Halloween Ramblings part 1
October 13, 2011

Other than writing and videogames, what does Joe like? Horror flicks, thrillers and b-movies! Oh god, I could talk your ear off about the ridiculous, garish, gory, macabre, and downright effed up. So it's not a surprise when I say my favorite month is October. And what do I do every October except watch a slew of said films--the good and the bad--and find some place on the internet to gab about them?

I've been watching a lot this year, so I'm probably going to break this down into bite size portions and keep my ramblings to a minimum.

1.Superstition (1982) [aka The Witch]
My kind of campy horror flick! It's take no prisoners material where you can bet that anyone who appears on camera is going to die in some horrible way (like a saw blade mysteriously coming loose and flying through someone's torso). Unwitting residence of a remodeled house accidentally set loose a witch said to be a big time minion of Satan, and she goes on a predictable killing spree.

I don't know what it is about this flick that unnerves me a little, but the dark setting and depression mood of the film make for some truly dark material, even despite the opulence of kitsch.

2. Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
A giallo by Italian horror/thriller maestro Dario Argento. Robert, a drummer for a small time band, accidentally kills a man who has been harassing him and notices awitness in a strange puppet mask. The witness isn't interested in incriminating or in blackmailing Robert, and instead engages in a spree of shock- and paranoia-inducing tomfoolery, even going so far as to murder a few of Robert's close friends.

Not one of Argento's best entries, but a fun film. Unique and artistic camera shots, some very well-placed humor and commentary, and good old fashion terror without an overload of gore are what's in store for viewers.

3. See No Evil (2006)
Standard fare slasher flick with WWE's Kane as the antagonist. A fun mindless movie with many head nods to splatter flicks of the early '80s fused with gritty camera work. Decent for a rainy day film.

4. Grizzly (1976)
If I told you this standard fare "nature run amok" flick was a financial success, you might not believe me. This was a cash-in on Jaws starring b-movie legend Christopher George in which an 18 foot tall prehistoric grizzly somehow returns to life and begins feeding on campers during a national park's peak camping season. A park ranger (George) tries to close the operation for the summer, but the park supervisor is having none of it. Against the ranger's warning, he keep the park open and facilitates even more slaughter.

Sound familiar? Take Jaws, replace the shark with a bear, the ocean with a forest, and the mayor with a national park supervisor and voila! Many other plot devices from Jaws also make an appearance in Grizzly, but the lack of originality doesn't detract from making it a decent beer-'n-bad-movies-night watch.

5. Mulberry Street (2007)
Who would have ever thought that a movie about zombie-rat-people could actually be this good? The great acting and human feel make it a decent horror-drama, but one has to look past the fact that the main creatures are what they are. It's fast-paced and it's relentless. I can always dig that about a horror flick.

6. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)
What needs to be said about it? If you're a horror fan and you haven't seen this movie, do yourself and favor and rent it. The less you know about it, the better it'll be. [I will say, though, that this has some of the best visual effects of any monsters movie ever. Screw CG. This is where it's at!]

7. The Being (1983)
Jose Ferrer, Martin Landau, and a whole cast of b-list actors try to take out a cyclopean beast created by toxic waste.

Is this what you would call a 'good film'? HA! Even if Jackie Kong intended much of the humor, it came out much worse than she could have expected. Still a fun, horrible movie with plenty of laughable scenes. On a side note, this movie used to scare the shit out of me as a kid, but now days I find it silly entertainment.

Never tell anything that looks carnivorous to 'fuck off'.

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