Movie Review: Creepshow (1982)

Creepshow (1982): Directed by:  George A. Romero Writers:  Stephen King Stars:  Hal Holbrock, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nelsen, Ted Danson, Ed Harris, Stephen King, Fritz Weaver, Tom Atkins

Getting film and literary rockstars Stephen King, George Romero and Tom Savini together on a single project in the 80s is equivalent to creating a super group with Hendrix, Cobain, Jagger, and Bonham.  Yeah, I know…only one is alive and there’s no bassist, but you get the gist of it.  The film super group was formed, and in the fall of 1982 they released Creepshow.  With five separate short films bookended by comic book animation and a sub-story, the film paid homage to EC and DC horror comics from the 50s; right down to most of them regarding revenge and executions of “karma”—bad things happening to bad people.

The soundtrack that looms behind the scenes is the fabulous creepy synth of the 80s.  And it sets the campy mood perfectly.  From the beginning of the film it’s evident right away that you’re about to watch something very different.  Throughout the movie, intense moments are enhanced by vibrant back lighting use green, blue, and red hues.  It works wonderfully and certainly lends hand to the atmosphere they were trying to convey—pure campy, comic book horror.   Because they all have their own strengths and memorable makeup, I don’t necessarily have a favorite segment, so allow me to dissect each one:

 

Father's DayFather’s Day:  Written by Stephen King specifically for the film, this is essentially a ghost story with revenge.  On the rich estate of a murdered emotionally abusive father, family members gather for an annual traditional dinner.  The abused daughter (and alleged murderer) stops off at the gravestone of the father she killed and spills her whiskey on the grave.  Apparently that’s a catalyst for waking the dead, as the remainder of the segment reveals a beautifully constructed, maggot-filled zombie stalking those partying down on his estate.  And there’s also cake involved.

 

JordyThe Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill:  Country bumpkin, Jordy Verrill, played by Stephen King, stumbles across the remains of a meteor that landed on his property.  While making an attempt to contain the meteor in hopes of making a bundle of money, Jordy contaminates himself with an ever-growing weed that progresses rapidly, covering his property as well as himself.  While Stephen King has made cameos in various films, he’s no actor.  That being said, this role was made for him (actually, I think it literally was).  King’s performance as lunkhead Jordy Verrill is perfectly orchestrated.  It’s rather impressive.

 

Creepshow9Something to Tide You Over:  Whodathunk Leslie Nielsen could play such a believably evil character?  Surely not I (there’s a joke in there for the Airplane folks).  As far as acting in Creepshow, the talent lies in this segment.  Leslie Nielsen plays the victim of infidelity and he’s had enough.  His voyeuristic self premeditates a plan that leaves his wife and the home wrecker, played by Ted Danson, buried in the sand up to their chins, while the tide slowly comes in.  To satisfy Nielsen’s character’s vengeance, video equipment is set up to catch it all.  But like any good horror comic, the sinful couple come back from the dead, seaweed laden and waterlogged, to exact their revenge.  The makeup is excellent, with each drowned victim resembling a green thumb held in the tub for days—wrinkled and withered.

 

creepshow3The Crate:  For most, this is probably the segment that stands out for them, mainly because of Savini’s brainchild, affectionately deemed “Fluffy.”  This tale concerns a college janitor who is hungry for shiny things.  He runs into a crate that had been under a set of stairs for a century and a half and calls in one of the college professors to have a look see.  They open the crate and regret ensues followed by gore galore.  The crate’s contents are basically hairy teeth and claws bent on eating humans.  The crate is then used to exact….you guessed it:  Revenge.  A poor soul who happens to be stuck in a marriage with an emotionally abusive drunk-of-a-wife sees his chance at ridding his life of the alcoholic nag and so takes the opportunity.

 

creepingThey’re Creeping Up On You:  Out of all the stories, this one is probably my least favorite.  An arrogant, rich germaphobe lives in a building that is locked down, has high-tech equipment, and is pure white like some sterile prison.  The majority of the segment is us watching what a class-A butthole this guy is (prepping us for the big karma finale), and eventually roaches take over in this seemingly impenetrable, ridiculously sanitized building.  And then there’s some gore.  As you can tell, I don’t hold the same enthusiasm for this story as I do for the others.  It just wasn’t relatable and the situation was completely unrealistic.

