Monday, October 26, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015: THE MADNESS - Round 3

Movie 15
Invaders from Mars(1986) - Dir. Tobe Hooper - Starring Karen Black, Hunter Carson, James Karen - Run Time: 100 Min - Viewed: 10/20/15 - 8:40PM - Rating: Two Stars
There's a lot wrong with Invaders from Mars, and very little that's good. In fact, the only reason to watch this sci-fi remake is the amazing alien effects from the great Stan Winston. Well, that and the ridiculous, over the top Opening Credits that take forever; they're hilarious.
Watch this while drunk/high with friends, and you'll get the most fun out of it.

MADNESS BONUS POINTS: The alien ship is underground, and there are multiple underground tunnels caused by this. Also, the "final battle" of the story takes place in this underground ship, which may mean ATB(automatic triple bonus).
There is a sand-pit that will suck you underground into the alien spaceship.
Movie 16
The Gate - Dir. Tibor Takacs - Starring Stephen Dorff, Louis Tripp, Christa Denton - Run Time: 85 Min - Viewed: 10/21/15 - 8:44PM Rating: Two and a Half Stars
The Gate is a good mix of The Goonies-style shenanigans, with some genuinely creepy scenes of melting faces and dog people. Why hasn't some enterprising toy manufacturer released a toy version of the little Demons? Seems to me like that's money left on the table.

MADNESS BONUS POINTS: This is a literal gate to Hell in the backyard, and at one point a kid is dragged into it.
Movie 17
Over The Garden Wall: The Complete Mini Series
Created by Patrick McHale - Starring Elijah Wood, Collin Dean, Melanie Lynskey - Run Time: 110 Min - Viewed: 10/22/15 - 7:10PM - Rating: Five Stars
This Cartoon Network mini-series, while not a movie per se, is certainly as long as one when you watch all 10 parts in one sitting. You'll need to check this out just to see what this story about two boys, lost in the woods with a talking blue bird, has to do with Halloween. You won't regret it.

MADNESS BONUS POINTS: The Beast only appears at night, or in the shadows.
Had a busy week, so my movie watching took a hit. I watched 12 movies at the Horrorthon(write up coming this week) and I plan on making up for last week's lack of movies this week.

Monday, October 19, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015: THE MADNESS - Round 2

Movie 10
High Tension - Dir: Alexandre Aja - Starring Cecile De France, Maiwenn, Philippe Nahon - Run Time: 91 Min - Viewed: 10/11/15 - 8:00PM - Rating: Three Stars
This brutal little nonsensical slice of French horror was part of the last batch of really off-the-wall horror films that got a wide release, back in the mid 2000s. If released today, Haute Tension would've recieved a limited Arthouse Theatre run, while getting a VOD release at the same time. Total rubbish.
I love this film, despite it's flaws. Hilariously, my friend Sean figured out the story's "twist" as he glanced at the huge poster that Lions Gate had on display at the 2005 Wizard World Comic Con in Philly.

Movie 11
The Innkeepers - Dir. Ti West - Starring Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis - Run Time: 101 Min - Viewed: 10/12/15 - 4:48PM - Rating: Four Stars
I am a patient man, when it comes to my entertainment. Thus, I am a huge fan of the "slow burn" in my movies. Ti West, as previously seen in House of the Devil, is a master of the slow burn, and he continues that success with The Innkeepers.
This reminded me of a modern version of those 1950's ghost movies that my Mother loves, like The Uninvited.

Movie 12
We Are Still Here - Dir. Ted Geohegan - Starring Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Larry Fessenden - Run Time: 84 Min - Viewed: 10/12/15 - 7:36PM - Three Stars
This, along with The Innkeepers, was another first time watch for me. I was only expecting another "haunting" story, so I was taken completely off guard by how violent this film turned out being. This isn't a problem, mind you, just completely unexpected.
This one is riddled with plot holes, but it's still just enjoyable enough that you'll forgive them.

