It’s a Horror to Know You:: Bigwig!

It’s a Horror to Know You: Bigwig

Hey Guys;

I would have submitted this ages ago, but was trumped by 5 interesting places on the internet, (I would have had no problem with 5 places to avoid) and the fact that I’m not really a Horror-phile in comparison to most others who frequent the site. (I’m more a Trauma-phile I suppose.) Anyway, you can only sit along the wall while the others dance for so long, so here goes nothing…

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

That would be Live and Let Die, as shown at the pool we belonged to one summer Saturday night. I was about seven, and we had seen a few tame Disney movies at the pool previously. I was on the kid’s blanket with my friends, away from any adults. James Bond shooting it up wasn’t a shocker….it was the voodoo ritual scenes, specifically Baron Samadhi’s screen appearances…”The Man who Couldn’t Die”… Was he even supposed to be real? At one point, his head gets blown off, and it turns out he was mechanical (?), but then sure enough he comes back to fight and fall in a coffin of snakes, plus, he’s on the train cowcatcher at the end. Very vivid…

2. What is the last film that scared you?

I’ll have to say Prometheus for this one. Say what you will of the plot, it captured for me the exact same sense of “Space Dread” that we had as young un’s watching Alien in the theatre unsupervised when such things mattered. (The conundrum of getting frightened, but not being able to tell a parent why at night, since you were forbidden to go to R rated movies, making the nights even worse) The fact that there was an escaping internal logic to what was happening with the black goo, only made it scarier in my mind, and I didn’t mind it one bit.

3. Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated

The Skeleton Key. Maybe it harkens back to Baron Samadhi, but I really thought this was a well done voodoo flick. Good heady scares without the gore – my kind of movie. John Hurt was especially convincing, and all the more when you realized his true predicament.

The Ordeal (AKA Calvaire). Not very well known, and truly disturbing to me. The dance scene alone is worth a watch. Quite Lynchian. Probably the one movie of my adulthood that still manages to have me thinking at night.

Let the Right One In (Non-English version) (probably not underrated, but I never hear it talked about). As an adult and parent, the scene that nails me is the confrontation at the pool. The extreme vulnerability and the age of the (almost) victim juxtaposed against his clothed attackers sets off every alarm I have in my body. Subtitles somehow make it all the more riveting.
If the last one doesn’t qualify, substitute it with Videodrome, which doesn’t seem nearly as abstract in concept 30 years later…kind of like Naked Lunch with a healthy smattering of Night Flight.

4. Name three horror movies you enjoy against your better judgment.

The Incredible Melting Man. I remember this trailer very well, but was too young to even think about wanting to see it, not that I would have. But ever since I have, I won’t miss it. Perhaps the least rational movie of its decade.

Return of the Living Dead. This gets my vote for the soundtrack alone. The Cramps, TSOL, 45 Grave, the Flesheaters — all this goodness before Goth/Psychobilly was even dreamed up as a concept which in turn sunk the fun. At least one zombie (the one in the tank) could have posed as the Incredible Melting Man!

Altered States. I would hardly call this a horror film, and boy the effects get cheesy, but I dunno, something about William Hurt pounding the hallway at the end he devolves into Proto-Blob status trying to keep it together….another one that had me up as a teen hoping my bad choices in drug experimentation didn’t lead me down that path.

5.Send us five places on the internet!

No thanks; please go on without me…

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Dylan Donnie-Duke
Dylan Donnie-Duke
8 years ago

ROTLD and Altered States! Great choices and even better reasoning.
Altered States gets a bad rap. William Hurt was such an odd choice for such an over-the-top film, but he somehow pulls it off. I agree with you that his literal\figurative meltdown at the end is the stuff of nightmares.
As for ROTLD… Put The Cramps on any soundtrack, and I will watch the movie no matter how bad. Luckily, ROTLD also wins in the plot\performance department. Never have zombie actors intoned “braaaaiiinnnssss” with such commitment. Bonus for me: As a high schooler in southern Indiana, my weekends with friends in Louisville were sacred. Midnight showings of Rocky Horror at The Vogue Theater, the music and comic shops on Bardstown Road and eating Big Browns to clog our little arteries are some of my favorite memories of my youth; therefore, there was something special to all of us as we saw our favorite city get nuked at the end of that flick. Fantastic HTKY!

8 years ago

Oh Calvaire! That movie absolutely blew me away. A friend of mine tipped me to it and told me it was black comedy and although, after a while I saw the comedy in the absurdity of the whole thing, at the time I saw NO humor at all. Great film great IAHTKY.

8 years ago

Oh, good list!
I’ve yet to see Prometheus though… and even as a kid I thought The Incredible Melting Man looked like just a stunt to show off some nasty makeup.
I love the weirdness that Calvaire is chock full of though… and Skeleton Key is one that I think is much underrated. Maybe because some of the nastiest stuff in it only creeps into your brain later… such as thinking of those two servants being lynched, and who they REALLY were.

8 years ago

So many great choices! There can never be too much love for Calvaire, as far as I’m concerned. It’s an amazing film from start to finish – but the finish puts it over the top into genius for me. (I’ve been a little surprised at how polemic that ending is, since I have a hard time imagining how a movie called “Calvaire” could have ended any other way.)

“The Skeleton Key” has really grown on me over time; I liked it just fine when I saw it the first time, but I like it even better now. Really classy stuff. It’s the sort of movie I wish I could see a retro remake of. (Why can’t we magically have older versions of modern movies? I hate time.)

And on top of being a great film all the way, “Let the Right One In” has maybe the best and most satisfying last 5 minutes of a horror movie I’ve ever seen. I’ve seldom felt so overjoyed by an ending.

Thanks for a great list!