Welcome to week 3 of my Horror Movie a Night for October! This week brings classics from the late 70’s and 80’s and one genre-maker from the 90’s. But first, we’ll start with a personal favorite from more recent times.
October 15: SAW (2004)
Very Basic Synopsis: Two dudes in a room…with a dead guy.
I know there are a lot of people who hate where this series has gone, but I still feel that the first is an incredible movie. I also admit to being a fan of 2-4, but lost interest once 5 happened (yes, I’ve seen them all, no I don’t like 5, 6, or 7…especially 5. That was just bad). Still, 1 was a great concept that I think was pulled off very well. Two dudes, one body, no idea how they got there. Well, they both have an idea after a bit of thought, but you get the picture. The traps were cool before it became all about the traps, Cary Elwes was awesome enough for me to forget his silly nice guy from Liar Liar, and Jigsaw was actually alive and in charge. Final Word: Hacksaw.
October 16: EVIL DEAD (1981)
Very Basic Synopsis: A bunch of bad actors in a cabin with Bruce Campbell.
This is not Evil Dead 2. This is not Army of Darkness. This movie is not meant to be funny. I think it cost about 30 dollars plus whatever they spent on gas for that boat they were driving around. This movie is awesome. No, it wasn’t my first time, but it’s been a while. I’m always amazed at what a good job they did making something awesome out of basically nothing. It’s no surprise Bruce Campbell became an icon and Sam Raimi turned into a directorial monster (at least until Spiderman 3, but let’s hope he redeems himself soon). Even with the clay monsters at the end, it’s still super cool and provides some good scares. I’ve you’ve never seen it, climb out from under that rock and check it out. Final Word: Ash.
October 17: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)
Very Basic Synopsis: Don’t go to camp.
It’s likely no secret or surprise that I love the F13 series. I even like the bad ones (although I do have a hard time watching part 8) but my favorite of the series is a toss up between 4 and 2. So I flipped a coin. Heads won, so I watched 2. Even if you’ve never seen part 2, you know the scoop if you’ve seen any of them. Jason kills people because he’s Jason. I like part 2 because he’s like a teenage killing machine. He still runs (something he stopped doing not long after). He has long hair (he’s a total metalhead). He wears a bag instead of a mask (I love the mask – it’s iconic – but there’s something about the bag that’s just awesome). And…he poops in a bucket. Jason is still human enough to poop, and I think that makes him scarier than the Uber-Jason who just pulled off peoples limbs and beat them with it. Final Word: Wheelchair.
October 18: NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE (1985)
Very Basic Synopsis: Don’t fall asleep…uhh, again.
In Freddy vs. Jason, I was rooting for Jason. That doesn’t mean I don’t love most of the Nightmare films as well. Most. Anyway, I went with part 2 for 2 reasons: 1) I went with F13 2 last night, and 2) I really like it. I know, it’s the only one without a female protag. So what. That’s a silly reason not to like a movie, but I’ve heard that very excuse more than once. I thought Jesse was great, albeit a bit whiney. If you’re the type that just NEEDS to see a female prevail over the bad guy, his girlfriend Lisa survives as well. Really, he couldn’t have made it without her, so there you go. The biggest plus is that Freddy wasn’t an idiot yet. That in itself is worth the price of admission. Final Word: Boiler-room.
October 19: THE GATES OF HELL – AKA CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980)
Very Basic Synopsis: A priest’s suicide really fucks shit up.
I love this movie for many reasons, but what drove the rusty nail in my coffin of love was one scene – the scene where she throws up her internal organs. There’s just nothing like watching a liver come out of a young lady’s mouth that makes me want to watch it again and again. I know, I probably disgust you at this point. Sorry, it’s great fun. Lucio Fulci really kicked it old school in this somewhat bizarre flick that has more than a few scenes that just don’t make sense balanced out by plenty of people dying in truly strange ways. It’s crazy, it’s fun, it’s full of blood. They must have used a million paper towels to clean up the mess. Final Word: Guts.
October 20: THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979)
Very Basic Synopsis: Possessed house kicks the new residents out.
First off, I loved the remake. I thought Ryan Reynolds was an awesome psychotic George Lutz. Still, I went with the original because it’s a classic, and I love it more. This is yet another film that you must have seen or there’s something wrong with you. Who doesn’t love the crazy lady screaming “Find the well!” or George screaming “I’m coming apart!” or Kathy screaming “She was shot in the head” or house screaming “Get out!” or…hey, there’s an awful lot of screaming in this flick, isn’t there? Well it’s all in good fun. I remember reading this book as a kid and freaking out because it was so awesome. The movie is totally dated, but still a great time. Still, the book is better. I should mention that this is the second film in my October tribute that stars James Brolin, and the only two movies I’ve ever seen him in at all…Final Word: Jody.
October 21: THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999)
Very Basic Synopsis: Three idiots in the woods with cameras.
I saw this movie in the theater when it first came out. I remember it well because it was marketed as a “found footage” film long before that became its own genre. Sure, there have been some good found footage films, but I don’t think there will ever be another cinematic experience like Blair Witch. It’s certainly not the best, but in this case I think being first made it special (even with the annoyingly whining and snot-bubbling Heather). There were plenty of people who really believed it, and that resonated even with us rational folk to create the tensest theater I’ve ever sat in, hands down. I knew going in that it wasn’t real (and still can’t see how anyone would believe it was…what a lawsuit that would have been!), but it was still one hell of a ride. Now I have the film on DVD, and every now and then I’ll watch it for nostalgia. I still get chills at the end. Final Word: Scary.
Well, there it is my horrific friends of the internet. Another week of our beloved month down and just over a week to go. I hope you’re all enjoying October as much as I am and (if you’re in the right part of the world) you’re enjoying some beautiful foliage. Grab some apple cider, take a walk, and kick some leaves. Just watch out for the dog poop…it seems like it’s everywhere this year (you hear that, irresponsible dog owner??? Clean yo shit!) 🙂