Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: Halloween is coming . . . well pretty soon anyway

Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: Halloween is coming . . . well pretty soon anyway-attachment0

Yeah, I know, it’s really a good while till Halloween, but I want to get an early start on at least one aspect of it this year. I’m sure most of you reading this know that I’m involved with the Thursday Horror Picture Show. In point of fact, the programming of it and just about everything else about it is in the hands—and warped minds—of Justin Souther and myself. It’s very much like the Asheville Film Society, but on Thursdays and with horror movies. It’s also in the hands of the people who come to the movies. Now, nothing says horror pictures like Halloween, so I’d like this Halloween season to be something special.

Readers and viewers might recall that last year the topic of Halloween horrors came up, but it came up long after the October schedule had been set and printed. This year I want to throw open the doors to the possibility of habitué and even sons of habitués of the Thursday Horror Picture Show making some suggestions for this year’s October offering. As it stands right now, the only THPS date that’s pretty much etched in stone is Oct. 20, which is Bela Lugosi’s birthday. Unless someone has a better idea, we’re going with his signature film, Tod Browning’s 1931 Dracula. No it’s not his best film, but it’s his most iconic role—and it’s the film that started the whole talkie horror genre.

The closest we get to Halloween is Oct. 27, so I guess that’s the big title, though I’d be OK with taking suggestions for the whole month—just no Bava and no Fulci. (By Bava, I mean Mario. I would be curious to see Lamberto’s 1985 film Demons again.) I know at least one person suggested a picture called, I believe, Trick ‘r Treat (2007) last year. (Wasn’t that you, Dread P. Roberts? I seem to think it was.) I still haven’t seen it, but I have nothing against giving it a try for the Oct. 27 title. Also, let’s draw the line at Halloween (1978), which has been done to death and isn’t really much connected to Halloween.

Last year we also took over the Cinema Lounge at The Carolina and ran a couple days’ worth of silent horror movies. It was not what I’d call a raging success. The only film that was attended in any number was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919). I’m not sure why this was, except that overall there wasn’t much promotion. This year the weekend is Oct. 29 and 30. If anyone has any suggestions we might consider trying something again—assuming we can get the space. My immediate feeling is that silent horror—no matter how appealing I find the concept—isn’t the way to go with this, judging by last year. That might have been a promotional problem as I suggested. Then again, this could prove to be a good opportunity to replay some of the THPS’ more popular titles.

Halloween itself is obviously on Monday. It’s probably pointless to try anything then. Only the Halloween hardcore are going to come out on a Monday and more likely than not, they’re in more of a party mindset than a movie one. Still, I admit I have toyed with the idea of a (cheap) ticketed event in an actual downstairs theater—probably consisting of a pair of “poverty row” horrors like King of the Zombies (1941) and The Corpse Vanishes (1942)—movies of that ilk. If there’s a groundswell of support, I’ll pursue this possibility. It’s worth remembering that the only thing the studios have lined up for us this Halloween season is Paranormal Stupity…er Paranormal Activity 3. (The only thing that could make me regret the lack of a new Saw movie is another of these tedium terrors.) I suppose a case can be made for the prequel to The Thing—also called The Thing—coming out on Oct. 14 kind of counts. Surely, we could do better—even if it’s just better cheese.

So have at it, you fans of the genre. Throw out some ideas here. I know you’ve got them. Bring ‘em on. And while you’re rolling this around in your mind, it wouldn’t hurt to be thinking about this year’s Thanksgiving Horror Turkey. I confess that at the moment I’m leaning toward the sublimely awful The Giant Claw—a movie like no other—and, if we can track a copy down, the utterly fascinatingly bad Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957). Here we have not only the most downright peculiar take on Messrs. Jekyll and Hyde imaginable, but one that spends a good deal of its running time—despite the title—determining that the daughter of Dr. Jekyll is in fact the daughter of Dr. Jekyll. (Plus there’s John Agar spending a lot of the movie wearing a candy-striped blazer that looks like he forgot to take off his pajama top.) And while you’re doing that, there’s still the one-two punch of Christmas and New Year to consider.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

95 thoughts on “Cranky Hanke’s Screening Room: Halloween is coming . . . well pretty soon anyway

  1. DrSerizawa

    Personally I’d not waste time with Demons. It’s horribly overrated and not really “bad enough to be good”. After reading all the fanboy hype I was completely underwhelmed. I’d suggest you view it before deciding whether to screen it for an audience.

    Though the ending is a bit of a cop-out I’d consider the atmospheric I Bury The Living.

