I found this on the awesome site HorrorMovies.ca…
First Look at Schizo-Head from Rob Zombie’s ’31’ – HorrorMovies.ca
As you guys know, Rob Zombie has been unleashing all sorts of images and teases from his latest flick 31, which was crowd-funded from you guys and thanks to that the film was recently picked up by Alchemy with the rights to North America. But, if you think that’s all the images you’re getting, well, …
Attention all zombie lovers, this one’s for YOU!
Uncle Frank HATES buzzards!
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Where wolves? There werewolves – on that train!
‘Howl’ Trailer: Werwolves On a Train starring Ed Speleers and Shauna Macdonald!
…and NOT the ILLEGAL kind!
Life is short. So many horror films – so little time. Quite the predickelment. “Hey” you say – is that even a word? No. But who has time for things like grammar, linguistics and etymology – we’ve got things like vampires, zombies and demons to discuss. And movies to watch. Lotsa movies.
I think many would agree that the films listed below are true classics of the genre – so there’s a good chance you’ve seen them all already. But if there are any films on this list you haven’t seen – I’d say sit your horror-film-lovin’ carcass down, right now, and start a watchin’.
“Listen to dem…children of de night…vhat music dey make.” Iconic lines delivered in the unmistakable voice of the actor who, to this day, is the definitive blood-sucker – the most Dracula-ist of all Draculas – Bela Lugosi. It’s like, how much more Drac could he be? The answer is none. None more Drac. Yes, the film Nosferatu, was released a full 9 years earlier, and is certainly a classic in it’s own right, but Tod Brownings’ Dracula laid the unhallowed groundwork for countless vampire flicks to come.
Girl steals money from work, leaves town, and finds an off-the-beaten-path hotel for an overnight stay. Good set up for any standard horror/suspense film, but this film is so masterfully crafted that even those who are not fans of the genre should be thoroughly entertained. And, of course, it contains one of the best-known (and most studied) 45 seconds of film in the history of cinema – the shower scene (“Mother! Oh God, mother! Blood! Blood!”). It’s unarguably among Alfred Hitchcock’s best films. If you need more convincing – the American Film Institute lists it as #14 on their list of the 100 greatest films of all time.
Carnival of Souls (1962)
OK, I’m not great with math, but I think the “equation” for this film would be something like: creepy + creepy, divided by low budget + more creepy = creepy to the 10th power. What I’m trying to say this movie is…creepy. The slow pacing, extremely low production values and amateurish acting (other than from our lead – Candace Hilligoss – who’s performance is dead on) may, at points, distract, but overall add to the pervasive feeling of unease. The story of a woman who has a series of strange experiences after a car accident gets an “A” for atmosphere. Director Herk Harvey’s one and only feature film will haunt you long after the carnival has left town.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The dead were born right here; a horror sub genre started with this film. There were other zombie films before this, but the earlier films lurked somewhere a bit closer to reality – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligiri (1920) dealt with hypnotism, and White Zombie (1932) was a tale of voodoo. It was director George Romero, who truly defined the zombie as we know it – the shuffling, rotting dead, with a big appetite for life.
Night of the Living Dead trailer
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
The story of a pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) who fears that everyone around her intends to harm her unborn child. Roman Polanski’s cinematic adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel was a critical (an Oscar for best supporting actress – Ruth Gordon) and commercial success. But its biggest success may be the powerful and paralyzing sense of pure paranoia that permeates the picture.
Rosemary’s Baby Trailer
The Exorcist (1973)
The first horror film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture (it lost in that category, but won Best Adapted Screenplay), also finds itself first on many “greatest horror films of all time” lists, and with good reason. The story, of a girl possessed by the devil and a priest whose faith is fading, contains plenty of intense moments and genuine scares. One or two of the special effects may not quite hold up fully to today’s standards, but overall the make-up (by Dick Smith) is incredible, and the scenes of Reagan in full-on-possession mode (her scarred face spewing split-pea-soup-coated profanities) will find a permanent residence in your brain.
