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View Full Version : Which 80's horror vet's movies hold up best today?


rhett
06-27-2010, 07:44 AM
Argento, Romero, Hooper, Fulci, Cronenberg, DePalma, Carpenter, Craven. We're always hearing stories of their "better days", but looking at their classics now, which director's better days hold up best today?

Dobby
06-27-2010, 07:59 AM
As much as I love all those directors. I have to give my vote to John Carpenter. His movies were way ahead of they're time. Dario Argento comes in a very close second.

msw7
06-27-2010, 08:02 AM
It was a really tough call for me between Argento (Suspiria, Tenebre) and Romero (Night, Dawn, Day). I finally flipped a mental coin and came down with Argento (not to make it sound like a disease....). Although, of all of the movies I considered for these two maybe only one was made in the 80s.

Why isn't Stuart Gordon on the list though? He might have gotten my vote for Re-Animator and From Beyond.

Sam Raimi?

Shlockjock81
06-27-2010, 08:12 AM
As much as I love all those directors. I have to give my vote to John Carpenter. His movies were way ahead of they're time. Dario Argento comes in a very close second.

My feelings are the same.

Katatonia
06-27-2010, 08:19 AM
My feelings are the same.

Same here, Dobby summed it up nicely.

rhett
06-27-2010, 08:25 AM
It was a really tough call for me between Argento (Suspiria, Tenebre) and Romero (Night, Dawn, Day). I finally flipped a mental coin and came down with Argento (not to make it sound like a disease....). Although, of all of the movies I considered for these two maybe only one was made in the 80s.

Why isn't Stuart Gordon on the list though? He might have gotten my vote for Re-Animator and From Beyond.

Sam Raimi?

I thought of Raimi, but really, like Don Coscarelli, his golden era of horror filmmaking is really only defined by a single series, and both would work extensively outside the genre, too. Gordon I had on the list, but took him off because he sort of came later in the game after all the "Masters" had already made their mark.

X-human
06-27-2010, 08:34 AM
Cronenburg easily:

Dead Ringers (1988)
The Fly (1986)
The Dead Zone (1983)
Videodrome (1983)
Scanners (1981)

Book ended with The Brood and Naked Lunch, there's just no competition in my mind.

KamuiX
06-27-2010, 09:02 AM
Cronenburg easily:

Dead Ringers (1988)
The Fly (1986)
The Dead Zone (1983)
Videodrome (1983)
Scanners (1981)

Book ended with The Brood and Naked Lunch, there's just no competition in my mind.

Quoted for truth.

Anaestheus
06-27-2010, 10:38 AM
I say Cronenberg easily as well.

Carpenter and Argento both have an original style that will always hold up over the years to come. But I think the intelligence of Cronenberg always makes his films more rewarding as time goes by.

SaviniFan
06-27-2010, 02:34 PM
Another Cronenberg vote. Not only does his films hold up well, he has not directed a clunker yet in my eyes where the others have.

meljon
06-27-2010, 02:45 PM
This is a very good poll. I think there all great, but as far as still holding up today it's either Carpenter or Cronenberg. I feel like most of their films have gotten better with time. My brothers and I always used to debate which is greater, to have a list of really good films(Carpenter,Cronenberg) or one film that's considered as an all time classic and a list of ok films(Romero,Hooper).

_pi_
06-27-2010, 02:59 PM
I will say John Carpenter. The more I think about it, the more I admire the man. Not only did he cover a LOT of different ground in his films - genre and plotwise - but he did so in his own unique and very identifiable style. Plus, his films are just a joy to behold. They've all got a classy look, good stories, great performances and - best of all - take themselves as seriously as they need to.

Cronenberg is much more hit-and-miss for my taste. Even some of his 'classics' I have a hard time enjoying (I'm looking at you, Scanners and The Dead Zone!)

For me, the runner up would be either Argento or Fulci. I might even veer towards Fulci, because frankly his films are more crazy fun.

dave13
06-27-2010, 03:26 PM
With all due respect to each and every other filmmaker on that list (and i really do love them all), Cronenberg is just in a different class.