  2. Dionysis

    L. Bava’s ‘Demons’ is a good suggestion (but skip the sequel). How much better than having a movie about movie patrons being attacked by vicious, bloodthirsty demons while being locked into that theater with no way to escape?

    As far as zombie-themed films go, I recommend one I saw recently that was a couple of notches above most of them; a post-apocolyptic, zombie/vampire movie titled ‘Stake Land’. I actually cared about the characters (well, the human ones), and it has really gruesome zombie/vampires and religious whackos. What’s not to like?

  3. Ken Hanke

    What’s not to like?

    Possibly nothing. I’d never heard of it. Seeing that it came from IFC I’m not too surprised. We get a certain amount of their “art” product, but not much of the exploitation stuff.

  4. Ken Hanke

    I’d suggest you view it before deciding whether to screen it for an audience.

    I’d planned on it. It’s too long since I saw it to do otherwise. I remember it as cheesy. If it’s juicy and dumb enough, it would find a ready audience with part of this crowd.

    Though the ending is a bit of a cop-out I’d consider the atmospheric I Bury The Living.

    If there’s a call for it, I’d do it, but it’s somehow never appealed much to me personally.

  5. Dionysis

    “How about a nice copy of DAUGHTER OF DR. JEKYLL? I know it was out, but it seems to have vanished.”

    It’s out-of-print (part of the Edgar Ulmer Collection), but can still be found for around $25 or so on the after-market.

  6. Ken Hanke

    It’s out-of-print (part of the Edgar Ulmer Collection), but can still be found for around $25 or so on the after-market.

    So I see, but I really need to stop buying these things we show. Everything we’re running for the AFS titles in September, I bought, and that starts to be expensive. (Yeah, I’d have bought The Music Lovers anyway, and I needed to replace my Ruling Class, which suddenly started sticking part way through, but I was perfectly fine with TCM copies of Foreign Correspondent and Swing Time for my own use.)

  7. Mike

    It might be a bit odd for your regulars, but Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day is a fantastic horror film that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Compared to other 00′s horror fare it easily ranks at or near the top of the heap, admittedly not much of a distinction considering the competition, but still noteworthy nonetheless.

    Not movies, but suitable as double-bills, are a number of the offerings from the first season of Showtime’s Masters of Horror series. There’s lots of good stuff, particularly John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns, Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of the Lovecraft tale Dreams in the Witch House, Dario Argento’s Jenifer and Takashi Miike’s Imprint.

    A film that I can practically guarantee playing well is Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, a great horror comedy that I believe played at the first Action Fest. Sadly not getting a DVD release until late November but if you are set up to broadcast VOD you can do so starting tomorrow.

    If you are going to do any 80′s horror I’d suggest maybe The Gate, Dead and Buried, or the amazingly cheesy Rockula, quite possibly the best vampire rock musical ever.

  8. Ken Hanke

    It might be a bit odd for your regulars, but Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day is a fantastic horror film

    I don’t know that one at all.

    Not movies, but suitable as double-bills, are a number of the offerings from the first season of Showtime’s Masters of Horror series. There’s lots of good stuff, particularly John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns, Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of the Lovecraft tale Dreams in the Witch House, Dario Argento’s Jenifer and Takashi Miike’s Imprint.

    The only one I’ve seen is Stuart Gordon’s one. I’m not against the idea conceptually, though.

    quite possibly the best vampire rock musical ever.

    And the competition for that is?

  9. Dionysis

    “Showtime’s Masters of Horror series.”

    I recently saw my first of that series, and it was pretty good; it was titled ‘The Fair Haired Child’ and was very ‘Lovecraftian’.

  10. Mike

    And the competition for that is?

    There isn’t, at least to my knowledge. Just selling the absurd with a good dose of hyperbole.

  11. Ken Hanke

    There isn’t, at least to my knowledge.

    Ah, that means you’ve never seen Clive Donner’s Count Downe: Son of Dracula (1973) with Harry Nilsson in the title role and Ringo as Van Helsing. You have no idea how fortunate you are — and this comes from a Nilsson fan.

  12. Ken Hanke

    Most of the Masters of Horror series is terrible, but of course there are a few good ones.

    The Stuart Gordon one is actually a bit of both.

  13. Ken Hanke

    How is “Halloween” not really connected to Halloween?

    It’s not really about Halloween. It takes place on Halloween, but doesn’t make much of the holiday or its mythology. It really could be set anytime. All that Celtic stuff only showed up in the second movie.

