With all the double (or triple, and in one case quintuple) feature days, despite starting in February, it’s safe to assume I have seen about 365 horror movies this year. Obviously only about ¼ of those were “new” movies, since many (too many, if you ask me) were obscure titles from my budget sets. But due to the sheer amount of films to choose from, and the fact that I already compiled a “standard” Best/Worst of 2007 list for Bloody Disgusting (which you can read here, and check out the comments, where I am hilariously accused of not watching enough movies!!!), I thought I’d do something different here. I toyed with the idea of doing a top 100 list (not a typo) but I thought that would be both frustrating and insane. So I’ll just make up a bunch of oddball categories at random (plus some typical ones, for good measure) and present that for you to enjoy/argue with. Enjoy!
BEST REMAKE: THE HITCHER
I love this stupid movie so much. I like it more every time I see it in fact. The odd convenience store clerk, the endless All-American Rejects loop at the beginning, my beloved Sophia Bush jumping unscathed out of a truck that just blew up, “I’m fucking horny too!”, the use of David Soul on the soundtrack, Neil McDonough barely keeping a straight face through his dialogue, and of course, the Nine Inch Nails music video that comes out of nowhere... it’s hands down the most ridiculous and hilarious horror movie of the year, possibly of all time. I could care less about how it stacks up to the original, it’s a masterpiece in its own idiotic way.
WORST REMAKE: HALLOWEEN
I’m sick of writing about it.
BEST BUDGET PACK FIND: CATHY’S CURSE
This gem of inept filmmaking (WHO THE FUCK IS THAT GUY LEAVING THE HOUSE?), mean-spirited little girls, off-kilter dialogue laced with outlandish profanity, and the least subtle foreshadowing of all time deserves to be seen by every man, woman, child, and ghost. Along with Scream Bloody Murder (a close 2nd for this category), the Chilling Classics set’s cost was instantly validated.
WORST BUDGET PACK FIND: SLASHED DREAMS
The fact that it wasn’t even a horror film didn’t bother me. The fact that not a single goddamn thing happened in the entire film, and that it ended without a single plot thread resolved, and that they tried to sell it on Robert Englund’s name despite the fact that he’s only in the film for 5 minutes (if that) and doesn’t even play a bad guy DID. Some entertainment may be had from the goofy hippie music, but not enough to warrant a view.
(note – since I haven’t gone through Decrepit Crypt or Horror Classics in their entirety, I did not include any of their films for consideration)
BEST REASON FOR DOING THIS: ROSEMARY’S BABY
Not that it’s one of my all time favorites or anything, but the fact that I was forcing myself to watch an unseen horror movie every day got me around to finally seeing this much heralded landmark horror film, which I had owned on DVD for years and STILL didn’t bother watching until now.
WORST REASON FOR DOING THIS: DARK RIDE
My decision to also watch a movie I HAD seen every day in October, one that I often mentioned but never actually reviewed, resulted in having to sit through this goddamn piece of shit again. I fucking hate you, Dark Ride, and I always will. Go the fuck to hell.
BEST MOVIE IN WHICH THE SCREENWRITER PLAYED A MENTALLY CHALLENGED MAN: DEVIL TIMES FIVE
This movie was glorious anyway, but the fact that the screenwriter cast himself as a guy who was a few bricks short of a building was some sort of meta-icing on the cake. Plus he got seduced by a hot brunette woman, an odd recurring theme in some of the other films I watched.
WORST MOVIE IN WHICH THE SCREENWRITER PLAYED A MENTALLY CHALLENGED MAN: THE ATTIC
Writer Tom Malloy played “Frankie” in this turd, a guy of unknown mental deficiency (he seemingly just watched Sean Penn in the trailer for I Am Sam and went from there). He offsets playing this thankless role by also giving himself the film’s only on-screen action, a fairly nice throat slashing. Of course, since he’s the only character in the film you even KIND OF like, this doesn’t bode well for the rest of the running time.
BEST USE OF PROFANITY: CATHY’S CURSE
(In response to a medium, i.e. a psychic, coming to the home to rid the girl of her curse)
“Medium? More like EXTRA RARE PIECE OF SHIT!”
WORST USE OF PROFANITY: SASQUATCH HUNTERS
No specific line. Because it’s almost surreal how just about every single person in this movie manages to sound so unconvincing when using profanity. Not a single time (and there are many) that they drop the F-word does it sound like anything that the actor would actually say. Plus the movie sucked to boot.
BEST MOVIE FEATURING A FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS CAST MEMBER: THE RETURN
Hell, this doesn’t even really count, since The Return was an October Extra, but since the rest of the cast made some of the worst movies I’ve seen this year, it was all I had.
