Your Obligatory Halloween Horror Movie Thread


Over at The Daily Beast, Martin Scorsese offers his picks for the 11 scariest films of all time. For a second (and overlapping) list of great horror movies, go to this old blog post of mine. To mock our suggestions, make further suggestions, or just debate which trend will burn out faster, the vampire craze or the zombie craze, go to the comment thread. And to see Morgan Freeman as a singing Dracula taking a bath, press play:

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  1. The Sentinel fucked me up as a kid, as did Let’s Scare Jessica to Death.

    The made for TV zombie noir film The Dead Don’t Die robbed me of sleep for days.

  2. Somebody name top 5 or so horror films, not necessarily Halloween-themed.

    1. Sex and the City, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Medusa.

      1. On the topic of things that aren’t movies, this video is pretty scary.

          1. Whatever your links are, they’re retarded. Shut the fuck up, moron.

          2. Judas Priest isn’t “the libertarian lifestyle”.

            You really don’t have a clue, do you?

            1. did you hear that Rob Halford is gay?

  3. or top 10

  4. Morgan Freeman is God. There isn’t another actor on earth who could have pulled off the bath in a casket routine.

    1. Vincent Price could have. You know it’s true.

        1. He was/is one scary dude…just looking at him scares the crap out of me.
          “It’s as much fun to scare as to be scared.”

          1. Not always:

  5. Oh boy! A list thread!

  6. the vampire craze or the zombie craze

    Vampires versus Zombies? Oh please, everyone knows that Zombies don’t have any blood. The vampires would go for the throat, of course, and then they would get their brains eaten. It would be a Vampire brain smorgashboard.

  7. Scorsese’s picks are a snooze. No Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (celluloid snob!). No Dawn of the Dead. No Bad Ronald. Come on, Robert Wise’s The Haunting has never scared a single human being anywhere.

    1. Scorsese’s #4 seems interesting – The Entity. I presume that’s something an Entwife has.

      1. The Entity and The Changeling are his two best and most surprising picks.

        1. Indeed, but the larger point is that I made a pun. A nerdy one. And tasteless at the same time. The kind of pun which ought to be getting more respect at H&R. Not that I’m complaining.

        2. Isn’t The Entity the one where she has the dream about the alien baby ripping its way out of her uterus? Great stuff.

          1. No, it’s the one where Treebeard is searching for the . . . oh, never mind.

          2. I guess that’s why Max posted about it, he sensed it kind of had something to do with abortion…

            1. Everything is about abortion with you, isn’t it?

              1. Hey, it’s you that posted about the film with that scene…You kind of have a thing about abortion, we all know that here.

                Anways, I always thought everything was about Israel with me, or unions.

                Maybe it’s always about Israelite union members having abortions?

                1. Look, Mr. Naughty Git, I was trying to make a suggestive Lord of the Rings joke. I haven’t even *seen* The Entity.

                  All I know is that The Entity came out in 1981, and Alien came out in 1979. Whose demonic-birth scene was first?

                  Alien was *way* scary, and it ought to be on a list of Halloween movies. The sci-fi setup shouldn’t fool anyone – it’s pure horror.

                  Trust a liberal to hijack a perfectly good horror thread by bringing politics into it. The only politician I want to see in a Halloween movie is the guy who ruled Wallachia from 1456 to 1462.

                  1. Er, I was making a joke about your obsession with abortion, not about the politics of abortion…

                    1. Joking about my obsession, by introducing abortion into a discussion where neither I nor anybody else had mentioned the subject?

                      That would make you more obsessed than me.

                    2. I introduced the word abortion, but since that is what you are obsessed with it was the word to use. I obviously had no interest in discussing abortion policy in this thread…

                      See the joke works this way:
                      1. Max, a guy known for his obsession with abortion politics, posts about a movie
                      2. Epi points out the flick has a scene in which a fetus claws out of the womb
                      3. MNG says in effect “oh this is why Max is posting on this film, he thought it had to do with abortion.”

