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Old 10-01-2014, 09:26 PM   #1
Dave
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Dave's Halloween Top Ten 2014

You know the expression 'Time Flies' ? The year has literally flown by for me. I went from working 60-70 hours a week to 30-35 hours a week in 2014. While I initially thought I would have more free time than I know what to do with, taking care of two twins under the age of two doesn't leave one with much free time. Who knew? One goal of mine this year was to read 50 books. Mission accomplished. Another goal was to contribute more to the site for October Madness. Mission under way!


You know the expression 'Time Flies' ? The year has literally flown by for me. I went from working 60-70 hours a week to 30-35 hours a week in 2014. While I initially thought I would have more free time than I know what to do with, taking care of two twins under the age of two doesn't leave one with much free time. Who knew? One goal of mine this year was to read 50 books. Mission accomplished. Another goal was to contribute more to the site for October Madness. Mission under way!

I haven't done a top 10 in a few years. They are kind of stressful for me. I'm not a true film buff like Rhett or Jeremy, or an Asian enthusiast like Paff (though I'm quite enthusiastic of my Asian wife). When I started a new top 10 list in years past, I would always review my prior lists. I wanted to make sure I didn't list the same movies over and over. Being a child of the 80s, I have some fondness and nostalgia over the decade. I grew up on Freddy, Jason, and dreamed of having my own monster squad. The fact is, I am a child of the 80s and I love those movies. This is my list, damnit! They are my recommendations. They are some of the movies I'm looking forward to watching in October, our favourite month of the year. If I want to list Return of the Living Dead Part 2 for five lists straight, so be it! I'm not going to, so just consider that reference a bit of a cheat, or pick number 11! Lets take a look at my top ten for 2014.




10. The Blob (1988)

Twilight Time and their horror releases (Fright Night, Christine, Night of the Living Dead) have become legendary in the bluray world. Their horror blurays, all from Sony's Tri-Star library, are limited to 3,000 and sell out almost instantly. Thankfully with The Blob remake they bumped it up to 5,000 and will likely sell out within a week instead of two days. Hopefully you snagged a copy because this is a fun little creature feature from the 80s featuring Shawnee Smith in her pre-Saw days. While I suspect the effects are a bit dated now (I haven't seen the film in years; patiently waiting for the bluray to revisit it), I anxiously await its release on October 14 to give it a spin in high definition.






9. Godzilla (1998)

I'm just going to throw it out there: I like Godzilla (1998) better than Godzilla (2014). Godzilla 2014 doesn't have enough of Godzilla. Godzilla 1998 does. Godzilla 1998 is cheesy and goofy with poor acting performances all around. But Godzilla's the star and he makes a mess of New York city. Godzilla 2014 has about 15-20 minutes that I love; the rest is boring fluff. I know you can't have a two hour movie with Godzilla running around the entire time causing havoc. Can we get 30-45 minutes of Godzilla stomping around? The entire first hour of 2014 need not exist! I will never watch it again. I will simply skip ahead to the one hour mark. That's ridiculous. Don't give me the 'less is more' argument. This isn't 1975 and Gareth Edwards is no Steven Speilberg. This is Godzilla. I'm no expert with the Japanese Godzilla movies but I watched them as a kid and I remember what I liked most: Godzilla running around, stomping up various Japanese cities and fighting other monsters. That's it! Simple formula. Godzilla 2014 is a tease and no one likes a tease. While 2014 did return Godzilla to his traditional form and roar, it's just not an enjoyable movie. I'll take 1998, goofiness and all because it gives me a lot more Godzilla. A Jurassic Park Godzilla but hey I'll take it!






8. Pacific Rim (2013)

If you don't want to deal with either of the Godzilla remakes, go for a prime example of how a giant monster movie should be done. Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim delivers the goods. It doesn't take itself seriously but has enough story to keep you moderated entertained between the monster mayhem. The effects are phenomenal, there's loads of action and just the right amount of monster screen time. While the movie didn't do all that great at the domestic box office, I'm thankful it did well enough overseas that a sequel has been greenlit. 2017 can't come soon enough!





7. The Midnight Hour (1985)

If you're like me and a child of the 80s, this is essential viewing. It's a trip down memory lane and simply oozes with nostalgia for me. It tells the tale of a group of high school kids who unleash a curse onto a small New England town. Unbeknownst to them, they have raised all sorts of monsters to wreak havoc on Halloween night. It was a made for TV movie that I'm proud to say I saw during its initial viewing back in 1985. I remember having the biggest crush on Sandy (Jonna Lee). It's certainly dated and be warned it's a family safe horror movie and that means there's really no gore to speak of. If your kids can handle a few harmless monsters, this is a great one to view with the family in October. Lets hope we get another DVD release someday or maybe even a bluray if possible.






