Forgotten Flix

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Forgotten Flix Recommends

Forgotten Flix Recommends: Midnight Syndicate’s Monsters of Legend

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Click the album art to get your copy today!

Welcome, my fearsome fiends and gruesome ghouls!

A chill wind blows. You hear the clink and rattle of a horse’s harness. Someone rides slowly through the dark, mysterious village of Arcacia “where monsters of legend roam its hillsides.”

The music builds, swelling, ever so slowly, creating an atmosphere of brooding whimsy  as you travel back to the golden age of horror.

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Forgotten Flix Recommends: …And God Spoke (1993)

by Joel G. Robertson

And God Spoke... Movie PosterLou Ferrigno as Cain? Andy Dick as Abel? And Soupy Sales as… Moses?!?

Brilliant!

…And God Spoke is a faux-documentary (aka a mockumentary) that chronicles the struggles of two fictitious filmmakers, director Clive Walton (Michael Riley) and producer Marvin Handelman (Stephen Rappaport) as they attempt make their biggest feature yet.

Despite having made such “classics” as Dial S for Sex and Nude Ninjas, Clive and Marvin realize they need a successful mainstream picture to hit the big time. So, with their largest budget to date (11 million) their next, big screen endeavor is so obvious– they’re going to adapt the most popular book in the history of western civilization, the Bible. Not a single story from the Bible, mind you,  but the entire book, working their way from Adam and Eve to the Book of Revelations.

However, they soon discover that even low-budget biblical epics have their share of problems.

The feature-length mockumentary came into its own with 1984’s This Is Spinal Tap, and while that landmark film paved the way for the many that followed (most of which featured the core creative team  from Spinal Tap). …And God Spoke is an underseen classic that deserves its place in the pantheon of mockumentary greatness. It’s the moviemaking equivalent to Spinal Tap and proves that someone other than Christopher Guest is capable of working successfully in the genre.

Soupy Sales as Moses offers the Israelites the Ten Commandments... and a refreshing new soft drink beverage.

Soupy Sales as Moses offers the Israelites the Ten Commandments… and a refreshing new soft drink beverage.

Although …And God Spoke has a singular connection to the Guest-directed films (it features actor Michael Hitchcock, who’s been in every one of Guest’s films), it stands alongside Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and This Is Spinal Tap as a top-notch comedy masterpiece.

Perfectly capturing the low-budget, moviemaking experience, …And God Spoke works because of the sincere desperation of the two leads, Riley and Rappaport. Whether it’s Rappaport’s used-car salesman schtick that just skirts the line between sleazeball and showman, or Riley’s self-loathing need for recognition as a serious artist, the actors never portray their characters as one-dimensional. Likewise, the rest of the cast is brilliant in their roles. Whether it’s the stoner Jesus or biker R.C. Bates as God, there’s a verisimilitude to the performances.

It just feels real.

That’s why this movie works and why more recent endeavors like Guest’s For Your Consideration and A Mighty Wind fall flat. The characters in …And God Spoke are always believable as they struggle with an absurd situation that isn’t simply a series of marginally funny (or worse unfunny) contrivances. But, perhaps most importantly, the characters are also sincere.

Their optimism (particulary Handelman) in the face of ever-increasing obstacles and setbacks allows you to connect to them and their goals. You want to see them achieve their cinematic magnum opus even though it’s obvious they’re in way over their heads.  Whether it’s casting an “Eve” who has a massive snake tattoo on her body, or building a full-size Noah’s Ark that’s too big to fit through the door of the warehouse in which it was built, it’s obvious to everyone (but Clive and Marv) that this film is destined for complete and absolute failure.

Or is it?

…And God Spoke is a truly forgotten comedy gem that deserves its place on the mantel next to Guest’s best work. It’s dry, wry humor plays like the best episodes from The Office or Modern Family and it never hits a false note. If you’re a filmmaker, a fan of mockumentaries,or someone who likes movies about movies, then …And God Spoke isn’t just a movie you’ll want to rent, it’s a movie you’ll want to own.

