Since tomorrow is Halloween, I thought that I'd find a list of the Top Horror Movies and see how I'd rate 'em. So I went to the Internet Movie Data Base and checked out their list of the Top 50 Horror Movies of All Time [as voted on by users of IMDB].
I have to say that I was surprised by some of the movies that made the grade. I was expecting more classic horror films to appear on the list [Dracula, Wolfman, The Creature from the Black Lagoon] as well as some lesser known, but still very good horror movies like Them! or Frailty.
Ok... we have what we have. Taking their list of the top 50, I whittled it down to my top 20 and here they are in alphabetical order with some comments:
Alien (1979): Saw it on its original theatrical run and enjoyed it. A haunted house in outer space! Aliens (1986): Even better than Alien... as much a war movie as a horror movie. Love it! Birds, The (1963): One of the scariest movies I ever saw as a kid. Still a favorite. Bride of Frankenstein (1935): Even better than Frankenstein. A true classic. Dawn of the Dead (1978): Saw it in a theater the 2nd time [my date couldn't take it the 1st time] Exorcist, The (1973): the scariest movie I ever saw as an adult. Frankenstein (1931): A classic! Freaks (1932): It makes the list, but wouldn't be near the top. Halloween (1978): Saw it in a drive-in and it was scary without sound! LOL! Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956): Another classic from [before] my childhood. Invisible Man, The (1933): I didn't appreciate it until I was an adult! Jaws (1975): Horror? Okay... it is a fun and scary movie. King Kong (1933): Another classic. Night of the Hunter, The (1955): A great film... maybe Mitchum's best performance ever. Night of the Living Dead (1968): One of my favorites! Psycho (1960): Some pretty scary scenes the first time around. Rosemary's Baby (1968): I saw it in a drive-in as a kid.... creepy stuff. Shining, The (1980): redrum...redrum... redrum... Thing, The (1982): Not as good as the original, but still good. LOL! Unknown, The (1927): Never cut off your arms for a lover.
There are two comic cons within driving distance of most folks living in the central Florida area. The first, on November 11th is the ever-popular Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention put on by Tim Gordon. You've heard me rave about it over the years and there's no doubt that this one will be another good 'un.
Another buddy of mine, Steve Meyers, owner of World of Comics [where I've gotten my comics for the last 20+ years] is putting on a small show which will feature two big guests! Legendary comic artist Dick Giordano will be on hand along with Big John Beatty! You can learn more by clicking HERE.
Usually when I like two things, I like 'em just as much or more when they're combined. Vampires/Detectives [Joe Pitt novels by Charlie Huston]... M&Ms with peanuts [candy by Mars]... well, you get the idea.
I'm not sure I'm diggin' the Predien... Aliator?? Whatever they want to call it.
24 always manages to entertain. After watching this trailer for season seven [which doesn't start until January 2008], I have mixed feelings. On one hand, the show has always been one of my favorites [even with the cougar trap incident and last season Jack killing Curtis]... still, I hope that bringing Tony Almeda back as the main bad guy doesn't signal the jumping of the shark!
The new trailer for "I am Legend" is online. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. I just hope that the "creatures/infected humans" don't come off as too hokey-looking. Otherwise "I am Legend" has a lot of potential.
Today I turned 49. Whew! It's hard to believe that I'm in my last year before the half century mark. Seems like it came so fast... and each year goes by a bit faster.
The photo above was brought to me out of the blue early this morning. A student at the high school where I'm an assistant principal brought it in to show me. I attended a party for his mother when we were both in high school and this picture was taken there. I'd never seen it before today. [That's me, 2nd person in the front row.] It was strange seeing a picture of me for the first time over 30 years after it was taken. And this is the second time in less than a month that it's happened.
Maybe on my 79th birthday someone will bring in a photo of me taken this decade that I've never before seen. My guess is that it would be a similarly strange experience and that I would end my blog post by saying, I don't feel 79.
Based on Dennis Lehane's novel of the same name; Gone, Baby, Gone is a powerful drama wrapped around the mystery of a kidnapped girl and the secrets of everyone involved. When three days have passed without any progress the missing little girl's aunt hires two young private detectives from the neighborhood to get information unavailable to the police. As the mystery unravels and secrets are revealed the detectives [and audience] are left with tough moral questions and no easy answers.
The Good: The relationship between Cassie Affleck and Michelle Monaaghan. The bar scene. The mean streets of Boston. The real people from these streets given cameos and speaking parts. Ed Harris. The screenplay by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard. The direction by Ben Affleck. The ending.
The Bad: The house with the ex-con child molesters [well done, but bad stuff].
