31 Days of Halloween (2021)

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Noideaforaname

Semper Fidelis Tyrannosaurus
Citizen
pA4y9hd.gif

Van Helsing

Kinda weird that early 2000s movies can feel nostalgic now, but there's something appealing about a movie that just IS a mashup of a bunch of horror icons instead of teasing one in the credits. Lots of little details to appreciate, too: the mirror at the masquerade ball showing just one reflection, a half-finished Eiffel Tower in Paris, the way the vampires' wings morph into clothing, werewolves tearing their human skins off when transforming, Dracula's habit of standing on walls, and a cow somehow surviving being violently thrown through a couple floors of a house.
 

Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
I was going to to watch that last night but settled on Wes Cravens "Cursed." I was going more for horror than action flick. I still would like to watch it again soon. It's like watching Wolverine going up against all the classics.

Honestly, if they had just made his character a Belmont instead of Van Helsing, this would have been 100% better.
 

Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
How is that? I saw the listing on HBO Max, and was surprised I'd never heard of it before.

General opinion seems to range from "so okay it's average" to "Wes Cravens worst movie ever made." It suffered from some extreme executive meddling to the point Wes Craven sees it as an old shame.

Me, I'm in the camp of "so okay it's average." It's not a classic by any means, but it's totally watchable in my opinion.

To me it just seems like truly decent werewolf movies are few and far between. You can hardly go into the horror section of a video store without running into a ton of vampire, zombie and ghost movies. Decent werewolf movies seem to be scarce in comparison.

Wolfman, while a classic, runs into the same problems as Frankenstein, Bela Lugosis Dracula and other such classics. The effects and sensibilities of the time makes it impossible to take seriously now.

American Werewolf in London and Paris are decent, but tend more towards dark comedy rather than horror.

I like the Underworld movies, but they're just as much about vampires as werewolves.

Soooo, while I can only say "it's so okay it's average" when it comes to Cursed, that kinda has to be enough when it comes to werewolf movies it seems.
 

Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
I just received my order from Barnes & Noble Today, including but not limited to: Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein. I read Frankenstein in Highschool and honestly just bought these books to fill the bookcase. I do most of my reading on my Kindle app, after all.

But Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde actually looks likes a fairly short read. Having just finished Carmilla today, I may just have a go at this one.

Though it's been a long time since I've actually read an actual physical book. I may need a refresher on how to work these things. It doesn't seem like it came with an instruction manual.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
To me it just seems like truly decent werewolf movies are few and far between. You can hardly go into the horror section of a video store without running into a ton of vampire, zombie and ghost movies. Decent werewolf movies seem to be scarce in comparison.

Dracula gave us a definitive reference text for vampire lore, but nobody really did that for werewolves, probably because werewolves had been out of relevance for too long by the time horror fiction really kicked off.
 

Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
Dracula gave us a definitive reference text for vampire lore, but nobody really did that for werewolves, probably because werewolves had been out of relevance for too long by the time horror fiction really kicked off.
You see, I kinda agree, kinda feel like that doesn't go far enough. Because it isn't just vampires and it isn't just novels. I mean, just taking a brief look off the top of my head...

Vampires:
Carmilla and Dracula may have been the definitive references to start with. But Bela Lugosi's version of Dracula became an icon in itself. Now you have the Count in Sesame Street, Dracula being the main villain in nearly all Castlevania games...but that's only the start. Nosferatu, Vampire Hunter D, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Interview With a Vampire, Lost Boys, Salems Lot, From Dusk Till Dawn, Underworld may have both vampires and werewolves, but vampires are definitely the focus. Vampires have quite a few 'iconic' versions of vampires even outside of Bram Stokers novel.

Zombies:
I don't think there's a single definitive novel that I can think of, unless you count Frankenstein as a technical zombie. But they've still had a hell of an impact on todays media. Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, World War Z, Resident Evil, Last of Us, Walking Dead...all this without a "definitive novel."

Werewolves:
It's not like they don't have any representation: American Werewolf in London/Paris, Cursed, Silver Bullet, Wolfman. Those are honestly the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. I guess Teen Wolf and that's not exactly a horror film. And of the ones listed, Wolfman is the only one that really comes near being iconic. But as iconic as that may be, maybe it's just my unfounded feelings. Tell me if I'm wrong. But aren't most people who even knows/cares about Wolfman these days diehard cinemaphiles?

Like honestly, I think the only classic monster that gets it worse than Werewolves might be the Mummy.
 

Fero McPigletron

Feel the fear!
Citizen
Odd that werewolves were brought up but I'm watching Werewolves Within because I read that it's a classic whodunnit.

I LOVE that trope of 'which one of you is a werewolf' and the cast gets picked off one by one.

And it's a comedy!

Also has Guillermo from What We Do in the Shadows too.
 

Sean Whitmore

New member
Citizen
There's possibly an argument to be made that American Werewolf in London has surpassed Wolfman as "The" werewolf story, if only because it's beloved equally by both the fans of the classics and the folks who wouldn't watch a B/W movie.

Tossing out some other good-to-great ones that haven't been mentioned yet:

The Howling (the first one)
Bad Moon
Dog Soldiers
Ginger Snaps


I've been meaning to rewatch Wolf with Jack Nicholson again too, it's been a long time.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I have a love/hate relationship with Dog Soldiers.

I think the low quality works in its favor. Some movies are just more atmospheric with a bit of gain. The effects are incredible for the budget, and they sorta unfairly look even more impressive when the surrounding movie looks older than it actually is. It's good cinematic trickery.

