31 Days of Horror

31 Days of Horror - The Final Chapter

10/31/2011 2:55pm EDT
31 Days of Horror - The Final Chapter
Halloween is finally upon us, which means our 4th annual horror movie marathon is coming to a close. Over the past weekend we checked in with Roger Corman in A Bucket of Blood, caught up with Bride of Frankenstein, tried out some J-horror with Tomie, and closed things out with everyone's favorite fake vampire Martin.

Day 28: A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Roger Corman’s 1959 quickie A Bucket of Blood is a pitch perfect send up of artists and their highfalutin perceptions of themselves in the guise of a z-rate horror film. Set in a beatnik cafe, the lead character in A Bucket of Blood places s...

31 Days of Horror - Week 4: Cannibals, Vampires and Killer Tires Edition

10/28/2011 12:33pm EDT
Day 21: Vampyr (1932): Made in 1932, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr could be considered behind the times what with its\ sticking to silent movie tropes severak years after the advent of talkies, but if Charlie Chaplin made his best movies in the sound era, that’s no reason to hate on a film as beautifully shot as Vampyr. Dreyer is most famous for making The Passion of Joan of Arc, a movie I have had on my shelf for four years and haven’t watched, so this is my first introduction to the director. Spare on dialogue, Vampyr makes eloquent use of the camera, capturing troubling images like dancin...

31 Days of Horror - Week 3: 'Fright Night!' 'The Walking Dead! 'Red State!'

10/23/2011 10:00am EDT
The Wolf Man
Day 14: The Wolf Man (1941)

I don’t have much to say about The Wolf Man, so I’ll try to keep things brief for both our sakes. I can see why Lawrence Talbot is largely thought of as being the best and most sympathetic of Universal’s line of howly monsters. He’s such a lope-a-dope schmo, a guileless man-child who likes to work with his hands and can’t turn away from a pretty face—even when that face is, ahem, engaged. So it’s kind of a bummer to see the big buffoon turned into a murderous monster who eventually gets bludgeoned to death by his father. Lon Chaney Jr. gives perhaps the most h...

31 Days of Horror Week 2: 'Paranormal Activity 2,' 'The Last Exorcism' &, Ugh, 'Hatchet'

10/15/2011 8:09am EDT
Dead and Buried
Day 7: Dead and Buried (1981)

I had initially intended to impose a zombie movie moratorium on this month. Like it or not, zombies have invaded every aspect of popular culture over the past couple of years with the success of The Walking Dead, zombie pub crawls and, I don't know, zombie novelty t-shirts--and frankly, I’m rather sick of the whole thing. But, not all zombies are the shambling brain eating types, and Dead and Buried is a good example of what you can do with the undead if you put just an ounce of creativity into it.

Folks don’t take too kindly to strangers in Potter’s Bluff, w...

31 Days of Horror - Week 1 - Peeping Tom, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil and more!

10/7/2011 7:00pm EDT
Peeping Tom
Day 1: Peeping Tom (1960) Considering for the past two years running, we’ve kicked off 31 Days of Horror with tales of androgyny and murder; we decided to class things up a bit at the outset with Michael Powell’s 1960 thriller Peeping Tom. So shocked by Peeping Tom’s bold portrayal of a voyeuristic serial killer, contemporary critics lavished such vitriol on the film that it nearly destroyed The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and The Red Shoes director’s otherwise classy career. Shameful, considering the clearly masterful hand at the helm of the film.

Much like Hitchcock’s Psycho, which p...

31 Days Of Horror Returns!

10/3/2011 3:36pm EDT
Spookfest 4
Greetings ghouls and skeletons and werewolves and stuff, it’s October again here on good old planet Earth and that means its time for us to roll out our fourth annual 31 Days of Horror horror-a-thon. Things have already started to get underway, and we’ll have our weekly recaps of what we watched at the end of each week in October, culminating on Monday October 31st: Halloween night.

We are, of course, open to your suggestions. The only rule is that it needs to be a film that the writer (that’s me) hasn’t previously seen, so go as weird and obscure as you like. I’m sure to dig up a copy som...

31 Days Of Horror, The Final Chapter: 'Interview With The Vampire,' 'The Stuff,' 'Hostel'

11/2/2010 11:05am EDT
Interview with the Vampire
Oct 29 – Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994): When Twlight hit it big a couple of years ago, the main complaint about the series was that it sissified vampires. After all, Stephanie Meyer’s brood of moody nightwalkers is an attractive bunch, one that sparkles in the sunlight and pines over high school crushes—traits that don’t really cut an intimidating figure. But when you look back on vampires in popular culture, they have always been an effete bunch of nocturnal dandies. So complaints that Robert Pattison was too pretty and too teenie-bopper to play an effective vam...

31 Days Of Horror: Rifftrax Live - 'House On Haunted Hill'

10/29/2010 5:02pm EDT
Rifftrax Live
One of the things that make you really appreciate the talent of professional movie riffers and former Mystery Science Theater 3000 stars Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett is attending one of their live Rifftrax events. The trio plucks a movie and a few shorts out of public domain, jump up on stage and rip right into them, simulcasting their performance to theaters across the country. The model seems to work pretty well for the beloved wiseacres—based on the screenings I’ve attended I’d wager that they do better than The Met or the Prairie Home Companion’s simulcasts, at least. Afte...

31 Days Of Horror: 'Andy Warhol's Blood For Dracula' (1974)

10/28/2010 4:00pm EDT
Blood for Dracula
In Blood for Dracula, our favorite Transylvanian Count (Udo Kier) isn’t doing too well. It seems that Romania’s young ladies have been playing it a bit too fast and loose for the Count’s specific taste for the pure blood of virgins--or rather “wir-gins,” as the Count says. As he grows increasingly sick, Dracula packs up his coffin and heads off to the one place in the world that should be just brimming with pure young maidens: Italy. Good luck with that one, Count.

After producing the awesome Frankenstein blood-and-sex-fest send-up Andy Warhol’s Flesh for Frankenstein (Warhol, incidentally...

31 Days Of Horror: 'Motel Hell' (1980)

10/27/2010 8:39pm EDT
If there’s a common consensus amongst horror movies it’s that rednecks are complete lunatics out to eat your skin. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ghost story or a slasher flick, if there’s a backwoods hillbilly involved then he probably wants to do something really horrible to someone. Occasionally a director will come along and subvert that expectation a bit, like Eli Roth does at the end of Cabin Fever, but overall the lesson is this: Don’t leave the city, don’t talk to the yokels, and for the love of Christ learn how to change a tire.

I bring this up because today’s movie, Motel Hell, foll...