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October 31, 2012

Halloween has arrived, let us recap my picks for the month of October leading up to the #1 pick for all of you to watch on All Hallows Eve.

Let us begin…

OCT. 1st 

“Snakes on a Plane” – A random pick from my old DVD collection, I’m not necessarily proud that I own this movie, but I’m not embarrassed of it either. “Snakes on a Plane” is a jump out of your seat thriller, with some slimey/slithery creatures, cheesy gore, and Samuel L. Jackson speaking some of the best one liners of his career, what more could you ask?

OCT. 2nd

“Silver Bullet” – A very traditional werewolf tale, the film is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. There’s nothing new or special, the werewolf actually looks pretty dumb, almost like a bear costume. But there’s a certain 80s charm to it, perhaps it’s the presence of then 80s child star Corey Haim, or the fact that it’s about a kid going up against a monster, which was familiar territory for that era.

“Silver Bullet” available on instant Netflix.

OCT. 3rd

“Queen of Blood” – The year is 1990. An alien species makes contact with Earth through radio transmission, a rag tag group of astronauts make contact with the alien only to learn that this creature is a female green-skinned vampire from Mars. Released in 1966 “Queen of Blood” is an extremely cheesy sci-fi horror film, packed with a well-respected cast of thespians, including John Saxon (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”), Basil Rathbone (“Sherlock Holmes”), and Dennis Hopper (“Easy Rider”). It’s a silly watch with some creative production value.

“Queen of Blood” is available on Instant Netflix

OCT. 4th

“Dracula: Dead & Loving It” – Mel Brooks last directoral effort may not be his best, like the immortal classic “Young Frankenstein”, but it’s a favorably silly cult horror movie spoof, lampooning everything that is Bram Stroker’s Dracula. I especially love the movie for Leslie Neilsen doing his goofiest impression of Bela Lugosi’s version of the Count.

“Dracula: Dead & Loving It” is available on Instant Netflix

OCT. 5th

“Black Sabbath” – Three chilling tales of terror, hosted by the monster maven himself, Boris Karloff. Released in 1963 under an Italian production, “Black Sabbath” was one of the original horror anthology films around, and part of the very few who were able to get it right. Each story explores a specific kind of blood chilling horror; a ghost seeking here stolen ring, an obsessive ex-lover vying for vengeance, and a loving father who returns home a vampire, slowly turning each family member one by one. With clever use of sound, brilliant cinematography, and genuine creepiness, this movie is a top must see for the month of October.

“Black Sabbath” is available on Instant Netflix & Free Streaming on YouTube

OCT. 6th

“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” – Much like this years “Cabin in the Woods”“Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” is send up to the classic cliche’s of typical slasher films, the catch is this time around, the roles are reversed in every single way you can think. The horny teens who run in fear, decide to take a stand, and in the end turn out to be the slasher killers. Hilarious performances by Tyler Labine & Alan Tudyk in the title roles, “Tucker & Dale” is one of those cult horror-comedies you just cannot pass up on.

Now available on Instant Netflix

OCT. 7th

“Saw” – Lets not be rash, give credit where credit was somewhat due, the first “Saw” film was a great thriller, the endless sequels tainted what was an actual good movie. “Saw” borrowed elements from “Se7en”, but still had the opportunity to take things to a whole new level. Based on his short film, James Wan directs a feature length adaptation about a killer who doesn’t necessarily pull the trigger of the kills himself, but finds ways to psychologically break his victims in doing so. The theme of how you should cherish life is a recurring theme in the series of pointless sequels, but it was certainly the first “Saw” that did it right.

