31 days of Halloween movies

DAY 25: TRIP WITH THE TEACHER

Trip with the Teacher (1975)

Director: Earl Barton 

Writer: Earl Barton

Actors: Susan Russell, Cathy Worthington, Jill Voight, Dina Ousley, Robert Gribbin, Jack Driscoll, Brenda Fogarty, Robert Porter, and Zalman King as Al 

Plot: Easy Rider meets B-movie sadism, rape.  

Stokely & Sean: A 1975 exploitation film that hits all the usual notes — sadistic psychos, violence, nudity, women in distress, 70s music, revenge, happy ending. It’s also a unique introduction to Zalman King who plays the lead psycho of the motorcycle gang. You might know King as the director of Wild Orchid and Red Shoe Diaries  or as collaborator 9 1/2 Weeks with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke. If your a fan of the Grindhouse theater, this one is for you.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Grindhouse films, Red Show Diaries

1 year ago 2 notes

DAY 24: DAYBREAKERS

 

Daybreakers(2009)

Director: Michael Sperig, Peter Spierig

Writer: Michael Sperig, Peter Spierig

Actors: Ethan Hawke, Willam Dafoe, Sam Neill

Plot: What happens when vampires finally come out of the casket and take over…

Sean: In looking back at the movies that we’ve reviewed so far, I realize that the one thing I really prize most of all is creativity.  If you look at most of the trashy vampire movies out there, it’s pretty clear that it, much like the blood shortage the vamps experience in this film, there is a dearth of good ideas when it comes to the spawn of Dracula. Now, this movie isn’t exactly the most creative ever, but the smart premise alone was enough to get my cheap ass to the theater to fork over $24.50 when it came out - vampires finally take over, start farming humans, and have just reached the point where they’re starting to run out of blood.

Stokely: A very profound vampire movie for the intellectuals in the “What If Vampires Existed” debate. What if no more humans existed in the age of the Vampire? Then what? This is also the best movie that Ethan Hawke, William Dafoe, and Sam Neill has been in in a long time.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Gattaca, Underworld, Dawn of the Dead (the remake), Resident Evil

1 year ago 4 notes

DAY 23: HELLRAISER

Hellraiser (1987)

Director: Clive Barker

Writer: Clive Barker

Actors: Nobody you ever heard of (unless you watch the eight sequels)

Plot: One of the blood bags from the “Bodies: the Exhibition” comes back to life in order to bang his sister-in-law one last time. 

Sean: So, this movie has some awesome stop motion animation stuff, some great make-up, and a rad regenerating body, but other than that I feel like I totally missed something in the plot set up here. There’s some evil rubix cube that transports you to the dungeon of La Maison de Sade (the S&M bar next to my old apartment in New York where businessmen would go to pay to have their coworkers publicly humiliated with whips and paddles) where the leather clad freaks pull your skin off.  Is that all there is to it?  I don’t know, I came away from the feeling that this was the 8th sequel rather than the first in a franchise.  Imagine starting the Harry Potter series by showing up 10 minutes into the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - that’s sort of what I experienced.

Stokely: Pandora’s box for hedonists? Seriously, what will you do for a booty call. Does it require murdering people for your dead lover who is a hedonist and therefore can never really be sexually satisfied. Why bother?! And then there are the Cenobites, led by Pinhead aka a human porcupine. They provide a hedonism resort for those seeking pleasure and sadomasochistic torture. I think what Clive Barker is trying to hint at is this… the sex might not be good, it could be worse… here’s why. 

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Dead Alive, Friday the 13th

1 year ago 2 notes

DAY 22: DEEP RED

Deep Red (1975)

Director: Dario Argento

Writers: Dario Argento, Bernardino Zapponi (screenplay)

Actors: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi and Gabriele Lavia

Plot: A nosy neighbor who looks like Andrew McCarthy investigates a vicious killer on the loose.

Sean: If you don’t pay attention to the beginning of this movie, the rest of it will make no sense.  That’s what happened to me.  After watching the beginning again I realized this is actually a really well crafted who-dunnit slasher. Be warned however, don’t watch the beginning too closely, otherwise it will spoil the rest of the movie.  That’s also what happened to me. Reviewers creamed over it because of the camera work, but whatever bonus points it gains from the camera shots, the awkward, misplaced soundtrack takes away.  Anyways, there are some great screams and gore filled with that terrible 70’s fake blood and one of the best decapitation scenes I can recall.

Stokely: The ending makes up for the rest of the movie when all the pieces of the puzzle are revealed and heads start rolling.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Rosemary’s Baby, Maniac, Psycho

(Reprint)

2 years ago 2 notes

DAY 21: BUBBA HO-TEP

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Director: Don Coscarelli

Writers: Joe R. Lansdale, Don Coscarelli 

Actors: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce 

Plot: Elvis and JFK battle a soul suckin mummy in a nursing home.

