This post is an updated and reworded version my original Rating the Halloween Franchise post from October 2008.
Rating the Halloween Franchise
1978, Compass International Pictures
What can be said about this movie that hasn’t been said already? Though not the first slasher movie, Halloween is the movie that spawned the entire horror sub-genre that blew up during the 1980s. The film’s score is amazing. Right up there with Star Wars, and the atmosphere throughout the film is tense, as are the film’s closing moments. It’s my favorite horror move and one of the my favorite movies period. You can’t call yourself a fan of horror movies if you’ve never seen this one.
out of 5
1981, Universal Pictures
The sequel is a classic in its own right, but a lot of horror fans and film critics don’t agree with me. The movie takes place immediately after the events of Halloween, and director Rick Rosenthal (John Carpenter passed on directing but did co-write & co-produce) hoped to create a similar atmosphere for this movie. The final product of Halloween II ended up being far more violent and gory than its predecessor. This is thanks to the fact that Universal and/or John Carpenter felt the movie needed to be able to compete with other slasher movies of the day and new kill scenes were filmed (supposedly with Carpenter as director).
Yes, the movie is harsher and features a slightly different tone than the original movie because of that, but both movies are a fantastic 1-2 punch. Just as Halloween III: Season of the Witch has grown in stature over the years, it’s high time Halloween II starts getting the credit it deserves. It’s one of the best slasher movies of all time, but it has the misfortune of being the follow up to THE best slasher movie of all time.
out of 5
1982, Motion Picture Marketing
For the end of the Halloween season, I’ve been trying to watch horror movies that I have never seen or haven’t seen in a while. Funeral Home falls under the “never seen” category, and boy, I wish it stayed that way!
A Canadian production filmed in 1979 and released in that country by Frontier Amusements in 1980 as Cries In the Night, the movie would be re-titled Funeral Home for its 1982 U.S. theatrical and future home video releases. Given the independent distributors and the very low-budget nature of the movie, I imagine this movie probably never made it to a cineplex, but instead could probably have been found as a double feature at a rundown drive-in somewhere.
Movie poster for the 1980 Canadian release
The best thing this movie has going for it are the movie posters. The U.S. version makes it look like good cheesy ’80s horror fun, while the black & white Canadian poster makes me think it might be something a bit more shocking. Too bad it’s neither.
Funeral Home‘s trailer does a pretty good job of making the movie seem creepy, but the actual film moves at a snail’s pace and you don’t even seen anyone killed until 32 minutes into the movie. [SPOILER]And even that is just people drowning in a car.[/SPOILER] The movie features very little gore and mostly relies on darkness and the score to help set the mood. In short, Funeral Home comes across as a late night made-for-TV movie and would be ripe to RiffTrax to pick at.
I will say that the ending is kind of interesting, even if somewhat of a cop out.
Check the movie out for yourself… if you dare.
In 1970s, Marvel Comics launched a handful of horror/sci-fi anthology books that reprinted stories that were originally published in the 1950s by Atlas Comics (Marvel’s predecessor). The stories within featured the work of legendary creators such as Stan Lee, Joe Sinnott, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Jack Kirby & Bill Everett but the cover art was brand new with a colorful and dynamic style that fit right in with the Marvel Comics of the 1970s.
Eventually, a few of these titles would go on to feature brand-new stories and introduce us to a few new Marvel characters. Here’s a look back at some of my favorite cover art from those titles.
The skeleton is on the loose and wants some new pajamas!
They don’t make comic book covers like this anymore! LOVE the perspective.
I remember there was a time when having the Universal Monsters just on DVD seemed like it was never going to happen. Now we’re well past DVD releases and we’ve had multiple Blu-ray releases over the last few years. 2017 brings us yet another release for the seven major Universal Monster movies, only this time they are exclusive to Best Buy.
I have all of these movies on Blu-ray already, but the new black & white cover art painted by comic book writer/artist Alex Ross is excellent and I felt the artwork was worth posting. It would be cool if they could release the artwork as posters at some point.
Side note: I generally don’t care for reissues that feature new artwork on the cover. I guess it’s a good way to get people who already own the movie, to buy the latest issue but the new artwork generally doesn’t compare to the original artwork used for the movie’s theatrical/video release.
A Little Bit Zombie
2012, Cave Painting Pictures
I’m always up for a horror-comedy featuring zombies. More-so than any other sub-genre of horror movies, zombie movies lend themselves to the over-the-top ridiculousness that plays well in a comedic fashion. A Little Bit Zombie is no exception. While the movie’s humor isn’t as subtle or as sharp as Shaun of the Dead, nor does it feature that movie’s budget, it doesn’t have to be.
A Little Bit Zombie is really more of a slapstick comedy that just happens to revolve around one of the leads becoming a zombie. It’s basically the plot of a sitcom — a guy becomes zombie and craves brains, so his best friend, sister, & fiancee set out to procure said brains while keeping to keep the fact that he’s a zombie hush-hush so that he can get married. Oh, and there’s also two zombie hunters in the area who catch wind of what’s going on.
I enjoyed the parts of the film involving the zombie hunters. Emilie Ullerup is just gorgeous and a feast for the eyes while Georga Buza was great as the old “I’ve seen it all” zombie hunting curmudgeon. I also have to point out that Kristopher Turner as Steve (he becomes the zombie) and Shawn Roberts as his best friend play their parts extremely well. Turner has a very likable and humorous every man quality to him. His facial expressions were great and I would love to see him featured in more movies. Roberts was funny and charming in his role. I initially thought he was going to be the annoying Sean William Scott type character, but he was played a bit smarter and compassionate than that.
The gore is minimum. There’s some blood splattering here and there, but it’s done in a comedic fashion. The never never tries to look realistic or go for true gore and I think that’s fine. The movie is a good compromise for people who like zombies and people who maybe don’t care for horror movies at all.
A Little Bit Zombie is definitely worth checking out for fans of horror-comedies.