Friday, March 26, 2010

Don't Try To Change My Mind???

Recently I have seen a number of people, who consider themselves “freethinkers” and “open minded”, post statements on social networking sites to the effect of: Don’t try to change my mind… I won’t listen. Now, I expect this from certain people, especially ones of specif belief system... but not from these rational truth seekers.

Talk to the hand!

I have a problem with this. How can you be open minded if you don’t listen to what it is out there, including the ideas and opinions that go against what you currently believe or consider to be true? I have nothing against people trying to “sway” me. I also have no hesitation in trying to “sway” another person. I’m also a believer in freedom and freedom includes letting others be wrong, believe you are wrong and chastise you for it.

Damn dirty apes

On facebook I have seen people using the “threat” of blocking or de-friending people for trying to sway them or expressing their own contradictory opinion. (I use quotation marks on the word because it is no threat and offers no punishment. It is very presumptuous and arrogant of anyone to think their de-friending or blocking would be) I have never de-friended someone or even denied a friend request (I have blocked people, but only because they post in a language I can’t understand or they only post game update for games I care nothing about), at least not as of yet… There are some very valid reasons to do so. Now, I do respect and support everyone’s right to de-friend and block people for whatever reason they choose, it is their reasons that sadden me. To me it sort of takes away a main purpose of a public (no matter what anyone wants to believe – it’s on the Internet, it’s public) social networking site. I understand that not everyone uses these sites for the same purpose. Some people only use them to connect with family, some only friends and others only strippers & porn stars. I also understand that not everyone believes as I do on this matter, or at least this point. I am not at issue with those people and do understand (especially in the case of strippers & porn stars). I am talking about the ones that use the sites to promote their belief or position and then expect everyone on their friends list to either agree or at least keep quiet if they don’t. Some actually believe everyone, or at least anyone who is either sane or worth conversing with, are going to agree with them on every issue… and some people simply like living in an echo chamber and only want to hear the rattle of the head nods from the “yes men” who agree with them whether they are right or wrong. Anything worthy believing in should be able to handle scrutiny, right? If you have a problem discussing or debating your issue, maybe there is a problem with your issue. It's much easier to debate when you are correct ;)

In order to truly have an open mind you must accept that you may be wrong. (that is a great quote, I wrote it) I actually enjoy having people who disagree with me on my friends list on facebook along with the conversations, debates and opportunities it offers… What if the person who is contradicting your position actually has evidence you were not aware of? What if you should change your mind? What if you are actually wrong? Even if everything you know of and have heard or read is evidence you are correct, what if there is something out there that you don’t know? Wouldn’t a truly open minded person want to know? On the other side of the coin… Maybe they will present an argument that you haven’t heard before. (not saying they even have to be correct, just that they are taking a new angle on things) This will do a few things. It will give you a chance to think and reaffirm you are correct, plus it will give you a preparation for the next time you hear the argument. Remember that when someone is trying to sway you to their side it is a perfect open opportunity to sway them to yours. Maybe you can be the one to enlighten them to a truth to which they were as of yet unaware.

Is it wrong I find this picture hot?

If you really believe something is important, wouldn’t you want people to know? Shouldn’t you want people to know? If you had evidence that if everyone ate an orange each day they would live longer healthier lives… wouldn’t you tell everyone to eat oranges? Wouldn’t you even buy oranges and give them to your friends or even hand them out to strangers to promote this?

As long as you did it in moderation and didn’t get “pushy” about it, I think most people wouldn’t mind. They wouldn’t all agree with you and some would not take your advice (some wouldn’t even take your orange), some might even debate you on the subject, but all that is ok and even good. You would probably go through a lot of oranges before you had someone throw one back at you in a violent rage. Now, let’s change the word “orange” to a political or religious view… now we suddenly have people getting upset and even violent. You can almost hear the minds closing. Realize, no matter how absurd a claim or idea is… if the person believes it and especially if they believe it will benefit others it is fine, sometimes even noble, of them to share their information. I believe that includes prosthelytizing.

I must stress the point that everything must be taken in moderation (yes, even bacon). We all need our “down time” and time to relax & recoup. Sometimes we do need to hear from just those who agree with us, if nothing else but to recharge. But, if all we ever do is listen to like minded people then we never give ourselves the opportunity to grow, advance & possibly become a better person, a person who is wiser and has a broader range.

Did you think I would do a post without a Star Wars reference?

So, next time before you say, “My mind’s made up, don’t try to change it.” Take a moment and think about how you may be able to learn something or even educate someone else.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where Do Babies Come From?

It all starts with one simple question from a child...

My four year old son came downstairs to go to the bathroom. As he was exiting the bathroom he looked over at his mother and myself and asked a very sweet & simple question, "Did you guys pick me?" We explained that in a way we did. We picked him and he grew in mommy's tummy. We reassured him we wouldn't have rather had any other child than him.

My brain then turned to thoughts of why he would have asked that question... the possibilities that he had spoken to an adopted child at daycare or even foster children, maybe something from a movie or TV. I didn't have long to ponder these thoughts. After standing there thinking for a moment he asked, "How do they get the baby out of the mommy's tummy?"

"The doctor helps." was what I thought would be a simple answer that would passify his youthful mind... as usual, I was wrong. "Does the doctor rip open the mommy's belly?" This question was posed with hand gestures that reminded me of a Romero zombie movie.

I'm a doctor, let me get that baby out of there!

"Sometimes the doctor has to perform surgury to get the baby out of the tummy, but not usually" My wife tried to explain to him. The look on his face showed he was still waiting for further details. So, as I started walking him back upstairs to bed, I tried to elaborate... With an obscure gesture of my hand indirectly referencing the groin area I stated, "Mommy's have special parts for the baby to come out of."

