31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 31: Sleepaway Camp

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Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Why I love it:

  • It’s a b-movie horror flick about a misfit girl named Angela who is sent to Camp Arawak for the summer. Murders begin occurring at the camp. Most are written off as accidents. 
  • This movie is really twisted and it touches on some sexual taboos–at least for that time period. It’s underlying subject matter is controversial and shocking. 
  • Speaking of twisted, there’s a crazy twist at the ending. I won’t spoil it for those who want to watch it, but for a teenage girl seeing this for the first time I was totally flabbergasted. Seeing it later as an adult, well, let’s just say, it’s disturbing. 
  • My sister, who’s a Scorpio put me on to this film when I was a teen. It blew me away. Scorpio has a knack for doing that. 
  • The scene where the cook gets done in by the boiling water. The kids didn’t get corn that night.
  • The beehive scene.
  • The scene on the beach where Angela has a flashback about seeing her so-called straight father in bed with another man. 
  • The curling iron scene. 
  • This movie is more psychological horror than anything else; the murder scenes being too over the top to be taken seriously. It is the plot twist that leaves the lasting impression upon you. 
  • The archery scene.
  • The final scene is one of the most creepiest and twisted of any horror films that I have seen. As stated above, it will leave a lasting impression upon you. 

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleepaway_Camp

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31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 30: Creepshow 2

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Creepshow 2 (1987)

Why I Love It:

  • It’s a horror-comedy based on stories by Stephen King consisting of the 3 main novellas and animated interludes.
  • Each story is very entertaining and it’s fun to discuss which one you like best with your family and friends. 
  • I remember watching this with my sisters when it came out on VHS in the days of West Coast Video. It was probably 1988. I was 12.
  • The story, The Hitchhiker scared me so bad that I never wanted to visit the city of Dover, Maine. “Thanks for the ride, lady”
  • The scene in Old Chief Wooden Head where the wooden Indian comes alive, puts on new war paint and then howls the battle cry.
  • The scene where the long-haired narcissistic thug gets scalped by the Indian warrior statue. He must have been a Leo the way he was so freaking vain. 
  • The scene in The Raft story where the blond-haired dude’s leg breaks at the knee. Ouch!
  • The woman in the story called The Hitchhiker is the epitome of the the late 80’s female yuppie with the curly bob hairstyle, her Ann Taylor-esque clothes, Chanel-like jewelry and the Mercedes Benz sedan. 
  • The final scene in The Hitchhiker story where the relentless hitchhiker zombie guy surprises her in the garage. 
  • The ghoulish comic book delivery man at the end used to creep me out something terrible. 
  • Stephen King makes a cameo appearance in The Hitchhiker story. He plays a truck driver who witnesses the accident. 

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creepshow_2

31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 29: Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary's Baby poster

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Why I Love It:

  • It’s based on the book, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. The film stays almost 100% true to the book. 
  • It’s a movie about a young woman name Rosemary played by Mia Farrow, who becomes pregnant with Satan’s son after moving into an apartment building inhabited by a satanic witch coven. Guy Woodhouse is her actor husband and he sets Rosemary up to be the vessel for the devil’s baby in exchange for fame and notoriety.
  • This old couple, the Castavets are the leaders of the satanic coven which is why Rosemary does not suspect them of any harmful intent in the beginning. 
  • This movie contains some grains of truth since there have been numerous stories of entertainers selling their souls for fame. There are also satanic secret societies that exist among the very wealthy and influential.
  • The apartment building is actually the Dakota in Manhattan, NYC–the location of John Lennon’s murder.
  • Roman Polanski wrote and directed the film. Polanski is a shady character who’s wife was Sharon Tate, one of the victims of the Manson murders. Polanski has also been accused of sodomizing an underage girl. I think Polanski belongs to one of these satanic secret societies. The Manson murders occurred in 1969, one year after Rosemary’s Baby was released. Sharon Tate was pregnant with Polanski’s baby at the time she was killed. Coincidence?
  • This movie does not contain any blood, gore or explicit violence, but it is very scary nonetheless. The film is quiet, subtle and tastefully done. 
  • The beginning song featuring Mia Farrow is scary in and of itself. It’s both eerie and pretty with a tinge of sadness. “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, — la, la” The font used for the beginning credits is very romantic, very sixties, and it fits well with the music. 
  • The makeup used to make Rosemary appear anemic and emaciated was superb and her short pixie haircut adds to the creep factor. It almost makes her appear to be a member of a cult. 
  • Guy, Rosemary’s narcissistic husband played by John Cassavetes is very convincing in his role. He is the ultimate prick. He’s selfish, egocentric, emotionally detached, and hyper-materialistic. You can tell from the very start of the film that he’s not even really into Rosemary. 
  • Roman and Minnie the geriatric coven leaders are creepy as hell. I can’t get enough of Minnie, played by Ruth Gordon. She’s a riot. They chose the perfect woman for that role. Roman is a detestable sort that gives off this air of superiority that makes your stomach turn. 
  • Hutch, Rosemary’s senior friend is my favorite character in the film due to his extensive knowledge of the occult and the history of the Bramford, the apartment building where it all goes down. Hutch tries to dissuade Rosemary and Guy from moving in. I swear Hutch was a Sagittarius. Rosemary would have been a Pisces, and Guy, a Capricorn. 
  • Rosemary’s baby is due in June of 1966–that’s 6-6-6. 
  • The acting is stellar, the movie progresses at a nice pace, and the set designs are perfect. 
  • The scene where Rosemary and Guy go to the Castavets for dinner. The Catavets apartment is dark and Gothic.
  • The scene where Rosemary has the dream about the Catholic school and Minnie’s voice which can be heard through the wall, blends in with the dream. 
  • The scene where Rosemary is ritually raped by Satan who apparently possesses Guy. This is one of the scariest scenes in the film because there’s no mistaking at this point what these old folks are up to. “This is not a dream, this is really happening!” says Rosemary as she partially awakes from her drug-induced stupor. 
  • The scene where Rosemary eats the raw steak. She didn’t even season it. The horror!
  • The scene where Rosemary eats the raw chicken liver.
  • The party scene where Rosemary’s friends hold an intervention for her due to her sickly appearance and persistent pain.
  • The scene where Rosemary creates the anagram using Scrabble tiles. 
  • The scene where Dr. Hill, played by Charles Grodin betrays Rosemary by phoning Guy and Dr. Sapirstein. “Unspeakable… unspeakable!”
  • Tannis Root. Tannis Root was placed in a charm and given to Rosemary. She later finds out that it is used by witches in their rituals. 
  • The final scene where Rosemary confronts the coven and is paralyzed with terror when she sees her baby for the first time. “What have you done to him? What have you done to his eyes, you maniacs!”
  • The discordant trumpet tune that plays when Rosemary first lays eyes on the devil baby. That sound is terrifying. 
  • This movie was released in 1968, which marked the height of the counter culture/hippie movement. This was a very dark time period and this film reflects this tumultuous era expertly despite the years in the film being ’65 and ’66.  

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary%27s_Baby_(film)

31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 28: Tales from the Crypt

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Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Why I love it:

  • It’s a British horror movie that consists of 5 separate stories. 5 individuals are brought to some historic catacombs/crypt on their way to doing their dirty deeds. They are shown by the crypt keeper how their fate will unfold if they should decide to proceed. 
  • The stories are based off volumes from the EC Comic book series, Tales from the Crypt. 
  • Joan Collins is featured in And All Through the House–my favorite story of the 5. She kills her husband on Christmas Eve, then ends up getting attacked by this serial killer dressed as Santa Claus. 
  • My other 2 favorite stories are Poetic Justice and Wish You Were Here
  • I like movies that contain moralistic messages and karmic retribution and this one contains 5. 
  • Little do the 5 tourists know that they are already dead when they arrive at the catacombs. 
  • The Santa Claus scene in the And All Through the House story is the scariest part in my opinion. When he suddenly appears at the door and reaches into the house I always jump. 
  • In the Poetic Justice story, the old man is into the occult. He has all the tools from a crystal ball to Tarot cards. 
  • The ice-cold, heartless directer in Blind Alleys is so stingy and cruel that you can’t wait for the blind residents to get their revenge. 
  • The admonishment, “be careful what you wish for” is expertly exemplified in Wish You Were Here with the wife’s desires resulting in the death of her husband and the ultimate loss of her sanity. 
  • It’s a 70’s horror flick.
  • The fake blood (see And All Through the House) is the worst I have ever seen. It looks like children’s red paint. You’ll be amazed how this passed the scrutiny of the editors. 