6. As Above, So Below (2014)

In what may be the worst titled horror movie of all time, As Above, So Below was a complete surprise to me. It's necessary for me to explain how I came to see this movie, because it's not a movie I would ever have chosen to see. I'm not a fan of the handheld camera / found footage genre. My 11 year old son saw the trailer and thought it was the scariest thing he had ever seen in his life. My son is pretty bullet proof with horror. He can handle all the typical slasher stuff without batting an eye. I agreed to bring him. The movie was released and I reluctantly brought him as promised. I went on a Friday night after being up since 2am. I warned my son I would likely fall asleep during the presentation and he could wake me when it was over. I watched every single minute. It was creepy and effective. It was claustrophobic. It was gooood. I remember little about the plot. A group of young adult travel through tunnels under Paris in search of some gold. But forget about the plot. It doesn't matter. It's their journey through the tunnels and the ensuing madness that brought me the first fresh scares I've had in a long time. It was great. My son couldn't even watch it all; he was covering his eyes. I'll be buying the bluray. I see user reviews are mixed online but on occasion you'll find a review just like this - someone that loved it. I know it's still playing in second-run theaters. Give it a go at the theater for the best experience.





5. Resident Evil (2002)

Sometimes you just have to take a break from Romero's original trilogy. As good as they are, sometimes you're in the mood for something different. With four sequels and each one progressively worse, it's difficult to remember just how good the original is. It kept things simple: zombies, suspense, guns and gore. It has been many years since I've seen it but I'll certainly be giving this disc a spin this month. I know a final movie is in the works (delayed due to star Milla Jovovich's pregnancy) but does anyone really care anymore? I treat Resident Evil sequels like I treat Matrix sequels. I pretend they don't exist. Revisit the original and survive the horror!






4. The Strain (2014-ongoing)

Based on the trilogy of novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, FX's The Strain television show is a homerun. They got it right. Everything. Casting, story, effects. It's all top notch. While The Walking Dead seems to drag on and on, with half a season being spent looking for a lost little girl, The Strain keep you glued to the edge of your seat as we see society begin to unravel as a virus is unleashed in New York city. The story is entertaining, effects - even with some silly CGI - are above average for a cable TV show, and the acting is terrific. This recommendation may be a bit of a cheat since it's not out on bluray just yet. It's rumored for a December release. It's worth hunting down on demand or buying a season pass from Amazon. It's that good, and I recommend it that much. Season Two is a go!






3. Donnie Darko (2001)

Exactly what genre does Donnie Darko fall into? Your guess is as good as mine. But it's a creepy and surreal movie and that makes it perfect for October viewing. Jake Gyllenhall plays Donnie Darko, a young man plagued by visions often involving a bunny and the end of the world. It's an incredible, though provoking, and bizarre movie. I challenge anyone to watch it the first time and not ponder the movie for days. I am the type of person, unfortunately, that judges a book by its cover and I thought the whole premise of the movie was silly. I skipped it when it was first released. Luckily it was only 3-4 years later that I finally watched it and fell in love. Besides the amazing story, there are countless characters to fall in love with as well. The soundtrack is great as well; it really fits in with the tone of the movie.

Director Richard Kelly created some real magic with Donnie Darko but I can't help wondering if he'll ever be able to repeat the greatness in another effort. To date he has written and directed two other movies but neither has come close to watching what he did with Donnie Darko. Thankfully while we wait, we can always revisit Donnie Darko. It lends itself nicely to repeat viewings and I still find myself pondering various scenes and meaning to things days after I view it. Highly recommended.






2. The Thing (1982)

Lets face it, in the late 70s and early to mid 80s, Carpenter was THE MAN. The Thing may not have been a success at the box office but that in no way detracts from what a classic The Thing is. I have been on a kick of all things The Thing lately, playing the video game and even reading the novelization. I may even have to give the sequel a spin! Wits its eerie score and amazing effects by the now legendary Rob Bottin, The Thing has stood the test of time. Even my wife, who typically refuses to watch anything over 10 years old due to "dated effects", watched it and loved it. Carpenter's heyday may be over but he left us lots of goodies to enjoy.






