Friday, October 29, 2010

0 Watch or Die #11: The Metalween Edition

Halloween rules! October allows us to binge on some classic horror flicks. Before the big weekend, I asked some local metal heads what tales of macabre they recommend.

Spike Cassidy from the DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES a.k.a. D.R.I. - Night of the Living Dead (1968) - I'm a big horror film fan. Too many favs to pick just one. So I'm going back to the one that first scared the hell out of me when I was a little kid. Maybe not the scariest anymore, but back in its day, this was the one that set the standard for those to follow.

Tony from VULTURES 2012 - I've been watching Drag Me To Hell lately. It has a great ending.

James from INTO THE STORM - either Drag Me to Hell or Jennifer's Body; I am a big time fan of Raimi's spoof-horror style, especially Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2. I chose the newer creation as I found this to be the best rendition of what he was getting at all those years ago. The quality of the newer one does take away from the mysterious noir that the previous films like Evil Dead had instinctively, but as far as character development/cinematography you can tell, he wanted it to be like this. Plus, my favorite scene (besides the possessed goat, ala humor to Evil Dead 2 and the talking deer head), was when the lead character is dragged to hell right at the end. Nothing has sold me more than "Help me, HEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP ME!!!!" + face melting action.

Matt from INTO THE STORM - Jennifer's Body; Megan Fox is hot turned into a possessed demon version that feeds on humans after a botched sacrifice by an indie band for world fame is just classic.

Oliver from INTO THE STORM - Jurassic Park or Texas Chainsaw Massacre; thanks to that movie, he [Oliver] will no longer be eating ribs from a roadside gas station and we [INTO THE STORM dudes] will steer clear of abandon houses in the rural South. Yup. (JP was his [Oliver] first choice, but we [INTO THE STORM dudes] argued that was more action than horror. However, he [Oliver] was dead set on the Raptor scene in the kitchen...that was horrifying enough for him [Oliver]).

Brant from INTO THE STORM - Jaws; When I [Jamz] asked him, he instantly knew, that was the best/well executed horror movie to date in his mind. Roy Scheider + Gargantuan shark = epic.

Jake Weller from MANOS DE PLATAS & CONSULATE - Unfortunately, I am not the biggest horror fan. Not that I don't like a lot of horror movies, it's just that I don't see that many because I don't seek them out really. Most of the ones that I have loved are pretty much the biggest in the canon: The Excorcist, The Shining, etc. The only one that might throw people off is one of my favorite films of all time, The Wicker Man (the original, not the Nic Cage fiasco). Most people have probably seen it and may not consider it a horror film at all; granted, it's not very scary, in the traditional sense. What I love about it is the mood. It's so unsettling! It is the doom metal of movies. There is just this eerie, insular feeling throughout, as if the entire soundtrack has a barely stifled drone accompanying it. Who knows? It might actually! Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward play two of the most conflicted characters I have seen (and Woodward is supposed to be the protagonist!), and they only help add to the creepily quiet, yet incredibly intense, setting. Great movie. Plus, boobies.

Mark Ostler from WARNING: DANGER! - My favorite Halloween movie, and my favorite movie overall is: George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Where do I begin? Filmed in glorious black and white, on less than a shoestring budget, George Romero, and some of his buddies, went into the woods of Pennsylvania, and came back with cinematic gold.

Most of the action of Night of the Living Dead occurs inside a farm house. The horror is crafted between the interplay of the panicked characters. The reluctant hero must duel with the cowardly charlatan. The transformed heroine must maintain cool, within herself and others, while fruitlessly plotting an escape.

Gradually the zombie horde outside grows. The trapped inhabitants try to reinforce their fragile shelter, but the zombies en mass puncture their sanctuary. Eventually, the survivors are outnumbered and each character must choose... run, hide, or stay and fight?

In 1996, Tom Savini and George A. Romero together, accomplished the impossible, they remade the greatest film of all time, and made it better! No longer is there a 20 minute intermission of a television broadcast explaining why the zombies, bla bla. In the remake, the television is dropped down the stairs, and the survivors are left further in the dark, without a zombie origin explanation.

Also, in the original movie, the survivors attempt to unlock a gas pump by shooting the padlock and the chain just limply falls off. Common sense reigns in the remake, if you shoot a gas pump, it's going to cause a giant explosion, and that's what it does. The gore is far superior in the remake. The 90's version also pays respect to the original with subtle similarities.

The ending is quite different between the two movies. Some characters that survived the original, turn into zombies in the remake. I don't wanna talk too much about the endings to preserve our Romero virgin readers. Just know, the alternate endings only enhances the legend that is the film Night of the Living Dead.

The picture above shows 2 VHS tapes from my collection. The left one is a colorized version of the original Night of the Living Dead I scored on eBay. I had to know, "What does a colorized version, using 1986 technology look like?"... kinda cruddy. The other VHS is a copy of the remake I purchased as a teenager from the now defunct Suncoast Film Co. using money from my summer job. Yep, George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead is deeply ingrained as one of my favorite movie watching memories.

Me from Seattle Rock Guy/Taco Cart Productions - Spike and Mark nailed Night of the Living Dead. It's truly one of the best. However, if you truly want to round out your Halloween weekend with two of the most bad ass horror flicks of all time, go purchase (not rent!) John Carpenter's The Thing and John Landis's An American Werewolf in London.

Carpenter's reinterpretation of The Thing from Outer Space is easily one of the best remakes of all time and easily exceeds the original by leaps and bounds. Carpenter's vision proves bleak and frightening, never once veering off into Hollywood cliche. Truly a masterpiece of horror cinema that still stands tall today.

An American Werewolf in London is just plain rowdy. There is never a Halloween that passes I miss a chance to view this classic. Definitely, one of the movies that made me want to make movies. Truly a classic.

Start your horror-a-thon this weekend after you tie one on at METALWEEN! No Halloween nut job's thirst for horror could be satiated without some MISFITS! Since those guys are no where to be found, the next best thing to assuage your Danzig fiz would be a Danzig cover band: DANZIG WITH WOLVES. Oh, oh, VULTURES 2012 will also be destroying the Mars Bar. If you haven't heard their cover of Metallica's "Creeping Death," then, you need to make your way down and check this shit out! Don't miss out! The SRG crew will be there ready to kick off the weekend properly. For more info click here 

Happy Halloween!

Words by Jerry Howard

Thanks to Spike, Tony, James, Matt, Oliver, Brant, Jake, and Mark for contributing!


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