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31 Days of Halloween Movie Mayhem


Continuing with the 3-pack of Terror (?) that I bought a few days earlier, I opt to go with Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer.  I don’t really know too much about this movie, to be honest, but it has Robert Englund in it (as most budget/indie horror movies do nowadays…I guess that fat Freddie-Kreuger cash wasn’t all that abundant), so it’s got to have SOME redeeming value, right?

It does, actually.  The script is pretty fun and the Jack Brooks character amuses.  Watching him play out his “anger issues” is enjoyable to say the least, giving me a few laugh-out-loud moments as he goes off on ridiculous tangents during the therapy-session scenes that give me the most enjoyment.  The only real issue I have with this movie is that there’s remarkably little monster-slaying.  Seriously.  I think he kills maybe 5 or 6 of ‘em, and that’s in the last 15 minutes of the movie.  With a title like Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, I wasn’t really looking for a lot of characterization and build up.


JB:MS stays fun though.  Robert Englund does what he does best (over-the-top absurdity),  and Trevor Matthews (a good Canadian kid) has a lot of fun with the Jack Brooks part. To be completely honest, it’s these two performances that keep me watching. All-in-all, I was pretty pleased with this.


Back story:  A few weeks ago my friend/co-worker Ashley and I were talking at work about Hallowe’en movies and specials, and she brought up this one that had “Christopher Lloyd and he was a teacher…and he gets his head cut off,” or something.  After a few seconds of mental grasping through the pop-culture vaults located directly under my thinning hair, I remember that it was an episode of the old Spielberg show, Amazing Stories. A quick internet search later, I found it, and I was really happy I did.


Even though “Go To The Head of the Class” is only 48 minutes long, Christopher Lloyd is able to pack in a full movie’s worth of over-acting.  Don’t get me wrong—I don’t mean that in a negative way.  It’s glorious.  And really, there are few things better than watching a giant headless body being berated by Christopher Lloyd’s severed head as it carries that head around trying to catch the protagonists, who have done this to him.  That’s just gold.

The whole viewing experience is fun.  There’s a lot of horrible late 80’s/early 90’s style, which is laughable, and the only things that I’m missing are the old commercials.  I love watching old commercials, for whatever reason.


Due to the mild disappointment from the lack of gore in Jack Brooks…, I opt for a definite gore-fest, and go with Feast tonight.  This movie is fun, and nuthin’ but.  It was the third winner of the Project: Greenlight contest (which is funded, in part, by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon), and has a decent set of B-list actors in it, including Krista Allen (she’s purty),  Henry Rollins (not so purty, but playing a motivational speaker, which is fun), Balthazar Getty (you know, from Lord of the Flies), Jason Mewes, the kid from Sex Drive, (not Clark Duke), and…Judah Friedlander???…as a guy who slowly rots away after getting spit on by one of the attacking monsters.


This movie is more or less the same as The Mist, but without all the pomp, budget, or Marcia Gay Harden. However, what they lack in pomp (and Harden), they make up for in splatter…which is how it should be.  They have a lot of fun with this, and that’s what I like most about it.  The beginning with the freeze-frames of each character showing their relevant stats (such as occupation, hobbies, and life expectancy) always make me laugh, and watching the slow deterioration of Friedlander is as hilarious as it is disgusting.  Watching alpha-male Rollins run around in women’s pink sweat-pants induces some giggles too.

I’m hoping the two sequels are just as much fun.


Making an early evening foray into Shlocktober today.  I’ve got the day off, and I’m really happy to be intimate with my couch all day…in a platonic way, of course.  Today’s selection: 30 Days of Night.


I know a lot of people have issues with this movie because the “vampires” don’t act like traditional vampires.  Here’s my take on this: I don’t give a shit.  Vampires or not, this movie is still pretty intense and creepy.  Sure, I don’t know why, if these are vampires, why they don’t speak in some sort of Eastern European dialect, and yeah, the way they chow down on their victims is completely over the top, but so what?  They’re still damn creepy.  After watching a couple of the more “traditional” vampire movies with Christopher Lee, I find this type of vampire more frightening.  Even if their leader does look like Norman Cook (a.k.a. Fatboy Slim…at least he does to me)…I’m gonna praise them like I should.




