Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Don't forget to title this post dummy!

Welcome welcome welcome! It's finally that day we've all been waiting for. That's right, if you go on over to Shoot the Projectionist, you can finally check out the final list.

As you know, this list is the final product of countless nominations and a final vote by people all over the internet with questionable taste, much like myself. In fact, I WAS one of those people. You may recall that I shared my list of nominations with you back at the start of the month. It's only fitting then that, here at the end of the month, I should finally share my vote with you. In fact, I'll even show you the final list. In fact, I'll show you both! My list, and the final list, at the same time, presented in GLORIOUS side-by-side-o-vision!

31. Bride of Frankenstein (1935; James Whale) 285 pts. Ravenous (1999; Antonia Bird)
30. Aliens (1986; James Cameron) 286 pts. Aliens (1986; James Cameron)
29. Poltergeist (1982; Tobe Hooper) 288 pts. Dracula (1931; Tod Browning)
28. Seven (1995; David Fincher) 289 pts. Night of the Living Dead (1968; George Romero)
27. Night of the Hunter (1957; Charles Laughton) 290 pts. Frankenstein (1931; James Whale)
26. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956; Don Siegel) 292 pts. Frailty (2001; Bill Paxton)
25. Carnival of Souls (1962; Herk Harvey) 302 pts. Audition (1999; Takashi Miike)
24. Carrie (1976; Brian de Palma) 310 pts. Pulse (Kairo) (2001; Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
23. The Ring (2002; Gore Verbinski) 317 pts. Slither (2006; James Gunn)
22. (TIE) Eraserhead (1977; David Lynch) 327 pts. The Fly (1986; David Cronenberg) 327 pts. Shaun of the Dead (2004; Edgar Wright)
21. The Brood (1979; David Cronenberg) 347 pts. The Return of the Living Dead (1985; Dan O’Bannon)
20. Rosemary’s Baby (1968; Roman Polanski) 364 pts. Seven (1995; David Fincher)
19. 28 Days Later (2002; Danny Boyle) 381 pts. The Eye (aka Gin gwai) (2002; Pang Bros.)
18. (TIE) The Wicker Man (1973; Robin Hardy) 391 pts. Eyes Without a Face (aka Les Yuex sans visage) (1960; Georges Franju) 391 pts. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
17. (TIE) Nosferatu (1922; F.W. Murnau) 413 pts. The Descent (2005; Neil Marshall) 413 pts. Dawn of the Dead (2004; Zack Snyder)
16. The Evil Dead (1981; Sam Raimi) 421 pts. The Hitcher (1986; Robert Harmon)
15. The Blair Witch Project (1999; Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez) 450 pts. The Devil’s Backbone (2001; Guillermo del Toro)
14. The Haunting (1963; Robert Wise) 464 pts. In the Mouth of Madness (1995; John Carpenter)
13. Don’t Look Now (1973; Nicolas Roeg) 469 pts. Godzilla (aka Gojira) (1954; Ishiro Honda)
12. Suspiria (1977; Dario Argento) 482 pts. Haute Tension (2003; Alexandre Aja)
11. The Birds (1963; Alfred Hitchcock) 483 pts. Event Horizon (1997; Paul W.S. Anderson)
10. Jaws (1976; Steven Spielberg) 526 pts. The Thing (1982; John Carpenter)
9. Dawn of the Dead (1978; George Romero) 645 pts. Dawn of the Dead (1978; George Romero)
8. The Thing (1982; John Carpenter) 661 pts. Jaws (1976; Steven Spielberg)
7. Alien (1979; Ridley Scott) 675 pts. 28 Days Later (2002; Danny Boyle)
6. The Exorcist (1973; William Friedkin) 723 pts. The Descent (2005; Neil Marshall)
5. Psycho (1960; Alfred Hitchcock) 747 pts. Ringu (1998; Hideo Nakata)
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974; Tobe Hooper) 784 pts. Cube (1997; Vincenzo Natali)
3. Halloween (1978; John Carpenter) 824 pts. The Ring (2002; Gore Verbinski)
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968; George Romero) 862 pts. Alien (1979; Ridley Scott)
1. The Shining (1980; Stanley Kubrick) 997 pts.
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003; Takashi Shimizu)

Ok, fine. That wasn't as glorious as it sounded. If you desperately want to see a better version of it (In SUPER GLORIOUS side-by-side-o-vision, you can see it here)

It's worth noting that there are no ties in my list. Also, I got Dawn of the Dead in the right spot, but ended up with Jaws and The Thing reversed. So close! Apparently, I'm the only person in the world who doesn't like The Shining though, I went with a different 'house drives someone crazy so he kills his family' kind of movie. Such is life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

dreamrot's favorite movies: The Burbs

If you asked 100 people in their twenties what their favorite movie to come out of the 1980s was, you probably get a lot of different answers. There's a lot of love for movies like The Goonies and The Dark Crystal. Labyrinth would probably come up as well as The Empire Strikes Back, maybe even Return of the Jedi. In other words, the movies we watched as children. And you'd get all the bullshit nostalgia and sentimentality to go with it. I'm sorry, but a lot of the movies that people still seem to love from the eighties just aren't that good.

