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Ack
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Ack Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:05 pm

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22. Jack Frost

A serial killer named Jack Frost is captured accidentally by a small town sheriff. He swears revenge before being sent off to be executed, but a tragic traffic accident results in his being exposed to a chemical which causes his body to meld with snow. As a result, he becomes a killer snowman, and he uses his new body to come back to the sheriff's little town of Snowmonton to seek his revenge, either by shooting icicles, melting and reforming at will, or even raping one poor girl to death. Yes, that actually happens. No, it isn't funny, particularly not with the pun that goes with it about Christmas coming early.

Think of every stereotypical bad joke you possibly can regarding Christmas or winter, and you've got a pretty good idea of what Jack Frost is like. He has a one liner for everything. For instance in one scene after killing a man with an axe, "I only axed you for a smoke." In another he makes a joke about eating yellow snow. Or he impersonates Santa. Or he states lines like "Look Mom, I'm a Picasso" as he reforms his body. It gets a little tiring after a while.

Beyond the distasteful "Shannon Elizabeth gets raped by a snowman" scene, there are a lot of unusual deaths in this film. He eats one guy with icicle teeth. Another kid gets knocked over and decapitated by an oncoming sled. In one instance he steals a car and runs over a sheriff's deputy. Some are holiday themed, like the lady he strangles with Christmas lights and then smashes her face into ornaments. Others, like the ax guy...not so much.

I can see why it's a horror comedy, because it's obviously not taking itself too seriously, but I'm curious if it was meant to make fun of the entire slasher genre, because it certainly feels like it. I kept thinking, "This is stupid," and then thinking about how it relates to the entire slasher genre. It does circumvent a lot of the usual rules at least, with your 'final girl' actually being a middle-aged male sheriff with a dumb ass kid and good neighbors. If there is a moral of the story, it's that keeping your nose clean and being a good friend in a small town is probably your best bet for survival, as most of the folks who get killed are the assholes. Also never eat anything your kid makes.

Oh, and yes, I used to switch this DVD with that of the 1998 Michael Keaton children's film. Yes, I'm a bad person.

22/31

1. Late Phases
2. Ghoulies
3. Nightbeast
4. Tombs of the Blind Dead
5. Return of the Blind Dead
6. The Ghost Galleon
7. Night of the Seagulls
8. Chopping Mall
9. Bad Moon
10. C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.
11. Dead Heat
12. Varan the Unbelievable
13. The Milpitas Monster
14. Shock
15. Kingdom of the Spiders
16. Ghoulies II
17. Waxwork
18. The Curse of the Werewolf
19. Island of Lost Souls
20. Child's Play
21. Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders
22. Jack Frost
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by noiseredux Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:14 pm

Jack Frost is hilarious.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Xeogred Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:09 pm

Ack wrote:I also have access to Rob Zombie's remake of the original.

I haven't gotten too much into the remakes of older slashers though unfortunately. I've seen the one for Friday the 13th, but not A Nightmare on Elm Street.

STOP, DO NOT

Never ever watch the Elm Street reboot. It hurts whenever I think about it.

But seriously, the Friday the 13th reboot was actually pretty damn legit. They did some excellent and cool things with Jason... now he runs and stomps more and has a cool underground cave. It's honestly one of my favorites.

Guys, you didn't tell me there's a House 3 and 4, are they worth it?
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Ack Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:43 pm

House 4 is at its best when it involves the pizza man. The pizza man is the absolute best part.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:56 pm

Return of the Living Dead
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It’s Freddy’s first day working for a local medical supply company. It also happens to be Freddy’s last day working for that same medical supply company. You see, towards the end of the day Freddy’s coworker, Frank, shares a story about how the government unintentionally created a gas that brought the dead back to life. They managed to contain the damage, and sealed the zombies in some metal drums. But then they mucked up their cover-up and accidentally shipped the undead humans to their little old medical supply company. Freddy doesn’t believe him, so Frank takes him down to the basement.

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Screw this shit, I’m out.

