FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Aug 10, 2006

call me Richard Dawson

If you've ventured out to places on the Information Superhighway besides my humble blog here, chances are you've come across one of those surveys or quizzes the internerds seem to enjoy posting and sharing with everyone. Come on, you know the ones I'm talking about. There'll be 99 absolutely fascinating questions like "How many cans of soda did you drink yesterday?" and "Do you like puppies or kittens better?", or an insightful quiz along the lines of "Which Eight is Enough character are you?" or "Which kind of bread are you?".

In case you didn't know, by "fascinating" and "insightful" I meant "not fascinating" and "not insightful". As a rule, I assiduously avoid both reading these things and engaging in them myself. One came to my cyber-mailbox today that I thought was a little OK, if a little dull. I'm going out on a limb here and I'm gonna answer these questions. If you've read Final Girl for any length of time you can probably guess my answers, but what the hell. You can even answer the questions in the comments section if you want to make this a sharing is caring session. And don't worry, I'm laughing at myself for answering these enough for the both of us. Now then...SURVEY SAYS...!

1.) Favorite Black & White Horror Movie Character?
Hmm. This is ambiguous...I mean, are they talking about black and white films so only one answer applies, or is this a race question and I need to give two answers? I guess we should assume the former. It's a tough question, really. There's no denying the delicious awesomeness of Rhoda in The Bad Seed, but then I'm totally in love with Claire Bloom as Theo in The Haunting ('63). Oh, and what about Johnny in Night of the Living Dead? I always like a smartass in a polkadot tie, horn-rim glasses, and driving gloves who turns into a zombie. Bah! Too many to choose just one.

2.) Favorite Horror Author?
Overall, probably Shirley Jackson. I quite like Brian Keene's work as well. I'm not terribly well-versed in horror literature.

3.) Freddy or Jason?
Crazy backwoods sack-n-overalls sportin' Jason by a wide wide margin.

4.) If you had to pick one which would it be?
A) Stay in a haunted house alone overnight.
B) Camping at Camp Crystal Lake
C) Swimming in the waters on Amity
Haunted house! Haunted house! I LOVE scary buildings.

5.) Favorite Cheesy Horror Movie?
Again, how can I choose just one? Can I really say that I love Killer Workout more than I love Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers? Is my love for Halloween III greater than my love for House on Haunted Hill ('99)? It's akin to asking if I like my left arm more than I like my left leg. Can't I have and love all my limbs?

6.) RingU or The Ring?
Call me an ugly American if you will, but I'd say The Ring. I'd say that even if it didn't feature Naomi Watts, so there.

7.) Alien or Predator?
Alien, doy.

8.) The more gore the better or a great storyline?
Guess what I'm going to say here! Heh. This question is a little apples and oranges, but umm...I prefer a great storyline. A gore fest with no story is a little...I don't know. It's just not what I dig.

9.) New horror, old horror, or classic horror?
What's the difference between 'old' and 'classic'? There's good and bad entries in all three categories, anyway. Instead of being a picky picky smartypants survey ruiner, I'll just go with "old"...while stressing that I am in fact young and hip and "with it", whatever "it" is.

10.) Sequels or Remakes?
Again, both categories have their winners and losers. Overall, I think sequels have a better track record.

11.) Zombies or Creatures?
What's a 'creature'? Aren't zombies creatures? Damn the vague-osity! I say all that knowing that zombies will always win for me.

12.) Best way to watch a horror movie?
In a wig.

13.) Favorite Horror Icon?
Real person: Adrienne Barbeau
Fake person: Michael Myers

14.) Favorite remakes or sequels?
Remakes: The Thing, Dawn of the Dead, The Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers ('78)
Sequels: Friday the 13th Part 2, Aliens, Day of the Dead (does that count?), Sleepaway Camp II, Halloween 2

15.) Movie that gave you chills or scared you?
Let's see...The Haunting, The Blair Witch Project, Event Horizon, Halloween, The Ring, Don't Look Now, The Brood, Ju-on...those all still get under my skin. Yeah, and the highly debatable The Exorcist. What's fun is remembering stuff that scared me to death as a kid- things like Track of the Moon Beast, Phantasm, and the poster for It's Alive. I mean, Track of the Moon Beast?? I'm still good at finding something effective in most every horror movie, though. Sometimes you can see the intent or there's a little flash of scary in mediocre movies, movies I love that aren't overall particularly frightening, or even outright bad movies. Not always, but sometimes you can find films like Madman, Night of the Demons, April Fool's Day, or Just Before Dawn.

There you have it. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting results of the internet quiz "What flavor douche are you?"!


Unknown said...

You know, this made me think, I never really decided if I liked Ringu more than The Ring. I thought both were actually pretty good, but they were different enough that it felt like I didn't need to compare them.

The other thing that I've noticed about the two is that people tend to prefer the one they saw first.

Did you see The Ring, and then watch Ringu? Or vice versa?

SikeChick said...

Okay, I'll play.