If you asked me, however, you wouldn't get any of those answers. I'd tell you flat out that my favorite might be The Burbs. In fact, it might just be one of my favorite movies ever made.

The Burbs is, at it's heart, the quintessential suburban story. Mayfield Place is meant to be Anyplace, USA. When people think of the suburbs, of America, Mayfield Place is that image. Meticulously cared for lawns. Clean and quiet neighborhoods. Eccentric neighbors who can't mind their own business. If ever there was an AMERICAN image, this is it.

You can see, through the movie, the prevailing attitude of our suburbanites, "The Klopecks are different. They aren't one of us. They must be evil. Look at their lawn. They don't come out during the day. They're so different than us. We have to do something about them."

Of course, the great irony is that it turns out that the neighborhood is right and that the Klopecks ARE indeed evil. That's just one of the things that makes the movie so great. We spend almost the entire movie watching the neighborhood's paranoid reaction to the new neighbors.

Sure, the Klopecks aren't the Cleavers. Is that so terrible though? It's at the end, that Tom Hanks' character Ray, finally learns that it's okay that they're different and that the neighborhood really is just paranoid. It's after destroying the Klopeck's home that Ray sees just how crazy they'd all become. And of course it's at this point as well that we see that the Klopecks managed to fool everyone.

That illusion is shattered however when we see the inside of the Klopeck's trunk. This, naturally, leads one to wonder what kind of fool drives around with skeletal remains in their trunk? Aren't you just ASKING for trouble at that point? I mean, even a busted tail light could get you pulled over and then, catch a cop on a bad day and you can get searched if he can find even the least bit of 'probable cause'.

That's not the only question that is raised by The Burbs. The other question is 'Doesn't anyone have a fucking job to go to?' Ok, I might believe that Rumsfield and Walter are retired. And we know that Ray is on vacation. Ricky is a kid, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What about Art? What the hell does he do? Other than mooch off of his neighbors that is... His wife is out of town and all he does it talk to the neighbors. Is he on vacation too? Was he laid off? Is he unemployed?

The movie is also the good kind of horror comedy. The kind that works. The kind that still manages to be unsettling.

Carol: Ray isn't coming out of his room until he resembles the man I married.
Art: Carol, We don't have that kind of time.

Ray: I've never seen that. I've never seen anybody drive their garbage down to the street and bang the hell out of it with a stick. I-I've never seen that.

The lines, even out of the context of the movie are great, and the humor is obvious. But, what makes the movies so unsettling is how accuratley it sums up the American experience more than any other movie I can think of. This movie is us in a nutshell. Every cliche. Every bit of xenophobia. It's all there. Sure, the Klopecks turn out to be the bad guys we all thought they were, but we only find that out by accident, by coincidence. For all of the neighborhood's spying and investigating they weren't able to turn up the smallest bit of evidence. They dug up the Klopeck's yard and burned down their house and couldn't prove a goddamn thing for all their efforts. They were the monsters, not the Klopecks.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What next? Are you going to have Sulu played by a Korean? Oh...

You may have heard by now that Simon Pegg has been...(don't do it...don't say it...) PEGGED (merde!) to play a young Scotty in the new Star Trek movie.

Let that sink in.

Simon Pegg as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott.

Now that you've considered it, pondered the possibilities and mulled over the implications in your mind, you must be wondering, "Well, what do YOU think of all this?"

I'm glad you asked.

I think it's an incredibly bizarre casting choice. Simon Pegg is an amazing COMEDIC actor. He however, has an incredibly unique stlye/persona that I think will overshadow his performance. Maybe that's just it though. Maybe this will be the breakout dramatic role that Pegg needs. Maybe this will show the world just how gifted he really is.

That or it could be an amazingly bad choice and Pegg will play the role with a bit of a smirk the whole time.

And before you ask, yes, I do remember Pegg in Band of Brothers. Playing an American soldier no less, he was able to come off as a perfectly serious person as opposed to a guy ready to make a joke. Of course it was a very small role, and he was a minor character.

"Okay, who would have been a better choice?"

