31 Days of Halloween

1              The Exorcist III   – 1990 – 110 – Shudder – 6.73 – dir – William Peter Blatty – I watched this film on the recommendation of our friends over at the Shock Waves podcast. I am a big fan of the first Exorcist movie and I think I watched The Heretic, though, I am not sure. However, based on the recommendation, though, I checked it out. I streamed the film on Shudder but a Scream Factory Blu-ray is available. This does need to be said but Brad Dourif is amazing. I feel pretty confident in recommending this flick. Buy it at Diabolik DVD.

2              Innocent Blood – 1992 – 112 – Warner Archive Blu-ray – 6.60 – dir. John Landis –  I have already written about this here.

3              It Came from Beneath the Sea – 1955 – Indicator Blu-ray – dir. Robert Gordon –  I am going to writing more about this later.

4              House – 1977 – 88 – Filmstruck – 6.93 – dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi – I love this movie. I usually watch it, in the background, a couple of times a year and rewind the piano scene a few times per. It is very hard to explain this movie but I will need to write an essay about this at some point. However, you have got to do yourself a favor and check this movie out. If you don’t want to pony up for the disc the quality is just as fine on Filmstruck, which, if you are reading this, is an essential service.

5              Halloween – 1978 – 91 – Anchor Bay Blu-ray Collection – 7.07 – dir. John Carpenter – I watched all of the Halloween movies. It took several days but this is the first time that I have watched them all, one after the next. I love the first one. The theme music, alone, makes my skin crawl and I expect a freight around the corner. If you haven’t heard you need to give a listen to the new Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor version of the theme here. If you can, and are a fan of the film, you might check out the big ole Anchor Bay set. It is nice to have the who thing together. Especially the two Rob Zombie films.

6              Halloween II – 1981 – 92 – Anchor Bay Blu-ray Collection – 5.53 – dir. Rick Rosenthal – With my plans to watch the two Rob Zombie Halloween films I figured that I might as well watch (them all) this one. It is fine. I guess.

7              Halloween III: Season of the Witch – 1982 – 98 – Anchor Bay Blu-ray Collection – 5.67 – dir. Tommy Lee Wallace – Few slasher sequels are more highly maligned as Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. If they had dropped the Halloween 3 the movie would have been better received. Although, it would probably have tanked without the full title. Folks felt conned because they were expecting Michael and received a shitty St. Patrick’s Day commercial.

I tracked this down years, and years, go, VHS days, because I had heard that people hated it but not why. I found it, watched it, and loved it (for a cheap slasher). Truly they could cut the sequels between this and the Zombie remakes and have a better cannon.

8              Halloween – 2007 – 109 – Anchor Bay Blu-ray Collection – 6.47 – dir. Rob Zombie – I watched this in the theater and liked it enough. I was a fan of both Halloween and House of 1000 Corpses, and Rob Zombie’s music and I wasn’t let down. It was nice to watch the film again with some air, and other people’s opinions, between the first. I think I like it more now.

9              Halloween II – 2009 – 105 – Anchor Bay Blu-ray Collection – 6.87 – dir. Rob Zombie – This was my first viewing of Rob Zombies sequel and I definitely liked it more. I think all of the difference is in Sheri Moon Zombie’s performance. Michael Myers may be the subject of the series by Sheri Moon is the drawn. What she was able to do between these two films should be considered in the better horror film performances. This is a worth sequel and is heads above the original Halloween 2.

10           Kuroneko – 1968 – 99 – Criterion Collection – 6.67 – dir. Kaneto Shindo – Several years ago I went to my local art-house theater (The Nightlite in Akron, Ohio) two watch an unrelated picture but they were gearing up for their annual Halloween picture show and there we should House and Kuroneko. Sadly, I was not able to make that screening but I ordered the disc shortly after seeing the preview. The film is a revenge fantasy after two village women are raped and killed by a squad of soldiers. Their ghosts come back to get their revenge. I strongly recommend it.

11           Sleepaway Camp – 1983 – 93 – Arrow Video – 5.00 – dir. Robert Hiltzik – Don’t watch this movie. I have come to this opinion by applying modern sensibilities to an old movie. I try to not do this but there are times when it is unavoidable. Sadly, I cannot say way because it is a massive spoiler.  As slasher flicks go it is fine. A bunch of folks are killed at a summer camp and it is all tied up nicely. The old fashions are hilarious, but the ending is deplorable and I regret watching it.

12           City of the Living Dead – 1980 – 93 – Amazon Video – 6.33 – dir. Lucio Fulci – I was about to spin up The Beyond when I found out that is was part of a trilogy and it gave me the excuse I needed to watch City of the Living Dead. This movie has a poster which I have fond memories of and it filled me with an intention to watch the movie. but I never got around to it. It’s a fine movie and I will probably watch it again sometime if there is a new transfer because the one on Amazon is ugly. I do recommend the film though.

13           The Beyond – 1981 – 87 – Grindhouse Releasing – 7.20 – dir. Lucio Fulci – I don’t recall if I have said this before but Grindhouse Releasing has never, ever, let me down. I have about half of their catalogue and really hope they announce a new project soon. But, does this effect the film? Sure, City of the Living Dead looked terrible in comparison and that modified my experience. The Beyond, as a movie, is good, quite enjoyable, and it is a great example of Fulci’s signature gore. In that aspect the flick is a great, gross out, movie.

