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rhett
10-28-2006, 08:24 PM
Paff's Halloween List 2006

Halloween. A time for traditions. A time for costumes, wild parties, and opening your door to hand candy to neighborhood kids (does anyone else have the phenomenon of teenage kids with NO costumes trick-or-treating? What’s up with that?). And for horror fans, it’s a time to watch our favorite movies. So it’s also time for me to come up with my annual list of 10 suggestions for movies to watch on or around Halloween. As always, I’ll throw in a few classics, a few you forgot, and maybe some you’ve never even heard of. Blend the old and the new, the funny and the scary, the familiar and the unfamiliar for a great evening or two with your DVD player.

http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/pictures/thohs.jpg


10. The Simpsons – Treehouse of Horrors (1990-2006)

These horror parodies have been a Halloween staple on Fox for 16 years now. And they never get tiring! I will leave it to the viewer to pick which entry to watch. There is a DVD collection of various episodes, but a lot of the best entries have been omitted. For those, you’d have to refer to the individual season box sets. Luckily, I own several of these so I have a lot to pick from. Season 4’s trilogy may be my favorite, with the evil Krusty doll, the King Kong parody, and the zombie invasion. Other seasons include parodies of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (season 5), The Shining (season 6), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (season 7). If you don’t have the DVD sets, check the syndicated reruns.


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/pictures/tobs.jpg


9. Theater of Blood (1973)

Quite possibly, Vincent Price’s finest moment. This film has it all: comedy, literary and Shakespeare references, violence, fencing (!), hippies, and Diana Rigg of The Avengers. I re-watched this one recently after seeing a staging of Titus Andronicus and I loved the direct quoting of the Bard’s text. The concept of murders based on classic literature was much more successful in David Fincher’s Seven, it’s too bad this movie never got the respect it really deserved. Vincent Price was always a bit of a hammy actor, so who better to play the part of a hammy Shakespearian actor and murderer? In a way, it was the role Price was born to play. Plus, it makes you realize just how dark and violent a lot of Shakespeare’s plays really were.


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/pictures/hods.jpg


8. Horror of Dracula (1958)

Thought I’d throw this one back on here, as it’s my favorite Hammer film. They don’t try to make Christopher Lee’s Dracula seductive like many of the other film versions of the Stoker tale, but who cares? It’s Christopher Lee, dammit! I guess they figured no one would be fooled into thinking that Count Dracula is just an eccentric loner, so they made him a badass pretty much from the beginning. Works for me. And the pairing of Lee and Peter Cushing as Dracula and Van Helsing is legendary. Lee and Cushing would trade off in the sequels, never appearing on-screen together again until Dracula AD 1972, long after the series had grown tiresome. A quintessential film for Halloween.


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/pictures/rosemaryss.jpg


7. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Roman Polanski’s epic nightmare of paranoia and the supernatural is a well-deserved classic. The pace is a bit slow, but it’s the little details that make it so good. Is Rosemary really carrying Satan’s child, or is it just a difficult pregnancy? Are the neighbors’ homeopathic medicines helping her, or is it all part of their evil plan? Sure, if you’ve seen the film you already know the answers to those questions, but it’s best to wipe your mind clean and watch it all unfold. A subtle, understated film that really illustrates the concept of horror.


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/pictures/jenifers.jpg


6. Masters of Horror (2005)

For the longest time, horror fans have clamored for a high-quality horror anthology series on pay-TV (where the installments could include the graphic violence and gore we all love so much). It took a while, but Showtime finally delivered: a horror series where the episodes are directed by well-known names in the field. Now, I will confess that I have only seen a small handful of episodes, but I like what I’ve seen so far. I can definitely see myself owning most or all of the series. Another overlooked facet of Masters of Horrors is the hour-long running time. Perfect for when you want a little horror, but don’t have 90 minutes or two hours to spare. Something else to consider: Takashi Miike’s episode “Imprint” was deemed too controversial even for pay-TV!


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/pictures/omcs.jpg


5. One Missed Call (2003)

Speaking of Takashi Miike, check out his entry in the “scary girl” genre that has been so prevalent in Asian horror the last few years. Many fans have decried this as a paint-by-numbers rip-off that is not as good as many of the other films made by the innovative and prolific Japanese director. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, Miike plays by the rules, yet he knows when to break them too. Check out the apocalyptic live-TV segment midway through the film or the horrific conclusion in the abandoned hospital and you’ll see Miike’s distinctive touch. I view this the same way I view a giallo film by Lucio Fulci; he has to stay within the confines of the genre, yet he knows when to add his own personal flavor and style. Better than a lot of people think, and a great use of surround sound effects will provide more than a few startles and jumps.


