Let’s face it, today’s horror genre as far as modern cinema is concerned is dying off slowly due to shitty remakes, sequels and uninspired concepts which had begun since the noughties. That said, I, the “Black Irish hath discovered a few somewhat recent picks o’ the litter that may give hope to those who are quick to assume that Horror is fucking dead! But equally of importance, is this article’s dedication to the older horror films of supernatural lore as opposed to the over-saturated Zombie or Vampire genres. So kick back and enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Latte while reading yet another Halloween dedicated column!
Don’t Breathe 👻👻
This is what I would call, an Anti-Home Invasion thriller. Three burglars break into the home of an unsuspecting Blind Man only to have the tables turned on their sorry asses! What’s surprising about this tale were the tense filled scenes devoid of dialog, the shocking revelation regarding the Blind Man and Stephen Lang’s menacing performance! If this guy doesn’t land the role of Nathan Summers (Cable) in the Deadpool sequel, 20th Century Fox can suck a BBC! Well received thriller however, there’s thus one disturbing scene that involves “frozen yogurt”.
It Follows 👻👻👻
As with a few Horror films that contain social commentaries, this supernatural semi cautionary tale that can easily construed as another primary example courtesy of underlying allegories of Teenage promiscuity and of course, sexual transmitted diseases and the risks involved. A mysterious entity pursues its prey after “contracting” some beacon via having sexual relations with an infected individual. To remove the stalking spirit, one would have to pass it on by the oldest form of Pleasure-Fucking! Otherwise, like the Terminator, it will not stop until you are dead!
I was pleasantly surprised that “It Follows” did not disappoint much. The film was shot on a modest budget as in practical effects without heavily relying on CGI aesthetics and the locations were self-contained since most of the events took place within a suburban area as some High School facility. The soundtrack is subtle yet effective to the extent of immersion of the fictional environment.
Random Pick o’ the Litter: The House by the Cemetery (1981) 👻👻👻
Confession#1: I have yet to watch this 1981 horror tale from the late Godfather of Gore, Lucio Fulci until recently thanks to my Amazon Prime subscription. When someone mentions films of Fulci, the first three that often come to mind are; The Beyond, City of the Living Dead and of course the Italian Director’s breakout film, Zombi! However, there was a succeeding film although not as iconic as the aforementioned films it deserves its place among them for not only having a great premise, but as with all of Lucio’s endings, a total “Fuck your riding off into the sunset finales”! House begins with a couple of young lovers getting a lil’ “bump n grind” within a vacant house that was previously owned by Dr. Fraudstein and his family 150 Years ago.
But unbeknownst to the ill-fated lovers, a mysterious stranger lurks about and like the hater he is, slices and dices the couple. Fast forward to the present where a writer, his wife and their son-Bob move into that same house sold by a retailer that either didn’t bother to fully inspect the House or like any money grubbing opportunist, (Like the one in Poltergeist) just wanted to sell this haunted house regardless of any going ons. Bob not only experiences unusual apparitions, but happens to befriend a young girl named May, who holds a secret, affiliated with the infamous Fraudstien house located nearby a Cemetery. What could it be and what is the mystery of the other “occupant”?
House by the Cemetery is often known as part of Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy (Beyond and City of the Living Dead) and despite being the weakest of the three, it has enough scares and a generous amount of gore to keep the viewing watching this with the lights on. As the film progresses, a horror nerd may make comparisons or draw parallels to succeeding movies like Poltergeist, The Evil Dead and even The Sixth Sense. (Again, that ending!) Buried underneath the concept’s surface are minor Lovecraftian themes to accompany the Haunted House tropes there about. If there’s one flaw I can bring up, is the cheesy bat that attacks Norman I guess the film’s budget wasn’t couldn’t cover the expense for a more convincing Bat because this prop looks as if it was stolen from the set of The Munsters!And just when I thought Dickie’s attack scene was laughable! That aside, House is worthy of a watch but I cannot recommend a Blu Ray purchase unless its retails at bargain basement prices.
