My Top Ten picks for Halloween viewing
Last year I did a few posts right before Halloween about my Top ten picks for viewing. Well this year I'm going to do that again. Think of it as an alternative to seeing another dang Saw movie. I thought mine would be good for starting it off this year. But we have a few more treats in store for you in coming up besides my top ten.
10. Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
Every Halloween marathon should have a least one movie with a haunted house and this is one of the most famous haunted homes. Loosely a prequel to the first movie, it substitutes the Montelli for the real life DeFeo family. This is one sleazy haunted house film. There's incest, child abuse, domestic violence and mental illness. But it sort of adds to the the over the top nature of the film. Plus you get some crazy camera tricks, gooey bladder effects (I miss the days of the bladder effect in horror.) and an Exorcist inspired ending. Bonus points for having the abusive dad being Burt "Paulie" Young of the Rockey films.
9. The Devil's Rain (1975)
A film were Captain Kirk loses his soul to Satan? Awesome! The Devil's Rain is a strange duck of a movie. At times very cheesy, but other times there's an overall bleakness to it. The wind swept desert setting. Adding to that long stretches play with very little background music. Just look at the cast you get Ernest Borgnine, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, and John Travolta, briefly. That's a great line up, it really adds to Satanic proceedings. Sort of like one of those all-star disaster films, but with a supernatural angle. Borgnine with goat horns is a sight that just has to be seen as well as the melting people finale.
8. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
A horror film in 3-D? Who would have thought that trend would come back, not once but twice. The first to have the iconic hockey mask. The second Friday the 13th is my all time favorite from the franchise, love that sack headed Jason. But part 3 is up there. There's a bunch of creative kills on hand in this outing. Plus this Friday has some really likable characters on hand to be killed. Having watched the first four of the Paramount 8, I've noticed that in the first few the characters are all pretty likable characters. It's only in the later ones, starting with five that the stereotype slasher film characters start to appear. The new edition is out with the ability to watch it in 2-D or 3-D! Sweet!
7. Girls Nite Out (1984)
One heck of a guilty pleasure. I'm not sure what it is I love about this one. It's got to be because of the killer in the bear costume and that strange creepy ending. Staring Hal Holbrook (Creepshow), Rutanya Alda (Mommie Dearest)and Julia Montgomery (Revenge of the Nerds), Holbrook filmed all his scenes in one day and his son has a small role in it. People tend to hate the coed shenanigans in the film, but I think there's a certain charm to it. I'm also a sucker for slashers set on collage campuses.
6. The House by the Cemetery (1981)
There's a zombie named Dr. Freudstein, really what more do you need to know? Well it's by Lucio Fulci and extremely gory. Sort of Fulci's version of The Shining. One of Fulci's best films.
House By The Cemetery was the fourth and last of a series of Horror films that made Lucio Fulci a major cult figure in America. Great for a late night fall viewing. Preferably by candle light with the wind howling outside.
5. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Why not celebrate Valentine's Day in October. From the golden age of slasher films. And as such it feels fresher then some of the later movies in the slasher cycle. it benefits from having a cool setting, the mine. And characters that aren't the usual horny party crazed teens. The finale takes place in mine shafts and tunnels and adds a nice creepy air to the stalk and slash. This is one of my all time favorite horror films. There's an uncut DVD out now that is near perfection.
4. Pulse a.k.a Kairo (2001)
One of the best J-Horror films. It's message is still very revalent. How technology like the internet and cellphones have instead of bringing us together, have made us lonelier, almost ghost like. There's a slowly growing sense of dread throughout, building toward an apocalyptic ending. Not really about the scare factor and more about just creeping you out. Which in my option is more effective then cheap scares. You'll want to invest in some red tape after seeing this film.
3. I tre volti della paura a.k.a Black Sabbath (1963)
Anthology horror films can be a blast when done right. Italian master Mario Bava does it right and then some. First of all there's Boris Karloff as host and the star of the second segment.
The three stories "The Telephone","The Wurdalak", and "The Drop of Water", are all extremely well crafted. Bava's great use of lighting and tension really help to amp up the creep factor. Especially in the last segment. It'll be a long time before you'll forget the look on that dead old women's face.
2. White Zombie (1932)
Here is one of the great unappreciated horror classics of the 1930's. The Universal films get all the press, but this is just as good as most of their films. Bela Lugosi's Murder Legrende is a demonic character. The zombies here arn't the fleash eating ones of today but the ones of Haitian legend. There's a creepy atmosphere on display here aided by some great sets.
1. Ginger Snaps: Unleashed (2004)
In my opinion just as good as the first Ginger Snaps. It goes in a totally different direction then the first, which works to the film's benefit. Bridget takes center stage here. And Emily Perkins is up to the task. Her performance is outstanding. The first film used lycanthropy as a metaphor for puberty. This film uses it as metaphor for addiction. There's not as much dark humor in this one, but there's more werewolf action then the first. The ending to this one is dark and a tad twisted.