Usually I get really annoyed when people armchair quarterback the business. For every “why doesn’t it happen like *THIS*?” there are actually a million logical answers, most of them having to do with money, scheduling or the fact that something just didn’t turn out quite right. So I’m not going to sit here and aimlesly wonder or expound on why 7500 hasn’t been released yet. It’s self evident that someone, somewhere, isn’t entirely comfortable putting it out yet.
Still, I feel it’s worth noting that the official website and trailer for the film are now over two years old and, aside from some of the film’s talent speculating on Twitter, there’s no release date in sight. Hell, at this point even the rumors of reshoots to get the film “where it needs to be” are over two years old. Granted, it often takes a while for a movie to hit screens (this goes for indie acquisitions and studio productions alike) and it’s not always an indicator against the film’s quality. You’re Next and Warm Bodies were both really good films that got shuffled around in part because Lionsgate and Summit merged and two release schedules had to be streamlined into one. Livide is apparently a really good movie that Dimension just doesn’t know what to do with.
Unlike Livide, which screened at TIFF in 2011, there hasn’t been an opportunity for the press or public to see 7500. We’re not really sure if the film is any good or not. I will tell you that I’m certainly pulling for it to be good. I like director Takashi Shimizu‘s work and the trailer doesn’t actually look all that bad to me. The premise has an inherent goofiness, but other films have overcome far worse. So while I’m definitely not trying to smear the movie, it’s in danger of becoming a period piece. At least one of the FAA regulations (the use of electronics) on display here has been stricken down and is rapidly becoming a waning practice.
If I were the type to armchair quarterback this sort of thing, I’d suggest that CBS films just put this thing on VOD and get what they can from it. Then again, it’s an expensive film and they might not recoup on that platform – especially if they’re cutting their losses and decide not to throw a lot of money into promoting it. Still, some money would be ready than no money, right? But then again, a certain type of theatrical or P&A commitment might be present in the language of someone’s deal on this film – in which case my stupid layman suggestion goes out the window (where most stupid layman suggestions belong). Only time will tell what ultimately happens to 7500.
In the meantime, we still have the trailer. We can all revisit that and wonder if air travel will even exist when this film is finally released or if we’ll have moved on to some next level teleportation sh*t instead. READ MORE
Right now you’re looking at the People Under The Stairs header above and wondering, “what the hell is he talking about? It’s ‘People Under The Stairs’ not f*cking ‘Martyrs’!”
While I’m sure PUTS has its fair share of startling moments, that’s not the kind of “scared” I’m talking about. No, I’m scared that if I saw the movie again I wouldn’t like it anymore. I can still remember the illicit thrill I felt when my friends and I were dropped off at the movie theater by our parents, bought tickets for some PG movie, and snuck into the latest Wes Craven film. I was in the 6th or 7th grade, and I emerged from the film thinking it was a masterpiece of horror. I’m sure it helped that it had a protagonist that was somewhat close to my age, and I imagine there’s an overstuffed quality to the film that kept my easily wandering mind engaged.
I don’t believe I’ve seen the whole thing since. Sure, I’ve seen bits and pieces. I may have even half watched a cable showing of it at some point (though certainly not in the past 10 years). I’ve caught wind of friends watching it via their twitter feeds, and those comments have run the gamut of positive to negative and everything in between. Now, I’m not assuming the film is objectively bad. I’m sure it has some strong points to combat what I’m fairly sure at this point would qualify as a painful approximation of urban dialogue.
But what’s the point of going back in this case? This is a movie whose poster still triggers a positive, almost thrilling, association in my brain. I’m not brushing up for the remake (which may never happen at this point), nor am I currently doing a retrospecitve of Craven’s career (though that may not be such a bad idea). So why run the potential risk of tainting the memory of one of my formative cinema going experiences? Even if it’s not bad – it’s certainly not going to be the movie that exists only in my mind.
There are several other films that hold this kind of designation for me. On the Craven front there’s Shocker (though I am perilously close to watching this soon due to Brian Collins’ allegiance to it). There are also movies like Dr. Giggles, where I don’t even want to tarnish the experience of my Blockbuster. I also remember liking Stigmata, which I think I went to see only because Billy Corgan did the soundtrack, but I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t enjoy going back there 15 years later.
