#31DaysOfHorror 2016!

Well wasn’t that a smooth start to things? I debated just redoing the whole thing as one video using the second app…but I’ve decided that I want my mistakes to never be hidden. It can really only get better from here, right? Without further delay, we begin with:

Oct 1: Halloween (1978)

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This is kind of a tough spot for me. Not only have a reviewed the fuck out of this film, but I’m pretty sure anyone who reads this has seen the film enough times to recite the fuckin thing backwards and forwards. I’m really only covering this as a way to bookend the comparison with the Zombie version…and because it’s always best to kick things off with a classic. And it certainly is a classic. Here we have a film that practically defines a season, started a genre, kickstarted careers, and left a legacy that has spanned decades. The film is fantastic, and I genuinely do love it…but I prefer the remake.

Now before you make plans to write in or leave comments calling for my head, just know…I don’t read any of that shit, so fuck off. Answer me this…did you see this version first? Ok, and I bet you saw this version when you were still a kid or a teenager, didn’t you? Aha, now we’re getting somewhere. So many people have their Rose-tinted Nostalgia goggles on so tight that any remake of a classic is sure to be instantly dubbed as blasphemy. To me, it seems another case of Horror fans being just too fucking cool for school. Too cool to be scared, and too cool to appreciate films on their own merits.

Now of course this film is still worthy of a lot of praise. John Carpenter gave us an iconic film almost by accident, a film that goes with this wonderful holiday about as well as Pumpkins and Candy Corn. Why are you still reading this? Go watch the damn movie already.

Oct 2: Halloween II (1981)

This sequel picks up right where the original left off…and I mean RIGHT EXACTLY where it left off. John Carpenter stepled out of the Directors chair but stayed on as a producer, and as a result, we see a pronounced tone shift between the two films. While we see part 2 do a fine job of immitating some of Carpenters visuals, the film still comes across as more…mean spirited, I guess is how I would describe it.

 It always amazes me how few people have seen this film. It pales in comparison to the first chapter, but still holds up very well on its own. Check it out and see if Michael Myers can finish what he started…
Oct 3: Night Of The Creeps(1986)

 

Thrill me.

Zombie and Aliens and Slashers abound in this B movie tribute turned Cult Classic. They REALLY don’t make em like this anymore… Creeps is unique in that it channels 50s drive-in Horror, but delivers it with a decidedly 80s attitude. The story concerns a sweet innocent geek who will do anything to get the girl, including corpse stealing, which leads to Alien hijinx and reanimated dead…which ties into a flashback about an escaped mental patient with an axe…and all this going on during the night of the big Dance. A lot to process? That’s the 80s for ya brotha! Tom Atkins is plays one crotchety fuck of an old Detective, who’s signature line is…

“Thrill Me”

It’s so stupid, and smug, and so completely badass all at the same time. Just try answering the phone with that line delivered in the same tone. Feels like your ballsack grew a size, doesn’t it?
Oct 4: The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (2009)

This is an exercise in doing what you want and saying fuck the critics.Rob Zombie had a few films under his belt at this time, specifically House of 1000 Corpses, Devils Rejects, and his reimagining of Halloween. After mixed reviews and receptions to all these releases, the last thing anyone expected for his follow up was a full length animated film about a Mexican Wrestler who battles the supernatural, and features nazis, horny robots, strippers, and cameos by the most memorable characters from the Rob Zombie pantheon. To try and go into details of the plot would rob you of the sheer joy that is grabbing a stiff drink, and watching it yourself. What I will say is that this effectively sums up Rob Zombie’s filmmaking esthetic better than anything else he has done before or since. He makes films about things he likes and he makes the films he wants to see. He doesn’t make films for us, but he’s nice enough to share them anyway. Try and keep that in mind when watching his films…

Oct 5: Bone Tomahawk (2015)

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Literally the only reason I watched this was for more of that glorious fucking mustache that Kurt Russel had in The Hateful Eight. Sweet fucking Christ, can Kurt Russel please just make nothing but hyper violent Western films for the rest of his life? Just him being a cranky old Frontier Bastard, that Glorious Mustache, and him delivering tough guy dialogue. Never. Gets. Old. As far as this film goes…meh, it’s fine, has some nice violence and gore, had a few stupid moments that kinda lost me…It had the Mustache. So long as there is that Mustache, I’m in.

Oct 6: Drag Me To Hell (2009)

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We’re all familiar with Evil Dead. We all know that part of why it works is the over the top nature and silliness amidst horrifying events. After wrapping up the trilogy, Sam Raimi pretty much stayed away from the Horror genre, and became better known for directing the first 3 Spider-Man films. Drag Me to Hell marked his much awaited return to the Horror genre…and he brought us an…odd film.

The plot concerns a young Banker by the name of Christine, who finds herself under a Gypsy curse after making the difficult decision to not renew the loan of an elderly woman. Christine finds herself under supernatural attack, with each attack getting progressively more intense, as she struggles to find a way to lift the curse before her soul is…erm…well, dragged to hell. Fans of the Evil Dead franchise will appreciate the “fight scene” with the scary old gypsey, as it is very reminiscent of the borderline slapstick ultraviolence we have seen before, yet somehow here it seems out of place. This gets even more glaring as the utterly silly continues to unfold…at one point we watch as Christine nearly falls victim to an honest to god ANVIL that she keeps up in the rafters of her garage. I love my Looney Tunes gags, but for some reason, they just don’t work for me here.