Matt89
06-27-2010, 03:37 PM
Cronenberg definitely. Carpenter comes close, but even his films (Escape From New York, Halloween) have dated quite a bit, ESPECIALLY Halloween. As much as I love Halloween and I think it's a masterpiece for its time, it has seriously dated. His early films are very well made, but that doesn't necessarily mean his films were ahead of their time. Halloween ultimately gets too much credit (he ripped of Black Christmas), Assault on Precinct 13 was a remake of Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo, The Fog was just just another ghost story, etc. While they are well made films, no doubt, to say he was ahead of his time IMO gives him way too much credit. Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre was ahead of its time, Craven's Last House on the Left was ahead of its time, Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead were ahead of their time. Halloween? Not so much.

~Matt

dave13
06-27-2010, 03:59 PM
Halloween? Not so much.

I agree, although i don't think that its a negative comment. A film thats ahead of its time is never fully appreciated until later. Halloween was recognized immediately and made a huge impact. It was perfect for its time.

Body Boy
06-27-2010, 04:26 PM
Cronenberg definitely. Carpenter comes close, but even his films (Escape From New York, Halloween) have dated quite a bit, ESPECIALLY Halloween. As much as I love Halloween and I think it's a masterpiece for its time, it has seriously dated. His early films are very well made, but that doesn't necessarily mean his films were ahead of their time. Halloween ultimately gets too much credit (he ripped of Black Christmas), Assault on Precinct 13 was a remake of Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo, The Fog was just just another ghost story, etc. While they are well made films, no doubt, to say he was ahead of his time IMO gives him way too much credit. Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre was ahead of its time, Craven's Last House on the Left was ahead of its time, Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead were ahead of their time. Halloween? Not so much.

~Matt

I agree. Halloween is vastly overrated, and is just a weaker version of Black Christmas in my opinion. People look at it as this amazing entity because of what it started, but if it was released in 1981/1982, it would probably become nothing more than a Final Exam. Appreciated by many, but simply not given another glance. I'm one of the few people who think that Friday the 13th 1980 is better shot, and an overall better movie than Halloween. I feel like people just love the setting and killer so much that they will look past so much. Oh well...

Iron Jaiden
06-27-2010, 04:37 PM
Cronenburg easily:

Dead Ringers (1988)
The Fly (1986)
The Dead Zone (1983)
Videodrome (1983)
Scanners (1981)

Book ended with The Brood and Naked Lunch, there's just no competition in my mind.

Exactly. And if you depart from the 80s a tad and toss in his early classics Shivers and Rabid it's impossible to deny the man's genius.
Only Kubrick would have me voting otherwise :)


Ps. If every John Carpenter movie were of the same quality as his outstanding The Thing I'd have a shrine to the man in my living room, sadly that's just not the case.

Matt89
06-27-2010, 05:54 PM
Exactly. And if you depart from the 80s a tad and toss in his early classics Shivers and Rabid it's impossible to deny the man's genius.
Only Kubrick would have me voting otherwise :)


Ps. If every John Carpenter movie were of the same quality as his outstanding The Thing I'd have a shrine to the man in my living room, sadly that's just not the case.

The thing that stands out the most for me about Cronenberg is that for one thing, he BECAME a good and even better filmmaker, and didn't go the opposite way (like Craven did) and the man has made consistently good films from the beginning of his career, up until his most recent stuff. His obsession with disease and the human body is a theme he's been able to incorporate into almost every film of his, and successfully, I might add.

~Matt

Myron Breck
06-27-2010, 05:59 PM
Cronenberg.

XHuman and Matt89 already stated my case much better than I could have done myself. Thanks, guys!

rhett
06-28-2010, 12:14 AM
I'm one of the few people who think that Friday the 13th 1980 is better shot, and an overall better movie than Halloween.

Whoa. WHOA. I can accept that Halloween has dated. I can accept that it rips off Black Christmas. But poorly shot compared to Friday the 13th? You crazy, dawg. Cundey's use of color, the pioneering glidecam shots and that expertly decorated 2.35:1 frame certainly walk all kinds of circles over Cunningham's endeering little cheapie. Friday the 13th has the benefit of those colorful New Jersey leaves and thick wilderness, but from a technical standpoint it's night and day. Hell, a major portion of that movie is underexposed! Come on, let's talk sense. Halloween dated...okay. But the cinematography is awesome.

