Gina Penn, unabridged.

October Horror

I was popping around the interwebz reading some blogs, looking for some cool posts about October and all the scary fun that comes along with it, when I stumbled upon Amanda Hocking’s Zombiepalooza blog posts. I don’t ordinarily read her blog but it’s interesting to keep up with all the hoopla surrounding her and her work and keep tabs on what’s happening in the industry.

She offered a guest post by Robert Duperre and it was called “Top Ten Horror Movies of All Time”. I started reading this list and initially, was pretty impressed. The list began with “Hellbound” one of the greatest horror movies ever by one of the greatest horror authors ever (Clive Barker), and even though it was a great way to start off the list, I didn’t really feel it deserved to be number ten. Especially when I began reading further down the list.

I got partway down the list and saw Alien, American Werewolf in London, and Rosemary’s Baby and was still happy. But then I reached number six: Videodrome? Really? This movie beat out Alien, Hellbound, and Rosemary’s Baby? Really? Yikes. Now, I will admit that I’ve never seen this movie but even if it’s really good, I somehow doubt it’s better than the previous films mentioned.

Then it got worse: Frailty? This one I have seen and it’s definitely not better than the previous films. Except maybe Videodrome (which I will watch and if I like it I will be happy to edit this blog).

The number one was Dawn of the Dead and while it’s not a bad choice for number one, I argue whether or not it’s really the “The Greatest…”. No disrespect to Romero fans-I am a Romero fan and love this movie-but number one? Of all time? Not sure about that.

This list really missed out on some great movies. She began the blog by assuring us that there are no “slasher” flicks in the list, and there weren’t, but the tone of that statement struck a chord with me. Why not? What’s wrong with slasher flicks? Slasher flicks, while they might not be believable or fantastically done movies, are still the backbone of the horror movie industry. Look at Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s a hugely popular and successful franchise. The 2010 remake actually wasn’t bad and starred Jackie Earle Haley as the main shredder and he is an extremely fine actor. It also starred Rooney Mara of The Social Network fame and also the highly anticipated upcoming Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. My point is good actors, decent movie.

My First Love

And we can’t forget the Friday the 13th franchise. Nothing can kill Jason Vorhees, not even Batman and Chuck Norris together with the A-Bomb. I grew up watching this man slice and dice his way through all the camp’s sluts and fell in love with the sounds of “chhh, hahahaha” whenever Jason was near. Gave me chills then and still does to this day. Jason is the king of slasher fright and no one can claim to look at a hockey mask and not think of him. He not only rules horror but has permanently branded every hockey goalie in his image. That’s pretty powerful stuff and deserves respect.

I’m not saying that every franchise is good (anyone remember I Still Know What You Did Last Summer? We can effectively thank Brandi for screwing that up) or every slasher deserves respect (no matter how many people he kills, I’ll never respect Leprechaun). But the ones that stand the test of time say something about the fact that even though these movies aren’t smart horror, they still deliver and resonate with us. And if you’re in the mood for a thrill, they never disappoint. Slashers are simple minded in their pursuit to do the one thing they want to do: kill a bunch of people. If you’re a true fan of the genre, you have to admit a little piece of you loves slasher flicks. 

I can at least bet that they’re more fun to watch than Videodrome. Sheesh.

For the month of October I’m going to blog about some of my favorite horror. I’m going to include film, books, and t.v. There’s some great content out there right now as well, with Dexter back on the prowl, the upcoming American Horror Story, and The Walking Dead soon to air.

Why are you screaming when I haven’t even cut you yet? ~~Freddy

12 responses

  1. Jason Darrick

    I agree that my namesake is the pinnacle of slashers, but Hellbound should be higher up on everybody’s list. I say this with one important caveat: I have not seen Alien, American Werewolf In London, Rosemary’s Baby or Videodrome. I’ll let the shock sink in for a second. Everyone has their own personal taste in horror, and all of those movies were just not appealing when they came out/I saw them in the $2 bin.

    #1 on any list should really be Nosferatu, because where would we be without it? Dawn of the Dead is a great movie, and I suppose I’d put it at #2, though it’s not my personal second choice. (The highest grossing horror franchise ever, SAW, says “hi”.)

    I’ll gloss over your love of the NoES remake because there are some absolute abominations that I love (anyone know The St. Francisville Experiment?) In terms of franchises, “I Still Know…” wasn’t the last in that franchise. Oh no, there’s a direct to DVD release called “I’ve Been Waiting For You”. They should have waited longer. I agree with you about Leprechaun, much fun, but where’s his Lucky Charms?

    October 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    • Hellbound is very high on my personal list. A memory that comes to mind is watching Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 with my cousins. We were eating spaghetti-O’s and they threw up. I didn’t, of course. I still love that franchise. Pure Clive Barker.

      The slasher flicks I mention aren’t high on my personal fave list but I felt they deserved some defense because, again, they’ve stood the test of time and they resonate. I wanted to mention the Halloween franchise as well because, hello, it’s named after the greatest holiday in the world! You can’t have Halloween without Halloween. Not possible.

