Thanks to Supreme Dickery for finding this treasure in time for Christmas.
Archive for December, 2008
I can’t remember the last time I filled out a Myspace survey, but this one was very in depth. It also took longer to complete than most of my blog entries, so I decided to repost it here.
Endless Horror Movie Survey
1. Do you prefer slashers or zombies?
Zombies. I only watch slashers because my girl likes them, and there is a 50% chance I will see tits (in the movie, people!).
2. Craven or Carpenter?
Carpenter. No contest here.
3. Who is your favorite final girl?
I can’t think of one, most of them were cheapened by lousy sequels.
4. Do politics and horror mix?
Yeah. The ending of Night of the Living Dead comes to mind.
5. Favorite horror score/soundtrack?
Goblin’s Profundo Rosso theme. I also love the early Carpenter soundtracks, Giorgio Moroder’s Cat People, and Bruno Mattei’s Virgin Among the Living Dead.
6. Favorite Full Moon movie?
I think Meridian (the one where Sherylin Fenn gets naked), was a Full Moon production. And if you meant werewolf films, it also fits. And any other interpretation of the question probably fits as well…
7. What is your favorite of Romero’s Dead films?
Probably the first one.
8. Are there any trends in horror you don’t like?
Yes. The whole “clever” drawn-out torture scene thing that’s popular now is a drag.
9. Zombies: fast or slow?
Slow and low, that is the tempo. Bonus points if they come out of the water.
10. If you could meet any horror director, who would it be?
Not that into meeting famous people, but it would be fun to get drunk with Jess Franco.
11. Favorite film in the Alien quadrilogy?
The first one is in my top 5 favorite films of all time, and I really hate all the sequels.
12. Who is your favorite Dracula?
Bela, but Klaus Kinski gets special mention.
13. Creepiest scene in any horror movie?
Recently saw Black Sabbath, and the last third of that scared the crap out of me. I was also deeply disturbed by the unexpected ending of Don’t Look Now.
14. What is your favorite horror movie remake?
The Thing (1982). I also like the 1978 Body Snatchers.
15. What horror movie should be remade?
As long as they stick to pre-1965 films I’m ok with remakes. They should leave the 70s and 80s alone.
16. Favorite modern day director?
Larry Fessenden and Guillermo Del Toro are interesting. Also, the guy who did Slither (James Gunn?)
17. Most underrated horror movie?
18. Most overrated?
I think all the popular horror filmmakers are overrated, because they have rabid fans who will not accept that most horror films have flaws. Very few are perfect movies (but they are still enjoyable). Horror fans should demand more than gore and violence.
19. What scene in a horror movie makes you a little queasy?
The exploding pustule in the custard from Dead Alive.
20. Favorite Friday the 13th movie?
I have never seen any of these all the way through.
21. Favorite horror parody/satire?
Return of the Living Dead, if that counts.
22. Jason or Freddy?
Screw those guys.
Ok…Freddy was pretty cool for awhile.
23. What is your favorite Troma film?
The Toxic Avenger (1984). Watched a censored version of this the other day. Not much left, but still entertaining.
24. Do you have a horror movie you only remember a scene or image from, but don’t remember the title of? If so, what is it?
I’ve managed to solve most of these mysteries through the use of the Internets.
25. Favorite Made-for-TV horror movie?
26. How long should a horror movie last?
90 minutes tops.
27. Do you like comedy in your horror movies?
Yes, if it’s actually funny.
28. Do you mind having CG effects in horror movies?
Yes, unless it’s done really well.
29. What is your favorite “Universal Monster” movie?
30. Scariest cinematic memory from your childhood?
There were quite a few. Didn’t sleep for a week after watching Carrie on TV.
31. Argento or Fulci?
Back to the overrated question. I guess I lean toward Argento because I’ve seen more of his work, but the zombie vs. shark scene in Fulci’s Zombi 2 is the greatest moment in Italian film history.
32. Favorite Texas Chainsaw movie?
Haven’t actually watched those, but I have the original in my queue. I am a fan of Tobe Hooper’s other films, which are really bad and really good at the same time. Eaten Alive holds a special place in my heart.
33. Shockumentaries/Mondo movies: Yay or nay?
34. What was your favorite horror movie of the last year?
Probably the closest thing I saw to a horror movie that came out this year was Hellboy II.
35. Do you mind shot-on-video/digital horror movies?
No, but I’m over the whole “reality” gimmick with the shaky camera.
36. What is your favorite foreign horror movie-producing country?
37. David Hedison or Jeff Goldblum as The Fly?
It’s been a long time since I’ve watched any fly related movies, so I can’t say.
38. Is nudity necessary for a good horror movie?
No, but it is necessary for a bad horror movie.
39. Which remake would you rather suffer through: The Fog, Prom Night, or Shutter?
I will probably watch The Fog eventually because I like the idea behind the original enough to sit through a bad remake. The one I refuse to watch is the new version of The Wicker Man.
40. What is your favorite holiday-based horror movie?
Black Christmas, which somehow gets overlooked often but came before Halloween. And also came from Canada!
41. What is your favorite horror movie of all time?
Alien, Jaws, The Thing, The Shining, Shivers…
The Star Chamber (1983)
Peter Hyams (Outland, 2010, Capricorn One) directed this film, which takes a more “psychological” slant on the vigilante issue. Michael Douglas plays a judge who is tired of seeing criminals walk based on technicalities. His friend Hal Holbrook eventually recruits him to join a clandestine panel of judges who rule on cases outside of the court of law. When a person is rendered “guilty,” a hitman is contacted and the sentence is carried out in a swift and brutal manner.
When a couple of thugs implicated in a child porn ring go free, Douglas is pushed too far and joins the star chamber. After placing a hit on the two men, it is revealed that they had nothing to do with the crime. However, the men are obviously not upstanding citizens, so Douglas has to decide whether the cost of killing possibly innocent men outweighs the value of being able to take out the truly guilty.
Thus, the basic problem of vigilante justice is revealed. The Star Chamber has a great set up, goading the audience into sympathizing with the judges and their frustration over the shortcomings of the system. It then tries to twist the story around to show how taking the law into one’s own hands can go wrong. By avoiding a black and white approach, it remains somewhat realistic and thought provoking.
Unfortunately, things become rushed toward the end, and the film veers off the cliff into ill conceived action movie territory. It’s hard to imagine anyone being satisfied with the ending, and almost seems as if studio execs had stepped in at the last minute and changed the direction of the film.
The Star Chamber is worth watching for any fan of vigilante films or 70s and 80s crime movies in general. The cinematography retains a decent amount of grit, and the cast does what they can with the material. Holbrook is excellent, Douglas is average, Yaphet Kotto is great as usual (but pretty much wasted on a minor part), and Don Calfa (Return of the Living Dead) and Joe Regalbuto (Murphy Brown) are likeably over the top as the “innocent” criminals. James Sikking also turns in a great character role as the father of a young murder victim. There is also a humorous scene-chewing performance by John DiSanti (I think) as Kotto’s partner.
This film was obviously designed to provoke debate, and it probably succeeded in that. However, its flaws were apparent and it tanked at the box office. There is a remake in the works, and depending on who is involved, it might actually fare better than the original. But I’m not getting my hopes up; it will probably be another Hollywood special effects wank job by the time it gets released.