Monday, 10 November 2014

Shocktober 2014

It has become customary for the month of October (retitled 'Shocktober'), to celebrate the Halloween season by embarking upon a 31 horror films in 31 days challenge. This year I went with a theme of 31 horror films from 31 different years. These were watched in a random, non-chronological order, but there had to be a minimum of 31 films from 31 entirely different years (including at least one film from every decade from the 1930s onwards) viewed across the entire month. The dates I used for films were the ones given on IMDB, just to avoid any confusion.
The full criteria of the 'Shocktober' challenge including details of other people who took part and the shortlist I eventually chose (although I did deviate from it slightly) can be found on my Letterboxd HERE. The following are the films I eventually watched listed in chronological order and on the main list below in the actual order I watched them during the month, just managing to fit them all in by cramming four films in on the final day of Halloween itself! I have also included my post-viewing Twitter mini-reviews here for each film also.......................

THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)
DEAD OF NIGHT (1945)
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954)
BLACK SABBATH (1963)
KILL BABY KILL (1966)
SPIDER BABY (1967)
EQUINOX (1970)
TORSO (1973)
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (1976)
MOSQUITO THE RAPIST (1977)
HALLOWEEN (1978)
MOTEL HELL (1980)
THE PIT (1981)
ONE DARK NIGHT (1982)
IN A GLASS CAGE (1986)
INVASION OF THE BODYSUCKERS (aka BLUE MONKEY) (1987)
PUMPKINHEAD (1988)
THE DEAD PIT (1989)
BABY BLOOD (1990)
THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991)
THE VAGRANT (1992)
IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994)
THE NAMELESS (1999)
BRUISER (2000)
MALEFIQUE (2002)
FEAR X (2003)
LAKE MUNGO (2008)
DREAM HOME (2010)
FATHER'S DAY (2011)
EVIL DEAD (2013)
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (2014)


'SHOCKTOBER' 2014:


MOTEL HELL
(1980) (USA)
Motel Hell: Grisly gallows humour, more EC Comics in tone than hardcore horror, topped off with that iconic chainsaw pig climax.
  
BABY BLOOD
(1990) (FRANCE)
Baby Blood: A mad maternal murder spree ensues in absurdist French horror about a parasitic pregnancy. Sleazy, splattery fun.
 
FATHER'S DAY
(2011) (CANADA) 
Father's Day: Boundless energy & ambition on a sparse budget. Crazy, crude, incredibly rough-hewn but spirited splatterfest. 
  
BLACK SABBATH
(1963) (ITALY)
Black Sabbath: A trilogy of terror of Gothic ghostliness. Exquisitely composed - a masterclass of atmosphere, design, sound & vivid colour.
 
IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS
(1994) (USA)
In The Mouth Of Madness: Agreeably insane mix of literary influences moulded into nightmarish paranoid vision of mental meltdown.
 
MOSQUITO THE RAPIST
(1977) (SWITZERLAND)
Mosquito The Rapist: Disturbing descent into depravity & defilement, handles troubling subject with almost childlike innocence. A perverse gem.

EQUINOX
(1970) (USA)
Equinox: Amazing B-movie curio. Hybrid of Lovecraftian demonology, Harryhausen like stop motion monsters & a plot which echoes The Evil Dead.
 
TORSO
(I973) (ITALY)
Torso: Textbook Giallo ,its currency is naked female flesh, black gloved psychos & sudden bursts of savage violence. Lush & lascivious.
 
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN
(1976) (USA)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976): Evocative small town period setting in otherwise unremarkable sack-headed psycho drama with clumsy comedic moments.
 
LAKE MUNGO
(2008) (AUSTRALIA)
Lake Mungo: Sombre, unsettling, stunningly shot & seriously eerie pseudo documentary which archives supernatural mystery in midst of grief.
 
DEAD OF NIGHT
(1945) (UK)
Dead Of Night: Quaint & melodramatic anthology by today's standards, but still sends shivers down the spine & the climax is a horror classic.

FEAR X
(2003) (USA / CANADA)
Fear X : Haunting & downbeat psychological thriller about compulsive obsession with unsettling streak of surrealism & ambiguity.
 
DREAM HOME
(2010) (HONG KONG)
Dream Home: Capitalist aspiration in guise of extreme violence. Satirical bite, social subtext & splatter. Demented & different.
 
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
(1935) (USA)
Bride Of Frankenstein: The pinnacle of Universal's horror classics - ambitious, impressionistic, subversive. A timeless, moving masterpiece.
 
THE PIT
(1981) (USA / CANADA)
The Pit: A psychopathic version of Where The Wild Things Are. Dementedly warped & perversely inappropriate adolescent dark fantasy. Amazing!
 
THE NAMELESS
(1999) (SPAIN)
The Nameless: A doom-laden brew of procedural investigation mystery & occultism horror. Bleak & barren with a portentous sense of dread.
 
IN A GLASS CAGE
(1986) (SPAIN) 
In A Glass Cage: Powerful, problematic, perverse. Relentlessly bleak & increasingly harrowing. A really tough watch, but a morbid masterpiece.

SPIDER BABY
(1967) (USA)
Spider Baby: The inbred Addams Family - influential & insane, a warped cult classic sitting at crossroads of classic & modern horror cinema.
 
KILL BABY KILL!
(1967) (ITALY)
Kill Baby Kill: Bava's Gothic ghost tale is a fever dream of misty graveyards, kaleidoscopic spiral staircases & chilling child apparitions.
  
THE VAGRANT
(1992) (USA)
The Vagrant: Paranoia turns to hysteria in manic comedy / horror as a mental meltdown becomes increasingly more slapstick & surreal in tone.

ONE DARK NIGHT
(1982) (USA)
One Dark Night: Mean Girls with 'psychic vampirism'. Cheesy 80's horror is a bit one note, but mildly chilling & claustrophobic in parts.
 
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
(1954) (USA)
Creature From The Black Lagoon: Universal's last great creature feature, superb underwater sequences & one of greatest ever monster designs. A classic.
 
BRUISER
(2000) (USA)
Bruiser: Its core masked metaphor of a man devoid of identity is a bit laboured, but as a payback fable of a downtrodden drone it delivers.

THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS
(1991) (USA)
The People Under The Stairs: Craven's satirical suburban shocker mixes dark humour & demented horror in wickedly warped fairytale framework.
 
THE DEAD PIT
(1989) (USA)
The Dead Pit: One Flew Over The Corpses' Nest - great location & some ominous atmosphere but shuffles like the undead for its first hour.
 
MALEFIQUE
(2002) (FRANCE)
Malefique: Offbeat & original, a paranormal prison drama with well-etched eccentric characterisation & a nicely nasty sinister streak.
 
INVASION OF THE BODYSUCKERS (aka BLUE MONKEY)
(1987) (USA / CANADA)
Invasion Of The Bodysuckers: Typically grungy n' gooey 80's creature feature. The impressive giant bug is far more animated than Steve Railsback.
  
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN 
(2014) (USA)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014): Works as both a meta slasher cleverly riffing on the original film & a superior remake with a harder horror edge.
 
EVIL DEAD
(2013) (USA)
Evil Dead (2013): I stand by my original assessment - a different beast to the original, but a properly brutal hardcore horror film. I really rate it.

PUMPKINHEAD
(1988) (USA)
Pumpkinhead: Plays out like a grotesque fairytale. Superb creature FX & lingering Gothic atmosphere. Pity Winston didn't direct more movies.
 
HALLOWEEN 
(1978) (USA)
Halloween (1978): What more needs to be said? A masterpiece of horror cinema, Carpenter's classic stands up to endless repeat viewings.


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