2012 OHC Day 2 – Leaps and Bounds

October Challenge 2010 banner

On the second day of the October Horror Challenge, I called in sick to work. Not because of the Challenge, mind you – I was legitimately not feeling well – but I did take the time to cram the day full with movie after movie, to get a decent jump start on the whole month because if nothing else, I am an opportunist. Herein are reviews for all six (!) movies from 2 October:

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011) – FTV
Directed by Troy Nixey

This big screen remake of a made-for-TV movie, co-written by Guillermo del Toro, is actually a fairly decent film. I can only think to call it “kids horror,” in that while it isn’t necessarily made for children, it certainly taps directly into childhood fears of creatures and darkness. This is common in del Toro’s horror films, even when he isn’t directly behind the camera. He manages to have a finger on that particular pulse. The film centers on a young child of divorce whose mother basically dumps her off with her father and his new girlfriend, who are in the process of restoring a giant old mansion with – of course! – a history of tragedy. This normally would be a ghost story in any other horror film, but instead we have sprites or gnomes or fairies or whatever the hell these little bastards are. And they are BASTARDS. The only major problem I had with this one was that Katie Holmes’s character basically exists to bring Guy Pierce’s character back together with his daughter. Ooookay. Next!

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Sometimes They Come Back (1991) – FTV
Directed by Tom McLoughlin

Based on a short story by Stephen King and starring Tim Matheson, this is a film all about memories that literally come back to haunt a history teacher and his family shortly after moving back to his hometown. As a child, Jimmy Norman witnessed his brother’s murder at the hands of some greaseball punks, who end up blowed up real good when a train hits their poorly parked vehicle. But since they seek revenge from the afterlife, SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK!!!1! No really, there’s actually a scene where a character tells Jimmy that SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK, and that’s about when I lost interest. This probably worked better as a short story than as a feature-length production, but at least it has this haircut going for it:


(not pictured: a sense of dignity)

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Children of the Corn (1984) – FTV
Directed by Fritz Kiersch

Creepy kids build a cult around an especially creepy kid and kill off every adult in the town. Ho-hum. Loads of great opportunity wasted here, yet there managed to be about fifty-seven sequels. WHY HORROR FANS WHY YOU HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THIS. Yet another one based on a Stephen King short story, and the common element with this film and Sometimes They Come Back is that both seem padded out to make a 90-minute feature. Hit snooze and roll over.

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Monkey Shines (1988) – FTV
Directed by George A. Romero

Essentially Fatal Attraction starring a quadriplegic man and his helper monkey, this film isn’t great, but it’s certainly far better and more interesting than the previous two views. The weird thing about this one is that throughout the film, I kept wondering why Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton weren’t in the supporting roles here, because this is certainly more in line with something Stuart Gordon would have directed, right down to the green serum injected into the monkeys to boost their brain power, and the cunnilingus scene. That’s not a slam on Romero, though; in fact, it’s a compliment that he made a decent horror film that wasn’t centered on zombies or viral breakouts.


(pictured: Glenn Close)

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Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981) – rewatch
Directed by Graham Baker

The conclusion to the Omen trilogy (I refuse to accept the fourth film on principle alone) stars Sam Neill as Damien, fully aware of his status as The Antichrist and movin’ on up the rungs of political power. In his way is a prophecy hailing the second coming of the Nazarene, the holy child that can stop Damien’s rise to power. Since there are only three of these movies, you can guess how that ends. This one is the weakest link of the Omen movies, although Neill is really compelling in the lead role and does as much scene-chewing as he can to keep it all aloft. You’d be better off watching the first one again, and even the second one if you’re really feeling weird.

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Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) – FTV
Directed by Ishiro Honda

There are apparently a couple versions of this, the final Godzilla movie before the mid-80s reboot, out there; the one that’s on Netflix is the version with a prologue that essentially sums up every Godzilla film up to present day (well, 1975). At this point, the Godzilla movies had stopped being so much sci-fi social commentary on the horrors of nuclear bombing and the aftermath of that, and became epic rubber suit smackdowns. All you need to know about Terror of Mechagodzilla is that it centers on a great big bad-ass brawl between Godzilla, Mechagodzilla and something called a Titanosaurus, which has a really, really obnoxious scream. Everything else in the movie is fluff.

*beep!* Got yer nose!

Tally so far:
8 FT
Vs
1 repeat view
9 total views

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