The Exorcist trailer
Richard Donner directs old-school Hollywood stars Gregory Peck and Lee Remick in this story of a diplomat and his wife who become the foster parents to the antichrist. This terrifying tale of a terror-inducing tyke on a tricycle, with it’s creative death scenes and Oscar-winning score by Jerry Goldsmith (perhaps the best horror soundtrack ever), put this way out in front of most other spawn-of-Satan flicks.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Romero’s sequel to Night of the Living Dead successfully mixes horror with a healthy dose of social satire. But what really makes this flick so much fun are the “fantasy” elements that speak to the 12-year-old in all of us: living in a shopping mall, having an arsenal of weapons and an endless supply of slow moving targets, being among the last people on earth, etc. Throw in loads of comic-book-style gore and you’ve got yourself a bloody good time.
Dawn of the Dead trailer
The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s meticulous direction, Jack Nicholson’s tour-de-force performance, and Stephen Kings’ finely crafted novel (about a family who spend a winter as caretakers of a remote, haunted resort) combine for a perfect trifecta of terror. While, at times, the over-the-top sense of drama may bring some unintended humor, overall, Kubrick’s unique interpretation of the source material, the film’s poetic cinematography, and the evocative, intensely effective score, make the film truly hypnotic.
It’s a mesmerizing psychological study of the disintegration of a family – and a spooky, brilliant mood piece.
The Shining trailer
The Evil Dead (1981)
A group of college friends, off in a cabin in the woods, find the Necronomicon (a book of the dead), and high-octane-horror hijinx ensue. Sam Raimi’s generous use of blood and gore and high-energy camera work make for a wonderfully messy thrill ride of a movie. Filming some of the gore scenes in stop-motion animation gives the film an extra feeling of the bizarre. The love of the genre and the pure joy of movie-making are evident in every scene of this low-budget, frantic fright fest.
Author Stephen King’s quote says it all:
“The most ferociously original horror film of the year.”
Evil Dead trailer
Jeeze, that’s 10 already, and we’re only up to 1981. Lots more good stuff beyond that…but I guess that’ll be for another list, another time….assuming we don’t kick the bucket between now and then…
“No daddy!” she protested. “I’m scared of the elf. He comes to life at night and he has those glowing red eyes!”
“Sweetie, he’s not evil, he’s just one of Santa’s helpers. He reports back to Santa whether you’ve been naughty or nice” I brushed back my daughter’s blond hair and held her trembling hand. “The elf on the shelf is friendly, trust me.”
“Daddy’s right.” said my wife. “The elf is just a holiday visitor, here to give Santa a good report. Now I know you’ve been good, so you have nothing to worry about.”
“But he tells me to do bad things at night. He whispers to me in my room, and his breath is really, really bad. And he has those black sharp teeth. I know he’s only testing me so I don’t listen when he tells me to get the poison from under the sink an put it in mommy’s coffee. Daddy I don’t want to go to sleep because that’s when he creeps into my room! Please, get rid of him!” My daughter pleaded, tears streaming down her flushed face.
“Honey,” I said. “You’re just having nightmares.” I glanced at my wife and took stock of the worried look on her face. I could see the daylight fading behind her through the sliding glass doors. I gazed to the deck outside where our cast-iron chiminea still glowed from the fire I had built earlier in the afternoon, orange embers matching the fading sunset. We stood in the kitchen, the smell of our traditional holiday skillet cornbread still adrift in the air. Pots and pans, stacked in the sink, awaited their sentence with the sponge and dish liquid.
It was December 23rd, and fingers of frost had begun to paint the glass of the windows and doors, evidence of the plummeting temperatures outside. We had just passed the shortest day of the year, and darkness was settling in for the night.
“Tell you what,” I looked into my daughter’s eyes. “If you can calm down, I’ll put the elf in a box so he won’t be able to move around tonight.”
I remembered the antique store where I bought the elf a week ago. I could see the strange old woman with the eastern European accent. Her left eye milky and dead. “Keep it in da box.” she grumbled. “is better dat vay.” I still had the box upstairs. It was rusted tin, silver, green and red with german writing on the front and sides.
“No daddy! He’ll get out and then he’ll come after me! He’ll blame me for everything! He told me I could never tell anyone what he said!” My daughter sobbed and jumped up and down.
“That’s enough.” My wife shook her head. “Honey, the elf is just game that parents play at Christmas. Your dad moves him at night when you’re asleep. It’s just pretend, that’s all.”
I glanced at my wife. “Actually, your mom moves the elf, not me.”
