Archive for the Monstrous Question of the Month Category

Cinema Knife Fight’s Monstrous Question: BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS WHO NEVER MADE IT

Posted in "So Bad They're Good" Movies, 2012, 50s Horror, 70s Horror, 80s Horror, 90s horror, Campy Movies, Grindhouse, Hammer Films, LL Soares Reviews, Mad Doctors!, Michael Arruda Reviews, Monsters, Monstrous Question of the Month, Movie History, Paul McMahon Columns, Universal Horror Films, William Carl Articles with tags , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by knifefighter

CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT:  MONSTROUS QUESTION
With Michael Arruda, L.L. Soares, William D. Carl, and Paul McMahon

MICHAEL ARRUDA:   Welcome to this month’s MONSTROUS QUESTION column.  Today we’re asking our panel of Cinema Knife Fighters:  Who’s your favorite actor, or actress, in a horror/science fiction movie who didn’t make it big?

In other words, that person who never quite became a star, yet in this one movie or perhaps movies, you just loved him/her.  Name the actor, the movie, and what it was about his/her performance that you liked so much.  You can also comment on why you think this person never became a star.  Of course, in some cases, it’s obvious (the person died suddenly, for example).

So let’s get started.  William, let’s start with you.  Who’s the actor or actress you most wished had made it big?

WILLIAM D. CARL:  Thanks, Michael.  I’m going with Deborah Foreman, who burst onto the screen in the hot VALLEY GIRL in 1983, but she almost immediately gravitated toward the horror genre.

PAUL MCMAHON:  Cool.  Deborah Foreman was one of my picks too!

CARL:  Well, she was a terrific comedian, with a beautiful face and bod to match the bubbly personality; she nearly always played the perky girl next door type who got into some kind of trouble.

Deborah Foreman in VALLEY GIRL.

Deborah Foreman in VALLEY GIRL.

In DESTROYER (1988), she faced a crazed Lyle Alzado in an abandoned prison where she was to play the lead in a women-in-prison film. In 1988, she played ‘the girlfriend’ in WAXWORK, facing off against vampires and her own sexual urges when confronted by De Sade!

L.L. SOARES:  My kind of woman!

CARL:  SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT (1989) found her in another thankless girlfriend role, but she held her own against Bruce Campbell and David Carradine. Later that year she played, yes, another girlfriend in the comedy/horror film LOBSTER MAN FROM MARS. In my heart, however, the lovely Deborah Foreman will always be the twins Buffy and Muffy from 1986’s APRIL FOOL’S DAY, a fun slasher comedy that is buoyed by her dual performance to a point where it makes the movie’s ludicrous twists (almost) palatable.

Foreman had a real knack for comedy and scares, and she knew when to be the growling animalistic twin and when to be sweet and innocent, as she was in most of her roles. I think if someone would’ve let her play something other than the girlfriend, she could have really become a huge star in either comedy or horror. Somehow, she never made it. After a few TV episodes (hello MACGYVER!), she’s disappeared from the scene. Nowadays, she’s a graphic artist and she makes and designs custom furniture.

Sigh.

In my heart, she will always be the beautiful, but mussed Muffy, attacking the last guy alive with one wickedly huge knife. Deborah, we miss you!

MCMAHON:  We certainly do.

ARRUDA:  I miss the Lobster Man from Mars.  Whatever happened to him?

SOARES:  He’s selling fish and chips in New Bedford.

Anyway, my favorite actor who never made it big would have to be Seamus O’Brien, who played Master Sardu in the 1976 movie BLOODSUCKING FREAKS. He is brilliant in the film, and has been described as a kind of a “poor man’s Vincent Price.” But I thought he was so much more. By turns spooky and darkly funny, his performance is nothing short of inspired.

The late great Seamus O'Brien in BLOODSUCKING FREAKS.

The late great Seamus O’Brien in BLOODSUCKING FREAKS.

Born in London in June of 1932, his short film career includes only one other movie credit: a small role in 1975’s THE HAPPY HOOKER, but he also was a stage actor, and was performing in an off-Broadway production of “The Fantasticks” when he died.

And how did he die? He “was stabbed to death while trying to hold a burglar at his apartment on May 14, 1977,” thus ending a promising career in horror/exploitation cinema.

He was only 44 years old.

ARRUDA:  That’s sad.  Some of my picks had tragic ends as well, but we’ll get to those in a moment.  Paul, you want to weigh in?

MCMAHON:  Sure.

The one actress I’ve never been able to forget is Deborah Foreman, who William spoke about a couple of minutes ago.