                      See? Number 3 demonstrates I was poking fun at your abortion obsession, not wanting to discuss abortion policy. The fact I have to break down this joke in this fashion to you does bring up abortion, for it seems your sense of humor must have been aborted at some point…

                    3. I understand that you were making an attempt at humor. I just think it’s funny that you would introduce the subject on the grounds of mocking someone else’s obsession with the topic.

                    4. And I still have no idea where those female Israelis came from. Maybe you’re thinking of some other genre of movie?

                    5. Uh, since your sense of humor was aborted long ago in return for apparent conservative catholic fanaticism, I’ll explain that, it’s called “poking fun at oneself”; see people often say I’m obsessed with the Israeli-Palestine issue and at other times I’m supposed to be obsessed with union issues. Add your claim that it is I that am obsessed about abortion and I had a little fun with that, that I’m only interested in Israelite union members who have abortions.

                      Get it?

                    6. Jeeezuss! Can you two exchange e-mail addresses or something so you can carry on this petty feud in private? Nobody gives a shit about whatever point it is that you’re trying to make about each other. Shut up shut up shut up!

                    7. 1,000 pardons.

                      I’m sure that, in offering my sincere apologies, I speak for MNG as well as for myself, but I haven’t, technically, consulted MNG on the matter.

                      Have a nice day!

                    8. There’s a difference between ‘I get it’ and ‘O God that’s so funny, I can’t stop laughing, I think I’ll suffocate!’ One can affirm the former without adopting the latter position. Such is the case here.

                2. The problem is that every horror movie that deals with reproduction and childbirth generally has the offspring turn out to be some monster or other.

                  There aren’t many pro-life horror stories out there. Well, maybe Passion of the Christ but that’s a stretch.

                  1. John Carpenter’s “Pro-life”?


          3. Wait, is The Entity the one with the poltergeist rapist?

            1. No, that was *Poultrygeist,* the frightening tale of the ghost of a chicken with its head cut off.

      2. Mad Max making bedroom humor is seriously messed up.

      3. Citizen Kane.

      4. I thought an Entwife merely had an Entwistle…

        That beard was scary!

  8. Scorcese is dead on about The Changeling. That fucking movie is scary.

  9. I really should spam this thread with my friend’s zombie book for the Kindle, since it’s Halloween and all:

    Now, of course, anonymity bot will devour my soul as punishment for my spammage. Oh well.

    1. Hey, that actually looks interesting. Can your friend write?

      1. I liked it. I add a star for all zombie-related content, though.

        1. I’m gonna download a sample tonight.

    2. I may be biased, but if someone’s spamming / blog pimping is less than 10% of their total posts, I don’t think that’s out of line.

    3. Fluffy, you really should add a review on Amazon. Be transparent and say you know the author, but reviews really help sell items online.

      Curious how people are using Kindle to self-publish.

      1. I thought about doing that, but the problem is that my…friend and I share the same email address. And thus the same Amazon account.

        Yes, I’m guilty. I have to come clean. My online ID’s have so many enemies internet-wide that I thought it would be best if I did not directly associate the book with any of the “Fluffy” or “FluffyUnbound” ID’s, but I’m finding that it’s just too hard to pretend.

        Your Kindle comment is apt, and I think a tsunami of Kindle content is about to sweep over the world because it’s just so damn easy to publish for it. It’s completely free, and anyone who can convert a Word .doc to html can have something up on the catalogue in 48 hours.

        I prefer the paperback POD version [ ], because the original conception of the book was “a fake Penguin Classics book about zombies in antiquity”. This let me mash up three of my favorite things. I really love the physical being of Penguin Classics books, and that can’t be duplicated on the Kindle. Half of the fun of Penguin books is the footnotes, and you can’t use footnotes for the Kindle – you can only use endnotes, and it’s awkward for the Kindle user to even access those endnotes. As a result there’s all of this content – the really fun content, for me personally – about the linguistic gap between Latin and Greek when dealing with the supernatural, and about the early history of Christianity in the western Roman Empire, and about Roman execution methods and funeral rites, and germ theory in the ancient world, and the nature of madness in the work of various Greek and Latin poets and tragedians, and so forth, that’s accessible in the paperback version but a little harder to enjoy in the Kindle version.

