Coffin
(1958) - Why does Netflix have the sequel to "El Vampiro" as Disc 1 in the double-feature? Unfortunately Netflix only sent me the one disc and I was stuck watching it. And it was really made it clear that more interesting stuff was going on in the previous movie. German Robles makes a nice suave vampire, and the style of the movie has a nice classic Universal vibe. But everything's just so familiar - already done many times by 1958 (and many times since). And despite running only 82 minutes, there are some awfully dull stretches.
47. ☼ Tears of Kali
(2004) - Ever had a movie do everything to piss you off within minutes of trying to watch it? First, the DVD had several minutes worth of unskippable trailers (and they were truly wretched). Then, there's a typo in the opening text screen of the movie. How fucking lazy and incompetent do you have to be to not even spell-check the text that your movie opens with?!? Then I realized that even though the movie had the original German-language track, there were no subtitles. There was an English dub track, but it was one of the worst dub jobs I've ever heard. If I didn't sit down to watch this for the challenge, that would've been strike three and I'd have turned it off then. But I finished it. And it's too bad - there are actually decent qualities here. The filmmakers are trying for an otherworldly atmosphere, and the stories have very much a Clive Barker vibe to them. But the production is so cheap that the filmmakers have no chance of meeting their ambitions.
48. ☼ The Unborn
(2009) - Utterly forgettable and disposable movie. And extremely annoying with the overuse of jump scares (many of which more silly than scary).
49. Drag Me to Hell
(2009) - I've seen it before - I just reached a point in my horror movie viewing where I was desperate for a good
(1976) - Hitting my goal of 50 in style! Despite some dated elements and awkward comic relief, still packs an emotional wallop that few horror movies can match.
51. X: The Unknown
(1956) - Solid little monster movie - kind of like a more serious (but less fun) "The Blob". Some gruesome body melt scenes for its time.
52. Five Million Years to Earth
(1967) - I don't get tired of watching this movie, one of Hammer's best. I actually prefer all the Quatermass movies to the BBC miniseries, which all felt needlessly bloated for time.
53. ☼ These Are the Damned
(1963) - Didn't turn out to be horror, but since TCM billed it as horror I'm counting it. Despite having "damned" in the title and creepy children, this isn't a sequel to "Village of the Damned". But I was surprised at how good it ended up being. It's a bit of a schizophrenic movie - like "From Dusk to Dawn", the first half is one kind of movie and the second half is something else entirely. Here, we start off with a biker drama and romance ... before getting to the sci-fi thriller stuff. The romantic leads aren't convincing at all, but Oliver Reed is compelling as the gang leader. But the sci-fi part of the story is very well done, and the movie has an astonishingly bleak ending.
54. ☼ The Stranglers of Bombay
(1960) - Fast-paced and entertaining, based on a true story so notorious that it's surprising more filmmakers haven't tackled it. Like other early Hammer horror, this also pushes the violence for it's time.
55. ☼ The Boogens
(1981) - In a way, feels more like the creature feature monster movies of the 50s than the popular slashers of its time. I like the idea and setting - things take a while to get going though. And the boogens themselves are pretty laughable-looking once they get revealed (reminding me of the Basket Case brother - but with tentacles). Tiger the dog gives a hell of a performance though.
56. Night of the Lepus
(1972) - Bunnies arent just cute like everybody supposes, They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses, And whats with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway? Bunnies, Bunnies, it must be bunnies!
57. ☼ Supernatural: "Weekend at Bobby's"; ☼ Supernatural: "Live Free and Twi-hard"
58. ☼ 301/302
(1995) - Does a movie where 90% of the running time is devoted to people cooking, eating, and cleaning up after cooking/eating sound like fun to you? Well, have I got a movie for you then!
59. ☼ The Hanging Woman
(1973) - I rather enjoyed this. It the feel of 60s Euro gothic horror (with 70s nudity and gore), a touch of mystery, sci-fi, and some zombie action (though they're old-school zombies, instead of Romero gut-munchers).
60. ☼ The Sweet Sound of Death
(1965) - A pleasant bonus feature on the "Hanging Woman" DVD. Not so much a "shocker" horror movie, but more a creepy slow building one - ala "Carnival of Souls". Great B&W cinematography.
61. ☼ The Return of the Vampire
(1944) - It starts off shaky, but picks up once the vampire Tesla actually ... well, returns. One of the last classy major roles Bela would have. Though the werewolf is laughable - nicely dressed and talking normally while still in full werewolf mode.
