.the ramblings of a radman.

Tag: Halloween (Page 1 of 4)

Scary Movie Month – Day 31 – Evil Dead 2 & Army of Darkness

I have watched Evil Dead 2 (iTunes) and Army of Darkness (iTunes) a number of times, but what makes them so enjoyable, is watching them again and again to find new things to enjoy. Not that the movie is filled with subtlety. But rather, there are amazing things happening all the time, that your brain usually can’t handle it all at once, so you must watch the movie again to take it all in.

Evil Dead 2 is less of a sequel to the original The Evil Dead (iTunes), and more of a remake, with a much higher budget. Where The Evil Dead ends, like many horror movies, with a lone survivor that believes he is out of danger only to be attacked once again (with little to no hope in sight) as the credits roll, Evil Dead 2 sets up a sequel with a wholly different style.

Army of Darkness is a campy, action flick with some of the greatest one-liners in the history of cinema. If you ever played Duke Nukem 3D, you’ll recognize many of them. It has long been one of my favorite movies of all time, despite the stop-animation skeletons not quite holding up to today’s standards. The rest of the movie is a rather epic tale of one man’s determination to do what’s right (with a lot of pushing) and return to his own time.

I know that I’m not giving you a whole lot of information on these movies, and that’s because it’s really important that you simply watch them. Just remember: the more blood used in a scene, the better it is. This is always true.

And thanks to those of you that followed along with my day-by-day horror movie marathon. It was a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Scary Movie Month – Day 30 – The Thing

The Thing (iTunes) is one of those movies that I saw parts of when I was a child and remembered it being awesome, but never found the opportunity to sit down and watch it from the beginning. John Carpenter made a name for himself in the late 70s and early 80s thanks to films like The Thing and Halloween, which were both scary and visceral. The Thing took it to a whole new level with some of the most incredible special effects of its time (which still hold up very, very well today).

The best part of this movie is the way the characters quickly become suspicious of each other, which I feel confident is how things would go down in real life. There are also some great characters and a number of recognizable faces. Wilford Brimley sans-beard is a sight to behold.

I’m now really excited to see the prequel, and I’m going to have to try and track down the Xbox game that picks up where the movie left off, because I have heard excellent things about it, as well.

Scary Movie Month – Day 29 – Poltergeist

Nearly everything that Steven Spielberg touches turns to gold, which is why I was excited to watch Poltergeist (iTunes). The beginning of the movie is creepy as all seven hells, as the little girl goes downstairs to talk to the TV, and it doesn’t stop there. A number of shots throughout this movie are decidedly creepy.

It’s always a pleasant surprise when I see famous actors and actresses in movies that predate where I first discovered them. While I always knew that Craig T. Nelson would have begun his career before Coach, I never knew he was in this movie. His performance is excellent, but it pales in comparison to how incredible Heather O’Rourke is. Spielberg is one of those rare producers and directors that is capable of finding child actors that are miles above the rest, and while he didn’t direct this film, his influence can be seen in how amazing she is in this movie.

The end of the movie is also excellently creepy. After it seems as though everything is safe again, the ending goes on longer than it should, until you realize that it’s not over at all, and the truly terrifying visuals haven’t yet begun. Had I seen this movie as a child, I am sure that I would have had nightmares forever.

If you’ve never seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to watch it, even if just for the last 30 minutes of awesomeness.

Also, Star Wars bedsheets!

Awesome Free Games (and one app) for iOS (today only)

So, I like to share when I find out awesome apps are free to download, but I usually do so via Twitter. The main reason for that is because it’s faster to just post a link with a brief description and name. However, today there are some truly awesome apps available to download to celebrate Halloween (or Samhain, in the Old Language) so I dedicated a blog entry to them. Let’s start with the games:

The Creeps! / The Creeps! HDThe Creeps! was one of my early recommendations for the iPhone, and while its place on my home screen has been usurped over the years, it is always a solid recommendation for anyone looking for a great tower defense title. In the game, you build defenses to fight off monsters that are pouring through from a closet door to Hell and trying to reach your bed. The various weapons are unique compared to other tower defense titles, both in design and utility. The developers have continued to support the game by creating loads of add-on level packs, but even without them, the game is totally worth its usual asking price of $1.99. You really should get it while it’s free.

