Happy Halloween! There’s no better time to wrap up my annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon than by re-visiting some old classics and just marveling at how the masters of the genre did it bigger and better all those years ago. The first two entries in the Friday the 13th series may have done more damage than good in the sheer glut of poor copycat films that came after, but they’re still a rip to watch. John Carpenter’s original Halloween still stands as a singular achievement in pacing and streamlined storytelling. Wes Craven brings the horror a gleefully evil personality for the first time in the original and best A Nightmare on Elm Street. And to this day there is still no terror like the slam of a steel door signalling you’re trapped in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Step inside and let’s end this thing in style… Continue reading
After a week away we’re back with another round up of horror movies as part of the ongoing Hoop-Tober horror marathon. I won’t lie: I’m way behind on movie watching and reviewing as I hit more doctors and get more fatigued with this diet and medical regimen, but there’s still a quick look at five films, four of which I heartily recommend. However, that courtesy does not extend to the abysmal and moronic Hostel Part II, which cannot escape the torture porn cliche initiated only a few years before by Eli Roth. No such issues with stone cold classics The Bride of Frankenstein and Dawn of the Dead, however – it’s good to see films 80 and 40 years old still kick all kinds of ass to this day. I found a lot to like in the clever and spooky Found Footage 3D, now exclusively on Shudder, and was able to smother myself in nostalgia and warm goodness watching the Hammer hit Brides of Dracula.
Recaps after the break, so let’s sharpen our blades and dig in… Continue reading
Another week of gore and guts and gratuitous violence for you as part of my participation in the annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon. Small independents like Splinter show how you can be effective without extensive CGI or locations, while Sisters highlight that even back in the day Brian De Palma was locked into the obsessions he would explore in his later and greater work. The Lure is a bright and gruesome fairy tale that got its hooks in fast and deep, a worthy addition to the Criterion Collection. Death Line may not have much, but it DOES have the single greatest acting performance in the history of mankind. And while many folks think the gritty 70s schlock feel Rob Zombie seems to shoot for in all his pictures is heavily inspired by the original, I go to bat and say it’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 that is the real influence for him and others.
Not convinced? The let’s dive in… Continue reading
It’s an extended weekend and I’m away with no laptop so we’re going to make this one quick and dirty. I typically try to make each year of my annual horror marathon filled with movies I haven’t seen, but some life events necessitated a few adjustments, so this week is skewed with some favorites I haven’t seen in years. Both The Driller Killer and Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead brought some quirks and pleasures making them worthwhile for a viewing, but Ravenous, Delicatessen and The Invisible Man are old friends that felt great to return to. So without further ado, let’s dive in… Continue reading
Week Two of the annual Hoop-Tober marathon brought a little more quality to the table, with three films being a genuine pleasure to watch. Carnival of Souls was a gorgeously shot fever dream that would embed its claws into David Lynch years later when he would begin Eraserhead. Sean Byrne sidesteps the sophomore slump with the evil slow burn of The Devil’s Candy, featuring some knockout performances as well as a killer metal soundtrack with the likes of Metallica, Slayer, and Sunn 0))) – who puts Sunn 0))) in their movie?! And The Unholy Three, besides being an awesome name for almost anything, turns out to be an insane crime caper featuring man of 1,000 faces Lon Chaney and some assured direction from Tod Browning before he came huge with Dracula and Freaks.
The less said about Prom Night and my first (and only) exposure to “classic” Cannibal Holocaust, the better. Although to be fair, one is redeemed by Jamie Lee Curtis’s dancing. I’ll let you decide which film that is. Excerpts and link below. Continue reading