62. ☼ Count Yorga, Vampire
(1970) - Solid little movie - nothing new, but well-played and excitingly paced. Robert Quarry makes a great vampire, though I do prefer his hippie cult leader vampire in "Deathmaster" to Yorga.
63.5 ☼ Dead Set
(2008) - I really enjoyed this. Truly a zombie movie made by lovers of the genre for lovers of the genre. I watched the whole thing in one setting, and I thought it played like an epic zombie movie. Don't be put off by it being a tv production - this is as gory as any zombie movie I've seen ("Walking Dead" now has a tough act to follow for me). If I had to level a criticism, it's that "Dead Air" doesn't really do anything we haven't seen before. It just does it really well. It plays much more like a straight horror movie than I was lead to believe. Oh yeah ... it has running zombies. So if that's a problem, deal with it. Seriously, sometimes I wish I could reach through the computer screen and smack the horror-geeks that whine about how running zombies "aren't correct".
64. ☼ Dexter: "First Blood" (2010) - Since "Dead Set" was 6 25 minute episodes, I'm counting that as 1.5 movies with a Dexter ep rounding me up to 64. I can't imagine anyone caring though
65. ☼ House of Whipcord
(1974) - I liked this more than I thought I would. Peter Walker has been a mixed bag for me, but this was a solid suspense movie with a good premise. I was expecting a sleazy WIP affair, like the Ilsa movies - while there was certainly exploitation material, it took a backseat to just telling a good stories. And the beatings weren't sexual. Strange as it seems, for all the horrible stuff I enjoy watching, I can't stand to watch movies focused on sexual torture. I did have trouble understanding how the "prison" kept order. For the most part, it was just 3 middle-aged women and an invalid old man - none of them armed. Seems like the prisoners should've been able to overpower them. Though I guess that would make for a short movie.
66. ☼ The Silent Scream
(1980) - I remember adverts for this, but I'm not sure if I ever saw it. It was probably underwhelming (belatedly) released after "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" - but it's a solid little movie. That's two Rebecca Balding movies I've seen this challenge. She was a real cutie - and despite playing "good girls" she wasn't shy about getting naked
67. ☼ Paranormal Activity
(2007) - Yup, finally got around to seeing this. Fortunately, I missed this initial hype ... and the inevitable post-hype backlash. So just taken on its own merits, as a low-budget movie steamed via Netflix to my dark living room ... I really liked it! Though Micah is one of the biggest morons I've ever seen in a horror movie. It's like every time he's presented with a situation, he thinks "If this was a horror movie, what's the absolute worst
thing I could do?" And sure enough, that's what he does!
68. ☼ Legion
(2010) - When I saw the ads for this, I thought "that looks cool". And then all the reviews were awful, so I put it off. I suppose the best thing I can say is that "Legion" passed 95 minutes or so relatively quickly. And I still like the central idea. But there are so many problems. The mythology seems half-assed (and I never got why having the baby born was so important - aside from being told it is). The action sequences are laughable, and don't think they were intended to be. Possessed grandmas and toddlers, Gabriel's "tricked out" mace, slo-mo baby tosses ... funny stuff!
(1989) - I'm noticing a lot of people with this (and the sequel) on their lists this year. Maybe being on Netflix streaming has something to do with that?
OK movie, and compared to most of the crap that Full Moon put out it's a friggin' masterpiece!
70. ☼ Puppet Master II
(1991) - Aw hell ... might as well watch both of them. Not a bad movie - if you liked 1, you'll probably like 2. I liked the bit where Torch had a run-in with an annoying brat ... and the part where the puppets squared off against an angry trailer trash behemoth reminded me of that Twilight Zone episode ("The Invaders").
71. ☼ Chopping Mall
(1986) - Jim Wynorski's finest hour (which admittedly isn't much of an accomplishment). Fans of horror and cult films will find many familiar faces. Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, and Dick Miller have fun cameos. And the main damsels in distress are Barbara Crampton and Kelli Maroney. Kelli was such a cutie in those days! Too bad she didn't get more work. Looking at imdb, it's nice to see she's still working (and looking really good for 50+ years old).
72. My Bloody Valentine
(1981) - Finally seeing the uncut version. And holy crap - did they cut the hell out of the murder scenes! One of the best of that first wave of slashers: good suspense scenes, unique-looking killer, great setting (especially in the mine). Despite the low-budget, it's a solid production.
73. Night of the Demon
(1957) - In an era where the big "monster reveals" are often laughable and horribly dated, this "demon" still delivers the goods. I wonder if Sam Raimi had this movie on his mind when making "Drag Me to Hell"? The similarities are numerous: a curse that gives you a certain number of days before a demon kicks your ass, increasing events for the cursed person that takes them from skeptical to a believer, the curse only being broken by passing an object back to the curser.
