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Posts Tagged ‘horror movies’

wanna see something really scary?

I was going to skip the traditional Halloween/horror movie post simply because I thought it was played out. But who knew? I got a bunch of mail from people looking for it. So whoomp, here it is.

In the past, I’ve mostly done Halloween themed movies, or horror movies in general. This year, we’ll go with favorite horror movie scenes (yea, I know I’ve done this too, but there are new readers, new movies, etc.).

I’m talking about those moments in a film where your hand is spread across your face and you’re watching a scene unfold through your fingers. You don’t want to look. But you do. And when you watch that scene again – because horror movies are always worth watching again – you know what’s coming and you’ll still leave that little space open between your fingers so you can see, but not really see.

Sometimes a particular scene will stay with your forever. You may forget the rest of the movie as time goes on, but that one scene makes a nest in your head and settles in for the long haul. And every once in a while, like when it’s 3am and you can’t sleep and you’re wondering what that noise in the hallway is, that scene will suddenly jump out of its nest and fly around your head.

A few from me:

The Ring – I did not like this movie at all, but that part where Samara climbs out of the well is enough to freak me out if I think about it at night.

Blair Witch – Another movie I didn’t care for, but the ending with the guy standing in the corner gave me the creep.

salemslot.jpg‘Salem’s Lot – “Open the window, Mark!” My sister used to try to scare me by going around to my bedroom window and scratching on it. That’s a good way to get yourself killed. By my hands.

Friday the 13th/Carrie – I put these two together because they are almost the same scene, different circumstances. Jason popping out of the water and Carrie’s hand coming out of the grave are really almost pedestrian in their simplicity. But something went right with these scenes where it went wrong for thousands of other movies. Because I know I screamed out loud both times. And I rarely do that.

Event Horizon – The woman with the black holes for eyes. This is an evil, evil, evil movie. The kind of movie that gets into your brain and makes your imagination turn on you.

Evil Dead – Tree rape. There’s something that will stick with you for a long time.

Jaws
– We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Yea, I’m gonna need a change of pants.

The Shining – This movie wasn’t nearly as scary as the book. That said, the scene where Danny is riding his Big Wheel down the hallway and meets up with the twins haunted me for a few nights.

Asylum
– Does anyone besides me even remember this movie? It was a trilogy of scary stories. The one with the severed hand crawling around seeking revenge on the husband gave me nightmares. I was only ten at the time. What the hell was my mother thinking taking me to see that? Eh, I should probably thank her.

The Fly (original) – Holy shit. I think this was the first movie scene to ever really freak me out. I must have been about six or seven when I watched this with my mother. She was a huge Vincent Price fan and would make us watch all his movies when they were on tv (I think this was one of those “horror week” things on the WPIX 4:00 movie). When you see the human face on that fly and hear the tiny, pathetic “Help me!” – that’s damn terrifying to a little kid. For weeks after I would look in spider webs for human flies, just in case anyone was looking for help.

Trilogy of Terror – Is there anything more terrifying than a made for tv Karen Black movie? Yes. It’s when Karen Black meets up with an evil tribal doll. I’ll let the pictures do it justice here.

Yea, I’ll be sleeping with the light on tonight.

That’s a few of mine. Yours?

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We watched The Exorcist last night. It was part of AMC’s MonsterFest so, being on AMC, it was a bit cut up and it was the original version, the one without the Regan spider walk, without some of the Captain Howdy flashes.

I saw The Exorcist in the theater when I was 11 years old. When I say I was raised on horror movies, I’m not exaggerating. My mother saw nothing wrong with taking a little kid to see a movie in which a young girl turns her head around, vomits on a priest and, oh yea, fucks herself with a crucifix. If someone took their 11 year old to see that film now, they’d be charged with child abuse, thanks to the pussification of our society.

I had already been through thousands of horror movies with my mother before that. Not much scared me. Scary movies entertain me, they don’t really frighten me. I’m more scared of movies where the antagonist is a real human, where the premise is a possibility, even if a remote one (see Last House on the Left), and I’m more creeped out by psychological mind fucks (see Session 9) than I am by gore and demons. But I love horror movies. I love the gore, I love the blood, I love the ridiculous demons (see Hellraiser). They just don’t scare me, per se.

