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Halloween Horrors!


Guest son, jery

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Guest son, jery

Here's more horror goodies that'll be stacked up next to my cocktails and White Castle 'burgers. 1. Horror Express (1972)a real goodie about a monster aboard the Orient Express in l902. Fab cast. 2. Scanners. The original. Forget the yuccky sequels. 3. The Blob. The remake with a scarifying amoeba of a monster. 4. Zombie (1982)Fab Italian shocker from Lucio Fulci with an incredible music score by Fabio Frezzi. Yep, it's got gore but just close your eyes real tight when the close-ups become too hurl-inducing. 5. Halloween. The original. The sequels, as usual, got worse and worse and you can see them all on AMC'S Horrorfest. Frankly, in this case, AMC does a bang-up job of showing our favorite fright delites compared to TCM's rather anemic offerings. 6. Dario Argento's glittering gems of terror: Suspiria, Opera, Deep Red, Inferno, Phenomenae, Tenebre. 7. Carnival of Souls. Eerie and haunting--which proves once again you don't need a big budget or zillions of special effects to create a masterpiece. 8. House of Dracula. Among the last and the greatest of Universal's shockers: dig that opening scene of the vampire bite flapping its way over a moonlit landscape, up to a mansion window, etc. Great musical score, dream-like performances. Gosh, i'm worn out from just thinking of my Halloween horrors. Maybe I'll pop in "Sound of Music" during a break.

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Okay, don't beat me up verbally, but what about the late 70's or early 80's movie PHANTASM? I remember seeing it at a drive in and it scared the poop out of me. It had an evil, scary handy-man who went around saying, "Boooooy!" right before he threw a metal sphere that would bore it's way through your head!! I haven't seen this in years, but it would qualify for a gruesome Halloween movie.

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Guest son, jery

Woooo, that is a real horror goodie, Alix! I've got it on tape and haven't watched it for at least--a month! Seriously, this is a winner. I taped the uncut version from its showing on Cinamax. The versions you see on Sci-Fi Channel have been edited like hell. Whatta about the ALLIGATOR series and TREMORS? The originals were always the best. I'll have to say, though, the remakes of both INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and THE BLOB and THE THING were knockouts! Hey, I'm getting into my horror mood. Gotta stop and dig out my copy of PHANTASM!

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Guest Lyndsey

Haha, ALLIGATOR is one of those "guilty pleasures". Wasn't there a remake in the last decade? I saw THE MASK OF FU MANCHU with Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, and Myrna Loy last night. Oh, my it was strange! It was weird to see Myrna Loy as Karloff's (Chinese, obviously) "ugly and insignificant daughter"--how far away from Nora Charles is that?! Wonderful costumes, though. I also saw WHITE ZOMBIE once again (being that it was the horror thursday, as everyone probably knows), and I am just realizing how awful poor Madge Bellamy looks. I mean, I knew this before, as stated in the Flapper folder, but gosh. I think I have a little more appreciation for the film now that I've seen it, oh, almost 10 times! Oh, did anyone catch THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY??? I don't think I've seen it, but I have read the book. Did it stay pretty close to it (the book)???

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How about the "HOUSE OF WAX" with Vincent Price? I had the pleasure of seeing it in 3-D when it first came out. The film has some scary moments especially when cutie Phyllis Kirk hits Price in the face and the mask cracks away revealing a hideous sight. The music was also eerie as to compliment the horrible things happening in the museum with all those dead bodies covered in wax. Also liked Carolyn Jones with her squeaky voice whose body would get stolen from the morgue so she could become Joan of Arc under all that wax. A neat horror yarn. I think I'll watch it again on Halloween.

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Guest siegel, richard

Ah but then I pull the old Universals out of the vaults: Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Black Cat and The Raven...top of the line top drawer 100% never equaled "Horr-or" pronounced as only Dr Preatorious would. Then for a quick contaposito some faves from the chiller theatre - Monogram and poverty row houses: The Ape Man, The Devil Bat, Spooks Run Wild and maybe a chapter or two from the Phantom Creeps serial - in other words - Bela! Bela! Bela! At last we have you on film...or video. Pass the candy corn and wine...wait..."I never drink...wine."

