It was the swinging 60’s, the fashion was mod and the threat of nuclear annihilation …
Having completed night one, let’s dive right into the remaining nights of my 31 Nights of Horror!
On the second night of my October horror movie marathon I queued up this offering from Spain. “Rec”, as in the record button on a video camera, is a found footage film done right. A downright scary movie about zombies unleashed in a Barcelona apartment building and quickly quarantined by the health department that immediately understood the danger of rampant zombies in the Spanish night life. Creepy, horrifying and with fabulously well done scares.
I spent night 3 listening to WKAB’s Stevie Wayne, transmitting from Spivey Point, Antonio Bay. “Hey, there’s a fog bank out there.” Master of scares John Carpenter offers “The Fog”. Starting right off with a most masterful exposition, told as a beach campfire ghost story by what seems to be an ancient mariner, performed by the late great John Houseman. That story alone can keep you up at night, but then the prophecy from the story begins, at the witching hour. Still more exposition from an alcoholic priest reading from a diary, we know exactly what the ghouls in the fog are up to on the eve of the centennial of their deaths. Jamie Lee Curtis, living up to her scream queen title, shares the screen with her Mom, Janet Leigh, she of “Psycho” fame.
Nights 4 and 5 featured a back to back undead feast! When is a zombie flick not a zombie flick?? When it is a Rom-Com disguised as a Zom flick. The incredibly brilliant “Shaun of the Dead” from across the pond, will make you cheer for all the horror and comedy and romance, wrapped up in a bite size fleshy morsel.
And speaking of flesh, there is lots of it to be eaten in the grand daddy of all zombie flicks, directed by the horror master George Romero, “Dawn of the Dead”. The movie that answers, “where do you go when the dead walk the Earth?” Shopping of course, to the nearest Mall! “When there is no more room in Hell…” there’s always room at The Gap! Damn, now I’m craving an Orange Julius.
On night 6 I decided to follow six adventurous ladies through the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina to go spelunking. What could possibly go wrong? Hint: just about everything! “The Descent” is not for the claustrophobic soul. Or the scared of the dark, scared of high places or black water or rocks or oh, yeah…blind, scary, creepy mutants!
I take a quick detour on the 7th night by indulging in a Sci Fi thriller that features truly horrific creatures: John Carpenter’s, “They Live”. The movie that reveals what the one-percenter, media mogul and politicians really look like, and how they communicate–OBEY–to the masses–CONFORM–with subliminal–SUBMIT–messages in all–CONSUME–our media.
I went into the vault and found, in a deep crater, a cracked meteorite containing, “The Blob” on night 8. I invited my teenage boys to watch with me. Our viewing devolved into a riff filled, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style event. This was the late, great Steve McQueen’s film debut. “That’s a teenager!?” “He’s got wrinkles!” “Seventeen?!?!?” My kids didn’t buy the character…nor the creature, the Blob. Nothing horrifying about it. Still, it is a classic.
Night 9 offered up a Friday Night Double Feature. And today, in the light of day I can finally release myself from the tight fetal position I slept in because. I lived through a back to back viewing of Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” and “Hellraiser II” Oh the sights I have seen. My suffering was legendary, even in Hell! I felt like my soul had been torn apart! Both films together provided a cacophony of sounds and striking, disturbing visuals that overloaded my horror senses. But I loved it all.
For the 10th night of my 31 Nights of Horror, I went back to the found footage film, this time mixed with giant monsters. Its J.J. Abrams and Drew Goddard’s monsterpiece, “Cloverfield”. Something has found us. And man is it pissed! The single camcorder point of view, complete with amateurish shakiness works to perfection here. The few short reveals of the invading creature heightens the tension and builds to a gigantic, monstrous finale.