Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Viewing: Week One

So, it's October, in case you hadn't notice. Halloween's coming up and, as a horror fan, I use this as an excuse to watch a whole bunch of my genre favorites.

However, seeing as how I didn't have anything formal prepared for this blog, I was just going to let this month go by without anything happening. But, after looking at how every other film blog under the sun is getting in on the fun, I couldn't resist. If I'm having a horror movie marathon anyway, why not do brief write-ups for each one I watch?

Anyway, I started this year's marathon the way I start every year: With viewings of many of the classic Universal monster movies, because these films are what I asscioate the Halloweens of my childhood with. I want to do a Report Card of some sort for this series some day but these mini-reviews will do for now. A recent Horror Etc. podcast also got me in the mood to revisit some Vincent Price classics I hadn't seen in a while. Also peppered throughout are stuff from my Netflix queue and whatever recent horror TV shows and movies I catch.

October 4th:

Frankenstein (1931)
Perhaps the single most iconic horror film ever made and one that will live forever. (9/10)

Dracula (1931)
Staginess aside, I’ll admit to liking this one more and more every time I see it. It's classical Gothic imagery strikes a cord. (8/10)

Feast III: The Happy Ending (2009)
I liked the giant robot and the alt chick’s tits and nothing else. (4/10)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Maybe the best horror sequel of all time and just the sort of classy affair I needed to clean my pallet after that shitty DTV sequel. (9/10)

Dracula’s Daughter (1936)Still not a fan of the comic relief or romantic subplots, but it’s heavy character-driven story and feminist subtext makes it one of the most subtle of the original Universal horror cycle. Also, I think this might be the first time vampirism was shown as an addiction. (8/10)

October 5th:

Murder in the Rue Morgue (1932)
The Expressionistic atmosphere sure goes a long way, making this one of the creepier of the original classics. (7/10)

House of Wax (1953)
Pretty hokey by today’s standards but this movie made me a Vincent Price fan. (7/10)

October 6th:

Zombieland (2009)
I liked the zombie killing, not so much the Twinky obsession. (7/10)

The Black Cat (1934)
My original complaint about this was I couldn’t buy Lugosi as the hero and Karloff as the villain. I see now that what’s brilliant about this movie is the way it plays these two icons against each other and both are casted against type. Lugosi gives one of his best performances as the revenge obsessed man while Karloff is at his most sinister. (8/10)

“Lost Tapes”: Southern Sasquatch
The redneck stuff is pretty campy but the monster aspects are convincing. (6/10)

“Lost Tapes”: Chupacabra
Maybe a little light on Chupa-content but not a bad example of what this show does well. (6/10)

The Raven (1935)
A much more traditional film then “The Black Cat” but Lugosi and Karloff are still great together. (7/10)

The Fly (1958)
That a cheesy, dialogue-and-character-driven, 50s reactionary, domestic sci-fi drama like this could be nine year old me’s favorite movie says more about me then it does this movie. Still, the acting is awfully good and Andre-Fly scrawling “I love you” on the chalkboard is still kinda’ heartbreaking. (9/10)

October 7th:

The Wolfman (1941)After seeing this multiple times now, I think I can say the “Vertigo”-style freak-out is my favorite scene. (8/10)

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)There’s sincerity and almost sweetness about this campy predecessor to slashers films and modern torture horror. (8/10)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943)
I would’ve preferred a solo Wolfman sequel because the Frankenstein aspect seems a little forced in and Lugosi was a lousy monster. Still, you can’t fault the fun factor of the very first monster mash. (7/10)

October 09:

Old pal JD picked out this night’s viewing, two flicks he's been wanting to see for a while but hadn't gotten around to yet. Thus the slightly unsensonal choices.

Shock Treatment (1981)
I remember this movie being less bad last time I watched it, but I still like the music. (6/10)

My Bloody Valentine (1981): Extended Cut
The nasty gore is what people remember but this essential retro-slasher has also got a lovable cast of characters. (7/10)

Come back next week for more fun!


Kernunrex said...

Everybody seems to be doing Universal horror this year. I gotta watch me a Frankenstein or Dracula soon.

I find the original Dracula kinda slow, but man do I love every line that comes out of Bela's mouth in that film.

I always liked the fact that, though Frank and Drac changed actors all the time, Lon Chaney Jr. was always the Wolf Man. No one could play that "I just want to die" angle as well as he.

Bonehead XL said...

I think the upcoming excellant looking remake of "The Wolfman" might be why a lot of folks are revisiting the classics.