My wife looked up at me, anger swelling in her eyes. “What are you talking about? Stop fooling around, can’t you see she’s upset?”
“I’m not fooling around. I haven’t moved the elf once. I thought it was you!” I said and shifted my gaze to the elf on the shelf. He was seated on the fireplace mantle, a foot long figure, red-sleeved arms crossed over a green-vested chest with red legs that danged over the edge. His head was cocked slightly to the side and he grinned that eternal painted-on grin below black dot eyes.
“Mommy, I’m scared!” My daughter climbed up into the arms of her mother, clutching her tightly.
“Jerry, this isn’t funny.” My wife drew closer. “You’re really freaking her out!”
“I swear, I haven’t touched that thing!” We both stared at the elf as the sun’s final rays succumbed to the night. I drew a deep breath and lunged across the room. My hand closed tight around the elf, the cotton stuffed body and limbs yielding to my firm grip. I hurried toward the sliding glass doors, eyes fixed on the embers still glowing in the chiminea. “I’ll take care of this once and for all!” I said. As I reached for the door, I felt the elf’s body suddenly stiffen in my grasp. The cotton transformed into steel-strong sinews and the elf twisted to face me, glowing red, laser-dot eyes staring up at me. An evil grin spreading across the doll’s face. My daughter began to scream and my wife shrieked.
I gasped but held my grip. The elf hissed, sending a torrent of fetid breath into my face and baring rows of black razor-sharp teeth. It squirmed and hissed again, then drove its black fangs deep into my hand. Searing pain spread instantly across my hand and up my arm. I yelped and dropped the thing on the tiled floor. The elf scampered across the kitchen and climbed the drawers like an evil ape, swinging from handle to handle, laughing and grunting, until it crested the countertop. It opened the cutlery drawer and pulled out a paring knife. My wife and daughter scrambled to my side, screaming.
Drops of red blood splotched the floor and I clutched my injured hand. I grabbed a dish towel and wrapped my wound. The elf began to laugh. A low, laugh, full of bass resonance that couldn’t possibly come from so small a creature. It brandished the knife in the air and howled, “Come and get some, daddy-O!” Blood and saliva sprayed from its black fangs as it danced on the countertop.
I lunged across the kitchen, but before I could engage, my wife slammed a cast-iron skillet down onto the elf, knocking it flat.
“Hideous thing!” my wife hissed through clenched teeth.
I grabbed the unconscious creature and ran out onto the deck. I tossed the elf into the chiminea and slammed the door with a “clang”. I watched the embers ignite the ghastly thing and wrap it in flames. I stared in horror as it began to thrash about and pound on the screen of the door, begging in agony to escape the miniature crematorium. I went back inside and hugged my wife and daughter. We packed some things and spent the night in local hotel.
The next morning, Christmas eve, we awoke to a fresh coating of December snow, a silver white sparkling blanket draped across everything. I told my wife and daughter to stay at the hotel while I checked on the house. I walked up the stairs to the deck and noticed immediately that the chiminea door was ajar. Sooty footprints lead up to the sliding glass door. Written by a tiny finger in black soot on the glass was the word “NAUGHTY”.
That was the Christmas we moved to Florida. Now, it’s exactly 3 years later. The temperature in Tampa is a balmy 75 degrees. I swear I smelled burnt fabric 2 nights ago and this morning I noticed tiny, sooty footprints on the patio. Perhaps this is the Christmas that we move to London.
Or maybe I’ll just send my wife and daughter to a hotel while I wait alone with a machete in the kitchen. After all, isn’t that the appropriate behavior for those of us in the “naughty” club?
They say he drowned there around fifty years ago, and they say sometimes he comes back to the surface in search of companionship. They say so because they’ve seen it, and they’d be willing to swear on the good book that it was true. And for the last fifty years, kids kept disappearing, gone for days, and suddenly turning up dead in the river, looking like they’d been dead for weeks. Every time one body turned up, another kid seemed to go missing.
That’s what they say, anyway. And they blame it all on the Riverboy.
