Friday the 13th – A Quick Ranking of Jason Films

Happy Birthday Jason!

In honor of Friday the 13th, and Jason’s birthday, I give to you my ranking of the movies starring the birthday boy. After 35 years, 200 kills, and severe mommy issues, Jason Voorhees has done it all. Here are is my ranking, from worst to first.

12. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday – What the hell went wrong here? Jason is basically a snake demon that jumps from body to body; he can only be killed by a sacred Voorhees family dagger, and shaves his victim’s mustaches off. This movie has no redeeming qualities. I think I hate this film.

11. Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – This could have easily been my least favorite of the bunch, but the rooftop boxing match between Jason and Julius saves it from being last. The movie has so many holes in it, the boat taking Jason to New York should have sank before it left harbor.

10. Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood – Maybe the most menacing Jason, played by Kane Hodder. Not even that can make up for a terrible story and terrible characters. The only character I like is the biggest jerk in the film; Tina’s doctor. Hard to sit through this one.

9. Friday the 13th (2009) – A pretty lame attempt at rebooting a franchise that needed some life breathed into it. Jason lives in an underground network of tunnels. Pretty weird. Jared Padalecki was alright as the lead. My only question; was that Jason’s crop of marijuana that the characters in the opening scene are searching for?

8. Freddy Vs. Jason: A pretty cool story line which could have been way darker and more like a horror film than a teen comedy. It was nice to see these horror gods finally share some screen time. Lacks veteran Jason actor Kane Hodder, who was the best actor to put on the mask.

7. Friday the 13th: Jason Lives – Pretty sweet soundtrack provided by the iconic Alice Cooper. This sixth film would be a much better film if they left the Tommy Jarvis story line behind. Jason bends a cop in half, the way a human should not bend.

6. Jason X – So silly, but so awesome. Overall, a pretty terrible film. Contains two or three amazing death sequences. Jason as a futuristic looking cyborg is not as terrifying as it sounds. Features a cameo by The Fly (1986) director David Cronenberg, who agreed to be in the movie only if he got killed on screen.

5. Friday the 13th – A true classic horror film. I would love it more if I didn’t find the lead actresses as annoying. Mongoloid boy Jason coming out of the lake is my favorite bit. Kevin Bacon is also a victim to Jason’s insane mother.

4. Friday the 13th Part II – The first appearance of Jason as an adult, and a bad ass killing machine. Runs around Camp Crystal Lake wearing a sack over his head and is dressed like a hillbilly.What’s not to like?

3. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – In my opinion, the best produced and best acting of the saga. An effective horror movie, and Tom Savini’s make-up effects are amazing. Plus a young Corey Feldman and his bald head defeats Jason.

2. Friday the 13th Part III: 3D – Probably the one I have watched the most, and the first one I saw when I was a Kid. Jason acquires his mask from a guy named Shelley. Great music score. Will always be a special movie for me.

1. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning – I can’t really explain why the fifth movie of the series is my favorite. It just is. Sweet deaths, humorous, and cheesy all rolled into one. Jason only appears in dream sequences, but I still love it. Number one because of sentimental value. The outhouse scene is one that will will always make me laugh. Reggie the Reckless is my best-loved character that lives through any of the films. “It’s those damn Enchiladas!”

T.

In 50 Words… Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Directed by: S. Craig Zahler

Starring: Kurt Russel, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins

Caliber Media Company, RLJ Entertainment

Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Russell) and three other men set out on a rescue after people from their frontier town are abducted by cave-dwelling savages. As if pioneer life wasn’t hard enough! Bone Tomahawk is more western than horror, but does not lack brutal bloody violence. The cast is wonderful, and the story is simple and original. The cannibalistic kidnappers are almost Predator-like, and a formidable foe for all-round bad ass Kurt Russell. The western/horror genre is sorely under utilized, but this film is a great start. Bone Tomahawk is bound to become a cult favorite, and rightfully so. The film runs at one hundred and thirty two minutes, but does not lag, and kept my attention from start to finish. Awesome movie.

