For the hand full of supportive friends who actually follow this blog, I am sorry for the lack of new content. Christmas, engagements, and Skyrim were to blame. I return to you a wiser man now ready to take on my responsibilities… pointless photoshops!
Oh, and here’s LeBron James as Vegeta…. Enjoy!
To conform to the meme-crazy internets, I tossed in some Impact font and voila!
Halloween is awesome. Besides making it culturally acceptable for chicks to dress like prostitutes, Halloween presents the perfect atmosphere for watching scary movies. This year my annual ‘ScaryMovieThon’ has been postponed/cancelled due to the sensitive eyes and ears of a 4-year-old. So to satisfy my twisted craving for depravity, mayhem and blood…. lots and lots of blood, I decided to share with you good people my personal Top Ten horror movies.
Before we begin I want to point out that I’m aware The Exorcist is not on here. I dig the movie; It’s brilliantly filmed and the subject matter is nothing less than terrifying. But with all that being said I feel that it’s overrated. Calm down, I’ll explain. People who don’t like scary movies have seen The Exorcist. Peoples Grandmothers have seen The Exorcist. It’s as mainstream as horror movies get. So with all this exposure and attention, people who don’t normally partake in the darker side of movies call it “The scariest movie ever made”. Well if you’re basing that decision off of seeing that and Scream then okay, I guess you’re right. My point is that everybody, everybody’s momma, and that momma’s momma has seen the movie and unfortunately it’s just watered down the content for me. There, I’ve spent a whole paragraph apologizing in advance. Which is weird because I’m not actually sorry. Now, let’s get it on!
Keep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you’re tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He’s mean and unforgiving,
Laugh at him and you’re undone,
But in some dreadful fashion,
Vengeance, he considers fun,
And plans it with a passion,
Time will not erase or blot,
A plot that he has brewing,
It’s when you think that he’s forgot,
He’ll conjure your undoing,
Bolted doors and windows barred,
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,
Won’t protect you in your bed,
Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead
Pumpkinhead makes the list solely for having one of the baddest monsters in the history of movies. Stan Winston, the greatest special effects artist of all time designed Pumpkinhead on top of writing and directing the movie. With it’s elongated head, sharp jaw and skeletal body, the creature looks vaguely like the famous Aliens inspired by H.R. Giger. His color and ‘skin’ look like twisted roots and earth. The unnaturally long arms and fingers give his silhouette (which is used very well in the film) a terrifying and unsettling shape. And I promise, you will never hear the sound of cicadas the same again. The set design and atmosphere in the movie are fantastic and i think there was some lesson about revenge… I don’t know. What I do know is that Pumpkinhead rocks.
9. Jacob’s Ladder
One of the most underrated movies of all time. Jacob’s Ladder has a story that builds slowly keeping you just a little uneasy about what is actually happening. Then when you don’t expect it…
8. Night of the Living Dead
“They’re coming to get you Barbara!” What do you say about the most influential horror movie ever made? Romero created the blueprint. This is the Granddaddy, the forefather, the ABCs of horror. As far as impact goes, this easily would be number one on my list. However, truth be told the age of the film shows and the scares are weakened because of it. We’ve seen a trillion zombies since Karen Cooper turned in the cellar of that farmhouse. We’ve seen the copycats play Romero’s own game so much it’s made the original seem tame. The power of the story still hold strong over the test of time, but the zombies are almost unrecognizable by today’s standards. Regardless, I’ll still watch this black and white beauty any chance I get.
7. The Ring
I hate remakes. I hate the lack of creativity in simply changing something around that another person already did. I hate taking a masterpiece and quickly replicating it with American faces to make a few quick bucks. Remakes are easily my most hated movies in production. And with all that being said, The Ring scared the fuck out of me. I can do blood and gore and torture but the way this movie molested my senses was chilling. To this day no movie has haunted my dreams and panicked imagination alone in the dark. Case in point: I posted that video, but I’ll be damned if I watched it….
6. An American Werewolf In London
“There’s a bad moon on the rise.” You’re damned right there is CCR.
Coming from the writer/director of Animal House, you know An American Werewolf is bound to have laughs. It delivers spectacularly there. What you wouldn’t expect is how quickly such a funny movie can turn frightening, and then right back again. The story is great, the soundtrack rocks, and the movie boasts having the greatest transformation scene ever put on camera. But its merging comedy and horror so seamlessly that makes it stand out to me. A MUST WATCH for any fan of the genre.
5. Shaun of the Dead
While I give the nod to An American Werewolf as the greatest horror/comedy mix ever made, Shaun of the Dead gets a spot higher for… well, zombies. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg put together the ultimate homage to the Romero classics with a movie overflowing with tongue-in-cheek references to movies passed while staying credible as a frightening zombie movie all its own. The characters are memorable, the running jokes are hysterical, and when it’s over you can’t help but push play again. SOTD is not a great zombie comedy, it’s the PERFECT zombie comedy. You’ve got red on you…
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Filthy. Grimy. Legendary. Texas Chainsaw Massacre laid the blueprint for gritty independent horror that is still copied today. The poor video quality and grainy film made the whole movie feel dirty, like you were watching a homemade snuff film. Chainsaw has a reputation as a gore fest when actually that is far from the truth. The violence (however unspeakably brutal) mostly occurs off-screen and is merely suggested. Half the time you wouldn’t know it since you’re looking away just in case. And let’s not forget Leatherface… A mentally challenged, psychotic fat man in a butcher’s apron wearing a mask made of human flesh. All he’s missing is a chainsaw and.. oh, nevermind.
3. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The greatest zombie movie ever made. I will not argue this fact. It’s science. It’s like gravity. Every religious book cites Dawn as the greatest undead movie… It’s the only thing they all agree on. If you play Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ while watching this movie it will sync up… and your genitals will explode. I know.
If you’ve never seen the cream filling of Romero’s living dead Oreo, do it now.
2. The Shining
Good lord… Just that music puts me on level 10 pucker. Kubrick is a damned genius.
I thumbed my nose up at The Shining the first time I watched it. I was a huge fan of the book so I picked apart every scene for things changed, left out or just botched. I was my own wet blanket. Fast forward a few years to a more unbiased viewing and I’m chewing my own tongue and crying in the corner. This is the most atmospheric horror movie EVER MADE. I wanted to crawl out of my own skin to get away. I’ve gone out of my way to see the most atrocious acts ever captured on film but you know what single frame disturbed me to my very core?
1. The Thing (1982)
“I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.”
I remember walking in the room while my Dad was watching this as a child. I also remember the sound of my brain screaming and oozing out of my bowels and down my footie pajamas. The Thing is horror. It is an ice-cold cocktail of paranoia, nightmarish images and bleak, frozen hopelessness. It also benefits from something I have come to call “The Keith David Effect”. If you have a bad movie (They Live) and put Keith David in it, it becomes damn good. If you have a great movie (Requiem For a Dream) and sprinkle in some KD, it becomes legend. The Thing is one of the latter.
Here’s an upbeat little gem that did wonders for my 7 year-old psyche..
Check the release date, that’s 1982. No CGI, no computers, no shortcuts. The Thing boasts imo the greatest special effects in horror. Designer Rob Bottin put some truly frightening and uncomfortable creatures in the movie and Carpenter’s bleak, nihilistic story made them all the more potent.
House of the Devil
Thanks for reading and be sure to comment on how awful my writing and taste in movies are. Happy Halloween!