Happy October + Patreon bonus: Young Indy Halloween episode

Happy October, everyone! I’ll be celebrating the impending pandemic Halloween with my usual flurry of horror movie reviews, hopefully including at least a little slasher searching (though I don’t know how many undiscovered gems could possibly be left on earth). I’m also happy to say that I’m in the process of finally publishing my action-horror novel WORM ON A HOOK – I will of course post incessantly about it as soon as it’s available.

I should mention that those things are made possible in part by your generous support, including on Patreon, so as a thank you I have a new bonus post over there, this time about a Halloween episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles directed by Dick Maas (THE LIFT). If you missed it last year, I wrote about a pretty funny Halloween episode of Walker: Texas Ranger. I plan to do at least one more Halloween episode post this month.

And this is a good place to ask – what’s everybody been watching and/or recommending this year? I’ve already found and caught up with some good ones, but you guys always tip me off to good stuff.


This entry was posted on Friday, October 2nd, 2020 at 11:24 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

87 Responses to “Happy October + Patreon bonus: Young Indy Halloween episode”

  1. Happy Halloween season. I recommend again the German slasher movie FLASHBACK, if you can get your hands on it. It won’t blow your mind, but it’s a German slasher movie! There aren’t many of those (that were made by a real studio and star locally well known actors), so it has the novelty factor going on for it.

    Also I bought today COMEDY OF TERRORS on Blu-Ray. It’s not as good as THE RAVEN, as far as Richard Matheson scripted comedies with Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff go, but it also has Basil Rathbone and the greatest feline reaction shots in the history of movies.

  2. I haven’t really been watching much new stuff lately, but I’m looking forward to digging into my huge horror backlog over the course of October. I can say with very little reservation that DEEP BLUE SEA 3 is a shockingly decent movie, especially considering what a toilet fire the second one was. A good cast, a great location, a surprise kill almost as solid as Samuel Jackson’s in the first one, a Day-Glo grenade launcher, and even some out of nowhere MMA. I was as surprised as you are.

  3. I’ll say again:
    Gareth Evans’ Gangs of London was amazing.
    They let the director of The Raid do a British gangster TV series and he chucked everything at it. He even got Corin Hardy in to direct some episodes to make it extra grisly. A must-see!

  4. Does THE VANISHING (SPOORLOOS is the great one – run and hide from the lousy American remake) count as a slasher at least 10%? Saskia is seemingly punished for being sexualised. Plus it’s a brilliant movie.

  5. How bout a review of EVIL DEAD TRAP? Sort of the closest thing Japan ever produced to a giallo, but as insane as you’d expect Japan to go with that trope.

    Speaking of gialli, if you’ve never seen it, THE WAX MASK is a pretty fucking crazy Dario-Argento-produced giallo from way later than you’d imagine that Italy was capable of making a decently insane giallo.

    There’s also SHE NEVER DIED, a sequel/remake of HE NEVER DIED which is pretty enjoyable in its own right, despite the absence of Henry Rollins.

    oh! Here’s a real good one I bet you don’t know: try VIY, the first-ever Soviet horror film (from 1967), adapted from a Nikolai Gogol story! I’d never heard of it before our buddy Dan Prestwich suggested it, but it’s a gen-u-ine spook-a-blast, full of imaginative and lovingly handmade special effects and cool crazy shit. There’s a perfectly decent print streaming for fee on Tubi right now! Highly reccomended!

    [visual-parse url=”https://tubitv.com/movies/506587/viy

  6. Just about to sit down and celebrate my birthday with a viewing of my favorite (note: not The Best, just My Favorite) John Carpenter movie PRINCE OF DARKNESS.

    Well, ok, I guess maybe I wouldn’t even say it’s my “favorite” per se (since Carpenter is my favorite director from the ‘80s it’s hard to pick one film of his overall) but it’s definitely the one that I most find to be actually scary. I only bring it up because I see there’s no review for it, but man I think it’s a good one. It’s really not perfect, but certain scenes and concepts (the dude dragging the chair and singing, the dream message, the increasing numbers of people surrounding the building inexplicably) are calibrated exactly right to get under my skin personally. I’m not sure that it fully sticks the landing in the end, but the overall mood and tone just *work* for me.

    It’s also got my favorite of Carpenter’s soundtracks and that’s on constant rotation this season too. VERDICT: A CLASSIC

  7. They actually made SHE NEVER DIED? And it came out? How did that happen?

    I thought WAX MASK was almost unwatchably bland until the admittedly batshit finale. If there was ever a movie you wouldn’t expect to turn into THE TERMINATOR for two minutes, it’s probably that one.

