Hello my ever faithful readers, I’ve hit a lot of different parts of the genre known as Horror during our Halloween Film Fests lists. What I’d like to do today is go with some of the films that I feel most people haven’t seen, but films that are fun and should definitely be seen.
5) Gargoyles – This made for TV film is most notable for it’s makeup, which was done by a young Stan Winston before he became the god of makeup effects. It’s easy to see how he achieved his status from this early film. The makeup is outstanding, and the plot is very different. Every 600 years gargoyle eggs hatch, and they will swarm amongst man unless stopped. Well it’s the late 60s. It’s been 600 years and they are in the desert waiting for all their eggs to hatch. A professor of folklore and his daughter are traveling through the Midwest and stop to talk to Uncle Willy, who knows much of the local folklore. While telling his stories, it gets dark and something tries to get into the shack and a lantern catches fire. The professor and his daughter escape but are chased by something flying. Back in town they get a hotel hoping that there isn’t any more excitement. Much to their dismay the Gargoyles follow them and they along with the local law enforcement and some dirt bikers try to prevent the hatching of the eggs that will spell the end of humanity. It’s old but not a bad movie at all.
4) Undead – This Australian zombie flick is great. It has aliens, zombies, 3 & 4 barrel pump action shotguns, and Australians. This film is a little comical (to a lot comical depending on your point of view). A meteorite crashes in the middle of a small town in the outback and apparently the equivalent of alien swine flu was in it, and people begin turning into zombies, then it starts to rain. Several of our survivors are trying to escape when they realize that a giant wall has been erected around their city. Trapped with the undead, they’ll have to fight to survive. This film is great for it’s tongue in cheek approach and good timing for both their action scenes and gags. I’ve got to admit this film is 10 times better than Razorback (think Jaws if Jaws was a razorback boar terrorizing the outback instead of the ocean, yeah it’s as bad as you’re thinking). This film also was released before the massive zombie craze that we have today.
3) Slither – This film is actually a pastiche of several different films, borrowing most heavily from Night of the Creeps. It’s about space slugs that get into your brain take over and then as a group consciousness want you to meld with the originator of the slugs (whoever he might be). While he still impregnates people, which causes them to swell to grotesque proportions until they burst and the slugs come forth. Now this being said, this movie stars Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri Make a Porno), Nathan Fillion (Joss Whedon’s Firefly) & Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead). Now, I know this might sound like some crazy slugs-in-my-brain-zombie movie and it kind of is, except for one thing. It’s not restricted to people. At one point, Nathan Fillion, our local sheriff, is attacked by a slug-brain deer. This film is also very tongue in cheek, but it’s so awesome to watch. Mainly, because I’m a massive Nathan Fillion fan and if you like his character from Firefly and Serenity then you’ll love his character in Slither.
2) Phantasm – If you haven’t seen this awesome film series, then you are missing out. The Tall Man is an enigma, I’ve learned things about him through 4 films and have not come any closer to finding out what he is exactly, or where he’s from. The action hero of these films (predominantly starting with 2) is an ice cream vender. But the main crux of the story is about Mike. Since I can go on forever about these films, I’ll try to stick to the first one. Mike is a teenager who is being raised by his older brother (Jodi) since the death of his parents. Jodi attends a funeral of one of his friends and leaves. Mike having followed him stays behind and watches as the Tall Man picks up the casket, by himself, and puts it back into the hearse. Mike, Jodi, and Reggie (our ice cream vender) get drawn into a battle against the Tall Man who controls imps made from the dead and his sentinel spheres (small silver balls that as we see in this film, attach themselves to a person’s head, drill into the skull and remove the blood). The Tall Man is a creepy guy, he’s the undertaker at the Morningside Funeral Home and is transporting the dead to some unknown dimension/planet where they are shrunk and become his evil dwarfish minions. It’s a battle to save their town, their dead parents, and their very lives as they match wits with the Tall Man.
1) The Monster Squad – This 80’s classic was put out on DVD a couple years ago and is just as fun today as it was back then. Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, the Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon have arrived in a small town seeking to find an amulet that will allow them to cast the world into darkness and evil for 100 yrs. But if the forces of good control the amulet at the stroke of midnight and recite the ancient German spell then evil will be banished into limbo for 100 yrs. Who you ask are the forces of good: 2 kids, 3 young teens, and 1 mid teen, and a scary German guy (who is credited as Scary German Guy). Some people can’t stand this film and I’m sure it wouldn’t get made today. It shows one of our heroes making bullets (silver of course), but it also shows several of the squad handling firearms. Our middle schooler is the bad boy of the group and steals an archery set from his school and smokes. So, as you can see there’s too many controversial issues for those to allow this film to be made today. Anyway this movie is fantastic. “The Wolfman has Gnards,” garlic pizza can hurt Dracula, and the “Creature stole my twinkie,” what more could you ask for. If you don’t get these references then watch the movie. If you get these references watch the movie. All in all watch the movie. It’s the Goonies with Monsters, what’s not to love?
Other suggestions if you’ve seen these are Night of the Creeps (brain slugs from outer space), Near Dark (vampires that get ignored b/c of the Lost Boys), Children of the Corn (despite how bad the series of films got, the first ones still really good), and Bubba Ho-tep (Bruce Campbell as geriatric Elvis in a Texas rest home with a black JFK fighting a soul sucking mummy). Enjoy, and keep your eyes open for all those movies you should see but haven’t.