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 The MadMan Reserved 31 Seats 
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Banner brought to you by Epistemophobia, who did a fantastic job. I'd also like to thank Sinister and everyone else at the local horror thread for helping me come up with a title. This is a best of list, and its been oh, about close to 20 years in the making, as I've only been viewing horror movies since I was a kid. I'm gonna kick this one off with the reminder of the Top 50, which I was too lazy/busy/out of words to write commentary for:

32. Zombieland (2009)
33. Dog Soldiers (2002)
34. The Evil Dead (1981)
35. Eyes WIthout a Face (1960)
36. Suspiria (1977)
37. Blood and Black Lace (1964)
38. Day of the Dead (1985)
39. The Adominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
40. The Haunting (1963)

42. Martin (1977)
42. Gremlins (1984)
43. Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2007)
44. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)
45. Arachnophobia (1990)
46. The Call of Cthulhu (2005)
47. Cloverfield (2008)
48. The Host (2006)
49. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
50. Let the Right One In (2008)

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Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:07 pm
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I'll be reading.

I'm a big fan of the following

The Evil Dead (1981)
Eyes WIthout a Face (1960)
Suspiria (1977)
Day of the Dead (1985)
The Adominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

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Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:13 pm
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ooooo :)

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Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:59 pm
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Sinister wrote:
ooooo :)

I'll second this.


Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:52 pm
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Nice to see some love for the first film that I can remember really scaring a 5-year old Dern: Arachnophobia. Made me scared of spiders until I was about ten.

Nice choices, surprised some are as low as they are (namely Suspiria), but that just paves the way for some surprises, methinks.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:00 am
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I like the title you settled on.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:01 am
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The title is stolen from this btw
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Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:16 am
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
I like the title you settled on.

Whatever, dude.

same though

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:38 am
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new thread is new

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:37 am
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getrhythm wrote:
Whatever, dude.

same though
Liked yours too.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:38 am
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Sinister wrote:
The title is stolen from this btw
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Sweetness. I'll have to check that movie out.

Derninan wrote:
Nice to see some love for the first film that I can remember really scaring a 5-year old Dern: Arachnophobia. Made me scared of spiders until I was about ten.
I'm not scared of spiders, but I made the mistake of watching that movie late at night back in middle school. Scared the crap out of me.

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Nice choices, surprised some are as low as they are (namely Suspiria), but that just paves the way for some surprises, methinks.
Having seen Deep Red just recently, I think Suspiria's placement is good where it is.

Hey man I had to settle on a title. I couldn't please everyone :(

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:32 am
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31.) The Shining (1980, Kubrick)



When it comes to places in horror cinema, one of the top locations that you do not want to be stuck in is the Overlook Hotel. Despite its ancient history, Kubrick decided it would be far creepier to simply modernize most of the sets in terms of wallpaper, and the weird odd looking rugs that add to the hotel’s already musty and frightening history. After all, this is the place where a caretaker went completely insane and murdered his entire family for almost no reason, at least not one that the ominous and mysterious manager could think of, or possibly divulge. The film is rich and thick in atmosphere, and behind every door you might find something dark and sinister waiting-especially if you are unlucky enough to enter Room 237.

Naturally of course the young Danny in Kubrick’s classic The Shining senses the evil lurking behind every corridor and hiding not only in the hearts of men but also in walls steeped in lore. He has a gift that is powerful, so startling that not even he understands how amazing such a prize is, and yet because of his brooding alcoholic writer of a father, Jack, this power is used for a rather simple purpose: to try and preserve the lives of himself and his mother.

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Who really is trapped in an abusive and loveless marriage, frightened of a man with a dark past and a bleak future. The scene where Jack finally loses it is remarkably powerful not only because of the abuse factor, but also due to how Kubrick centers his camera on both characters’ faces. Jack’s has the look of a man possessed, driven mad by isolation and his own demons, where as Wendy is terrified, using the bat to finally drive their relationship apart. It’s a stark and shocking scene that really has an unsurprising conclusion, as Wendy finally takes control of her situation, one that could have no other ending except a violent one.