4.5 Bloody Moons / 5

31 Days of Halloween Day 30 – The Exorcist

31 Days of Halloween – Day 30

The Exorcist (directed by William Friedkin, 1973) It seems improbable that a film with this subject matter could gain the critical and commercial success that The Exorcist has over the past forty years. Film goers in the early seventies were not quite as desensitized as we are in current times. Mainstream cinema had its fair share of chilly movies; Psycho, of the Dawn of the Dead, Rosemary’s Baby and Night of the Living Dead had seen wide distribution, and were all fairly successful. These movies, while considered scary for the time, could not prepare audiences for what was released on December 26, 1973. Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), a young spirited girl, and her actress mother Chris (Ellen Burstyn) are taking residence in Washington D.C. while Chris is there for work. During their stay, Regan begins to exhibit strange behavior; anxiety, aggression, physical abnormalities. These symptoms are accompanied by strange noises and physical disturbances in the house. After a battery of tests is performed on Regan, it is determined that there are no physical sighs to indicate a cause. Regan’s condition becomes dire, and Chris becomes desperate to find help for her daughter. At the suggestion of a doctor, Chris turns to the church for help. She seeks out Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller). Karras himself has been questioning his faith because of his mother’s death. After an initial visit with the afflicted young girl, Karras decides to help the family. Whatever is inside Regan is making claims to be the devil, and knows things that the twelve year old would not know? Father Karras enlists the help of Father Lancaster Merrin (Max Von Sydow), who has experience in the field of exorcism. The ensuing battle between good and evil is shocking and intense, and has dire consequences. The Exorcist is one of those films that have a lasting impact on the viewer, whether positive or negative. The film is polarizing, but undeniably brilliant. It is the type of movie that you think twice about watching alone. The are some first class shocking moments in this film, all delivered by an amazing performance by a young Linda Blair. These scenes would not be half as messed up if an adult was doing the blasphemous things that are taking place. The actors are all great. Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller are convincing servants of god, fearless in the face of the subject matter. Director William Friedkin (French Connection, To Live and Die in L.A.) took something that would seem almost laughable in a story of demonic possession, and created a film that shocked and terrified, but most importantly, changed horror cinema forever. Not only did audiences take notice, but critics also saluted the film. Multiple Academy Award nominations and two Oscar wins were well earned. Possession films are a dime a dozen now, and none of them are really that good. The Exorcist set the bar so high that it will never been duplicated. There will come a time when Hollywood will try to remake this beauty, but they will fail miserably. How do you improve on perfect? This Halloween, watch The Exorcist. The power of Christ compels you.

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)
  • Day 19 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
  • Day 20 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Day 21 – The Cabin In The Woods
  • Day 22 – A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  • Day 23 – The Exorcist III
  • Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)
  • Day 25 – The Blair Witch Project
  • Day 26 – The Shining
  • Day 27 – Trick r Treat
  • Day 28 – An American Werewolf in London
  • Day 29 – The Changeling
  • Day 30 – The Exorcist

T.

31 Days of Halloween Day 29 – The Changeling (1980)

31 Days of Halloween – Day 29

The Changeling (directed by Peter Medak, 1980) When I think of a haunted house, I do not think of skeletons crawling out of the basement, blood pouring out of the faucets, or ancient burial grounds. A Haunting is more effective when the occurrences are more subtle. Unexplained sounds, objects moving by themselves, and shadows are the things that fear are based on. The Changeling hits all the right classic ghostly spots. This is how a haunted house movie should be done. There are no over the top CGI, ridiculous looking specters, or bleeding walls. The film relies on good old fashion tension, a creepy mansion, and the theory that less is more. Grief stricken composer John Russell has recently lost his wife and daughter in a freak auto accident. Trying to piece his life back together, he takes a teaching job in Washington State, and subsequently takes residence in old mansion. Strange things begin to take place; taps turning on themselves, timed banging noises, and doors opening unaided. The discovery of a locked room in the attic has troubled the new tenant as well. After things begin to get worse, John has a medium come in the house. The results lead him to dig into the history of the house, and he discovers the eighty year old unsolved murder of a young boy. The ghost of the boy needs John to bring the secrets to light so his soul may rest, and the truth can be known. There are some really unsettling scenes in The Changeling. The murder of the boy, the medium making contact with the spirit, and the reappearing rubber ball are all haunting. If you have watched the film, you know exactly what I mean. George C. Scott provides a special performance, devastated by his loss, yet dedicated to solving the mystery of the mansion. He is a commanding screen presence. The mansion is vast and also gives a worthy performance as the vessel for the vengeful child spirit. I am not sure what age I was when I first watched The Changeling; maybe ten or twelve. But it took me a long time to watch it again. My greatest fear as a kid was ghosts, and this film scared the holy hell out of me. The effect has diminished, but it is still the measuring stick I use when comparing movies of the supernatural genre. Not a lot of films measure up to this classic haunted house story. Let this movie provide you with a worthy Halloween haunting.

Cool Fact: The Changeling won a handful of Genie Awards (the Canadian Oscars) including Best Picture, and Best Performance by a Foreign Actor (George C. Scott).