Scre4m / Scre4m HD – So, I didn’t even know this game existed until today, and I’m so glad I found out about it. You get to play as the killer in this delightful isometric, tap-to-kill bloodbath. Move Ghostface around the screen by tapping where you want him to go, sneak up on unsuspecting high schoolers, and cut them to ribbons, all while avoiding the cops (or killing them, too). I highly recommend downloading it as soon as possible.

IN TIME – So, I didn’t even know about this movie, and I don’t know if I really care. I love JTims and all, but he’s never really sold me on his skills as a dramatic actor. This game is kind of fun, but not fantastic. I enjoyed it for about 30 minutes, because it was free, but I never would have paid for it. It’s an endless running game, but in 3-D. You are running forward, trying to grab time capsules to increase your life, while trying to escape from the time police, and giving away seconds of your life to citizens in an attempt to boost your score multiplier. It’s actually kind of cool, but believe me when I say that it’s not worth its initial asking price. Get it while it’s free and trash it if you think it sucks.

The Terminator – This is a rather basic dual-stick shooter, that feels less like an iOS game and more like a Super Nintendo or original Playstation game, due to the fact that you don’t actually aim in 360 degrees, but rather in 8 directions. That doesn’t take away from the fun of slaughtering wave after wave of skinless T-800s. It’s free for Halloween, as well, so snatch it up!

And now, the one app:

Incredibooth – The advent of digital cameras saw the decline of photo booths across America. But now, thanks to the power of the iPhone 4/4S and iPod touch, you can enjoy a digital photo booth in the palm of your hand! This app recreates the photo booth experience by taking four pictures in succession via the front-facing camera and creating a photo strip that you can then export to your camera roll or share via email, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s fun, it’s fancy, and it’s free (for a short time).

Scary Movie Month – Day 28 – Pet Sematary

Stephen King is a master of the macabre, but his stories don’t always translate well to the screen, usually because great scenes are either ruined or left out entirely. In the case of Pet Sematary (iTunes), the film is fantastic. The effects hold up very well by today’s standards, and the final 45 minutes of the movie are creepy as all hell.

There aren’t a lot of scary moments at the start of the movie, aside from a few jumps, but the end of the movie more than makes up for it. The idea of a 2-year-old demon child attacking his parents and family friend is creepy on its own, but the visceral nature in which he goes after them with a scalpel is gut-wrenching. Of course, as a parent, this movie hits harder than others, especially as I think about what the finale means for the daughter, who is away with her grandparents.

Also, I absolutely love to hate the 80s tradition of writing terrible songs to play during the end credits of horror films that use the title of the movie to try and be somehow relevant. This movie is no exception. I don’t care if it is by The Ramones, it’s still ridiculous and cheesy. Does that mean that I wouldn’t buy an entire collection of these songs and rock out to them all? Of course not. I’m still bound by my desire for all things schlock.

So far, this is probably my favorite of the 80s horror films that I’ve watched this month. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good scary movie to watch this All Hallow’s Eve (or Samhain, if you prefer).

Scary Movie Month – Day 27 – The Amityville Horror

So, apparently I saw the 2005 remake (iTunes) of this movie back when it came out on DVD, and had forgotten about it. It didn’t take long to remember, though, since the remake borrows heavily from the original. The Amityville Horror (iTunes) is the supposedly true story of a haunted house in Amityville, New York, wherein a family that moved into the house claimed they were terrorized by paranormal phenomena. Based on the book of the same name, it was made scarier in the early days of its release, due to the claims of the events depicted being true.

One of the nicest things about the original, though, was the extra 30 minutes of length, showing the audience many more of the events from the book. Also, Margot Kidder was super-hot in this movie. I’m talking white-hot, supernova. I never felt the same way about her in the Superman movies, but maybe I should watch them again.