        1. Hey, Fluffy — I read it last night and really enjoyed it. Posted a positive review this morning. In the review, I was tempted to mention the Penguin Classics look, but I refrained because I didn’t want to give Penguin ammunition for making you change the cover on the grounds of trade confusion (or whatever IP lawyers call it).

          1. Thanks for the positive review.

            I saw the question you asked about the title, and it is in fact not grammatically correct. The “real” story is that I chose the full title [which includes the subtitle] to be reminiscent of De Bello Gallico and also to turn up in a wide range of keyword searches in different Amazon categories. In one draft the title was explained in the Foreword as a bowdlerization added by a medieval copyist, whose post-Carolingian-renaissance Latin just wasn’t very good. I cut that out, along with some other material, in order to keep the Foreword from completely swallowing the first half of the book. Since the very first person to write a review noted it, I may have to add that back in, maybe as a footnote / endnote.

            1. Thanks for the explanation. A footnote would probably be good, since I’m guessing that many of the people most likely to be interested in the book will have some background in classics. You could also post an explanatory comment to my review, as I’ve seen some publishers/authors do.

              BTW – my email is I’d like to be on your mailing list when you publish future horror novels.

  10. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is really, really scary if you’re under 13, and kind of retarded if you’re not.

    But boy, did that movie scare the shit out of me when I was 11. I kept expecting little monster dudes to come to drag me into the fireplace in my house.

    1. I remember The Gate being scary as hell when I was young.

      That and Cat’s Eye…always thought little dwarf people would come steal my breath when I was sleeping.

      1. i agree with both, and just recently found out my friend’s wife is an extra in one of the scenes in Cat’s Eye when everyone is smoking in a club.

      2. Oh man, Cat’s Eye was great – I hadn’t thought about that one in years.

  11. Why does The Shining always seem to make these lists? Nicholson was scarier in Cuckoo’s Nest than he is in Kubrick’s self-indulgent snoozer.

    1. ‘that’s funny, the blood usually gets off at the *second* floor.’

      1. He’s got the Shinnin’!

  12. Great. The damn post office messed up and sent my Netflix – Kiroshi Kurosawa’s Cure and Doppleganger off somewhere else. Assholes.

    Speaking of Japanese horror, Audition is probably the best I’ve seen.

    1. “Kurosawa’s Cure and Doppleganger”

      Kurosawa did some horror flicks? Awesome….

      1. MNG – Kiroshi Kurosawa, not Akira. No relation.

          1. About the scariest things Akira Kurosawa has done were some nightmare sequences in Dreams, although they do have the quality of dreams, so they really aren’t that frightening. Also, that was not one of his better movies.

  13. BP, Audition is great (Takeshi Miike, after all); in fact, a lot of the horror from Japan from the late 90’s early 2000’s was really good, even the more assembly-line like stuff.

    And I still remember how much Ringu freaked me out when she crawls out.

    1. If you watch only three ring-themed epic series this year, make *Ringu* the third!

  14. Exorcist was pretty scary.

    Strangely enough, the remake of Texas Chainsaw gave me the willies. Good willies from Jessica Biel, but some bad willies too.

    1. I swear the only reason that was made was for her boobs.

    2. Can you ever get a “bad” willie from Jessica Biel?

  15. Yeah, I understand why Hollywood felt the need to rip off J-horror from that time. I loved those Japanese movies, because they almost completely avoided the –
    someone’s in the closet…someone’s in the closet…someone’s in the closet…BOO!! HE’S REALLY BEHIND YOU!! shit that usually passes for horror in Hollywood.

    The originals for The Ring, Dark Water, and The Grudge were all good films. Amazing that the remakes were such shit. (Well, The Ring remake wasn’t horrible.)

    Another great one is Black House. Very, very creepy.

    1. Crap. That last was meant as a reply to Episiarch.

  16. BP, I saw Verbinski’s Ring in a special screening for journalists. At the end, the only people who had seen the original Ringu were us and one other guy there (also not a journalist). We start going off on how much better Ringu was and the journalists all start asking us questions and writing furious notes. We influenced a number of reviews at that screening. In NYC.

    1. That’s excellent, and a well deserved nut punch. I guess by the time The Grudge came out, they’d learned their lessons – I saw quite a few reviews unfavorably comparing it to Ju On.

