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Michi
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:08 pm

Coraline is a good choice. Here are some other options:

Nightmare Before Christmas - Personally, I watch this one some time in November, but it's pretty standard Halloween viewing too.
Ernest Scared Stupid - Mostly humor, but there are some genuinely creepy moments.
Hocus Pocus - Classic Halloween fare. October is not the same if I don't watch this and Ernest at least once.
Halloweentown - Disney made for TV movie series. Again, more creepy than scary. Watch the first two, skip the rest.
Believe - Kids ghost story currently streaming on Amazon. Focuses more on mystery and family dynamics, but good for the younger demographic and highly rated.
The Witches - Henson produced production of the story by Roald Dahl. This one really creeped me out when I was younger.
Edward Scissorhands - Not really scary, but the dark tone makes for excellent Halloween imagery.
Frankenweenie - See above.
Book of Life - Not a horror movie, but it does revolve around imagery associated with the Mexican Day of the Dead.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Jagosaurus Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:03 pm

Ack FTW again. I'd never heard of those 3.

Regarding kiddo movies:
I also was going to recommend Hocus Pocus & Earnest Scared Stupid!

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How about old episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark & Goosebumps! Several were on Youtube last I checked. Also, while I didn't see it, I heard the new Goosebumps movie was pretty good.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by TSTR Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:29 pm

LADY IN WHITE for kid-friendly
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by J T Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:48 pm

chupon wrote:Maybe this is the wrong place for this but I'd like to get some recommendations for fun / scarey movies for kids (girls) ages 6 to 8. Basically nothing gory or too realistic. Psychological fears ok I guess. I want my kids to get scared and scream but don't want to fuck up their childhoods.

Right now their threshold for scariness is about Goosebumps and Scooby Doo.

Anyone have any classics for me to consider? Is Goonies a good Halloween movie? Little Shop of Horrors?


When I was a young kid, my favorite shows that were scary at that age were The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. The Goonies is a good choice too.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:23 pm

Puppet Master
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Since I see that at least a couple of you haven’t seen any of these, I decided to pull out my compilation of movies 1-3 and give them a viewing. I’ve only ever fully watched the first one (and that was a long time ago) and only seen bits and pieces of the films nine (!) sequels. I’ve heard that the further along the sequels go, the worse they get, so I’ll just be sticking to the first three. I’ll leave the dregs of anything beyond that to Ack.

In 1939, the titular Puppet Master, Andre Toulon, is hiding out in the high-end Bogada Bay Inn. Using some sort of ancient Egyptian secret, Toulon has somehow managed to bring the marionettes he creates to life. Two of his creations inform him that some sort of German assassins are coming for him. But Toulon is unconcerned and seems resigned to his fate.

After taking his dolls and hiding them in a secret compartment in his room, Toulon shoots himself in the face, just as his assailants storm the room.

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Now be good boys and girls and stay in here while daddy goes and kills himself.

We then jump to present day (aka 1989) and the film switches from pissed off Germans to a group of four psychics: The cynical Dana; Yale professor Alex; and Frank and Clarissa, a husband and wife pair of researchers . The four are psychically ‘called’ by their one-time colleague, Neil Gallagher, to the Bogada Bay Inn. The five had previously worked together to discover the secrets of the last great alchemist in history, Andre Toulon.

Except, when they get there, they find out from Neil’s wife, Megan, the current owner of the Inn, that Neil Gallagher is kinda, maybe, sorta....dead.

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Are you sure he’s dead? Let’s stab him a couple times to find out.

Neil’s wife graciously decides to allow them to stay at the Inn for the night. During the night, the residents are, naturally, picked off by Toulon’s murderous (and surprisingly efficient) puppets, one by one.

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Some of them, kinda gruesomely.

Based on the reputation of the many sequels, one wouldn’t suspect that the series had a decent start, but it did. Or at least it had a promising start. I think these day the movies just exist to sell various forms of memorabilia. But while the premise of the films comes across as incredibly silly, the first film, at least, is treated quite seriously. The movie wants you to buy into all of it. The psychics are treated as real people, not punch lines and effort is made to give the puppets unique personalities despite their short screen time.

