Paff's Halloween Top Ten

Discussion in 'Site News' started by rhett, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    Paff's Halloween List 2004

    I haven’t been around HorrorDVDs.com too much this year. I started a new job, continued to take classes, and was also hired as a programmer for a local film festival. But I’m always a horror film lover at heart, and when the days get short in October, you have to do whatever it takes to find time for viewing some fright flicks. Luckily the film festival is the week before Halloween, and while the rest of the staff will be celebrating the end of the festival by partying in Vegas on Halloween weekend, I’m gonna do something I literally haven’t done in a year: Spend a day (and night) glued to my couch watching horror flicks. Here’s what’s on tap at CinemaPaff on October 31 this year:



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    10. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

    Everyone knows I love to start off my top ten list with animation. Here we go with the classic tale of the Peanuts gang going trick-or-treating. And we even get a couple of sideplots: Snoopy battling the Red Baron, and Linus sitting in the pumpkin patch awaiting the arrival of The Great Pumpkin. The Snoopy piece is some great animation. And what I’d really like to know is, how mean do you have to be to keep a supply of rocks on hand for trick-or-treaters with bad costumes?





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    9. Dead of Night (1945)

    Hands down, the best horror anthology ever. One thing that always sinks anthology movies is a lame or non-existant framing device. Without a framing device, it seems disjointed, and when it’s something really dumb or irrelevant, it takes away from the stories. In Dead of Night, the framing device is a great story itself, and the climactic scene ties all the individual stories and the framing story together. The final segment, with Michael Redgrave as a tormented ventriloquist, is definitely the highlight, but I really like all of the segments (except maybe the golfing one). It’s finally out on DVD, and well worth owning.





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    8. Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter

    Another long-awaited title, this time for one of the best efforts from Hammer films in the 70s. After so many years of Christopher Lee as Dracula, the Hammer vampire film was losing it’s luster. With Captain Kronos, they tackled the subject matter from a totally different angle, and it works great. Horst Jansen plays the swashbuckling hero, and the always-lovely Caroline Munro is the love interest. The Victorian setting remains, which was always a Hammer staple, but with an imaginative new take on vampire lore. A must-own DVD for classic horror fans.





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    7. The Wicker Man

    Back for a second year. I showed this one at my Halloween horror-thon last year, and while my friends were more than a little skeptical, everyone loved it. I realized I haven’t watched it since that time, so it seems like the perfect opportunity to open Anchor Bay’s super-cool wooden box again. Like last year, I’ll go with the theatrical cut, my preferred version of The Wicker Man. This movie just has a great natural flow to it, I only wish I had become a fan of it much sooner. Plus, it’s got Christopher Lee, and it’s just not Halloween until you’ve watched a Christopher Lee movie.





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    6. Hell Night

    A guilty pleasure, but one of my favorite 80s slashers, a genre I don’t generally enjoy. Amazing how much better a movie is when the director pays attention to the proper use of atmosphere, mood, lighting, and costumes. In a time when everyone made carbon copies of Halloween and Friday the 13th, this little slasher film set out to be a bit different. As I mentioned in my review, this was the movie that made me buy a DVD player in the first place, after sitting through the horrible VHS version so many times. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Halloween is a perfect night to pop this disc in the player.





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    5. Night of the Living Dead

    Still a guaranteed viewing for Halloween, and one of the most all-around creepiest movies ever made. It’s hard to come up with more praise for this film year after year, so I’ll keep the description short. Just watch the damn thing.





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    4. The Fog

    This may not be a popular opinion, but I think that The Fog is the best Carpenter movie to watch at Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween, but it’s a slasher film, and slasher films don’t usually evoke the spirit of the season for me. The Fog is ghost stories around the campfire, vengeance from beyond the grave, and of course the titular fog. It’s taken a little time for The Fog to become the classic it is. After Halloween, fans were expecting another ground-breaking film, and were a little disappointed that Carpenter would make an old-school ghost story. But now that we’ve seen that he just likes to make films in the style of those he saw growing up, we appreciate The Fog for what it is: A great horror movie.





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    3. Phantasm

    This one comes back on the list after a year’s absence. The acting isn’t the best in this one, but it’s still a fiercely original concept. Don Coscarelli went all out here, with science fiction, aliens, a deadly flying sphere, midgets, and a Plymouth Hemicuda. Not to mention a surprisingly deep story about a teenage boy dealing with the death of his parents. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, and that’s a damn shame.





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    2. A Tale of Two Sisters

    A South Korean film that is among the best in recent years. I won’t actually put this in on my Halloween marathon, as we’re screening it at our film festival just the week before. But this is another must-see film. Not since The Exorcist have I seen such an effective contrast of quiet scenes juxtaposed against loud jarring scenes. The cinematography is top notch, and so is the acting. This one is also deep, and even after several viewings, I’m still not sure exactly what’s happening at certain points. We’ll be talking about A Tale of Two Sisters for a long time to come.





