Oh, God - NO! Not SCREAM 4!!!!
It's Halloween, so it's horror movie time! The time of the year where you and your Designated Squeeze get to huddle together in your local cineplex or your tricked-out home theater, scream and shriek to your heart's content, because, hey, that's what you do during horror movies, yelling at the screen notwithstanding.
But (and here it comes), sometimes you find yourself in a horror film that is truly horrible, where you still scream, but it's a barrage of obscenities, screaming WTHF (you figure it out.)! I'm not talking about movies that are deliberately cheesy; I do enjoy those, but the ones that take themselves WAY too seriously, that they consider themselves to be the next EXORCIST or the next HALLOWEEN (the original, NOT the remake). Movies that actually cause you to lose brain cells, physically glaze your eyes over, and earn the feared "0" rating of mine, where you'll want to murder the theater staff, burn down the theater, and violate the theater owner's dog.
Anyways, although there be many, a few standouts come to mind for this list; if you disagree or want to embellish this list, be my guest; it is not an all-encompassing list, nor does it highlight the spectacularly putrid clunkers I have yet to watch. It's Halloween, it's my column, and poetic license allows me to the liberty of taking broad potshots and accept the consequences.
A few disclaimers: Though they deserve it, there are no movies in the SCARY MOVIE/SUPERHERO MOVIE/DISASTER MOVIE vein on the list. I'm pretty sure they were made for laughs, though that is also questionable. Also, the movies that were done as parodies and were acceptingly decent. And I'll be kind to those clunkers where they tried, but fell miserably short. The ones I'm citing are (in my humble opinion), true cinematic feces. But, to be fair, there is a considerable audience out there who enjoys coprophagia (look it up, kiddies), so to that contingency - knock yourself out. Here we go!
#10- Every SyFy Original Movie. The ones that were Direct-to-DVD. That should say it all. When a movie bypasses the theaters completely, even the producers know what they've got.
#9 -Every Elm Street Sequel. NIGHTMARE was a masterpiece, tapping into everyone's deepest fears, bringing your nightmares to horrifying reality, while the most gleeful horror icon of our generation delighted in each hellish situation. After that, Freddy became a cartoon, a poor man's Crypt-Keeper, making with the morbid
gallows humor, and finally hosting a COMMERCIALLY SYNDICATED TELEVISION SHOW, channeling Dr. Shock, Al Grandpa Munster Lewis, or Elivira, though not as much fun to look at. Even Jackie Earle Haley couldn't fill the shoes of NIGHTMARE I Freddy.
I Vant to Suck Your Blood - But Not it you're a Skank
#8 - Though marginally funny, the GODZILLA Movies of the 70's were just plain silly. The two-hundred-foot terror born of the atomic age was reduced to an Incredible Hulk-like anti-hero, complete with his own pad (Monster Island) where the helpless citizens of Tokyo would page him (or whatever they did to get to him) to save mankind, and in the process, trash Tokyo. He had a posse when things got too tough for just one monster, and even they added a cute son (I never understood where Baby Godzilla came from, until Matthew Broderick explained that that old Green Gills reproduced asexually, which explains why he was always so grumpy.)
A Side Note (as I am wont to do here): who cleans up after Big G and his entourage? Aside from the massive property damage, there's usually several thousand tons of dead monster lying around after his battles. The Tokyo Sanitation Department must be as jittery as Cecille B. DeMille's special effects guy.
Back on story.
The Original Green Meanie would entertain audiences with his fighting style (a cross between karate and kick-boxing - puddum up! puddum up!), and somehow manages not to accidentally kill a single human being amongst the billion dollars of havoc he causes. A monster movie, for sure. A scary monster movie - uh -no.
I had to lump those three together, simply because there was no real front-runner any of those movies in their respective series.
Onward to the movies of singular distinction:
#7 - I didn't go to my Senior Prom, so I wandered the streets of Philadelphia that night. I ended up at the Cinema 19 Theater in Center City and discovered I was watching ANDY WARHOL'S HEAT. Now Mr. Warhol, God rest his soul, was THE pop-artist of his day, along with Peter Max, the only difference being Mr. Max stuck to what he knew. Mr. Warhol, on the other hand, departed the portrait world to direct a few dozen art films, most of which I've never heard of, but also produced some really, really 'outside the box' films. Being masochistic, and suffering from acute short-term memory loss, I went to the TLA Cinema on trendy South Street to see ANDY WARHOL'S DRACULA.
