Micro’s Monster Movie MMMentions

upon request, and in time for hallowe’en, here is a reprint of my listing of favorite horror movies, with an update at the end…

i am, as anyone who knows me will attest to, a bit of a horror movie aficionado. i love ’em all: cheesy, classic, gory, leave-it-to-the-imagination, new, old, big budget, low budget…bring ’em on. not too much into bland slasher flicks, and the eli roth/new school of “torture porn” leaves me feeling kind of dirty and sullied, but everything else is pretty much right up my strasse. here are some suggestions for you to consider here at hallowe’en time:

Donnie Darko (2001) – a no brainer. if you haven’t seen it already, make sure you look for the original, NON-director’s cut. trust us on this. this is one of my all-time favorite movies, and i will watch it again and again. and again.

The Descent (2005)- UK film directed by neil marshall who also did a good werewolf movie called Dog Soldiers. the descent slayed me. saw it first in the theater with the original US ending (not so good), and then later on dvd w/ the original UK ending (much creepier). plays on archetypal fears of darkness, being trapped in confined spaces, and being consumed by cannibalistic, cave-dwelling, humaniod creatures. 6 buff, outdoorsy women go spelunking in an unchartered cave, and these ladies are no bimbos, but rather kick-ass climbers with great personalities. so when things begin to go wrong (and they go VERY wrong), you really feel for them. gives me chills just thinking about it.

Night Of The Demon (1957) – also known as Curse Of the Demon. features a totally non-cheesy monster for the time, and a great story about an aleister crowley-type black magician who conjures up a demon to smite his critics, and as someone who also has to deal with “critics”, i must admit i wish i could do the same sometimes. watch this one and then check out our track Hungry Ghosts from NIU. hmmmm…

The Evil Dead (1981) – an old favorite. sam raimi’s first, done w/ some help by the coen brothers. low, low budget but oh-so good. what happens when some young kids rent a cottage in the woods, find a dusty copy of the necronomicon along with a taped translation, and raise ancient evil from the woods. it’s hard when your girlfriend becomes a pencil-wielding ghoul and you have to dismember her. great claymation effects and the awesome talents of bruce campbell. if you’re in the boston area check out the latest The Dig for a hilarious rant by a disgruntled movie-goer who had to contend with some drunken frat boys at a recent showing at the coolidge corner moviehouse.

The Dunwich Horror (1970) – based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, and we love us some HPL. pretty bad movie, but has nostalgic value for your humble narrator, as i first saw it on a hallowe’en night when i was about 10, and was enthralled by the psychedelic effects used to represent yog sothoth, the eater-of-souls, he your basic invisible space god. also the sight of bare female breasts in the orgy scenes was quite a treat for a young lad, and must have escaped the fun-killing eyes of the censors. plus it has dean stockwell totally over the top in the lead role as wilbur whately. nice.

Equinox (1970) – another blast from the past, first seen around the same time as the dunwich horror, and with a plot similar to the evil dead: bunch of kids in the woods find a copy of the necronomicon and – you guessed it – call forth nameless forces of ancient evil. features frank bonner from wkrp cincinnati and has some great stop-motion effects, ala ray harryhausen. for some reason this movie just really scared me, and my sister, too.

Dawn Of The Dead (1978) – forget the remake. the original is unbeatable for mood and social commentary and – for the time – good gore effects, c/o tom savini, who also plays a cycle gang member. also stars ken foree who we loved in From The Beyond (am i geeking out here or what?). directed by the great george romero and filmed -as were/are all of his films – in pittsburgh. will never get that shot of the zombie husband taking a chomp out of his wife’s arm out of my head…oooh, that HAD to hurt.

The Funhouse (1981) – i can’t quite explain why this movie has become fodder for my nightmares, but the mutant geek who terrorizes the lovely elizabeth berridge and her 3 friends after hours in a carnival funhouse just shows up quite frequently in my dreams and scares the sh*t out of me. dude, this monster will freak you out, i am so serious.

The Tingler (1959) – starring vincent price as a doctor doing studies in fear, and includes possibly the earliest cinematic portrayal of an acid trip! william castle directed, and coming from vaudeville as he did every picture had to have a gimmick. the gimmick for this one? Percepto: certain seats in theaters would be wired to give an electrical charge to the unwitting patron, eliciting shrieks of pain! ah, the glory days of pre-osha. this movie inspired 2 club d’elf tunes!

Freaks (1932) – what can one say about this classic? it was diane arbus’s favorite movie. it features REAL circus freaks and totally was too much for people at the time, who could not handle physically deformed actors being used. it’s still too much for some folks. tod browning directed this a year after he did Dracula w/ bela Lugosi. he died the month and year i was born and i have often wondered if his soul found it’s way into my body. gooba gabba, one of us, one of us!

and speaking of Dracula (1931), you can’t go wrong with those old Universal flicks, esp. Son Of Frankenstein (1938). so put some of these on your netflix queue and add some new twists to your nightmares.

Dark Ride (2006) – this one i watched on the recommendation of erik kerr, which is so awesome…christian minister who loves extreme horror movies. gotta love it, and him. it features Jamie-Lynn Sigler from the Sopranos (no…she doesn’t get naked). it was exactly the way he said it would be. the scene where the psycho killer in the mental hospital puts his fist – holding a flashlight – through the chest of one of his captors, allowing the horrified face of his friend to be viewed from the gaping cavity…wow. that’s some quality film-making right there. this would make a good double bill with The Funhouse, which the astute reader might recall was one of our recommendations last year. that one…i don’t know…it just really freaked me out and has found it’s way into me nightmares, har.

also burrowing into my head and taking up residence in nightmare land are rob zombies pair of horror offerings, House of 1000 Corpses (2003) & The Devil’s Rejects (2005). both are flawed but damn if that family of cannibalistic rednecks hasn’t shown up in my dreams more times than i would care to have them. sid haig is one of the greats of B movies, having of course starred in one of our all-time weird movie faves, Spider Baby (1968), and in both he portrays the lecherous and murderous clown, captain spaulding. don’t get me started on clowns. thanks to mister rourke for riding my case until i finally sat down and watched ’em.

Suspiria (1977) – written and directed by Dario Argento. i watched this one quite a bit a few years ago when hanging out with john medeski & scotty hard at shacklyn, playing on their suspiria project. rats running around the place only helped to make the atmosphere more appropriate. the soundtrack is by argento’s band Goblin, who we happen to pay tribute to with a track from Perhapsody called Goblin Garden, which you can hear on our myspace. also, i forgot to mention one of the best scenes from Freaks: there’s a guy called prince randi, who is only a torso – no arms, no legs. grizzled popeye-type face, and at one point he rolls, lights, and smokes a cigarette, all without the use of any limbs, just his mouth! it’s NUTS! watch it!

though i haven’t yet seen the US remake, the original swedish Let The Right One In (2008) is one of the creepiest and original vampire movies i have ever seen. wow, it gives me shivers just thinking of the lighting in the woods as the hiker is hoisted up for draining…wow.

one of the scariest things i ever saw as a young ‘un was the original 1973 Don’t Be Afraid Of the Dark w/ Kim Darby. The recent remake produced by my hero, Guillermo Del Toro, is worth watching even if it didn’t scare the shit out of me the way the original did, but then again maybe when the way-back machine is working i’ll watch it as a kid and judge it then.

happy hallowe’en ya’ll!

-monster micro

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~ by delfblog on October 15, 2010.

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