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)
  • Day 19 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
  • Day 20 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Day 21 – The Cabin In The Woods
  • Day 22 – A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  • Day 23 – The Exorcist III
  • Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)
  • Day 25 – The Blair Witch Project
  • Day 26 – The Shining
  • Day 27 – Trick r Treat
  • Day 28 – An American Werewolf in London
  • Day 29 – The Changeling

T.

31 Days of Halloween Day 28 – An American Werewolf In London

31 Days of Halloween – Day 28

An American Werewolf in London (directed by John Landis, 1981) Every time I watch An American Werewolf in London, I enjoy, and appreciate it, more and more. As far as horror goes, it is top notch. Amazing special effects (courtesy of legendary make-up artist Rick Baker), truly bizarre dream sequences, and a strong story are all present, but what really makes this film for me is the dark comedy. This should come at no surprise as John Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers) wrote and directed the movie. Landis has a great knack for making audiences laugh. American Werewolf is a fine blend of terror and laughter. Two American college students are traveling through the Scottish countryside. During a brief stop at The Slaughtered Lamb for a pint, they are warned by the locals to “stick to the road and stay off the moors”. After ignoring the advice, they are attacked by a savage animal that leaves one traveler dead, and the other wounded. David, the survivor, wakes up in the hospital. He begins having terrifying dreams, and eventually is visited by his friend Jack’s corpse. Jack explains to David that he was attacked by a werewolf, and because he survived, David would become one as well during the next full moon. Is David losing his mind, or is this a true warning that he is now a man-wolf? As the moon turns, David, and most of London discover that the warning was valid. The beast runs wild in the city, resulting in some violent attacks, as well as some humorous situations. A scene in which a naked David wakes up in the city zoo is worth the watch, as is the first transformation scene. Rick Baker and his team did a masterful job. The effects were much better in American Werewolf than movies of the same time. David Naughton is great as the cheeky traveler David, and Jenny Agutter is charming and lovely as his love interest nurse Alex. The character who steals the show is Jack. Played by Griffin Dunne, Jack is David’s dead best friend who returns from beyond the grave to warn, and subsequently annoy, David. The scenes and dialogue between the two is genuine and funny. An American Werewolf in London is much more than a typical horror movie, but as far as films about shape-shifters are concerned, it may be the best all-around presentation of the genre. This classic should slide nicely into your Halloween line-up. And oh yeah, beware the moon.

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)
  • Day 19 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
  • Day 20 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Day 21 – The Cabin In The Woods
  • Day 22 – A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  • Day 23 – The Exorcist III
  • Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)
  • Day 25 – The Blair Witch Project
  • Day 26 – The Shining
  • Day 27 – Trick r Treat
  • Day 28 – An American Werewolf in London

T.

31 Days of Halloween Day 27 – Trick r Treat

31 Days of Halloween – Day 27

Trick r Treat (directed by Michael Dougherty, 2007) Since I was a young kid, I’ve always enjoyed horror anthologies. Blame it on my short attention span or not, whether it was Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye, Creepshow and Creepshow 2, or Twilight Zone the Movie, I like the fact that these films have four or five mini-films that make up the whole movie. Some of these movies have a continuous theme or element, such as a character or object; they connect each story to one another. This is the case with Trick r Treat. There are four interwoven stories that all take place in the same town on Halloween night; a school principal and his son who take jack-o-lantern carving to the next level, a “vampire” who gets more than he bargained for from a group of girls who turn out to be real party animals, a group of kids who enjoy playing mean pranks get the tables turned on them in haunted quarry, and an mean old man who gets to meet the true meaning of Halloween up close and personal. Each story has one common element; Sam. Sam (short for Samhain) is a demonic little pumpkin faced creature who is an enforcer of Halloween rules and traditions. Sam is always there when something goes bad. If you disrespect Halloween, he will find you. Sam has become somewhat of a new horror icon, a deservedly so. He is as cute as a button, and just has deadly. Each story is based on some sort of urban legend or twist on a fairy tale, and are well crafted and infused with some humor. My personal favorite story is the haunted quarry. Years earlier, a bus of mentally disabled and troubled kids is driven into a rock quarry and left to drown. Present time, some kids plan to play a mean trick on a girl. Their plans backfire when they are the ones that fall victim. Great eerie atmosphere and a spooky setting make it a great segment in Trick r Treat. The cast includes Dylan Baker (SpiderMan 3), Anna Paquin (TVs True Blood), Brian Cox (Manhunter), and Leslie Bibb (Talladega Nights). This film has become an annual Halloween watch for me. If you want to watch a charming little anthology with a little bit of everything, make sure to check out Trick r Treat.

