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!

Oct 27, 2010

SHOCKtober: My Heart List

Who can get enough lists during SHOCKtober? Not any of us! By "any of us", mind you, I mean me.

Sure, I posted my Top 20 list several moons ago...but I've been thinking. It feels...insufficient or something, particularly after I posted Buzz's list and Amanda's list. My choices, while they truly are my favorite horror films, seem so staid. So typical! Halloween? The Exorcist? Bitch, please. Yes, I love them like I love...things I love, but even so, I can't fight this feeling of lack I've had since I wrote down numbers 1-20 in my wide-ruled spiral notebook. My list lacks! JA over at My New Plaid Pants knows of what I speak. So I figured- hey, I can either let this feeling continue to irritate me like an itch I can't scratch, or I can pull down my pants and scratch away. I say scratch away. Scratch away, one and all. Tomorrow we think of ointments and unguents and salves, but today, my friends, we scratch.

Mmm, that got weird. The point is, this new list! It's a list of movies I heart- movies that may not be are not good, but I heart them all the same. There's even a couple that I've seen but once and upon that once, I did not like the movie. Yet here they are, for reasons that are beyond me. I didn't like them, but now I think back on 'em and...well, they belong on this list. Life, she is mysterious! Okay, without further ado...because if there's one thing Final Girl needs this month, it's another fucking list!

As always, clickin' titles take you to reviews.

A Nightmare on Elm Street III: The Dream Warriors (1987, Chuck Russell)

I think the big secret of this movie is that it stinks, but we all pretend like it doesn't. Okay, it doesn't stink, but there's some corny-ass shit going on this movie- this cannot be denied, although we all pretend that it's not corny. That's totally okay, though, since the cornballs are all balanced out by some seriously creepy moments. Love.

Pieces (1982, Juan Piquer Simon)

I recently had the absolute pleasure of watching Pieces with someone who'd never seen it before, and lemme tell you- that's the way to see it! Unless you're the person who's never seen it, in which case I'll be right over with my copy. I want to be a Goodwill Ambassador who travels the globe clutching my battered Pieces tape, spreading gore and good cheer- not only so I can revel in the amazingness of this film, but so I can watch others revel in the "That doesn't make any sense!" of it all.

Killer Workout (1986, David A. Prior)

Killer Workout (aka Aerobicide, which is all sorts of title perfection) is a terrible, terrible film. I know, a slasher set in a health club seems like a can't-lose idea, but this movie proves it can lose. That is, it can lose its way right into my heart! Countless scenes (often repeated) of women shaking their lycra-covered parts, men who all look the same punching each other and running each other over with sports cars, club owner Rhonda sneering her way through life, tanning booth accidents, a soundtrack by Donna DeLory...Killer Workout has it all and then some. Part of that "then some" includes the picture of Marla Maples aerobicizing on the VHS tape cover. Delicious!

Shower of Blood (2004, Tiffany Kilbourne)

This abomination of a film features horrible acting, horrible writing, horrible foley work, the least sexy sex scene ever, computer graphics straight outta the Sega Saturn, and, in perhaps my favorite moment, the same model of Brother word processor I used in college masquerading as a 911 call center computer. It is...amazing. I adore this movie. Heidi Martinuzzi wrote a review for Pretty/Scary back in the day that will tell you everything you need to know so you don't actually have to sit through it, although you should because it kind of needs to be seen to be believed. Just don't see it alone! Not because it's so frightening, but because it's the type of misery that's best when shared. By the way, spoiler alert: Heidi will also be talking about this movie in her forthcoming Top 20 list.

Amityville IV: The Evil Escapes (1989, Sandor Stern)

AN EVIL FLOOR LAMP. THAT GOES OVER A CLIFF. AND EXPLODES. What more do you need to know? Take one part exploding evil floor lamp, add some Patty Duke-i-tude, and that, my friends, is a recipe for heaven.

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2008, James Nguyen)

Going to see Birdemic in a theater will provide you with one of the most fun experiences you will ever have, unless you're immune to the very notion of "fun" or "theaters" or "going". I am just saying. As bad as you think this movie will be? It will be worse.

Graduation Day (1981, Herb Freed)

You know, I really didn't like Graduation Day the one and only time I saw it...but then when I think back on it, I can't for the life of me remember why I didn't. Even reading my negative review- it just sounds awesome! I think back to the football-with-a-sword-attached, and what's not to love? I think back on the roller skating scene and how there weren't enough skates for everybody so some people essentially just ran around in a circle, and I want to give this movie a hug. Huh.

The Child (1977, Robert Voskanian)

Whenever The Child comes to mind, I hear the horrible, horrible dubbed voices of the movie in my head- in particular that of young Rosalie shouting "I don't have to tell you anything!" If you haven't seen this fim, then you probably won't care about that, but there you go. It's not an entirely uncreepy, ineffective film, but it's definitely a 12-pack of coulda beens. What it IS, however, is dementedly delightful.

