Despite what Andy Williams might have you believe, mid to late October is in fact the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the time of year where horror movies become relevant to the population as a whole instead of just nerdy lifelong horror fans like me. Something about the cooling temperatures and the slow transformative death of billions of leaves makes this time of year feel aesthetically ripe for films about terror, fear, and death. In honor of the season and the theme of this column (not to mention the fact that I haven’t posted in a month or so), I feel it prudent to offer up a list of my favorite horror films that you may not have come across.
Masque of the Red Death: The 1964 Roger Corman-directed classic based on the short story by Edgar Allen Poe and starring my all-time favorite horror actor, Vincent Price. There really are no words to describe how incredibly creepy this film is due in large part to what I would say is Roger Corman’s finest work of cinematography. The color palette of this movie will jump out at you almost immediately.
Rubber: Some might argue that this 2010 feature isn’t a horror film, but I consider a tire that gains sentience and an astute case of psychopathy rolling around telekinetically exploding peoples’ heads for no good reason to be a pretty terrifying concept.
House of 1000 Corpses: This is a truly underappreciated film in my opinion. It’s so deliciously surreal and demented. It will always hold a place in my upper pantheon of horror films.
I’m certain there are films I want on this list and cannot currently remember. I will be sure to add to this list in subsequent posts leading up to Halloween. In the meantime, check out the 12 hour horror movie event at the Capitol this weekend in addition to one of the ballsiest guerilla films I’ve ever come across.
12 Hours of Terror 2013 at the Capitol Theater
Saturday, October 19, starting at 8:00pm
Synopsis: All-night horror marathon featuring Evil Dead, From Beyond, Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D, Chistine, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Street Trash & a surprise screening! No one under 18 admitted
If you’re looking for a horror movie experience to write home about, how about 12 hours of mostly 80s cult horror classics. This list has something for every kind of horror fan. The original Evil Dead is a modern classic and led the way to the creation of the horror-comedy genre with its, initially accidental, campy glory. From Beyond is another in a long line of horror films inspired by the brilliant works of H.P. Lovecraft from the same director and star actor of Re-Animator (another Lovecraft-inspired film). Breaking up the list nicely is the 1954 Universal all-time classic monster flick Creature from the Black Lagoon. From there it’s just a roller coaster ride of killer Steven King cars, Killer Klowns, and killer hooch with an as yet unannounced film that will almost certainly be…killer.
Escape from Tomorrow at the Cedar Lee
Synopsis: An epic battle begins when a middle-aged American husband and father of two learns that he has lost his job. Keeping the news from his nagging wife and wound-up children, he packs up the family and embarks on a full day of park hopping amid enchanted castles and fairytale princesses. Soon, the manufactured mirth of the fantasy land around him begins to haunt his subconscious. An idyllic family vacation quickly unravels into a surrealist nightmare of paranoid visions, bizarre encounters, and an obsessive pursuit of a pair of sexy teenage Parisians.
This is one of the more interesting films to come out this year. Its interest stems primarily from the story of its production. In possibly one of the boldest moves of which I’ve heard, Escape from Tomorrow was filmed on location at Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California without permission from the almighty, legally terrifying, Disney mega-giant. What’s even more surprising is that the filmmakers have been able to release this film with Disney deciding not to pursue legal action against them. This is the same company who threatened legal action against daycare centers for painting Mickey Mouse on their wall. If nothing else, this is film worth seeing just to catch a glimpse of the Godzilla-sized cojones possessed by the filmmakers and the actors.