When I was eight years old, I was unusually brave for someone who was terrified of everything. I was a regular oxymoron, the bold coward, the pathetic hero. So it was natural that I would be afraid of being drowned by the Riverboy, but intrigued by the legend surrounding him. Mom always told me to stay away from the river, but it was a good place to play. During the day, there seemed nothing wrong with it. It moved too fast for skipping stones and too slow for makeshift rafts to be any fun. There used to be a swinging rope, but some grown ups complained it was dangerous and the parents of victims sobbed at the sight of it, so they had it taken down.
I never swam in the river, anyway, so that didn’t bother me much.
Kevin Pearsley and I used to play there. Sometimes we tried fishing. We never caught anything. Other times a police officer would come by to make sure we were okay, and we were always fine. Usually he asked us to go home anyway, or go to the park across the street because it was safer.
But the river was so much fun. There was something about it that made us want to go there. Maybe it was the way the waters sang, whispering over the rocks. Maybe it was the way it rippled in shapes unlike any other body of water I had ever seen. It was like another language. It was like art.
Once I thought it spelled out my name. There, in the shapes and curves of the waves, I saw it; “Bridget.” I asked Kevin if he noticed, but he didn’t. He never really saw what I saw. It said his name once, too.
It was June. I overheard Mom tell Dad another body turned up. Gracie Maydale this time. She was older than me by two years, so I never really knew her. Mom talked about moving. They had listed the house months ago, but I guess nobody wanted to move here. Dad said it was just the economy, whatever that meant. I thought it was the Riverboy’s fault.
Three days following Gracie’s death, I realized Kevin hadn’t called or come by or anything. He didn’t live very far, so I walked to his house and knocked on his big red door. His parents didn’t answer it, so I walked home.
“Mom?” I asked. “Have you talked to Mrs. Pearsley lately?”
“Oh, honey,” my mom replied in the voice she always used when there was bad news. I had heard it twice before; once, when she told me my guinea pig “ran away,” and again when she told me one of my old relatives that I never really knew had died. But this was different. This wasn’t a pet or a distant relative. This was Kevin. This was my best friend.
She told me he went missing three days ago. The same night Gracie’s body was found. How come they found Gracie, but not Kevin? Where had he gone?
There was only one place missing kids in my town were ever found.
The Riverboy’s river.
I waited for my parents to fall asleep, and even though I was more frightened than I had ever been, I found the bravery to run to the river in the black of night.
The streetlamps were dim, but they were enough. I flew past them, my sandaled feet hitting cold pavement. The farther I ran, the harder it was to make my legs move, like little weights jumped on with each passing yard. But I didn’t stop for anything.
When I reached the river, I stopped at the edge on a dime. The waters roared around me.
“Kevin!” I shrieked, cupping my hands around my mouth. The rushing water still drowned my voice. “KEVIN!” I tried again. “KEVIN PEARSLEY! You aren’t funny! Come out! Kevin!”
I heard a voice.
My best friend’s voice.
“Bridget?” he said.
It was so quiet, I thought it was impossible that I had heard it over the water. Yet it reached my ears clear as day, as if I had thought it myself, right there in my own head.
And then I saw him. Tiny Kevin Pearsley, standing stock-still in the middle of a rushing river. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought he didn’t feel the water at all. And he was coming closer, hands outstretched, fighting the current effortlessly. His skin looked blue in the light of the moon, reflecting off the water.
“Kevin! What are you doing in there?”
“Bridget, it’s cold.”
“Where have you been for three days, you big dummy?” I cried.
“It’s cold,” he said again. His voice was monotone, and his eyes were dull, his face was expressionless. “It’s cold. Help me.”
He reached out his hand. I hesitated.
One more word, flat, emotionless. I didn’t even see his blue lips move. “Help.”
I reached down and grabbed his hands. It was like grabbing ice; he slipped, and he froze, and I shivered. I felt him come up out of the water, and for a moment I felt a sense of total victory. My heart rejoiced. I smiled.
But then I fell in. The water crashed around me, numbing my skin, filling my ears, my eyes, my lungs.
I watched Kevin float to the surface, drifting away from me, but as I sank deeper, I still felt icy hands gripping mine.
Kevin Pearsley’s body was found on the riverbank the next morning. Bridget Allan’s was gone.
I was Bridget Allan once.
I’m the Riverboy now. It was Kevin Pearsley before me. Gracie Maydale. Countless others. Like good children at the playground, we take turns. We share. We wait.
I’m still waiting.