 

The movie ends with a cameo by Tom Savini himself, as the remaining bookended sub-plot finishes the movie off.  There are currently three Creepshow movies out, and though the second one is quite a ride in itself, none of them pull off that perfect campy, comic-book feel that the first one does.  Highly recommended for those who haven’t seen it.  Creepshow is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Check out the official Creepshow trailer:

Movie Review: Unfriended (2015)

UnfriendedTrailerUnfriended. Director: Levan Gabriadze. Writer: Nelson Greaves. Stars: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson. Universal Pictures.

Unfriended hits US theater screens on April 17th, 2015.

“Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware that the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock, and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions this innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There’s a bomb beneath you and it’s about to explode!” – Alfred Hitchcock

From the opening shot of Unfriended, the audience is dropped, quite literally, into the lap of the protagonist. Blaire is hanging out at home, starting up a late night Skype chat session with her friends- the typical BS session kids would have about school, friends, parties. She starts a chat with her boyfriend Matt before they are interrupted by their other friends and… an anonymous user. What starts as an annoyance, the belief that a bored loser somewhere has hacked into their chat, quickly turns dark as the friends begin to figure out that this mysterious person seems to know quite a lot about them.

Unfriended Image 1It’s no ordinary evening – it’s the anniversary of the day their friend Laura Barns shot herself after becoming an unwitting star in a viral video that humiliated her. Laura was the victim of relentless cyber-bullying, in the end creating another viral video of her suicide.

Unfriended digitizes conventional horror tropes. Video lag and screen glitches create the unsettling atmosphere once inhabited by fog and shadows. Chases take place across social media instead of through creepy old houses. Blaire “runs” from Skype to Facebook to Google, scrambling to find info on the sinister person who seems to know a lot of dark secrets about her friends.

The entire cast gives solid performances, and the story also modernizes another old horror cliché. In the 80s, the mere act of drinking, using drugs, or having sex was enough to get you targeted by the killer. In Unfriended, it’s about the consequences of those things: bullying, lying, cheating, the secrets that we hide from one another. In the social media age, narcissism is the thing that brings everyone down.

Unfriended Image 2The spirit of Laura Barns is haunting her former friends, digging at them to reveal the unspoken truth that they all know; demanding that they reveal the secrets that will shred the bonds of their friendship. The pinnacle of suspense comes not from a chase scene or a jump scare, but possibly the wickedest game of “Never Have I Ever” ever played. The Spirit that haunts them treats death as an afterthought, and is more concerned with making everyone understand the depth and scope of pain that led her to take her own life. In the screening I attended, the scares got big reactions, but the revelations between friends truly sent chills through the audience.

In the end, we’re back to that Hitchcock quote about suspense. We’ve been watching a computer screen the entire time, watching Blaire’s friends die one by one, and there’s the unsettling dread of knowing that there is no fourth wall here. We’re seeing what Blaire sees, and what’s coming for her is coming for us.

Check out the official Unfriended trailer:

Article: YUCK! The Top 5 Grossest Movie Monsters

MSDREAN EC004Though I consider myself a fan of horror that has a fair balance of artistic merit and visceral  scares, I am not above a first-class, old fashioned gore fest. My eyes have taken in the squishy crimson goodness of Re-Animator, Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (initially Rated X over its violent gore), The Thing, Hellraiser, Cannibal Holocaust and every gleefully sadistic Herschel Gordon Lewis film ever made. And let’s be honest- few horror films these days go for broke in the gore department. Many big studio horror films look for a more lucrative PG-13 rating. The old adage- they don’t make them like they used to– has never been more appropriate. There may be bloody waves in micro budget films, but the fangs of gory horror have been dulled in comparison to the drive-in flicks of the 70s and 80s.