"So, the baby comes out of their penis?" A very logical deduction for a four year old to make given the information at his disposal.

"Mommys don't have a penis, they have special 'mommy parts' that the baby comes out of instead" I was figuring it was not over with that statement, but I didn't want to elaborate any furthere since I wasn't sure which way it would go from there and a wrong assumption on my part could lead me down a much more complex conversation.

"So, how do they pee?" Another logical question.

"Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina." Memories of Schwarzenegger in the movie Kindergarten Cop, which happens to have a bit role in it played by a great stand up comedian Bob Nelson, came to my mind. "girls pee with that."

I love that scene

We made it to the top of the stairs and to my surprise the next words out of his mouth were, "Ok, can I watch Batman?" Thank you caped crusaider!

Ok, I'm not ready for that conversation yet

I tucked him in, put in a Batman DVD and snuck back downstairs to where I new I would be safe from any conversation about sex... with my wife.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Must See Horror Movie List

I have compiled a list of horror, and a few non-horror, movies that I believe every true fan of the genre should see. Following my "Must See" list is a short list of movies on my "Must Watch" list. This list came to be after my frustration with many "top" lists that people have put out over the years. I have not limited the number on this list or ranked them. This is more like a list to be checked off.

If you think I have overlooked a movie, or movies, that should have made the list please leave a comment and tell me about it. It is possible I simply did miss it or maybe I haven't seen it yet (in which case I would add it to my "Must Watch" list, so please check it first). There is also the possibility that I just don't agree that it belongs on the list (i.e. you are full of shit). If you think I have put a movie on the list that doesn't belong there please leave a comment and tell me why.

I know the first movie I will get crap for not putting on the list is Suspiria (1977). I did not include it because I do not deem it worthy. I saw the previews as a child and really wanted to see it. I never got the chance and time rolled on and my youthful mind, with an attention span of a flea, turned to other things. When I stumbled upon it in a video store back in the early 90s I was so excited to be able to finally view it. With much anticipation, and admittedly probably too much build up in my mind, I put the tape in my VCR. The great camera angles and artistic coloring could not overpower my boredom. "The Only Thing More Terrifying Than The Last 12 Minutes Of This Film Are The First 92", the movie's tagline, should have the word "terrifying" replaced with "boring". I didn't feel any build up of suspense and the ending was predictable.

Without further delay, below is my list of Must See Horror Movies for the true horror movie fan:

28 Days Later 2003
A well done post zombie appocolypse movie that has a good pace. Be sure to watch the alternate scenes on the DVD.

30 Days of Night 2007
Taking horror comic books to the big screen has been going on for many years. Tales from the Crypt (1972) is a fine example. This one was done with a stylish dark mood that is accentuated by the accents of the vampires.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes 1971
Vincent Price in one of his best roles. My favorite part is when he cooks up the man's prize pooches and feeds them to him. Once it has been made clear he is eating his own canines Price puts a funnel down his throat and shoves the rest in... priceless. If you enjoy this check out Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972).

Alien 1979
This movie has been spoofed so much along the years if you haven't seen it you are truly missing out. There are some really good "jump outs" and some great creature effects.

Amazon Women on the Moon 1987
Ok, this is probably the furthest from a horror movie on my list. It does, however, have the best portrail of The Invisible Man I have ever seen. It is a must see movie full of campy and crazy comedy with parodies galore. David Allen Grier as Don "No Soul" Simmons cracks me up every time.

American Psycho 2000
Creepy in a clean upscale tightass yuppie sort of way. Chrisian Bale is brilliant in this.

An American Werewolf in London 1981
The first, and possibly still best, werewolf transformation in a movie. Humor is top notch and some good "jump outs".

Arachnophobia 1990
John Goodman is great in this creepy crawly movie.

Army of Darkness 1992
The third segment of the Evil Dead trilogy. The one that wraps it all up. They made it to stand on it's own as well as be more of a comedy than a horror film, and it is still great.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes 1978
Campy & hilarious.

Audition 1999
I'm not a huge fan of Japanese horror films, but this one is really good. Strange and somewhat disturbing film.

Bad Taste 1987
Peter Jackson's second film and along with Dead Alive (1992) and even The Frighteners (1996) can show you what he is capable of without a super large budget like in King Kong (2005) or The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002 & 2003) series (which were phenominal, by the way).

Beetle Juice 1988
The role that got Michael Keaton into the Batman suit. Tim Burton does a fantastic job with this hilarious not so creepy comedy. Keaton is flawless and how can you go wrong with Jeffrey Jones & Catherine O'Hara?

Ben 1972
The sequel to Willard (1971). It is the story of a boy and his rat. The ending, with the title song "Ben" being sung by a young Michael jackson, brought tears to my eyes as a child.

Blacula 1972
Of all the 70s "black" horror movie... if you only see one, I would recommend this one.

Blade 1998
Sword wielding half vampire straight out of the comic books. The effects are great and the movie is fun to watch & cool.

The Blair Witch Project 1999
To get the full effect of this film you must also look at the marketing that was done to promote it as real. Many people who entered the theatre were under the impression they were actually going to witness "real" footage that was discovered, that is untill they witnessed the acting & unrealistic behaviour of the characters. It still made my heart pound in my chest as I sat in a pitch black movie house, uncomfortable silence in the air, as I wished in my head they wouldn't open the tent. The beginning is kind of interesting and the ending is creepy. I did a comparison of this movie to Paranormal Activity in another blog post: Paranormal Activity VS The Blair Witch Project.

