Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

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jkholm
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#76 Post by jkholm » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:54 pm

Yesterday I attended the fourth annual Dismember the Alamo horror marathon at my local Alamo Drafthouse. This is where they don’t tell you what movie you’re going to see and you only find out once the film starts rolling. I went two years ago and mostly enjoyed it so I thought I’d try again this year. They bumped up the number of movies from four to five. At the start they told us each movie was a sequel and all of them were “Part 2’s.”

Things started off well with PSYCHO II, which I hadn’t seen in quite a while. I thought it held up nicely with a great performance from Anthony Perkins. The audience also enjoyed it but possibly for different reasons. Afterwards I heard several people comment how much they enjoyed it because it was “cheesy and hilarious.” That’s not how I would describe that movie.

Next was the most lighthearted film of the day, HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY. I don’t remember seeing this one before. It was fitfully amusing but slightly incoherent. John Ratzenberger’s appearance was the clear highlight.

The third movie was THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. I’ve never seen any of the chainsaw movies until now. This really isn’t my kind of horror movie although by the final act it had achieved a level of bonkers insanity that I wasn’t sure was intentional or not. I’ve never seen a movie with so much constant screaming and yelling before.

The hosts then announced that the fourth movie would be shown on VHS as it has never been released on DVD. At first, they started a copy of SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED, which was obviously a joke. Then the real tape was put in and we watched THE UNBORN II, a so-bad-it’s-good Corman produced thriller from 1994 about a killer baby. The cast included Michelle Greene (from L.A. Law) Robin Curtis and Scott Valentine. The crowd loved it.

The final movie was a bit of a cheat. It was a badly faded 35mm print of ZOMBIE, which is considered by some fans to be a sort of sequel to Dawn of the Dead? Anyway this is definitely NOT my kind of movie. I don’t like 70’s era exploitation horror and 30 minutes was enough to convince me it was time to go home.

So the final tally was one genuinely good movie (PSYCHO II), one truly awful (but entertaining) VHS-era stinker and a couplie of OK but not great movies. I’m not sure if I’ll do this again. The tastes of the programmers and mine aren’t exactly the same.

mkaroly
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#77 Post by mkaroly » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:08 pm

Lol...THE BEAST WITHIN. If I remember correctly, this was the movie my friend Jeff and I watched back in the 80s when it came on HBO. Back in those days, before digital and remote controls, Jeff could get his neighbor's HBO by manipulating the television dial to a place in between channel 2 and 3. Lol...all I remember from that film are a pair of nicely shaped female breasts...lol...I was around 13 or 14 years old I think as I don't remember the exact year it came on HBO. Later we saw CONAN THE BARBARIAN and Jeff had to shut it off when he heard his parents stirring upstairs. His dad came down to check up on us...lol...fun times with HBO!

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AndyDursin
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#78 Post by AndyDursin » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:58 pm

jkholm wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:54 pm
Yesterday I attended the fourth annual Dismember the Alamo horror marathon at my local Alamo Drafthouse. This is where they don’t tell you what movie you’re going to see and you only find out once the film starts rolling. I went two years ago and mostly enjoyed it so I thought I’d try again this year. They bumped up the number of movies from four to five. At the start they told us each movie was a sequel and all of them were “Part 2’s.”
Thanks John! I wish I had one of those around me, as I'd definitely check out one of those marathons at least once. What time do they start those screenings?

Don't blame you for bailing on the last one. My taste in horror is mostly gore-free and I've never been a big fan of either splatter or Italian horror in general.

I think PSYCHO II is decent but the small budget is a problem (it even LOOKS like a TV movie, which is what it was supposed to be). PSYCHO III for me is actually more entertaining -- and worth checking out.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#79 Post by Monterey Jack » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:16 pm

“You’re so cool, Brewster…!”

-Fright Night (1985): 8.5/10

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-Fright Night Part II (1989): 6.5/10

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Fangs for the memories, 80’s style, with one of the better vampire flicks of the period and its not-bad follow-up. The 1985 original, written and directed by Tom Holland (Child’s Play), features William Ragsdale as Charlie Brewster, a normal suburban kid with a jones for old-school horror flicks who becomes convinced that his new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) is not only a killer (shades of Rear Window), but also a vampire, and that he’s the next target for his nocturnal pursuits. Unable to convince his girlfriend Amy (a pre-Married…With Children Amanda Bearse) and buddy “Evil” Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) of the danger, he turns in desperation to Peter Vincent (a wonderful Roddy McDowell), a washed-up former horror movie icon now frittering away his twilight years hosting the cheesy public-domain TV horror program “Fright Night”. Vincent goes along with what he believes to be Charlie’s adolescent delusions, but is nonplussed when Dandridge actually IS a vampire, and he and Charlie must join forces to put an end to his reign of bloody killings. It’s a great little horror movie, filled with affectionate nods to the genre, a good sense of humor, and top-notch makeup and visual effects turning the film into a showcase for the best in 80’s-era monster fare.

