Sunday, November 02, 2008

What I watched in October

I wallowed in horror movies this year with the help of my friends. Several nights of two or more slotted into my schedule including some unwanted downtime with gall stones! You can use horror movies to keep you sane when painkillers wash over you and allow you to relax. Or, at least I can!

Anyway- a fun mix of old and new this year. I've found myself drawn to the fairly mediocre F13 series to see if my old prejudices about it hold true. Sadly they have proven mostly on target but I am enjoying them a lot more now than when I felt that held a death grip on the genre keeping good films from being made. The mantle of crap now goes to the pathetic SAW franchise which, along with miserable remakes, is driving theatrically released horror into the dirt. Thank goodness for the fantastic stuff that has to come out on DVD. Movies like MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, ROUGE and STUCK really should have been seen in movie houses across the land. They are the new classics we'll be rewatching in the future.

On the other side- I'm finding myself unimpressed with the spate of French horror offerings that are taking the genre by storm. I liked THEM well enough even if I felt it was stretched to a running time it could not really sustain. But both INSIDE and FRONTIER(S) started out very strongly only to grind down and self destruct with over the top gore and stupidity that I ended up laughing at instead of being horrified by. It's too bad as both movies show good abilities behind the camera and a love of actually scaring the audience. The filmmakers just need to learn that no matter how well you've built the story, if you get crazy in the final 10 minutes it doesn't really matter. Explosions are not necessary in a horror movie, folks. And people with their faces burned off don't rock babies to sleep five minutes later. Or at least rarely. And are French cops really that damned stupid?

THE MANITOU (1979)- 4 (terrible but there’s something about its earnest wackiness)
NUDE FOR SATAN (1973)- 5 (pure demented sleaze)
FRONTIER(S) (2007)- 4 (French horror flick that loses itself in OTT gore- a shame)
MOTHER OF TEARS (2007)- 7 (way better than I’d heard- Argento pulls out a good one finally)
EAGLE EYE (2008)- 6 (Hitchcock light and slightly silly but not bad)
GORILLA AT LARGE (1954)- 6 (much better than I expected- carnival noir)
PUMPKINHEAD (1988) – 4 (rewatch) (I still don’t think this is a very good film)
MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008)- 7 (gets a little sloppy but a strong finish)
JASON GOES TO HELL (1993)- 4 (rewatch) (finally caught the unrated version)
ROGUE (2007)- 8 (excellent Australian crocodile horror film)
I AM LEGEND (2007)- 8 (rewatch) (caught the alternate DVD version- better than the theatrical version by far)
BUBBA HO-TEP (2002)- 8 (rewatch)
WEIRD WOMAN (1944)- 6 (rewatch) (Inner Sanctum programmer)
THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE (2006)- 7 (rewatch)
DEAD SILENCE (2006)- 8 (rewatch)
THE HOUSE WHERE EVIL DWELLS (1982)- 4 (fairly dull ghost story shot in Japan)
CHILD’S PLAY (1988)- 6 (rewatch)
QUARANTINE (2008)- 7 (can’t wait to see the Spanish original)
THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)- 6 (rewatch) (Universal classic)
IT’S ALIVE (1973)- 7 (Cohen goodness)
NIGHTMARE MAN (2006)- 4 (not terrible but not great either)
TORTURE GARDEN (1967) - 6 (rewatch) (Burgess Meredith is great in this)
THE STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY (1960)- 6 (Hammer adventure tale)
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6 (1986)- 4 (more fun than I thought it would be)
IT LIVES AGAIN (1978) - 4 (sloppy sequel that should have been better)
BODY PUZZLE (1993) - 7 (baby Bava makes a good thriller)
CHILD’S PLAY 2 (1990)- 6 (just as good as the first!)
STUCK (2007)- 9 (fantastic!)
TOOTH AND NAIL (2007)- 3 (well photographed but basically a blah retread of other films)
MAX PAYNE (2008)- 2 (thin, dumb, obvious and boring)
PSYCHO II (1983)- 9 (rewatch) (just a hair less brilliant than the original)
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1932)- 9 (rewatch)
THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1964)- 7 (rewatch)
FRIDAY THE 13TH – THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)- 4 (rewatch) (kind of slow)
THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1942)- 4 (rewatch) (weakest of the universal Mummy sequels)
NIGHTWINGS (1979)- 3 (awfully dull- must have been a better book)

1 comment:

Dark Star said...

You had to go and dis Punkinhead again.