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HORRORFEST '15: OCTOBER IS FOR LOVERS...of death gore fog and shadows

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YES, CHILDREN, GATHER 'ROUND FOR THE SOLSTICE!!!!
 

2014 GARDEN OF DOOM:

http://deathvalleydriver.com/forum/index.php?/topic/2744-october-horrordays-2014/?p=260063

 

 

2013 DANCE OF THE BANSHEES:

http://deathvalleydriver.com/forum/index.php?/topic/744-october-horrordays/?p=44638

 

 
cotspainting_thumb.jpg
 


The Druids, claimed Caesar, believed "that unless for a man's life a man's life be paid, the majesty of the immortal gods may not be appeased; and in public, as in private life, they observe an ordinance of sacrifices of the same kind. Others use figures of immense size, whose limbs, woven out of twigs, they fill with living men and set on fire, and the men perish in a sheet of flame”
 
- from David Skal, Death Makes a Holiday

Yes, yes, there's no way that such a horror could reverberate across the centuries leading to a tear in the barrier between the world of the living and the worlds of the dead...no way at all, one might think, that such superstitions and institutionalized display of depraved marauding might infect our safe little lives today...

Until you've seen this:
 
IMG_1348.jpg

That...is a ceramic light-up pumpkin that I now own.  It is also the most terrifying thing I've ever seen and it now sits in my home looking at me, screaming at me, beseeching me perhaps?  accusing me, likely?  But of what?

Look into its eyes, the blackest eyes...the Devil's eyes.  This is not a regular pumpkin with a face drawn on it or carved into it.  IT HAS TEETH AND A TONGUE!!! and if you look closely enough A UVULA!!!

Dear God, it's so expressive. It's in such pain.  There are only two possible explanations for this creature.  It is either:

1) A pumpkin that has been animated by some dark force, imperfectly formed into something like a humanoid by a power that was not strong enough to fulfill its mission and which, recoiling from its own macabre creation has abandoned it, left it to starve and wither.  Like Victor Frankenstein who sought to create a perfect living being but “Now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.”  Except instead of wasting away, it simply remains, permanent and malicious, full of rage and need and longing.  Seeking not acceptance but vengeance upon the world that spawned it.  Until it ended up at Bed Bath & Beyond on the clearance shelf...

or, look at it with a little more light on it...
 
IMG_1352.jpg


2) It looks like Mickey Rooney's death mask.  It looks like Paul Sorvino after he accidentally looked into the Arc of the Covenant.  There is at least as much chance that, rather than a created being, a thing turned toward the human, that it is, in fact the other way.  Look at the musculature implied by its wrinkles and brow.  No attempt to re-form a pumpkin into new life could produce that.  That has to have been there.  Which only means that...Dear God no...but yes, it must be.  This is not a pumpkin tranformed into a man, but a man transformed into a pumpkin.   It explains the pain that this thing clearly feels, the eternal scream, silenced by the lack of lungs but acted out by the still tensing viscera of the what had been dozens of muscles
 
facial_muscles.jpg
now perverted into an orange mush.  For what crime?  By what divine authority such horrific retribution? 
 
My best guess is that each of those damned souls burned alive during Samhain thousands of years ago has returned to continue their infernal penance for whatever crime they committed. This must be sitting on my coffee table one of the most evil people who has ever lived, now continuing to live forever in a special kind of living hell, slowly shrinking into pumpkinhood.

and watching...and watching...
 
IMG_1351.jpg
 

"the night which marks the transition from autumn to winter seems to have been of old the time of year when the souls of the
departed were supposed to revisit their old homes in order to warm themselves by the fire and to comfort themselves with the good cheer provided from them in the kitchen or the parlour by their affectionate Kinfolk"

 
gkwLJnV.gif
Yeah, right.  comfort and good cheer.  Kinfolk and affection.  Yes, not at all the 2000--year old tortured souls of the madmen burned alive in immense wooden men.  There is a part of me that believes that my only moral, compassionate option is to smash this thing in the hopes that it will finally release this creature to sweet, blissful nothingness.  But another part that fears what I might release.  What if rather than a punishment, this living vessel is a....container...
 
