Countdown to Halloween: It’s almost time, kids … the clock is ticking …

Posted: October 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Fun fact: The original site of the house where The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was shot is about a 15 minute drive from where I live in Austin, unrecognizable now tucked under a toll road fly-over. I try to give Leatherface a rev of my mental chainsaw whenever I drive by in honor of one of the purest horror movies ever put to film.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Countdown to Halloween: Did you have any weird dreams last night?

Posted: October 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

I know I have a tendency to throw the word “favorite” around a lot, but in the case of 1963’s The Haunting there is no other word that fits. The Haunting — and the book it was based on, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House — is a movie I’ll watch whenever I happen to get the chance, and one I want to watch whenever I happen to think about it. It is simply one of the best, if not the best, haunted house story put to film or paper and if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you give both a try.

The Haunting does an excellent job of capturing the mood and growing terror that gives the book so much of its atmosphere, and its dreadful sense of inevitability is perfectly relayed by the film’s small cast of characters. It’s an example of an old idea that’s been lost in a lot of modern horror movies; sometimes, what’s scariest is what you can’t see.

Speaking of legendary horror movies, it’d be hard to argue with calling A Nightmare on Elm Street a modern classic of the genre.

And if you do want to argue, I will fight you.

Countdown to Halloween: You gotta be f*#!in’ kidding

Posted: October 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

So you might’ve seen a new movie earlier this month called The Thing, but you didn’t really see The Thing.

Because this is The Thing.

Countdown to Halloween: What an excellent day for an exorcism

Posted: October 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

The Exorcist is an undisputed heavyweight in the world of horror, and it sure as hell earns its rank with terrifying and tension-filled scenes that make even hardcore atheists wonder if they should start crossing themselves.

One aspect that gets overlooked in the middle of all the head-twisting and pea soup-spewing, though, is the truly great performance of Linda Blair as Regan. It’s true that possessed-Regan’s voice was dubbed by Mercedes McCambridge, but this clip of Blair giving her undubbed performance shows the 13-year-old was pretty good in her own right.

None of this explains what the deal was with everything she made after The Exorcist, but that’s Pazuzu for you.

Countdown to Halloween: Hi — I’m going to Camp Crystal Lake

Posted: October 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Once upon a time, Hollywood was actually able to make good movies out of Stephen King novels, and The Shining is one of the best. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring an at-his-peak Jack Nicholson, The Shining scared me like few movies ever have.

I was 10 when this movie came out in 1980, and seeing it at that age on the big screen branded the most shocking scenes into my brain good and deep. But watching it again and again over the years with the benefit of more maturity — and less crying — has let me appreciate some of the “quieter” but no less powerful pieces in The Shining. One of my favorites is just a conversation between Nicholson’s Jack Torrance and the ghost of Delbert Grady, but it’s a scene that is chilling in its restraint and menace.

The same year The Shining came out another, much different movie called Friday the 13th was released. Unsuspecting audiences were introduced to Jason Voorhees and a girl named Annie, who would be one of the first of many, launching a horror icon and an apparently equally undying movie franchise.

And just a quick note: Is it just me, or is there something weirdly satisfying about the idea of Jason driving a Jeep?

Countdown to Halloween: The ship needs blood, Marshall … blood to survive …

Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

You might have noticed that thanks to technical difficulties over here at GCP-HQ, the last couple of days have been sadly bereft of Halloween clips. That’s right, I said “bereft.”

Normally I would bundle all the clips that were supposed to run into one post, but including today’s that would be six all together and that seems kind of ridiculous. Instead I’ll just point you in the direction of some great, classic horror movies, including; Fright Night, An American Werewolf in London, Poltergeist and The Fly.

As for today’s entries, I thought I’d share something a little less well-known. First up — Black Christmas, 1974 slasher movie about the terror of the holiday season and the danger of having a second phone line. Also, Margot Kidder and a unicorn. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Next, another favorite of Sandy’s and something I’ll have to track down because it just looks nuts. Death Ship is a 1980 film starring George Kennedy, Richard Crenna and a freighter haunted by undead Nazis and the ghosts of their tortured victims, Which would be bad enough without Kennedy getting possessed at some point and somehow still-rotting bodies showing up at every turn.

Countdown to Halloween: So what are we watching? Home movies or something?

Posted: October 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Decades ago, Linda Blair starred in a landmark film that would reset the bar for horror movies, a film that resonated with audiences and showcased the young actor’s well of talent.

That’s right — I’m talking about 1981’s Hell Night.

Speaking of things coming up from deep, dark wells, let’s talk about The Ring. I know some people will want to start with, “Oh, but Ringu is so much better, especially in the original Japanese and blah blah blah,” and y’know, I agree — originals are almost always better and I like to watch foreign movies in the native language, too.

But I liked The Ring — it was creepy and atmospheric, and I actually cared about what happened to the characters. And while this movie launched a thousand copycat ships with pale, dark-haired demons moving in quick-cut edits, this quiet scene was one that really weirded me out.

See you in seven days.

Nose Bleed
The Ring at

Countdown to Halloween: Karen? Karen?! Oh … poor baby …

Posted: October 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

The big day is only a little more than a week away and I’ve still got a chunky list of movies that I just can’t bear to abandon. They’re like my babies! So to get these cinematic hellspawn into good homes, we’ll be doubling up on the clips from here on out.

First up, a true classic. I never, never get tired of Night of the Living Dead, a film that invented not just a genre, but an entire modern mythology. Here are some quick observations:

• Oh man, do I hate this bald guy. I can’t think of more fitting end for this prick and I’m glad he gets it. MAN, do I hate this guy!
• On the other hand, Ben (played by Duane Jones) doesn’t get nearly the credit he should for being the first zombie-killin’ bad-ass.
• This is definitely the first (and maybe the only?) instance I can think of where you see a zombie using a tool. I’m kind of glad it didn’t become a regular aspect of zombie-hood, but I think it’s interesting anyway.

And now a modern classic, this one from the mostly abandoned comedic-horror alien invasion catergory. I give you Nathan Fillion in 2006’s Slither.

Countdown to Halloween: And now, a word from our sponsors

Posted: October 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

We’ve already seen one TV commercial on the air right now that’s just … creepy. And it’s not even Halloween-themed! But there is another commercial floating around that’s specifically for the Halloween season, and I actually get a kick out of it.

The commercial for Snickers reappeared this year after debuting in 2010, and it’s easy to see why. Set in a shadowy, seemingly empty grocery store, poor Mrs. Jensen is just trying to get some shopping done when she’s suddenly face-to-belly with a towering, old-lady-masked — person? — sweeping candy bars into her cart.

Is it the slightly sinister setting that’s so weird? The sing-songy voice coming from the disturbingly flexing mask? Or is it the ickily familiar way the Old Lady strokes Mrs. Jensen’s face?

Yes, yes and yes.


Countdown to Halloween: What could have caused them, Professor?

Posted: October 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Happy birthday, Bela Lugosi! Your legend will let you live on long after your death.

(If you’re in a hurry, you can bail out when the Count makes his exit at 5:35).

And since imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery …