Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Days of Horror 4: Part 1

                                  Above image "borrowed" from
Every year,  horror-philes celebrate the month of October with a viewing of one horror(or genre related) movie a day for the entire month, while others have double features every night. And then there are those brave souls who try to cram as many "scary" movies as possible into the whole month. I fall into that 3rd category.
This will be my fourth October in a row doing this, and while I have always kept a list of what movies I've watched, I never blogged about it; this changes now. I always referred to this event as "Horrorween", but to be honest I wasn't the biggest fan of that name, but for lack of a better one, I kept it. Thankfully my fellow horror nuts on Twitter came up with the hashtag #31DaysOfHorror, which I liked so much better. It's simple and to the point.
My rules for #31DaysOfHorror:
-At least every other movie viewed has to be something I've never seen before.
-If I am having a themed marathon(all the Saw films in succession), a themed double feature(like two movies starring the same actor or similar plot), or I'm gathered with friends and they choose what we watch, well then obviously the 1st rule gets thrown out.
-Try and fit in a few other things besides movies, like documentaries and halloween specials from the 80s.
That's pretty much is for rules, as you don't need too many for this type of non-event.
I have to say that the month got off to a shaky start as on October 1st I got stuck at a friends house all day with a broken DVD player and only the most basic of cable. So as it happens, the first two films I get to watch were the edited-for-TV versions of Caddyshack and My Cousin Vinny; scary, I know.
I finally got home late that night and popped in my first movie of the month:

#1: Grindhouse
This would be the first time I would get to see Grindhouse in all it's gory glory since it was in theater's back in 2007, and boy did it have trouble keeping my interest. Now this was the first time I was sleeping in my own bed for a few days, so I was pretty tired which I'm sure didn't help. Also my tolerance for loud, obnoxious and in-your-face tongue-in-cheek horror movies has almost drained into nothingness.
On this viewing of Grindhouse, I have to say I now enjoy Death Proof much more than Planet Terror. I mean, besides a couple of solid performances and a very sexy Rose McGowan, P.T. is a mess. Why is Naveen Andrews collecting testicles? Why does Bruce Willis wink at the audience? Why does Jeff Fahey fall asleep on the floor of his restaurant after killing some infected? Why does Michael Parks' mother randomly become infected, while he does not when they are right next to one another? Why is Electra & Elise Avallen the 2 sexiest girls I've ever met? ... Forget that last one.
P.T. is a mess, a fun mess, but a mess nonetheless.
Death Proof, on the other hand, is a true throwback to exploitation films of old, one that is on-the-edge-of-your-seat scary the first time you watch it. Stuntman Mike's sudden turn from goofy bar-goer to homicidal madman is awesome, and the "ship's mast" scene later in the film is edge-of-your-seat stuff.
After thought: I would like to see a movie on the past of Freddy Rodriguez's character El Rey.
Best kill: Stuntman Mike driving his car right across the face of Vanessa Ferlito, literally ripping it off!

Hal Holbrook Double Feature
#2 Rituals*
This movie, about a group of doctors going out on their "ritual" camping trip and being stalked, tortured and murdered one by one by a mysterious person was ok. I wasn't too thrilled with the reveal of who was hunting them, but I feel a 2nd viewing would make me like this movie a bit more.
After thought: I will say it was a nice breath of fresh air to see a camping movie and not have to about a group of groping teens.
Best kill: Tough-man Holbrook strangling a comrade to death, ending his misery.

#3 Creepshow
Who the hell doesn't like Creepshow?! Although this is far from scary, it's about as much fun as you can have watching a horror film. I really enjoy how it took many actors not normally used in this genre and made the best of them. Leslie Nielsen was never meaner in any movie I ever saw, and supposedly Ted Danson does not look back at this movie very fondly, which is a damn shame.
After thought: How twisted is that kid in the beginning of the movie that he is not terrified out of his mind by that...thing outside his window? Even as a grown man that would've killed me with fright!
Best kill: I  particularly enjoyed the nerdy student getting ripped apart by the creature in The Crate.

#4 An American Werewolf in London
Another classic that is virtually impossible to dislike. Not much more I can add to that.
After thought: The scene where all of David Kessler's victim's tell him different ways he can kill himself, thus ending the wolf curse, all while sitting in a porn theater, is my favorite scene in the movie.
Best kill: A police constable gets his head torn off and bounced off the hood of a car.

#5 Alligator*
We can all thank Jaws for all these killer animal movies from the early 80s, and I mean that. Most of these movies are good fun, and this one just about tops the list. Watch this one with a group.
After thought: Using a real alligator walking through a set of miniatures to make it look gargantuan is simply fantastic.
Best kill: This was limited in that department, but the pet store owner is the only one that springs to mind.

#6 The Fly(1986)
Jeff Goldblum with pec muscles does not make sense to me, but after seeing the type of acrobatics that his character has to perform late in this movie, I can understand why he had them.
After thought: Possibly the sexiest Geena Davis ever was in a movie?
Best kill: I don't recall any actual deaths in this movie(besides the end), but I will say the "arm wrestling scene" makes me cringe everytime.


* means "never seen before"

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