  14. Ken Hanke

    Some more THRILLER episodes would be more to my liking

    Which ones? I keep dipping into the ones I have and I keep only liking “Pigeons from Hell.” We do have The Night Strangler down for September. Was the 1969 NBC TV film Fear No Evil ever put out on DVD?

  15. Which ones?

    I liked “Parasite Mansion.” It had that cool Southern gothic theme ala SPIDER BABY for me. There also one that’s based on a Robert Bloch story, but I can never remember episode names.

  16. Ken Hanke

    I liked “Parasite Mansion.” It had that cool Southern gothic theme ala SPIDER BABY for me.

    I don’t think I’ve seen that. A lot of these suffer for me by seeing soon-to-be-familiar TV actors like Wm. Shattner and Donna Douglas (Ellie Mae Clampett) pop up. I find it distracting. I think it was particularly bad in “The Hungry Glass” when the spirit turned out to be Douglas.

  17. Ken Hanke

    By the way, I’m not seeing much here in the way for hard actual titles for specific dates or events. Anyone care to weigh in on Trick ‘r Treat for Halloween? On the idea of doing something for Halloween weekend or Halloween itself?

  18. Dionysis

    “Anyone care to weigh in on Trick ‘r Treat for Halloween? On the idea of doing something for Halloween weekend or Halloween itself?”

    I’ve not seen Trick r’ Treat, but IMDB has some good reviews. I vote for something that weekend; maybe invite attendees to come in costume?

    “Did you watch House of Vampire Circus yet?”

    I’ve never heard of that; I am familiar with the later day Hammer film titled ‘Vampire Circus’ (one of their better efforts, IMO) but not ‘House…’. Is that a fairly recent film?

  19. Ken Hanke

    Did you watch House of Vampire Circus yet?

    That’s House OR Vampire Circus.

    Darn. I was hoping there’s some way to combine them. Yes, I have watched them. I think House is very…interesting. I also think it would shatter the record for people walking out. It’s both too odd and not shocking enough. Dionysis, it’s a Japanese film from the 1970s about schoolgirls being terrorized in a house in the country. It’s somewhere between amateurish and artsy. It’s not in the least scary.

    Vampire Circus didn’t do a lot for me — apart from (I presume) unintentional humor. I’d show this, though, because it’d go down okay as a silly vampire movie. I am astonished to find it taken seriously.

  20. Kevin F.

    I obviously won’t be there, but how’s about:

    PAPERHOUSE, WAXWORKS, NEITHER THE SEA NOR THE SAND (aka THE EXORCISM OF HUGH), LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH, GHOST STORY (1974), TOWER OF EVIL, TERROR TRAIN, BUCKET OF BLOOD, or HOUSE (the one with George Wendt!!!)

  21. DrSerizawa

    Well, for certain Trick ‘r Treat is a Halloween movie. And not a bad one either.

    Perhaps one of the Corman Poe movies like Twice Told Tales.

  22. Chip Kaufmann

    I have a copy of DAUGHTER OF DR JEKYLL (from the aforementioned EDGAR G ULMER collection) which you are more than welcome to use. The print quality is great considering the “big budget” source material.

    I also have the complete THRILLER set if anyone can come up with a title. I like THE HUNGRY GLASS which in addition to Shatner and Donna Douglas (who is only in the first 5 minutes), there’s a pre-GILLIGAN’S ISLAND Russell Johnson.

  23. Ken Hanke

    I obviously won’t be there

    Well, you could be.

    PAPERHOUSE, WAXWORKS, NEITHER THE SEA NOR THE SAND (aka THE EXORCISM OF HUGH), LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH, GHOST STORY (1974), TOWER OF EVIL, TERROR TRAIN, BUCKET OF BLOOD, or HOUSE (the one with George Wendt!!!)

    I know some of these, others I don’t. Are you talking German silent Waxworks? Of the ones I know, nothing excites me, but I’m more interested in seeing if anything resonates with others.

  24. Ken Hanke

    Oops. I meant Nathaniel Hawthorne and it wasn’t Corman who directed. Not much else to get wrong.

    Well, you could have included stars and studio and gotten those wrong, but that would seem like you were trying. My biggest reservation is that we haven’t had really strong audience response to Price so far, though we do have Dr. Phibes Rises Again down for September. (I’m still trying to figure out why the single most enthusiastically received film to date was The Invisible Ray followed by Mystery of the Wax Museum.)

  25. Ken Hanke

    I have a copy of DAUGHTER OF DR JEKYLL (from the aforementioned EDGAR G ULMER collection) which you are more than welcome to use.

    I may take you up on that for Thanksgiving.

