Monday, October 8, 2012

The Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Madness:Week 1..What Eric Watched

By Eric Polk-
Sup Reaps! It's your friendly neighborhood 300lb horror nerd with my results of Week 1 of the Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Madness over on Facebook. For those who don't know, the HHMMM is a yearly event hosted by DBHR fav Mrs. Elizabeth Grey in which 30 contestants strive to survive a steady diet of horror movies and tv shows. This year's theme is Classic Creatures and Vampires whose scaly surface I only managed to scratch.

Day 1-
Star Trek:The Original Series-“Obsession”(Season 2, episode 13)
A vampire-like entity that haunted Captain Kirk aboard the U.S.S. Farragut 11 years prior returns to finish what  it started.
Warp Factor 8.5 out of 10….Underrated Trek episode showing that even in an enlightened future, the human need for revenge is timeless.
1 base point(60 minutes)
1 bonus point(Argument:Mr. Spock determines the entity, a gaseous cloud which drains human red blood cells, is a sentient being. I wish to invoke the cultural variations clause in the scoring)
2 points
Aliens:Directors  Cut(1991)
This first sequel of the Alien franchise takes Ellen Ripley to the now-colonized planet LV-426. This time she’s brought the Marines!!!
5 well-earned stars out of 5…Fantastic, action packed follow-up to the original!
2.5 base points(154 minutes)
Day 2-
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century-“Space Vampire”(Season 1, episode 14)
A vampire-like entity arrives aboard a damaged base searching for his next batch of victims.
Warp Factor 7 out of 10…Buck Rogers is perhaps the worst sci-fi series ever but this particular episode actually was somewhat good and somewhat scary.
1 base point(60 minutes)
2 bonus points(1 for a cultural variant vampire, 1 for Col. Wilma Deering on-screen transforming from vampire back to human)
3 points total
Tv-movie in which a paleontologist and his daughter encounter a group of living, breathing gargoyles.
3/5…Great makeup and good first half outweigh a deficient second half of the movie.
2 base points(74 minutes)
1 bonus point(Gargoyles living in cave which, as defined by Wikipedia, is underground)
3 points total
Day 3
Red Dwarf-“The End”(Series  1, Episode 1)
The debut episode of this apparent cult classic. Dave Lister is placed in stasis for refusing to give up the whereabouts of his forbidden pet cat. When he emerges from stasis, three million years later, he discovers that everybody has died from a radiation leak.
4 laughs out of 5…Need to watch more episodes to make a fair assessment.
 0.5 base points(30 minutes)
The Simpsons-“Treehouse of Horror IV”(Season 4, episode 5)
“The Devil and Homer Simpson", "Terror at 5½ Feet", and "Bart Simpson's Dracula" head up this year’s All-Hallows Eve edition of the longest-running animated series in history.
5 laughs out of 5…The Devil and Homer Simpson is my favorite Treehouse segment.
0.5 base points(30 mins.)
Automatic Triple Bonus-Vampire Bart turns into a bat in “Bart Simpson’s Dracula”(3 pts)
3 pts.
3 points total
Day 4
Return of the Aliens Deadly Spawn a.k.a The Deadly Spawn(1983)-A carnivorous monster from space terrorizes a group of people from a basement.
4 bites out of 5…FANTASTIC low-budget SFX is the centerpiece of this film
2 base points(78 minutes)
1 bonus point(A poster for Universal Pictures version of Frankenstein, featuring Frankenstein’s Monster, is on bedroom wall of the young boy’s room)
3 points total
Day 5-
American Werewolf in London(1981)-The werewolf genre gets a badly needed early-80s makeover which is replete with humor and gore.
4 howls out of 5…At times, I wonder if Rick Baker’s Academy Award-winning SFX were the only things holding this film together. Once you see the complete transformation, the movie kinda gets bland(final Jack encounter notwithstanding)
2 base points(96 mins)
3 bonus points(One for Shapeshifter, one for on-screen transformation, one for damage to London’s Piccadilly Square as per Liz)
5 points total