But man I hate the script. Every conversation makes me feel like I'm missing something, like characters are suddenly reacting to a line I didn't hear. But my biggest issue is admittedly a weird one. I hate bulletproof monsters. There is a time and place for it. I can deal with vampires being bulletproof because they're already dead. Finding the body when it's vulnerable is a puzzle. But in a case like this it takes me out of the movie instead of increasing the tension. It just feels like cheating.
 

Fero McPigletron

Feel the fear!
Citizen
Maybe Dog Soldiers werewolves are bulletproof but not silverbullet proof? Hehe

Finished Werewolves Within. It's based on a video game ala Mafia, One Night Werewolf, Avalon style.

I rather liked it! Fun / kooky characters who I'm sorry to see before whodunnit fodder. Guillermo was like, well, Guillermo from What We Do in the Shadows, haha.

Quite enjoyable for a comedy horror. Quite lightweight but cool.

Werewolves Within.jpg
 

Sean Whitmore

New member
Citizen
Gave Cursed a shot. It had its moments, but the story of its near-total reshoot was a lot more interesting. I probably would've started forgetting this movie immediately otherwise, but now I keep thinking, "Oh, THAT'S why that part didn't make sense! And THAT'S why the second-to-last action scene lasted 3 times as long as the final one! And THAT'S why the CGI quality kept nosediving, because by this point they'd already spent their operating budget several times over!"

If this was a quickie movie that nobody involved really cared about, made by some nobody filmmakers, it all would have made perfect sense. But instead it was made by the people responsible for the insanely-profitable Scream franchise, and was the result of producers caring so much that they reshot the thing into incoherence. Utterly baffling.
 
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Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
Yeah, it's always interesting when the behind the scenes drama becomes more interesting than the film itself.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Jaws 2 is the perfect example of that. They had a script. Then they got a director and a new writer who wrote a new script and changed the concept of the movie. Then they rewrote it again. Then they actually managed to film a few scenes. Then they rewrote it again. Then everyone got fired (for reasons that are mysterious to this day, as every survivor has a different story as to why it happened) and they started over with a new cast and a new director and a new writer who rewrote it again. Then Murray Hamilton (Mayor Vaughn) had an emergency and had to leave the production, so they filmed all his scenes in one weekend and slightly rewrote the movie (sigh) around his absence. Then by a genuine miracle they almost managed to make a decent movie. Then the studio massacred it in the editing room.

And then the movie was surprisingly profitable and so the studio didn't learn a single lesson.
 

ChessPieceFace

Member
Citizen
I've been posting Halloweeny toy+record combos on my Instagram all month: https://www.instagram.com/700littlerecords/

Today's photo came out particularly well, it's one of my favorite Halloween novelty songs, and a little digging on Wikipedia uncovered an interesting backstory! Here's a slightly expanded version of my IG post:

freshprince-nightmareonmyst2.jpg

"A Nightmare On My Street" samples the "Nightmare On Elm Street" movie theme, and tells a comic tale of Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince being attacked in their sleep by Freddy Krueger himself. After it was recorded for the duo's debut LP "He's The DJ... I'm The Rapper," Jive Records contacted New Line Cinema about cross-promotion with "Nightmare On Elm Street 4," as word was out that New Line wanted to produce a rap video as a tie-in. New Line declined, saying Jive demanded too much money, and instead teamed with The Fat Boys for the song "Are You Ready For Freddy?" Jive released "Nightmare" as a single anyway, shooting a music video that featured no specific visual references to the films.

But New Line sued, alleging the song and video violated the studio's exclusive rights to create "derivative works" from the "Elm Street" franchise, which was "the core of [their] business," and they "would suffer irreparable harm if the... music video was released." As part of a settlement, Jive added a legal disclaimer to the album cover, and every copy of the video was ordered to be destroyed. But even with all the legal drama, and without a video, "A Nightmare On My Street" hit number 15 on the Hot 100 in 1988. "Are You Ready For Freddy?" did not chart.

Epilogue: THIRTY YEARS LATER, in 2018, someone uploaded to YouTube a fuzzy VHS rip of the presumed-lost "Nightmare" music video from one of its only TV airings, briefly interrupted by a channel change to "Growing Pains." The old legal entanglements got some new press, and Jazzy Jeff himself uploaded a high-quality copy, which had mysteriously escaped destruction. I kind of understand the "irreparable harm" New Line worried about: the video's silly "Freddy" looks like a cross between Frankenstein, The Terminator, and Wesley Snipes in "Demolition Man," with record player tonearm fingers. Check out the video:


And while you're at it, the text of the legal decision is actually a fun read:
 

Sean Whitmore

New member
Citizen
Holy crap. That brings back some really vague memories from childhood. I wasn't very much into music, and I was too young for horror movies, but I knew Freddy and the Fresh Prince from schoolyard chatter, so I definitely would've heard this song at some point.
 

Donocropolis

Olde-Timey Member
Citizen
To bring it back around to Dracula, I watched the classic Universal 1931 Dracula last night. At the very beginning of the film, you see the various coffins spread around with various "night creatures" in the area. There's a scene where they use a miniature coffin to create the impression of a giant insect:

drac bug.gif

But I like to think that this is a normal-sized bug that somehow became a vampire, and Dracula built a tiny coffin for his new friend. They go on adventures together. Maybe solve crimes?
 
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Caldwin

Lifer
Citizen
Now, I'm sure in a decade or so we'll look back on today's best special effects and think "that's so fake." But even with that in mind, and as much as I love old time cinema, I still find it hard to take old horror movies seriously because of just this sort of thing.
 
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