Shlocktober Recap: 31 Days Of The Creepy And The Corny

image00So Shlocktober has come and gone, and it went pretty well.  For those of you that aren’t in the know, this is my annual Hallowe’en film-fest that celebrates all things spooky, scary, gory, and monstery.  This year (I think it’s the sixth now), I managed to view (or attempt to view) 35 goodies over 31 days, and I was able to get through a lot of new material that I hadn’t seen before, which was nice.  

I would like to thank the HMV next to where I work for having a lot of great movies for $5.  I would also like to curse the HMV next to where I work for having a lot of great movies for $5.  I didn’t have enough money to buy all the awesomeness that they carried, but I still found a way to spend more than I should have for the sake of the season.  That being said, if it weren’t for that, this year’s festival might not have gone off as well as it did.

It wasn’t all wine and roses though.  There were some rough moments, such as Creature From the Haunted Sea, and Incredibly Strange Creatures That Stopped Living and Became Zombies.  The former ended up being more of a spy-spoof, and the latter was…well…probably the most unwatchable thing I’ve ever encountered.  While I’ve never actually seen Manos, it did seem to come up a lot when I was trying to find anything out about The Incredibly Strange Things…when it came to how completely horrible it is.  Any other failures were my own.  

schlocktoberAs expected, there was more than one occasion where I just fell asleep.  What wasn’t expected, was that it only happened twice.  While I was disappointed that I dozed off during the Italian zombie gore-fest Demons (what I saw of it was drenched with 80’s blood-and-pus-soaked joy), I wasn’t really surprised at all when I lost consciousness during the The Green Slime, a 1968 cornball extravaganza that was not nearly as fantastic as the trailer.  But such is life when you are watching whatever looks interesting, whether you knew it existed or not.

While I did occasionally get lazy and watch some old favorites (Feast, the Thing), and get into a couple of mini-marathons of spooky old cartoons (Scooby Doo, Johnny Quest), I focused on watching a lot of new titles, most of which were pretty great.  Of the more recent movies I checked out, Pontypool was definitely one of my favorites.  It had great pacing and, when it comes to zombie/virus movies, a very original idea for how the mindless hordes are instigated.  

I also really enjoyed the remake of The Crazies.  I saw the beginning of this when it first came out on DVD, but didn’t watch the whole thing until now.  I’m really glad I did.  After a recent viewing of the first season of Justified, I’ve become a pretty big Timothy Olyphant fan, and he was pretty fantastic in this. Combine that with some nice effects and some genuine tension, and this was a good time.

Thanks to the aforementioned HMV, I was also able to get my hands on a couple of older classics that I hadn’t seen before.  The Fog was nice, but the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers was great.  I mean, you have young Jeff Goldblum and Donald Sutherland with a fairly large honky-fro…how could you go wrong?  Well, you can’t, and everything else is just gravy…but that’s a whole lot of gravy.

Nabbed a triumvirate of Roger Corman modern, uh, classics, I guess, but only watched two of them: Sharktopus, and Dinocroc vs. Supergator.  These were pretty much what I expected, but to be honest, I was a little disappointed DvsS.  It started out well, but got really slow in the middle, and the boredom definitely took away from the fun.   Sharktopus was exactly what I’d hoped; half shark, half octopus, all awesome…and with Eric Roberts as the bad guy!  What more could you want?  Well, besides Nicolas Cage, what more could you want?

I fit in some other media as well, giving an annual listen to Orson Welles’ original broadcast of War of the Worlds.  My minor obsession with old-timey radio is no secret, and this helps scratch two itches for me, while allowing me to have a chuckle at Orson Welles once again.  I don’t know why listening to him talk amuses me as much as it does, but it really does.  I fit in a literary first this year, and finally read the book, Psycho, on which Hitchcock based his classic movie.  The only problem I had with this is that, having seen the movie a dozen times or more already, it wasn’t as surprising as it should have been, since I already knew what the big twist was going to be.  It is still a somewhat chilling read though, and if you’re a fan of the movie, I recommend giving the book a whirl too.

All-in-all, I’m declaring this year’s Shlocktober a success.  I didn’t just watch the same old stuff over again as I tend to do, and I only fell asleep during two movies.  Granted, I did miss some of my favourites like Slither, Shaun of the Dead, Sleepy Hollow, and Dawn of the Dead, but now I have an even longer list of movies to choose from for next year.  And having two or three weeks of pretty screwed up dreams was definitely worth it.

FULL LIST:

  • The Blob
  • 13 Ghosts
  • Blade
  • The Green Slime-zzz
  • 976-EVIL-shut off
  • Scooby Doo marathon
  • The Creature That Challenged the World
  • Deer Woman
  • Flesh Eater: Revenge of the Living Dead
  • Sharktopus
  • Johnny Quest Marathon
  • Creature from the Haunted Sea-shut off
  • Incredibly Strange Creatures That Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies-shut off
  • Pet Cemetery
  • Pet Cemetery 2
  • Dinocroc vs. Supergator
  • Sinister
  • The Adventures of Ichabod Crane (animated)
  • The Crazies
  • The Thing
  • Sweeney Todd
  • The Revenge of Frankenstein
  • Feast
  • Feast 2 –shut off
  • Plan 9 From Outer Space
  • Pontypool
  • Monsters
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Fury of the Wolf Man
  • Demons-ZZZ
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • The Fog
  • Amazing Stories-”Go To the Head of the Class”
  • Great Pumpkin
  • Radio program War of the Worlds
  • Night of the Living Dead.
Bryan Wall

1 comments

If you’re likingTimothy Olyphant watch yourself some Deadwood. I love him in that one.

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