Adam: Welcome to Reserved Seating. I’m Adam Riske.
Rob: And I’m Rob DiCristino.
Rob, to start out, have you watched any of the five new-to-you movies you set aside for October? You go first before I dive into my list!
Rob: The only one I’ve watched so far is Excision, which I really loved. AnnaLynne McCord is incredible as Pauline, a high school outcast whose sexual awakening is ignited by thoughts of blood, gore, and death. Determined to save her sister Grace (Ariel Winter) from cystic fibrosis and become the dignified social butterfly that her mother (Traci Lords) wants her to be, Pauline sets out on a journey of (literal) self-discovery that features some of the darkest comedy I’ve seen in a long time. The social satire is spot on (John Waters even cameos as a priest), and the dream/hallucination sequences (orgies of sexual violence in which the frumpy Pauline transforms into a regal goddess) are gorgeous. Excision definitely isn’t for everyone, but those with the right kind of eyes will have a great time with it.
Gremlins for the first time this week, so that’s probably my favorite rewatch so far. He also got to see E.T. The Extra Terrestrial at our beloved Mahoning Drive-In this past weekend, so that was pretty special. He’s still only four, so I’m trying to find stuff that will match his maturity level and attention span. E.T. and Gizmo seemed to fit that bill. Other rewatches include The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Silent Hill, both of which I picked up on Blu-ray this month.
My second favorite first-time viewing so far is probably One Cut of the Dead. Is it strange that all of last year’s festival hype kind of put me off this one? I sort of resigned myself to the fact that it would never live up to its reputation, so I shouldn’t even bother with it. I’m happy to have been proven wrong. While its narrative structure makes the twists almost impossible to enjoy on first viewing, One Cut of the Dead is a wonderfully fun and creative peek into the making of (actually, the making of the making of) a zombie movie. My only gripe is the second act, which -- while totally necessary to set up all the jokes that come later -- really drags. All is forgiven by the end, though. I was literally standing up in my living room and cheering the movie on for the last five minutes or so. There’s nothing like a movie that trusts its audience. I really dug it.
Alien knockoff set on a cruise ship, Uninvited pits a group of Spring Breaking hotties against a killer mutant cat. My friend sent me the Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray after we saw the movie featured on RedLetterMedia’s Best of the Worst, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s one of those bad movies that has just enough charm to be watchable. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot a somber George Kennedy hovering near the bar in most scenes. Something tells me that wasn’t scripted. There’s also a truly bizarre Clu Gulager performance that is better seen than discussed. It’s something else.
What have been some of your favorite new viewings? Everyone seems to be watching The Furies (I liked it!). Have you watched it yet?
Adam: I haven’t. I’ve been kind of intentionally avoiding 2019 releases this month to focus more on movies from mostly the ‘60s, ‘80s and early ‘00s. I’m in a rut with new movies right now (Dumbo (2019) is in my top 10), so my gut impulse is to take a break for a while. I haven’t even seen Joker. I’ve had a good run with new-to-me movies this month. I saw and enjoyed The Changeling, Friday the 13th Part 2, Hellraiser: Bloodline, Christmas Evil, House of Usher and Cat People (1982). I also really liked revisiting Broken Lizard’s Club Dread, Death Proof, House of 1000 Corpses, Splice, Bad Moon, The Blob (1988), and my annual viewings of Hocus Pocus and Bubba Ho-Tep.
For the rest of the month I’d like to see The Horror of Party Beach, My Boyfriend’s Back, The Hunger, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Riding the Bullet, Night Tide, and Salem’s Lot - all being first time viewings. I also want to rewatch Suspiria (2018), Don’t Breathe, Misery, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream 1 & 2. I’m also looking forward to going to some of the Music Box of Horrors marathon next weekend, where I’m hoping to see Alligator and The Fly II for the first time, plus a long-overdue rewatch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then there’s Scary Movie Night at the Bromley’s which is always a great unofficial capper to the month.
Rob: I’m saving Suspiria (2018) for Halloween night. I tried the fall-themed Oreos (I think they were called Maple Something?) and wasn’t too impressed. Orange Vanilla Coke sounds awesome, though. Need to get me some of that. My son picked out some spooky skull lights and candles, so the mood is set at home. As for candy, I tend to be pretty boring (I still don’t think humanity has topped the Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cup), but I saw a recipe online for a Maple Bourbon Old-Fashioned, so I’m going to try that. I also want to try that Maker’s Mark/IBC Root Beer concoction that JB wrote about last week. Looks like I’m heading to the state store.
Anyway, I threw that whole “each week dedicated to one decade” idea out right away (deep down, I knew I would), but I’m still planning on hitting the other four on my original list (The Tenant, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Cronos, and The Orphanage). Honestly, though, I’m having a lot of success so far just plowing through my Shudder queue. Some notable movies still on there include The Changeling, Deep Red, Hell Night, Spring, Ganja & Hess, Prevenge, The House by the Cemetery, and Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II, a movie I try and fail to watch every single Scary Movie Month. The Mahoning Drive-In is doing a Halloween party on the 25th featuring Halloween I, II, IV, and V. I may go for the second night (I would like to rewatch the Thorne Trilogy this year) just to see the decorations and events they have planned.
Anything else of note so far this Scary Movie Month?
Adam: I tried the Gomez’s Green Chile Omelette at IHOP last weekend. They have a special menu as a promotional tie-in for The Addams Family animated movie. It was good. I thought it would be more fun, but after I ordered it I just felt like a big loser. Everyone else at the IHOP was having “normal” food and here I am forcing an experience. #ThisIsTheFaceOfDepression
Rob: I’d eat a Gomez’s Green Chile Omelette with you anytime, bud. Join us next week for more Scary Movie Month updates. Until next time…
Adam: These seats are reserved.