I've been spending one of my first weeks off in a long time enjoying AMC's Monsterfest
. Nothing's better than bad 80's horror movies that have been edited for television. Scary movies friggin' rock even when they're horrible. Just like pizza. And to commemorate that fact, along with the fact that this is dude.man.phat's 500th blog post (woohoo! break out the streamers and shit!!), I've decided to launch a new interactive feature: In 100 Words Or Less
. I read and enjoy a lot of well-written blogs. So I've asked (via email) a few of my favorite bloggers (this week it's all L.A., baby), "What's your favorite scary movie (in 100 words or less)?" and, since I'm not totally
lazy, I'll start:
"All of my favorite movies seem to involve 80's nostalgia. So my favorite scary movie would have to be Gremlins
. Not scary, you say. Suck my balls, I say. When friggin' mean, green monsters with scary teeth start jumping out of my Christmas tree when I'm trying to decorate it, I piss in my pants. I don't know about you. They also tried to kill Phoebe Cates!! And, as a little kid, I didn't want to feed my pets after midnight or get them wet for months after I saw the movie. My poor stinky anorexic pets."
"Right now, my favorite horror flick is Ju-on 2
(the sequel to the original Grudge
). I watched in a room full of men and still jumped out of my seat more times than is acceptable. But it does make me wonder why the Japanese are so afraid of little girls with messy hair. That's probably why the Asian horror market has been sucking over here in the US for a while... the "scared of little girls with crazy hair" thing just doesn't translate on this side of the Pacific. What if we just took out the little girls and put in an evil clown or some midgets? I think that would work better."
Hilary, Superfluous Juxtaposition
"This one's easy. I absolutely positively hate scary movies, so I don't watch
them. Thus, I have no favorite. How's that for a hundred words or less?"
A.J., A.J.'s Piece of the Web
"My favorite scary movie is The Changeling
(1980) starring George C. Scott (Patton
, Dr. Strangelove
). Though 25 years old, The Changeling
has aged VERY well (better than I have). Here's the logline: "A man retires to a lonely mansion and begins to experience supernatural occurrences linked to the house's evil past." This movie has everything: slow, spooky, spine tingling scenes and swallow-your-gum, shriek-out-loud shocking scenes; all wrapped in a great mystery. I can't reveal much more without spoiling it, but let me just say that you'll never look at an empty wheelchair the same way again. Netflix this one now."
Helena, Blood and Guts
(1985) made me afraid of yogurt. When miners find this substance oozing from the earth, they do what anyone else would do—taste it! And wouldn't you know, it's downright delish? The product is mass-marketed, catchy jingle and all—Can't Get Enough of The Stuff! Things are peachy until people become inexplicably addicted to it, and start turning into horrible, jaw-unhinging zombies. Is this a Delicious Dessert? Or Mind-Controlling Alien Being? Thankfully, this disaster would be impossible today, as I'm sure The Stuff is so loaded with carbs that nobody would eat it in the first place."
Reagan, Glory Fades
& the now defunct Tale of Two Cities
, b/c when i was but a fetus growing in my mother's womb, she and my father rented the movie for what i'm assuming was a romantic evening indoors. up until this point, i was to be a meagan. like reagan, but with an "m." however, while watching regan aka linda blair vomit pea soup and fuck herself with a cross, my parents (again, i'm assuming) looked at each other, my father possibly laid his hand upon my mother's stomach, and in that moment of silent agreement i became reagan. so no, i was not named after the president."
"Lord of the Rings: Return of The King
~ Everyone has their quirks -- midgets, clowns, anal sex, midget clowns having anal sex. Me? It's the giant spiders that haunt fantasy films. You get a spider so big that you can see those eight horrid eyes and razor-sharp pinchers... Ghastly. So while I very much enjoyed the gay hobbits and epic warfare, there are large portions of ROTK
I have never seen because I was curled into a ball, eyes tightly closed, hoping that the horrid squeals of Shelob were almost over. Once, I let myself peek… for long enough to choke back a scream."
Lonnie, Crushed By Inertia
"MY FAVORITE SCARY MOVIE: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
~ Tobe Hooper's 1974 masterpiece is so simple, so rudimentary, with its amateur cast and zero-budget production, that the scares and violence feels more authentic. Like in the similarly-chilling Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
, the killings in the film aren't gruesome, over-the-top set pieces like you'd see in a Wes Craven or Dario Argento movie. They're mundane tasks, chores even, performed by guys who presumably commit these sorts of atrocities all the time. I think it's why Hooper chose to open his movie with the soon-to-be-chainsaw-massacred teenagers driving past a slaughterhouse. Leatherface isn't killing people like some brilliant methodical serial killer. People are not a challenge for him, they're not the ultimate prey. He kills them like a farmer might kill a cow, with no feeling or remorse. We're just meat to Leatherface. Now that's disturbing."
Neil, Citizen of the Month
"I do not have a favorite scary movie because I hate scary movies. I've never seen a movie with either Jason or Freddie. I know, I'm a total wimp. The scariest movie I've ever seen was a 70's movie called The Omega Man
with Charleton Heston. Chuck is pretty much the only normal man alive after some sort of nuclear disaster. Everyone else is some sort of zombie that only comes out at night. And these zombies are scary as hell, with creepy makeup and really ugly 70's clothes. I can still visualize the scary faces of these zombies. Maybe I'll see if I can watch it again on Halloween. Maybe I've gotten braver with age."
Atlas, Assistant Atlas
"I'm not a big fan of scary movies, since screaming like a schoolgirl is bad for my rep. That said, Dario Argento's Suspiria
is one sweet-ass horror movie. It's got all the classic elements-- such as an all-girls boarding school with evil teachers-- plus, it's got that soundtrack which has me all Pavlov-ed out. Every time I hear that eerily happy melody, I start nervously looking around for ballerina witches."
Megan, Overeducated and Underemployed
"I am easily scared. As a child, I made my friend's mom take me home from Goonies
before it even started because the trailer shown before was vaguely frightening. I tell you this because I feel I must disclose that the number of "scary movies" I have seen is small. Still, I can say with confidence that among them (and all others), Watcher in the Woods
is the awesomest. To summarize: Old Bette Davis. Spooky mirrors. Backwards spelling. ALIENS. A seven year-old Megan at her final New York sleepover before moving west. A fear that followed her to California. Nerak!!!"
Thank you everyone for your participation. I ditto all of the choices AND recommend all of the above sites for content that is way better than the Average Joe blogger. If anyone wants to participate in future "In 100 Words Or Less" posts, drop me a line. I like fanmail. I also like hatemail. Okay, I'm just trying to fill up my Gmail account (now hovering at 13%). Let's work together to make that happen.