What are some movies you love but are afraid to revisit?
Last year I asked what horror sequels you remember as being the biggest disappointments. But this year I’m trying to increase my positivity levels (though I’m sure I’ll break down and get petty every once in a while) and I thought it would feel better to ask which horror sequels exceeded your expectations? Which ones were better than they had a right to be? That were better than the original (or better than a dud sequel that diminished your expectations for the franchise)?
One of mine is A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. I was too young to see this in the theaters, but when I caught up with it on VHS I remember it blowing me away. While I currently hold it neck and neck with the original Elm Street (Dream Warriors may have expanded the world; but the original film is wildly inventive for even thinking of the central concept in the first place – and it’s scarier), back then it took very little time for it to catapult to being my franchise favorite. READ MORE
Gremlins came out of their cocoon in 1984. Ghoulies came down the pipe in 1985. Critters landed in 1986. By 1987 it was time for Roger Corman to get in on the action and bring his low budget brand of anarchy to the tiny creature feature in the form of Munchies.
When I first saw this movie on cable TV in the late 80′s or early 90′s, I of course had no idea who Corman was. I was aware of Piranha and Little Shop Of Horrors but not of the common thread that strung those films (and seemingly hundreds of thrifty others) together. READ MORE
There’s no denying that Rosemary’s Baby is a classic, one of the best films ever made in any genre. Roman Polanski managed to fashion something that relied far more on creepiness than actual scares (especially the modern jump scare as we knot it today), and a lot of the movie’s pull lies in the fact that it has an unsettling comedic bent. This isn’t the kind of movie that major studios really make anymore, and I’m pretty sure the same thing could be said for the trailer.
There’s at least two minutes and fifteen seconds separating the opening dialogue of “let’s make love” with the narration at the end. But the main thing here is the music and sound design. It’s got several wonderfully wonky transitions, the upbeat cymbal taps give way to the desolate sounds of the elements. The imagery is, again, creepy and unsettling. The shift is totally disorientating, and that’s before the trailer really picks up steam with its funky, ominous disco soundtrack.
It doesn’t even come close to giving away the whole film, yet it remarkably represents the wide tonal palette you can expect from it. I’m actually jealous of people who got to see this thing before they saw the movie. Check it out below! “For mature audiences.” READ MORE
There’s something about franchise installments that take their antagonists out of the rural confines in which we got to know them and transport the action to the big city… they kinda suck. Jason Takes Manhattan is easily the biggest offender, I love it because it has Jason but it’s not a “good movie” by any stretch of the imagination. Oddly enough this principle kind of applies to Scream 3 (Woodsboro and whatever college Sidney went to in the sequel weren’t exactly urban), which has organic big city “touches” like the Ripley’s museum and Jay and Silent Bob.
This law is exemplified by Criters 3. We got familiar with the Crites in Grover’s Bend in the pretty-good first two films, but director Kristine Peterson dreamed bigger and dared to bring the creatures into the big city. That’s all good and admirable, unfortunately she forgot to bring any real sense of momentum or urgency. If you can disappoint an eager kid (me) who loved the first two films (and saw Critters 2 twice in theaters), then you haven’t really brought your a-game. READ MORE
I LOVED Stephen Herek’s 1986 film Critters so much I think I racked up easily $99 in rental fees from my local Blockbuster (if you don’t remember, new release VHS tapes cost about $99 back in the day). I’m not sure if I was expecting a sequel or not, obviously the internet didn’t exist and if you weren’t up to date on Fango you usually had no idea what was coming next.
So when I saw this for Mick Garris’ Critters 2 in front of a film (I forget which one) at my local multiplex I totally lost my sh*t! I remember thinking the big giant ball of Critters was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Perhaps it failed to ignite passion in anyone else though, the movie tanked. Maybe they should have used Grandma’s line when Brad announces the Critters are back, “No sh*t, Bradley!” READ MORE
On Friday I published my personal rankings of several horror franchises, and I was just as shocked as the rest of you when the Halloween series fell into 4th place. I had intended to rank it higher at the outset – after all, the original film is the best slasher of all time – but all of the sequels I just couldn’t squeeze any enjoyment from kept getting in the way and bogging it down in the rankings.
