all the rest. [halloween moviefest, 2010.]

So, without going into great detail, because I don’t feel like writing about it, I got really sick and spent most of the last few days sleeping. I was able to get the movies in, but was unable to write about them. Thus, like last year’s post, the rest of the films I watched for HWMF ’10 will get a short treatment here.

Day Nine: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)


The good: Francis Ford Coppola’s freaky side. Gary Oldman being awesome. Anthony Hopkins as the most awesomely hilarious Van Helsing ever.

The bad: Keanu Reeves being Keanu Reeves. Sometimes it was a little too far into the campy side for me. Also, I thought sticking so closely to the epistolary form of Stoker’s novel hurt the narrative flow. Oh yeah, and the success of this film at the box office is largely responsible for the production of Dracula – Dead and Loving It.

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Day Ten: Monster House

I queued this one from Netflix because of a pretty solid voice cast, the involvement of Dan Harmon (creator of Community), and a decent showing on Rotten Tomatoes. There were definitely a few moments where I laughed out loud, but that’s about all I have to say about this one. Underwhelmed.

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Day Eleven: Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens)

The classic silent horror film which influenced everything to come after it. There isn’t much to say about it that hasn’t already been said.

From a movie-lover’s viewpoint, it’s impressive to watch this movie and see how it is still used by horror directors, and directors in general, as inspiration. Although, call me uncultured, but I do still have trouble getting into silent films. There are just so many huge leaps in translation of storytelling technique that I have trouble making. I get why the acting has to be so over-the-top and falsely emotive, I get why the text panels have to be up on the screen for an hour, I even get why the pacing feels confused and erratic by later standards in film. I get all those things, I just still have trouble getting by them and getting into the film and story itself.

Still, Count Orlak, the Dracula based villain, is pretty fucking creepy for 1922.

I won’t sit down and watch it for fun, but it’s not hard to see why this movie is a big deal.

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Day Twelve: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Nothing new here. We own this one, so I’ve seen it several times.

How do you not love this movie, or any Wallace and Gromit film for that matter?

Curse of the Were-Rabbit has everything: cheese, amazingly bad puns, hilarious sexual innuendo (mostly vegetable related) that stays vague enough that you won’t feel bad watching it with your kids, the cutest bunnies in movie history, Gromit, and the smarts to make fun of the metaphors normally played with in the werewolf sub-genre (that is, before Twilight went and spoiled everything for a few years).

If you haven’t seen this movie, I accept your apology, just try and have it watched before Thanksgiving and we’ll just pretend this never happened.

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Day Thirteen: The Fly (1986)

I threw this one in because it was one of those sci-fi horror classics I’d never seen because it came out when I was four years old. We’ve had some trouble in the mail-forwarding department, so several of the films I’d been sent from Netflix haven’t shown up yet. Thus, I fell back on the trusty instant queue. I sure am glad events transpired the way they did.

This movie was stupendous! Jeff Goldblum’s transformation into Brundlefly was hugely entertaining, albeit in the grossest possible way.

Cronenberg did such a great, uncompromising job of sticking to what the film was, a ‘scientist turned monster’ movie. They never wasted any time outside of their purpose, it stayed focused in a way films normally don’t. Also, I’m not really sure how the monster effects didn’t seem terribly outdated by today’s standards, but it was as creepy, gross, and disgusting today as I’m sure it was in 1986. More often than not, scenes that were a big deal in the 80’s make us laugh now. Yet, there were several scenes in The Fly that made me jump, or led to an audible “Bleh, that’s nasty!” on my part. That’s pretty freaking impressive.

Also, it’s the movie that gave us the line, “Be afraid, be very afraid.” That’s gotta count for something right?

Gooooo, team Cronenberg!

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Day Fourteen: Shaun of the Dead

I watch this movie every Halloween, and usually once or twice between then as well. It’s one of my favorite movies ever, and seeing it theatrically back in ’04 was when I discovered and fell in love with Simon Pegg, which wound up paying tremendous dividends in terms of my continual entertainment. He’s like the Prime Minister of geeks (the loving awesome things sort, not the biting the heads off of birds sort).

Also, I soooooo want this.

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Day Fifteen: Dead Snow

This one was on last year’s list, and I’ve already written about it in a number of places, including here. If you can stand the blood, you should watch this movie, it’s loads of fun.

So, there you have it. Another successful Halloween Moviefest in the books. I’m still looking for suggestions for 2011. What are your favorite related films?

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    • towardeverywind
    • November 2nd, 2010

    I agree with your treatment of “Dracula” and only have one thing to add … Tom Waits was surprising and awesome as R.M. Renfield!

    • Jesse
    • November 6th, 2010

    “Bubba Ho-Tep” should definitely be in the mix next year. An elderly Elvis and a black JFK battle an ancient mummy who is ravaging old people’s buttholes in an east Texas convalescent home. For reals.

      • Scott
      • November 6th, 2010

      Done, and done.

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