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Guest Boyajian, Jerry

Well, I have to disagree vehemently. I think most of the Lewton horror films are absolutely wonderful. Not all of them: I'm not overly fond of The Ghost Ship or The Seventh Victim. To compare them against the Universal horror films makes for a specious argument. They are like apples and oranges. It's like trying to compare Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey because both are science fiction, but are completely different types of SF. The Universal films are more visceral, putting everything up front. The Lewton films are more suggestive, letting the viewer's imagination fill in the blanks. They are more like supernatural films noir than horror films, more suspenseful than scary, depending more on mood than thrills. At least three of the series I don't even consider to be "horror" films: Curse of the Cat People (which is more of a gentle children's fantasy), Isle of Dead, and Bedlam. I do have to admit that I consider Cat People to be somewhat overrated. Not because it isn't any good, just that I don't think it's quite as good as most people seem to feel it is. I think that the sequel is possibly the best of the nine Lewton films, though -- depending on my mood, I'll opt for this or The Body Snatcher. The Body Snatcher, The Leopard Man, and Bedlam are all good, solid, suspenseful films. Isle of the Dead a little less so.

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Guest Cat, Maggie the

Well, call me a pointy-headed intellectual, 'cause I'm with you, Jerry. They are very differentand I like both. I think the success of The Blair Witch Project is evidence that a Lewtonesque approach still has its appeal. If you're a 300-lb. NFL lineman, the Frankenstein monster isn't terribly scary, but if you're left to fill in the blanks with your own personal demons, you better have your Depends on!

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Guest finnie12, moira

It just occurred to me--I don't think anyone has mentioned a few fairly recent movies that poke gentle fun at classic (and not-so-classic), monster movies while telling some truths about the personal fears, major and minor tragedies that lie beneath an often sensational surface: "Jack the Bear" (1993): Danny DeVito as a tv horror show host in the '60s with quite a few monsters hidden in his family closet. A very underrated movie with effective performances by all, especially DeVito, Gary Sinise, and, as a vague memory glimpsed in flashback, Andrea Marcovicci. "Ed Wood" (1994): Tim Burton's funny, grotesque and sad portrayal of one of the worst movie directors in history--Johnny Depp plays the eponymous lead, and Martin Landau steals the show as Bela Lugosi in his last days. While we're on the subject, does anyone else like "Frankenweenie"(1984), Burton's early, funny short---a story told with a gentle voice about a dog who comes back from the dead? "Gods and Monsters" (1998): Director James Whale's last days---a wonderfully acted, oddly touching story illuminated by Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser. I hope that this doesn't seem too off the subject--but maybe these films could serve as an apertif before the Halloween feast...

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Guest K, Sandy

Moira, I thought I was the only person who liked JACK THE BEAR. And don't forget Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in a small role, too. GODS AND MONSTERS should be watched by anyone who likes the old Universal horror films. Sir Ian was never better. But my fave is ED WOOD. I love, love, love that movie! You either get it or you don't. I find anything that Tim Burton does to be interesting, even flops like PLANET OF THE APES (remake) and MARS ATTACKS. The quirky characters, the incredible performance by Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, the behind-the-scenes look at the way Wood made his low-low-budget flicks, I dig it all.

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Guest Cat, Maggie the

Great choices, Moira! I, too, lurrrve Ed Wood. I remember reading the copy on the video describing it like, "It's wacky!" When really, it's like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: a love story between two men. And Gods and Monsters is wonderful, too. A great Friday night triple-feature would be Universal Horror (Films On Film), Gods, and Bride of Frankenstein (Hollywood Full Circle). I've never heard of Jack the Bear, but thanks for the tip. I think both DeVito and Sinise are brilliant. Another film along the same lines would be Matinee, starring John Goodman as a William Castle-ish character.

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Guest son, jery

Poverty Row horror flicks fans rejoice! Alpha Video has put out the best/notorious of these fun flicks from the 30s and 40s on DVD at an incredible price of $4.50! I brought a batch of them last week and they're perfect for your horror library. "Maniac" from l934 is a must-see bit of hysteria! It's often been called "the ultimate worst movie ever made." The scene of the b-actor going crazy is one for the books. Other goodies are: "Dead Men Walk," (1946), "The Monster Maker" (1947), "The Death Kiss" (1934) this one starring the gorgeous David Manners and his old side-kick, bela lugosi. Another Alpha DVD I brought was "Carnival of Souls," again for $4.50. I couldn't believe how great it looked! Pristine, glowing, sharp blacks and whites and silvers. Another goodie budget distributor is Catcom.com. They put out terrific double-features on DVD and these are also less than $5.00. One real gem is "Deep Red" (yes, the Dario Argento shocker that you usually pay $29.00) and "Scars of Dracula." Another double-feature is the great "HOrror Express" and "Fury of the Wolfman." These budget faves don't have all the bells and whistles of their higher-market competitors, but if you just want to have an old favorite on disc, Alpha and Catcom are the only way to go.

