Unless the ground cracks open to spit fire, deadÂÂ birds fall from the sky for no reason, rabid dogs ravage the countryside, or any other last minute tragedy or drawbackÂÂ occurs, you will be seeing Earles and Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 & 2 released on Matador Records in the very early part of 2008. Two CDâ€™s and a 50+ page book(let)â€¦.(I thinkâ€¦.Iâ€™ve lost track of its growing size) in an old-school, doublewide plastic CD case (think about the first CD issues of Miles Davisâ€™ early 70â€™s work, Coltraneâ€™s Ascension, or The Hampton Grease Bandâ€™s Music To Eatâ€¦â€¦.a much better album than the ones listed before it).
On with the goodsâ€¦.itâ€™s Halloween, thus time for my annual list of entertaining horror.
Day of the Dead (1985) – Donâ€™t expect thisÂÂ one to be remade with Hot Topic-approved jump cuts and bad nu-metal (the otherwise good Dawn of the Dead remake)ÂÂ or a GodspeedÂÂ YouÂÂ Black Emperor! soundtrack (28 Days Laterâ€¦.a horror movie for foot-shuffling hipster manwafers unfamiliar with the genre). The entire film takes placeÂÂ in an underground bunker, with impressive scene-chewing from all of the never-to-go-anywhere actors involved.ÂÂ This, the third in Romeroâ€™s trilogy, was even more of a â€œsocial statementâ€Â thanÂÂ the original Dawn of the DeadÂÂ (1978), which can be credited as a fairly early attack on mall culture. Day of the Dead was obviously HEAVILY influenced by John Carpenterâ€™s amazing remake of The Thing (1982), a must for even those that donâ€™t care for horror.ÂÂ Later, the overratedÂÂ 28 Days LaterÂÂ would liftÂÂ the â€œletâ€™s do humanizing experiments onÂÂ the zombie in the name of science!â€Â subplot from Day of the Dead. All of the (over)acting is amazing, apparently executed by actors that assumed this movie would be aÂÂ hit. It wasnâ€™t.
Silent Night, Deadly Night 1 & 2 (1984, 1987) – ÂÂ These come together on a double-sided DVD. Donâ€™t let that confuse you, itâ€™s not that common in DVD reissues. Kudos to the first one for a genuine attemptÂÂ a making aÂÂ somewhat, eh, I donâ€™t know, â€œdifferentâ€Â slasher flick, especially in 1984.ÂÂ I understand why this filmed was temporarily banned upon release (man in Santa suit killing and sexually assaulting a coupleÂÂ while their young son watches, etc), though the depravity plays tame compared to what qualifies as an R-ratedÂÂ film these days. Watch for the absurd sequence about a half hour in, when the main character (aforementioned young boy flashed forward ten years, following a long stay in a Catholic orphanage for the requisite mindfuck brutal nuns and childhood trauma)ÂÂ tries to become acclimated to life working in a toy store. Death by taxidermied deer head? Check! I have yet to watch part 2.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – I mention it every year. Please rent it. Itâ€™s perhaps the ultimateÂÂ WHAT-THE-F**K?!?! moment inÂÂ post-1970 horror.
The Fog (1980) – The only case in which the PG-13 remake (recent) is possibly better than the original. So boring. Carpenter would bounce back HARD with The Thing remake,ÂÂ later settling in as the ugliest man on earth.
Closing list of recommendationsÂÂ for your movie night: Alone in the Dark (1982), the original When A Stranger Calls (1979), Session 9 (2001), Wacko! (1981â€¦early spoof), Driller Killer (1979â€¦.early Abel Ferrara), and Martin (1977)