Many older over the top horror films would easily fill several different best of lists that I could compose. But, there were a few times at the drive-in when I had to put down that popcorn or concession stand hot dog because of a sight that made me green and queasy.

The following statement is merely to prepare you for my list: I am not going for gross-out scenes but rather creatures that turned my stomach. I won’t be mentioning Hostel or Saw. I am not what you would call an extreme horror fan; torture porn and gore for gore’s sake gain very low marks on my laminated scorecard. Also, realize I was younger (much younger in some cases) when I first watched these movies, so though one or two might seem tame to you now, I am going by my initial reactions.

I have a pretty strong tolerance for the make believe yuck, but here are five gross monstrosities that tested my limits:

The Incredible Melting Man5. The Incredible Melting Man: An astronaut returns from space with an affliction that is slowly melting him. I was very young when I saw this flick and it is not a very good one. But those Rick Baker effects- disgusting. The oozing visage was a sight that, much like swimming, one should avoid for at least a half hour after eating.

 

The Funhouse4. The Funhouse: This freak in a Frankenstein mask made my stomach lurch. I think the icing on the cake was the thick cascading drool that came from his mouth. One of the most disturbing things I have ever seen in a horror movie was the old gypsy giving this monster a handie. BLECH! You know, with some slight tweaking on the mouth and a little tan, this carnie could pass for Arseface from the Preacher comic.

 

Dead Alive mama3. Mother from Dead Alive: Okay, there are multiple puke-inducing sights in Dead Alive. Peter Jackson’s zombie flick has to be one of the goriest I have ever seen. The zombie baby emerging from a skull, the grue dripping into custard, the death of the carrier Sumatran rat monkey at the zoo-GROSS! But what really skeeved me out was the progression of Lionel’s mum. Her transformation from domineering mother to gigantic zombie ogre with a hungry womb was a gloriously giddy gore moment that sticks to me still.

 

snapshot20090425163256.jpg2. The Thing: I love John Carpenter’s The Thing. But it is a movie that I watch absent a snack nearby. The abstract, slimy coupling of the wet alien clay with copied human bits- it was a gore-laden stew. Rob Bottin’s practical make-up effects for The Thing grew with every set-up. I found the scenes of the in transformation or busting out of human hiding Thing extremely disturbing and, yes, upon my first viewing, a gag or two was had.

 

the Fly1. The Fly: I love this film and have seen it only once. Cronenberg’s remake was a perfect vehicle for the director’s artistic sensibilities (he has been dubbed the King of Venereal Horror for good reason). Seth Brundle (played by a pumped up Jeff Goldblum) develops teleportation technology. He tries it on himself, but a fly lands in the teleportation pod and a confused computer merges the DNA of Seth and the fly together. A slow and terrifying transformation occurs and it is one of the most vile processes I have ever seen. The Fly was released in 1986. I was 21 years old. I saw this in the theater, and I have not seen it since. It made me queasy for days. The Fly is a brilliant film, it deserves all of the accolades it has received over the years. But I have no desire to see this film again.

 

So there are my picks for grossest movie monsters. Share yours in the comments but don’t get too descriptive or I might totally hurl!