Harry Warden
06-28-2010, 12:25 AM
Carpenter.

Ash28M
06-28-2010, 12:28 AM
Whoa. WHOA. I can accept that Halloween has dated. I can accept that it rips off Black Christmas. But poorly shot compared to Friday the 13th? You crazy, dawg. Cundey's use of color, the pioneering glidecam shots and that expertly decorated 2.35:1 frame certainly walk all kinds of circles over Cunningham's endeering little cheapie. Friday the 13th has the benefit of those colorful New Jersey leaves and thick wilderness, but from a technical standpoint it's night and day. Hell, a major portion of that movie is underexposed! Come on, let's talk sense. Halloween dated...okay. But the cinematography is awesome.

Yeah I agree with Rhett on all his points. I do think Halloween is overrated but it still has so much going for it that the average slasher doesn't, comparing it to stuff like Final Exam is ludicrous. As for it being dated, I have never seen that as negative. Most of my favorite Horror films i.e Carrie, Exorcist, TCM, Evil Dead, The Shining look their time period. That doesn't make them any less amazing.

Body Boy
06-28-2010, 01:39 AM
Whoa. WHOA. I can accept that Halloween has dated. I can accept that it rips off Black Christmas. But poorly shot compared to Friday the 13th? You crazy, dawg. Cundey's use of color, the pioneering glidecam shots and that expertly decorated 2.35:1 frame certainly walk all kinds of circles over Cunningham's endeering little cheapie. Friday the 13th has the benefit of those colorful New Jersey leaves and thick wilderness, but from a technical standpoint it's night and day. Hell, a major portion of that movie is underexposed! Come on, let's talk sense. Halloween dated...okay. But the cinematography is awesome.

Sorry. I don't see Halloween as anything amazing. I will admit that Sean Cunningham didn't know what he was doing, and the cinematography was a complete fluke on the film's part. I mean, for what was going on behind the scenes, F13 is quite a spectacle. But Halloween just feels so dry, I can hardly get into it. Some scenes are nice, but...no. I seriously don't see the care in it. A killer breaks out of a loony bin and attacks a random girl and her friends. On a night that is certainly no Halloween I've ever seen. Nada...I respect peoples' views and love for the films and its series, but I can't get behind it when it just feels so 'blah' to me. :( Sorry.

Matt89
06-28-2010, 03:12 AM
Yeah man I actually think you're being seriously harsh on Halloween. Final Exam is a steaming pile of shit (the only reason I've held onto my DVD of it is because it's now extremely rare). But nah, you can't compare it to trash like that. Its cinematography I think is one of the things the film still has going for it. When I said I think it's dated, I meant that it's become very cliche, and that's not necessarily the film's fault. Because of its success, it was copied (much like the way Friday the 13th did) over and over and over and thus, the content of Halloween has become extremely cliche. But the cinematography in Friday the 13th is crap. I mean, the scenery is nicer because it takes place in the woods, but other than that....ugh. Friday the 13th is a terrible film, with shitty acting, poor production values (just compare it with part 2 and you'll see the differences, Friday the 13th Part 2 being a glossier, more professional-looking film). Friday the 13th has dated much worse, as it exemplifies the cliches of slasher films. Halloween has dated, but Friday the 13th is just campy, corny, 100% fromage. Okay, the killer's a woman. So what? It's really not that good a film. While I think Halloween gets too much credit, I think you're not giving it enough. It's a well-made film, it's just become very cliche'd.

Films like The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Carrie, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, etc IMO hold up MUCH MUCH better than Halloween. Even Black Christmas I think holds up better. Sure ALL these films "look their age", but I think that's more from a cinematographic sense. The content of Halloween is what's dated.

~Matt

Matt89
06-28-2010, 03:17 AM
Oh yeah, and you gotta give Halloween credit for the opening scene that's one long take (although he pretty much stole that idea from Welles' Touch of Evil, but whatever).

~Matt

MacReady
06-28-2010, 03:24 AM
Carpenter.