Many people have numerous theories about this movie, ranging from the obvious to the slightly outlandish (I’m sure you can justify the one concerning Native Americans getting revenge on the white man, but for now I’m not a fan of that line of thinking). What is more interesting is how even with such a good cast Kubrick smartly utilizes the hotel’s surroundings, and in the process makes people afraid of hotels. In the daytime, a hotel is just a simple building, yet at nighttime it’s a place of fear-dark empty hallways, eerie lighting, and endless upon endless lines of rooms hiding what can only be imagined, even if it’s not true.

This is truly why, aside from so many famous and memorably freaky moments, The Shining is a chilling experience. Kubrick never made another horror movie, which is a shame, although it’s really not too surprising-after all, he was just another director in a long line of directors who worked in all genres, and who decided to tackle a unique project that happened to be in a particular genre not too known for being reputable.

PS: I decided not to discuss the ending, not only due to spoilers but because it really demands its own thread. I'll note that not every review is going to be as long as this one, and honestly The Shining deserves its own thread. Maybe I'll finally pen an essay about it, but I'm sure far better writers have already done so.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:51 am
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The Shining is Kubrick's only horror movie, but I always loved the horror elements in Eyes Wide Shut.

Good start.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:00 am
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Cool thread.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:21 am
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I cannot deny The Shining.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:01 am
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LIGHT of my LIFE.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:11 am
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Interesting thread.

The Top 30 must be mind-bogglingly good, since The Shining is brilliant. Or differing tastes and stuff.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:15 am
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MadMan wrote:

32. Zombieland (2009)
33. Dog Soldiers (2002)
34. The Evil Dead (1981)
35. Eyes WIthout a Face (1960)
36. Suspiria (1977)
37. Blood and Black Lace (1964)
38. Day of the Dead (1985)
39. The Adominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
40. The Haunting (1963)

42. Martin (1977)
42. Gremlins (1984)
43. Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2007)
44. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)
45. Arachnophobia (1990)
46. The Call of Cthulhu (2005)
47. Cloverfield (2008)
48. The Host (2006)
49. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
50. Let the Right One In (2008)

These movies might all be in my top 30, so I am eager to see yours.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:19 am
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getrhythm wrote:
LIGHT of my LIFE.


Heh.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
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Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:05 am
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Sweet. Lists of horror movies are always the most fun. Agree about the awesome banner.

Seen the following:

MadMan wrote:
34. The Evil Dead (1981)
35. Eyes WIthout a Face (1960)
36. Suspiria (1977)
40. The Haunting (1963)
42. Gremlins (1984)
45. Arachnophobia (1990)
50. Let the Right One In (2008)


Suspiria and The Haunting would defs make my Top 30.

EDIT: The Shining is only at 31?! Weak.

getrhythm wrote:
LIGHT of my LIFE.


:fresh:

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:04 am
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Fun. Good start to the thread as well.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:01 am
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Hotels creep me out to this day and The Shining played a big part in that. Good write up.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:07 am
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Wil wrote:
Hotels creep me out to this day and The Shining played a big part in that. Good write up.


How about Big Wheels?

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:14 am
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dreiser wrote:

How about Big Wheels?


hehe Big Wheels not very frightening.

Little Girls in matching dresses though, terrifying.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:16 am
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Wil wrote:
Little Girls in matching dresses though, terrifying.


Definitely.

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New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:20 am
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*shines flashlight into thread, annoying other readers*

*spots an empty seat*

*scoots past five other posters to be seated*

Made it! This will be good.

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:57 am
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*sits next to Gort*

*chomps popcorn loudly*

*answers cell phone*

getrhythm wrote:
LIGHT of my LIFE.