Sean & Stokely: This has to be one of the most quotable movies in the last ten years and I love every second of it.  The ridiculously quirky and insanely creative plot reminds me of something that Charlie Kaufman and his crazy make-believe twin brother wished they came up with (of course if he did, he’d be getting an Oscar for it, while Don Coscarelli has essentially been banished to the depths of b-horror-movie obscurity [maybe that’s because he’s Libyan born?]).  See this one for the ingenious spin on what really happened to Elvis, for the shithouse wall hieroglyphics, or to catch one of Ossie Davis’ greatest (and final) performances.  This is a horror comedy masterpiece.  Oh yeah, Bruce Cambell is the best Elvis ever!  There’s been talk of a prequel, or sequel, I don’t care if it’s a noquel, I’d see Bruce as Elvis in any and all movies they decide to make.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Shaun of the Dead, Underworld

2 years ago

DAY 20: SANTA’S SLAY

Santa’s Slay (2005)

Director: David Steiman

Writer: David Steiman

Actors: Ben from Big Love, Claire from Lost, and former WCW and WWE wrestler Bill Goldberg

Plot: Get it, get it… Santa’s “slay.”

Sean:  OMG.  I loved this movie.  It’s so damned ridiculous.   Basically, Santa has always been a demon, but he was punished by the Almighty and sentenced to deliver presents to little fockers for the past 1000 years.  His sentence just ended and he’s hell bent on killing everyone he can.  Seriously, this will be considered a classic in 20 years when dumbasses like Snookie and Justin Bieber fondly look back at their formative years.

Stokely: This movie opens to an all-star cast who includes James Caan, Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan, and Rebecca Gayheart - all of whom are slayed within five minutes in an entertaining, over-the-top way. And that’s how far I made it.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Thankskilling, Leprechaun

(Reprint)

2 years ago 2 notes

DAY 19: JUAN OF THE DEAD

Juan of the Dead aka Juan de los Muertos (2011)

Director: Alejandro Brugues

Writer: Alejandro Brugues

Actors: Alexis Diaz de Villegas, Jorge Molina, Andrea Duro

Plot: Shaun of the Dead meets Castro.

Sean: I wish I had seen this in a theater in Havana with a bottle of rum under my seat and a nice fat cuban cigar in hand (I’m assuming you can drink and smoke in Cuban theaters because, well, what’s the point of nationalized socialism if you aren’t going to allow people to partake in some of your best domestic goods wherever they want).  But, the political undercurrent of this ingeniously hilarious film would have seriously chapped Castro’s ass and me and all of the other film-goers would likely have gotten our zombie loving asses thrown in in a Cuban cell.  It would have been worth it though, Juan of the Dead is amazing.

Stokely: When you compare this movie to The Walking Dead, it’s much more fun to band together and kill zombies in Cuba. Think of Juan as Rick Grimes minus the baby mama. He’s got ideas, he’s got plans… he’s got spirit. Hands down, this movie captures the essence of movies that we love to love Shaun of the Dead, Ghostbusters, and Dawn of the Dead. With that said, you’ll get your share of blood, gore, violence… sunsets… friendship… underwater zombies… Russian cars… living dead tango…. new zombie killing methods…. and love. Go watch it, right now go on go.

*Note: You’ll have to add this one in your Netflix DVD queue or rent over On-Demand/Amazon.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Ghostbusters, Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Young Frankenstein, Zombieland


2 years ago 3 notes

DAY 18: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE

The Human Centipede (2009)

Director: Tom Six

Writer: Tom Six

Actors: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie

Plot: A game of leap frog goes horribly wrong…

Sean & Stokely: This gets two pumpkins only for the total gross out factor.  I have a feeling Tom Six got himself on a lot of watchlists after making this one.  Anyways, we watched this whole movie in fastforward, so we might have missed some of the nuances of a mad doctor sewing mouths to rectums.  Perhaps it is some big metaphor for something. I mean,  if Swift could bamboozle the world into believing that his fricked up tale of little people and giants is all a big satire of English government, then Six should be able to come up with something here.

Watch this one at your own risk, not because it will make you sick (it will) but because (a) your IP address will be flagged, (b) your girlfriend will leave you when she walks in on you watching it, and (3) you’ll want to watch the sequel. 

Just remember this, it’s like “Two girls, one cup,” the reaction is better than the actual thing.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Men Behind the Sun

2 years ago 4 notes

DAY 17: DARK SHADOWS

Dark Shadows (2012)

Director: Tim Burton

Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith, John August, Dan Curtis (tv series)

Actors: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Johnny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Grace Moretz

Plot: Tim Burton ran out of ideas; borrowed one… again.

Sean: Almost made it to the end, but the dog had to go out with 20 minutes left, and, after our constitutional, I realized I had no interest in the rest of this one.  What starts out as a total gore-fest turns into a total bore-fest.

Stokely: Alice Cooper was really the star of this movie. He should have had lines. Great music, great style, but the storyline too thin and obvious.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Twilight (boring movie about vampires)

2 years ago 4 notes

DAY 16: THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL

The House of the Devil (2009)

Director: Ti West

Writer: Ti West

Actors: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov

Plot: It’s Rosemary’s Baby, but you don’t find out until the end, and at that point you don’t really care anymore.

Sean: They do a great job of making you think this was shot in the late 70’s or early 80’s, but that’s about it. This movie is basically like an SNL skit, it starts off interesting, might make you chuckle, then it drones on, and on, and on, and then, because they couldn’t come up with a way to end it with a bang, the band just plays it out or someone says “live from New York…”.  Bah to this movie.

Stokely: Ti West was clearly inspired by cult movies of yesteryear as well as the style of the slasher films from the 70s and 80s. Gun shot to the face, pentagrams drawn in blood, stabbings… it’s kind of a dud… yawn.

RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Rosemary’s Baby, The Amityville Horror, Halloween

2 years ago 8 notes