    VIY is pretty great though. You wouldn’t think the Soviets could pull off a Christian folk tale EVIL DEAD 2 but somehow they snuck it by the censors. I don’t know if it’s still on Shudder but that’s where I saw it.

  8. Well, I just watched the most awesome and batshit fucked-up crazy TV movie of all time, DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, so I’ll throw that out there. Great cast (Larry Drake, Lane Smith Charles Durning, Geoffrey Lewis), great filmatism, way gorier than you would think. I did not think that a ’70s CBS movie would hold my interest, but I was riveted to my couch (apparently it was intended to be a theatrical release, so maybe that helped). I mean, it cuts from a guy falling into a wood chipper to a glob of strawberry jam hitting a plate. You can’t beat that!

  9. I forgot about VIY. I need to give it another go.

  10. The British zombie biker movie PSYCHOMANIA is pretty fun.

    Also, EXORCIST II is a lot better than its reputation, I like it better than the first one. Or if that’s too classy, there’s always MALABIMBA, the sleazy Italian knock-off from the director of BURIAL GROUND.

    Or if you want go in the opposite direction, one of the better prestige horror / family drama pictures is called PELICAN BLOOD.

  11. I’ve watched HOST, KNIFE + HEART, TETSUO: The Iron Man, BLOOD QUANTUM, and #ALIVE. I’d recommend all of those. Looking forward to checking out THEATRE OF BLOOD now that there’s a decent streaming option online.

    KNIFE + HEART could qualify as a slasher though it’s more on the giallo side of things.

  12. Psycho Granny is still on Hulu until Halloween. Just sayin… :)

    Ive also been unable to get Greasy Strangler out of my head. I understand why some folks don’t like it, but i feel a lot of the Spectrevision stuff tries too hard to achieve cult levels out of the gate. Greasy felt like it s own thing right out of the gate.

    (And if youre looking for a lower budget movie in the Butcher Boys vein, try to find Texas Roadside Massacre! Fun fact: it doesnt take place in Texas!)

  13. (Sorry dor double “right out of the gate” statements. Copy/paste forgot to cut)

  14. I only got maybe seven minutes into GREASY STRANGLER before throwing my hands up and reorganizing my sock drawer or something, so take this with a grain of salt, but I had the opposite reaction. I thought it felt incredibly forced, like a Troma movie without the humility crossed with a NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE ripoff written by a trust fund kid who thinks the poors are hilarious. Aren’t I being GROSS? Isn’t this WEIRD? Oh, you probably can’t handle it because you’re so MAINSTREAM. I do agree, in a backhanded way, that it achieves its goals, because it seems to me from my brief engagement that its main goal was to be unwatchable. I believe it even defeated Dan Prestwich, who will sit through literally anything. That is an achievement. Of a kind.

  15. It’s clearly not made for me, though, so I don’t want to declare it an objective failure. If you can catch its wavelength I bet it’s something. I’m just more of an OILY MANIAC man.

  16. Worm on a Hook, fuck yeah! Been looking forward to this one.

  17. Can one man declare anything objective?

    Watched DOCTOR SLEEP last weekend. It’s damned good. Subjectively speaking.

    The Norwegian COLD PREY is also pretty fantastic.

  18. Of course not, but that doesn’t stop some motherfuckers from trying to ice skate uphill. I just wanted to stress that I am not one of those motherfuckers.

  19. Majestyk, it’s funny you said that because how I describe it is if John Waters made a film written by the Napoleon Dynamite guys for Troma. But for some reason it all worked for me. I never felt like it was trying to be too hip or edgy, more like “This is the movie we’re making”. The lead actors are what sold me in their dedication.

    I’m not trying to convince you to check it out again or change your mind, it’s definitely not a movie for everybody (hell, even the wife and I had to stop it and try again a different day) but as you put it so well, it just hit the right wavelength. (Thank you for that and the Oily Mangled line too!)

  20. Btw, where is that Freddy pic from? Looks like either from a toy packaging or a foreign movie poster.

  21. Looks like it’s the boxart for a bootleg Freddy toy called “Nightmare Feddy”.

  22. I’m going with “box art for an aborted ColecoVision game.”

  23. I should clarify that my post was not a joke- it is the box art for Nightmare Feddy.

  24. Ah yes, Nightmare Freddy. The Robert Cop of horror bootleg toys. Thanks, Kurgan.

  25. I hate to be that guy, but honestly Robert Cop 2 is super-underrated and I think better than the original!

    (We will not speak of Robert Cop 3, though.)