Deborah Foreman in APRIL FOOL'S DAY.

Deborah Foreman in APRIL FOOL’S DAY.

As he said, Foreman played Muffy/ Buffy in the original APRIL FOOL’S DAY (1986). It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but I remember her having a screen presence that flipped from inviting to evil and back again. I always thought she deserved a more meaningful acting career than WAXWORK (1988) and LOBSTER MAN FROM MARS.

While we’re at it, I’d like to give a shout-out to Emily Perkins from STEPHEN KING’S IT (1990) and the GINGER SNAPS TRILOGY (2000 – 2004).

Emily Perkins in GINGER SNAPS

Emily Perkins in GINGER SNAPS

ARRUDA, SOARES, CARL:  Yo, Emily!

MCMAHON:  Where the heck did she go?

SOARES:  She ran off with the Lobster Man, and they had little Ginger Lobster babies.

ARRUDA:  Really?  I thought the Lobster Man from Mars had a thing for the DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS (1954)?

SOARES:  That was just a fling.

ARRUDA:  Oh.  And here I was thinking Mars was just this ANGRY RED PLANET (1959).  Who knew there was so much lovin’ going on?

MCMAHON:  An actor that leaps to mind is Kevin J. O’Connor, who played Joey in DEEP RISING (1998) and Swann in LORD OF ILLUSIONS (1995). In both roles he disappeared into his character and commanded your attention whenever he was on screen. He works only sporadically now, and doesn’t usually get much to do. I’d love to see him find a role to carve himself into everyone’s memory.

Kevin J. O'Connor in LORD OF ILLUSIONS.

Kevin J. O’Connor in LORD OF ILLUSIONS.

SOARES – Wait a minute here, what’s with all the choices? The question says “Who’s your favorite actor, or actress,” so I obviously assumed it meant one person.  No fair!

ARRUDA (dressed as the Joker): Wait til they get aload of me.

SOARES: Did you say something, Michael?

MCMAHON (ignoring them): Topmost, though, I have always been, and will probably always remain, stymied at the lack of respect for Jeffery DeMunn. DeMunn displayed a hell of a lot of talent as the serial killer Andrei Chikatilo in the underrated CITIZEN X (1995).

Jeffrey Demunn is probably best known as playing Dale on THE WALKING DEAD.

Jeffrey Demunn is probably best known as playing Dale on THE WALKING DEAD.

I saw the remake of THE BLOB (1988) afterwards, and DeMunn impressed me again, playing a Sheriff who genuinely cares for every member of his town. He was given a small role in THE X FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE (1998), in which he had nothing to do.

Lately, he seems to have found favor with Frank Darabount, landing roles in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994), THE GREEN MILE (1999) THE MIST (2007), and most recently as Dale on THE WALKING DEAD, but I think the guy deserves a lot more. He’s a top-tier talent who’s been overlooked far too long.

And a bonus…

SOARES: Another one? WTF?

MCMAHON: Brian Yuzna’s first film SOCIETY (1989) featured some of the wildest, most outrageous make-up designs I’ve ever seen. The job was credited to “Screaming Mad George.” His real name is Joji Tani, and while he worked off and on for a while after that, his trail evaporates after 2005.

Special effect genius, Screaming Mad George

Special effect genius, Screaming Mad George

Where the heck did he go?

SOARES: To be honest, he’s not an actor, so he really doesn’t count as an answer to this question, but I still have to agree with you. I’m a huge fan of SOCIETY, a completely underrated movie. And I used to look forward to seeing “Screaming Mad George’s” name in movie credits. He was terrific at making cool effects, and for awhile, you’d see his name everywhere. He was even in the creature effects crew of the original PREDATOR (1987). Where did he go?

ARRUDA:  That’s a good question.  A lot of folks just disappear from the scene.  Often they simply leave the business and continue on with their lives in other careers.

I’ve got a bunch of choices today.  Most of them are well-known, I think, but not as leading actors.

SOARES: A bunch??

ARRUDA: Robert Armstrong, for example, in KING KONG (1933) is quite famous among movie buffs for his role as Carl Denham, and while Armstrong was in fact a very successful character actor, appearing in over 160 movies, he never really made the jump to leading man.  He’s great as Denham in KING KONG, and I’ve always wished he’d played the lead in more movies.

Robert_Armstrong

From the Universal movies, I’m going with Dwight Frye.  Sure, Frye is known today for his scene stealing performances as Renfield in the Lugosi DRACULA (1931) and the hunchbacked assistant Fritz in the Karloff FRANKENSTEIN (1931), and you can find him in bit parts in other Universal monster movies, but that’s it.