    I like THE HUNGRY GLASS which in addition to Shatner and Donna Douglas (who is only in the first 5 minutes), there’s a pre-GILLIGAN’S ISLAND Russell Johnson.

    I would have sworn she appears later in spectral form, but I wouldn’t go two falls out of three over it.

  26. DrSerizawa

    I could see why The Invisible Ray might be so well received from horror fans. First it’s not completely stupid. Two, you’ve got Karloff and Lugosi with Lugosi out of character. Third, it’s straightforward and that’s refreshing given the flood of overdone purposefully campy self-referencial horror of recent years since Scream. Fourth, it’s just a fun little movie.

  27. Ken Hanke

    Oh, I expected it to do okay with the audience. They usually (gratifyingly) like the 1930s stuff the best, but I didn’t expect raucous applause and whistling at the end!

  28. Dionysis

    “Dionysis, it’s a Japanese film from the 1970s about schoolgirls being terrorized in a house in the country.”

    I admit not being too familiar with Japanese (or any Asian) films, so I don’t know this one. Doesn’t sound too original though.

    “Vampire Circus didn’t do a lot for me—apart from (I presume) unintentional humor. I’d show this, though, because it’d go down okay as a silly vampire movie. I am astonished to find it taken seriously.”

    Well, we are talking about vampire movies, after all, so I personally can only take them just so seriously. I don’t think it was as good as ‘Kiss of the Vampire’, but was better than many of the later Hammer vampire films.

  29. Krek

    New to the board but cannot resist putting my 2 cents into the fray…
    Have y’all screened American Werewolf in London yet?
    How’s about The Fog?
    I thought Trick r Treat was a fine installment to the horror anthology field (not alot in the field these days) although Creepshow has always been my favorite homage to the genre…also wonder if Hanke knew he got a shout out in August issue of Rue Morgue mag…

  30. Ken Hanke

    Doesn’t sound too original though.

    In terms of concept, it’s not. In terms of execution, the one thing it has going for it is originality. Whatever else I might say about it, there’s really nothing like it.

    Well, we are talking about vampire movies, after all, so I personally can only take them just so seriously.

    All supernatural horror is kind of that way. The trick — for me — is to make me buy into it while it’s onscreen.

    I don’t think it was as good as ‘Kiss of the Vampire’, but was better than many of the later Hammer vampire films.

    Someone told me it was the best of Hammer’s 1970s films, but that’s not much of a claim.

  31. Dionysis

    “Pit and the Pendulem is a great Price vehicle also has Barb Steele!!”

    Right you are. I don’t think Ken agrees, but I’ve always thought that ‘Witchfinder General’ was among Price’s better roles. There was no hint of his usual haminess or tongue-in-cheek tendencies in that somber film.

  32. I think House is very…interesting. I also think it would shatter the record for people walking out.

    Since when have you been concerned about that? It’s been a huge hit here.

  33. Dread P. Roberts

    I believe, Trick ‘r Treat (2007) last year. (Wasn’t that you, Dread P. Roberts? I seem to think it was.

    Yes, that was me. This definitely still gets my vote. Keep in mind, I don’t necessarily think that Trick ‘r Treat is one of the best horror movies out there, but when it comes to horror films centered specifically around Halloween, I can’t really think of a better option. With that being said, either you or Justin may want to check it out first. As much as I enjoy this overlooked horror gem, it is a little strange, and admittedly not for everyones taste. Then again, that (and the perfect halloween-centric atmosphere) is what I like about it.

  34. Krek

    You mentioned Halloween 2 but you may have meant 3. That is a complete mind-melt! Has nothing to do with the series, has the celtic myth thang and Tom Atkins! Super strange over looked gem (well maybe not a precious gem but you got to wonder at the state of the studio systems as to how this ever got made!).

  35. Ken Hanke

    Have y’all screened American Werewolf in London yet?
    How’s about The Fog?

    No. I’ll go ahead and say that I wouldn’t be against them, but they’re not my dish of tea personally. As a matter of curiosity — it has no bearing on you making suggestions — are you a THPS attendee?

    also wonder if Hanke knew he got a shout out in August issue of Rue Morgue mag…

    No. Actually, I’m rather shocked because I have not been very active in fandom for some time and haven’t written anything substantial for a year or more.

  36. Ken Hanke

    I don’t think Ken agrees, but I’ve always thought that ‘Witchfinder General’ was among Price’s better roles. There was no hint of his usual haminess or tongue-in-cheek tendencies in that somber film.

    No, I’m in the minority on this one. I’ve never much liked it, though I wouldn’t argue that Price is as unhammy as he can get.

