Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Halloween. Show all posts

Friday, October 22, 2021

Kiddie-Horror Watch: Return to Oz (1985)

noticing the poster makers realized they needed to not tell everyone their favorites aren't really in the movie



Watched:  10/21/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Walter Murch


I am categorizing this movie as a kid's horror movie, because (a) that's how Jamie, who has seen it, pitched it to me, and (b) this is a horror movie.  Starring and for kids.  I don't know if that's what anyone set out to make, but that's what it is.  Dorothy returns to a post-apocalyptic Oz where everyone is "dead", and she's pursued relentlessly by murderous creatures.  This is AFTER she's almost given experimental shock treatment to make her forget Oz.  There's a headless woman and her cabinetry of de-capitated heads she can wear who is going to enslave Dorothy for future decapitation.  Dorothy's then put into some weirdo Saw type situation and has to outmaneuver the guy playing with her life.  

All of which would be fine - kids can take a lot - except that the movie is joyless and a slog.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Hallow-Scream Watch: Killer Workout/ Aerobicide (1987)




Watched:  10/21/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's (so, so 1980's)
Director:  

A few weeks ago, tweeter Dr. PopCulture BGSU posted a picture or two from a movie of which I'd never before heard discussed, Killer Workout (1987), and I vowed to watch this movie at some point.  Well, our own JimD decided, YES, we would both see this movie, and so a copy showed up in the mail.  

I am genuinely supportive of the genre film preservation going on in weird little corners.  There's basically no reason anyone should work to preserve and distribute Killer Workout.  It's a very low-budget film with no bankable stars, bad cinematography, as wobbly a plot as you're going to find, and zero logic.  Sort of.  But.  Movies like this were an important part of the cinema world for a long time, and they've mostly disappeared as VHS players and tapes have headed to the bin.  It's weird that we may lose a lot of movies because of dedication to a format.

Olive Films is a newer but growing distribution company doing good work out there, bringing a wide range of film types to the market - from respectable classic film to.... Killer Workout.  They seem really cool and I need to spend more time reviewing their catalog.  I would LOVE to know more about their efforts to preserve and distribute films - but I have a lot of questions about their presentation of Killer Workout.  It *seems* like they had an idea to not just get the movie out there, but retain some of the VHS experience.  

JLC Hallow-Watch: Halloween Kills (2021)




Watched:  10/20/2021
Format:  Peacock
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  David Gordon Greene


SPOILERS

So, this isn't a movie, it's the second act of a three part film about Michael Myers and the residents of Haddonfield.  Maybe the third part of a 4 part film, if you want to think of the 1978 film as the prelude.  

I haven't read anything about the movie as I was trying to avoid spoilers, but it's got a very low reviewer rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which... fair enough.  Horror sequels usually stand alone, using some of the same characters.  But, much like Halloween 2 from the 1980's (now erased in this continuity), this chapter acts more as an extension of the prior film.  Halloween 2 picked up as Laurie Strode was whisked away to a hospital and Myers tracked her down.  This one does similar - picking up from the end moments of Halloween 2018 on the same truck ride where we left the Strode women.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

FRIDAY Watch Party - THE WOLF MAN! (insert howl sound here)




Universal kept putting out horror films after Bride of Frankenstein, and would hit it big again - zeitgeistwise - with The Wolf Man in 1941.  

No, he does not look like a dog or wolf, he absolutely looks like a guy with a glandular problem and in need of a dentist.  But that's not the real terror of the film.  It's a movie about curses and bad luck.  And trying to convince people that Claude Raines could have fathered Lon Chaney Jr.  (Mrs. Wolf Man must have been 7'3").  

Still, it's a fun picture and perfect for the days leading up to Halloween!

 
Day:  Friday 10/22/2021
Time:  8:30 PM Central/ 6:30 PM Pacific
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Cost:  $3 - $4

LINK HERE ON FRIDAY TO WATCH (link up 15 minutes to showtime)

also - announcing SIGNAL WATCH NOIRVEMBER




The Universal Monsters Hallow-Scream Watch Party series is meant to be a casual good-time as we check out the run of horror movies that started with Dracula and have become staples of culture the world over!  Everyone knows what these monsters look and act like, but it's probable most people haven't ever actually seen the movies they're in!  So, come watch!  

