Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PJ Soles Blogathon: I TOTALLY had to take part!

When I heard that BJ-C of Day of the Woman was having a P.J. Soles Blogathon, I knew I had to get in on that. 
Soles' role as Lynda van der Klok in one of my favorite films, Halloween (1978), is so iconic - I had to give it some due.  Likewise, her bitchy Norma Watson in 1976's Carrie really trips my hate-o-meter. 
Soles, while having acted in dozens of other films, graciously seems to embrace her cult status in these two horror classics by attending conventions and making her legions of fans happy. 

You know the sign of a great actor?  When they can make you love and hate them on equal grounds. While I love her over-sexed, cheerleading obnoxiousness in Halloween, I have equal amounts of hate for her catty, bullying tomboy character in Carrie.  For an actress to gain my eternal respect they have to show layers of talent, and be able to both piss me off and make me laugh.  P.J. absolutely does this.

*Lynda is such an airheaded floozy in Halloween.  Why is she a great character?  I'll tell you:

1) She's more concerned with getting into the boy's locker room than into college. 

2) Her mind is filled with nothing but thoughts of getting drunk and finding a place to have copious amounts of sex with her bespectacled boyfriend Bob. 

3) She doesn't think anything of getting laid in the bedroom of her best friend's babysitter's house.

4) She's a typical bad friend, not giving two shits that Laurie doesn't have a date to the dance. She's too worried about getting her hair done! I like a girl with principles.

5) She has three new cheers to learn by morning!  Ah, the woes of being a popular cheerleader.  My heart bleeds.

6) She orders Bob around like a drill sargeant.  Don't rip my blouse! Bring me a beer!  You go get it! You idiot! Being in charge is sexy!

7) She has no need for school books.  She never brings homework home.  (Apparently she's too busy learning the lyrics to Don't Fear the Reaper and buying rubbers. No wait...she makes BOB get the condoms.)

8) She's a typical tease.  "See anything you like?"  But at that point she'd already delivered the goods, so the teasing is kind of a moot point.

9) Her ponytails are totally rad.

10) She dies well.  The telephone cord?  Classic, iconic kill.  Totally!

*And why do I hate Norma Watson in Carrie?

1) She's the BFF of Chris Hargenson, and that chick is a royal effing bitch. 

2) She wears that goddamned baseball cap everywhere.

3) Her pigtail braids are wildly annoying.

4) She wears sneakers (and that fucking ball cap) to the prom!

5) She's the one who rigs the prom king and queen voting, making sure Carrie is bound to have a blood bath.

6) Though she's supposedly Chris's best friend, she doesn't support her by walking out of gym/detention with her.  She doesn't want to miss THE PROM!

7) She's a snide, hateful girl who nearly rivals Chris, in particular when throwing tampons.

8) Norma is one of the very first people to laugh at Carrie when dumped with blood at prom.

9) She got clocked with the wrath of the wildly spraying fire hose which, while preventing her escape, didn't seem like a violent enough death for the little snot.

10) Bib overhalls.  Really???

*As this is a horror blog, I've showcased my two favorite P.J. Soles horror roles.  But let it be known that I am an overwhelming fan of her work in Stripes as MP Stella. 

That's some funny stuff there!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mindless Movie Monday: GROTESQUE: What The Hell Was That I Just Watched?

In the wake of so-called torture porn, there have been countless films showing unbearable, agonizing torture and death.  So much so that it has almost gotten redundant. Writers, directors and producers alike are always looking for the next great shock in horror.  This, my friends, is not shock.  It's not even schlock.
We have the Japanese to thank for the piece of refuse that is Grotesque.  Um, thanks Japan.  And to think I used to like you.

I can't actually say what prompted me to put this film in my Netflix queue, but the other day when it arrived, I got a feeling in my gut that it just wasn't going to light my fire.  Normally, I really dig foreign films.  Having just experienced the Korean beaut I Saw the Devil and deeming it fantastic, perhaps I was trying to catch lightning in a bottle again with another Asian movie.