I hadn’t seen The Exorcist since that the original release. It would show up on tv every once in a while, but I never sat down to watch it again, because I remember it as one of the only horror movie that gave me a real fright. Just one scene; one quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene that is almost inconsequential to the film and has nothing to do with Linda Blair’s histrionics. It’s about an hour into the film, where Father Karras is dreaming about his dead mother. She comes up out of a subway station and for about half a second the demonic face of Captain Howdy flashes on the screen:

Out of everything that happened in the movie, this is what frightened me. It was sudden and unexpected and it was so fast, such a quick burst of that image, that if it weren’t for the gasps from people around me, I would have doubted that the image existed at all.

According to this Exorcist fan site, there were several subliminal images like this inserted into the film which, for whatever reason, were taken out of the theatrical release but later inserted back into the film for one of the gazillion DVD versions that were put out. There’s a list of them here, most of them from the Version You’ve Never Seen DVD.

I wanted to watch the movie last night just to see if that scene still scared me, and to really watch the film with an understanding that I did not possess at 11 years old. With fresh eyes, so to speak.

Unfortunately, those “fresh eyes” have been jaded by nearly 40 years of horror movie watching. What was fresh and daring in 1973 seemed simplistic and predictable to me now. The movie seemed slow and tedious, with the character development and atmospheric build up making me feel restless and impatient. Maybe because I knew there were better parts (or so my memory thought) coming, maybe because I was waiting for that one particular scene. I thought a lot of the story was disjointed and messy; the unearthing of the artifacts in Iraq really didn’t play a very important part in the movie. It could have been done to the same degree without that background. I felt like a lot of the imagery was forced in order to make connections between everyone in the film. And what was the deal with the Homicide detective? He was an extraneous character that seemed to exist only to fill up time. What was never really explained was, why Regan? Why did the demon that was presumably unleashed in Iraq possess this little child in Georgetown? Was it the Ouija board? Were they trying to tell us what my grandmother insisted back in the 70’s, that playing with an Ouija board is an open invitation to let demons into your home?

Well, the scene finally came up with Father Karrass’s dream. There’s the subway, there’s his mother, there he is running for her, there…………oh damn it all to hell, I blinked. I literally blinked and missed it. My sole reason for watching – to see if that scene still scared me – was null and void.

We continued watching anyhow. I did see Captain Howdy at some other point in the movie, and I was disappointed, though not shocked, that they cut the scene with Regan and the crucifix. There were also typical AMC edits here and there and they cut out the entire “your mother sucks cocks in hell” dialogue instead of editing it. Which is fine, as AMC is notorious for bad editing.

smellysocks.jpg

The viewing wasn’t a total waste, however. There’s always unintended lessons to be learned from horror movies. For instance, when the priest tells the demon inside Regan that if he is really the devil, he can make her restraints disappear, it says “That’s much too vulgar a display of power….” So, I figured out where Pantera got an album title from.

And I also realized that I am still more frightened by the absolute depravity of a movie like Last House on the Left than I am by things that go bump in the night.

For your viewing pleasure, the deleted-from-the-original spider walk scene:


Some time before Halloween, I’ll tell you a story that involves some drunken teenagers, a “haunted” graveyard and the theme to the Exorcist.

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weekend viewing /horror movies

Just in time for Halloween – B movies! And I mean FREE B movies that you can watch online.

In addition to full length horror and sci-fi movies, they also have Kung-Fu and westerns.

The first thing I noticed was the full length version of Asylum. My mother, who raised me on horror movies, took me to see this film in the theater when I was ten.

A young psychiatrist interviews four inmates in a mental asylum to satisfy a requirement for employment. He hears stories about 1) the revenge of a murdered wife, 2) a tailor who makes a suit with some highly unusual qualities, 3) a woman who questions her sanity when it appears that her brother is conspiring against her, and 4) a man who builds tiny toy robots with lifelike human heads.