1. Dr. Pretorius from Bride of Frankenstein.

2. Stephen King (I don't read much horror)

3. Although I rooted for Freddy in Freddy vs. Jason, I'm gonna go with Jason hear. The wise-cracks wear thin after a bit.

4. Alone in haunted house.

5. I recall a little gem called Rock n' Roll Nightmare. Super cheesy, but lots of fun.

6. Ringu

7. Alien

8. I prefer story over gory anyday.

9. If old horror means, late 70s/early to mid-80s teen slashers then that's totally my bag.

10. Although there have been some decent remakes over time (The Thing for example), I think sequels tend to be a little truer to the source.

11. Zombies

12. Between your fingers

13. Michael Myers

14. Remakes: The Thing and Cape Fear Sequels: Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Dawn of the Dead

15. I still can only watch Halloween in the daytimeHalloween and I will forever be traumatized by the spider-crawl scene in the re-issue of The Exorcist. Jinkies!

SikeChick said...

dreamrot, I actually saw The Ring first and I didn't really like it. A friend suggested I might like the original better so I Netflixed it. I did like it a bit more, but I didn't enjoy it as much because I had memories of the remake in my head the whole time.

Anonymous said...

1) Norman Bates
2) Tie: Joe R. Lansdale (who has since graduated to mystery and suspense) and Charles L. Grant.
3) Jason
4) Haunted house
5) Prophecy (Those mutant sausage bears even look cheesy!)
6) Ringu
7) Alien
8) Great Storyline
9) "Classic" Horror
10) Sequels
11) Creatures
12) Sitting Down
13) Real: Peter Cushing
Fake: Jason
14) Remakes: Invasion of the Body Snatcher, The Thing, and The Blob
Sequels: Friday 6, Aliens, and Day of the Dead
15) Below, The Blair Witch Project, Session 9, Prophecy (as a child), A Nightmare on Elm Street (as a teen), Halloween, The Sixth Sense and Signs.

gOnZoRiFFiC said...

12.) Best way to watch a horror movie?
In a wig.

outstanding. by a wide margin.

Stacie Ponder said...

Dreamrot: I saw The Ring first...hmm...maybe you're on to something. I love it love it love it! GO NAOMI WATTS!! GO NAOM--sorry.

Sikechick: ah, the spiderwalk in the newest version of The Exorcist. I got to see it on the big screen opening night when they released that version, and the crowd was full of people who had obviously seen the movie many times before. When that scene was over, the crowd went crazy. It's an outrageous 10 seconds that blows me away. It's SO fucking unexpected...

Chadwick: I'm ashamed to admit I don't think I've ever seen The Prophecy. Is that the one with the mutant baby looking thing on the poster? I keep getting it confused with The Legacy, which I'm sure is COMPLETELY different. And good call on Below- that's a VERY underappreciated spookfest.

Oh, Andrew: is there anything wigs can't do?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Prophecy is the mutant baby poster movie. Sure it's laughable today, but I was 12 when I saw it during its original theatrical run and it just scared the crap outta me.

I'm pretty sure I had the poster for it hanging in my bedroom for awhile. Don't know what happened to it, though.

SikeChick said...

Stacie, we might have been in the same theatre. My friend and I were totally joking around about how much the movie had scared us as kids. Up to that point things were kind of meh and then she came down those stairs and popcorn went flying.

I remember the TV spots for Prophecy scaring the bejesus out of me when I was little. Then I saw the movie. Ech.

Anonymous said...

I'd play, but Stacie's answers pretty much go for me too, so...

And I know exactly what you mean about trying to find something effective and "sometimes you can see the intent." It's kind of like jazz improvisation - sometimes a player doesn't execute an idea perfectly, but you can see what he was going for and he still gets points for the conception of a good idea.

Anonymous said...

That jazz improv comparison is a cool way of putting it!

Man, after reading this survey, I feel half out of the loop. I gotta get my movie-watching ass moving!
But, I wanna play, too! So, stumblingly…

1. Favorite Black & White Horror Movie Character?
Crud, obviously I haven’t seen enough B&W horror to make a well-informed choice…
Norman Bates is a great character (and well played by Anthony Perkins) from Psycho; Karloff’s interpretation of the Monster from Frankenstein is worth noting; Santo(the Silver Masked Wrestler) is also a favorite character, the first film I saw of his was B&W, Santo vs. the Vampire Women, although I have a love-hate relationship with these films, because the elements are cool (Santo’s a masked wrestler, never takes off the mask, wears a sportcoat outside the ring, drives a sporty low-slung roadster, has brilliant scientists for pals that invent time machines, fights other wrestlers in the ring, plus mummies, Dracula, wolfmen, Atomic Brains, etc.), but the films themselves are, well, not as well-made as you would hope—grrrr!; Catherine Deneuve as Carole Ledoux in Roman Polanski’s Repulsion—Deneuve is hot, but her character’s disturbed, suffering weird hallucinations and sexual paranoia; Godzilla in original Godzilla; Peter Lorre’s baby-faced child-murderer in M; Gene Hackman’s blind man in Young Frankenstein; Robert Mitchum as tattoo-fingered, homicidal preacher in Night of the Hunter… jeez, doesn’t matter how many I’ve seen: I’m too indecisive!