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Guest son, jery

This might not be the right folder for an unholy nightmare I'm about to describe but it should scare all of you outta your jammies. I've already noted this atrocity in the "Musical" folder but here goes: Drew Barrymore has just signed a contract to portray Dorothy in SURRENDER, DOROTHY, a remake of "The Wizard of Oz." Groannnnnn. From stories in the NY media, this remake will be "darker, more cutting edge, from the viewpoint of the MTV generation." In this newest take on Oz, Dorothy will be a drug addict and teenage street tart who overdoses and hallucinates. For her wardrobe, she'll wear ripped jeans and a white tee shirt. Instead of ruby red slippers, she'll wear tennis shoes. Golly Gee, I'm getting so excited! This is one horror movie I think I'll pass on.

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Guest Lyndsey

Ugh, I know, I read your post in the Musicals folder. Hasn't Hollywood learned its lesson concerning remakes? I mean, how many of them (remakes) have actually been worthy of good, adaquate attention? (Rhetorical question). Well, there was THE BLOB re-do which was fab, but hmm...

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Guest olmsted, l

Lyndsey, if you get this write back and let me know: The Cinema La Placita in downtown is showing the 1931 version of Frankenstein tonight. Were you going to go? I know your a horror movie fan and I was thinking of going. Let me know :) LO

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Guest Cat, Maggie the

Hold your horses, kids! It's not a remake, it's a sequel. Dorothy is now an adult living in New York. According to producer Robert Kosberg:

''What if the Witch didn't die? What if it was all an act? And now it's the year 2000 and the Wicked Witch is still alive and well and mean and green and she's broken out of Oz Jail and she's on her way to New York to get those damn red slippers once and for all.''

It's certainly an interesting premise, and in the right hands, could be really cool. Kosberg produced 12 Monkeys, which was directed by Terry Gilliam. Gilliam's on the Hollywood sh*tlist right now for his failed Don Quixote pic, but I think he'd be a great choice. For a "children's" movie, Oz is pretty dark and disturbing. Those flying monkeys used the scare the pee outta me. To further mine that darkness is not as big a leap as you might think.

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Guest Lyndsey

DAMN!!! I knew I should have checked the boards and the newspaper the other day!!! (I get lazy sometimes.) Do you know what they are showing next week, l olmsted? I know "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" was shown a few weeks back. Sorry again!

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Wouldn't Halloween be the perfect time to show ISLAND OF LOST SOULS with Charles Laughton & Bela Lugosi? Gosh, that one gives me the creeps! Laughton is absolutely perfect as Dr. Moreau and the "House of Pain...."

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I just checked this week's TV Halloween schedule and its loaded with all kinds of goodies on many different channels. It's going to be difficult to choose one or two horror films over the other. AMC is showing some of the Universal gems "Dracula", "Frankenstein", "The Mummy", "The Wolfman" etc. It's a free for all so choose your goose bumps and have a frightfully good time.

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Guest walker02, ken

MONGO, I started to watch those Universal classics on AMC and each of the three were interupted by commercials , plus these had poor soundtracks to boot.Needless to say ,I didn't stay around for the finish.

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Ken I understand where your coming from. I was also disappointed with the many commercials that interruptedd the Universal classics on AMC. What a shame. Its too bad that TCM doesn't have the rights to air these films since they would be shown with the respect that they deserve.

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Guest olmsted, l

I think the movies were only being shown thru October and they're not showing anything on Halloween. Oh well. I didn't get to see the Frankenstein showing either. Next time!

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Guest Dan, Coffee

Fear not! TCM will be showing FRANKENSTEIN and THE MUMMY on January 11, THE INVISIBLE MAN on January 23, and SON OF FRANKENSTEIN on January 24, all in prime time. Okay, so they're not in time for Halloween, but heck -- it beats the hatchet job they get on AMC.

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