Halloween Movie Month – week one

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Frankenstein & The Bride of Frankenstein

Gotta love the classics. As iconic as the original is, Bride completely overshadows it. James Whale had really hit his stride with that one. Best of the original Universal Monsters movies, and also possibly the best film sequel of all time. (Fight me. I’ll die on this hill.)

Blood Feast

This was actually my first exposure to Herschell Gordon Lewis, and I both laughed and squirmed, as was the film’s intention. Mostly, though, I was bored. It’s very slow, and very poorly made. I’m glad I watched the version on Shudder with the introduction and interruptions from Joe Bob Briggs. I’m not sure I could’ve made it through on my own.

The Watcher in the Woods

You certainly couldn’t mistake this for a movie that wasn’t directed by Melissa Joan Hart. The plot was a lot more coherent than the original, but it’s still not that good. It wasted Anjelica Huston and, for a film set in Wales, I don’t think I actually heard a Welsh accent in it.

Mean Girls

Not part of my Halloween movie month festivities. I just had to watch it because October 3rd is Mean Girls Day.

Godzilla

I was so thrilled to see Turner Classic Movies was playing the original Japanese version to celebrate Godzilla as their monster of the month. This movie is still incredible. But they immediately followed it up with the Americanized version, so I threw in my DVD of…

Cloverfield

Man, watching this back-to-back with Godzilla was a trip. As much as that was the raw, painful wound of Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced onto film, so was Cloverfield for a post-9/11 America. I’d wager this one has gotten better with age.

Godzilla Raids Again

Then back to TCM for the first Godzilla sequel. It was stuck in a weird middle ground between the serious metaphors of the original and the campy monster battles of the sequels. I didn’t really care for it.

Interview with the Vampire & Queen of the Damned

This was a double feature I’d always wanted to try and it didn’t disappoint. I hadn’t seen Interview in ages and forgot how lush and mournful and wonderfully queer the whole thing is. Throwing in Queen was, as I’ve been told, “like following up a beautiful symphony with nu-metal”. Still, I’ve always had a soft spot for this movie. Stuart Townsend is an underrated and dependable genre actor, and anything with Paul McGann gets bonus points.

The Hitcher

I’ve never seen the original, but my wife loves the remake and I can see why. It’s a very solid mid-tier thriller with a good cast. Still, it went a little over-the-top for my tastes. I wish the characters had more depth, but I love how nothing was revealed about Sean Bean’s motivations.

Trapped

This was my usual viewing of TCM’s Noir Alley show, so it doesn’t count. Still this was pretty good. It’s always weird to see Lloyd Bridges when he was young, after being raised on his parody-filled later years.

Halloweentown & Halloweentown 2: Kalabar’s Revenge

I watched the first Halloweentown, another favorite from my wife’s childhood, last year for the first time. It’s a cute, imaginative flick with some cool costumes and a nice, brisk pace. The sequel, which was new to me, drags and seriously lacks the magic of the original. Yes, the plot is about the magic being drained from Halloweentown, but that’s no excuse.


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