I don't know, someone Scottish maybe? Ok, that's not fair, Doohan himself was a Canadian.

It just seems like a weird choice to me, but, hey, it could be brilliant, right? That's always a possibility...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Quick Reviews of Bad Movies: Just because it was free doesn't mean it was okay.

Today I am going to list one of my grievances with Continental Airlines. I flew from Houston to Detroit today and there was an in flight movie. Evan Almighty.

What a bland, boring, unfunny piece of shit.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

31 Movies...Honorable Mentions

Yesterday, I presented my list. Today, we're looking at a few that didn't make it

Frankenfish, Spring Break Shark Attack, Insecticidal, etc

These are the kind of movies that I love. Unfortunately, they're not often that scary, or really that good. Bad acting, bad CGI, lots of deaths. It's just fun stuff. Actually, most of the movies I would have liked to have included but did not fall into this category. I can't help it if I'd rather watch Raging Sharks instead of Rob Zombie's Halloween. That's just the way it goes. Someday, someone is going to try to make a list of 31 horror movies to watch and laugh at while getting drunk with your buddies. I will excel at creating this list.

Land of the Dead

This might be my second favorite Romero movie behind Day of the Dead and it was on the list until the last minute (I won't tell you what replaced it). Some directors make me feel like they're losing sight of what they're doing as they make more movies...I have no doubt that Romero's Diary of the Dead will be fantastic.

A Tale of Two Sisters

I haven't seen it, but so many people have told me so much about it that I had planned to watch it over the weekend in the HOPE of including it. That didn't happen. I sold my soul to Knights of the Old Republic instead (again). My goal for this month is to watch it.


Japanese zombie movie that suffered the same fate as A Tale of Two Sisters


It's not really a horror movie, is it? It good. It's a little gruesome at times. I wanted to include it, but there were as many reasons not to as there were to include it. Oh well.


A lot of people really dig this movie. I'm not one of them. It was good, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't great. It's a lot of setup, and the end, while a bit shocking and creepy (in true Miike fashion) just isn't enough to salvage the story for me. It's good, but not great.

28 Weeks Later

I dug it. Seriously. I have no good reason for it not making the list. It just didn't. I considered it, but just didn't feel that strongly about it. This shit is never perfect.

Alien Resurrection

I thought about it, just to be a prick. I like the damn movie. There's just nothing all that scary about it.

Night Watch, Underworld

I really like these two werewolf vs vampire movies, but just couldn't justify putting them on the list. Night Watch came close to making it though.

Night of the Living Dead

Simply put. I preferred Dawn of the Dead. And didn't feel a need to put this one on the list as well.


The Universal horror classic. This is another one that was painfully close to making it. I absolutely love this movie.

The Eye

Actually, I have no excuse. This one should have been on the list. Sorry.

Needless to say, there were a ton of movies that cold have made my list but did not. Overall, I'm happy with my list though. That's what counts, right? No? Oh. Well ok then. Screw you! I don't need your validation! Jerks.

Two in the chest, one in the balls. That's whay I say.

In an effort to show how relevant I am to the times, here I am on new release Tuesday talking about a movie that comes out on DVD today. How topical!

You hear about a movie with a title like Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane, and inevitably you think at least one of the following three thoughts:

1) Is this a sequel to Outbreak? Do you think they got the same monkey to come back? Probably not. Fucking prima donna monkey probably wanted a huge trailer this time around.

2) This is going to be terrible. I wonder HOW terrible...

3) I have to see this.

If you're me however, it's all three.

It all starts with a pretty kick ass opening song and credits over some CGI internal organs. The song itself it pretty sweet, I actually ind of wish I knew what it was. From here it's onto a quick cliche check.

Flight attendents excited to see the 'sights' in Paris? Check.

Top secret government cargo? Check.

A retiring pilot flying his last flight? Check.

And this is only five minutes in! Well, into the movie of course, we're actually HOURS into the flight. Lets just say the plane is much closer to Paris than New York. But, there's a big storm forcing them to divert course. Of course the storm naturally 'shifts' the cargo, releasing the experiment. The cargo is a woman. Well, it was. The guard somehow has an automatic weapon on the plane and shoots the reanimated woman. She then comes back to life and kills the dude.

Quick passenger rundown now. You've got two pairs of horny teenagers who serve no purpose. A professional golfer. A cop transporting a prisoner. And a creepy guy who turns out to be a TSA agent. Overall, the plane is MAYBE half full.

All the turbulence is really beating the folks up. And our captain thinks someone should check on the 'cargo'...meanwhile, the turbulance has forced our cop to hit his head, knocking him out and letting his prisoner escape.