Film Stats:

Director: Arthur Borman

Starring: Michael Riley, Stephen Rappaport, Michael Hitchcock, R.C. Bates, Lou Ferrigno, Andy Dick, Eve Plumb, and Soupy Sales

Genre: Comedy/ Mockumentary

Running Time: 82 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Where you can find it: Currently available on Netflix Instant Play!

…And God Spoke Clip

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What’s Playin’ at the Mall Twin… and when?

by Joel G. Robertson

As this is the final post before Launch-Day (which has been bumped one day to November 1, because, hey, I forgot Halloween was on a Sunday this year!), I thought I’d briefly go over how I plan on releasing content.

Yep, I’ve actually laid out a schedule for myself and for you, my lone, er, faithful reader, so you have an idea what to expect from me and this here experiment in retro redundancy. Truth is, I’m still feeling things out with this blog so things may (and will) change over time. But rest assured, I’ll always let you know what’s what.

And if you ever want to check out this schedule in the future, it’ll be available on the main menu (under “Schedule” –> “The Blog”) starting Monday.

Mall Twin Movie Theater

Mall Twin Movie Theater

So, here’s how we’ll roll here at Forgotten Flix:

MONDAY: Mall Twin Mondays. I’ll be reporting from deep within the dark, dank, musty recesses of my own twisted psyche. I imagine it looks a lot like a Mall Twin Movie Theater down there. You know the kind I’m talking about (especially if you grew up in the 70s and 80s). Most people had at least one in their hometown.  The Mall Twin had only a couple screens. Both were torn. Stained carpets… on the walls. Orange, and brown, and taupe cover the interior like a fungus in desperate need of some ointment.

From inside the Mall Twin you’ll get random musings from your’s truly. Maybe it’ll be a retro movie review (or a new review about a movie you need to remember), or news about upcoming movies that have a connection to a forgotten flick, or a retrospective, or other general movie musings.

WEDNESDAY: The Forgotten Flix Podcast. This is the day I release new episodes of the podcast (starting December 15), including show notes. Still deciding whether I’m going to do a new episode a week or every other week. Guess it’ll depend on how long it takes to turn this mutha out.

FRIDAY: Forgotten Flix Recommends. I’ll suggest a movie from various genres. It could be horror, comedy, drama, thriller, sci-fi/fantasy, family, or all of them. Feel like a laugh? Check out the FFR Comedy selection. Want to see something really scary (or at least entertainingly cheesy)? FFR Horror it is! And if you’re spending time with the kids this weekend during your court-ordered, social-worker monitored “special” time, then check out something from FFR Family.

Of course, all the movies offered up in FFR will have some sort of thematic connection; it may be the release year, someone involved with the production, or some other arbitrary, marginally-amusing piece of trivia. But no matter how tenuous, a connection there will be!

TUESDAYS/THURSDAYS: Help a Blogger Out. These are the days dedicated to other bloggers, writers, podcasters, and anyone else who wants to have their work featured on Forgotten Flix. So, if you are interested in contributing an article, review, interview, audio, video, or whatever email me at feedback@forgottenflix.com.

The only criteria is that your material relates, in some way, to the movies. And preferably movies (or the people involved with making them) you feel deserve to be recognized or remembered. One other point about contributing, any obscene, hate-filled, or pornographic material will be rejected and the sender will be banished, locked away deep within the bowels of the Mall Twin where they’ll forever watch a triple feature loop of Ishtar, The Mirror Has Two Faces, and Beautician and the Beast!

Until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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Forgotten Flix Recommends… 13 Horror Movies for Halloween: Creature Features, Part 2

Original one-sheet theatrical poster for Sleepwalkers (1992)

by Joel G. Robertson

So, here’s the second part of my monster magnum opus! It contains the remaining six entries. After this post comes to a close, it will be my final entry in the “13 Horror Movies for Halloween” series for this year. But considering quite a few folks seemed to really enjoy these, I’ll be doing it again next year with a whole new crop of movies.

