Saturday, October 31, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/31

Day 31: The Night he came home. Halloween is my Number 1 favorite horror picture of all time and the first film I remember seeing in a theater. It has impacted me in a way no other film has. This is the terror film at it's most primal, tapping into the fears of the unknown we all have and it's a film so masterfully put together.

No sequel or remake would ever come close to it's brilliance--though Carpenter's Halloween II is pretty damn fun. Happy Halloween, kids!

Friday, October 30, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/30

Day 30: My Number 2 favorite horror film of all time is 1971's Let's Scare Jessica To Death. It's a masterpiece of atmosphere, mood and dread.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Girls Nite Out (1984) love

Girls Nite Out is a silly little slasher from the Nineteen Eighties. And it's pretty fun! Here is the amusing poster and trailer for the picture.

Help! I'm trapped in a glass cage of emotion!

31 days of October Terror: 10/29

Day 29: Number 3 is the lesser known gem Tourist Trap. Essentially a riff on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Trap takes things a bit further with a paranormal twist. This is the movie of my childhood that really creeped me the hell out. It scarred me for life, yet still entertains me to this day. And it's rated PG!! Ca-ra-zy. Essential viewing for fans of terror films with a personality.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/28

Day 28: My Number 4 favorite is Brian De Palma's Carrie. It's masterful filmmaking and utterly heartbreaking stuff. Pino Donaggio's score is one of my favorites and the movie gets me every single time I watch it.

I also recommend 1998's The Rage: Carrie 2. While nowhere near the greatness of the first Carrie, The Rage captures an honesty and sensitivity within it's story unlike most modern terror films.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/27

Day 27: Number 5 belongs to Jaws. The most effective animal terror film outside of The Birds. A super fun movie that works on every single viewing. Oh, and yeah, Quint is god.

Monday, October 26, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/26

Day 26: Jeff Lieberman's Just Before Dawn is my Number 6 favorite. It easily rises above it's many peers of the time because it establishes an atmosphere and intelligence unlike most of those others.

It's fun, it's scary and it the underlying themes keep me thinking. A forgotten gem of a horror film if there ever was one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/25

Day 25: Pick Number 7. Black Christmas. Still as scary as ever. Bob Clark must have been god for having made 2 seminal Christmastime classics.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/24

Day 24: Number 8 favorite is one of the most original and intelligent scary pictures to come out of the 70's, Phantasm. Shot on a shockingly small budget ($300,000) in relation to how much is up on the screen, Phantasm was released to lukewarm business and notice. Thankfully this picture found it's place on home video as there was nothing else quite like it on the shelves. No other film can provoke so much dread while being so much fun and there's nothing else quite like it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/23

Day 23: My Number 9 favorite is the ultra bizarre no-budget gem Death Wish Club (1983). It's hard to explain my love for this picture, but it is pure. There is no other film like this one (the best comparison I could make is to imagine a David Lynch film without a budget and any pretension and in return you get a zany-fun movie show ride) I get caught up in it's strange world every single time.

Since CLUB never received a proper release, there was no theatrical poster. Instead, I made scans of the 3 different VHS releases I had collected over the years. The film was released on a budget DVD label, and I urge all you fans of cinema looking for something a little different to check it out.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/22

Day 22: 10 Days till Halloween! The countdown begins with with my 10 favorite horror pictures of all time until the night he came.

Number 10: Hell Night is as atmospheric as it gets in 80's horror. The movie is very successful in delivering the scares as well as sporting fun performances by the good cast. I return to it time and time again because it never fails to remind me why I love horror pictures so much in the first place. They sure don't make 'em like this anymore, paw!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

31 days of October Terror: 10/21

Day 21: The Exorcist is still one one of the scariest pictures there is in the genre, but it's also a great piece of modern 70's filmmaking. William Friedkin's picture is sharply directed with unexpected depth and has great performances by everyone. Makes an excellent companion piece with the William Peter Blatty-directed The Exorcist III.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The House Of The Devil (2009) Posters & Trailer

I am so very excited to see this 70's/early 80's throwback. The filmmakers even came up with some great posters for the film. When was the last time I was excited for a new film's poster?!

Here are those posters, in the order I like 'em!

And here's the teaser poster:

31 days of October Terror: 10/20

Day 20: It would be impossible to defend Killer Party as a "good" movie, but it's one that I absolutely love regardless. It's a ton of fun, and every viewing gets me giddy with delight. I'll take it over most well regarded films any day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

♥ Holly Hunter

I love Holly Hunter.

Not so much the Holly Hunter of TNT's SAVING GRACE (I've never given that show a fair chance as I ignore TNT completely except for Law & Order reruns) but more of the Holly Hunter of the 80's and the 90's.

During those years Ms. Hunter came into her own as an actress and brought a unique sensibility to every one of her roles. She made every performance completely memorable and managed to wring truth out of characters that seemed teethering on farce.

Holly first caught my eye in Raising Arizona as Edwina "Ed" McDunnogh. The Coen Brothers took a big chance by hiring their friend (and ex housemate of Frances McDormand) but the role was tailor made for her and Holly played it to perfection. Ed was a mess of emotions and her misadventures in baby snatching with husband H.I. are pretty hilarious. She made you believe and care in her struggle to get a child as crazy as things were going around her.

Holly's next great role was in Broadcast News and she nabbed her first Oscar nomination. She should have won as I can't think of another performance that year as memorable as her turn as a Television producer caught in between her love for her job and the advances of friend and a co-worker. Her character would often allow herself some private time to cry and you absolutely understood every one of her emotions without her ever having to say a word.

1989's Miss Firecracker and 1991's Once Around were largely forgettable dramedies, but Ms. Hunter was the standout in both. She elevated far and above the material.

The Piano from 1993 was Holly's Oscar winning role, and she was absolutely mesmerizing. I still believe her performance was so strong that she helped Anna Paquin win the Oscar as well for all their scenes that they play off each other.

Holly Hunter managed to score yet another oscar nomination in 1993's The Firm simply by being so absolutely awesome in her rather small role as a trashy secretary who knows too much and is in fear for her life. I would have never thought I'd love a character that stemmed from something out of a John Grisham novel so much.

1995's Copycat and Home For The Holidays were roles that seemed like night and day for Holly, yet she absolutely plays each brilliantly. In Copycat she's a tough, no-nonsense cop on the hunt for a serial killer and the other a broken down just-fired from her job woman finding herself marching towards an early mid-life crisis. Holly Hunter made both movies so much better than they had any right to be, an in effect I am still watching both films with a smile on my face to this day.

1996's David Cronenberg J.G. Ballard adaptation of Crash was the ballsiest role yet for Ms. Hunter. At the height of her fame she took on a role that many may have just dismissed as perverse, and she made it something unique. She was fearless.

Living Out Loud from 1998 was another movie tailor made and written for Holly Hunter, and yet again she rocks it like no one's business.

After LIVING, Holly took on a string of small roles in small films and found her niche on T.V. She scored a hit with her vocal work in The Incredibles and thankfully that afforded her the opportunity to play the roles she wants without having to star in those tired vehicles reserved for past oscar winners.

Holly is an actress first and foremost and in a business with so few great roles for actresses, she manages to find the ones that make her truly shine. I suppose I should finally get around to watching that show of hers!

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