*emotes further props for this post*

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:23 pm
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Mod Hip wrote:
*sits next to Gort*

*chomps popcorn loudly*

*answers cell phone*


*emotes further props for this post*
Goddamnit Mod, don't make me get the ushers. They're armed with tasers and swords :P

Also I knew that Gort would enter the thread late after everything started :D

The actual review I posted for The Shining was a new one I decided to come up with because I disliked the previous write up I had done on my laptop last night. However, in the previous write up I actually mention that the rating for The Shining and its placement on the list could stand to go up after a couple more viewings. So there is that. I'm not gonna lie, the only part of the list I feel comfortable with and absolutely certain about is the 1-15. The rest are kind of assembled partly based on ratings, partly based on how I felt at the moment, and the list was made all the way back in June I believe. Yep it took me the entire summer to write commentary, and yet I feel the need to already do re-writes anyways. I swear this thread will be finished before Dec...I mean, November :shifty:

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:51 pm
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30. Cujo (1983, Teague



This is one of the few instances where I've seen a movie adapted from a work by Stephen King before reading the book. I'm not sure therefore if there are any major changes, save for one that I do know of, but that doesn't matter or change the fact that Cujo is a terrifying and claustrophobic movie, one that at first slowly builds up the terror and then unleashes it in a fury of unrelenting attacks and moments that challenge the dog lover in all of us. We'd like to think that Fido wouldn't go crazy and decide to maim and murder people at will, but King in a expertly twisted way wrote a book that was the basis for a movie about a killer dog that has the same impact and effect that Jaws also had. Both movies work because they are expertly paced, and are smartly made, although in Cujo's case its more of a workmanlike effort.

Beginning in a rather simple and innocent manner in the similar fashion that most King movies start out with (his novels, too), the film focuses on a boy dealing with his parents crumbling marriage. Sure there are scenes of the big old lovable dog wandering around, but even after Cujo gets bitten by a rabid bat and turns from a kind protective fluffy pet into a gigantic raving monster, these developments are, for a while, not the center of the movie. So when Cujo finally goes on his murderous rampage, its all the more shocking-the audience has been merely witnessing something that slowly and then quickly turns from a family oriented drama into a bleak and nasty horror movie. Which is why when the mother and her hapless son are trapped inside their vehicle, Cujo's furious and vicious attacks are a complete surprise, a sunny dream descending into a nightmare.

Image

Despite being a dog lover, this movie is enough to make anyone fear or distrust such creatures. The attacks are sudden and swift, merciless and almost never ending. The characters involved are thrust into a situation they are unable to control, dealing with something that one never experts to have to react to. Cujo is not just terrifying or one of the more underrated horror movies of the 80s simply due to the dog attacks, or how it depicts cruel fate and the nasty side of nature. Rather, its an exercise in how in the right hands, a fairly simplistic concept can be turned into a really good and frightening movie.

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:45 pm
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Such a spot on review you posted it twice.


Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:21 am
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Oaktown wrote:
Such a spot on review you posted it twice.
Wait, what? I only see it posted once....

29. An American Werewolf in London (1981, Landis)



For some reason, 1981 saw a couple of werewolf movies: An American Werwolf in London, The Howling, and Wolfen. I have only viewed the first two, and The Howling is a rather good horror movie, but An American Werewolf in London is much better, and is a rather unique and even funny take on the genre. John Landis at the time had directed only comedies, being responsible for the hilarious classics Animal House and The Blues Brothers. In tackling a movie about a man turning into a harry beast, Landis took a sly and clever approach, giving the sub genre a movie that was both funny and scary. Mixing two genres can be rather tricky, but Landis was a good enough director to pull it off, and the result is a movie that is endlessly entertaining and has a sly dark wit underlying its amounts of violence and gore.