Dead Ringers (1988) ......... Halloween
The Fly (1986)............ The Thing
The Dead Zone (1983)........ Escape from New York
Videodrome (1983)........... The Fog
Scanners (1981) ............. Christine, Prince of Darkness, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China

No question.

Matt89
06-28-2010, 04:55 AM
Carpenter.

Dead Ringers (1988) ......... Halloween
The Fly (1986)............ The Thing
The Dead Zone (1983)........ Escape from New York
Videodrome (1983)........... The Fog
Scanners (1981) ............. Christine, Prince of Darkness, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China

No question.

What does that even mean?

~Matt

SaviniFan
06-28-2010, 05:18 AM
What does that even mean?

~Matt

I have no idea myself. :eek2:

dave13
06-28-2010, 05:37 AM
Carpenter.

Dead Ringers (1988) ......... Halloween
The Fly (1986)............ The Thing
The Dead Zone (1983)........ Escape from New York
Videodrome (1983)........... The Fog
Scanners (1981) ............. Christine, Prince of Darkness, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China

No question.

I understand what you're saying, but i gotta disagree on pretty much every count. the only one that comes close it the thing...but its up against the fly, which is one of cronenbergs best. its still just no contest.

Body Boy
06-28-2010, 06:15 AM
Yeah man I actually think you're being seriously harsh on Halloween. Final Exam is a steaming pile of shit (the only reason I've held onto my DVD of it is because it's now extremely rare). But nah, you can't compare it to trash like that. Its cinematography I think is one of the things the film still has going for it. When I said I think it's dated, I meant that it's become very cliche, and that's not necessarily the film's fault. Because of its success, it was copied (much like the way Friday the 13th did) over and over and over and thus, the content of Halloween has become extremely cliche. But the cinematography in Friday the 13th is crap. I mean, the scenery is nicer because it takes place in the woods, but other than that....ugh. Friday the 13th is a terrible film, with shitty acting, poor production values (just compare it with part 2 and you'll see the differences, Friday the 13th Part 2 being a glossier, more professional-looking film). Friday the 13th has dated much worse, as it exemplifies the cliches of slasher films. Halloween has dated, but Friday the 13th is just campy, corny, 100% fromage. Okay, the killer's a woman. So what? It's really not that good a film. While I think Halloween gets too much credit, I think you're not giving it enough. It's a well-made film, it's just become very cliche'd.

Films like The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Carrie, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, etc IMO hold up MUCH MUCH better than Halloween. Even Black Christmas I think holds up better. Sure ALL these films "look their age", but I think that's more from a cinematographic sense. The content of Halloween is what's dated.

~Matt

I guess we will agree to disagree.
I mean, the acting in F13 isn't great, but Halloween's isn't either. Annie and Bob and don't shoot me, but even Loomis are filled with awkwardness, overreaching and camp value. But whatever...moving on...

Matt89
06-28-2010, 06:17 AM
I understand what you're saying, but i gotta disagree on pretty much every count. the only one that comes close it the thing...but its up against the fly, which is one of cronenbergs best. its still just no contest.

Explain it to me then? Is this a "this movie vs that movie" kinda thing? Because honestly...it still makes no sense. Why would you compare The Fog with Videodrome? What the hell? And Christine, Prince of Darkness, They Live and Big Trouble in Little China with Scanners???

I don't mean to be such a dick, I just can't understand the logic or reasoning here.

~Matt

Hatchetwarrior
06-28-2010, 06:21 AM
A tie between Carpenter & Cronenberg for me, so I won't be voting.

Erick H.
06-28-2010, 06:56 AM
Are we just considering their 80's output here ? I kind of lost the thread when HALLOWEEN came into the picture.

If you are strictly talking about the 80's I'll give Carpenter a slight edge,his output was wider and I think more consistant.If we are covering their whole body of work,that's a different story.

