Welcome back to another Friday Nightmare Reviews wherein I submit to a time honored method of filling space when I’ve accidentally been staring into the void for a while longer than anticipated. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Okay so by now, everyone has been inside for longer than they anticipated and it gets super easy to lose track of the days after a while. It’s also coming out that people are having a harder time focusing than they originally thought they would. All jokes set aside for a couple of minutes here, this is not just a few people here and there and if you have been struggling to concentrate or finding that doing any work at all is like an uphill battle, please don’t get upset with yourself over it. This is a side effect of being stressed out and it’s very common for a lot of people. If you are feeling like you’re unable to concentrate on the days because your energy levels are very low, please be careful and if you are finding that getting up or getting dressed is getting really hard, contact your local health care provider and talk to them about how you feel and what options you have to help you feel better. Do not suffer in silence, especially if you live alone or far from people you haven’t seen in a while. People are at home and want to hear from you and people are still available if you need to talk. And if you haven’t heard from someone in a while and they have gone quiet on social media, give them a call and make sure they know you’re thinking of them.
And with the heavy stuff now addressed, let’s talk about how that void is going. Yeah, I’m not kidding when I say that this has been a difficult time for a lot of content creators or just people who are looking to fill time in general. Here I was, thinking that I was the shame of the book nerd community over the fact that I just could not get through the books I was reading only to discover that everyone I talked to was either turning to old favorites or not able to finish anything either. People who read a hell of a lot faster than I ever well finished barely three novels in a month when they can usually clip off at least a dozen. People who used to upload videos regularly have been scantly seen. Even friends who are usually super active online have barely been posting. It’s been a weird time.
That said, one of the things that I read recently was that there is a tactic that people who have anxiety have where they watch a favorite movie or series or show over and over again because they know it so well that it’s comforting instead of stressful. Like a visual security blanket. In the spirit of that and not just because I totally ran out of energy and fell terribly behind on my movie watching, I am going over the 37 movie reviews that I’ve done and presenting you with a top ten favorites. This only applies to movies that I’ve reviewed for the site and not Patreon exclusive stuff (the whole one that I did for there thus far) and we’re going with the super scientific method of choosing the ones I like best. If you aren’t liking the ranking, remember that this is all just for funsies and all just my opinion but you’re free to tell me where abouts you would rank things instead. And with all that out of the way, let’s get to the list!
A weird sequel that was actually supposed to be a completely different movie, this film is a favorite because Mary Lou is just so entertaining to watch. The atmosphere is good, even if the characters are a little bland. The special effects are pretty damn good all things considered and, as mentioned in the review, there are some pretty interesting and inventive kills. I really like the fact that Mary Lou isn’t just a hack and slash villain and she has a reason for haunting the school and its principal. And it’s made even better when that principal is played by none other than Michael Ironside. Ranks in at number ten only because when it comes to slasher flicks, it doesn’t bring a whole lot of new stuff to the table, but it does make a pretty nice meal for you while you’re there.
One of my absolute favorites to watch on the big day of the year itself, there’s so much to love about this film. The music is awesome, the makeup effects are pretty damn impressive and the atmosphere is actually effectively creepy. The characters are really likeable in this, especially the main character, Eddie. The shining star of the show, however, is Sammy Curr. He’s got a great presence when he is there, he’s menacing and visually horrifying when you see his burn marks. The whole thing is honestly just a great rock and roll horror movie. The reason it ranks at number nine is that much like Mary Lou, it’s really breaking any ground and showcasing anything new. You can see other movies like it but you’ll not likely see many as good and those ones will lack the awesome of Ozzy Osbourne as an evangelical preacher.
I openly said in the review that this is a favorite of mine and I force people I love to watch it just to share in my appreciation of its brilliance and its badness. You might be wondering why it’s sitting so low on this list if this is the case and I assure you, I did struggle to put it here. The thing is that I love all the films on this list quite a bit and it turns out that trying to pick something distinctive among my favorites was a might bit more difficult than I originally planned on. That said, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m kind of judging these movies as ones that you couldn’t see anywhere else. And in the case of this film, you aren’t going to find any that take table top gaming this seriously or nail the atmosphere anywhere near as well as this one does. For all its flaws, I truly believe that the director really wanted to create something that was different and he did create some unique and even creepy visuals. It doesn’t have enough of the vampire action in it but the parts that leave us in doubt of what M was seeing could have been fleshed out a bit better but I still love this film and recommend it.