Naturally you have in these movies the hapless protagonist who is unfortunate enough to be cursed, damned forever until death to be beholden to the full moon, which transforms him (or her, in some cases) into a monstrous beast that stalks and kills its pray without mercy or warning. Landis films the attacks by putting the camera up really close to the action, utilizing a "First Person" approach that gives the killings a strong disturbing power. He also wisely holds off on showing the creature way too much, even though in this movie he could have gotten away with displaying it a lot, since Stan Winston was responsible for the amazing special effects.

Image

Even though most of this movie isn't too scary, there are certain aspects that are rather eerie, such as the terrible dreams the main character has, which mostly provide the movie with its scariest moments. Even though Landis doesn't hold off on a final rampage scene, I was reminded of how most of these movies end, and I think that despite it being terrible An American Werwolf in Paris had a different take that was kind of refreshing. I also can't help but note that this movie also features the ever gorgeous and lovely Jenny Argiter, who embodies the typical good girl who has the unfortunate luck to fall in love with a man hiding a terrible secret.

Really though my favorite aspect of this movie is its dark, bleak humor, largely manifested in a scene with lots of dead people that is both nightmarish and really funny. For now, this film takes the title of "Best Werwolf Movie Ever," although that could change at any point. Looking through the rest of the sub genre's offerings, though, I seriously doubt it.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:13 pm
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White faces and yellow teeth.

The British are scary.


Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:16 pm
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Ginger Snaps is the greatest movie ever made involving Werewolves.

Not a fan of any of 1981's Werewolf movies really. An American Werewolf in London is definitely the best of those three though.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:24 pm
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Wil wrote:
Ginger Snaps is the greatest movie ever made involving Werewolves.

Not a fan of any of 1981's Werewolf movies really. An American Werewolf in London is definitely the best of those three though.
Ginger Snaps is a priority, but I'm don't believe I've been able to find a copy anywhere. If I'm lucky IFC will show it again sometime.

Quote:
White faces and yellow teeth.

The British are scary.
They're absolutely terrifying.

28. Psycho (1960, Hitchcock)



Previously Alfred Hitchcock was relatively well known for creating mystery and suspense movies, in addition to comedies, some which had lighter comedic undertones. Vertigo and Rear Window hinted at rather bleaker and darker impulses, but until he crafted one of his most famous movies in 1960 Hitchcock had not really dived into material that is easily beyond the pale. In the tale of Norman Bates, he took viewers into a world of insanity and lies, murder and dark secrets that even today is rather creepy and influential, having inspired other movies, which is interesting considering it was itself influenced by one Ed Gein. A murdering sociopath from Wisconsin who can be claimed as the template for such fictional famous characters as Bates, Leatherface, and Hannibal Lector.

From its amazing opening credits, set to Bernard Herman's amazing score, something that he only matched with the music for Vertigo and North by Northwest, to the infamous shower scene, the movie appears at first to be a rather simplistic tale of one woman's desperate attempt at freedom gone horribly wrong. But the minute Norman Bates, expertly played by Anthony Perkins, enters the picture, it becomes clear that the bleak and freaky Bates Motel harbors something mysterious and very dangerous. The tone shifts from one of simple mystery to absolute suspense, and the shower scene, something that could only have really worked in glorious black and white, exists as the movie's nasty turning point.

Image

Suddenly a man who appears to be harmless is in fact under heavy suspicion, clearly not who the locals think he actually is. The fact that the local sheriff insists that Norman is not at all a threat to anyone, and openly questions a pair of inquisitive people searching for the truth, should not be too surprising-after all, not only in horror movies are the police always doubtful that there is anything strange going on, but it calls to mind what anyone who lived next to a person who killed usually tells reporters: "He/she was such a nice person. I had no idea they were even capable of such things."

