Well, another Halloween has come and gone, and another batch of seasonal movies have been viewed. While I’m not quite done with horror movies yet — there’s a Friday the 13th this month, after all — it’s time to blow out the candles in the jack-o’-lanterns. About time, too, since this year’s festivities started in September.
Regular programming will resume in a couple days, and hopefully will contain some good films. Of course, there are still a lot of films from the Haul of Dubious Quality to check out, as many of those weren’t horror films. So who knows, maybe we’ll be stuck in mediocrity for a while. But at any rate, the pumpkins will be coming down today.
Time, then, for the roundup. What was good, and what wasn’t?
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!
Elvira’s Haunted Hills
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
The Moth Diaries
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Night of the Living Dead (1990)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Last House on the Left (2009)
All in all, I reviewed 21 horror films, monster movies, and Halloween-set movies over the past six weeks. Toward the end, I had taken to referring to this as a “month of mediocrity”, and ignoring my casual approach to the calendar, it’s a pretty accurate statement. While there are some good films in the mix, there aren’t any great ones — no five-star films. Granted, there are a decent number of four-star films, and it’s possible one or two of them could creep their way up as time goes on.
There were a few downright stinkers as well, but only a few. Still enough to be painful, though. But the bulk were in the 3-star range, films that were good enough to not hate, but not good enough to recommend strongly. All in all, though it’s not the worst offering of Halloween movies, it’s far from the best.
I have to consider that part of this — probably the bulk of it — is because so many of the films were from the Haul of Dubious Quality. Most of my movies for the season were already picked long before I started; I only had the opportunity to scout out something else one-third of the time, and even most of that was a matter of happenstance. I didn’t get to check out a Vincent Price film this year, for example. Rather surprisingly, though, most of the films that wound up in the 4-star slot were actually from the Haul; while I don’t think most of them are keepers for my collection, they were at least worth watching the one time. (I am going to hang onto Zombieland and Corpse Bride, though.)
Those of you who are keeping an eagle eye on things (which is probably nobody) may notice that I did not elect to watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning during Halloween Haunters. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Although I respect the importance of the original 1974 film, I wasn’t a big fan of it. The thought of watching a prequel to the remake just sounded tortuous to me. I kept it penciled in for a last-resort replacement if one of the other DVDs didn’t play, but otherwise, I wasn’t even going to touch it for the Morbid Curiosity Files. This bends my usual rule of “if it’s in my collection, it must be watched”, but it doesn’t quite break it; after all, there are many items in the Haul that aren’t going into my permanent collection. This will just be the one item that’s going to the CD/DVD exchange without being viewed first. I just don’t think I could stand it.
Still, even if my choices were fairly restricted this year by being pre-selected, there was a lot of fun to be had. Maybe not quite enough to make up for the mediocrity of a lot of it, but enough that I’m still willing to do this again next year.