Also, these posts inspired me to create a weekly series of “Forgotten Flix Recommends…” that will feature 3 – 5 movies you’ll want to check out. Each entry will have a different theme, so you’ll never know exactly what you’re gonna get (kind of like a box of… chocolate-covered grasshoppers. Well, I guess you’d know exactly what you were getting after you crunched down on the first one).

Here are the monster movies (8-13) you should check out:

8. Ghoulies 2 (1988): It’s not scary and I realize Ghoulies 2 is a straight to video sequel to a cheesy 1985 horror flick (although, I remember getting freaked out when the lady’s tongue, which in my memory vaguely resembles a fruit roll-up, flicks out Frogger-style, wrapping around some poor sap’s neck). Anyway, like I said in the last post, I have a fascination with movies set against the backdrop of circuses or carnivals. This one fits that bill and is actually a fun movie to boot! Directed by Albert Band, father of legendary B-movie producer and Full Moon founder Charles, it also stars Phil Fondacaro stars as Sir Nigel Penneyweight. He’s a great actor, who gives his all no matter what movie he’s in.

9. Sleepwalkers (1992): I love this movie. I remember going to see it at the drive-in with my dad and it’s always held a nostalgic place in my heart. You know the place I’m talking about, the place where you forgive the most inane plot twist, or the worst acting. None of that matters. In that place, you only see the good in a movie, no matter what anyone else says about it. So, is Sleepwalkers good? Well, like I said, in that deep down place you bet it is. Regardless of my sentimental bias, it is actually an entertaining yarn that would play perfect in your neighborhood drive-in (assuming you have one). Story is simple: Girl falls for boy. Boy falls for girl. Boy turns out to be shapeshifting monster who sleeps with his mother and can only be killed by cats… ah, I get a warm fuzzy just thinkin’ about it!

10. Leviathan (1989): In 1989, this movie was competing against two other “trapped under the ocean with creature of unknown origin” movies: Deepstar Six and The Abyss. This one is pretty much Alien under water. However, there is one reason why Leviathan is greater than those other monster-in-the-ocean flicks. A reason that makes any movie it applies to 1000 times better than it otherwise would have been. A reason that can be summed up in two words: Peter. Weller. Original one-sheet theatrical poster for Pumpkinhead (1988)

11. Pumpkinhead (1987): This movie also has a two word reason for its greatness: Lance. Henriksen. Although, it’s actually a pretty good creature feature in its own right. Henriksen plays a grieving father who summons Pumpkinhead, a demon, to exact revenge on the teenagers responsible for the death of his child. Pumpkinhead himself was created by the late-Stan Winston and is on par with Winston’s other creations for movies like Predator, The Terminator, and T2: Judgement Day.

12. Tremors (1989): Giant, underground, man-eating worms that find their prey through vibrations in the earth. Starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, Tremors is one helluva fun ride. Director Ron Underwood plays around with the “don’t move or you’ll get eaten” conceit in a variety of clever set pieces. If you think about it, Tremors is very much like the game you played as a kid where you had to get across a room using only furniture or other objects without touching the floor. Only, if you touched the ground when you were a kid, a massive phallic symbol wouldn’t burst through the floorboards swallowing you whole. If it had, the game would have been a lot more challenging (and fun if your kid sister was the one who stepped on the floor)! Original one-sheet theatrical poster for The Gate (1987)

13. The Gate (1988): This is one of those great “kids left alone while parents go on vacation” movies from the 80s. There are a ton of them, spanning multiple genres. It makes sense. In the same way that young adult novels remove grownups from the core action, so do many films with teens as the protagonists. After all, the kids are the ones who are supposed to be stopping the creepy, stop-motion demons they raised from a dark netherworld by playin’ their confounded devil music! It also stars a young Stephen Dorff. Definitely worth checking out!

Whew! Finally! I thought I’d never shut-up, er, I mean finish.

For the rest of this week, I’m going to be nose down, churning out posts and getting the blog ready for your movie-lovin’ pleasure! Later this week, I’ll be posting my blog’s schedule so you’ll know when, and what, I’ll be posting.

