I’m back, and it’s horror movie time.

Unless the ground cracks open to spit fire, dead birds fall from the sky for no reason, rabid dogs ravage the countryside, or any other last minute tragedy or drawback occurs, you will be seeing Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 & 2 released on Matador Records in the very early part of 2008. Two CD’s and a 50+ page book(let)….(I think….I’ve lost track of its growing size) in an old-school, doublewide plastic CD case (think about the first CD issues of Miles Davis’ early 70’s work, Coltrane’s Ascension, or The Hampton Grease Band’s Music To Eat…….a much better album than the ones listed before it).

On with the goods….it’s Halloween, thus time for my annual list of entertaining horror.

Day of the Dead (1985) – Don’t expect this one to be remade with Hot Topic-approved jump cuts and bad nu-metal (the otherwise good Dawn of the Dead remake) or a Godspeed You Black Emperor! soundtrack (28 Days Later….a horror movie for foot-shuffling hipster manwafers unfamiliar with the genre). The entire film takes place in an underground bunker, with impressive scene-chewing from all of the never-to-go-anywhere actors involved. This, the third in Romero’s trilogy, was even more of a “social statement” than the original Dawn of the Dead (1978), which can be credited as a fairly early attack on mall culture. Day of the Dead was obviously HEAVILY influenced by John Carpenter’s amazing remake of The Thing (1982), a must for even those that don’t care for horror. Later, the overrated 28 Days Later would lift the “let’s do humanizing experiments on the zombie in the name of science!” subplot from Day of the Dead. All of the (over)acting is amazing, apparently executed by actors that assumed this movie would be a hit. It wasn’t.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 1 & 2 (1984, 1987) –  These come together on a double-sided DVD. Don’t let that confuse you, it’s not that common in DVD reissues. Kudos to the first one for a genuine attempt a making a somewhat, eh, I don’t know, “different” slasher flick, especially in 1984. I understand why this filmed was temporarily banned upon release (man in Santa suit killing and sexually assaulting a couple while their young son watches, etc), though the depravity plays tame compared to what qualifies as an R-rated film these days. Watch for the absurd sequence about a half hour in, when the main character (aforementioned young boy flashed forward ten years, following a long stay in a Catholic orphanage for the requisite mindfuck brutal nuns and childhood trauma) tries to become acclimated to life working in a toy store. Death by taxidermied deer head? Check! I have yet to watch part 2.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – I mention it every year. Please rent it. It’s perhaps the ultimate WHAT-THE-F**K?!?! moment in post-1970 horror.

The Fog (1980) – The only case in which the PG-13 remake (recent) is possibly better than the original. So boring. Carpenter would bounce back HARD with The Thing remake, later settling in as the ugliest man on earth.

Closing list of recommendations for your movie night: Alone in the Dark (1982), the original When A Stranger Calls (1979), Session 9 (2001), Wacko! (1981…early spoof), Driller Killer (1979….early Abel Ferrara), and Martin (1977)





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