October 15, 2008

The 31 Days of Horror- #17

The Tall Man, a malevolent hitchhiker, The Cryptkeeper, and some poor infected devils...

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The 70's
Phantasm (1979)- "Boooooyyyyyy!" With that one simple word, heard by my tender little ears back in the early 80's, I learned that peeing your bed kept the Tall Man away. Flying spheres with retractable blades, gravity-crunched midget henchmen in robes, tuning fork gateways to "somewhere else" and the Tall Man... who is an true icon of Horror villainy. This movie is all about atmosphere, and Don Coscarelli pulls it off perfectly. Phantasm is one of those movies that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as other classics of the late 70's/early 80's, such as Halloween or Evil Dead. The sequels weren't too shabby either.

The 80's
The Hitcher (1986)- Attention creators of the crappy Hitcher remake: Did you even watch the original? My guess would be no, because if you had, you would have known that it was things like tension and believable characters that made that movie a classic. It was the realism of the 1986 classic that pulled us in and kicked our asses; a bunch of normal people, (two in particular) are terrorized by an insane maniac who just shows up and begins playing a demented game, thus ruining a bunch of lives in the process. Rutger Hauer's performance as Ryder is one of genius; a sadistic yet principled maniac, that reminds me of the Hannibal Lecter archetype. Screw the remake, because it's crap. The original is a true classic that you need to see.

The 90's
Demon Knight (1995)- You have to love the Crypt Keeper; his bony ass made us laugh and gave us our weekly dose of Horror back in the 80's, on HBO's Tales From the Crypt. Sure, a lot of the episodes were cheesy, hearkening back to the "amazing tales" type of stories told back in the early 1900's, but make no mistake, Demon Knight is a kick ass movie. Billy Zane rules as the Demon out to kill they guy who has a vial of Christ's blood, and the people who try to help him. Cool Demons, a cool premise, and all kinds of wicked action... this movie is every bit as fun of a Horror flick as Tremors, and then some.

The 2000's
Rec (2007)- What a coinkidink; I'm just about to post my review of Quarantine, which is the remake of [Rec.] The verdict? See the original first. This Spanish-made flick (yes, subtitles are needed if you intend on watching it) starts off with the typical "people trapped in a building" premise, which quickly turns into a story about a virus that turns the residents of the apartment building into infected/zombies of a sort... but it's the last 10 minutes of the movie that really kicked my ass. The movie turns into something completely different at that point, and once I wrapped my head around what they were telling me was going on, I was blown away. It may be one of the best endings to a Horror movie that I've seen recently; not in spectacle mind you, but in theme and concept. Check it out if you can, as it's much better than Quarantine, and a modern day classic.

See you tomorrow with #16...

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