Dwight Frye in his most iconic role, as Renfeild in DRACULA (1931).

Dwight Frye in his most iconic role, as Renfeild in DRACULA (1931).

Watch him as Renfield in DRACULA and you can’t help but wish he’d gone on to bigger and better things.

He died young, just 44, of a heart attack, in 1943.

SOARES: Dwight Frye was terrific! Also check him out as Herman Glieb in THE VAMPIRE BAT (1933), another memorable role. He also had a small role, as Wilmer Cook, in THE MALTESE FALCON (1931). He really deserved to become a leading man/villain in horror flicks. He’s better than Lionel Atwill or George Zucco, who got their shots as leads!

ARRUDA: And speaking of DRACULA, I’d also go with Helen Chandler in DRACULA (1931).  She’s often and obviously overlooked in this movie because of the presence of Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, and Edward Van Sloan as Professor Van Helsing, but she makes a terrific and feisty Mina.

Helen Chandler as Mina in a famous still from 1931's DRACULA.

Helen Chandler as Mina in a famous still from 1931’s DRACULA.

After a successful stage career, she never quite made it in the movies.  She lived a tragic life, struggling with alcohol and sleeping pill dependency, becoming disfigured in a fire, and eventually living out her days in a sanitarium.

From Hammer Films, I’ve always liked Francis Matthews, who appeared as Peter Cushing’s young assistant Hans in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1958), and as heroic Charles Kent in the second Christopher Lee Dracula movie, DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966).  He’s been described as an “ineffective” leading man, but I’ve always found his performances topnotch.  Sure, he sounds just like Cary Grant, but so what?  I would have liked to have seen him hit it big.

Francis Matthews with Peter Cushing in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN

Francis Matthews with Peter Cushing in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN

Then there’s Andrew Keir, who appeared with Matthews in DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS, as Father Sandor.  Keir was a very successful character actor, but as Father Sandor, the lead hero in DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS, he dominates his scenes, as he would again in arguably his most famous role as Professor Quatermass in FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH (1967).  But he never reached the level of a Peter Cushing or a Christopher Lee in these movies, but based on his performances, he certainly could have.

Andrew Keir

Andrew Keir

Into the 1970s, I’d go with Jason Miller from THE EXORCIST (1973).  He’s great as young Father Karras.  I would have loved to have seen him act in many more movies, but he kept himself busy as a successful playwright.  He died in 2001.

Jason Miller as Father Karras in THE EXORCIST.

Jason Miller as Father Karras in THE EXORCIST.

SOARES:  I agree about Jason Miller, too. But I’ve got a problem. Bill Carl and I totally followed the rules and chose one person. I thought Paul was bad, but you’re listing so many people it sounds like you’re writing a book on the subject. What’s going on here?

ARRUDA: Where have you been?  We always get carried away with these things.  This is nothing new.  Why haven’t you been paying attention?  Have you been busy writing novels or something?

SOARES:  Yes.

ARRUDA:  There you go.

And from today, I’d go with Idris Elba.  He’s starred in a bunch of movies, including PROMETHEUS (2012) and THOR (2011), but mostly in supporting roles, which is too bad because he’s great in every movie I see him in.  He’s busily acting today, so there’s still time for him to make it big.  This guy needs to make it as a lead actor, and I’m hoping he does.

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

SOARES: Another one! But I have to agree about Elba, he’s great in everything he does. He is more appreciated in his native England, by the way, where he plays the lead in the compelling TV series LUTHER (worth checking out on BBC America). In America, he was pretty memorable as Russell “Stringer” Bell on the HBO series THE WIRE (2002 – 2004), but he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. He was even turned down for the lead role in the recent movie ALEX CROSS, so that the role could go to “bigger name” Tyler Perry, who was awful!

ARRUDA: And that’s all we’ve got.

SOARES: Finally! I thought you were doing your dissertation or something!

ARRUDA:  Now that you mention it, it would be a fun idea for a book.

SOARES:  So, until next time, remember that there’s always something new here at CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT. Tell all your movie-loving friends to check out the site!

ARRUDA:  That’s right.  Well, thanks for joining us for this week’s MONSTROUS QUESTION column.  Good night, everybody.