The Ugly: The handsome woman... the choices that have to be made.
As we got ready to watch last night's UFC pay-per-view my nephew asked me why I hadn't posted my fight predictions. To be honest, I wasn't all that excited about the card. Sure, Silva vs Franklin was THE main event, but most folks [me included] felt that Silva would win. The under-card consisted of a few other fights that less than twelve hours later I'm hard pressed to remember. I know that Stephan Bonner beat somebody... and Tim Sylvia scored a unanimous decision over Brandon Vera. Bah!
Actually I was interested in the main two fights. I'm not a big fan or either Tim Sylvia or Brandon Vera so I didn't care who won, but I was interested in seeing how each man would combat the other. Sylvia used his size to full advantage and wasn't afraid to trade punches. He deserved the win.
The main event brought Anderson Silva to Franklin's home town but the crowd made no difference. Anderson Silva looks to be unstoppable at this point. Who can beat him? And what will Rich Franklin do now that he knows the first fight wasn't a fluke?
It was interesting to note that former pro-wrestler Brock Lesner has been signed by the UFC. He's a bruiser no doubt, but how will he fair against a true MMA fighter? Whatever the outcome, you can bet that his first fight will have a lot of people watching.
The next pay-per-view will be UFC 78 Validation on November 17th. The card will consist of Frank Edgar Vs. Spencer Fisher, Ryo Chonan vs Karo Parisyan, David Terrell vs Ed Herman, Thiago Silva vs Huston Alexander, and Michael Bisping vs Rashad Evans. You can be sure that I'll post my predictions before the fights and I'll make the same offer that I made to my nephew -- send in YOUR predictions and we'll discuss them before the card.
It's hard to believe that it's been 40 years since the addition of Barnabus Collins made "Dark Shadows" THE show for horror fans. I was only 8 years old, but I remember the thrill of tuning in each weekday to see vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and more.
The popularity of "Dark Shadows" carried over to comics, novelizations and even a couple of movies. Johnny Deppis gearing up to play Barnabus Collins in a new version of "Dark Shadows" and I'm looking forward to that.
Dial B for Blog has a comprehensive article on "Dark Shadows." If you're already a fan, you'll enjoy the memories -- if you're new to "Dark Shadows," it'll be a great introduction.
It's been a long time since I've made it a point to see a movie on opening day, but "30 Days of Night" was worth the effort. As regular ZONErs know, I've been anxious to see "30 Days of Night" for quite a while. I'm happy to report that it didn't disappoint.
Now don't get me wrong. "30 Days of Night" isn't a classic. It's what I'd call a perfect drive-in movie. You know, the type of movie that Tarantino and Rodriguez were shooting for with "Grindhouse." It's a fun ride, provides some cool scares and presents the genre with a slightly different twist.
The Good: I loved the set-up. Creepy things happening and no one knows why. The isolation of the city. The stranger who just creeps out everyone... then makes ominous threats as things get worse. Ebin's reaction to get everyone inside and safe even though he doesn't know what's going on. The way the vampires were fast and vicious. "Get in the truck. Just get in the truck, now!" The attack of Ebin and his wife as they were driving. How they were saved. How the fat guy who Sly beats up in the opening of "Get Carter" has matured into a tough as nails wilderness man. The main vampire.
The Bad: No real feeling of 30 days passing. More could have been done with this angle. We should have felt the isolation getting worse... the lack of food, water, etc. as it began to wear down the survivors. Not enough growing sense of the vampires are going to find us... it would have been cool to have the vampires going from house to house and sometimes finding other survivors as they get closer to the current hiding spot of our heroes. A little more set-up could have paid off better by showing that Ebin is truly a scrapper. The manner in which the main vampire is killed.
The Ugly: The chops on the vampires... and the stranger.
"30 Days of Night" will definitely find a home in my movie collection. If you liked the graphic novel or horror movies, you should enjoy the ride. And if you want to know a more about the Steve Niles, the creator of the project, then click HERE.
As for me, I want to know what you thought of the movie!
JoBlo.com has posted up 9 clips to help satisfy our cravings for "30 Days of Night."
--- Christopher Mills commented on my last post and I thought he opened up an interesting discussion. Chris said:
You know, I don't really get what's so great about 30 Days of Night.
I've read the first two graphic novels, and, honestly, I was underwhelmed.
The art was pretty, but the visual storytelling was virtually nonexistent, and there was nothing particularly fresh about the plot other than the titular gimmick of an Arctic Circle setting – which I first saw in an indy vampire film a decade ago called "Jugular Wine."
