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Getting some good reviews.

I missed the whole contemporary horror/comedy thing (though I have Shaun of the Dead lying around upstairs somewhere waiting to be watched). Problem is, I’ve seen so few horror movies in the last twenty years, I don’t think I’d get half the jokes.

Still, it seems pretty unlikely I’d miss the punchline of this one, doesn’t it?

Thanks for the wecommendation, Wabbit. (Heyyyy, you’ve got an URRRRL again. You want some link, or are you traveling incognito? Which I think is Portuguese for “bombed out of your skull…”?).





Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:09 pm

“Shaun of the Dead” was pretty good. You ought to pickup Peter Jackson’s “Dead Alive” too.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:30 pm

I saw the trailer for this and made a mental (heh) note to get the dvd.

Horror is a tricky genre, as most folks know. There’s good horror, i.e. crapping yourself twice while having a coronary (The Shining, or Altered States); there’s bad horror, i.e. most alligator and croc movies or any movie featuring a cave; and there is the so-bad-its-great kind, like Black Scorpion, or the Blob series or Killer Klowns, or any horror flick with Steve McQueen in it, or any sci-fi/horror flick made before 1970.

The problem is that there are vast grey areas in between each major division.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:38 pm

The rule of good/bad movies is that it’s no good if you’re trying to make one.

Attack of the Killer Shrews? High-larious. Killer Tomatoes? We are not amused.

Modern sarky-boots stuff like this often falls in between.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:39 pm

Oh – as for staying on-topic (comedy/horror) – the one that comes to mind first is Lake Placid. The sheriff and visiting researcher characters were perfect. And this is the exception to the alligator/croc rule.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:42 pm

Shrews was pathetic. Likewise Leeches. Killer Tomatoes – I had that stupid song “Puberty Love” in my head for a week. It was so bad it was good.

Comment from Dawn
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:43 pm

The covers on DVD horror movies are so scary I can’t bring my children into the movie rental store with me. Even though the selections are arranged alphabetically most of the horror films are displayed below the three foot mark (right where the kiddies eyes are).
I would never see a scary movie in a theatre (or in my home, for that matter). Sitting there in the dark with strangers who are entertained by horror films gives me the creeps.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:44 pm

Wait! Shrews was ok. That was the one where the shrews are reall dogs with big fang-like mouth attachments on ’em – yes?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:52 pm

Yeah, shrews was the one with the dogs wearing shag bathroom rugs. Except for that one stuffed one. Scared the shit out of me as a kid — the scene where it dawns on them they’re in an adobe house and it’s gotten wet. All those horrible spikey teeth gnawing through wet plaster. That tapped into the same paranoia as the Birds — trying to keep the scary things out.

MST3K sent it off. Not the only film they did that scared the crap out of me when I were an infant.

(Dawn, we are those creepy people. Boo!)

Comment from Dawn
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:53 pm

Wow – Who let the school marm post comments? Could I be more priggish?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:57 pm

Heh. Nah. It didn’t come across that way.

There was a period in the…eighties, I think, where the grossness of the images and the quality of the special effects intersected in a really nasty way. That put me off horror films for a long time.

Turns out, there was a limit to my morbid curiosity. Who knew?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 5:58 pm

I enjoy a good raise-the-hair-on-the-arms horror flick.

Ah…..how ’bout Blair Witch? I’d read a story synopsis prior to seeing it and it was a raise-the-hair-on-the-head pant-crapper to me – once. After that – nothing.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:00 pm

I went into Blair Witch knowing nothing and really liked it. But it was a one-time deal. You get one throw with that idea. And I could understand the people who hated.

They could have shown a *little* more.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:00 pm

Ya gotta watch out for your kids the best you can, Dawn. You know they will see the stuff sooner or later; but you can control the “sooner” part at least until they start sleeping over somewhere else.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:01 pm

Yep – folks either loved it once, or never liked it at all.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:02 pm

…But the profit margin on BW —- Geez! I should be so lucky. I’m glad for them.

