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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 17: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation

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 17: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (Movie #428)

I have maybe 7 or 8 Christmas themed horror movies in my collection of well over 500+ horror movies. But somehow two of them turned up in the 31 random generated shuffles. That being said this movie is just barely a Christmas horror film. It's about of a Christmas Horror movie as Jaws The Revenge.

It seems to me that Silent Night, Deadly Night started off strong but got bad fast by part 2. Then when they dropped the killer Santa story started to improve greatly. I think the best film in the franchise is actually Part 5 but I forgot how enjoyably weird this one is.

The film benefits strongly by being written and directed by Brian Yuzna (Society) and starring Clint Howard.


The film is definitely a mixed bag. When it's weird and full of Yuzna-isms it is a really fun ride. However anything else is boring and drags. That being said when I first saw this movie I didn't think anything of it but I really enjoyed myself the second time around. Yuzna's insect obsession and bizarre body mutation sequences really work on making things gross and uncomfortable and keep the story moving.

That being said, I'm gonna go ahead and repeat… Part 5: The Toy Maker is the under appreciated highlight of the franchise.

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 16, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 16: Shrieker

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 16: Shrieker (Movie #423)

Two Charles Band Productions back to back. I'm not going to lie… this one hurt. Not because it was particularly bad (I mean, it certainly wasn't good) but because I remembered LOVING this fucking movie as a kid.

When I was first getting into horror movies Full Moon was my company. I'd rent anything of theirs I could get my hands on. I loved the Puppet Masters and the Demonic Toys but from the first time I saw Shrieker it was immediately my favorite title of theirs. I can't explain why now though, I guess I just really enjoyed the creature design.


Shrieker tells the tale of a group of college students who squat in an abandoned hospital to save money. Shortly after the newest girl joins the ranks they begin to be haunted by The Shrieker, a two-headed demon that might be the reason the hospital was abandoned in the first place. The film is brutally slow but thankfully short (Just over an hour if you ignore the 10 minute credit crawl), excluding the opening sequence the demon doesn't appear until roughly 40 minutes (which for 60 minute movie is too long of a wait) and a pretty nonsense ending.

On the plus side of things I do still like the creature design. Also it was fun to realize that Parry Shen (of the Hatchet series) is one of the leads in this movie. The most ludicrous thing is that despite all of those complaints, they've discussed a part 2 for over a decade now and I don't doubt I'll watch it that if it ever gets made.

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 15, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 15: When Puppets & Dolls Attack

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 15: When Puppets & Dolls Attack! (Movie #506)

So part of the fun of doing these Russian Roulette style is that I own such a wide variety of films that I could get a movie I love (The Frighteners) as well as a movie I hate (Nightmare on Elm Street Remake) and/or something like this.

However that is also the downside to this. There is nothing to compliment or review really. When Puppets & Dolls Attack! is a compilation of death scenes from Full Moon pictures. There's some good nostalgic stuff as well as greatly disappointing clips.

Since there's no real plot line this is gonna be a short one. Its only advantage is that it's fun to remember how great those early movies and it also shows how the more recent films (while having a bigger price tag) seem cheaper somehow.

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.