But then, I haven't really been impressed with anything I've read by Niles. His "I Am Legend" comic was more a transcription than an adaptation, and the few other things of his I've read (admittedly, not that much) played out like a regurgitation of B-movie plots.
Now, much the same could be said of my stuff, and I don't begrudge him his success, I just don't get all the hullabaloo... --- Craig responds:
Chris, like most projects that have a lot of buzz, I think that it’s a combination of things coming together at the right time. Horror movies are doing well now and people want to see them. Perhaps it’s because of the times in which we live.
I was impressed [more] with the [first] graphic novels. The concept was new to me and I’d imagine a lot of other people as well. I’ll have to keep an eye out for “Jugular Wine.”You and I both read a lot of graphic novels/comics so Templesmith’s art probably didn’t seem as groundbreaking to us, but to casual readers it probably shocked them. “30 Days of Night” was [at least to a lot of folks] what adults [or at least young adults] want in comics so of course they’d love to see a movie adaptation.
I first discovered Steve Niles through his “I Am Legend” adaptation and I’d agree with your assessment of it. Still, it was cool to see him bring it to comics. I’d forgotten all about Niles until I read his novel Guns, Drugs and Monsters. I loved it. From there I sought out his other novel and of course “30 Days of Night.”Niles and I exchanged a few e-mails and I met him at a convention. He seemed like an ordinary guy who made good… and he knew how lucky he was. He was humble and appreciative of his fans. When the movie deal was announced, I was happy to see that he’d hit the lottery.
As for the movie itself, it looks great. The publicity machine has been hitting on all cylinders building the anticipation and everything I’ve seen makes me think that I’m going to have a fun couple of hours this weekend when I get out to see it.
It's hard to believe that "30 Days of Night" opens this weekend. It seems that I've been waiting for it forever. To help us make it through these last fews days, Newsarama is running a week long series starting with THIS INTERVIEW with Steve Niles. If that's not enough, there is also THIS R-Rated Clip from the movie.
Great news for Danny Bonaduce; he won't be charged for dropping reality tv personality Johnny Fairplay on his face during a telecast of an awards show.
Fairplay, 33, whose real name is Jon Dalton, had filed a police report saying that Bonaduce came onto the stage uninvited, made a derogatory comment and then committed the battery on him when Fairplay attempted to "hug" Bonaduce with one of Fairplay's "signature moves".
Anyone who saw the video knows that while Bonaduce did go on stage and make a comment, he was walking off stage when Fairplay called out to him. The video also shows that Fairplay's "signature" move/hug involved him jumping uninvited into Bonaduce's arms, straddling his legs around Bonaduce's body and then humping him at the chest/face level. Fairplay's lucky that he was simply thrown off.
Of course Bonaduce is lucky that no charges are being brought forward... because even if he would have been found "not guilty" it would still have cost him a good bit of money for lawyer's fees and other expenses.
Danny Bonaduce is facing felony criminal charges and a lawsuit after dropping reality tv "star" Johnny Fairplay on his face last night on FOX's Reality Channel Really Awards show. While some sites [like HERE and HERE] seem to be coming down on the side of Johnny Fairplay, after watching THE VIDEO, I don't really blame Bonaduce for throwing Fairplay off of him.
I'm a fan of neither Bonaduce nor Fairplay so I have no horse in this race. After watching THIS VIDEO it is pretty clear that Bonaduce was walking away, that Fairplay jumped on to Bonaduce and then began gyrating and that Bonaduce simply threw him off.
My guess is that it'll probably cost Bonaduce some money either to make the lawsuit go away or to hire attorneys to fight it. Odds are even greater that both of these "celebs" will use the incident to grab a few more minutes of fame.
While we're on the subject of "can't wait to see movies" -- here's a new trailer for The Cohen Brothers' "No Country for Old Men". Based on the highly recommended book by Cormac McCarthy, this one is already being hailed as one of the best films of the year by critics around the world. And who am I to argue with them?
30 Days of Night just keeps looking sweeter and sweeter.
It's rare that a movie is better than the book or graphic novelthat spawned it, but 30 Days of Night the movie just might do the trick. I love the look and feel of it. This clip has several quiet moments that are really creepy and the way the vampire says, "No God" creates such a feeling of helpless and hopelessness.
If you're in the Port St. Lucie, Florida area on October 13th, you should come by the Collector's Comic Con. It runs from 10am - 5pm and promises to be a fun way to spend the day. Big John Beatty, Alex Saviuk, Herb Trimpe and others will be on hand to sign autographs and sketch for fans. I'll be there hanging out with Beatty and messing with con promoter Keith Mallow.
The show is always a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!