An interesting side note is a fan theory I had read, stating the film is actually about Christine’s struggle with an eating disorder(http://www.slashfilm.com/is-drag-me-to-hell-really-about-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder/). I don’t happen to share this theory, but it’s quite thought provoking all the same. Honestly, I don’t think this one is worth watching more than once, and this viewing was only because I genuinely couldn’t remember if I had seen it already.

 

Oct 7: The Demon’s Rook(2013)

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Films like these only get made because somebody LOVED the project. In this case, that lover is Writer/director/effects wizard/star James Sizemore. This is HIS FILM, in every way you can imagine. He is the Monster Movie version of Tommy Wiseau, except where Wiseau’s The Room succeeds Because of how hilariously bad it is, The Demon’s Rook is charming enough to make us overlook it’s many flaws. First off, this is the first feature length film from the Director, and it was crowd funded. There are unavoidable limitations due to both the means and ability of the director, so let’s excuse those. The story concerns a young boy named Roscoe(…I know, such an awkward name…), who vanished into the Demon realm, learns their secrets, and unwittingly rings 3 back with him when he returns to the human world as a man. Roscoe must now struggle to come to terms with his existence in the Human realm, while also battling the 3 escaped demons. As weird as it sounds, the plot flows surprisingly smoothly. The acting is poor and the cinematography is not great…but the overall vibe reminds me both of Italian Gore films, and 80’s Monster flicks, all mashed up in a well meaning package.

Where the film really shines is in the effects and make-up department. Holy shit, Sizemore really poured his soul into these creations. Each creation is original and well executed…even if one of them looks like the Bastard child of Sloth from the Goonies, and Oderus Urungus. If you are a fan of Monsters, and practical visual effects, you should absolutely check this film out. Just remember, I warned you about it’s flaws…

 

Oct 8: Evil Dead(2013)

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Here we have another victim of Nostalgia. While Fede Alvarez’s version of Evil Dead certainly has it’s fair share of fans, the general consensus seems to favor the Sam Raimi original. Where I start to have a problem with that is that a lot of these opinions were formed before the film had been seen, or in some cases released, and sadly, even before it had been completed.  It’s that familiar problem with Horror fans. So many of them constantly bitch that there aren’t any good Horror films being made anymore, then when something like Evil Dead comes along, they complain because someone had the audacity to mess with a beloved classic. This leads to more bitching about endless remakes and sequels, and cries for originality…then when they are given something original like It Follows or The Witch, they bitch that it’s not scary enough for them…there’s just no pleasing most of you fucks. Honestly, I could go on and on about my frustration with this type of fan, ut that’s a long winded video rant for another day.

I loved this version, I happen to also think it is a better film that the original. Yes, I said it, what the fuck are you gonna do about it? The filmmaking techniques are smoother, more developed, the story telling is more effective and gripping, and campiness and humour are no longer used as crutches to hide the shortcomings of the film. The acting is better, the gore is top notch, and the violence gives me chills. So many times violence doesn’t seem to have weight, somebody gets stabbed or sliced and we don’t care, we’ve seen it a million times. Something about this film gives the weight back to the violence…I can practically feel every stab of the needle, the slice of the Machete, the piercing of the nails. That is what I love most. It’s a quality sorely lacking in most films…it leaves me squirming the edge of the blade.
Oct 9: House (1986)

I had only seen this film within the last 3 years, and the first viewing was preceeded by the following description: “It has this scary house, and the guy from cheers, and there’s this writer who is living in the scary house, eevn though it ate his kid and his wife turns into a monster, and tools fly all over the place and his old Army buddy shows up to kill him.” The person I was seeing at the time spewed this description forth and I stood there dumbfounded. Not so much at the content, which all more or less happens in the film, but hecause she spoke like a 10 year old. Hopefully you’ll forgive the spoilers, but somehow I think you’ll agree with me that the appeal(?) of this film isn’t in the details, it’s in the overall experience. Like so many 80s horror films, the cheese is the best ingredient. The practical effects are passable, but the overall mood suffers from an overabundance of daylight. Frights aren’t the goal with a film like this, it’s good times with friends. Grab a few drinks and watch this with your friends, or be like me…drinking alone…in a dark room. 
Oct 10: ThanksKilling(2008)

If I ever do have children, I hope and pray I can show this to them and convince them This is the true story of Thanksgiving. This is also one of the many reasons I should not have children. 


It’s exactly what it sounds like, worse than what it looks like and chock full of bufoonery and violence. Since Eli Roth decided to be nothing more than a cocktease by only giving us a fake trailer for his holiday slasher Thanksgiving, the undisputed King of Thanksgiving themed horror films will rest on the irradiated demonic shoulders of ThanksKilling.

Gobble Gobble Motherfuckers!!!
Oct 11: Cabin Fever(2016)

Eugh. Fuck this film. The original is barely 14 years old, and not only is this virtually a shot for shot remake, a trimmed down version of the original script was used as well. Apparently some of what was trimmed was the charm and the spirit of the original. Don’t waste your time.
Oct 12: 

 

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