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the horror! (contest included)

the horror! (contest included)

I dreamed last night that I was in a horror movie. It was a combination of every horror movie I have ever seen, which is a whole heck of a lot.

My love for gory, scary movies was honed at an early age. My mother took me to see Asylum when I was ten years old and I was hooked. When I got older, I would stay up all night sometimes, scanning the channels for late-night, early-morning horror movies on tv. Weekends were the best. Some stations used Saturday afternoons to show nothing but low budget scary movies. And weekday afternoons always brought at least one Vincent Price movie a week.

One Halloween, we caught a double feature of Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave. Two of my friends left the theater at some point, unable to take the sinister undertones of Last House. Another left during Grave, completely shaken by one particular scene in the movie. We stayed in the theater for the midnight showing of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and then went home and spent all night watching badly acted, badly titled gorefests that we took home from the video store we worked in at the time.

Did you ever notice most classic horror movies start off the same way? Teenagers lost on back roads, usually made of dirt, a wrong turn into the woods, arrival at an old house. The house is either abandoned, but inhabited by the spirits of the people who were murdered there at some point, or it is home to a deranged family. Blood, guts and bodies falling from the ceiling ensue. One person out of the original group, usually the best looking girl, is left standing at the end. Just when you think the movie is over, something happens - a moving hand, a voice from the closet, an evil wind - that lets you know this isn't over. A horror movie has not done its job unless you leave the theater wondering what happened next. And you look over your shoulder on the way home.

I think they stopped making them so gory after a while. Frights became psychological at some point. Directors tried to scare you with thought instead of lifeless heads and shooting blood. And of course, the false scares. They messed with your mind. In a way, the mental fright is just as scary as the visual fright, but I still prefer blood and guts. I don't like people messing with my head. Which is why films like Rosemary's Baby or Nightmare on Elm Street scared me, while Evil Dead (my favorite horror movie) was scary in a more entertaining way. Cemetery Man had it all. Horror and gore in a really smart movie that made you think.

I haven't seen a good horror movie in a long time. The first Friday the 13th was the only one in the series I enjoyed. Jason X came out last year, I think, or maybe it's coming to theaters this year, but I won't bother. I don't trust anything that bills itself as a horror movie now. Pitch Black was awful. Jeepers Creepers was the worst movie I ever saw. The only thing that has come close to good psychological thrills was Event Horizon, and that movie was so evil that I will not allow it to be played in my home ever again.

So you were all so good at recommending books, that I'm going to ask you to suggest some horror movies I might have missed. Something that will scare me, disgust me or make me sleep with the lights on at night. Ok, I sleep with the light on anyhow. But you know what I mean. First person to suggest any of the Scream movies gets sporked to death.

I'm going to take your suggestions and watch as many as I can this weekend. Then Justin and I will decide on the best one (that we haven't already seen) and the person that suggested it will win a DVD of Tromeo and Juliet. Go on, scare me!


the beyond
the last broadcast
Demons (the foreign one)
cannibal ferox
blood feast, part of the herschell gordon lewis blood trilogy.
most of these are truly b horror movies but have great gore especially blood feast and cannibal ferox. have fun

Sound of Music... OHH THE HORROR!!!! .. Sorry

Freaks - different but good
The Wicker Man - MUST SEE!
The Thing - awww go on... it's really good!

I'd have to go with The Exorcist, though it's a psychological thing rather than gore fest. It's still the only horror film that's ever scared me.
George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead are always good for a laugh.
Jacobs Ladder, though it's probably not a true horror film, is certainly one that sends a shiver up my spine too.

I'd just like to stand up for Pitch Black, as what the cast and crew managed to acheive on such an incredibly small budget was pretty impressive.

Movie suggestions; In The Mouth of Madness and Showgirls.

try this: Day of the Beast (El Día de la bestia)
Try and find the original Spanish subtitled version if you can, but the dubbed one might have to do.

If you're going for pure fear, it's gotta be The Haunting. NO, not the dreadful remake...the original 1963 version with Julie Harris. That movie still scares the fuck out of me. And we all know I have a lotta fuck.

For gore, gotta go with Phantasm. Much gore and much creepy shit. Ignore the sequels. My sister let me watch this at the tender age of 11 or 12 and the repercussions are still being felt.

Day of the Dead merely scared the piss out of me, but if that's what you're into...

There's a tiny flick from 1990 starring Jeff Goldblum called Mr. Frost that's extremely creepy. Is he Satan or is he not?

