Welcome back to the Friday Four.
Horror is a genre unlike any other. As I’ve said on the podcast before, you can make a horror film with fifty bucks and a cellphone. You aren’t making romantic comedies like that. Therefore, horror fans are inundated with more material than any other genre. Massive amounts of source materials leads to massive amounts of differences in opinion on what a good horror film is. There is no single horror film that is universally praised (I know people who don’t like The Exorcist or Halloween) and there is no single horror film that is universally hated (Troll 2 and Manos: Hands of Fate have their fans).
In my opinion, the saturation of the horror market has led to an acceptance of mediocrity as good and good as great, but that’s a different topic for a different column. For now, we are focusing on different horror likes and dislikes. Everyone has things they like in horror. For example, some might look at this Killjoy franchise and see B-Movie terribleness, but others see the humor and ridiculousness of the situations and find joy in it. If we all universally loved the same thing, there would be no use for podcasts!
I am no different. There’s a lot (a lot) of stuff that other people like that I do not and believe it or not, there are things that I like that other people don’t. That’s the topic of this column…
FOUR HORROR MOVIES THAT I LIKE THAT NO ONE ELSE DOES
This may be a no-brainer in that it’s from the same team that brought you the Scream franchise (Wes Craven/Kevin Williamson) and very much follows the same formula. Cast of up and coming actors mixed with some established stars – Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Portia De Rossi, Shannon Elizabeth, Joshua Jackson, Judy Greer, Mya – check. Aging celebrity making a comeback – Scott Baio – check. Mystery – check. Homage to horror past – check. Cool opening sequence – check. It’s Scream with werewolves.
There were a lot of production issues involved with this making of this movie that caused a lot of the original cast (including Scream alumnus and Craven favorites like Skeet Ulrich, Heather Langenkamp, Omar Epps. Mandy Moore, Scott Foley and Corey Feldman) to have to bail because they had other projects there were tied to. The production issues also caused all effects by guru Rick Baker to be replaced. All these issues are thanks to professional fucktard Bob Weinstein who has a habit of making things worse when he takes an interest in them. It’s because of him the ending is weird and 90% of the script was changed — even after filming had started.
The movie if often criticized for cheesy effects and a predictable plot. Welcome to werewolf films, people. Has there ever been a werewolf movie where the plot wasn’t predictable?
I am a fan of almost everyone involved with this film. I thought it was a fun take on the werewolf drama and had that “glamour” appeal to it that the Scream movies had. I understand the criticisms and perhaps with another viewing, I would pull back my opinion a bit, but for the times I have watched it, I have enjoyed it.
2. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
Before you finish tying that noose, let me explain some things. Fans of the Halloween franchise hate this movie because it pretty much cuckolds Michael Myers into being a pawn of a cult. That and well, it’s just not a good movie.
Looking at this movie from the standpoint of not being a Halloween fanboy, I appreciate it’s attempts to tie the entire story together. To say I “like” it might be a bit of an overstatement, but I certainly like it more than most everyone else that’s not related to Paul Rudd.
I enjoyed them tying up the loose ends with Jamie Lloyd (even if her existence were to be ignored completely in the next film). I appreciate the Cult of Thorn storyline because it explains the Michael Myers character and even hints at passing off the reigns of psycho killer to Danny, which I am sure that the Halloween fandom would have shat on, but I appreciate the hints. I also like the fact that this movie brings back Tommy Doyle from the first film all grown up and obsessed with Michael Myers like he probably should be. This film even recognizes the effects of Michael Myers on Haddonfield and their inability to celebrate Halloween because of it.
The Cult of Thorn storyline also explains why bullets, knives and most weapons fail at stopping Michael Myers. He is supernatural. Does this all work? Probably not. But as an outsider looking in, I appreciate the effort.
3. Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
For me, I completely understand the idea behind it. You can only ride Jason so far. He is borderline supernaturally tough but at this point in the franchise he is human and humans die. The thought process would be that as long as there is a big dude in a hockey mask killing teenagers, everything should be alright. In my personal case, it is alright. I am way okay with it. Friday fans, however, lost their collective shit!
If you are a regular podcast listener, you already know this so bear with me. Here is what I am looking for in a Friday the 13th movies: cool death scenes from a big guy in a hockey mask, gore and tits. Friday the 13th Part 5 delivers on all of these. Hedge clippers to the eyes, a decapitation while riding a motorcycle, someone even dies in the port-o-john – these are quality death scenes. Toss in a gratuitous sex scene with Debi Sue Voorhees and I’m pretty happy with the movie.
The storyline was supposed to be Tommy eventually becoming the hockey masked killer of Crystal Lake (which again, I would have been okay with) but horror fans decided that that’s not what they wanted and Paramount listened. Because of this, this filmed is overlooked and hated by the fans of the franchise but not by me.
4. Strippers vs. Werewolves
We covered this movie on the very last episode of The Zombie Reckoning podcast (up against Strippers vs. Zombies). I didn’t know that this movie was disliked until I saw it on a list of poorly rated horror movies on imdb. I wholeheartedly disagree.
The plotline of this movie is thus – werewolf dies in a strip club. At the next full moon, the werewolve’s buddies are coming to the club to get revenge, thus strippers vs. werewolves. There is copious nudity. It’s clever. It’s fun and it delivers on the carnage that it promises which is better than 90% of big budget Hollywood films.
I don’t remember what I rated this film on The Zombie Reckoning podcast but I do remember it beat out Strippers vs. Zombies and I often recommend it when people are asking me for a hidden horror gem.
I understand why people don’t like it. The acting is up and down. The humor isn’t for everyone. There is a stylized comic book style approach in between some scenes. For me, it was harmless fun, clever writing, some T&A and even an appearance from Robert Englund.