Day 6-
South Park-“Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes”(Season 9, episode 8)
A store which only vaguely reminds me of an Evil Corporation store invades our favorite animated Colorado town with the expected satirical results
5 Timmys out of 5-I always love when the Evil Corporation gets a well-earned swipe.
0.5 base points(30 minutes)
1 bonus point(Tidy Monster death-The evil store swallows itself whole and disappears ala Poltergeist)
1 total point

The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)-A wax museum curator wishes to make the sister of a sassy newspaper reporter into his version of Marie Antoinette
¼ a vat of wax out of a full vat-I appreciate the fact that this served as the basis for the Vincent Price remake but, other  than  Glenda Farrell’s acting and the suspenseful climax, it just didn’t do it for me.
2 base points(77 minutes)
3 bonus points(1 for being released before 1959, 1 for Robert Osbourne of TCM introducing the movie, 1 for the burn-faced man-monster antagonist falling in a vat of boiling wax and disappearing….I wish to site Freddy Kruger and his similarly burned face as an example of a monster)
5 points total


Day 7
Mark of the Vampire(1935)-A pair of vampires led by the incomparable Bela Lugosi stalk the house of a murder victim’s family.
0 bites marks….The WTF ending tanked this otherwise standard vampire film
1 base point(60 minutes…This is the recut version of the original 80 minute version)
Automatic Triple Bonus…Bat transforms into vampire(3 pts)
4 points total

1 point for co-hosting the September 28th episode of Dollar Bin Horror Radio
0.5 points for listening to half-hour of the first presidential debate on my radio during my lunch break
1.5 points total
Movies watched before The Madness but reviewed on Dollar Bin Horror during Week 1
The Sender(1982)-The dreams of a suicidal young man haunt the dreams of both his doctor and his fellow insane asylum residents.
4/5-Vastly underrated psychological horror movie
2 base points(90 minutes)
1 bonus point(an insane asylum is featured though called a mental hospital in this movie)
3 points total

The Grey(2012)-A group of airplane crash survivors captained by Mr. Qui-Gon Jinn himself must brave both the elements and a ravenous pack of wolves on their way to safety.
3/5-The second half drags down the suspense of the first. Liam Neeson, of course, is great.
2 base points(117 minutes)
2 points total

Silent House(2011)-A young girl is haunted by weird, scary noises in her home.
BIG ZERO!!!!! How about something that holds our interest next time rather than showing a girl doing nothing but running throughout the house?!?!
2 base points(87 minutes)
2 points total

The Howling Three:The Marsupials(1987)-A hybrid human/marsupial, her child, and her mate must stay one step ahead of  solders, scientists, and a good story in this stand-alone sequel
BIG ZERO!!!! It’s a PG-13 horror film!!! Better yet(or worse yet)…It’s an 80s PG-13 horror film…A part of me died after watching this…This movie DOES NOT REPRESENT what the 80s horror scene was about.
2 base points(94 minutes)
2 bonus points(One for  Shapeshifter, One for on-screen transformation….At a ballet practice)
4 points total

Total for Week One:41.5

Looks like I'm going to have to dig in my heels and search for a few automatic triple bonus movies if I'm going to help Team Slither triumph!

As a special bonus to the Reapling Nation, I'm having a mini-contest of my own. At the end of each competition week, I'm going to pick what I felt was the best movie  watched within those 7 days.  The winners will then clash next month in a fatal four-way to determine my grand champion Movie of the Madness in November. The only qualification for candidacy is that I've never seen the movie before.

Thus, the winner of Week One....a no-brainer. When compared to a tv-movie,mediocre horror film from the 1930s, and a POS vampire flick, this film steamrolled Gargoyles,The Mystery of the Wax Museum, and Mark of the Vampire like Ellen Ripley against an Alien Queen...Befitting.

                     Aliens moves on to the November's Fatal-Four Way Grand Match of My Madness!

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