Article: D is for Danse Macabre

danse macabreMedieval Europe faced deadly horrors such as the 100 Year War, hardship, and famine. In the wake of the terrifying Black Plague of 1347-1349 AD, a fascination with the macabre took over popular iconography. Skeletons, graves, bones, and grinning skulls appeared in art, with the “Danse Macabre” joining the popular culture.
Translated from French to “morbid dance,” many identify it as a “dance with death.” Ever-present death inspired a desire for amusements. The depictions present a “last dance as a cold comfort,” an allegory to treasure each day.
Cloaked personifications of Death eating, drinking, dancing, and riding horseback with seemingly healthy people from all walks of life served as reminders of mortality. From Popes and Kings to Laborers and Beggars, young and old grasp the bony fingers. The Dans Macabre was a trendy motif that spread through Europe’s arts, including architecture, sculpture, art, and literature.
They popped spectral visages into woodcuts, grave markers, and cenotaphs, often with Death enjoying activities with the living. One of the earliest depictions of the Danse Macabre is from Le Innocents Cemetery in Paris dating from 1424-1425 AD. Michael Wolgemut, Hans Holbein, and Albrecht Durer created intricate woodcuts. Many other depictions of the Danse Macabre are found in painted scenes including Basel (1440 AD), canvas oil paintings by Bernt Notke in Lubeck from 1463, 1540’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and frescoes and murals.
Didactic dialogue poems and works of literature invited the specter to share thoughts on the social equalizing brought by the final rest. Epitaphs and poetic verse often nod to this old practice. Memento mori, or reminders of death’s inevitability, no matter the station in life.
“Golden lads and girls all must as chimney-sweeps come to dust.”
Or “Such as I am, so shall thou be.”
Life is fragile and the glories found on earth fall away like rotting flesh.
This motif continues today. Death takes holidays, plays craps, and seeks vengeance in cinema. He becomes a beautiful she in Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel. Music and television include the grim reaper. From Sylvia Plath to Iron Maiden, the Dance of Death lives on.

Article: THE CYCLE OF DEATH AND REINCARNATION

death&reincarnationTibetan monks rejoice at finding the next Dali Lama in a village in India.

A six-year-old Scottish boy talks endlessly about his old family, house, and dog in a town 300 kilometres away from where he lives. His desperate parents track down the house right where he said it was.

A six-year-old American boy dreams repeatedly of a fiery airplane crash and points out on a map the place where his plane was shot down. Investigation leads to the confirmation of details in the boy’s story.

The phenomenon involved in each of these cases is, of course, reincarnation. For three billion people around the world, reincarnation is a no-brainer. After death and some time spent in the afterlife, the soul is reborn – usually in a human body but sometimes, the body of an animal or even an inanimate object such as a stone – to continue its evolution on the earth plane.

Some form of reincarnation is part of the doctrine in numerous religions including

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Orthodox Judaism and some forms of Christian Gnosticism. Many African tribes, Native Americans and Inuits also believe the dead are reborn, often in the same family the deceased person left behind.

The classical Greek philosophers Pythagoras, Plato, and Socrates apparently taught that the soul returns after death in a new body. In The Republic, Socrates wrote, “. . . The choice of the souls was in most cases based on their experience of a previous life . . .”

Hindus believe that, depending on the life it led in its previous incarnation, the soul will be born again to an easier or more challenging situation. The ancient Hindu text known as the Bhagavad-Gita says, “. . . As a man, casting off old clothes, puts on others and new ones, so the embodied (self) casting off old bodies, goes to others and new ones . . .”

Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 C.E.) wrote in his Wars of the Jews, “. . . (the Pharisees) say that all souls are incorruptible, but that the souls of good men only are removed into other bodies . . .”

Dalai_Lama_boyOne of the most controversial passages in the Holy Bible may be John 9:1 – 3: “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was blind since birth?”

Reincarnation has itself been reborn in modern popular culture, with a plethora of short stories, novels, and memorable movies including The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975), Heaven Can Wait (1978), Fluke (1995), and What Dreams May Come (1998).

The subject is finally undergoing some scientific study. British researcher Ian Lawton has collected an impressive amount of information through past-life regression (hypnosis) that seems to point to reincarnation. Canadian psychiatrist Ian Stevenson (1918 – 2007) was the founder of a research group at the University of Virginia known as the Division of Perceptual Studies. The division has become well-known for studying cases of children who seem to spontaneously recall past lives. In some cases, these children show a distinct phobia, birth mark or physical defect corresponding to wounds or other marks on the deceased person whose life the child claims to remember. Lawton, Stevenson, and others have published numerous thought-provoking books, and although none of this proves the reality of reincarnation, it does make one wonder: who or what have I been in the past?

Article: Jane Austen’s Gothic

janepictJane Austen had a dark passion.

She read Gothic romance novels. In fact, she read some obscure Gothic literature, even works written in German.

These atmospheric tales of the supernatural provided a springboard for her satirical “Northanger Abbey” published in 1818. This novel sees Isabella Thorpe recommending a list of gothic classics to her friend Catherine Morland. The impressionable young woman begins to recognize in her associates gothic victims and villains.

