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Moriarty's DVD SHELF! Halloween Movies!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I have a particular piece of music stuck in my head right now, and for the first time in two weeks, it’s not Bernard Hermann’s TWISTED NERVE theme. Nope. Now I’ve got the following on auto-repeat: “Eight more days to Halloween... Halloween... Halloween... eight more days to Halloween... Silllllllllver Shamrock!”

And if that doesn’t jar your memory, then chances are the next week or so of the column isn’t going to be your cup of tea. See, it’s October. That means it’s time for one of my favorite cinematic flavors, and plenty of it. Horror films. A genre that is very dear to me. It’s odd, too, because I readily acknowledge that most horror movies are crap. But the ones that aren’t... the ones that add something to the genre or even elevate it... man, those films provoke me in a way that little else manages.

So about two months ago, I decided I was going to put together some horror films to watch in the days counting down to Halloween. As of Wednesday the 22nd, it’s been nothing but horror movies here at the Labs until the stroke of midnight on Halloween.

But before we plunge headlong into that, though, I thought we’d clear a few more recent titles off the shelf. Lots of ground to cover, so let’s get to it...


The last two weeks, my viewing habits have been all over the place. A lot of the time, I try to pair things up by similar theme, or as a way of contrasting two very different things. Since getting back from vacation, it’s been more like playing catch-up. One right after another.

Sure, there was a “classics” day, where we watched KIM, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, and YANKEE DOODLE DANDY. KIM didn’t get the same kind of treatment that the other two did. It’s just one of those simple Warner Bros. cardboard sleeves, and there aren’t a whole lot of extras on it. They put a couple of shorts, part of a series called FITZPATRICK TRAVELTALKS, both about India, and they reveal as much about the era in which they were made as they do about the country itself. The film, a 1950 star vehicle for Errol Flynn and then-rising child star Dean Stockwell, is based on the work of Rudyard Kipling, and I’d lay money on it being a childhood favorite of both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. I get a lot of letters from people calling me crazy for liking Short Round in TEMPLE OF DOOM. Normally, I hate it when there’s a kid in an adventure movie. It automatically lessens the sense of peril. Also, there’s a cloying cuteness to most kid actors that wears on me. They’re too aware of the camera, too aware of themselves. But not with Short Round. And not with Kim. The way Stockwell plays the title character, he’s engaging and funny and always resourceful. He’s a street urchin when we meet him, concerned primarily with survival. By the end of the film, he’s a hero, a better soul, and as adult as anyone in the movie. Flynn was getting older by the time he made this, past his movie-star prime, but his sarcastic sense of humor is in full evidence. He’s darker, more complicated, less interested in being a pure hero.

The film looks great, a nice example of Technicolor caught in amber, a worthwhile transfer for the archives. It’s not the most eye-popping print ever, but it seems fairly close to how it must have looked for audiences in the ‘50s. As good as KIM IS, though, it just can’t compete with the sublime glory that is THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. The script is an expert distillation of the basic Robin Hood legends, and each incident, each sequence is given humor and drama and genuine old-fashioned swashbuckling excitement. It’s just plain fun to watch, every minute of it. This film is one of those guaranteed smiles for me, like TOY STORY or RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or RAISING ARIZONA or DUCK SOUP. Pure pleasure. Every performance is gold, the big swordfight at the end between Basil Rathbone and Flynn is one of the best ever, and rumor has it George Lucas was inspired to reference one very famous image from the duel for “The Duel” in EPISODE III. That would be a nice acknowledgement of this film’s continuing hold over the imaginations of all who fall under its spell. Let’s hope this new cheap glorious DVD edition introduces many new viewers to its charms.

They certainly put enough bells and whistles on there. In theory, I’m a big fan of the packaging idea behind this, DANDY, and TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. You can choose an option on all three of the films called “Warner Night At The Movies,” designed to evoke the way audiences of the era would experience a film in the theater. You get a trailer, a newsreel, a musical short subject, a cartoon, and then ROBIN HOOD. Everything vintage. It’s fun, at least the first time, but I’m concerned about a technical issue. There’s fairly heavy digital noise in all of the extras, and it’s not just for one film. It happened on both HOOD and DANDY, and in both players in the house. Like I said, I really enjoyed the line-up, but it felt like the DVD storage space was pushed just a wee bit further than it could handle. It seems like a fairly major technical goof, and a fairly obvious one. If Warner Bros. is going to continue with this series and this idea, I hope they clear this one issue up.

As far as YANKEE DOODLE DANDY goes, I’ve always had mixed feelings about the film. There is no denying the sheer giddy joy of James Cagney’s performance as George M. Cohan, just like there’s no denying how powerfully corny the film feels when viewed through the filter of a post-Watergate world. It was made under rather extreme circumstances, starting production just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Cohan was an unbridled patriot, and his songs frequently waved the flag with two hands. Combine the subject matter with the moment when it was made, and what you end up with may be one of the most deliriously unironic pro-American films ever made. It’s funny... my memories of this film from childhood are of a film in color. I remember the vivid reds, whites, and blues. It’s a black-and-white film, of course, but I guess the sheer energy of the thing made it practically pop off the screen. Watching it now, the film’s biggest enduring attraction is Cagney dancing. There are times it almost looks like wire work, like gravity barely seems to matter to him. This is one of those performances that explains someone’s Hollywood legend status, one of those moments where everything comes together and their charisma shines bright as the sun, an undeniably great moment in movies, and any fan of the film should be thrilled with the transfer here and the wealth of extra features.

Another themed day turned out to be a tremendously unpleasant endurance test when my co-writer picked both STRAW DOGS and IRREVERSIBLE. I never got around to writing about my theatrical experience with IRREVERSIBLE when it came out. Basically, the nasty trick played by Noe in the film’s opening (he laid a sonic track down that consisted of a frequency used to break up riots by French police) made me physically ill, and I sat through the rest of the film miserable. I think there is some great work by Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci in the film, and I think Gaspar Noe did exactly what he set out to do with the movie. He makes his point with all the subtle sophistication of someone shitting their pants. The hauntingly lovely ending feels like a cruel joke after everything that comes before, not like a transcendent delivery. I’m not sure IRREVERSIBLE really has much of a shelf life. It’ll always be notorious to some degree. That death-by-fire-extinguisher guarantees at least that much. But there’s a hermetic, experimental, sealed-off quality that keeps the film from being as brutal and as affecting as it wants to be. Still, Lions Gate did a nice job with the DVD. The transfer is impeccable, with great sound and picture quality. Why, it’s so clear it’s like having Monica Bellucci get raped on your living room floor!

I think the Criterion Collection STRAW DOGS disc makes a heck of a case for this film’s classic status, though, and watching the film, there’s nothing about it that feels dated. It’s just as provocative now as it must have been in 1971 when it was first released. From the first uneasy moments when David (Dustin Hoffman) and his wife Amy (Susan George) arrive in a small village in the Cornish countryside, there’s a near-suffocating tension that Peckinpah is building. Amy grew up in the village, and it’s an uneasy homecoming for her. Hints are dropped about unsavory encounters in her past with some of the local men, and she has to deal with the constant leering attention of these same people when David hires them to work on the house. Eventually, the combination of this near-constant attention and her boredom over David’s work (he’s a mathematician, a scholar, engrossed in a project) leads to an antagonism, a deep disquiet that she takes out on everyone and anyone, most of all David. She starts to challenge his masculinity, belittling him, undermining him in every way she can.

For all the hype about IRREVERSIBLE, its centerpiece is nowhere near as disturbing or unsettling as either of the extended sequences of violence in STRAW DOGS. Sam Peckinpah only made Westerns prior to this film, and there’s something about the dramatic opportunity of a Western that encouraged directors to become rather nimble moralists. One of the things that made Peckinpah so much more interesting than many of his peers was the way he pushed into difficult and ambiguous territory where black hats and white hats didn’t mean much. You look at RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY or his episodic TV work, and he was able to work in the traditional form. But by the time he reached THE WILD BUNCH, Peckinpah seemed to be on the verge of either some sort of breakdown or a breakthrough. He was sickened by the real violence infecting the culture, but more sickened by the way movies refused to reflect the real world. He didn’t push the envelope for the sake of cheap thrills, although there was definitely the sense that he was rubbing our noses in something. It was a visceral response, and whatever effect it had on filmgoers was nothing compared to the toll it took on the director. You don’t make a film like STRAW DOGS because of your sunny disposition and your positive outlook on the world. It’s a film about the definitions of manhood, and the primal urges at battle in each of us.

