Rather than subject you guys to weeks of drawn-out “Here are the horror movies I watched this year” posts, I thought I’d bang them out all at once.

The Fog – I was really excited for this movie to be about pirate-ghosts, and was hugely let down when it turned out to be about leper-ghosts. I don’t know why. Though I’m sure Braak could break it down for us.
On the upside, I would like Adrienne Barbeau to narrate everything now, please. 

The Crazies – In the event of catastrophic societal breakdown, I hope to maintain the expression that Timothy Olyphant has perfected by now: a single furrowed brow of “C’mon, are you kidding me?”

The Beyond – So, Lucio Fulci pretty much had the one good idea (zombie fights shark), and that was about it, huh?

Blade II – Man I love Kris Kristopherson’s hair Blade II. But I just noticed that it has, essentially, the same plot as the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie, except where Frank and his mortal enemy go up a skyscraper to fight Yakuza super-mobsters, Blade and HIS mortal enemies go down into the sewers to fight super-vampires.

Let Me In – I’m pretty sure I liked the American adaptation slightly more than the original, but I can’t tell whether it’s because it streamlined the dad and neighbor subplots, excised entirely the whole “She’s actually a castrati” thing that sent me straight to Wikipedia once the credits rolled the first time out, or if I knew ahead of time that the movie was set in the early 80s, which I did not pick up on until VERY late into the original, because I just assumed Swedes always played with Rubik’s Cubes and tucked in their sweaters. What? IT’S COLD THERE.

This isn't a still from the movie. It's just the only way Vincent Price can take a nap. DON'T YOU JUDGE HIM.

The Tingler– Now, I’m no scientist. But I’m pretty sure even back in the early

50’s, the idea that there is a parasitic worm-creature who lives on your spine and feeds on fear, and can only be shrank down by screaming, was probably not a theory that had legs in the medical community.

An American Werewolf in London – If, during the catastrophic societal collapse, if my Olyphantine brow-furrow doesn’t save me from a mauling, I hope my rotting ghost is as upbeat as Griffin Dunne.

Children of the Corn – Look, there is a way to do a “Scary Children” movie. Children of the Damned, really, is what I’m thinking of, because in a weird sense (maybe its the pleasant countryside location) you still kind of like the kids, even though they are weird little fuckers who need to be killed with fire. THIS movie, on the other hand, thinks giving kids some sharp farm implements and making them talk in silly voices is scary.
In fact, NOTHING about this film is scary, so I had to go to the wikipedia page and read the original plot to figure out what could’ve compelled anyone to make a movie out of this particular King story. Turns out – the story’s SYNOPSIS is more unnerving than anything in this one.
So, I should thank Children of the Corn for getting me out to the library to pick up a King short story collection, at least.

I just wanted you to know that this is a thing.

A Nightmare on Elm Street – When I started devoting a month to horror movies something like seven years ago, there were two movies I was kind of dreading/anticipating, for how much the mere thought of them bugged me out as a child: The Fly, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
The Fly is a fucking terrifying movie because it’s based on both its ideas AND  some truly gross visuals. A Nightmare on Elm Street, is shit.
This is a shitty movie, and Freddy Krueger is a shitty character. I can see why he quickly devolved into self-parody, because he’s less a character than a pile of ideas that never really coheres. He’s a dream-god who used to be a child-murderer who murders the kids of his murderers in their dreams but what the hell let’s give him a claw-glove.
Also, apparently there were different standards for “acting” in the early 80s.
On the upside, it’s heartening to know that Johnny Depp has always been doing that goofy scream of his.

  1. Moff says:

    Aw, I can see why Nightmare has its place in the canon. It’s not great, but it’s trying.

  2. braak says:

    Man, I don’t know what your problem with The Fog is, because leper-ghosts are rad as hell.

    I suppose you could make an argument that leprosy adds nothing to the nature of “ghosts”, who we might already anticipate as being rotten and horrifying, but I think this is abstract. Practically, I think a leper-ghost is still pretty spooky.

  3. Chris says:

    “The Beyond” has that scene with the little girl in the morgue, which makes it worthwhile in my book. Also, I always imagined a spin-off with the zombie plumber; “Undead Buttcrack of Death” or something. “When the necropolis is clogged, the dead shall walk the aisles of Lowe’s”

    (…you know it would be at least as good as anything Fulci ever did.)

  4. Jeff Holland says:

    @Braak – related to the leper-ghost issue (which, yes, the lack of “value-add” when making a ghost also a leper is probably my problem), why would the ghost of Griffin Dunne in American Werewolf continue rotting?

    Other than “because it’s funny.”

  5. Jeff Holland says:

    @Chris – Having worked at a Home Depot through college, I can tell you for serious, you could set any number of horror films in a big-box home improvement store and I would watch them all.

  6. braak says:

    In American Werewolf in London, Jonathon Landis was playing with a notion of “undeath” that’s a little unusual, but I still think has merit: it’s a kind of literal living death, in which the dead aren’t freed from their earthly remains to persist as immortal spirits but are instead trapped (spiritually, obviously) in their actual corpses.

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