Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Spaceman Spiff, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    A bit lighter than most of what's being discussed here, but I just rewatched Addams Family Values. That's a really solid comedy that just kinda creeps up on you and gets better with subsequent viewings. It's also way better than the first because it does such a good job of juxtaposing the kooky Addams clan with the even more bizarre cloying "normality" of everyone else. Joan Cusak, Peter MacNicol, Christine Baranski, & a very young Mercedes McNabb make great additions to the cast. Christina Ricci gives an amazingly sophisticated comic performance. And while it's just kinda the same jokes over & over, Anjelica Huston & Raul Julia tackle the roles of Morticia & Gomez Addams with such passion & gusto. They're all truly a joy to watch. It's also fun seeing so many other actors make cameos here before they were stars, like Ian Abercrombie, Tony Shaloub, and a pre-Sex & the City Cynthia Nixon as a hippie nanny.
     
  2. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Well, I'm taking a couple of days off around Halloween for my Marathon and I was planning on saving it for then. But it came today and I can already feel my will power slipping away.... :rommie:
     
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    My will power slipped away and I watched it last night. :rommie: It was very good, very creepy and drew nicely on both classic Halloween legend and American folklore. It did have the feel of an early 80s low-budget Horror film, but it also had a timeless feel to it; this should become a Halloween staple.

    It used a comic book motif reminiscent of Creepshow (which, of course, was an homage to EC), so I wonder what the original cut was like. I would have liked a heavier comic book element, but this worked fine for me; it had a chaotic feel that suited the overall story. The cast was also very good; I can't remember anyone I didn't like.

    Basically, it seemed to draw on the same cultural wellsprings as Grimm's Fairy Tales, EC Comics and Drive-In Horror movies. I don't think anybody will be disappointed.

    In other news, I finished Dune and I've started the Halloween reading. I'm a couple of chapters into Summer Of Night. Even though the school described has a different history and is located in a different kind of town, there are enough similarities to the place (and the time) that I can easily picture myself back at the Edward Everett in Dorchester in the 60s. I have a feeling I'm going to like this... :D
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Well, I'm a bit more than halfway through Summer Of Night and it has definitely turned into a Horror novel. :eek:

    History Channel is having a Halloween-themed schedule next week. It starts Sunday night. They're calling it "Seven Nights Of Horror" (or "Seven Night Of Halloween" or something like that). Looks pretty good. :bolian:
     
  5. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    History Of Halloween is on History Channel right now. Later on, "Abominable Snowman" is on MonsterQuest.
     
  6. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Yep, History Channel has started cycling through their showings of The Haunted History of Halloween, Vampire Secrets, and a few more of their usual specials. We've got a few new ones, too, like The Real Wolfman and some others I didn't recognize. It's all part of their 7 Nights of Fright programming.

    All of the usual suspects, like AMC and Turner Classic Movies are showing their Hallowe'en movies. I wish I still had TCM, but looking at their listings, I have the majority of the movies they'll be playing, so I might just try to emulate some of their programming. :lol:

    Like you, I enjoyed the heck out of Trick 'r Treat; I'll probably watch it again before the end of the week. It's definitely going to be an "every October" movie. Not only is it spooky and fun, but the thing is pretty much saturated with the holiday. A lot of movies just use it for the setting or a bit of backdrop. I can't think of another movie off the top of my head that so incorporates Hallowe'en into the story. Even the Halloween movies themselves don't do it to this degree.

    I think I see what spooked the studio, though. While the movie isn't very extreme in terms of gore or violence, some bad things happen to children. Studios seem pretty afraid of what kind of reaction that'll get. Like you implied, that was a risk they were much more likely to take in the '80s.

    There are rumors that they're going to remake The Monster Squad, and I wonder just how they'd plan to do that. I'm sure they'll cut out things like the kids making silver bullets in shop class, Horace blowing away a monster with a shotgun, and even the tough older kid smoking. What's the point in remaking a horror movie if you're going to make it even more tame than it was twenty years ago?

    Book-wise, I made out like a bandit a couple of weeks ago. A local used books store was having a store-wide sale, and I went in on a whim. I found loads of out-of-print horror and sci-fi books from the '80s. I found:

    The Night Boat, by Robert McCammon. It's about a Nazi sub packed with a mummified crew, kept alive by a voodoo curse. The boat is discovered, and, well....

    Usher's Passing, by Robert McCammon. It's McCammon's modern continuation of The Fall of the House of Usher.

    The Stake by Richard Laymon. A horror novelist discovers a mummified corpse with a stake in its heart, and considers removing the stake as a PR stunt for his latest book. But as the time approaches, he begins to suspect that his discovery may, in fact, be the real deal.

    Isaac Asimov's Halloween. Now that I get home, I see from the reviews that it's a misnomer. None of the stories are by Asimov, nor are they about Hallowe'en. :lol: Still, it sounds like it's a fun collection of horror stories. Plus, it was cheap, and you have to love that cover.

    What's your verdict on Summer of Night?
     
  7. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    There's a bunch of those Isaac Asimov's anthologies out there; a blatant marketing ploy, but they're usually pretty good.

    I'm almost done with Summer Of Night, and I'm enjoying it. After a few hundred pages of nostalgia and some spookiness, it got down with the horror. There's a definite Stephen King vibe to a lot of it, especially when he gives you three pages that sound like MapQuest directions. :rommie: A lot of it is really over the top, considering the cast is around eleven years old; all the gun-toting and bomb-throwing and so forth. These kids are a little too brave and adventurous, but it's a fun ride; I can even spot the scenes that are designed specifically for the movie (Rendering Truck won't come into the trap? Give it the finger. Audience applauds.). But the stuff about the Borgia Bell is very cool and so are the monsters. The losses that they suffer are surprising and heartbreaking.

