Adam: I enjoy the small amount of Blaxploitation horror that I’ve seen (Sugar Hill, Tales from the Hood) and I’ve heard for years that Abby is something to behold, albeit a shameless rip-off of The Exorcist. In any event, sounds fun.
Rob: A Blaxploitation Exorcist sounds amazing. It also has a great poster.
2) Dead Ringers
Adam: This is one of the few David Cronenberg movies I’ve yet to see. I bought the Scream Factory Blu-ray recently, so I’m out of excuses. I like Jeremy Irons, so I’m excited to see two of him and how can I resist a movie that I found out scarred Adam Thas?
Rob: I haven’t seen this one either, but now that you’ve mentioned Jeremy Irons, I’ll be reading the rest of this column in his voice.
Adam: It feels right to watch a George A. Romero movie this month and I somehow missed watching Land of the Dead in its initial release despite seeing the following two Dead movies - Diary and Survival. I know Land is not (among most) his finest hour, but I’m interested to see him working this concept within a major studio.
Rob: I really wrote off the whole second Dead trilogy when it came out, so I need to look at it with more sympathetic eyes.
4) Lord of Illusions
Adam: Surprisingly, to me, I’ve always gotten Clive Barker’s brand of horror (I like how S&M and gothic everything feels...it gets under my skin) but never got around to seeing Lord of Illusions. I bought the Scream Factory Blu-ray, so the time feels right this October. I know Patrick is a fan of this movie. It has a terrific trailer, too.
Rob: Barker is my kind of freak. I haven’t seen this one, though. Let me know.
5) The Night Flier/Graveyard Shift
Adam: Like you, I’m trying to catch up on Stephen King I’ve missed. The Night Flier is a movie that was put back on my radar because of an early Shock Waves episode where the interview was with the film’s director, Mark Pavia. I picked up the movie and it’s been on my shelf ever since waiting for a SMM viewing. Graveyard Shift is the last King movie on my Paramount 4-Pack that I’ve yet to see and it has Andrew Divoff in it, so I mean, c’mon!
Rob: I’d never heard of The Night Flyer. Miguel Ferrer? Interested.
6) The Others
great podcast on the film.
Rob: Finally, one I’ve seen! The Others is really great. I’m going to double it with Stoker next time I watch it.
Adam: This is one of the DVDs I picked up at MonsterMania, Rob! JB has sung this film’s praises for a long time and that piqued my interest to see it. Also, it will be nice to see Glenne Headly (RIP) again and I want to see another Bernard Rose film to pair up with Candyman, which Patrick and I will be podcasting in October.
Rob: Remember when we met Alison Lohman and it was completely fine?
Adam: I will never forget how ordinary that experience was.
8) The Phantom of the Opera (1989)
Adam: There’s a lot of reasons I picked this movie. I’m on a big Robert Englund kick right now (especially after Flashback Weekend), I need more Jill Schoelen in my life, this take is directed by Free Willy 2/Rapid Fire/Halloween 4’s Dwight H. Little and I’m so much of a fan of this story that I even like the 2004 version with Gerard Butler as the Phantom. This is another one of those movies where I was too young to see it when it was in theaters, but it has always stuck in my mind as a movie I had to eventually see.
Rob: Don’t forget that Dwight H. Little also directed Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, which is a real movie that exists.
9) Salem’s Lot
Adam: Another King I have yet to see and it will be nice to visit (and re-visit) some Tobe Hooper in October as well. The vampire is practically iconic and I know Heather is a huge fan, which makes me eager to check this movie out. I have been putting it off because of the runtime, but no more excuses.
Rob: I haven’t seen this since I was a kid. I keep picking it up at Best Buy and then putting it down again. Maybe I’ll pick it up for good this October!
10) Wrong Turn
Adam: I’ve wanted to see Wrong Turn since it was released, but I was dating someone who wasn’t into horror at the time so I missed it and then forgot about it until about a year ago when I found the DVD for sale at Best Buy real cheap. At the very least, I get to see Eliza Dushku for an hour and a half and that’s like fresh air for my eyeballs.
Rob: The Dushku Rule in full effect.
Author’s note: I am still a giant horror noob. This will be an issue every Scary Movie Month. I am doing my best.
1. The Nightmare on Elm Street Series
Rob: My heavy lifting this SMM will be finally tackling some slasher sequels, starting with Nightmare. I’ve only seen the original, the remake, and Freddy vs. Jason. I HAVE seen Never Sleep Again twice, though. Go figure. Anyway, after conquering the Friday the 13th series last month (and the Hellraiser series last year), I’m feeling confident about knocking out a few of these per night.
