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Added by the giraffe on 20 Aug 2017 10:10
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October 2017 Horrorfest

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Home invasion viewings

People who added this item 5236 Average listal rating (3462 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.8
Ghostbusters (1984)
Re-watch - Oct. 1st

Since October started on a Sunday that I had the kiddo, we decorated the house for Halloween and I pulled a small stack of movies from my shelves for her and me to watch throughout the month. I managed to talk her into watching Ghostbusters first, which has been a favorite of mine since I was about her age. She definitely enjoyed it and wasn't scared at all by anything that happened in the movie.

I really can't think of anything to say beyond that I still love this movie and am always glad when I revisit it and see that it still holds up well. It was definitely a great way to kick off my Horrorfest.
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People who added this item 108 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.6
Chopping Mall (1986)
First viewing - Oct. 2nd

So clearly Chopping Mall is by no means a great classic of the genre, but knowing Barbara Crampton was in it and having occasionally seen it spoken of positively I wanted to give it a chance. It's clearly a cheaply made B movie, and while that means some aspects (acting mainly) suck if you let its shortcomings slide a little there's plenty of fun to be had. Some of the stores in the mall have names that are references to other movies or people, which was a constant source of enjoyment for me. It's obvious we're following slasher movie rules, yet the fact that it's mall security robots taking on humans makes it feel fresh and there are some very amusing kills. All in all I thought it was worth watching once.

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People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 5.1 IMDB Rating 5.2
The Mutilator (1984)
First viewing - Oct. 3rd

I'd never heard of The Mutilator until its tagline popped up as a question on a game I used to play, so when I saw it was available on Prime I figured I'd see what it was like. Evidently the film is really called Fall Break but when it went to video they changed the title on the package (and only the package, which had me initially questioning whether there was a mix-up) in hopes more people would watch it. And while the title change is certainly an improvement, it doesn't fix any of the issues the film has which makes it little wonder that few have seen it.

The acting is pretty bad, so don't be surprised if you don't recognize a single name here. Yes, it's a slasher movie, but unlike most slashers you know all along who is killing the young people so there's no mystery element to it & the film doesn't bother trying to throw you off or add a twist. So basically it's just a guy killing some people and seeing who survives the night and who doesn't, though even that winds up being exactly what you'd expect. The only thing I can say in its favor was that it kept moving for the most part & the effects were decent, so it wasn't a total waste of time. Still, I can't say it needs to be sought out by those who haven't seen it.

Just a thought: The opening credits show this film comes from OK Productions, which I'm guessing they called themselves because they weren't sure how to spell Mediocre.

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People who added this item 43 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.3
Frightmare (1974)
First viewing - Oct. 4th

This was a big step up from the two films that preceded it. Frightmare marks the first film I've watched this month where I genuinely had no idea where it would end up, and the fact it kept me guessing until the end was a welcome change. The cast is solid and the effects are pretty good for the most part. I did feel, however, that the ending could have gone a different way and been more powerful, and perhaps if it were remade today it could be done more like I'd envisioned. The only real issue I had with it is that the pacing could be a little better as there are a few spots where things slow down more than they should. But if you can stay patient it turns out to be worth checking out. I'm glad I gave it a chance.

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People who added this item 337 Average listal rating (229 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.6
First viewing - Oct. 5th

Given Tobe Hooper's recent death I've been curious about his other films. I hadn't realized he directed this sequel, and since it was added to Prime this month I figured I'd give it a shot. Turns out I shouldn't have bothered.

There's very little that makes this worth sitting through. The cast does a decent job with what they're given, the music is pretty good, and the effects are mostly excellent thanks to Tom Savini's gifts. The story and dialogue, however, leave much to be desired, and the tone is such that you're never sure whether this is supposed to be a comedic horror or a straight one. Bill Moseley and Caroline Williams are both saddled with characters that are initially interesting or amusing but over time turn into grating irritants. Bill Johnson is no Gunnar Hansen, by which I mean his Leatherface is portrayed decently but lacks the strong and fear-inducing presence of his predecessor. And for whatever reason Dennis Hopper is in this in a role that's sadly underutilized. Overall the film is a mess, and I regret having given in to my curiosity instead of continuing to ignore the sequels. If you haven't explored beyond the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, you're better off for it.

