There couldn’t be anything else. This is our scariest moment in horror, when supposedly out for the count Michael Myers (Nick Castle) – the ultimate Boogeyman – wakes up behind unsuspecting Final Girl Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). It’s the ultimate jump, a masterpiece by John Carpenter of scary things happening just out of your main gaze, a classic of evil never being dead/the persistent threat never-ending, and a seminal slasher.
One of the greatest chillers of all time, we all know about THAT famous shower scene. The part that really scares us is when Lila Crane (Vera Miles) – the sister of missing Marion (Janet Leigh), the motel shower victim – discovers what really happened to Norman Bates’ (Anthony Perkins) mother. She may be sitting in a chair, but as she’s turned around she’s revealed to be a mummified corpse…and then Norman bursts into the room with a knife, dressed as his mother. Yikes!
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…Wes Craven’s horror tour de force introduced the world to icon Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and also caused a generation of kids to have insomnia. Watching it back now, it’s still blinkin’ scary and one of the spookiest bits is when our lead Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) falls asleep at school and is tempted out of the classroom by her dead friend Tina (Amanda Wyss), who is talking to her from inside a bloody body bag. Horrid.
Time for some hot chocolate…not tired…at all. Must…stay…awake…
By the time we reach the infamous dinner party sequence in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we’re terrorised already. And then this happens. It’s savage, it’s horrible, it’s OTT and it’s bloody, bloody brilliant. Final girl Sally (the best Scream Queen ever, Marilyn Burns – rest in peace) is subjected to the Come Dine With Me from hell as she gets to know Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and his family a little better. This includes a comatose and pretty dead looking Grandpa (John Dugan) sucking her cut finger, then in a horrific moment of black humour failing to bludgeon her. You want to stop watching…but you can’t. It’s beyond scary.
Franck Khalfoun’s remake of the infamous 80s slasher is brutal from the very start, even before we’ve had the main film title. Elijah Wood’s serial killer Frank Zito stalks a woman, and then murders and scalps her. It’s all set to a haunting 80s synth score by Rob, leading into a really difficult and uncomfortable film to get through. The opening lets you know exactly what you’re in for.
New to buy from Arrow Video, Evil Ed is a fun Swedish horror comedy which plays loving homage to Evil Dead and other cult horror classics and definitely has its tongue firmly in its cheek.
Ed (Johan Rudebeck) is a film editor who is transferred to a ‘Splatter and Gore’ department to work on the gory Loose Limbs horror film series, editing hours upon hours of grisly footage. The on-screen violence soon gets to him, and Ed becomes a killer – despatching of his victims in increasingly gruesome ways.
Evil Ed is about the strong film censorship in Sweden, which ran until the mid 90s, but it’s also a true horror film fan’s movie – fast camera shots moving through houses from the perspective of Ed, a staple of Sam Raimi/Evil Dead and one of the characters even says ‘Groovy!’ like Bruce Campbell. There’s hints of Troma and the comedy horror of Lloyd Kaufman. Keeping the movie going is Rudebeck’s portrayl of Ed – he is wonderful to watch and has a great, cult film face.
If you’re not familiar with it, check it out if you love horror. We think you’ll enjoy it.
GORE RATING: 3/5
Watch it for: A loving homage to horror
Watch out for: The beaver did WHAT?!
John Carpenter’s Halloween is, of course, the number one Halloween horror movie. Carpenter introduces us to Michael Myers as a six year old, who kills his sister in Haddonfield, Illinois. Committed to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, he escapes aged 21 to steal an iconic mask and kill again in his home town. He doesn’t bank on tough cookie Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).
Carpenter is the king of the wide angle shot, with Laurie and her high school friends walking the streets of Haddonfield not knowing that Myers is peeping around the corner at them. We’ve also got the tremendous shot of Myers after Laurie in the ‘perfect American dream house’ – see also Nancy’s home in Elm Street and all the houses copied in It Follows and Scream – where we think his threat may have gone, but then he pops up again in the background. With Myers we know he’s always there, and even when he’s down he’s not out.
With Jamie Lee Curtis in her debut film, she’s also the original Final Girl and she kicks ass. Add in Donald Pleasence as Myers’ unsettling psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis and Carpenter’s haunting score, and you’ll never be able to look a Halloween pumpkin in the eye again.
BEST THING ABOUT HALLOWEEN: 31 days of horror movie watching!
GORE RATING: 4/5
TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10
Watch it for: THE iconic Halloween movie
Watch out for: Laurie finds her friends ‘upstairs’
We really hope you’ve enjoyed being with us for 31 days in October – see you again next year!
Where do we start! The Greasy Strangler is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Well, it’s a bit John Waters. It’s a bit Napoleon Dynamite. It’s a bit porno. Main character Big Ronnie (Michael St. Michaels is JUST fabulous) spends most of the time naked, with a huge (and we mean HUGE) prosthetic penis. Our eyes are sore.
Big Ronnie is also a serial killer who likes nothing better than to cover himself with grease and strangle people until their eyeballs pop out. Sometimes he eats their eyeballs too. He lives with his son Big Brayden (Sky Elobar) who cooks him exceptionally greasy food. They also run a disco tour, where they show clients – and victims – the apartment where Earth, Wind AND Fire all lived together.
Big Brayden suspects his Dad is the Strangler, but gets waylaid by a very physical relationship – his first – with saucy Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo). Big Ronnie also takes a liking to Janet, which leads literally to a cock fight.
It’s OTT. It’s hilarious. And it’s ******* brilliant. It’s time to get greasy, folks.
BEST GREASY FOOD: Got to be a fry-up
GORE RATING: 2/5
DISTURBIA: 5/5 (for all the wrong/right reasons)
TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10
Watch it for: An instant cult classic – we’re no bullshit artist
Watch out for: OUR EYES CANNOT UNSEEEEEEEEE
A remake of the 80s horror cult classic, Maniac is a gruesome slasher where Frodo goes seriously bad; Elijah Wood is serial killer Frank Zito, a loner with Mummy issues who likes to kill women and scalp them for his mannequins. He’s like a more extreme Andrew McCarthy.
Beautifully shot with a haunting 80s synth score by Rob, we prowl the streets at night with Frank as he goes in search of his victims. Shot in Frank’s POV, we become the killer; we stab, we strangle and we scalp. We catch clever glimpses of Frank in mirrors or reflections, as he looks at himself/us in disbelief. It’s a brave move for Wood, who takes some great chances with his films. We’re reminded it is Wood. Sometimes we forget, as we’re the killer. It’s incredibly voyeuristic and intense.
Frank strikes up a ‘friendship’ of sorts with artist Anna (Nora Arnezeder) who wants his mannequins in her show, and he hopes for a normal relationship with her. We know there’s no hope, and have fear for Anna as she gets closer and closer to him. Will she find out what he is before it’s too late? Can Frank be stopped?
This version doesn’t have anything that matches the original’s infamous ‘Disco Boy Scene’ with the shotgun, but it’s creepy and brutal with two particularly graphic scalpings. The camera doesn’t shy away, and french director Franck Khalfoun has made a modern horror masterpiece. The night shots are as good as Drive, Shame or Collateral. We can’t wait to see what he does with Amityville: The Awakening, coming next year.
TOTAL RATING: 8/10
GORE RATING: 4/5
Watch it for: Elijah Wood is genius
Watch out for: The opening murder. You won’t be able to scream