    2. Having seen (and liked) both, I’m fairly certain The Ring vs. Ringu is one of the examples where the urbane intellectual conceit that a foreign original is always superior to an American remake is utterly wrongheaded.

      Though it’s probably correct to say that, taking into account the differences in budget, Ringu was a more impressive accomplishment.

      1. There isn’t any urbane intellectual conceit; Ringu was vastly better. It built the dread in a far more subtle and sophisticated way. It didn’t allow you to see the dead kid’s faces, causing your imagination to come up with truly crazy shit. Etc.

        Much, much better than Verbinski’s version. The reason remakes are usually inferior is that they are copying something instead of being an original creation; and they are often remakes of a movie so good that it made it here, so they have a high bar to clear.

        1. The Ring showed the dead girl’s face for what, 0.3 seconds? That’s the basis of your criticism?

          I don’t think it’s even arguable that the girl coming out of the TV screen in The Ring was better done in Ringu. Again, the bigger budget of the remake made such improvements possible, so I’m not discounting that Ringu was much more imaginative etc, just that the final product in The Ring is slightly superior IMHO.

          I think everyone can agree that The Ring 2 sucked, though.

          1. Ok, I just re-watched The Ring, and I still have to go with Ringu as being better. While the American version had far less shock – “boo!” – horror than the typical American horror film, it still had some.

            The Japanese film created horror strictly from story and ambiance. Maybe we can split the difference this way: The Ring was probably scarier, but Ringu was a better film.

    3. Wait a minute, The Ring came out 7 years ago. Were you there reporting for your high school paper or something?

      1. Where did I say I was reporting? I said it was a screening for journalists. I’m not a journalist, but I know the right people, so I got in (it was an advance screening, which was why I wanted to go).

  17. Argento’s Suspiria.Not only the best horror film ever,the first 12 minutes or so seem like the greatest movie ever until it settles down a bit.

    BP already mentioned Audition.Truly frightening.

  18. george romero’s martin, the crazies
    god told me to, q- the winged serpent, the hammer frankenstein movies starring peter cushing as dr. frankenstein, peter bogdonvich’s targets, deep red, rosemary’s baby, carl dreyer’s vampry

    1. Vampyr? Really? I watched that a few weeks ago and didn’t like it much at all. It’s boring and somewhat incoherent, although the weird shadows that keep showing up were pretty awesome.

  19. I think a distinction should be noted between horror films that were indeed scary and horror themed films that were good, though they may not have scared anyone. But maybe that kind of thinkins would make Aristotle smack me…

    Anyway, in the latter category I place Fright Night. I thought that was one of the better vampire flicks I’ve seen. Well done without having to take a crap on the vampire mythology that served storytellers so well for years and years.

    1. We also need a category for non-horror films that were scary. Like Sex and the City, as a smart man mentioned above.

    2. Aristotle’s three categories of horror movie are Vampire, Werewolf and Werewolf. Anything outside of these classic forms were not true horror movies under Aristotelian theory. Euripides introduced the Serial Killer movie, but then, Euripides was regarded as an innovator, and Aristotle disapproved of his novelties. Aristotle also disapproved of efforts to mix horror with sci-fi.

      Aristotle went on to explain that any horror movie needs several essential elements, without which the movie is not in accord with the classical rules: (a) There must be one or more scantily-clad women, (b) someone has to get scared by something jumping out at him/her, only to find out that it’s just the cat, (c) if a character is being stalked by a monster, he/she has to call out the name of some other character for whom he/she has mistaken the monster (“Bob? Is that you?” And it never is), and (d) the monster must never die the first time you kill it, no matter how dead it might look.

      1. That should be Vampire, Werewolf and Zombie.

        1. It was Sophocles, by the way, whose masterwork *Oedipus Wants Brains* first introduced the Fast Zombie.

          1. That’s actually some pretty funny stuff in there Max, credit where it’s due…

  20. Kudos to Jesse for including Altman’s severely underrated ‘Images’ among his scary-movie favorites. Just thinking about the final scene in that movie still gives me goosebumps.

