Friday, December 25, 2009

Heath Ledger's last film, with Johnny Depp

Heath's last film features an allstar cast and is directed by Terry Gilliam of Mont Python fame

Best Christmas Horror movies

It’s Christmas time! It’s time for peace on Earth, good will toward men. It’s also time for stressing out over shopping, work, the economy and the family. What a better time for a horror marathon! Here are some great selections for Christmas time horror viewing. Admittedly some of these films are corny, campy or just plain bad, but all have either a Christmas setting or feel to them. Some will scare you, some will may you laugh, some will make you groan, and with some you might need to spike the Christmas eggnog to truly enjoy.

1. Black Christmas

Created by Bob Clark the director of A Christmas Story, this movie is the standard for Christmas time horror. A mysterious killer is knocking off a group of sorority sisters one at a time at Christmas. Who is the killer? Watch it and find out, maybe. One of the movies credited with starting the slasher genre, Black Christmas predates Halloween by several years, and is also one of the first “ killer is calling from inside the house” movies. It recently was submitted to the sub par remake treatment.

2.Child’s Play

Chucky has became a household name, along with other killers such as Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers and a lot of people forget that he started out as a Christmas present. Possessed by the soul of murdered Charles Lee Ray the original Chucky was a vicious killer. While later movies have played up the comedic side of a possessed doll, the original is a true horror classic that often gets overlooked as a Christmas horror movie.

3. Tales From The Crypt (1972)

Watch this classic for the segment “All Through the House” that stars Joan Collins as a woman who murders her husband on Christmas Eve. She then gets trapped in her house by an escaped lunatic. This episode was remade for the Tales from The Crypt TV series with Larry Drake playing the axe wielding psycho. Both are great holiday watching.

4. Gremlins.

Despite many people labeling this as children’s fare, the first Gremlins was a wickedly evil little movie. Cute little critter suddenly become homicidal when their owners don’t follow the instruction manual. “Don’t feed them after midnight” has become a iconic line in pop culture. Stars Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman, and Hoyt Axton.

5. Silent Night, Deadly Night

The most controversial movie in the list, this movie about a insane killer dressed as Santa terrorizing Christmas had parents up in arms. Without the controversy the movie would likely have faded into obscurity. The protests did get the film yanked from theaters, but the film, honestly isn’t that good and probably would have died a quick, natural death. The protests kept it alive and to many it is considered a mini cult classic. While not a good film it is better than the sequels and worth a Christmas look, just to see what all the fuss was about

6. And All Through The House (TV series)

An excellent remake of the classic episode from the 1972 film, this made for TV effort stars Larry Drake as the axe wielding Santa out for blood. It is a faithful adaptation and Drake is wonderful in the role. John Kassir as the Crypt keeper has become a horror icon. Definitely a holiday classic.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Not really a horror movie but a animated classic that does have is spooky moments, especially for the kids. The tale of Jack Skellington is a great little movie for the whole family to enjoy this Christmas. Based on a story by Tim Burton it features the Danny Elfman providing the singing voice for Jack, while Chris Sarandon provides his voice when not in song.

8. Let the Right One In
The best movie on the list is not really a Christmas movie. However the snowy landscape of the Swedish setting makes this a great movie to watch during Christmas time. Want another good reason to watch this during the holidays? It’s one of the best horror movies in years, and one of the best movies of the decade. A vampire tale, but it is also a story about friendship, pain, and discovering first love. A remake is in the works, but check out the original before you watch the American version.

9. Santa’s Slay
A surprisingly good little Christmas shocker that reinvents Santa as a demon, bound by a lost wager to do good. What happens when the bet is off? Santa is free to resume his demonic proclivities such as murder, mayhem, and just general badness. Stars former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg as a not so jolly Saint Nick.

10. Jack Frost.

A dead serial killer ( where have we heard that before?) returns as a demonic snowman. Frosty he isn’t, as Jack goes on a murderous rampage in pursuit of the Sheriff who killed him. Watch for Shannon Elizabeth, of American Pie fame, in a very memorable scene with Jack and his carrot.