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_from_the_Crypt_(film)

31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 27: Abby

Abby

Abby (1974)

  • It’s a blaxploitation film that has been dubbed “The Black Exorcist”. While it comes nowhere close to The Exorcist in terms of the quality of plot and filming, when viewed as a parody it becomes pure cinematic gold. 
  • William H. Marshall (Blacula, Scream Blacula Scream) and Carol Speed (The Mack) star in this film. 
  • This movie is absolutely hilarious even though it is meant to be taken seriously. 
  • African spirituality is the main theme of the plot. While this movie sort of cheapens and demonizes African spiritual traditions such as the pantheon of the Orishas, it’s still nice to see a movie that features African folklore.
  • The scene where Abby first gets possessed by the spirit in the shower. She has an orgasm during the possession so that should tell you what orifice he used to enter her. 
  • The scene where Abby is cutting the raw chicken and the spirit in her starts lusting for blood. That is the nastiest looking chicken I have ever seen!
  • The lines ascribed to Eshu, the spirit that possesses Abby are ridiculously funny especially when Abby interfaces with her husband and father-in-law. “Shit, you ain’t got enough to satisfy me, you impotent son of a bitch!”, says a possessed Abby to her perplexed preacher husband. 
  • The movie is extremely low-budget, the make up and special effects are horrendous, but it is still entertaining and if I would have first seen this as a kid, I would have been scared. 
  • It’s a 70’s horror flick. 
  • I love William H. Marshall’s deep, booming and commanding voice. He could use that baritone to exorcise the wickedest demon. I also love how his character is not fazed by the antics of Eshu unlike his punk ass son. 
  • It was released by American International Pictures, the b-movie house that released gems such as The Dunwich Horror, Blacula, Black Caesar, Cooley High, Coffy, Foxy Brown, and the Island of Dr. Moreau.

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abby_(film)

31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 26: The Shining

The Shining

The Shining (1980).

