Nov 2, 2012

Monthly Movie Recap - October 2012

Wow, October just flew by, didn't it? Amidst blogging every day of the month I fit in as many horror movies as I could. I didn't want to set a goal of 31 because I knew I wouldn't hit it. But I did manage a good amount! As always, clicking a linked product will take you to its Amazon page where you can order it (and anything else you want) and drop a few coins in my pocket.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)
I'm happy to say I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. It was funny and did ok by the classic monsters. Sandler's stable of friends actually worked well in their roles.

Cool: I could see this becoming part of the Halloween viewing rotation
Lame: The old woman ("I didn't do that") feels like a forced attempt to create a catch phrase character
Rating: 7/10, recommended for classic monster fans of all ages

The Revenant (2012)
What do you do when your best friend comes back to life after getting killed on a tour of duty? Help him become an undead crime fighter! I don't want to give too much of this one away but it's a great buddy comedy and horror movie twisted together.

Cool: It's gory and funny
Lame: Even when you're undead, it stills hurts to get shot
Rating: 7.5/10

Mongolian Death Worm (2010)
It wouldn't be a month of movie watching without a SyFy Original movie. The worm is a real world cryptid and you might get more enjoyment from following that link than watching the actual movie. It's not the worst SyFy movie but it's not much fun either.

Cool: Giant worms!
Lame: Being "animals" they don't have any personality as a monster and aren't really scary
Rating: 3/10, the monsters should be front and center in these movies but the "real" plot takes precedence

* Night of the Demons (1988)
I saw this back in the '90s. We had a movie party one night and my girlfriend at the time rented this one. There's so much WTF in this movie, we all thought it was horrible. I teased her about it for years. Now having a couple decades more horror under my belt, I can appreciate the weirdness.

Cool: Why wouldn't you go party at an abandoned mortuary on Halloween night and hold a seance?
Lame: Have you seen my lipstick?; I really dislike Angela's demon voice.
Rating: 6/10, it's a good time!

Night of the Demons 2 (1994)
Despite being abandoned and the site of multiple murders, Hull House is still standing, waiting for more dumb college kids to visit on Halloween night. I don't know if it's because I revisited the original but I feel like this one takes the best from it and does it better.

Cool: A kick ass nun
Lame: C'mon, haunted lipstick? Really?
Rating: 7/10, two kills and nudity in the first five minutes? You know it's going to be fun!

Night of the Demons 3 (1997)
I don't know why, but for the last two movies I can only find German trailers.
As much fun as 2 was and did everything better, 3 goes way in the opposite direction. It's feeling tired and like a quick cash grab with little effort.

Cool: The effects and makeup have improved
Lame: I guess Angela's been getting spooky fix-er-up powers from the people she killed because Hull House is looking more like new than abandoned
Rating: 4/10

Re-Animator (1985)
I hate to say it, but I don't think I'd seen this before! I remember seeing a Re-Animator movie but it must have been one of the sequels. I saw this in a theater as part of this year's Feast of Flesh.

Cool: You can't go wrong with Jeffrey Combs; crazy over the top splatterfest
Lame: Sleazy, creepy bad guy
Rating: 6.5/10

Fright Night (2011)
This is how you do a remake/reboot of a franchise and do it well. Although it follows the original closely, it was still very watchable unlike the recent Nightmare on Elm Street which became boring quickly.

Cool: David Tennant is an absolute riot in his scenes
Lame: Compared to the original, it seemed to jump into vampire territory quickly
Rating: 7/10

Killer Party (1986) 
Couldn't find a trailer for this one. It's all over the place in the first five minutes. You think you're watching one thing and then it breaks into a music video, then it goes into fairly normal slasher-land.

Cool:  Wasn't familiar with hair band White Sister before this
Lame: It's very odd seeing a music video in the movie
Rating: 5.5/10, you could do worse for an 80's slasher film.

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Even though I only saw the first one a few weeks ago, because Micah was behind the camera so much I forgot his name and what he looked like, which made this weird until I figured out it was a prequel.

Cool: They continue to do everything right they did with the first one and keep it scary
Lame: Casting a known actress (Sprague Grayden) kind of ruins the "reality" of it
Rating: 7/10

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
As much as I liked the first two, I was skeptical going in that they could bring it again with a third movie. They do!

Cool: They take the creepy in a new direction; delving more into the origin of the original
Lame: Try explaining the timeline of all three movies to someone
Rating: 7/10

Halloween Night (2006)
If you like standard 80s slasher flicks, this is one.

Cool: Decent effects; plenty of blood and toplessness
Lame: Acting
Rating: 4/10

Girl vs Monster (2012)
A Disney Channel original. I make no secret that I enjoy Young Adult fiction/movies so this was pretty entertaining.

Cool: Combines the high school of Buffy with the gadgets of Ghostbusters
Lame: Having 15 years of fear catch up with you at once! The songs sometimes feel forced into the movie
Rating: 6.5/10, good family Halloween fun

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011)
I've never read the comic series the movie is based on but I still liked it. It's sort of a noir supernatural detective movie.