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/n-z/notld-me/notld-me_fs.jpg


4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Yeah, this one has been a staple ever since I started doing these lists. A friend of mine always makes a point to watch Freaks (1932) and this movie back-to-back. Can’t say it’s a bad idea. It’s odd how it’s become such an established Halloween movie, when it takes place in the early spring. Maybe it’s the stark black and white photography, combined with extremely gruesome subject matter that puts it on the top of so many Halloween viewing lists. Whatever the reason, it’s a classic piece of filmmaking that can still give you the chills if you’re in the right mood. Give it another spin. I know I will.


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/pictures/aotd2s.jpg


3. Art of the Devil 2 (2005)

You probably never even HEARD of this one, have you? Well, it’s a rather nasty film from Thailand that has a touch of 80s style with a group of teenagers and the “final girl” storyline we all know and love. Throw in some gruesome torture scenes and a supernatural plot element, and how can you miss? Thailand is still new to the horror genre, and most of their output has been limited to variations of Ring and other “scary girl” rip-offs. This is a sequel-in-name-only to a fairly tepid entry from a couple of years back. Since there are no recurring characters or storyline, you can jump right in. In fact, avoid the first film altogether. But so far, it’s the best Thai horror film I’ve seen yet (and yes, I’ve seen Shutter and The Eye). Plus, it’s good to get that 80s feel on Halloween without rehashing a film you’ve already seen 100 times.


http://horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/cs/cs_fs.jpg


2. Creepshow (1982)

In the 80s, there was a much-anticipated team-up of George Romero and Stephen King. We were expecting a big-screen version of The Stand, and we were quite surprised when the collaboration turned out to be a filmed version of a King-penned COMIC BOOK. We were more surprised when it turned out to be one of the best adaptations of King ever seen (which it still is, to this day). Once again, George Romero was way ahead of his time, adapting the comic book style to the big screen. Robert Rodriguez was given all sorts of praise for Sin City in 2005, but Romero did it first (and without the help of computers or digital effects I might add). Horror anthologies are always fun at Halloween; it’s too bad they’re rarely done this well.


http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/bw/bw_fs.jpg


1. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

So many of you were probably hoping I wouldn’t put this at the top of my list again. Sorry, it’s not gonna happen. Look around the cable channels, and you’ll see this one on the schedule quite often this time of year, almost as often as Carpenter’s Halloween. So I’m not the only one who sees this as a perfect Halloween film. In my past lists, I’ve given various reasons why I love it…some of you have backed me up, some have ridiculed and criticized me. I’m sure it will be no different this year. All I can say is that it’s not Halloween to me until I’ve done a midnight screening of The Blair Witch Project.

rhett
10-28-2006, 10:40 PM
Nice list, Paffster. Which Masters of Horror do you like? I take it you've seen Imprint, being the Asian horror nut you are, but which others do you enjoy?

Blair Witch at the top spot again, eh? How many years counting is that? I guess it is a hope, every end of October, that I will one day live to see Paff spice up his life with a little number one variety, but I see again this year it wasn't meant to be. Next year, perhaps? ;)

life_o_petey
10-28-2006, 10:48 PM
thanks for posting the list(s) again; i always look forward to these. i'll have to check out One Missed Call and Theatre of Blood. i was interested in the Masters of Horror series, but I rented John Carpenter's entry, which everyone seemed to love, but I couldn't get into it. I liked the story, but the acting/dialogue really turned me off. now i'm in much less of a hurry to see the other entries - though Miike's Imprint does sound intriguing.

SaviniFan
10-28-2006, 10:48 PM
I'm a big Takashi Miike fan, but Imprint was not one of his better efforts. What really killed it for me was the HORRENDOUS acting. I think things might have fared better had Miike been allowed to direct the episode in Japanese.

I really enjoyed Art of the Devil 2 myself as well. I did however enjoy The Eye a bit more.

Luna
10-28-2006, 10:50 PM
Interesting list, some solid choices, but I'd like to note...Something else to consider: Takashi Miike’s episode “Imprint” was deemed too controversial even for pay-TV!Unless you want people to hate you for recommending a huge, steaming pile of crap and ruining their Halloween viewing, I'd back away from Imprint slowly. Okay, I'd more likely RUN the hell away from it as fast as I possibly could.