The Blob 1958 & 1988
Both the original and the remake stand on their own and have their own redeeming qualities. The original is a classic with Steve McQueen. The remake is a well done, special effects treat.

Bloodbath at the House of Death 1984
I would love to put every movie that has Vincent Price in it on the list, but sadly I have to limit it. Price makes this movie.

Blood Freak 1972
This is one of those that you have to watch just so you can say you did. It is a pathetic attempt at a christian themed horror movie trying to "scare" people away from the sins of drugs and sex. The "sinner" grows a turkey head and drinks the blood of druggies to get his fix. It is pathetic, lame and a must see.

Bloodsucking Freaks 1976
Disgusting and sick... I'm talking lines like, "This one will make a good urinal." I'm talking pulling teeth, drilling into heads and blowing bubbles with a straw. You just have to suffer thru the pathetic story, if you can really call it a story, and piss poor acting.

Bram Stoker's Dracula 1992
There are sooooo many really good Dracula movies out there it was hard to pick. I decided on this version since I like it's style and version of the subject. You also can't really go wrong with any Dracula flick with Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing.

The Brood 1979
This is the true "hate baby" movie. There is a remake in the works & I'm very interested in checking that out.

Bubba Ho-tep 2003
Bruce Campbell as Elvis & Ossie Davis as JFK battleing an ass sucking cowboy mummy in a nursing home! Possibly the scariest part of this movie is that it is really good, seriously.

Bud Abbott & Lou Costello Meet Frankenstien 1948
I actually put this on the list instead of listing each of the individual originals: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931) & The Wolfman (1941). Please do also check those films out if you have not done so. There is a remake of The Wolfman coming out this year staring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins that looks quite promising. This classic comedy does an excellent job of mixing parody and classic horror without slaughtering the, already at the time of filming, classics.

Cabin Fever 2002
A different type of horror story. I like the angle on this one. It's like everyone and everything is the enemy. I'm a guy and the leg shaving scene is still brutal to watch. Hot chicks & gore... yummy.

Carnival of Souls 1962
Classic story. Not the best movie in the world, but certainly a good film. In it's day it was the shit.

Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town 1989
A Troma film (of course). The title really says it all.

C.H.U.D. 1984
I have this urge to compliment actors on their most obscure roles. If I ever meet John Goodman this is the film I will be telling him I "loved him in".

Cloverfield 2008
This is another one of those "found footage from a camcorder" movies, but with a budget and it actually looks like a movie. It is a "giant monster" movie that has a good angle, plus small monsters too. The subway scene in night vision is cool. The only thing that really irritated me with this film was while watching the special features someone (I can't remember who... producer, director, writer or someone along those lines) commented that they felt it was about time America had a giant monster. Don't they remember a little movie titled King Kong with various versions from 1933 to 2005? How about Mighty Joe Young (1949 & 1998)? I shook my head at that, but the movie itself made it to my list.

The Collector 2009
I've heard a number of people say this movie had nothing new to offer. I found it quite interesting... much more interesting than the piece of crap While She Was Out (2008), it was the second feature at the drive in that night. While She Was Out is a pathetic attemp at a female revenge movie that actually made me want to see Kim Basinger get bludgened in the head. The writer/director's attempt at making her look like a victim at the beginning of the film failed miserably. She looked like a lazy upper-class woman who wanted to be portrayed as a victim. Her using her kids as security blankets to ensure their emotional trauma since she had nobody else to play her victim card to was abhorid to me and filled me with disgust. This was only topped by her stupidity a short while later in the film. I'm trying to hold back here, so bear with me. The movie basically made me sick (and not in the good way). So, it is possible that made The Collector a much better film in my mind. My only complaint with the movie is that it did a big "no no" in my book. The entire reason for him doing the theft, especially doing it that night, was to help his child. His child and his connection to the child of the family he is robbing is a crucial point of the film. But you are left hanging at the end. Now, I like a movie that leaves you hanging for a purpose or point, but this is one of those that simply did it either out of lack of caring, lack of funds or pure forgetfulness (or the assumed forgetfulness of the viewing audience). The worse case of this I have ever seen is was The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005).

Conan the Barbarian 1982
More of a fantasy tale than horror. This movie has Arnold in his prime and James Earl Jones changing into a snake.

Creepshow 1982
Classic Stephen King and great performances by some of the greats. E.G. Marshall & Stephen King himself are big standouts.

Dawn of the Dead 1979 & 2004
The original is the classic that won over anyone who wasn't already won over by Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968). I am a huge fan of Tom Savini and his special effects work. This is a must see for anyone remotely interested in the genre. The remake is a stellar work that grabs you right away and takes you for a ride. The zombies are fast in this one and I don't care. I appreciate both sides of the fast/slow zombie argument, but I'm all for having some movies with fast zombies and others with slow ones... variety is the spice of life. For the record, zombies aren't real and it is a pathetic debate to begin with. These are the visions of the writers, directors, producers & actors... If you try to manipulate or blind their vision you are then limiting art. (Wow, I almost sound profound there)

Day of the Dead 1985
The third in the "of the Dead" Romero series. This one goes more into how zombies "think" than any other film I have seen. Yes, other movies get into their learning capacities and such, but this one goes into more the inner workings of the question "why" (my favorite question, by the way).

Dead Alive 1992
"I kick ass for the lord!" is one of the best lines in horror movie history! This film is a bloodfest... walking into a room holding up a lawn mower to plow a path is something you don't get to see all too often.