Movie X
Halloween - Dir. Rob Zombie - Starring Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton - Run Time: I turned it off after 5 minutes - Viewed: 10/14/15 - 9:00PM Rating: One Star
I just couldn't with this film. It's terrible. Rob Zombie got a little too "Rob Zombie" with this remake. He made so many bad choices with this film that it would take a whole blog of it's own to go over them all. I'll list a few right now:
-Sherry Moon is terrible as Mom Myers.
-Scout Taylor-Compton is terrible as Laurie Strode.
-Malcolm McDowell is terrible as Dr. Loomis(and it worse is the sequel).
-Daeg Farch(or whatever the fuck his name is) is god awful as Baby Myers.
-I absolutely hate the redneck/white-trashiness that clings to everything in this movie.
Tyler Mane as Michael Myers is the only good choice Zombie made.
I know I have a lot of Horror friends who love this movie, so let me say that I'm not trying to push my opinion on anyone here. I really did try to like this film, but I feel it does not hold-up well at all.
Hey, I like all of Rob Zombie's original films, so here's hoping "31" is good.

It was about this point that I starting bingeing Bojack Horseman on Netflix, so that kinda took over all my movie watching time, until...

Movies 13 & 14
A Collection of Universal Monster films
Dir. Castle Films - Starring Claude Rains, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff
Run Time: 120 Min - Viewed: 10/17/15 - 8:00PM - Five Stars
Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman
Dir. Roy William Neill - Starring Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr.
Run Time: 74 Min - Viewed: 10/17/15 - 10:30PM - Three Stars
This was a special Exhumed Films event at PhilaMOCA(a refurbished mausoleum, now a living love-letter to David Lynch), as they were showing Castle Films 8-minute cuts of over a dozen classic Universal Monster movies, screened on 16mm. These were the days BEFORE VHS, where the only way you could watch a movie is to secure a reel-to-reel copy.
The whole evening was an absolute blast, which was kicked-off by a costume contest(The Invisible Man/boy took home the grand prize) and free Halloween candy was available to everyone in the audience.
My only regret is that I did not show up in costume, not to enter the contest, but because I should take every opportunity to play dress up, as they don't come often at my age.
As far as I can tell, I am not up for any bonus points from The Madness this week.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015: The Madness! - Round 1

You know the drill by now: let's see how many horror films we can fit into 31 days. This year I'm participating in a contest called The Madness, where movies are worth point values, according to various rules and regulations that are way too in-depth to get into here.

Movie 1
A Nightmare on Elm Street - Dir. Wes Craven - Starring Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Robert Englund
Run Time: 91 Min - Viewed: 10/04/15 - Midnight - Rating: Five Stars
I wached this one twice, so it would count in the contest.
What is there one can say about NOEM at this point that hasn't been covered more eloquently elsewhere? There's no need to explain why Fred Krueger would be every horror fan's first pick for the Horror Mount Rushmore(The other three choices are up for heavy debate), or why many fans are reluctant to accept anyone but Robert Englund slipping on the iconic glove. I myself, was so obsessed with this series back in grade school, that i was banned from watching by my parents. Not because of the violent content, but because it was getting in the way of my schoolwork.
As for the first chapter in the Elm Street series, it's still scary as hell, and I envy any young horror fan who gets to watch it for the first time.

Movie 2
Drag Me To Hell - Dir. Sam Raimi - Starring Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Dileep Rao
Run Time: 99 Min - Viewed: 10/4/15 - 2:57PM - Rating: Four Stars
I completely forgot that you should not eat during this film, as it's very goopy, and has several vomit scenes, one of which goes right into the lovely Alison Lohman's mouth.
Sam Raimi needs to write/direct another horror film asap.