One poor decision leads to another and Frank accidentally ruptures the drum and releases a toxic gas into the air, knocking them out cold. When they wake up, they realize that one of the cadavers they have in storage is somehow alive. Not knowing what to do, they’re forced to call their boss, Burt. Burt decides they’re going to pick-ax the thing in the head, because that should kill it, right? Only it doesn’t because everything you’ve learned in zombie movies is wrong. When even decapitation fails them, Burt comes up with another plan and has Freddy and Frank help him dismember the body and drag it over to the crematorium next to the cemetery. They handle it about as well as expected.

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Yup, that’s about how I’d handle it.

Meanwhile Freddy’s punk (and preppy) friends are chilling in said cemetery waiting for him to get off work.

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They’re a surprisingly diverse bunch for a group of 80s kids.

Back at the crematorium, Burt has convinced the mortuary man, Ernie, to help them out by cremating the still animated pieces of body. All seems well until the burnt ash and gasses released into the atmosphere come back down as acid rain and land right on the nearby cemetery. But nothing bad could come from that, right?

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Oh dear.

This one is a favorite of mine and it should be easy to see why. It takes a lot of the previous notions about zombies and chucks them out the window. These zombies are nearly impossible to kill. Head shots do nothing and even dismembering them just creates more little moving zombie parts you have to worry about.

These guys don’t shamble about, either. They’re quick little buggers and their speed is made all the worse when coupled with their intelligence. Because unlike in other zombie films and shows, these zombies don’t turn into drooling idiots the minute they die. No, these zombies seem to retain all their previous knowledge, making them walking, talking pain in the assess who use strategy and problem solving skills to get what they want. And what do they want? Say it with me now-

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”Brains!” Good job, class.

That knowledge alone is unsettling enough, but add in the isolation of the characters and the increased sense of hopelessness as all the help sent for them is systematically taken out one by one and you end up with a movie that can be genuinely disturbing.

But to counter that oppressive feeling of dread the movie adds what can be a very dark sense of humor to the script. The ‘Send more cops,’ line is a perfect example. When the two police officers sent to check on the paramedics are taken out, it is the zombies who request reinforcements. And as soon as another half-dozen police cars arrive and open the doors, they’re immediately swarmed by the undead in a show of perfect synchronicity. It’s both humorous and terrifying at the same time.

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Bad Ronald McDonald! This evil clowns terrorizing the countryside thing has gone too far!

The effects used in the film are truly impressive....mostly. I guess what I should say is they’re impressive when they count. The goopy, dripping canister zombie steals every scene he’s in and is damn impressive to look at. The table zombie also stands up to strict scrutiny under the close-ups and bright, glowing lights. What doesn’t hold up quite as well are the mob scenes. There’s a reason those scenes are quick and focus on the action. Watch those scenes enough times and you’ll start to notice that most of those extras don’t look like zombies at all. Most of them barely count as more than humans covered in dirt, but the quick pace of those scenes hide the flaws the smaller budget couldn’t quite make up for, proving it’s not how much money you have but how you choose to use it that counts.

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Return of the Living Dead is a wonderfully terrifying and humorous take on the zombie genre. The pace is fast, the acting is good (though I think a couple of them may have gotten their roles solely for their talent for producing agonized screams) and the effects are stellar when they need to be. That the movie was made on a budget of only $4 million and still turned out so well is staggering to me. I get the feeling watching it now, that it didn’t hit all the horror hallmarks it was aimed for. But that’s okay. It still manages to be awesome. Plus, it’s the movie that popularized the idea of zombies specifically eating brains. That alone should put it on every horror movie fan’s to-watch list.


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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by noiseredux Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:34 pm

Return Of The Living Dead absolutely rules. It is probably my favorite zombie movie of all time, and the soundtrack is amazing.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Xeogred Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:12 pm

Watched that last week or so myself, the perfect follow up to some of the Romero goods. The "brains" zombie was my favorite, really cool design.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by TSTR Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:15 pm

TARMANNNNNNNNNN
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:59 pm

Here's one I think Noise will appreciate.

Night of the Demons (1988)
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Girl could use some moisturizer.

A throng of teenagers with cliché personalities (plus one party crasher) are invited by the local goth kid in their history class to a Halloween party at Hull House, a local abandoned funeral home that’s the location of a bunch of grizzly murders. Not only that, but it’s also supposedly built on a historically noted ‘bad’ patch of land. And for a touch of ambiance, there’s also a cemetery next to it.