      Saw is an unbelievably awesome franchise that earns immediate respect and love in my book.

      As far as awesome abominations go, Friday the 13th and Elm St definitely qualify. And if you’re ever up at two a.m. and can’t sleep, flip through the channels and I guarantee Wrong Turn or Cabin Fever is on. Somewhere. And if I catch them, I will watch them. I don’t know why.

      Don’t diss that $2 bin. If I have two bucks, I’ll buy that cheesy horror film, even if I’m starving.

      October 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      • Wrong Turn rocks!!! All of them. Period.

        October 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm

  2. Jason Darrick

    I lean far more toward books these days, but when I was starving the $2 bin was a savior of sorts. I got started in horror by watching this show that was on at 1am every Sunday, they’d show a B&W horror flick and do their live shtick in B&W as well. The sad thing is, I don’t actually remember the first horror movie I ever saw, and now that I think about it, ditto for the book.

    October 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  3. Videodrome?? lol WTF I am a fan of slasher films! I like Viktor Crowley in Hatchett myself. I would have put The Descent pretty high on the list.

    I usually don’t like werewolf or vampire horror.

    I guess its all pretty subjective though…but I have lots of low budget indie horror and none of them will ever make any list even though there are lots of gems there 🙂

    October 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm

  4. Hello there, Gina. Gotta love Google Alerts.

    The great thing about lists are they’re entirely subjective. I love reading different people’s thoughts on what I like, whether they agree or disagree. In many ways, it’s FUN to disagree, and at times informative. I’ve found some of my favorite literature that way.

    However, I will say that the post might have been mistitled. This was a list of my FAVORITE horror movies of all time. It isn’t meant to be comprehensive or suggest that I’m the supreme authority on what’s good and bad.

    And as for slasher films, while I do enjoy them, when I think about what I enjoy most in any fiction, it always includes a complexity of plot and emotional turmoil, which I think are lacking in that subgenre. The same goes for the Saw movies – the first of which I quite enjoyed – and the rest of the torture porn copycats. To me they are all one-note, they don’t make me think. Which is, I guess, what I’m really looking for.

    Thank you for reading and posting your thoughts. If I can spark up a conversation with this, it’s all worth it.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    • Hello and thanks for swinging by my blog!

      You’re absolutely right; favorite movies (favorite anything, for that matter) is completely subjective and I in no way meant to question your taste (well, maybe a little). Now that I understand this is your list, it makes all the difference. The great thing about these types of lists is that it always sparks some kind of reaction in folks-good or bad-and gets people talking about the subject matter. I’m all for that.

      For the most part, I really enjoyed your list. Definitely not bad at all, I generally agree with all your choices.

      Well, except for Videodrome. I’ve never seen it so who knows, maybe this weekend I’ll watch it and write an entire blog dedicated to its awesomeness.

      Since the list is your personal faves and you’re not suggesting slashers are entirely bad, I won’t give you any guff about how you feel about those flicks. But I will defend slasher films and their importance to the genre to the death. Horror is considered a niche genre, especially in fiction, and since more slasher horror movies are made and drive the majority of people to the genre, they are really important as far as keeping the wheel of horror spinning and profitable.

      The strange thing about horror is even though slasher gets the least respect, it’s the most popular. But when a really good horror movie comes along, one that’s smart, well-written, and different, loads of people flock to see it, but it doesn’t happen as often. Maybe because it’s difficult to work the scare factor into a smart plot? I don’t know. But I feel a spike of pride when that happens, since I’ve been in love with anything horror since childhood.

      For the record, my personal fave is Silence of the Lambs. Great movie, great book, great story. As far as the horror movie that deserves the most kudos? Nosferatu, of course, the mother of all horror.

      Just my two cents anyway.

      Thanks for sparking the discussion.

      October 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm

  5. How about Evil Dead? That movie scared the bejesus out of me. And you can’t go wrong with Bruce Campbell or Sam Raimi, IMO. Granted, the sequels were more action than horror flicks – still tons of fun – but the first one really rocked my fright factor. 🙂

    October 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    • Alan Edwards

      I was 11 when I saw Evil Dead for the first time. Well, some of it. It scared me too bad to last through it.

      I still love The Fog (the 80’s one) as well as The Thing (again, the 80’s one) and they can still get me, cheesy or not.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      • I LOVE The Fog (the good 80’s version). That movie is creepy!

        October 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

  6. I’m a fan of the more psychological horrors, like The Ring, The Grudge, and The Eye. But I would highly recommend the Japanese versions — they are way spokier than the Hollywood ones!

    Found on via the Coffin Hop — can’t wait for that to kick off! 🙂

    J.C.

    Join me in the Trick or Treat Spooktacular! Could you help make the Grand Prize a brand new Kindle Touch?

    October 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

    • I’m a huge fan of The Ring-it’s probably in my top five of best horror movies ever.

      I’m looking forward to the Coffin Hop too!

      October 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

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