1. Halloween 6: Producer's Cut (1995)

Call me crazy. I'll one up you, though. I haven't even finished watching this Producer's Cut yet and I'm putting it down as my number one pick for 2014. Like most fans of the Halloween series, I heard much about the Producer's Cut over the years. I had zero interest in getting a bootleg because I knew from various screen shots out there that the quality was awful. Even as a big fan of Myers, I passed. When Shout announced the box set of the entire series, it was my first preorder in ages. Owning many of the other single disc bluray releases, I was mostly interested in the Producer's Cut, though a box set of the entire series was appealing as well. Lets face it, Shout made a smart business decision not releasing the Producer's Cut by itself. We may not like it as fans, but if you think about it from a business standpoint, it's a good decision. And aren't these alternate cuts worth it? I mean, with Haloween 666 and Nightbreed we are getting vastly different movies. As fans, we should be eating this stuff up. Of course these companies are going to be doing it to make some cash.

When this Halloween set was released, I cracked it open and put in the Producer's Cut of Part 6. I realized with glee that everything I heard about the movie was true. It was nearly an entirely new movie. It doesn't matter to me if it's a bad movie or not. It's a NEW (to me) Halloween movie and it's not the god-awful remakes from Rob Zombie. I realized with great sadness that this would be the last time I get a new movie featuring the Michael Myers I knew and loved growing up. There will never be another Halloween featuring the original Michael; just more sequels to the awful remakes. I was overcome with emotion. I shut the movie off half way through. It was only September. This has to be watched in October, perhaps maybe even on Halloween night. I'm sure its awful. I'm sure I'll get responses about how I'm going to be disappointed. It doesn't matter. It's my Michael, Cult of Thorn and all, and it wasn't written or directed by Rob Zombie. That's enough for me. This truly is the viewing I'm looking forward to the most for October 2014.

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Old 10-01-2014, 09:47 PM   #2
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Whoa! October Madness is off with a bang! A top 10 list already! Nice one

I want to see As Above, So Below and although I've seen the shitty bootlegs of the Producer's cut, I wouldn't mind seeing it in a nicely consistent form at least once.

And common man, don't be such a downer on the Rob Zombie series. Maybe now that you own the box set you can (re)visit those at some point with an open mind and lowered expectations?

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Old 10-02-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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I just got a copy of The Midnight Hour last year after reminiscing about it with my daughters; great Halloween fun.

Here's the original promo pic (very Evil Dead-ish) and write up from TV Guide (1985):



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Old 10-02-2014, 03:51 PM   #4
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That's great. Yeah my kids loved it. Looking forward to my two year old twins watching it someday.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:09 PM   #5
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I hate Halloween 6, but I admit I'm looking forward to the Producers Cut.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:34 PM   #6
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I grew up in the 80's, but I have to say I don't remember The Midnight Hour at all. I was born in '81, so maybe I was too young at the time. It looks pretty good!
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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Waitaminit, LEVAR BURTON is in The Midnight Hour? I have never heard of this movie. Sad to see it's unavailable.

Eclectic list, Dave. I want to check out As Above, So Below and The Midnight Hour if I can find it.

I take great issue with this statement:

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I treat Resident Evil sequels like I treat Matrix sequels. I pretend they don't exist.


Extinction is awesome!
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:14 PM   #8
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Levar was quite the horndog in Midnight Hour.

Sorry I can't comment on any RE sequels; they have been burned out of my memory.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:16 PM   #9
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Looks like The Midnight Hour is on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMMCG--ex_8
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:32 PM   #10
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Great list Dave. I have to admit it, I'd take any of the Resident Evil or Matrix sequels over the recent Godzilla movie. God that was awful.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:35 PM   #11
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The worst part about the recent Godzilla is that so many people liked it. As a whole, it's awful. Cut off the first hour, it's decent. Narrow down to Godzilla only time (maybe 10 mins?) and it's excellent. That is not a good movie! I keep slapping my hand to my forehead and screaming, "REALLY?!?!?" I respect everyones right to like what they want. That doesn't mean I can't wonder why the hell they liked it!
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:40 AM   #12
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The worst part about the recent Godzilla is that so many people liked it. As a whole, it's awful. Cut off the first hour, it's decent. Narrow down to Godzilla only time (maybe 10 mins?) and it's excellent. That is not a good movie! I keep slapping my hand to my forehead and screaming, "REALLY?!?!?" I respect everyones right to like what they want. That doesn't mean I can't wonder why the hell they liked it!
I was hoping that Godzilla would fall on both of the "major" characters. I've seen better acting in porn.
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:50 AM   #13
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Pacific Rim is a really great movie but not exactly Halloween material.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:21 AM   #14
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Christy: Agreed! I knew I would take some flack for Godzilla and Pacific Rim.
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Old 10-03-2014, 05:40 PM   #15
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Looks like The Midnight Hour is on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMMCG--ex_8
Oh, thanks!
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