The belated, barely-released 1989 sequel, helmed by Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, the 1990 version of It), finds Charlie in college and undergoing therapy sessions to cure him of what he now believes are false memories of the previous movie, but when a new rash of killings occur, he finds himself in the crosshairs of a new vampire, Regine (Julie Carmen), who claims to be the sister of the late Jerry Dandridge (yes, it’s that kind of sequel), and who wants to turn Charlie into a vampire so she can enact her revenge on him over the course of decades if not centuries. So it’s up to Peter Vincent and Charlie’s new girlfriend, Alex (the incredibly lovely Traci Lind) to save Charlie and defeat Regine and her vamp minions. Fright Night Part II is perfectly acceptable as far as 80’s horror sequels go…it’s got most of the key original cast back, the production values are solid, and the makeup and creature effects are often very well-done. But what keeps it from equaling the first is the lack of a villain as juicy and theatrical and magnetic as Sarandon in the original. Carmen certainly looks alluring, and her mingled hench-vamps have some fun quirks (one glides along on roller skates), but she’s simply not a very interesting antagonist, and thus the film as a whole seems rote and perfunctory compared to the original. It’s perfectly serviceable, and has glimmers of wit, but even the surprisingly good 2011 remake of the original had a far more compelling villain in Colin Farrell, and that’s the real key in making the whole thing work.

jkholm
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#80 Post by jkholm » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:18 pm

AndyDursin wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:58 pm
jkholm wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:54 pm
Yesterday I attended the fourth annual Dismember the Alamo horror marathon at my local Alamo Drafthouse. This is where they don’t tell you what movie you’re going to see and you only find out once the film starts rolling. I went two years ago and mostly enjoyed it so I thought I’d try again this year. They bumped up the number of movies from four to five. At the start they told us each movie was a sequel and all of them were “Part 2’s.”
Thanks John! I wish I had one of those around me, as I'd definitely check out one of those marathons at least once. What time do they start those screenings?
This one started at noon. I don't remember what time the last one started but I was home before 9.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#81 Post by Monterey Jack » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:41 pm

There was a crooked man, he walked a crooked mile… :shock:

-The Conjuring (2013): 9.5/10

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-The Conjuring 2 (2016): 8.5/10

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Hitting the home stretch with director James Wan’s pair of terrific haunted-house pictures. The 2013 original – inspired by the case files of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, expertly-portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga – takes on the 1971 haunting revolving around Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and their brood of five daughters, whose new Rhode Island abode is invaded by a nasty, poltergeist-like spirit looking to drive a wedge into the family’s happiness. One of the best haunted-house movies made in the last decade, the gifted Wan is working at the peak of his abilities with this frequently nerve-rattling shocker, with his innate skill of knowing just how long to hold his sinuously elegant camera movies and when to break them up with cunningly-orchestrated bouts of clangs, bangs and shrieks on the soundtrack. But it would all just be a routine roller-coaster ride were it not for the grounded presence of Wilson and Farmiga, thankfully portraying the Warrens not as ass-kicking ghostbusters, but as a loving couple whose fervent religious beliefs are – for once – not portrayed with the usual skepticism that most Hollywood movies view them. And the fact that the film is also built around a likable, well-adjusted family unit is also key to the film’s success…like Poltergeist, it knows that the scares are only as good if you honestly fear for the protagonists’ lives.

The 2016 sequel thankfully retains Wan behind the camera, and he brings his customary style to the 1977 “Enfield Poltergeist” case, where another family unit – living in the London suburb of Enfield – find themselves terrorized by another vengeful spirit conspiring to drive them out of “MY house!”. In many ways, this is an even spookier piece of work, with the cloudy, rain-swept London streets making for an ideal setting and boasting an exceptional performance from Madison Wolfe as the youngest daughter who becomes the conduit through which the Warrens communicate with the croaking old man who haunts the Hodgson clan’s home. It’s really only the fact that this film came out second that makes be knock a tiny bit off the overall grade (well, that, and it’s the five-thousandth movie to annoyingly score a cut to Jolly Old England with The Clash’s “London Calling” on the soundtrack, despite being a single that would not be recorded until two years after the film’s setting). It’s scary, stylish and ultimately moving, and it’s a shame that Wan won’t be calling the shots on the third Conjuring movie currently in the works…for all of the fine work contributed by Wilson and Farmiga, Wan’s ability to wrench fresh tension out of the hoariest creaky-door clichés is a big part of why these films work as well as they do, and if that lame third Insidious movie was any indication, the third Conjuring is likely going to suffer from his absence aside from a token “produced by” credit.

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#82 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:25 pm

…smell my feet…give me something good to eat…

-Trick r Treat (2009): 8.5/10

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Delightful horror anthology has become one of my favorite ways to say farewell to another year’s worth of ghouls n’ goblins. [*snif*] Four ghoulish tales overlap and intertwine with each other with a Tarantino-esque cleverness, and writer/director Michael Dougherty (Krampus) keeps both the frights and laughs coming at a perfect clip. It’s also the rare anthology feature where no individual segment makes you want to hit the “chapter skip” button to get past it…every tale (including a childish prank that goes horribly wrong, a homicidal high school principal, a tides-have-turned riff on Little Red Riding Hood and a home-invasion climax with nods to vintage John Carpenter movies) feeds off of each other ingeniously. It’s prankish fun for all. And remember…always check your candy. :twisted:

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Monterey Jack
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Re: Halloween Horror Marathon 2017

#83 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:00 pm

“Who’s next on my list? Ah, little Harry and Jordan. Won’t they be surprised…!”

-The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): 10/10

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Another October comes to an end, another spin with Jack Skellington, Sally and the rest of the fabulously gnarled denizens of Halloweentown. See you all again in 365…! :)

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