Monday, October 24, 2011
Dawn of the Curse of the Abominable Centipede
In case it hasn't been abundantly obvious, I love Halloween. Fall is my favorite season, and I love how, for one month, there are witches, ghosts and goblins on people's front lawns, horror marathons on TV and kids are excited to dress up as monsters and demand candy from their neighbors. Being a horror movie fan was my gateway into being a cinephile, and I love that for one month my interests, which sometimes strike people as a preoccupation with the morbid, are shared by everyone. So Dennis Cozzalio's surprised horror-themed movie quiz at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, presented by Vincent Price's disfigured, revenge-seeking Dr. Phibes, is a very pleasant surprise. Thanks, Dennis, for another fun quiz and an excellent way to get into the holiday spirit!
1) Favorite Vincent Price/American International Pictures release.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes, as a matter of fact.
2) What horror classic (or non-classic) that has not yet been remade would you like to see upgraded for modern audiences?
The Funhouse - such a great premise, and the original is a lot of fun but not so iconic that a remake would feel like sacrelige.
3) Jonathan Frid or Thayer David?
4) Name the one horror movie you need to see that has so far eluded you.
The Curse of Frankenstein
5) Favorite film director most closely associated with the horror genre.
6) Ingrid Pitt or Barbara Steele?
7) Favorite 50’s sci-fi/horror creature.
The "Id Monster" from Forbidden Planet.
8) Favorite/best sequel to an established horror classic.
Dawn of the Dead
9) Name a sequel in a horror series which clearly signaled that the once-vital franchise had run out of gas.
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline
10) John Carradine or Lon Chaney Jr.?
Lon Chaney Jr.
11) What was the last horror movie you saw in a theater? On DVD or Blu-ray?
In a theater, Fright Night. On DVD, Scream 4.
12) Best foreign-language fiend/monster.
Klaus Kinski in Nosferatu.
13) Favorite Mario Bava movie.
14) Favorite horror actor and actress.
Donald Pleasance and Sigourney Weaver. For all the reputable movies as she's appeared in, her performances as Lt. Ellen Ripley remain her best work.
15) Name a great horror director’s least effective movie.
Ghosts of Mars
16) Grayson Hall or Joan Bennett?
17) When did you realize that you were a fan of the horror genre? And if you’re not, when did you realize you weren’t?
Around 4 years old, sneaking into the living room late at night and glimpsing a few scenes from Halloween. I had my had my hands over my eyes for most of it, I had nightmares for a month and I couldn't wait to see the whole movie.
18) Favorite Bert I. Gordon (B.I.G.) movie.
Earth vs. the Spider
19) Name an obscure horror favorite that you wish more people knew about.
Mario Bava's Shock (AKA Beyond the Door II)
20) The Human Centipede-- yes or no?
I haven't seen it yet. I will soon, at Jason Alley's request.
21) And while we’re in the neighborhood, is there a horror film you can think of that you felt “went too far”?
One of the purposes of the horror genre is to go to far - many of the very best horror movies explore transgressive ideas and situations. That said, I have a problem with the killing of real animals in Cannibal Holocaust and a few others.
22) Name a film that is technically outside the horror genre that you might still feel comfortable describing as a horror film.
23) Lara Parker or Kathryn Leigh Scott?
24) If you’re a horror fan, at some point in your past your dad, grandmother, teacher or some other disgusted figure of authority probably wagged her/his finger at you and said, “Why do you insist on reading/watching all this morbid monster/horror junk?” How did you reply? And if that reply fell short somehow, how would you have liked to have replied?
I had a few teachers, over the years, who "tsk-tsked" my reading Stephen King and EC Comics, or sharing VHS copies of horror movies with classmates. At the Christian school I attended for a few years, I was told more than once that Jesus would disapprove of my fascination with horror. If I could go back in time, I'd let them know that, a few years later, Jesus would be a subject of a grisly splatter movie that is also the highest-grossing Christian-themed movie of all time. I doubt they'd believe me.
25) Name the critic or Web site you most enjoy reading on the subject of the horror genre.
26) Most frightening image you’ve ever taken away from a horror movie.
From The Shining: The woman in Room 237, cackling maniacally as she reaches out for a petrified Jack Nicholson.
27) Your favorite memory associated with watching a horror movie.
Watching The Shining for the first time with my mom and dad. It was one of the first movies that, before I had the correct terminology to describe what I was seeing, I started to notice what a director does.
28) What would you say is the most important/significant horror movie of the past 20 years (1992-2012)? Why?
Scream. Before it was released, horror had been mostly stagnant for several years. Everything since Scream is either influenced by, borrowing or stealing from it (the long list of postmodern or self-referential horror), or a direct reaction to it (the deliberate move away from the postmodern in the form of torture porn, J-horror, etc.). This is made obvious in Scream 4, which is partly about how the series seems like an ancient relic now that the genre and its fans have completely absorbed and integrated its sense of ironic detachment (I can't tell if I admire or hate Scream 4 for being about its own irrelevance).
29) Favorite Dr. Phibes curse (from either film).
30) You are programming an all-night Halloween horror-thon for your favorite old movie palace. What five movies make up your schedule?
The Haunting, Suspiria, The Evil Dead, Creepshow, They Live