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    1. The Blair Witch Project

    I’m just not gonna apologize for loving this film. Let’s remember horror in the late 90s. Thanks to Scream, all we got was self-referencing parody films featuring young gorgeous teen idols in the cast. Everyone was clamoring for something different, and Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick delivered. While the copycat films were thankfully few, I think it definitely gave rise to the emphasis on atmospheric horror we’ve seen in recent years. I can’t defend the way the film was over-hyped, but that was Artisan Entertainment’s doing, not the filmmakers or the cast. Love it or hate it, these folks tried something new, and they should be applauded for that. If it wasn’t for filmmakers taking chances with horror conventions, we’d never have a Night of the Living Dead, a Suspiria, an Evil Dead, you get the idea. This marks the fourth year in a row I’ll be watching The Blair Witch Project at midnight on Halloween, and I can see this tradition staying with me for a long time.

     

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  2. Latency

    Latency Guest

    :banana: Excellent stuff Paff.

    I have to commend you for your choice in Charlie Browns Great Pumpkin. It's the first viewing on my list too. Among other animations I can't wait to spin Garfeilds Halloween Adventure (was released today).
     
  3. bschulte

    bschulte Guest

    The Wicker Man is cool, but I prefer the extended version. Either way though, it's different and a memorable film. I'm a big fan of NOTLD and the Fog, and it's nice to see someone else pick BWP without offering apologies to the haters out there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2004
  4. life_o_petey

    life_o_petey Guest

    nice list. a lot of stuff i would never have thought of. a couple on there i've never seen that i'll have to check out.
     
  5. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    The only thing I like about the extended mix is that it opens and closes with the same song, but in very drastically difference context.
    But I also think it shows it's hand too early too often, and seems less mysterious than the theatrical cut.
     
  6. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    Any list with "It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on it is ok by me. Great choices Paff.
     
  7. Demon

    Demon Don't Fuck With Dolly!

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    great list, Phantasm doesn't get enough credit!! great flick for Halloween!
     
  8. speanroc

    speanroc I WANNA BAN

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    an awsome classic, i loved this movie growing up
     
  9. bschulte

    bschulte Guest

    You're right about it possibly showing its hand too early, but one of my friends who also likes the movie mentioned that it seems to make more sense than the theatrical cut in some ways. I think if you are going into it the first time you should watch the theatrical version, just to keep the guessing going longer.


    I would categorize it more as mystery & suspense, but there is a sense slowly growing dread and the realization that something isn't quite right with these people throughout.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2004
  10. i, too, commend you for the brash and unapologetic listing of BWP! sure, its canHolo light, but like canHolo, it lets the authenticity be the most terrifying aspect. i was at my local arthouse opening day for the first showing, and proceeded to take in every show for the rest of the day, just to enjoy the energy of the unsuspecting audience. a minor classic, to say the very least!!
    all around, i very much agree with your list...
    speaking of canHolo...i recently did a back-to-back screening of canHolo and BWP just for compare/contrast...i found my students almost too exhausted afterwards to even discuss, but the following week, the talk was lively!!
     
  11. indiephantom

    indiephantom Horny Spirit

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    Totally with you on THE WICKER MAN. It was a great opening film for my Halloween marathon last year. This year, I wanted to start with something in a similar eerie vein and I've gone with THE TENANT by Polanski. DON'T LOOK NOW was another possibility.
     
  12. zombiecraig

    zombiecraig New Member

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    What region is that Dead of Night DVD? Or where can I get it, to be more specific?
     
  13. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Region 1, from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Should be available at pretty much any online seller. I also fixed my text, where I credited Cliff Robertson as the tormented ventriloquist. Of course, it was Michael Redgrave. Robertson was in the Twilight Zone's take on a similar tale.

    As for The Wicker Man, yeah, I'd definitely call it a horror film. A little different in style, as it's not a ghost story, a slasher tale, whatever. But when you realize that
    the entire isle is participating in the plot to sacrifice Officer Howie
    , it's pretty darn creepy.
     
  14. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    The Fog and Hell Night are two of my absolute favorites, congrats on an awesome list!!
     
  15. chinoev

    chinoev New Member

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    Actually, the Night of the Living Dead DVD pictured in the list is Elite Entertainment's Region 1 Millennium Edition. The Anchor Bay version has a new score that sounds horrible.
     
  16. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    How does everyone feel about "Night of the Demons" (part 1) for a pretty good Halloween movie to watch?

    Or:

    Night Life

    Return of the Living Dead (part 1)

    Sleepy Hollow

    Legend of Boggy Creek (I don't know why but this movie freaks me out)
     
  17. bschulte

    bschulte Guest

    I completely agree with ROTLD and Sleepy Hollow. I've never seen Night Life or The Legend of Boggy Creek.
     
  18. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    :D
     
  19. krugerkid13

    krugerkid13 Guest

    nice to see the wickerman getting the respect it deserves
     
  20. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Night Life is the one with the red haired kid from Critters (Scott Grimes)(he is also in Band of Brothers grown up) who helps out his uncle's funeral parlor while his uncle (John Astin) is away. I won't say any more to avoid spoilers to those who haven't seen it. Let's just say things come to life. Has a little comedy tone to it at times. Kinda like ROTLD. Its rated R came out in 1989. Has a good share of gore.
     

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