It's Halloween Movie Weekend
The ten horror movies I will be watching this weekend.
To milk Halloween for ratings, cable TV has been overflowing with assorted horror films. Most of them suck to one degree or another plus they are chopped up by editors and filled with inane commercials. Watch these shows at your own risk.
So rather than watch what TV wants to give me I have lined up ten DVDs of my favorite horror films to watch over this Friday-Saturday-Sunday Halloween weekend.
This is not a list of the ten best horror films ever made. It is simply my list for the weekend. I am not into gory slasher crap or sawing off body parts. Let others "entertain" themselves with those films. I will stick with classic themes.
So the popcorn has been purchased and pizza will be ordered. Time to enjoy my favorite holiday.
#1 - Dracula (1931)
Yes I have seen this thing a million times since childhood. But I just can't help myself. It is the classic that started it all. My recent review and re-reading of the book impressed upon me all the more the power of the story.
The creepy atmosphere and black and white filming of the 1931 version cannot be beat. And we cannot forget the great Dwight Frye as Renfield. He nearly steals the film. If you could combine this and the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola version your would have the perfect Dracula movie.
#2 - Resident Evil (2002)
It is possible that I could watch Milla Jovovich all day.
Everything is there for the modern sci fi horror flick: genetically engineered zombies, artificial intelligence, the evil Red Queen who seals the Hive and kills everyone inside. Zombies and mass killings. What is there not to like?
#3 - Tremors (1990)
I was blown away when I saw this in the theater. My God, it is the perfect horror comedy. Oddly it is funnier than Hell, scary and politically correct at the same time. In an unusual move for the time, we have multiple racial groups available for munching by the graboids.
Also, a double thumbs up to Val and Earl, the two best handymen ever.
|Earl Bassett: "Damn it Valentine, you never plan ahead, you never take the long view, I mean here it is Monday and I'm already thinking of Wednesday... It is Monday right?"|
#4 - The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Now were are into hardcore horror with this remake. The movie is frightening on many levels with mutants, people being burned alive, rape and cannibalism.
#5 - Blade (1998)
This film starring Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson took traditional vampires in a totally new direction. We now saw vampire corporate boards of directors, vamp discos with blood spraying from the ceiling sprinklers and corrupt cops on the vamp payroll. Into the middle of this mad world comes Blade both slicing and dicing vamps.
|Jenny Williams: "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright."|
#6 - The Wolf Man (1941)
This universal classic stars the great Lon Chaney, Jr. as "The Wolf Man" and features Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, and Béla Lugosi. A wonderful cast.
In look and feel the movie closely resembles Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, The Mummy and Dracula. It is way too short 70 minutes in length. The wolf man special effects stand up well even today.
#7 - Underworld (2003)
Wow! Forbidden vampire / werewolf love.
Again I was blown away in the theater by Underworld. The movie broke new ground with Kate Beckinsale as a vampire who is a Death Dealer Lycan hunter. Stylish Gothic visuals, leather clad vamps, great special effects and solid action scenes with gun play and silver whips.
#8 - Dawn of the Dead (2004)
I never really like zombie films until this remake and Resident Evil came along. The dead walking left the supernatural realm and became a modern bio-hazard science based horror. Scary because it sounds like it could happen.
The film depicts a handful of human survivors living in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin shopping mall surrounded by swarms of zombies.
#9 - Halloween (1978)
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho created the slasher film, but John Carpenter's Halloween set the stage for countless copy cats. The victims were usually sexually promiscuous substance abusers, while the lone heroine is depicted as an innocent and pure kid who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I hate to date myself, but I was in the theater on opening night. Halloween was wonderful and it still the only "slasher" film I will watch. Many slasher movies since then have gone over to bloody gore while Halloween was tame by comparison.
Carpenter's music helped make the film. Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut were outstanding.
#10 - The Lost Boys (1987)
I am so old that I can remember when Kiefer Sutherland was young.
The Lost Boys was fantastic on the wide screen. A totally offbeat hippie vampire flick. There is a near perfect balance between humor and suspense. Dianne Wiest is great as an ex-hippie mom and Barnard Hughes shines as grandpa.
Have a happy Halloween. See you all down the road.
|David: "Now you know what we are, now you know what you are. You'll never grow old, Michael, and you'll never die. But you must feed!"|