Category Archives: 31 Days Of Horror
My passion for ghost stories has led me to watch countless horror flicks and boy, are a lot of them bad.
I get it. Filmmakers want to make a ‘scary movie’; they come up with a premise, find a atmospheric location, throw in some neat effects…and then crap out on the storyline.
So many films start out with such promise! They lure me in with an intriguing set up and my tender, black heart eagerly anticipates a satisfying horror. But somehow the plot takes a backseat to cheap scares and about halfway through all notions of story structure fall apart. We are left with an unsatisfactory ending rendering the whole thing rather pointless.
Man, I hate that!
This is not the case with the 2007 Spanish film The Orphanage (El orfanato) directed by J.A. Bayona and produced by Guillermo del Toro.
My knowledge of Eli Roth’s film career is fairly limited. That said, I loved 2002’s Cabin Fever (just watched it a few years ago) and thought Roth was great in both that and in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. So I was looking forward to seeing what Hostel had to offer.
When the condescending label “torture porn” was being thrown at films like Saw and Hostel back in the early years of the new millennium, I was unable to weigh in on it, as I had not seen either film. Saw is a cleverly plotted thriller that transcends such restrictive and unimaginative criticisms; would Hostel be equally, if not more, intriguing?
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Monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and Godzilla have had dozens of movies made about them, some good and some bad, but why is it that Jaws, a monster all too real, who chased folks out of the water for years, and made his debut in a near-perfect film, can’t get a decent sequel made? We’ll try to find out after the jump, when I look at the spawn of Jaws…
Horror movies are the name of the game for many during this season, but not so much for me. In fact, since July, the name of the game for me is Pokémon GO. “Yes, I’m one of those,” I have answered many an exasperated questioner. Love it, hate it, or never played it, and despite the drop-off in players since the initial craze, millions of people are in hot pursuit of cute creatures in augmented reality. October 26th saw the release of the Halloween update of Pokémon GO, and there will be special treats in the game through November 1st. I tested out the Halloween Pokémon experience Wednesday night on South Street in Philadelphia.
Fall has officially fallen, a fact that means several things to this pro-horror fan. One, I can dust off my favorite hoodies, boots and beanies that have collected dust since last March. Two, I can actually find some decent horror-themed housewares and sundry in mainstream stores that would consider them “seasonal”. And three – the horror movies. Oh, the horror movies. I don’t get cable at home anymore (not legally, at least) but I have fond memories of calling in sick to work because of an unmissable TCM marathon. Rep cinemas eschew the standard Brad Pitt fare in favor of horror classics and any local record or video store worth its salt displays a section specially dedicated to the genre that’s usually reserved for the shelves in the back. It’s a truly magical time of year for horror fans.
Anyone familiar with my academic background or my decidedly cerebral horror podcast, The Faculty of Horror, knows that I’m a classic over-thinker when it comes to movies. A cigar is never just a cigar with me, so to speak, but October is typically the time where I try to hang up my horror journalist/scholar hat and put my Jason Voorhees mask on. I watch horror movies all year long but always with some pointed purpose in mind – be it a review for Rue Morgue, an upcoming podcast episode, or research for a Q&A with some horror icon at a convention. Now, I’m not complaining – my life rules. But it’s something of a treat when I have the time and inclination to pop in an old favorite to watch just for the hell of it, without a deadline or ulterior motive attached, and that’s a luxury in which I tend to only indulge in October.
To that end, my October viewing recommendation for Biff Bam Pop! readers is a fun, freaky little number called Wild Zero, directed by Tetsuro Takeuchi. Released in 1999, this oddball J-horror entry not only crosses boundaries within the genre, it blasts them to smithereens. Is it a zombie movie? A rock ‘n roll, road-trip comedy? An alien invasion flick? A touching love story about a psychobilly fan coming to terms with loving a transgendered person? Incredibly, it’s all of the above, and then some.
As Presidential candidate Donald Trump might say: “It’s a fantastic midnight hour, the best midnight hour, believe me.” And for once, he might be right in his horrific exuberance.
We here at Biff Bam Pop! would certainly agree, and as we continue with our daily 31 Days of Horror series of articles, a tribute to all things spooky this Halloween season, this weekly Wednesday Run column gets in on the act one last time – with another sampling of comic book storytelling you need to get your hands on.
Prepare yourselves, then, for the grandest of grand midnight hour tales! Prepare yourself with a collection of some of the best horror, fantasy and strangeness you’ll ever come across, in any season, with today’s release of Neil Gaiman’s Midnight Days!
Halloween falls on a Monday this year which means that if you have to get up early the next day, you probably will be too tired from a weekend of festivities to do much of anything except sit on the couch and eat leftover candy. Or maybe Halloween parties aren’t your thing and you’d much rather watch something scary on TV.
I remember trying to rent some scary movies for Halloween during the death throes of the video rental chain stores and it was not a pretty sight. Thankfully, we have Netflix now.
Here’s a list of some of Netflix’s best offerings for this, the spookiest of all weekends.
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