The only real problem with this movie is that there are no real scares to be had. There’s a general sense of unease and a few moments where you worry about what might happen, but nothing truly frightening. If you’re looking for a truly excellent haunted house movie, then I once again refer you to The Haunting (iTunes), which was simply outstanding.

Scary Movie Month – Day 26 – A Nightmare on Elm Street

The most important rule to remember in a scary movie is to never trust that your boyfriend will actually do what you tell him and stay awake to protect you. Instead, he will inevitably fall asleep and either let you die or die himself. And if that boyfriend is an adorable, baby Johnny Depp, he will explode in a spray of blood all over the ceiling and walls. Which is actually pretty awesome when you think about how everyone else in this movie dies.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (iTunes) is yet another 80s horror flick that focuses more on bizarre rather than truly scary moments. Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are often more terrifying than most 80s horror movies.

Elm Street, however, still has an iconic villain that is synonymous with horror: Freddy Krueger. Where Friday the 13th was generic and terrible, Elm Street was original and entertaining. Not scary, but fun to watch. Robert Englund’s Krueger is an excellent villain and he is so much fun to watch. I’m now interested in watching the entire series. I’ll probably watch all of the Jason films, as well, just so I can properly enjoy Freddy vs. Jason, even though I don’t feel confident that any of his films get better.

Scary Movie Month – Day 25 – Friday the 13th

I always knew that Jason wasn’t the killer in the first Friday the 13th (iTunes), but I never quite understood how he becomes the killer for the rest of the movies. I get it now. I also didn’t realize that this movie was so terrible. I mean, just awful. I get that now, too.

Honestly, the only reason to see this movie at all is because it spawned 8+ sequels/remakes. It’s worth seeing for the nostalgia, but not by much.

I can’t even say any more about this movie. If I ever watch this movie again, it’ll be simply to make fun of it.

Scary Movie Month – Day 24 – Halloween

The king of all slasher movies, Halloween is responsible for nearly the entirety of the genre as we know it today. While Psycho may have been the first, John Carpenter’s seminal masterpiece is responsible for taking Hitchcock’s formula and refining it to blade’s edge, creating such iconic moments as seeing through the killer’s eyes as he stalk his prey, mysterious phone calls with no one on the line, and even a lone girl trapped in a house while a relentless killer attempts to butcher her.

Carpenter managed to make a name for himself with this film, leading to a future directing a number of horror and schlock action flicks (including my personal favorite, Big Trouble in Little China [iTunes]). I’ll be revisiting his work this weekend with The Thing (iTunes), and I can’t tell you how excited I am for that. This movie is also responsible for catapulting Jamie Lee Curtis to stardom, and we can’t thank Carpenter enough for that.

Scary Movie Month – Day 23 – Child’s Play

Child’s Play (iTunes) is one of those movies that is simultaneously scary and hilarious at the same time. The idea of a doll coming to life and murderizing people is terrifying. And yet, it’s also hilarious, because it’s a freaking doll! I mean, just hold the damned thing by its wrists and it can’t do anything. Anyway, this movie is totally worth watching for the great slow-motion shots of Chucky being shot and hurled across the room by the force of the bullets. Oh, and for the fact that Prince Humperdinck plays a cop (also, I bet you didn’t realize that he also played Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas).

The inimitable Brad Dourif makes an excellent Chucky, even though we only actually get his voice for the majority of the movie. Even today, the puppetry for this movie is still excellent, though I am looking forward to seeing the quality of the new Child’s Play that is scheduled for release in 2013 (again, with Dourif returning as the evil, little demon-doll). This is definitely one worth checking out for its fun-factor, even if the scares are a little weak.

Also, you may have noticed that this was not originally on the calendar for today, but due to a mix-up, I did not actually have The Amityville Horror (iTunes) at this time, so I swapped it with this movie. The calendar has since been updated.

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