Oct. 8th

“Shaun of the Dead” – If this generation has a cult romantic zomedy it goes to Edgar Wright’s “Shaun of the Dead”. Perfect blend of gory scares and side splitting laughs. Simon Pegg stars and co-scripts with “Spaced” pal Wright. “Shaun…” was the feature length debut/follow-up for the BBC cult series creators of “Spaced”. It continues to be one of my favorite watches for the month of October, and is one of my favorite comedy/horror films around

Oct. 9th

“Drag Me To Hell” – In 2009, Sam Raimi released his first horror film in 17 years, and fans of the Evil Dead zen master could not have been more pleased, at least for me. “Drag Me To Hell” had all the right zings, thrills, and gross out yuck for any Evil Dead fan out there. The suspense came from the dark shadowy/sound plays, and the humor from Raimi’s classic gross-out shtick. The Evil Dead series may reign supreme standing next to this film, but it’s definitely a warm welcome for Raimi returning to genre he’s truly good at.

Oct. 10th

“The Descent” – An extremely terrifying film for one big reason, claustrophobic! Tight spaces is a big no-no for me, I hate them, I can’t stand them. The thought of being stuck in caverns miles below, not to mention being trapped with freakish cannibal humanoids, its a really mindfuck of a scary movie. It does borrow a bit of “Alien” aspects here and there, but for what it is and was when it came out, Neil Marshall’s “The Descent” was a damn good horror film. This won’t be the last Neil Marshall horror film for the month…

Oct. 11th

“Ginger Snaps” – I am a sucker for anything that has to do with werewolves. “The Wolf-Man”“American Werewolf in London”, whatever. But, “Ginger Snaps” is a whole other element of the genre. It takes a very smart approach, by making the lyncanthropy curse as a symbolism for puberty, and for this film female puberty; when a girl becomes a woman, and how dangerous that may be. “Ginger Snaps” is dark, twisted, gory, and surprisingly funny. This another one of those horror films I find myself watching every October. Such a shame that it became o bastardized cash cow of never ending direct-to-DVD sequels, still watch the 2000 original.

Oct. 12th

“Slither” – James Gunn writes/directs this slimey slasher comedy that is a perfect homage to 80s sci-fi monster horror films. Plus, we got Nathan Fillion as a leading man, what can go there? It’s equally creepy and funny, if you’ve got the stomach for this sort of thing, “Slither” is a sick time. It still makes me squirm, and bust a gut…laughing.

Now available on Instant Netflix

Oct. 13th

“Friday the 13th: Jason takes Manhattan” – The Jason movies are dog shit, but in the grand scheme of things it’s pretty fuckin’ epic. And the best of the loot goes to “Jason takes Manhattan”. It’s so fuckin’ bizarre, takes it all to the next level, it’s like “Predator 2”, but Jason Voorhees, well until the third act of the film that is. I’m not a crazed fan of the Jason films, but this one is just the right amount of awesome blossom.

Oct. 14th

“Alien” – Ridley Scott’s haunted house in space works brilliantly. The dark, gritty, ominous feel. Stomach churning violence, and a surprise at every turn. I just recently purchased “Prometheus” (the prologue to “Alien”), but nothing can really match up to the genius of “Alien”. It’s certainly one of the scariest sci-fi horror films to date and one of my top favorite films of all time.

Oct 15th

“The Woman” – Pardon my french, but this is one FUCKED UP MOVIE! Seriously, I never imagined “The Woman” would go as far as it would. I had the opportunity to watch this on Netflix instant and man oh man, was it a doozy. It tells the simple story about a a feral woman living in the woods near an isolated country home, where the bread winning father captures her, and decides, along with the families agreement, to keep her, and train her. It can only get positive from there…

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 16th

“From Dusk till Dawn” – OK, some of you might remember that I complained that Tarantino hasn’t done a horror film, yes he wrote this blood sucking thrill ride, but it’s more of a modern western w/ vamps, than a straight-laced horror film. Then again, nothing Tarantino touches is ‘straight-laced’. Nevertheless, this is a movie with supernatural elements, and it fucking rocks! With the help of “The Walking Dead” zombie-maker Greg Nicotero’s gooey, slimey, disgusting creature effects, this is a movie that I find to be a requirement to watch before Halloween. Lets face it, it’s not a scary movie, but it sure is BAD ASS!