So, until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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Forgotten Flix Recommends… 13 (More) Horror Movies for Halloween: Creepy Kids and (Creepier) Dolls

by Joel G. Robertson

14 days and counting until All Hallows Eve (and the official launch of this site), so I present to you yet another list of movies to make your October nights a little more uneasy. Today’s Forgotten Flix Recommends… features all those (literal) ankle biters who’s make even the most tolerant child care worker run screaming from the daycare. Yep, it’s killer kid movies. I also thought this list could use a little pint-sized support from the Devil’s toy chest. So, I’m including those creepiest of inanimate objects come to life… killer dolls!

1. Magic (1978): Written by William Goldman, this creepy yarn is a slow burn starring Sir Anthony Hopkins well before he became a “Sir” or chowed down on liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. It’s a subtle study in madness that’s definitely worth checking out if for no other reason than the caliber of talent involved.

2. The Good Son (1991): Macaulay “Home Alone” Culkin as the Bad Seed. Along with a pre-Frodo Elijah Wood (although he’s about the same height here), I remember watching this in theaters and really digging it. A re-watch a few years back proved that, although a bit of a guilty pleasure, still entertaining nonetheless.

3. Child’s Play (1988): Honestly, if you haven’t heard of this one… well… there may be no hope. Seriously, this is a horror classic that perfectly balances horror with gallows humor. Special effects master Kevin Yagher’s creation, Chucky, holds up exceptionally well, and proves that well-done, practical animatronic effects will trump CGI every time (God help us when the recently mentioned remake arrives…). Directed by Tom Holland who also brought us the always awesome Fright Night (1985).

4. Mikey (1992): This killer kid movie stars Brian Bonsall, who played the “jump-the-shark” role of Andy on Family Ties, as (you guessed it) Mikey, an orphan whose birth parents died in an “accident.” When he’s taken in by a new family, people start dying. Predictable, guilty pleasure. Also stars Ashley Laurence, star of Hellraiser (1987).

5. Dolly Dearest (1991): I’ll be completely honest about this one. It’s predictable, a little cheesy, and I love it. There’s just something about the high-pitched shriek of Dolly that creeps me out. Also, it stars Denise Crosby who starred in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Pet Semetary (1989), and Eliminators (1986).

6. The Offspring (“The Magistrate”) (1988): Anthology film notable because it stars Vincent Price as a librarian in a small, Tennessee town who tells a visiting reporter three tales of terror that all take place in and around the town. The final one, The Magistrate, is a Civil War-era story about a Union soldier trying to get home. He’s taken in by a family of children. Note to everyone everywhere: If there’s a large clan of children, who appear to be living on their own in the woods… RUN!

7. Puppetmaster (1989): Full Moon released this picture in the late-80s and it was followed by ____ sequels. This is the strongest entry and while the puppets are a little cheeseball, there’s something endearing about them. And yes, I do realize I just referred to killer puppets as “endearing.” What can I say, I got issues.

8. Children of the Corn (1984): A pretty bleak telling of the classic Stephen King story. Awesome for the following three reasons: 1. It stars Linda (Sarah “Freakin'” Connor) Hamilton. 2. It’s based on a Stephen King story and 3. The kids, especially red-headed actor Courtney Gains, are creepy as hell. ‘Nuff said.

9. Dolls (1987): From director Stuart Gordon (Reanimator,  From Beyond, and Fortress). This is a more subdued effort from Gordon. And honestly, it’s one of my favorites. It’s creepy in all the right places, plays against expectations, and is truly a grimm, adult-level fairy tale. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.

10. The Children (1980): Full disclosure. I’ve never seen this one. Other than some stills and word of mouth, I’ve had minimal exposure to it. I just tried to add it to my Netflix queue, and it’s only available as a “Save.” This means I have to track down a VHS copy! Anyway, this film’s biggest claim to fame isn’t so much its blatant rip-off of the plot from Children of the Damned (1963), but rather Henry Manfredini’s score that bears a striking auditory resemblance to another score he composed that same year… Friday the 13th.

