31 Lists of Horror: The Halloween 24-Hour Movie Marathon (Part Two)

Howev­er you want to say and/or spell it—Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hal­lows Eve, All Hal­low Even, Old Scratch’s Feel­go­od­ery Funtime—October 31 is indis­putably the choco­late industry’s spook­i­est time of year. With that in mind, I present 31 Days of Hor­ror, lists of my own and of my lit­er­ary brethren both near and far.

These are per­son­al, high­ly sug­ges­tive lists of rec­om­men­da­tions, avoid­ances, and/or rem­i­nis­cences. I make no guar­an­tees, save one: if you don’t read the whole of each list, there’s a spi­der near­by.

October 10, 2017

Corey Redekop’s Gory Bledalot’s 24-Hour Horror Movie Marathon (Part Two)

In part one, we took the first six hours to acquaint our­selves with some clas­sic hor­ror films. In part two, more clas­sics, but from a far more sub­jec­tive view­point.

3pm-9pm, October 31 — Slimy Movie Monster Fun!

Where would hor­ror movies be with­out slime? It’s the per­fect go-to method for dis­guis­ing effect flaws while mak­ing the audi­ence squirm with dis­gust. Like most afi­ciona­dos of the hor­ror movie genre, a scare is fun, but some­times all I need is a prac­ti­cal mon­ster effect. Some­times, a goopy ten­ta­cle is all a movie needs to raise it from the muck and make it some­thing spe­cial. Often­times not, of course, but you get what I’m say­ing. CGI is a won­der­ful tool in the right hands, but noth­ing will take the place of a rub­ber mon­ster drip­ping goo over every­thing.

So let’s get start­ed!

The Thing (1982, dir. John Carpenter — 109 min.)

John Carpenter’s mon­ster mash is as sem­i­nal a hor­ror work as any of the clas­sics from Part One. How­ev­er, it has the added ben­e­fit of prac­ti­cal effects work by Rob Bot­tin, which topped every­thing up to that point and has still rarely been matched. The movie would have been great even with­out the goopy alien—Carpenter is noth­ing if not a mae­stro of suspense—but Bottin’s con­stant­ly-mutat­ing alien push­es the movie into the stratos­phere. Com­par­ing it to the less­er 2011 sequel/prequel (also titled The Thing, and a fun movie in its own right) is an instruc­tive les­son in how the same tools can lead to wild­ly dif­fer­ent results. Plain­ly put, prac­ti­cal mon­ster effects eclipse CGI every time. Plus (as an added bonus): freaky Wil­ford Brim­ley!

From Beyond (1986, dir. Stuart Gordon — 86 min.)

The movie that tru­ly puts the “goo” in “goopy.” Stu­art Gordon’s chief mon­ster, the dimen­sion­al­ly dis­fig­ured Dr. Pre­to­rius, almost puts Carpenter’s alien to shame with its over­all shape-shift­ing mal­leabil­i­ty and gal­lons of ooze. The movie as a whole is an excel­lent exer­cise in mad sci­ence, alter­nate dimen­sion­al ter­ror, sado­masochis­tic inven­tive­ness, and squir­rel­ly Jef­frey Combs-ian insan­i­ty. Mak­ing the most of a mea­ger bud­get, Gor­don bathes his hor­ror in a gor­geous gial­lo light­ing scheme and buck­ets upon buck­ets upon buck­ets of ecto­plasm. By the finale, dur­ing a mucus-bathed bat­tle that turns its com­bat­ants lit­er­al­ly inside-out, From Beyond makes a com­pelling case for being the slim­i­est movie ever.

The Void (2016, dir. Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski — 90 min.)

To all of its detrac­tors, you are right: The Void is deriv­a­tive, wear­ing its influ­ences on its sleeve and not both­er­ing to hide said sleeve beneath, say, a par­ka. Yet this recent low-bud­get Cana­di­an mon­strav­a­gan­za is also: a) full of slimy mon­sters, hence its inclu­sion on this list; b) a wicked trib­ute to the 1980’s works of John Car­pen­ter, Stu­art Gor­don, Lucio Ful­ci, and many oth­ers; c) proof that you can fash­ion spec­tac­u­lar­ly goopy mon­sters with an incred­i­bly lim­it­ed bud­get if you only have the imag­i­na­tion and pas­sion to pull it off; and d) a lot of gory fun. It’s all absolute non­sense, but as the slim plot fol­lows a group of inno­cent bystanders through an aban­doned hos­pi­tal and down to Hell itself, it’s hard to deny its effec­tive­ness.

Side note: put all three titles togeth­er and you have one hell of a great movie title. The Thing From Beyond The Void. The tick­ets will sell them­selves!

The Blob!

Bonus con­tent: If you can­not find some/all of the afore­men­tioned flicks, here’s a quick list of suit­able sub­sti­tu­tions chock full of slimy scal­ly­wags:

And so part two comes to a close. Take anoth­er quick break, warm up some microwave nachos, and pre­pare your­self for the third set (com­ing soon!).

To whet your appetite: Hours 9pm thru 3am—those hours when evening trans­forms into night, and your mind is open to all sorts of wandering—will be devot­ed to brain-twist­ing hor­rors that toe the line between fan­tas­ti­cal ter­ror and sci­ence fact. Hint: think Quater­mass.

Vis­it Part One here.

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