  26. I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think ROBERT COP 2 rules, which is why I shouted it at Torm Neuman when I ran into him on the street that time.

  27. I don’t think it’s these days a controversial opinion to like ROBERT COP 2. Better than 1? Hell no! But it’s a competent, rewatchable sequel.

  28. grimgrinningchris

    October 4th, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Although none are groundbreaking, I found Haunt, The Shed and Nightmare Cinema (anthology with Mickey Rourke as the projectionist/host) to be solid and effective.
    All Shudder exclusive joints.
    Hell, I think I liked more of the stories in Nightmare Cinema than most of the episodes of their super uneven Creepshow series.

  29. ROBERT COP 2 is good but I will also go to bat for ROBERT COP 3. 2 is probably better but 3’s attempts at satire is way more successful, plus I don’t think it’s 1/10th as bad as the fandom says.

  30. I would like to recommend THE WRETCHED, a solid little blend of fun pop horror and legit nastiness. It’s like FRIGHT NIGHT with a body-swapping, baby-eating tree goblin instead of a vampire. Well shot, well acted, solid practical effects, moves fast, has themes but doesn’t act like that’s what you’re they’re for. Not a mindless pastiche and not a metaphor in search of a movie either. This is the kind of horror I would like to see more of. The two brothers who made it are the sons of a guy who did photographic effects on the first EVIL DEAD so maybe this is a Michigan horror thing. They don’t seem to put up with a lot of malarkey there. You gotta deliver the goods, not just a bunch of talk.

  31. I wasn’t that keen on ROBERT COP 3 last time I saw it (some time ago now to be fair), but I did like it quite a bit when I was 11\12 which, bad decision or not, was the audience they were going for. ROBERT COP 3 for the Superhero Nintendo still rules.

  32. grimgrinningchris

    October 5th, 2020 at 4:43 am

    Also, it’s been out a while so you may have already seen it, but I really really like HUSH on Netflix. A very solid home invasion riff.

  33. Ugh! ROBERT COP 3 is indefensible. It’s like watching the edited-for-TV version of your favorite R Rated movie…but way, way shittier.

  34. Just watched Halloween IV and The Changeling (1979) on Shudder. I hadn’t seen Halloween IV before, having only watched the first 2 and then the last Halloween sequel in 2018 (the one that skipped all the other sequels). IV wasn’t scary or gross (the camera tends to look away whenever something bad was going to happen) but it wasn’t horrible in concept, just not well executed. It lacked the original’s mood for sure but the worst part was that it was boring. I can see why they ignored it in the sequel in 2018.

    The Changeling starring George C. Scott was actually pretty cool. The description on Shudder said it was the “scariest movie ever” but I assume that was from old PR material. It was actually a cool ghost story/mystery movie. Some interesting chilling shots but it was less a horror movie and more a mystery of the ghost trying to get Scott to figure out how he died. No real special effects just classic camera angles, lighting and sound effects to evoke mood. Far from the scariest movie ever but still an effective ghost story with an emotional core worth checking out.

  35. I used to think HALLOWEEN IV was total garbage, but I recognize that it has some good qualities now, despite its bland execution. I just really hate the look of Michael in it. It’s not just the too-pale harlequin mask, which makes him look like an embarrassed mime, but for some reason he’s got all this weird, lumpy padding all over him, like they wanted to go full Rob Zombie with him but forgot to hire a muscleman. He looks totally unnatural and impossible to take seriously, which ruins the movie for me. I don’t know if his look is as bad as V’s weird steroid neck flaps, but it’s up there.

    THE CHANGELING is great, though. That gag with the ball bouncing down the stairs has been ripped off 40 million times.

  36. Can I suggest a British movie called BAIT? It’s a movie set in a Cornish fishing village about the impact of gentrification, shot on an old 16mm camera. The trailer doesn’t do it justice, and on paper that possibly sounds like one of the most pretentious setups ever constructed but this is a really terrific movie exploring a subject I’ve rarely seen examined in a completely novel way where form and content are perfectly intertwined. I watched this movie a month ago or so and I still can’t stop thinking about it. We were lucky enough to get the director Mark Jenkin on my podcast for a chat after I persecuted him on twitter about it and he’s a really interesting and lovely guy too. I’d go out on a limb and suggest you will like this movie Vern, and many of the commentators here too probably.

