Sorry about the delay in this addition of our horror movie marathon series. I’ve been finishing the rough draft to the sequel to my first book (my first book is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Friedkins-Curse-Werewolf-Terror-ebook/dp/B006NQBHWU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351106633&sr=8-1&keywords=Friedkin%27s+Curse). Also my anniversary was earlier this week, so rather than thoughts of horror I turned romantic. But enough excuses. Without further ado, I have two different marathons for you to choose between.
First let’s say that you are actually having a party and you want something to watch with your friends. I can hear the collective groan now. “Dude we’re going to be blitzed we can’t concentrate for movies.” I hear you saying it now. Well good news for you, I’ve taken the circumstances that you will be incapacitated into consideration. So for our first film fest of frightful fun (I love alliteration) it seemed to me that given the deprived attention span most people already have impacted by the possibility of adult beverages that rather than three long movies, perhaps it would be better for people to watch three anthology films. Each film is generally between 3 to 5 shorter films either interconnected or framed by a wrap around story. Perfect right, if you can’t handle a regular sized film you get micro-movies.
Number one for this spot is going to be the campy Creepshow. Written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero, this film has a little bit of everything. As a tribute to the old EC comics of the 60’s and 70’s (Vault of Horror, Tales from the Crypt, etc.) it has a lot of shots and color choices used to make it appear more comic book like in appearance. On top of an all-star cast (Hal Holbrook, Ted Danson, Leslie Neilson, Adrienne Barbeau just to name a few), you’ll get a story about zombies, alien plants, revenge from beyond the grave, some unexplained monster in a crate (it’s like a mini-yeti, but they never really say what it is), and an interesting story about a millionaire shut in (a la Howard Hughes). It’s a little campy but fun and not so gory. So this is the first for your fun and you get five stories and the wrap-around.
Since we put Creepshow in the list I felt we had to put Creepshow 2 on the list. Once more based on several short stories by Stephen King, you get more fun and a more cinematically themed film leaving behind some of the camp aspects of the original. The wrap-around story is scattered throughout the film and is in part an animated film (don’t worry the rest is live action). What can you expect? We have a story of a vengeful wooden Indian that comes to life after the owners of its shop are murdered, a strange substance in a lake that traps four teens on raft, and finally when a woman hits a hobo and believes that she’s untouchable she’s stalked by the man she killed. It is a little more serious and the entries are slightly longer but man these are some good stories.
Given that both Creepshows are from the 80’s and you are craving something more current, so for my final submission let me please suggest Trick R Treat. This film differs from the Creepshow films because it does not have the wrap around story per se but is interconnected. Based on the myths and legends of Halloween, these stories also take place in the same town at the same time. You will see werewolves, zombies, serial killers, and the spirit of Halloween itself visits a man who does not have the proper spirit. If you want something a little more exciting and visceral then start your night with Trick R Treat. Between these three films you have camp, more traditional horror, and a modern day horror masterpiece.
Okay so let’s say that you think you guys are going to be a little more coherent but you don’t want anything that’s going to require too much attention be paid. You want to do something themed but don’t know what. Two words: disco vampire. No I don’t have a list of disco vampire movies there aren’t any (although it is a good idea. Hold on just writing that down . . . thanks for waiting, all right so I’m about to mine the disco vampire scene for gold). I know you want to see Saturday Night Nosferatu (writing that down to), but what I meant was to have a 70’s vampire movie marathon. Why 70’s you ask? Well the 70’s saw a revitalization of the vampire film and began the trend of setting these movies in modern times (yes I realize it was 40 years ago but at the time the films were made it was the present). So I suppose technically you are watching films about vampires in present day in the past (try wrapping your head around that one).
I’m going to start this list with a movie that was made for TV and was so successful that it had a sequel and then a television spin-off. The Night Stalker follows Carl Kolchak, a reporter in Las Vegas. His latest assignment is involving a man that is murdering young women and draining them of blood. It does not take long before Carl realizes it is an actual vampire prowling the strip in Vegas. A lot of the elements from this movie eventually made their way into the television series and you can still find Kolchak having adventures thanks to the people at moonstone press. Despite being made for TV this is a fun film that’s quite enjoyable.
Next I’d recommend Count Yorga, Vampire. This film is more standard vampire fare than the Night Stalker. Friends of the first few victims of the vampire come to the realization that something bad is happening and decide to match wits with him. Even though this film is dated and the effects they used are a little out of date, this movie does provide you with the campy fun that you would expect with the tagline of: “Tall, Dark, and Deadly.”
Now we’ll go across the pond and may I recommend, Dracula AD 1972. Hammer Horror reunited their two biggest icons, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, for this horror piece. Dracula is killed by Van Helsing in 1872. An acolyte of Dracula places the ashes directly outside the cemetery where Van Helsing is being interred. One hundred years pass with the acolyte’s descendants keeping a watch and waiting. It just so happens that now opportunity presents itself, and the acolyte is able to resurrect Dracula. There are but two Van Helsings remaining, Lorrimar Van Helsing (Cushing) and his granddaughter, Jessica. In true Dracula fashion, Dracula wants to convert Jessica as his bride and kill Lorrimar. This film is fun and was a good Dracula film from Hammer. In my previous post I referenced the Dracula series by Hammer and said I don’t consider this to be in that same series. However if you are doing 70’s vampire films this is a great one to add to the list. It’s absolutely groovy.
Now an additional film to put onto this list is Blacula. William Marshall plays Prince Manuwalde, an African prince visiting Count Dracula to stop the slave trade. It does not go well for him and he becomes a vampire, locked away for decades inside his coffin in the castle. Dracula takes his wife from him and feeds upon her. Later after he is awoken, he stumbles upon the reincarnation of his bride and decides that she must be his. From there it becomes a standard vampire film for the time. Really all you need to know is summed up by the tagline: “Blacula: Dracula’s Soul Brother.”
So there you have it if you want a theme to your marathon you can do 70’s vampires and if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay attention for 80 to 90 minutes then you can go with the anthology set and get a good handful of microfilms. Enjoy watching and remember it’s only a movie.