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People who added this item 531 Average listal rating (350 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.2
Idle Hands (1999)
Re-watch - Oct. 7th

After a string of somewhat underwhelming horror films this month I needed to watch something I knew I'd enjoy. Enter Idle Hands, which I can't remember the last time I watched but have always had a good time with. Sure the acting could be better, but everything else is a lot of fun and it's consistently entertaining. It's nothing great, but I like it anyway.
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People who added this item 1473 Average listal rating (933 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.1
First viewing - Oct. 7th

I chased Idle Hands with Jennifer's Body, a film I previously had no interest in watching. After seeing Karyn Kusama's The Invitation and considering that I do generally enjoy Diablo Cody's scripts, I figured I'd give it a chance. And you know what? The movie is fine. It's got some amusing moments, the cast is decent, and what I appreciated most was the fact that in this film we get a female killing off the males which kinda flips the usual horror script. The film is clearly supposed to be a horror-comedy, but it struggles to properly balance the two and thus winds up being pretty average and forgettable. It's nothing great nor would I watch it again, but I don't regret the time spent on it either.

Just a thought: How do you include a Hole song in a film called Jennifer's Body but not use "Jennifer's Body"? Too obvious? Maybe, but I felt like using an already well-known song ("Violet") was even more obvious.
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People who added this item 113 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 4
Ghoulies (1984)
First viewing - Oct. 8th

For most of my life, my only engagement with Ghoulies came from ads in the comic books I read in the ‘80s. I remember seeing the creature in the toilet, but beyond that I never heard anyone else mention the films nor did I ever come across them on cable(where you’d think they’d find a comfortable home). Finding out I could watch the original film via Prime for nothing, I figured I’d finally give it a chance. Turns out I was just fine ignoring its existence. The titular creatures are interesting-looking, but wind up having a very minimal role throughout the movie to the point whereyou start to question how it got named after them. The rest of the film stretches beyond the point where I could easily suspend my disbelief by having its main character compelled to engage in dark magic and only one person around him thinks this is a bad idea. It doesn’t help either that the film’s tone is serious when a comedic approach might have made the whole thing more palatable. The acting is, not surprisingly, mostly awful, and beyond the creatures the only other thing I appreciated was that it wasn’t any longer. Even the ending winds up making the rest of the film mostly pointless, which was super frustrating. I wish I could say this falls under the so bad it’s good category, but honestly it’s just bad. I see Prime has the second film too, but rest assured I won’t waste my time on it.

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People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.8
Curtains (1983)
First viewing - Oct. 9th

Curtains, on the other hand, wound up being better than its flaws and issues would suggest. Evidently this was originally shot with one director and crew, then shelved until it could be completed by the producer and another crew. Its original directorwanted to make a psychological thriller while the producer wanted it to be a slasher film, and while the resulting hybrid is messy it kinda works. The cast is mostly solid, and thereare some rather amusing and excellent sequences that were impressive. On the other hand, there are multiple scenes where you can see microphones in the shot, which I turned into a game of spotting them to add another source of entertainment. And some scenes don’t really fit in with the rest of the movie, yet work on their own to some extent.I wound up really enjoying it for what it is, but I can’t deny it could be far better and thus I can’t justify giving it a higher rating than a 7/10. I’d totally watch it again though.