  37. Is it a horror movie, though? I think we’re only doing horror movies on this thread.

  38. Well it sort of flirts with elements of many different genres, and there’s certainly some horror vibes to it but no it’s not really a horror movie. Unless you count the horrors of Brexit Britain. Which you would be right not to. Still, just wanted to get the word out about it because it really is something very unique.

  39. I don’t know how much you’ll dig it, Vern, as the concept exceeds the execution, but I’d love to read your thoughts on BACURAU, a fever-dream of a flick about a small rural village in a tomorrow’s future Brazil that bounds even more tightly together when Udo Kier shows to do typical evil Udo Kier type of shit.

    I almost loved it but the filmmakers couldn’t afford or just cannot deliver sick genre thrills (minus one or two great scenes). That said the premise rocks, it’s well shot, has some solid perfs, and I know you’ll dig the underlying message.

    MONOS is another good’un I think you’d enjoy if only for Micah Levi’s stupendous score and a young female named Rambo.

  40. Hello. Long time lurker, first time reply guy. This website– sorry, websight– has become appointment reading.

    Y’all might like to know that Arrow Video just launched a streaming service/app. And they seem to be offering a 30 Day free trial. Based on a quick browse, they have a number of Italian giallo films, slashers, obvious horror classics, more recent obscurities, and a bunch of Gamera flicks. I don’t think it would be classified as horror, but I’m most interested in seeing Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway, which I’ve heard is *bonkers*. Maybe it’s not as full a catalog as Shudder, but I’m sure there’s some stuff on there Vern hasn’t reviewed yet!

    As for horror-related items I’ve been watching, your local Dollar Tree store might have a bunch of DVDs and Blu-Rays for a buck. Of the giant pile I’ve procured over the last year or two, I recently watched Murder Party, which is Jeremy Saulnier’s (Blue Ruin, Green Room) first feature. It definitely reminds me of the kind of movie my friends and I would make for no money, which is part of its authentic charm. It takes place on Halloween, so characters are dressed like Pris from Blade Runner or a Baseball Fury from the Warriors. There are some funny or clever bits, though I should warn you there’s also a bit where white people use the n-word. The context of the film is to make fun of artsy-fartsy types, but much of the movie’s tone seems in response to ’90s post-Tarantino indies, so the irony isn’t 100% successful. Also, the DVD special features include a recipe for pumpkin bread.

    Also rewatched The Omega Man since TCM showed it recently, and there really isn’t a more relevant movie to our current times.

    Things that aren’t horror movies and didn’t come from the dollar store: Civilization is ending, so I bought some holy grails. Running Time is a cheap b&w 90s crime/heist indie starring Bruce Campbell that barely makes it to 70 minutes with opening and closing credits. It also has a lot in common with ’90s Tarantino ripoffs, though it smashes that into ’40s and ’50s crime noir. The gimmick is that the whole thing is done in one long shot, though most of the hidden cuts are clunky. They shot in sequence, so as the movie goes, it becomes more confident in its filmatism and they do pull off some nice camera moves. As soon as I bought it I found an interview where they reveal a new 2K scan is in the works, so there will probably be a Blu-Ray next year.

    I also bought the Australian Blu-Ray of the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie. It has the theatrical cut in HD, plus an SD unrated cut which is a little more violent, and a workprint version with an extra 16+ minutes of footage that’s taken straight from the director’s personal Betamax tape. With everything in the news, I wanted a movie where the protagonist dispatches his enemies as violently as possible, and boy, did this deliver. It actually nails the character despite not featuring the skull on his shirt. Frank Castle is believed dead, and he is– only his empty husk remains, existing solely to punish the guilty. I loved it.

    Finally, I went to the drive-in last month and caught Tenet and Unhinged. Tenet was good, though not my favorite Nolan. It definitely requires a second viewing. Unhinged was unwatchable– I can’t remember the last time I hated a movie from the opening credits.

  41. DAVE MADE A MAZE is a great horror comedy. Very hipster-ish but I loved it. well worth it. Not really horror at all…but definitely a horror concept.

    THE BARN by Justin Seamen is a really cool 80s throwback. Nothing you haven’t seen before…but it’s enthusiam can be felt. I listed the directors name because there is another THE BARN, totally unrelated, from a couple years later. I watched that one too…a bit on the dull side. Might be cool to review both in a row though!

    SATANIC PANIC was a hoot. Very fun movie.