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I like how they chose to use the point of view of the puppet for many camera angles. The use of perspective makes the puppets feel more like real characters and not just the props they are. The movie also incorporates the use of stop-motion in several scenes. Both show that sometimes the simple and most practical effects can be the most effective, especially when you’re on a small budget.

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The parts where the movie stumbles are with some of the characters and plot holes. The timid and benevolent character of Alex just comes across as so damn dull. I think he might have been going for some sort of perpetually haunted persona, but instead it just comes across as lethargic.

The other psychics come across as far more interesting, especially Dana. Dana is the only character here given more than one personality trait. She’s also the only one who’s implied to have a deeper back-story, though it’s never really addressed. When Neil’s corpse shows up in her room, she doesn’t even flinch. She smirks at him. I guess that’s to be expected from someone who likes to take midnight strolls while drinking and carrying around her stuffed dog. People like that aren’t fazed by shit.

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Did you think I was kidding about the dog? I wasn’t!

Dana is billed as someone the audience isn’t supposed to like. In typical slasher fashion, she seals her fate by mocking Megan and saying things like, “I’m not a cynic; I prefer to think of myself as a nasty bitch.” That last bit might be true, but that nasty bitch is sadly also the only capable person in the Inn, successfully fending off not one, but two of the diminutive little monsters before ultimately being knocked off. No one else shows near the same doll-throwing skill. I think I’ll miss you most of all, you crazy psychic.

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I guess I’m supposed to take solace knowing she was killed off by the mascot.

The other downer is the films many plot holes. I won’t go too into them, since most of them show up at the end, and I don’t want to spoil it in the rare case anyone who hasn’t seen the movie is curious, but they do pepper the whole movie. For instance, why is Dana shown as a second rate mystic at a carnival when she successfully predicts two separate deaths? If she knew what was going to happen, why’s she show up in the first place? And with puppets like these-

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This may have also been one of the most ridiculous horror deaths ever.

-what kind of puppet show was Toulon putting on in the first place? Like, damn, man. What the hell?

The reasons for killing off the psychics also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. They’re vague at best, and nonsensical at worst. And those are just a couple of the smaller plot holes. Some of the ones at the end are large enough to drive a tanker through. But I suppose when your story’s focus is on killer dolls polishing up the script is on the bottom of the priorities list.

I can see why Puppet Master became a cult classic. It throws together a slew of interesting concepts like Egyptian alchemy, psychics and killer dolls and manages to make it entertaining, if at times slightly disjointed. The puppet designs are interesting and unique and the puppetry itself is excellent. The puppets often come across as having more personality than some of the human actors and the practical effects give them more authenticity than any CGI that would surely be used today. It also has a unique atmosphere, with nods to classical architecture and art deco, especially in several surreal dream sequences. I’ve seen it called a rip-off of Child’s Play, but the puppets more resemble that disturbing Zulu doll from Trilogy of Terror.

Anyone who likes the creepy little puppet sub-genre could certainly do worse.

Now I must go, and prepare myself for the sequels....

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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Ack Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:59 pm

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11. Dead Heat

Ok, so Treat Williams and Joe Piscopo are cops, right? As in buddy cops, right? As in partners. And they have to solve a string of jewelry heists where the robbers take way too many bullets to drop, right? Ok, yeah, and then during an investigation at a pharmaceuticals company, Treat Williams gets killed, ok? You still with me? Now, what if I said Joe Piscopo uses a device found at that company to bring Treat Williams back to life, so that the two of them can then go and solve the case of who murdered him? Would you want to see it? Because that is Dead Heat, the greatest zombie buddy cop movie ever made.

I've seen tons of buddy cop movies. I love it when they get into really weird pairings. You want a cop and a criminal? 48 Hours. Cop and a kid? Cop and a Half. Cop and a dog? Turner and Hooch. Cop and his mom? Stop! Or my Mom Will Shoot. Cop and a Soviet? Red Heat. Cop and an alien? Alien Nation. Other cop and an alien? The Hidden. Racist cop and a minority cop? In the Heat of the Night. Racist cop and a ghost? Heart Condition. Cop and a gay man? Partners. Cop and a gnome? A Gnome Named Gnorm. Cop with a psychic? Dredd. What?

