Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Halloween-themed Quiz from SLATIFL

Dennis from Sergio Leone and the Inside Fly Rule has come up with another fun quiz...this time with a Halloween theme! This one is right up my alley.

First, a brief reminder that the Italian Horror Blog-a-thon is just a mere three days away. I hope you all have your posts ready. I'll be posting a community post here on Wednesday for everyone to send me links to their pieces via the comments section. Anyway, we're three days away. Should be fun!

My answers to the quiz follow the jump.

1.)  Favorite Vincent Price/American International Pictures release.


2) What horror classic (or non-classic) that has not yet been remade would you like to see upgraded for modern audiences?

Since I am such a huge Italian horror fan, I would love to see some of the early Argento or Fulci stuff (Hollywood should leave Bava’s films alone, though) because it could lead to someone seeking out the always bizarre subgenre. Tarantino has stated in the past that he would love to remake the early Fulci film MURDER TO THE TUNE OF SEVEN BLACK NOTES; I’d be down for that. As for an early Argento, I wouldn’t have minded seeing the once-in-production David Gordon Green version of SUSPIRIA.

3) Jonathan Frid or Thayer David?


4) Name the one horror movie you need to see that has so far eluded you.

I’ve never seen I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE…and I’m okay with that…but I guess that doesn’t really answer the question, so I’ll go with something like THE BIRDS. I’ve seen clips here and there, but I’ve somehow never actually sat down and watched the thing from beginning to end.

5) Favorite film director most closely associated with the horror genre.

My mind immediately goes to Mario Bava for how influential and haunting his films continue to be – even his goofy ones like BAY OF BLOOD – but I also have a lot of love for lesser known Italian horror maestros like Michele Soavi (even though he only made four horror films).

6) Ingrid Pitt or Barbara Steele?

Barbara Steele.

7) Favorite 50’s sci-fi/horror creature.

I've always had an affinity for giant spiders.

8) Favorite/best sequel to an established horror classic.

One of my favorites is A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: THE DREAM WARRIORS because it’s always interesting to see the talent – both behind and in front of the camera – that worked on that film, and it wasn’t half bad in making us all forget about the awful taste NIGHTMARE 2 left in our mouths. And, finally, it’s always good to see John Saxon! However, I’m tempted to put HELLRAISER 2 in here…but I don’t know if HELLRAISER is really all that established. But I’ve always liked the second HELLRAISER film more than the first one.

One of the best though is NEW NIGHTMARE for being the more clever, and less annoying, version of the ideas Craven would make so popular a couple of years later with SCREAM that it would revitalize the entire genre. But yeah, NEW NIGHTMARE did postmodern horror better than SCREAM, and it gets extra points because it did the unthinkable in making Freddy Krueger – nothing more than a pull-string quipster by that point – scary again.

9) Name a sequel in a horror series which clearly signaled that the once-vital franchise had run out of gas.

FRIDAY the 13th: A NEW BEGINNING since they promised us they killed Jason in the fourth installment. That was really the beginning of the end of the slasher genre.

10) John Carradine or Lon Chaney Jr.?

John Carradine.

11) What was the last horror movie you saw in a theater? On DVD or Blu-ray?

In the theater: DRAG ME TO HELL (yup…it’s been awhile)
On DVD: OPERA (Argento)

12) Best foreign-language fiend/monster.

Gotta go with Max Schreck/Klaus Kinski as Count Dracula

13) Favorite Mario Bava movie.

I have such a soft spot for BAY OF BLOOD…I know it’s not his best film, but it’s my favorite. 

14) Favorite horror actor and actress.

Oh man…a tie: John Saxon and Donald Pleasance

15) Name a great horror director’s least effective movie.

Hmmm. SWAMP THING comes to mind (Wes Craven), but I guess it’s debatable that Craven is a “great” horror director. I’ll say John Carpenter’s VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED remake.

16) Grayson Hall or Joan Bennett?


17) When did you realize that you were a fan of the horror genre? And if you’re not, when did you realize you weren’t?

Like most fans, I’m sure I got into the genre because of how taboo and off-limits the movies were for kids. Naturally, that’s going to pique the interest of someone who is 10 or 11. I remember just roving the aisles of my local video stores and being fascinated with the cover boxes. Poster art and cover boxes is where it started for me. I remember most vividly those oversized cover boxes (the Fox and MGM ones were the best of the mainstream companies) for the low-budget horror movies produced by companies like: Media Home Entertainment, Key Video, Embassy, AIP, Video Treasures, Vidmark, USA Home Video, VidAmerica, Paragon, Interglobal, and Vestron.

Once I was able to actually take those videos home with me, I was hooked even more as a horror fan…to the point where it became my favorite genre.

18) Favorite Bert I. Gordon (B.I.G.) movie.

Without Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary: FOOD OF THE GODS
With Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary: THE MAGIC SWORD

19) Name an obscure horror favorite that you wish more people knew about.