    This might be of interest….I watched the very early Jim Henson film THE CUBE. No relation to the Canadian Sci-Fi sort of Pre-SAW, but does has some thematic similarities. A guy wakes up in a mysterious Cube. Weird and wacky characters keep coming in and haranging him in various ways, but he cannot find an exit. Really cool oddball film. Aired as an episode of NBC EXPERIMENTS IN TELEVISION…which perusing through what the other episodes are is sort of a mindfuck lol. Very eclectic selection for network televison for sure!!! No way to bend this into a “Slasher Search”, but maybe something to keep on hand for when you are in a wacky but avant guard mood.

    For the record….I full blown adored GREASY STRANGLER. Loved everything about it!!!

  42. I am a bit torn about DAVE MADE A MAZE. It feels way too much like one of those shitty COMMUNITY episodes, that try to convince you that you are watching the smartest and most subversive sitcom ever, then pulls some bullshit “for the critics” reason out of their ass to explain that they were imagining to be dinosaur sockpuppets or whatever, because one of them had a never before mentioned emotional attachment to dinosaurs and the meteor that whiped them out symbolizes the fear of the end of a friendship and is now a better human being because his friends pulled him out of his fantasy until next week, when it’s all forgotten, only that this movie doesn’t have a next week anyway. *deep breath*

    That said: Its gimmick did get a bunch of chuckles out of me and it only runs 70 minutes with credits, so I don’t wanna completely dismiss it.

  43. So are we all just going to up and ignore the fact that Krautsalat claims that EXORCIST II “is a lot better than its reputation, I like it better than the first one,” as if that’s just a normal opinion one might bring up in conversation like it was no big deal?

  44. A case could be made. It’s ridiculous and not scary at all but it doesn’t have 90 minutes of dinner parties and sad priests talking about their mother in the middle.

  45. This thread seems to’ve gotten by me, but hell yes to BAIT and BACURAU!

    As to horror, I’ll watch pretty much anything Nick Damici had a hand in these days. Both STAKE LANDs, LATE PHASES, and COLD IN JULY – not really a horror movie but gloriously twisted – have been among my highlights of recent years. THE GUEST remains a fun action horror for Halloween.

    THE WAILING and TRAIN TO BUSAN still rule K horror, but did anyone see PENINSULA?

  46. Mr. Majestyk, totally agree on IV. Some kernels of ideas but bland execution and “bad mime” pretty much covers it. I am tempted to see what V brings to the table since the kid looks to be the next Michael but from browsing Vern’s review of it, it doesn’t sound like they capitalize on that at all.

    Looking to do a night of movies with my kid including Prevenge, One Cut of the Dead and Prince of Darkness. I tend to really enjoy the lighter and fun horror of the first two but can’t beat the doom filled treat of Carpenter’s classic.

  47. Subtlety, I was indeed just going to let that slide, taking as the noodling of a stark raving lunatic. It’s one thing when someone argues for an inferior but entertaining sequel. It’s another thing entirely when someone argues for one of the dullest pieces of garbage to ever traumatize this once-excited young man, who foolishly imagined that Part II would somehow be, you know, kind of okay. (I’m just messing with you, Krautsalat. To each their own!)

  48. I just rewatched EXORCIST 2 a couple months ago. First time since I was in about 7th grade. I found it gloriously surreal and subversive. Stand out moment when the James Earl Jones Locust Shaman smash cuts to the present…where he is a locust studying scientist. The whole section with climbing up the mountain to see him was phenominal as well.

    And me and Krautsalat are not alone…it’s fandom seems to be growing every day. It’s become quite a favorite online. I think it appeals to the hipster A24 crowd (which I am a part of but not exclusive to).

    Weird movie all around. Always been a fan of John Borman, and it’s amazing how much of his style shows through on this. No…not really scary…but very New Age weird.

    A good chunk of it is boring, but those weird moments and Morricone’s score more than make up for it.

  49. I actually prefer the third one. Maybe not the whole movie, but it has the best jump scare, maybe ever.

  50. I’m with pegsman. The first one has the more iconic sequences but overall I find the third vastly more engaging. I hate to say this, but the original is the granddaddy of that elevated horror bullshit I hate: three or four uncommonly intense sequences surrounded by 90 minutes of doldrums that nobody ever talks about.

  51. Majestyk, out of curiosity, when was the last time you saw the original?

    I ask, because there was I a time I was inclined to agree with you, and I even said some similar things. However, this was an adult talking about a movie I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager. When I rectified that, I realized I was pretty flat-out wrong. Like, really wrong. Like, embarrassed wrong.