HOWEVER.  Grotesque is pretty awful.  And I don't mean that in a good way. I suppose if you like nasty deaths that have no point whatsoever, or are turned on by movies deemed too violent or disgusting for ratings and are banned outright in several countries, then this film is going to be right up your alley. 
Essentially a "gorno" (apparently the Asian term for films of this 'nature'), it truly seems like nothing more than a (badder than usual) snuff film.

Aki and Kazuo (Tsugumi Nagasawa and Hiroaki Kawatsure) are a newly formed couple, just having left their very first date when they are struck on the head (a 'la Ted Bundy) by someone and kidnapped.
They wake to find themselves tied up in a frightful basement standing in for a torture chamber.  Without warning, a man (Shigeo Ōsako) appears who just starts randomly torturing them.  In all honesty it felt a bit like a couple teenagers got together and shot a film with the video feature on their phone.  It's not that the quality is all that bad - it's more like they gave no thought to having a point, getting the audience to relate to the characters, or introducing the sadistic madman set to make their lives a living hell.  Kind of felt like one of those really bad pornos, the kind that Jack and David are watching in An American Werewolf in London. 

Anyway, the man behind the misery is apparently a surgeon of some kind, and he sets about to use his "skills" to maim, hack, impair, cut, poke, slice, maul, disable, injure and mutilate our unlucky couple.  Before all the deprivation begins though, our menacing doctor decides to molest his victims.  In a display I seriously wish I hadn't seen, he hand-rapes the woman then jerks off the guy.  It's rather disturbing and sick.  And goddamned noisy. Ugh.  Made even more distressing by having the two watch each other while he forcibly gets them off, it's clear that this is what the surgeon is after.  Sexual gratification by way of harming and assaulting others.  Yuck.  Why did I rent this again? 

You know, it would have been (almost) tolerable if we'd have got to know either the couple or the sadist first, preferably both.  Without rhyme or reason and no discernible point, it meant nothing to me to have these poor souls have an arm chainsawed off, lose a nipple or two, be stuck with screwdrivers, or have an eye gouged out.   I didn't care about anyone, and I just felt dirty for watching the pornographic beginning prior to the slice and dice. 
Subtitles are kind of a moot point, as it was really unnecessary.  I could have watched the whole thing on mute - there wasn't a whole lot of story line to follow and what words were spoken I barely cared about. 

Near the end, they throw in what I assume they thought would be an analysis of the doctor's character - a reason for him to be such a sadistic pig.  But I found it utterly laughable and could only balk at the ridiculous notion presented.  The end just didn't justify the means.  Our maniacal surgeon really just seemed like a dirty little twirp.
And the final showdown?  Christ in a cartoon is it hilariously awful.  Get your warnings here, I'm begging you.

I've seen it written somewhere that this film raises the bar for cinematic violence.  While there is some ridiculous mayhem happening here, I've seen films just as violent that still managed to have a bit of plot to them.  There are absolutely no redeeming qualities to this movie at all.  I can't say I hated it, because to hate is to feel passion - and there is no passion here.

While I'm sure I've drove some to seek this film out by mention of all the foul sex and relentless brutality, I'd ask anyone who wishes to see this to think twice before doing so.  You just cannot get these 73 minutes back.
Oh, and male viewers beware: someone's Captain Winky is going to jump ship.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Bloody Sunday



Late Fee

Night Train Murders


Thursday, June 23, 2011

TRUE BLOOD: 10 Reasons Why Season Four Will Rock My World

 So... only a few days to go before the season premiere of True Blood, and my withdrawl is at a fever pitch. I've read a lot of info on the upcoming season - heard a lot of spoilers - checked out a bunch of trailers, including the first full 8 minutes. I'm so psyched for the premiere it would take Publisher's Clearinghouse at my door to tell me I won a million bucks for me to leave my couch Sunday night.  Even then I'd probably tell them to just hold up a bit.