And finally, one from 1978 called Patrick. Perhaps it was my age at the time, scared me silly. Young guy is in a coma after witnessing the death of his mother and her lover, and of course he develops telekinetic powers. The thing I most vividly remember is him lying there with his eyes open, making a repetitive "t" sound. To this day I can hear that sound. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

You have probably already seen it, but The Shining. I, too, am a big fan of scary movies. The Shininig continues to spook me everytime I see it.

One of my friends is in a hideously bad horror movie called Blood Diner. She's the zombie that doesn't die when shot then looks off screen and says, "OH!" cuz the director is telling her to DIE dammit! and then falls over. But I can't recommend the film in any way if you didn't go to junior high with one of the "featured extras."

Your post reminded me of whatever movie it is where one character says, "Dude, a lot of horror movies start like this." And the other one says, "Yeah, but, dude, a lot of porno movies start like this, too."

I'm not quite sure what the parameters are in terms of fiction or non-fiction, but the most frightening thing I've seen is Helter Skelter.

Both of these are creepy psych thrillers, but really good

NOMADS with Pierce Brosnan and Adam Ant ("They are not there...")

MANHUNTER with William Peterson of CSI fame. Wanna see where he got the CSI character? Right here. Oh, also - The first incarnation of Hannibal Lecter.

I'm going to toss out Witchboard for your weekend viewing pleasure. I seem to recall it being one of the only movies that even came close to actually scaring me when I was a teen.
Have a great weekend!

Alright.... for spine chiller, not gore fest in any way shape or form, I have to recommend The Changeling... a good old fashioned ghost story.

Session 9 was weird, but I really liked it... just the fact that it's filmed at Danvers was enough for me... didn't really scare me, but it was cool.

I also have to ditto the person who said In the Mouth of Madness... cuz that was just a cool movie.

Hmmmm... Cronenberg's stuff... Rabid (aka Rage in the US), Shivers (aka They Came From Within in the US), The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome (although this one was bad)... Naked Lunch was pretty cool though, but not exactly horror.

I have to agree though, there hasn't been a really good horror movie made in a very long time... they all either make me laugh or just make me shake my head sadly.

Seen: Freaks, The Exorcist, The Thing, Day and Dawn and Night of the Dead, Phantasm, Shining, Helter Skelter and Witchboard.

All suitably scary/gory/frightening.

None nearly as frightening as Showgirls.

I've got a good list so far, I'll have to see what's available for rental around here. Keep em coming!

Oh... one more to add to the list... although I haven't seen it yet, but it's on my 'to rent' list... it's called The Ugly. The "bad guy" in the movie was featured on the Boogeymen DVD, and from the scene they showed on that, it got added to my "must see" list. So.. give it a gander.

How about "The Hills Have Eyes?"--although, the idea of it is probably the scariest part. It's about some cannibalistic rural family.
One summer, I was driving in the back hills of the southern Utah desert with some girlfriends, and we took a stupid "shortcut"--Well, hours later and it's now night and we're still driving down this "shortcut" washboard road...no turning around because we'd already crossed over two riverbeds. One friend starts telling us about how it reminds her of the movie, "The Hills Have Eyes," and I swear, we all had to roll up our windows we got so freaked out. When I finally saw it, it was a little bit of a letdown. Definitely a "B" movie, but worth it, if you let yourself get creeped out.

Try this japanese movie called THE RING. From what I've heard, it's good.

Event Horizon scared the living daylights out of me. We walked out of the theatre and one of my friends innocently clapped his hand on my shoulder and asked "So, what did you think?" and I jumped about a mile up in the air.

Igor & The Lunatics

Funny Games

Here're a few:

DEAD ALIVE. Definitely, DEAD ALIVE.It might be the best horror movie ever made, it's almost certainly the best gore-fest romp ever made. It's by Peter Jackson, but the only resemblance to LORD OF THE RINGS or HEAVENLY CREATURES is the obsessively convincing way Jackson goes about his business. Before I'd seen this movie I wouldn't have thought it possible--and as you read this, you won't believe me--but for sheer outrageousness,DEAD ALIVE leaves EVIL DEAD II and even RE-ANIMATOR in the dust. The first 10 minutes will seem very grade-Z amateur theatrics, but wait: as soon as the ear falls into the custard, you're through the looking glass. For the entire last half hour you'll either be holding your breath or laughing too hard to breathe.