Like I said before 2 is good and Season Of The Witch is really good (with The Return Of Michael Myers being okay as well) but after that it’s just a melange of boredom for me. And while I’d say “embarrassing” is actually a step up from “boredom” in the sense that you’re actually engaging with the material in some manner, they’re never a good combo.
Take this moment from Halloween: Resurrection. When you’re coming off an apathetic run in the series (despite the relatively good reception of its predecessor, H20) it’s probably not a good move to snap your audience out of their collective coma so they can pay attention to a moment as hamfisted as this one. It’s not the fact that Busta Rhymes is in the movie that’s embarrassing, it’s the fact that we have to sit through a nightmare 75 seconds of dialogue so hackneyed and cliched it almost plays like a rejected Scary Movie 5 joke. The second clip isn’t much better but I’ve included it so you can get a sense of closure.
I can’t wait until this series regains its footing. What’s your most embarrassing franchise moment? READ MORE
I’m pretty sure I saw Seed Of Chucky on DVD at a friend’s house in Texas back in 2005. I’ve had the movie pegged in my mental catalogue of “seen it” for all these years. So it was a shock to revisit the film recently only to find that it felt like a totally new movie to me. I definitely remembered the opening sequence and the scene where Redman eats dinner with Jennifer Tilly (only to be steamingly disemboweled) had definitely flashed before my eyes on at least one prior occasion… but I drew a blank on the rest of it.
All this is a long way of saying that a few days ago I sat down with Seed Of Chucky only to think… ‘what the f*ck?” It’s funny because Seed – for almost 10 years now – has been held up as a bit of a red-headed stepchild (
no pun intended) in the Child’s Play canon. During a recent rewatch of Bride Of Chucky, which I enjoyed, I thought to myself, “hey, this is pretty good. I’ll bet ‘Seed’ is about the same. All the haters just wanna gripe.” Nope. I was wrong. Seed is a completely different animal than Bride despite being an almost direct sequel to that film.
Where Bride added a fresh and funny-ish twist to the standard Child’s Play formula, Seed makes that twist the baseline for its universe – then adds another element of weird on top of it. I can totally get why it’s too much for some people, it’s not really a Child’s Play movie. And it’s not really all that good, either.
That’s not to say that I disliked the film necessarily, I think it’s an admirable failure. In fact, it manages to bravely dive headfirst into the abyss of double-failure by combining two sub-genres notorious for tanking: the horror-comedy and the showbiz comedy. That takes balls. It also reminds me of an era (I hate that 9 years ago is an “era”) where studios were a little more freewheeling with their signature properties. Billy Boyd’s Glen (aka Glenda aka Sh*thead) is a marvel of off-puttingness. At turns innocent and wildly homicidal, it’s hard to get a bearing on him and his doll seems like it was designed in the deepest basin of uncanny valley. But you still kind of root for him – especially when he turns into the cacklingly maniacal Glenda during the film’s climax. I’d argue that the film is worth watching purely for “WTF” moments like this.
But there’s also more than a few legitimate strikes against it. Every single “Hollywood” joke falls on its face, having been done before (and better) by many. The “Jennifer Tilly is a slut” gag is tiresome and oddly lazy for a movie that is otherwise so gleefully irreverent. Still, the overall batsh*t enthusiasm of the film keeps me going even if Seed is a failure when measured up against its own intentions.
What about you? What did you think the first time you saw Seed Of Chucky? And did any of you guys see it in a theater? If so, how did the audience react?
Yesterday I published a post called 5 Disgraceful Horror Sequels and, in the comments, a lot of you were wondering why Exorcist II: The Heretic wasn’t on the list. The answer is – I wished I’d remembered to include it! Don’t worry, there will be future bad sequels tallies and that title will surely be among them, but you’re right – it’s truly, truly awful.
All of your comments inspired me to do a little digging on the film and I found this anecdote from William Friedkin, director of the original Exorcist (who still hasn’t seen Heretic, by the way). He was invited to a test screening of the sequel in Pasadena by some WB execs and declined. Then, later, one of the execs opened up to him about what really happened that night when the audience VIOLENTLY turned on the film in its first 10 minutes!!!
