Tuesday, October 27, 2015

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN! Update #3 10/20-10-27

With this third update I've already gone over 31 films which I think officially makes this my most successful October yet.  And the best part is I know I have some great ones still coming up!

To see my original list (which I've diverged from a bit now and again) see HERE

To see Update #1, look HERE

And Update #2 is HERE

And now on to Update #3.  Just keep scrolling or click on "Read More"


First, can we give a little love to what has honestly become one of the best channels to watch during the Halloween season?  Okay, besides AMC constantly showing the Halloween and Friday the 13th movies.  But whether it's Halloween Wars or their incredible amount of other Halloween themed shows, Food Network never disappoints.  Just saying.


I'm honestly not sure if this movie has too many fans, but I've always thought it was an awesome, underrated classic.  With much of the same team that made Dangerous Liasons, this gothic melodrama that retells the story of Jeckyl & Hyde from the point of view of housemaid, Mary Reilly, is just awesome.  Dripping with atmosphere and not afraid to show some blood and guts, this fits up there with movies like Sleepy Hollow as kind of modern Hammer films.   There was an interesting wave of films around this time, BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA, MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN, WOLF, THE MUMMY and this film which took on the classic monster movies.   Mostly all from different studios, all of these, with the exception of THE MUMMY, were rated R....I find it almost impossible to believe that would happen today.


The PHANTASM movies are all great and I only understand about 40% of what's going on.  But it's that fluid dreamlike/nightmarish quality that makes these films so special.  Popped in my old VHS of this one and it was great.  Nice to see it again after a long time.


So in Update #2, I talked about how I think I appreciated THE MUMMY more this last viewing than ever before.  This made me want to watch the next four.  Of all the Universal Monster movies, these are the ones I haven't watched in the longest time (I pretty much watch WOLFMAN, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN and  HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN on a loop comparatively.)   What's funny is I think the MUMMY movies were played the most by Son of Svengoolie (now Svengoolie) and Rockford, Illinois' own Uncle Don's Terror Theater when I was a kid.  I remember seeing them over and over.  THE MUMMY'S HAND has always been one of my favorites because the whole thing takes place in Egypt and features an actual Mummy for more than 2 minutes (as in the original.)    I told the story of my father in the last update, who was scared so much by this movie that after seeing it in the theater he told me he walked home in the middle of the street.


I've been wanting to see this movie since the 80's when it came out.  I used to stare at that box cover art with such longing as a kid at the video store (along with THREE ON A MEAT HOOK and THE TOOLBOX MURDERS....titles so lurid they spellbound me.)   This movie has NOTHING to do with that poster art.  But this low budget Canadian sci-fi/horror movie is pretty cool.  And it starts with "It is the day after tomorrow" which reminds me of MAX HEADROOM'S "20 Minutes into the Future."  Not too bad a flick.  Finally got my $2 worth (which is what the VHS cost me a couple years ago.


I hadn't seen this in forever.  In fact, I barely remember a lot about the later Halloween films.  To me, this is the series of the three (Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street) that gets the worst with each movie.  And I think the main reason is because the first one is so good.  The second Halloween isn't bad and is really just a continuation of the first.  Season of the Witch I love.   But after that they get less and less.   NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is the same.  Each one (excluding Dream Warriors) gets worse....but at least in those you still have Robert Englund.  So when he's on screen you're still having fun.  But Michael is almost like a void, so you don't get that.   FRIDAY THE 13TH suffers the least of the three, mainly because it didn't start out as brilliant as the others so there wasn't as far down to go.  HALLOWEEN and the original NIGHTMARE are brilliant....the first FRIDAY? It's fun, but it's not brilliant.

All that being said, I really, really enjoyed HALLOWEEN 4 after so long.  We all are in love with Danielle Harris and so she's great and adorable.  And Loomis has his obsession ramped up to 11.  And this movie really captures the feel of the holiday.  It FEELS like Halloween and Halloween night while watching it and that alone makes me kinda love it.


I had never seen this or even heard of it.  From 1977 I just had no idea.  I caught the very end of it on TV....and the last 20 minutes is great!  With the family celebrating Halloween and a really, really great song.   So I started from the beginning and....the rest of it not so much.  Shot on video it looks so cheap.  And it seems like they almost did it live, doing only one take.  I do like that Gomez and Morticia had two more kids and just named them Wednesday, Jr and Pugsly, Jr (making the original ones, Sr.)   But it was pretty lackluster.  Only the very beginning and very end are really any good.  Though I have to say, Lisa Lorring, the original Wednesday plays Wednesday, Sr and she looks amazing!  Could give Christina Ricci a run for her money.

This one not as good as the previous entry.  And the first 10 minutes is just footage from The Mummy's Hand!  And the movie is only 60 minutes long!  I do love that the Mummy series moved to New England...a nice juxtaposition.  And the best part are the original cast members from The Mummy's Hand finally meeting their fate 30 years later.


I watch this every year and can only write so much.  Simply one of the best horror comedies ever.  And it treats our beloved Universal Monsters with respect.


This one I always loved.  John Carradine is SO good in this and is everything you want a crazy cult member to be.  I swear it's as if he wrote all his dialogue himself.  So good.  And I always dug Ramsay Ame's white streak in her hair.  Plus, you gotta kinda dig the tragic ending which was kind of rare for these movies.  Fun!


Ohhhhh!  My absolute favorite of the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies and one of my favorite horror films.  From the campfire story in the picture above, to the perfect camp setting, I just love this movie.  I feel like I'm back at the lake and cabins our family went to when I was a kid everytime I watch it.  And unlike a lot of other movies of these types, the counselors in this...you know, they're all pretty good kids.  Not really an asshole in the bunch---besides creepy Scott who takes the one girls clothes.  But he gets his.   I just love this movie.  I have no idea what age I was when I first saw it, but it was the right age!  Just the right time to make a huge impression and scare the crap outta me.  Also, I remember being so shocked Jason killed the guy in the wheelchair with a machete to the face AND pushing the chair down the stairs. After that I felt like anything goes and I was terrified.   So much fun!

We're in the home stretch!  Not too much longer to go till Halloween!!!

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