I never knew the definition of
bad, really bad, really, really bad, save NEW NEW NEW YORK, until I saw this one. Dracula turning green when sucking down a victim who was not a virgin. I was still getting over my theaterphobia when I saw this one. This movie helped me get over it. A funny horror movie that was neither scary, nor funny. That was the last Andy Warhol movie I ever saw.
This is a monster - ......run?
#6 - SEED of CHUCKY. Do I really have to explain this one? Like Freddy, the subsequent CHILD'S PLAY sequels got sillier and sillier. SEED featured a creature, born of two possessed kiddie toys (I'm not EVEN going to TRY to explain that one!) who questioned both its sexuality and its gender, all the while Chucky making every pop movie reference the "writers" could squeeze in the script.
#5 - The original LITTLE SHOP of HORRORS was a cheaply made, Catskill "shtick"-driven horror movie, that launched (?) the career of a still-then-unknown Jack Nicholson, and inspired a stage musical, then a movie of the stage musical, then a movie remake of the movie musical. It, in fact got better with each incarnation, though that's not saying a lot. From my last research, the original 1960 movie was Public Domain status, where you could pick it up at your local dollar store.
#4 - While the original AMITYVILLE HORROR was appropriately creepy (Margot Kidder shudder), the remake was plain stupid. If you like your horror consisting of loud, sharp noises that punctuated the entire movie, replacing genuine scares or feelings of dread, then this is the movie for you.
#3 - I clumped these two together because as bad as the 70's GODZILLA movies were, even our favorite green rubber-suit guy would hide his face in shame with these ... things. Godzilla, the most dreaded creature on Earth reduced to being a frightened lizard running from the United States Military (probably the only entity that does these days, and it's also a biting commentary about the Japanese military) in Matthew Broderick's GODZILLA, and the J.J. Abrams-produced travesty that upset me so much, I actually left the
theater angry, CLOVERFIELD, a monster movie that had no monster! Unless you count the forty-five seconds of a tentacle, a leg, an aerial shot and an "upskirt" as monster footage. This one was truly a theater-burner!
Stupid Victims Wanted
#2 - The MONOLITH MONSTERS had to be the singular dumbest concept for a monster movie ever conceived. Rocks that grow when wet and fall on people. "Ooooh! Watch out, or the ..... Rocks.... will come and get you.... run for your lives?"
But the last movie on the list is a virtual dissertation for what NOT to do in a horror movie. You DON'T follow the creepy-looking truck. You DON'T walk into the creepy-looking yard with the foul-smelling hole. You DON'T look down the creepy, foul-smelling hole. You DON'T climb in the creepy, foul-smelling hole. And you definitely, positively DO NOT HANG AROUND A TOWN WHERE YOU KNOW THE CREATURE IS OUT TO GET YOU!!!!!!!! Poor Eileen Brennan never looked so beat down! Those that recognize that premise already know I'm referring to of course JEEPERS CREEPERS. By the middle of the movie, I was rooting for the creature.
So there you have it. All these movies are available from your local video store, or the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, or at your local Dollar Store. Or in someone's trash can. I hope you enjoyed this little tirade on horror movies that really grinds my gears and on what people paid to see on one occasion or another. Remember, this is only one man's opinion, and even the most putrid of cinema entertainment is a movie masterpiece to someone else.
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Oct 30, 2010 2:54 PM
|THE MONOLITH MONSTERS!!?? Now, you didn't think that those rocks were scary!?|
Here's my list of 10 of the dumbest -
THE KILLER SHREWS
ATOM AGE VAMPIRE
GOOD AGAINST EVIL
THE GORE GORE GIRLS
THE SCREAMING SKULL
THE INCREDIBLE TWO-HEADED TRANSPLANT (this one's a real killer for dumbness)
Oct 31, 2010 10:27 PM
|Mike....Elm Street 3 was pretty freaking good...|
Watch the Mangler it should have been number 1
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This column will explore my taste in film. I watch all kinds of movies - all kinds - but likes science fiction/fantasy - action, animated, funny, even stupid. He will speak of his experience and his encounters with science fiction and the way it colors his - and our - everyday life.
Mike Thomas was introduced to science fiction when he first watched 2001 - A SPACE ODYSSEY, and was hooked ever since. But he doesn't just watch the gee-whiz, gollee-gee special effects. He watches the costumes quirks, evaluates the musical scores, even identifies favorite actors of directors. He collected comic book, but has moved on to weapons: he currently owns the Mj?llnir - the Hammer of Thor, Electra's Ninja Sai's, Mace Windu's Light Saber, and a couple of Batarangs.|
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