Thursday, November 3, 2011

Olive Street Cinema, no. 1 | Of Zombies, Witches, Pumpkin Kings, Vampires, and Lucifer in Space

Oct 23/11: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

I'd dug up my old VHS copy of this to watch while we carved pumpkins this year with Bobby and Sierra Dawn. Truth be known, while, yes, I am exactly the sort of woman you'd suspect of falling gaga gooey over this movie and owning at least one hair clip with Jack Skelington's face on it, I am, in fact, not such a fan of this flick. I've never been able to put my finger on exactly why this doesn't get my little fangirl heart lubdubbing. While watching it this year, I suspect that the problem may be that I've always debated whether this is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. A) I shouldn't have to debate that at all and B) I think my most recent viewing proves it's a Christmas movie. After that first lovely "This is Halloween" scene, this is, essentially, a Christmas movie; this is a movie about the meaning and spirit of Christmas. And, quite frankly, I'm not so much interested in Christmas, certainly not while carving pumpkins anyways. This is a Christmas movie parading as a Halloween movie, and I am not so keen. Furthermore, I don't think Danny Elfman's music is all that wonderful. True, "This is Halloween," would pop up in my head every time I felt myself getting excited about any aspect of this most wonderful of holidays. But that "What's This?" song when Jack visits Christmas land is, frankly, grating. And the rest of the songs are forgettable. And the love story, all this "You're the Jack to my Sally" Hot Topic branding business? Jack ignores Sally throughout most of the movie. That's not a love story for the ages. I'm much more a "You're the Gomez to my Morticia" type when it comes to gothic loves.

Now, all that being said, watching the making-of, I was blown away. Do you know that every second of this movie contains 24 frames--as in, the puppets had to be moved minutely 24 times for every second, and when you're clocking in at an hour and a half, the work and craftsmanship involved in creating this is mind boggling. I am still a fan of this film stylistically, though not necessarily narratively.

Oct 26/11: Countess Dracula (1971)

A take on the Elizabeth Bathory story starring sultry, divine Ingrid Pitt. Hammer films are always worth watching, so lush and entertaining, with casts as cool as cucumbers.

Oct 27/11: The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Watched this with Metal Commander, Heather, and Selena K., and spent much time explaining to Selena the difference between the Return of the Living Dead series and Romero's Dead movies. Watching this and then watching Dawn of the Dead, though, these movies could not be more disparate--while Romero relies on social commentary and makeup effects, the Return movies are so gleeful and high energy, with ridiculous animatronic monsters. I think both series have their merits, but as Halloween approaches, the Return movies are more in the spirit of the holiday.

Oct 31/11: The Crimson Cult (1968)

The poster says it all. Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee. Bam! That is all. Oh, and a blue witch wearing an incredible horned headdress. Next year's halloween costume, perhaps.

Oct 31/11: Dark Side of the Moon (1990)

Boring, and all together forgotten, clearly, as it took me several minutes to google image some sort of visual representation that was not Pink Floyd-related. Bryan and Wolfman gave this movie 6 out of 10 stars, I'd give it more like 4 out of 10. First of all, in this posited future world not only do spaceship computers speak in sexy lady voices (like the Start Trek computers), but if you'd like to carry a conversation with the computer, you can visit a room where it's given the form of a sexy lady--a sexy, creepy lady, I should say, and I thought for sure that once El Diablo presented himself as the Big Bad, he'd somehow take advantage of the fact that there's a creepy mannequin robot computer on board, but no, alas for some reason, it was not utilized. I suppose I should give the movie props for trying to pull in the Bermuda Triangle and for putting the devil in space, but mostly this was just a yawn.

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