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)
  • Day 19 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
  • Day 20 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Day 21 – The Cabin In The Woods
  • Day 22 – A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  • Day 23 – The Exorcist III
  • Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)
  • Day 25 – The Blair Witch Project
  • Day 26 – The Shining
  • Day 27 – Trick r Treat

T.

31 Days of Halloween Day 26 – The Shining (1980)

31 Days of Halloween – Day 26

The Shining (directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1980) Jack Torrance, an out of work writer, along with his wife Wendy and son Danny, takes residence as the winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. Jack has had his struggles with alcoholism, and looks at this as an opportunity to write the book in peace and quiet. Son Danny sees things differently. A gift he has developed allows Danny to for see the danger that awaits them at the Overlook. The hotel has a horrific secret, and Danny can feel it. Over the course of their stay, Jack slowly descends into madness. The spirits that inhabit the hotel have plans for Jack; they require him to kill his family, and eventually himself. Snowed in and without radio communication, Wendy and Danny must survive to escape the doom that awaits them at the hands of Jack. There are many theories of what Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is truly about, and frankly, too many to discuss here. Let us take it for what it is on the surface. It is a ghost story, on a few levels. First, Jack is harboring ghosts from his past, in the form of alcohol and abuse. Danny is trying to live with the ghosts that speak to him (figuratively), and Wendy is just trying to keep it all together. The spirits of the Overlook Hotel prey on the family’s fragile psyche. I will leave the discrepancies between the Stephen King novel and Kubrick’s movie aside, because there are many, and the film is much different. This is a brilliant film, plain and simple. Right from the opening scene, Kubrick creates and ominous tone, and fills us viewers with an impending sense of doom. The opening theme was a perfect piece of music to open the film. The Shining gives us a sense of disorientation, using the vast hotel and hedge maze to make us feel lost. The winter setting is isolating and makes the situation claustrophobic and desperate. Kubrick meticulously crafted this film to be ambiguous; this is why there are so many ideas floating around as to what his true message is. Regardless, it is perfect. The horror is not in the gore or the violence. The horror comes through the psychology the director places throughout the film; the long hallway shots, the oppressive nature of the hotel, the mystery of Room 237, and the malicious nature of Jacks temperament . Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance with such an arrogance and madness that makes him terrifying. Shelly Duvall is great as Wendy. She plays a needy, helpless, and simple character, until the life of her son is threatened. She then becomes fierce, and would do anything to protect Danny. Young Danny Lloyd played his role of tormented, spooky child very well. His “Tony” voice is quite good. Scatman Crothers has a small, but important role as the hotel’s cook, but more importantly, he shares the “shine” with Danny. He also paints the hotel as a place that can be very dangerous. There are many memorable scenes in The Shining; Jack and Wendy’s encounters in the main hall and the kitchen of the hotel, Danny wheeling around the hotel and discovering the “Twins”, and Jack busting through the door with “Here’s Johnny”. My favorite scene, perhaps of any film, is the bathroom encounter between Jack and Charles Grady, where Grady explains to Jack that he must “correct” his family. Chilling is one word to describe the exchange. As I am sure a lot of people share the same sentiment, The Shining is number one for horror in my books. Thirty-five years later, it still provides more questions than answers. If you are brave enough to see what is behind the door of Room 237, make The Shining part of your Halloween regiment. You know what they say; “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. We wouldn’t want Jack to get dull.

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)
  • Day 19 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
  • Day 20 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Day 21 – The Cabin In The Woods
  • Day 22 – A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  • Day 23 – The Exorcist III
  • Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)
  • Day 25 – The Blair Witch Project
  • Day 26 – The Shining