I will keep you updated.

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SEPTEMBER 30

001. Nightmare on Elm Street

 

OCTOBER 1

None

 

OCTOBER 2

002. Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge

 

OCTOBER 3

003. A Word in the Palm (short)

004. The Mist

 

OCTOBER 4

005. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

006. The Fly (1958)

 

OCTOBER 5

None

 

OCTOBER 6

007. Nightmare Castle

 

OCTOBER 7

008. Corpse Bride

 

OCTOBER 8

009. Kolchak: The Night Stalker (tv movie)

 

OCTOBER 9

None

 

OCTOBER 10

010. El Monstro del Mar!

 

OCTOBER 11

011. Starry Eyes

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Nice list. I want to share my "so far" list, but it gives up my Halloween Havoc pic. I did watch "Halloween VI" (theatrical release, I believe) on Netflix, in anticipation of the arrival of the "producer's cut" on Blu-ray that Amazon is sending me (hopefully not via drone, because I live near some paranoid, meth-head hillbillies with guns).

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A couple of slow but properly creepy movies to start off:

THE BUTTERFLY ROOM (2012): A crazy cast of horror royalty including James Karen, Ray Wise, Heather LangenKamp, P.J. Soles, Camille Keaton (form I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE), and most importantly, BARBARA MOTHERFUCKING STEELE (read more about Barbara Motherfucking Steele right here: http://www.terrachimp.com/?p=390 )

This is worth a watch if only for Barbara Motherfucking Steele being at her creepiest craziest.  She is 75 and she can murder a one-legged prostitute with astounding energy.  She has always been creepy, but now she has gone from unearthly creepy beauty to Grimm's fairy-tale creepy old lady.  The movie is only a couple of outrageous steps away from being a meditation on dementia, but thinking of it that was would undersell the bizarre premise of a crazy old lady who murders anyone who gets near her roomful of dead, pinned butterflies under glass because...well, as you can guess some of them are probably children...yes...probably children...

It drags a bit, but flares up every time Barbara Motherfuckng Steele is on screen.

la_stanza_delle_farfalle_3.jpg

Barbara Motherfucking Steele

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME (2014): This takes the same basic structure of OCCULUS but follows it to a more satisfying and logical set of conclusions about mingling time and space.  It is sort of framed as a haunted house story, though it ends up being something different.  As such, only watch it if you have the patience for a meditative haunted house mystery.  That said, there are some really fantastic iamges.  The "ghosts" are corporeal right from the start as arms reach through doorways to grab people and super creepy figures move toward sleeping children.  Venezuelan director Aleandro Hidalgo uses the space of the house brilliantly and just moving past every doorway and hallway becomes a fearful trip.  The ending is sappy but satisfying.

 

houseatend.jpg

OCTOBER IS FOR OLD-ASS KILLERS!

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October 2:
A Cat In The Brain (1990)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

October 3:
Preservation (2014)
Sharknado (2013)

October 4:
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
Life After Beth (2014)
Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)
The Conjuring (2013)

October 5:
Evil Dead (2013)

 

The Evil Dead remake did a number on me, so I need a break. Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit...

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You lightweight! 

 

I think I am going to give the YouTubes three bucks of my money and watch Wer on my last night on graveyard.

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A Cat In The Brain (1990)

How was this one? I keep kinda wanting to watch it, kinda, the meta-plot sounds fascinating if you're a fan of the director. But man, Fulci seemed to be losing ALL his skills in his later movies.

Life After Beth (2014)

And what did you think of this one? I found its goofier comedic elements to be a jarring contrasts to the standard zombpacalypse stuff... but holy shit Aubrey Plaza was giving it absolutely everything she had.

The Evil Dead remake did a number on me, so I need a break. Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit...

From everything I've heard, that one was basically torture porn, all hardcore gore and sadism with nary a moment of humor or humanity in the whole picture. That sort of thing can break a marathon in half. It happened to me once, I was doing a horrorween gauntlet viewing... which ended precisely one second after finishing Martyrs and realizing I had NO desire to watch anything remotely horrific for a while.

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You lightweight! 

 

Spoken like the resident horror connoisseur you are! :)

 

I'm still trying to figure out whether I like The Mist.

