Sunday, November 3, 2019

2019 SCARE-A-THON FINAL RESULTS!!!



And that, friends and fiends, brings us to the end of yet another OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE and Scare-A-Thon 2019!

As always, the Challenge itself is to watch (at least) one fright flick for each of those glorious 31 days that make up the month of October, 16 of which must be first time views. I am happy to report that we have accomplished that lofty goal and that along the way, thanks to the generous hearts and minds of fans like you, over $2,500 has been raised for Amazon Watch, with additional funds still coming in. (Yes, you can still drop a line at drach101@gmail.com if you wish to donate!)

My thanks to everyone who participated in some way, whether it be reading the reviews, making a contribution, watching alongside, or just stopping by to chat here or on the HORROR 101 with Dr. AC Facebook page. It makes the long nights go by much easier knowing that one’s efforts are noticed and appreciated. Hope you found a few new suggestions for future movie nights along the way!

Below are the 31 “official” features viewed (with links to the full-length reviews), as well as 16 additional titles "just for fun." Beyond that, there are a bevy of additional OCD factoids you might get a kick out of… or you can just run for the exits like any sensible human being. The choice is yours.

Enjoy!

CHALLENGE STATS:
Total Movies Watched: 47
First Time Views: 16
Total Scare-A-Thon Donations: $2,565.56

BONUS STATS:
TOTAL TIME: 4534 min (75.5 hours)
AVERAGE MOVIE LENGTH: 96.5 min
LONGEST MOVIE: Midsommar (147 min)
SHORTEST MOVIES: Tetsuo: The Iron Man (67 min), Trilogy of Terror (72 min)


OLDEST MOVIE: The Man Who Laughs (1928)
NEWEST MOVIES: 3 from Hell, Brightburn, Midsommar (all 2019)


MOVIES WATCHED ALONE: 24
MOVIES WATCHED WITH OTHERS: 23


SOURCES:
Cinema: 13
Personal Library: 12
Blu-ray/DVD review screeners: 10
Public Library: 4
Internet/streaming: 4
Redbox: 2
Borrowed from Friends: 1
Netflix: 1

FAVORITE DISCOVERIES:
The Predator, The Medusa Touch, White of the Eye, The Haunted Strangler, Terror Beneath the Sea, Bloody Muscle: Bodybuilder in Hell

FAVORITE REVISITS:
The Innocents, Let Me In, Ravenous, Beware! Children at Play, The Man Who Laughs, Dog Soldiers, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, The Omen, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

SEQUELS: 7
Halloween II, The Fly II, The Predator, Jigsaw, 3 from Hell, Demons 2, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

REMAKES: 2
The Omen, The Blob

MOST VIEWED DIRECTOR:
Ari Aster (2)

MOST VIEWED ACTORS:
Sean Pertwee (2), Liev Schreiber (2), Bill Moseley (2), Harvey Stephens (2)

COUNTRIES REPRESENTED: 8
(USA, Japan, France, USA, UK, Italy, Canada, Russia, Spain)

SUBGENRES:
Psycho Killers: 12
Ghosts/Hauntings: 6
Science Gone Awry: 5
Monsters: 3
Animals Attack: 0
Psychic Powers: 2
Vampires: 3
Killer Kids: 4
Zombies: 1
Enemies from Space: 2
Cannibals: 1
Werewolves: 2
Scary Clowns: 0
Anthologies: 1
Occult/Religious Horror (Satan/possession/demons/cults): 11
Animals Attack: 0
Mummies: 0
Big Bug Movies: 0
Based on Videogames: 0
Documentaries: 1

COMMENTARY TRACKS: 2 (The Blob, The Devil Rides Out)

NON-HORROR MOVIES WATCHED IN OCT: 0


THE OFFICIAL SCARE-A-THON FILMS (with links to full reviews):