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 17th

“The Omega Man” – Based on the novel by Richard Matheson, you may know that book entitled as “I Am Legend”. “I Am Legend” has been (re)adapted three times, first came the Vincent Price starrer “The Last Man On Earth” and the 2007 Will Smith blockbuster taking on the title of the book itself. But, this version I find to be the more superior version. Robert Neville is an army doctor, left to be the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. The plague caused by the war has killed everyone else except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people calling themselves ‘The Family’. The movie takes an interesting route about man vs. technology, being that ‘The Family’ despise science, Robert is a man of science, and believes it’s the key to saving the world. It’s a scary movie, because we’ve come so dangersouly close to a catastrophe like complete biological warfare.

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 18th

“Killer Klowns from Outer Space” – Oh c’mon people, you know this is like a must watch for not just October, but really, for ANYTIME you feel like letting loose. It’s the perfect movie for letting your brain into mush. “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” is an amusing throw back to B-Movie stupidty of the worst kind. But there’s a certain charm and disturbance about a movie with fuckin’ ugly clown creatures, turning people into cotton candy victims. When I was younger, these creeps used to scare the hell out of me.

Now available on Instant Netflix & Streaming on YouTube.

Oct 19th

“C.H.U.D.” – Before “Home Alone 1 & 2”, John Heard & Daniel Stern starred in this midnight maddness of a horror film about NY’s homeless being turned into cannibalistic humanoid monsters. It’s not as violent or as extreme as I remembered it, but revisiting this 80’s classic is interesting in a few ways. More importanly though, the movie has a provactive commentary on the homeless, out of work people, recession, and so on. Still, those humanoid cannibals crack me up.

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 20th

“Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”  Michael Rooker stars in this ultra-chilling account about Henry, a killer who’s inspired by the crimes of Henry Lee Lucas. The movie takes disturbing routes with it’s characters, leaving you feeling violated, distrubed, and down right dirty. The iconic video tape scene will leave you chills, more than “A Clockwork Orange” ever could have.

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 21st

“The House on Haunted Hill” (1959 version) – Vincent Price, the king of creepy goth, stars in this psychological thriller about a bunch of L.A. folks offered a chance to win some cold-hearted cash to stay in a haunted house for one night and stay alive to tell the tale. Not everything is what it seems, shadows lurk everywhere. He’s really controlling the scares? While the movie maybe cheesy it contains itself with some minding numbing sequences of it’s terrified supporting players.

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 22nd

“Dog Soldiers” – I told you I’d be bringing up Neil Marshall (“The Descent”) again. “Dog Soldiers” is a B-movie story, but is presented in a gritty, realistic matter. A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness, when a military squadron is being hunted down by a pack of werewolves. Tense camera work, quasi-“Evil Dead” esq, and some fantastic werewolf visual efx, makes this another fantastic werewolf movie watch.

Oct 23rd

“The Dead Zone” – This week I’ll discuss some Cronenberg maddness, starting off with the psychological thriller “The Dead Zone”. Starring Christopher Walken, playing a man who’s been gifted with the power to see into the future of any person he touches, but he’s darken with a gift that has him see a future riddled with life and death. The movie combines nails it fromt he get with it’s taut direction from director David Cronenberg and and a performance from Christopher Walken that is so rich in pathos, it’s hard not to say that this movie is by far one of the best Stephen King adaptation. Oh yah, in case you forgot, this was based on a Stephen King book.

Oct 24th

“The Fly” – Cronenberg weeks continues, with “The Fly”. A remake of the 1958 Vincent Price starrer, only this time, the transformation of the fly is treated as a disease or a virus. Fitting, since the time this film came out in America, AIDS was a big headline. The sexual power Seth yearns for in the film, along with the sickly transformation he endures all have a common parallel to AIDS in America. An interesting subtle message Cronenberg devises, if you ask me. Jeff Goldblum’s ticking performances is also enough for any person, I think, to watch this fantastic freaky movie.