  37. Ken Hanke

    Since when have you been concerned about that?

    It’s actually something that does concern me, though I don’t mind risking it occasionally. But I’d prefer to be risky over something more important to me than House, which I found definitely peculiar, but pretty mediocre in execution.

  38. Ken Hanke

    With that being said, either you or Justin may want to check it out first.

    That’s pretty much standard, but I’m not hearing anything very negative about it here. Would you show up for it?

  39. Chip Kaufmann

    I second I BURY THE LIVING especially the ending which comes from a time honored tradition. Guaranteed to get a reaction from the audience. FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE is another 50s low budget classic with a great performance from Henry Daniell.

    Speaking of Henry Daniell, he has two classic THRILLER episodes: WELL OF DOOM (with a young but still very tall Richard Kiel) and THE PRISONER IN THE MIRROR (a Stephen King favorite). Two more THRILLERs to consider are THE INCREDIBLE DOKTOR MARKESAN (another SK favorite) and THE RETURN OF ANDREW BENTLEY.

    Vintage film titles include CIRCUS OF HORRORS (1959 – Nat Cohen English horror), THE HAUNTED PALACE (1963 – Price/Corman), HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971 – considered Hammer’s best film from the 1970s) FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE (1973 – Amicus anthology), PSYCHIC KILLER (1975 – drive-in delight with a great ending).

    The recent new Hammer offering WAKE WOOD (2011) is also worth consideration. For those of you like the concept but don’t like the original 1973 WICKER MAN. Sorry, no Nic Cage in a bear suit.

    Regarding Halloween weekend, perhaps a mix of silent titles and THPS favorites would draw an audience. As mentioned earlier, more publicity wouldn’t hurt.

    To the best of my knowledge, the TV film FEAR NO EVIL is not on DVD. I don’t think it even came out on VHS.

    Finally, although I’m a fan of WITCHFINDER GENERAL, I’ve never considered it a horror film. To me it’s a English Western with a lot of ahead-of-its-time violence. Now that the Paul Ferris “Greensleeves” score has been restored, the film has more impact.

  40. Ken Hanke

    You mentioned Halloween 2 but you may have meant 3

    No, though 3 is awash in it. But 2 brings in all that Samhain business.

  41. Dread P. Roberts

    That’s pretty much standard

    Both of you wouldn’t screen it though, right? If you decided to screen a film like this (that neither of you had seen before) I’d imagine that at least one of you would want a surprise. Not that I really care.

    Would you show up for it?

    I have every intention of showing up, so long as I am able – which usually means if I have someone to watch my girls.

    Another reason that I think Trick ‘r Treat is a good idea is that I feel like it was one of those films that received an unfair direct-to-video treatment. From what I’ve been led to believe, the reasoning behind this was because WB decided that the depiction’s of children being killed were not appropriate.

    Ultimately though, despite however much I’d like to see this, I very much believe that the special horror film selected to be screened for Halloween should be something that the majority of the vocal public are interested in. From what I gather in the comments, no one else really seems to care about whether or not the horror movie is necessarily themed around Halloween. I know there’s not very many who have seen Trick ‘r Treat, but If there are others who would like for it to be screened, it would be nice to hear from you.

  42. Ken Hanke

    FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE is another 50s low budget classic with a great performance from Henry Daniell.

    I don’t think I’d call it classic, but it’s certainly entertaining. My only problem with a lot of the suggestions is that they’re not striking me as special.

    I would agree, though, that Witchfinder General isn’t really a horror film.

  43. Ken Hanke

    Both of you wouldn’t screen it though, right?

    Probably not, but that’s more logistics than needing a surprise for ourselves. At least one of us has to see it before the screening to review it. I think the only movie we’ve programmed without one of us watching it was The Fall. And I still saw it before we actually ran it.

    From what I gather in the comments, no one else really seems to care about whether or not the horror movie is necessarily themed around Halloween.

    Well, I like the idea, but more it’s a question of it being — to me — odd to show it at any other time of the year.

  44. Dionysis

    “Witchfinder General isn’t really a horror film.”

    I agree; it was only mentioned in response to the post about Pit and the Pendulum being one of Vincent Price’s better roles. There are, however, some horrific elements to it. I always found it unsettling.

  45. Krek

    I am not a regular attendee to THPS…but I am a regular reader of the Screening Room and forum…also a big horror buff and keep up with what yer screenin…usually gigging on Thursdays so have missed my faves (Phibes, King Kong and Horror of Drac)… but by hook or crook plan on makin it at least a monthly date!