By the end of the film, every notion of typical audience sympathy has been challenged, and Peckinpah dares to echo one of the great last shots of any film, one which also starred Dustin Hoffman. As in THE GRADUATE, Hoffman finds himself heading somewhere, running from something, changed by what has just occurred. Peckinpah’s ending is one without room for hope, though, and much harder to take as a result. The presentation on the Criterion DVD is nothing short of amazing. I had no idea how beautifully crafted this film was until I saw this print. There’s a great feature-length documentary about Peckinpah on the second disc, and despite the always-steep sticker price on Criterion titles, I’d say the quality makes this one a worthy addition to any serious cinephile’s library.

The original MATRIX is, of course, one of those DVDs that everyone has. The release of MATRIX RELOADED recently led to much grumbling, a lot of it in my e-mail, about how we’re sure to be double-dipped down the road on this whole trilogy. Truth be told, that’s probably not such a bad thing. The first film’s been out for four years now. Looking at the transfer for the sequel, the obvious improvements in sound and picture quality are evident. True, it’s not the most comprehensive disc ever produced, but I thought it was a well-constructed look at the production of this ambitious and controversial middle chapter.

I’ll say this... I like MATRIX RELOADED a hell of a lot more on DVD. I like the first act. The whole thing. I like Link and his wife. I like Zion. No... I take that back... I love Zion. I want Zion to live. It’s that simple. Either you invest or you don’t. I don’t know what happens in REVOLUTIONS yet. I don’t want to know. For now, it’s enough that this is a human place, maybe the last human place. And if you do know what happens in REVOLUTIONS and if my statements about it being “a human place” make you snicker ironically, then maybe the Wachowskis did their job right. If anything, the celebration at Zion should have been more carnal, more sensual. I think Trinity and Neo are very sweet together in the first act. She’s softer than in the first film, an interesting inversion of the arc that Sarah Connor took in the TERMINATOR films. She started as a soft and squooshy LA girl and became polished steel, all knotted muscles and hard angles, in the sequel. By letting Trinity become softer thanks to Neo’s love, there are real philosophical underpinnings to his impact on the world around him. The personal transformation in Trinity mirrors the larger changes in the world. Neo may pack a mean kung-fun punch, but Thomas Anderson is a decent man, first and foremost, with a gentle heart. It’s his inquisitive nature that makes him the One, not the way he throws a punch. Casting Keanu was a masterstroke, and cannot be overestimated. He is exactly the same sort of lucky casting that Mark Hamill was in the STAR WARS films. Hamill wasn’t playing Luke Skywalker... he WAS Luke Skywalker. He believed it. He believed in the world around him. He never looked like an actor. He was so comfortable, so at home in this fantastic environment. That comfort is what made me believe when I was a kid, and the more FX epics I’ve seen over the years, the more I appreciate just what a particular skill it is. Hamill believed. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin definitely believe. And Keanu, bless him, believes.

People who grumble about the teahouse scene with Seraph are missing the point. It’s not meant to be a fight scene. It’s an encounter. Neo has to deal with all sorts of spook shit on his journey, and his senses are totally different than ours. The Wachowskis don’t hammer us with this, but the way they remind us – that one POV shot of a world made of code and a single seated glowing figure – is beautiful and eerie. Appropriate, I think, for Neo’s first meeting with an angel. True, it’s a digital kung-fu angel, but it is still an agent for the Powers That Be, a bridge to the divine. And if that’s what Seraph is, then what is The Oracle? She is a program, yes, as she explains... but her nature... her purpose... that’s the tricky part. She is part of the fabric of The Matrix, and her whole purpose seems to be to help the One and to guide him towards the choices he has to make. She encourages him to question everything. “How can I trust you?” he asks. “Bingo.” Even if there is some programmed malice in her design, asking the questions makes Neo question everything, and that’s crucial.

Have I mentioned that Geoff Darrow and Steve Skroce and Gods? Giants? Geniuses? Because they are.

I’m convinced The Kid is important. Trinity’s first comment when he appears is, “How does he always know?” She’s not exaggerating, either, I don’t think. The Kid always somehow senses Neo. He’s connected to him somehow. Trinity makes a comment about how Neo saved the Kid’s life, but Neo denies this. And he means it. If you’ve seen “Kid’s Story” on THE ANIMATRIX, you know what happened to him. He credits Neo with waking him up. “You’re the reason I’m here, Neo.” But Neo knows that he didn’t do anything. “You found me. I didn’t find you.” No matter what Neo says, the Kid wants to credit him, but Neo won’t let him. “You saved yourself.” This scene is written so carefully to set something up for REVOLUTIONS, I think. Again... I haven’t seen REVOLUTIONS or read it or whatever, so I’m just guessing based on what I’ve seen. I think that the Kid might be like Neo... special.

I could spend another 2000 words on RELOADED probably, or I could write a different piece on it each day this week. There’s so much here for those who want to go digging. I think the movie ultimately fails as a non-stop rollercoaster or as empty spectacle, but I don’t think it was meant to be either of those things. The MATRIX series is designed to give your mind a real workout, and the eye candy is secondary. The eye candy is what makes it so much fun, but the brain candy makes it count. Don’t consider this a reversal on my original review, either, since I was pretty positive on it after the first viewing, too. It’s just that now, I’d give the film an upgrade to a greatish review. Sometimes, films grow on us through repeat viewings, becoming richer and more engrossing, and RELOADED is, for me, that sort of a film.

When I went by the Virgin Megastore on Monday night at midnight, I was surprised to see BATMAN: MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN on the new release cart. I’d heard a little bit about the film, but I wasn’t really paying attention. I love BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, and I’m so pleased they’re still working with that creative team to give us great new BATMAN stories on film, and while it’s not as powerful as RETURN OF THE JOKER (my fave) or MASK OF THE PHANTASM (many people’s fave), this new (barely) feature-length story is still still better than any of the Warner live-action BATMAN films. One of the things that really makes it work is the vocal performances, top-notch as always. Kevin Conroy’s Batman/Bruce Wayne is definitive as far as I’m concerned. That’s the best interpretation I’ve seen so far, and I love the various shades he brings to the character. He gets the humor, the pain, and the conflict, and he never overplays any of it. Efram Zimbalist Jr. does a great job, as always, as Alfred, and he’s given many of the best lines. There’s a lot of new voices in this one, like Kimberly Brooks as Cathy Duquesne, Kelly Ripa as Rocky Ballentine, and Elisa Gabrielli as Sonia Alcana. These three women are all suspects in the mysterious appearance of a new masked crusader in Gotham City, the mysterious Batwoman (voiced by Kyra Sedgwick in a clever move that makes it impossible to guess the character’s true identity until the writers want you to know). It’s a clever script that manages to make The Penguin (David Ogden Stiers), Rupert Thorne (John Vernon) and Carlton Duquesne (Kevin Michael Richardson) a solid springboard for everything that happens. Normally, more than one villain ends up being a creative nightmare, but these three make sense together, and when they bring in Bane (Hector Elizondo), it works. Overall, the thing I enjoyed most about the film is how it actually does keep the viewer guessing, and the red herrings are effective, convincing you several times that you’ve got everything figured out. Once they reveal the mystery of the Batwoman, there’s still almost half the film to go, and things pay off really well in the end. There are actual ramifications to what happens here, and I like the idea that this is set mid-continuity. It’s an interesting choice, and it allows director Curt Geda and writer Michael Reaves to tell a classic BATMAN story without having to reinvent the timeline in some radical way.

The extras for the disc are really well-produced, and the highlight has got to be “Chase Me,” an original short cartoon produced just for this disc. Also directed by Geda, it was written by Alan Burnett & Paul Dini, and it tells a great Batman/Catwoman story without ever using a single line of dialogue. As a result, the score by Lolita Ritmanis becomes very important, and she rises to the occasion, really making the short film hum. There are also several good production featurettes like “Behind The Mystery,” which focuses on the voice actors, “Batman POV,” which goes inside the writing room, and “The Making Of A Scene,” which is actually the weakest of the bunch, clocking in at just over 2 minutes. If you’re like me, and you miss this show, this new film will more than remind you of what it is you liked so much in the first place.

That’s it for tonight. I’ll be back almost immediately with my first report on the Horrorthon, which began, appropriately enough, with CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE. Have you seen the film? Positively chilling. Set on another planet where physics obviously don’t matter, this is the story of two very hot girls who are friends with a girl who’s been told she’s hot, but really isn’t. Together, they randomly beat, brutalize, and sexually belittle their male victims while wearing as many different fetish-themed outfits as possible. As uninterested in narrative coherence as even the strangest David Lynch film, CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE should scare a whole generation of 12 year old boys off heterosexuality once and for all.

And, oh yeah... there are dance numbers!

Okay... now I mean it. I’m going. When we dig into Horrorthon, expect a mix of old and new titles, things I found in bargain bins, recent reissues, and some stuff that’s out of print now, along with titles I’ve had in my library for a while. There are films in the marathon I’ve never seen, and others that I’ve watched so many times I practically have them memorized. So far, we’ve screened 13 titles, and we’re having a blast.

