Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Viewing: Week Three

Internet problems prevented me from getting this up sooner. Sorry, guys.

October 18th:

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Sure, the “slacker gets life back together” plot is a little trite but I’m constantly amazed at just how good the rest of this movie is. Also, having seen “Spaced” now, it sort of ups my appreciation for this one. (9/10)

TerrorVision (1986)
It feels like they filmed a first draft. There are a number of clever ideas and scenes here but the whole thing feels very half-baked and unfocused. I dig the theme song. (5/10)

Matinee (1993)
The coming-of-age story is cute and well acted but I honestly think Dante should have just made “Mant!” as a feature instead. (7/10)

Poltergeist (1982)
When this movie kicks into scare gear, it’s really effective. I could do without all the Spielberg-y “love conquers all” schtick, but when where talking killer clown dolls, evil trees, giant ghost beasts, and tearing your own face off, I’m all there. (7/10)

October 19th:

Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
So buried in it’s own comic book extravagance that it comes very close to being completely ridiculous. By the same accord, it’s hard to argue with a period costume drama that has Mark Dacascos kicking people in the face. (7/10)

October 20th:

The Final Destination (2009)
I prefer to believe that Death is a sadistic bastard that allows people to escape his design just so he can murder them in contrived, ridiculous ways, rather then buy that every single structure around me is a rickety deathtrap waiting to happen. Ignited sawdust? (5/10)

“Lost Tapes”: Death Crawler
A couple isolated on an island full of giant, killer centipedes is actually a pretty good idea for a movie. (7/10)

The Fly (1986)
With an auteur like Cronenberg behind the wheel, it would’ve been good regardless, but Goldblum and Davis make this great. (9/10)

The Fly II (1989)
Pretty much on auto-pilot until the full-blown Martinfly makes his big appearance near the end, at which point it becomes a solid monster/splatter movie. Still the “good fly-monster vs. evil corporation” story is so simplistic compared to the complexity of the first. But hey, Princess Vespa’s got a decent sex scene. (5.5/10)

October 21st:

Ed Wood (1994)
I’m watching a lot of not-really-horror-movies this Halloween, aren’t I? Eh, a movie about the people who made horror movies is close enough. (9/10)

Hatred of a Minute (2002)
I appreciate what was attempted here but the movie can’t seem to decide if it’s a gorefest or a psychologically thriller. Either way, the indie-movie acting is what really undoes this one. (5/10)

Christine (1983)
Hey, I kind of love this movie! I’m as surprised as every one else is. (8/10)

October 22nd:

The Happening (2008)
Don’t be surprised if, at some point in the future, you see this one playing with “The Wicker Man” remake on an unintentional comedy double bill. (3/10)

Paranormal Activity (2007)
A creepy ghost flick that does some mildly clever things? Sure. Scariest movie ever made? No fucking way. With the amount of hype and marketing behind this one, just about any movie could’ve been pushed to this level of success. (7/10)

October 23rd:

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Julie Adams and the Creature will always be my favorite horror couple. (9/10)

Basket Case (1982)
They don’t make high quality trash cinema like this anymore. (7/10)

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
There’s much more slow-mo in this then I remember but I maintain that this is the best “Freddy vs. Jason” movie that could've been made. (8/10)

The Prey (1984): Uncut
I suppose this is the superior cut. The often discussed, rarely seen softcore footage is forced in but fascinating. Most of the nature footage is gone, quickening the pace considerably. However, my heart still belongs to the classic version, with the scenes of Jackson “Shazam!” Bostwick talking to a deer and rocking a hardcore banjo solo inserted into the movie at seemingly random intervals. (7/10)

(Big thanks goes out to Joseph at The-Bodycount-Continues for getting me a copy of this rarity.)

October 24th:

Bad Ronald (1974)
There’s admittedly a lot of TV movie creakiness here but the concept of someone stalking you from within your own home is quite creepy. (7/10)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
I’d like to say this is the unfairly maligned Blackhorse entry in the franchise, but it’s not. It’s truthfully just not a very good movie. Tom Atkins’ sleazy performance is all that kept my attention. (5/10)

As we head into October's final week, with Halloween right around the corner, I'll try and get as much stuff watched this week as possible.

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