    I’m not saying if you haven’t seen it in a while, you’ll feel the same way. Again, I’m merely curious.

  52. Possibly when it was rereleased in the theater, though I may have watched it when I got the DVD a couple years later. I would have been between 23 and 26 at the time. So there may be some merit to what you’re saying. Perhaps it’s a movie more for the old grump I’ve become than the young turk I once was. That said, if I’m being honest here (and I realize this is blasphemy), but I do not think the much vaunted naturalism of the 70s has aged well in a lot of cases. I get that it was a necessary stylistic breakthrough at the time and it brought a sense of realism to cinema that improved the form immeasurably, but I see that stuff now and it sure feels like a bunch of filler scenes of people wearing brown blazers mumbling over each other’s lines with a lot of room tone on the soundtrack. After the last decade of perfectly fine genre movies shitting themselves down their own legs with their delusions of “Actually, this is a psychological drama about drug addiction with a ghost in one part to be honest I don’t really like horror movies but I can say with absolute confidence that of the ten I’ve seen ROSEMARY’S BABY is for sure the best one ever made,” my tolerance for movies that refuse to GET THE FUCK ON WITH IT is at an all-time low. I keep meaning to rewatch it but part of me suspects I’ll be even less kind to it now than I was back then.

    Like, seriously, I realize that whole Iraq sequence is only ten minutes long but it feels like twice that. I’m already bored before the movie even starts. There’s just no fucking reason for it to be over two hours long. It’s about a girl who gets possessed and then an old guy comes and does a ceremony. There aren’t a lot of moving parts. It’s not GONE WITH THE WIND. The iconic parts are iconic for a reason but all the shit in between makes them real hard to appreciate.

  53. I actually find every moment of THE EXORCIST to be absolutely gripping. It’s so full of strange implications and unresolved details that feel vitally important but elusive. But I can see why someone wouldn’t feel the same way. I cannot possibly see enjoying PART II more. PART III, sure, it’s doing its own thing. But there are few true cinematic boondoggles which manage to be as boring as part II. Sure, the Morricone score is baller, and there are maybe three or four scenes which are memorably bonkers –if never exactly “good–, including the James Earl Jones one. But I never even considered the possibility that someone could like it unironically.

  54. I just feel like the movie expects us to be so blown away by the very concept that a young girl in the modern age might be possessed by the devil (who is totally real by the way so this could totally happen to my child) that we’re supposed to hang on this pointless accumulation of detail like it’s a true crime case and somehow the pattern will emerge if we only have all the evidence. But it’s not a true crime case and the devil is not real, so to me, it’s just like, yeah, duh, of course young girls get possessed by the devil. It’s a fucking horror movie. That’s what fucking happens in a fucking horror movie. GET ON WITH IT.

  55. Re the original. All well and good, and fair points I happen to disagree with.

    But the sequels? Is there anything in the entirety of the sequels even remotely close to the (apparently only few) good parts of the first? “The scariest scare of all time” aside, what the hell sequels did I watch?

    Incidentally, I saw part 3 in like 1990 or whenever (possibly the last time I ever went to a drive-in!) and had LONG forgotten that scare when I discovered that it had achieved legendary status. A good scare, mind you, but damn. It almost feels like the legend outraced the reality on that one.

  56. I readily admit there’s nothing as potent as the big money scenes in the first one, but like the dialogue, characters, and tone of the third one. It’s very arch and writerly. I’m very arch and a writer so that one holds my interest during the many non-demony parts of the movie in a way that the sluggish naturalism of the original does not.

  57. From THE EXORCIST to THE CONJURING, I’ve always had a huge problem with movies that have the nerve to demand that I must believe that evil is defeated by a higher power, to enjoy what’s happening. Give me theological hokum like THE OMEN or GOD’S ARMY or PREACHER (ho-ho-ho) any day. But don’t take it for granted that I’m a «believer».

  58. broadly speaking, I agree that kind of movie (and it’s mostly possession films and the ones about those two Christian ghost-hunters or whatever) doesn’t do much for me as a non-believer (or at the very least non-practitioner of any religion). But I will say, I think in the case of THE EXCORCIST specifically, what Mr M sees as flaws in the film are precisely what make it scarier for me- the slow, grinding realization that, even in this “modern” world, all those old superstitions and religious hokum are *real* and it’s *utterly inescapable*, because once you die, well, the worst is yet to come. It’s not trying to say that the devil is real in the world any more than the NIGHTMARE movies are saying dream-murdering molestors are real either, it’s just the frightful premise of the film (for lack of a better phrase). For me, it really works.

