Monday, October 27, 2008

1,440 Minutes of Screams, Laughs, and Gore!!

On behalf of Michaelangelo:

In an act of complete disregard for the rules of our little horror experiment, I have chosen to actively disobey the mandate that there be a one minute intermission between films. Speaking as someone who grew up and lives in the information age, one minute without films is 60 seconds of complete boredom.


12:00AM - 1:47AM
From Dusk Till Dawn
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
107 mins

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up to bring one of the most bizarre, sexy, gory, and downright entertaining vampire films of the past 50 years. It starts off slowly, following the notorious Gecko brothers as they kidnap the family of a preacher. Things get violent, bloody, and straight up gross when they inadvertently seek refuge in a bar owned and run by vampires.

Snacks to be served: If you can keep anything down when bodies start exploding, try the blood pudding.
Don’t miss: Salma Hayek doing a sexy dance before turning into a snake head woman and eating Quentin Tarantino.


1:47AM - 3:23AM
Directed by James Gunn
96 mins

From vamps to slugs – that seems like a logical segue to me. Little ikky wormy things from outer space infect the abusive redneck husband of Elizabeth Banks, turning him into a large ikky wormy thing that infects other people. There are wigglers galore in this comedic science fiction alien attack flick. Some of the highlights include an overstuffed woman exploding worms all over a group of cops, the mishandling of a grenade, and the final battle with an ancient evil tentacle monster.

Snacks to be served: Gummy worms, cold spaghetti, and Ramen.
Don’t miss: Twin little girls getting infected by the slithers and trying to chow down on big sister.


3:23AM - 5:09AM
Snakes on a Plane
Directed by David R. Ellis & Lex Halaby
106 mins

Samuel L. Jackson is sick of these motherf***ing snakes on this…well, you know. You’ve heard it. As if Slither wasn’t slimy enough for you, let’s move on to a creepy crawler attack from right here on earth. Long story short, a mob boss puts a hit on a witness against him and comes up with an elaborate plan to set a bunch of riled up serpents loose on a Pacific Air flight. Whatever happened to good old fashioned hit men? Any-whoo, Sam and company battle back the cobras, pythons, asps, and other snakes until they can hopefully land and guzzle gallons of anti-venom. Be on the look out for the microwave with the “snake” button next to the “potato” and “popcorn” settings.

Snacks to be served: Fried snake (it tastes like chicken).
Don’t miss: A whole new take on the Mile High Club. Ew.


5:09AM - 6:36AM
The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Directed by John De Bello
87 mins

Okay, okay, all this slithering and slimering is probably grossing you out by now, so here’s something designed to make you feel a little less disgusted. Giant mutated tomatoes try to take over the world, eating little Timmy and many others along the way. It’s up to a rag tag bunch of government losers to bring them down. Believe it or not, it was followed by two sequels!

Snacks to be served: tomato salad, tomato sauce, tomato soup – we have to stop them!
Don’t miss: Wilber’s parachute (trust me).


6:36AM - 7:58AM
Directed by Gordon Douglas
82 mins

We move next to the world of oversized etymological phenomena – giant bugs. This classic sci-fi horror film warns mankind of the dangers of tampering with nuclear forces when colossal mutant ants terrorize New Mexico. Though the special effects are primitive by today’s standards, they are quite good for the time – besides, there’s something quite refreshing about a complete and total lack of CGI in a giant monster movie.

Snacks to be served: lift a pile of food 20 times your own weight and drop it in front of the television
Don’t miss: James Arness, a man whose previous claim to fame was playing the monster in The Thing, as the tallest FBI agent in history


7:58AM - 9:33AM
Eight Legged Freaks
Directed by Ellory Elkayem
95 mins

So what’s the 21st Century’s take on big bugs? Well, nuclear radiation is at it again, this time in the form of a toxic spill into a lake which irradiates the insects that a local exotic spider breeder is feeding to his pets. The end result? David Arquette and Kari W├╝hrer find themselves at odds with an army of huge arachnids. Cool effects and some serious tongue-in-cheek writing gives as much personality to the spiders as to the human members of the cast (in Arquette’s case, maybe even a little more). Look for Scarlet Johansson in a role that was clearly chosen very early in her career.

Snacks to be served: suck the juice out of some grapes and discard the skin
Don’t miss: In the scene where the spiders converge on the mall, look on the right side for one laughing spider who is gesturing to the others to “come on.”


9:33AM - 11:39AM
Directed by David Fincher
127 mins

There are very few films out there that disturb me and this is one of them. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt play off one another well as they navigate through some of the most upsetting murders ever concocted. I would hazard to say that the choices that this psycho gives his victims were the precursor to the “torture horror” flicks like Saw and Hostel. Let’s not forget that Kevin Spacey’s turn as the killer is so chilling that you will need to turn the heat up in the house when this one goes into the DVD player.

Snacks to be served: seven shots: 1 Southern Comfort, 1 Jack Daniels, 1 vodka, 1 tequila, 1 snakebite, 1 kamikaze, and an Alabama slammer. Drink one for each murder.
Don’t miss: Pay attention during the “sloth” investigation.


11:39AM - 1:11PM
Bubba Ho-Tep
Directed by Don Coscarelli
92 mins

After that last film, we need a transition. Something that’s a little creepy, yet just light enough to make you smile now and then. In this film, there’s a cowboy mummy that’s sucking the souls out of residents of a retirement home and only Elvis (Bruce Campbell and his buddy Jack Kennedy (Ossie Davis) can possibly stop him. Trust me; my short description simply does not do this unbelievably crazy story justice.