I have to go to Italy again: STAGEFRIGHT (Michele Soavi). It’s the perfect blend of the American slasher and gonzo Italian horror. I mean, there’s a dude in an owl mask hacking people up with an ax…what’s not intriguing about that! On top of that, it’s a great example of how effective the slasher prototype can be even during a time (1987) when not only the slasher genre but also the Italian horror subgenre was absolutely, without question dead (Italian genre filmmakers were rapidly moving towards TV as they saw their horror budgets shrinking in the late ‘80s). Soavi was the last man to make great Italian horror movies…I also highly recommend THE CHURCH, Soavi’s follow-up.

20) The Human Centipede-- yes or no?

It’s like 51/49 yes. It just depends when you ask me, I suppose. I can definitely see why some reputable people recommended the film to me…but I didn’t see it for anything more than it really was: a botched attempt at dark humor and extreme horror. Still, as odd as it sounds, the movie is not without its, er, charms.

21) And while we’re in the neighborhood, is there a horror film you can think of that you felt “went too far”?

No. I’m really not offended by anything, so I don’t think it’s possible for a horror film to go “too far” in the sense you’re meaning. I’ve seen plenty of films that think they are going “that far,” and it pisses me off because the filmmakers of those movies ruin a perfectly good premise by trying to be ‘extreme.’ THE STRANGERS is a perfect example of this: an efficient and effective horror film ruined by its need for a nihilistic ending. That’s obviously a lot tamer than THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE…so I would say that the some of Fulci’s later work like THE NEW YORK RIPPER almost goes too far because it’s all just Fulci being a misogynist prick, and so it’s quite awful watching those women being murdered in that movie.

22) Name a film that is technically outside the horror genre that you might still feel comfortable describing as a horror film.

BLUE VELVET is one I always think of when this question comes up.

23) Lara Parker or Kathryn Leigh Scott?


24) If you’re a horror fan, at some point in your past your dad, grandmother, teacher or some other disgusted figure of authority probably wagged her/his finger at you and said, “Why do you insist on reading/watching all this morbid monster/horror junk?” How did you reply? And if that reply fell short somehow, how would you have liked to have replied?

I was lucky to never have this happen.

25) Name the critic or Web site you most enjoy reading on the subject of the horror genre.

Tim Brayton of Antagony & Ecstasy…his annual Summer of Blood series (especially when he covered the Video Nasties) is the one thing I look forward to every summer in the blogosphere. I always appreciate his commentary on horror films because he’s willing to give everything its due within the context of horror. I had never really read a defense of SLEEPAWAY CAMP until Tim covered it a couple of years ago. His writing on horror is always thorough, brilliant, clever, and filled with humor.

26) Most frightening image you’ve ever taken away from a horror movie.

The safety/security one is supposed to feel in the shower being disrupted by the emerging shape of Norman Bates…I’d also go with the image of The Shape lurking behind the hedge in the middle of the day (there’s something more unsettling about those things occurring in daylight) or, to borrow another image from HALLOWEEN, the shot at the end where The Shape sits up in the background while Jamie Lee Curtis’ babysitter sits in the foreground relieved and unaware that she hasn’t, in fact, killed Michael Myers.

27) Your favorite memory associated with watching a horror movie.

Seeing my first horror movie, NEW NIGHTMARE, in the theater is up there…also, going to see THE DESCENT and thinking that horror had made a comeback; however, since I am such a huge Italian horror fan, I have to go with the first time my mind was blown by the gonzo nature of Fulci’s THE BEYOND and Argento’s SUSPIRIA.

28) What would you say is the most important/significant horror movie of the past 20 years (1992-2012)? Why?

I hate to say it because I’m not its biggest fan, but I would have to say that SCREAM is probably the one I would go with. It was responsible for the resurgence of the genre, specifically the long dormant slasher subgenre, in the mid-90s, and it rekindled the mentality amongst Hollywood producers that these movies could be made on the cheap and could be made into franchises. Because of SCREAM, we have SAW and FINAL DESTINATION and all of the remakes that litter theaters on a weekly basis. Again, I don’t like it, or what it’s done to the genre, but I can’t deny its significance in getting an entirely new generation of film-goers acquainted with the horror genre (which, at that point, had been relegated to late night premium cable and straight-to-video). I’m not so sure that if SCREAM had bombed at the theater, producers would have been so keen on remaking all of the slasher films of the 70s and 80s (and the foreign horror films of the 90s and early 2000s).

29) Favorite Dr. Phibes curse (from either film).



30) You are programming an all-night Halloween horror-thon for your favorite old movie palace. What five movies make up your schedule?

Since zombies are all the rage these days, I would go with a zombie theme for people who think that Romero is the only person to have created zombies.  My choices would reflect a mix of both trashy exploitation and legitimately scary. underappreciated American and European zombie films.



  1. Yep, BLUE VELVET is a great pick for that question, alright. I will have to check out your horror site link. I do love that scene where The Shape sits up in the background, as well. Marvelous quiz answers and an enjoyable read, Kevin. Thanks.