Dead & Breakfast 2004
Campy and fun film. The zombie dance number is great.

The Dead Hate the Living 2000
I love seeing Matthew McGrory in films. This is not the best movie on my list, but certainly not the worst. It is a fun view.

Dead Heat 1988
Zombie cops, Darren McGavin & Vincent Price.

Dead Next Door 1989
Lots of blood and an interesting simple story. Low budget at one of it's finests.

The Dead Pit 1989
A good evil Dr. back from the dead movie.

Dead Silence 2007
Creepy with very few CGI effects. There are some excellent "jump out" scenes and a great ending.

Death Becomes Her 1992
Bruce Willis, Meryl Streep & Goldie Hawn are fantastic in this crazy comedy about eternal life. Wow, I wasn't sure if I would ever use the word "fantastic" to describe Meryl Streep, but there I did it.

Dellamorte Dellamore 1996
Better known as Cemetary Man. This film has one of the best sex scenes ever. Clever concept and good dry humor.

Demons 1985
Classic 80s horror flick.

The Dentist 1996
Corbin Bernsen is wonderful as the dentist who has his world callapse around him into madness after witnessing his wife with the pool boy.

Devil's Rejects 2005
Rob Zombie's sequel to House of 1000 Corpses. It takes on a different angle than the first movie and even a different style. This is more of a 70s exploitation road movie with really disturbing subject matter and a few surprises.

Diary of the Dead 2007
George Romero's take on the "footage discovered" from a camcorder. Done very well, of course, by the master himself. Students are making a zombie movie when they are thown into the zombie apocalypse. There is some really good imagery such as the "garden". The only thing I would criticise is that it may be a bit too "toned down".

Disturbing Behaviour 1998
Similar to Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Puppet Masters, this film follows a collection of students as they try to figure out and survive the "changes" going on at school.

Dog Soldiers 2002
An interesting angle on a werewolf story. Some badass fighting too.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde 1931
One of the great classics and the effects are great for 1931.

Ed and His Dead Mother 1993
One of my all time favorites. Steve Buscemi is one of my favorite actors. He seems to always play a supporting role, and typically has the best lines in the film. In this movie Steve is the star, Ed, who really loves his mother. The best scene in the film is when the preacher comes into the hardwear store.

The Entity 1981
The original "I was raped by an invisible demon" movie.

The Evil Dead 1983
This movie is the one that put Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell onto the scene. It is the lowest budget of the trilogy as well as the scariest.

The Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn 1987
This movie is the one that put Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell on the map. It is the most well known, and liked, of the trilogy. Campbell recieved rave reviews for his acting skills and the movie got "Two Thumbs Up"!

The Exorcist 1973
You will never look at pea soup the same again. Watch the directors cut with the added scenes. It is a creepy movie.

Faces of Death 1978
A mostly fake documentary on death that is disturbing and sometimes downright hard to watch. This movie, Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) & Bloodsucking Freaks (1976) were all "banned" in numerous places when I was a kid... which made them all must watch movies!

Feast 2006
A Project Green Light film (see Matt Damon is good for something besides being Ben Affleck's bitch... oh wait, he is Affleck's bitch with this too). The only Progect Green Light episodes I ever watched were about making this film and I fell in love with the director's style immediately. This is a fun & funny horror romp full of blood that does some things differently than usual. I loved it.

Final Destination 2000
The first of the series and a well done film. There are some good moments of suspense in this.

Flight of the Living Dead:Outbreak on a Plane 2007
Way too long of a title. A fun watch and new take on a zombie movie.

The Fly 1958 & 1986
Both the original, with Vincent Price playing a supporting role, and the remake, with Jeff Goldblum, stand well on their own. They both have the same premise, yet go about the results of the failed experiment in different ways. The creature effects in the remake are awesome and gross.

Food of the Gods 1976
Horror movies often reflect the times and especially the fears of the times. With this film that fear is projected as overgrown critters.

The Fog 1980
Well made creepy tale of the dead coming back for vengance on a small coastal town.

Freaked 1993
This is a stupid-funny movie with some hilarious creatures.

Freaks 1932
Real side show "freaks" were used when making this film. It is kind of creepy to watch.

Friday the 13th 1980 & 2009
Ok, with my last name being what it is, plus I was born on the 13th... good thing my parents named me John instead of Jason, I do have a fondness to this entire series. The original is a great slasher film (not the first, but one of the originals... done the way it should be). Even Kevin Bacon is in it, but what movie from the 80s wasn't he in? You should see the original before watching the remake. The remake is actually a remake of the first three films, giving only a few brief moments to part I. The section designed for part II plays like it's own mini-movie and is the best part of the film. The camera angles and certain shots in the remake way outshine the original.

The Frighteners 1996
Great cast with Michael J. Fox, R. Lee Ermey, Dee Wallace, Jake Busey and even Mr. Re-Animator himself, Jeffrey Combs. Not a scary movie, but very well done and the humor fits.

Fright Night 1985
A fun 80s film that doesn't take itself too seriously. Roddy McDowall is excellent as Peter Vincent.

From Beyond 1986
Not as well recieved as Re-Animator (1985) but a worthy film just the same.

From Dusk Till Dawn 1996
Not only are the special effects great and the acting really good, the witty banter is awesome and the lineup of actors is phenominal. George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino & Harvey Keitel are wonderful and really look like they are having a good time making the film.

Ghost Rider 2007
One of the comic books turned movie I have added to my list. Some will say it doesn't belong on a horror list, I say it has the devil, demons, lost souls & a flaming motorcycle driving up the side of a building! Give me any crap and I'll use the penance stare on you.

