October 31, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror 2008 Archive

Here is a handy archive post of 2008's 31 Days of Horror, for you're easy browsing pleasure.

The Best of Each Decade (Synopsis of the 31 Days.)
How we Picked Em' (Our criteria.)
The Honorable Mentions (Those that failed to make the cut...)
***The Master List*** (For quick reference...)

The Countdown of the 31 best movies of the 70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's: #31 #30 #29 #28 #27 #26 #25 #24 #23 #22 #21 #20 #19 #18 #17 #16 #15 #14 #13 #12 #11 #10 #9 #8 #7 #6 #5 #4 #3 #2 #1


The 31 Days of Horror is over... and I'm kinda sad...

The creepiest day of the year is finally here! I hope everyone gets plenty of tricks and treats, and gets the hell scared out of them at least once :) October absolutely flew by, and I'm torn about how I feel...

On one hand, I'm glad; doing the 31 Days of Horror was a blast, but it took a ton of time gathering, formatting and creating every post. It also gave me less time to do our normal reviews and posts... On the other hand, I'm sad, because this was a hell of a lot of fun. Compiling the lists gave me a chance to revisit a ton of old favorites, and posting them gave me the chance to make some new friends, and introduce them to some movies they haven't seen or even heard of in some cases.

This blog went public in July, and was set up for my friends and I to have some fun with Horror; since then, we've had thousands of visitors with some pretty nice things to say, and it's awesome that our little HORROR CLUB has grown. It's awesome how tight the Horror community is, and in the month's ahead, I'm definitely going to be adding some other sites to our link lists so that we can all become tighter.

Our top 31 list wasn't perfect, not at all, but I think the picks were pretty good for the most part. I think we gave some props to a bunch of excellent flicks, an I hope you had fun with them like we did... and I hope you check out every last one of those movies, whether you end up loving or hating them.

That's really what it's all about, isn't it? We will be back to normal after this weekend; reviews, rants, Horror Hotties, remakes, "coming soon's"... so strap yourselves in and hang on! Oh, and don't forget that in December we will have our Best/Worst of 2008.... woo! I'm going to creep myself out now. -The M

The 31 Days of Horror- #1!

We made it! Here we are at the #1 movie from each decade in our countdown, and each of them is deserving.

The Devil, a nightmare, a cannibal, and a sick and twisted bitch...

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The 70's
The Exorcist (1973)- This is the best horror movie ever made. It is the Godfather of horror, and it's like will never be seen again. Linda Blair is amazing as Regan, the little girl who gets possessed by the Demon Pazuzu/The Devil. Mercedes McCambridge is FANTASTIC as the voice of the demon; this is really the only movie that still terrifies me as an adult. Full of classic scenes, classic lines and nightmarish visuals, this is the movie to beat for Horror's heavyweight crown.

The 80's
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)- Freddy wasn't always witty and pre-equipped with cheesy one liners; once upon a time he was absolutely terrifying. The first NOES was an exorcise in terror... dark, atmospheric, creepy and downright nightmarish. Robert Englund made an all time classic Horror icon in Freddy, making millions afraid to fall asleep and dream. This may be my second favorite Horror flick of all time, although that's a tough decision. Either way, this is one of the absolute best.

The 90's
Silence of the Lambs (1991)- Hannibal Lecter is one of the best villains to ever grace the silver screen, and Silence of the Lambs is one of the best movies ever made. We get not one, but two serial killers, each playing at their own sick game, and terrifying us in the process. Even though Lecter is locked up for most of the movie, he still makes us feel uneasy... and when he gets free... well damn if he doesn't make up for lost time! This movie may be Horro's greatest moment; it's not every day that one of our genre films wins the Academy Award for best picture.

The 2000's
Inside (2007)- What? What in the hell is A L'interieur (Inside)? It's one of the most disturbing and yet beautiful films I've ever seen, that's what. A single mother about to give birth fights for her life when a mysterious woman shows up at her house, demanding to be given the baby inside of her... I cant tell you the last time, or anytime for that matter, that a movie 'effed me up this bad. Inside is brutal, twisted, messy, bloody, disturbing, horrific and absolutely engaging... and yet it's a well made film that has a sad and even beautiful undertone. You need to see this one, but I warn you; this is a tough movie for women to stomach, as the subject matter is not nice at all. Proceed with caution.

And that's a wrap!

October 30, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror- #2

The Boogeyman, a puzzle box, 7 deadly sins, and a jigsaw puzzle...

