Finished up my marathon with a total of 40 films, which might be my record. (And if it's not my record, it's at least my record since I was in college in the early Xixax days.) Here's the rest of what I saw.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose: I remember this having pretty good reviews when it came out and in light of Doctor Strange coming out this week, thought it would be good to catch up with. A really strange legal thriller with horror flashbacks, I wasn't really sure what to make of this one other than I'm surprised it went over as well as it did since it doesn't seem like it really delivers for horror audiences.
Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark: This was fun. I had grown up in the 80s very aware of Elvira without ever having seen her in anything, she was just a horror icon on shelves like Freddy or Jason and all kids kinda knew who they were regardless of if we had seen the films. Kept thinking that if Tim Burton had directed this instead of Pee Wee's Big Adventure, even with the same script, it would've been a much better film.
Maniac (1980): I had seen the Elijah Wood starring POV remake a year or two ago but hadn't seen the original until now. I would place this in the category of horror that is a little too grimy and real to be fun, thus not my particular cup of tea, despite it being really well made. I thought this would've been more of a down and dirty exploitation film but the filmmaking was actually pretty good. And the last 5 minutes or so which delve into the surreal, elevate the whole film for me.
Ouija: Origin of Evil: Didn't see the original but decided to check this out because the reviews were good, it seemed to stand alone, and it was basically the only horror film in theatres in October, which, WTF Hollywood. The retro touches (Universal logo, cigarette burns) are cute and it's definitely a step up from Hush, but it's good without ever being anything truly special. Interesting to note that we are definitely in the middle of the James Wan era. Where even films that aren't directed or produced by him carry his signature. I like his style but am now sorta waiting to see what's next.
Halloween: Resurrection: Spent the past few years going through the entire Halloween series, most of which I had never seen besides the first two, H20 and Rob Zombie's god-awful remake. This was the last of the original series, and the one with Busta Rhymes, it follows the events of H20, which I liked at the time, but wasn't actually very good upon re-inspection. This is also not very good but almost charming how quaint it is already, it came out in 2002 but seems to be closer in style and filmmaking to the 80s and 90s sequels than films today. There is a very early-internet concept, influenced by the rise of The Osbournes and reality TV and probably the POV cam of the Blair Witch Project but otherwise it's business as usual. And business is not very good.
Seeding of a Ghost: This was INSANE and the big surprise of the season for me. Playing as part of the brand-new Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse's opening series In The Mood For Gore, this was an early 80s film by the Shaw Brothers that begins as a slow burn but becomes gross out insanity by the last act. The basic setup involves a cab driver who almost hits a gypsy with his car and whose wife is having an affair before she is murdered by street toughs, so he goes to the gypsy to seek revenge on whoever is responsible for his wife's death. It contains some insane fight scenes, soft core slow-motion nudity, ghost fucking and tentacle monsters. I have never really seen anything like it. Watching it I could see shades of Evil Dead, The Thing and Dead Alive, and wondered if Raimi, Carpenter or Jackson had seen this film before making theirs. ATTN: Polka, RK, Ghostboy.
Masque of the Red Death: Roger Corman basically doing his American-ized riff on Hammer films but boy, is it gorgeous. Another one of my favorite discoveries. It may be low-budget but you would never know it. Beautiful design, costumes and sets and a great central Vincent Price performance. Watching this (and rewatching Suspiria) this year, I would love to see a return to lush, stylized, gorgeous design in horror films. Only Crimson Peak comes close.
Death Spa: Part of the secret lineup of Dismember the Alamo, I had been aware of this because of How Did This Get Made, and it is indeed awful and hilarious.
Halloween II (2009): This will be the last Rob Zombie film I will ever see.
Eden Lake: More of a thriller than horror but an effective one. Early Fassbender and Jack O'Connell and Kelly Reilly (whose name I always hear in my head pronounced like the hushed tones of "Mary Reilly" from the Mary Reilly trailer. The director just did one of the new Black Mirror eps.
Army Of Darkness: Still the greatest. Maybe the third-best Evil Dead movie but the best, most fully realized version of Ash, almost every line is a catchphrase now. My ideal double-feature would be this and Big Trouble In Little China, both featuring lead characters who think they are amazing but are actually blowhard idiots.
The Gate: Got tickets to Dismember the Alamo, their secret lineup 4 horrro movie marathon, and decided to make the trek all the way up to Yonkers just to do it. But because of the secret lineup, all month whenever I would put on a movie I would think, "God, I hope this isn't playing at Dismember The Alamo." But with literally thousands of horror films and only 4 films playing the event (with about 25 films I would be watching throughout the month), odds would be in my favor that it would not happen. So imagine my horror as the lights went down and the first movie to play was one that I had watched for the first time literally a week ago.
Deathdream: ...And the second movie was one I had seen on my only previous visit to the Alamo Yonkers two years ago as part of a double-feature with Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. Wasn't a fan of this the first time, liked it a little better on the second perhaps due to the engaged audience response. But good god, the print of this looks like the film was shot through a pitcher of pink Kool-aid, it is so faded it's practically pink and white. And now I've seen that print, twice. There are films that I love that I've only ever seen once. And yet. This. On 35mm. Twice.
Event Horizon: The final movie of the Dismember marathon was this one which I remember scaring the shit out of me when it came out and hadn't seen since the 90s. It definitely has some dated 90s-isms but some of the nightmare imagery definitely stuck with me over the years. And Sam Neill and Lawrence Fishburne still make it worth revisiting.
Phantasm: Remastered: Great job on the 4K remaster, Bad Robot. Maybe my 4th or 5th time seeing this and I still don't know what to make of it, but now that the Halloween series has been completed I think I'm gonna go through the Phantasm sequels next.
Hocus Pocus: I was a little old when this came out but thought it'd be worth showing my 6 year old niece. It's a little broad and Disney-fied at times but I appreciated that it was probably the last live-action scary Halloween movie aimed at kids. What the fuck happened, America?
Monster Squad: I saw this at the Alamo on Halloween and believe this to be the perfect Halloween film. The big 5 monsters, a great fast paced script by Dekker and Shane Black, great designs by Stan Winston, great score, fun, scary, everything. 12 year old kids cursing, firing guns, 14 year old kids smoking, drinking beer, and firing guns. This could never happen today. Stranger Things seems closest in terms of tone but the thing about 80s movies like Monster Squad is they not only starred kids, but were aimed at kids as well. Where Stranger Things stars kids but as far as I know is only watched by adults. Someone needs to resurrect the scary kids movie. Your move, Ghostboy.