Friday, October 31, 2008

BOO! It's Halloween!

Halloween is finally here! Time for costumes, candy and scary movies!

Dozed off watching TCM (Turner Classic Movies) last night, with their very nice lineup of older films. I watched Torture Garden, with Burgess Meredith. Very nice movie, short stories held together by a sufficiently creepy narrative. After that, the channel aired Twice-Told Tales, starring Vincent Price in three short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Watched the first of the three stories, then nodded off. Luckily, I thought ahead and set the DVR. Will watch the rest of it later.

This A.M., while doing the normal morning stuff, I had AMC (American Movie Classics) on. They aired some old, good flicks, like House of Dracula, House of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula. All creepy flicks. Of course, most of these movies are better to watch at night, but what can you do when the day is so chock-full of horrific entertainment!

After the kids were off to school and the laundry was going, the channel stayed on AMC for another airing of John Carpenter's Halloween. I know I just watched this last Friday, but I never tire of this movie. And there is something particularly unsettling when you watch it on Halloween day. (As a side note, I actually had to go into the basement while watching the movie to look for something. Horror movies and one's imagination can be a tricky combo!)

After Halloween, I tried to switch to something different, as in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, airing on FX. Couldn't stick with it, just bored me. So, I am back on AMC right now, with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. This movie can be very creepy. Definitely one of the best sequels to the original.

After this, who knows. The television airwaves are loaded up with horror-goodness today, so it shouldn't be a problem finding something good to watch. My wife isn't a horror-movie fan, but she never complains and I appreciate that. Thanks, Raven!

The kids are excited about trick-or-treating. My daughter is going as a 60s hippie (she won 2nd prize at the school dance last week, and Best Costume at her friend's party on Saturday) and my youngest son is going as Michael Phelps - medals, swim cap and all. They should have fun and will hopefully get lots of candy and no rocks!

I helped them carve their jack-o'-lanterns on Wednesday and we will be lighting them up again tonight. My son's pumpkin was rotting when I cut the top off, so scooping out the insides was NOT fun, but I couldn't see ditching it for another just to throw them all away in a week. So, lots of scraping, scooping and gagging led to a pretty empty shell that carved amazingly well.

So, looks like a fun night for all. Hopefully I won't have too much trouble staying awake. The older I get, the harder that is. Argh! We have a busy couple of days ahead, and the National Novel Writing Month kicks off tomorrow... ack!

For some fun, this site has a collection horror film posters. Sometimes those are the scariest parts of the movies!

Have a creepy, eerie, scary Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scariest Movie Monsters/Killers

In honor of the ongoing Halloween week horror movie-fest, and since another site decided to do their own Top 28 Horror Movie Villains, here are My Top 10 Horror Movie Monsters/Killers.

Notice I said MY, as in this list is totally my point of view. But, feel free to tell me who scares the beejeezus out of you!

10. 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville (The Amityville Horror)

This house scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I haven't watched the film in years, that shows you the fear etched into my brain. I remember seeing it at a drive-in one night and being freaked out by the scene where the stairs break and there is blood oozing. Gives me shivers still.

9. Norman Bates (Psycho)

Bates is one that lingers in my mind, because even a quiet mama's boy can be a nut-job, as insane a killer as the flesh-wearing maniac with a chainsaw. Anyone can be the lunatic.

8. The Miner (My Bloody Valentine)

This movie and it's killer had more to do with mystery and atmosphere, to me anyway. Something always seems dark and hidden, waiting to jump out and get you. Just unnerved me enough once to leave a lasting impression in the dark shafts of my mind.

7. Dracula (Dracula)

Even though he has been played by seemingly hundreds of actors over the years, there is still something evil about the Count. I like different takes on the character, for different reasons. Bela Lugosi's Dracula has that "Old World" mystery about him, but Christopher Lee's Dracula has a strange aloofness that can unsettle you. And don't forget Max Schreck's Nosferatu, so bizarre and creepy and weird. Was he playing himself?!?

6. Curt Duncan (When a Stranger Calls)

Not a typical pick, but this guy is so nuts that he stalks the babysitter so he can enjoy the torment he causes. The second half of the film shows more of his insanity. An uncomfortable experience, but I say that in a good way. Really.

5. The Creeper (Jeepers Creepers)

The first film is the better one, showing a really strange creature who is not human, but yet does such human things (driving like an ass, for one). The single scene that clinched this monster as a goosebump inducer is when the siblings drive past him as he dumps the bodies down the pipe. They see him and are justifiably creeped out, but he stops, looks and WATCHES THEM TOO! ack...

4. Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

I can feel some sympathy for ol' Leatherface, due to his obvious mental problems stemming from whatever the hell happened with his face. But all pity goes out the window when he whacks the kid on the head, drags him into the kitchen and shuts the door. What the hell just happened???