    Info tidbit: I probably first saw ‘Images’ where Jesse did – in Hugh Cohen’s film class at the U. of M.

  21. The Other scared me. I watched it when I was about 15yo, so I don’t know if it would work for me now.

  22. Scariest movie I ever saw was Gladiator. How could anything beat those fight scenes for fright? Those quick 1st-person cuts of a dozen sharp objects coming at you at once…?

  23. Amityville Horror scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid. Floating red pig eyes.

    Favorites now include Event Horizon, Session 9, and Below.

  24. Wow. I’ve been waiting years for Quatermass and the Pit to surge onto every snob’s horror top ten, and it finally sneaked into one. About time.

    Don’t Look Now, Alice Sweet Alice, The Tenant, and Blood and Black Lace definitely need a mention. The worldwide eruption of Argento-like incoherent art-horror movies back then was the best. civilizational death-spasm. ever.

  25. That thing behind the glass in that movie that Monk was in…what was the name of it…anyway, Shannon Elizabeth was in it too…Monk could not figure it out…and then, or was it…I dunno, but I shit my diapers, I kid you not. OMG, it was soooo scary!

  26. An American werewolf in london.

  27. I have this hypothesis that The Exorcist is only terrifying to Catholics. Maybe Anglicans.

    As an atheist and an all-around rational empirical dude, I only get scared by shit that’s either (1) real or (2) incomprehensible. That’s why I found Blair Witch effective. (I know the cool kids are going to say I’m lame, but whatever; if anybody feels like bashing it, I’m not going to bother defending it.)

    1. I told my wife that Blair Witch was a documentary right before we saw it. She is still freaked out by it.

    2. the exorcist is the least scary movie ever made. except linda blair’s acting, that’s horrifying.

    3. The Exorcist was based on real events. Who knows the exact cause, but there was definitely a kid not acting right at all.

  28. As far as non-horror movies that are scary, I’d start with Audrey Hepburn’s Wait Until Dark.

    As for traditional horror flicks, I don’t think anybody’s mentioned Val Lewton’s Cat People yet.

  29. Night of the Living Dead
    Dawn of the Dead
    Day of the Dead
    The Crazies
    Return of the Living Dead
    The Last Man on Earth
    Carnival of Souls

    1. oh yeah and White Zombie and pretty much any Universal or Hammer horror film

      1. Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

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  31. Never saw the Entity, but the book was a fine read.

  32. Non-horror, semi-documentary “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”. Scenes from that movie occasionally pop into my head and make the nerves in my back bunch up. People are really like that. That’s horror.
    Scary moment: when the head popped into the scuba diving scene in “Jaws”, I jumped so hard that I hit my head on the wall behind me and almost lost consciousness.
    Straight horror: “Poltergeist” I saw it at a moment in my life where I was really open to such stuff. That didn’t last long and I really never cared for the genre as an adult.

    1. Ya ya, Poltergeist is no longer scary, but it has aged well. The movie captured the family’s terror almost perfectly. The scene where the son is front of the tv when the parents are out looking for Caroline after this shit goes down, and he realizes that he is hearing her voice from the tv, still chokes me up.

  33. or just debate which trend will burn out faster, the vampire craze or the zombie craze

    The vampire craze has already peaked and has to add in werewolves to keep it afloat. I insert Twilight and True Blood as examples of this.

    There will always be zombie movie and really do not see the latest as a “craze”.

    The next craze will be Witches.

    1. The next craze will be Witches.

      Crap. I can’t think of a single cool witch story. Unless they make a medieval era film where the witches have to kiss satan’s asshole to get spooky baby boiling powers.

      Witches suck.

      1. Before “Interview with a vampire” the only good Vampire Movies i can think of are Twice Bitten, and that 70s dracula movie…and twice bitten was a friggin comedy.

        ok not entierly true there is that vampire movie with David boie and Susan Suranden and that other movie with Nick cage….still the list is short.

        Witches will have thier day…mark my words!!!

  34. Yeah, it is popular to crap on Blair Witch, but it had a lot of Hitchcock like affects like never showing the witch and only hinting at what was happening. The frights come from the actors’ reactions (and remember that those were more or less amateurs). Imaginative, creative, and effective in scaring the holy shit out of me so bad that I still think about it when I go camping. You know what, I will defend it if anybody wants to tussle about it! Damn good movie!