Of course, the zombie attacks and kills the people investigating. So, lets send more investigators! The TSA agent and the cop are going into the hold to look for the escaped prisoner. Normally, one would that that one of them will get bit and make it back up to the passenger deck to spread the disease. Is that what happens? No. Both make it out of the cargo hold without a bite.

They do get into a fight with the zombies in cargo though. And the TSA guy MISSES the zombie and hits a flight attendant on the passenger deck. And the first zombie makes it up out o f the cargo hold and attacked a different flight attendant. There's only one flight attendant left now.

Ok, you know how when zombies come out of the grave they do that hands through the dirt thing? They totally do that throught the floor of them plane. It was at this point that I decided that I love this movie!

For all of it's cliches, FotLD is one hell of a fun movie. My biggest complaint is the story line about the teens who are going to Paris and the stupid love triangle thing going on. There was no point to it other than to kill a little bit of time. It was fairly useless.

7 nuns praying in coach only to be devoured by zombies out of 10.

Monday, October 01, 2007

31 movies I would recommend for someone's month long Halloween movie marathon (aka, the post where I throw all of my credibility away)

It's with some trepidation that I am making this available to the world at large. Mostly because I know that my taste in movies is suspect to begin with, and here I am, confirming it for everyone. Eh, fuck it.

Here it is, my nomination list for the 31 FLICKS THAT GIVE YOU THE WILLIES.

Alright, since this is a nominating list, it doesn't need to be in any specific order, so here it is, my list as presented in the format of... The 31 movies I would recommend for someone's month long Halloween movie marathon.

Some things to note. This is MY list. It reflects MY tastes. I'm not a huge fan of Carpenter, it shows in the list. I'm not a huge fan of slasher movies, it shows in the list. I don't care about the Freddie and Jason movies, it shows in the list.

I also tried to stay away from all those low budget, scfi channel movies that I love. I enjoy watching them, that does not mean that they're good. Some of the movies veer towards comedy, and may not be as scary as others, however, I included them because, well, I think that they are good. Also, I think that they showcase a good blend of horror and light fun. And you need that sometimes.

The other consequence of my list is the format I chose to present it. I took it as a challenge to create a list of 31 movies I would recommend for someone else's movie marathon. This means that I may not have made a list of 'the 31 greatest fucking movies I ever saw and if you disagree you're a cock sucking asshole from outer space'. I picked movies that I like and that fit certain thematic requirement, arbitrary as they may be. What I do hope it accomplishes in terms of nominations though it to give a couple of smaller gems a little credit and maybe a bit of a boost, even though half of them will be the same shit everyone else is nominating.

Oct 1: The Ring

This was a toss up. I could have put Ringu on the list instead and been just as happy. However, I think that the American remake is equally as good, and a great way to ease into what's yet to come here in the first week. Not to mention, it's a great little kick off to the whole month. I think it's really a great, creepy movie that really serves to demonstrate that Hollywood CAN remake an Asian horror movie well. So long as no one is paying attention yet.

Oct 2: El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone)

This Spanish ghost story from Guillermo Del Toro has a ton of atmosphere. It's a creepy little ghost story in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War. While not as heavy on effects as El Labarinto del Fauno, it's still an amazingly fantastic piece of work.

Oct 3: Ju-on

Ju-on was one of the first Asian horror movies I watched, and still one of the best. It scared the shit out of me. The pale little boy. The atmosphere. The undefined evil that just bleeds off of the screen. This was the rare instance that I was glad I wasn't watching the movie alone.

Oct 4: Haute Tension (High Tension)

Now we're talking. Alexandre Aja gave us a neat little psychological twist in this one that people either love or hate. Ending aside though, this movie it a tightly wound ball of fury and pain. What's starts like any other movie quickly dissolves into a frantic chase. Trying to escape alive.

Oct 5: Ils (Them)

This is a very new movie, but certainly worthy of inclusion on the list. Claiming to be based on true events, you can't help but get emotionally involved in this movie. 'Them' refers to an unknown person or group who is terrorizing a young couple new to Romania. The events themselves all take place over the course of a day and a most.

This takes us into our first weekend, aptly titled Isolation Weekend (I tried to get a couple of themes going while stringing together some of the movies)

Isolation Weekend:

Oct 6: Kairo (Pulse)

Kairo itself isn't a perfect movie. What it is, however, is an excellent study in loneliness and isolation. It's the end of the world as electronics seek to drive everyone apart. The Japanese original is miles better than it's 2006 American counterpart which was like watching lepers suck cock.

Oct 7: 28 Days Later

It's 28 days after the outbreak of the rage virus when Jim wakes up from a coma, alone in London, and unaware of the crisis he's about to face.