11. Demonic Toys (1992): Another Charles Band produced, low-budget frightfest. This one is cheesy, (relatively) harmless fun. I haven’t seen it since it hit video store shelves back in ’92, but I think it’s definitely worth a revisit. I think it’ll go perfect with wine and crackers…

12. Who Can Kill a Child? (1976): Yeah. This one is just this side of disturbing. No seriously. It’s a messed up movie. Of course, I mean that in the nicest sense of “messed up,” but that’s what it is. The film opens with a montage of images depicting the atrocities committed against children throughout the 20th century. Then we cut to present day Spain where a husband and his pregnant wife take a boat to a nearby island. Well, let’s just say the kids on the island make the ones from Children of the Corn look like a bunch of wet-behind-the-ears latchkey kids. I’m not going to say anything else other than I warned you…

13. Trilogy of Terror (1975): The oldest movie on the list, but definitely worth remembering. This was actually an anthology movie that played as an ABC Movie of the Week on March 4, 1975. It was directed by Dan Curtis (the man behind two classic television series: Dark Shadows and Kolchak: The Night Stalker), and based on stories by horror masters William F. Nolan and Richard Matheson (my favorite author along with King). Actress Karen Black starred in each episode. Black was most recently seen in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses, but her early career consisted of such classics as Easy Rider and (the far superior) Five Easy Pieces. The best segment was “Amelia,” which is based on the Matheson story “Prey.” It features Black alone in her apartment with the creepiest Zuni Fetish Doll I’ve ever seen (see poster at top of this post). When the charm that was keeping the doll in stasis comes off (of course it does!), the little bugger goes on a hunting trip of sorts.The final image is uber-creepy and you won’t soon forget it!

Well, that wraps up this edition of “Forgotten Flix Recommends.” With the next list I’ll be bringing you a menagerie of beasties that’ll leave you quakin’ in your skivvies.

Until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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Forgotten Flix Recommends… 3 Films Starring Jill Schoelen

by Joel G. Robertson

UPDATE: A special thanks to Jill Schoelen herself for permitting me to post this retrospective to her Facebook wall!

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It’s seventeen days and counting until the official launch of Forgotten Flix and we’re going to keep plugging right along with another installment of “Forgotten Flix Recommends.”

Today, Forgotten Flix recommends 3 movies starring actress Jill Schoelen! Ms. Schoelen was an unconventional scream queen in the late 80s and early 90s. She appeared in no less than six (possibly seven if you consider one of the honorable mentions below) horror films. Schoelen’s characters always had a scrappy resourcefulness to them. She came across as confident, self-assured, yet always possessing the vulnerability that allowed an audience to identify with her. Have no doubt; she ranks right up there with Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau and others as a great scream queen, especially when you consider her talent and contributions to the genre.

I highly recommend checking her out this Halloween season (or any season for that matter) in these five flix that should not be forgotten:

1. The Stepfather (1987) I remember when I first saw The Stepfather on the video store shelf. The VHS box art was innocuous. It looked more like a Lifetime movie than the taut, suspenseful horror-thriller contained within. On the cover, Schoelen, looking innocent, her all-American smile beaming as she cuddles a dog, is blissfully unaware of the shadowy figure looming over her with a knife. That shadowy figure is Jerry Blake played to perfection by the amazing Terry O’Quinn (who played John Locke on LOST). He’s the titular stepfather who is searching for the “perfect” family by marrying a widow or divorcee with children. Of course, no family is perfect, and when his new family inevitably disappoints him, well, Jerry has a special way of dealing with them.

So, when Jerry marries Stephanie’s mom, (played by the very talented Shelley Hack), Stephanie is immediately suspicious of “Mr. Perfect”. However, in classic horror movie fashion, no one believes the kid. Of course, O’Quinn plays Jerry as such an affable, charming, unassuming fellow that it’s totally believable that no one would believe her.

