Halloween is approaching and it’s that time of year that horror junkies start popping in John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978) and some of it’s sequels. While some horror franchises have colourful continuations (say…”Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Friday the 13th”) none have the insane history of reboots or re-imaginings as “Halloween”. It’s easily a novella length task of compiling the franchise history of the series but recently I checked out the two separate reboots; the 20th anniversary “H20” and the 40th anniversary “Halloween” (both headlined by Jamie Lee Curtis) and wanted to put some thoughts down and compare the two.
“The House on Sorority Row” is slowly becoming one of my all-time favourite slashers in the “best of the rest” category. It only gets better with repeat viewings and the atmosphere combined with a mixture of gratuitous kills alongside some that are bloodless but big on the build-up; this film gets most things completely right.
I was quite saddened by the news that genre legend Rutger Hauer passed away on July 19th. The local papers covered his passing and mostly mentioned that he had had a memorable turn in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” (1982) but for me he will always be best remembered as John Ryder; the infamous hitcher in director Robert Harmon’s 1986 B-movie “The Hitcher”.
Back in 1998 (or so) I heard about this upcoming slasher flick, directed by the same man who brought us “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997), and starring none other than big time A-lister Sylvester Stallone alongside such veterans as Kris Kristofferson, Robert Patrick and Tom Berenger. Described as a combination of thrills and slasher elements from the likes of “Friday the 13th” with a setting that reminded you of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” (with a nod to The Overlook Hotel); my interest was piqued and then some.
On March 23rd Mr. Larry Cohen passed away at the age of 82. A true auteur who left behind bucket loads of writing credits in a career than spanned five decades and along the way he directed a few gems. Always very witty but also concocting some truly original horror and suspense stories; Cohen’s legacy will live on with genre aficionados all over the world.
Arguably his greatest contribution to the horror genre was a trilogy of films concerning mutant baby monsters in the “It’s Alive” threesome. Cohen’s writing was spot on when it came to every parent’s fear of a child’s possible abnormality, society’s fear of all kinds of human made chemicals interfering with what Mother Nature intended and mankind’s cluelessness when it has to deal with something very different from them. Director Cohen also infused these semi-exploitation mutant movies with very adult and heartfelt drama and elicited some top-notch performances that really legitimized the material beyond B-movie schlock horror.