So another week has gone by, and that means 7 more horror(ish) films for me to chat about. This week brings an interesting mix of films, so sit back, relax, and enjoy!
October 8: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
Very Basic Synopsis: The King of Halloween goes emo.
Something’s up with Jack, something’s up with Jack… I haven’t watched this movie in a while, and now I’ll have the soundtrack in my head for the rest of my life. Sure, this movie isn’t exactly horror, but I don’t think anyone is going to argue that it doesn’t fit. Plus it’s one of the few on this list (if not the only) that you can watch with kids and not have them screaming in terror at 3AM. Really, I can think of nothing bad to say except that it’s a musical and that’s certainly not everyone’s bag. Even so, who can pass up a singing and dancing skeleton and rag doll duo. Okay, maybe not the dancing, but there was plenty of stop motion singing and some presents such as a bat in place of this old rat…and all other manner of weirdness…and a cameo from the Easter Bunny. Gotta love that. Final Word: Fun.
October 9: SALEM’S LOT (1979)
Very Basic Synopsis: Stephen King’s awesome vampire story…for TV.
So this is up there as one of my favorite books of all time. I read it years after the first time I saw it on TV (yes, it was a late-70’s TV miniseries) and the book absolutely blew me away. The movie is not nearly that good, but I love it just the same. Not for the same reasons, of course. The movie stars Starsky or Hutch (not a clue which one) and he’s a super duper over actor at times (with really bad hair), so there’s that to laugh at. The story is fairly faithful, albeit toned down. Even with all this, the vampire kid floating in the window is still creepy after all these years. I remember hearing that music as a kid when I was trying to go to sleep, and I still feel it when I watch it as an adult. I think that’s saying, even with its faults, Tobe Hooper did something right with this movie. Final Word: Not-sparkly.
October 10: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)
Very Basic Synopsis: Some green shit in a church is…the devil?
I love this movie. It’s weird as crap and the concept is pretty damn silly, but I love it. I haven’t seen it in years, and the last time I watched it was when my videotape copy got eaten because I watched it too much. Yeah, I’m that old. Anyway…the concept is a bunch of geeky students who have the weirdest professor in the world go to this church to investigate some green slime stuff that is apparently evil and can bring about the end of the world…or something like that. I told you it was weird as crap. Who cares, because it’s a really cool and creepy movie, one of John Carpenter’s late 80’s “I’m going to be really weird because I made Halloween and can do whatever I want” era movies that you just can’t miss. Final Word: Weird.
October 11: DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Very Basic Synopsis: Zombies in the mall.
When I thought of watching this movie tonight, I had a really hard time choosing between the original and the remake. I know there are a number of purists out there who think their zombies should be slow, but I think Zack Snyder did an incredible job with the 2004 version. In the end, I decided that I would go with the remake, because Ving Rhames is in it and he’s pretty damn cool. Plus, there’s Richard Cheese. I can’t imagine very many people who may read this NOT having seen either the original, the remake, or both, but in a nutshell this takes place after the original Night of the Living Dead. The survivors take shelter in a mall and secure it enough to live fairly comfortably for a bit. As can be expected, someone mucks it up and they end up back on the street chopping zombies into pieces as they try to escape. It’s really great fun for all. Final Word: Boom.
October 12: CHOPPING MALL (1986)
Very Basic Synopsis: Kids try to camp out in the wrong mall.
Another mall movie? Sure, why not…when it’s CHOPPING MALL! OK, cheesy, I know. Kind of like the movie. This has some horrible acting and robots that look like they were made for an old school episode of Doctor Who. This movie is not scary. This movie is not good. This is nowhere near the first time I’ve seen it. I won’t try to count, but it’s easily over 20. It’s just so damn fun! Stupid kids really try to party in the mall after hours? And most of them work there? And they DIDN’T know the place locked down each night??? (What kind of mall is this, anyway? It doesn’t look like it’s made of gold…). Of course the robots go crazy. Of course they kill the stupid kids. Of course they run around screaming and trying to act tough at the same time. Sadly, no one actually gets chopped up. Really horrible stuff here, you should go watch it if you’ve not seen it yet. Final Word: Chop-stupie.
October 13: THE CAR (1977)
Very Basic Synopsis: A car kills people because it’s driven by the devil.
Have you not seen this movie? Then I will tell you this: I wasn’t kidding with the VBS above. It’s really about a car that kills people. It’s supposed to be a demon car or the devil or possessed or…something. They never really clear it up, because no one cares. I love it anyway. The good part: the acting is terrible, even with James Brolin. The bad part: the acting is terrible, even with James Brolin. The car does kill quite a few people, which is especially nice because they speed up the film during the car scenes a-la the Batmobile in the 60’s TV show. Thankfully, some of the really annoying people die, one when the car manages to drive through her house. Of course, even the car is annoying, with this stupid horn thing it keeps doing…like the devil would really use a horn? Come on. Final Word: Carmmageddon.
October 14: IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN (1966)
Very Basic Synopsis: You don’t really need this, do you?
Who doesn’t love this classic? It’s got everything…trick or treating, pumpkins, a dog flying his pretend WWI fighter…you know you love it. Since everyone in the world has seen it (I can’t be wrong about that, can I?) I’m just about done, which is good because I was at Rock and Shock in Worcester, MA for most of the day and even though I didn’t do anything physical (I actually sat on my ass for most of the show writing a new story) I’m still fairly tired. Final Word: Snoopy!
That’s all for this week’s Movie a Night, stop by next week and see what I watched over the next 7 days!
Also, if you haven’t checked it out yet, last Monday I answered Richard Schiver’s 5Qs. By the time you read this, there may be someone else up there to read as well, so bonus!