Despite my best attempts, I will admit that the movie's last act is a rather mixed bag. On one hand you have a scene that is one of the creepiest, unsettling endings in cinema history, incredibly well known even to those who haven't seen the movie, which follows up a revolution that is still so horrifying that it cracked the AFI's Top 100 Scariest Scenes list (I think that's what it was called). However, in the middle of these scenes is some psychiatrist laying out everything that happened, just in case anyone missed out on what happened. I'm not sure if this was done by Hitchcock or the studio, but it does really hurt the movie overall, and feels very unnecessary. Yet it doesn't detract from the fact that Psycho is one of Hitchcock's best movies, and is another prime example of how to properly make an intelligent slasher movie, even if Hitchcock didn't think he was making one at the time.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:32 pm
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Really enjoying this. :up:

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:41 pm
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The thread is now developing its own style:
Image Image

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:04 pm
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Gort, you could throw in the Jack and Cujo shots too... all have that menacing happy solitary figure staring in our general direction look.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:22 pm
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Agutter.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
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The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:02 am
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MadMan wrote:
Wait, what? I only see it posted once....

:D

Psycho is #1 for me. The rest of the list will not compare.


Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:54 am
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I hate Cujo, love An American Werewolf in London, and I'd have sex with Psycho.


Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:47 am
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Hank wrote:
Gort, you could throw in the Jack and Cujo shots too... all have that menacing happy solitary figure staring in our general direction look.
Heh the two of you are correct. This now makes me want to go through images for the rest of the films on my list and see how many such images fit that description.

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Agutter
I acknowledge that most of the time I need an editor to go over my work.

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:D
Psycho is #1 for me. The rest of the list will not compare.
Okay, but still stick around for the rest anyways 8-)

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I hate Cujo, love An American Werewolf in London, and I'd have sex with Psycho.
Why hate Cujo? And I didn't know you could screw a movie.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:26 am
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Damn double post. I blame Uwe Boll.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:26 am
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MadMan wrote:
Okay, but still stick around for the rest anyways 8-)

Will do. I am starting to get the horror bug because of all the talk about it on here the past two days.


Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:12 am
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You should wait until October to get the horror bug. Good month for it.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:15 am
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Bandy Greensacks wrote:
You should wait until October to get the horror bug. Good month for it.

Don't want to shock you or anything, but two days...


Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
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Oaktown wrote:
Don't want to shock you or anything, but two days...


I thought it was January!

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:19 am
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Hank wrote:
Gort, you could throw in the Jack and Cujo shots too... all have that menacing happy solitary figure staring in our general direction look.

This is true, as Mad Man acknowledged. Typing this was easier than going back and fixing my earlier post! :D

It would also be disingenuous, because I obviously didn't notice those first two until you pointed it out, Hank.

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The Future Unreels

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:17 am
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Oaktown wrote:
Will do. I am starting to get the horror bug because of all the talk about it on here the past two days.
Cool.

27. Rabid (1977, Cronenberg)



Much like 28 Days Later, some would rather quibble over whether or not this movie has zombies, debates which overlook how good these particular movies really are. After delivering to the world his early and absolutely disgusting vision in Shivers (1975), Cronenberg took a different tact and decided to export his tale of a medical procedure leading to people running amok, taken over by creatures either visible or unseen to all of Canada. Anyone who has seen Shivers can argue that Rabid was just the next logical step, and that in some ways Rabid feels like a sequel to Shivers. Perhaps in a way that was Cronenberg's intention, but even if that is not the case it doesn't detract from the fact that Rabid is a disturbing, violent, and brutal take on the zombie genre. It also oddly works as a companion piece to the British 70s zombie cult classic "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie;" unlike that movie, where the authorities refuse to believe there is a zombie outbreak due to chemicals in the ground, in Cronenberg's universe such a serious threat is quickly taken seriously.

Building on the usual fear of disease outbreak, when the panic begins to build in this movie it reaches rather outrageous proportions. A simple subway ride, in one of the film's more terrifying moments, quickly turns into a surreal nightmare as an infected woman greedily attacks and prays upon some hapless sap unlucky enough to be close bye. Its moments like that one, in addition to police not even bothering to hesitate in gunning down one of the infected, or the very necessary authoritarian state measures taken by the police to crack down and bring a swift, quick end to what has fast become a chilling epidemic.