A few years ago when the series started, I didn't have HBO.  I had no real intention of subscribing to it because I'm inherently cheap.  But then I saw an episode online.  I won't say where.  But Season One was already at the halfway mark and I had just finished the first four books.  So I caved.  I watched several more eps online and then subscribed to HBO and haven't looked back since. 

I'm curious to see what will happen in the season to follow, and am hoping for several things to happen.  Two of which are more Alcide, and more Eric.
I think my dreams are going to come true, people...

Here's what I'm looking forward to and my thoughts on why Season Four will be the best yet:

1) Witches.  Not that vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters aren't cool enough - it's just that I've always been kind of partial to a little bit of magic.  Shit always ends up going south when the craft is involved, so I'm thinking that combining black magic with vamps - probably a volatile combo.  Bring it.  And more action from Jesus (Kevin Alejandro, and that's Hey-Soos, not G-Zuz) and his hoodoo that he do?  Um, yes please.

2) More Alcide.  Ever since they introduced his character last year I was head over heels for this doggone (sorry) sexy slice of canine.  In the books, I'll be honest and say I wasn't a huge fan of the character.  I've always been more of a "vamp" girl.
But whatever brilliant True Blood casting agent took this Pittsburgh native (yay!) off the unemployment line and threw him a bone (sorry again), I want to kiss them silly. Not only is Joe Manganiello a series regular this year, he's supposedly going to be naked regularly as well.  I can find no problem with that.

3) Eric is going to soften up.  While I love the eternally edgy, in-charge bastard Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), I've read the books and can tell you that Dead to the World (from which Season 4 is based) is my favorite of the series so far.  I don't think it's a major spoiler to admit here that Eric is going to lose his memory (damn witches!) and become a gentle, more compassionate Eric.  And while you think you might hate that side of Eric, you can rest assured you won't.  Sookie won't either. 

4) Sam's gonna get some action.  After last season's trip to trailer trash hell when we met Sam's family and they turned his world upside down, it's time for Sam (Sam Trammell) to have a good time.  He deserves it, and though I'm sure his happiness probably won't last (never does!), at least he'll have another reason to bark at the moon.

5) Last season it looked like Tara (Rutina Wesley) was leaving Bon Temps for good.  And though I haven't heard much about what Tara is going to be up to (and don't really have the book to pull from as Tara isn't quite the same character in it), I'm sure she'll be the rough and ready Tara we're all so fond of.  Like Sam, she could use a heaping handful of we'll just have to wait and see.

6) One of my hubby's favorite characters is Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll).  Last year she was still trying to control herself and not kill people off, but did manage to salvage her relationship with good ol' boy Hoyt (Jim Parrack).  They were setting up to play house in the series finale, but just what was that weird doll doing on the floor in their house?  Could it be Hoyt's mom trying to voodoo her way back into his life?  And can the odd couple make a go of it even though Jess wants nothing to do with synthetic blood?

7) Oh Jason.  Just what kind of white trash have you got yourself tied to up there in Hot Shot?  I'm thinking the Deliverance-esque families in poor town are going to cause a whole heap of trouble for our favorite bumbling (but oh-so-sexy) birdbrain.
I've never been truly fond of the Hot Shot gang from the books, and wish Jason (Ryan Kwanten) wouldn't have gotten himself all wrapped up in their world, but hopefully Alan Ball will make it interesting.  I know it will be wild.  Literally.

8) Lafayette is one of my favorite characters.  I was extremely thrilled that he wasn't killed off at the end of Season One like he was in the book.  I know damn well it's Nelsan Ellis's superior acting skills that have created such a rich, nuanced character, and I applaud what he's done with Lafayette.  He's so fucking entertaining!  Can't wait to delve a little deeper into his psyche this season.

9) I sure hope Pam is going to get some well-deserved storylines this year instead of just being Eric's second.

Kristin Bauer van Straten takes that role and runs with it, and though last year she did have some of the very best lines of the season, she needs to do more than wait around for Eric's orders.  I hear through the grapevine that her role is beefed up, so I'm hoping that's true.