    1. No Swede, Blair Witch sucked. It sucked liked Microsoft Vista.

  35. “Rosemary’s Baby” is brilliant.

    “The Entity” could use a good remake. It seems cheesy now.

    The original “The Hitcher” with Rutger Hauer is pretty scary, and has one of the greatest opening sequences, I think.

  36. The Frighteners is a pretty good scare flick. Jake Busey was pretty effective as a psychopath.

    1. I’d imagine. He doesn’t even have to act.

      1. Crap, I was thinking of his dad, Gary.

  37. Free advice: do not watch Cell alone in the dark late at night when you are 13.

    I’m sure I would be fine now, but holy shit.

  38. I unfortunately don’t have the time at this point to discuss this properly, but many movies mentioned in this thread are excellent. There has, to my disappointment, been no discussion of Cronenberg, and only one Argento mention. We’ve covered Miike, if only briefly. I see no one has mentioned Deodato, Fulci, or even Bava. Let alone Carpenter, Craven, or any of the more mainstream stuff. And I see no Zarchi references at all.

    1. well I did mention Dawn of the Dead but I don’t know if that counts as an Argento film but his European cut Zombie Dawn of the Dead version and Demons are great horrors. Black Sunday is a great Bava film. and Videodrome is an awesome Cronenberg horror film.

      1. Demoni is a Lamberto Bava film, only produced by Dario, and directed by Mario Bava’s son. And it’s fun, but not that good. Cani arrabbiati, though–that’s good shit. And as much as I like Mario, Planet of the Vampires (Terrore nello spazio) was terrible. Looked great, but zero content.

    2. Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left” (original) was also pretty scary to me, and still is disturbing, as there are folks out there that depraved and evil.

  39. oh yeah and for Fulci I pick Zombi 2, Gates of Hell, and the Beyond

  40. The original version of “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (with Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter) while technically a science fiction film, is one which I think is a classic scary movie.

    Back in the late 60’s there was a Vincent Price movie – I think its title was “Scream And Scream Again” – which had a jogger who gets hit by a car and wakes up in the hosptal. He can’t get the nurse or anyone to tell him what’s going on, but every time he wakes up he finds another of his limbs has been amputated – until he has none at all. I thought that was kinda scary at the time.

    Another movie with a scene I found memorable was “SSSSSSS” or “SSSSnake” as it was called in the UK. It starred Strother Martin as the mad scientist who turned his daughter’s boyfriends into “snake men.” She encounters one of them in a carnival freak show and recognizes the pitiable creature.

    The remake of “The Fly” with Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis had a particularly creepy scene in which Davis envisions herself giving birth to a giant maggot baby. While maybe not a classic horror movie, that scene has always stuck in my mind.

    People have already mentioned “The Ring,” but I have to say that’s the last horror movie I watched which had any noticable effect on me – probably because someone had loaned it to me on a vcr tape without telling me anything about it. I suppose it seems ridiculous, but it left me with an uneasy feeling. 🙂

    1. yeah the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a classic scifi horror

  41. One thing that I wish had been scarier in the movie version was The Stand.

    There were parts of that book that really stuck in my imagination. But when they put them on film they’re either underwhelming or silly.

    1. Don’t ever expect too much from TV/film adaptations of Stephen King novels, Fluffy. They will inevitably disappoint. If you appreciate King’s writing style (which I do), and even though there have been myriad attempts to bring his work to the screen, there will always be a fundamental failure to translate his particular style of narrative to the screen.

      What I always think of is that sociopathic junkyard kid from It, and how no one ever tries to express that kid on screen: he’s purely literal.

      1. That’s the thing — I dislike King’s writing style; I find it depressing. People’s synopses of his stories always sound better to me than trying to read the stories themselves. So I think the movies are better.

      2. I just re-read a couple of his Richard Bachman stories–The Long Walk and The Running Man. Good stuff.

      3. If someone is going to make a movie from a King story, they might as well do like Kubrick and make their own movie; King sucks as a screenplay writer. I give you Maximum Overdrive, The Langoliers, and The Shining remake as examples.