Well that’s the list. Hopefully this can give you a good starting point for a holiday marathon. There are more Christmas and winter themed movies out there such as Christmas Evil, Elves and Ghost Story that you can check out for more winter fun.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

It's Christmas Day, what are you watching

It is Christmas day and I hope everyone is having a great time.  I just finished watching Gremlins, and planning on watching Ghostbusters later today.  I bought the new double feature DVD at Wal-Mart yesterday.  Looking for more horror viewing for the Noel, why not the classic Black Christmas?  Of course there is the remake if you are more interested in gore than a suspenseful story.  While not really a Christmas horror, you can't go wrong with Let the Right One In.  For the kiddies why not a Christmas cartoon classic like How the Grinch Stole Christmas featureing horror legend Boris Karloff or even the live action starring Jim Carrey.  If you want a day with out horror (WHAT!!??!!) just pop in the classic by Bob Clark The Christmas Story.   An even better suggestion for Christmas would be to turn off the TV, shut down the computer and spend some time with family and friends.  Above all try to be just a little nicer today, give a smile to a stranger, drop a coin in Santa's bucket, do a good deed.  Christmas doesn't have to be just a religious holiday.  It can be a holiday for everyone.  Peace on Earth and good will toward men.  All men ( and women. )
God Bless us Everyone

Monday, December 21, 2009

quick update

Just a qucikie. This weekend I watched Carriers and Pontypool and hope to review both. Also purchased Thirst, Let the Right One In, and The Forsaken ( 4 bucks at walmart get em while they last)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy dead at 32

RIP Brittany,

Top ten horror movies of the decade

The decade is rapidly closing and top lists are appearing everywhere. With this in mind I decided to make a top ten horror films of the decade. After doing a bit of research and straining my brain I found it impossible to limit my list to ten movies. The list quickly stretched to fifteen and with a bit of work made it to twenty. One thing that may strike you is the number of foreign language films on my list. It may be more shocking to some people that know me that any English language movies made it. American cinema continues to struggle with quality, while foreign language films, as well as English language, non Hollywood films seem to get better. Without further ado here is my list with a very short synopsis on each.

1. Let The Right One In -
On the surface a vampire movie this is just as easily a love story about two outcasts who find companionship with each other. Wonderful performances from the two child actors propel this Swedish film above the competition and puts twilight to shame. An American remake is on the way as we speak

2 The Devil’s Rejects
Rob Zombies masterpiece is this dirty gritty revenge movie that while many will not consider horror, it delivers the goods. Zombie blends ultra violence, with a driving 70’s soundtrack, and great performances from a virtual army of genre actors.

3.Shaun of the DeadThe movie most faithful to the Romero trilogy isn’t a Romero film, it isn’t even a serious movie. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg create a Zombie Comedy Romance ( Zomcomrom?) that is both hilarious and respectful of the Dead films. Each new viewing seems to reveal a different homage to Romero’s classic films.

4. Martyrs
One of the most brutal and unforgiving films you will ever watch. Martyrs is a brilliant French film that pulls no punches but never seems gratuitous or cheap. The pain is more real than in an American torture porn film. See it at your own risk, but see it.

5.The Mist
One of the best adaptations of a Stephen King story that has come along in a long time. Purists may scream at the ending but it remains a very faithful adaptation. I think if King had decided to write an extra twenty pages, he would have written the ending that Frank Darabont filmed for the Mist. A great movie but the ending is one of the darkest and most heart rending in film history.

6.The Descent
Neil Marshall proves his horror chops with The Descent. The Descent is one of those few films in the horror genre to succeed with an all female cast. The Descent is brutal while not being overly gory or bloody, still it like many classic films feels much more bloody than it actually is.

7. Haute Tension
Another French film in the list, Haute tension is directed by Alexandre Aja who went on to direct The Hills Have Eyes remake. Haute Tension is every bit as bloody as Hostile, but without the overly long buildup and “happy ending.” It does suffer from lapses in continuity but the sheer joy of it’s brutality overcomes these issues.

8. May
May is the story of a girl who just doesn’t fit in with society. This is fertile fodder for the horror genre and director Lucky McKee takes the idea and runs with it. May is subdued and fairly bloodless but still delivers the goods.

Spanish horror film that was remade as Quarantine in the states. While Quarantine is not a bad movie, *[Rec] is far superior. The lead actress is much more charismatic and the acting seems much more real and not “Hollywood,” which is a good thing considering most of the film is supposed to be news footage. A great new entry into the zombie genre.

10. 28 Days LaterAnother unconventional zombie film and one of the few “fast” zombie movies that is worth watching. 28 days is one of those films that never slows down. The viewer can never feel safe or secure, every lull is a trap. Purists will argue that it’s not really a zombie movie and technically they are right, but do not let nit picking stop you from watching this film.

Want more click here to go to my top 20 of the decade