Oct 25th

“Videodrome” – Cronenberg shines again this week, in this twisted cult classic, starring James Woods. The film follows the CEO of a small cable station who stumbles upon a broadcast signal featuring extreme violence and torture. The layers of deception and mind-control conspiracy unfold as he uncovers the signal’s source and loses touch with reality in a series of increasingly bizarre and violently organic hallucinations.Vagina stomach, anybody? Anybody? 

Oct 26th

“Cannibal Holocaust”  Now THIS is dangerous filmmaking at it’s finest. Directed by Ruggero Deodat, “Cannibal Holocaust” was filmed in the Amazon Rainforest with REAL indigenous tribes interacting with both the American and Italian actors of the film. It tells the story of a missing documentary crew who had gone to the Amazon to film cannibal tribes. A rescue mission, led by the NYU anthropologist Dr. Harold Monroe,recovers the film crew’s lost film. An American television station wants to broadcast everything that was shot. Upon viewing the reels, Dr. Monroe is appalled by the team’s questionable actions. Fun fact, all the dead animals in the film were tortured and filled by the actual crew, everyone was charged for animal cruelity. It’s a hard movie to find, but I found the whole thing on YouTube if any of you are brave enough to watch it.

Oct 27th

“Evil Dead 2″ – Easily goes on a list for being one of the top best movie sequels ever. The first “Evil Dead” accomplished what little horror films ever could do, genuinely creep you out and disgust you all at the same time. However, it’s sequel decided to try something a little different, by combining the similar tactics of the first film with a dash of Three Stooges-style slapstick humor. Blend that all together, along with Bruce Campbell’s memorable performance, and you’ve got a cult classic for the ages. GROOVY!

Oct 28th

“The Wolf-Man” – Nothing beats a classic Universal monster flick, and in my honest opinion, “The Wolf-Man” is the best one. The age old tale of man fighting the internal beast within was written by the legendary Curt Siodmak and directed by George Waggner. It stars a cast of horror legends, featuring Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Béla Lugosi, Maria Ouspenskaya, and of course Lon Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot aka. The Wolf Man.

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 29th

“An American Werewolf in London” – The tagline for the original poster [which I currently own] sums it up perfectly; ‘FROM THE DIRECTOR OF “ANIMAL HOUSE”, COMES A DIFFERENT KIND OF ANIMAL.’ John Landis makes his forte into the horror genre, and successfully comes out of it in a high cult loving status. This little werewolf tale returns to the roots of old school Universal monster-esq storytelling, with a blend of new-age (for it’s time) black humor. Landis’ gives us the perfect balance of thrills, chills, and laughs in every which way. David’s recently undead pal Jack continues to return decaying more and more, warning him to kill himself before the next full moon. It’s one of my favorite movies ever and the tip top of my all time favorite horror films list. Besides, it literally has the GREATEST werewolf transformation ever conceived on the celluloid.

Now available on Instant Netflix

Oct 3oth

“John Carpenter’s The Thing” – Closer and closer to Halloween I some how find myself watching “The Thing”. In closing tying with “The Evil Dead”, “The Thing” is one my all time favorite horror films. The visuals are beyond epic, the cast is pitch perfect playing off one another in this cold, parnoia setting, and the tension in this film over succeeds modern horror films any day of the week. You want bone chilling, disgusting, hide under your sheets scares, watch “The Thing”…John Carpenter’s that is.

Now available on Instant Netflix.

Oct 31st

“Trick ‘r Treat” – HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! So today’s the day I announce the official movie you must watch on all Hallows Eve. For many years, John Carpenter’s “Halloween” was always the must watch movie for horror fans on this particular night. But, in 2009, Michael Dougherty’s little film, “Trick ‘r Treat” started earning notoriety, when it was in trouble with Warner Bros, by not getting the proper release it deserved. So the movie went on tour, and word of mouth began to spread. Now, every year this ode to the holiday continues to find popularity. The movie is broken up into four stories, all intertwining between one another in the small town it’s set in. Think of it as a horror version “Pulp Fiction”. The best story in my opinion is the last one, with the old man, but really they’re all fantastic. WATCH THIS MOVIE TONIGHT! You won’t regret it. And again…HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
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