  • It’s a psychological horror loosely based on Stephen King’s novel, The Shining (1977).
  • It is about a man named Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson who takes a job as caretaker of an empty hotel during the off season. Despite being told about the hotel’s traumatic history, Jack takes the job and brings his wife Wendy and son Danny along. 
  • There are so many layers to this movie; so many nuances and subtle hints–which is why I love Kubrick’s work. Some conspiracy theorists believe that Stanley Kubrick who produced, directed and co-wrote the film used The Shining to give clues about the alleged faked Apollo Moon Landings. 
  • Shelley Duvall was cast as Wendy, Jack’s wife. She was a perfect actress to play opposite Jack Nicholson’s temperamental, mentally unstable, and narcissistic on-screen persona. In the movie she is meek, looks mousy, and appears to be a little mentally unhinged herself. 
  • The Overlook Hotel itself is very creepy and imposing. The interior designs really reflect that late 70’s/early 80’s era. 
  • Danny has keen psychic abilities and so does Dick Hallorann, the head chef at the Overlook Hotel. It is through Dick, played by Scatman Crothers that the audience learns about the meaning of the term “Shining”. 
  • Danny’s “imaginary” friend Tony who lives inside Danny’s mouth. When Tony speaks, Danny uses his index finger as an indicator that Tony has taken over. “Danny isn’t here, Mrs. Torrance” Tony says to Wendy after Danny being so traumatized by the omens he’s been receiving blacks out. Deep! 
  • Jack Nicholson does a killer job in the film as Jack Torrance. You hate him, but you are intrigued by him at the same time. You’re scared for Wendy and the little boy and maybe even for yourself. He gets an A++ in my book. 
  • There are so many excellent scenes in this film–too many to list but some of my favorite are: 
  • The scene where Danny first gets the psychic impression from Tony and there’s a tidal wave of blood that rushes through a hotel corridor. 
  • The scenes where Danny interacts with the apparition of the twin girls. 
  • The scene where Jack tears into Wendy because she interrupted him while he was “working”.
  • The scene where Wendy discovers what Jack has been typing all along. There’s no violence, gore or supernatural images in this particular scene. Instead, it is sheer psychological horror. 
  • The “Redrum” scene.
  • The scene where Wendy confronts Jack with the baseball bat and he says “Wendy, light of my life, I’m not gonna hurt you. You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, I’m not going to hurt ya, I’m just going to bash your brains in”.
  • The “Heeeeere’s Johnny” scene which was actually an improvisation from Nicholson.
  • The scenes where Danny and Chef Hallorann go into altered states of consciousness after receiving psychic impressions or omens. Their reactions look eerily real and I wonder how they got the little boy to do such a good job on these parts. 
  • This movie can promote a great deal of discourse on subjects including the paranormal, psychopathy, isolation, and trauma-based mind control. 
  • I can watch this movie over and over again and never get tired of it. As a matter of fact I plan to watch it again on Halloween. 
  • The Shining is in my top 5 list of favorite films of any genre hands down. 

The Shining doc

source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shining_(film)

31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 25: The Entity

The Entity

The Entity (1983)

Why I love it:

  • It’s a movie that’s based on a book that is based on true events. 
  • It’s about a single mother who is tormented by a violent incubus simply known as The Entity.
  • The loud thumping sound that is heard before the demonic spirit tries to sexually assault Carla Moran, played by Barbara Hershey. It’s one of the scariest sounds to be featured in a motion picture. 
  • After experiencing a bunch of paranormal activity Carla takes her kids and flees to her friend’s house which is the most sensible thing to do. This reflects what occurs in the book.
  • The scene where The Entity takes control of Carla’s car causing her to have an accident.
  • The scene where Carla is attacked in the bathroom.
  • The scene where she is attacked in the living room in front of the kids. 
  • The scene where Carla is attacked in front of her boyfriend and there are indentations on her breast where the incubus is violating her.
  • The film features university-level paranormal researchers just like in the book. These parapsychologists use a very scientific approach to get down to the bottom of the psychic attacks.
  • I like that the movie ends with the incubus issue not being fully resolved which is more realistic than a happily ever after ending. The ending of the book was very disappointing so the film’s version is actually preferable. 

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31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 24: The Devil’s Advocate

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The Devil’s Advocate (1997)

Why I love it:

  • This film is classified as a mystery/thriller, but it is also horror in my book due to the sinister subject matter and supernatural scenes. 
  • It’s about Kevin Lomax, a southern defense attorney played by Keanu Reeves. He’s great at what he does, but he is willing to sell his soul in order to make it to the top in the field of law. He sells his soul by winning a case for a child molester who he knew good and well was guilty.
  • Al Pacino plays Milton, the devil and boy is he funny in this role. You really can’t  take him seriously as Ol’ Scratch, but he sure is entertaining–especially at the end when he goes into his blasphemous monologue.
  • There are elements of magic interwoven into the plot especially a form of magic which appears to be akin to Palo Mayombe. Delroy Lindo plays this spiritualist who is on trial for animal abuse after being caught in the middle of a ritual sacrifice. Lindo is believable in this role–a little too believable.
  • The dressing room shape-shifting scene. 
  • The scene where Milton tells Mary Ann, played by Charlize Theron about her bad hairdo. Talk about throwing major shade.
  • Mary Ann and the baby dream sequence scene.
  • The scene where one of the lawyers gets killed by the gang of spirits in the park. 
  • Charlize Theron did a pretty good job playing the faithful, yet spiritually aware wife. I loved how she catches onto the game quickly and doesn’t let up on Kevin. She is not blinded by the enticements: “I know we’ve got all this money, and it’s supposed to be OK, but it’s not.” she tells Kevin in a desperate plea for him to leave the firm.
  • Craig T. Nelson plays a guy who murdered his family and he is very credible in his role. He gets a nod since he starred in Poltergeist I & II. The red-headed dude who played the father in Beetlejuice is in this as well. Both do very well at playing shady characters.
  • The nice twist about Kevin Lomax being Milton, the devil’s son especially with Kevin’s mother being a devout fundamentalist Christian. 