I have not seen this movie since 1972, but I can still recall vividly the severed hand crawling up the stairs and the little robots that haunted my dreams for weeks after.

There’s Carnival of Souls, creepy and atmospheric. The original House on Haunted Hill. Nosferatu, Night of the Living Dead and White Zombie. I could spend entire days here, maybe not even watching the whole movies but fast forwarding to the best parts.

Oh, and there’s Bad Taste, Peter Jackson’s cinematic glory about brain harvesting aliens. And you’ve got A Boy and His Dog, Teenagers From Outer Space, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.….can you tell I’m excited? I haven’t even checked out the Kung Fu yet.

Well, this presents the perfect opportunity for my annual Halloween Horror Movie Poll. This time I’ll ask, what are your favorite BAD horror movies? Anything that can be considered a B Movie, or is listed on badmovies.org counts. All those cheesy Vincent Price films, the slew of 80’s slasher flicks….so many bad horror movies, so little time before Halloween to watch them all.

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Halloween fun: guess the horror movie

I have two horror movie collages I made a while ago. Click for bigger image. The first one is definitely harder – more obscure movies and harder to place images. The second one – which I will post when these are guessed, should be easier, especially if you are a fan of 80’s slasher flicks.

I lost the answer keys to these, so I’ll have to go through myself and figure some of these out. I’m really depending on you guys to come through here.

By the way, 42 is sort of a bonus thing. It’s one of my favorite horror movies and if you guess it, you get my undying adoration.

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I know this is old hat, but I’m on a horror movie kick right now (part of my Halloween preparation) and it’s a good question:

What’s the scariest MOMENT from a horror movie? What scene made you jump out of your seat or cover your eyes? Which moment from a scary movie haunts your sleep to this day?

One of the best comes from a movie I really didn’t like all that much. Thing is, I like creepy more than I like scary. Gore and guts and blood and monsters popping out from nowhere may give me chills or make me jump out of my seat, but it’s the creepy things that stay with me and keep me from turning the lights off at night. While I get immense enjoyment from great horror films like Dead Alive or Evil Dead, it’s movies like Session 9 and Event Horizon that stay with me long after the credits roll and give me nightmares.

I did not enjoy Blair Witch Project. I thought it was long and drawn out and really boring in too many parts.blairwitch2.jpg I struggled to stay awake for most of the movie. Yet the film has one redeeming feature. It contains what, in my eyes, is one of the creepiest moments on film. The ending, where Michael is standing completely still and facing the corner. It was so unsettling, so unnerving that it made sitting through that entire movie worth it. I can’t even explain to you why I found it so creepy or why I saw that scene when I closed my eyes for many nights after I saw the movie or why I still get chills when I think about it. I think it was the ambiguity, the absence of any explanation, the total unknowing feel about it that gave me the creeps.

More:

‘Salem’s Lot – Oh, you know which scene. Face in the window. My sister used to try to scare me by going around to my bedroom window and scratching on it. That’s a good way to get yourself killed. By my hands.

Friday the 13th/Carrie – I put these two together because they are almost the same scene, different circumstances. Jason popping out of the water and Carrie’s hand coming out of the grave are really almost pedestrian in their simplicity. But something went right with these scenes where it went wrong for thousands of other movies. Because I know I screamed out loud both times. And I rarely do that.

Event Horizon – The woman with the black holes for eyes. This is an evil, evil, evil movie. The kind of movie that gets into your brain and makes your imagination turn on you.

Jaws – We’re gonna need a bigger boat. Yea, I’m gonna need a change of pants.

The Shining – This movie wasn’t nearly as scary as the book. That said, the scene where Danny is riding down the hallway and meets up with the twins haunted me for a few nights.

Asylum
– Does anyone besides me even remember this movie? It was a trilogy of scary stories. The one with the severed hand crawling around seeking revenge on the husband gave me nightmares. I was only ten at the time. What the hell was my mother thinking taking me to see that? Eh, I should probably thank her.

