Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Halloween Movie of the Day: Day 16

24. Night of the Comet - Okay, so it's possible I have too many zombie movies this year. I originally sought this movie out because I'd read that it was an influence on Joss Whedon for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but, even without that bit of trivia, it's still a fun little movie. If nothing else, you get some crazy 80s fashion to look at (plus the younger sister's cheerleading uniform, which really is pretty cute... I'd definitely wear it, though hopefully with better hair), but even beyond that, it's got some clever dialogue and a neat sight gag or two, like the movie poster for Red Dust in the theater, and some of the shots of the empty city are pretty cool, though, of course, that's been done better since this movie came out, and probably even before, because the red filter they use when they're outside can get kind of annoying. The zombies wind up being pretty non-threatening for the most part, because we usually only ever see one or two on screen at a time, and mostly in dream sequences at that (and when there are more, they'd work just as well as regular humans, really) and even though the characters might not know it right away, they're pretty easy as a whole to beat by just waiting them out, which wouldn't be as big a deal if we ever got the sense that there were a lot of them to wait out. They almost might as well have skipped that part altogether and just had everyone turned to dust. It really isn't much of a zombie movie, but as a general end of the world movie, it's good, cheesy fun.

25. The Evil Dead - And here's yet another sort-of zombie movie, but one that does much better by its undead. I've long maintained that the second movie in the series is my favorite, but after rewatching it, in a dark room, alone, I'm less sure. Like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it hits the right amount of low budget, where that somehow makes it feel more authentic, rather than just completely fake. Of course, TCM does it better, but it's also dealing with a much less fantastic premise. And while some of the make-up and special effects (and that moon) don't hold up, there's enough stuff that manages to look just real enough (yet different enough from reality) to be freaky. The pencil in the ankle has always seemed very effective to me, and it still does, but I have to say, the way the Deadites moved, and sounded, are what creeped me out the most this time around. If you think about it too much, you can figure out how they did it, but, trying not to think about all that, the first Deadite attack as a whole is very unsettling, as is the demonic giggling that you hear so often through the movie. Even the stop motion stuff at the end didn't bother me as much as it used to... I think it would work a little better without the tongues, but other than that, the transition wasn't that jarring, and the surreality of it just made it spookier. It may also help that the sudden change in the weather lately has made me a bit sick today. Also, this is another time where, if you get the chance to see the stage version of this movie, you should really do it. The show is more in line with the second movie, but it's an absolute blast.

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