Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 24: Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 24: Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla (Movie #41)

This is one of the most movies I own and I'm completely okay with that. This is one of those movies where during the entire 74 minutes all you can think is "someone approved this". It's one of the most incredibly baffling films I've ever watched.

This is just barely a "horror movie" in fact it's not a horror movie. The only horror elements are (a) the presence of Bela Lugosi and (b) a plot involving brain swapping… basically this is as much of a horror film as say… Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein.


This piece of cinema is the only film starring Duke and Sam. The duo was basically a duplicate of Dean and Jerry, this film basically killed their career before it even came out. When word spread that two impersonators were getting their own film many people (including Jerry Lewis) were furious and did everything in their power to make sure Duke and Sam never worked again. The duo split and remained mostly unseen excluding a few cameos in B-movies. 

The plot-line is confusing, bad and ends with one of the most cliche'd endings imaginable. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who wants to see it but I promise IT'S nothing you ALL couldn't hAve DREAMed up.

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to Geekscape.net, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 23: Friday the 13th (2009)

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 23: Friday the 13th (2009) (Movie #190)

Of all the big name slashers (Freddy, Jason, Myers, Chucky and Pinhead) I've only ever seen two of them on the big screen (Halloween H20 and this). So for that reason alone there will probably always be a special place in my heart for this remake that most people hated.

Let me start off the bat by saying I by no means think this is a great or even a good movie, but I do defend it. The reason is that it's not a terrible remake. In fact to compare it to last week's Nightmare on Elm Street this film is at least enjoyable.

The thing that helps this movie is that while it's a retelling/revamp/reboot/whatever you call it the film works as a sequel. They rush through the first film in the first 30 seconds (the same way basically every F13 sequel before it has) and the only elements ripped from previous films are the burlap sack and hockey mask. Unlike some other sequels that try to recreate moments from the original series this film at least treats itself like it's own movie with it's own unique version of Jason.


This is usually referred to as Jason and the Pot Farm due to the plot lines of "kids trying to find an infamous strain of weed" and the fact that Jason is more of a "stay off my property" killer than a "driven by a blood thirst" killer.  While I won't say this isn't a fair complaint I simply can't say this is the worst Jason movie ever. This may be stupid, but it's still better than Jason Takes Manhattan.

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to Geekscape.net, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 22: The Last Exorcism

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 22: The Last Exorcism (Movie #297)

Right off the bat I'm not a fan of found footage nor exorcism movies. However every once and a while I'll stumble upon a movie that I found entertaining or interesting enough that I decide to buy it when I see it on sale. That's basically The Last Exorcism in a nutshell. It's not a perfect movie but it's definitely worth the $4.99 at Best Buy price tag.

The biggest issue with the movie is not the plot (which is pretty good) but the length of the movie vs the length of time this story needed to be told. The film is short (maybe an hour and 20 minutes) but it doesn't really present anything insanely different than what the average exorcism movie hasn't already done. It also doesn't present found footage in anything new and interesting.



Instead of wasting so much time on unnecessary story and character development I think this film would have worked much better as a short in one of the V/H/S movies. It has all the elements you look for in one of those stories and probably would have ended up being the highlight of the film, instead of just being a fun but mostly mediocre film.

Again the movie isn't terrible (hell I'd go as far to say it's good). It's just fairly forgettable and overall average. 

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to Geekscape.net, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 21: Freaks

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 21: Freaks (Movie #178)

This movie used to haunt my dreams. My grandfather was a massive movie buff (specifically the oldies) and would collect books about the history of film. I remember flipping through one book that had a chapter about Freaks and seeing the images and being terrified.

For years I'd read about this film and it's legacy. I remember being in high school when I walked to my local Blockbuster and found the VHS for sale there. I immediately purchased it, ordered a cheesesteak and rushed home to watch it while I had my dinner.

I want to take a brief detour to discuss how much I miss that feeling of discovering a video that you had searched out for years. With the  internet and piracy and everything getting big DVD/Blu-Ray releases it has put an end to "the hunt"… I miss it.


If not for it's unique cast of real life side-show freaks this film would just be a crime/romance/revenge story like something out of an E.C. comic. It follows a midget who falls for the woman on the flying trapeze. When she discovers that this little person is rich she plans to marry and kill him. When the rest of the freaks learn of her plot they exact their own brand of justice on her.

The message of the movie as I've always interrupted it is a juxtaposition. While these friends are "weird"or "hideous" the true monsters in the film are the two most normal looking characters. 