Dolly Dearest (1991, Maria Lease)

Dolly Dearest is so good- like we'd expect anything less from a horror movie released in 1991. Chucky can go screw- DD is where it's at. Girl power! You know, I figure the offensive maid stereotype I employed in In Satan's Closet is okay because it's an homage to the offensive maid stereotype in Dolly Dearest (and Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell). Troof.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002, David Worth)

I admit: sometimes I think I'm falling out of love with Shark Attack 3. I KNOW, RIGHT? How could this be? I'll tell you how: it's because the first hour, if not more, is almost unwatchably dull. Seriously, it's really tough to get through. I introduce people to the film and I find myself saying "Just wait...just wait...JUST WAIT!" and finally the payoff is beyond worth it, but man. You can only take the first hour so many times before your eyes start to wander. Look, I'm just being honest here. I mean, it's here in my heart list and I think it always will be, but it might not have all of my heart anymore. We're just growing in different directions, which is no one's fault- or maybe it's Shark Attack 3's fault, because of that first hour. Keeping it real, that's what I do!

Face of Evil (1996, Mary Lambert)

In a word, I give this movie ten metaphorical boners up. It has everything I love: bodies in suitcases, made-for-TV-ness, Shawnee Smith in a Blossom-style '90s bowler hat, Perry King with an awful ponytail, deception, artists doing art, murder, Tracey Gold, Tracey Gold, and Tracey Gold. My one regret in life is that when I met Mary Lambert, I wasn't clutching my copy of this (WHICH I BOUGHT AT THE GROCERY STORE) for her to sign. NOTE TO SELF: Always carry Face of Evil with you.

Eyes of a Stranger (1981, Ken Wiederhorn)

From my review: "A tracksuited Lauren Tewes as that old slasher flick staple, the mouthy anchorwoman in peril? Jennifer Jason Leigh as a blind-deaf-mute? Head in a fishtank? 1981? Yes folks, Eyes of a Stranger has it all, including the best strip club routine EVAR." 'Nuff said.

The Manitou (1978, William Girdler)

My one regret in life is that I let someone borrow my DVD of The Manitou, and now I don't hang out with that person anymore, so basically I gave away my copy of The Manitou. Yeah, it's replaceable but picking up a new copy...ehhh, I fucking hate replacing stuff I used to have. When I get the urge to watch a naked Susan Strasberg shooting lasers from a hospital bed that's floating in space, I want to watch it now. Hold on to your copy of The Manitou and hold on to it tight!

Mausoleum (1983, Michael Dugan)

Corn teeth. Demon boobs. Unique weather systems. Marjoe fucking Gortner. La Wanda Page, who seems to think- or, perhaps was told- that she's in a comedy. Man, Mausoleum lives the kind of life that I want to lead!

Rumplestiltskin (1995, Mark Jones)

Now, I know I've mentioned my love for this movie pa-lenty of times here at Final Girl. It's currently available on Netflix streaming, and I know that some of you have checked it out because I've mentioned my love for it and now you're caught up in a web of what the fuckery because it sucks. It does suck, and please, bear in mind this warning: I know not from where my affections for this film arise. They cannot be explained. Believe me, I've tried math, physics, and even a course in the Psychology of Motivation & Emotion from Life University to solve the mystery, and it simply cannot be solved. A human centipede made of Jessica Fletcher, Columbo, and Encyclopedia Brown could not solve this mystery! Like time itself, it just is. Here's the deal: I really kind of hate Rumplestiltskin while I'm watching it because as I mentioned, it sucks. It's just bad. Okay, the scene with the remote-controlled car posing as a real car is awesome, but otherwise it's a terrible movie. Yet...and yet! As soon as it's over, I find myself thinking about how awesome it is and that I should watch it again, and if anyone should ask, I'll tell them it's the best movie ever. AND I'LL BELIEVE IT. So I watch it again, and I'm all, "This movie sucks! Except the RC car part." and the cycle continues. I'm experiencing a moment of clarity right now, so I'll tell you: Rumpleskin (typo that stays) sucks, please don't watch it. I also feel myself wanting to tell you, however, that it's the best movie run away now while you still can! You know how when you're playing Mass Effect and you're on Noveria and you fight Matriarch Benezia and she has that moment where she's all, "Wait, I'm not a total bitch! That was just because my mind is under the influence of Saren! Here's the info you need. I'm being helpful!" and Commander Shepard is like, "You're hurt! Come with us and we can save you!" and she goes, "No! My mind is not completely my own and it never will be again AND NOW I KILL YOU!" and you fight again? This is like that. My mind will never be completely my own again. RUMPLESTILTSKIN RULES!

Bug (1975, Jeannot Szwarc)

Carnivorous cockroaches who can fart fire and spell things. If you need any more than that, then you need HELP, friend.

Cathy's Curse (1977, Eddy Matalon)

Earlier today I decided that I kind of just want to watch Cathy's Curse every day forever and ever. I haven't started yet, but it's on my to-do list, for sure.


Thomas Duke said...

Shamefully, I have not seen Rumplestilskin. I need to rectify my faux paws (that's french for "fake cats").