But none of them involve a fight scene in a Chinese grocery where the Peking duck comes back as zombies. That's what Dead Heat gives us. Gunfights where nobody can die. Bad guys that can't be killed. A side of beef that busts its way out of a meat locker to try and eat a former SNL star. This is what you get:

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All this, and Vincent Price is in it too!

I have wanted to see Dead Heat for years after learning that such a film existed. I was not disappointed. Joe Piscopo's constant bad gags and jokes, the makeup of the steadily rotting dead as they walk around trying to blow each other away, and near constant shooting because it seems every criminal in town owns an uzi. This is the reason why I watch movies. This is the film you have waited your whole life to see.

11/31

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
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I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by noiseredux Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:18 pm

wanna know how much Chopping Mall rules? Today I realized I somehow own two copies of it!
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Xeogred Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:24 pm

Dawn of the Dead...

It was amazing! Liked it more than the first a bit, though this one did seem a little long and waned a bit like 70% in. Freaking loved everything about it though. I think I saw a directors cut. There was one strange "restored" scene where you see a zombie step up into a running helicopter propeller and his head gets bladed haha. Not sure why that was maybe removed in other cuts, since the end got pretty gory. The gore was hilarious though, looked like actual weird food in a goofy way. But it was all fun and amazing for 1978. All around reminded me a bit of Carpenter's stuff, and that's always good.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Nemoide Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:44 pm

^Glad you liked Dawn of the Dead; it's genre-classic status is well deserved!
As for The Puppetmaster, I saw the first one on VHS from the local video store when I was in high school. Didn't like it much, wasn't inspired to watch any of the sequels. But I've started to find myself appreciating Full Moon titles more now that I'm older so I'm open to the idea of revisiting it at some point down the road. We'll see if that ends up happening...


Well, after being weirded out by The Baby and pleasantly surprised by Bloody Birthday, I'm up to the titles in my Severin Films bundle that I actually WANTED. Tonight's flick: The House of Seven Corpses.
So this was a movie I thought might be entertaining but I set the bar pretty low: it's set in a creepy old mansion, has evil magic rituals, the living dead rising from their graves to kill the living, and has John Carradine. That's a combination that really should prove passable.
Unfortunately, it stinks.
It starts off interesting enough: the opening credits are a montage of people being murdered in the old mansion the movie is set in. Then we get a laughable magic ritual being performed: laughable because the woman performing it is using a bunch of Christian divine names but then calls forth the evil serpent to come into a circle... and then steps into the circle and wants it to possess her. Man, why would anyone do that?
BUT IT'S ALL JUST A MOVIE. I mean a movie within the movie. The woman is an actress and they're making an occult horror film in this old cursed mansion where seven people met with an early demise.
The occult angle gets more ridiculous as a member of the crew finds a copy of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" on a shelf. They decide to read from this for the movie and that crewmember is reading through it for fun when they're not shooting. But, MAN, I don't know why they picked "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" because they should have just called it "The Vile Book of Darkness" or something - for some reason this TIBETAN book is filled with Latin and English bits along the lines of "oh dark evil one, come to me so that your evil vengeance can be done."
So maybe it's just because I know a thing or two about actual occult texts but the complete ridiculous fake-ness of this bugs me. But someone should have known that Tibet Buddhists did not traditionally use Latin! Also, there's one scene in which you can see the inside of the book and it's obviously a Christian Bible. Unless the Tibetan Book of the Dead contains a Book of Daniel.
Furthermore, the movie-shooting scenes also come across as totally fake! Either that or the director can be assumed to be totally inept, because every scene seems to consist of one shot with a static camera, and despite characters moving around each other, getting fake-killed, and even going to different rooms, apparently one take provides them with enough footage? OKAY, I was a cinema major as an undergrad so again, this probably doesn't bother the average viewer BUT COME ON, this movie was made by people WHO KNOW HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE. They should have done better!
THEN the movie totally fails with its potential deaths. You know how Chekov said that if there's a gun hanging on the wall in the first act it must be used before the end of the play? THIS MOVIE FRUSTRATINGLY MISSED THAT. There are multiple scenes in which actors are killed for the movie: stabbed with a fake knife, bludgeoned with a candlestick, or shot. After the first time, I was expecting that later in the film, someone would be killed on camera: the prop knife would be replaced by a real knife or something like that. BUT NO, they always just get up covered in blood and smile. I feel like this movie was leading me on!

