It’s probably not much of a secret around here that I’m a huge fan of October. I love the change in weather, the leaves turning color from green to browns, reds, and yellows, and it also contains my favorite holiday, Halloween. It’s always held a special place in my heart. My brother and I would run around neighborhoods like maniacs, trying to knock down as many houses as possible before our parents were too tired to go on. After that, we would spend the rest of the night trading candy with each other while we watch horror movie marathons on television. The night never had any of the baggage we got on other holidays. No arguments or stressful times that happen with family around Thanksgiving or Christmas, no one getting hammered like on St. Patrick’s day, and no dealing with bullshit hot summer nights like on July 4th. It was a good night.
Ever since then, whenever the month of October hits I try and sit down and watch a movie a night that helps put me in the mood for Halloween. If I miss a night, then I make it up the next day and watch two. Sometimes I even watch a few in a day if it’s on the weekend. I like to go back and rewatch old favorites, revisit movies I hadn’t seen in an age, and also make sure to go out of my way and try and find something new that I may enjoy. It’s not always horror, of course. I’ll watch horror/comedies, sci fi movies, and even the occasional documentary on the paranormal. Hell, with the explosion of streaming services, now is a fucking amazing time to be alive and watching so many damn movies.
So, I figured this year I would write down my experiences with the movies, what I thought about them, and try and see if there was anything else out there that folks might recommend. I’ll be splitting these up over multiple, so I don’t have to have one ginormous post at the end of the month.
Movie 1 - Murder Party
I’m a pretty big fan of Jeremy Saulnier’s directing, and absolutely love both Green Room and Blue Ruin, and I had been meaning to watch this for awhile now. I finally came across it on Prime when I was poking around earlier this month, and I gotta say that I really enjoyed it. It’s not a great movie, and I don’t feel the premise of the movie is explored as much as I would like to have seen it, but it’s really enjoyable. The ending sequence is probably worth watching alone. The premise is that a bunch of pretentious artists living in NY decide to murder some random schlub in the name of “art” and also to get a grant. Hell, with the budget supposedly being zero dollars, that bumps it up a few notches in my book and shows just how talented a crew was behind it.
Movie 2 -Poltergeist 2: The Other Side
I had never seen any of the sequels to the original Poltergeist until this month, and this wasn’t near as bad as I was expecting it to be. It has some decent practical effects, good all-ages scares, and a real wonderful performance by Julian Beck as the crazed Reverend Henry Kane. Like I said, not as good as the first, but I got something out of it.
Movie 3 - Return of the Living Dead
I wanna say the last time I had seen this one was back when Up All Night was still on the air. Needless to say, I had never seen the infamous Linnea Quigly striptease until just recently, so that was fun. This has probably become one of my all time favorite horror/comedies. I had forgotten how fun but totally nihilistic it is. The perfect zombie movie to embody the 80's.
Movie 4 - Robocop (1987)
What else can I say about this one that everyone else hasn’t already? I never get tired of watching Robocop. It’s just an almost flawless picture that combines Judge Dredd with American Jesus. As a little bonus, here’s a more modern take on the trailer that’s a fun watch.
Movie 5 - The Alien Factor
This one was painful. Juuuuust painful. It really felt like a chore to sit through by the end. Ever hear of Don Dohler? Guy who did Galaxy Invader and Nightbeast? Yeah, this is the same movie as those other two, but with an even smaller budget and less experience behind it. It’s the usual “aliens land on Earth and start killing people” schtick he seemed to constantly go back to. Stick to Galaxy Invader, a much more entertaining bad movie. Hey, at least Dohler gave JJ Abrams his start, so that’s something.
To Be Continued in Part 2...