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Old 10-13-09, 10:39 PM   #143
nezumi
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Re: The 5th Annual "October Horror Movie Challenge" (10/1 - 10/31) ***LISTS GO HERE!*

Damn it... I'm in!

EDIT: Added titles 25-40 10-26-2009; tweaked a few reviews
EDIT: Added titles 41-50 11-01-2009; minor tweaking

Bold indicates first-time viewing
** = Wildcard
(.)(.) = "Palm'ed Orbs" Prize for Female Frontal Nudity
  1. My Dear Killer - A giallo film only notable for music by Ennio Morricone, decapitation by heavy construction equipment and one particularly effective kill involving a power saw.
  2. My Bloody Valentine (1981) - I'm not sure why I waited so long for this one. The practical effects look surprisingly good even in this day.
  3. Critters 2 (.)(.) - I'm a little shocked that this movie is rated PG-13.
  4. Zombie Honeymoon - I didn't identify with either of the newlyweds. Also, asking us to believe that this young, nonconformist, anti-establishment couple would still respect the vows of marriage for some reason is a little too much.
  5. Doomsday - It got a fairly bad rap when it was theatrically released. However, I think the movie improves upon subsequent viewings.
  6. Rabid - Classic Cronenberg. A pretty inspired low-budget re-imagining of the vampire myth for the "Free Love" era.
  7. Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks - The filmmakers attempt to put a new spin on the "Frankenstein's Monster" by making it a revived Neanderthal man, but it's just not enough to rescue the film from horrible pacing. Also, the voyeuristic rapist dwarf character was pretty annoying.
  8. Spooky Encounters - Hopping vampire kung-fu. You're either going to love it, or you're going to be left scratching your head. The incredibly politically incorrect ending is a real howler.
  9. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit** - I'm not sure Nick Park and Aardman Animation can do wrong (when it comes to stop-motion).
  10. Gotham (.)(.) - Tommy Lee Jones plays a gumshoe hired by a wealthy man to get rid of the man's wife (Virginia Madsen). The trouble is that she has been dead for ten years. The movie plays like an extended homage to old noir films with a supernatural twist, which isn't to say that's a bad thing.
  11. Piranha II: The Spawning - It's solely interesting as one of the first indications of James Cameron's fascination with shipwrecks. The rest of it is more like a trainwreck than anything else.
  12. Andy Griffith Show, "The Haunted House" ** - Perhaps not the best episode of the series, but it's seasonally appropriate.
  13. Fright Night - I've always liked Roddy McDowell's performance as the aging horror host, but I don't think I've ever given Chris Sarandon what's due to him for his performance as Jerry Dandridge. Also, knowing what happened to Amanda Bearse and Stephen Geoffreys after this movie was made really increased the inescapably homoerotic tone that many vampire stories have.
  14. Blue Sunshine - Zalman King plays a man wrongly accused of throwing three women into a roaring fireplace. Desperately attempting to prove his innocence, he uncovers the secret of a up-and-coming politician. It turns out the politician used to manufacture a form of LSD called "Blue Sunshine" when he was in college, and it's turning whoever took it into crazed, bald killers. Far more entertaining than it deserves to be.
  15. The Disturbance - A hopelessly confused film about a mentally-ill young man who may or may not be killing young (and frequently naked) women. Decent practical effects, and a textbook example of a low budget working in a movie's favor.
  16. War of the Gargantuas - The timeless tale of a war that pitted brother against brother, Frankenstein against Frankenstein... Gargantua against Gargantua! Ishiro Honda and his regular collaborators bring the goods for this non-Godzilla offering. Russ Tamblyn is frequently shown wondering what he's doing in this movie.
  17. Razorback - VHS. I was expecting something closer to Jaws, but the film does look pretty slick. Some great shots of the Outback.