Movie 3
Dawn of the Dead(1978) Dir. George Romero - Starring Ken Foree, Gaylen Ross
Run Time: 127 Min - Viewed: 10/5/15 - 5:23PM - Five Stars
Dawn of the Dead(2004) Dir. Zack Snyder - Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber
Run Time: 110 Min - Viewed: 10/5/15 - 8:41PM - Three Stars
Every year I try to compare and contrast a classic film with it's remake, and this one is easily the most fun double feature I've had in a long time.
If Hollywood insists on remaking every classic horror film(and they do insist), then this is exactly how you do it: take the original film's core concept, and twist it enough that, while still being recognizable, it makes it's own mark on the genre. I can't help but feel that this might've saved the ill-fated, shot-for-shot Psycho remake.
Retelling a story is one thing, but recasting classic characters is a near impossibility. the 2013 Evil Dead "remake" was very smart to not recast Ash, but instead created a new bad-ass female character in Mia(whom I hope pops up in the upcoming Ash Vs. The Evil Dead tv show).
A Day of the Dead remake is not far off, I'm sure, and it would behoove them to find the right people to help the project, ala James Gunn/Zack Snyder on the DOTD remake.

Movie 5
You're Next - Dir. Adam Wingard - Starring: Sharni Vinson, AJ Bowan, Joe Swanberg
Run Time: 95 Min - Viewed: 10/6/15 - 6:08PM - Rating: Three Stars
You're Next gets better and better with each viewing. Even more than the story, I love all the people involved with it. They're the new crop of young horror filmmakers who respect the genre and don't act like entitled children, or wannabe rock-stars(not a Rob Zombie knock; I actually like him).

Movie 6
My Bloody Valentine 3D - Dir. Patrick Lussier - Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Tom Atkins
Running Time: 101 Min - Viewed: 10/6/15 - 9:36PM - Rating: Two & a Half Stars
Another good example of a remake done right. Plus, this is still the only 3D movie that I've seen in cinemas where the 3D was actually really well done, added to the story, and actually lasted the entire film, not just certain action scenes. There's no doubt in my mind that MBV3D was Hollywood's way of testing 3D on audiences, as it now infests every mainstream film that gets released these days.

Movie 7
The 'Burbs - Dir. Joe Dante - Starring: Tom Hanks, Henry Gibson, Carrie Fisher
Running Time: 101 Min - Viewed: 10/8/15 - 7:29PM - Rating: Three Stars
One of the problems with filling the month of October up with nothing but horror films, is that it sometimes leaves me feeling empty, what with all the blood and the viscera bombarding me, and I was kind of feeling that on this night, so I decided to watch The 'Burbs, even though people have argued with me that it's not a horror movie, not even a horror comedy.
False. False false false. While Tom Hanks and company are absolutely not the horror, the Klopeks, who move in next door and are likely cannibals, are the horror. There's nothing comedy about them. The comedy is all the neighbor's reactions to the Klopeks and the oddness they bring.
The 'Burbs perfectly fit the October/Halloween motif, and I recommend everyone give it a watch this month.

Movie 8
The Mist - Dir. Frank Darabont - Starring: Thomas Jane, William Sadler, Marcia Gay Harden
Running Time: 126 Min - Viewed: 10/9/15 - 7:20PM - Rating: Two & a Half Stars
Good, brooding adaptation of a Stephen King short story, that's well acted, and violent as hell, but I can't get past the terrible CGI tentacles that terrorizes the store. This film would've really benefitted from some practical effect monsters, with a CGI-sheen added in post.
I watched this with my Mother, who's a huge fan of King's work. She liked it. We had pizza. I gave the pizza Five Stars.

Movie 9
Frankenhooker - Dir. Frank Henenlotter - Starring: James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Joseph Gonzalez
Running Time: 85 Min - Viewed: 10/10/15 - 9:15PM - Rating: Three Stars
I had to find a Horror film that I could watch with friends who aren't into Horror films, which normally isn't easy, but when I came across Frankenhooker on Showtime On-Demand, I knew we had a winner.
They enjoyed it enough, based solely on the movie's constant bizarreness. I wonder how they'd respond to one of  Henenlotter's other films, Basket Case?