The twist ending (though spoiled for me in pictures) is a delightful and eerie shot. The film manages to do a lot with a little and in a short time (only 61 minutes). This is arguably the best horror film of the 30's and that says a lot for such a golden age of cinema. 

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to Geekscape.net, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 20: An American Werewolf in London

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!


Day 20: An American Werewolf in London (Movie #15)

I first discovered An American Werewolf in London through the Michael Jackson Making of Thriller VHS tape. I wanted to see the transformation scene that they spoke about in the doc being that I was obsessed with the music video for Thriller. However, I saw this when I was quite young and got so scared by David's nightmares early on in the film that I never made it to the transformation scene.

I actually don't remember when I actually DID see the full movie. I'm sure this was part of literally hundreds of mom and pops video rentals but I honestly don't remember. My memories are strictly of that first failed attempt at watching. I do know that it wasn't until college when I bought this on DVD that I fully able to appreciate the tone, sense of humor and impressive passing.



There's so much that makes this movie enjoyable but what I appreciate the most is the fact that this is John Landis' first attempt at a horror film. While his comedy background is put to fantastic use with Griffin Dunne's performance as Jack it's even more effective when the film goes from comedic immediately to horror and back to comedy. 

I've heard a bunch of websites refer to the special effects (and specifically the transformation sequence) as the real star of the film. While I can not argue that they're absolutely stunning for me I think Griffin Dunne's deliciously dark comedic performance is what will almost stick with me. I don't know if it's the way that he says "Hi David" with a Mickey Mouse dolly or the matter-of-fact way he tells David to kill himself but I love every second he's on the screen.

Chances are you've seen this movie but if you rewatch keep an ear out for all the "moon" songs throughout. Somehow I missed this little joke until that college viewing. 

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to Geekscape.net, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 19: Cat People (1982)

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 19: Cat People (Movie #77)

I'm not going to lie. The first time I rented this movie it was for one reason and one reason alone. I was a horny kid who read on a website that there was lots of nudity in it. I could care less what else happened in this film, so much so that I completely forgot what happened in this movie. Eventually I saw it on sale and bought it but I really don't remember if I ever watched it until now.

This movie doesn't feel like an 80's film but the opening credits song by David Bowie certainly dates it, which is a little disappointing because despite a couple faults (it's a little long) it's a pretty great movie.


The barebones summary is pretty simple. Paul and Irena are long lost siblings. They come from a long line of werecats. The mythos of the werecat is simple. If Paul or Irena has sex with someone they will become a black panther and unable to regain human form until they take a human life. The only way to prevent the transformation is sex with another werecat. To put it simply werecats are incestuous.

What makes this movie work so well is that it's beautifully-shot, has a creative premise and has a premise that basically sets things up where there simply can not be a good outcome. Furthermore the few moments of gore are effective and well shot. Honestly, the only complaint I have about the film is that it's a 2 hour movie that could very easily have been told in 90 minutes.

All that being said, I'm glad that if nothing else comes from this 31 Days of Halloween project, at least I rediscovered a gem that's been hidden away in my DVD shelf.

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to Geekscape.net, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 18: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 18: Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (Movie #296)

Kiss was and will always be non-stop marketing machines. They'll do absolutely anything to make a buck. So when Kiss is in something that you can almost only get via bootlegs … you know it's pretty terrible.

Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park isn't so much a horror movie starring Kiss as it is a live-action Scooby-Doo episode with Kiss in place of the Mystery Team. I mean the villain is legitimately the old man from the amusement park.

The band was apparently embarrassed by the failed attempts at humor, the stupid plot and terrible acting. I don't blame them but I'll be honest… I didn't hate this movie. Maybe it's because I like Kiss so much that the live performances kept me entertained but I was charmed by the sincere attempt to make a fun made-for-tv movie.


I struggle to pick a favorite part but the general idea that each member of Kiss has some type of super power is so deliciously absurd that it's hard not to like at least a little. 

Calling this a horror movie is a bit of a stretch but since it oozes such a Scooby-Doo vibe (and I think every horror fan grew up on a healthy diet of old scoob) that I'm going to accept this as a fun Halloween treat. It's got Mad Scientists, Evil Robot Clones, A Sequence inside a Dark Ride and most horrifying of all an acoustic rendition of Beth (reportedly the only time we hear Peter Criss' real voice the whole movie). Call me crazy but I might even consider this becoming part of a yearly ritual. 

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to Geekscape.net, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.