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There's discussion going on elsewhere about good films that you never need to revisit, originally the topic was that the film was grotesque but some are throwing in depressing movies.

This is my horror choice ... that ending. Just 5 more minutes.

Plus I think I have gigantophobia or whatever, and that last beast gave me the shakes.

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I still maintain the ending of The Mist is legitimately one of the greatest in the history of film. It just destroys you but it is so ballsy and so on point. Bold, daring and brilliant filmmaking.

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Heh, Martyrs is playing at the Art Theater in town this month along with the first Nightmare, The Descent, Rocky Horror, a couple others... and the OG Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I am blessed. Anyway, they posted this interview with Tobe Hooper on their Facebook and it has yet another story of physical injury on the set that I've yet to hear about: http://www.indiewire.com/article/sxsw-tobe-hooper-on-why-audiences-get-texas-chainsaw-massacre-better-now-than-when-it-was-first-released

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A Cat In The Brain (1990)

How was this one? I keep kinda wanting to watch it, kinda, the meta-plot sounds fascinating if you're a fan of the director. But man, Fulci seemed to be losing ALL his skills in his later movies.

Life After Beth (2014)

And what did you think of this one? I found its goofier comedic elements to be a jarring contrasts to the standard zombpacalypse stuff... but holy shit Aubrey Plaza was giving it absolutely everything she had.

The Evil Dead remake did a number on me, so I need a break. Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit...

From everything I've heard, that one was basically torture porn, all hardcore gore and sadism with nary a moment of humor or humanity in the whole picture. That sort of thing can break a marathon in half. It happened to me once, I was doing a horrorween gauntlet viewing... which ended precisely one second after finishing Martyrs and realizing I had NO desire to watch anything remotely horrific for a while.

 

I'm not a Fulci guy, so I found it pretty silly. Plus the titular cat only makes a cameo! But seriously, it had an interesting premise but it didn't deliver for me.

 

Life After Beth was thoroughly enjoyable, and I don't really like any of the actors in it. But it was funny and well done.

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There's discussion going on elsewhere about good films that you never need to revisit, originally the topic was that the film was grotesque but some are throwing in depressing movies.

This is my horror choice ... that ending. Just 5 more minutes.

 

 

I still maintain the ending of The Mist is legitimately one of the greatest in the history of film. It just destroys you but it is so ballsy and so on point. Bold, daring and brilliant filmmaking.

 

I sat staring at my computer for five minutes in total shock after the closing credits.  Like---THAT?  They went with THAT?  It takes guts to go there.  There's a sense of realism with it in how deep it cuts to your core.  It's one of those movies where I went to bed and the last thought I had before drifting to sleep. . .

 

Wow.  That is MESSED UP.

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Man, I loved the Evil Dead remake. It's one of the few that felt like something more than a quick Hollywood cash grab. 

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The ending of The Mist is so soul destroingly awesome that it is ridiculous.  I think I would've like the short story a lot better if it had ended that way.

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I haven't seen The Mist in a while.  I agree that the ending is crazy but I think I wondered at the time if it was logical.  I mean, the decision. 

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Honestly, I laughed at The Mist's ending. I am just not a Tom Jane fan (outside of Hung, anyway) and I spent the first half of the movie grumpily harrumphing that he and Andre Braugher should've switched parts. (The particularly bad CGI on the tentacles didn't help my mood, that looked like some SyFy Channel Original Picture type of bullshit in this allegedly serious movie.) And Jane's acting struck me as being especially goofy in the last scene. Kinda like Brad Pitt's bizarre overacting in the last scene of Se7en, it just un-suspended my disbelief and took me right out of the movie. Finally, it didn't help that I was looking at the movie's big climax which involved no big climax at all, the whole time I was thinking "...they didn't have the money to do anything bigger than this, did they?"

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I haven't seen The Mist in a while.  I agree that the ending is crazy but I think I wondered at the time if it was logical.  I mean, the decision. 

 

Gigantic fucking monsters are pouring through a dimensional rift and killing people and you've just escaped from a supermarket where the people have formed a psychotic doomsday cult.