1. THE INNOCENTS

2. LET ME IN

3. FERAL

4. THE MEDUSA TOUCH

5. BAGHEAD

6. BEWARE! CHILDREN AT PLAY

7. FEAR NO EVIL

8. THE MERMAID: LAKE OF THE DEAD

9. SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN

10. BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON

11. INCUBUS (1982)

12. MIDSOMMAR

13. THE ORPHANAGE

14. 3 FROM HELL

15. THE BOY (2015)

16. FULL MOON HIGH

17. BRIGHTBURN

18. EVENT HORIZON

19. BLOODY MUSCLE: BODYBUILDER IN HELL

20. THE DEVIL RIDES OUT

21. THE BLOB (1988)

22. TERROR BENEATH THE SEA

23. THE HAUNTED STRANGLER

24. THE OMEN (1976)

25. WHITE OF THE EYE

26. THE OMEN (2006)

27. TRUTH OR DARE (2018)

28. JIGSAW

29. THE MIND’S EYE

30. THE PREDATOR (2018)

31. TRILOGY OF TERROR



AND THE REST!


Ravenous (1999) d. Bird, Antonia (UK) (101 min) (6th viewing)

Decided to pop this one in as the femalien had never seen it before. As you might guess from the number of viewings, I’m a bit of a fan and it felt like a nice round of comfort food following the first week of reviews.

***CLICK HERE FOR FULL BLU-RAY REVIEW***





The Omen Legacy (2001) d. Zacky, Brent (USA) (100 min) (2nd viewing)

Solid documentary (included in Shout! Factory’s The Omen Collection box set) covering the three theatrical releases, as well as the misguided made-for-TV Omen: The Awakening. Narrated by Jack Palance (whose daughter appears in the 1976 original as the Thorn’s first nanny. “Look, Damien! It’s all for you!”)





The Man Who Laughs (1928) d. Leni, Paul (USA) (110 min) (2nd viewing)

I had seen this before, enjoyed it, and was thrilled to include Kristin Wicks’ excellent essay about the film in Hidden Horror. But I don’t think I had fully appreciated what an emotional and thrilling motion picture it is until this most recent viewing (kicking off the 15th Annual 24-hour Music Box of Horrors), complete with live musical accompaniment by the Maxx McGathey quartet. Conrad Veidt is terrific as the disfigured Gwynplaine and the last half-hour is literally breathtaking. Highly Recommended. (Music Box of Horrors)





Office Killer (1997) d. Sherman, Cindy (USA) (92 min) (2nd viewing)

This quirky, off-beat little slasher flick boasts a surprisingly high-caliber cast, and marks the second year in a row that Carol Kane has been showcased as part of the festival. (Last year’s The Mafu Cage was a definite hightlight.) (Music Box of Horrors)

***CLICK HERE FOR FULL MOVIE REVIEW***





Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971) d. Hancock, John (USA) (89 min) (8th viewing)

An undeniably slow burn, this perhaps would have been better received had it screened before Office Killer as opposed to between it and Demons 2. But I’m always happy when more people become exposed to the wonders of this wonderfully haunting and atmospheric chiller, especially on the big screen with director Hancock on hand for a post-screening Q&A. (Music Box of Horrors)





Demons 2 (1986) d. Bava, Lamberto (Italy) (88 min) (2nd viewing)

Yes, it’s pretty much a retread of the 1985 Italian bonkersfest, set in an apartment high-rise instead of a movie theater, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. (Music Box of Horrors)





Dog Soldiers (2002) d. Marshall, Neil (UK) (105 min) (6th viewing)

Oh, boy. Of all the films in the line-up, this was the one I was most excited about seeing on the big screen with all the speakers turned up loud and it did not disappoint. So much damn fun, with Sean Pertwee giving a performance for the ages as Sgt. Harry G. Wells. (Music Box of Horrors)

***CLICK HERE FOR FULL BLU-RAY REVIEW***





Retribution (1987) d. Magar, Guy (USA) (107 min) (2nd viewing)

Noisy but enthusiastic tale of a nebbish paranoid (Dennis Lipscomb) possessed by the spirit of a murdered gangster who proceeds to knock off all of his assassins. Based on his debut here, TV journeyman Magar probably deserved better future prospects than Stepfather III and Children of the Corn: Revelation. Or maybe not. (Music Box of Horrors)





Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) d. Tsukamoto, Shinya (Japan) (67 min) (2nd viewing)

Another festival highlight, like watching a David Lynch film on speed and steroids. Putting Tsukamoto’s biomechanical fever-dream on the big screen at 5am when the entire sleep-deprived audience was at their most vulnerable was a masterstroke of programming. I know that I and several of my compatriots nodded off a couple of times, but it didn’t really matter because no matter when we dropped back in, it still doesn’t make any narrative sense and it still doesn’t matter. (Music Box of Horrors)





Halloween II (1981) d. Miner, Steve (USA) (92 min) (5th viewing)

I’m not a huge fan of this movie, but I liked it more this time than on previous viewings, seeing it divorced from its lofty predecessor. (I feel like I’ve always watched it right afterwards and it can’t help but pale by comparison.) That said, it’s easily among the best in the franchise, although I would probably rank it below Halloween: H20, which I understand is heresy, but I’m sticking with it. (Music Box of Horrors)





The Fly II (1989) d. Walas, Chris (USA) (105 min) (3rd viewing)

Ugh. I keep trying to give this one a break, but it’s just not a good movie, even by dumb monster movie standards. Eric Stoltz is doing his best to elevate the material while everyone around him insists on dragging it down with flat, one-note characterizations. Yes, there are a couple of fun moments (vomit/face dissolve, elevator head crush), the Brundlefly II puppet is fine, and the transformation makeup is dandy, but considering its lineage, it should have been so much better. (Music Box of Horrors)





Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) d. Kuzui, Fran Kubel (USA) (86 min) (2nd viewing)

I’ve only seen a couple episodes of the cult favorite TV show, and it had been over 15 years since I had seen the original. You kind of get exactly what you expect, but the worthy cast helps take it over the top. (Music Box of Horrors)





High Tension (2003) d. Aja, Alexandre (France) (91 min) (5th viewing)

My 007-watching companion Daniel and I were planning to rent Crawl from Redbox, but it was checked out, so I decided to introduce him to Aja’s breakout film, if for no other reason than the sick pleasure of watching someone’s face when the twist occurs and they start sputtering, “Wait, what? That makes no sense! That’s impossible! Where the hell did the truck come from? What about the saw?! What the hell is happening….?!?!?!?” For the record, I do enjoy the movie, but I also feel like it’s a big cheat and that we deserved a better ending.





Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) d. Zito, Joseph (USA) (91 min) (6th viewing)

Daniel had also never seen a Friday the 13th movie before (blasphemy!), so I decided to plunk him down in front of this one, since I consider it the best of the bunch and it’s also a great introduction to the franchise. (Think about it. Jason doesn’t even show up in the 1981 original, he doesn’t have his iconic hockey mask in the second, and no one should have to sit through the third one just to get here.) The good news? He dug it, because how can you not.





Hereditary (2018) d. Aster, Ari (USA) (127 min) (4th viewing)

Watched this with a packed house as part of DePaul University’s Horror of the Humanities VII. The pre-screening ballyhoo was sublime, the movie played like gangbusters, Dr. Peter H. Steeve’s post-screening analysis and deconstruction was absolutely next-level, and the Q&A with Aster that followed was… profoundly disappointing. Despite Steeves serving up some fantastic questions, our writer/director refused to engage or discuss on any kind of meaningful level. I’m not sure if he’s just over talking about his celebrated debut or if he was (rightly) intimidated by his host’s brilliant insights or if he was just feeling lazy that night, but the assembled crowd deserved better than his sotto voce mumblings. (Seriously, dude, learn to use a microphone.)





Scream (1996) d. Craven, Wes (USA) (111 min) (4th viewing)

My pal Eric is decidedly not a horror fan, but he wanted to watch something with me as part of the Challenge. Flipping through Netflix’s genre offerings, I decided on Craven’s celebration/tweaking of genre conventions because, hey, it’s fun and it’s well-done and a solid slasher flick for people who don’t necessarily watch or like slasher flicks.



See you next year!!!!

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