Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fool's Views Haikus (8/9 – 8/29)

Felicidades, amigos,

To be honest, I was surprised when I tallied up the totals for this three week period. In spite of occupational obligations both in office and on the road, I was still able to bang out 14 flicks, as well as a hefty number of TZ eps (dee-dee-dee-dee, dee-dee-dee-dee). Once again, the Kryptic Army assignment (slashers this month) provided a much needed boot to the pants, topped off with a little Share the Scare action with the man himself. Hats also go off to Chicago’s third annual summer Terror in the Aisles, even though I only was able to sit in for one of the flicks this year. Some decent civilian viewings this time around, as well as dipping into the wild well of old-time horror radio whilst flying around the country. Work is still a drag, but life could be worse, and I’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness.

Seems there’s been a bit of confusion, what with the haiku format, as to my personal sentiments towards the films in question. Some folks have suggested that I do a “star rating” or some sort of quantitative ranking (such-and-such out of 10), and while I’ve never been a big fan of those, it may be a short-term solution for the time being since my writing time has become so limited lately. That said, films are complex beasts, and while I will give the ranking thing a whirl in the interest of clarification and sparking discussion, it’s not really my style and I look forward to having a little more blather time so that we can avoid the reductive shackles. Sound like a deal?

Said rankings will be as follows: The first out-of-10 number will represent the film’s “quality” level in my estimation, the second my overall enjoyment level. We’ll see if that works and bear with me as I try to navigate the minefields. And with that…

On with the Views! As always feel free to throw in your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.


Creepshow (1982)
(6th viewing) d. Romero, George A.
First time seeing this
On the big screen with a crowd
The word, friends, is bliss
(8, 10)

Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1973) (2nd viewing) d. Blackburn, Richard
Low tech atmosphere
Laudable brio and style
I’m just not a fan
(7, 5)

Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) (1st viewing) d. Letterman, Rob/Vernon, Conrad
Like old school sci-fi?
At once spoof and love letter
Delivers the goods
(8, 8)

Santa Claws (1996) (1st viewing) d. Russo, John A.
Debbie Rochon’s boobs
Cannot save this lame slasher
Frankly, nothing could
(3, 4)

Slumber Party Massacre III (1990) (1st viewing) d. Mattison, Sally
Boobs, blood, babes, drill, kill
Best of the series by far
Faint praise? Maybe so
(6, 8)

World Beyond, The (1978) (1st viewing) d. Black, Noel
Rare TV movie
Mud Monster/Golem runs wild
Lives up to its rep
(7, 8)

Trick or Treat (1986)
(1st viewing) d. Smith, Charles Martin
Rock star Sammi Curr
Raising hell beyond the grave
Silly but fun flick
(6, 8)

Trick 'r Treat (2008) (2nd viewing) d. Dougherty, Michael
Lovely portmanteau
Deserved theatrical slot
One of last year’s best
(8, 9)

American Movie (1999)
(2nd viewing) d. Smith, Chris
His name: Mark Borchardt
Mission: Bring “Coe-ven” to life
Doc with laughs and heart
(8, 9)

Black Dynamite (2009) (1st viewing) d. Sanders, Scott
Blaxploitation spoof
Right on the money throughout
Michael Jai White great.
(8, 9)

Raising Arizona (1987) (8th viewing) d. Coen, Joel
Fall down funny laughs
Infinitely quotable
Nick Cage, we miss ye
(9, 10)

Southland Tales (2006) (1st viewing) d. Kelly, Richard
Donnie Darko guy
Ambitious epic (if flawed)
Zowie, whatta cast
(6, 6)

Following (1998)
(1st viewing) d. Nolan, Christopher
Guy shadows people
Gets found out – the game begins
Compelling thriller
(7, 8)

Inception (2010) (1st viewing) d. Nolan, Christopher
Mind-bending whiz bang
Highest order eye candy
Bit empty inside
(8, 7)

2010 Totals to date: 207 films, 149 1st time views, 124 horrors, 19 cinema

TV :

Twilight Zone – 12 episodes (incl. 7 hour-long eps) (115 total for 2010)

Lights Out – 5 episodes (10 total for 2010)


  1. Two things: first, I absolutely agree on "Creepshow". After seeing it in Chicago, I went back and revised my old review. It makes the movie SO MUCH better on the big screen i na group.

