Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dr. AC's 2009 Horror Film Wrap-up


Howdy troops,

After much deliberation, here's my assessment of the horror year that was. All of the films listed below were encountered for the first time from January 1 to December 31, 2009 (i.e. no repeat viewings were eligible). To accommodate and acknowledge as many films as possible, I've broken them down into various categories in alphabetical order, with my top pick denoted with an asterisk.

As always, feel free to toss in your two cents worth - we'll make sure you get some change back. Thanks for the past year of rapping and chatting - looking forward to more of the same in 2010!


2009 TOTALS:
140 1st Time Horror Views (out of 289 total)

TOP 20 (or so) 2009 HORROR RELEASES


Antichrist (2009)
Baghead (2008)
Children, The (2008)*
Dead Snow (2009)
Deadgirl (2009)
District 9 (2009)
Donkey Punch (2008)
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Eden Lake (2008)
Grace (2009)
House of the Devil (2009)
I Sell the Dead (2008)
Last House on the Left, The (2009)
My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
Pontypool (2008)
Splinter (2008)
Thirst (2009)
Trick ‘r Treat (2008)
Uninvited, The (2009)
Zombieland (2009)

MIXED BAGS


Book of Blood (2008)
Burrowers, The (2008)
Friday the 13th (2009)
Martyrs (2008)
Midnight Meat Train, The (2008)
Orphan (2009)
Saw VI (2009)
Smash Cut (2008)
Vinyan (2008)
Wizard of Gore, The (2008)
Unborn, The (2009)
Zombie Strippers (2008)







DISAPPOINTMENTS


Carriers (2009)
Collector, The (2009)
Halloween 2 (2009)













TOP HOME VIEWING HORROR DISCOVERIES



Carry On Screaming! (1966)
Creature (1985)
Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
Girly (1970)
Isle, The (2000)
Lost, The (2005
P2 (2007)
Red (2008)
Sadist, The (1963)
Scream Bloody Murder (1973)
Spiral (2007)
TerrorVision (1986)
Timecrimes (2007)*
Stone Tape, The (1972)
Watcher in the Attic, The (1976)
Witchcraft (1964)

PLEASANT SURPRISES (NOT AMAZING, BUT WORTH SEEING)



Cold Prey (2008)
Dance of the Dead (2008)
Flight of the Living Dead (2008)
Les Revenants (2004)
Midnight Movie (2008)
Shredder (2003)









HOME VIEWING DISAPPOINTMENTS



Mirrors (2008)
Prom Night (2008)
Return to Horror High (1987)
Revolt of the Zombies (1936)
Trigger Man (2007)











TOP 13 “WHAT THE ^&@%^@% DID I JUST SEE?” FLICKS



After Last Season (2009)
Bad Biology (2008)
Boarding House (1982)
Fantom Killer (1998)
Island of Death (1975)
Mr. No Legs (1979)
Multiple Maniacs (1970)
Redeemer, The (aka Class Reunion Massacre) (1978)
Sting of Death (1965)
Rock n’ Roll Nightmare (1987)
SS Experiment Camp (1976)
Raw Force (1982)
Wicked, Wicked (1973)
Zaat (1975)



WORST HORROR VIEW OF 2009



Devil Hunter (1980)

13 comments:

  1. Without full reviews it's hard to agree or disagree with your lists... what made "Devil Hunter" so bad?

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  2. Multiple Maniacs is definitely a "What the ^&@%^@% did I just see?" kind of flick.

    I picked up Baghead on DVD while I was on vacation. Glad to see you thought so highly it. I hope to catch up with House of the Devil soon as well.

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  3. Here's the review, G.

    Devil Hunter (1980) (1st viewing)
    The nastiest aspect about this particular “video nasty” is how long it takes to get from the starting credits to the closing ones. Jess Franco is in the director’s chair for this ridiculous adventure/horror story that intertwines the kidnapping of vapid Hollywood starlet Ursula Fellner with the legend of a legendary tribal creature. It’s a time-honored narrative, dating back to 1933’s King Kong, but in this case, our “monster” is nothing more than a tall dark-skinned native with glued-on bulging eyes and an endlessly looped growl that reverberates on the soundtrack every time he comes within 50 miles of the onscreen action. The dialogue is hilariously inept, with characters often contradicting themselves within the same sentence! As far as the flesh and blood departments go, there are certainly samplings of both, but you can find better examples in far less exhausting pictures.

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  4. Haha, I made the DEVIL HUNTER mistake too. I did enjoy Antonio Mayans sounding like a Southern Belle though.

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  5. Thanks for the list. I haven't seen The Children yet. I did hate Deadgirl and I will avoid Paranormal Activity (no gimmicks for me, thanks). I'm one of those viewers who hated the Blair Witch thing!

    I loved Timecrimes - short and clever. But I'm surprised that you don't have Joshua (2007) listed among the "discoveries" - I enjoyed this little film a lot. The Broken (2008) and Dorothy Mills (2008) were not perfect but they were interesting productions.

    I consider Blindness (2008) quasi-horror and a darn good film.

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  6. William - LOL "I have no opinion of men. I just love them." Hell yeah.

