Welcome to what may end up being the worst idea in history. We have an annual tradition in our house for this, my favorite of holidays. My wife and I have an all day Horror Movie Marathon. We make a lot of food. We concoct even more alcoholic drinks. We sit our asses down on the sofa and we eat, drink and what monsters, gore and films that range from classic to crap. This year, since we have the our nifty little site here, I’m going to do what no one should ever do and live blog the marathon, Now, I’ll tell you up front. I have no idea where this is going to go. We’re making the scheduled list of films on the fly. Some of these will be films that I haven’t seen before. Some will be old favorites. I will pop in and out as I feel the need to post, so some films may get a full post viewing review. Some may only get random thoughts while viewing. This may also get more and more incoherent as I go because it’s only noon and I’m going to start drinking, which will last on through the night. A warning up front, there will be SPOILERS!
While I normally try to avoid doing that, I want to post freely as I go tonight, plus the addition of booze will make censoring myself even more difficult. So…with that, strap in and get ready for a Reservoir Blogs experiment. Let’s see where this ends up. I’ll be deciding on the first movie soon and heading off into the abyss….Feel free to comment as I go.
we’re going to start with a classic. Fulci’s Zombi 2. It’s a gloriously bad Italian ripoff of Night of the Living Dead. This was actually misrepresented in Europe as the “official” sequel to NOTLD. I figure start with something fun and dumb that I’ve seen before, since I have to cook, bartend and carve a pumpkin. I’ll also be starting off with a hearty bowl of Cheddar Ale Soup with smoked sausage to give myself a base. And a “blood” martini. Let the gore and chores begin.
There are too many Fabios and Sergios and Fabrizios in the credits. I always love the goofy synth music in 70’s Italian horror films, though. THE GBLINS RULE!
12: 50 – How confusing must it have been on Italian movie sets in the 70’s? Half the cast always speaks English and half speaks Italian. Trying to act in a scene like that must be about as nonsensical and confusing as attending a Tea Party rally. Also, what the fuck was wrong with people in the 70’s? Did people really call each other turkey?
1: 15 – I forget how long this film has nothing but bad dialogue and then….BOOM!
There it is. Shark vs Zombie. One of the greatest scenes in motion picture history. This scene is more important than the Zapruder Film. It’s the Citizen Kane of zombie moments.
1:25 – And there is the other famous scene. The sharp piece of wood through the eyeball. I don’t know what the Italian fetish is with eyeball gouging, but it seems to be their go to form of gore setpiece. I’ll give it to the Italians though. During the 70’s, aside from the ridiculous color of blood, they were the kings of getting the most bang for their buck with gore effects. It often time looks too real for how cheap it is. Cannibal Holocaust got people arrested for God’s sakes.
1:50 – I am seeing some of the funniest reaction faces I’ve ever seen in a horror film. My wife is laughing at this too much for it just to be the martini’s effects. Live worms as eye makeup is always cool. I absolutely suck at carving pumpkins. Time for beer. Full Sail’s Wassaile Ale, I believe. One more non-sequitur bullet point and I will officially sound like Larry King.
2:01 – I’m a fan of slow moving zombies, but these zombies seem like they just came from a methadone clinic.
2:10 – I love the final scene. Zombie have taken over New York City and wee see hoardes of undead shambling across the Brooklyn Bridge. Unfortunately, the film makers obviously couldn’t get permits to shut the bridge down, so we also see nromal rush hour traffic zooming by in both directions. Maybe zombies can drive too.
I have fun laughing at Zombi 2, but I do love it. The 70’s Italian horror films have a real chram to them. They’re sort of goofy. Most people prefer Argento and his art school approach to horror, but his films are just as goofy and I think I like Fulci’s bizzare, blunt insturment approach. Zombi 2 does have a pretty great final siege scene, too. Plus, shark vs zombie. It’s all about shark vs zombie. Solid 7 out of 10..on a curve, of course.
Next up – Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers. There’s just not enough movies about werewolves vs the military.
2:41 – I love a film that takes a simple, basic premise and turns it into a fully fleshed out product. A team of British Special Forces on a training mission in the Scottish Highlands runs into a pack of werewolves and have to fight to survive. It’s a lot better than it sounds. Credit to Neil Marshal who may be the best genre film maker working right now. He reminds me a lot of John Carpenter before he turned into Uwe Boll. (edit – My memory was wrong. They’re like army reserves. Not Special Forces.)
2:55 – I will never stop being amused by British slang and curse words. They’re so much better at it than we are.
3.04 – You have to like a director who can play a movie almost completely straight, yet make a scene with a guy trying to put his guts back in humorous.
3:15 – Dog plays tug of war with man’s intestines. Soldier tries to shoot dog, but other soldier pukes on his head. Man puts his intestines back in once again, cursing all the while. This film should have more of a following.
3:17 – Local woman tells surviving soldiers “This isn’t any ordinary enemy.” No shit, sister.