    Second, when I see "8th viewing" I have to wonder -- do you really keep that close of count or are you guessing?

  2. I love your haikus, man. And great list. Love CREEPSHOW.

  3. i just cannot wait
    piranha and machete
    your haikus to come

  4. Some interesting selections there. Creepshow was the kind of film that showed up all the time on cable, so it's probably the Romero movie I've seen the most, but I haven't gone back to it in years. I wish the loaded special edition that was released overseas would come out here.

    Also glad you enjoyed Black Dynamite and Following. I still need to get around to American Movie.

    Here's what I saw during that three-week span:

    Lured* (Douglas Sirk, 1947)
    Behind Locked Doors* (Budd Boetticher, 1948)
    Shockproof* (Douglas Sirk, 1949)
    D.O.A. (Rudolph Maté, 1950)
    Ondine* (Neil Jordan, 2010)
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones, 1975)
    Jabberwocky (Terry Gilliam, 1977)
    Haunts* (Herb Freed, 1977)
    Savage Weekend* (David Paulsen, 1979)
    The Third Generation* (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979)
    The Time Machine* (George Pal, 1960)
    Dance, Girl, Dance* (Dorothy Arzner, 1940)
    Stray Dog (Akira Kurosawa, 1949)
    The Demon* (Percival Rubens, 1979)
    Demon Seed* (Donald Cammell, 1977)
    Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978)
    Diva* (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981)
    Choose Me (Alan Rudolph, 1984)
    Convoy* (Sam Peckinpah, 1978)
    Werewolf Shadow* (León Klimovsky, 1971)
    Paprika* (Satoshi Kon, 2006)
    The Lovely Bones* (Peter Jackson, 2009)
    Cosmos: War of the Planets* (Alfonso Brescia, 1978)
    Star Odyssey (Alfonso Brescia, 1979)
    Chilly Scenes of Winter* (Joan Micklin Silver, 1979)
    Altered States (Ken Russell, 1980)

  5. Gavin: Well, I've been keeping a film journal since 1987, so I have a pretty good idea as to how many times I've seen certain films. And considering that I didn't get to watch many movies prior to 1987, thanks to the well-intended hand of Mother AC, I'd say that most of the time the guesstimate is pretty accurate.

    Also, I tend to watch new movies more than rewatching, and I have never had cable where I was flipping on the channel and watching the same movie over and over. When I watch a film, it tends to be a very conscious act, so it's easier to keep track.

  6. Thanks, Fred! And thanks for chiming in with the CREEPSHOW love.

  7. Oh my dear friend Coye
    Let's not forget dingwhoppers
    Are on the slate too

    (and yes, you are the first to respond to the haikus with a haiku of your own. Hope it's a trend that will continue!)

  8. Craig: I'm curious to hear more about:

    HAUNTS, THE DEMON, PAPRIKA, THE LOVELY BONES and CHILLY SCENES OF WINTER. I assume these are all reviewed on your LiveJournal. Link again please?

    First time views of DEMON SEED, TIME MACHINE, WEREWOLF SHADOW (I bet I know what that was for, oh fellow Kryptic Army member), and SAVAGE WEEKEND! Outstanding. I remember the Morlocks freaking me the eff out when I was a kid. DEMON SEED, by contrast, was very strange on the young Dr. AC's eyes - don't think I even knew what rape was at that point, but I knew that computer probably shouldn't be doing what it was doing. Now when I see that flick, I think, "How did they even get away with that?" They could never make that movie today...

  9. Yep, reviews for all of these (and more!) can be found on my LJ. Here's the link:

    And actually that viewing of Werewolf Shadow was last month, so it doesn't count for September's mission. I've got a few other Naschy titles on tap, though, including another Waldemar Daninsky epic.