I’ve seen American Werewolf in London a couple of times, and I’m not completely sure I get it. I mean, the parts with Griffin Dunne are hilarious and awesome, but I feel like I haven’t really enjoyed it as much as I should.  That might be because, if memory serves, both times I did watch it, I fell asleep.  Poor form on my part, I know, but I, like my father before me, am a napper.  It’s in my blood.  You know, just like werewolves.  Anyway, I decide to give American Werewolf a whirl again.  Maybe since Sleepy Hollow finally clicked for me this year, it will also happen with this movie.


It does.  I mean, David Naughton is still not a good actor, but otherwise it really works for me this time. Griffin Dunne is hilarious (again), but the last half of the movie works out a lot better for me.  There seems to be a lot more werewolf  in it this time, which, of course, makes it much more interesting and intense. I’m kind of curious as to how I fell asleep the first two times I watched this, because it really is a good movie. The special effects, for the most part, are outstanding, notably those used to transform Naughton into a werewolf. Although, Naughton sure is naked a lot.


As we enter the third leg in the FLIMgeeks circuit around the Hammer studios Dracula catalog, it is kind of becoming clear that these movies must be surviving on kitsch value, and not much more.  Apparently, from what I gathered from what Reznik was telling us, the original filming of Taste the Blood of Dracula didn’t even have Christopher Lee in it.  After watching it, I’m not sure why he was. I will say this for Taste the Blood of Dracula: the hair dressers worked some serious overtime, and earned every penny they made. It has been a very long time since I’ve seen such ridiculous hair on so many characters. This is good though, since it distracts us slightly from the entirely ludicrous plot.


It’s not just the plot though…it’s just about everything. So very little of this movie makes any sense. We distract ourselves more by noting how certain cast members look like other actors (the male lead looks like a twenty-something Hugh Jackman…with absurd hair). I think Christopher Lee has about as much face-time in this movie as George Clooney in The Thin Red Line. He’s barely in it more than I am!

Anyway, all this does is whet our appetites for the final straightaway in our Hammer-thon: Dracula 1972 A.D.  It should be completely ridiculous…AND it has Stephanie Beacham from the Dynasty spin-off, The Colbys.  YESSSSS!!


The Evil Dead. Yeah. It was only a matter of time before I had to bust one of these out. I don’t even know if I should bother writing anything. It seems pointless to go on about this, because anything I write is going to feel like something I’ve said a thousand times before. Although, to be honest, I haven’t watched this one that many times. I’ve probably seen the second one a couple of dozen times. It started in high school. We grabbed it as a joke one night, and after watching, started showing it to everyone we knew. Of course, we did the same thing with Dead Ringers, too.  What can I say?  We were weird kids.


Anyway, the first one isn’t as ridiculous as the second. This one holds together as a somewhat serious horror movie…but once Ash starts punching out his possessed girlfriend, you just have to laugh as she sits there and laughs demonically at the whole ordeal. The special effects are great for such an obvious low-budget movie. Granted, it could just be that the bar is set dreadfully low by the Hammer Dracula movies, where blood looks like raspberry jam, and Christopher Lee’s bloodlust looks more like he’s been hot-boxing his coffin.

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  • amanda
    i dunno--i thought that 'taste the blood of dracula' was a worthwhile venture. maybe i was enjoying the koolaid jokes more than the movie itself, but i kind of liked the elaborate set-up, and the heavy-handed sins-of-the-father stuff. and although everyone else was enraged, i enjoyed dracula's death by hallucination. it was kind of weirdly psychological–and besides, this far along in the series, they have to start getting creative.

    also, any movie that opens with a snow globe peddlar getting his ass kicked is ok in my book.
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