Have I mentioned how much I love this time of the year? Because I do. I really, honestly do.


What was the first film to really scare the hell out of you?

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:24 a.m. CST

    the frist film to really scare me was...

    by baj24

    Pet Semetary...the part with that little boy Gabe... I still can't watch that movie.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Well said, Our good man...

    by Charlie & Tex

    Charlie's Angels 2 gets huge distribution when better movies don't. In the words of EE Doc Smith... TANJ!!!

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:40 a.m. CST


    by thx777b

    I was 8, and believe it or not, it was EXORCIST III that got me into horror films. Now at age 20 i think the movie is average at best back then when i saw it for the very first time, those scenes in the Church, the bleeding Jesus, the incredible "peacful" disturbing Paradise stuff... man i couldnt sleep for whole nights. Did William Peter Bloddings really direct that movie?

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:01 a.m. CST

    My traumatised childhood - read it and weep !

    by RobinP

    God, I remember this as if it were yesterday...New Year's Day, I would have been nine or ten(so we're talking 1969 or 70)and they showed "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte" on tv. My parents, bless them, thought it'd be a good idea to watch a "nice" Bette Davis movie. We didn't know (or at least I sure HOPE they didn't know) that the whole thing started off with someone having his head and hand cut off with a meat cleaver !!!. Then there's the plot of trying to drive the Bette Davis character in to an asylum by having her find a (dummy) head and hand every so often. The worst thing for me was a scene where the head rolls down this grand staircase...I remember that after that, I just would NOT go upstairs to bed. We watched a movie on another channel until I'd calmed down. That was the first. I also remember being allowed to watch "Day of the Triffids" when it was shown as a Saturday midnight movie. My parents went to bed and left me to it....except they told me to be careful passing the rubber plant that was on the landing just before my bedroom door. That traumatised me too. I remember running like hell past it, waiting for some kind of tendril to lash out. Actually, looking back, I don't think my parents liked me very family all thought that no good would come of me, but I proved them wrong by becoming a regular AICN talkbacker. Hah - who's sorry now ????

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:06 a.m. CST

    The Fog was the first film to really terrify me

    by LargoJr

    I took my Johnny Bench signed Louisville Slugger and drove a bunch of 4 inch nails thru it, and refused to go anywhere without it. I was absolutely POSITIVE that one of those moldy, cheese faced fuckers were coming to get me... and I wasn't going without a fight.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:06 a.m. CST

    I was four, and it was LIVE AND LET DIE

    by Dog Of Mystery

    The voodoo shit scared me senseless. Funny, I watched KOLCHAK religiously with the family, and I was terrified of the voodoo stuff in LIVE AND LET DIE. It did make me a lifelong Bond fan, though.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:13 a.m. CST

    batwoman... yay!

    by Lujho

    This just got shipped out to me from Canada (I'm in Australia) the other day... I shoud have it soon. I love all the animated batman stuff, so I hope it's good. Still, I would kill for some big-budget feature animated batman stuff... longer running times and more lavish animation, with the same great cast and creators. The Batman short "Chase me" sounds great... there should be more of that kind of thing... play them in theatres before the main feature. "Chase me" actually sounds like a true successor to the Fleischer Superman shorts (which rock so much), which were always light on the dialogue. I hope Nolan's film is, at the very least, like a live-action 2 hour episode of the Animated Series. And wouldn't it be cool if Nolan's film could be promoted with live-action shorts, like the Animatrix, directed by great directors like the BMW films? Yes, it would.*********** As for the question of dicussion, gee, I don't think I've been really scared by a movie that I can remember, at least, not more than a momentary startlement at a cheap (BOO!) fright gag. I think the best and scariest horror film I've seen is The Exorcist, but by the time I saw it I was an adult, and constant pop-culture references had diluted a lot of the actual horror of it. It's hard to be disturbed by a spinning head or projectile vomit when you've seen them done in comedy spoofs of The Exorcist long before you ever saw the real film. I guess I don't scare easily and films never give me nightmares, and I never got to see many horror films as a child so I was never truly disturbed by a film. I though the Devil's backbone was great though... I really like more "spooky" movies than slasher ones. Del Toro could do a really great horror themed Batman movie I think... and I'm talking more along the lines of Backbone and Cronos rather than Blade 2 and Hellboy. ***And while I don't think it's really scary, I do love Coppola's Dracula, except for Keanu (I wish Johnny Depp had played Harker). It's creepy and stylish and despite it not being a truly faithful adaptation of Stoker, it's fun to watch. The book (one of my favorites) is actually one of the few things that ever gave me unsettling dreams, I hope one day a movie can do the same.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:16 a.m. CST

    JAWS, what else?

    by Cash Bailey

    And when the fuck are we gonna get a BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA DVD with the full necrophilia scene cut back into the film?

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:33 a.m. CST

    a traumatic experience

    by voice-of-reason

    The first good scare I ever had was from o toothpaste commercial featuring a vampire, but I was 5 then. I wish I could say, I was scarred for life. It caused some major nightmares, but eventually I forgot. No credit for the reason I didn't like horror movies for most of my life (only recently I came to appreciate certain movies in the genre) goes to Friday the 13th (no suffixes). I was eleven at the time our babysitter brought allong a video and showed it on television. I watched the whole movie beside her. Iw ent to bed that night and didn't dare to sleep. It took years for me to learn to sleep normally (not curled into a ball, wrapped in blankets). And it took even longer to learn to appreciate horror movies. I never saw a Friday the 13th sequal, Nightmare on Elmstreet, or Hellraiser fim. No matter how much my friends claim it is a good movie, I won't go to Freddy vs. Jason and don't think I will to things like The Texas Cainsaw Massacre (of which I've never seen the original anyway). However I like a movie such as The Exorcist (which also gave me a goood scare when I was 14, but I survived that trauma much better) and a few select other horror movies. I know I am one of the few posting on this site, that thinks lowly of the slasher genre, but as you van read, I've my reasons.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:37 a.m. CST


    by FortyWatto

    That poster alone scared the shit out of me. A DVD release is way overdue.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:40 a.m. CST

    Fearfull Film

    by Fernwick_

    I know this is sad, but when I think back to my age it makes sense i guess. I remember being terrified watching Darth Vader kicking the hell out of Luke Skywalker in ROTJ. Then seeing his hand cut off and him throwing himself to his 'death'. When your 8 years old this is pretty strong stuff. (for me anyway). That is my first memory of fear in a movie, but SINCE then I would say no movie has scared me like reading for the first time Pet Sematary. Too bad movies dont really put fear in you like that. Fernwick

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Trauma? It's a tie...

    by NNNOOO!!!

    ... between the Hammer classic AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS, as seen by myself at age 11, uncut on Creature Features late at night... and STAR WARS. I was a 7 1/2-year-old PBS baby and that first 40 minutes was way too much for me-- dude held by the throat until his neck snaps, 3P0 getting busted up by the Sand People, charred skeletons in Luke's front yard, evil needle making for the Princess, finally a bloody severed arm on the cantina floor. Now THAT was when a PG rating meant something, folks. I like the movie more now, and funny thing is I like it better the way it was when it freaked the crap out of me.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 5:17 a.m. CST

    first time scares

    by Redbox

    I think your first scare, unless you were raised on horror films from the age of three, and I didn't see any until much later, your first scare comes unexpected from subtle places. In the Steve McQueen film (his last) The Hunter, a teacher is alone in a classroom and hears someone slowly whisper "Violets are blue, roses are red. There's no school today, because teacher's dead." That scared the fuck out of me! That and that bastard husband's false contact lenses, that make him look like the walking dead as he creeps out of the tub towards his weak hearted wife, in the original "Diabolique" man these things have been imprinted with the fear of childhood forever. Funny, because it is their subtlety that makes them scary to me.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Exorcist III

    by Charlie & Tex

    Agreed, Exorcist III is at once an average movie & a bastardisation. Dumped is the meditaions in the meaning of life and faith, gone is the superb way that Tommy Sunlight (oops, Venerman/patient X) gets out of the asylum and added is an irrelevent exorcism drafted in during post-production. The book Legion is superb, the movie is not.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 5:32 a.m. CST

    I bought the matrix reloaded DVD and I couldnt sit through it ag

    by Jon E Cin

    I just kept on skipping through the lame scenes until I realized I skipped through the entire movie. Oh well..picture and sound look cool. I still like the car chase scene.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 5:35 a.m. CST

    First time scare...THE SHINING and ALIEN.

    by Jon E Cin

    Alien still creeps me out

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 5:46 a.m. CST

    My three earliest scares...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...are TV movies. The first one was The Night Stalker, which I saw at the tender age of six (God bless politically incorrect babysitters!) and which scared me to death as well as made me a life-long Kolchak fan. The second one was the Jack Palance Dracula from 1973. Jack's still my favorite Count of all time and I think Dan Curtis's version has aged well. The third and biggest scare for me was also a Dan Curtis film, 1975's Trilogy of Terror. The Zuni fetish doll was seared into my brain forever and kept me awake for weeks. Although those films' power to frighten has been severely diminished over the years, there's still a part of me that cringes inwardly while watching them, the memories of that childhood terror still alive.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 5:47 a.m. CST

    John Damn Carpenter

    by fat_moby

    Prince of Darkness stopped me from being able to sleep for a week, a feat only repeated by The Ring. I think a lot of modern horror has gone down a very shit road lately, but unbelievers only need to realise that great horror films have only ever come out at the rate of 1 every few years or so, so we shouldn't fret for the state of modern horror. Its the same as whining over the state of modern videogaming. People have rose-tinted glasses. By the way, do any Brit talkbackers remember the programme 'Ghostwatch' that the BBC showed on Halloween about 12 or so years ago? I just got it on DVD, and it's STILL the scariest thing brit TV ever produced.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 6:01 a.m. CST

    The Blob (1958)

    by Tsunami3G

    but pretty much anything on CHILLER THEATER scared the hell out of me. Even that poorly animated hand coming out of the ground!