I still have my Vestron VHS of Pieces. That's the only way to go IMO.

I love the little details in Killer Workout. The song when Prior is rolling with the honey that comes on to him when he kicks the shit out of a guy ("She's a knockout! Let her rock out!"). There's the group of faux punks, where the one guy spray paints "aerobicide" on the gym window, to make fun of the fact that people are killed there, and he is immediately murdered by the killer. The manly man who questions why the killer didn't rape his hot chick victims beforehand, that it's waste of a good piece of trim. Also, Rhonda complains to the cops that "half of my clients are being killed, and the other half are canceling their memberships!", yet the place is always packed to the gills, and remains so throughout the movie. And, of course, the token fat guy exeercising. It was pretty much illegal to shoot a gym scene in the 80's and not have a token fat goofball on the brink of exhaustion. I blame Olivia's "Physical" video.

Andreas said...

I think your constant proselytizing on behalf of Pieces may convince me to watch it. I can only resist a movie called "Pieces" for so long before I crack.

In other news, BUG. Yes. I don't know what I love more: the hair-on-fire scene or the fact that the last third of the movie makes absolutely NO sense. Why, Bradford Dillman, WHY?

deadlydolls said...

You know I shall always grant high fives to anybody that speaks highly of Cathy's Curse. It is a thing of wonder.

And you know what else is great about Rumplestiltskin? I mean, aside from simply everything: Ivy Crane from PASSIONS plays the female lead. It's beautiful.

Jason Soto said...

Ms. Ponder, you deserve the slow clap for this awesome, awesome list.



*Clap clap*

*Clap clap clap*

*Clap clap clap clap clap WOOO!! CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!!*

I just recommended "Cathy's Curse" to another blog and I have you to thank for that. Oh my god.

NIKOL said...

I know that the name of Shark Attach 3 is MEGALODON. But for whatever reason, I used to think it was "Shark Attack 3: MEGALOON." Which, let's face it, would have made the movie even better.

And by better, of course, I mean worse.

And by worse, of course, I mean better. It's a complicated system, but it works.

Stacie Ponder said...

I just realized that you can sing the title "Cathy's Curse" to the tune of Queen Latifah's "Ladies First". I'm not sure WHY you'd want to do it, or even if you actually WOULD. But you COULD, which is the most important thing.

Maynard Morrissey said...

omg this list is really awesome! Graduation Day, Pieces, Amityville 4, Manitou, Dolly Dearest.... wow!!! :)

michael said...

This is the best guest list yet.

Kev Weldon said...

I've never seen Cathy's Curse but a) I want to start a band and call it that and b) my brain won't stop singing the title to the tune of "Jesse's Girl".

Amanda By Night said...

Face of Evil rules. I adore it. It's Tracy Gold at her stick think best... And Perry King is so hot he *almost* can pull off that horrible ar-teest ponytail thing. Love him! How weird is it that I was just watching Riptide when I saw your list... Kismet.

I love Rumplestiltskin... well, it sucks. I pretty much feel like you do. It's awesome in ways that can't be explained, and then it's only awesome after you see it, not during. I'm working on a grant to do a more in-depth study on it.

And for the record, I also have the Vestron vhs of Pieces! Not sure you saw Eli Roth's top five horror list, but he put Pieces at #1! YAY!

andrew said...

I saw Killer Workout when I was 8 and it scared the shit out of me. Funny what one's 8-year-old self finds scary. Definitely need to go back and re-watch it.

A.J. Axline said...

I kinda thought Cathy's Curse was one of those ABC after-school specials. You know. Like, Sheldon's Shingles.

Brett said...

I just want you to know, I read the phrase "A human centipede made of Jessica Fletcher, Columbo, and Encyclopedia Brown" and I almost threw up my Subway footlong tuna right there at my desk. Well done.

gord said...

That Mass Effect analogy is hilarious. And I thought those exact same things during that scene. What an absolutely ridiculous reason to stage another boss fight.

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Yea for Dolly Dearest, seriously. It's really kind of AWESOME.

Cassie said...

Rumplestiltskin is the rightest kind of wrong. Granted, it unfortunately loses most of its hilarious steam after the classic RC car chase and the immortal line "Fucketh me!", but still... It's hard to resist little ol' Rumpy, especially when you can share the pain with your friends.

dementia13 said...

Ms. 13 and I like Graduation Day, I don't know what's up your- err, you should give it another chance.

I've got Cathy's Curse on the same tenfer as Pieces. One of those movies- and I think it's Cathy's Curse- looks very suspiciously like The Sixth Sense at times. Not in terms of overall plot, just some individual scenes that look like they could have been nicked. In jazz, we call that "quoting" instead of "stealing".

I think I remember reading that Shel Silverstein story about the cockroach, dropping on the typewriter to spell things. I don't remember him farting fire, though.

Mike McFarland said...

What? No Zoltan? I totally meant to put Dracula's Dog on my list but I forgot.

Sarah said...

Pieces is the movie I show people who plan on staying at my house for any length of time (houseguests, new boyfriend, etcetera). So far, everyone has loved it.