Horror Digital Forum  

Go Back   Horror Digital Forum > All Things Horror > General > News

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-31-2012, 06:58 AM   #1
rhett
Moderator
 
rhett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,188
Rhett's Halloween Top Ten 2012

Back when I was first really getting into horror I was watching slashers a mile a minute (kilometer, I guess, being a Canadian), and while many of them tend to blur into a favorable mass of familiar splatter set pieces, one of the bunch that has always stood out to me is Don’t Go in the House. If ever a movie deserved its video nasty designation this one was it. Not so much for the nudity or gore, although there are certainly parts of each


10. Don't Go in the House (1979)

Back when I was first really getting into horror I was watching slashers a mile a minute (kilometer, I guess, being a Canadian), and while many of them tend to blur into a favorable mass of familiar splatter set pieces, one of the bunch that has always stood out to me is Don’t Go in the House. If ever a movie deserved its video nasty designation this one was it. Not so much for the nudity or gore, although there are certainly parts of each, but more just for the sweltering cynicism of the film and restrained, almost procedural direction of Joseph Ellison. It’s a downbeat journey into loneliness and child abuse as a blue collar factory worker starts cremating women on the East coast feels perfect for October with its brown hues and barren trees. On first look it sure isn’t pleasant, much like the similar Maniac, which would come out a year later and undoubtedly take a lot from this, but Don’t Go in the House has this watchable one-after-the-other momentum to it that makes it tough to forget. And then there’s all that disco stuff. If you thought “Goin’ to the Showdown” in Maniac was “of its time” wait until you hear the end theme to this one. The film ends on an incredibly brutal note and we get this haunting, lingering shot on one of the victims…and: http://youtu.be/YRArAP6xvIc. If that song’s not the perfect way to get the Halloween party started, then I don’t know what is.




9. Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

Speaking of parties, it’s tough to forget that night club massacre in Anthony Hickox’s batty, madcap Hollywoodization of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser series. While some deride the film for getting away from the tone and prose of the heady first two pictures, this one starts up by blowing up said head and then running on fun from there. Say what you will about the ups, downs and all arounds of this tumultuous franchise, but Hellraiser III is undoubtedly the most unbridled and “fun” of the bunch, and a great movie to just strap into and enjoy the ride.




8. 13 Ghosts (1960)

When Sean S. Cunningham likened Friday the 13th to the thrill of riding a rollercoaster, I have to think in the back of his mind he was talking first about the movies of William Castle. Castle’s most famous picture, and the perfect one for the Halloween season is 13 Ghosts. The movie literally begins with a parade of horrors as the movie counts up all the way to thirteen as its ghosts fly into the screen like trick’r treaters at the door. It then uses a campy, aw shucks family values family to string on the setpieces of the film, which are the blue-hued ghost sequences that you can watch with or without the Illusion-O glasses. Look through the red and see the ghosts, look through the blue and they’re invisible. It’s a great gimmick that still holds up well today with your traditional red and blue glasses. While the technology behind the scenes is pretty rudimentary today, the quality of the photography and the ghost costumes are still a lot of fun to watch.




7. The People Under the Stairs (1991)

While 13 Ghosts took a regular family into a haunted house of horror, Wes Craven’s silly swashbuckler of a horror movie, The People Under the Stairs, instead takes us into a regular house with a family that can only be described as horrific. It’s a gleefully over-the-top subversion of what we think we know about horror from a man not often associated with his lighter side. Craven keeps things light and has his story turn as many corners as his characters do as they try and navigate the maze-like corridors between the house’s walls. Because of his own repressed childhood, Craven’s always been pretty heavy-handed with his family issues in his films, but The People Under the Stairs sees him using a kind of Mommie Dearest satire that oddly enough might make for his most pointed picture on the matter. With wild twists in every room, The People Under the Stairs is a perfect thrill in this month of madness.



6. Mausoleum (1983)

Like The People Under the Stairs, Michael Dugan’s Mausoleum features things you’d never imagine going on inside an otherwise quiet American home. It’s the home to some salacious special effects from one of the creature kings, John Carl Buechler, but most people remember it for a different name. That name is the film’s star, Bobbie Bresee, whose name is probably the most Freudian slip inviting name of all time, especially after you see the picture! She seduces the pants off of everyone (including the audience!) when the quiet housewife suddenly finds herself possessed by an ancient family curse. It’s a commanding performance right up there with the best scream queens of the era, and the outlandish demon masks Buechler has her up in is the definition of trick or treat. Mausoleum is great early-eighties camp held up with aplomb by Boobie Brassiere, I mean Bobbie Bresee!