Snacks to be served: applesauce and pureed beets, can’t chew with no teeth!
Don’t miss: Egyptian toilet stall graffiti.


1:11PM - 2:38PM
Directed by John Gulager
87 mins

Horror movies are formulaic, particularly when it comes to characters. There’s just one stereotype after another. You have your hero or heroine, your stoner, your slut, etc… Usually you can tell which characters will survive until the end of the film and which will bite it before the third act. Feast seeks to shatter those stereotypes while at the same time creating a symphony of monsters, blood, and cringe worthy moment…and it’s funny as hell. Monsters from God knows where attack the patrons of a local bar, tearing off body parts, eating faces, spewing acidic goo, and making a gushy mess of the place. If you aren’t surprised by the plot developments in the first 30 minutes of the flick, then you are not human.

Snacks to be served: Look at the title. Do I need to really explain?
Don’t miss: Beer Guy getting it in the face.


2:38PM - 4:18PM
Godzilla 2000
Directed by Takao Okawara
100 mins

Ah, Toho Pictures, God bless you for perfecting the giant monster genre. No marathon would be complete without a Godzilla flick. In this 21st Century re-imagination of the indestructible giant lizard, he not only takes on Tokyo but also another giant monster named Orga. The Godzilla suit looks great and there are even a handful of CG scenes thrown in for good measure. This is what the crappy American version (with Matthew Broderick) in 1998 should have been.

Snacks to be served: sushi, sashimi, and sake!
Don’t miss: Godzilla swims in CG!


4:28PM - 5:42PM
Directed by Matt Reeves
84 mins

We now move from classic monster goodness to all new monster greatness. In this monster attack new classic, J.J. Abrams proves that he is the man who knows how to trash New York City with a reckless giant creature. His twist is that the film is shot through a hand cam held by a panic stricken jokester trying to escape the carnage. We are right there with the survivors, dodging giant stomping feet, fighting off oversized bugs, and shimmying across torn and bent skyscraper support beams. Faint of heart… or weak of stomach.

Snacks to be served: For those prone to motion sickness, I suggest two Dramamine and call me when the Statue of Liberty’s head crushes your car.
Don’t miss: Something else, also terrible.


5:42PM - 7:49PM
Ed Wood
Directed by Tim Burton
127 mins

We now take a historic break from all the carnage and what better way to explore the history of horror than by examining someone who loved it as much as we all do. Of course, he didn’t grow up on Jason, Michael Myers, or Freddy. His horror icons were guys like Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. He had almost no talent as a writer and director, but he had enthusiasm by the pantload and produced what are largely considered some of the worst films ever committed to celluloid. The story, as told by director Tim Burton, chronicles Wood’s life from his humble beginnings as a transvestite wannabe to the release of his magnum opus, Plan 9 from Outer Space. Depp is awesome as Wood but let’s not forget that Martin Landau grabbed himself an Oscar for his portrayal of the aging, morphine addicted Bela Lugosi.

Snacks to be served: lots and lots of cheese.
Don’t miss: Bill Murray as Bunny Breckenridge steals every scene he is in.


7:49PM - 9:51PM
Plan 9 from Outer Space
Directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
122 mins

You know the story of the man behind the camera; now check out the film he is most remembered for. Sure, the scenery is cheap cardboard and plastic crap. Sure, Lugosi died before the film was even produced but still appears in the film via stock footage shot a year earlier. Sure, the plot is nonsensical, the acting is horrible, and the effects are laughable. None of this matters because it’s a great little film and, now that you’ve seen how it all came together, I think you will appreciate it on a level that you couldn’t before.

Snacks to be served: the cheapest crap you can get at the local dollar store.
Don’t miss: The famous cockpit scene. You will believe that a shower curtain can fly!


9:51PM - 12:00AM
Dawn of the Dead
Directed by George A. Romero
129 mins

The remake had a higher body count and upgraded effects, but nothing says zombies like the original. George Romero wrote and directed this film, the first and best sequel to the classic Night of the Living Dead. Romero explores the blind consumerism that had begun to grasp American society with the invention of a great new concept…the mall. A group of survivors does their best to fight off the throngs of flesh chomping animated corpses while at the same time, enjoying the avarice of being able to help themselves to anything in any of the stores. It’s a concept that has been imitated many times, but never done as effectively as here.

Snacks to be served: Just grab something from the food court.
Don’t miss: That zombie is getting awfully close to the chopper blades…WHOA!


Paranormal Dog said...

I think I'll pass on the spider one. I get freaked out just LOOKING at the cover. :)

Have you guys seen "The Host"? The Korean film? It's really good, I liked it better than Cloverfield. Of course, I think I'm asian-biased. LOL

Great recommendations and reviews, I look forward to hearing more from your knowledgable selves!

SNAKE WINE said...

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John Ciolfi said...

I loved -LOVED- "The Host", and I only wish I could've figured out a way to fit it into my list. And there's nothing wrong with an Asian bias - they make some ridiculously creepy horror.

Lisa Pas said...

Yeah they do. Too bad the Americans felt they could do better with their remade versions...ugh...though I will say I still loved The Ring. :) Got me into checking the Japanese horror in the first place!