WORST MOVIE FEATURING A FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS CAST MEMBER: THE PUMPKIN KARVER
Technically, Rise: Blood Hunter, with a small performance by QB1 himself, Matt Saracen ne Zach Gilford, was worse. But The Pumpkin Karver got the edge because I rented it SPECIFICALLY for Minka Kelly, and she didn’t even look good in it thanks to a terrible blond dye job. Incidentally, both her and FNL star Kyle Chandler popped up in The Kingdom, which was the year’s best non-horror movie, IMO.
BEST REVIVAL SCREENING: POLTERGEIST
Ah, to finally see this masterpiece on the big screen. Bliss. The fact that it was coupled with a Q&A and a big, fully appreciative crowd made it even better. Plus, the botched attempt to do one on a wide scale in the early fall was met with such universal disdain, I am glad I opted for the ‘real’ one earlier in the year instead.
WORST REVIVAL SCREENING: TREMORS
A bad print, with bad sound, and a nearly empty theater. This should have been the most fun, but it was actually kind of depressing.
MOVIE I AM GLAD I RE-WATCHED: GREMLINS
It’s a lot funnier than I remember, thanks to the in-jokes I am now privy to. Plus it had been too long. This will hopefully become part of my annual holiday viewing once again. Runner Up: Dr. Giggles, a movie I DIDN'T like that much as a kid but now I love.
MOVIE I AM SAD I RE-WATCHED: CRITTERS
I remember this being on par with Gremlins. But I was damned wrong. A waste of a large supporting cast and the fact that most of the film is essentially inert were things my memories didn’t recall. Oh well.
STRANGEST SUGGESTION FOR A BAD FILM: VAMPIRE ASSASSIN
My friend Devin, who writes for CHUD, recommended this film to me after the guy who wrote/directed/starred in it turned out to be the same guy who moved his furniture. Amazing. Terrible film, but amazing story.
STRANGEST SUGGESTION FOR A GOOD FILM: BIG BAD WOLF
Someone said “hey watch this movie, it’s fucking terrible.” Not only is that a terrible sales pitch, but the movie was kind of awesome. Combining a werewolf movie with the plot of The Stepfather is pretty intriguing, and, lest you forget, the film has a scene in which the hero’s girlfriend has to blow his stepdad.
SADDEST REALIZATION I WATCH TOO MANY MOVIES: THE COVENANT: BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL
A car pulls up, and the camera shows the feet of someone getting out. “That’s Michael Madsen” I said to myself, and I was right. I recognized his fully covered feet, somehow. Christ.
HAPPIEST REALIZATION I WATCH TOO MANY MOVIES: THE HOWLING
Had I not FINALLY seen Rosemary’s Baby two weeks prior, I wouldn’t have fully appreciated the Roger Corman cameo in The Howling, which was a loving homage to Bill Castle’s cameo in Rosemary. This is why you need to watch movies in order!
BEST EXCUSE FOR ME TO WATCH MORE J-HORROR: BLOODY REUNION
This was basically an American style slasher movie, with an ending that is essentially the same as High Tension’s (only it didn’t infuriate me), all with a decidedly Eastern flavor. Good stuff.
BEST EXCUSE FOR ME TO WATCH LESS J-HORROR: TELL ME SOMETHING
The boringest serial killer movie ever made. And it was endless. For a while I considered the notion that the film might have to count for two entries, since it seemed like it would take two days for it to finally end.
BEST MOVIE I CAN’T REMEMBER ASKING FOR: RAW MEAT
This arrived from Netflix (or Blockbuster) one day, and I wasn’t even sure if it was something I asked for in the first place. I didn’t even know if it was horror! But it was, with lots of British humor. I even went out and bought it after I returned it to Netflix; I hope the next guy to rent it follows suit.
WORST MOVIE I CAN’T REMEMBER ASKING FOR: DOOMED
This one was recorded on my DVR one day. I can only assume it was in error, or a drunken stupor. Because even the description of the goddamn thing made it sound unwatchable. At least I can pretty much safely say I have seen the lowest point in the entire zombie movie canon.
BEST “I MADE IT!” MOMENT: BLOGS OF NOTE
Sometime in August, Blogger put Horror Movie A Day on their “blogs of note” list, which is how like 90% of you guys found this goofy page in the first place. Wooo! Runner up: Rue Morgue mention.
WORST “I MADE IT!” MOMENT: SOMEONE’S PARTY
I was at a party and my friend introduced me to the guy who produced Sasquatch Hunters, a film I had torn apart a few weeks prior. I felt like a jerk because my friend was under the assumption that I had liked the film, and I had to explain that no, I did not. Luckily the guy didn’t think much of it either.
USER POLL WINNERS:
And there you have it, the first annual Horror Movie A Day Awards! Next year's categories will probably be different, at least, for the cast of Friday Night Lights' sake anyway, I hope so (though I just discovered that Scott "Street" Porter is in the PG-13 Prom Night remake, so maybe this category will come back after all!). Onward with 2008!