31 October 2010

October 31st - HALLOWEEN

Chauffeured trick-or-treating.
Thus ends the 8th annual Six Weeks of Halloween celebration.  I watched 80 full-length horror movies this year, slaughtering previous records by a great deal.  I had six excellently fun Saturday nights with friends.  I drank lots o' beer and ate lots o' pizza and candy.  And, best of all, I got to take my eldest daughter out trick-or-treating for the very first time.  It was a good Six Weeks.

Friday the 13th (2009) directed by Marcus Nispel
Since I watched the Elm Street remake a while back, I thought I should probably catch up on Jason's remake as well.  Well, more of a re-imagining than a remake.  There's a handful of small elements lifted from the first three of the original series (namely: Pamela's decapitation, Jason keeping her head in a shrine and Jason switching from a sack mask to a hockey mask), but it's an original story, otherwise.  I'm not a fan of what they did with Jason here.  Kind of like the original Part 2, he's pretty much just a deformed redneck, but this Jason is smart enough to hook up tripwire alarms and dig an underground hideout under his mom's house. Jason shouldn't be that smart.  He's like a force of nature.  Giving him these engineering abilities is like watching a bear drive a car.

Outside of that, it's just Jason killing people again like he always does.  I like Jason movies, but I was bored out of my mind with this for some reason.  Mostly, he seems to kill people with his machete.  Very uninteresting.  I miss the old Jason who would pick up a sleeping bag and slam it against a tree or use hedge clippers for impromptu eye surgery.  Something just didn't feel right about the old guy in this one.  Even Cyber-Jason in X felt more Jason-ish to me.  I dunno.  Maybe I'm just a grumpy child of the '80s who's sick of these remakes. (5/10)

The Last Horror Film (1982) directed by David Winters
With J over to help me celebrate the holiday, we picked a movie neither of us had seen.  We've seen Maniac, but this other "Joe Spinell is crazy" movie's been in both of our Netflix queues for a while.  It didn't disappoint in the crazy department.  Spinell plays a cabbie obsessed with a horror movie actress.  He's so obsessed, he travels to all the way to Cannes to try to get her to act in a movie he's written.  And by try to get her to act, I mean he starts stalking her and seemingly films himself murdering the people around her.  Needless to say, she doesn't warm up to the idea of being in his movie immediately.

Joe's mother in the film is played by his real-life mom and she is absolutely precious.  She's always trying to talk sense into her nutty son by offering him baked macaroni.  Aww.  She also has the best final line in a movie ever for an old lady: "Vinny! You got a joint?" (6/10)

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) directed by Dwight H. Little
This sequel sort of ties in with Zombie's Part 2 that J and I watched a few weeks ago, so I popped it in.  I've always thought Halloween 4 was a pretty solid slasher movie.  I like that everyone in town immediately takes the threat of Michael Myers seriously.  We completely skip the "convince people the monster is real" stage of the typical horror movie and dive right into the "barricade the house" part.  Also atypical: the redneck lynch mob that chases after Myers with pickup trucks and shotguns -- though they do shoot someone accidentally first -- actually finds and kills Myers successfully.  Sure, he survives because there is a Part 5, but, had this been the final movie in the series, we'd have to assume The Evil that Loomis fears so much is now living in Jamie instead.  I dig it.  It's a nice slasher to pull out every few Halloweens. (7/10)

The Funhouse (1981) directed by Tobe Hooper
Also a nice slasher to watch every once-in-a-while and another movie J'd never seen before.  I love showing people cool, forgotten movies they haven't caught yet..  Plus, carnivals are inherently scary, so it's never a bad idea to set a horror movie at one.  It's true, hiding in the carnival's dark ride to try to spend the night in it may seem like a good idea -- especially when you're smoking the doobies and having premarital sex -- but, generally, you're probably going to discover there's a mutant freak living beneath it who's pissed off because he just got charged $100 for a handjob from an old fortune teller.  Happens all the time.

What is it with '80s horror movies having little brothers trying to see their older sisters naked?  If I recall, the same thing happened at the beginning of Night of the Demons, too.  I'm thinking Kevin Tenney and Tobe Hooper share some issues they should really work out... (7/10)

Phantasm II (1988) directed by Don Coscarelli
J had to depart due to increasing cat allergies -- damn you, Poe the Cat -- so I was on my own for the rest of the night.  Straight to horror comfort food went I.  If I could live in any horror movie universe -- and living underwater with Dagon was out of the question -- I'd be sitting with Reg and Mike in a 'cuda, hunting the Tall Man. (8/10)

Halloween (1978) directed by John Carpenter
The perfect slasher film.  This was the 12th Halloween in a row that I've watched this film.  It was a particular treat watching the Blu-ray using my projector and screen this year.  It's fun noticing all of the little details that were lost on my tiny 32" LCD in years prior.  For example, Laurie watches some kids trick-or-treating at one point and I'd never noticed one of the kids is wearing the same Superman costume I had when I was little.  Then, the angle reverses and Laurie watches another group of kids... but they're the same kids with the same costumes.  Heh, the seams of Carpenter's shoestring budget start to show the more you blow it up. (9/10)

Halloween is over.  Thanksgiving looms.

1 comment:

  1. The thing that doesn't feel right about the F13 remake is that the entire thing is premised on Jason protecting his weed. Other than that, you're right about the boringness of the kills. Why have one of the most gloriously annoying douchebags ever in the history of film (the blonde dude) if you're not going to kill him in some sort of really creative/painful way? Frustrating.

    Happy Halloween!