There are also some ridiculous continuity errors. Like characters say that it's night, go outside and it's VERY OBVIOUSLY DAYTIME, then there's a shot of a cloud going over the moon, but then the characters are walking around and it's still obviously daytime! Man, I know shooting day for night can be tricky but even Ed Wood did a better job of it!

Maybe I'm being too hard on this movie but the biggest problem is that it's boring. There's only ONE zombie in the movie. Or maybe two because one of the crewmembers MIGHT be the living dead I guess? There's no motivation for the killing or anything and it doesn't even happen until the final 20 minutes! Before then, you just see people going about reading from the "Tibetan Book of the Dead" or shooting nonsense scenes for the movie they're making.

Well, at least it inspired a decent rant. A movie this bad can make me appreciate good movies that much more. And the remaining titles in the Severin bundle are two I'm VERY MUCH looking forward to: Horror Express and Psychomania! I'll be genuinely surprised if those are anything less than SUPER AWESOME.

And I also had time enough to read a horror comic!
Tomb of Darkness #22 - this issue are more reprints from the early days of Marvel (and pre-Marvel)
The first story is "I Created Grutan!" but the original title was "I Made the Hulk Live" - of course this Hulk isn't the superhero but instead a robot. I get why they'd change it but... GRUTAN? That's the dumbest name I've ever read! I LOVE IT. The story is that there's a scientist who feels like he doesn't get any respect because he's short. He works with an assistant to become create a serum that will make him taller but gives up and instead decides to build a robot-suit he can go around in and impress everyone. Fun aside: the assistant's name? PYM. Yep, this is apparently the same Henry Pym who would go on to become Ant-Man/Giant Man and join the Avengers. Anyway, Pym gets fired for dropping something and then the mad scientist seals himself forever inside Grutan with enough vitamin pills, food, and water to APPARENTLY last his whole life in the robot suit. But then he finds he left the key for the ignition outside Grutan! WOMP WOMP. Wait, so his plan was literally to live inside the robot suit forever? That's a terrible plan... I wonder if this idea was the genesis of Iron Man.

Next story: "Brother of a Monster" - twins are born one's good-looking and one's ugly. Everyone thinks the ugly one is a murdering monster until he dies and it's revealed the pretty-boy is the real murderer. BY THE NUMBERS FOR A HORROR TWIST but it's still fun.
NEXT STORY BY STAN LEE: clarinet player gets hit in the jaw and loses a tooth. The next day he's super impressed by his ability to play beautiful high notes but nobody else can hear it. Then a living corpse shows up and makes him play in the graveyard for the dead FOR ALL ETERNITY because that note is one only dead people can hear. This is the kind of WTF slap-dash concept I love in old comics! It doesn't even make sense! It doesn't really have to: it's got the living dead and I guess that's enough!

THE FINAL STORY also by Stan Lee: "They Made Me a Ghost" - murderer on death row makes a deal with the devil that he'll become a ghost when he dies so he can scare the judge that sentenced him to death. He's executed, becomes a ghost, floats on over to the judge's home but finds that he's invisible and can't manipulate anything! Then a breeze blows him out the window and UP ALL THE WAY TO OUTER SPACE! Satan shows up and is all "you have made your own hell!"
So, um, I guess in the Marvel Universe, ghosts end up trapped in outer space. Unless you're Ghost Rider I guess.
I had fun with this issue!
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:08 pm

Nemoide, I think we picked up similar Horror Packs, because Baby, Seven Corpses, Psychomania, and Horror Express are included in my set as well :lol:

I think you will get a kick out of Horror Express. It's a little campy, but it's fun. Unfortunately, I can't comment on Psychomania, as I haven't watched that one yet.
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