        A lot of his ideas are really fantasy-based, but can sell when he sets them up slowly through words, and allows the reader’s imagination to take hold. In movies, almost everything has to be shown. This makes a book like Christine ludicrous as a movie. The Shining is pretty much a straight ghost story at its core, so it didn’t suffer from this. Misery had almost no fantasy elements, and Meathead did a decent job bringing the story to the screen.

        1. When he steps outside of fantasy, though, his writing works perfectly as a basis for film.

          The Shawshank Redemption could basically have been shot directly from the novella without the intervening step of writing a screenplay at all. Shot for shot, line for line, it’s all there. And there are those who claim that Shawshank is a perfect film. That might be too strong, but it’s certainly not Maximum Overdrive.

          1. I don’t care for Shawshank. The Jaunt, however–that’s different.

      4. The Shining was scary as hell

        Also, i don’t know how much king was involved outside of staring in it, the first Creep Show movie was actaully pretty scary

      5. Don’t ever expect too much from TV/film adaptations of Stephen King novels

        Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot? Carrie? I agree that The Shining lets Jack Nicholson chew so much scenery it’s amazing the hotel was still standing, but it’s part of the lexicon whether you like it or not. Christine has its moments, The Dead Zone has many moments, Stand By Me, Creepshow… I’d say Hollywood’s been pretty good to the King of Horror.

        Of course you have to balance that with the fact that every loan application and thank you note he’s ever written has been adapted for the screen at least once, so it may just be the stopped clock effect.

        1. Salem’s Lot had its moments, but it was the book / movie version of a cover song. He took Stoker’s Dracula, stole the doubting priest from The Exorcist, and stuck the story in Maine.

          Carrie was okay, if you could let your suspension of disbelief stick around. The worst part about Nicholson’s performance in The Shining is that he seems insane from the start, rather than being driven crazy.

          Christine had its moments, indeed. The one where the car chased someone up the second story of their own house was a moment I won’t forget, I was laughing too hard.

          The Dead Zone worked. Stand By Me was decent, but like Shawshank, without supernatural content. Apt Pupil, from the same book, would also probably work, except that the story is so creepy, no one wants to make it into a movie. Cat’s Eye was also good, and also a lot more grounded.

          I’d say a decent rule of thumb is that the more fantastic the King story is, the less likely it’s going to work on TV/ in the movies.

          1. My mistake, the Christine / house thing appeared in the book, not the movie.

          2. The worst part about Nicholson’s performance in The Shining is that he seems insane from the start, rather than being driven crazy.

            I agree.

            1. Indeed. It’s almost as if Nicholson *cannot* play a sane person. What is this? 🙂

          3. Apt Pupil was adapted as a big-budget Bryan Singer picture with Ian McKellen and the late Brad Renfro. Audiences avoided it like a death camp, later claiming they had not noticed the unmistakable stench coming out of movie theaters.

            Remember: If King wrote it, it’s probably a movie already.

  42. I probably first saw ‘Images’ where Jesse did – in Hugh Cohen’s film class at the U. of M.

    You did? Which year?

    1. My sophomore year, which was 1988-89.

      I was one year ahead of you there, knew of you but don’t think I met you personally. Was in the Ann Arbor Film Co-op.

      1. Well, hell. That’s the same year I took the class. I guess we saw it simultaneously.

        1. A great class. Though that was the one where my TA lectured us right before Election Day that we should all vote for Michael Dukakis — unless we found him insufficiently progressive, in which case she recommended Lenora Fulani.

          1. I guess I was lucky to be in Hugh’s class – no TA.

            One more tidbit: I remember you from a proto-internet/blog thing there called ‘MeetStudents’ where you were already a pundit presence.

  43. I’m probably a horror-film lightweight but the movie Konga gave me nightmares when I was seven years old.

    … Hobbit

  44. I’ll be watching Army of Darkness and Manos: The Hands of Fate (Mystery Science Theater 3000 version) tonight.

    And lo, the Jagermeister will flow like the blood of mine enemies.

