31 Days of Horror

31 Days Of Horror: 'Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein' (1948)

10/12/2010 4:42pm EDT
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Mixing horror and comedy is a dodgy game. A lot of horror movies try to blend in comedic elements to soften up their grim subject matter, but more often than not their efforts fall flat or come across as plain juvenile. B-movie cheapies are notorious for their cornball humor, no doubt trying to ape the success of cult classics like Evil Dead 2 or Dead Alive, movies that both successfully combine splatter with slapstick. Still, for every Shaun of the Dead there seem to be dozens of Zombie Strippers or Sharktopuses out there that pop up in the wake. Even Bruce Campbell himself has had trouble...

31 Days Of Horror Weekend Round-Up: "Poltergeist," "Puppet Master," "House on Sorority Row"

10/12/2010 9:44am EDT
Oct 9 – Poltergeist (1982): Because of Poltergeist’s popularity and because of its association with Steven Spielberg (who produced, and according to some reports, co-directed along with Tobe Hooper), I have always thought of Poltergeist as being a kind of family-friendly horror movie. I imagined it as the kind of movie that could scare the pants off of a ten-year-old and leave parents chuckling at them as they cower beneath a pillow. What I didn’t expect was a chaotic, and at times visceral haunted house story that manages to undercut the budding Reagan revolution while playing on the laten...

31 Days Of Horror: 'Night Of The Demon' (1957)

10/8/2010 1:35pm EDT
Night of the Demon (1957)
Why didn’t anyone tell me that Drag Me to Hell is basically Night of the Demon on amphetamines?

There’s the three day curse, the floating scrap of paper, the attempts to pass the curse onto others, the séance, the opening sequence showing the fate of the cursed, an ending on train tracks. It’s basically a remake--which is fine, really, I just feel kind of like a schlub for not knowing that already. In fact, if all remakes were like the Night of the Demon/Drag Me To Hell connection then the world would be a much better place.

But I digress.

Night of the Demon is a title you hear often wh...

31 Days Of Horror: 'The Crazies' (2010)

10/7/2010 1:23pm EDT
The Crazies (2010)
Veteran horror director George Romero won a permanent place in the horror movie hall of fame for his continually growing Living Dead series, but aside from Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, the bulk of the director’s work typically falls somewhere between middling and downright terrible. But while Romero has never been a consistent director, he has managed a perfect record of cramming blunt social commentary into just about everything he’s ever made.

Romero’s original version of The Crazies is a fever dream of government paranoia. There’s a lot of screaming and running around,...

31 Days Of Horror: "The Burning" (1981)

10/6/2010 12:30pm EDT
The Burning (1981)
With horror movies it’s pretty easy to come up with some bullshit excuse as to why you’re subjecting yourself to what is typically, by almost every conceivable measure, a pretty repugnant piece of shit movie. The Friday the 13th series has an unreasonably fierce puritanical streak, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about regional tension and the economic repercussions of automating farm labor, and every zombie movie ever is about how we’re the real monsters. 1981’s The Burning is about children getting stabbed to death with garden shears. Oh, and seeing some full frontal 80s girls. That’s it. ...

31 Days Of Horror: 'The Masque Of The Red Death' (1964)

10/5/2010 12:02pm EDT
I was a bit of a lazy student in high school. When I came into 9th grade, rather than taking the honors courses I was scheduled for, I opted to take the remedial regular courses to avoid having to read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or whatever over the summer. Summer is a time to sleep, not read a bunch of sentences and words. So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock that rather than try to teach a bunch of slovenly 14 year-old degenerates the elegance of the written word, my 9th and 10th grade English teacher typically just showed us the movie versions of everything, no doubt hoping to God tha...

31 Days Of Horror Weekend Round-Up: "Let The Right One In," "Cabin Fever," "The Beyond"

10/4/2010 11:27am EDT
Let The Right One In
Oct. 1 – Let the Right One In (2008): Sometimes it’s better to be unsettling than scary. Horror movies have an unfortunate tendency to forgo mood in favor jumps scares and graphic violence, and for the most part, these simpler elements have a lessened effect and will wash off of viewers like water from a duck (or blood from a tarp). It’s easy to give a kid nightmares, but it’s a real challenge to crawl under the skin and leave you feeling covered in a thin film.

"Let The Right One Slip In" - Morrissey

The 2008 vampire cult hit Let the Right One In falls in the latter category....

31 Days Of Horror 2010: Third Times The Harm... 3D

10/1/2010 11:15am EDT
31 Days of Horror (Vampyr)
Greetings ghouls, goblins and basement dwellers!

Unless you’re in Southern California (113 degrees this week!) the weather is starting to cool off and the neighborhood trees are just starting to throw on their fall colors. The month of October means different things to all types of people: sports fans have football season hitting its stride, food-blog types have new vegetables to shill, kids have a lot of school to attend--which kind of sucks for them. For me the month of October means watching an unhealthy amount of horror movies.

For the past two years, I’ve watched a horror movie I had...

31 Days Of Horror - Wrap Up

11/2/2009 3:35pm EST
With Halloween come and gone, Starpulse writer Kris King has wrapped up his horror movie marathon. For the last three days Kris deals with the demon apocalypse

in "Demons," gets beaten up by a large French man in "Martyrs," and makes a lot of boob jokes with "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark."

October 29 - Demons (1985)

"Demons" starts off as a wickedly clever meta-movie. While Wes Craven's "Scream" discusses the rules of horror films and then applies them to its own story, the Dario Argento produced "Demons" goes a few steps further by setting the film in an old movie theater. "Demons" pu...

31 Days Of Horror Week 4: 'The Sentinel,' 'Night of the Living Dead,' & More

10/30/2009 11:30am EDT
31 Days Of Horror Week 4
With Halloween just a day away, Starpulse writer Kris King is reaching the final stages of his horror movie marathon. This week Kris gets cozy with a Good Guy doll with a "Child's Play" double feature, stands guard at the gates of Hell

in "The Sentinel," and fights off a mental assault from Nazi Alien Grasshoppers in "Quatermass and the Pit."

October 22 - The Sentinel (1977)

There are a staggering amount of famous people in "The Sentinel," and nary a one of them has a major role. When starting the movie, seeing Beverly D'Angelo impulsively masturbate towards the camera was probably the...