Bobbywoodhogan
10-28-2006, 10:52 PM
My halloween Top 10 is (pure creepy halloween feeling only):

10. Jeepers Creepers
9. Sleepy Hollow
8. The Fog
7. Freddy vs. Jason
6. Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place - Halloween Special
5. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
4. The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror 3
3. Tales From the Crypt - Television Terror
2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
1. Halloween (1978)

Gotta admit there's only a few I agree with on your list. Your so right about (Simpsons) Treehouse of Horror 3 being the best.

YottNik
10-28-2006, 11:04 PM
5. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Glad to see someone else likes this entry in the franchise as well. I know it has faults, okay maybe a lot of faults, but I've always liked this one a hell of a lot.

rhett
10-28-2006, 11:06 PM
I just finished my list too, Bobby, and Television Terror was near the top of mine as well. I thought I'd be going out on a limb with that one, but it's interesting to see how close all our horror minds really are.

hellraiser40
10-28-2006, 11:11 PM
very, very difficult for me to compile a list of 10 horror flicks, I would to have think long and hard about it

Bobby, I like your inclusion of Halloween III. I really like it and I'm waiting to finally can have a WIDESCREEN version instead of the horrible VHS-rip I have (Dutch RCV-edition but uncut). The idea behind it (take the background and spirit of a succesful horror movie and make another movie that's doesn't repeat the previous ones) was a brave one and delivered probably T.L. Wallace's best movie ever!

rhett
10-28-2006, 11:18 PM
Hellraiser, the Universal disc costs like 5 bucks, why don't you have it yet? Even if you have to import it, that's like, 10 bucks.

Turn it off...Stop it! Stop it! STOP IT!!!!!

Paff
10-28-2006, 11:27 PM
Nice list, Paffster. Which Masters of Horror do you like? I take it you've seen Imprint, being the Asian horror nut you are, but which others do you enjoy?


Actually, I will admit that I have NOT seen Imprint yet. I should have pointed out that my inclusion of Masters of Horror was not a blanket recommendation or even a specific episode, but more of a "choose your favorite episode" like Treehouse of Horrors.

I have a LOT of MOH to see yet, but Coscarelli's Incident On and Off a Mountain Road was quite good. I know some of the other entries are not as strong, but I still dig the idea of getting all these classic horror directors together for a weekly series. Even if not every episode is up to the standards of their previous work, say like Halloween or Suspiria or An American Werewolf in London.

I've read a lot of MOH reviews, and there are positives and negatives on all the episodes from both fans and professionals. Since I like what I've seen so far, I think it's gotta be safe to say that there HAS to be at least one episode that an individual will like. And that's the one he/she should throw in the DVD player on Halloween.

And Bobbywoodhogan, props to the recommendation of Two Guys A Girl and a Pizza Place. One of the best 90s sitcoms. Where's the DVDs already?

MarkWarner
10-29-2006, 05:39 AM
Good to see Blair Witch make someone's list. Although I wouldn't put it at number one, it would certainly be in my top 10 Halloween movies.

My list:

1. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch
2. John Carpenter's The Thing.
3. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
4. The Fog
5. Creepshow
6. The Blair Witch Project
7. Halloween
8. Halloween 4
9. In The Mouth Of Madness
10. Session 9

thrashard76
10-29-2006, 06:57 AM
1. The Devil's Rejects
2. Shaun Of The Dead
3. From Dusk Til Dawn
4. Army Of Darkness
5. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3
6. Feast
7. Bio Zombie
8. Hell Of The Living Dead
9. Dead & Breakfast
10. Undead

Bobbywoodhogan
10-29-2006, 08:43 AM
And Bobbywoodhogan, props to the recommendation of Two Guys A Girl and a Pizza Place. One of the best 90s sitcoms. Where's the DVDs already?

I loved that show, I got them on bootleg but the quality is meh. The 1st halloween special is so good with the Psycho Berg. :D

Bobby, I like your inclusion of Halloween III. I really like it and I'm waiting to finally can have a WIDESCREEN version instead of the horrible VHS-rip I have (Dutch RCV-edition but uncut). The idea behind it (take the background and spirit of a succesful horror movie and make another movie that's doesn't repeat the previous ones) was a brave one and delivered probably T.L. Wallace's best movie ever!

I just love the feel of Halloween 3 from the atmosphere to the music, they probably should have just released it as season of the witch but the fact that the tried something makes this movie special.