    I've only come across one real problem with it, and it's kind of weird. There's one sequence where he alternates two action sequences, but the two sequences take place at entirely different times, one during the night and one during the day. If you're going to jump back and forth like that, events should be happening at the same time. It was kind of jarring.

    Next on my list is Deeper. I'm taking Thursday and Friday off for a four-day Marathon of books and movies. I'll have The Halloween Reader and a bunch of magazines and my Creepy and Eerie Archives, plus a bunch of DVDs. Also, I'm looking forward to seeing Real Wolfman on History. :cool:
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Okay, I've finished Summer Of Night and I'm two chapters into Deeper, having indulged in some Creepy and Eerie Archives in the meanwhile. I've also watched the original Mummy, Call Of Cthulhu, Shock-O-Rama and I had just started Old Dark House when I came down to put in some Internet time. :crazy: :rommie:
     
  9. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    I gave it a pass on the childhood bravery bits, partially because I don't want to read a horror novel starring children who are just scared throughout the thing. Plus, I just think kids used to be so much tougher back then, as opposed to now, where their parents slap helmets on them for every activity and freak out over stranger danger. Heck, these kids would have lived every day thinking that the bomb could fall any moment.

    There was one character's death who really knocked the wind out of my sails; I'm sure you know whose. That's some good writing.

    I don't know what it was with several successful '80s authors and the MapQuest directions, as you put it. I mean, I know that a lot of emphasis was placed on setting your story as realistically as possible, but I don't get the point in getting that specific about roads, etc. It might be a little bonus for people who've been there, but for everyone else, it's something to slog through.

    It's been a little while, so I don't quite remember what you're referring to, but it reminds me of a similarly jarring moment in Deeper. There's a part where a character is revealed to be afraid of diving, and some time later, that trait jumps to a completely different character. At least, that's how I remember it. I don't think it wound up mattering too much in the long run, but I remember it confused me a bit.

    I watched The Real Wolfman. It was an okay way to kill a couple of hours, but it was kind of dumb. The interaction between the two investigators was stagy and awkward, and as soon as I finished watching it, I looked up the Beast of Gévaudan on Wikipedia, and it looks like they played it loose with a lot of the facts in the case. What was the point, really?

    I'll watch a few more of those History Channel specials, but I hope they're all better than that one.

    I've discovered that a nearby theater is playing Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein on the big screen tomorrow, so I'm definitely going to that. I guess they show an old movie every Friday, so I'm going to have to keep an eye on their listings.
     
  10. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    I'm watching some spooky X-Files episodes tomorrow and I may put on The Shining as well.
     
  11. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    ^^ I'm planning to watch at least one ep of original Night Stalker today.

    True, but I remember those days. Kids were still kids, and the kids in the book were flipping around like super soldier commandos, reloading on the fly and leaping out of speeding trucks, rescuing friends while nursing broken limbs and so forth. As I say, I liked it, but the wish fulfillment level was maxed out. And don't forget the "sex scene." :D

    Indeed. That was shocking; and it was the point where the story turned the corner. Although there were a couple of deaths that were very sad.

    Yeah, all that Postmodernist stuff with all the street names and brand names and pop culture tie ins. I get a kick out of it in King's work because it's my neck of the woods. It's also why I read the Spenser novels and couple of Dennis Lehane books (he's got a detective series set in my old neighborhood in Dorchester, but, man, are they depressing). Other times, it can be interesting or it can really put on the brakes.

    I'll keep an eye peeled for that.

    They were not good actors, were they? :rommie: I got a kick out of it, though; I think I was just in good enough a mood to let the staginess and lack of any real substantive answers go by.

    Nice. I don't have any of the A&B movies on DVD. I'll have to check TCM and On Demand. I'm kind of in the mood to watch one of them.
     
  12. Theodore Jay Miller

    Theodore Jay Miller Commodore Newbie

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    I have a dentist's appointment scheduled for Halloween; is that scary enough?
     
  13. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    I recently watched Dracula's Daughter. What an awesome movie. I would argue that it is better than the original.
     
  14. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Would you trust any denstist who stays open Saturday instead of doing something fun for Halloween? :p
     
  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Finished watching Old Dark House again, watched Trick r' Treat again, got deeper into Deeper and read a few Hellboy-related comics, as well as some more Creepy and Eerie Archives.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. FluffyUnbound

    FluffyUnbound Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    I'm planning on watching both versions of Dawn of the Dead back to back on Halloween night.

    I have to wait until my spouse goes to bed, since she refuses to watch either. And it's not really age-appropriate content for our 3 year old either. [Maybe next year, little dude.]
     
  17. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    ^^ I haven't seen any Dead movies in a while. I wish they'd release a box set.

    I forgot to mention a few things from yesterday. :wtf: :rommie: I also watched two episodes of Night Stalker ("The Ripper" and "The Werewolf") and this week's Supernatural, and read the first two issues of Werewolves On The Moon.

    You were right, Spiff, the ocean phobia does seem to have shifted from one person to another in Deeper. Odd. And they mentioned that Golden Cove is built upon the ruins of Innsmouth. :cool:
     
  18. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    So far, I've watched...

    Ghoswatch
    Most Haunted Live
    Halloween
    Halloween 2

    I'm now going to watch Night of the Living Dead to finish off the night.
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    Last night I watched Rocky Horror Picture Show.
     
  20. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2009!

    I read a few Lovecraft stories and watched a few Addams Family episodes, Night of the Living Dead, and the Spanish version of Dracula.

    I didn't do anything elaborate this year.