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People who added this item 561 Average listal rating (346 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 5.8
Black Sheep (2006)
Re-watch - Oct. 10th

Aside from some unnecessary shaky camerawork there’s nothing about Black Sheep I don’t love. The premise is ridiculous but it works because they made it a horror-comedy and took full advantage of making it fun. The cast isn’t exceptional, but they all put in decent performances and I have no complaints about any of them. And the gore & effects are handled so well throughout while bringing to mind Peter Jackson’s
splatter films. Watching this film always brings me joy, and I’m glad I have it in my collection to revisit as I please.

Just a thought: Looking up Black Sheep’s writer/director Jonathan King, I was disappointed to see he hasn’t made anything since that’s the same quality (at least not if IMDb ratings can be trusted). But he does have a vampire movie coming out in 2018 so maybe that’ll be worthwhile?
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People who added this item 79 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Asylum (1972)
First viewing - Oct. 12th

No Horrorfest would be complete without at least one anthology, so I decided to check this one out. The way it began got me really excited mainly because of its use of "A Night On Bald Mountain" which is one of my favorite classical pieces. I dug the framework of this one, which sets us up to follow an aspiring employee of the titular asylum who is tasked with figuring out which patient is actually the head doctor, stripped of his authority because he's gone mad. The whole thing is solidly entertaining, though the horror elements are extremely tame. There's very little bloodshed and it felt like something that could have run on TV instead of the big screen. And while I refuse to spoil anything, I will say that when the doctor is revealed there's at least one aspect that makes no damn sense. If you've seen this, let me know & we can discuss the ending.

Anyway, it was worth watching once.

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People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 5.9
The Black Cat (1981)
First viewing - Oct. 13th

I would also argue that no Horrorfest is complete without a Poe adaptation, though last year I failed to catch one. And I suppose it's probably too fitting that I watched a movie about a black cat on Friday the 13th. Anyway, while the crown for adaptations of Poe's "The Black Cat" still rests squarely on the head of the Masters of Horror adaptation, this was pretty enjoyable. The logic of the events doesn't always work, and overall it doesn't reach the heights of Zombie or The Beyond, but it's got some great images and I was mostly entertained. The pacing is on the slow side, which had me fighting to stay awake once or twice, but if you're expecting it to take its time you'll probably be fine. I doubt I'd go out of my way to watch it again, but I don't regret watching it.

Interesting how things are connected: This is the second film in a row I've watched that Patrick Magee has a major role in.

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People who added this item 106 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
Torso (1973)
Re-watch - Oct. 14th

So first off, for some reason I had Torso confused in my mind with Pieces until it got going & realized my mistake. That didn't stop me from enjoying Torso again, but it did take me a moment to adjust my expectations for the different mood of this film. It's been three years since I last watched it, and it's still as solidly entertaining as I remembered (just not the batshit fun of Pieces). My rating still stands, and hopefully the next time I revisit it I'll better remember what happens in it.

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First viewing - Oct. 16th

So I spotted this on Showbox & was curious about it. My curiosity increased when fellow Listalite VierasTalo had good things to say about it this month, so I figured I might give it a try. Showbox provided a link to the trailer, and I didn't even finish watching it before my mind was made up to just watch the movie.

This is exactly the type of film I prefer to watch during October. It's fun from start to finish, the characters are well-written, the horror and comedy elements are well-balanced, and it's just a good time all around. It didn't quite cross the line into greatness due to some early elements not working quite right and some minor issues with its ending, but overall I had a blast with it and will definitely be watching it again.
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Films I caught in a theatre
People who added this item 41 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
American Made (2017)
First viewing - Oct. 7th

Wait, what is this doing here? Well I really wanted to check out American Made, but it came out on a kiddo weekend & had to wait until this month (note this is one of two departures from horror for this month, unless The Florida Project fails to arrive here in the next couple weeks). Surprisingly it's the first film this month I've seen for the first time and truly enjoyed all around. It's a hell of a story, the cast does a wonderful job, and it's consistently entertaining. I wasn't aware of Barry Seal's involvement in the events that take place here, but I do remember some of the events being on the news growing up and so it was interesting to see how he fit into it all. I don't think it's a great movie, but I enjoyed it and would watch it again.
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 5.6
Effects (1980)
First viewing - Oct. 7th