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 6:29 a.m. CST

    the Trilogy of Terror (the African doll)

    by TheAquabatman

    wo ho ho... Saw that when i was about 11 years old and it terrified me for years! nah nah nah... that was some scary stuff. Visited the U.S. at age of 13 and saw the bloody doll face to face, it was a difining moment for me. Original amytiville horror. Jaws terrified us out of the water. Psycho scared us out of the shower. that harrison ford and michelle phiefer (spelling?) scared us out of the bath... Saw arnold's acting in erasor and Batman 4... and was terrified to go back into the cinemas.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Irreversible vs Straw Dogs

    by Frank_Serpico

    no offence guy but Straw Dogs is to Irreversible what a firecracker is to a nuclear explosion. I saw straw dogs and never even once flinched through it portrait of voilence but Irreversible nearly made me run out in the death-by-extinguisher and the rape scene.Irreversible is an experience which u may or may not enjoy but you sure as hell remember .

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 7:06 a.m. CST

    First scary movie

    by DeBoss1

    Two come to mind, both at different times in my life When I was six years old, my mom let me sit up late to watch the very first installment of WTTV's Nightmare Theater with "Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers". When the saucers started attacking Washington, D.C., I ducked into the bathroom. Many years later, the one movie that actually kept me up for the next three nights and had me checking out the back of my car everytime I went out at night was "Halloween". Nothing since then has equalled it for pure, visceral horror.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Definitely "THE EXORCIST".

    by Bad Guy

    Saw it for the first time when I was about 10, on broadcast TV, mind you, so it was edited. Even with edits and commercials, it "still" scared the shit out of me, which just goes to show the power of that film. When I finally watched a rented copy of the video a few years later and got to see what I had missed in the commercial version, it only got scarier. To this day, it remains the scariest movie I've ever seen. it's a cliche, but they just don't make 'em like that anymore. That little African doll that comes to life in "Trilogy of Terror" scared the hell out of me as a kid too. And the book, "Pet Sematary" by King, is probably the scariest book I've ever read. The movie version's not great, but it did capture "some" of the flavor of the book. Especially little zombified Gage. "And now I'm gonna play with youuuu...". Creepy shit.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Freddy And Zombies

    by Saluki

    The first Nightmare on Elm Street & The Night of the Living Dead. I enjoy Dawn more, but Night is what gave me the chills. They are the only two movies to have ever scared me. As above posters have written... It all has to do with going to sleep. Ugh. What a low blow. What a brilliant low blow. Also, I have to agree with the good doctor, a better transfer of the Matrix would sexcellent. I enjoyed the hell out of Reloaded, and looking back on it on DVD is odd. It seems to be the only major summer movie this year that didn't whip and zoom and rush through scenes. Every last one takes its time. Revolutions looks to be a mixture of the styles of the original and Reloaded, so I guess we're all in for the ride this time.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:36 a.m. CST

    salems lot

    by discodave

    Wooooooo, that boy floating out the window, scared me senseless.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Movies that scared me and other things...

    by Nordling

    Fucking A, that was a terrific column. Your RELOADED stuff was right on. It gets better. I've watched it about 4 times now since I got the DVD, and I pretty much got over my problems that I had with it. Now, scariest movie.... my first really scary movie that jacked me uo when I was a kid was JAWS. JAWS fucked me up. I was afraid of water for a long time after that. But there's a movie from the 80s that I actually consider, well, maybe not the scariest film ever made, but a movie that so disturbed me that I've only seen in twice, and that was DEAD RINGERS. It's a seriously deranged film, and Cronenberg's most disturbing picture. The end scene, with the twins... no longer two sides of the same coin, but the same side... all identity blasted away... that movie really disturbed me, and it's not one I revisit often. Again, great column.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:53 a.m. CST


    by JimmyRabbit

    Every kid at school when I was about 8 years old was talking about that fucking clown...the movie was notorious and I had to see it...result: months and months of sleepless nights...damn fucking clown..if I watch IT now I laught but still fuck clowns fuck em up their stupid asses. And BTW Irreversible was the only movie in years of whick I got sick of watching...especially the opening seqeunce as Mori says. MAsterpiece

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:59 a.m. CST


    by Psyclops

    That was the first R-rated film my parents took me to see. It was also my first experience with the Horror genre (my folks didn't even bother to wean me off the Care Bears before taking me to see it). I was seven years old and spent many a restless night dreaming of Facehuggers crawling around under my bed. No other film has ever had such a lasting impact on me. This was my 'Star Wars'.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Straw Dogs and Scary Movie

    by SuperTooth

    I'm gonna have to agree with Frank, Straw Dogs is way dated as far as violence is concerned. I haven't seen Irreversible yet, but Straw Dogs by today's standards is tame. As for scary movies, the first movie that scared the shit out of me, unfortunately, was Pulse. I was pretty young and it bugged me out, especially the shower scene where it burns the shit out of that lady. I watched it more recently and I now know in my older years that the movie sucks and isnt scary.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Without a doubt, Dawn of the Dead

    by Boris the Blade

    My fucked-up dad took me and my younger brother to see it in the theater. I was 9 and my brother was 4. Call the social worker. To this day, we both love and get the shit scared out of us by good zombie flicks. I remember us playing the first Resident Evil and nearly jumping out of our skin when a zombie we thought was dead bit our character on the leg. Nuts....

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:26 a.m. CST

    my first scare was...

    by billyhitchcock

    ...that bit in superman 3 where that woman gets covered in metal and turns in to a robot. couldn't watch it again for years. was it 3? i always get 2 and 3 mixed up!

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:13 a.m. CST

    The exorcist??? wtf? IT scared me...

    by TenDeuChen

    I just don't get it. How is anyone scared by The Exorcist (the first one) I saw it in the theaters when they re-released it a couple years ago, and my friends and I just laughed through the whole thing. I thought it was a pretty bad movie, actually. I will admit that I jumped at ONE thing in it, though. Guess...anyone wanna make a guess? That's right. When the movie gets all silent, and then OUT OF NOWHERE, a REALLY LOUD PHONE RINGS! That made me jump. What a horrible movie...well, I could imagine being scared of it if you're really religious, but seriously...why would you want to be that stupid? Anyway, the movie that DID scare me was the tv movie Stephen King's "IT" when I was 7 or scared me pretty bad. I didn't close my eyes in the shower for a month.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Either The Exorcist or Alien...

    by OgieOglethorpe

    (can't remember which I actually saw first) John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness" too.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:18 a.m. CST

    I know what you mean, Moriarty. I love Halloween!

    by Sod Off Baldric

    This year, my friends and I had our first Halloween Horrorthon (we're trying to turn it in to an annual tradition among the gang). Fifteen hours of horror films featuring apocalyptic imagery, all centered around John Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy. The lineup consisted of 28 Days Later, The Ring, Evil Dead II, The Thing, Prince of Darkness, In the Mouth of Madness, Ghostbusters, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Re-Animator, and The Exorcist. Good times, good times.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the name drop at the begining Mori...

    by Silver Shamrock

    but I'll never forgive your dissing of Dark Shadows.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:28 a.m. CST


    by unwell_arena

    I saw this for the first time when I was eleven, channel-surfing Encore. I couldn't sleep for days afterward. The main quartet of actors (Roddy McDowell, Pamela Franklin, Clive Revill, and Gayle Hunnicutt)keep their performances pitched so intense that you can almost see the reverberations through the dusty air of the old mansion. When Franklin (who also starred in my other favorite horror film, THE INNOCENTS) is attacked by a rabid black cat, you can feel every bloody scratch. The climax actually feels like a resolution, rather than a misfire like so many other films. I always thought this film was rather unappreciated, but when I saw the cat scene show up in Scary Movie 2...dreadful as the film was, it brought a satisfied smile to this geek's face.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:34 a.m. CST


    by Psyclops

    The Exorcist may not be considered scary by todays standards but you have to think about how powerful it was at the time of it's release. I had a similar experience with the original Psycho which I hadn't seen up until a few years ago. I really didn't find it all that scary but I could understand how original and terrifying it must have been when it was first released.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 12:03 p.m. CST