Comment from Dawn
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:03 pm

Horror films have become pornographic (Hostel for example). The combination of sex and violence is what is creepy.

Comment from whtshrbbt/amuirin
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:14 pm

Ooo look, you picked it up. I got a gold weasel. Yeah, new site. If this is incognito, I suck at it.

Dawn- The sex/violence thing has been around I think. Death and Sex, the Id. I think the torture genre’s really disturbing. Hostel incorporated that. SAW films, I mean what kind of sicko enjoys that?

Give me good-old livestock feasting on humans any day of the week.

Comment from Dawn
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:17 pm

Hey Rabbit,
Notice I said pornography and we lost all the boys.
I think they are all looking at Hostel trailers.

Comment from whtshrbbt/amuirin
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:37 pm

Ha. Surely no, the Weasel readers are too sophisticated for porn. It’s too accessible, they’d get bored with it.

Unless you incorporate fainting goats or virtual statistics on position category in relation to median orgasm as experienced by different cultural regions…

These guys’d be happier rigging up a toilet to sing show-tunes or somethin.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:41 pm

The one that blew my hair back was a realistic but (Jesus, I hope) fake snuff film in the mid ’80s. I was at a shop where we bought video equipment for work, and the salesman said, “hey, check this out.” I can not think of a single non-scary reason someone would voluntarily watch such a thing. It was the ugliest footage I’ve ever seen.

The really odd bit? The salesman was a woman.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:42 pm

…toilet…show tunes…it can be done…it must be done…

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:48 pm

The problem with Blair Witch Project was that it was a v-e-r-y long set-up for a single money shot (the guy standing in the corner, for those who haven;t seen it). That said, the money shot was v-e-r-y effective. But as Stemaboat said, it was a scary one time movie.

The movie that really scared me (as an adult, anyway) was The Exorcist. I made myself go see it six times; I watched it once in a theatre in the Philippines, where the film was preceded with a short speech by a Catholic priest assuring the viewers that provided they believed in God and Jesus and Mary, they could not become possessed. I was sitting on the aisle, and later, during the movie, a lady went totally spastic a few rows behind me. She was carried out by a couple of ushers, and as they passed, her squirmy clammy hand brushed my arm.
What little hair I have remaining is even now prickling at the memory.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:51 pm


“Big Mick the cop who walk his beat
By this peanutta stan[….]”

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:56 pm

To The Killer Shrews I’d add The Crawling Eye, which was mondo-cheesy, but nevertheless kept me and my buddies frozen on the sofa, afraid to put our feet on the floor, back when I was 10 or 11.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:59 pm

I misquoted! I can’t believe what can be found on the innertube!
“Beeg Irish cop dat walk hees beat
By den peanutta stan’[…]”

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2007, 6:59 pm

Yes, we have-a no bananas…(which is a song poking fun at a fruit vendor’s Greek accent. Just to, you know, step on the joke…)

I saw the Exorcist at a drive-in theater in rural Tennessee in my very first car. It was an MG Midget — a car so small, I had to drive to the very front edge of the grass and get my front wheels up on the berm, at which point the movie filled my windshield edge to edge. It was like being violated. I’m amazed I didn’t get anything on me.

The Crawling Eye…the Thing That Wouldn’t Die…Attack of the Giant Crab…

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 7:11 pm

‘s ok, jw. I been called waaay worse. (smiles wistfully at the memories).

You nailed the BW set-up issue: It only works once.

Story: I saw BW while visiting friends waaaay out in the country in Tx (same place I’m going next week). I was outside listening/watching thru a window while smoking a cig. when the end scene came up.

Outside. In the dark. Woods mere feet away. Dark woods. Country woods. Creaky sounds coming from woods. Critters in woods.

I got the abso-friggin’-lutely best arm- and neck-hair frizzies I’ve had in 20 years. I WALLOWED in it. I love bein’ scared.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 7:28 pm

For recent horror films, I tend to favor the Japanese movies, for some reason. I thought The Grudge was excellent (both versions–the Japanese version and gringo version, directed by the same guy who did of the Japanese version, and virtually identical frame-for-frame).