14           Bride of Frankenstein – 1935 – 75 – Frankenstein Blu-ray Collection – 6.60 – dir. James Whale – Shudder added several of the classic Universal monster movies to their catalogue midway through the month and I gobbled them up, lazily since most of them are in a delicious boxed set. I love these movies, they are light as crisp and each has their own little magic. It had been many years since I had watched Bridge of Frankenstein (if at all, it isn’t clear) and I loved it like it was brand new.

15           The Devil’s Honey – 1986 – 99 – Severin Films – 4.73 – dir. Lucio Fulci – This was a shot in the dark based on marketing and director experience. It was also a miss. As hazy, soft, erotic, psycho-thrillers go you could certainly do worse.

16           The Invisible Man – 1933 – 71 – Universal Monsters Blu-ray Collection – 7.27 – dir. James Whale – I love this movie. I have always loved this movie. I showed it to a millennial friend of mine this year and his jaw was figuratively dropped by the effects. Mine was too, still, after watching the film as many times as I have. The Invisible Man may be my favorite of the classic Universal monster movies.

17           Popcorn – 1991 – 91 – Synapse Films – 6.47 – dir. Mark Herrier – Popcorn is a rare instance where the title is also an apt adjective for the film. The flick is a somewhat meta horror picture that exploits the horror screening tropes with smell-o-vision-centric sub-features peppering the overarching story of a revenge horror flick. Synapse Films, like Grindhouse, always delivers and they month they released a standard edition of the blu-ray and I highly recommend picking it up.

18           A Nightmare on Elm Street – 1984 – 91 – Blu-ray Collection – 6.13 – dir. Wes Craven – Are you still with me? While I have listed episode one here I watched the whole kit and caboodle, like I did with Halloween and Friday the 13th. They aren’t heavy and I can cook while they play. I enjoy these movies, but, they suffer in hi-def. Freddy’s makeup looks fake. The surrounding effects are great and the new mixture of practical with early digital FX make these films worth their salt.

19           Dracula – 1931 – 72 – Dracula Blu-ray Collection – 6.80 – dir. Tod Browning – It is a toss up between this and Frankenstein for the first “horror” movie that I watched as a youngin’. It is still very enjoyable.

20           Phantom of the Opera – 1943 – 92 – Universal Monsters – 6.00 – dir. Arthur Lubin – Phantom is still a take it or leave it film of the classic.

21           The Wolf Man – 1941 – 70 – Wolf Man Blu-ray Collection – 7.13 – dir. George Waggner – I love the Wolf Man. The fragile character Cheney plays ropes me in every time I watch it. Sadly while the transformation effects aren’t the same as The Invisible Man’s effects it looks aged.

22           Frankenstein – 1931 -71 – Frankenstein Collection – 6.47 – dir. James Whale – Love it. Recommend it.

23           The Mummy – 1932 – 73 – The Mummy Collection – 6.87 – dir. Karl Freund – While I like the movie I think I prefer the 90’s version.

24           Demon Wind – 1990 – 96 – Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray – 6.13 – dir. Charles Phillip Moore – True story, I wanted this movie but struggled to pull the trigger. Then I saw that it had a lenticular cover and that was all I needed to the demon wind to possess my fingers and order the flick directly from Vinegar Syndrome. It was dispatched quickly and devoured with haste.

This movie sites in the same vein as Evil Dead. An independent Midwestern horror flick with inexplicably good effects. ALL the money appeared to go into effects and it pays off. I highly recommend this movie.

25           Dracula’s Daughter – 1936 – 71 – Dracula Collection – 6.33 – dir. Lambert Hillyer – No mystery, it’s a sequel.

26           Blood Feast – 1963 – 67 – Herschell Gordon Lewis FEAST – 6.33 – dir. Herschell Gordon Lewis – I love HGL flicks and I wrote about there here.

27           Friday the 13th: A New Beginning – 1985 – 92 – Friday the 13th Collection – 4.47 – dir. Danny Steinmann – These are just throwbacks that I like to watch every few years. They kind of hold up but there are better options.

28           Found Footage 3D – 2016 – 108 – Shudder – 6.40 – dir. Steven DeGennaro – I am not a big fan of found footage movies but I am a fan of indie horror films. Sometimes those paths converge. Found Footage 3D is a meta horror film with real human issues and is spooky as hell. If you have Shudder you definitely should check it out. I watched the 2D version.

29           The Hidden – 1987 – 96 – Warner Archive – 6.20 – dir. Jack Sholder – I will be writing a full review of this soon but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

30           Bad Taste – 1987 – 91 – Amazon Video – 5.93 – dir. Peter Jackson – I like to watch this as often as I can stomach it (the ooze scene still gets me churning a bit). There is something a little magical watching this with friends who have the giggles. Especially watching the maestro himself jamming brain matter into his skull. I love it. I need it on Blu-ray. Please someone.

31           Rocky Horror Picture Show – This is tonight for the umpteenth time. First in a theater surrounded by costumed weirdos doing the timewarp. I am very excited and filled with antici-

For a little Halloween reading I completed my re-consumption (via audiobook) of Stephen King’s IT. Steven Weber’s Midwestern accent is a delight and I am glad to listen. For some actual on-Halloween, with eye-balls reading I re-read Warren Ellis’s FRANKENSTEIN’S WOMB. A very enjoyable 45-page comic in which Mary Shelley is haunted by a vision of the Monster telling her that she will soon tell his story. It is worth checking out.

-pation.

 

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