16 October 2011

October 16th

The Munsters: "Herman, Coach of the Year" (1965) directed by Norman Abbott
L'il K was refusing to eat her lunch, so I suggested we head downstairs with lunch and watch some Munsters. That did the trick.  I'm not exactly sure what she sees in this show, but she seems to love it.  This one had her cracking up over Herman's pathetic attempts to train Eddie in track.  It's a bit of weird episode, in that Grandpa whips up some drugs (he calls them magic pills) that give Eddie super track-and-field powers.  Though it turns out in the end that Eddie wasn't even taking the pills, it's not really a message you'd see in a sitcom these days.

The Munsters: "Happy 100th Anniversary" (1965) directed by Ezra Stone
Herman and Lily decide to secretly buy each other a present for their 100th wedding anniversary.  They each think the other has forgotten the day and comedy ensues.  What stuck me is that they each decide to spend $1000 on the present.  According to the inflation calculator, that's $6800 in today's money.  Wow!  Hmm... look at this: on Wikipedia, there wedding anniversary chart does indeed go to 100 years (?) and they say that's supposed to be a 10-carat diamond gift.  According to Wikianswers, a 10-carat diamond ring costs between $250k and $1.1m.  So, I guess they really weren't spending enough, then...

The Munsters: "Operation Herman" (1965) directed by Norman Abbott
Eddie has to get his tonsils out.  Guess what happens when Herman goes to the hospital to visit him?  Yep, they think he's an accident victim who needs surgery.  Best part is Fred Gwynne acting drunk after Herman is given nitrous oxide at the hospital.

The Munsters: "Lily's Star Boarder" (1965) directed by Ezra Stone
Over Herman's objections, the family posts an ad to rent their spare bedroom.  A policeman takes the room in order to conduct surveillance on the criminal operation going on in the house across the street.  What crime are they committing?  They're selling stolen furs.  That's right, there's a suburban house filled with grim-faced, sharply-dressed mobsters, all stuffing furs into garment boxes in the manliest way possible.  Crime was different back then, I guess.

Taken by L'il K using a Fisher Price camera.
Modern art museums: call me.  We have dozens of these things.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992) directed by Anthony Hickox
I hadn't seen this one in many years and now I remember why.  Pinhead just won't shut the hell up in this movie.  He has seemingly endless speeches about pain, flesh, desire, etc.  There's also the laughing.  Pinhead is constantly cackling like a typical horror movie monster, sounding a helluva lot like Freddy when he does so.  At best, Pinhead should only chuckle dismissively, as he does in Hellbound when Kirsty tells him she's come for her father.  And then there's the killing.  Why does Pinhead massacre an entire club full of people?  Isn't he supposed to be an "explorer in the further regions of experience"?  Shouldn't he have chained them all up for later play time?  In short, the character's just completely wrong.  Yeah, yeah, he's been separated from both Hell's rules and his human side... whatever.  He's still acting like a typical slasher villain and a parody of his former self.

Also: CD Cenobite.  Enough said. (5/10)

Clive Barker: The Art of Horror (1992) directed by Christopher Holland
Paramount was thoughtful enough to throw this on the Hell on Earth DVD.  Back in the day, you could buy a VHS two-pack with both movies together.  Basically, it's Barker talking about his philosophy of art for half an hour.  I found it pretty interesting, particularly his thoughts on the tedium of being trapped in flesh.

The Walking Dead: "Days Gone By" (2010) directed by Frank Darabont
Though The Walking Dead comic series is my favorite zombie story of all time, I waited an entire year to start watching the show.  Why?  Well, I don't have cable and it seemed like Halloweentime would be the time to watch such a show instead of last November.  It was worth the wait.  This a tremendous first episode and probably the best piece of made-for-TV horror ever.

One thing they've gotten really, really right is the emotional aspect of the story.  Rick collapses in pain on the floor of his house upon finding it empty and realizing the gravity of the situation he's woken up into.  I love the tears in his eyes as he speaks to the half zombie crawling in the field before shooting her.  If the show follows the arc of the comic, it was quite important to see where Rick's reaction to killing starts off at.  Lennie James, in particular, does a helluva job as Morgan.  The scene in which he tries and fails to shoot his zombie wife was astoundingly good.

The introduction to the zombies was also perfect.  These are Romero-style slow walkers.  At the start of the episode, we only see one or two at a time.  They're annoying, but not a problem.  But, damn, when Rick turns a corner on that street in Atlanta and sees hundreds of the things, that's when you realize the full extent of their threat.  And then when he hides under the tank, with zombies crawling towards him from all side... wow, great suspense.

I'm hoping the TV series has the iron balls that the comic series does.  In the comic, anything could happen to anyone at anytime.  That is one of the things that is so special about it.  No other series has shocked me as much as Walking Dead.  Rick is the only character who will never be killed off, and even that doesn't help him much.  The introductory scene of this episode, in which Rick is forced to kill a poor zombie child, seems like a good sign that they won't be holding back at all.  At any rate, I'm crossing my fingers that the level of quality seen in this episode somehow continues.

1 comment:

  1. Walking Dead earns award for Good Pilot Followed By Bullshit. But I've been accused of hating too many things before...