Saturday, November 1, 2008
The Day After He Came Home
I just discovered that fellow blogger Emily Blake has tagged me to list my favorite Halloween movies and since she’s a teacher I do what she says. But what better time to do that than after I’ve spent several weeks thinking about movies to watch this time of the year? Actually, I spent last night at the New Beverly (can’t I think of somewhere else to go?) where Edgar Wright hosted a double bill of SHAUN OF THE DEAD and RIKI OH-THE STORY OF RIKI, an ultra-ultra-ultra gory martial arts thing. Wright came dressed as David Naughton in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, post-attack. Then at the break, presumably by coincidence, John Landis himself showed up to applaud Edgar’s costume and also the Jake Blues sitting a few rows behind me in the audience. Actually, Landis was there to see RIKI, but it was a fun surprise. I was dressed as a guy going to the New Beverly on a Friday night, which anybody who knows me would correctly guess that it meant I was dressed all in black. Edgar also ran the director’s cut of his DON’T trailer from GRINDHOUSE, maybe a full fifteen or so seconds longer. Anyway, since I never got around to writing an actual Halloween post, here is the list for the marathon to be viewed at an all-night party that I have never thrown. Emily said she chose me because my list would be "interesting". I don't know if it is, but I tried. I’ll probably think of others as soon as I post this. Please do not necessarily consider this list as definitive.
10) HALLOWEEN III – SEASON OF THE WITCH
I just watched it for the first in years. This movie is insane. It’s not badly done and some of it’s weirdly compelling but so much of it is like, really? Are you kidding me?
9) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN
Because I have too many fond memories of watching this when I was a kid. Hell, I still have fond memories of watching this while an adult. It may not be the first example of the monsters playing it straight in a comedy but it should still be viewed by anyone trying to somehow do the same. And if I were with my nieces right now I’d want to show it to them.
8) BLACK SABBATH aka THE THREE FACES OF FEAR
One of those horror films that needed, absolutely needed, to be in color, this is my favorite horror anthology movie. Watch it late at night sometime and just let yourself get absorbed into its mood.
7) RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
A longtime favorite that still plays great. At times hysterically funny and very, very nasty. “Send more paramedics.”
6) MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
Yeah, what’s wrong with that? Some of it’s set during Halloween. Did these all have to be horror movies?
Because sometimes you need to be reminded that Magic is Everywhere.
4) THE EXORCIST
The original version, the one you’ve already seen. I once saw this at the Chinese and during Father Karras’s dream sequence where we get our first subliminal look at the demon I distinctly remember an audible wave of murmuring travel up the audience as people were absorbing what had just flashed before them. I can’t think of another movie that could instill that kind of dread into a packed crowd.
3) NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
The original, of course. I almost put DAWN OF THE DEAD in this slot and honestly, it’s a bit of a toss-up but it’s hard to imagine the true dread that this provides not being there to be viewed in the early morning hours just when you think the holiday is over. To not include it on this list would be, well, all messed up.
Because I have no imagination and it’s still pretty amazing anyway (for the record, I am again talking about the original). Watch it without thinking of the sequels. Just think of it as the story of the boogeyman, with no explanation. Because, after all, it was the Boogeyman, wasn’t it? As a matter of fact, it was.
1) SHAUN OF THE DEAD
Yeah, Emily named it number one and that’s exactly what I’m doing but I speak from experience. It was a blast to see it with a packed crowd on Halloween and I still love it like I do few other films from the past decade.
I could have listed others, but there'll be time for that in the future. Happy Belated Halloween to everyone.