Anthropophagus
06-28-2010, 03:11 PM
Carpenter, watched The Fog just last night.

dave13
06-29-2010, 03:13 AM
Explain it to me then? Is this a "this movie vs that movie" kinda thing?

yeah, thats what i was going with....*shrug*

Anaestheus
06-29-2010, 05:46 AM
While I doubt this will change anyone's vote, I thought I'd point out a couple of the things Rhett has said about the poll. He asks which director's horror films have aged the best. And he specifically said that he excluded Raimi because so much of his work has been out of the genre. To me that means that this would include films like Halloween and Naked Lunch, and exclude things like Big Trouble and Eastern Promises. And, while we are voting on a director, if you think that TCM has stood the test of time better than any other film, then I guess you would vote for Hooper, even if you thought that the rest of his stuff was crap. I chose Cronenberg because I think Brood, Fly and Videodrome haven't lost any of their power. As much as I love Carpenter and Argento, I think Cronenberg's best is fresher than theirs. As good as Halloween is, I have to admit that it has lost a bit of its edge due to all the copycats. Likewise with Argento.

msw7
06-29-2010, 07:55 AM
While I doubt this will change anyone's vote, I thought I'd point out a couple of the things Rhett has said about the poll. He asks which director's horror films have aged the best. And he specifically said that he excluded Raimi because so much of his work has been out of the genre. To me that means that this would include films like Halloween and Naked Lunch, and exclude things like Big Trouble and Eastern Promises. And, while we are voting on a director, if you think that TCM has stood the test of time better than any other film, then I guess you would vote for Hooper, even if you thought that the rest of his stuff was crap. I chose Cronenberg because I think Brood, Fly and Videodrome haven't lost any of their power. As much as I love Carpenter and Argento, I think Cronenberg's best is fresher than theirs. As good as Halloween is, I have to admit that it has lost a bit of its edge due to all the copycats. Likewise with Argento.

i agree with you about Carpenter (one reason I didn't vote for him), but for me Suspiria has held up far better than the Fly, for example. Maybe the foreign setting (foreign to me, as an American), helps offset some of the datedness.

I just watched the Fly again recently, and the bit towards the end where it kind of turns into a superhero/action movie (when Brundlefly kidnaps Geena Davis) just screams 80s to me. On the other hand, Cronenberg was never my favorite, so that might color my perception too.

Workshed
06-29-2010, 10:22 PM
Cronenberg, Cronenberg, Cronenberg.

As others have said, a few of Carpenter's films feel very dated to me, whereas Cronenberg's grow more disturbing with every viewing.

Darryl Revok
06-29-2010, 11:19 PM
Cronenberg. Hands down. I can watch The Fly over and over again and it STILL has some of the best effects, and its still fucking disgusting even in 2010.

Criswell
06-29-2010, 11:48 PM
I would love to have said Dario, but the poor dubbing of the time is just not done today, as Subs are much more accepted.

Carpenter.............close, but only cause he newer films were not that good.

I'd have to say Cronenberg if only cause his anti- body, anti-medical/establishement themese are still relevant.

dave13
06-30-2010, 02:41 AM
I would love to have said Dario, but the poor dubbing of the time is just not done today, as Subs are much more accepted.

im all for cronenberg, as ive already said, but the obvious dubbing of 60s through 80s italian films doesn't bother me at all, since so many of them were shot MOS. You'd have poor dubbing in any language, unless you had everybody dubbed into the language they were actually speaking, in which case you'd have an audio track made up of about half a dozen languages. I just mean to say that it stems from a technical issue, not one of, say, lazy filmmaking, or something like that. (i know you didn't say that, im just completing my thought process here)

MacReady
06-30-2010, 04:05 AM
Explain it to me then? Is this a "this movie vs that movie" kinda thing? Because honestly...it still makes no sense. Why would you compare The Fog with Videodrome? What the hell? And Christine, Prince of Darkness, They Live and Big Trouble in Little China with Scanners???

I don't mean to be such a dick, I just can't understand the logic or reasoning here.

~Matt

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

What I meant is "movie A" is trumped by "movie B".

As in "the Fly" is inferior to "the Thing", etc...

Grim
06-30-2010, 04:50 AM
Carpenter, Argento, De Palma, and Cronenberg's films from the 70's and 80's all hold up amazingly today, but I too went with Cronenberg for the simple fact that he has proved how amazing he is by not fizzing out and staying relevant well into his late 60's. His films also deal with issues that can be topical, even today.

Argento and De Palma are almost pure style and aesthetic which, to me, isn't a negative, but films that depend so heavily on a certain dated style just don't hold up today with mainstream audiences and sensibilities.

