happy halloween: HALLOWEEN!

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Whatch’all know about the night he came home? What ELSE would I watch on Halloween, but John Carpenter’s original 1978 Halloween? I thought about following this up with either Halloween II or Halloween 2018, but I didn’t have time. It’s a miracle I even managed to squeeze all these movies in this month, really.

And what could I possibly say of merit about Halloween here? The trick-or-treaters are beating on my door like Michael Myers trying to break into that dang closet. If I spend one more second thinking about its perfect soundtrack, or its masterful timing and buildup, you’ll have to dig my corpse out from under a pile of half-eaten fun size candy bars.

So it is with the utmost enthusiasm that I whip my cape before my mangled body and hiss… HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Halloween 2019 Movies:

1. Sequence Break
2. Deadtime Stories
3. Hell House LLC
4. Body Bags
5. Pumpkinhead
6. Friday the 13th Part III
7. Child’s Play 2019
8. Ghoulies II
9. Satanic Panic
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
11. Demons
12. You’re Next
13. Frankenstein
14. The Ranger
15. The Fly
16. Train to Busan
17. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
18. Army of Darkness
19. Lake Mungo
20. Popcorn
21. Beyond the Gates
22. Invaders from Mars
23. Body Melt
24. Gargoyles
25. Basket Case
26. Scream
27. Scream 2
28. Scream 3
29. The Howling
30. Zombieland: Double Tap

deadly decade: zombieland: double tap

Zombieland: Double Tap is an upcoming American horror zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and David Callaham.

This photograph is supplied for editorial use only and is the copyright of the film company

How’s THIS for a new horror movie? I checked Zombieland: Double Tap out in the theater with a few friends the other night, fitting it nicely in the #30 slot for the month. It’s been a decade or so since the first Zombieland movie hit theaters, which means it’s been about a decade since I saw it on DVD and thought it was okay. Thus, I remember almost nothing about it, and that doesn’t matter a lick if you plan on watching this sequel.

Double Tap is, per my hazy recollection, more of the same. It moves at a brisk pace, has enough jokes to keep it going, and coasts pretty comfortably off the talent of Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and, to a lesser extent, Jesse Eisenberg. If you had told me 10 years ago that Eisenberg was not, in fact, the K-Mart Michael Cera and would even go on to replace him in the spotlight completely, why… why I woulda shrieked!

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For my money, the brief time spent with Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch completely steals the show in this one. The rest is enjoyable enough, but if you’re not itching to get out to your local theater you can probably wait until this one hits the ‘Box. That’s REDBOX, baby!

Much like the zombies in this film, at this point I can practically feel the trick-or-treaters lumbering my way, so I really need to move on to… our FINAL FILM!

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Halloween 2019 Movies:

1. Sequence Break
2. Deadtime Stories
3. Hell House LLC
4. Body Bags
5. Pumpkinhead
6. Friday the 13th Part III
7. Child’s Play 2019
8. Ghoulies II
9. Satanic Panic
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
11. Demons
12. You’re Next
13. Frankenstein
14. The Ranger
15. The Fly
16. Train to Busan
17. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
18. Army of Darkness
19. Lake Mungo
20. Popcorn
21. Beyond the Gates
22. Invaders from Mars
23. Body Melt
24. Gargoyles
25. Basket Case
26. Scream
27. Scream 2
28. Scream 3
29. The Howling

wolfen wackos: the howling

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It’s Halloween! That means it’s finally time to wrap up this month of movies with the last batch. No, sadly, not The New Batch, but close enough, because the 29th movie of the month is Joe Dante’s The Howling!

This particular cycle of the werewolf happened to be released during my own dang birth year, 1981, which means I definitely didn’t see it in theaters. Ever since I did eventually see it, though, I’ve held it up as one of the staples of werewolf cinema, with a classic transformation, incredibly animalistic werewolves, and a story that puts these creatures in a more modern and believable context.

Throw in a bit of Dante’s comedic bite and you have a movie that holds up to this day, especially when it comes to that roarer of an ending. If you want to see it in all its glory, pick up the Blu-ray from Scream Factory ASAP.

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As much as I’d love to ruminate on this one more, we gotta get through to the end. Like I said, it’s Halloween!