3. Billy/The Prowler (Black Christmas)

I never saw this one as a kid, and that may be a good thing. When I did watch it a few years ago, I realized that Billy is one creepy, scary freak! Not only is he bat-shit insane, he is hiding in the attic! I would never have gotten our Christmas ornaments down from our attic again had I seen this when I was younger. I guess that would have made for 2 "black Christmases."

2. Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th)

Jason, Jason, Jason. Some films in the series are seriously lacking in real scares (A New Beginning and Jason Takes Manhattan the worst, in my opinion), but Jason is so hell-bent determined to just kill, kill, kill that you have to be afraid of ever crossing his path. Relentless, ruthless, patient. How DO people sleep at campgrounds?

1. Michael Myers (Halloween)

The blank white face, the dark eyes, the tilt of his head. The original film does it best, of course. Michael Myers is a human void filled with the need to kill. Is he insane? Immoral? Just plain evil? Who knows and who cares. He is out there, and he wants to stalk and kill. To this day, I still feel uneasy, unsettled when I watch Halloween. It has the power to make me do double-takes at shadows and jump at slight noises. At age 37.

So, there you go, the ten movie monsters and killers that make my heart beat a little faster. But in a good way, as any horror movie fan knows.

Watch one of these flicks this week since "It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Laptop Amnesia

I just don't get spyware, trojans, viruses or the people who spend their time creating them!

I spent a good portion of last night, this morning and this afternoon attempting to deal with the aftereffects of a trojan my laptop was infected with. I thought I had it licked last night, only to find it was still there this morning. My final attempt at getting rid of it had unforeseen consequences, and I was left with one avenue: using the computer's recovery disc.

Needless to say, that wasn't without sacrifices, as I lost all my saved everything. I know, in this day and age, I should have had everything backed up somewhere. I didn't, and I am paying that price now.

Of course, some of it was good stuff to lose, things I was saving that I really didn't need to save. But a lot of it I did want. Oh well. It's over, spilled milk and all that, time to move on.

Have the protection settings boosted in the wake of all this. Hope it helps. I still don't get why people take pleasure in creating a program to cause others misery. I don't think I ever will.


Still watching horror movies. Right now, Turner Classic Movies is airing Peeping Tom from 1960. An odd psychological/thriller/horror movie, shocking when it first came out. So far, so good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween & Horror Movies

Halloween is almost here, and that means the TV lineup is filled with my favorite movies - scary movies! I wish they were all scary, but sadly, that isn't always the case. Lots of them can be downright bad, and not in the good-bad way, but in the lose-my-attention way. Ugh.

I still get excited in the week leading up to Halloween, mainly because of all the movies airing. The old classics are like comfort food, and there is always hope something great will be found in a new flick.

AMC (American Movie Classics) starts their annual FearFest tonight (previously called MonsterFest, not sure what necessitated the name change) with the original Halloween from 1978, my all-time favorite movie. AMC is playing up the 30th anniversary of the film, with Rob Zombie hosting FearFest, and PJ Soles as his guest, she played Linda in that movie. Always good to see her, she respects the fans and the movie, and she is always totally happy and smiling.

Some of the other movies on tonight are good, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers among them. Always liked this one, it has an effectively creepy feel, even if it was more like other 80s slasher films than the original film. Rachel was a great "scream queen," and Danielle Harris stood out. Zombie has her as a guest tonight, as well. Very cool!

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is airing, as well, which is okay. This film has some interesting ideas and scenes, but I think losing Rachel was a bad idea. The scene with the kids at the park and Michael behind the tree always creeps me out.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers airs later, not much good I can say about that one. Confusing, far-fetched - bleh.

Even later tonight (early in the a.m. actually) Motel Hell is airing. Now this is an an odd one. If you haven't seen it, well ... 1980, Rory Calhoun, Nancy Parsons (Beulah Ballbricker from Porky's) and home-made beef jerky you WON'T want to try. Need I say more?

So, all in all, not a bad start for a week of scary movies. Hope I can stay up for most of them. Not as easy as it used to be, that's for sure!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A new blog.

So, a new blog. For me, at least.

I have blogged in the past. Twice, actually.

The first time, it was still called a "journal" and I used it to keep track of my progress towards, during and after my joint replacements (knee and two hips). I kept up with it for a bit, through all three surgeries, but afterwards it kind of died off.

The second time was on MySpace. I wrote a few random things, nothing major, nothing regular. I always thought "why bother" and "what could I post that anyone would want to read?" But, reading a post today from a friend who hit her six-year blog-anniversary, I was shown a reason why I should blog: For myself.

She made a point of saying that she writes to get the stuff out of her head, and that resonated with me. So, I will post what I want, when I want and how I want. I won't ask anyone to read it or comment on it or care about it.

I will at least be getting some flotsam and jetsam out of my head. Maybe I can help my writing, find some ideas for stories, articles - whatever. But it will all be just for me.

Feel free to read, or not. Feel free to share, or not. Enjoy it, or not.

I am going to!