Romero's films were topical in their day, but the issues addressed in them are severely dated and fall on deaf ears, so all audiences are left with is stock music, hammy acting and dated special fx. Dawn and Day of the Dead are still two of my favorite movies of all time.

I don't really see Carpenter as ahead of his time, save for maybe the Thing. Most of his stories were throwbacks with (then) modern sensibilities and almost all of his lead characters were old western or thriller archetypes, which audiences today just don't get.

I still love all these filmmakers and their Pre-90's work to death and I based my vote purely on who would make the cut with a modern audience.

indiephantom
07-01-2010, 09:23 PM
Too hard. Went with DePalma just because his early works are so darn ambitious and visually stylish...and I feel people just don't discuss them enough.

But as for aging well...Carpenter's stuff is so damn timeless. Prince of Darkness and Christine just get better and better.

evildeadfan123
07-01-2010, 09:37 PM
All are excellent, but David Cronenberg. His first few movies:

Shivers, AKA They Came From Within
Rabid
and the rest of the Cronenberg films that X-Human listed. I have all but the Dead Ringers on DVD, and I saw Scanners when it was originall released theatrically.

Kim Bruun
07-01-2010, 10:19 PM
While I agree with every argument that Cronenberg's movies hold up well, I went with John Carpenter. It has been argued that Halloween has not aged gracefully. I don't quite agree - it has many brilliant shots which are still copied today, and the finale is a textbook example of how to build suspense. Yes, some of the dialogue is quaint, and it is not paced like most horror films of today. The Thing remains impressive today, and In the Mouth of Madness showed Carpenter retaining his voice and still being able to make a clever film in the 90's.

Argento is probably the one whose movies agree the least with modern palates. His overstylized approach is distinctly out of synch with the present trend toward realism. I still enjoy many of his films and consider them good, but I think he is more of an aquired taste today.

Fulci has always puzzled me. Does he hold up well? Was Fulci ever consistently good?

_pi_
07-02-2010, 02:33 AM
Fulci has always puzzled me. Does he hold up well? Was Fulci ever consistently good?

Consistently entertaining, at the very least! :)

indrid13
07-02-2010, 04:30 AM
Cronenberg. As much as I love the other filmmaker's on this list, his work still holds the most power for me. Plus he seems to keep getting better.

buck135
07-02-2010, 08:43 AM
Great poll. I actually went with Romero, though I think Cronenberg is the better choice. I like Matt's point that Cronenberg continues to improve while the rest seem to erode (ie Craven - Scream 4....yikes). I realize that that's not the point of the poll though. Dawn of the Dead led me to vote for Romero since it is timeless for me.

vampyr789
07-04-2010, 06:28 PM
oh! Tough one...I had to go with Cronenberg. His movies were wayyyy ahead of their time. Carpenter was a close second though.

satans-sadists
07-04-2010, 08:07 PM
John Carpenter, whose films I revisit more than any other director on this list. Many worthy choices to pick from though.

TheCoroner
07-10-2010, 05:40 PM
I had to pick John Carpenter. I never get tired of his films especially Escape From NY, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Fog.

Stige
07-10-2010, 06:36 PM
should have picked another for earlier mentioned reasons, but went with craven , because last house on the left and hills have eyes still make me squirm in my seat and nightmare on elm streeet hell even scream make me jump in my seat so.....

Kim Bruun
07-10-2010, 07:19 PM
Consistently entertaining, at the very least! :)

Entertaining? Perhaps, but he's also frustrating. He's all over the place - often you have to appreciate the intent rather than the execution with him, because he doesn't show restraint. Like in the case of the plastic spiders in The Beyond, or that awful plastic head hitting the cliffs in Don't Torture a Duckling.

Morgue Rapist
07-12-2010, 02:36 AM
I picked Fulci but I sorta wish I picked Hooper...

MacReady
07-12-2010, 02:46 AM
Well, when the Drudgereport references a movie (or makes a bi-line using it) I suppose that makes a movie (or director) pretty relevant or... "holds up".

"ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: Limbaugh Gets Mega Millions on Condo Sale..."

http://drudgereport.com/

(hey, I tried! :fuck:)