Ollies Pick o’ the litterbox, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
Hey you “Halloweenies”, like my lil Jerk o’ Lantern masthead? This is your pal Ollie here to review an ol sequel to chain smoker’s John Carpenter’s iconic film series that most had originally dismissed and dissed this non-canon film due to the omission of the franchises’ signature Villain: Michael Myers. Now a few decades later, I managed to give this bitch another look and to my ol chagrin and prior ignorance, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that SOTW wasn’t nearly as shitty as I made it out to be! Written and Directed by Tommy Wallace, Season of the Witch delivers a unique take on the Halloween mythology by introducing a bizarre but cool concept.
The film wastes no time when it comes to suspenseful pacing as we witness a middle-aged fart Henry, moving as fast as a runaway slave-hightailing it from a pair of “darkstalkers” while clenching a Halloween fright mask. (Talk about ambidextrous) Lucky for him, he manages to escape the “Men-in-Black” thanks to some good Samaritan Gas station attendant who drives him to a nearby hospital. (Wow, a Black dude that doesn’t get bumped off in a horror film? That’s a first!) However, his luck runs out after a certain visitor pry his fingers through the poor bastard’s eyes. (Kinda reminds me of when I finger-banged this German ladyfriend of mine at the time.) And like a Burmese protester, sets himself on fire and sign off now that his job is done.Prior to his death, ol Henry informs the resident Dr. Dan Challis (Played by that Atkins guy from previous Carpenter films, most notably, “Escape from New York.) of what the Fight Mask’s Manufacturers-Silver Shamrock intentions are all about as in kill every Motherfucking Man, Woman and child! At least the Cats are spared.
Now enter your typical ditzy doe eyed 80’s chick, Ellie who “BOOM” happens to be Henry’s daughter!The couple then head off to Santa Mira, a town in California to further investigate the connections between Henry and Silver Shamrock founded by Conal Cochran. No relationship to Jonnie Cochran by the way. The inhabitants are comparable to some cult personality due to their behavior patterns. And the Irish Innkeeper’s brogue was way overdone to the extent of sounding like the Lucky Charms’ mascot. Anyone who badmouths “Cock-ran” will get their heads ripped off among a few other atrocities. Everyone there has a tremendous respect for Cochran as if he’s the local celebrity but of course underneath his Cult of personality persona, therein lies a very duplicitous and devious bastard. As the story progresses, there is a shitload o’ revelations and surprises, especially during the 3rd act. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch is a fun watch despite its numerous flaws, it still holds up to this very day in the age of weak PG 13 films that’s supposed to deemed “scary” narratives. *Hocks out Hairball*
The acting is as if I’m watching one of those old ABC Afterschool Specials with the noted exception of Dan O’Herlihy’s Cochran who is both charismatic and a generic Doctor Doom when combining mysticism with robotics and technology. One of his best moments is where he explains his sinister plan while giving a brief history of Halloween followed by a sick “Drop the mic” sign off.
The gore factor has been bumped up a notch compared to the previous ‘weenie films and very inventive, I mean when was the last time you have witnessed some poor Woman receive a laserblast in the face via “microchip” and soon afterwards, have bugs crawl out of her dome? Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s score although nowhere as great as their contribution to the awesomeness that is Escape from New York, is very serviceable and most notably, are the timely cues to accompany jump scares and if you pay close attention, you might hear a familiar score. Aside from SOTW’s unique concept it’s obvious that Carpenter took a sick burn aimed toward consumerism and corporate greed. The justified cynical Bastid that he is. Sadly, this was truly the last of what could have been John Carpenter’s “Creepshow” and now thanks to public outcry, we had to contend with a bunch of uninspired Michael Myers sequels. um, yeah.
For a more straight up, more civil retrospective, get the fuck on over to Scotty’s Article!
And now, a Bag o’ Tricks and Treats! let’s play a game, shall we? By clicking the Orange texts within the boxes below, you may find either an article, a Movie or nada! Have fun!!
Hall O’ Infamous
The Fly 1986
|Dawn of the Dead 2004||
The Omen 2
Classics from the Crypt
|Night of the Living Dead|
|Dawn of the Dead 1978|
|Taste the Blood of Dracula|