Check out the story below! I’ve also included the trailer for the film – which manages to show more than most modern teasers and is totally batsh*t insane. READ MORE
Last night I found myself watching Child’s Play on HBO Go, and the person I was watching it with had never seen the film before. There’s a certain inherent awkwardness when you’re introducing a person to a film you’ve already seen, especially if its been years since you watched the thing (the case last night).
Luckily, Child’s Play more or less holds up (though it’s a lot funnier than I remember) but it’s easy to forget how differently the movie plays to a new initiate before and after Chucky finally goes off his “Good Guy” script and starts talking like Charles Lee Ray. After all, us horror fans have likely seen the four existing sequels and are well aware of Chucky’s penchant for foul-mouthed hijinks.
So as the movie sped along (and Child’s Play moves fast, it’s much better paced than I remembered) I found myself giddily awaiting this one moment. The “make or break” scene that would dictate if my viewing partner could accept the rest of the film. READ MORE
Back in late 2000, The Smashing Pumpkins were pretty much done giving a f*ck about their commercial prospects. Their dark, mellow 1998 masterpiece “Adore” had more than failed to live up to commercial expectations (though the multi-platinum worldwide numbers for that album would most certainly make it a blockbuster by today’s standards). While 2000′s “MACHINA: The Machines Of God” saw the band returning to a heavier sound, it was actually even more inaccessible. While the album contains some of the band’s very best songs (“Wound,” “The Imploding Voice,” “I Of The Mourning,” “Heavy Metal Machine”), it also features an uncharacteristically abrasive production job. It was harsh, brittle and compressed and the great experimental songs on the album’s 2nd half (“Blue Skies Bring Tears”) wouldn’t do much to get the band back into heavy radio rotation.
It’s interesting that the album was marketed as a return to the sounds of “Siamese Dream,” because it’s really anything but that. As a result, “Machina” only sold about half of what “Adore” did in its initial release. By the time the band got around to their 3rd single, “Try, Try, Try” they were well aware that there would be no righting of this ship. They had also decided to break up before the album’s release (even though they announced it much later) – so they really had nothing left to lose. Hence, hiring Jonas Akerlund to direct the Requiem For A Dream-esque video for the song.
I first saw this on the band’s official site back in 2000, and was shocked at its content. Beyond the video’s depictions of junkie life, prostitution and (perhaps) death… there was that dream sequence that comes about when the female protagonist flatlines. A psychedelic attack on the American Dream that had no hold-ups about getting gross, it’s a great subversive attack on the more passive members of the band’s audience. READ MORE
Granted, it’s not nearly as much blood as you’d see in something like the red-band trailer for Evil Dead, but this original trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s 1987 classic Near Dark certainly features more carnage than you’d expect. If this trailer came out today, it would be covered in those ugly brown splotches that happen when the MPAA forces filmmakers to color correct their blood for “all audiences.”
I’m curious what exhibition practices were like back then, if something with content like this was only allowed to unspool in front of “R”-rated fare or if it was up to theater owners’ discretion. Again, this might not seem all that shocking in light of the kinds of trailers we’re allowed to show regularly on the site – but picture yourself seeing this thing before something like Lethal Weapon and having a total revelation. I doubt this aired before Three Men And A Baby but if you saw it before the lightly “R” 1987 hit Stakeout you might have lost your sh*t.
Also? It’s a great trailer overall, and I love that scarily sobering matter-of-fact narration. My only complaint is that it’s a bit of precursor to these modern times when there are too many money shots in our teasers.
Check it out below. READ MORE
If I admit to something will you guys still like me? Hobgoblins totally passed me by. I’ve never seen it and I hadn’t even seen the trailer until I came across it earlier today. It actually looks like something I’d watch though. IMDBPro lists the budget of director Rich Sloane’s independently produced feature as $15K. I’m not sure how that was possible in the 1980′s on 35MM film, so maybe that’s an erroneous number. If it’s true? Right on, man.
I think my favorite line in the whole thing is, “and also they kill you.” I’m not sure if it’s intentionally hilarious or just hilariously inept, but I think my next move is to hunt this baby down on Netflix. If it’s not there, I’ll wait. Turns out I’ve been waiting for 25 years. If you can manage to make Critters and Ghoulies look like Oscar contenders, bravo!