I just finished my list too, Bobby, and Television Terror was near the top of mine as well. I thought I'd be going out on a limb with that one, but it's interesting to see how close all our horror minds really are.

Its the best TFTC episode I ever watched, plus its got a special place as I sat down and watched it with my late father. I remember before hand we were saying this'l be crap the episodes are never that good and we just shut up and sat through the whole thing in silience. Afterwards, my Dad turned to me and said "actually that was one of the good ones".

Glad to see someone else likes this entry in the franchise as well. I know it has faults, okay maybe a lot of faults, but I've always liked this one a hell of a lot.

There's just something about the Curse of MM that I really like, its atmosphere is really good.

indiephantom
10-29-2006, 08:53 AM
I like that there are variations in these lists each year. That's what it should be. I couldn't ever dream of making a definitive list. There are just too many possibilities.

Deus Ex Machina
10-29-2006, 07:57 PM
keep Blair Witch at number one :banana:

Workshed
10-29-2006, 09:52 PM
Always look forward to these, thanks. Intersting selections--Art of the Devil II? Wha? Ha ha, hey, keeps things interesting.

Treehouse of Horror!

RyanPC
10-30-2006, 12:06 AM
I hate Blair Witch so obviously I disagree with you there, but good call on Theatre of Blood. It's a solid list.

spawningblue
10-30-2006, 03:49 AM
Nice list! Those Simpsons episodes you mentioned are my favourites as well. I also love the Blair Witch, and think it is one of the most underappreciated horror films. One of the few to freak me out.

The Chaostar
10-30-2006, 07:32 AM
10. The Haunting (1963)
9. The Other
8. Witchfinder General
7. The House with the Laughing Windows
6. Bay Of Blood
5. The Texas chainsaw Massacre (1974)
4. Deep Red
3. The Descent
2. Audition
1. The Shining

marcx
10-30-2006, 02:39 PM
watched blairwatch again for the first time in a long while a few weeks back--late at night in the basement by myself--found it creepier than ever...

the problem with blair witch is not the film itself but that it couldnt live up to its own hype....

it is a good, creepy film....

maybrick
10-30-2006, 03:30 PM
Unless you want people to hate you for recommending a huge, steaming pile of crap and ruining their Halloween viewing, I'd back away from Imprint slowly. Okay, I'd more likely RUN the hell away from it as fast as I possibly could.

I completely agree. I honestly believe that Imprint didn't air, not because of it's graphic nature, but because it's just plain baaaaaaad. Really, the only thing it had going for it was the gore. Yes, the gore was unsettling, but that by itself cannot save a movie. If the acting was good and competently directed, I'm sure it wouldn't have been banned. Being overlong didn't help matters either.

Luna
10-30-2006, 03:37 PM
I'm with you on the reason it never aired. I also agree that some of the gore was good, for instance the fingernail torture scene just made me cringe, as it naturally would though come on, the evil hand was just the silliest thing ever... who the hell in their right mind would be scared of that? Not to mention the awful, whiny overacting. Like you said, the gore would never be enough to save Imprint. I cannot emphasize enough how much that episode disappointed me.

Fumi
10-31-2006, 06:20 PM
Look around the cable channels, and you’ll see this one on the schedule quite often this time of year, almost as often as Carpenter’s Halloween.

I don't know. Around here, I've seen about 19 Halloween movies scheduled over the last couple of weeks, and not one instance of Blair Witch. :)

Paff
10-31-2006, 06:25 PM
I don't know. Around here, I've seen about 19 Halloween movies scheduled over the last couple of weeks, and not one instance of Blair Witch. :)

Funny you mentioned that. I just checked TVGuide.com, and indeed, Blair Witch did not make the schedule at all this year. I'm busted. Although, in years past it did seem to be on all the time around Halloween.

Ash28M
10-31-2006, 06:36 PM
I just watched The Blair Witch Project the other night and It definitely disserves to be there. It's a great example of a film capturing the feel you get from a good camp fire tale.

Shannafey
10-31-2006, 06:54 PM
Why must we keep Blair Witch Project alive??? I thought it would eventually die out and be forgotten, but there are a few chosen ones who keep its memory alive! I have only seen it once and hated it so much I never dared attempt to watch it again! Never had the desire to!! It's funny that people mention it not being on for Halloween. I don't ever recall seeing it listed. It has been on HBO and the like, right? I don't think it has ever been on basic cable or network TV though!