Starting just two years after the silent era, these movies quickly became the blockbusters of their day, bringing strange ideas most people hadn't considered, wild visuals, and complicated creatures to the screen.  And, ever since, studios have been looking to recapture this particular lightning in a bottle.

We think you'll enjoy watching along and checking out the creepfest that is Universal Horror!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Vincent Price Watch: The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)




Watched:  10/17/2021
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1960's
Director:  Roger Corman

It is insane that I've never watched this movie.   With Corman directing, Vincent Price starring and a set-up that would become classic and - as Jamie pointed out - feels positively Bond-ian, it's a fun watch.  

It's a period piece, sometime during the Spanish inquisition (don't ask me when.  They're wearing those frilly collars I think of as 16th Century), and the events are around fallout of the Inquisition.  It's a genuinely screwed up story, maybe more thriller than horror, but there are genuine moments of creepiness and chills here and there, which I frankly wasn't expecting.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

PODCAST: "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) & (2004) - Halloween 2021 - Horror Sequels w/ SimonUK and Ryan


 
Watched:  08/25 & 08/31/2021
Format:  YouTube and Amazon
Viewing:  at least second for both
Decade:  1970's and 2000's
Director:  George Romero and Zack Snyder



SimonUK and Ryan celebrate Halloween by taking a bite out of the sequel to the zombie movie that started it all, and which some consider the most delicious of the genre. We also discuss the 21st Century reanimation of the same idea. Join us for a Halloween horror discussion fit to wake the dead.




Music:
L'alba dei morti viventi - Goblin, Dawn of the Dead/ Zombi Soundtrack
What the World Needs Now (Is Love, Sweet Love) - Burt Bacharach


Halloween 2021 Playlist!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Halloween Watch Party: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)




Watched:  10/15/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1930's
Director:  James Whale

My friends, I have watched this movie so many times and talked about it so much, I am sure you are sick of it.  But we had a grand old time watching it together for a Watch Party!

So, annual viewing of Bride of Frankenstein, complete!




Friday, October 15, 2021

This Friday 08/15 - Hallow-Scream Watch Party: "The Bride of Frankenstein"



If you've never seen Bride of Frankenstein, it's not really what you think it is.  It's way, way weirder than whatever you had in mind.  

But mostly - It's shockingly modern in its attitudes, mix of humor and horror and pathos.  It ALSO has some #MeToo-level messaging that is so utterly core to the film, that after seeing it, you will be able to spot with absolute certainty someone who co-opted the film's iconography without ever seeing the film itself.  

Come for amazing sets, stunning costumes, high camp, sad monsters and a movie that does it all in about 85 minutes.  Plus, you know, see The Monster drinking booze and smoking a cigar.  

also - announcing SIGNAL WATCH NOIRVEMBER


SCHEDULE

Day:  October 15 - Friday
Time:   8:30 PM Central/ 6:30 Pacific
 

Cost:  $4




The Universal Monsters Hallow-Scream Watch Party series is meant to be a casual good-time as we check out the run of horror movies that started with Dracula and have become staples of culture the world over!  Everyone knows what these monsters look and act like, but it's probable most people haven't ever actually seen the movies they're in!  So, come watch!  

Starting just two years after the silent era, these movies quickly became the blockbusters of their day, bringing strange ideas most people hadn't considered, wild visuals, and complicated creatures to the screen.  And, ever since, studios have been looking to recapture this particular lightning in a bottle.

We think you'll enjoy watching along and checking out the creepfest that is Universal Horror!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Halloween Watch: The Blob (1988)




Watched:  10/13/2021
Format:  NBC Peacock
Viewing:  Second (maybe third)
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Chuck Russell

So, for some time, my pals who are horror fiends have been saying to me "have you ever seen the 1980's Blob remake?" and I've said "yes" and they say "did you like it?" and I laugh, and say "it was fine, but I haven't seen it since it first hit VHS."  And then they say "well, you have to rewatch it."

What I failed to ask was "but why?"

Circa 1989, I did watch The Blob remake on VHS.  I recall it was my brother and me during the summer, and we called Kevin Dillon "Rocky the Reckless Driver", laughed a lot about his mullet (which has to be a crazy wig) and, at the time, felt it was an okay movie, but not great.  

Friends, I need some feedback in the comments, because my takeaway from rewatching The Blob (1988) is that it's an okay movie, but not great.