For years, Austen’s readers assumed the “horrid novels” the girls read together were mostly the invention of the author’s fertile imagination. However, historian Michael Sadleir researched the titles and rediscovered them.

First mentioned in the exchange between Isabella and Catherine are two well-known gothic gems by Ann Radcliffe, “The Mysteries of Udolpho” and “The Italian.” The other titles provided the basis of Mr. Sadleir’s literary investigation. They include “The Castle of Wolfenbach” (1793) and “The Mysterious Warning – A German Tale” (1796) by Eliza Parsons, “The Necromancer, or, The Tale of the Black Forest” (1794) by Ludwig Flammenberg, “The Midnight Bell” (1796) by Francis Lathom, “The Orphan of the Rhine” (1798) by Eleanor Sleath, and “Horrid Mysteries” (1796) by Marquis de Grosso.

These rediscovered stories were bound and reprinted first in 1968 by The Folio Society and again in 2005 by Voran Court Books. “Northanger Abbey” therefore proves even the proper and intellectual Jane Austen had a taste for the macabre.

Article: My Favorite Foes of Godzilla

Godzilla foesBeing a rabid Godzilla fan, even the embarrassingly bad G movies do not have an effect on my love for the King of Monsters. Having a seven-year-old son who is now discovering Japan’s biggest (heh-heh) export rekindles many fond memories of quivering suitmation and bad dubbing.

Explaining the appeal of a Godzilla film (especially the crude films of the 60s/70s) is similar to explaining the virtues of professional wrestling or Mob Wives to the uninitiated; there is a vicarious rush to be found that some will most certainly not appreciate.

But if you are a fan, there is no need for me to sit here and convince you that Godzilla films were an absolute blast for kids young and old. You get it. You will also realize that Godzilla was the biggest badass of all and few monsters got the upper hand on him. The fun part of the movies, for me at least, are the colorful enemies that Godzilla is often pitted against. And, since this article is titled My Favorite Foes of Godzilla, here they are (my top five):

King Kong5. King Kong: When you get past the utter implausibility of King Kong vs Godzilla,  it is actually a pretty fun film. The producers fixed the deficiency in size between the two beasts by explaining that Kong grows because of a berry diet on his island. He also likes to drink wine made from these berries and pass out.  After having his drunk ass hauled on a giant raft from his island to Tokyo, Kong pusses out in his first confrontation with big G. He does sober up long enough to use his inexplicable ability to harness electricity (WTF?) and his superior intellect to win their next encounter and grand finale. It should be noted that Kong spends most of the film either drunk or knocked out. It’ll make you want to scream at the TV, “Get up you lazy drunk sumbitch!”

Gigan and Megalon4. Megalon and Gigan: I am listing these two knuckleheads together. If there were ever a Beavis & Butthead of the Godzilla universe, it was these two. They are a couple of B+ monsters who teamed up in Godzilla vs Megalon (which is most definitely the Plan 9 from Outer Space of Godzilla films). Both creatures look as if their design was inspired by a blast of LSD: Megalon is an insect/moth/ladybug with waffle irons for hands who can tunnel like a damn gopher and spit explosive mud at his enemies. Gigan looks like he was slapped together with what could be found in someone’s long abandoned wood shop; scythes for arms, a buzz saw in the center of his chest and a laser eye. Even as a kid, I was pretty sure that these losers had no clue or chance against Godzilla and his robot pal, Jet Jaguar. But still, they were fun to watch.