I first heard of Effects years ago, but couldn't tell you now exactly when or where that happened. I want to say there was a documentary that discussed it, because I remember seeing brief clips from it, but whether it was a doc I watched or something added as pre-show entertainment at Drafthouse I couldn't say. What I recalled was the film has something to do with a snuff film and Tom Savini was involved, plus that it wasn't easy to find. So when I heard earlier this year that AGFA had got hold of it & was bringing it back to screen at Drafthouse I'd hoped it'd find its way to me. And as luck would have it the theatre in my neighborhood got a hold of it, so I couldn't pass up an opportunity to finally watch it.

First off, I want to say that I think the theatre could've handled their approach to showing Effects better. For whatever reason they had 4 showings over the weekend of it, when really they only needed one. There were less than 10 people in the audience including me, and I couldn't help thinking if they'd been able to have Savini or any of the people involved show up for a Q & A and have one screening event it would've drawn a bigger crowd and got them their money's worth in one shot. Four screenings of a film most people have never heard of is foolish.

As for the film itself, I liked the overall idea & approach they took with it. Basically you've got a multi-layered film about making movies which was certainly interesting & thought-provoking. There are also multiple references to the city I live in, which I found more amusing than I would have before I moved here. It's definitely a low budget affair too, which I can respect. But ultimately while it's certainly interesting and often entertaining, it's also a film that's not for everyone (I mentioned it involves a snuff film, right?) and so it's lack of a fanbase isn't too surprising. As a film fan I thought it was worth checking out, but it's nothing I'd watch again.
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Waiting to be unleashed


Unlike my usual monthly lists for 2017, this one I'm not making anyone wait for until after the month ends. October is here and it's my plan to get through plenty of horror movies, focusing mainly on ones that will be a good time and thus festive. I've got access to plenty of horror films this year, so it should also be an improvement quantity-wise over last year's list. If you see something I'm planning to watch but would be better off avoiding, let me know in the comments section.

Please also visit the following similar lists for more horror-centric celebrations!
Moviewatcher122's 2017 Horrorfest
Bml93's Horror Nightmares - October 2017
BAMF's October 2017 Horrorthon!!
2017 Horror Movie Marathon (rewster)

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Comments

Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago at Oct 8 18:30
I honestly don't know how one could watch the opening to TCM2 and be left wondering whether it's a straight-up comedy or not. I would advise not going further into the sequels though, the first two have ambitions to them and the rest... well, let's just say they really, really don't.

But on a positive note, Curtains! Creepy! Hell yeah!
Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago at Oct 9 0:21
Giraffe I think we are pretty similar in our taste of horror. Some of our ratings tend to be fairly close. I don't see much on here I would stray from. I didn't really like Black Sheep, but it just wasn't my type of movie. It was interesting though. I would say Knock Knock was fine, but not great. You're Next is one of my faves! Have you seen No One Lives?
Posted: 1 week ago at Oct 11 10:03
I see that you have lined up The Snowman in your queue. I'll say that you will be better off by skipping that one. I found it to be a huge missed opportunity and it's getting slaughtered in Norwegian press right now.
Posted: 6 days, 6 hours ago at Oct 12 21:49
@BAMF - I have not seen No One Lives, but now that I've looked it up I think I'll give it a look. Thanks!

@Bml93 - Aww dang, I really liked what I saw from the trailers for The Snowman. In that case either I'll wait until I can see it for free somewhere or skip it all together. Appreciate the warning!
Posted: 5 days, 15 hours ago at Oct 13 13:31
haha Black Sheep. This month was my first time watching it. Fun, silly movie. The Kiwis are renowned for having a lot of sheep, so the whole concept is hilarious from the get go.

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