Grindhouse 2007
The double feature with fake trailers featuring the directing talents of: Robert Rodriguez Planet Terror (feature segment) & Machete (fake trailer segment), Quentin Tarantino Death Proof (feature segment), Eli Roth Thanksgiving (fake trailer segment), Edgar Wright Don't (fake trailer segment) & Rob Zombie Werewolf Women of the S.S. (fake trailer segment). It's like being at the drive inn back in the 70s!

Guyver 1991
More of an action film, of sorts, it is fun to watch.

Hell Night 1981
Classic 80s horror flick. Actually a pretty good one.

Halloween 1978 & 2007
The original John Carpenter version is a classic. He is a master of setting you up for something to happen and it doesn't until you quit expecting it. The Rob Zombie remake goes steps beyond. It is more on the backstory and spends minimal time on the slasher segments.

Halloween II 1981
The second in the original series. This movie can stand on it's own too.

Hellraiser 1987
Clive Barker has a sick and twisted mind... one of the reasons he is my favorite author. It is based around sex & torture and done so very well.

Hide and Creep 2004
Released the same year as Shaun of the Dead (2004)... not as good of a quality movie, but possibly just as many laughs. It has a similar "theme" as well. A great bonus is the short film, included on the DVD, that is what they made to "sell" the movie idea. The short is about as good, at least humor wise, as the feature.

Highlander 1986
I don't care if I was compiling a list of documentaries on plant life, I would probably include this film since it is one of the best movies of all time and everyone should see it.

The Hills Have Eyes 2006
It takes a lot for me to say that I had a hard time watching a movie. This movie is mentally and emotionally disturbing. If I were female I don't know how I would have handled this film. The stuff that happens inside the RV is stomache turning without being gory... it hits more on the emotional level.

House of the Dead 2003
If you can find a way to remove the pathetically annoying video game clips inserted annoyingly throught this entire film this is a fairly good movie. It was one of the first, if not the first, "fast zombie" movies basing speed on how long deceased. There is a super long zombie blastfest and the lead acress is smokin' hot as she slays the living dead. Not much of a story, but that is fine considering it has more storyline than the first person shooter it is based on.

House of 1000 Corpses 2003
Rob Zombie's directorial debut. This rather artsy film brought back memories of more classic styles as I watched. Sid Haig is briliant as Captain Spaulding. Bill Moseley is a creepy Otis, Sheri Moon Zombie is awesome, and super friggin' hot, as Baby and I can't leave out Karen Black as Mother Firefly (a much better Mother Firefly than in The Devil's Rejects I must say). This movie became a classic in my mind the day I saw it (before it was released)... I only wish it actually had more blood & gore.

The House of Wax 1953
Excellent classic Vincent Price film.

House on Haunted Hill 1999
I love the stop motion sequences in this one. It has such a creepy effect. The story isn't much better than the original from 1959, but overall I prefer the remake.

The Howling 1980
One of the creepiest/scariest werewolf transformations... plus werewolf sex! If you really like the werewolf sex see Howling II (1985).

Humanoids From The Deep 1980 & 1996
I hesitate including the 1996 remake to this list. The original is a superior movie, but they both hold their place in horror history. If you like boobs and blood these are a must see!

Idle Hands 1999
Funny story about a slacker who not only doesn't realize there is a serial killer on the loose, he doesn't know it is him!

I Drink Your Blood 1971
Rabid dog blood tainted meat pies... need I say more?

The Incredible Melting Man 1977
An entertaining one with some cool effects for its day.

The Incredible Shrinking Man 1957
This is another classic. Haven't you always wanted to fight off a spider with a needle?

The Invasion 2007
Watching the wait staff vomit into the coffee decanters in order to "infect" the attendees of a meeting was something everyone should have to squirm thru watching. This is a remake/revisioning of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 & 1978).

Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956 & 1978
Both the original and remake are great classics. They each have their own great scenes and unique twists on the story. Both are worthy of this list.

I Spit on Your Grave 1978
This is more what While She Was Out (2008) should have been like... Did I already mention it was a total pile of tripe? Anyway, this is a true revenge movie. No guy will look at taking a bath with a woman the same way again.

It's Alive 1974
The fear in this film is the dangers of medicines and drug companies... who cares? There is a fanged infant eating people in it and that is cool. The 2009 remake isn't awful, but let me recommend the original alone.

Jaws 1975
Robert Shaw totally steals the show in this film. Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and even the mechanical shark are great in it. There are a couple of good "jump outs" and some real good creepy moments that may keep you on dry land for a while.

Jeepers Creepers 2001
They totally mis-marketed this one on the theatrical release. The trailers portrayed it as a slasher movie and it drew slasher movie crowds (like my brother in law and his wife, at the time)... they hated it. The problem? It is not a slasher movie but a very well done monster movie. I saw it on video and loved it! You need to watch it at least twice to catch some of the "clues" earlier in the film... or, you can cheat and watch the special features that points them all out. There is no sex, or even nudity, in this one and I'm shocked to say that is ok. It is a story of a brother & sister and it at different times defies many of the "rules" to a horror movie. One of the things I really enjoy about this film is that it's different... plus I like films that don't have a happy ending.

Jennifer's Body 2009
I was expecting to watch this movie simply to enjoy watching Megan Fox strut around for 102 minutes. Imagine my surprise when I actually enjoyed the film. I will be honest and say that without Megan Fox it wouldn't be as good... come one, who doesn't think she is smoking hot? There is no "real" nudity in the film, but the close up kissing scene between Amanda Syfried & Fox will have even those without a penis sporting wood!