    Robie, I'm not sure which "gimmicks" you're referring to with PA - after all, unlike BWP (which I also liked, btw) there is no fancy backstory whipped up online. The whole story is onscreen. However, if you don't dig it, then you won't dig it - seems to be one of those kind of films. DEADGIRL was one of those pics I admired more than liked, the fact that they were able to handle such dark subject matter seriously without ever winking at the camera. I didn't feel good about it afterwards, but I appreciated what they were able to pull off.

    It's funny you mention JOSHUA and THE BROKEN as those were two films that I remember not enjoying quite distinctly. Talk about your different strokes for different folks, eh?

    DOROTHY MILLS has been on my list for a few months now, hope to give it a gander. BLINDNESS is also one I plan to check out - it just got such blah reviews that I didn't feel the urge to rush out. But it's certainly on my radar...

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  7. Craig - Does that mean you saw BAGHEAD as well, or is it sitting on the "to watch" shelf? Be interested to hear what you thought of it.

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  8. So many comments on so many of the titles here, but one stands out from the pack: RAW FORCE!! What more could you want out of a movie? Martial Arts, Cannibals, Nudity, Action, Hilarious Dialog, Drunks on Boats. It's all there!
    Fortunately that was successful enough for visionary writer-director Edward D. Murphy to be able to bring us one other film, HEATED VENGEANCE (not revenge, so presumably it would be a faux pas to serve it cold). While the plot is slightly more straight-forward, the dialog and characters are cut from the same cloth with the incomparable Mickey J. Pollard chewing enough scenery for a dozen movies, I do not lie.

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  9. No, I haven't seen Baghead yet, but I read enough good things about it that when I found it for sale at a rental store for $10 I figured I'd take a chance on it.

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  10. It's funny that you've seen both Raw Force and Wicked Wicked. They were the best movies from each of the past two 24 Hour horror movie marathons in Philly! Both of them are camp masterpieces!
    Of the movies I've seen this year that are on your list, I think you've got them all in exactly the right catagories. Except for the Unborn. I would put that in "disappointments." Everybody in that movie who survived to the end would be spending the rest of their lives in jail...

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  11. Tom and Albert - RAW FORCE was brought into my awareness (as it was the other folks present at the final Share the Scare of 2009) by none other than fellow film fiend Jason Coffman, who first encountered the film at (wait for it) the 24-hour marathon in Philly earlier this year. Seriously, I can't imagine watching that film alone, as I think I would lose my mind and/or need an encounter group STAT. But seeing it with a group fully fueled with food and booze such as we were... Heaven.

    Kitley and I watched WICKED, WICKED over at his place earlier this year, neither of us having seen (or heard of) it before but having been told by one of our mutual friends, "Dude, you gotta see this." Truer words could not have been spoken. What a great freaking WTF movie -can't believe it doesn't have a bigger rep. Spread the word!!!!

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  12. I'm a major fan of John Waters and the Dreamland gang from way back.
    "Female Trouble" is my favorite of all his films.
    I'm a big "Martyrs" fan, although the last half of the film made me feel somewhat sick due to the brutal torture sequence.
    I thought "Zaat" was super cool. I love those swampy 70's Florida monster movies.
    "Cold Prey" and "Cold Prey 2" were well done. Norway's on the move horror film wise these days.
    Always loved Arch Hall, Jr. and "The Sadist".
    "Zombie Strippers" was well done and the effects looked very well polished.
    And "Midnight Meat Train" was a welcome back for Clive Barker story based films. Although, I really didn't like "Dread" all that much.
    Great list Aaron. :)

    Michael LeBlanc

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  13. Choptop/Michael,

    Thanks for your in-depth response! I'll try to answer in kind.

    Prior to this year, I had only seen PINK FLAMINGOS and SERIAL MOM, and being that I consider myself a bit of a cult film fan these days, I relaized that I needed to amend this situation post haste. Luckily, I stumbled onto his book SHOCK VALUE in the library, which spurred my desire to see Waters' films in order to read the book (this is often the course of things with me - can't read about the film until I've seen the film). As a result, I dived headlong into the wonderful waters and discovered that I'm a huge fan of his early films and less so of his more recent efforts. Right around HAIRSPRAY and semi-mainstream acceptibility/visibility, some of the magic wore off for me and while still enjoyable, he hasn't seemed to get it back yet.

    MARTYRS was a noble attempt to do something different, but it suffered (in my opinion, of course) from the problem of changing what movie it wanted to be every 15 minutes. And the torture scenes had the opposite effect on me - I actually got bored with them after a while.

    ZAAT was recommended to me by a friend and as fate would have it, it showed up on Turner Classic Movies last October. Good times.

    I've not seen COLD PREY 2 yet, although I'm very curious to see how they continue the story...

    THE SADIST just knocked me out, especially since the only other thing I'd seen Mr. Hall do was EEGAH!

    ZOMBIE STRIPPERS was silly fun, although they were more like moldering vampires than zombies at times, being very cognizant of their goings-on, you know?

    MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN would have made a great short film. As a feature, it felt pretty padded and illogical, with some decent gore mo-mo's.

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