Check it out below! READ MORE
Man, I guess I can see why people responded to this trailer back in 1980. Slashers were the “new thing” and, after Halloween in 1978, the public was primed to be scared again. I’m sure there was something about this trailer for Friday The 13th that seemed dangerous at the time, the narrator even adopts the kind of no-nonsense medical examiner tone that re-emerged in the “Thanksgiving” trailer in 2007.
But, and I say this as a huge fan of the film and its franchise, the trailer is garbage. As soon as I started watching it and got the overall gist, I began dreading its 2:40 running time. The whole thing is so rote, by the time they get to the number “4″ you’re sort of like, “okay, I think I got this one.” It’s a shockingly honest parallel to the actual intent of the film, which wasn’t to innovate so much as it was to coast off the success of Halloween. It manages to portray the film as a more by the numbers slasher than it actually is, which is a feat. Adding insult to injury, the editing is surprisingly slack – I counted more than a few shots where entire seconds seem to pass after the overall point is made.
Check it out below. For comparison I’ve included the original 1978 Halloween trailer as well, which actually manages to be interesting. READ MORE
There are some films that exist as sacred experiences in our memory, and it’s likely that our memory is the only place where they can exist in such a fashion. I’m talking about those horror films from my childhood that still trigger my pleasure neurons when I think about them, but if I take the time to realistically gauge what my reaction to them today would be like – I’m filled with a specific and undeniable brand of seething uneasiness.
For instance, I adored Fright Night 2 as a kid. I remember it as a raucous romp wherein Charlie Brewster had a sexier girlfriend who could even make studying at the library look hot. I also seem to remember that, this time, Peter Vincent is the one who has to do the convincing – which is an interesting reversal. I also remember being mildly disappointed that Evil Ed didn’t return (as promised) but I felt like the bowling scene somehow made up for it.
I imagine if I revisited the film today I’d feel differently. First of all, it’s out of print – not a great sign of its enduring cultural longevity (there are some films where it’s like a crime that they’re out of print, this doesn’t feel like one of them – tell me if it is). Secondly, all of the things that made the movie a plus when I was in the 5th or 6th grade would likely bog it down with silliness now. I almost feel like a new viewing would turn me into Charlie Brewster at the beginning of the sequel, a once-believer who is now throwing away all of his crucifixes. READ MORE
Hot off the success of Paranormal Activity, director Oren Peli embarked on his second outing behind the camera, Area 51. That was four years ago.
Isn’t it strange that the above paragraph could easily be the opening crawl for its own found footage movie? Of course, Oren Peli didn’t disappear. Paranormal Activity 2, 3 and 4 have since been released (he was involved with all of them to varying degrees). He’s had a big network TV show, “The River.” He wrote and produced The Chernobyl Diaries and he’s also a producer on Rob Zombie’s upcoming Lords Of Salem.
His producing partner on Area 51 (and the PA films), Jason Blum, recently had some massive success with Insidious and Sinister and is currently shooting Insidious: Chapter 2. Back in 2011 Blum went on record about the project and the duo’s very busy dance card seemed to be interfering a bit with its release, “Area 51′ is like ‘Paranormal Activity’. The additional photography for ‘PA’, we went back 50 times. The great thing about doing extra shooting for inexpensive movies is that the cost is low, so we screen and shoot and screen and shoot. Oren and I were pulled away from ‘Area 51′ a lot for the second ‘PA’. Once that came out, we ramped up on ‘Area 51′ again. I anticipate the movie will be mostly done in about three or four months.”
Those three or four months have come and gone. So… what do we know about the film? READ MORE
I didn’t have enough room in the headline for this article’s subtitle, which is And Remember When “They Were All The Same Person” Was A Twist? This whole thing has been buzzing around in my head since a recent argument regarding the ending to Haute Tension, which I found sort of ridiculous. It’s the standard “The Protagonist Is Insane And Actually The Killer” (aka “The Split Personality” twist). But I have to say it got me thinking that this trope actually doesn’t bug me as much as the other two, since it usually says more about the characters at hand.
Still, I’m not sure what happened to our brains over the past 14 years, but you can’t call something a twist if everyone knows it’s coming. I feel like horror needs to widen its bag of tricks beyond the “they were dead”, the “split personality” and “the protag is crazy” tropes which seem to be the only three ploys in regular use for filmmakers seeking to pull the rug out from under their audience.
