Halloween Scene: My Halloween Watch List

Goodness gracious! I was looking through my unpublished drafts and found this post about the rest of the horror movies I watched during October. There’s some good stuff in here, so let’s jump back in time a few months and think scary thoughts!

dawn of the dead originalAfter a super busy September and October, I’m still catching up on all of the movies I watched for work and fun. After focusing on new films early on in the season, I decided to go through my movie collection and Netflix to make a list of films I wanted to watch leading up to Halloween. The list had a total of 26 films, though I wound up removing five. All told, I watched 13 plus the seven films making up the original Halloween franchise. I’m saving a few of them for another post, but I did want to throw out a few thoughts about what turned out to be a major rewatch experience.

As it turned out, zombies were a huge part of this year’s list. Dawn and Day Of The Dead easily made the list along with Dance Of The Dead, the Dawn remake and World War Z. I didn’t get to those last two, but I keep seeing more and more things in those two Romero movies that I love. I’ve been seeing a lot of people dump on the zombie genre lately. To them I say, watch those two movies. They are amazing films, not just horror flicks. Meanwhile, I still have a great time with Dance which is just super impressive when you take into account it’s a low budget film that doesn’t look it. This is easily one of my favorite zombie movies from the past few decades. Continue reading Halloween Scene: My Halloween Watch List

Halloween Scene: Ghoulies III, Ghoulies Go To College (1991)

A few months back my pal Rickey told me about this amazing 8 movie, 2-disc set from Lionsgate that includes Chopping Mall, Ghoulies Go To College, 976-EVIL 2, C.H.U.D. II, Slaughter High, Waxwork, The Unholy and Class of 1999. I love Chopping Mall and have seen Class of 1999, so after failing to find a copy at my local Walmart and Kmart I went to ebay and picked up a copy myself. I haven’t fully utilized it this October, but I did pop on Ghoulies 3 and had a fantastic time watching this flick. By the way, you can get this set for under $5 right now on Amazon, which is definitely less than I paid.

As regular readers surely know by now, I’m a big fan of goofy horror movies and 80s/90s high school and college movies. Ghoulies Go To College is actually a really great synthesis of the two, kind of like a cross between something like Critters and a less serious Revenge of the Nerds. The movie follows a trio of Ghoulies who get brought back to our plane of existence thanks to a comic book read by an angry professor. Said professor is sick of the prank war going on between two fraternities and it just so happens that the Ghoulies’ brand of murderous mayhem fits in well with the war being waged. I have to say, I thought this was a pretty brilliant way to have the Ghoulies’ actions be seen and experienced without directly pointing to them.

I put this movie on expecting almost nothing and walking away really surprised and even a little impressed. The puppetry in this movie is surprisingly good. You’d think by the third installment of a film that hadn’t been released in the US on DVD until this set would have some pretty awful special effects, but there seems to be either a fair amount of money behind this production or some really creative uses of what money they had. You also get the added bonus of the three main Ghoulies being pretty funny. They spend a good deal of the movie dressed up like late 80s/early 90s college kids which made me chuckle every time. They also talk, which can be kind of annoying, but they get a few good ones in here and there. Plus, this happens:

So, yes, this is two great tastes that taste great together for me, delivering on what I hoped to get from Welcome To Spring Break. It’s definitely goofy, but balances out the horror with the college stuff to deliver a fun little movie that probably deserves a more impressive release than this one.

Mini Monsters: Ghoulies 1 and 2

Hey gang, hope everyone had a good Easter and/or Passover. I spent my weekend in New England with the wife’s family which kept me from keeping you all abreast (heehee) of my search for the mini monster movie I remember from my childhood. Well, it wasn’t the Troll flicks and, unfortunately it wasn’t the first two Ghoulie movies either. But, like with Troll, I had a pretty good time watching them anyway.

I really didn’t pay much attention to the first Ghoulies (1985) which has a dude inheriting a house from his crazy Druidic family (or something, we get a flashback in the first few minutes that supposedly explains everything). The house comes with these little monsters who start terrorizing his party guests, one of which is Mariska Hargitay for you Law and Order fans. Like I said, Ghoulies was pretty much on as background noise while I didn’t something else, so once I realized it wasn’t the movie I was thinking of, I kind of zoned out.