As for Imprint:

I'm with you on the reason it never aired. I also agree that some of the gore was good, for instance the fingernail torture scene just made me cringe, as it naturally would though come on, the evil hand was just the silliest thing ever... who the hell in their right mind would be scared of that? Not to mention the awful, whiny overacting. Like you said, the gore would never be enough to save Imprint. I cannot emphasize enough how much that episode disappointed me.

I agree with the gore comments and as for your other comment, it felt like something out of an anime film. Have you ever seen Vampire Hunter D (one of the best anime films of all time!! And no comparison to Imprint at all, but Imprint made me think of it because of that!) Must be a Japanese thing!!

allmessedup
10-31-2006, 07:16 PM
IMPRINT just seemed like someone desperately trying to throw all the traditional J-horror elements together and hoping it turns out okay. "Okay, now some torture.." I realize it was based on a book, but maybe the author was doing the same thing.

Mok
10-31-2006, 07:18 PM
Nice list Paff, I'll be checking out Art of the Devil 2. As for my "Top 10" I guess I'll just post the last 10 horror movies/series I watched:

10. Bram Stoker's Dracula
9. Halloween/Halloween 2
8. Dracula, Prince of Darkness (best of the Hammer Dracs! :evil: )
7. Nosferatu The Vampyre (Herzog)
6. Sleepy Hollow
5. Return of the Living Dead
4. House of 1000 Corpses/Devil's Rejects
3. Vampyros Lesbos (I taped this off of TV just to check it out :p )
2. Friday the 13th Final Chapter
1. Night of the Demons

MarkWarner
10-31-2006, 07:41 PM
I don't know. Around here, I've seen about 19 Halloween movies scheduled over the last couple of weeks, and not one instance of Blair Witch. :)

It was on FX a couple days ago.

baggio
10-31-2006, 09:43 PM
I completely agree. I honestly believe that Imprint didn't air, not because of it's graphic nature, but because it's just plain baaaaaaad. Really, the only thing it had going for it was the gore. Yes, the gore was unsettling, but that by itself cannot save a movie. If the acting was good and competently directed, I'm sure it wouldn't have been banned. Being overlong didn't help matters either.

True it was not very good. And the reason it didn't air wasn't the torture and gore, like you stated, but it was because of the aborted fetus scenes. That was the real reason.

maybrick
11-01-2006, 12:07 AM
True it was not very good. And the reason it didn't air wasn't the torture and gore, like you stated, but it was because of the aborted fetus scenes. That was the real reason.

I disagree. If the acting, story, and direction were competently handled, Miike would have gotten away with the aborted fetuses. Saying the graphic imagery is what banned the movie is good hoopla and sells a lot of DVDs, but I don't believe that it was one thing that banned the movie. I believe it was everything. "Banned due to graphic content" works more in it's favor than "Banned due to complete suckiness".

Luna
11-01-2006, 04:50 AM
"Banned due to graphic content" works more in it's favor than "Banned due to complete suckiness"Indeed, and agreed with what you said.

4Gotten1
11-05-2006, 01:56 AM
Although Halloween has past, I just wanted to note "thank you" for including the great Vincent Price's classic Theatre of Blood. A favorite.

dwatts
11-05-2006, 03:16 AM
I completely agree. I honestly believe that Imprint didn't air, not because of it's graphic nature, but because it's just plain baaaaaaad. Really, the only thing it had going for it was the gore. Yes, the gore was unsettling, but that by itself cannot save a movie. If the acting was good and competently directed, I'm sure it wouldn't have been banned. Being overlong didn't help matters either.

I enjoyed Imprint, which did air on schedule in the UK. I thought it had many nice touches. Not sure why it was banned in the US though. However, it was easily one of the better of the Master of Horrors episodes I saw.

Paff
12-04-2006, 07:30 AM
I'm reviving this thread, because I've finally seen Imprint.

It's not Miike's finest hour, but it's not as bad as I was led to believe. It was only the last 15 minutes where it suddenly went south, but up until that point it was very beautiful to watch. The torture scenes had me squirming in my seat.

It's not the best MOH I've seen (I'm catching up with season 1 DVDs), but I actually think it's better than Argento's season 1 entry. Jenifer was more coherent than Imprint, no argument there, but it was....uninspired. Miike at least tried going somewhere with Imprint, unfortunately he never got there.

I've really enjoyed Incident on and off a Mountain Road, Dreams in the Witch House, and Deer Woman. Next ones on my list are Sick Girl, Chocolate, Cigarette Burns, and Haeckel's Tale.

I stand by my inclusion of MOH on the Halloween list...a very enjoyable horror anthology series so far.