Killer Klowns from Outer Space 1988
I'm not a big fan of this movie, but each time I watch this film it grows on me a little more.

Kingdom of the Spiders 1977
The ending of this film was bleak, especially to a child my age when I first saw it. A well done film all-in-all.

Lake Placid 1999
A couple good "jump outs". Oliver Platt & Betty White make this movie.

Land of the Dead 2005
Romero's 4th in the "of the Dead" series. This one the zombies do show signs of learing on their own. There are some great zombie characters in this one as well. I would love to take "Dead Reckoning" out for a spin.

Last House on the Left 1972
The exploitation classic that gave us Wes Craven. See what these parents do when they realize the people who are at their house raped, disemboweled & killed their daughter and her friend.

The Last Man on Earth 1964
One of my favorite Vincent Price films. It has been remade twice: The Omega Man (1971) & I Am Legend (2007). Price plays the last man alive, supposedly, who hasn't turned victim to a virus that rendered the rest of humanity a vampire. I thoroughly enjoy he daily quest for other survivors and supplies. It is kind of laughable that the only thing protecting him at night is cloves of garlic he hangs on the door and windows.

Luther the Geek 1990
Probably the main reason this movie is on the list is that if was filmed in Sterling, IL where I currently reside. Ok, a majority of the film was done at a house near Amboy, IL a few miles away... but the grocery store scene is the old Kroger building (It has moved across town and the building is now split up into different businesses including a Goodwill, Tanning Spa, etc.) that is across the street from my current office location.

May 1993
I rather like her keep what is good and get rid of what isn't attitude.

Michael Jackson's Thriller Music Video 1983
Everyone should watch the full length video at least once before they die. The zombies dancing in this one are even better than in Dead and Breakfast, but they don't sing (unless you count Michael). Wesley Snipes is one of the dancing zombies in this.

The Mist 2007
This movie takes the Stephen King story one step further. It does a great job of showing some basic human nature and how easily people can turn and cults can rise, especially when faced with major stress. The ending is fantastic.

The Monster Club 1980
Campy collection of stories that isn't as funny as it tries to be, which makes it even more funny.

Motel Hell 1980
Rory Calhoun gives a stellar performance in this classic tale of old man meets young girl and swoons her while he kills everyone else to make is famous beef jerky. Nancy Parsons weilding a chainsaw and wearing a pig head is simply a bonus. I'm interested to see the 2010 remake this coming year.

My Boyfriend's Back 1993
A cute "high school comedy" with a zombie. No, it is not a funny horror movie... there is a difference.

Nasferatu 1922
The only silent film on the list. It is creepy and very well done for 1922.

Near Dark 1986
One of my favorite horror movies from the 80s (and it's about vampires, not zombies... go figure). It is fun and bloody and just very entertaining to watch.

Night of the Comet 1984
There is a real good "jump out" in this one. It's kind of corny & campy, but it is a classic.

Night of the Creeps 1986
It's like a college version of Slither (2006). Slugs go into the mouth and get into your brain (because we all know there is a direct route that way) turning you into a zombie.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984
I was sitting in the theatre as a teen watching this movie scared out of my mind. This is by far the creepiest and scariest film of the few years surrounding it's release. Everybody's gotta sleep eventually, right? I'm looking forward to see what they do with the remake. I hear they are going the Halloween route and concentrating more on backstory.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors 1987
Of all the others of the franchise, number three is the one to watch. With a title track by Dokken and some fun ways to die. This one put the series back on track since number two really didn't fit in, much like Halloween 3 should have just had a different title since it had nothing to do with the rest of the films.

Night of the Living Dead 1968 & 1990
The original George Romero classic that defined the future for zombies movies for a number of years. Many zombie flicks today still abide by the "rules" set in this masterpiece. The film is creepy and scary and you never know which way things will go. That said, bring in the Tom Savini remake and his take on the classic. Very similar with some key changes (including ending), add that to the amped up effects & gore (it is Tom Savini after all) and you have a movie that stands on its own side by side with the original on my list.

The Omega Man 1971
Remake of The Last Man on Earth (1964). Charlton Heston holds up in his heavily fortified home (beats the crap out of garlic on the door) at night to protect himself from the albino like mutants. During the day he searches for supplies and other survivors. They aren't vampires, like in the 1964 version, but they are pissed that he is not one of them.

Paranormal Activity 2007
This film was the first, and possibly only to date, to use the internet to have people "vote it" to their town. A great marketing tactic that when matched with their bombardment on the networking sites got a big buzz going on for them. It is a really creepy movie and done very well. I was actually shocked at how good I found it. I did a review and comparison of it to The Blair Witch Project on an earlier blog: Paranormal Activity VS The Blair Witch Project.

The People Under the Stairs 1991
Not that scary and not masking the social reference, still fun to watch Everett McGill wear a full body bondage outfit and blast the crap out of his house.

Phantasm 1978
Classic piece that launched a series of sequels, some good and others not.

Pieces 1982
Not the best film, but I remember watching it when I was young and really thinking it was cool & different.

Poltergeist 1982
Creepy paranormal classic that will have you wondering if Ronald McDonald is hiding under your bed.

The Prestige 2006
Not of the horror genre, but it has David Bowie as Tesla and squashing songbirds is horrific enough for me. I like movies that, even tho this is somewhat predictable, has a lot of twists & turns.

Psycho 1960
Talk about mother issues... this is the ultimate momma's boy.

Puppet Master 1989
Any movie with a "leech woman" doll who kills by gagging up the blood suckers onto it's victims has to make this list.

