Saturday, November 01, 2008

Kickoff

Welcome to November. I hope you all survived Halloween, the last gasp of October and sanity for the hell-ride about to come. What am I talking about? I wish I knew as I listen to my baby babble instead of go down for her nap. I knew I should have let her sleep on me while Night of the Demons was on. In any case, this marks the first day of Nanowrimo, and instead of being productive, I'm making blog posts that don't count at all. I'm going to use Google Docs this time around, I think. It allows me more access to the file wherever I go and I don't need to worry about multiple copies or a USB key like I did last year. This book's title? Well, it's the one I was going to do for the Nanowrimo in 2006--The Man Eating Women of the Isle of Why. I'd tell you more but it would spoil the content.

Instead, here's a new Top 5. It's a tough one to decide, since it's a favorite topic of mine and a lot of people would populate the list with the usual standbys. Here goes.

Top 5 Slasher Movies:

1. Halloween: This is probably one of the best, if not the best out there. For the same reasons I've outlined in the Halloween post earlier, it's a classic. Great villian, great death scenes and a ton of suspense and memorable characters. They feel fleshed out and you actually care a little when they die. Michael Myers is remorseless and implacable and goes about his business with a executioner's grace. It's one of my favorite films and a fantastic slasher movie.

2. Black Christmas: This is the original movie. Not the shitty remake. This film by Bob Clark (A Christmas Story) will terrify the hell out of you and make you fear the phone when you're alone in the house. The plot is simple. It's Christmastime and a sorority is getting ready for break. They're also getting disturbing phone calls and ending up dead via an unknown killer who has taken up residence in their attic. Olivia Hussey is sublime as one of the tormented girls and you can see a young Margot Kidder as a slutty sister, as well as the fantastic John Saxon. Perfect for the holidays and it's one of my seasonal films.

3. The Burning: This is a new one for me though it's an older film. I discovered it a few weeks ago and I've taken a great liking to it, and to a lesser extent, Madman, which is based on the same legend. It's a killer stalks the kids at camp tale, but came out around the same time as F13, so it's not really a ripoff and does it in a different manner. Kropsy doesn't give a shit if you're horny or innocent. He'll chop you the fuck up either way. It takes a lot of build-up to get to the killing, but when it happens, it doesn't relent until the memorable ending shot. It was on last night but my parents don't get IFC so I watched Degrassi of the Dead instead, which, incidentally, was a better and more loving homage to the original Dawn of the Dead than the actual remake.

4. Phenomena: No, not the John Travolta movie. This flick features Jennifer Connelly in the Alps at a private school. Her father is famous and she's a bit of an outsider and there's some killings going on that are perpetrated by a gloved assailant. That's ok, because Jennifer can control bugs and Donald Pleasence is around to help her with his pet monkey. That's right, a monkey. Probably more of a giallo than slasher, it's got all the trappings and some beautiful cinematography as well. Argento did a great job on this one. There's a few twists and turns and enough to keep you guessing all the way until the wtf ending.

5. Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Why not the original? I like this one better. I think it did more than just take a nod from Phantasm and played with the idea of your own body being possessed and controlled by a malevolent force to a new level. Freddy torments the poor boy and kills those who get in his path. I enjoyed this more, if not just for Freddy tearing his own head open to show his brain to Jesse. It was fun and inventive and probably on of the last times we saw a truly evil Freddy, instead of a wisecracking jokester who happens to murder people.

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