Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday 13 -- Halloween version

OK, I'm bowing to peer pressure since both Caryle and Mike have done them. It's not terribly inspired, but it's seasonal and what I have. I admit to being intimidated by the thirteen aspect of it -- why did it have to be so blasted many? I suppose it's better than the Thursday 30.

My 13 Favorite Scary Movies (in no particular order)

1) Night of the Living Dead --
It's the granddaddy of all zombie movies. It was the first, and still, arguably, the best. It's been done and redone and parodied (Night of the Living Bread, anyone?) But for black & white zombie creepiness, nobody does it better.

2) The Exorcist -- This movie scared the shit out of me when I was in the 6th grade. And that was the edited for television version. It gave me nightmares and the demon voice was forever etched in my brain. And for all that, the story is also about a Jesuit priest losing his faith - a fact that gets lost in all the green vomit and heads spinning around.

3) Alien - It's been called a haunted house in space, and truly it is. But what I love about Alien is the thought that went into the life cycle of the alien. While the final adult alien is still a guy in a rubber suit, somehow, you're able to look beyond it.

4) The Grudge -- So many people I've talked to didn't think this movie was scary. I, however, had to turn the lights on in the living room when I was watching it. And that's really saying something.

5) Rosemary's Baby -- Simple, understated but scary as hell. A movie that scares you more with ideas than actual images. Mia Farrow is great, Ruth Gordon is a cross between Dr. Ruth Westheimer and a smurf (and got a much deserved Academy Award.) In the book, Rosemary's baby has a tail and little horns, in the movie, you never see him. So much the better.

6) Freddy vs. Jason -- I know, I know. I should be taken out and shot for liking this movie. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and was actually quite good for your typical slasher movie. I've blogged about it before, so I'll let that entry speak for it.

7) Final Destination -- This movie will never be shown on a plane, that's one thing for certain. I had never flown when I first saw it, and after seeing it, I vowed I never would. Well, the things you'll do for Madge, I've been on a plane, but this movie (actually, the whole series) freaks me out. Plus it uses the John Denver song "Rocky Mountain High" to such great effect.

8) Stephen King's "It" -- A TV movie from 1990 that captured the spirit of the novel, if not the scope. Tim Curry is scary as hell as Pennywise the Clown -- a million times scary than the big rubber spider that It actually was (sorry if that's a spoiler. Personally, I'd rather have that part spoiled.) A great cast of TV favorites, it's about the best possible adaptation of the book we could hope for.

9) An American Werewolf in London -- This is the only movie I've ever seen where a guy who is a werewolf by night talks to corpses in a porn theater in London. And on that alone, it's a great movie. Featuring the Dr. Pepper spokesman David Naughton and the special effects of Rick Baker, it's also witty and fun as well as being scary. The ending's a bit abrupt, but we can forgive that, especially since it's another movie that uses music to great effect.

10) Dawn of the Dead (both versions) -- The original Dawn of the Dead a/k/a zombies in a shopping mall is a horror (and zombie) classic. It also features the only known zombie pie fight ever filmed. Horror fans cried foul when they heard it was going to be "remade" featuring the fast zombies a la 28 Days Later (a movie that just missed the list) but surprisingly, it was more a "reimagining" than a remake and both films can stand on their own merit. While the original is a great satire on commercialism in America, the second is just plain scary with an ending that is chilling.

11) Candyman -- I love this movie because, once again, it's a movie that scares you with concepts rather than blood and gore and dismemberment. Although there's a fair amount of gore in the movie, you're just never sure what's real and what's not. Based on a Clive Barker story, transplanted from London to the Cabrini Green projects of Chicago, its a hidden treasure. The cinematography is fantastic, which breathtaking views of Chicago and a very scary Tony Todd as the title character.

12) Phantasm -- This movie is just plain fucked up. That's all there is to say about it. A tall man from another dimension is stealing bodies to send back to his home world to make them slaves. Jawa-ish creatures run around the mortuary. And who can forget the ball? Confusing as hell, but scary, and it's supposed to be like a dream anyway.

13) Creepshow -- A horror anthology from George Romero & Stephen King based on the pulp horror comics of the 50s. Standouts are the segments "Father's Day" in which a father killed by his daughter on Father's Day comes back from the grave to exact his revenge and "The Crate" starring the incomparable Adrienne Barbeau in a great bitchy wife role. "Now get out of my way Henry or I swear to God, you'll be wearing your balls for earrings!" *cue monster in the crate*

So that's it. We'll see how I do on doing this weekly. Something tells me it won't be quite weekly, but this was pretty fun.


Anonymous said...

Look at you with the Thursday Thirteen, what a pleasant surprise!

I, as a general rule, avoid scary movies. I did see Candyman, though. Afterward, I stayed at my friend's house, and freaked out when I saw the screen for their fireplace was mirrored. Eeek!

And I absolutely refuse to see The Grudge. No thanks, uh-uh, not gonna happen. :)

Anonymous said...

"The Grudge"

When the lovely Mr GenesisArk was paying one of his all-too-brief visits to London, we went to the cinema to see this. I think it's safe to say that I managed to embarrass both of us with my continual squirmings in my seat, sharp intakes of breath whilst peeking through my fingers, and repeated cries of "Don't go in that house!! For the love of God NO!!".

By the time the film finished, I was practically sitting on the floor amongst the popcorn bits.

Suffice to say, I don't think he'll be coming with me to see "The Grudge 2".