Speaking of films you’ll never see anywhere else, this one belongs in a world on its own. Starring Dee Snider in a very weird duel role of Captain Howdy and Carl Hendricks, you get to run down the rabbit hole of internet stranger danger that leads to piercing and scarification rites of passage. Granted, you probably just wanted to meet up to play video games but Capt. Howdy has decided that you need this more. Because this was one of my first reviews, I really didn’t get into it much but visually, this film has a lot to offer and it actually does have a decent amount of creep factor in the sense of the parts that stay with you. I like that Howdy isn’t a supernatural boogie man so much as someone who truly sees this as his right to inflict pain on you for what he sees as your own good. Granted, it’s melodramatic as fuck and it’s still mostly for himself but Dee Snider didn’t just make him a bad guy with nothing going on. Still bitter about the Howdy name but you should still see the movie anyway.
This sits up there with the movie It as the only remakes that have managed to nudge the original aside just far enough to either sit up there with it or surpass it. There are a lot of elements of the original film that I think are worthy of note and I have done a whole discussion of that on Patreon for anyone interested enough to check it out. That said, the remake of Fright Night managed to take the good parts of the original and improve on them in almost every way. One thing I do want to mention that isn’t in the original film but I did cover on Patreon is that beyond my gushing, this film did land a little unfortunately hard in the whole “no homo” territory but I obviously didn’t find it a deal breaker and this is something that I think really made this version of Jerry Dandrige distinctive from his original counterpart. I would count this as being one of my absolute favorite vampire movies. I think the premise, while we’ve established is nothing new, was done well enough with some great elements added in that it makes for a fun, flashy and even scary ride that has a lot to offer people. The acting talent is delivering entirely to make this battle between a teen and a vampire something well worth revisiting.
Anyone who knows anything about this site or me knew this was going to show up here. I am nothing if not upfront about two things about this film: it’s bad and I love it. This is the second review I ever did for the site so it’s not in its best form but most of what I said still holds up. It’s one of the very few reviews were I give a spoiler warning about the end but I genuinely still believe that if you’re to truly understand why I love this film so much, you have to see the end for yourself. There is no other film like this one and in its uniqueness and for the sheer entertainment value of it, it’s got my number five spot with a bullet. Get yourself some popcorn and enjoy it with the cheesy goodness that is this movie.
Joss Whedon’s love letter to horror, calling back to one of the first and best films in the genre in the very title. I had a lot that I wanted to say about this film but, as the review went into, I truly recommend going into the film or showing it to friends blind. It’s a lot more fun to not know what’s coming the first time around it and even if you have seen it, there’s a lot to enjoy with the many Easter Eggs that the filmmaker set up for the audience. This is also the review wherein I was inspired to do a whole horror retrospective in pseudo podcast format so if you are interested in that, you should check out the Patreon link in the review. This might not have been the first of the meta horror films to come out but it was inventive and I love what they did to the story. More importantly, it was something different and creative when it came out and it still holds up today.
Uniqueness is something that this film can absolutely boast. My initial review of this film had a lot of things to unpack for it, including the backstory of getting the film to screen, the art of opera and how it plays into this film, why it’s a musical and not an opera and why this film rubbed some people the wrong way. And it will rub some people the wrong way because as a film, it really does go for gusto. This film is about as over the top as they come, the scenarios are all about pressing all the drama buttons and the songs are bombastic as fuck. And if you like that sort of thing, you have to see this movie. There are no other ones out there like it and it definitely deserves your attention.
Working with a micro budget, this is a zombie film that works with a difficult premise and pulls off an amazing feat by mostly suggestion. I go over why sometimes this film’s ambition overshot what it was able to pull off without a bigger budget but overall, I don’t think I really got across who well this movie is made. The acting is superb and they could not have cast anyone better than Stephen McHattie in the role of Mazzy. Every bit of tension and dread that this film managed to create was mostly sitting on the shoulders of three actors and that is pretty amazing, especially for a film that is about language infecting people with a zombie virus. Creepy, one of a kind and definitely a favorite of mine.
1: Ginger Snaps
Everyone knows my love of vampires but I have to hand it to this film for being one of my absolute favorites. I genuinely think this is a perfect film. There are no wasted moments where people expose too much. The characters are brought to life by some amazing acting. The gore is there but it’s meant to say something in every scene and it’s as poignant as it is gruesome. And as a scary movie, it still gets me. The dread still makes me cringe while I watch it as it gets close to the climax. I’ve seen plenty of werewolf movies but I am happy to defend my stance that this is the best one out there. There was so much care and thought put into this film and I can’t recommend it enough.
And that is my top ten reviews of all the films I’ve seen so far. Next week I’m going to have a small promo for the new story that is coming up after the short break there. Get ready for a summer story! Until then, maybe get off the internet for a while and check out one of these movies tonight. If Ginger Snaps isn’t available, I recommend Rock and Roll Nightmare.