    It was a time travel movie....

    by righteousdude

    ...from the early 60's I believe. I vaguely remember them walking though a screen of some sort to do the actual time travel, and there were androids, and one of the androids met an untimely end by melting. Scared the shit out of me. Anyone know this movie?? I'd love to see it again and see if I've become braver over the years.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 12:29 p.m. CST

    The first film to scare me...

    by Wungolioth

    Well, actually it was just a commercial for a The Shining when it was in theaters, but whenever I saw it coming on I had to leave the room or hide behind something. The amusing thing was that when I eventually watched it I realized that it wasn't a scene with Jack Nicholson that scared me, it was a shot of Shelley Duvall walking up a set of stairs with a knife that creeped me out. I hate to admit it, but she just seemed so troll like, later I realized was a wild look of terror on her face that had really scared me.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 12:35 p.m. CST


    by Renata

    I had the same reaction when I watched IRREVERSIBLE: Where as STRAW DOGS was transcendent in its treatment of man's violent instinct, and beautifully showed how that urge can be released, even against the person's better rationalization, IRREVERSIBLE was just sensationalism. It wasn't memorable, it wasn't revealing. Anyone can crap on the screen and have film festival audience's up in arms and then spin it as "provocative". But without characters you care about (yes, even in STRAW DOGS, you "care" about those characters, you understand them), then everything else is just a geek show. Why cant' we stop calling these filmmakers who are better at showing things than storytelling auteurs? We're only feeding their ego and encouraging them to make crap like this.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 12:41 p.m. CST


    by Renata

    If you're looking for horror films from Japan's past, I recommend two films from the early 60s. They're both very meditative studies of the relationship between the real world and the supernatural, and, as such, aren't terribly explicit or conventionally thrilling, but really work on your nerves. KWAIDAN is a quartet of four ghost stories adapted by Kobayashi and they're each exquisite examples of sound, image, and mood working to create an experience out of the most minimalist of stories. Criterion has an excellent disc. ONIBABA is a film about two women who seduce then murder wandering samurais in order to steal and sell their armor. Both "lost" films that are highly recommended, esp. for those looking for something off the beaten track.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Under the Rainbow...sooo many little people

    by kmdonlan

    That is by far the scariest movie ever made. All them little folk running around, it's almost as bad as the flying monkies.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Zombie Ted Danson...

    by Some Dude

    ...from "Creepshow" scared the hell out of me at a third-grade sleepover. His voice, his blubbery skin and the purplish fluid leaking out of the bullet-wounds... Icky.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Satan's Triangle... 1975 TV movie...

    by waynesworld

    i've always, always, always been a fan of horror movies. the earliest i can remember was when the local UHF channel up near boston had a creature double feature on saturday at noon that featured all the old hammer films, the classic 50's sci-fi flicks (the incredible shrinking man, etc.) and all the japanese monster movies. When the exorcist phenomenon hit i was 8 or 9 years old and was obsessed. I didn't see the movie, but read every monster magazine around that had all the scary linda blair photos featured in it's pages. believe it or not, i also read the book which had no real impact on me that i could remember. so, bottom line: i'm a horror fan. so, how is it possible that the movie that scared me to death... and i slept with the lights on for months and months after this... was a semi-cheesy friday night tv movie that tried to capitalize on the satanic craze and the bermuda triangle thing? I have no idea.. but i'll tell you this much.. this relatively implausible movie starring kim novak, doug mcclure and alejandro rey as a mysterious priest who's rescued at sea.. the ending of this movie scared the everloving shit out of me. I won't give it away... although the odds that this gem still exists somewhere is probably zero.. but the unexpected twist stunned me so completely... scared me so badly... my suspension of disbelief was so strong that i was there on that boat with our hero when it all goes wrong.. that i literally was shaking when i went to bed that night. and i slept with the closet lights on after that for many many months. has anyone else seen this movie? did anyone have the same scare that i had? since then i'm still a fan of horror.. king, straub, barker, etc.. and romero, raimi, gordon, etc... but nothing to date has scared me as much as that moment....

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 1:30 p.m. CST


    by Mumbleboy

    And it only took the shower scene.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Fire In The Sky

    by zackarcher

    Only movie to ever give me nightmares...

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Quatermass and the Pit (5 Million Years to Earth)

    by Scorpio

    Ghosts, demons, martians and melting Julian Glover... BOOSCARY!!!

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Creature Double Feature

    by waynesworld

    wow.. thinking about this brought back all those memories. does anyone else from the boston area remember CDF? i found this on the internet... amazing! ain't the internet fun? reliving my misspent youth here this rainy sunday...

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Wizard of Oz

    by Fred

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 2:09 p.m. CST

    ...would have to be The Terminator

    by WildFiend

    Back in the day when I was 9 or 10 and Arnold and Jean Claude were the coolest action heroes in the world, I pestered my dad to get me The Terminator when I saw it on sale in a local record shop. To my surprise he accepted. I knew nothing about the film at this time, just Arnold with his shades on looking like a bad mother f*cker holding his 45 next to his head. When Arnold made his arrival and just ripped apart Bill Paxton's weedy little gang, I suddenly lost an awful lot of my childhood innosense. Having watched Raw Deal, Commando, Kickboxer etc and then watching this cold, ruthless thing so effortlessly be that sadistic shocked me to the bone. I had to watch the rest of the film in 5 minute stages as the adrenaline rush caused by the fear I was in was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. Excellent!

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 2:38 p.m. CST

    I agree that Reloaded seems much better on for scary ch

    by Gere's AssGerbil

    Concerning "Reloaded," maybe it's the fact that I can't see all the flaws in the CGI on my crappy TV. I kinda liked it in the theater but I've really been digging the hell out of the DVD. As for scary movies, I remember a haunted house TV-movie called "Burnt Offerings" starring a creepy Bette Davis. I think it was from the early 80's, so it was probably cheesy as hell, but there was this final scene where the family has finally come to there senses and is fleeing the house. Scary stuff, as I recall. Another one that was not scary so much as disturbing was an early James Caan film from the late 60's I think called "Lady in the Cage." Big bully Caan and his psycho cronies are terrorizing a disabled Olivia deHavilland in an effort to get her cash, I think. Anyway, at the end of the movie, out of nowhere, the crippled lady stabs out Caan's eyes with her hair pins. His nutty buddies then laugh at him and taunt him while he shambles out into the street to get his skull flattened by a car. I caught the ass-end of this one on AMC not too long ago, and it's still kinda freaky. Definitely worth checking out if you want to see a YOUNG James Caan.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Straw Dogs

    by LuckyYoga

    Johnny Suede, That review for "Radio" was some funny fuckin shit. I just recently saw Straw Dogs and it wasnt all that great. I have no idea why there is so much fuss over this overrated film. I thought Irreversible on the other hand was fantastic and I totally cared about what happened to the characters even if they were flawed individuals (arent we all). In Straw Dogs I hated both Dustin Hoffman's character and his brain-dead blond wife and I secretly wished for the men to kill these two idiots off so the movie would finally come to an end. I loved the Wild Bunch but Straw Dogs was crap.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Creepiest Flick for me was.....

    by SammyLoomis

    a little known picture entitled "Let's Scare Jessica To Death." There is a scene in that picture where a zombie woman slowly emerges from a lake that has haunted me to this day. It's one of those fucked up films where you don't know if it's real or if it's all in the head of the main character.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by cheezman20

    That movie has scarred me for life. I hate clowns.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:08 p.m. CST

    three cheers for Moriarty

    by Anomaly

    for reiterating the brilliance that is Reloaded. As far as movies that scared me at an early age, Psycho, the first few Friday the 13th's and some low budget alien movie called Strange Invaders that has this unforgettable scene where someone is standing over a sink ripping off pieces of flesh from their face.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST


    by Joker67

    6 or 7 saw it with my 11 old sister. When ever the shark music would come up, I booked it to the concession stand. I finally saw the full movie when I was in my early thirties. We lived on the coast at the time and I would not go near the ocean.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Alien is one hell of a good scare

    by Mr Flugelman

    ...and perhaps my first good one. Wait...I think I just dated myself.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 3:21 p.m. CST

    the haunting

    by mag7man

    The first and one of only two movies to scare me was the original 'The Haunting'. Robert Wise managed to scare the hell out of me without gore or special effects. He just used an eerie atmosphere, effective sound and good acting. Pounding on doors and Julie Harris's realization that a ghost had been holding her hand still sends goosebumps up and down my spine.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Salem's Lot

    by jesspeacock

    I know it technically is a mini-series, but Tobe Hooper's take on Stephen King's vampire novel Salem's Lot had some of the scariest scenes I've ever seen. Is the movie bloated? Yes. Positively snale-like pacing in certain areas? Absolutely! But you can't tell me that scenes such as Ralphie Glick visiting his older brother Danny in the hospital, or Danny visiting Mark Petrie are not truly horrifying. As a little boy I had nightmares for weeks. Or the suspense that is built up as the graveyard caretaker buries Danny... Masterful. While the screen adaptation was less than faithful (which astounds me because I truly believe a faithful adaption would be a horrific/thrilling rollercoaster ride, maybe TNT will stick closer with their version), I believe that Hooper mined a true vein of horror that still works effectively today.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Jacob's Ladder

    by symphy

    ...was the first movie to truly scare me out of my mind, and bother me weeks later.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:50 p.m. CST


    by magyarman

    sweet mother of god.....