Also, with most American horror films, the stories are hardly ever compelling, and most are laughably predictable. The Japanese have a different cultural take on horror, and while ghosts are universal, the Japanese mythology of yūrei (the white-faced female ghost in The Grudge is prototypical yūrei) differs enough from American spooks to make it fresh to this gringo.

Maybe I’ve just become calloused to the usual tricks and conceits of American horror, and it’s fleeting images that do it for me now: the kid with half his brain hanging out in The Sixth Sense; the jaw-bone in the attic of The Grudge; the guy obediently standing in the corner in Blair Witch Project; the burlap sack in Audition….

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 7:35 pm

With you on that, Steamboat. Lucky for me, my wife likes scary movies as much as I do, so our weekly NetFlix tends to include at least one fright-flick. Neither of us cares much for the gory movies like Saw (although I thought Hostel was excellent because the gore is so repulsive and over-the-top and unremitting that it forced the viewer to identify with the “hero”; it was very similar in that regard to the original (and still champeen!) Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 7:44 pm

I’d forgotten about Grudge. That was a hair-raiser too. I also think all the man-in-rubber-suit monster movies are so bad they’re great. Sixth Sense was a good twist, and the gore wasn’t over-blown….it was just right. Any flick that makes you want to watch it again to see how it was done is a winner.

When I was a kid I hated “fleeting image” stuff. now I like it.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 8:01 pm

Yeah, it’s those fleeting images that stick in your head, to reappear at inopportune moments, like when you’re walking down an unfamiliar street after dark. Or investigating an odd noise coming from the spare bedroom.

BTW: anybody besides me notice that in The Exorcist, part of what makes you enormously uncomfortable is that when everybody else leaves Regan’s bedroom, the camera (and you) remain in the room? Alone with Regan? And at that time, the camera (and you) never looks at her… but you can hear that labored, tubercular breathing. And you know that any second now, you’re going to feel a cold, small hand against your neck….

Comment from whitishrabbit/amuirin
Time: June 22, 2007, 8:18 pm

I’ve never seen it, jw, but you’re totally creeping me out anyway.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 22, 2007, 8:41 pm

Glad to be of service, Whitish…. heh-heh….

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: June 22, 2007, 9:53 pm

Well done, jw.

Comment from Sayonara
Time: June 25, 2007, 4:55 pm

So have you seen Shaun of the Dead yet? 😀

I went through a phase of liking horror films from the 50s, when they thought things like invisible flying atomic brain stems (“Fiend Without a Face”) and rubber mats (“Fireball XL-5”) were scary.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: June 25, 2007, 8:05 pm

Yeah, I enjoyed horror lots too… books, movies, but something went ‘wrong’ (for me) in the late 1960s when the slasher meme started to gain steam.

Fiendish entity emerging from the pits of hell is one thing, but when it’s just the sort of mindless slaughter you get every day in the city, where’s the fun?

There was one particular collection of horror stories which I bought annually and, one year, it was as if someone had thrown a switch. Out had gone the creepy and the supernatural and the intriguingly twisted – in had come the graphically (often sexually) violent.

Entrails or ectoplasm? Give me the latter, any day.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 25, 2007, 8:16 pm

Gore is a lot easier to write than the horror that, say, Edgar Allen Poe did. And horror has gone from an adult diversion (e.g., The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Hill House) to mere kid’s entertainment, and because of that, there’s a lot more of the “cut their heads off, suck their guts out, throw their skins a-way!” stuff being created these days.

And Shawn of the Dead was hilarious. As has been the Scary Movie series, but when a genre descends into self-parody, it is dead. (but fear not; horror comes back eventually. It always does.)

Comment from jwpaine
Time: June 25, 2007, 8:20 pm

BTW, Uncle Badger: Thanks for getting me looking up Shirley Jackson on Wikipedia. I haven’t been able to remember the author of that most excellent short story “One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts.” It’s not horror; it’s just fine.

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