Image

Some of the film's low budget style hampers it as much as it aids it, in that really most of the acting, save for Mary Chalmers, who gives a surprising nuanced and even sympathetic performance as a woman who has been transformed into a modern day Typhoid Mary, a Frankenstein's monster of sorts, is kind of awful/decent at best. Regardless, Cronenberg feeds on his limitations, content to play to what were his earlier strengths and in the process creating a movie that is quite memorable and even near great. What's always been remarkable about directors such as Cronenberg, Roger Corman, George A. Romero, and John Carpenter is how they managed to take lower budgets and create great or good movies despite being hampered by studio restraints, and even having to deal with the always eager to censor MPAA. That's a lesson that, judging from many of the modern horror movies, has been taken to heart by the best of more recent horror fare by modern directors. Hopefully also practical effects and not over use of CGI continues to be the norm in the genre.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:55 pm
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26. From Beyond (1986, Gordan)

Warning: Clip contains disturbing material (hey I'm just covering my ass here)



Taking a slightly different approach after the success of Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon decided to take a few pages from David Cronenberg and make a sexually charged, nasty and gory creature feature horror movie. Sure he was also inspired by Lovecraft, of course, yet From Beyond has some unmistakably Cronenberg elements, even if Gordon doesn't incorporate such themes and chooses instead of follow more so the idea of the monster turning on its creator, so to speak. Especially considering that the man responsible for previously unseen and unknown beasts roaming free is in fact a complete and utter madman who makes Cushing's Dr. Frankenstein appear rather normal by comparison.

Image

Wading into matters that they barely understand is a cop and a psychiatrist determined to find out if the doctor's assistant is in some way responsible for the doctor's disappearance. Unleashing and re-unlocking a machine capable of exploring a hidden power that controls sexual energy, in classic horror/sci-fi monster movie fashion they fall prey to forces too powerful to be properly controlled or even contained. Naturally this is not a good thing, but it sure makes for one hell of an entertaining and rather bloody movie. Unlike Re-Animator, which was merely disturbing, From Beyond goes to another level and becomes really uncomfortable to watch at times.

Sure this is a really great movie, one that even has a proper crazy finale and some slightly dated yet really freaky special effects. However, it fails to top Re-Animator, especially since none of the characters are as amazing as Dr. Herbert West. Still there is something to be said for Gordon's willingness to continue to breach the limits of what can be shown onscreen and not be censored, or the fact that he was not content to rest on his previous achievement, although the MPAA still tried to crack down on this movie. That and the fact that its admirable that despite being a very 80s movie, From Beyond has a finale scene that really feels more at home in a 60s or 70s movie instead.

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:47 am
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32. Zombieland (2009)
34. The Evil Dead (1981)
35. Eyes WIthout a Face (1960)
36. Suspiria (1977)
37. Blood and Black Lace (1964)
38. Day of the Dead (1985)
39. The Adominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
40. The Haunting (1963)


42. Gremlins (1984)
43. Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2007)
44. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970)
45. Arachnophobia (1990)
46. The Call of Cthulhu (2005)
47. Cloverfield (2008)
48. The Host (2006)
49. The Legend of Hell House (1973)
50. Let the Right One In (2008)


Great thread and banner. I have seen and liked all the above except for Cloverfield which I highlighted. It just didn't do anything for me and the shaky-cam got very bothersome. I haven't seen the two below and I should revisit Dog Soldiers because I wasn't impressed with the first 20 minutes.

42. Martin (1977)
49. The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Edit: Been a long time since Rabid and I loved it. BTW, Gremlins and Arachnophobia are personal favorites. I love spiders and I just relished every minutes.


Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:39 pm
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