  18. Mausoleum - Bobbi Bresee frequently bares her breasts when not turning into a rubbery demon (upon which, the aforementioned breasts turn into shriveled heads with working teeth). Pretty hard to watch, even with Marjot Gortner's 100-Watt personality.
  19. Blood Song - Frankie Avalon ditches Annette to stalk a chubby teenage girl who develops an unwelcome psychic bond with Avalon after receiving a life-saving blood transfusion. Avalon plays a hatchet-wielding flutist. Richard Jaeckel earns a paycheck playing the girl's belligerently overprotective father.
  20. Posed for Murder (.)(.) - Playboy Playmate Charlotte Helmkamp plays a pin-up model and aspiring actress who's being harassed by a mysterious killer who is dispatching her numerous admirers. The only thing that keeps this movie from being utterly forgettable is a couple of "movie-in-movie" moments.
  21. The Oblong Box - On television. Vincent Price plays a nobleman who locks his cursed brother up in the family estate. The brother hatches an overly-complicated escape plan and winds up in the custody of a grave-robbing doctor played by Christopher Lee. The brother then proceeds to exact his revenge, wearing a crimson hood to hide his disfigured face. The kills seem rather tame, even in comparison with other films of the period. The killer slits his victims' throats with all the urgency of a woman shaving in a Lady Gillette commercial. Some anti-Imperialist sentiment, but otherwise not much else going on beneath the hood of this story (apparently based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe).
  22. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Fool for Love" ** - I know there are a few episodes specifically set during Halloween, and the episode where Buffy fights and defeats Dracula seems like a no-brainer. However, "Fool for Love" is one of my favorite episodes of the series, as it seems to hallmark changes in direction for two main characters.
  23. Carnival of Souls (Theatrical Cut) - It's shorter but no less spooky. I can't really recommend the shorter version, but I can't say that one would be missing much if they never see the extended director's cut.
  24. R-Point - 1972: A unit of Korean soldiers fighting in the Vietnam conflict are sent into the titular R-Point to find the source of radio transmissions apparently coming from a battalion that was supposedly killed in action. While far from perfect, it's a perfectly serviceable ghost story. A bleeding radio is involved.
  25. Evil Dead - VHS. A deserved classic. A true feat of low-budget filmmaking.
  26. Evil Dead 2 - VHS. If the first film is a master class in scares and tense moments, then the second film is the first film screened in a funhouse mirror. Lots of gore, but the scares are less satisfying the second time around.
  27. Army of Darkness - VHS. I'm not sure how I feel about the final installment of this trilogy. It's amusing. In some aspects, it verges on being narcissistic. Bruce Campbell gets some killer lines.
  28. Murder Party - The back of the case exclaims that Murder Party is "Napoleon Dynamite Meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre!" However, the movie is more like the abortive product of a union between Napoleon Dynamite and Chainsaw. It's not really a comedy; it's not really a horror flick. Also, many of the actors could work as celebrity impersonators and probably do.
  29. Biozombie - Director Wilson Yip delivers a fairly solid zombie flick and manages to incorporate footage from the "House of the Dead" video game in a way that makes sense.
  30. Monster House ** - I'm not a fan of CGI motion capture films, but the art direction in this film is top-notch. Decent performances from the celebrity cast.
  31. Resident Evil: Degeneration - Japan continues to stare into the chasm of the Uncanny Valley with this extended video game cutscene. It's still head-and-shoulders above the live-action renditions. I can't believe there's going to be four of them!
  32. Night of the Living Dead (1968) - I've seen this film multiple times, and it still manages to maintain a certain tense energy.
  33. Dawn of the Dead (1978) - My favorite of Romero's first three "Dead" movies. Some wonderful social commentary.
  34. Day of the Dead - Maybe it's the change in location from Pittsburgh to Florida, but the final picture in the original "Dead" trilogy left me feeling a little cold. Some of the characters were a little too cartoony for my tastes. Also, this movie is where the whole "Zombies are people, too!" idea is planted. Incredible special makeup effects by Tom Savini.
