I like to stick to what I know on Halloween when it comes to movies...yup. guilty as charged! This year I'll be watching some of my usual picks: TRICK OR TREAT, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (OG of course), THE FIRST POWER and Carpenter's THE THING while adding a new one to the mix (the little seen and mucho underrated Zombie flick NIGHT LIFE). So this year, I figured, I would suggest to yall a genre flick big meal that could make for a swell horror movie night marathon with homies and beers in the house. So here are the 6 titles I came up with!
Early in the night, when the first beers are cracked open, tap these two as starters:
BEYOND THE DOOR (1974)
The Italian horror movie BEYOND THE DOOR (also known as THE DEVIL WITHIN HER and WHO ARE YOU) gets shat on for being a low budget THE EXORCIST rip-off. But while its "pregnant woman, carrying the son of Satan" does lift from the latter classic (and ROSEMARY'S BABY while we're at it) it has enough good stuff in its back-pack to be worth at least a watch. And what better day to see it than on Halloween! I dug the bleak mood, the zany camera work and some of the performances (Julia Mills and Richard Johnson were pretty solid and brought much needed validity to the tomfoolery).
Moreover much like THE EXORCIST, it had a pretty effective spinning head bit, some levitation, shit moving by itself, vomit, blood and it also liked to push the envelope of good taste (possessed mom kissing her young son sensually...yowzer!). This is not a great film by any means; the pace lags at times and the dubbing is pretty awful (but may result in giggles, it did for me); but it's still creepy in moments and is a must see for any completist horror fan. So take it on first, while you still have patience on your side.. NOTE: If ya can, get the European cut which is more complete and makes more sense than the fairly chop-chop U.S. Theatrical cut.
PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)
Now that BEYOND THE DOOR has broken you in, time to get to the real GOOD stuff. JOHN CARPENTER'S (at the time) return to his Indie roots PRINCE OF DARKNESS. What's not to love about this bad boy? The unsettling story, the religious tones, the oppressing atmosphere, the gloomy score, the badass performances, thick tension, a pasty white Alice Cooper, the gore, Jameson Parker's INSANE mustache, Donal Pleasence battling "eviiiiiiil" again and the haunting ending. This is a personal favorite of mine (for some reason my review of it has vanished from the AITH server...grrr... damn gremlins) and if you haven't seen it yet and like your shit old school; SEE IT. If you've already tapped it, then you know, that clocking it again and again and again always means a potent shot of CLASS horror.
As everybody is getting a tad tipsy, it's time to crank up the fun factor to Mack 3 with these 3 genre party favors:
DEMONS always delights the living shite out of me. Even its most inane plot turns serve it well! Some movies are made to be appreciated on a more “serious” level and that’s all good, but films like "Demons" are just fun times fluff and this one delivers gangbusters in that department. The abundant gore, the dumbass dialogue, the polished look, the insane makeup effects and the absurd plot turns all come together to offer us one of the tastiest cheese sandwiches you’ll ever chow on. Director Lamberto Bava shows off his stuff by bombarding us with gnarly camera movements, creative shots, plays with shadows and a relentless pace. What about nudity you may ask? Well the Enrica Maria Scrivano (Nina) razor blade tit tease scene is one for the bloody books. First off, she has a nice tit and second of all, the horny faces she makes…DAMN GIRL! Yup, hard to go wrong with DEMONS. It's a a non-stop assault of gore, atmosphere and cheese. When it’s good, it's great and when it's bad, it's better. A great way to step up the party to a higher gear!
RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1977)
Now that you're in fun times mode, time to race with El Diablo! With its inimitable 70’s charm, its excellent actors, its crawl under skin eeriness and its out there car/stunt bonanzas, RACE WITH THE DEVIL will have everybody riveted to the screen. It's a tight, swift, frightening and explosive little genre “speed pill” that rarely stops for a pee break. Granted, the lead players did stupid moves in places and my horror sensibility saw through most the “twists” it served up, but every Halloween party needs a straightforward Mc Horror Sandwich, with a side order of Mc Action Fries and a Coca Fonda and this one is motherf*cking it!
And the cherry on top! The underrated slasher VENOM! Yes it's standard but yet still a highly entertaining, well directed and competent barrel of slasher monkeys. I didn’t care much about the kids in this film or their plight but I surely warmed up to seeing them get chased around, hunted down and killed in fly ways by some imposing, “got eyes on his back, literally” supernatural entity. Sometimes in life; the simpler things make so much sense; like watching a sunset, hearing waves crashing in or munching on a Whopper with cheese…VENOM is one of those endearing simplest things and should end your horror movie marathon with a bang, a stab and some smiles. Which brings me to...
And finally, for the end of the night, most are drunk, the lucky ones are getting some play and the rest can cap it off with this so bad its good jamboree of creepiness, smut and goofiness i.e. perfect end of the night fodder:
THE UNHOLY (1988)
THE UNHOLY is a horny, sexually deviant (Priest Porn?), gory as hell and SILLY movie to end the night with. Granted it had a couple of groovy scenes, such as a taunt suicide bit or the creepy ass phone call from hell (fun stuff!) and used religious imagery eerily enough. But witnessing solid actors Ned Beatty, Ben Cross, Hall Hallbrook and William Russ try to sell this drivel was hilarious in itself. On top of that Nicole Fortier’s slutty demonic presence who liked to terrorize “men of the cloth” in a see-through outfit no less will have you pop through your Jeans.
The dime store creatures (them dwarfs...LMAO) and the inane bits of dialogue. (like: “Dear God what would you have me do!” or my favorite "Get thee behind me Satan!") will have ya on your knees pissing on the carpet. This is what happens when exploitation and Studio politics clash; a derivative mess, made for drunkards who are not getting any at the end of a long and booze charged Halloween night. Yup, I've watched this one many o times...LOL! ENJOY!
WISHING YALL A GREAT HALLOWEEN WEEKEND!