Destroyah3. Destroyah: I love Destroyah. And he would place even higher on this list if he didn’t get his red scaly butt rapidly handed to him by a Godzilla in meltdown mode. Destroyah wasn’t really even beaten by Godzilla, but rather by the radioactive waves of energy that were pulsing from big G before he disintegrated and passed his awesome power to Godzilla Jr. (who really took a beating from Destroyah prior to that. Pick on someone your own size, ya bastard!). Destroyah was actually a colony of Precambrian crustaceans that were mutated when Dr. Daisuke Serizawa’s Oxygen Destroyer was used to defeat the original Godzilla in the first ever G film (1954). Destroyah has one of the coolest suitmation designs and he goes through several growth stages that begin at the microscopic level. Here comes Destroyah; he’s a berserker…

Mothra2. Mothra: Mothra is the exact opposite of Godzilla. While both had similar roles as an agent of the earth (Godzilla represented nature’s vengeance against man’s nuclear science while Mothra was a magical symbol of hope and peace), these two seldom got along, even when they occasionally teamed together against bigger threats (Mothra begs Godzilla to help save mankind against King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters. Godzilla’s initial reaction: “Humans?! Eff ’em!”). Mothra was a rainbow-colored champion; a giant tree-hugging silk moth and he had very mystical powers. He flew, as most of Godzilla’s enemies do, and we all know Godzilla hates that shit. As much as I love Mothra, I was always aware that he was no match for Godzilla (think Spider-Man vs Hulk once Hulk got his hands on Spidey). However, it has to be mentioned that one of Godzilla’s few losses in a film (Godzilla vs Mothra) came at the hands (or rather the web-spinning beaks) of two baby Mothra in their larva stage and I am sure it is a defeat that Godzilla has never been able to live down. Sing it with me: Mosura No Uta…

Ghidorah1. King Ghidorah: He is known by many aliases, but this Monster Zero has become Godzilla’s Moriarty. A three-headed powerful dragon and pawn of alien civilizations looking to overthrow earth, King Ghidorah has been Godzilla’s greatest threat many times over. When this guy pops in via a teleportation beam you know shit is about to get real. Whenever Godzilla is pitted against King Ghidorah, he must groan inside and think to himself, “Crap. This guy again?” You try fighting three heads that are biting you and spitting lightning bolts at the same time. The only thing worse than King Ghidorah is Mecha King Ghidorah. This dude’s upgrades include metal armor and wings and a robotic middle head that fires radiation blasts. At times, it has taken the combined might of Godzilla and many of his friends to defeat King Ghidorah. And when Godzilla has managed to best KG in a one on one confrontation, it has never been an easy task for the King of Monsters!

There are many great foes of Godzilla that I haven’t listed- Biolante, Mecha Godzilla, Varan, Manda, Gabara, Hedorah, Ebirah, Baragon, Space Godzilla, Megaguirus, Anguirus, Bambi- and more still. List yours in the comments section!

 

 

Top 5 Scariest Stephen King Monsters

Mr. KingYou would be hard pressed to find an author who has created such terrifying monsters as the most prolific modern horror author himself, Stephen King. Of all the monstrous creations he has concocted to keep us up all night, there are five monsters in particular from his fiction that have frightened me more deeply than the others. But, before we continue, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. There are many villains in the Kingaverse, and we could get in a hot debate over the most powerful or memorable or charismatic , but Randall Flagg is the biggest baddie of them all. He is the fallen angel of King’s literary universe but he isn’t appropriate for this countdown. For this top 5 list, I will name monsters in their truest forms. I am listing five creatures that inspire terror the moment you see them:

 

Barlow5. Barlow: The main baddie of Salem’s Lot presents the true visage of the vampire as remorseless predator that will feed on love and human weaknesses to sate its bloodlust. As the wicked force that is naturally attracted to the evil place (the Marsten house), Barlow turns the town of Salem’s Lot into a nightmarish husk. Owing more to Nosferatu than Dracula, Barlow is one of the most frightening vampires committed to fiction.

 

creepshow-the-crate4. The Monster from the Crate (aka Fluffy): You have to love Creepshow. And when this Tasmanian devil lumbers out of his crate, it is one of the most frightening creatures ever seen on film (thanks to Tom Savini’s excellent effects). I saw this in the theater when it was first released theatrically and this segment scared the hell out of me!

 

themist_13. The Beasties from The Mist: The Mist is King’s most Lovecraftian work. But where Lovecraft was sometimes disconnected with his audience, King makes HPL’s universal horror of the unknown more intimate as a group of people in a grocery store try to survive a mist that has rolled in and houses slithering tentacles of terror and unimaginable creatures. After reading this classic novella or watching the rather bleak movie adaptation (I recommend the black and white cut, BTW), you will never see a rolling bank of fog and not shudder at the horrific possibilities residing inside.