    Also consider a Paul Naschy night- the schlockiest and 1st being Frankensteins Bloody Terror (with no appearance of afformentioned Frank) but his stronger is Werewolf Shadow.

  46. Ken Hanke

    There are, however, some horrific elements to it. I always found it unsettling.

    Oh, certainly. Part of my problem is that Price is so firmly “Uncle Vinnie” in my mind that even when he isn’t doing his schtick, I can’t get away from that image.

  47. Ken Hanke

    but by hook or crook plan on makin it at least a monthly date!

    Make your presence known when next you come. I forget what Thursday, but Dr. Phibes Rises Again is down for Sept. (I think it’s the 22nd.)

  48. DrSerizawa

    If you consider that Witchfinder General is somehwhat accurate at depicting the European world of inquisition and such back then then I would classify it as a horror movie. A world where you could be burned or drowned on the word of some corrupt petty official. Sounds pretty horrible to me.

  49. Dread P. Roberts

    I think the only movie we’ve programmed without one of us watching it was The Fall.

    If memory serves, The Fall and Tetro are the only other two movies that I’ve adamantly recommended that you guys screen. That’s not that bad of a track record, is it? Trick ‘r Treat is, more or less, in the same league. (Total BS, but what the hell, why not?)

  50. Tonberry

    “Trick ‘r Treat” may not be on the level of “The Fall” or “Tetro,” but damn it, its just fun.

  51. Also consider a Paul Naschy night- the schlockiest and 1st being Frankensteins Bloody Terror (with no appearance of afformentioned Frank) but his stronger is Werewolf Shadow.

    I’m up for some Naschy. Some Ossorio would be great as well. Actually the best Spanish horror film I know of is the extremely creepy WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? Maybe I’ll bring that one by for you to watch.

    Ken, are you out of “top shelf” horror films now? Meaning, after two years, have you exhausted all the ones that you love?

  52. Ah, that means you’ve never seen Clive Donner’s Count Downe: Son of Dracula (1973) with Harry Nilsson in the title role and Ringo as Van Helsing.

    WHAT?! Why wasn’t I told about this film earlier?

  53. Ken Hanke

    If you consider that Witchfinder General is somehwhat accurate at depicting the European world of inquisition and such back then then I would classify it as a horror movie.

    That’s unarguable, but I think — despite the marketing of it and Price’s presence — that it meant to be more. Though I don’t put it anywhere near them in accomplishment, it’s more of a horror film in the sense that The Seventh Seal and The Devils are horror films.

  54. Ken Hanke

    If memory serves, The Fall and Tetro are the only other two movies that I’ve adamantly recommended that you guys screen. That’s not that bad of a track record, is it?

    No, but one difference is that I had seen Tetro and that took no convincing.

    Trick ‘r Treat is, more or less, in the same league. (Total BS, but what the hell, why not?)

    Well, you did say more or less.

  55. Ken Hanke

    “Trick ‘r Treat” may not be on the level of “The Fall” or “Tetro,” but damn it, its just fun.

    If I watch it and if we program it and if you decide you’ve become so much of a nimrod that you have to go commune with nature instead of coming, it will not be pretty.

  56. Ken Hanke

    Actually the best Spanish horror film I know of is the extremely creepy WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? Maybe I’ll bring that one by for you to watch.

    Pretty strong claim, but I’ll try it. I’ll trade you House and Vampire Circus for a look at it and Trick ‘r Treat.

    Ken, are you out of “top shelf” horror films now? Meaning, after two years, have you exhausted all the ones that you love?

    Not quite. There are still four — three after Dracula — 1930s Laemmle era Universals to go. And we haven’t done Murders in the Zoo. I’ll want to do Island of Lost Souls again after the restoration comes out — and when we’re not having sound problems. The latter applies to White Zombie, too. And there are still quite a few 1940s films of merit — or borderline merit. I’d run Night of Terror (1933) in a heartbeat if I can find a good copy — or if Columbia would wise up and add it to their fairly lame MOD titles. (They have Black Moon, but not this or the loopy Behind the Mask? What are they thinking?)

    I’m also not against running things more than once. It’s not like everyone had the chance to see everything. And our audience has grown since we ran things like The Black Cat (1934) and The Raven (1935). I suspect we could draw more viewers with those now than we did early on.

    There are still a good many things left, but there’s no denying that a lot of the cream has been run siphoned off. Whether we’re quite down to Paul Naschy is another question, though, Clapton knows, I’m not above running junk.

  57. Ken Hanke

    WHAT?! Why wasn’t I told about this film earlier?