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Which one is the not-hot one?

    by magyarman

    I'm assuming he means Drew Barrymore.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 4:58 p.m. CST

    The Changeling

    by FrankCobretti

    That little red ball ... holy shit.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Night of the Living Dead

    by Arch_Stanton

    As a thirteen or fourteen year old (68 or 69), I thought Romero gave it a feeling of reality I had never experienced before, and have only rarely experienced since.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 6:43 p.m. CST

    The Howling

    by Plisskin76

    Had nightmares every night for about a month or more...

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Really like this column

    by DukeDeMondo

    Have to disagree on the "Straw dogs being more unsettling than Irreversible" thing, though. I have never endured a sequence as powerfully nauseating as the fire extinguisher sequence, nor as distressing as the rape scene. Still, first thing to absoloutely scare me shitless was BBC1's production of Ghostwatch, which they screened on Halloween night in 1990 or 91. I cried with fear, and i've never forgotten the shot where the camera pans around the room and we see Pipes standing at the window for a split second. Jesus, that terrified me. Thankfully, its been brought out on DVD by BFI, and it's probably the favourite disc in my collection. The commentary is terminally dry, though. Following quickly after that was another short-filler, the infamous "ghost" scene in 3 men and a baby. I had heard about it many times, but when i finally noticed it myself (i was about 11) again, i cried with fear. Those two are the only two to have produced tears. oh no, wait, there was another, perhaps even earlier, tear grabber, which was the first scene in Dreamscape, where the woman runs from some massive fire or other. Since then, films have had tiny scary moments, but as a whole, tend to dissapoint. i.e, the sixth sense. However, recently i saw something which goes up there with Ghostwatch as truly terrifying. It was the origional japanese TV movie of Juon. That was truly horrifying. the movie was good too, but didnt scare me like the tv movie did. maybe cause i had saw all the scary bits in the trailer. ah well. Also, The Eye, the scene in the hospital corridor with the old woman, truly piss-yourself scary. And the photo devolping in the omen. Oh yeah.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 7:53 p.m. CST

    'Straw Dogs' is more disturbing than 'Irreversible'...

    by crimsonrage

    ...The only thing disturbing in 'Irreversible' was the shots of dudes jerking it. The head-crushing was obviously CGI, and the rape was monotonous. It was pure shock and therefore not disturbing. 'Straw Dogs' is disturbing because it gets inside of the characters and offers up real moral ambiguity. Yeah, it doesn't have cgi heads being crushed in, or unrelentless 10 minute rape scenes, but it doesn't need them. Putting real three-dimensional characters in vile, hard-hitting situations that question their moral integrity will always be more disturbing than artificial (albiet well-constructed) shock.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:02 p.m. CST


    by AlwaysThere

    Reloaded fanboys must have gone to each store and bought 3 everywhere

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:27 p.m. CST

    That movie with the kids with the black fingernails?

    by OompathiC

    All I remember were these kids with black fingernails and whoever they grabbed would like shrivel up and die...WTF was that movie?

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:31 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Good call! The Changeling terrified me to no end. The red ball and the sudden appearance of the kid's wheelchair at the top of the stairs.... Jeebus!!!

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:31 p.m. CST

    The Fly is another one that creeped the hell out of me.

    by Psyclops

    The remake of The Fly scared me shitless when I was a kid. The scene where Jeff Goldblum scratches at his ear and it falls off freaked me out in ways I can't even describe. Also, that quick peek into his medicine cabinet is very disturbing. Man, I love this talkback.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:36 p.m. CST

    when i was 11...

    by UncleScrewtape

    i saw vincent price in House of Wax. it was my very first horror movie. and for what ever reason it scared the piss out of me. its seems tame now but i was freakingout. my mom would agree with Legend of Hell House though, she still cant sit through that movie...

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Scary scene

    by DocPazuzu

    This one messed me up completely when I was a kid. That scene in the 1979 Frank Langella Dracula when Van Helsing goes looking for his vampiric daughter in the mines under the town. He drops his crucifix in a puddle, and sees a pale reflection in it. He looks up and the camera catches the shuffling feet of his daughter. The camera then slowly travels upward and we finally get to see her face, deathly pale and with red, burning eyes and cobwebs in her hair. "Come to me, daddy..." Brrrrrr!!!!

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Return to Oz scared the shit out of me!!

    by Marek

    I still can't watch it to this day. That movie is fucking wierd.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Mystery Of The Batwoman

    by mbaker

    After watching this movie, i would like to throw in my two cents. The story was alright, but the animation was the absolute worst that i have ever seen from Warner Bros. Had the gotten TMS back to do the animation for them, it probably would've looked much better. As much as i like Alan Burnette, he can't do a good project without Dini, and Timm backing him up. They are the heart, and soul of the Batman series, and without their input, things just fall flat. Timm's busy schedule with "Justice League" could explain why "Batwoman" isn't up to snuff. I hate to say this, but Batman has officially jumped the shark with this movie.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:48 p.m. CST

    scariest movies ever

    by allanon1985

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Those Horrific Days....

    by JockLuck

    First motion picture to scare me: the most unsettling episode of Unsolved Mysteries, which i saw as a youngster. Primarily the one about the possesed bunk-bed, if anyone recalls that (the family eventually burnt that thing to ashes, and i'm thankful to them, haha). Other early scares include "Tell 'em Large Marge sent ya" from Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Nightmare on Elm Street 2 for some reason i can't recall, The Gate (i still like this movie, though the scares are gone), and the Howling 4, i believe. No more horror movies did i watch until I was older, but now i've watched tons: the scariest include AUDITION, ROSEMARY'S BABY, and nothing really else (the Ring didn't do it for me, among many others). Some other quality shit i've found though (not so scary): BLOOD MOON (the wolf girl one), THE FOG (just saw that one this year), SUSPIRIA (though the other argento i've seen, Inferno, i didn't care for at all), THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (if only for the involvement by the late, great, great Angela Carter -- a fantastic writer of the 20th century), DEAD ALIVE, BRAIN DAMAGE (what the heck is frank hennenlotter doing now???), etcetera. PS: didn't like The EYE, but i agree w/ the above: the getouttamychair ghost was freaky. also, i wanted to like 28 days later, but hated it: the overused camera wobbles abolished any damn enjoyment which i so wanted to have.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Why, it

    by slade justice

    dear god what a statement

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 8:51 p.m. CST

    scariest movies ever

    by allanon1985

    Top 5 scariest movies ever 1. The Shining (1980) 2. Event Horizon 3. House on Haunted Hill 4. The Haunting (1963) 5a. The Blair Witch Project 5b. The Legend of Hell House Scariest movies of all time in my opinion, feedback welcomed:)

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Just thought of another one...

    by DocPazuzu

    The Forgotten One. It starred Terry O'Quinn as a writer who moves into a big house all by himself. Little does he know, a ghost lives in his basement. Although the movie self-destructs about halfway through, the first 30-40 minutes or so are supremely creepy with some of the scariest ghost scenes I've ever seen.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:53 p.m. CST

    First film to scare me was......

    by deadboy1313

    actually, it wasn't a film. It was an old commercial, something about a witch having to do with bitter coffee. I hid everytime that commercial came on back in the '60's. The first actual film to scare me was the original Tales From the Crypt (British) wherein Santa Clause was an escaped homicidal maniac. The film that I refuse to see because it would just be wayyyyyyy too frightening is that beach movie from last year with the two kids from American Idol who no one can remember already. Kelly and Justin or something. The fact that they even got a movie deal frightens me.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 9:55 p.m. CST

    I snuck into The Shining in 1980 and have never been the same

    by Lance Rock

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Trilogy of Terror

    by AI Joe

    Zuni Hunter Fetish Doll...Karen Black...He Who Kills/Prey...Richard Matheson...filled my diaper.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah...FEMBOTS

    by AI Joe

    Not from Austin Powers, kiddies - from the Bionic Woman. Freaked me out. In slow motion too. Ick. I bought Trilogy of Terror to get over my fear of the Zuni doll. Still can't find the Bionic Woman episode on tape or DVD. I saw it on the Sci-Fi channel a few years ago. It caught me off-guard and I screamed like a Japanese school girl and threw the remote at the TV.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:36 p.m. CST

    The Innocents

    by unwell_arena

    Sorry, I just have to give a shout-out to THE INNOCENTS. It may not the be the scariest horror movie out there (although its still plenty disturbing)...but it is one of the best. Where's the widescreen DVD, FOX?