10) Bill.  Oh Bill. You were kind of an ass last year, weren't you?  But they are playing the books true to form on that one.  Hopefully they won't make Bill (Stephen Moyer) into the major douchbag he turned into in the novels.  I know he is one of creator Alan Ball's favorite characters, so that has me thinking his role won't go down the toilet on the show.  I hear he's getting a new job this year, and perhaps a new distraction from his beloved Sookeh!  In any event, I'm thinking Bill is going to have a fairly eventful year, after all - he is still one of the main draws to the series.

Naturally, there are other storylines I've neglected to mention so far.  For instance - just what is going to happen with Terry and Arlene?  Will her baby be the spawn of Satan (or rather, her serial-killing dead ex?).  Did Sam kill his struggling brother Tommy?  Assuming Bill lives in season four, which is, let's face it, a given - what the hell happened to the Queen of Louisiana?  And speaking of royalty...have we seen the last of Russell Edginton, King of Mississippi?  Or will he come back from his cement grave to torment Bon Temps and its residents?  What happened to Alcide's crack-addicted werewolf ex, Debbie Pelt?  Will Sheriff Andy Bellefleur become addicted to V or possibly just beat the holy hell out of Jason for being a dumb shit? Am I the only one who hopes we've seen the last of Summer, and I don't mean the season.  How will Nan Flanagan control her vamps and correct the public damage Russell inflicted on their race on national television?  Can the oft-glamoured Fangtasia waitress Ginger ever stop screaming?  And was that really Godric I saw in a preview?  Hope so.

My only real concern is the fairies.  I'm not a fan of fae in fiction, be it books, movies, or tv.  So all I can say is my hope is that they keep that Tinkerbell stuff to a minimum, or at least make it remotely interesting, cause I have to say I can do without the fantasy land Sookie took off to at the end of Season Three.

All in all, I'm looking very much forward to enjoying my Sunday nights with the folks at Bon Temps.

The action starts Sunday June 26th at 9pm.  Woot!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Saw The Devil: Swift Justice Is For Sissies

I've been trying, for over a week or so, to write a review for I Saw the Devil.  In doing so, I've come up with pretty much a rambling mess of words I've deleted several times.  I've previously read so many mixed reviews about it as well, and some of them made me scratch my head and say, Whaaaat??  I was surprised that there were people out there who actually didn't like it.  So of course that made me go back and ponder the film yet again.  What was there not to like?  Granted it can't be literally categorized as a horror film, but I think if one watches the trailer, you can kind of see what you're in store for.

So I've thought about it and here's the deal.  I like action films.  I like anything that can be even halfway considered action. Give me a whole mess of nasty, bloody, shoot-'em-up, cut-'em-to-pieces, jaw-snapping, bone-crunching, revenge-soaked action films.  I'm a massive fan of Jason Statham and his kick-ass-and-take-names-later attitude.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Expendables. I am not embarrassed to say Bloodsport is on my DVD shelf.  I've seen all the Rambo films - more than once.  I watch Bruce Lee with my hubby.  War movies are cool.  Mel and his Road Warrior flicks?  Check. Gladiators? Oh yes, please.  Swords and Middle Earth?  But of course. Pissed off cop movies?  Most certainly. James Bond?  Hells yeah.  So that is my conclusion.
Does that make me a guy's girl?  Probably, also considering my extreme love of horror, sci-fi and J.R.R. Tolkien to boot.

But that's beside the point.  We're talking intense, S.Korean subtitled revenge films here.  And this one has to be an example of one of the very best.  From the mind of Ji-woon Kim (A Tale of Two Sisters, among other reputable films) comes the story of Soo-hyun (Byung-hun Lee, whom I now have a profound crush on), a grief-stricken man who is trying to come to grips with the senseless murder of his beloved fiance Ju-yeon by a psychopathic serial killer.  But murderous Kyung-chul (portrayed by none other than Old Boy star, Choi Min-sik) has no idea what he's in for.  He just fucked with the wrong guy.  You see, Soo-hyun is a whip-smart secret agent.  Combine that with the fact that Ju-yeon's father is a retired police chief, and I think you can see where we're headed. 

