It's that time again! The most wonderful time of the year. Time to break out the fake spiders, skulls and plastic body parts. Truthfully everyday is Halloween for me. The fake spiders, skulls and plastic body parts are out all year. Hey, some folks leave the Christmas Tree out all year. My life is like one of those old DC Comics horror hosts. Spooky thrills and horror tales everyday. Anyway it's time for the annual Halloween picks! Enjoy and have a creeptacular 31st!
10) Tremors Franchise
The first film is just a wall to wall classic monster flick. A unique setting. Cool characters. A great monster. And of course Burt Gummer! The whole franchise overall is a lot of fun. The four follow up films and a short lived TV show. Although a bit uneven in quality each adds to the overall mythology of the series without detracting from it. Definitely a fun way to spend a weekend.
9) Salem's Lot (1979)
The Stephen King novel this miniseries is based on is probably one of my favorite books. I remember reading it in high school. I'd seen this miniseries first, not sure if I saw the original broadcast or not. Anyway you can imagine my surprise when reading the novel that Mr. Barlow was some Dracula like dude and not the awesome Nosferatu like vampire he is here. It's a change I think if for the better. The 2004 TV version played by the great Rutger Hauer couldn't compare to the '79 one. The '79 Lot has some fantastically creepy scenes. Who could forget that damn kid at the window? Or the cemetery scene? It's weird revisiting Salem's Lot so many years later with how it ties into King's Dark Tower story-line.
8) Seed of Chucky (2004)
This is an odd duck of a Chucky film. Chucky and Tiffany have a child at the end of Bride. Said child ends up in a freak show. This child, Glen or Glenda grows up and goes off in search of it's parents. What ensues is Chucky and Tiffany trying to be good parents. You know, giving up murder and mayhem. Glen or Glenda trying to discover their sexual identity. And lots of murder. It's such a weird little film. John Waters being in it makes so much sense.
7) Tower of Evil (1972)
A fog shrouded island. A light house and groovy British teenagers. Of course the groovy teens get murdered. And this all happens before the film starts. What follows is a bunch of folks going to said murder island to find out what or who offed the teens. Great atmosphere and tight clothes ensue.
6) Green Room (2015)
A stripped down horror treat. It plays like a siege film from the '70's. Assault on Precinct 13 comes to mind. Basically a Punk band vs. Nazi skinheads. Patrick Stewart is fantastic as the head skinhead. He's this sort of everyday evil that makes him all the more terrifying. The late Anton Yelchin is another standout in the cast. But my favorite character had to be Amber played by Imogen Poots. She's the film's most badass character. A Nazi girl that gets caught up in the murder shenanigans.
5) Count Dracula (1970)
The Count should be represented in some way every October. You can't go wrong with Jess Franco's adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel. Christopher Lee does a slightly different Drac here then his Hammer version. This one has the mustache like the book and starts out old, getting younger the more blood he drinks. Lee gives a standout performance as old fang puss. He doesn't seem to be phoning it in like some of his later Hammer Dracula performances. There's also Soledad Miranda, Klaus Kinski and Herbert Lom who are all superb. It's not a 100% faithful adaption but doesn't stray far from the book like say a certain Dracula 3D.
4) The House by the Cemetery (1981)
Evil zombie Dr. Freudstein is hanging out in a house by a cemetery. Anyway it's a film Lucio Fulci so it's extremely gory. This is one of my favorite Fulci films actually. Also there's a ridiculous bat attack. And Fulci's eye close ups are out of control in this one. House By The Cemetery is perfect for late night October viewing. Preferably by candle light with the wind howling at your windows.
3) White Zombie (1932)
The Universal films of the '30's get all the press, but this is just as good as many of their films. Bela Lugosi's Murder Legrende is one demonic character. The zombies aren't the flesh eating ones of The Walking Dead. Nope. They're the ones of Haitian legend. There's a creepy atmosphere aplenty in this film. The sets are wonderful for a low budget film. On a par with many of Universal's sets. A horror classic.
2) The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)
The film starts strong with a cool vamp staking scene and then gets a little slow as we meet the young couple. But once they go to a party at the Castle things start to pick up. The sets and costumes as usual for a Hammer film are very lush. Ravna and his cult make for interesting villains. Dr.Zimmer is a fine stand-in for Peter Cushing's Van Helsing. A bit of a drunkard vampire hunter but competent none the less. I had a blast with this one.
1) It Follows (2014)
A beautiful homage to the horror films of the '70's and '80's and John Carpenter in particular. Much like Stranger Things did earlier this year it blends various influences into a gorgeous nostalgic stew. After seeing it, I wanted to put the movie back in and watch it again. Some have complained that the film doesn't always follow it's own rules. But for me the film takes place in a sort of nightmare state. So if logic bends a little, it didn't really bother me. The lead actress was great here as she was in the equally awesome The Guest. The autumn feel in It Follows is top notch. And that score by Disasterpeace, gets me all tingly.
Happy Halloween Folks!