Dawn of the Dead (1978)

This might be my favorite
film poster
So, I hadn't seen this film until a couple of days ago and I KNOW that I should've gotten to it sooner and HOW can you possibly call yourself a zombie fan or a HORROR fan for that matter and I'm sorry I'M SORRY. I've seen it now, so I can finally become a woman.
You(I) inevitably put on a different viewing hat when watching a film that has a considerable reputation. Your expectations are enhanced, you're inclined to be unforgiving, so on. Dawn of the Dead being the classic that it is, I went into it with a very judgmental hat on. Fortunately, my hat stayed on, for Dawn of the Dead lives up to its reputation. It's beautifully put together. The gore effects are quite awesome. It carries considerable emotional heft. I was especially struck by how relevant the social commentary has managed to stay. Greed, consumerism, capitalism, media influence, all that rot. Quite prescient, is what I'm saying.
The zombies themselves are interesting creations. Romero tapped into something important when he gave these creatures, who could be (and have been) portrayed as ravenous hell beasts, a mournful and misbegotten feel. The zombies in this film come across as more confused and sad than evil. Consequently, you feel sympathetic rather than disgusted. It lends a tragic human element to the proceedings, as opposed to a more nihilistic feel. Great head explosions as well.

Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter is a terrible composer. It's difficult for me to watch any of his films without picturing him sitting behind his Moog, stroking his unsuccessful moustache, and writing his perceived musical masterpieces:

John Carpenter: Hey dudes! Listen to this groovy tune!

Producer: John you GENIUS you've done it again! You're the future of cinema, man!

John Carpenter: I KNOW! And it only took me 5 minutes! I'm a gift to mankind!

Producer: Rad crazy wicked awesome my fellow! Capital stuff, that!  I say, where the devil is my giant bong?

John Carpenter: I've pilfered it, what ho!

Producer: Top o' the mornin' to ya! *

* Disclaimer: I was not alive in the 1970's.

That being said, this film actually serves its purpose pretty well. It makes you jump, It's well shot, Michael Myers is somewhat unsettling, and Jamie Lee Curtis's chin is prominent. Its effectiveness has me inclined to overlook the less successful elements of the film, the main one being that it's pretty stupid. One note characters, groan-inducing dialogue, an exploitative yet simultaneously condemnatory view of female sexuality, etc. There are many things to complain about here.  Actually, I don't want to overlook the less successful elements of the film.  Halloween wasn't that good. I did jump a few times, though, so do what you will. This review is confused.

It was effective, but I didn't really like it. There.

The Thing from Another World (1951)

October! Horror films! They go together like social interaction and crippling anxiety! In honor of Halloweentime, I'm going to start this blog off with some of the horror films I've watched in my life, both recently and not. So, first things first:

I'm starting with a film that presents a problem for me, writing wise. I'm sure this problem will persist throughout my blogging here, so I might as well address it now. I tend to be a bit snarky and ironic in my dealings with things. I shall make no excuses, for that's just the way it is.  My terrible satirical-ness extends to my writing because I  often don't feel comfortable expressing myself unless I'm being awesomely hilarious. However, when it comes to certain films, it's difficult for me to be satirical. The Thing is one of those films. I like this film so much that I must be sincere when I talk about it, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. Maybe, just maybe, by writing enough of these straightforward reviews, I can finally emerge from my caustic shell and become a real, live, adult human. Together, we can make a better world.
 I honestly can't think of a single thing that doesn't work in this film. Its paced beautifully, the characters and their interactions with each other are genuine and mature, and it's exciting and scary. Nuclear-era technological anxiety is very present, as it was in many films of the  time. However, the anxiety is dealt with in a forthright and calm way, which was an approach that was a somewhat unusual. It's a very optimistic film, which isn't often something you get with stories involving malevolent invading aliens.
I'm tired of talking.

See this film, for it is great.


What This Is


I'm starting this blog because I'd like to document my thoughts on the films I see and the books I read. I'm doing this mostly for my own benefit, as my opinions about things are usually muddled until I write them down.
I'm aware of the potentially narcissistic nature of these kinds of blogs. I will try my best not to become a maniac. However, I have seen quite a few films in my time and consider myself to have pretty good taste. So there. My opinion's as good as anyone else's, right?

So read. Or don't.