Here we are again. Skeletons, witches and ghosts wander our streets. The air has a chill. Multicolored leaves litter the ground. Monsters play across television screens. Werewolves, ghosts, Freddy and Dracula. They're all here. October 31st is fast approaching. So, without further ado here are my annual picks for the scariest night of the year.
10) Silent Scream (1980)
Stylish slasher with some solid performances. The opening reminded me a little of House Of The Devil. Gets a little goofy with the romantic subplot complete with funky sax. Overall a good early slasher with a couple nice kill scenes and some good atmosphere.
9) Lovely Molly (2011)
Directed by Eduardo Sánchez of Blair Witch fame. The film manages to be every bit as creepy as Blair Witch. It's a nice slow burn horror fest that gets under your skin and stays. There's a bit of a nod to the director's found footage roots in Lovely Molly. Voyeuristic shots of people being stalked by a at first unknown assailant. Gretchen Lodge gives a daring performance as Molly. She's in almost every scene and has to endure a ton of unpleasantness as the film progresses. This is one film best watched late at night with the lights off. For a perfect feel of unease.
8) Blue Sunshine (1978)
From Jeff Lieberman. The director of Squirm and Just Before Dawn. This is a quintessential bizzaro late '70's horror film. People lose their hair and go postal. The friend of one of these killers gets blamed for the murders. Can he prove his innocence? Can he find out what hell Blue Sunshine is? What the hell is that sweater he's wearing? There's even a crazy rampage at a disco. Talk about Panic at the Disco.
7) Sorority Row (2009)
Another remake of an 80's horror film. It's the remake of The House on Sorority Row. It makes no pretense about what it is...a cheesy horror movie. The Killer has a real fetish for ramming things into people's mouths. The kills don't show much. I think if it wasn't for breasts and foul language this would be PG rated. Sadly the killer is just some dude running around in a Ben Kenobi robe. The killer sports a tricked out tire iron/glaive straight out of Krull. Most of the characters sort of blend together except for a two examples. Carrie Fisher's shotgun toting house mother and party girl Chugs. Yes that's her name Chugs. Is it because she's a lush? Or is it because she's easy? Maybe both. Anyway, she's great! Poor Rumer Willis, all she gets to do is scream and look upset for most of the films run time. But, you know what? I love this movie. Chugs forever!
6) The Phantom of the Opera (1989)
A lavish hybrid of late eighties slasher films and the classic tale of The Phantom of the Opera. I quite enjoy this one. I'm not sure what they spent on this one money wise, but I think it's all on the screen. It looks great. The sets, costumes and lighting are beautiful. Robert Englund turns in a pretty good Phantom who isn't as Freddy Kruger as you'd expect. Jill Schoelen, always a reliable scream queen looks gorgeous in all the period costumes and makes for an endearing heroine. A young and cute Molly Shannon (Yep, that Molly Shannon.) turns up as Christine's best friend.
5) Madman (1982)
Madman has the perfect atmosphere for Halloween viewing. I never had the pleasure of seeing this entry from the golden age of the slasher film till a few years ago. It was a very informative viewing experience. I learned the legend of Madman Marz. And that Mr. Marz does not take kindly to being called out. I learned that telling said legend to a bunch of wiseacre teens will only lead to tragedy. I discovered that Gaylen Ross (Francine in Dawn of the Dead) is really hot. Also, spinning in a hot tub is a thing people do. Why? Not sure. Madman Marz has one hell of a theme song. It's right up there with the one from My Bloody Valentine.
4) God Told Me To (1976)
This and Blue Sunshine would make for a perfect double bill of crazy '70's horror. People are going postal again. This time the killers repeat the line "God Told Me To" after they're stopped. There's aliens, angels and even freaking Andy Kaufman! I always forget how crazy awesome a Larry Cohen film can be until I watch one. God Told Me To is his craziest by far.
3) Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010)
Epic. Never Sleep Again covers everything from the original Nightmare film up to Freddy vs. Jason. There's in-depth looks at each film in the series. Even the damn Freddy TV show get's it's due. It's fascinating and a little weird at times seeing how the various cast members of the films have turned out years later. Freddy himself, Robert Englund comes across as a really nice, down to earth guy. Strange watching it so soon after Wes Craven's untimely death. But he did leave us an iconic monster in Freddy Krueger. Thanks Wes, for all the nightmares!
2) Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
Not only did we lose Wes Craven this year. We also lost Christopher Lee. What better way to celebrate to holiday then with one of Christopher Lee's best roles, Dracula! I'm sure everybody has their own favorite from the Hammer Drac films. Dracula A.D. is mine. It's groovy. It's Gothic. It has the luscious Caroline Munro! Johnny Alucard may be the second best vampire in the whole Hammer series.
1) Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)
I like it almost as much as the first two. Any teaming Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabell I'm down for. Is this a direct prequel? Some sort of alternate universe? Either way you claw it I like it. The film looks beautiful. The snow swept landscape ensconced in fog is both beautiful and foreboding. Both actress are in top form. They appear to be having fun with the slight twists the new setting affords them. The last stand against the werewolf army is nicely done. The last haunting image come close to rivaling the one from the first movie. I'm still waiting for a Ginger Snaps 4! C'mon guys!
Above all else this Halloween you must ask yourself one simple question.
Finch is many things; cosplayer, roleplayer and model. I first became aware of her work through Everage on Deviant Art. I've been a fan ever since. Recently I got a chance to interview her and find out a bit about her passion for cosplaying. 1) How long have you been cosplaying?
I honestly can't remember. My first cosplay was accidental, when I was really young I was Chun Li for Halloween, a costume my mother agreed to make for me because I could also use it as figure skating outfit.
2) How many costumes have you created and worn?
Once again...I've lost count. My mother made my first few costumes, and I have others made by a very talented friend, but this year I've made about 7 or 8 for me and other people.
Catherine: Dream Land Photography
3) Are you a gamer? If so, what are some of your favorites?
Up until recently I didn't actually own any consoles, I only have handheld systems. Some games (like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry) I prefer to watch rather than play, but lately I've been wasting far too much of my life on Fire Emblem: Awakening. It reminds me somewhat of Final Fantasy Tactics, which is another game I've loved for a long time and I hope to cosplay from it soon.
4) You've done a few different Bayonetta photoshoots. Is she one of your favorite characters to dress up as?
Definitely. My Bayonetta 'cosplay' kind of started as a joke, my girlfriend styled the wig for me because she thought that hairstyle might look good on me, and I love Bayonetta as a character...it went over pretty well on my page, so I started doing casual photoshoots in outfits I thought she might wear. Especially by the second game, Bayonetta is very carefree and playful, which is always fun during photoshoots. Hopefully next year I'll do one of her actual in-game outfits, I'm thinking of the policewoman one from Bayonetta 2.
Velvet: Everage Studios Photography
5) I've gone to my fair share of comic book conventions. But never in a costume of any type. What's it like going to conventions as a character?
Going to a con in cosplay is pretty much an instant icebreaker. I find it's really easy to meet people who are into the same things as you are, especially if you cosplay from things you really like. But it's probably not for everyone, since you will get more than the average amount of attention.
6) You do fansigns and birthdayfansigns on your FaceBook page. How many requests do you get a week?
Per week I get anywhere from one to ten requests, generally. For a set of character fansigns I cap at 50...or at least I try. I let other people slip in after the cap occasionally.
Saber: Sheena Liu
7) Speaking of the fansigns. You often do multiple characters on a specific day for fan's birthdays. How hectic can that get?
I take them all ahead of time and just post them on the days...but I sort characters into 'groups' with similar makeup palettes so I can go from one to another easily on a day when I have a chance to catch up on them. For example, I can go from Ryuko to Tharja to Bayonetta just by building on that base makeup. Nonon to Cordelia to Mitsuru is another group, since they all have pink or red hair and similar colour schemes.
8) What's it like from start to finish working on a costume?
For me it's pretty stressful since I don't actually enjoy the process of sewing. But my least favourite part of a costume is drafting the pattern, I don't have a lot of experience with it and it can get pretty frustrating. I try to give myself a lot of time so I can walk away if I find myself getting angry at it.
Cordelia: Setsuna Cosplay Photography
9) What inspires you the most creatively?
I'm a roleplayer first and foremost, so my goal in any cosplay is to portray the character as best I can. When I'm doing an actual outfit, I try to choose my fabrics to 'feel' like the character (for example, my Saber dress is made of satin and cotton velvet, which I felt were suitably 'kingly' materials). If it's a casual or pinup shoot, I like trying to imagine what kind of clothes or swimsuits or lingerie the character I'm portraying would likely wear. Would they dress fancy or sporty? Do they like leather or lace? Staying true to the character is my greatest inspiration in anything I do.
10) Any advice for aspiring cosplayers out there?
Start small, and don't give up! No one is perfect from the start. And this is just me, but I recommend doing what you love and not what you think will make you popular. Even if you do get popular, you won't have a good time if you're stuck doing something you don't really like.