Adam: I’m excited for you to see so many entries in this series for the first time. It’s my favorite slasher series and you have some good ones in store (e.g. Dream Warriors, New Nightmare). Never Sleep Again is a good primer for better appreciating the sequels. Should I bother watching Hellraiser III and IV? I like the first two.
Rob: Part III is campy and fun, so you might enjoy the ‘90s aesthetic. You can leave the rest.
2. The Halloween Series
Rob: I know! Shut up! I’m a bit further ahead on this one, though. I’ve seen Parts One, Two, Four, and Rob Zombie’s two films (I don’t care what anyone says - his Halloween 2 is super weird and cool). Watching all these slashers is fun, but not having distinct childhood memories to go with them really robs them of context. So why do it at all? Maybe I’m trying to catch up with the nostalgia and warmth that permeates so heavily among the film fans I talk to most often. I want to be part of that, but I know deep down that I never really will. I just missed it. I mean, the only Friday movie I’d definitely watch again is Jason X, so my opinions on this topic are pretty much garbage.
Halloween III is a must. I plan on revisiting a whole bunch of these this October as well, especially H20, which I haven’t seen since the ‘90s. And you are 100% correct about Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, which is a powerful (that opening in the hospital is gangbusters) and sad movie. I always read it as a movie about the collapse of Laurie Strode and it works great in that regard.
3. Creepshow, Cujo, and Pet Sematary
Rob: With the impending release of IT, we all know it’s going to be a Stephen King-heavy SMM. I’m decently-versed in King on film, but this is as good a time as any for me to knock out these three fan favorites.
Adam: I was late in the game on Cujo, too (just watched it for the first time during Junesploitation). Creepshow is by far my favorite of that bunch and I’ll always have a soft spot for Pet Sematary because it was a movie I saw at sleepovers growing up. It’s always freaked me out.
4. Let the Right One In and The Devil’s Backbone
Rob: I’m seriously deficient on foreign language horror, and these are two of the most acclaimed.
Adam: Let the Right One In is great. JB and Patrick did a show on it and JB’s analysis made me love the movie even more. I can’t remember if I’ve seen The Devil’s Backbone.
5. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Rob: More homework, this time to check out Fredric March’s Oscar-winning performance from the 1931 classic.
Adam: I’d like to revisit this one. I remember liking it, but I watched it DVR’d off TCM and I think I was distracted putting up Halloween decorations or something as I was watching it.
6. Inland Empire
Rob: The only David Lynch film I’ve yet to see, due largely to the fact that it’s extremely difficult to find legally in the US. I promised myself I’d do the legwork to finally hunt it down this SMM.
Adam: I saw it once in a theater. It’s demanding. It also has a scary Laura Dern shot where she is running at the camera. I never knew someone I think is so fine could scare me for all-time.
7. House on Haunted Hill
Adam: I always want to like William Castle movies more than I do. House on Haunted Hill is one of the best ones I’ve seen, though. Which three Vincent Price movies have you seen? I love that guy. It doesn’t feel like October unless I’ve seen a couple of his movies.
Rob: I’ve seen The Fly, The Last Man on Earth, and one of the Corman movies. Masque of the Red Death, maybe? I can’t remember. I’m awful.
Adam: I love The Last Man on Earth! You really need to check out Tales of Terror, too.
8. The Funhouse
Rob: I almost watched this over the weekend, but I wasn’t really in the right headspace for it. Actually, I hardly ever binge an actor/director/whathaveyou’s filmography after their death. For whatever reason, I don’t process grief that way. I just shove it down deep into my soul, where it churns and boils, infecting everything for the rest of my life. Anyway, I’ve decided to save The Funhouse for SMM.
Adam: I bought the Blu-ray at Flashback, so I’m ready to rewatch The Funhouse too. I owe it another look.
Rob: You know how you buy a new car and suddenly notice that car everywhere? I heard about Society randomly on a podcast last year (probably in reference to the then-upcoming Blu-ray release), and now it’s popping up in conversations all over the place. I’ve always heard it described as “Conenbergian comedy” and one of the most biting social satires in recent memory. No idea if that’s accurate, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.
Adam: I’ve never seen this one but am curious. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!
10. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Rob: I’ve been warned AGAINST watching this by so many people (because of its content, not because of its quality) that this feels like the right way to end my list. Plus, Guardians of the Galaxy has definitely kicked off a Michael Rooker renaissance (a Rookassance? I’m not as good at this as Riske is), which is all the more reason to check out one of his defining performances.
Adam: I watched this once a few years ago and it’s very good, but I will never watch it again. I recommend finding something like Hocus Pocus to watch immediately afterwards or your day will be entirely miserable after watching Henry.
Rob: Maybe Ernest Scared Stupid? I bet that holds up.
Adam: It’s a perfect movie.