Yes, another October is here! For some reason this month makes us all morbid and strange. October, the month where it’s perfectly fine to walk around with a Jason mask on. Pumpkin spice is everywhere and scaring children is a little more acceptable. The only thing we aren’t getting is a Stranger Things season three. But we are getting a new Halloween film! That will be interesting and you can read about that here
The Spirit of Halloween stores are opening in what once was your nearest Toys R’ Us. Hold, on. Let us take a moment of silence to Toys R’ Us. Kind of a bitter joy when you think of it. The best store to ever exist is gone yet another awesome store moves in for one month only! If I was rich, I’m talking about really rich, like being able to buy a third world country rich or never wear old socks kind of rich; I would buy a Spirit of Halloween store and just keep it open all year.
So it Begins
This is for the Joe Bob Briggs fans. Those folks that remember when TNT was awesome and Monster Vision was the best. When The Angry Video Game Nerd would do Monster Madness! So I do these to continue that tradition. To declare a set of movies for a marathon because I have nothing better to do! Not as a review but more as a recommendation.
The movies presented are ones I consider to be great and deserve everyone’s attention. Hopefully, the marathon can offer fellow horror fans that extra source of fuel for their love of the genre. We all know how much we love the films, yet something about reading from other fans; it makes us happy. Similar to a stupid Daily Show crowd, we’re all here to laugh and approve of everything we already believe in. They know Trevor Noah isn’t funny, but they have to laugh at every stupid “joke” he says.
Even to the part time or non-horror fan. That person that just wants to make the Halloween season a little more exciting. Those that don’t want to watch the Halloween franchise on AMC over and over again. They also always skip Halloween 3 which is complete crap! AMC is full of penguin shit! Take your terrible Walking Dead show and shove it! We all know it should have ended six seasons ago and now it sucks.
Movies like Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family or A Nightmare Before Christmas aren’t getting you pumped up like your kids. Those films are so burned into your mind that you’re about to slice open your stomach and eat your own guts. It shouldn’t be called 31 Days of Halloween. It should be called 31 Days of The Same Shit! It’s nauseating and if I hear “I Put A Spell On You” one more time then I’m giving my kids up for adoption! Damn you Bette Midler! May the dark corrupted soul of Walt Disney haunt you forever! Your face looks like it’s eternally sour!
With all this said, maybe you realize that being scared is fun. Hopefully, my intent is that I can inspire a little good old fashion fear and joviality for you this month. Join the dark side and become a fan of horror! Yes join us and be cleansed from your world of terrible Jason Statham and The Rock action films! Forget the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Those movies are like an immortal roles of toilet paper. The same butt wiping garbage over and over again!
Horror fans are vast and wise. We appreciate the art of the movie and know deep down that it’s the genre above all other genres. Like how Christmas is far better than all the others, even Jack Skellington thought so! Horror is the best. It spans across all other genres. Comedy, action, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and romance. There’s a horror movie that fits in with every category and we abide by the horror code! Fans stick together. We meet every Wednesdays at the old Presbyterian church down on Market Street. A ten percent tithe is taken to support horror movie directors in impoverished third world countries. Newcomers must bring drinks and cups as we have our casserole medley!
A Simple History
There are three ages of horror films and all three bring a special style to the mix. Most horror fans can appreciate all oi them and see them as ground breaking moments in the genre history.
The Golden Age
This age ranges from the 30’s through the 40’s and set the trend of the horror genre. The first part of this age were the Universal heavy hitters like Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman. Actors like Lugosi, Karloff and Chaney Jr. were the leaders of the pack. All of these films set the standard as to how we see these monsters and their roles in the horror world. Although the Gillman didn’t appear until 1954; I still consider him a golden age monster. It’s also a fair point to mention that this age includes (in my opinion) the very first trilogy in film with Frankenstein in 1931, The Bride of Frankenstein in 1935 and of course Son of Frankenstein in 1939! The Frankenstein franchise may have been the very first Expanded Universe! Know wonder Universal tried doing the Dark Universe. The bombed at it but it was an attempt.
It would continue on through the 40’s with typical monster films. Movies like Dr. Cyclops and Cat People would be other greats during this period. We also had our very first “versus” film with Frankenstein Vs The Wolfman. This would inspire more ‘monster mash’ kinds of films like House of Frankenstein.
These films aren’t scary by today’s standards but they possess eerie and dreamlike tones. There is nothing better than watching White Zombie late at night with the lights out! That soft sound and darkness can’t be beat. It immerses your soul and mind into the film and brings echoing nightmares. These were my introductions to horror when I was a small child. Sitting there in the living room with my father as I ate that night time bowl of Rice Krispies and watching these films. The television would shine dim white strobes of light within the room. Turning my surroundings into the old dark castle or the infectious murky forest. It took me an untold amount of blinks to wake me from this delusion.