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Mmm, cozy.

Everything’s going peachy at the party until the boom box up and dies. Their host, Angela, then gets the bright idea that they should all have some Halloween fun and suggests a séance. Unfortunately for them, their little harmless fun awakens a demon on the premises, a demon who slowly possesses each of the party goers to increasingly detrimental effect.

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See what happens when you brake mirrors, you obnoxious little buggers.

Overall, I enjoyed Night of the Demons, but it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. It doesn’t feel like a particularly ambitious horror film, but it does, however, have some impressive strengths that raise it above some similar low-budget horror being made at the time.

For one, it has a very biting sense of humor. A lot of it is pretty cheesy (even intentionally so), but it shoots out at you at such a rapid rate that you’ve barely had time to cringe at one joke before another is dished out.

Another thing I liked was the diversity seen in the cast. The characters really encompass the spectrum of high-school cultures. You’ve got the preppies, the hick, the hippie, the goth, the punk, the obnoxious guy, the religious guy, and yes, even the slutty friend. Sure, they fit in perfectly with your typical stereotypes, but I don’t remember the last time I watched a horror movie like this where there was such a diverse cast of stereotypes. Plus, they actually exhibit characteristics that go beyond the conventional standard archetypes, making them feel more well-rounded than your average gaggle of victims. It was quite refreshing.

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But what I really liked about the characters is that the movie took their standard stereotypes and bucked the trend. Our brains are sort of hardwired to expect certain things from certain archetypes: Judy is clearly the Last Girl; her beau Jay is her valiant Knight; Sal is the resident Punk A$$hole; Rodger is the Token Black Guy in a Horror Movie, etc... And while the movie does have some people follow the course you expect them to, like Judy, a lot of the roles of her fellow party goers change by the end of the film. The audience sympathies for Jay and Sal, specifically, are sure to be switched by the end as certain motivations are revealed.

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For a movie comprised of demons and death, the effects are pretty top-notch. The practical gore effects are impressive and I liked how the teens became more and more demonic as time when on. The kids killed off towards the end may not have looked nearly as impressive as some of the earlier ones due to budget restrains, but it was still pretty impressive.

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I also like how she ‘floated’ through the halls. Simple, yet effective.

The film isn’t without its flaws, however. The pacing feels very off in the middle. There were times the movie built something up and I sat there waiting for something big to happen and then the film sort of just...cut back on the throttle and coasted some more before hitting the gas again. Tis just a bit bumpy, is what I’m saying.

Also, the general acting gets a great big, ‘meh.’ No one really bombs their role, but there is an abundance of overacting, underacting and just plain dullness with some of the characters and I’m not always sure whether it’s intentional or not. Of the bunch, Linnea Quiqley is probably the most effective at her role (other than maybe the grumpy old man whose story sandwiches the main plot). She switches pretty seamlessly between horney best friend, to angry hell beast, to sexual hell beast, to playfull ballerina...who just so happens to be possessed by a hell beast. It’s actually kinda creepy to watch her go back and forth.

The issues aren’t really deal-breakers, but they are noteworthy. Thankfully, the kick-ass opening credits sequence (designed by the ever impressive Kathy Zielinski) mostly makes up for it. Mostly.

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The woman who designed this has worked for Disney and Dreamworks since 1983.
Remember that.


Despite some of it’s flaws I enjoyed Night of the Demons. The acting can be a bit off and the pacing starts to hit some snags towards the middle, but I still found it fun. The make-up effect are impressive and I liked how the movie tried to subvert our expectations of the characters. At it’s heart, it’s a story about how demons slowly possess a group of trespassing teens. But considering who the demons choose to posses first, it could also be described as a revenge film where the outcasts pass judgment on their more popular peers. Of course, that may very well be giving the film far too much credit. It’s probably a bit too campy to be that deep.

If you like your horror stories filled with ghosts, demons and a little possession, than you’ll probably enjoy this.



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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by noiseredux Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:48 pm

Two classic Linnea Quigley roles in a row!
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