3:22 – Maybe the super glue will finally keep this blokes guts in.
3:28 – The werewolves look damn good for the budget. Top notch designs and good practical effects trump lazy CGI any day.
3:38 – I think every Marshall film has sweeping shots of the English country side. Beautiful scenery for a guy who’s bread and butter is severed heads and severed hands. He really likes severed hands.
3:50 – Kevin McKidd is a damn good actor. He deserves a better career. At the very least, HBO should have given Rome another season or two. All of this cast is pretty good, actually. Outstanding for a low budget horror film.
3:53 – Okay, the reveal(s) are pretty obvious, but they don’t take anything away from the film. I think I need a five hour energy already.
4:00 – My wife is playing the bongos on my cat’s fat stomach along with the soundtrack. This has absolutely nothing to do with the movie.
4:07 – “I hope I give you the shits, you fucking wimp!” That’s a pretty cavalier attitude when you’re about to be eaten. I hope I can go out like that. I’ll tell a bus “I hope my limbs get tied up in your axle and break it!” as I’m about to get run over.
4:12 – I love how huge and monstrous the werewolves are, but in some shots their long legs looks sort od Cirque du Solei-ish. That’s never a good thing.
4:16 – It’s over now and I’m not going to grade it. I gave Zombi 2 too high of a score, so the whole day will be out of whack now. Plus the happy train has officially pulled into buzzed town, so all scores are now meaningless. Still, I have to say that Dog Soldiers is one very solid entry into the werewolf sub-genre, which has far too few decent names on the list. I can’t wait to see what else Neil Marshal has to offer. Next up, I’m going to watch something I haven’t seen before, The House of the Devil. It’s an 80’s homage about a college student who babysits for a strange couple that hide a dark secret of some sort. I’ve read mixed things about it, so I’m hoping for the best. Time to make another drink and them I’ll dive in and see if we have our first dud of the day.
4:33 – We’re on to a hodgepodge of Spanish Meatballs, homemade breadsticks with Romesco sauce and black eyed pea hummus. Also finally trying Black Cherry Lambic for the first time. Finally, a vodka/club soda/lime combo to round it out. I should have a nice earthy vomit for some child’s trick or treat bag. Let’s start the next movie, shall we?
4:44 – someone remind me to rent Stake Land. The trailer looked interesting.
4:50 – Starts right off with the Grindhouse vibe and title sequence. Plus a Dee Wallace cameo. Off to a good start.
4:52 – My cat Beetle is very loud. She just yells and yells. It’s like being in the theater with some asshole on his cell phone. Amber has 86ed her from the living room.
5:09 – Extremely faithful to 80’s films of this type so far. The details, the way it’s filmed, the style of dialogue, that fact that nothing is really happening yet…it’s all very 80’s. These movies were always a ton of mundane scenes and slow buildup. Although throwing in Greg Khin is really not necessary. Let that part of the 80’s slip into the netherworld.
5:22 – My car broke down. I think I’ll pull into the graveyard. So, so 80’s.
5:28 – Why is it that people in horror movies have apparently never seen a horror movie? These people are obviously evil, probably Satanists at the very least. Amber is equating these people to her clients at work.
5:39 – I appreciate a slow buildup and this is pretty creepy, but get on with it already.
5:42 – From Greg Khin to The Fixx. EVIL!!
5:50 – Unexpected clues starting to drop and noises starting to happen in the house. I have to say, this is slow but very effective.
6:00 – Pausing to light the candles in the jack o’lanterns and turn on the special effects. I’ll take this moment to salute Sean “P Diddy” Combs. Between his hilarious scene stealing in Get Him To The Greek (which I’ll review soon) and his delicious Ciroc vodka, he is my favorite person right now.
6:17 – Amber is too much of a perfectionist with the decorating. Screaming stobe lights do not have to be in the perfect spot. We’re just now starting the movie back up. AND, she’s calling a pansy for not hitting the 9% beer yet. I’m predicting an early night for my darling wife. Back to the movie.
6:30 – Never thought a movie with bathtub hair and roofie pizza could be this scary.
6:36 – Didn’t expect this much gore.
6:44 – Pleasant surprise. That was a great little throwback and almost perfectly done. If you’re going to do an homage, know you’re genre and do it right. I haven’t seen a film like this in a long time. It makes me want to go rent the Incubus or The Manitou or some 80’s shit like that. Always nice to see a scary movie built on actual suspense and not jump scares. I’ll highly recommend this one. I hear screaming children so, time to pour beer as Amber hands out candy. Next up – Pieces.
6: 55 – Sort of excited to see this for the first time. It’s an 80’s Italian giallo/slasher classic that was legendary when I was a kid and somehow the only movie of it’s kind that I never saw. From the stories I’ve heard, I don’t think this can possibly live up to my expectations, but at least I’m finally seeing it. Let’s roll.