—END—

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JANUARY MONSTROUS QUESTION – Answer 3 – Michael Arruda

Posted in 1950s Sci-Fi Films, 2011, 80s Horror, Aliens, Hammer Films, John Carpenter Films, Michael Arruda Reviews, Monstrous Question of the Month, Remakes, Yetis with tags , , , , , , , on February 3, 2011 by knifefighter

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week we presented the first two responses to the January MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – by Nick Cato and LL Soares – but we didn’t have a chance to post the last one, where Michael Arruda answered the question. Here it is now, concluding January’s answers)

*****

MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – January 2011
(Monstrous Questions provided by Michael Arruda)

THIS MONTH’S QUESTION:
What’s your favorite winter horror movie(s)?

Answer # 3 (of 3). This one is from MICHAEL ARRUDA:

My favorite winter horror movies?

My top two choices are the two THING movies. Who needs skiing when you can run through the snow while fighting off alien monsters from outer space!  And before I go any further, I must warn you, that L.L. Soares and I pretty much picked the same movies.  What’s up with that?  Go figure!

I would place the John Carpenter remake, THE THING (1982) slightly ahead of the original Howard Hawk’s film THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951).

THE THING (1982) is one of my all-time favorite horror movies, period!  But I do tend to watch it in the winter time, I guess because I’m freezing my butt off for weeks upon end, and so it’s fun to watch others go through the same misery. Only they get to have the added fun of fighting off a monster.

This Carpenter film is an all-out gore fest.  It’s funny to think back now to 1982, when this film was panned by most critics as being too disgusting to be effective.  Sure, it’s full of gross-out special effects, but they’re all alien-related.  We’re not talking SAW material here. And no, it’s not as suspenseful or as masterfully directed as Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN (1978), but it does tell a heck of a story, and it tells it well.

My only complaint? The ending.  I know a lot of people like the open ended conclusion, but it didn’t work for me then, and it still doesn’t work for me today.

Second on my list would be the original THING movie, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951).  This one has the suspense that the Carpenter version lacks.  In fact, it’s one of the most suspenseful black and white science fiction/horror movies ever, right up there with THEM! (1954). It’s got great acting, a near perfect screenplay by Charles Lederer, based on the short story “Who Goes There?” By John W. Campbell Jr. The thing (heh, heh) I always remember about the dialogue in this movie is how quickly it’s spoken, not at all like a lot of the slow wooden dialogue from 1950s science fiction movies.  It’s spoken with the speed of Marx Brothers’ banter.

Watching THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD late at night on a winter’s evening still creeps me out. The Thing (James Arness) is one creepy dude, and when he attacks the sled dogs in the snow, I still get the chills.

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD was directed by Christian Nyby, although many believe it was shot mostly by producer Howard Hawks, which isn’t a stretch, since Hawks was a terrific director, and THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD is such a strong movie.

Next on my list is the Peter Cushing Hammer flick THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (1957).  This one is notable for being one of the few horror movies that Cushing starred in that was shot in black and white.  For the most part, Cushing’s films were all in color.

Less a horror film than a thought-provoking science fiction piece, THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN is no less effective.  It’s got great acting, a strong story, and lots and lots of snow.  The abominable snowmen at the end of the film are also rather cool-looking.  For years, the rumor existed that the close-ups of the snowmen’s eyes were actually Cushing’s eyes, but Cushing denied this in later interviews.

In terms of newer horror movies, I’d have to include 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007) on my list.  An instant classic, this movie offers violent murderous vampires on the loose in snowy Alaska.  What’s not to love?

To wrap things up, here’s an honorable mention list of some other classic horror movies best watched in winter:  DRACULA–PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966), THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS (1967), DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968), FRANKENSTEIN–THE TRUE STORY (1973), THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953), and if you like silly giant monster movies, the very goofy yet entertaining Toho romp KING KONG ESCAPES (1968) contains numerous scenes in the ice and snow.

Stay warm everybody!

—END—

JANUARY MONSTROUS QUESTION – Answer 2 – LL SOARES

Posted in 1950s Sci-Fi Films, 2011, 80s Horror, Aliens, Hammer Films, John Carpenter Films, LL Soares Reviews, Monstrous Question of the Month, Remakes, Yetis with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by knifefighter

MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – January 2011
(Monstrous Questions provided by Michael Arruda)

THIS MONTH’S QUESTION:
What’s your favorite winter horror movie(s)?

Answer #2 (of 3). This one is from L.L. SOARES:

Well, the first movie that comes to mind is the most obvious one, John Carpenter’s 1982 version of THE THING.

THE THING is easily my favorite of Carpenter’s films, and it’s one of the rare cases where a remake is better than the original, although the original 1951movie—which has the longer title of THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD—isn’t too bad.

