Sunday, April 29, 2012

Down A Dark Alley: Horrorfest, 80s Style Part II

Partly because I'm behind on my 80s horror viewing, but also due to the fact that it was the last big decade for the genre until the 2000s, I have viewed a lot of 80s horror films during the fall months. Here's a couple more write ups:

Until I finally viewed this movie, I wasn't sure that what I had rented was a horror movie. However, it can be considered as such due to the fact that it fits into the category of "Body horror," a sub genre perfected by David Cronenberg. A man who's work I've sadly explored very little of. What this movie also proves is that the mind can be a very frightening place.

Expounding on that is the really freaky, strange and beyond insane nightmarish drug induced hallucanating trips that William Hurt goes on during this movie. Some of them are quite awe inspiring, but most of them result in rather stark and nightmarish moments that were really quite creepy. The movie even goes beyond the realm of sanity when Hurt's character ends up becoming a primal creature of sorts. And then he goes on the rampage in old school monster movie fashion.

Anyways, this film is also highly sexual in many aspects. The nudity and sexual tension kind of serve their purpose, and in a way the supposed "power of love" adds the main characters in their march back to normality. I like that this film is highly science based, and that aside from some rather outlandish scenes it is highly realistic. For those seeking a rather intelligent type of horror flick, and a sort of mind blowing experience, I recommend this one. I really want to read the book soon. 87

Scare Level=4.5

Freaky. Gross. Disgusting. Mind blowing. Utterly insane. All can describe David Cronenberg's 1983 classic, which not only is an addition to his collection of body horror movies, but is also flat out awesome in its own right. There is something twisted at work but also an extension of media theories and even thoughts on the human body itself. I honestly cannot say if any of the movie actually makes sense, but that doesn't really matter.

What the hell is it with 80s horror movies being highly sexual? Well not all of them, but at least many that I have come across. If they're not showcasing nudity in a slasher film, you get a movie like this one or Altered States that showcases it in an almost graphic, unflincing nature. In addition to being about the mutation of the body and the mind being launched into the outer reaches of insanity, Cronenberg makes the film as much about rough lovemaking as Blue Velvet was.

Now the body horror leads to some moments that would be easily part and parcel of a monster movie, and I think that's also what Cronenberg was aiming for. However, in this case the medium really becomes the message (heh, McLuhen comes into play), as the TV ends morphing and reshaping its creators and users. Thus, we have a "Monster turning on its maker" message of sorts, along with James Woods' sleezy, irresponsible smut and violence peddler Max Renin being the vessel for something truly unholy and unnatural. "LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH!" Indeed. 95

Scare Level=4.0

This movie has what could be the creepiest musical score ever for a horror movie. Okay, so maybe its not creepier than the classic Halloween (1978) theme, but its still up there. This along with Halloween and The Omen (1976) are horror movies where the music sets the film's mood, and give it an additional atmosphere that works incredibly well. In the case of Children of the Corn, though, the movie doesn't waste any time giving us a nightmarish world where kids, worshipping some sinister god, murder every adult in town and form their own demented Amish community. Complete with chastity belts, no use of electronics, and human sacrifices when needed, as no one is allowed to grow up. Reminds me of a demented, violent cult version of Peter Pan.

Into this whacked out land of corn wander two adults. The guy isn't important, but his wife is played by Linda Hamilton back when she was really hot. I have no idea if she made this movie before or after The Terminator, or if the latter film came out at around the same time, but she's great in both movies. From what I hear the Stephen King short story is different from the movie in some ways, but I haven't read it so I have no idea what's different and what's not. I'm guessing that the two main characters, who encounter the cult and are forced to fight against a deranged ginger child screaming "Outlander!" throughout most of the movie and his tiny child boss who heads the whole thing, weren't changed for the movie. And that the story has to have the famous "He Who Walks Between the Rows" creature/god/monster whatever the hell it is that the children so eagerly obey and fear.

As far as 80s horror movies go, this one is essential if not only because of the score, then due to the fact that crappy and dated CGI aside its a well made horror movie. Its not incredibly scary, but its really creepy. I've never seen the sequels, and I have no intention of doing so considering I hear how bad most of them are. But the first movie is quite good, and probably lead to everyone thinking we Midwesterners are demented corn worshippers. Well, I'm here to tell you that's only, um, half true :shifty: 85

Scare Level=5.0

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