The Fly (original) – Holy shit. I think this was the first movie scene tothefly2.jpg ever really freak me out. I must have been about six or seven when I watched this with my mother. She was a huge Vincent Price fan and would make us watch all his movies when they were on tv (I think this was one of those “horror week” things on the WPIX 4:00 movie). When you see the human face on that fly and hear the tiny, pathetic “Help me!” – that’s damn terrifying to a little kid. For weeks after I would look in spider webs for human flies, just in case anyone was looking for help.

Trilogy of Terror – Is there anything more terrifying than a made for tv Karen Black movie? Yes. It’s when Karen Black meets up with an evil tribal doll. I’ll let the pictures do it justice here (I wrote about it already here).

Yea, I’ll be sleeping with the light on tonight.

So those are just a few of my favorite/most terrifying moments from horror movies. Let’s hear about yours.

Here’s the 100 scariest scenes at Retrocrush, to get your memory going.

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a review of hostel, brought on by power tools

is that a drill in your pants

We watched Hostel Friday night. Well, we watched most of it. I made Todd turn the channel a couple of times. There were some scenes that bothered me and I tried to put it out of my mind until I looked at this drill on Saturday and thought “man, you could really fuck someone up with that thing.” Which got me thinking – why did Hostel bother me and other horror movies don’t? It has something to do with killing someone outright and taking your time with the killing.

I’m a big fan of horror movies. It’s probably my favorite genre. But I had never seen Hostel up until now. There are a few reasons I put it off; first, today’s crop of horror movies just don’t do it for me. I feel that everything has been done before, nothing scares me, the blood and gore levels have been saturated and there just aren’t any good horror movie directors out there who know how to scare with atmosphere and suspense, and not just tons of slice and dice.

Another reason I put it off is the premise. Which I find interesting, in a navel gazing sort of way. Blood and gore don’t bother me. Multiple killings don’t bother me. Gratuitous death, dismemberment, ritual killings, whatever. I’ve seen it all. But torture. That’s where I draw the line. It’s not because I find it morally reprehensible or anything like that; I’m not really considering my morals when watching horror flicks. It’s the whole aspect of torture that creeps me out. Just waiting to die. Looking at the instruments your torturer has lined up, knowing what’s in store for you or, even worse, not knowing what’s in store for, not knowing how long it will take him to kill you, if he’ll even kill you at all. I can deal with the instant deaths that happen in most horror movies. But slow, drawn out deaths where the person is cognizant of what’s happening to them torments me. It’s why I’ll never watch movies where someone is buried alive.

When Hostel first came out and I saw clips of it and read stories about it, I figured director Eli Roth was doing what he did just to see how far he could push the horror envelope, how far he could take the genre before someone slapped an NC17 on his movie or banned it all together. I thought of Hostel as horror porn, and Eli Roth nothing more than a pornographer.

But given my reaction to the movie – and my desire to actually sit down and watch the whole thing again – Roth did what he set out to do. He expanded on the genre in a way that would get people like me – who think they have seen it all – to watch his movie and realize that no, they have not seen it all. Sure, they have been plenty of movies that dealt with torture – Silence of the Lambs comes to mind – but most of those have been psychological drama that had to do more with the drama of the story than the horror of it. Hostel is different in that it never tries to pass itself off as serious cinema. The plot line, while different, is transparent and ridiculous at times. The dialogue is simple, the acting is nothing spectacular. It’s a typical horror movie – no name actors where plot and script don’t matter as much as the killing.

It’s really like porn in a way. Torture in horror movies was the one thing I never liked, but Roth got me to look at it, just like how there are things I never really cared for during sex that I will look at it if I’m watching porn. Is that a good or bad thing? I’m not sure. I just know that I do want to watch what I missed as well as see Hostel 2.

And I do wonder what you can do to a person with that drill before they would be dead.

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Hey, it’s Friday the 13th! Which makes me think about frightening things. Well, not really, as I’m not scared of a day/number combination. I have a lot of weird fears, but this ain’t one of them. But it does make me think of horror movies. Or maybe it just gives me a reason to post my favorite scene from a scary movie.