First and foremost, this film wastes no time getting right down to it.  Ju-yeon is stranded in her car on a dark, snowy highway waiting for a tow truck while chatting with Soo-hyun on her cell.  When a stranger appears at her car window and asks if she is alright, the tense Ju-yeon expresses thanks but sends him on his way.  Unfortunately, he doesn't leave.   In fact, he smashes the window, pulls her out of the car, and proceeds to beat her into unconsciousness with a hammer.  The visual of him dragging her through the snow, leaving a blood trail behind, is sadly striking.  Where he takes her and what he does to her is beyond comprehension.

The lair of a serial killer has been done on film countless times before, but perhaps not with so much realism.  Violence is this guy's middle name, and even when Ju-yeon pleads for her life - adding the fact that she's pregnant to hope to jar some feelings in the madman standing over her with a very big meat cleaver - it doesn't disrupt his grisly task.  As her engagement ring falls into a drain we, as the audience, are left in despair and wondering just what the point is.

What made it even more real to me, I think, are the brief moments before her death when Ju-yeon is still in her car and on the phone with Soo-hyun.  He is apologizing for working on her birthday again, and quiet romantic exchanges are seen and heard, including a few verses of a song Soo-hyun sings to her to settle her nerves.  Their love is blatantly evident, and the fact that they are such a gorgeous, happy couple doesn't hurt things either. I mean, don't you always feel worse for the beautiful people?  Seriously, I have no doubt if me and my neighbor down the street who looks like Charlize Theron were both kidnapped by a serial killer, I'm pretty sure she'd have the sympathetic vote of pretty much everyone in my town. (And yes there is someone in my town who looks like Charlize Theron.)

The sickening scenes of the discovery of her body follow, with both her father and her fiancee struck with anguish as the truth is revealed.
However, when all the funereal happenings are over, Soo-hyun is not content with simply packing her away in his memory and moving on.  Um, not even close.
And so begins the hunt for Kyung-chul.  Obviously, Soo-hyun is not your average grieving widow. He's a top-class secret agent with a (Daniel Craig-esque) James Bond skill-set in place that rivals my Jason Statham on his best day. 
After acquiring some cool surveillance gadgets at work and a list of four possible suspects from his future father-in-law, he sets out to wreak havoc and get some revenge for his lost love.
And so the hunter becomes the hunted...

Tracking down the first suspect, he finds him getting off to some porn and so Soo-hyun proceeds to bash his balls in quite rightly.  Realizing he isn't his guy, he moves on to suspect number two.  This poor chap goes ass over tin cups when Soo-hyun runs him down with his car.  The gut-churning ass-whoopings he hands out in search of his prey are all too rewarding.  I started to think perhaps I might be a tad demented for actually enjoying the brutal violence. 

But when Soo-hyun tracks down suspect number three, we know that this is our guy.  And it only takes a little chat with the killer's folks for Soo-hyun to go to Kyung-chul's house, rummage through his drawers, and realize with all certainty that he's on the right track.

In particular when he discovers the torture chamber and finds Ju-yeon's engagement ring. That's all it takes for him to go internally ballistic.

The scene in which the two finally meet is so rewarding that I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation of the ruthless ass-kicking to come.  Kyung-chul is fairly deluded though, not having any idea that Soo-hyun isn't just a disgruntled fiancee ready to die in the name of love.
 Their battle is swift and decisive, with Kyung-chul hitting the pavement in utter surprise and fear.  Soo-hyun isn't finished here though, instead leaving the bastard incapacitated for the moment but soon aware of the cat and mouse game put into play.

And then... there's at least another hour of film.  As ridiculous as that may sound, and for as much as you ask yourself how there could possibly be that much more to say...oh, there is.   It is here where the film takes a relentless pace that doesn't end till the credits roll.