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:43 p.m. CST


    by Jaymin Pepper

    I was a young blossoming movie fanatic, and that was the first time I came to realize that a movie could be bad. I was never the same after Hawmps.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:45 p.m. CST

    It hasn't held up well...

    by Uga

    But the first movie to really scare the shit out of me was "Children of the Corn." I was about seven the first time I saw it (on HBO), and ... damn. As far as slasher-type flicks go, I remember being completely freaked out by "Witchboard."

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 10:52 p.m. CST

    When the Jack Nicholson air conditioner started screaming and bl

    by user id indeed!

    And then when Kirby ate his cord And he becomes a schizophrenic vacuum maniac. And then he comes to, and they all try to cross the waterfall, and all of them fall but Kirby, and he's just standing there all by himself... yeah. Oh, and then they all slowly get sucked into quicksand. And all the cars are singing their life stories as they're smashed into tiny cubes. Come to think of it, FUCK YOU "BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER," you've decimated my fragile soul.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:18 p.m. CST

    What do y'all think of HALLOWEEN III SEASON OF THE WITCH? It's

    by NotchJohnson

    Hi gang, Notch here. What do you all think about "Halloween III: Season of the Witch"? OK, let's go beyond the standard "NOTHING TO DO WITH MICHAEL MYERS" response. Does the film work? I have the entire Halloween series, and it includes this one. The film was OK, and that song "eight more days to Halloween...Halloween....Silver Shamrock!" sticks in my head whenever I think of the film. What's amazing in watching this film is how film effects have evolved. Even many low-budget effects today have a clean, slick look, but if you see "Halloween III," some effects are just plain Ed Wood-ish. What do you all think? Thanks, Notch.

  • Oct. 26, 2003, 11:54 p.m. CST

    I couldn't agree more about Reloaded...

    by HavokJD

    ...after buying the DVD and giving it a second viewing, I like the movie much more. I think I see now more of the direction that the Wachowskis are going in and I hope Revolutions proves me right. Definitely a film that grows on you.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 12:37 a.m. CST

    The Exorcist!

    by MisterE

    I saw The Exorcist when I was 6 or 7 years old at the drive-in with my (older) brother and sisters. That, almost literally, scared both the crap and piss out of me.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 12:58 a.m. CST

    What was the first film to really scare the hell out of you?

    by devanjedi

    Alien - without a doubt!

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Jaws, age 10, Exorcist age 14

    by JAGUART

    The Wicky Witch and Flying Monkeys? The first film was Wizard of Oz. The thing that scared me the most as a child was a news photo of the face of a mysterious weeping Madonna Statue. I couldn't get that macabre, disturbing image out of my head for six months. Just thinking about it now scares the shit out of me. Why do Christians have to make their imagery so creepy and sinister?

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Wanna see something really scary?

    by JAGUART

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Goddamn, Jaguart, that Darryl Hannah photo is some scary shit.

    by Cash Bailey

    If it wasn't for the picture of the lovely Chiaki Kuriyama next to it I would have fled from the room, screaming like a bitch.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 3:20 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    What are you, kidding? Just reading your damn post got the Silver Shamrock jingle stuck in my head -- AGAIN. Most heinously catchy tune ever. As for the film, I actually have a really soft spot for Halloween III. There's something thoroughly nasty about it -- and I don't mean Tom Atkins' 1982 slacks. The way the film unflinchingly allows hideous, graphic harm come to a child and the entire child mass murder plot is just fucked up. They don't make 'em like this anymore -- in more ways than one. On a similarly twisted note, Dead & Buried gave me the same vibes H3 did. The ending of that one fried my brain when I was a kid.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 3:23 a.m. CST

    mys scariest movie would have to be MEGAFORCE, Mo

    by ol' painless

    Barry Bostwick?!?!? Yu can keep Jason and Freddie, this cat was the most frightening thing on screen I have ever seen . . . and I've seen at least one Pauly Shore film . . . By the way, glad you loved The Office, and without giving anything away, the second season is a hummmmm-dinger. Make sure you write a review and tell us what you think off it when you see it on tv/dvd!

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 3:32 a.m. CST

    The Matrix in general and the first flick I was ever scared of?

    by Mr. High

    "Hellraiser" no fucking doubt. That movie scared the living shit out of me and got me off the goth just in time for high school. I used to love all that shit and still do, kind of, but I no longer have the gleeful desire to screw with things best left alone. Why? Because, the only reason the cenobites come for your sorry ass is if you're such a miserable, horrible fuck that you need to literally go to hell to carry your interests further. Mainly the hooks, I got a fishing hook rammed through my eyebrow when I was a kid and that particular image really bothered the hell out of me. That's why all of the new "Hellraiser" flicks chug cock. Pinhead isn't there to take over the world, it's the farthest thing from his mind. He understands his place and it's another cog in the enternal engine. He's there to remind you that no matter how bad you may think you are, there's always something worse. He's a moral stop light. He's there for the people that either through stupidity, carelessness or just plain sickness have to look elsewhere for their answers. He's not a horror movie villain at all. He's so incredibly far away from 'horror movie villain' "Hellraiser" shouldn't even be considered a horror movie. I'm not exactly sure what I'm saying here. I had a point, but it's......yup it's gone. Another movie, for one scene alone was "Dead and Buried", the needle in the eye scene used to really get me, because I used to think there was nothing worse than going blind. (There is, it's called cancer, you stupid, chain-smoking fuckwits. I can't wait until you're all dead.) On a side note, I had no problem with "Matrix Reloaded". I thought it was a phenomenal film and there's also something that I'd like to remind everyone who felt a little disappointed by the film, it's contents and it's ending. IT'S ONLY HALF A FUCKING MOVIE, MORONS!!!!!!!! I didn't hear this kind of bitching after "The Two Towers" which was far and away a much worse film than "Matrix Reloaded". How can I say that? Because "Matrix Reloaded" didn't fucking mutilate a book I've loved since I was nine. Yeah, it'll probably all work out for the best in December, but last year I was pissed. This is not to say I'm a bigger fan of either one, I like them both enough to buy and that's the real test of any film. I didn't find the "Reloaded" pompus, long-winded, convuluted or anything else you'll throw out. I love every minute of it. I can also say that whatever I was expecting, "Reloaded" wasn't it. It was a little smarter than any sequel I could've imagined and I hope the ending surprises me too. Also, Moriarty. Reviewing "Charlie's Angels 2" is like reviewing a Girls Gone Wild video. It can fucking not be done. The flick wasn't made to be a film anyway. I suggest watching it again with the sound off before you spend the time to write a bad review. I'm not saying it's good, I'm saying if you really want to write a review of this particular piece of soft porn, you're missing the point.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Helter Skelter

    by NailedSaviour

    I don't know how old I was, very young. It was released 4 yrs after my spawning so I probably wasn't very old at all. I have only seen it the once and don't really remember too much of it, but I distinctly recall the guy who played Manson scaring the living shit out of me. I think of it now, where the hell were my parents? Didn't they care about my impressionable young mind?

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 5:12 a.m. CST

    I take it all back.

    by DocPazuzu

    The scariest thing I've ever seen is that freaky-ass Harry-o-Lantern animation.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 5:22 a.m. CST

    The Exorcist

    by Darlef

    It shouldn

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 7:42 a.m. CST

    The movie that creeped me out the most was...

    by Kem

    Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things...when that Norm-zombie shuffled across the room...the POV gave me the screaming heebie-jeebies!!!!