The “dead” thing worked for The Sixth Sense, and it sort of worked two years later with The Others. It also worked in 1962′s Carnival Of Souls. But we’ve seen it employed at least twice more recently in Passengers and The Devil’s Ground. I’m not denigrating those films necessarily, but it should probably end there. Similarly the “split ” angle didn’t even quite work in Identity and it certainly didn’t work in The Ward. It was sort of used in Shutter Island as well, but it worked there because it was actually source of catharsis for its character.
Head inside for more… READ MORE
September 2011. Two months after I started working here at Bloody-Disgusting, I found myself pulling news duty while Mr. Disgusting was reporting in from TIFF. I wasn’t very familiar with the way the festival worked at the time and had no idea that its Midnight Madness section was such a traditionally fertile ground to introduce great new horror films to the marketplace.
One film that had a lot of heat going into the fest – and not necessarily a lot of heat coming out – was Livide (now Livid) from Inside directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo. Their gory debut film had people primed for another bloodbath, but what they got was something much, much different.
From Mr. Disgusting’s (quite positive) review, “Livid is not going to make fans of Inside happy. In fact, I expect most of you to despise it with pure venom. But I implore you all to manage your expectations, shift your thinking, and go in with a clear mind. My hope is that you’ll find a place in your heart for this moody art house horror pic, one that’s sure to be trashed across the board.”
More inside… READ MORE
I remember when I was a wee tyke, I begged my Dad to take me to the highly age-inappropriate Jaws 4: The Revenge. It took some doing but finally, either out of fondness for the original film or a desire for me to shut up, he relented. I remember seeing Michael Caine’s name on the poster and asking my Dad why it had a rectangle around it when none of the other actors’ names were highlighted. He said something to the effect of, “Oh, he’s a really good actor.” I entered the theater buoyed by that added legitimacy factor – I was taking my Dad to a classy movie.
Because I was young and stupid, I remember walking out thinking I had just seen a masterpiece. Then I made the mistake of making eye contact with my Dad. One glance at my father’s stunned, pained and defeated visage and it was clear – he had just been through hell. I don’t remember much else from that screening, except for the fact that Mario Van Peebles died (and I liked the scene where Lance Guest’s wife flung her underwear at him).
I caught up with the movie on VHS (which going by the release patterns those days might have been almost a year later), and was surprised to find that Mario Van Peebles lived in the home video cut. This was almost as upsetting as having all of the curse words edited out of the 1986 Transformers when it hit Blockbuster. I didn’t remember any huge differences outside of that, but I was obviously pretty dumb because they changed the entire manner in which the shark decided to die after being rammed by captain Lorraine Gary.
Head inside to check out two endings and vote for which awful one you prefer! The shark roars in BOTH of them! READ MORE
Your job as a filmmaker is to create the illusion of reality, a place where a filmgoer can lose themselves in and forgot about their real life troubles. As easy as that sounds, creating a believable and immersive experience isn’t that simple.
Each and every year I dream for that impactful horror film, the one that makes me “feel” something. While I don’t necessarily believe in the notion of being “scared”, I do very much think that some films can be physically effective.
So, with the above title, I’m not asking if you remember a time when people lost their shit in theaters, but more-so if you recall the last time you had that experience. There’s literally nothing better than watching hundreds of people around you stand up, and scream and yell in terror right before your eyes.
We’ve all grown up to stories about how effective William Friedkin’s The Exorcist was back in 1973, but what has rocked the boat since then? Personally, one of the best experience I had was in viewing a “sneak peak” of DreamWorks’ The Ring back in 2002. I will never forget the audience reaction to Samara coming out of the television screen – you’d have thought she was literally in the theater. And while there was quite the reaction to Paranormal Activity in 2007, it wasn’t even close to what I witnessed back in 2002.
So I ask for you guys to tell me about your crazy theater experience. What movies had such an impact on patrons that they lost their shit? READ MORE
“The Walking Dead”, “Dexter”, “American Horror Story”, “True Blood”. Horror is almost more popular on TV these days than it is in cinemas. There’s something about the small screen that seems to “legitimize” the genre for casual viewers. Maybe it’s an ingrained expectation that television’s historically strict standards and practices will save them from the nasty bits (which is of course no longer true in the days of HBO and AMC), or perhaps it’s just the simple equation that smaller screen = less scary.
