So, I’ve made it two days in a row. Wonder how long I’ll be able to keep this up.
Tonight, another five horror flicks that I’ve enjoyed and that I think you might enjoy too.
No, not the American remake, the original Japanese film directed by Hideo Nakata and written by Hiroshi Takahashi. This was my first foray into the world of Japanese horror – before I knew about the fear of long black hair and young girls prevalent in the genre.
The general premise, for those three of you who don’t know, is that after viewing a certain video tape, the viewer will die in seven days. This film follows the investigation of these deaths and the video itself by a young mother who’s son has watched the video.
This is one of those few movies that I mentioned a few posts ago about making me almost crawl over the back of the couch when ‘the scene’ happened.
If you’ve seen the American version and enjoyed it at all I urge you to see the original. It’s much scarier and doesn’t feel the need to spoon feed you the answer to every single, freaking piece of imagery in the cursed video tape. Also, the fact that the only special effect to make the ‘ghost’ move strangely was running the film backward makes it much scarier than the over-produced, computer-enhanced effects of the American film.
When will they ever get it? The more real a supernatural occurrence looks, the scarier it’s going to be? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
The Black Cat (1934)
A rather subversive and sometimes perverse film, this movie stars both Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Boris takes on the role of the bad guy in this film and has the widow’s peak to prove it. Both actors give it their all in this movie and it’s interesting to see Lugosi play the hero of the film. I haven’t seen all of Lugosi’s films, but this is the only one I’ve seen in which he plays this role. Most of the films I’ve seen of his he’s either trying to drain hapless victims or conduct experiments on…hapless victims. Oh, and bully Tor Johnson.
Purchase The Black Cat, part of The Bela Lugosi Collection
The Evil Dead (1981), The Evil Dead II (1987) , Army of Darkness (1992)
(Yes, this is three movies, but I’m counting it as one for the purposes of this post.)
Poor Ashley. All he wanted was a quiet weekend in the woods with his friends, have some fun with his best girl, maybe get a little drunk. Instead, he got a sister molested by the local foliage, talking deer heads, possessed friends, medieval knights and he really lost control of that hand.
Now considered classics of the genre, The Evil Dead trilogy launched Bruce Campbell’s and Sam Raimi’s careers and gave us three of the most enjoyable gore-fests ever made. Often scary, sometimes funny and at times just downright silly, these movies show an ingenuity and wittiness on a shoe-string budget (Army of Darkness being the exception – it had an actual budget) that most horror movies can’t pull off even with millions being thrown at them.
Purchase The Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2 – Book Of The Dead Collection
Purchase Bruce Campbell vs. Army Of Darkness – The Director’s Cut (Official Bootleg Edition)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This is another of those movies that scared the poop out of me. Strange that I never had trouble sleeping afterward and I’ve only had three Freddy Krueger dreams in my life and that wasn’t until years later.
This movie just hit all the right notes to scare me – a monster that had the perfect hiding place where only his intended victims could see him, the fact that this monster was inside the mind and had access to those things that really scare you (although he didn’t really start doing that until the third movie in the series) and the scariest fact – there was no escaping him. Everyone has to sleep eventually.
I think if New Nightmare had come out shortly after the first movie, it would have damaged my psyche.
Purchase A Nightmare on Elm Street (Infinifilm Edition)
Love at First Bite (1979)
This movie is probably the first vampire movie I ever saw. Therefore, I grew up thinking that to become a vampire, you had to be bitten three times. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. The first time I saw anything with different rules I was taken aback. It just didn’t seem right.
Love at First Bite is a very silly movie. Dracula, tired of being alone, decides to visit the United States to find a new bride. He chooses the height of the ‘me’ decade, 1979, and falls for an extremely self-involved model who finally finds herself after receiving that fatal third bite.
I think what makes this movie work is how George Hamilton plays the part. He certainly plays it for laughs, but he never makes fun of his own character. Dracula is still ‘the man’ and never does he take a pratfall or make himself look like a fool (I’m looking at you, Mr. Nielsen). Even though he’s been dropped into the absurdity of the modern world, he never lets it ruffle his wing hair.
And damn! He’s the finest looking vampire I’ve ever seen.
Purchase Love at First Bite