    People were being kind? Really, you have no idea how absolutely awful this is. It has one new song — “Daybreak” — but everything else is off Nilsson Schmilsson or Son of Schmilsson and is shoe-horned in for no reason. Harry sits down at the piano and performs (or lip-synchs if memory serves) “Remember (Christmas)” for absolutely no reason except to eat up five minutes. I’m not saying it isn’t fascinatingly bad, but remember the second word. I actually once walked out on a midnight show of it, but that did, I confess, have a lot to do with the fact that the theater was supposed to be running Blood for Dracula. (The wrong print arrived and they didn’t think anybody would care.) We all went down the road to a theater that had a midnight Phantom of the Paradise instead. You do get to briefly see Keith Moon, John Bonham, Peter Frampton, Leon Russell, and Klaus Voorman. Actually, come to think of it, I think Ringo is a kind of blend of Van Helsing and Merlin the Magician and may be identified simply as the latter — not that it matters or makes any sense.

  58. Ken Hanke

    You guys should screen Hider in the House its in a league of its own.

    That could be said of many things — not necesarily in a positive way.

  59. Ken Hanke

    I’m certainly not above running things that are so-bad-they’re-funny. Whether I want to sit through a Gary Busey movie to determine that is another matter.

  60. Dread P. Roberts

    “Trick ‘r Treat” may not be on the level of “The Fall” or “Tetro,” but damn it, its just fun.

    Fun is a great word for it. Maybe that’s why it puts me in the mood for Halloween so much more so than other, scarier horror films. It’s basically a pure black fantasy, fairy tale film, that’s rich in atmosphere.

    I’m also not against running things more than once. It’s not like everyone had the chance to see everything.

    I missed the first screening of Re-animator. I would’ve liked to have seen it, but I found out about the first screening too late. I’m probably not alone on that, either. Perhaps an anniversary “re-screening” would be a good, clever idea? Just another friendly suggestion.

  61. DrSerizawa

    Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror was just a werewolf movie that was renamed because Frankenstein movies were more popular at the time. Be that as it may I’d be very cautious about showing-Eurohorror. Very few people I know who would happily watch The Invisible Ray would be willing to sit through 90 minutes of poorly edited incoherency… er I mean “dream logic”. Some people love the stuff but methinks it would polarize the audience.

  62. Ken Hanke

    Perhaps an anniversary “re-screening” would be a good, clever idea?

    That’d make it (near as possible to the actual date) April 19, 2012.

  63. Ken Hanke

    Be that as it may I’d be very cautious about showing-Eurohorror.

    We’ve had a little — all Italian, I guess. We did one Bava, Black Sunday, which got a “Meh” response. Two Argentos — Phenomena and Inferno — which were generally liked, though perhaps not for the reasons Sgr. Argento intended. Best received was Michelle Soavi’s Cemetery Man. From what I’ve heard, I’m guessing Naschy is something else again. I’d do some of those Mexican vampire pictures in a heartbeat if I had them, but those aren’t Eurohorror.

  64. Dread P. Roberts

    That’d make it (near as possible to the actual date) April 19, 2012.

    So what, is that too soon of a notice now? I tell ya, I just can’t win.

  65. DrSerizawa

    I’d recommend Bloody Pit Of Horror starring the inimitable Mickey Hargitay for Eurohorror. It’s definitely in the unintentional humor vein. Hargitay does a wonderful scenery chewing job. It also makes a dandy drinking game. Just take a drink every time he refers to himself as the “Crimson Executioner” or refers to his perfect body.

    BTW. If this keeps up the thread will be challenging “Atlas Shrugged” soon.

  66. I’d do some of those Mexican vampire pictures in a heartbeat if I had them, but those aren’t Eurohorror.

    I have em. The pinnacle of Mexican horror for me is NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES. Wrasslin’ women and a killer Cro-mag thing.

    I’m losing track of this thread, but I’ll bring you WHO CAN KILL A CHILD, plus two 60s Japanese horror films on Criterion: KWAIDAN and ONIBABA. Those might be a good fit with artier crowds.

  67. Ken Hanke

    I have em. The pinnacle of Mexican horror for me is NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES. Wrasslin’ women and a killer Cro-mag thing.

    I was thinking more along the lines of those German Robles things. How about the original version of Apes, Doctor of Doom?

    plus two 60s Japanese horror films on Criterion: KWAIDAN and ONIBABA.

    Those, I’ve seen.

  68. luluthebeast

    KAIDAN has always been one of my favorite ghost movies. Either way, sounds like you guys are going to have a lot more fun than us with whatever kind of crap Hollywood sends us. Maybe I should plan a visit to see my little sister then…

  69. Ken Hanke

    Kwaidan is wasted on me. I recognize its quality and I’d never call it anything but a good film, but it frankly bores me.