 

Logic went out the window when the giant spiders arrived, dude, and Drayton asked himself the most horrible question any parent can ask: "Do I let the monsters eat my kid or do I spare him that fate myself?"

 

And then irony kicks us in stomach.

 

I agree with Jingus, though.  Darabount's writing was strong enough to make Jane look king sized, but I think the ending would've had even more impact if the dialogue had been delivered by a more accomplished actor.

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Just in case, re: the Mist ending:

Don't overlook the interim moments between Jane's shooting his kid and those other survivors and the big save.

He raises the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger to a resounding click. Incredulous - even after counting bullets before shooting the others - he pulls the trigger again to nothing.

He gets out of the car and readies himself for whatever his fate will be, which, after seeing people stung by mutant wasps and turned into living acid spider incubators, is sure to be pretty ghastly.

Then the tank arrives. There's that moment of selfishness that I thought Jane conveyed: "I'm saved!" After all this time of keeping his son alive, it's the one moment that his guard is down and he's all about himself.

When he sees the mother and daughter that ventured into the mist on the truck with the survivors, that's when the "oh shit" moment occurs.

That's a dude that probably ends up committing suicide in just a matter of days. The tragedy of the mist isn't just in the monsters, human or otherwise.

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The Mist is way better in black and white; if you haven't checked that version out, do it. It nullifies a lot of the wonkiness of the CGI. And yes, the ending is awesome. 

 

I also love the Evil Dead remake too, because it's so cut and dried: Here is gore. A lot of it. Enjoy it.

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The CGI in the film was wild.  The tentacles from the beginning were poorly done.  However, they nailed the look for almost eveything else, especially the giant spider towards the end.  They clearly were learning on the go, and got much better along the way.

 

Jane's overall acting was fine, but I do see where someone like Braugher would have completely nailed that role.

 

David spent two days making logical choices, trying to keep his son and others alive despite their terrible situation. And he had succeeded! He got his son and friends out of the supermarket away from the fanatics. He maintained most of his composure even afer seeing his home destroyed and his wife dead. For the guy to be that strong and rational, only for it to blow up in his face at the end. That HURT. It's realistic, in that life doesn't work out even for the most sane among us. That the weight of the moment can get the best of us.  That sometimes, we need to have faith and wait just five more minutes.

 

I think I would have be better with it if they hadn't included the mother with her children at the end.  Because at the time that she left the store, no one knew what was going on.  Her wanting to get home was logical.  But so was staying in the store, which David was doing to protect his child. To show her wasn't just unneccesary.  It made a terrible circumstance even more cruel.

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The CGI in the film was wild. The tentacles from the beginning were poorly done. However, they nailed the look for almost eveything else, especially the giant spider towards the end. They clearly were learning on the go, and got much better along the way.

Jane's overall acting was fine, but I do see where someone like Braugher would have completely nailed that role.

David spent two days making logical choices, trying to keep his son and others alive despite their terrible situation. And he had succeeded! He got his son and friends out of the supermarket away from the fanatics. He maintained most of his composure even afer seeing his home destroyed and his wife dead. For the guy to be that strong and rational, only for it to blow up in his face at the end. That HURT. It's realistic, in that life doesn't work out even for the most sane among us. That the weight of the moment can get the best of us. That sometimes, we need to have faith and wait just five more minutes.

I think I would have be better with it if they hadn't included the mother with her children at the end. Because at the time that she left the store, no one what was going on. Her wanting to get home was logical. But so was staying in the store, which David was doing to protect his child. To show her wasn't just unneccesary. It made a terrible circumstance even more cruel.

Yeah, like, if you're going to go that route, why not go full-on "fuck you" mode and have Braugher on the truck with the other survivors? Man, imagine THAT ending.

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But, yeah, the black and white "directors cut" is the only way to experience the film.

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I... was not aware this existed.

 

 

 

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I love the early 90s a little more each passing day.  Though we should pause to commemorate the pioneers who paved the way for the Addams Family Whoomp:

 

 

 

Between things like that and the cheesy synthesizer soundtracks that dotted the landscape:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj7S1fDEHbQ

 

 

It was truly a glorious time.

 

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