Sunday, October 30, 2011

Insomniac Theater Presents: My (Pretty lame for a guy that calls hmself a horror movie fan) Shocktober Movie List

The Halloween Spirit  appeared, for the first time this year, on Friday night when Adrienne and I went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show,  a loving tribute to many of the movies I saw as a kid.  This was the first time in (way) over two decades that I had been to a "live" RHPS showing.  Fortunately it wasn't at midnight because there is no way I could have stayed up that late.

It was a great show; in addition to the antics in the audience, there was a fairly well choreographed stage show.  Many of the men and woman in the audience wore jaw-droppingly revealing costumes, often made up of bustiers, lingerie and thigh high stockings held in place with a garter belt.  I was hoping to see amongst the usual Playboy Bunnys, sexy nurses, maids, stewardesses and pirate babes, some serious female role model type  costumes like Slutty Secretary of State or Supreme Court Dominatrix.

Usually, I the month of October to a festival of horror films that I used to share with my children, but due to some personal issues, I haven't felt much like it this year.

But, that the heck, a good scary movie can be like the best 90 minutes of an LSD trip; weird, thrilling, colorful, and then it's over.  In no particular order, here is what I've been grooving on this month:

Check out the door in the desert

Velvet Vampire (Stephanie Rothman, 1971)-Speaking of trippy,this was a unique, female helmed vampire film from the early 1970s has plenty of the "Oh wow" stuff.  Not hindered by a low budget, our characters struggle for survival in the beautifully shot California desert.  Made during they heydays (and nights) of the sexual revolution, the husband and wife openly compete for the chance to have sex with the vampire.  Featuring the impressively sexy Celeste Yarnell and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Michael Blodgett and his hair, Velvet Vampire was well worth the time it took to get it from Netflix.

House of the Devil (Ti West, 2009)-I have had a copy of this for quite a while, but never got around to watching until recently.  I probably won't watch it again.

The Others (Alejandro Amenabar, 2001)-Even though I have seen it many times and the plot holds not twists for me, this ghost story still raises goose pimples on my arms.  Told in a restrained, methodical style, The Others is my favorite kind of horror.  Nicole Kidman is awesome as a mother at her wits end, but James Bentley and Alakina Mann are just as amazing as her children.  Only flaw, the body of the movie is so scary that I was exhausted by the finale.

Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011)-I had never heard of this movie until the night I watched it.  More of a sci-fi actioner, there was plenty of humor and it was lots of fun.

Day of the Dead (George Romero, 1985)/Diary of the Dead (George Romero, 2007)-I am not sure why I watched these two so closely together, considering the 22 years that separates them.   Watching them together made the similarities (or cliches?) too obvious.  A group of largely unlikable characters are thrown together to battle the living dead, stretching the veneer of civilization thinner and thinner until it breaks.  Romero has said that his living dead movies are vehicles to comment on society (couldn't find the interview, sorry).  On a personal note, I have dreamed about  gaunt, hollowed eyed zombies pursuing me my entire life, even before I became obsessed with monster movies.  Watching a decomposing, reanimated corpse struggle with an unwilling victim still sends me into a panic.

Twilight (Catherine Hardwick, 2008)-Although I am not on the band wagon, these wildly popular books and movies turned the vampire mythos on its head. No Gothic castles, coffins or cloaks or stakes here.  The vampires of Twilight  never sleep, drive Mercedes Benz and look sexier in direct sunlight.  My post about it is here.

I  don't know why the movie isn't playing, but you can see it here instead.

Another movie I already wrote about was Matthijis van Heijningen's The Thing.  I guess it made quite an impression on me, but now, two weeks later, I don't remember much of it.

Jennifer's Body (Karen Kusama, 2009)-Who can resist Diablo Cody's snarky dialogue?  Watching this  for the third time last night, I still got plenty of laughs from demon possessed Megan Fox's catchy retorts.  However, the thing that stays with me the most is Amanda Seyfrid's eyes;

The Woman (Lucky Mcgee, 2011)-I don't usually like to use this space to say negative things, but I thought this film was pretty ho-hum, even the brutally violent last third.  It was simply another twisted tale of female empowerment from Lucky Mcgee and Jack Ketchum.  Here is a video clip of someone being escorted from the Sundance premier:

 That is all for tonight; it is early enough that I may have time to watch another film tonight.  I hope so because I would love to go on that journey and maybe get a glimpse of the inside of my own soul.

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