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2004 was a very good year for me in terms of boogying to quality genre films and it has been an excellent year for horror business in general.

Horror equaled mucho money on this round and on one hand that meant more fear flicks being produced. Sadly on the other hand it resulted in the abuse and milking of our beloved fix. Studios started cutting down R-Rated flicks to a PG-13 hoping to get more asses in the seats; spitting on the adult horror fan in the process. THANKS GUYS!

To add insult to insult they went and are still going overboard with the remake recipe. Nothing is sacred anymore, they'll overcook the Big Mac till there's no buns left. What's next a Poltergeist remake? How about a Halloween remake? Or a The Omen remake? Hey a-holes! What about a "re-telling" of A Nightmare on Elm Street and a re-imagining of The Exorcist while we're at it! WE REALLY NEED THOSE! F*CK YOU!

In my opinion, it's a matter of time before the market will get used up and saturated again, which would imminently launch fear films back into the "non box office profitable" abyss where they were resting in the early 90's (before SCREAM changed things). Lets hope I'm wrong. For now here is:

10 - Cutie Honey
> Buy This Film
"Cutie Honey" was a wild and intentionally campy ride through LSD, big-breasted, hot buns and Karate-chops land. I derived so much enjoyment from this silly movie and damn, it should be said again…did you see the posterior on that creature?
9 - Shaun of the Dead
> Buy This Film
"Shaun of the Dead" was a very well made picture with love for the genre and talent oozing out of its every stab wound. The first hour played out like a character-driven, romantic comedy with Zombies. The “love” and “slacker” aspects were interwoven with the undead elements so inventively! The last block played more like a straight-forward undead jamboree, but with some really comical lines/gags in tow.
8 - Chronicles of Riddick Unrated
> Buy This Film
"The Chronicles of Riddick" was a sci-fi roar of larger-than-life and macho proportions! There was a kooler than a corpse on ice vibe here that made sure to keep my rocks shaken and stirred the whole way. It was for me the “best” of the big summer movies and the better Sci-Fi/action flick I've seen in ages!
7 - The Machinist
> Buy This Film
The Machinist was an engaging look at one man’s wounded emotional state and the tortuous ordeal he’s forced to live through in order to come to terms with it. Gloomy, uncanny and definitely nightmarish, this flick took me for an acidic spin and I for one didn’t want to get off the wagon anytime soon.
6 - The Butterfly Effect
> Buy This Film
"The Butterfly Effect" was a powerful drama, an engaging thriller and a bitter sweet love story. It had the effect that it was supposed to have on me: it involved me, touched me, shocked me and made me reflect upon my own past and present.
5 - A Tale of Two Sisters
> Buy This Film
This was a visually arresting, bone chilling, brilliantly acted, ambitiously written and dizzying emotional/psychological enigma that had my cells working in over time. It’s a must see!
4 - King of the Ants
> Buy This Film
"King of the Ants" was an un-wincing study of the act of “violence” and a mucho rewarding watch on every level. I give a standing ovation to everyone involved in the making of this film! We need more brave soldiers like this in our genre army!
3 - SAW
> Buy This Film
"Saw" had me under its blade from frame one, kept me there the whole time and slit my throat with its finale. As I bled profusely, I looked back at the outstanding experience that was this clever, twisted and plasma-heavy flick.
2 - Oldboy
> Buy This Film
Oldboy was a distinctive and hard hitting concoction! Think a mix of Takashi Miike movies, Angel Heart, Death Wish and The Game by way of Bruce Lee. The picture sported an infectious visual style, powerhouse performances, high brutality, depth, smarts and an ending that might just ruin your day in its severity.
1 - Haute Tension
> Buy This Film
The French finally get their horror classic and we finally get a smart, sadistic, graphic and perverted flick that lives up to the term “horror”. Merci Aja et Levasseur pour ce puissant film d’horreur! Je vous dois tout les deux au moins 6 bieres chaque!

NOTE: Haute Tension was released in France in 2003, was released in the UK and hit North American festivals in 2004 and will be released wide in the US in 2005. I highly debated if I should include it in this list or if I should wait for 2005. As you can see I went with the former.


Seed of Chucky:
Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Child’s Play franchise. Hearing Brad Dourif do the Chucky voice almost brings a tear to my eye and a boner in my Jeans every time. So yeah, I square-danced to “Seed of Chucky” with a big freaking smile on my stupid face. The screenplay was mucho clever, the kills grisly, the humor cranked to “out of line” and the directing polished.

Dead and Breakfast:
This riot act sported Grade "A" Red Chunky Gravy, a genre-friendly cast, a creative/daring attitude, zany characters and an overall “fuck it, let's have fun with this” stance about its shenanigans.

The Grudge:
...was a straightforward and bloodcurdling watch. Granted, it would’ve kicked my nads in deeper if I hadn’t seen the original not so long ago, but I still got the heebie-jeebies and leapt off my seat like a frog with a firecracker up its bung-hole. Isn’t that what a horror movie should be all about?

All in all, "HellBoy" was more than worth my while via its loveable lead characters (HellBoy owned), cute love story, that tugged at my “Ahhhh” strings, boatload of action, that gave me an eyeful and impressive special effects, that cranked my kazoo.

Paparazzi" just kept pushing my right buttons. The theme of revenge is one that I strongly identify with, so I therefore let myself be slapped in the lead character’s shoes and ‘live” the ride. I loathed those paparazzi scumbags so much, that I was encouraging Laramie to "Laramie" their skulls to oblivion!


Here’s how I see it: remember that class clown who always tried so hard to be funny, but instead of being recognized as kool was laughed out the room? "Decoys" is THAT guy! Beat him up, steal his lunch, pop his sister, but whatever you do...don’t become friends with him.

It delivered exactly what the original put out, but with less laughs, less gore, less action, less cheese, less thrills and less snakes. What’s the damn point? It’s called "Anacondas"! It should equal dumb, gory fun...NOT a safe and stale episode of Relic Hunter!

This enema was a sluggish, big-budgeted, studio embarrassment and should be used as an example as how NOT to make a movie, yet alone a freaking comic book adaptation.

© 2004 John Fallon All Rights Reserved