Thursday, September 25, 2008

October Film Nominees: Horror Movie Month

Micah and I went back and forth on what to do for our horror movie nominations for October. Last year we showed Rosemary's Baby, which I always think of as a classic horror movie. This year we flirted with nominating a group of horror films from the classic B-horror movie era. Films like Spider Baby, or the Maddest Story Ever Told, Orgy of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, or something similar.

We finally decided to select six films for nomination that span the "horror" genre. Here are the nominees. Learn about them. Then vote in the poll on the right hand of your screen.

Peeping Tom: a 1960 psychological thriller film by the British film director Michael Powell. The title derives from 'peeping Tom', a slang expression for a voyeur. The film is a horrific tale of voyeurism, serial murder and child abuse which revolves around a young man who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record their dying expressions of terror. The film was written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks.

The Innocents: a 1961 horror film based on the novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Directed and produced by Jack Clayton, it starred Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave. Falling into the subgenre of psychological horror, the film makes use of its lighting, music, and direction for its effect rather than gore and shock factor. Its atmospheric feel was achieved by Academy Award winning cinematographer Freddie Francis, who employed deep focus in many scenes, as well as bold, minimal lighting.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: the classic 1974 American independent horror film written, directed, and produced by Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel. The film is the first in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, featuring Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Teri McMinn, William Vail, Edwin Neal, and Paul A. Partain. The plot revolves primarily around a group of friends who embark on a road trip to rural Texas to visit the Hardesty family gravesite, which according to radio reports, had been gruesomely vandalized. On a detour to visit the Hardesty mansion, the friends fall victim to a family of cannibals, including the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface.

Magic: a 1978 film starring Anthony Hopkins and Ann-Margret. It was written by William Goldman, who also wrote the novel on which it was based. Magic tells the story of Charles "Corky" Withers (Hopkins), a man that has just failed his first attempt at professional magic. His mentor says that he needs to have a better show business personality. A year later Corky comes back as a ventriloquist with a foul-mouthed dummy named Fats. Do you really need any more than that?

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer: a 1986 film directed by John McNaughton, based on the life of real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. The film stars Michael Rooker as Henry, a nomadic serial killer. Henry meets up with an old friend from prison named Otis in Chicago, who he introduces to the delights of random murder. The film was shot in less than a month on a budget of about $110,000, it was not released until 1989 due to repeated disagreements with the MPAA over the movie's violent content. The film was ultimately released without a rating.

Don't Look Now: an Anglo-Italian thriller, directed by Nicolas Roeg and released in 1973. It is based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier.

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