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Horror Movie A Day: Redux - FAIL!

Hi there.

A Couple of years ago, I watched a horror movie a day in the month of October, and wrote my thoughts. Check it out here, if you're curious I had a lot of fun doing it.

I'm thinking of doing this again, but I'd like some feedback.

You see, nowadays I have 2 kids instead of one, the youngest is just under 3 months old. Add to that the fact that I am going back to school and working 40+ hours a week... Well, it could be a challenge.

So what I'm asking from you is to help me decide what's "fair". A whole movie would be tough. But to watch a single horror anime episode, or an episode of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' seems like cheating. Would two episodes do? A 45-minute minimum, maybe?

And what about other media? Video games? A short story? Would these be interesting things to cover in a "Horror Thang A Day" type series?

I appreciate your indulgence, everyone.

Two Val Lewton movies on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow morning: "The Body Snatcher" (1945) and "Isle of the Dead" (1945).  Just sayin.

Love the "Asylum" review.  ;D

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Movie for 10/8/09 - "Dolly Dearest" (1991)

"Baha Barbie Gone Wild" is how In Deamand tried to sell this movie.

Gross stereotypes about Mexico and it's people that would never fly today, is what it offers.

So a disgustingly yuppie family moves to mexico to fire up a doll factory. Ancient demon girl is awakened...

You do the math on this one. One part "Child's Play", one part "Exorcist" a metric ton of boring. I am not on a winning streak this year...

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These don't classify as horror movies, and I don't know why syfy is playing them as part of the 31 days of Halloween, but....

Meteor (1979) with Sean Connery and Natalie Wood. "scientists detect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and struggle with international, cold war politics in their efforts to prevent disaster." Pretty humorous...The only good part about it was the "music" that went along with the meteor's  movement, and the rocket missile things they send out to destroy it.

Atomic Twister (2002) with Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved By the Bell's Zach). "The plot revolves around a series of tornadoes that damage a nuclear reactor in a small town in western Tennessee, in turn causing a near-meltdown at the plant." This is up there with my picks for worst movie (with Dreamcatcher). It's a made for tv movie, so.... It has nothing good. It's not even stupid good. It's just dumb and boring, with nothing ever really happening.

Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York (2006) "Illegal experimentation accidentally rips open a previously unknown hidden magma reserve directly under Manhattan! " Another made for tver. I'm still watching it, but I don't see it getting too much better. There were at least some intestines and burned faces. It's better than the other two.

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Movie for 10/10/09 – Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror (2006)

As ridiculous as it may seem, I am starting to trust Snoop Dogg’s name when it pops up in conjunction with horror.

First, there was “Bones”. A pretty standard supernatural stalker/slasher flick that, for the first two acts, was rather effective. I’d even call it good. Of course the third act got completely ridiculous and almost squandered the entirety of the goodwill accumulated by the beginning of the film, but still… I walked away from that one entertained and feeling no ill will when to came to Snoop and horror.

Now we have “Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror”. A decidedly sillier attempt at horror, it gains bonus points out of the gate for being an anthology. Three separate tales and an animated wraparound background/exposition thing. And a vomiting demon midget.  Again, bonus points have been awarded.

As you’d expect from the title, the stories are “urban”-themed, and as you’d expect from Snoop Dogg, the stories focus heavily on street life and music. None of the stories are particularly, hmmm… what’s the word? Good. Yes. None of the stories are good, but at least they're not awful. They are educational, however. It’s a veritable clinic of swearing. If you’re looking for new and exciting uses for profanity, here is a film for you.

The shortcomings of the stories are also made up for by the special effects and creative kills. Death by 40 oz., an exploding Chihuahua and a vacuum cleaner full of caviar… You can tell the effects crew had fun with this one. You can tell everyone had fun. IT’s all very over the top and knows it. So again, we see a crummy movie resued by a sense of humor and – most importantly – a sense of fun.

Because scaring people is hard. And if you realize your project isn’t going to get the job done on a primal level, it’s time to turn things around and have fun with the project. IT can do wonders for how a film plays out.

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Movie for 10/11/09 – “The Headless Ghost” (1959)

Well, okay then. “The Headless Ghost”. An…. Interesting effort, to be sure.