5. "The Spirit Photographer", Tales From the Darkside (1987)

Nothing gets me into the horror mode faster than those first few off-key notes of the Tales from the Darkside opening theme. “Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality…” the narrator would recount each and every week, and in the case of “The Spirit Photographer” such a description couldn’t be more apt. Algernon Colesbury (Frank Hamilton, A Stranger is Watching) is a photog frustrated that every picture taken of a ghost, including many of his own, is always blurry or tough to discern. He builds a machine that will intensify the spirits around him, but as he becomes more and more obsessed with taking the perfect photograph he starts to descend into a world that’s, to take from that trusty narrator, “just as real, but not as brightly lit!” This episode begins and plays out as many others of its kind do, but the short ends with a whimsy that only the best horror filmmakers are able to recreate. It’s a twist that clasps the very thing that draws us all to horror – the fear of dying, and makes it a fate instead to embrace. Written by the writer of Pumpkinhead, Mark Patrick Carducci, this episode offers a different look on the afterlife, but embraces a similar continuity between life and death that’s in its own way beautiful.




4. Kuroneko (1968)

While I might be a dog lover at heart, I’ve always thought cats, and the themes they represent, have made great subject for horror. From Poe to Cat People, I’ve always liked the kind of searing mystique about what they symbolize. Growing up I remember being quite angry watching The Cat o Nine Tails only to find there was no cat in the film at all. At least Argento redeemed his feline teasing ways with his segment in Two Evil Eyes. Anyway, a great unsung cat picture is Kuroneko, directed by Kaneto Shindo of the similarly underappreciated Onibaba. Both films deal very effectively with feminist issues in ways that American horror (see Mausoleum) often skirts around. Kuroneko though really leaves a mark for the ferocity of its opening, where two women are raped and killed only to come back as ghostly cats to tear apart all those that did them wrong. Horrifying in every sense of the word, this nightmare of a movie still holds up 44 years later.




3. Bad Moon (1996)

Dogs need a little love, too, and this lean little studio picture from 1996 is my newest Halloween horror addition. This year I was, um, torn between Bad Moon and Wolfen, since neither werewolf movie I’d seen and both were on that 4-film horror pack that Warner put out a few years ago. I asked Horror Digital’s own Chunkblower for advice, and he gave me this nugget of knowledge: “Wolfen’s better, Bad Moon’s more fun.” Considering Bad Moon is close to half the length of Wolfen, I think I’d err on the side of fun. “Bad Moon opens with a pretty hot sex scene.” Okay, Chunk…sold! And let me say, my friend did not let me down. Bad Moon is a werewolf movie distilled down to the elements – it gets right into the carnal carnage, and hardly has time to let up. The effects by the great Steve Johnson (responsible for Freddy’s best death in The Dream Master and more appropriately a bunch of the Howling sequels) are totally feral, convincing and at times surprisingly gory. It’s got the plot and class of a fun, low rent direct to video sequel and the sheen and acting of a Hollywood production. The best of both worlds, really, and a total blast if you just want to howl at the moon this Howloween!




2. Manhattan Baby (1982)

Bad Moon is the definition of a fun movie, but if ever there was a horror director that could be defined as having “fun” behind the camera, it was Lucio Fulci. The man’s movies were so ludicrous, from a Donald Duck-voiced murder in The New York Ripper to the torso-ripping absurdity of the Conan cash-in, Conquest, you can’t help but think the man was just relishing every moment of absurdity that occurred when he was behind the camera (and even when he was in front of it in the madcap Cat in the Brain). Every time the camera pulls focus from something in the foreground to a character in the background and then again to some eyeballs in extreme close-up, one of Fulci’s trademarks, you can just imagine him pressing his glasses as close as he could against his face, just giddy with a “more, more, more!” kind of intensity. He always wanted to push the limits, and he most certainly always did, and for every bit of glorious eye-gouging gore there was nearly an equal bit of calculated Freudian psychology (even if it was ridiculous!). The man is one of the greats, maybe the greatest there ever was, and he’s a director whose stamp was so apparent, be it on a police thriller like Contraband or a sex comedy like The Eroticist, that really if you watch any Fulci this year, it’ll be a memorable viewing experience. This year for me it’s one of my blind spots, Manhattan Baby, and considering the lead gets his eyes blinded by lasers at the start, I guess the pick is apropos. A death scene entirely from the point of view of a cobra or an epic zoom in on a Polaroid as it develops a ghostly image, in Manhattan Baby, as in all Fulci, the glory to go where none have gone before cannot be more apparent.