74. The Curse of Frankenstein
(1957) - Rewatching Hammer's Frankenstein series, this one actually turns out to be one of my least favorite. It's still good - it's just the basic Frankenstein story is so familiar. And Lee disappointingly has very little to do. Hammer presents a nice take on the doctor. While Universal's Dr. Frankenstein was well-meaning, but just meddling in "forbidden science", Cushing's take presents the man as an outright evil bastard.
75. ☼ The Revenge of Frankenstein
(1958) - The only direct sequel in the series. I like how, with the exception of "Curse" and "Evil", Hammer's Frankenstein series didn't feature the classic "monster". It makes sense for the doctor to make creations that aren't hideous-looking - and here, the creature is actually a pretty good looking guy. Of course, there are always plenty of things that can go wrong.
76. The Evil of Frankenstein
(1964) - I guess with the deal Hammer made with Universal (giving them official sanction to remake their movies), it was only a matter of time until we got a "classic Frankenstein's monster" movie (flat-headed and neck bolts). The movie stays fresh with the introduction of new characters: a local hypnotist as the real villain, a good-guy assistant (who seems far too nice to be hanging with Dr. Frankenstein), and a cute deaf-mute beggar girl.
77. Frankenstein Created Woman
(1967) - The doctor's character has been getting nicer since "Curse" (though that won't last). Though it's hard to imagine how he could've thought it was a good idea to put the soul of a wrongly executed man into the body of his girlfriend who killed herself. That's just a murder spree waiting to happen! The image of a man's severed head issuing murderous command to his girlfriend is a compelling one.
78. ☼ Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
(1969) - Dr. Frankenstein has never been as much of a bastard as he is here - gleefully murdering, terrorizing, blackmailing, and even raping. As great as Christopher Lee's portrayal of Dracula was, I think Cushing's Dr. Frankenstein makes for more interesting stories and a better series.
79 to 91. ☼ Fear Itself
(2008) - Much better than I thought it would be, considering the disappointing "Masters of Horror". Maybe the inability to use gore and nudity forced the filmmakers to come up with better stories? I also think the 45 minute running time works better than 60 (where the stories often felt bloated with filler). Hopefully it won't be too long until we get another horror anthology series.
92. ☼ Mr. Sardonicus
(1961) - Could anyone have been such a lame-ass in the 60s to actually vote for the "mercy" ending? Not that it mattered - Castle only filmed the "no mercy" one
93. ☼ The Crazies
(2010) - Eh ... awfully routine movie for me. Not bad, and reasonably well-made. Just nothing that I haven't seen plenty of times. Not to mention yet another modern horror movie that's obnoxiously filled to the brim with sound-cue jump scares. Whatever happened to honestly earned scares and suspense? And the movie didn't really cover any new ground over the original.
94. Mystery of the Wax Museum
(1933) - The 2-strip color looks a lot better here than in "Doctor X" (probably due to smarter color design on the set). The big fire scene looks particularly great. I love that the villain's name is Professor Igor. So many horror movie Igors toil away serving another - but here is an Igor that got an education and a chance to run things for a change!
95. ☼ A Bucket of Blood
(1959) - Fun and fast-paced horror-comedy. You can really see Corman actually turning into a quality director with this one. And you have to love the beatnik atmosphere.
96. ☼ Not of This Earth
(1957) - Some pretty good ideas abound in this ultra-low budget early Corman movie. I love how they throw in some kind of flying alien umbrella monster out of nowhere near the end!
97.☼ Dexter: "Everything is Illumenated" (2010); ☼ Supernatural: "You Can't Handle the Truth" (2010)
98. The Terror
(1963) - Leave to Corman to see, after finishing a movie, that he has some sets for a few days, left-over film, some actors/crew free for a few days, and says "Let's make another movie!" Not as bad as its reputation, though far below the level of his Poe movies. Nicholson really doesn't make a good straight-laced good guy. And talk about bad age casting! Karloff is 27 years older than the actress who plays his mother (and looks every year of it).
99. ☼ Straight-Jacket
(1964) - One of the least gimmicky William Castle horror movies I've seen. In fact, for the most of the running time it plays as a straight drama. Starts slow, but builds nicely. And some pretty graphic murder scenes for its time (one axe decapitation even shows blood spurting out of the neck stump).
100. ☼ The Walking Dead: "Days Gone By" (2010); Roseanne: "BOO!" (1989)