  59. I found it kind of chilling to climb those stairs in Georgetown once or twice upon a time, even though the interiors were not and clearly could not have been filmed there.

  60. I saw the original EXORCIST when I was 14/15, spending the night at my best friend’s house. We rented part 1 and 2. After watching the first one we were too scared to watch the second. When I saw it years later I realized watching that goofy shit would’ve actually helped us come down from the fright.

  61. Thanks Majestyk

    All I can say is that you give it a re-watch you may be surprised by how much of a ‘girl possessed’ movie it isn’t.

  62. I get that. That’s kind of my problem with it. I’m here for some devil shit and it gives me skeptical cops and archaeological expeditions and sad priests and paranoid astronauts and skeevy movie directors. I feel like you could cut 45 minutes out of it and most people wouldn’t even notice.

  63. I was never a fan of the first EXORCIST, for the same reasons Majestyk and pegsman have already stated, that’s why preferring the second one doesn’t mean I think it’s a masterpiece or anything like that. Sure, it’s not scary and makes no sense. It is slow, but in a completely different way than the first one, but EXORCIST II has a unique vibe, it looks and sounds spectacular and doesn’t give a fuck about audience expections. It has more in common with SUSPIRIA than with THE EXORCIST. I love the idea that the studio heads decided to give a massive budget to the director of ZARDOZ, to make a sequel to a movie he hated.

    ALso, EXORCIST III rules and both prequels are exactly as bad as everbody thinks they are.

  64. I get that. That’s kind of my problem with it. I’m here for some devil shit and it gives me skeptical cops and archaeological expeditions and sad priests and paranoid astronauts and skeevy movie directors. I feel like you could cut 45 minutes out of it and most people wouldn’t even notice.

    Oh, people would notice. It would join the ranks of the 306 mediocre ‘girl possessed’ flicks that appeared in its wake. It’s the same story as Silence of the Lambs, in that it spawned a mini-industry of serial killin’ flicks that didn’t understand what made SotL great to begin with.

    I’m hardly an Excotist super-fan or anything. But, it’s a big white elephant in the zeitgeist, and I’ve made peace with it. It’s designed to be an assaulting and upsetting movie and–for the most part–it succeeds. That’s what it is. As for what you want it to be? Well, that’s on you.

  65. As I see it you can choose between a priest sitting a dark room moaning about how he has lost his faith, a drunk englishman riding a locust in front of a green screen or a cop chasing a serial killer.

  66. I don’t WANT it to be anything. I’m cool with it being the movie it is. I’m just gonna be kind of bored by it.

  67. I’m an annoying centreist when it comes to THE EXORCIST. Someone says it’s the greatest film of all time? I’m all “woah, calm down here”. Someone says it’s risible dreck? I say “let’s not be too hasty here”.

  68. Are there really people who say it’s risible dreck? I’m not a fan of the movie overall but it is nonetheless indispensable to the horror genre.

  69. Perhaps in less flowery language, but I certainly know people* (not necessarily major cinephiles) who found it laughable and dismissed it. It was certainly de rigeur circa the British re-release of the film in the late 90s (following a period where it had been sort-of-but-not-really “banned” in the UK) to say it was “more funny than scary”.

    *Admittedly the main guy I’m thinking of only watched THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU’VE NEVER SEEN, which has proved an evergreen edition for me as I have still never seen it, and therefore cannot totally judge myself.

  70. ANY movie can be hilarious if you see it enough times. When I saw THE VERSION MOTHERFUCKERS AIN’T NEVER SEEN EVEN ONCE in the theater, there were two guys laughing uproariously at everything Pazuzu said. And it wasn’t just some hipster above-it-all snark. They were giggling in anticipation of their favorite lines. So they were clearly fans, but in a very different way than was originally intended.

  71. grimgrinningchris

    October 11th, 2020 at 5:40 am

    I know we have some Swedes in here. Was Randy bigger in their home country there than they were in the US?

    Either way, they had a great song about The Exorcist with the immortal lines…

    “There is no heaven or hell, even if Dio sings about them so well”


    “1990 came Exorcist 3. Based on the novel Legion by William Peter Blatty…”


  72. grimgrinningchris

    October 11th, 2020 at 6:32 am

    Also, Ministry used the sting on the soundtrack from “that scene” in Exorcist 3 on their brilliant song “Scarecrow”.