The plot involves 3 college students. 2 of them don’t believe in ghosts, because America doesn’t have any. Yes, that is the official reason given by the movie. The other does believe in ghosts, because she is from Norway. These three are in England, visiting tourists sites, when they decide to stay at one particular castle because it’s owner says there are definitely ghosts. And it would make a great story for the student paper.

In California.

To say things are a little jumbled up in this movie would be accurate. To say the whole thing’s a bit of a boring mess, would also be accurate. It’s light-hearted enough. Younger kids could watch this, no problem. The thing is, it feels like less of a ghost story than a silly excuse to get extra usage out of some period costumes. For all the talk of ghosts and torture chambers, there’s a whole lot of socializing going on, which leads us to the headless ghost himself, and why he must get his head back.

Plus there’s a dance number.

The whole affair is rather silly and dated. If you’re in a mood for cheesy, toothless Halloween fun, I guess this could fit the bill.

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We watched movies pretty much all day on Sunday. Most were a bit more like thrillers, but still kinda horror. I'll just list them with descriptors, and give them a rating of 1(horrid)-5(prettydarngood)

Rise: Blood Hunter (2007) with Lucy Liu-"a female reporter wakes up in a morgue to find herself a member of the undead. She vows revenge against the sect that put her there and hunts them down." I'd give this a 4.5.

The Dark (2005)
"In mourning over the tragic drowning of their daughter Sarah, James and Adèle are visited by Ebrill, a young girl who claims she died 60 years ago ... and bares a startling resemblance to Sarah." This dragged on, but wasn't bad. 4

The Descent (2005) "A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators." This was pretty freaking weird, but horrific. It was confusing, because it was so dark. 4.5

Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009) "A young man with the power to time travel attempts to solve the mystery of his girlfriend's death." I saw the original a few years ago, but I couldn't remember it. This is incredibly confusing, but ok for what it is. 4

All pretty good!

Identity was on after that, and I have seen that. It's a good one, too.

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CRASH! BANG!

That's the sound of me falling down on the job.

Seriously, though. LAst night, while I had no class (har!) due to the holiday, I still found myself neck deep in school projects, lab assignments and an upcoming midterm... Plus, getting dinner ready and two girls ready for bed. I just couldn't take time out for a movie. And so it goes...

I still plan on watching movies when I can, and I'll post some thoughts here during the month if y'all would like.

But the one-a-day treatment, unfortunately has to creep into the night...

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OH WHY have I missed this up til now? Such an awesome idea, I love the reviews, thanks so much ais! I hope you aren't too stressed and can still enjoy some more horror films this month. I am really seriously considering doing this myself next year...

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OH WHY have I missed this up til now? Such an awesome idea, I love the reviews, thanks so much ais! I hope you aren't too stressed and can still enjoy some more horror films this month. I am really seriously considering doing this myself next year...

Go for it!

I managed to find time for a movie this weekend...

“Big Bad Wolf” (2006)

So how often have you been sitting around, watching a werewolf movie when you think to yourself, “Y’know what his movie needs? More rape!”

I’m guessing not that often. For myself, I can say with one-hundred percent certainty that werewolf rape has never been a thing I’ve hankered for in my horror film. Which is why I think I was so horrified (not in the good way) and shocked about the amount of casual rape present in “Big Bad Wolf”. Sure, there is an element of repressed sexuality associated with all of mankind’s greatest monsters. Thoughtful (if not eye-rolling) examinations of the werewolf mythos are possible. Look at ‘Wolf’ or ‘In The Company of Wolves’. They may be bad, but there is at least thought put into representing the elements of sexuality, lust and repression.

But ‘Big Bad Wolf”? No subtlety here. Even with out the werewolf rape, there is a lot of sexual baggage just dangling out there, including a protagonist who blames the rape victim, and we’re supposed to sympathize with his point of view. It’s all very tacky and weird. Just like having a rapist werewolf who spouts one-liners like Freddy Krueger. Yes, talking, wise-cracking werewolf.

It’d be easy to dismiss this one as just sleazy trash if it didn’t do some things right, however. The gore is awesome. Practical effects all the way. The attacks look great. There is some genuine tension built in some scenes that actually works and gets you interested in the movie… before it does something dumb and leaves you scratching your head. The acting is even above average, and surprisingly our rapist werewolf manages to gain a shred of sympathy and humanity towards the end of the film… before transforming, casually raping and making jokes.