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil%27s_Advocate_(1997_film)

31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 23: The Ninth Gate

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The Ninth Gate (1999)

Why I love it:

  • It’s not really a horror movie, but a suspense/thriller. However, it still made my list due to the plot which centers on a rare book dealer who has been hired by professor Boris Balkan to authenticate a book that is believed to summon the devil. 
  • Johnny Depp plays the main character, Dean Corso and he does a good job of portraying a sleazy book dealer.
  • The people who are after the book are wealthy a la Eyes Wide Shut and it touches on the notion that there are secret satanic societies that exist among the elite. 
  • It’s a movie about occult books and I love occult books. 
  • The movie is filmed in various places in Europe which gives it both a romantic and mysterious appeal.
  • It was produced, directed and co-written by that little goblin, Roman Polanski. Polanski brought us his first satanic-themed film, Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and his wife was Sharon Tate, one of the victims of the infamous Manson murders. Polanski has been involved in a number of questionable circumstances which causes me to suspect him of belonging to one of these satanic secret societies. He sure knows a lot about these sinister groups it seems. 
  • The scene where Corso finds his dead book dealing business partner in the form of the Tarot’s Hanged Man. 
  • The scene where Corso finds the Baroness Kessler dead in the wheelchair with her tongue hanging out. The part where her wheelchair goes speeding into the flames is hilarious. 
  • The scene where Boris Balkan crashes the satanic ceremony.
  • The scene where Balkan tries to open the 9th gate to achieve invincibility and immortality, but to his chagrin, he only manages to achieve self-immolation. 

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ninth_Gate

31 Days of Horror: A Compilation of My Favorite Horror Films. Day 22: The Thing

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The Thing (1982)

Why I love it:

  • It’s a sci-fi horror film directed by John Carpenter (Halloween, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China, In the Mouth of Madness) about an alien life form that preys upon a team of scientists in the middle of Antarctica. 
  • The team manages to have a nice stash of weed which they are able to smoke at leisure. 
  • Kurt Russell is one of the main characters and he looks really good with the full bearded, mountain man look. 
  • The dead guy with the pulled taffy-looking face scene.
  • The scene where the alien assimilates the form of a dog which freaks the other dogs out.
  • How the alien keeps morphing into different forms so you never know exactly what you’re going to get.
  • The scene where the alien takes over Norris and his decapitated head morphs into a spider-like creature.
  • The flame throwers which seem to be the only defense–well that and some sticks of dynamite–against the horrific extra-terrestrial. 
  • Wilford Brimley stars as Blair in this film and when he goes berserk and starts to break up shit all I can think about is Quaker Oatmeal and Diabeetus.

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  • The scene where the red headed guy who looks like he’s part-alien to begin with, gets consumed by the alien and ends up with these lobster-like claws for hands. 
  • The fact that there’s no way out because they are in cold as balls Antarctica. 
  • The make up and special effects are some of the best for the time period. 
  • The level of paranoia among the crew members increases as the film progresses to the point where no one is to be trusted.
  • It’s an all-male cast which is a special treat since that’s pretty rare.
  • This movie may contain a grain of truth since there has been a prohibition put in place regarding the majority of Antarctica. Basically the bulk of Antarctica is off limits to exploration so who really knows what’s going on throughout that vast, frozen terrain. 

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source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(1982_film)