  73. WE ARE STILL HERE. Starts out all classy before showing its cards, and I love it unconditionally. Plus Barbara Crampton. I’ve stumped on it on two previous slasher searches, I think, so maybe third time lucky?

    THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW kind of blew me away. It’s kind of a comedy/drama/horror mashup with the horror coming out least in the mix, but tonally and formally it doggedly sticks to being a horror/thriller, and the humor is as deadpan as I’ve ever seen. Jim Cummings is two for two and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

  74. I just want to point out that today, October 14, is International Pumpkinhead day, the first movie having premiered on this date in 1988.

    So if you just needed a little push to watch PUMPKINHEAD 3: BLOOD WINGS, which has both Lance Henriksen AND Doug Bradley, there you go.

  75. Isn’t BLOOD WINGS the second one? And wouldn’t blood be, like, the worst possible thing to make wings out of?

  76. Unfortunately I can’t say anything better about PUMPKINHEAD 3 than “Well, their heart was in the right place”.

  77. This conversation has led me to the startling revelation that, for reasons not even God himself could possibly comprehend, someone in 1995 thought it would be a good idea to make a video game adaptation of PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS called BLOODWINGS: PUMPKINHEAD’S REVENGE (I do not know why there is a space in the phrase “blood wings” in the movie title but not the video game title).

    It’s maybe the most godawful looking game I think I’ve ever seen. Some kind of sub-par Doom action sandwiched between incredibly low-res full motion video excerpts from the movie. I’m linking it here so that I will not have suffered alone.


  78. BLOOD WINGS is the second one, but it’s pretty much unwatchable dogshit. It was one of those “the rights are about to expire, so let’s just grab whatever script we have lying around and re-title it Pumpkinhead 2 so we don’t lose this beloved property we obvious care so much about” situations. Although it does have the distinction of featuring Bill Clinton’s brother Roger as “Mayor Bubba.”

    I reviewed it back when I was doing a survey of the Pumpkinheads. Part III is also quite terrible –it’s a Sci-Fi Channel original, for heaven’s sake– but it maybe slightly more gets the vibe of part 1 than BLOOD WINGS does. Plus, Doug Bradley’s in there, so it’s legit.

    Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings

    Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1994) Dir. Jeff Burr Starring Andrew Robinson, Pumpkinhead, and Soleil Moon Frye of all fool people.   ...

  79. In my opinion BLOOD WINGS is notable mostly for starring the great Andrew Robinson (of DIRTY HARRY and DEEP SPACE NINE fame) as the sheriff with a dapper little mustache that somehow makes him look like Tom Skeritt.

  80. Nope, it’s most notable for being a movie starring Amy Dolenz. Why has she not made a comeback in somebody’s indie horror thing?

  81. This arrived just as I was finishing my last book, and my next planned book hadn’t come in at the library yet, so the timing was perfect. I’m now halfway through, and I just want to say what a joy this is to read. I audibly laughed while on the train to work several times. I’m actually going to an annual lake house retreat with some friends from high school and college, and the one detail that hit the bullseye was the collection of absolutely random DVDs. Every vacation rental home has them.

  82. Oh, fuck. That comment was supposed to be in the Worm on a Hook discussion thread. Oh, well.

  83. It’s true! That part was definitely inspired by a true story. The only specific titles I remember were the indie movie AWAY WE GO with a bunch of Larry the Cable Guy stuff.

  84. I haven’t heard of this guy’s previous movies but this one looks interesting.

    “Death Ranch is set in 1971 in the deep backwoods of rural Tennessee. It follows three African American siblings on the run from the law who take shelter in a seemingly abandoned ranch. What they don’t realize is that they have stumbled upon the hunting grounds of a cannibalistic Ku Klux Klan cult.”

    Death Ranch (2020) Official Trailer [HD]

    Official trailer for Grindhouse/Blaxploitation-inspired splatter movie DEATH RANCH, written and directed by Charlie Steeds. https://www.facebook.com/DeathRan...

  85. Sounds worth checking out. He directed four movies this year, though, which seems like a warning sign.

  86. Hey Vern, if you’re looking for more slashers for this month, have you ever seen DESTROYER (1988) (also known as SHADOW OF DEATH)? It’s no classic, but I think it has a few unique qualities which might be of scholarly interest to you and might make it worth a review. It’s certainly better than fucking OPEN HOUSE. It’s on Tubi.

  87. Open House is solid. Doesn’t deserve an expletive in front of it. :)

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>