31 Days of Horror

31 Days Of Horror: 'The Human Centipede: First Sequence' (2010)

10/26/2010 3:51pm EDT
The Human Centipede is a movie that capitalizes on our inbred, firm stance against eating other people's excrement. In the movie, a mad scientist takes three people and sutures them together, mouth-to-anus, creating one, long, poop-eating love train. The premise is pretty thin, and writer/director Tom Six takes this one moment of horror and then just kind of builds a movie around it. But decent movies have been made on less, just look at Saw. Nobody wants to saw off their own foot, how horrible would that be? Safe to say that the same goes for eating shit. I’m pretty sure most people would ...

31 Days Of Horror Weekend Round-Up #4: 'Nosferatu The Vampyre,' 'The Wolfman,' 'Survival Of The Dead'

10/25/2010 11:33pm EDT
Nosferatu the Vampyr
Oct 22 – Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979): In the hands of any other director, a sexed up remake of the silent classic Nosferatu would probably end up being the kind of groan-inducing hack-work we’ve come to expect from Hollywood. Complete with an A-list celebrity donning the ookie Dracula make-up and ripping out the throat of some up-and-coming young talent—Oh right, like what Francis Ford Coppola did in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Almost forgot about that one. But in the hands of a mad genius director like Werner Herzog, what we get instead is a sexed up version of Nosferatu that’s also a spellbin...

31 Days Of Horror: 'The Walking Dead' (2010)

10/22/2010 10:12am EDT
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, future maniac
When it was announced that Frank Darabont would be heading up an adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s universally acclaimed comic book series The Walking Dead for AMC, it automatically set the bar unbelievably high. Kirkman’s comic is a lone light of quality in the overexposed zombie genre—bleak and emotionally intense. Darabont directed The Shawshank Redemption, the movie that everyone’s mother just loves, but also won some cult clout with his morbid adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist. And of course, AMC is the reigning king of the mountain for prime-time drama (and movies you’ve seen a milli...

31 Days Of Horror: 'Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer' (1986)

10/21/2010 4:51pm EDT
Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer
If there’s one thing that horror movies do well, it’s their uncanny ability to make murder and mayhem appealing. We fear for the characters as they get stalked by some unnamed killer, but as soon as the hammer (or the axe, or the machete, or the chainsaw) falls that fear manifests into wild cheers. It’s pretty rare when you come across a character in a horror movie who you actually feel bad for when they’re offed. Nine times out of ten the characters deserve it anyway, be it out of their own cosmic douchery or out of their own stupidity (DON’T. GO. OUTSIDE. WHAT ARE YOU DOING.). Consequentl...

31 Days Of Horror: 'Saw' (2004)

10/20/2010 2:07pm EDT
Ever since Saw came out way back in 2004, I’ve heard nothing but belly aching from movie-goers and horror-goons alike over how the movie ushered in a new era of gore-porn. That because of Saw, as well as Hostel, its pseudo sister-movie, all horror movies started to forgo any attempt at story telling in favor of graphic depictions of peoples’ heads getting shoved into bear-traps or corn threshers. I also recall it being quite buzzed about before its release, only to be met with cold to tepid reviews upon its actual release. So, keeping its reputation in mind, I skipped past watching Saw, Saw...

31 Days Of Horror: 'Black Sabbath' (1963)

10/19/2010 11:00pm EDT
Black Sabbath
One of the things that I look for in doing these horror movie fests are scary movies that capture an intense sense of fun. It’s easy to be gross or spooky, and a lot of horror movies just lob off a teen’s head and call it a day. But it’s the fun ones that best capture that Halloween feeling better than any gorefest. Last year the movie that best fit the bill was Trick r’ Treat, a horror anthology that takes place in a spooky small town seemingly stuck in a perpetual autumn.

There’s something about horror anthologies like Trick r’ Treat that compliment the Halloween season. They tend to be ...

31 Days Of Horror, Weekend Round-Up #3: 'The Call Of Cthulhu,' 'Carnival of Souls,' 'Dark Shadows'

10/18/2010 6:38pm EDT
The Call of Cthulhu
Oct 15 – The Call of Cthulhu (2005): If The Call of Cthulhu came out in the 1920s, audiences would have freaked right the hell out. It would be heralded as a special effects extravaganza—a piece of cinema of remarkable importance. After all, this was a movie-going public that thought the KKK galloping to rescue oppressed white farmers was “like writing history with lightning,” a pretty easily impressed lot to say the least. So, you can imagine what they’d do if they saw a shifty-looking claymation monster tromping around throwing sailors left and right. Oh sure, there’s Max Schreck in Nosfe...

31 Days Of Horror: 'From Beyond' (1986)

10/15/2010 1:38pm EDT
From Beyond
Has science ever done anything positive in a horror movie? In the twisted little world of scary cinema, it seems that the planet’s greatest scientific minds are too preoccupied with re-animating the dead or building gateways into Dimension X to do anything even remotely productive. Even when scientists’ intentions are in the right place and they’re trying to cure cancer, the results of their research always ends with something crazy like a vampire plague or super-intelligent killer sharks. In From Beyond, mad scientists create a machine that enhances the brain so it can interact with hidden...

31 Days Of Horror: 'I Spit On Your Grave' (1978)

10/14/2010 4:07pm EDT
I Spit on Your Grave
Scenes of prolonged rape and battery don’t exactly register too high on my things to see list. It took me a long time to watch Last House on the Left, and Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible will probably sit at the bottom of my Netflix queue for the rest of time, regardless of how much respectable criticism it gets. But since it’s horror season, and one of the things that horror movies are supposed to do is horrify you, I figured that it’s time to buckle down and watch I Spit on Your Grave, a movie Roger Ebert described as being "a vile bag of garbage." So. This should be fun.

Determined or not, I ...

31 Days Of Horror: "Little Shop of Horrors" Double Feature

10/13/2010 3:24pm EDT
The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Continuing on with a similar theme from Monday is a Little Shop of Horrors double bill, first with the 1960 low-budget original, directed by a hesitant Roger Corman, followed by the 1986 film adaptation of the Alan Menken and Howard Ashman penned Off-Broadway musical. Both are funny, neither is particularly horrific, and while one has a very young Jack Nicholson, the other has Bill Murray—so it’s a bit of a toss-up as to which is the better killer plant movie.

By the late 50s Roger Corman had already hit his monster movie stride, churning out an unbelievable number of B-movies for paltry s...

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