  70. Dionysis

    One of the best ghost stories I’ve seen is the British production of ‘The Woman in Black’, which evidently has been re-made with the Harry Potter star. Also scheduled for release (I think next summer) is yet another version of ‘The Thing’. Several more alien invasion films are coming out too (‘Battleship’, ‘The Darkest Hour’).

    I was so intrigued by the comments on ‘Trick r’ Treat’ that I tracked it down and watched it this past weekend. I agree…a very good anthology type movie, and an almost perfect Halloween movie.

  71. Ken Hanke

    I’ll take that as another vote for Trick ‘r Treat. And, according to my information, the prequel to The Thing — mystifyingly called The Thing — is slated to open this Oct. 14.

  72. Dionysis

    “I’ll take that as another vote for Trick ‘r Treat. And, according to my information, the prequel to The Thing—mystifyingly called The Thing—is slated to open this Oct. 14.”

    Oh yes, a thumbs-up for ‘Trick r’ Treat’! As for this ‘prequel’ of ‘The Thing’, I watched the trailer over the weekend and it seemed to me to be a remake, with the only noticeable change being a female lead. Of course, I may be completely wrong but the trailer did make it seem a remake. Also saw a trailer of the re-booted ‘Spiderman’. It has Emma Stone in it, so that gives it some attraction.

  73. Dionysis

    Okay, having checked ‘The Thing’ out a bit more, I need to correct myself…you are right, it is supposedly set ‘three days’ before the John Carpenter version started, dealing with the Norwegians (and an American female scientist) finding it. That, to me, makes more sense than another version.

  74. Ken Hanke

    It might make even more sense to name it something else. Every time I see the title, I’m hoping it’s a film version of the Phil Harris song.

  75. DrSerizawa

    So, since the prequel of The Thing can actually add nothing and we know how it ends already I have a hard time seeing the point of making it.

  76. [b]I’d do some of those Mexican vampire pictures in a heartbeat if I had them, but those aren’t Eurohorror.[/b]

    It’s not German Robles (trivia for Ken, Sr. Robles has more recently been very active in Mexican dubbing and was great fun replacing Peter O’Toole as Anton Ego in RATATOUILLE), and not even vampires. But by coincidence, I happen to have sitting right here an unwatched copy of SANTO Y BLUE DEMON CONTRA EL DOCTOR FRANKENSTEIN, with English subtitles even. I could mail it to you in time if you’re at all interested, although I’ll likely want it back (unless I can find another copy soon; local Blockbusters have been having a clearance of many of their older and/or odder Spanish-language titles). Still, from the discussion here of what you’re looking for, chances are this would work better for, say, a Cinco de Mayo fest celebrating the weird and wonderful from south of the border.

    Here’s a description of the flick from David Wilt, historian of Mexican cinema, which suggests more of a hodgepodge of Mexican wrestling with mad scientist hijinks than anything really Halloweeny.
    http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~dwilt/reviews1.htm

  77. Ken Hanke

    It’s something I might indeed like to show, but I think we’re likely going with Trick ‘r Treat for this Halloween — though I’ve yet to see it myself.

  78. [b]Every time I see the title, I’m hoping it’s a film version of the Phil Harris song. [/b]

    You’ll never get rid of that *boom da boom* no matter what you do!

    Scariest cover of that song? Alice Pearce (Gladys Kravitz from BEWITCHED) on a novelty album called MONSTER RALLY (which also has the immortal Hans Conried gracing “Flying Purple People Eater” and critiquing the grammar).

  79. Ken Hanke

    When I was three or four my dad brought the 45 of “The Thing” home for me. And that was fine (I think I’ll leave it to memory), but then the record got turned over — my memory is that we were in the kitchen — and the B side was “Jabberwocky.” Well, something about it scared the hell out of me — a situation not helped by my father’s decision that it’d be even more effective if he turned out the lights. I trace the moment of my warping to this.

  80. Ken Hanke

    Thanks to Marc from Orbit — who dropped in on yesterday’s Elitist Bastards podcast recording — I have now seen Trick ‘r Treat. I may not be utterly jazzed about it, but, yeah, it’s a good fit for Halloween. (Interesting that both it and the 1999 House on Haunted Hill — which we’re running tomorrow night — use Marilyn Manson’s cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).”)

    I guess that settles this year’s Halloween since no one seems to be interested in doing anything beyond the Thursday-before-Halloween movie.

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