Race with the Devil 1975
Those darn satan worshippers are everywhere.

Re-Animator 1985
Jeffrey Combs in the role he will be forever known for/as. This movie version of the H.P. Lovecraft book is very well done and fun to watch. Yes, there is full body nudity.

Resident Evil 2002
Does Milla Jovovich get naked in every move? This is one of the best video game to big screen movies there is... not counting super heros, I'm talking horror movies here. The dogs are awesome.

Return of the Living Dead 1985
Davenport, IA girl Linnea Quigley as the naked punk chick named Trash. This is the first, and only, zombie movie where the creatures actually say the word "brains" and they say it a lot.

Return of the Living Dead III 1993
The franchise started taking itself more seriously with this one... and the chick is hot.

The Ring 2002
The video segment is cool to watch... again with the breaking fingernails. The movie is creepy and the story is actually good. I love a movie where you actually have to try to figure something out.

Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975
This is best viewed at like a midnight showing where people get dressed up and go to dance on the stage in front of the screen. On it's own the only redeeming part is the "Time Warp" otherwise it is physically testing to endure.

Rosemary's Baby 1968
Is she carrying the spawn of satan or is she just nuts?

Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot 1977
When I was a child the preview alone kept me from sitting next to a window for years! The movie is a classic and arguably the second best bigfoot movie, with Harry and the Hendersons (1987) being the all time best bigfoot movie. Supposedly based on actual accounts and using "real" bigfoot cries for sound effects, it is a creepy film.

Satan's Little Helper 2004
Great film for the Halloween season. Parents, be mindful of who your child chooses as a best friend.

Saw 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009
I fell in love with the first film because I didn't figure out the ending in advance. The first film isn't that bloody at all. They, to a degree, get more bloody with each new sequel, but it's not about blood. These films are good twisted stories that work on mental/emotional fears.

Scanners 1981
Who doesn't enjoy watching someone's head explode?

Scary Movie 2000
The only reason to suffer through watching the pathetic slasher films of the late 90s & the early part of the 2000s (i.e. Scream, I Know What You Did..., etc) is to get all the jokes, jabs & puns in this breakthru parody movie that opened the doors for a slew of other parody films. Most of the ones to follow don't come close, but if you enjoy this one check out Scary Movie 2 (2001). If you don't enjoy this one check out Scary Movie 3 (2003) & Scary Movie 4 (2006). The job of director changed hands from Keenen Ivory Wayans to David Zucker, turning my feeling of "I'm almost too caucasion to watch this" to "I'm almost not white enough to watch this". If you want to step away from the horror genre for a moment watch Not Another Teen Movie (2001). It is a great spoof of High School movies from the John Hughes era thru the 90s, plus you get to see Jaime Pressly dance in a bra & panties and Mia Kirshner walk down a hall in a schoolgirl outfit (it's worth it!).

Scream 1996
The opening segment of this movie, with Drew Barrymore, is awesome. It is done well with suspense and terror. The angles and lighting are perfect and Drew does a fantastic job. Once that is over take the movie out and watch pretty much anything else. There is a good "boobies in a tight sweater" scene, but it is done even better in Scary Movie (2000).

Se7en 1995
Gory & sick yet clever and suspenseful. I only wish the audience had a chance to try and figure out the "who did it" part. There is one really good "jump out" scene and the overall imagery is brilliant.

Shaun of the Dead 2004
I tend to label movies either "Horror movies that are funny" or "Comedies that are scary"... This one broke the mold and became a "Horror movie that is also a Comedy". It is so hard to find that perfect balance, but this delivers.

Signs 2002
There are some really tense scenes where you hesitate to look. This movie does an excellent job of taking you from a smile on your face to your hand covering your mouth.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 1984
The classic Santa Clause killer movie that was banned all over the place when I was young... Ok, I love how they use the term "banned" to promote films, yet I had no difficulty finding it at my local small town video rental store in the 80s.

The Sixth Sense 1999
This movie is captivating. You really start to feel for the characters and it gets you so wrapped up in it that you don't even think about trying to figure the whole thing out.

Slither 2006
Similar to Night of the Creeps, only with adults, less nudity, different story line and more creature effects... Ok, the only real similarity is that these alien slugs enter your body to turn you into zombies.

Spawn 1997
John Leguizamo made this movie a must see. It isn't exactly considered by some to be a horror flick, but a monster demon clown is all I need to put it on this list.

Squirm 1976
Featured on MST3K, this is actually a pretty good movie.

Stir of Echoes 1999
This film was sadly overshadowed by The Sixth Sense in theatres. It is a well done creepy Kevin Bacon flick (good creepy, not like Quicksilver creepy). Watching fingernails break off always bothers me.

Street Trash 1987
Obnoxious and crude, this movie delivers some great effects and not much of a story.

Swamp Thing 1982
The effects are way better than the story line on this one.

The Stuff 1985
A great B-Movie about this "stuff" that comes up from the ground and gets marketed as food. When people eat it they become addicted and turn into zombies for it... Oh yeah, and this "stuff" will eat you too.

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight 1995
Some great acting, especially by Billy Zane, and a fun flick. The Tales from the Crypt people never fail to impress me.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974
Horror from the 70s at it's finest. Not as bloody as you would imagine. Most people born after 1990 will prefer the reamake from 2003.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II 1986
Arguably the best of the series. I love the openeing of this film. Bill Moseley does a fine job and, in my opinion, makes this movie great.

They Live 1988
this film is more science fiction than horror, but it is a good watch and has one of the longest fight scenes ever.

Thir13en Ghosts 2001
The best part of this movie is on the DVD special features. Watch the backstories to each of the ghosts.