Trilogy of Terror

I grew up on horror. chiller.jpg I was in maybe first grade when my Mom got me hooked on Dark Shadows and Vincent Price movies. Other kids gathered around the tv with their family on Sunday evenings to watch Wonderful World of Disney. We stayed up late together on Friday nights to watch Chiller Theater. I think watching so much horror from such an early age sort of desensitized me. As I got older I realized that, while I enjoyed scary movies as much as always, I just didn’t get that frightened. I didn’t jump when everyone else did or scream when everyone else did. What I mean is, the movies just didn’t scare me while I was in the theater. It wasn’t until I got home and was by myself in the dark that I turned into a pussy. But I bet a lot of you are the same way. I’m just admitting it.

So, I’ve seen a lot of horror movies in my time. Hundreds. Movies you have seen a thousand times. Movies you never heard of. Big budget crapfests. Indie crapfests. Foreign crapfests. Yea, most horror movies end up being crapfests. Just the way it is. The really great ones are far and few between. And lately, even the mediocre ones aren’t that many. The art of making a good horror movie seems to be lost (that’s another rant for another day). But, gore, blood, murder, ghosts, vampires, mindfucks, slashers, freaks, voodoo….you name it, I’ve seen it. And out of all of those movies, all of the genres of horror, all of the screams within, the one movie that left such an impression on me that I still freak out when I look at a picture from it was a made for tv movie.

Trilogy of Terror. Written by Richard Matheson. 1975. trilogy14.jpgThree different horror stories, all starring Karen Black. I can’t remember what the other two were about. I just remember the one. The tribal doll. That creepy, evil little doll with the knife and the leer.

For those that never saw this, short premise: Black buys a Zuni fetish doll for her boyfriend. Not for nothing, but if a date ever brought me something that looked like this, I’d think twice about where things were headed. But anyhow, she brings it home and gets ready for her date. She also has a fight with her overbearing mother on the phone. Setting the stage, there.

Somehow,the doll’s necklace falls off and it’s revealed that’s a big mistake. No necklace = live doll.

Let me tell you. What happens in the next ten minutes or so after Black realizes the doll is alive still gives me the chills, just thinking about.amelia2.jpg When she hears the pitter patter of little feet in the kitchen, you know. You want to say to her, get the hell out of the apartment, woman, that doll is gonna spear you! But the doll says, fuck this spear, I need me a knife. He finds a butcher knife. As he torments Black, he repeatedly stabs the knife into the floor. With that look on his face. Mind you, this thing is only like a foot tall, if that. And he moves real quick. And he has this ugly, snarling face of pure evil.

The light goes out in the living room. You hear a sound. He’s slashing at her. In the dark! He backs her into a closet and she traps him in a suitcase. And then you see the knife cutting a circle in the suitcase and the doll is out and back in action. Finally, Black traps the bastard in the oven, which has been on this whole time. He goes up in flames and stupid, stupid Karen Black, that dumb son of a bitch, she opens the oven door. Why? Did she want to stick a toothpick in him to see if he was done yet?

Well, no amount of my screaming at the tv for her not to do that would help. She opened the gates of hell when she opened the oven and the Zuni Spirit of Random Murder flew out of the oven and into Karen Black’s soul. I thought that was the end. That would have been cool. I could have gone to bed satisfied with that and not had too many bad dream moments because of it.

But, no. You hear a phone call. She’s calling her mom.

Yea mom, come on over. Sorry I think you’re a controlling whack job, mom. Come on over and we’ll do the hug thing, ok? Ok.

And then the camera moves to her. She’s crouched on the living room floor. She’s got….teeth. Fangs. She’s got a knife. And she’s repeatedly stabbing it into the floor.

foto-trilogia-2.jpg

Mom’s in for a big surprise when she gets there.

Hey, you can buy one of these dolls. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna put one of those hideous things in my house. Hell, I still can’t say Candyman five times into a mirror.

There are a lot of movie scenes that were, in retrospect, a lot scarier than that. There were some that played with my head, some that made me nearly pee my pants and some that gave me chills. The ending to The Thing. That scene in Salem’s Lot with the kid in the window. So many, I should probably make a list. But this is the one that stayed with me, that still shows up in my dreams once in a while.

(Retrocrush has my favorite list of scary movie moments)

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