You see, Soo-hyun is trained for all kinds of covert situations and is used to chasing the worst of criminals, and so he decides not to finish off Kyung-Chul quite so easily.  In fact, Soo-hyun wavers precariously between still human and a vicious machine.  Feelings are secondary, and he practically becomes as cruel and merciless as the man from which he seeks retribution.

 So what follows is violence, violence, and more violence.  There's a berserk scene in a taxi cab that just screams over-the-top. Likewise, an unrestrained episode of foot carnage that makes Pet Sematary look like a picnic. 
What I think I enjoyed the most was the chase. Or perhaps I just got off on watching Byung-hun Lee punishing the hell out of this poor chap.
Yeah, I think that's it.

And just when you think it's all over, Soo-hyun whispers in his target's ear:  "Your nightmare's only getting worse..."  And he's absolutely correct.

But the thing is, you want Soo-hyun to be maniacal.  I found myself cheering him on every time he exacts a bit more justice by way of gory injuries and frenzied rage. His conscious is gone, he has nothing left to give him pleasure except the compulsion to torture Ju-yeon's killer.  Even when her family begs him to stop his endless rampage, he simply cannot.  He's got to see it through until the point that he can grasp the reality that Ju-yeon isn't coming back and that all the self-induced suffering in the world won't make him whole again.  Morality is absent by this time in the film, and it was impossible, at least for me, not to encourage our hero (can we call him that?) to keep up the cruelty.  You just want to see that bad guy go down.  Will anything be brutal enough?  Is there any death worthy of what he deserves? 

It's no surprise that by the end of the film it's easy to feel completely drained and emotionally empty by the endless violence and complete wrath.  After all, we've just sat through nearly two and a half hours of ferocious yet passionate violence. But to me, this is just one beautifully shot movie with palpable anguish that drives the story to its satisfying yet terribly melancholy ending. The acting is fantastic, and though I was already familiar with Choi Min-sik, I have a new-found admiration for his counterpart, Byung-hun Lee.  This guy is not only a great actor, but is just so lovely to look at.  Makes me want to buy a poster of him shirtless and hang it on my wall like a thirteen year old.  Doubtful that my husband would approve of this, but the thought is already out there.

So after all this rambling what do we know? 
We know there is an unimaginable amount of nearly non-stop violence, some tender moments between lovers and at the funeral service that served to humanize and justify the events, and great acting and cinematography.  If you like your revenge served up with sides of malevolence and hatred, I can think of no better film to tickle your fancy.

Easily one of my favorite films I've seen so far this year.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Feast 2

Brain Dead (2007)

Don't Torture A Duckling

Friday the 13th, Part 3

Tokyo Gore Police

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Life In Films: Part 3: The 90's

As I move into a new decade of films to spotlight, I'm pretty sure I mentioned that the nineties were not exactly booming with awesome horror films, in my humble opinion.  In fact, it was difficult in a couple of cases to even find a movie I liked well enough to choose. 

But that being said, I was still able to find some titles that tickled my fancy and that I appreciated enough to include on such a list.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my hero, The Mike - of From Midnight, With Love fame, who inspired me to tackle this little list - which turned out to be not so little when you factor in how many years I've been alive and the addition of non-horror films which I couldn't resist listing.
After all, aren't you the least bit curious to see if I ever watch anything that doesn't have guts, gore or ghosts in it??

So from the land of Japanese horror remakes, Nazis, teens in trouble, big-ass dinosaurs, deadly sins, and Wes Craven's return to form, I give you - my 90's.

MISERY, 1990
This is one of my favorite Stephen King books and the adaption here is truly awesome.
I don't know what else I can say about a movie with the phrase:
"He didn't get out of the cock-a-doodie car!"

Honorable mention:  GHOST

Sure, I can be a romantic. In fact, I love romantic movies, done right.  And since this one has a little hint of spookiness, it's all the better.  And I love Patrick Swayze.  Loved, that is.  (*tear*)

Okay, so I won't bore you again by mentioning this movie was literally filmed in my small home town.
But I will say it's one goddamned excellent film, and that cannot be denied.
"One more thing.  Love your suit."