Cool: Dylan's newly undead assistant is great
Lame: Some of the facial makeups look like they came from the Buffy TV series
Rating: 6/10

*Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Rewatched this one after listening to Now Playing podcast doing retrospective reviews of Romero's Dead movies and the remakes. Funny to see Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and Jake Weber (Medium) in this one now that they're associated in those TV roles for me.

Cool: It's a good zombie movie but
Lame: I still don't like fast zombies
Rating: 6.5/10

"Thanks" to Jaime at Shescrafti for pointing the next two out to me.

Midnight Hour (1985)
No trailer for this one, so you get the legendary dance number! This is an odd one to be sure. A bunch of kids steal stuff from a museum and unleash evil beasties (and one cheerleader from the 50s) on Halloween night.

Cool: Plenty of familiar faces
Lame: It seems like the beasties are killing the kids to turn them into monsters but when evil is vanquished, the kids are all ok?
Rating: 5.5/10, the balance of horror and "comedy" is uneven

Or Hogwart's School for Pre-Teen Girls 23 years before there was a Hogwarts. This is based on a series of children's books of the same name. 

Cool: Tim Curry doesn't have a lot of screen time, but you will not forget him in this!
Lame: A little boring in places
Rating: 5.5/10, younger girls may enjoy it more

The Brain Eaters (1958)
Coming just two years after Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this low budget take is boring. Robert A. Heinlein sued the production for plagiarizing his story, The Puppet Masters, which was settled out of court for $5,000.

Cool: There is an original twist to the invaders
Lame: The whole thing is pretty humdrum
Rating: 2.5/10

Dark Shadows (2012)
Not having seen more than a few minutes of the TV show, I had no bias going into this one. And I have to say, it was pretty enjoyable! Depp was great, as always.

Cool: It wasn't nearly the goofy comedy that the trailers make it out to be; supernatural beings fighting
Lame: It didn't feel like there was enough focus on the love story; supernatural beings gettin freaky
Rating: 6.5/10

Detention (2011)
I can't say too much about this one without giving away how crazy it is. It sounded like another teen slasher but it is so much more. It's like the Dude, Where's My Car? of slasher movies.

Cool: The weird twists; very original teen slasher
Lame: Possibly the most terrifying image of Ron Jeremy with clothes on you'll ever see
Rating: 8/10, do NOT find out anything about this one before seeing it

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
I had to revisit these next two after getting a copy of the latest issue of the horror mag Little Shoppe of Horrors which is all about the Phibes movies. These are two of my favorite Price films. I love the character of Phibes. He is the original Jigsaw.

Cool: Using the biblical plagues to kill people; the finale which is obviously an inspiration for Saw
Lame: There are a lot of unanswered questions if you start thinking about it
Rating:  7/10

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972) 
Phibes is back, this time in Egypt and killing those that get in his way. This one is even more like a classic pulp than the first. Even though Phibes is killing people left and right, you can't help but cheer for him because all he really wants is to bring his wife back to life.

Cool: Phibes' methods of murder are always entertaining; returning characters create a great continuity
Lame: New actress playing his assistant
Rating: 7/10

The Night Walker (1964)
Not the usual gimmick cinema William Castle is most remembered for, this one is a psychological suspense thriller. This is the kind of bizarre you can only get from this time period.

Cool: Music by Vic Mizzy (The Addams Family); Keeps you guessing what's really going on
Lame: Why does a blind man have a lab where he does experiments?
Rating: 6/10

Month Total
New: 19, Rewatch: 4

Year To-Date Total
New: 114, Rewatch: 15


  1. Hmmmm... I'm definitely adding some of these to my must-see list.

  2. I have never heard of Halloween night but after watching the trailer and see your review sounds like a skip. My buddy has been talking about Detention and how great it is maybe I'll sneak that in soon!

    1. I've been recommending Detention to anyone that will listen. I like when movies surprise me and I really have no idea where they're going.

  3. I've read a lot of bad reviews about Hotel Transylvania, but it's obviously doing extremely well at the box office, and you're the 3rd or 4th Leaguer to say you liked it, so now maybe I'll see it after all.

    I still need to see that Fright Night remake. I'm pretty disappointed in myself that I haven't yet.

    I've been putting off Dark Shadows because I'm dreading it being such a fan of the original show. Last year I went on a mission to watch all 1,225 episodes ( I know, I'm crazy. I was SO disappointed in that first trailer and the direction Tim Burton went in, so I've been really put off ever since.

    Hey, thanks for the link love, too! 5.5 for The Worst Witch is pretty generous, lol. I was a little girl when I first saw it so at least I have an excuse.

    1. Well, like I say, the movie's actually not the comedy the trailers made it look like. Definitely a bit more soap opera-y than it looks but I still don't think it focused on the romance enough considering it was a driving motivation for Barnabas.

      I think the only thing that saved Worst Witch for me is my constant exposure to Young Adult entertainment. But it's totally worth it for Tim Curry!