    And Lonewacko can shut the fuck up with his Judas Priest = libertarian lifestyle comparisons. Obviously, this idiot has no clue.

    Besides, Rush (the band, not the formerly-tubby Ed Schultz doppelganger) is a much better example of libertarian-flavored music.

    Did I mention shut the fuck up, Lonewacko?

  45. Joss Whedon’s father Tom was a screenwriter for The Electric Company. The Morgan Freeman video seems whedony

  46. Good call, TLG. Manos: The Hands of Fate might be my favorite MST3K of all time. It’s just so unspeakably awful.

    1. Between Manos and Monster A-Go-Go, I can’t decide which one is worse.

      There’s always Plan 9 from Outer Space, though…

    2. Sandstorm! SANDSTORM!!

      1. I am watching The Beast of Yucca Flats. My God, Coleman Francis made some deep-hurting-quality movies.

  47. Personally, when I was a little kid, I saw the original “The Omen”, and I found it very scary. Especially the music score and that Apostate Nanny from Hell. Watched again not too long ago, and it the story still actually seems plausible.

    The remake, /throws tomatoes

    1. Gotta support The Omen here too.

      Just an amazing collection of striking horror images and scenes:

      1. The fallen priest getting stalked through the park by Satan-As-The-Wind.

      2. The creepy apartment with all the walls covered with pages torn out of the Bible.

      3. The photos developing with the way that the photo subject will die superimposed on the image.

      4. The glass decapitating the photographer.

      5. Damien going crazy when they try to bring him to church.

      6. The suicide of the original nanny.

      7. The cemetery at night with the Rottweilers in it. [Why did you go there at night, dudes?]

      And on and on. It’s a great film.

  48. -Original Texas
    -Night of the Demons (and the sequel, so funny)
    -Halloween II (like it better than the original)
    -The Fog
    -The Mist (for its Lovecraftianness only)
    -Cannibal Holocaust
    -Blue Velvet (Frank is the Devil)
    -The Ring (I WISH someone would explain Samara and her origin, which Ringu failed at)
    -The Eye (Asian version)
    -The Grudge (Asian version. SO SCARY)

  49. As early as the 1940s it was reported that female wasps of this species sting a roach (specificially a Periplaneta americana, Periplaneta australasiae or Nauphoeta rhombifolia[1]) twice, delivering venom. A 2003 study[2] proved using radioactive labeling that the wasp stings precisely into specific ganglia of the roach. She delivers an initial sting to a thoracic ganglion and injects venom to mildly and reversibly paralyze the front legs of the insect. This facilitates the second venomous sting at a carefully chosen spot in the roach’s head ganglia (brain), in the section that controls the escape reflex. As a result of this sting, the roach will first groom extensively, and then become sluggish and fail to show normal escape responses.[3] In 2007 it was reported that the venom of the wasp blocks receptors for the neurotransmitter octopamine.[4]

    The wasp proceeds to chew off half of each of the roach’s antennae.[1] Researchers believe that the Wasp chews off the antenna to replenish fluids or possibly to regulate the amount of venom because too much could kill and too little would let the victim recover before the larva has grown. The wasp, which is too small to carry the roach, then leads the victim to the wasp’s burrow, by pulling one of the roach’s antennae in a manner similar to a leash. Once they reach the burrow, the wasp lays a white egg, about 2 mm long, on the roach’s abdomen. It then exits and proceeds to fill in the burrow entrance with pebbles, more to keep other predators out than to keep the roach in.

    With its escape reflex disabled, the stung roach will simply rest in the burrow as the wasp’s egg hatches after about three days. The hatched larva lives and feeds for 4?5 days on the roach, then chews its way into its abdomen and proceeds to live as an endoparasitoid. Over a period of eight days, the wasp larva consumes the roach’s internal organs in an order which guarantees that the roach will stay alive, at least until the larva enters the pupal stage and forms a cocoon inside the roach’s body. Eventually the fully-grown wasp emerges from the roach’s body to begin its adult life. Development is faster in the warm season.

  50. The best part of Maximum Overdrive was the soundtrack.

  51. Israeli forces storm into holiest place on earth:…..liest.html

  52. It’s just so unspeakably awful.

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