2. Favorite Horror Author
I’ve hardly read anything., so I’m counting comic book writers!
Marv Wolfman on Tomb of Dracula; Alan Moore on Swamp Thing; Bruce Jones, Doug Moench, Richard Corben in Creepy and Eerie magazine, Junji Ito’s Uzumaki manga. .
Liked Stephen King’s Night Shift, Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. But, stretching the category some, I’d have to include Ray Bradbury, too.

3. Freddy or Jason?
As a wanna-be filmmaker, I think the Friday the 13th set-up (a bunch of disposable teens in a summer camp terrorized by an unkillable homicidal psycho) just makes you want to grab a video camera, some friends, ketchup, various killing implements, and a hockey mask, and go to a wooded area and try to make one of these damn flicks, but I think Freddy is the more interesting character; plus, I’m attracted to the surreal/psychological dream landscape potential of each character/victim. Although, with Jason going to Manhattan and outer space, his sequel-evolved character has opened up a lot of fun, though improbable, possibilities.

4. If you had to pick one which would it be?
C’mon! From a sheer chance of survival standpoint, I’d have to go with the haunted house.

5. Favorite Cheesy Horror Movie?
Well, I’m sure I’ve missed some classics, but some favorites: Nude for Satan (Rita Calderoni—hubba hubba! Stunning papier mache spider with ping pong ball eyes!); C.H.U.D.; Humanoids from the Deep;
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (okay, this is more a comedy than horror, but Jesus fights modern day vampires who favor lesbian victims, plus the Messiah knows martial arts, plus there’s musical numbers. Just full of goofy ideas and ultra low-budget. Inspiring! Great tagline on DVD cover: “The power of Christ impales you!”); Hell of the Living Dead (1980, Italian, aka Zombie Creeping Flesh—which is an AWESOME title! Almost up there with Twitch of the Death Nerve and The Blood Spattered Bride!)—mostly for the spontaneous doffing of clothes by a woman news reporter, who we then see running through the jungle pretty much naked except for weird body paint as she prepares to meet the jungle natives for some information about recent plague of zombies in the area. Exploitation rocks! And Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein—and I saw it in 3-D! My first exposure to Udo Keir as the good doctor: “In order to understand life, you must first fuck death!”

6. RingU or The Ring?
Unfortunately, only saw The Ring, which I thought was very good.

7. Alien or Predator?
Assuming you mean the character, Alien. Well, if you meant the films, Alien, too.

8. The more gore the better or a great storyline?
Storyline, definitely.

9. New horror, old horror, or classic horror?
Yeah, they all have their good and bad examples. But, if old horror means 70s/80s horror, I’ll pick that, because I think there was a higher percentage of exploitation elements back then. New horror has a higher percentage of remake in it. Classic horror (which I’ll broadly call B&W) usually is dated a bit, or a lot, so you have to sort of be in the mood to watch it (but the good examples of classic horror are worth the patience and emotional investment).

10. Sequels or Remakes?
Hmph. I never really made a distinction, but you’re right. Sequels have a better track record. Remakes tend to push angry buttons in me, particularly if they’re well-made films. I’d be more interested if someone thought they could improve on a LOUSY horror film, like Night of the Lepus (yes, the giant rabbit movie), and I don’t mean a campy version, either.

11. Zombies or Creatures?
There’s a certain knee-jerk appeal to zombies, but their appeal as a low-budget killer has spawned so many crappy low-budget films, the appeal seems less knee-jerk now. Creatures are cool, but cheap CGI can undermine THEIR appeal, too (ie. see Sci Fi Original pictures). I’ll pick zombies though because zombie films make me want to go out and grab a video camera, some disposable friends, ketchup, and try to make some kind of spontaneous cannibal undead apocalypse film.

12. Best way to watch a horror movie?
In the theater. But if not, at night. With the sound up. Daily.

13. Favorite horror icon?
I don’t really have one—too indecisive. They’re all appealing, fictional and real. So, I’ll pick one whom I’ve somehow actually worked with: Ms. Melantha Blackthorne, scream queen extraordinaire.

14. Favorite remakes or sequels?
Evil Dead 2, Aliens, Dawn of the Dead (original), Silence of the Lambs (chronologically, it’s a sequel, story-wise, to Manhunter, later remade as …), Red Dragon (which I had some issues with, but having read the book, I liked it better than Manhunter, and I thought it improved on the ending in the book). And Tom Savini’s remake of Night of the Living Dead is pretty good. Oh! And Friday the 13th III in
3-D! Don’t remember the story much, but the 3-D effects were a blast!

15. Movie that gave you chills or scared you?
The Exorcist, Jaws, Alien, The Mothman Prophecies, The Ring, Evil Dead,
Aliens, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original), Poltergeist, The Descent, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Jurassic Park, Scanners…