7:11 – Okay, just now starting and it has the official Grindhouse opening. Then an axe murder. Yes!
7:17 – Turns out this isn’t Italian like I thought. Just good old American slasher trash. Ten minutes in and it’s already as gorey as it was hyped when I was a kid. And as sleazy. I feel very happy right now, as psycho as that sounds.
7:21 – Holy shit. This is already just nuts. It makes no sense and already three deaths. No 80’s homage can do justice to just how bizarre these movies actually were.
7:29 – Icon Moment – The guy that played Bluto in the Popeye musical just appeared wielding a chainsaw and watching teenagers bone in the bushes. Hello, red herring.
7:31 – Amber doesn’t believe that naked lady jigsaw puzzles exist because her dad didn’t have any when she was a kid.
7:36 – “So, I’m slayed by a withering look. Who gives a shit.” Pretty sure Shakespeare wrote that.
7:43 – That mother fucker did NOT just say the evidence in the case was elementary.
7:54 – Not sure why a Women’s Tennis Champ would moonlight as an undercover detective, but why not. Kobe Bryant does occasional captain a crabbing ship.
8:00 – The killer is really not patient in putting the jigsaw puzzle together. He just pounds that crap together. Very sloppy.
8:05 – Jazzersize Murder! Question of the night – How do you hide a chainsaw behind your back without someone seeing it?
8:09 – This has to be Italian. It’s too wacky for anything else. Don’t lie to me credits. Be Italian when you finally run.
8:11 – I swear to God, a kung fu fighter just jumped out and attacked the undercover tennis detective, then passed out, then woke up and blamed it on bad chop suey. You just can’t make this shit up. This may be the greatest movie ever.
8:23 – Amber and I have to admit that we have no idea who the killer is, yet neither of us care.
8:24 – Linda Day George – Worst Actress Ever.
8:27 – Pretty sure this script, especially the dialogue, was written in one night in crayon on the back of a Chili’s Kid’s menu.
8:34 – This is an awesome piece of shit, and I’ve loved it so far, but it’s really over staying its welcome. Wrap it up, B.
8:40 – Go to the bathroom and come back to catch a cat trying to drink my beer. I know you don’t care, but’s it’s funny to me. Also, the English guy is the killer. That makes sense, since he was an American boy that was sent to Sweden in the beginning of the movie.
8:44 – Biggest WTF final scene I’ve ever seen in my life. I can’t even ruin it when we’re doing a spoiler wild night. Everyone must watch the piece of crap at least once. Pure Grindhouse and just amazing. It actually exceeded expectations.Okay, not enough time to watch a full film before the Walking Dead premier, so we’re going to watch Dark House, which I expect to be a complete waste of celluloid. We’ve been lucky tonight though, so who knows. Next up – Dark House!
8:51 – I have no idea how this ended up in my house, but it has horror icon Jeffery Combs and I’m happy to give him some change. Jeffery Combs gotta eat. This is about a theater troupe that set up an elaborate, state of the art haunted house in an actual haunted house. Let’s see what kinda crap we get here.
9:02 – The movie opens fourteen years ago. You have approximately fourteen minutes to gain my interest.
9:08 – A dozen murdered kids and a lady shoving her own hands into a garbage disposal buys you ten more minutes.
9:09 – A woman talking to a shrink about her emotions instantly kills all that good will.
9:13 – Horror stereotype archetypes are all here. Losing steam quickly. Please kill someone soon.
9:18 – Jeffery Combs buys you ten more minutes. He’s the only horror icon that I still like seeing pop up in these straight to DVD crapfests.
9:25 – Sooooo…House on Haunted Hill remake, only dumber.
9:36 – I almost hate movies like this worse than terrible movies. It’s just competent enough to trick yourself into watching the whole thing, thinking it might end up being a good movie. But it won’t be. Yet, it’s not bad enough to switch it off in disgust. It’ll get me through until 10 PM and The Walking Dead premier.
9:43 – This is actually a pretty good basic idea, the really haunted, fake haunted house and some of these scenes are working, but it has an underlying meh factor. THESE are the types of films that should be remade. Not classics.
9: 50 – I’m sorta drunk, Amber is done as expected and this is unfortunately watchable. Not good, but watchable. BUT, it’s going off. Walking Dead is more important. I’ll finish this later. The last movie of the marathon will begin after Walking Dead.
11:30 – Well….I have to be honest here. I’m pretty damn drunk and The Walking Dead has pretty much ruined me. Not only is it basically perfect,as most Darabont films are, it’s surprisingly emotional. Very few movies I had in mind can follow this up and I don’t really want to go there at this point. I’m going to sign off, drink more and finally play some Rock Band 3. This has been pretty damn enjoyable and I’ll probably do this again. Happy Halloween. I’ve done the horror for the last month and will mostly, reluctantly, move on to other genres. I see westerns for November. Whatever. For now, Happy Halloween and drink Ciroc.