Monday, October 26, 2015

Top Ten Picks For Halloween Viewing 2015

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.

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