BUT

I did watch Ghoulies II (1987). In fact, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it (unlike some other older movies, it actually looked really good on my HDTV upconverted from a regular ol’ DVD). This sequel finds the Ghoulies terrorizing a traveling circus. Unlike 1, I actually made notes for the second Ghoulies offering and here they are for your reading pleasure.

– i dig the monsters (rat, cat, crocodile, creature from the lagoon, bat/bird)

-the cat ghoulie looks awesome, did it do what i think it did to that girl?

Sasha Jenson’s in this! (Buffy, Dazed, H4)

-“He don’t go nowhere without his TUNES!”

-The kid has a ninja star!

-there’s another HOUR? [it felt like I’d been watching this movie for a while at this point, after which it actually picked up]

-haha, the Ghoulies spray adhesive Gak

-they stab the dude and then wrapped him up like a mummy without taking the knife out? hmm [it looked like they took the knife out, wrapped the guy and then stabbed him again]

-rat ghoulie high five!

-I forgot that Phil Fondacaro was in Troll too (dude can emote) [seriously, Phil is the best actor in the bunch, which is a bigger compliment that it might sound]

-Ha, he pulls the hanky out of the old man’s hand to cover his face after dying

-this movie looks really good upconverted on the HD tv

-oh man, the circus folk are gonne kick the ghoulies’ asses! (kid, firebreather, strongman, turbin guy with a gun) [they form a team! but it doesn’t last long]

-haha, the dude won’t stop selling tickets [while people are getting murdered inside one of the attractions]

-the people LOVE seeing these jerks tortured [in theory they think it’s all part of the act, but not a single person in the fairly large crowd looks upset or ill-at-ease with watching a person get tortured by tiny monsters]

-even the stop motion looks pretty good

-cat vs rat ghoulie in the shooting game is awesome [once the Ghoulies leave their home attraction for most of the movie, the filmmakers really have fun with the setting]

-ghoulie in the water – nice touch, i think the green one is my favorite

-bumper car and ride tampering scenes are awesome

-the business owner guy looks SO familiar, but I haven’t seen any of his other projects, unless I remember VIPER better than i thought I did

TOILET SCENE!!!!!! – yowch!

-why don’t they just turn the ride back on to get the book down? Oh well it gives the pretty girl something to do [the flying Ghoulie drops the book they need high up in a ride seat]

-woah, that’s a big mini monster

Well, if those random thoughts didn’t convince you to check the movie out, I don’t know what will, except for this: go see Ghoulies II, it’ll be worth your hour and a half. Plus, 1 and 2 are on the same DVD, so you get more bang for your buck.

Anyone else seen Ghoulies 1, 2, Goes to College or 4? Or do you have any suggestions for what my mystery movie is. It has a small monster terrorizing a family in a house and there’s a ball bouncing down the stairs scene. That’s all I got.

In Search of a Mini Monster With a Ball

Okay, so as many of you know, I’m a big fan of horror movies. For the most part horror flicks remained a terrifying mystery that I didn’t want anything to do with until I turned 14 and could ride my bike up to the nearby Family Video where you could get six tapes for $3 and the clerks were pretty lax when it came to checking IDs.

But, I actually saw my first horror movie years earlier. Well, the REAL first horror movie I saw was on accident when my parents were out of town and the babysitter had some friends over to watch Evil Dead. I happened to come downstairs during the infamous tree rape scene. Actually, that night is probably why I wanted nothing to do with horror movies. I was scarred.

But, back to the whole point of this post. The first full horror movie I remember seeing involved some kind of tiny monster and a ball bouncing down the steps. I always assumed it was Troll or Troll 2, but I just checked both flicks out last week and I was surprised to find that I had no recollection of either flick. It’s obviously not either of the Gremlins movies and I thought it wasn’t Leprechaun, which I’ve seen in the past few years and didn’t seem to remember either.

So, I’m at a loss. I’ve got the first two Ghoulies movies from Netflix and have gone through the first one. No luck again. Maybe it’s Critters? Rickey suggested a Stephen King anthology flick called Cat’s Eye that’s luckily on Netflix Instant. Anyone else got any suggestions? I know the description is hardly helpful, but maybe someone else has a suggestion I can check out. I’m having a great time going through these mini monster movies.