The Toxic Avenger 1984
Politiacally incorrect and I love it! Andree Maranda is super hot as the blind girlfriend. I heard that the part where the seeing eye dog gets shot had received the most complaints by Troma up to that time. Troma, Lloyd Kaufman's production company, has done such great films as: Terror Firmer (1999), Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986) & Tromeo and Juliet (1996).

Tremors 1990
Michael Gross is the true star of this movie.

Trick or Treat 1986
Ozzy Osbourne as an anti rock & roll preacher... plus Gene Simmons, how can you go wrong?

Trilogy of Terror 1975
Karen Black is a great horror actress. In this movie she plays four roles in three seperate stories. The third tale is the most memerable, with Black acting solo as she is terrorized in her apartment by an African Zuni fetish doll. The image of the sharp toothed African doll has been burnt into my brain to this day.

Twilight Zone the Movie 1983
It has a bit of all the great things about the Twilight Zone television series. I even enjoy the Prologue with Dan Aykroyd & Albert Brooks (both excellent actors on their own). The film contains four stories. The first is an original about a Vietnam vet and is the one that was being filmed when they had the accident that killed the star, Vic Morrow, and some others. The other three are remakes of previous Twilight Zone episodes: "Kick the Can", "It's a Good Life" & "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".

Two Thousand Maniacs 1964
A young group stumble upon a southern town that is throwing a party in their honor.

Undead 2003
A bunch of meteors turn the locals into zombies. A small group of survivors try to battle their way out of town.

Vampire Killers 2009
The original movie title "Lesbian Vampire Killers" is more fitting. I should mention lesbian vampires are even hotter than regular lesbians & female vampires put together! The best description I can give for this film is that it's the Shaun of the Dead of the vampire films, only with a more "naughty" sense of humor, nudity and... did I mention... lesbian vampires!!!

The Vault of Horror 1973
No horror movie list would be complete without at least one film featuring Terry-Thomas, plus I am a fan of all the horror movies with multiple segmented stories. This one contains five: Midnight Mass, The Neat Job, This Trick'll Kill You, Bargain in Death & Drawn and Quartered.

The Video Dead 1987
Zombies are coming out of the TV. Your best defense? Mirrors.

Videodrome 1983
This James Woods picture is interesting. Video straight to the brain and snuff shows... ahhhhh, America!

When a Stranger Calls 1979
Carol Kane is fantastic in this creepy film of a babysitter getting phone calls asking her, "Have you checked the children?" This is a good one to watch with all the lights when you are alone in the house... or at least "think" you are alone.

Willard 1971
Bruce Davison does a great job at playing the mamma's boy, Willard. Crispin Glove does a very good job in the 2003 remake, but I would only suggest it if you enjoy the original. Willard doesn't have any friends, except the rats.

Wrong Turn 2003
Inbred mutants who want to eat human flesh. Sounds like one of my ex's family.

X - The Man With the XRay Eyes 1963
I enjoyed this movie partially due to what was going on when I saww it. I was in a stressful situation and I just wrapped myself into it to forget what was just going on. I would like to see it remade, the ending was good for it's day and I would love to see what they could do with it today.

Zombi 2 1979
I've had splinters before, but not in the eye! This is the movie that was released and dubbed overseas as a sequel to the George Romero classic Night of the Living Dead (1968).

Zombie Strippers 2008
Robert Englund is funny in this story of undead exotic dancers. The Zombie strip off alone is worth making it on the list. The lack of acting skills on the part of most of the cast is made up for with nipples.

Below is my "To Watch" list. I am sure some belong on the list above, but I have to say, and sometimes to my embarrasment, I simply haven't seen them yet.

2001 Maniacs 2004
I have heard the original Two Thousand Maniacs is a better film, but this one is more gory.

Anguish 1986

Brain Dead 2007

Burial Ground: Nights of Terror 1981

Cannibal Holocaust 1979

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things 1973
This, as well as a couple others on my "To Watch" list, is a movie I am sure I have seen a long time ago. Sadly I just can't remember so here it is... What really sucks is when I finally do watch a film again and realize the reason I didn't remember is that the movie was so bad I forced it from my mind. I do not believe that is the reason for my memory lapse pertaining to this classic film.

Dance of the Dead 2008

Deadgirl 2008

Dead of Night 1999
Original title Lighthouse. This is another one of those that I can't remember seeing, but I have a notion I may have at some point in time.

Dead Snow 2009
Supposed to be the best, of the three I can think of, Nazi zombie movies yet.

Feeding the Masses 2004

Fido 2006

The Granny 1994
I never rented this film because, frankly, the box cover made it look uninteresting. Not all that long ago I came across a review online that gave praises to Stella Stevens for her performance and foul mouthed quips. It got added to my "To Watch" list immediately following.

Horror 2002

Last of the Living 2008

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie 1975

The Mad 2006

The Manson Family 1997-2003
The date on this one is due to issues with the completion of the film. I believe I may have seen parts of this at one time, but will not be totally sure without viewing the film in it's entirety.

Seed 2007

Shadow of the Vampire 2000
I have seen parts of this movie, but not the entire film from start to finish. It belongs in my list with Willem Dafoe playing Max Shreck as an actual vampire.

Survival of the Dead 2009
George Romero's latest that I haven't seen yet simply due to it not yet being released.

Teeth 2007

Trick 'R Treat 2007

Quarantine 2008

The Wolfman 2010
Benicio Del Toro & Anthony Hopkins... looks very promising.

Zombies Anonymous 2007

Zombieland 2009