Friday, October 25, 2013
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 48
Remember to post your seven word reviews of these movies in our Scary Movie Challenge after you watch them. Let's see how many over 1,000 we can get!
Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (1995, dir. Ernest Dickerson) I have so much history with this movie. Demon Knight was one of my junior high movie crushes (you're still my number one, Park, don't worry). I was completely in the bag for Tales from the Crypt on HBO and even watched it in syndication late night on Fox, which is a ridiculous thing to do. Then, lo and behold, a commercial for Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight comes on during a commercial break. And it was opening on Friday the 13th. Holy crap! I knew what I was doing that night - gathering up my Karate Blood gang and seeing my main ghoul the Crypt Keeper on THE BIG SCREEN! Here we come! Cut to January 13th and the "classy" theater in town wouldn't let us in because it was R and we were all 12. NOOOOOOO!!!!! I had to see I.Q. that night. That is the opposite of what I wanted to happen. I had to wait two long weeks for it to get to the other theater in town (at the mall where no one cared if you were 12 - you could be 2 and get in), but man was it worth it. I saw Demon Knight twice in the two weeks it was at the mall. This movie is glorious. It's so much fun. If you haven't seen it, get your friends together and watch it during your scary movie night this Halloween. P.S. I also owned a Demon Knight t-shirt, which my school made me turn inside out but not before my first date at the middle school fun fair with Jenny D. I wore it proud AND got to jump on an indoor trampoline with my woman. I had it all figured out back then. Maybe I should wear a Demon Knight shirt on more dates…
The Mummy (1932, dir. Karl Freund) The original version of The Mummy doesn't quite fall into the same holy territory that Dracula or the two Frankenstein movies fall into for me, but it's still pretty fantastic. Boris Karloff gets to work in some different territory here than he did in Frankenstein, which had been released the year before. He's only in makeup a fraction of his screen time, but he's just as menacing and has a looming, dark presence for most of his scenes. Also, this film has a fantastic score that's very memorable and atmospheric. Zita Johann is the leading lady opposite Karloff and is surprisingly sexy, especially considering the times and the fact that the Hays Code was cracking down on "indecency" in movies during the early '30s. The likes of the costume that she wears toward the end of the film wouldn't be seen again until years after this film's release. Once again, a Universal movie sets the tone for how we think about a monster. Classic, without a doubt.
Slither (2006, dir. James Gunn) Michael Rooker returns from a one-night stand not quite the man he was before. Boy howdy, I just saw this at the Massacre two weeks ago, and was I impressed. This turned out to be one of the highlights of that 24 hour horror marathon. Slither walks a fine line between being scary and showing an obvious affection for the genre that inspired it. In short-- if you love Tremors, you will love Slither too! Great performances by Nathan Fillion, Gregg Henry, and Michael Rooker, who really commits to the bit.
Piranha (1978, dir. Joe Dante) After nearly 50 of these columns, it's hard to come up with titles that a) haven't already been recommended and b) you haven't already seen. So I'll suggest checking out Joe Dante's original Piranha, his solo directorial debut for Roger Corman's New World Pictures (and the movie that would launch him to bigger and better things like The Howling). Not content to just make a Jaws rip-off, Dante made a very funny, self-aware movie that knows it's ripping off Jaws and knows it's silly. It's not scary, but it is a lot of fun. And Belinda Balaski is adorable.