Schoelen, O'Quinn, and Hack in The Stepfather

What makes Schoelen’s performance so riveting is that she never plays Stephanie as one-dimensional. And since the audience is in on Jerry’s dark secret, knowing what kind of danger Stephanie and her mom are in, the tension is ratcheted up as we eagerly anticipate the moment when Stephanie’s fears about Jerry are confirmed.

The Stepfather ranks as one of the best horror-thrillers of the 1980s, or any decade for that matter. It’s an absolute shame that so many who watched the awful 2009 remake are unaware that this version even exists. (We’ll examine the original The Stepfather further in an upcoming podcast!)

Popcorn (1991)

2. Popcorn (1991) pre-dates Scream by five years in its attempts to have movie- loving characters that are up against a psychopath fueled by the cinema. In this world, however, the movies the kids are watching are fictionalized parodies of 1950s films, rather than the real-world, self-referential movies discussed in Scream. Schoelen plays Maggie, a film student, who, along with several classmates decides to put together a film festival in an old movie house. The only problem: the place may or may not be haunted by a filmmaker who killed his entire family there in the 1970s during a screening of his only film.

Schoelen is effective as “final girl” Maggie, who has a possible familial connection to the cinema slayings. This movie is also notable for starring Dee Wallace Stone, who appeared in many genre classics, including The Hills Have Eyes (1976), Cujo (1983), and The Frighteners (1996); although, she’s probably best known as the mom from E.T. (1982). One other interesting piece of trivia: The script for Popcorn was written by Alan Ormsby, who was also originally slated to direct the film. Ormsby often worked with director Bob Clark dating back to Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1973). He also wrote Porky’s (1982) and The Substitute (1996).

3. When a Stranger Calls Back (1993) is a T.V. movie sequel to the 1979 thriller When a Stranger Calls starring Carol Kane and directed by Fred Walton, who also directed this one, April Fool’s Day (1986), and the 1988 T.V. movie remake of I Saw What You Did. The first ten minutes of When a Stranger Calls Back is reminiscent of the original movie’s opening sequence with Carol Kane.

It features Schoelen as Julia, who is babysitting the children of an affluent couple. When a stranger knocks on the door claiming his car broke down, Julia won’t let him in, but when he won’t go away, she discovers the phone line is dead and the stranger wants more than a tow truck. It’s a suspenseful and effective opener that really showcases Schoelen’s talent. And even though this was the last major genre production Schoelen appeared in, she proved she could still connect with her audience no matter how short her screen time.

When A Stranger Calls (1993)

Some additional Jill Schoelen horror films you might find interesting are:

  • Phantom of the Opera (1989) Also starring Robert Englund.
  • Cutting Class (1989) is notable for one primary reason other than the fact that it stars Jill Schoelen. It also stars Brad Pitt. And this was before everything. Before Seven. Before Interview with a Vampire. Before Kalifornia (1993) (great thriller that also starred David Duchovny and Juliette Lewis) and Cool World (1991). This is a definite skeleton in the proverbial cinematic closet for Mr. Pitt and one I think we can safely assume he leaves off his resume. Regardless, it’s pretty standard late-80s slasher fare, although the mystery of who the killer is does take a few unexpected twists.
  • Curse 2: The Bite (1988) Sequel to the The Curse which starred Wil Wheaton.
  • Chiller (1985) A television movie directed by Wes Craven. Not particularly horrifying (well, not nearly as horrifying as Craven’s Music of the Heart (1999) anyway), but since it was directed by Craven and Schoelen was in it, I thought it should be included.

Well, that wraps up this “Forgotten Flix Recommends…” Check it out next Friday when I’ll bring you the “3 Flix of John Carl Buechler”!

Until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

Here’s the original trailer for The Stepfather (1987):

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Forgotten Flix Recommends…13 Horror Movies for Halloween

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987)

by Joel G. Robertson

I originally posted this in the comments section as a suggestion list for my friend Dumbricht, who’s blogging about watching 31 movies leading up to Halloween. Check out his blog here. He asked for a few suggestions and while I’m sure he (and you) have heard of many of these films, and to be honest, many aren’t forgotten (oh man, I hope not!).

