The Horror, The Horror: October 2012 in Films
The bulk of this month was spent watching B-horror films, some of which I really love, others were okay for what they were and a few were downright awful. I also watched a handful of 2012 releases, one of which I will write a little bit more about after the cut. I added a new feature to the site called: Books on Film this month. Speaking of books, the Lew Ayres biography I wrote the foreword for should be out in bookstores/on Amazon today; if you would like to buy it (you should buy it!) you can do so here. If I ever meet you in real life, I will sign it for you. I wasn’t able to do much film watching outside of my one horror movie a day this month, but I did shoot a short film (once it is fully edited, I will post it for y’all to watch) and wrote 92 pages of a feature screenplay, so I think I am doing pretty well all things considered. Oh! I almost forgot, I also got to see Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice, as well as the 1979 sexy Frank Langella Dracula at the Castro theatre (other than the Lugosi one, my favorite Dracula) and Something Wild at the Roxie. Yay! for rep theatres!
- I Don’t Want to Be Born aka The Devil Within Her
- The Monster That Challenged the World
- It! The Terror from Beyond Space
- Frankenweenie (2012)
- Invisible Invaders
- Vampire Circus
- Circus of Horrors
- The Vampire (1957)
- The Vampire’s Ghost
- Theatre of Blood
- The Return of Dracula
- Creature From The Black Lagoon
- Crucible of Horror
- The Mummy’s Curse
- Tales of Terror
- The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
- Donovan’s Brain
- The Thing with Two Heads
- The House of the Devil
- Tales That Witness Madness
- The Ape
- To the Devil a Daughter
- The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
- The Catman of Paris
- Empire of the Ants
- Cat People (1982)
- The Lady and the Monster
- The Sessions
- Swamp Thing
- The Mummy’s Hand
- The Crater Lake Monster
- Wake In Fright
- Seven Psychopaths
- Pitch Perfect
- Vargtimmen (Hour of the Wolf)
- Son of Frankenstein
Somehow I didn’t watch any films from the 1990s this month; sorry the 90s, I still love you though! I did, however, watch quite a bit of 1970s schlock and/or British psychological horror. Netflix had a lot from that decade streaming, so I took advantage. Anyways, here are five films I think you all should watch.
Argo, 2012 (dir. Ben Affleck)
This is a strong contender for a Best Picture/Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards this year. Just this last weekend, its third, the film managed to go #1 at the box office. My guess is word of mouth got around that it is a great film. It’s humorous, yet serious and filled with an ensemble that dreams are made of. I would be really shocked if it didn’t snag a SAG ensemble nomination as well. I love Ben Affleck. I have always loved Ben Affleck and I am so glad it is okay to love Ben Affleck again because being a closet Affleck fan was hard. He’s a great director and I can’t wait to watch his career continue to grow. Also, let’s take a moment to thank the stars for Alan Arkin; what a terrific actor.
Vampyr, 1932 (dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer)
I was fortunate enough to see this at the Roxie cinema with a live score done by Steven Severin, who is a founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees. It ruled. What a fucking creepy, surreal movie. It’s not really like any other vampire movie you’re likely to ever see.
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, 1962 (dir. Joseph Green)
Apparently this is also featured in a very popular episode of Mystery Science Theater: 3000. As much as I love MST3K, sometimes I just want to watch this movie. I am glad in this case I just got to watch the movie. I think Joseph Green knew exactly what kind of movie he was making and I think in a sly way he was poking fun at the schlocky B-movies that came before this one. This film is available to watch on Netlfix and I dare you to watch it again and see just how smart it actually is.
Wake In Fright, 1971 (dir. Ted Kotcheff)
Another film I got to see on the big screen, this time at the Opera Plaza Cinema. I’m still sorting out how I feel about the film. It’s one of those films where bad things keep happening to the protagonist, but he is so unlikeable that you don’t really feel bad for him and by the end you’re just like, “So?” It also features one of the most horrifying sequences I have ever seen. It’s footage from an actual kangaroo hunt and I had to look away from the screen many times during it. There’s message from the producers at the end explaining why they chose to include it and a plea to the Australian people to help save the kangaroos. Regardless, it is not for the weak at heart.
Vargtimmen (Hour of the Wolf), 1968 (dir. Ingmar Bergman)
Equal parts psychological drama, surrealism and horror film, this film is pure Bergman. I love how he takes advantage of the beautiful bone structure of both Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullmann’s faces by featuring lot of extreme close-ups. I’m still not really sure what happened in this film; how much was real, how much was in the character’s imagination. It’s one I feel I’ll probably need to revisit before I have any answers.
So that was October. November is upon us, which means it is NOIRVEMBER. I will be watching a noir film a day this month and you can track my progress on my tumblr and my film noir tumblr. You can also join in the fun by adding the hashtag #Noirvember on Twitter/Tumblr and watch and post about noir all month long. It’s the best month of the year, really.