October Horror Movie Challenge Update: The First 10 Days

Why the first 10 days? Because that is when I decided to write this. Let me start by saying that I do think I’m under-performing. But I do have excuses. The Yankees, New York Rangers and Hartford Wolf Pack can all be held responsible for taking up viewings. That and life in general. Anyways, below you will find my list, and under that, a brief review for each film I’ve watched thus far. Just some general off-hand comments about what I liked or didn’t like about the film.

October 1st
1. Summer School (2006)* – 6/10
2. Drag Me to Hell (2009) – 10/10
3. Laid to Rest (2009)* – 8/10
4. The Sentinel (1977)* – 9/10
October 2nd
5. Zombieland (2009)* – 9.5/10
October 6th
6. The Hills Run Red (2009)* – 8/10
7. Jungle Holocaust (1977)* – 7/10
October 7th
8. Fright Night (1985)* – 8/10
October 8th
9. MST3K: Zombie Nightmare (1994/1986)* – 9/10 – 2/10
October 10th
10. Trick ‘r Treat (2008) – 9.5/10
11. Splinter (2008)* – 9/10

Summer School: A crude little independent film with a rather brilliant concept. The film deals with a summer school student who after staying up for hours upon hours watching horror films for his film review website (sounds familiar to me!) begins to dream. He keeps waking up to different nightmares, and so on. All bases are covered here. Nazis, creatures from the beyond, and Deliverance-like mountain folk. Recommended.

Drag Me to Hell: Nothing more can be said about this masterpiece. One of the greatest horror films made in a long time, Sam Raimi marks his return to the genre that made him famous. For more, be sure to read my review I wrote back when the film first came out. Highly recommended.

Laid to Rest: A great new slasher with a great new slasher villain. Chromeskull, fitted in a chrome mask and a camera perched on his shoulder to tape all his victims, tracks down a group of people who just have the worst of luck. The film is really good as far as slashers go, so I’ll highly recommend this one.

The Sentinel: I had been meaning to see this 70s horror film for quite some time, and I’m glad I finally did. The Sentinel deals with what keeps earth and hell separated. In this film, it’s apparently an apartment complex in New York. A woman moves in to the apartment only to find out that what she has been seeing and experiencing isn’t really there. Or is it. The film has one of the creepiest scenes in all of horror film, and is more off-the-wall than one would expect. Recommended.

Zombieland: Again, I fell in love with this film instantly. Check out my review to get the full effect of my flattering. Highly recommended.

The Hills Run Red: Riding a bit of hype into its DVD release, The Hills Run Red is a slasher-esque film that details one young horror film enthusiast and his attempt to uncover the mystery of The Hills Run Red, the horror film within this film. It’s a long lost film, never to be seen by the general public. Then he goes into the woods. Things get crazy. And very gory. Recommended.

Jungle Holocaust: I’m really not going to lather this one up and recommend it to anyone but cannibal/jungle exploitation films. This is the film Ruggero Deodato made before his infamous film Cannibal Holocaust. This plays as more of an adventure-horror film than anything else and certainly isn’t for all eyes and ears. So skip it, unless you’re like me and enjoy the genre. Then it’s recommended.

Fright Night: One of the campy treats from the 1980s is Fright Night. You’ll recognize Amanda Bearse as Marcy from the great Married with Children and you’ll recognize the odd Stephen Geoffreys from gay porno. Or maybe you won’t. Hey I’m not judging. Premise here is that a high school aged boy begins to believe that he is living next door to a vampire. Which he is. But of course no one believes him. So with the help of his two friends, they enlist the help of the great vampire killer extraordinaire Peter Vincent, a play on horror film legends Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. This is a fun film, recommended.

MST3K: Zombie Nightmare: Zombie Nightmare is terrible. But the Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing of it is brilliant. Amazing how those guys can make almost any piece of disjointed crap watchable. Adam West stars (sort of) in the film and, well, that alone should be worth your time. Recommended, but only the MST3K version. The film itself is dreadful.

Trick ‘r Treat
: Brilliant. I’m not going to say too much on this film. I just wrote a review which will be up shortly, so just read that. Highly recommended.

Splinter: Even though I had heard nothing but good things about Splinter, this still reigns as the most surprising flick I’ve watched this month. The film is a breeze to watch, a short 82 minutes. But once the film grabs you, it doesn’t let go. A new kind of parasitic plague is running ramped deep within the woods and four unsuspecting people come across it at a small gas station. People say it’s too much like The Thing, but trust me, it really isn’t. The film grips you and has you waiting for what will develop next between the survivors and the increasingly dangerous parasite. Highly recommended.

There we have it. Hopefully my pace picks up in the next 10 days. We’ll see!

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