This leads us into Zombie Week. Might as well do a week of zombie movies, right?

Zombie Week!

Oct 8: Resident Evil

Not the greatest movie ever made, but a good little zombie adventure. Milla Jovovich is kicking ass, the effects work and the zombies themselves are creepy as hell.

Oct 9: Slither

Say what you want. I liked it. And, sure, the little slugs turn everyone into a PART of Grant, they still exhibit many zombie-type behaviors.

Oct 10: Boy Eats Girl

This is one that I'm sure will not be on anyone else's list. I'm okay with that. This little Irish zombie movie was good though! Part teen comedy, part bloodbath, this zombie movie is the rare diamond in the rough. It looks like just another zombie movie at first glance. Once you get deeper though, it's a movie with a lot of heart, not to mention a lot of zombie killing.

Oct 11: Return of the Living Dead

Dan O'Bannon shows us that he can do something besides write creepy movies like Alien with this sort of sequel to Romero's Night of the Living Dead. While a bit more comedic in tone that Romero's work, the unrelenting hordes of undead still stand out. Not to mention the twist that killing them spreads the disease.

Oct 12: Shaun of the Dead

The story of two guys who's lives barely change when the zombie apocalypse comes. Part romantic comedy, part zombie flick, and part social commentary, this movie just works in so many ways that even if it's not exactly scary, it's hard NOT to include it.

Dawn of the Dead Weekend

Oct 13: Dawn of the Dead (original)
Oct 14: Dawn of the Dead (remake)

Here's a twofer for you. Both are the stories of a zombie outbreak. Both have their survivors seeking refuge in a mall. That's where the similarities end. Both however are excellent movies.

Oct 15: Alien

Could you make a list without Alien? No, it would be like making a list without The Thing.

Oct 16: The Thing


Oct 17: Jurassic Park

Okay. This might not be what most people consider a horror movie. However, the velociraptors themselves make this a worth while inclusion. Speilberg basically manages to do for raptors what he did for sharks.

Oct 18: Gojira

This is another one that straddles the horror fence. It's hard to think of a more frightening allegory for the use of weapons of mass destruction though.

Oct 19: Jaws

The movie that made a generation of kids afraid of the water. Mechanical problems forced Speilberg to do the one thing that ultimately makes the movies so effective...limit the screen time for the shark. Nothing is scarier than what you don't see. More than 30 years later, it's still an amazing movie.

Oct 20: Dog Soldiers

Neil Marshall manages to make an amazingly sinister werewolf movie on a scifi channel budget. You never know who to be more afraid of, the werewolves, or the black ops.

Oct 21: Jurassic Park 3

Fuck you. It worked for me.

Oct 22: Shikoku

A Japanese ghost story about a young girl with long black hair, go figure. This one, though, managed to send a chill up my spine. It's not Ringu, it's not Ju-on, but that works in it's favor.

Oct 23: Silent Hill

It's the atmosphere and cinematography that really make the movie here, not the story. Silent Hill has a look to it. There's little else to say. It feels creepy. The fog around the town, the burning coal mine, ash covers everything, and when the darkness careful!

Oct 24: Open Water

What's scarier than being abandoned in the water due to bad counting? When the sharks arrive.

Oct 25: Cube

You're alone with a group of assholes for no apparent reason in a facility designed to kill you.

Oct 26: Evil Dead 2

The first time I saw it, I hadn't slept in days and must have felt much like Ash when the appliances and taxidermy started laughing and howling 'dead by dawn'.

Sam Neil Weekend

Oct 27: In the Mouth of Madness

One of the few movies to really scare me. Like, really scare me. In fact, I wouldn't feel that scared watching a movie again until Ju-on.

Oct 28: Event Horizon

Great characters, great concept. Poor execution, but still an enormously creepy movie.

Oct 29: Ab-Normal Beauty

Oxide Pang's story of a photographer who becomes obsessed with death. The ending isn't perfect, but it's still a great story.

Oct 30: The Hitcher

The devil himself comes out to play on Devil's Night as Rutger Hauer terrorizes poor C. Thomas Howell in an unrelenting killing spree across the desert.

Oct 31: The Descent

Claustrophobia, monsters and madness. Can you ask for more? No.


That's it. That's my list. Criticize me all you want. Tell me I wouldn't know a good horror movie if it handed my a business card that said 'I'm a Good Horror Movie'

Tomorrow, I'll take a look at a couple that I wish had made the list but did not. And, naturally, by 'tomorrow' I mean 'when I get to it'. And by 'when I get to it' I mean 'tomorrow'