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The 70's
Halloween (1978)- OMG, this isn't the #1 horror movie of the 70's??? No, but it is perhaps the quintessential movie to watch on Halloween (not just because of it's name), and the best slasher movie ever made. To this day the theme song gives me the creeps... I once had it as my ring tone, but it made me cry when I'd get calls at night, so I changed it to something happy. Carpenter gives us his best film here, one with no flaws and maximum Horror. Michael is the quintessential boogeyman, and Halloween is a quintessential horror movie.

The 80's
Hellraiser (1987)- Clive Barker, I love you. If that makes me gay, I don't care! You have given us many great nightmares, both on paper and celluloid, but none greater than Pinhead & his Cenobites and their uber-wicked puzzle box. With some of the best writing of any Horror film I've ever seen, and quotes like "The box. You opened it. We came," "No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering," and "We have such sights to show you!" have stuck with us over the years, and through many sequels. Plain and simple, Hellraiser is a brilliant concept and an even better film.

The 90's
Se7en (1995)- Alright, I know that some of you are saying, "WTF?!? A Brad Pitt movie at #2?" Make no mistake, this is a horror movie, it's just disguised as a high end work of art. A brilliant movie with brilliant performances, direction and cinematography (not to mention story), Se7en is a hellish ride through a dark city plagued by the murders of a serial killer... Hollywood gets it right now and then, and this is a perfect example of that.

The 2000's
Saw (2004)- Oh Saw, how I adored you in part one, and could care less about the 20 sequels that followed. The first one was inventive, fresh and effective from start to finish... not to mention creepy. The traps are the best part about the Saw movies; what twisted and wince-inducing ways to die! Unfortunately, we will have to sit through Saw 6, but at least the first one will always be there for us.

After long last, tomorrow we get to see what #1 holds for us!

October 29, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror- #3

The man with the leather face, a haunted TV set, hail to the king baby, and a true psycho...

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The 70's
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)- Tobe Hooper helped to define a genre in 1974. This could easily be the best of the 70's, as it's just about as effective of a Horror movie as you will ever see. It's fun to note that as gritty, disturbing and violent as this movie was, there was very little in the way of blood... a fact that still blows my mind. And how about Leatherface; along with Michael, Jason, and Freddy, he is one of the cornerstone icons of the Horror genre, and his dance at the end of the movie is a thing of legend. Long live the saw!

The 80's
Poltergeist (1982)- How in the hell can a PG-rated Horror movie be so damned effective? One word: Spielberg. I remember seeing this at the show when I was 9; I also remember thinking my stuffed St. Bernard was going to hide under my bed and try to kill me, and I didn't sleep for weeks afterward. Why they're remaking this movie next year, ill never know, because it wont have the same feel and will be ruined by CGI... At least we will always have the original to cherish.

The 90's
Army of Darkness (1992)- Bruce Campbell's Ash is one of the most beloved Horror icons in the entire history of Horror, and deservedly so. This trilogy, and Army of Darkness in particular, has given us some of the best blood and gore, and definitely some of the best lines in horror history; "Hail to the king baby!", "Gimme some sugar baby!", "Shop smart, shop S-mart!" God I love it! Without Bruce, it just wouldn't work quite right... I don't mind "fun" Horror at all when done like this, but unfortunately, most of it never comes close to being this good. Hail to the king indeed.

The 2000's
American Psycho(2000)- Christian Bale is one of the best actors on the planet, and roles like this are the reason why. Another social commentary movie, American Psycho makes us laugh and cringe at the same time. The book was much more violent, and as much as I would have liked to have seen "The habitrail scene" on film, what we did get was more than enough to satisfy. If you love good serial killer flicks and hate yuppies, this movie is right up your alley. "Hey Paul!" Loves it...

Tomorrow brings #2!...

October 28, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror- #4

The living dead, Snake Plissken in Antarctica, the birth of Tween-Horror, and a Fincher masterpiece...

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The 70's
Dawn of the Dead (1978)- No one mixes Horror and social commentary better than does George A. Romero. No one. One of the most horrific, gory and untactful Horror movies ever made, DOTD was also a slap in the face to the sheepish mall culture that America was turning into. This is the standard to which all Zombie movies are held, even to this day, and for good reason; it's one of the best Horror flicks ever made. Not for the squeamish though.

The 80's
The Thing (1982)- John Carpenter was Horror gold in the 70's and 80's, and this is just one of his many masterpieces. A remake, Carpenter hit every mark he aimed for, and then some, creating a tense and paranoid little world, where isolation and mistrust are the true horror. The FX in this movie are still some of the best ever put to film, the "Thing" in the movie changing into wildly grotesque shapes that are guaranteed to give nightmares. This movie holds up VERY well after 26 years, and will always be a classic.