I genuinely don't know if this movie was kidding or not.  It's not funny enough to be a straight up horror satire, but it does do some things I quite liked.  Now knowing more about horror films when I first saw it - I'm still not sure if the filmmakers were being "edgy" or - possibly - subverting audience expectations.  Like, they just bump off all sorts of people who would have been the survivors in other films.  The good-hearted football player, the waitress, the sheriff... a kid!  It's wild.

It also has a certain attempt at Last Starfighter folksiness for our hero, Rocky the Reckless Driver and The Cheerleader (I cannot recall her character's name but the actress is Shawnee Smith who is still very active).  People are very small town and folksy.  As the town's Bad Boy, Rocky the Reckless Driver sure is a problem for the Sheriff.  After all, he has a bad attitude!  Again - I have no idea if the movie is kidding or not about this character.  Or the attitudes of the town.

Anyway, the effects are good for a 1988-era mid-budget sci-fi film, and they don't screw around with much in the way of sideplots.  Instead, using what seem like side-plot set-ups that should go someplace else as a red-herring so you don't think certain people will be consumed by Mr. Blob.  

I also don't get how a Blob that can't tolerate cold was matured in space. But that is not for me to know.  But I do like the pivot and plot twist that this was a government experiment gone wrong versus a rogue asteroid.  I'm not sure it actually impacts anything, but you feel less bad when the containment suited government agents start getting et.

Anyway, you people have been telling me this movie is great.  It's okay!  So, lemme know what you love about it.  

It can't be that good.  It doesn't have a rockin' theme song like the original.



Sunday, October 10, 2021

HALLOWEEN PODCAST: "Psycho II" (1983) - a Horror Movie Sequels Spooktacular! w/ SimonUK and Ryan




Watched:  08/05/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Richard Franklin



Simon and Ryan go nuts talking the second and unexpected installment in the adventures of a boy who is maybe a little too close with his mother. We're reminded the 80's weren't that much after the 60's as Stormin' Norman returns back to Casa Bates to start over and maybe enjoy his role as a motel entrepreneur. Could things go wrong? Hey, let's not get crazy here.




Music:
Psycho II Score by Jerry Goldsmith


Halloween 2021 - Horror Sequels Playlist

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Halloween Interaction Watch: Frankenstein (1932)




Watched:  10/08/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1930's
Director:  James Whale

My friend, I am not writing up Frankenstein again.  Here's all the stuff about Frankenstein on this blog.

Here's SimonUK and me talking about the film during last year's Halloween podcast.


Action-Ween Watch: Blade (1998)




Watched:  10/07/2021
Format:  HBOmax, I think
Viewing:  Fourth?  5th?
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Stephen Norrington

So.

I saw Blade (1998) the first time in a theater full of people who had apparently had a LOT of sugar.  It was one of the theaters in town at the time where there was a higher than likely chance people would talk at the screen, and that was fine by me for a movie about Wesley Snipes killing 90's sexy vampires.  

Mostly I remember at the end of the opening sequence, the place went crazy.  Like after a killer guitar solo at a concert.  I mean - Traci Lords at a rave as a vampire and then blood sprinklers at the drop, followed by Blade tearing the place up?  Yes sir.  

I was never really able to separate the fun I had watching the film from whether the film was actually "good", but sometimes a movie is "good" because you had a great time watching it.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Friday Oct. 8th - Hallow-Scream Watch Party: Frankenstein (1932)



I'm going to be honest with y'all:  Frankenstein (1932) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) are two of my favorite films of all time.  If you can, join us for both showings (schedule below) so you can get the complete package of the journey of Henry Frankenstein.  

This movie has thrills, chills, laughs and some amazing sets.  And try to imagine what this looked like in 1932 to people who had probably not seen anything like it.  


Day:  Friday, October 8
Time:  8:30 Central, 6:30 Pacific
Format:  Amazon Watch Party 
Cost:  $4.00



8:30 PM Central/ 6:30 Pacific for all shows!

October 1 -   Dracula (1931)
October  8 -  Frankenstein (1932)
October 15 - Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
October 22 - The Wolfman (1941)
October 29 - Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)




The Universal Monsters Hallow-Scream Watch Party series is meant to be a casual good-time as we check out the run of horror movies that started with Dracula and have become staples of culture the world over!  Everyone knows what these monsters look and act like, but it's probable most people haven't ever actually seen the movies they're in!  So, come watch!  