THE THING takes place at a military base in the Arctic where researchers find a spacecraft lodged in the ice. When they try to extract it, they accidentally thaw out an alien life form that can change constantly to duplicate whatever is around it, and it has a strong desire to kill humans. It’s just an all-around excellent film.

The other movie that comes to mind is THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (1957), a low-budget Hammer film starring Forrest Tucker and Peter Cushing. This one is about an expedition in the Himalayan Mountains to find a Yeti. But when they finally find one, things don’t go according to plan.

This is a small movie, yet it has stuck with me over the years for some reason. And I remember the Yetis being pretty cool.

And it cracks me up that SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (1974), one of Nick’s choices, wasn’t originally on my list. How the hell did I forget that one? Not just because it should be one of my choices for best winter-themed movie, but because it’s one of my all-time favorite movies, period.

SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (1974) had amazing special effects that were ahead of their time.

—END—

JANUARY MONSTROUS QUESTION – Answer 1 – Nick Cato

Posted in 2011, 70s Horror, Cannibals, Indie Horror, Monstrous Question of the Month, Nick Cato Reviews, Yetis with tags , , , , on January 26, 2011 by knifefighter

MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – January 2011
(Monstrous Questions provided by Michael Arruda)

Okay, folks, here we are in the middle of January, the month of freezing cold temperatures, snow and ice.

With this in mind, here’s the MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH for January:
What’s your favorite winter horror movie(s)?

First up with an answer this month, it’s Nick Cato.  Take it away, Nick!

Answer # 1 (of 3).  This one’s from NICK CATO:

Here’s a couple of my WINTER-time faves:

SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (1974). I first saw this on a cold winter morning on TV.  It’s one of my favorite so-bad-it’s-good movies, about a cannibal cult that uses a guy in a Yeti outfit to scare people to death.  In most of the outdoor shots you can see the cold shooting from the actor’s mouths, and one flashback Yeti-attack scene in the snow was quite effective (at least for an 8-year old who should have been watching cartoons). I think of this flick whenever the white stuff starts falling from the sky…

Also,

Larry Fessenden’s WENDIGO (2001) is a great, quiet-horror film that takes place in Upstate New York.  Patricia Clarkson and Jake Weber (the lead actor in the DAWN OF THE DEAD re-make from 2004) star as parents of a young boy who learn the isolated cottage they’re using as a get-away from the stress of city life is haunted by the spirit of a Wendigo, a half-man, half-deer creature of Indian folklore.  The constant sound of wind and the icy backgrounds cleverly add to the slowly growing tension.

When the Wendigo finally makes its appearance during a trippy-looking camp fire scene, goose bumps ran down my spine…the way it walks is as creepy as it gets.  Few films give me the physical or mental chills like this one.

—END—

December MONSTROUS QUESTION – Answer # 5

Posted in 2010, Michael Arruda Reviews, Monstrous Question of the Month, Nightmares with tags , , , , , on December 22, 2010 by knifefighter

THE MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – DECEMBER 2010
(This month’s question comes courtesy of Dan Keohane)

DECEMBER QUESTION:

Has any horror film actually given you nightmares?  Name the movie, and if you remember any of the dream, describe the nightmare.

Which is scarier, the film or the dream?

AND NOW OUR FINAL ANSWER FROM MICHAEL ARRUDA:

I can’t say that any horror film has actually given me a nightmare, at least not as an adult, anyway.

The closest experience for me would be when I watched THE EXORCIST (1973) for the first time.  I watched it alone, late at night, uncut on HBO, when I was in high school.  When the movie ended, around 1:00 am, and it was time for me to go to bed, I couldn’t get the image of Linda Blair’s hideous face out of my head.  In fact, as I lay in bed, every time I closed my eyes, I saw her face.  Hell, even when I had my eyes open I saw her face— choose any dark corner in the room, and I’d see her there staring at me with that scarred face, demonic eyes, and thick rolling tongue.

Needless to say, it took me forever to fall asleep that night.

It was a very disturbing and scary experience for me, so much so that I still remember it clearly to this day.

That was the closest I ever came to actually having a movie give me a nightmare.

Some runners up include HALLOWEEN (1978), which I saw at the movies when I was 15, (somehow I eluded the Rated R police).  After this one, I couldn’t get the movie’s music out of my head the rest of the night, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I saw JAWS (1975) at the movies when I was 11, and needless to say I was traumatized for the rest of the summer and was afraid to go swimming.

