Even though I had a lot of luck with new movies, as documented in this earlier post, I still went back and watched some old movies I’d never seen, plus a few I had seen but only once and an old favorite or two.
One of my bigger freelance projects of the month involved watching all the Nightmare On Elm Street movies and coming up with a list of Freddy’s craziest nightmares. I realized while watching this series — completely out of order, by the way, ending with the original and New Nightmare — that he often played with his victims before actually killing them.
I also realized that I like this series a lot more than I thought. Previously, it got on my nerves because I don’t like when a villain seems completely unstoppable, but in the vein of comic book characters, the heroes continually figure out new ways to take him out while at the same time he (and the writers) keep coming up with new ways to bring him back.
I know a lot of people also dislike the later entries because Freddy became so much of a punchline generator, but as someone who started watching horror movies well after he turned that corner, it’s not actually offensive or off-putting to me. I basically knew that that’s where the series goes and having that knowledge ahead of time is nice because being in the theater and seeing that kind of craziness would have definitely bugged me as a viewer.
Speaking of classic 80s franchises, I also finally got to check out the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers. When I bought the slightly cheaper version of the big Halloween Blu-ray set last year, I assumed it was included, but to my dismay it was not. This year I had an Amazon order and it was only like $8 so I threw it in to make free shipping and I really enjoyed the results.
Anyway, I do really enjoy this take on the film and wish the original ideas had been followed up on. I get that some people don’t like the over-the-top character Paul Rudd plays, but just think about how crazy a series of 90s Halloween sequels could have been with him in the Loomis role! For what it’s worth I do like this version better than the original and wonder if those old Chaos Halloween comics I have will make more sense now.
Looking back at the major horror franchises of the 80s, I think I have the least experience with the Hellraiser movies I know I’ve seen the original before and feel like I probably saw the second at some point, but Clive Barker’s ultra dark psycho-sexual focus has never really been my bag.
And yet, I figured it was time to give the original another chance. And, as it happens, I still feel like Hellraiser‘s just not in my wheelhouse. I appreciate the dark corners of the human soul Barker mines what with the woman still under her dead lover’s hold, but as a whole, I don’t think these are the kinds of movies I’m going to sit down and enjoy on a regular basis.
I do however have copies of Barker’s The Inhuman Condition and The Great And Secret Show that I’m anxious to check out. Maybe the different medium will work better for me.
For something completely different, I also watched Tales From The Crypt: Bordello of Blood. I was a huge fan of the series when it was on, but never got around to watching the movies. So, when my buddy Rob sent me a copy of the new Scream Factory offerings, I was excited to check them out, understanding that Bordello is considered the lesser of the two.
Going in, I had heard stories about how much of a jerk Dennis Miller was on set and knew that he has that air about him quite a bit, but when I actually sat down to watch the movie, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Yes, it’s over-the-top and ridiculous much of the time, but it actually plays out like Fletch Lives but with vampires and Corey Feldman, so it’s basically designed to be something I’d love.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space is another absurd film, but completely in its own universe. I feel like entire papers or books could be written on the subject of this movie where alien clowns land on Earth and start capturing people in giant cotton candy cocoons. I doubt I’m smart enough to really drill down into what makes this movie tick, but the combination of cartoon elements with seriously disturbing imagery makes for one of the most unique horror films I’ve ever seen.
In addition to Killer Klowns I also rewatched The Horror Show and Terror Train, though this time both movies were on Blu-ray. Looking back on my original review, I seem to have enjoyed Horror Show as much the second time around as the first (though while watching I couldn’t remember if I had seen it all the way through). Meanwhile, I also really liked Terror Train this time too. That first time I watched it with Rickey it felt really goofy, mostly because of that opening scene which is nuts and also basically lays out who the killer is from moment one, but this time I found myself more interested in the relationships of the kids on the train and how the killer played with everyone on board the train. It helped that I didn’t remember the big reveal of who the killer was pretending to be, but I still can’t figure out when he took over that person’s place. I guess that means I’ll have to give it another watch in the relative future!
That about wraps up my Halloween viewing experiences. I did read some fun horror comics, though, that I will hopefully post about soon.