It’s a Horror to Know You: Amanda By Night of Made For TV mayhem!
What is the first film that ever scared you?
That’s tough, but I am pretty sure the first thing I saw that actually sent a chill up my spine was the opening credits of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. I was about 5 or 6 and I’m not sure I even watched much past the credits the first time out. By the way, could I read that well back then, because I have a distinct memory of reading the title. I think maybe it was just the black cat that got me. Anyway, it freaked me out. Then I saw the whole movie and the end freaked me out. I couldn’t win!
What is the last film that scared you?
Honestly, I know it’s not an Unkle Lancifer fave, but I adored Paranormal Activity. I couldn’t even go to sleep when it was over. It’s got some fantastic ideas that are well played. Also, I saw the Woman in Black remake and enjoyed some of the scary stuff in that as well.
Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.
Isn’t it Shocking? – That is a rare TV movie with Alan Alda that I’m sort of obsessed with. It would be considered a proto-slasher in some respects, I think, and overall, it mixes the horror and humor brilliantly. It also has characters you love and while you don’t really know many of the victims, because they are all over 65 there is something really disturbing about their vulnerability that adds an edge to their deaths.
Nothing Underneath – This is an 80s giallo that seems to leave people a little cold, but I can’t understand why. It’s so lush and stylish and has a great premise. Also, I think the relationship between the lead actor and Donald Pleasance is divine. They have a really warm relationship that benefits the film greatly. Plus, that ending!
The Slayer – This film is a totally nightmarish and brutal supernatural slasher with lots of creepy imagery! I also like that the film is structured around adults. I’m surprised we don’t see more slashers with people in their 20s or 30s. Anyway, The Slayer still eludes the world of DVD, but it’s a film well worth discovering.
I have to do two honorable mentions here as well (since they just popped up in my head):
Killer Party – Killer Party is like three movies all rolled up into one. You’ve got teen sex comedy, slasher and possession stuff shoved into a fairly brisk little film, which drives some people nuts, but through it all you’ve also got a really consistent friendship amongst the three lead girls. It’s natural and it gives the film a little boost during the insane last 15 minutes because you don’t just care about one girl, you care about all of them. These are the best times of our lives, indeed!
Blood Diner – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of my all time favorite films, although it’s not scary and only broadly crosses over into horror because it’s gory and was originally meant to be a sequel to Blood Feast. There are so many amazing things about this film, but mostly (and I could write forever about this so I’ll make it short), my love of Blood Diner sent me on a journey where I’ve met or corresponded with most of the important players. One of the leads, Rick Burks, died in 1989, but I was actually able to meet his family a few years back. I guess this movie is the ultimate escapist film for me. It’s so ultra 80s, I’m immediately transported back to my favorite era via a neon saturated time machine!
OK, just one more: This House Possessed. See it! OK, done!
Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
The Mutilator – This is one of my all time favorite movies. I know it’s flawed and a little hackneyed, but it’s surprisingly brutal and the premise about a man seeking revenge for the death of his wife at the hands of their own son (albeit accidentally) is really interesting. There’s a lot to work with and despite the fact that some of the film can seem a little silly (I’m looking at you Ralph!), you can tell it was a labor of love.
Moonstalker – I just recently discovered this late 80s low budget slasher. It’s sort of all over the map, but it’s also so much fun. One thing I’ve learned in life is that the effort can mean just as much as the outcome. If something is flawed but made with all the best intentions, I think it shows. Moonstalker is a movie where you can see the cast is having so much fun making the film that it triggers the same effect on the audience. Also, being a big soap opera nut, I love that the killer is played by Blake Gibbons who is now on General Hospital!
The Outing – I have seen this movie more times than I can recall. It was a regionally shot horror film made in Texas and my old boss actually worked on it, which impressed me immensely. It’s about an angry djinn that goes all crazy nutso on this girl and her friends and family when she puts on a bracelet that connects the most spiteful genie in the world. I first saw this movie on USA’s Saturday Nightmares and despite the fact that it was edited for television I found the whole affair brutal and somewhat scary. Plus, I love the guy who looks like he was an extra in Zapped.
Send us to five places on the Internet!
Go Retro: Great place to go back in time! I’m a big fan of this blog!
Cinema Du Meep: The Meepster covers all genres and knows his stuff!
House of Self Indulgence : Talk about dripping in neon. This blog is smart, well written, fascinating and totally 80s!
Movies About Girls : This is totally not safe for work, but it’s a must if you like B movies and pretty ladies. I sometimes do a podcast with Ken and his insane crew, and they are hysterical. There is lots of fun to be had!
Christmas TV Companion : Joanna is sure to keep you cool in the summer with this awesome retrospective on Christmas television…