The Silver Age
As the Golden Age moved on through the 40’s and on into the 50’s; monsters started losing their drive and sci-fi started becoming popular. The 50’s was the atomic age, with nuclear power and scientific discoveries fueling the fears of culture. Movies like Invasion of The Body Snatchers or The Thing would become the norm of the time. Them! was a film that spawned giant creature films and aliens were the common enemy in films like Earth vs The Flying Saucers. Little green men were terrifying and Godzilla was king of all monsters!
The Silver Age, ranges from the 50’s to the 70’s and it includes some diverse movements. After the sci-fi movies made their mark, Hammer Film Production began reviving the monster genre in it’s colorful gothic themes. Hammer redesigned the classic monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein with a more edgier and gorier take. These movies made actors like Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and Peter Cushing horror icons and legends in time. Other directors like Alfred Hitchcock introduced the human monster in films like Psycho. I wonder how many Americans actually knew disturbed Norman Bates was actually inspired by an actual killer named Edward Gein.
Silver horror is often credited to the age where the subject matter started becoming more questionable. Hammer had scenes of rape and murder, completely new for it’s time. Fiend Without A Face might be the first film to get critically pounded for it’s gore. These movies would inspire future horror directors to cross the line and bring us into the Bronze Age.
The Bronze Age is huge and the last real testament to the age of practical effects. From the 70’s throughout the 80’s the Bronze Age brought us into the realm of greatness. The market is dominated by teenagers and horror primarily dwells around them. Horror went balls to the wall with films like The Exorcist and Hellraiser. The zombie made it’s break-thru with George Romero’s Night of The Living Dead. But really delivered in it’s franchise sequels Dawn of The Dead and Day of The Dead. It’s also the age of the slasher. A new group of monsters that preyed on youth are making their appearances. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Leatherface are the new players. Replacing Dracula and Frankenstein, these monsters are brutal and live for the kill. Camp horror films like Evil Dead and Re-Animator made a huge impression during this time as well.
What I love about Bronze horror is how there’s so much of it. You can name the big players like Krueger and Voorhees. But damn, you left out Pumpkinhead and the Tall Man. There’s ghost films, slasher films, monster films, demon films, body horror and so on. If you’re looking for a certain horror story, then this age probably has it.
“But dude, you said there are three ages of horror. What about the 90s to right now?” Well yea, the 90’s had some good horror films. Scream certainly revived the slasher genre and that guy that’s obsessed with twists and the city of Philadelphia made more ‘mystery’ style horror in movies like the 6th Sense and Signs. I love modern films and use them all the time in my entries. But there isn’t a trend and everything is a copy of something else. It’s not bad stuff. Good art mimics good art I guess. But there isn’t a wave of awesome films with underlining themes and techniques. Not enough to be considered an age. Found footage was popular for a time but people forget that Cannibal Holocaust was the first found footage horror film and not The Blair Witch Project. There was a time when we were remaking Japanese ghost movies like The Ring and The Grudge. But that passed and I don’t think it’s that memorable. The Dark Castle movies were schlocky and were kind of trendy. Maybe those could be considered cultish in the future. You can read about that here. Hmm, so nothing is big enough to be an age I guess. Or maybe there is a new age of horror?
The CGJS Age
I guess we could be in a “CGJS Age.” Known as the Computer Graphics Jump Scares Age. Movies rely on the use of computer graphics to get their effects done. Everything from the blood and guts, to the monsters themselves are now all CGI. Though not all films, there are some movies like The Void, Trick r’ Treat, Krampus and Baskin that use as little practical effects as they can. But 2018’s The Nun is a huge defiler of this trend and so are the other movies associated with it. Nothing is practical and everything lacks raw presence. The human brain can detect fake. It’s like a woman with fake boobs that look like swollen water balloons on her chest. Your brain says “God didn’t make them that way!” We can tell and instead of focusing on the things that matter, we keep thinking of the counterfeiting being shown to us. But the biggest problem is some of these films with so much CGI; have really crappy stories as well. Then to top it all off, they’re filled with a butt load of jump scares. Another product of mass marketing in Hollywood. They plague the genre and it’s disgusting. The head of this movement is Blumhouse!
So horror has come a long way. Trends come and go but lately nothing to be excited about other than individual films like Mandy or The Witch. We shall see where it goes. But nonetheless Horror Movie Marathon 2018 will commence in the fashion it was intended. Hopefully everyone enjoys my 31 choices. If you’re familiar and have seen these movies then I hope you enjoy them again. If they’re new then I hope you can appreciate them for what they are.
Everyone have a great month of October!