 

Cujo2. Cujo: A rabid Saint Bernard. Shit. That is absolutely terrifying. A menacing dog is scary enough, but when the gentle Cujo turns into a ferocious, raging monster after contracting rabies from a bat bite, it is deeply frightening because, under the right set of circumstances, this could happen to you; on the quiet street where you live.

 

Pennywise1. Pennywise: King was making clowns scary a long time before so many of these posers out there today, and there is no scary clown that tops Pennywise! He is the Godfather of scary clowns. A soul-consuming, alien creature that can take on the guise of your worst fear, Pennywise fuels unease at first glance. But when those fangs of his jut from his mouth, there is nothing but all-consuming fear that seasons his feast. Pennywise is the scariest King monster on my list!

 

So there you have it! Please mention any King monsters you think I overlooked in the comments!

Article: Reopening the X-Files- A Top Ten List

x-filesWith Fox’s exciting announcement, the 27.3 million fans of the pop-culture phenomenon quivered. David Duchovny will don his G-man suit as Fox “Spooky” Mulder and Gillian Anderson will re-dye her hair to Dana Scully’s signature red to reprise their award-winning roles.

“X-files” episodes ranged from “monster of the week” stand-alones to an intricate, mysterious mythology involving the supernatural, government conspiracies and cover-ups, and alien abductions. The series’ superb writing and the chemistry of the lead actors overcame many concerns about plot inconsistencies. The filming was as dark as the subject matter.

The series, which premiered on 10 September, 1993, amassed 202 episodes and a film by the time the season finale aired in May, 2002. The series possessed such clout that they aired “spoof” episodes, lending a comedic relief from what frequently presented disturbing and thought-provoking television.  (“X-files: I Want To Believe” hit the big screen in 2008.)

To prepare for the anticipated autumn release of the six new episodes of “The FBI’s Most Unwanted,” let’s revisit ten of their best episodes.

10. “Pilot” – It introduced us to the main characters and set the tone and dynamics. (10 September, 1993)

9. “Tooms” and “Squeeze” featured Tooms, an unusual, liver-eating bad guy. He was popular enough to appear in two episodes.

8. “Revelation” – This episode features religion, a young saint, and Scully as a protector. (15 December, 1995)

Humbug7. “Humbug” – In this comedic episode, Mulder and Scully investigate murder surrounded by side-show performers. “Humbug” was nominated for an Edgar Award and a Cinema Audio Society Award. (20th episode – second season)

6. “Paper Hearts” – This haunting episode featured a serial killer who, after murdering children, cut a heart-shaped piece of their pajamas as a trophy. (15 December, 1996)

5. “Beyond the Sea” – Scully’s skepticism comes under assault when her father dies and a psychic on death row imparts communications from beyond. (7 January, 1994)

4. “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” focuses on the recurring, enigmatic character sometimes called “CancerMan.” The Lone Gun Men add their entertaining presences as well.  (17 November, 1996)

3. “Anasazi” – This is part of a three-episode storyline, including “The Blessing Way” and “Paper Clip” which furthers the alien mythology and government cover-up conspiracies in a significant way. (19 May, 1995)

2. “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” – Clyde foresees death. Most interesting is his revelation that Agent Scully will not die (which is also mentioned in the sixth season’s episode “Tithonus”) (13 October, 1995)

1. “The Unnatural” – Racism and segregation permeates this episode. (July, 1999)

unnaturalsThe series and actors won awards and nominations, including 40 Emmy nods. Mark Snow provided a signature opening song, eerie instrumental sound effects, and subsequent soundtracks for some of the episodes.

Spin offs include a comic book series and a short-lived show, “The Lone Gunmen.”

Though Fox is not releasing the date the new episodes will air, here’s hoping creator Chris Carter’s “13 year commercial break” breathes new life into an interesting supernatural series.