October Horror Marathon

The Thing

I got a late start this October and I resisted going crazy trying to cram in as many films as I could. As a result I can actually process the films I did watch instead of having vague memories of blood and guts while craving a Disney marathon to make me feel like less of a sicko.

Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland is one of those films that, even after multiple viewings, remains an absolute blast. It nails everything — the gore, the cast, the rules, the humor. Plus it has BILL FUCKING MURRAY. It’s rare when something feels like an instant classic, but methinks people will be enjoying Zombieland for many years to come.


Contagion (2011)

Holy fucking terrifying movie. Yeah I know it’s not “horror” but it scared the shit out of me. I’m already a germaphobe and people already kind of gross me out, this film did not help. It is however, pretty fantastic. Much more documentary than drama, it simply gives an honest view of how events would play out during a global pandemic. Characters are introduced and discarded without sympathy. Everyone is a number, a piece of data, an acceptable loss.  What I most appreciated though, is the characters are human — people who get emotional and, more importantly, make mistakes. There’s no Dustin Hoffman jumping from helicopters here. These are people just trying to do their job, or do what  they think is best for their families. It’s the realism that makes it so terrifying.

Now nobody touch me ever again.


The Thing (1982)

One of my favorites. This was playing at the Denver Film Center and was my second chance to catch it on the big screen. I’m not sure what to say, it’s a sci-fi horror classic in every sense of the word. Fantastic effects, great cast, tense atmosphere, plenty of gore…KURT FUCKING RUSSELL.



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Attack the Block (2011)

Attack the Block

I didn’t know much going into this film, other than it was a big hit at SXSW. This is one of those rare occasions where I hadn’t even watched the trailer, so my expectations were pretty much zero. I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by this contemporary Critters in the inner city. Sure it’s flawed and filled with plot contrivances, but the fun you have makes up for it.

The dynamic of the kids keeps you hooked and laughing through the absurdity. Think the Goonies where the gang is comprised of little shits that mug people and use their teenage machismo to battle the gorilla-wolf-motherfuckers that are invading their block. Throw in some over-the-top drug dealers and an overly dramatic climax and you’ve got yourself a silly little film that hearkens back to the 1980s. It’s not a great film, but it’ll make you smile.

Grade: B

RIP Sally Menke

The news this morning about Sally Menke hit me harder than expected. Mostly because it wasn’t expected. She was 56, and in her prime. She just got an Oscar nomination last year for Inglorious Basterds; her best work in my humble opinion.

Women like her are a rare thing in Hollywood. She wasn’t just talented, she was brilliant. I’m not sure Tarantino’s films will be the same going forward.

She will be deeply missed.

Here are my favorite sequences from their films together. Sequences that easily rank amongst some of the coolest ever.

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Predators (2010)

Predators (2010)

Finally, a Predator film that’s actually worthy of the title. Does that mean it’s a great film? Not particularly. In fact, it’s not even that great of a summer action film — but it’s about 100 times better than AVP, and really, that’s all it needed to be.

Predators starts off fairly well, as the main characters are literally dropped into the jungle and try to figure out what the hell is going on. Adrien Brody, beefed up and doing his best Batman voice, is sadly no Arnold..but he gets an ‘E’ for effort. He’s just believable enough to help me ignore the awfully convenient plot points that drive the film forward. Did anyone else notice how easily they figured things out in this alien world? Yea me too. Thankfully my suspension of disbelief remained intact for most of the film. I can forgive things like plot contrivances for the sake of story, but for a film that appeals to geeks, I sure wish it was a little smarter.

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