Interestingly enough, none of the horror movies I’ve seen as an adult have come close to giving me nightmares.  Yet, I remember lots of instances as a child when movies bothered me.  I suppose this is more a reflection of the fact that it’s easier to be frightened as a child than it is as an adult, rather than that today’s movies aren’t as scary.  I think they are.  They just don’t bother me as much, because as an adult I recognize that a movie is a movie.  It isn’t real.

For the record, the king of scares in my childhood was— and this comes as a surprise to me— Lon Chaney, Jr.!  His Wolf Man and Kharis the Mummy (afraid of Kharis?  This seems laughable now, but back when I was a kid it was no laughing matter!) frightened the heck out of me when I was a kid.  Karloff’s Frankenstein’s monster didn’t, Lugosi’s Dracula didn’t, Lee’s Dracula didn’t, and Peter Cushing’s Baron Frankenstein didn’t.  Lon Chaney Jr. did.

Many a night when I was a kid I couldn’t fall asleep, because I was afraid that Kharis would creep into my bedroom and strangle me with his huge bandaged hand.  I also used to picture the Wolf Man leaping around outside my window, darting in and out of the moonlight, and if I ever found myself walking outside at night, I’d fear the Wolf Man would be lurking in some dark corner waiting to leap out at me and rip my throat out.

So, no nightmares for me, but lots of sleepless nights, disturbing images, and uncontrollable fears.

Thanks, Lon, for the memories!

Happy sleeping everyone!

~Michael Arruda

—END—

December’s MONSTROUS QUESTION – Answer # 4

Posted in 2010, LL Soares Reviews, Monstrous Question of the Month, Nightmares with tags , , , on December 21, 2010 by knifefighter

THE MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – DECEMBER 2010
(This month’s question comes courtesy of Dan Keohane)

DECEMBER QUESTION:

Has any horror film actually given you nightmares?  Name the movie, and if you remember any of the dream, describe the nightmare.

Which is scarier, the film or the dream?

ANSWER # 4 – L.L. SOARES:

I remember when I was a kid, I watched horror movies constantly. Where some of my friends weren’t allowed to watch these kinds of movies because they were prone to nightmares (the friggin wimps!), I ate this stuff up and never had nightmares. I guess I felt a kind of kinship with monsters and horror characters. My nightmares were always about more real life stuff.

But I remember one rare movie that caused me to have nightmares as a kid. This didn’t happen very often, and I can’t explain to you why this particular movie got to me. But it was Byron Haskin’s WAR OF THE WORLDS from 1953, starring Gene Barry as Dr. Clayton Forrester (yes, the same name as the character from Mystery Science Theater 3000!). The one produced by the legendary George Pal.

Something about those death rays that turned people to ash especially bothered me. Looking back on the movie now, it’s almost laughable. I certainly saw other movies that were scarier. But when you’re a kid, strange things get under your skin.

As for which was scarier – the nightmares are always scarier than the movies. Nothing is scarier than your own imagination.

~L.L. Soares

—END—

December’s MONSTROUS QUESTION – Answer # 3

Posted in 2010, Jason Harris Interviews, Monstrous Question of the Month, Nightmares with tags , , , , on December 10, 2010 by knifefighter

THE MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH – DECEMBER 2010
(This month’s question comes courtesy of Dan Keohane)

DECEMBER QUESTION:

Has any horror film actually given you nightmares?  Name the movie, and if you remember any of the dream, describe the nightmare.

Which is scarier, the film or the dream?

ANSWER # 3 – JASON HARRIS:

I have never seen a horror movie that has truly frightened me.

I have seen THE EXORCIST (1973), CHILD’S PLAY (1988) and many more. Nothing has scared me. I have always wanted to see something that would have me waking up in the middle of the night screaming and drenched in a cold sweat.

I did have a dream about THE BLOB after reading a review of the 1988 remake back when it was in the theater. In the dream, I am upstairs in the back bedroom of the house. The blob is outside the house below the window. It slowly extends itself. It looks like it has eaten a number of people, but they are only covered by the ooze and not being dissolved by it. It slowly becomes level with the window and starts looking in. At this point, I am cowering underneath the window. That is all I remember from the dream.

The other scary dream I had when I was younger was when I was stung by a wasp before going to bed. I dreamed about bees the whole night. It’s not fun dreaming about bees attacking people and myself throughout the night. The lesson I learned from this experience is never to air out a sleeping bag, then help your dad put it away.  I’ve seen THE SWARM (1978), and that didn’t cause me any bad dreams.

~Jason Harris

—END—