So, without further adieu, and in no particular order, here are my 13 horror movie recommendations for this 13th day of October:

1. Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987 – more funny (and fun) than the first one, and I think it was better)

2. Black Christmas (1974 – the original, of course!)

3. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982 – it must be a generational thing, but I enjoy this one way more than the original. For the scene with MacReady (Kurt Russell) poking those blood-filled petri dishes with a hot wire…man, you can cut the tension with a knife!)

4. John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978 – again, original please… don’t even get me started about Rob Zombie…)

5. The Exorcist (1973 – What else is there to say? Other than I’m just glad they haven’t remade it…yet)

6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 – the origi… ah, forget it. You know.)

7. The Stepfather (1987 – man, I’m starting to get depressed by how many of my beloved horror movies are getting remade!)

8. Near Dark (1987 – great vampire movie. These are badass, mean-to-the-bone vampires, none of that Twilight emo crap here. : ) )

9. Night of the Creeps (1986 – Gory, campy 80s fun!)

10. The Monster Squad (1987 – It’s The Goonies with monsters. I know this is Heresy for me to say as a child of the 80s, but I think this is the superior film… by a long shot! It’s also, from the same director, Fred Dekker, that did Night of the Creeps)

11. Fright Night (1985 – fun 80s vampire flick with Roddy McDowall as pseudo-vampire killer, but very real horror host, Peter Vincent)

12. Night of the Living Dead (1968 – original…yep, but ah, a twist in the list…)

13. Night of the Living Dead (1990 – the remake directed by Tom Savini and starring The Candyman himself Tony Todd, this remake holds up really well. Even based on Romero’s original script!)

Yes, I know I have two remakes on my list while simultaneously expressing my disdain for remakes! Oh well…

It just seems right to stop at 13, but if you have any suggestions please leave a comment.

Until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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Forgotten Flix Recommends…A Classic Horror Movie From Wes Craven

Wes Craven (on the set of Scream 2)

It’s 20 days until the official launch of the Forgotten Flix site!

I’ve decided to wait and post all full-length reviews and retrospectives starting on October 31. In the meantime, I’m posting short segments every Monday and Friday called “Forgotten Flix recommends…” where I’ll recommend a “forgotten” flick of a specific director, actor, or special effects artist. All recommended movies should be available through Netflix, Blockbuster, or your local mom and pop video store (if you can, sniff… still… sniff… find one… sniff…).

And since we’re in October, I’m going to be as predictable as a late-80s slasher film and recommend the movies of people whose primary work is in the horror genre.

Today, we’re focusing on the work of…

… Director Wes Craven

I’ve always been a big Wes Craven fan. I remember seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) when I was hanging out with my friend, Richard. I was eleven and we also watched the original Night of the Living Dead that same week. These were defining moments for me as a film fan and helped shape what I love about the horror genre.

Here’s a Craven movie I think is in need of some remembering:

People Under the Stairs (1991)

The People Under the Stairs (1991): Truly an underappreciated classic of the horror genre! Fool (Brandon Adams) and Leroy (Ving Rhames) break into the house of Man (Everett McGill) and Woman (Wendy Robie), who own the slum where Fool lives. Inside this house of horrors, Fool learns the meaning of terror and what it means to be a hero. This is a dark fairy tale that even Jung would approve of. Craven often brings his background in Philosophy (he used to be a college professor) to his films, filling them with social commentary that’s fun to analyze and debate. The People Under the Stairs has it all: class warfare, race relations, gun-toting S&M gimps, a tongueless boy named Roach (Sean Whalen), and crazed, cannibalistic humans who live, well, under the stairs (although it’s more in the basement, which I guess technically qualifies). Definitely one of Craven’s best flicks. It’s also one of my personal faves.

Next up… I’ll be recommending a forgotten flick of scream queen great Jill Schoelen!

Until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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