1. The Burning (1981)

And thus we come to the end of another list huddled around the fire, that very place where the foundation of horror stories, well before even the motion picture, had their genesis. Miramax’s first movie, the sleazy flambé of a slasher about a vengeful groundskeeper who takes the sheers out to the campers that burned him, certainly isn’t timeless, but it has its history rooted in Eastern American folklore. It delights in that Cropsey legend that inspired Friday the 13th, Part II and Madman (a tale so rich in the New Jersey area all three films were filmed in close proximity within months of each other), and unlike the latter two films, it doesn’t pay homage to the legend but instead passes on its own iteration for cinemagoers of the eighties, and, thanks to its legacy, beyond. Thanks to Tom Savini’s groundbreaking and grisly special effects (the mere mention of “raft” sends fans of the film into a stupor) and Rick Wakeman’s reverberating score, this version of Cropsey is one we’re likely to not soon forget. For all its strengths (and hey, there are a lot of weaknesses too), it’s that campfire finale that makes The Burning one of the essential horror pictures. Spoken directly into the camera, as if we’re right at the campfire with him, the storyteller warns us “Don’t look…he’ll see you. Don’t breathe, he’ll hear you…” and then he ends it “Don’t move – you’re dead!” It encapsulates the fear, the showmanship and the joy for telling the tale that makes horror so enduring. That ending is one of my favorites of all time, and the best way to remind us as this month of horror comes to a close, of why we love these stories so much. Happy Halloween.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	burning_fronts.jpg
Views:	356
Size:	10.9 KB
ID:	6262  
rhett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
Workshed
October!
 
Workshed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 7,634
Don't Go in the House (1979) and Manhattan Baby (1982) are two films I've also added to my queue. Nice write-ups, rhett. Thanks for sharing and have a great Halloween!
__________________
*Films watched in: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by thing View Post
Well as the video explains, I do not think it is a great film, nor do I think.
Workshed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
Mok
Family is Forever
 
Mok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Smith's Grove Sanitarium
Posts: 4,439
Cool man. I'm checking 13 Ghosts and Don't Go In The House out soon as possible.
Mok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
dave13
HackMaster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,888
great list, rhett. Bad Moon is definitely a personal favorite. A much better choice than Wolfen, which always seemed to me like a great poster with a great title in search of a great movie. There's a more explicit version of the tent scene floating around the interwebs which is worth checking out. makes me think there's a more violent cut somewhere, which i'd love to see released one day...

and i totally agree about Don't Go in the House - that one is very memorable indeed. I love the opening shot with the slow push in on the flames in the incinerator - very eerie.
dave13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
Mutilated Prey
Soul Stealer
 
Mutilated Prey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Texarkana
Posts: 5,888
Love Don't Go in the House - just revisited that recently. Burning is obviously a personal favorite. Manhattan Baby I couldn't get into. I think I was spoiled with Zombie, The Beyond and House by the Cemetery that it was somewhat of a letdown to me. I like Mausoleum too, just wish the DVD release wasn't the cut version!
__________________
Mutilated Prey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
nightmare5fan
Screamy Bopper
 
nightmare5fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 28
Great, atypical list! I really enjoy People Under the Stairs and really want to watch Don't Go In The House... The serial killer/disco sleaziness formula sounds interesting enough, hehe...
__________________
"Hey, somebody get some light over here, Trash is taking off her clothes again."
nightmare5fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 07:17 PM   #7
Rft183
Screamy Bopper
 
Rft183's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 49
I really like your list. I love The Burning, The People Under the Stairs, and Tales From the Darkside. I'll have to check out some of the others. Bad Moon and Kuroneko sound intriguing.
Rft183 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
Kim Bruun
HackMaster
 
Kim Bruun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 1,185
Nice list - you start and end with a favourite video nasty of mine. I actually prefer Don't Go in the House to Maniac. Both are disturbing and unpleasant, but DGitH manages a couple of good scares as well - and that first victim's demize... Very hard to watch!
Kim Bruun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 09:05 AM   #9
Hellbilly
HellPumpkin
 
Hellbilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hollowgate
Posts: 14,082
On a sidenote, I can see why Quentin Tarantino added Don't Go In The House and Mausoleum to his QT fest years ago. Both are very entertaining crowd pleasers. Great list there rhett.
__________________
"Common sense turns me on"

Movie Tracker 2014
Hellbilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
Anthropophagus
HackMaster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,559
Don't Go In The House is an often overlooked gem that deserves to be seen. Bad Moon is in my top five werewolf films alongside American Werewolf, The Howling, The Wolf Man, and Silver Bullet.
Anthropophagus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
MorallySound
There is no magic.
 
MorallySound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,138
Great list with a ton of favourites of mine! Love the mix of sleaze, camp, and genuine fright - a perfect Halloween mix and match! As well as a few I still haven't got around to checking out (13 Ghotst, Kurenko, and Manhattan Baby, I'm looking at you!).

You've got to check out Wolfen, one of my favourite 'werewolf' films!
__________________
"Things only seem to be magic. There is no real magic. There's no real magic ever." - Martin

Videonomicon | Mantis in Black Lace | Vimeo | Instagram | Letterboxd | Tumblr | Twitter | Reel to Reel | DVD Aficionado
MorallySound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 06:53 PM   #12
Anthropophagus
HackMaster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,559
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorallySound View Post
Great list with a ton of favourites of mine! Love the mix of sleaze, camp, and genuine fright - a perfect Halloween mix and match! As well as a few I still haven't got around to checking out (13 Ghotst, Kurenko, and Manhattan Baby, I'm looking at you!).

You've got to check out Wolfen, one of my favourite 'werewolf' films!
I love Wolfen, and it's one of my wife's favorites too.
I don't know why though but with the heavy Native American angle, stellar cast and dramatic quality I always think of it as more than a mere werewolf film.
I always came away feeling that the beasts were obviously the incarnation of Native American spirits defending against further urbanization and encroachment, as such, more than random lycanthrope killing machines.
Anthropophagus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #13
MorallySound
There is no magic.
 
MorallySound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthropophagus View Post
I love Wolfen, and it's one of my wife's favorites too.
I don't know why though but with the heavy Native American angle, stellar cast and dramatic quality I always think of it as more than a mere werewolf film.
I always came away feeling that the beasts were obviously the incarnation of Native American spirits defending against further urbanization and encroachment, as such, more than random lycanthrope killing machines.
Agreed. Hence why I put "'werewolf'".
__________________
"Things only seem to be magic. There is no real magic. There's no real magic ever." - Martin

Videonomicon | Mantis in Black Lace | Vimeo | Instagram | Letterboxd | Tumblr | Twitter | Reel to Reel | DVD Aficionado
MorallySound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 08:05 PM   #14
dave13
HackMaster
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthropophagus View Post
I love Wolfen, and it's one of my wife's favorites too.
I don't know why though but with the heavy Native American angle, stellar cast and dramatic quality I always think of it as more than a mere werewolf film.
I always came away feeling that the beasts were obviously the incarnation of Native American spirits defending against further urbanization and encroachment, as such, more than random lycanthrope killing machines.
i think you're absolutely right. i had the exact opposite reaction, though. to me, that change made it less than a werewolf film. Perhaps my expectations of an awesome werewolf movie led to my disappointment, but when i watched it again a year ago or so (after picking up the same set Rhett mentioned, with Coma, Bad Moon, and Ferarra's Body Snatchers), my opinion didn't change all that much. I enjoyed it a lot more than the first time, but it still didn't stick with me that much. you're quite right about the quality cast, though. the production level on the film is quite high for the material. i just never found the story to be at all compelling.
dave13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 10:18 PM   #15
evildeadfan123
Sam & Dean Winchester
 
evildeadfan123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,154
I own all the movies on this list except for #5, 4, and 3.
__________________
Why have you disturbed our sleep? Awaken us from our ancient slumber? You will die! Like the others before you. One by one we will take you.

I know a good hangover remedy, a greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray.

RIP: John Winchester, all us Supernatural fans will miss you.

http://www.myspace.com/jaredjensenfan

I love Jared's flaring nostrils
evildeadfan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1999-2014 Horrordvds.com

No text or images from this site may be reprinted or used elsewhere without express consent from Horrordvds.com