Halloween 2019 Movies:

1. Sequence Break
2. Deadtime Stories
3. Hell House LLC
4. Body Bags
5. Pumpkinhead
6. Friday the 13th Part III
7. Child’s Play 2019
8. Ghoulies II
9. Satanic Panic
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
11. Demons
12. You’re Next
13. Frankenstein
14. The Ranger
15. The Fly
16. Train to Busan
17. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
18. Army of Darkness
19. Lake Mungo
20. Popcorn
21. Beyond the Gates
22. Invaders from Mars
23. Body Melt
24. Gargoyles
25. Basket Case
26. Scream
27. Scream 2
28. Scream 3

slick slashers: scream 1-3

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This entry is a three-for-one, but not in the way Body Bags was way back in the beginning of the month. For movies 26-28, my wife and I watched the first three Scream movies back to back. It takes a lot for my wife to want to watch a horror movie, and it helps that we both find the Scream movies entertaining. Guess what? They’re mostly still good!

This should come as no surprise given the fact that the late, great Wes Craven directed them all. You end up with diminishing returns along the way—especially when the time comes to reveal the big whodunnit twist—but each has an incredible opening scene, and the first is a total classic of the genre.

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Beyond the frozen-in-time casting, it’s amazing to go back to these and see what Craven kicked off with the series as a whole. So many teen slashers rose from the ashes of Scream, which revitalized the horror genre for the late ’90s and early ’00s, regardless of what the old heads at the time had to say about it. Even if you don’t like some of the movies that followed—from your I Know What You Did Last Summers to your Urban Legends—you gotta hand it to Scream.

Scream 3 is the weakest of the initial trilogy, but in this case it might not have helped that I watched them all one after the other. As for which has the best opening, while the first with Drew Barrymore is an all-time great, I really love the movie theater rowdiness of Scream 2‘s kickoff.

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If, like me, it’s been ages since you bothered with the Scream movies, fire ’em up sometime soon. We plan on bringing the saga to an end with Scream 4 tonight, but I’m already past my 31 movie plan so you won’t be reading about it here.

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Halloween 2019 Movies:

1. Sequence Break
2. Deadtime Stories
3. Hell House LLC
4. Body Bags
5. Pumpkinhead
6. Friday the 13th Part III
7. Child’s Play 2019
8. Ghoulies II
9. Satanic Panic
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
11. Demons
12. You’re Next
13. Frankenstein
14. The Ranger
15. The Fly
16. Train to Busan
17. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
18. Army of Darkness
19. Lake Mungo
20. Popcorn
21. Beyond the Gates
22. Invaders from Mars
23. Body Melt
24. Gargoyles
25. Basket Case

terrible twins: basket case

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Ah, Basket Case. If there’s anything that can cleanse my palate after a dud from 1972, it’s the glory of a New York grime time classic from 1982. Frank Henenlotter is one of my favorite genre directors, and the sheer ridiculousness of movies like Brain Damage and Basket Case are among the key reasons why.

Duane Bradley just arrived in New York City from upstate, and despite a suspiciously large wad of cash, all he really has to his name is a rectangular wicker basket with a firm lock on it. Naturally, everyone would love to know what the hell’s in that basket, but there aren’t many that survive after they find out.

Because, baby, Belial is in the basket!

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I’ll save the specifics for any of you who have, for some reason, never seen Basket Case before. It’s a real low-renter with effects that are just okay, but it has a lot of piss and vinegar that make it a blast to watch. It’s also one of those great NYC time capsule movies that offers a ground-floor glimpse at what the city was like before it became the safe-but-still-urine-soaked city we know it as today.

Arrow Video put out a great Blu-ray of this one, returning it to its original 1:33:1 aspect ratio. It looks better than ever, even when Belial is bumbling around in stop-motion or clinging to a wall for dear life. A stinky staple of the season!

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Halloween 2019 Movies:

1. Sequence Break
2. Deadtime Stories
3. Hell House LLC
4. Body Bags
5. Pumpkinhead
6. Friday the 13th Part III
7. Child’s Play 2019
8. Ghoulies II
9. Satanic Panic
10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
11. Demons
12. You’re Next
13. Frankenstein
14. The Ranger
15. The Fly
16. Train to Busan
17. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
18. Army of Darkness
19. Lake Mungo
20. Popcorn
21. Beyond the Gates
22. Invaders from Mars
23. Body Melt
24. Gargoyles