  35. The Hidden - Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri team up as an FBI agent and a cop (before Twin Peaks!) in this thriller about an alien criminal with the ability to move from body to body. Modest creature effects. Directed by Jack Shoulder (Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge).
  36. The Return of the Living Dead - The film that rewrote the zombie genre. Great performances from Clu Gulager, James Karen and Don Calfa. Lots of fun.
  37. Werewolf of Washington - Dull political satire involviing a werewolf (played by Dean Stockwell) working for a Nixonian administration. There's not much to recommend this film. Never has the interior of the White House looked so tacky.
  38. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark - This film admittedly leans to the comedy side of the horror-comedy spectrum, but there are a couple of special effects (and I'm not talking about Cassandra Peterson's chest). Aside from a couple of badly aged gags involving Flashdance and Rambo, the movie is campy, trampy fun.
  39. Night of the Comet - An all-time favorite of mine. A completely unaffected performance from Kelli Maroney, as well as solid turns from Catherine Mary Stewart and Mary Woronov.
  40. The Monster Squad - It's up to a gang of kids to protect the world from the classic movie monsters. Dracula! Frankenstein's Monster! The Mummy! The Wolfman! The Gill Man! An early effort from Fred Dekker and Shane Black, it's a strange, occasionally dark film. In this age of PG-13 remakes of horror classics, there's not a studio today would greenlight a film like this without yanking its fangs.
  41. The Munsters, "My Fair Munster" (pilot) ** - It's strange to think that this is what the actual series might have been. The pilot episode's rendition of Eddie Munster is profoundly disturbing.
  42. Swamp Thing (Non-Anamorphic) (.)(.) - Wes Craven delivers a schlocky, low-budget adventure yarn based on the character from DC Comics. All the long-distance shots of Swamp Thing stalking around in the swamps made me think that Craven was inspired in part by the infamous footage of Bigfoot walking into the woods. The original, non-anamorphic pressing of this film included additional footage of Adrienne Barbeau's bathing scene and other unessential (but appreciated) nudity.
  43. Happy Birthday to Me - By the end, I wasn't sure if director J. Lee Thompson had intended the movie to be some sort of slasher parody. The trailer promises "Six of the Most Bizarre Murders You Will Ever See," but they're not all that unusual.
  44. Legacy of Blood (A.K.A., Blood Legacy) - Not the Andy Milligan film, but a cheap, plodding slasher flick about a group of siblings that must live together in the family estate for a week in order to inherit the patriarch's (John Carradine) fortune. The ending will either have you chuckling or groaning at its awfulness.
  45. Night of the Creeps - This is the film that I've been waiting all month for. Slug-like extraterrestrial parasites crash on Earth, and it's up to a weird-looking kid and Tom Atkins to exterminate them. The script and direction by Fred Dekker is continually changing in tone, keeping the viewer pleasantly off-balance. An incredibly charismatic performance from Steve Marshall as J.C.
  46. The Devil's Wedding Night - Another Italian schlocker that squanders a novel premise. The Schiller Twins discover that the Wagnerian Ring of the Nibelung exists and resides in Transylvania at Castle Dracula. They encounter the comely Countess Dracula, who uses one of the Schillers to become the vessel for her late husband. There are bared breasts aplenty and softcore lesbianism on display, but it isn't enough to keep this film from dragging. The film is curious in that it's a vampire film, and it's largely devoid of Christian iconography.
  47. The Lost Boys - Jason Patric gets involved with a bad crowd of bloodsuckers, and it's up to Corey Haim to save him. Like The Monster Squad, the film plays like two worlds colliding. However, the results are vastly less rewarding in this case.
  48. Ghostbusters
  49. Ghostbusters II - I haven't seen this one in a while. It's definitely sillier than the original, but it still manages to entertain.
  50. Shaun of the Dead

Last edited by nezumi; 11-01-09 at 03:01 PM.
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