Starting just two years after the silent era, these movies quickly became the blockbusters of their day, bringing strange ideas most people hadn't considered, wild visuals, and complicated creatures to the screen.  And, ever since, studios have been looking to recapture this particular lightning in a bottle.

We think you'll enjoy watching along and checking out the creepfest that is Universal Horror!

DCU Animated Watch: Batman - The Long Halloween (2021)




Watched:  Part 1 - 10/02, Part 2 - 10/03
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Chris Palmer

I've not kept it a secret that I haven't thought all that much of the narratives of DC Animated films in several years.  There's been some winners, and some mediocre stuff, and a certain bit of leaning in to the "edge-tacular" stuff that was kicked off by Flashpoint.  

Hence, I haven't really wanted to give anyone any money to watch any of the animated features.  I've paid for a Superman and Wonder Woman movie here and there, and I know I caught a Bat-film or two, but none of it knocked my socks off.  Including some adaptations of some favorite stories straight from the comics.

More out of curiosity than anything, Jamie and I decided to check out Batman: The Long Halloween (2021) on HBOmax.  She also read the comic maybe 15 years ago, so we both had a bit of knowledge about what to expect.  

Frankly, for me, it's probably also been 15 years since I read the book, and so my memory of it, while extremely positive, is wound up with Dark Victory and I don't know what happened in what anymore (ie:  was Dick Grayson in Long Halloween or no?).

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Halloween Watch: Halloween (2018)




Watched:  10/05/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  David Gordon Greene

When I heard David Gordon Greene, Danny McBride and Jamie Lee Curtis were involved, for once, I was not skeptical of a new installment in the Halloween franchise.  

Look, I am sure seeing - and thoroughly enjoying - the original Halloween when I was fourteen means I can't really be objective about that 1978 film.  I was already roughly a fan of Curtis in 1989 when I saw it, and the movie is - for this blogger - the platonic ideal of a slasher horror film.  In many ways - after Halloween, you either up your game or what's the point?  

Like Meyers the character, the 1978 movie itself is a single-minded shark, moving forward and striking.  It's fatless meat and bone, giving just enough character to Laurie Strode and her friends to make you actually care when kitchen knives get deployed.  And, of course, we only get the crucial details about Michael.  The horrifying incident as a child that indicates how broken he is, and then Loomis letting us know:  "oh, yeah, he's bugfuck crazy.  We need to stop this maniac."  (That's his doctor.) provides a villain who simply is.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Halloween Price Watch: House of Wax (1953)




Watched:  10/04/2021
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  Third
Decade:  1950's
Director:  AndrĂ© De Toth

I knew I'd seen this one again in recent years, and here's that post from 2012.  The one thing I'd walk back from that post is - yeah, this is necessary viewing.  I dig it.  You should watch it.

The movie has a terrific cast, great sets, really good make-up and costuming.  It feels high budget (I genuinely don't know if the listed $1 million budget was high or not.  I see Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, that same year, was $2.3 million, for comparison, and that movie looks super expensive.).  But, House of Wax made that budget back twenty-times over, including a couple of re-releases, one in the 70's.

The movie was also originally in 3D, and one day, maybe Alamo Drafthouse will show this in 3D.  That would be great.  I mean:  it's got an extended paddle-ball sequence that demands to be seen in 3D.  

Sunday, October 3, 2021

PODCAST: "Halloween 2" (1981) and "Halloween 3" (1982) - a Halloween Sequels PodCast w/ Simon and Ryan




Watched:  07/27 + 28/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First on both
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Rick Rosenthal/ Tommy Lee Wallace



Simon and Ryan delve into the sequels of some Halloween and horror greats, returning to the scene of the crime with a mix of technology and magic! Join us as we discuss the follow ups to a bona fide classic - one a direct sequel and one a terrific deviation from the formula! Plus: ATKINS. Come spend a spooktacular hour with your two (g)hosts, in a continuation of a Halloween series!