‘Big Bad Wolf’ is an odd duck of a film. Part competent, part inept and 100% full of issues to keep armchair psychologist guessing about the private lives of the writers and director. Too awful (in several ways) to truly enjoy, but to strange to miss… Watch at your own risk.

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Go grab a copy of 'Trick 'r Treat' (no, not the one with Skippy from Family Ties).

You will not regret it.

Unless you're a scaredy baby who hates Halloween. :P

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I watched a scary movie sunday, I can't remember the name though.  Demon something.......
these kids have a halloween party at a funeral home and turn into zombies

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Lake Dead: Bad, annoying characters, but entertaining..

Timber Falls: I've actually seen this one twice. It's pretty ok.

Flu bird horror: Really, really bad. Not good.

Splinter: I don't even know what was going on.

An American Haunting: Supposedly based on a true story. Eh. It was ok.

Stephen King's Rose Red: All parts! This was a big budget TV miniseries thing. We dedicated ourselves to watching the whole thing! Because of that, I can't complain too much. It was fun.

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I watched "From Dusk Til Dawn" yesterday.

Best complete plot reversal mid movie EVER!

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I watched "From Dusk Til Dawn" yesterday.

Best complete plot reversal mid movie EVER!

I used to get into such arguments defending this movie... Each half is done so well. One is an amazing psychological kidnap/hostage drama/character piece... the second half does gratuitous slam bang horror/action so well...

I've always argued that if the first half was the action piece and the second the taut suspense piece, more critics and film buff would love this movie. As it stands, it's two brilliant pieces of film, with such a sudden transition that it offended a lot of peoples... internal continuity? Sense of narrative?

Either way, damn fine film.

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But ‘Big Bad Wolf”? No subtlety here. Even with out the werewolf rape, there is a lot of sexual baggage just dangling out there

Your choice of words had me on the floor, AIS.
Like that old joke of two old guys on a park bench:
--It's sure nice out, ain't it?
--Yeah, but you better keep it in or you'll get arrested.

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Has anyone seen the new movie with Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg? I forget the name. I wonder if it's good - love the actors in it. It's about this couple where the wife is having problems and the husband is a therapist and tries to help but it all goes awry. That's all I know.

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I watched "From Dusk Til Dawn" yesterday.

Best complete plot reversal mid movie EVER!

I used to get into such arguments defending this movie... Each half is done so well. One is an amazing psychological kidnap/hostage drama/character piece... the second half does gratuitous slam bang horror/action so well...

I've always argued that if the first half was the action piece and the second the taut suspense piece, more critics and film buff would love this movie. As it stands, it's two brilliant pieces of film, with such a sudden transition that it offended a lot of peoples... internal continuity? Sense of narrative?

Either way, damn fine film.

I loved it, both parts, and thought the complete random change was fantastic!

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Has anyone seen the new movie with Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg? I forget the name. I wonder if it's good - love the actors in it. It's about this couple where the wife is having problems and the husband is a therapist and tries to help but it all goes awry. That's all I know.

Antichrist

I haven't seen it but I've heard lots about it

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I'll see it just because of the actors. I think I should fancy Willem Dafoe - I haven't seen many of his movies but I like him alot in his interviews. Have you seen any of his films I should check out?

I like horror movies from the worst 1 star flick to the highest rated. But I have certain preferences. I saw a couple recently where the photography was dark - it was hard to see, and things were chasing people around but they really weren't scary at all. I prefer suspense over gore. But gore is ok, esp. in a funny movie like the first Peter Jackson film - what was it called?

I like classic horror too - the Bride of Frankenstein, the Invisible Man. There's a really old one called 'The Black Cat' I think, a silent movie. And the original Nosferatu, I like the Herzog version too.

I'll have to watch Trick r Treat, when I get my dvd to stop with the screeching.

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Dear old Nosferatu. In the silent flick he is more endearing than scary, really. He just seems so confused by it all.

Used to call one of my coworkers Nosferatu. Long pale hands, face, nose...it was the first thing I thought of. I mentioned it to someone and it stuck. He was actually quite proud of it!

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