The 90's
Scream (1996)- Try as I might to hate this movie because it's so damn campy and hip, I can't deny how good it is, nor it's importance to the genre. Face it, horror was a mess in the 90's, and nearly dead... and then came Scream. Fun, tongue in cheek, original and surprisingly creepy and violent, it reminded us all just how much we love our Horror. Especially when it's fun.

The 2000's
Zodiac (2007)- One of the most mysterious and terrifying serial killers of the 20th century, one of the most brilliant films of the 21st. Zodiac is aces in every way, creating and drawing us into a world filled with panic and fear. Masterfully directed, brilliantly acted, a tight script and maybe one of the creepiest scenes ever (the basement, I'll say no more), Zodiac is a modern day classic, which shouldn't be overlooked as just a mere drama.

Tomorrow brings #3!!!!!

October 27, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror- #5

A Xenomorph, The Chin, an obscure gem , and a really good remake...

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The 70's
Alien (1979)- A lot of people credit Alien with finally making Horror mainstream in the late 70's, and as good of a movie as it is, I can understand that. It may be Sci-Fi, but make no mistake, it's a Horror movie through and through. A creature stalks a crew through the dark corridors of their ship, and picks them off one by one... if that isn't a slasher flick, I don't know what is! Ridley Scott is one of the best directors ever, his unique visual style and storytelling abilities making his movies come to life, and this may be his best effort (though that's highly debatable.) This is a masterful movie, perfect in every way. You must own this.

The 80's
The Evil Dead (1981)- I know that many say that Evil Dead II is the better movie, but this is the one that started it all. I mean how many movies can boast a "tree rape scene?" Not that many would want to, but they couldn't even if they did! This movie is creepy, messy, gory, and fun, and it looks like it cost about $10 to make. Bruce Campbell is the man, and this movie shows why; he's absolutely likable and isn't afraid to "go there." Evil Dead is a great example of 80's horror, and is a classic in every sense of the word.

The 90's
Cemetery Man (1994)- With as much crap that came out in the 90's, it amazes me how a movie like this couldn't get even a small release here in the U.S.; Sure it's an Italian film, but let's face it, Dellamorte Dellamore was better than 90% of the crap Horror movies that the U.S. churned out during the entire decade. This isn't only one of the best Horror movies ever made, it's a surreal and fantastic masterpiece, a benchmark for the genre. It combines blood, gore, surrealism, humor and FX perfectly; even Martin Scorcese praised this as being one of the best Italian movies of the 90's, and I swear I'm not making that up. You owe it to yourself to see Cemetery Man.

The 2000's
The Ring (2002)- "Before you crap your pants, you see the ring." That's right, I just said that out loud. Well, I typed it, but you get my point. The Ring is a truly great movie, which amazes me because most American remakes of J-Horror tend to suck horribly. Part of what makes foreign Horror, and cinema in general, so fantastic, is that there are different cultural aspects that shine through in the films, and make them work. This one didn't lose too much in the translation though, relying mostly on atmosphere and a strong story to wow the audience. You need to see this movie if you haven't already, but feel free to skip the sequel, because it pretty much sucked.

See you tomorrow with #4...

October 26, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror- #6

Witches, Zombies, a crazy bitch, and a f'd up family...

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The 70's
Suspiria (1977)- This is not only Argento's magnum opus, but also one of the best Horror films ever made. If you haven't seen Suspiria, nothing I say will be enough to convey how unique and special this movie is. It's the story of a girl that goes away to a school run by Witches, but it's unlike anything you have ever seen before. Argento is a master film maker; his plots aren't always coherent or even plausible, but his visual style is second to none. His use of colors, camera movement, gore, atmosphere, and score come together to give you exactly what a horror movie should be. Perfect. If you have any self respect as a Horror fan at all, you need to own this movie.

The 80's
Day of the Dead (1985)- The third in Romero's "Dead" series may also be my favorite. Dawn of the Dead is a better film overall, but for some reason Day has always stuck with me more. Maybe it's the way that the over the top gore warped my mind when I was 14, or maybe it seemed as if the world of Day was far more desolate than in Dawn, but I just love it. This movie is an absolute gore fest once the shit hits the fan, and on top of that, you get Bub; maybe the coolest and most sympathetic Zombie character ever. He's an icon folks, it's true.