Music
Three More Days to Halloween - based on London Bridge - I'll blame the screenwriter
Halloween II Theme - John Carpenter w/ Alan Howarth
Halloween III Theme - John Carpenter w/ Alan Howarth


Halloween 2021 Playlist

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Halloween Watch: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1932)




Watched:  10/01/2021
Format:  TCM
Viewing:  Unknown.  Third?
Decade:  1930's
Director:  Rouben Mamoulian

Because this movie was released via Paramount versus Universal, it hasn't quite got the same visibility as the Universal Horror films over the past 90 years.  You don't see Hyde cavorting with Creatch or Drac.  He's a bad fit if Frankenstein or the Wolfman are looking for a scrap.  But he's still crucial to the movement of horror films, pushing special effects and getting top performances out of the cast (and it looks AMAZING.  The sets in this thing...).  

Based upon a novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, Paramount took the production seriously, and it wound up nominated for Academy Awards, and March took home the statue for Best Actor.  And - I'll argue - he deserves it.  And he film deserves accolades for design and effects alongside the Universal films, even if nothing about this movie goes in for gigantic gothic sets.  Plus, there's some fascinating POV work in the film, putting us in Jekyll's place seemingly to make a point.  

Friday, October 1, 2021

Friday Hallow-Scream Watch Party: DRACULA (1931)


This Friday we kick off our Universal Monsters Hallow-Scream Watch Party 

Join us as we watch one of the movies that launched a movement!  It's not the first, or even the best, but it's certainly one that was a MONSTER hit and solidified Dracula as a pop culture figure for a century to come.  

Come find out what movies, plays, cartoons and candy mascots have been ripping off for 90 years!  Behold:  spooky armadillos, rubber bats, boring virgins, terrific cinematography and Dwight Frye just freaking out the squares.

Day:  Friday, October 1
Time:  8:30 Central, 6:30 Pacific
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Cost:  $4.00



8:30 PM Central/ 6:30 Pacific for all shows!

October 1 -   Dracula (1931)
October  8 -  Frankenstein (1932)
October 15 - Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
October 22 - The Wolfman (1941)
October 29 - Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)




The Universal Monsters Hallow-Scream Watch Party series is meant to be a casual good-time as we check out the run of horror movies that started with Dracula and have become staples of culture the world over!  Everyone knows what these monsters look and act like, but it's probable most people haven't ever actually seen the movies they're in!  So, come watch!  

Starting just two years after the silent era, these movies quickly became the blockbusters of their day, bringing strange ideas most people hadn't considered, wild visuals, and complicated creatures to the screen.  And, ever since, studios have been looking to recapture this particular lightning in a bottle.

We think you'll enjoy watching along and checking out the creepfest that is Universal Horror!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Elvira Watch: "Elvira - Mistress of the Dark" (1988) - part of "Elvira's 40th Anniversary Very Scary, Very Special Special"

Just in time for Halloween!



Watched:  09/28/2021
Format:  Shudder
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  James Signorelli

Well, it's now an annual thing that I watch Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988).  So, I won't belabor y'all with yet another pondering of the film. 

This year, Cassandra Peterson is marking 40 years in the dress as Elvira, originally a late-night horror hostess character that somehow has spun out into a cultural icon.  These days, Peterson does conventions, co-owns/ed a convention, does talk-shows, cooking shows, whatever it takes to pay the bills - including selling comics in which her character partakes in comedically spooky adventures (currently at Dynamite).  And! she's got fashion lines, shops and a bit of a merchandising empire.

She also just turned 70, and released a tell-all biography that is sitting on my coffee table.  Recently she's been a hit on talk shows making the rounds plugging the book as it contained the revelation she hasn't been single in 19 years (which I couldn't personally figure out) as she's partnered up with a lady friend.  It's all been very buzzy in a very positive way.  


One of those films - Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.  So, yeah, it's a heavy serving of meta wrapped in a meta tortilla.   She's still every bit herself after a small stretch of time away from the divan (but not the internet), and so it's great to have her joining you for the movies.  

Honestly, I could never sort out why one of the streaming services didn't do this forever ago.  It just makes sense as a format.  And, if anything, Elvira is maybe more popular now with people willing to spend money on her than at any time in the past three decades.  She genuinely has generations of fans after 40 years.  I guess Shudder finally did the math on that.

Still, only four movies!  And who knows if Peterson will want to do it again.  She sounds very ready to not have to put on the outfit anymore, and I don't blame her.  So, maybe she'll go animated, try again to find a replacement, or figure something else out.  Whatever she wants to do, I'm good with it.

In the meantime, get the Shudder App.  There's a free week of trial, and you can probably blaze through her show in that time.