31 Days of Halloween Day 25 – The Blair Witch Project

31 Days of Halloween – Day 25

The Blair Witch Project (directed by Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sànchez, 1999) Whether you like it or hate it, The Blair Witch Project is a polarizing film. Being promoted as a “true event” found footage film, this is the first movie I remember using the internet as the main promotional vehicle. The story was mysterious, aided by a vague website and a television “documentary” to hype the release of the film in theaters. Being made for a modest $60,000 and raking in $250,000,000 world wide, BWP is a true independent film success story. Three students set out into the Black Hills of Maryland to film a documentary on a local legend, Elly Kedward, a “witch” who was banished from a village after being suspected of practicing witchcraft. Events over the next two hundred years have led the residents of Burkittsville (formerly Blair) to believe that the area is cursed by Kedward, who is now simply known as the Blair Witch. The students, Heather Donahue, Josh Leonard, and Mike Williams become disoriented and lost in the woods during their investigation. Each night, increasingly bizarre events take place, and the trio begin to unravel. The fear of what is in the dark takes its toll and the film makers, becoming more and more hostile to one another. After one of them vanishes during the night, the remaining members break down and lose hope. What happens on the final night of their nightmare journey is unexplained and shocking. Whatever opinion you take on this movie, it has undeniably made an impact on film making. Cheaply made, promoted expertly, and kick-starting the found footage genre, BWP has made it possible for anyone with a good idea and some editing software to produce a film. This is a great example of guerrilla-style film making at its finest. A lot of the acting is genuine reaction, as the directors only kept in contact through radio, and had the actors kept in the dark as to what would happen next. There are some really creepy scenes, such as the voices and shadows of children outside the tent during the third night, and the final sequence which leads to the abandoned house. The camera work is very shaky, and the actors do a lot of yelling, but if you can look past that, it really is an effective film. I buy into the theory that less is more when it comes to atmosphere and effects, and BWP is bare-bones in this aspect. It’s not what you see that scares you; it’s what you can’t see that you have to worry about. The film makers did a great job of leaning on this to create the unnerving nature of the movie. Fifteen years later we all know that the story isn’t true, and although it isn’t perfect, it is original and worth a little attention this Halloween.

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)
  • Day 19 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
  • Day 20 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Day 21 – The Cabin In The Woods
  • Day 22 – A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  • Day 23 – The Exorcist III
  • Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)
  • Day 25 – The Blair Witch Project

31 Days of Halloween Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)

31 Days of Halloween – Day 24

The Evil Dead (directed by Sam Raimi, 1981) It is amazing what you can accomplish with a movie camera, a small budget, and a group of close friends when you put your mind to it. This is essentially how The Evil Dead was made. Director Sam Raimi (Drag Me To Hell), producer Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness), with some friends, made one of the most memorable horror movies on a budget of just under $400,000 (some films have a budget of over $150,000,000, and they suck). Creativity can go a lot further than money, and this film proves it. Five friends travel to a remote cabin for a little rest and relaxation. While they are there, they discover an ancient book and an old reel player. As they listen to the reel player, they discover that the book is called the Necronomicon, the Sumerian Book of the Dead. The voice on the reel recites some of the text as they listen, and the incantations awaken a sleeping evil in the woods. One by one, the characters are possessed. Can Ash (Bruce Campbell) survive the demons long enough to see the daylight, or will the evil swallow another soul? One thing I really enjoy about Evil Dead is the physical acting that takes place. The action, along with the campy nature of the film almost makes it seem like you are watching a demented episode of the Three Stooges. The last half of the film is basically one long, bloody action sequence. The make-up effects, while walking the fine line of being cheesy, are charming,and have a distinct look, and continue to do so through out the series. There is plenty of gore, dismemberment, sexual assaults by trees, screeching and laughing Deadites (possessed people), and most importantly, Bruce Campbell, to keep you entertained for the duration of the film. It is easy to see why the Evil Dead films, and Army of Darkness, have such an amazing fan base. If you manage to acquire a Blu ray copy, the transfer is very good, and makes the experience better. I loved my VHS copy, but it was shoddy at best.I have always been torn over which Evil Dead, 1 or 2, I like better. Evil Dead 2 is essentially the same movie with better effects, brilliant one-liners, and jacked-up insanity. While it is also a classic, I think I am more impressed with first film. It has a distinct “home-made” element to it that reminds me of being a kid, running around with my friends and a camcorder, making our own horror movies. I had not watched Evil Dead in sometime until this writing. I won’t make that mistake again. Please give the Deadites some love this Halloween. Just don’t read the paperback version out loud, unless you want to fight demons all night.

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)
  • Day 19 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
  • Day 20 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Day 21 – The Cabin In The Woods
  • Day 22 – A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
  • Day 23 – The Exorcist III
  • Day 24 – The Evil Dead (1981)

T.

In 50 Words…Tales of Halloween (2015) – A Tiny Review

Tales of Halloween (2015)

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and 9 others. Starring Lynn Shaye, Barry Bostwick, Adrianne Barbeau

Epic Pictures Group

A Halloween anthology, consisting of ten mini stories, all taking place in the same town. Creative, funny, and entertaining for the most part. A couple of the stories stand out, including The Night Billy Raised Hell and Trick. My only complaint is that the segment stories could have intertwined more. A solid Halloween movie in the vein of Creepshow and Trick r Treat. Definite chance to see this one turn into a franchise. Decent gore and special effects, with some good atmosphere. More treats than tricks. Twisted Halloween fun.     3.5 out of 5 Bloody Moons
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