My mom had to be a subscriber to at least one of these theories because she let me watch “Werewolf” at an exceedingly young age. I can even remember her enabling my efforts to get from where I was to where I needed to be to watch it. I had to see it. The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure I was sort of bored by it – I only really remember getting excited when the wolf was onscreen, which wasn’t very often. But I was so addled by my love of An American Werewolf In London that, if it had werewolves in it, I was glued to the screen.
The show ran for 28 episodes on Fox from 1987-1988. I was too young to retain any real specifics, but the internet tells me that it was similar to “The Fugitive” in structure – so it has that going for it! If nothing else, the werewolf design is actually decent.
Head inside to check out a few teasers!! READ MORE
This question sounds pretty juvenile, I’ll admit. I know a lot of you guys are hardcore rating hounds, and it’s something I don’t always agree with. I don’t think the quality of a film lives and dies based on whether it gets a PG13 or an R rating. Hell, even Jaws – one of the best horror films of all time – is PG (though it would likely get a PG13 today). A good movie is a good movie regardless of its MPAA designation, horror or otherwise.
That being said, there’s something about seeing your very first R-rated movie. If you look back to when you were a kid, it was probably a total rush. I remember being nervous, “are these things ‘R’ for a reason? Am I going to see something that will seriously f*ck me up?” Strangely enough, that movie for me was Down And Out In Beverly Hills which isn’t even remotely horror (though Nick Nolte and Bette Midler having sex is fairly scary). But, a few months later, my first R-rated horror experience came to me in the form of Aliens. I suppose my Mom (a psychotherapist) could be considered fairly liberal by taking me to these movies at such a young age, and I remember the thrill of walking in that theater not knowing what to expect. Not only had I never seen Alien, I didn’t even know what atrocities “adult cinema” (obviously not the kind of “adult cinema” I would come to discover later) was capable of! My mom had warned me about the chest-bursting in the original, but I had no way to really conceive how it might play out visually! Of course I had a blast, and I was temporarily spoiled on movies that didn’t kick as much ass as that one did.
A strong second place for me was A Nightmare On Elm Street, which I had to sneak a viewing of on cable sometime after that. That was something my mother would not allow me to see, it was an actual slasher movie with none of the blockbuster/James Cameron/Sigourney Weaver safety nets of “legitimacy” that Aliens benefitted from. I snuck downstairs, nervous as hell (I had seen a TV Spot with Freddy’s gloves scraping against the pipes of the boiler room) – and steeled myself for the experience. Needless to say, I was fine. But I was never the same.
What’s YOUR first R-rated horror experience? READ MORE
As I was fighting to stay awake through Silent Hill: Revelation last night, I was wondering where the fun was. Why was I being served this as entertainment? And then I remembered… it’s partially my fault.
I mean, every community has its upsides and downsides. Do you want to know what the downside to being a horror fan is? We bitch and moan about how we’re never given anything original, fresh or inventive. That’s not true. We’re typically given a few great wide releases each year. Do you want to know why we’re not given more than that? Because we don’t go. Not until it’s too late, anyway. Sure, there are lots of variables. Perhaps a film doesn’t have the best or most extensive P&A campaign. Or it’s opening on a crowded weekend. Or the economy’s bad (even though the entire success of the Paranormal Activity franchise occurred after the bottom fell out). Whatever the excuse may be at the moment, it’s almost a constant. Remember how John Carpenter’s The Thing tanked in 1982? We’ve been dodging gifts for decades. And in this day and age, we can be savvier than that.
Case in point? James Gunn’s Slither. Most of you have probably seen it by now, but I bet hardly any of you saw it in a theater. It opened to a $3.88 million weekend in early 2006. Its domestic gross topped out at $7.8 million. In a world where some of the worst – and most boring – horror films can make $30 or $40 million on an opening weekend, one of the best horror comedies of the decade made only a fraction of that during its entire run. Don’t worry, I’m not pointing the finger just at you. I wasn’t there either (I lamely caught up with it on DVD in December of that year).
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