Honorable mention:  THELMA & LOUISE
And no, not because of Brad Pitt and his Levi's. 
Because it kicks ass and takes names later.

I've always had a thing for this movie, and with good reason.
Tony Todd is an icon here, and scares me more than Freddy and Jason combined.

For every man that was scared by Fatal Attraction, there are an equal amount of parents who had the piss scared out of them watching this movie.  It's hard to find good child care, isn't it?

To every asshole that says this is not a horror movie, I say you're flat-out lying if you say you weren't shaking in your boots when that T-Rex trashed that Ford Explorer. 

Honorable mention:  THE FUGITIVE
My favorite Harrison Ford movie, and that's saying a lot - cause I'm a huge Indiana Jones fan.
Tommy Lee Jones is equally as impressive here.  The film rocks.

Quite honestly, I could find no other film from 1994 that really spoke to me.  And let me just say I hate Tom Cruise as Lestat.  Not to say that he didn't do a fine job here, I just never saw him as the charismatic vamp that I read about in all those books.  Still don't.  Sorry. 
But the film itself is lush, atmospheric, and does the book justice. 
Honorable mention:  FORREST GUMP
A movie like this doesn't come around every day.  And while I know it has legions of haters, to them I say you just don't get it, and you probably never will.  This film has my heart.  So there.

SE7EN, 1995
I am still affected every time I watch this film.  It's hard to sit through, but the acting is great, the storyline greater, and the devastating ending - sublime.

Honorable mention:  MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS
I'm a music geek.  Always have been.  And this film moved me to tears the first time I saw it. Besides Jaws, I never really liked Richard Dreyfuss much until I saw this movie. 
He was robbed of an Academy Award that year by the depressing performance by Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas.
Anyone who cares about music and music education should give this one a look.

Yeah, I could have went with Scream here. Or From Dusk Till Dawn. Both are movies I enjoy and own. But The Craft is just one of those movies you know you probably shouldn't like as well as you do but you throw caution to the wind and say Fuck it, I like this!

Honorable mention:  TWISTER
It should really embarrass me when I say that I have the lines in this movie memorized from frequent viewings.  But it doesn't.  I effing love this summer popcorn disaster flick. 
"I gotta go Julia, we got cows..."

Laugh all you want, this is my '97 film and I'm sticking with it.  For some reason, I really dug this predictable teen scream flick.  Maybe it was just the ocean location and the creepy, urban legend-steeped-fisherman hook-wielding killer, but I like it!

Honorable mention:  THE EDGE
I'm pretty sure the giant, 1500 pound Kodiak grizzly bear who starred in this film is 100% scarier than the fisherman from IKWYDLS.  This is a really cool adventure thriller - check it out.
And no...I didn't choose Titanic here. Let that shock settle.

Nazis scare the tar out of me.  Always have.  And why shouldn't they?
The first time I saw this Stephen King story put to film, it freaked me out quite rightly.
Oh, and I love Ian McKellan, don't you?

Honorable mention:  AMERICAN HISTORY X
Speaking of Nazi's:  this movie is one of the most powerful pieces of film making I have ever,
EVER seen.
I have no idea who won the Oscar that year but it was a serious error in judgment not to give it to the unbelievable performance of Edward Norton here. 
Oh, and it contains my "scariest moment on film, ever":  the curbing.  Yikes.

You didn't think I'd get through any kind of list without having Johnny Depp in here somewhere, did you? Nahhh!  Most of what JD does is golden to me, and he's pretty noticeable within the horror genre.  But Sleepy Hollow is such a grim, beautifully shot movie.  I love everything about it, in particular the Elfman score and the dark, moody atmosphere.  Oh, and Johnny of course.

Honorable mention:  THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
If you're wondering what this movie is all about, then you obviously haven't seen it and you need to.  It's on my top ten list, any genre.  I've seen it countless times and can't recommend it highly enough.

Next up:  the 2000's and beyond.  Some fine films to sort through.  Might be a rough one.
Coming soon.....