Monday, October 31, 2011

Frank's Five Favorite Horror Films

October. As the leaves begin to turn so do Americans stomachs as they plow through the back catalog of go to horror standards. As with most of my other personal preferences, these films I have chosen to share with you are not ones you will find on most lame critic's list. Don't get me wrong I do love some of the standards (Rosemary's Baby, Suspiria) but I thought you might be looking for something different to throw in between Paranormal Activity viewings. The six films included here are some my favorite horror films, ones that I come back to every year at this time, and Christmas as well.

Possession - 1981 - Andrzej Zulawski

Driven by a scenery chewing performance by Sam Neil as a family man whose wife, played impeccably by Isabelle Adjani, may or may not be having an affair with an other worldy demon. The story plays out like a traditional infidelity drama until Adjani's character begins a sexually charged epileptic fit amid daytime traffic. As her finger nails begin to bleed and the milk like vomit propels from her mouth you know the "other man" might be working with a little something extra. Great physcological drama with some old fashioned monster movie scares as well. The creature in the film was designed by the same team that created E.T. Go figure.

Black Roses - 1988 - John Fasano

Satan and Rock n Roll. A devilish duo continually preying on the the impressionable young minds in middle America towns.  Why Satan chose the town of Mill Basin is beyond me, but I am glad he did because it is great fun watching these ignaramious teenagers turn on each other and their parents in fits of Satan induced rage. Cheesy to the max, silly and totally propestious, Black Roses is great trashy rock and roll fun for Halloween.

Repulsion - 1964 - Roman Polanski

As if us guys needed another reason not to talk to quiet pretty girls, Polanski's most frightening film is a grave reminder that just because someone is beautiful and innocent looking doesn't mean they won't beat you over the head with a candlestick if given the oppertunity. A horror movie about a true pyschotic person. As Deneuve's character literally watches the walls around her crack, so do we see the through her subtle performance that her male suitors might not make it past first base, and if they do it might be sans a limb or two.


Hour of the Wolf - 1968 - Ingmar Bergman

What pretentious film list would be complete without an Ingmar Bergman film. Before I discuss the pyscological mind fuck that is Hour of the Wolf, I would like to call your attention to the recent additions from Bergman's back cataloge currently available on Hulu. The Criterion releases on Hulu are all around fanatic, especially the focus on lesser known titles. Anyways check it out the Hulu+ membership is less than ten bucks and the selection is amazing. Ok back to mind fuck.

There are numerous films in Bergman's career where horror themes creep in, generally stemming from sort of manifestation of a character's mental anguish. Hour of the Wolf is unique in that follows a fairly standard horror plot involving a young couple, buried secrets and a haunted dinner party. As I am sure you know, Bergman is a fucking genius filmaker and single handedly one ups most other horror movies with similar themes. It might be too pyschologicaly dense for your less inspired friends, but for the rest of us Hour of the Wolf is an unique horror experince.


Return of the Living Dead -1985 - Dan O'Bannon

The believable dialogue and competent directing makes this film a standout in the Zombie pantheon. Much like the new AMC show Walking Dead, the story focuses on the personality and back stories of the survivors. We get to know these characters not just as prey on the run, but also as characters. The New Wave motley crue at the center of the story show suprising dimension in their characters, proped up by the tight screenplay and excellent direction. Also includes one of the most legendary topless graveyard dances performed by the amazing Linnea Quigley. Hands down my favorite zombie movie, sorry Fulci fans! Return of... was written by Dan O'Brian who also wrote Alien and Aliens.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the days of screening these classics at the old Shack