If you're in the mood for a mindless chunk-blower (does anyone say "chunk-blower" anymore?)I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is a glass of warm milk next to CANNIBAL FEROX (a.k.a. MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY, already recommended to you), and that movie pales beside the single most unpleasant psuedo-Herschell Gordon Lewis nonsense I've ever seen (and I've even, Lord help me, seen REDNECK ZOMBIES)--BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS, a.k.a. THE INCREDIBLE TORTURE SHOW. If you want the I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE combination of totally disgusting horror combined with numbingly bad acting, you won't be disappointed.

For graphic Euro-horror, two Italian directors from the '70s and '80s have big followings: Dario Argento and the very subversive Lucio Fulci. Warning: neither of these directors could ever be bothered with bourgeois details such as making a dang lick of sense. People who like Fulci and Argento describe their work as nonlinear excursions into nightmarish dream logic; everyone else just says "w.t.f. was THAT?". Regardless, they're both imaginatively gory. Argento's most approachable movies are PHENOMENA (or CRITTERS)and THE STENDAHL SYNDROME; Fulci's best known for ZOMBIE FLESH-EATERS, THE GATES OF HELL, and THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. Try to find videos in Italian w/ subtitles; they're usually less butchered than the U.S. releases.

One Troma recommendation, for farce-horror: SUBHUMANOID MELTDOWN: THE CLASS OF NUKE'EM HIGH 2. Funnier than the original, with the grossest squirrel ever.

For more philosophical bloody horror, David Cronenberg. Maybe not what you're looking for, since the specific reason Cronenberg makes movies IS to mess with your head. I'm sure you've seen his remake of THE FLY (the one with Jeff Goldblum & Geena Davis), but I find some of his other films more intense, certainly VIDEODROME and THE BROOD. DEAD RINGERS,CRASH and,in particular, his astonishing take on THE NAKED LUNCH (with Peter Weller as William S. Burroughs)aren't technically horror, but are nevertheless incredibly creepy.

You've likely seen some of these Hollywood releases (and a thousand more I won't bother mentioning) in badly cut versions on TNT or USA, but just in case: CANDYMAN--Clive Barker's script is eerie, intense and graphic, the film is tighter and more convincing than the ones Clive directs himself (i.e. HELLRAISER or NIGHT BREED); THE THING--John Carpenter's version--has killer grisly mind-warping over-the-top special effects; FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, Robert Rodriquez directing Quentine Tarantino's script is super high-octane vampire mayhem (the cast is pretty high-octane, too...Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek, Tarantino, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Fred Williamson and John Saxon); NEAR DARK, written and directed by Kathryn Bigelow (STRANGE DAYS), is another vampires-in-the-modern-west movie; small budget but satisfying (I haven't seen the Danish film ANGEL OF THE NIGHT, but it's supposed to have the same sort of energy). Guillermo del Toro's MIMIC, although uneven, definitely has its moments. And STIGMATA has a compellingly Job-like 180-degree twist on THE EXORCIST, with a lot of shocking scenes; although the final plot twist is so lame that you'll wonder why you watched the film, the rest is a chocolate Jesus movie.

Although not gory, Roman Polanski's REPULSION and Peter Weir's THE LAST WAVE are scary reminders of how tame most current "quiet" horror movies are.

One final recommendation--it's maybe not quite what you're looking for this weekend, but is definitely disturbing and gory, not to mention lushly filmed and incredibly under-rated: Neil Jordan's THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. Done about a decade before Jordan made THE CRYING GAME and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, the movie is horror-fantasy or dark fantasy or horrific fairy tale or a coming of age story with werewolves: the screenplay is by British S&M-Feminist fantasy author Angela Carter. In just the same way as a Terry Gilliam movie, THE COMPANY OF WOLVES starts out as terribly sweet, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that gets relentlessly darker, more violent and nastier as it visualizes ALL the metaphoric changes on the theme of men who are truly wolves and wolves who are truly human. Plus great werewolves, gorgeous real wolves, and a lot of people who get eaten in a lot of different ways.

That help at all?

Wow, yes that helps.

I've seen Dead Alive at least twenty times. It ranks as one my favorite horror movies of all time. Dusk to Dawn was excellent, too. The sequel sucked.

I hated Stigmata. Too convoluted. Videodrome was good and Candyman was, indeed, creepy, scary and spine-tingling.

Looks like I'll have to check out Cannibal Ferox and Blood Sucking Freaks on Saturday night.