The 90's
Audition (1999)- Takashi Miike is a nasty, nasty man, and if ever there was a movie that would make you never want to date again, Audition is it. It starts as a simple story of a widower who is looking for a companion who holds a fake film audition to find one; the girl he finds is a crazy bitch who messes his shit up in all kinds of ways! Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction has NOTHING on Asami... she is a mental case of the highest order, and the movie heads towards a finale filled with some of the nastiest torture I've ever seen. What goes through Miike's mind when he makes his movies, I'll never know, but the man is pure genius. Prepare to be fucked up.

The 2000's
The Devil's Rejects (2005)- Zombie's 2nd film is far better than House of 1000 Corpses, and is an instant classic. A road movie, an exploitation movie, a movie about family... it's all of these things and more. In some ways this movie is just mean spirited, but that's what makes it brilliant; we want to see Otis be sadistic, we want Captain Spaulding to be funny while he's killing someone, and we want to see Baby naked. In oil. Anyways, I want a third one, but I know we will never see it. This may be the best movie that Rob Zombie will ever make.

See you tomorrow with #5...

October 25, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror- #7

A Shark, a bug, a sucker, and some nasty middle schoolers...

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The 70's
Jaws (1975)- One of the greatest movies of all time, Jaws could easily be a top 5 movie in any decade, and not just on a Horror countdown. People were afraid to go swimming -even in lakes or pools- when this came out, because it was truly that terrifying. I can still remember seeing the infamous opening scene, and hiding my eyes every time the girl got tugged under the water... "I think you're gonna need a bigger boat." Indeed. Everything about this movie is fantastic, and it needs to be in everyone's collection. It's worth owning just for Robert Shaw's performance alone.

The 80's
The Fly (1986)- Cronenberg strikes again! Jeff Goldblum is freaky-looking enough on a daily basis, but when he starts his slow transformation into the Brundlefly, he becomes something truly nightmarish. The thought of a man genetically splicing his DNA (by accident) with that of a fly, and becoming a huge ass man-fly mongoloid monster...well how can you not love that? Especially when he pukes on things before he eats them! I do so miss intelligent Horror. Please come back, David Cronenberg!

The 90's
Dracula (1992)- This is a tour de force in Vampire filmdom; a master director, two master thespians in Hopkins and Oldman, and the master of darkness himself! Gary Oldman is brilliant as Dracula, giving him varied layers of humanity and non-humanity that compel you to like him as much as you might fear him. The look and feel of the movie are perfect, classic in every way, and the bloody mayhem is just as impressive. this may just be the best Vampire movie ever made (although that's highly debatable.) Watch it and love it.

The 2000's
Battle Royale (2000)- This movie may not be well known by American audiences, but it needs to be. This is a sick movie, forcing a middle school class to kill each other off with a variety of weapons until only one child is left standing (Hunger Games, anyone?), and it serves a dual purpose. One is to shock us; seeing kids killing each other in cruel ways is truly disturbing. Two is to make a statement; this movie is rife with social commentary, and it gets the point across quite well. Find the DVD of this great movie, I promise you wont be disappointed.

See you tomorrow with #6...

October 24, 2008

90's Horror Hottie- Sarah Michelle Gellar

She staked her way into our hearts in 1997, and took the Horror world by storm... she's Sarah Michelle Gellar! I talk to her all the time (via a poster on my wall), and she truly is amazing; not only does she carry the Horror torch into the new millennium,but she does so while remaining hot in the process.

Bitch tried to kill me once.
I first met SMG when I found her crawling down my hallway trying to stake me; this picture is obviously proof of that. We wrestled for what seemed like hours, until my tapioca slingshot finally took the energy out of her, and saved my life. We became fast friends after that. Odd how she went on to star as a Vampire Slayer shortly after our little "incident," isn't it? You owe me big time, Sarah!

That is actually my hand.
Years later, I did try to kill her as a sort of payback (as proven again by the above photograph), but playing an ass-kicking Slayer had made her too tough by that point, and she gave me the slip.

Aside from Buffy, she's starred in Teen Horror classics such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Scream 2... again, remaining hot and sassy throughout it all.

I'll bet that carpet smells of vanilla and regret.
SMG continued her horrific ways well into the 2000's, both by marrying Freddie Prinze Jr., and by starring in such Genre Gems as The Grudge, The Grudge 2, Possession, and The Return. Say what you will about those movies, but they suck way less than Freddie Prinze Jr. does. Way less.
As time wore on, SMG spent some time at a sex rehab clinic, only to find herself kicked out for being too naughty. *I may have made that up, but it sounds too good to not make up, right?

"Maybe, maybe not!"
So she has scared us, thrilled us, made us sweat, and made us scream her name at her poster while dancing around the room naked... and for all of this, we Horror Fans owe her a debt of gratitude. Thanks, Sarah. Thanks.