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Hey TenDeuChen!

    by Bad Guy

    So "THE EXORCIST" didn't scare you when you and a buddy saw it a couple of years ago in a theater, but Stephen King's "IT" did? Well horray for you. I'll assume that you're in your late teens or early twenties? Dude, most of us who are totally freaked out by "THE EXORCIST" saw it for the first time when we were freakin' kids and I even mentioned that in my first post. How about putting things into context before insulting people's choices on what does or doesn't scare them? Personally, I didn't find "IT" very scary, but I can see how it could scare the hell out of a little kid, as you were the first time "you" saw it.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Gorrillas on Motercycles from the Wiz

    by MaoMao

    Holy shit that scared the fuck outta me.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Those Toothy Dolls from Barbarella

    by AI Joe

    Maybe I have something against supernaturally animated dolls with a taste for human flesh. On another note - My mother took me to Barbarella (I guess it was a re-release, it was in the late 70's). Boy was she embarrassed. She thought the movie would just be a sci-fi movie, and based on her admiration of Fonda for her political work (i.e. Vietnam) though it'd be a good movie for her 8 year old child. Thank you mom for demon dolls, blind angels, the orgasm organ, and naked chicks in space.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Those Toothy Dolls from Barbarella

    by AI Joe

    Maybe I have something against supernaturally animated dolls with a taste for human flesh. On another note - My mother took me to Barbarella (I guess it was a re-release, it was in the late 70's). Boy was she embarrassed. She thought the movie would just be a sci-fi movie, and based on her admiration of Fonda for her political work (i.e. Vietnam) thought it'd be a good movie for her 8 year old child. Thank you mom for demon dolls, blind angels, the orgasm organ, and naked chicks in space.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 1:36 p.m. CST my childhood...................ET

    by drjones

    since having watched ET(obviously at a too young age) i always thought there would be ET

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 3:06 p.m. CST

    The one that got me...

    by mbeemer

    ... was the original "The Fly". ...That high-pitched voice, pleading for it's life, "Please don't let the spider kill me! PLEEAASEE!!!!". Creeped me right out. Hadda go bike-riding to try and get it out of my head. <shudder>

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 5:13 p.m. CST


    by Roguewriter

    I was nine years old, and already sneaking downstairs at midnight on Friday and Saturday nights to catch PROJECT TERROR, a horror/sci-fi anthology series that aired in Texas in the late 1970s (there was no Elvira or Chilly Billy-type host; just a disembodied voice introducing each feature, a la THE OUTER LIMITS). I got so freaked out by this film -- first when Ken Tobey and Co. open the door and there stands the monster large as life, almost immediately swinging one slablike arm in attack, and then again almost immediately when Dr. Carrington and his scientists pop the lock on the freezer and the dead dog rolls out -- that I snuck upstairs and begged my mother to come sleep on the couch while I watched the rest. (That kinda started a trend; my old man hates and dismisses horror and sci-fi, but over the years, my mother developed a sort of reluctant enjoyment from the genres thanks to those early nights keeping me company on the couch!) OK, someone riddle me this, though -- maybe it was the power of suggestion, but all these years later, I believe I still vividly recall a scene in that picture in which we SEE the dead scientists hanging from the ceiling in the greenhouse, their throats slit by the monster to drain the blood to feed its new offspring. Was it just something that grew in my adolescent mind because of the powerful dialogue, the character later telling the others about seeing that awful sight? Or has that sequence simply fallen out of the picture over the years, perhaps cut because it was too violent for most channels? I love the film, and have never felt wholly satisfied since in the versions I've seen on video or late-night television. It's weird how movies get whittled down over the years. But for me, THE THING will always be the watershed moment. Scared the living shit outa me... AND I LIKED IT. ;)

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Matrix Reloaded

    by DocPazuzu

    As for Matrix Reloaded, I was -- how shall I put it delicately -- less than thrilled by it when I saw it on the big screen. While not outright hating it like so many seemed to, I just felt it was unwieldly, pretentious and cold. However, having since then acquired and watched the DVD, I've actually grown to like it quite a bit. All of a sudden I'm excited about Revolutions again.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 5:22 p.m. CST


    by Ninja Nerd

    Two things: 1st scare at the movies? That honor goes to Saruman. Christopher Lee in "Dracula, Prince of Darkness" was awesome. Saw it at the drive-in, first run. I'm REAL old, okay? 2nd scare? The fact that ANYONE, including Drew, finds the Matrix films worthy of ANYTHING positive. You know, I could probably give Harry or any other AICNer a run for their money in terms of film and the love of the cinema. I bought the DVDs of Robin Hood and Yankee Doodle Dandy just last week, along with the 1st Thin Man DVD. Drew, why didn't you mention that series? It's only the model for every man/wife detective treatment since! Geez...that's worth a line at least. BUT, in the same article with unquestionable classics, you gush about the "brain candy" in the Matrix films. Hell, the story and implications of "The Day The Earth Stood Still" or the original, uncut "The Thing" were far more profound than "The Green Screen of Too Much Crack Pipe" movies. Oh well...dead horse, I suspect. It just seems like a case of the Emperor's New Clothes with Matrix one wants to admit they waited on pins and needles for absolute crap.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Chucky's Back!

    by Shakes

    How could no one mention Child's Play. Actually, I didn't see any commercial's for Child's Play, but by the time part 2 came out, I was old enought to stay up through prime time, and I remember vividly watching an episode of Roseanne, it went to commerical, and then there was Chucky, in his horrible glory. Truly traumatized me for life, it led to years of sleeping with the closet door closed, sleeping with my head under the blanket, night lights, asking my mom to stay and tuck me in a few minutes longer, and never sleeping with my back to the bedroom door. To this day I have still not watched any of those movies.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Vampire Circus

    by riskebiz

    When the two vampires lure the 2 young boys into the Hall of Mirrors and bite their necks thru the looking glass ... that was my first real big fright. Though Phantasm was the first real big creep.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 10:47 p.m. CST

    righteous dude's movie is...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ..._The Time Travellers", a 1964 AIP movie. It has the androids, the screen, I'm sure it's the one.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

    by mrbagwell

    Scared the poopers our of my eight-year old ass.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Tom Sawyer scared the shit out of me

    by HardcoreRocker

    I was in 2nd grade, and we had to watch Tom Sawyer. And when Tom and Becky were in the caves, and they're walking, and then Injun Joe pops outta nowhere!! I had to be taken out of the room. A cute girl held my hand on the way to the office. Ever since then, I've loved horror movies. Or girls. Yeah, girls more. A lot more.

  • Oct. 27, 2003, 11:28 p.m. CST

    First movie that terrified me

    by Grimlok_Pesci

    First movie that seriously scared the shit out of me was Something Wicked This Way Comes. A midget clown with a Tuba? That some freaky shit.

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 9:17 a.m. CST

    The first film to really scare me

    by RobbieD

    The first film to truly scare the pants off of me was The Thing. I was 12. A buddy was staying over. We found a tape that said Beverly Hills Cops 2 on it and wanted to watch it (i was 12) and lo and behold, it was The Thing. I had nightmares for months!!!!

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 9:31 a.m. CST


    by Buio Omega

    first flick that scared the shit outta me was Cronenberg's Rabid. My old man would often rent Star Wars for me on his way home from work, only this one time the foolish video store clerk gave him Rabid by mistake. I had quite the shock I can tell ya. Oh yea, I went to see The Matrix Reloaded on my wedding day with my best man and two brothers in an effort to kill time. Suffice to say I enjoyed it a helluva lot more on dvd.

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Jonathan Pryce

    by BigSugar

    The first flick to get me by the short and curies was "Something Wicked This Way Comes." To this day, the scene when Pryce is looking for the kids and runs into Will's father is just beyond terrifying to me (the boys' faces tattooed on the palm of his hands, Will's father lying and pissing Dark off, so much so that he closes his hands and his fisit begin to bleed, all the while the kids are hiding in the drain RIGHT BELOW DARK!). That flick got to me partly because of the shitty little fair that was always the highlight of October when I was a kid. By the by, is there any one out there who thinks highly of the the third "Friday the 13th" film?

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by Benedicto

    I saw that movie on tv when I was nine and it scared the living shit out of me. The ending in particular. On another note anybody who doesn't like Short Round needs to beaten severely with a hammer.

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 1:48 p.m. CST

    'The Nanny' with Bette Davis

    by Trachten

    The 1958 version of 'The Blob' a close second. Both seen at way too young of an age.

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 9:03 p.m. CST

    My first 'scary' film wasn't a horror flick.

    by Rick Sparks

    It was "THE TOWERING INFERNO!" Bless Irwin Allen, it's because of him that I freak out whenever my girlfriend does laundry. "DON'T LET THOSE TOWELS GET TOO CLOSE TO THE LIGHT SOCKET! WE'RE GONNA DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" I was six when I saw it, gimme a break. My first REAL "scary" movie? "THE BLOB" (rainy Saturday afternoon on TV, I was ten). Didn't eat jelly for a month.

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte

    by ThisGuy

    9 years old, taken to see it at the local drive-in by my parents. First time I ever saw a guy (Bruce Dern!) get his hands and head chopped off in a movie, and made an big impression on me... for several nights afterwards.

  • Oct. 28, 2003, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Top Three

    by DyslexicHeart

    My top three scariest "horror" movies from childhood: "Night of the Living Dead"(also the first to scare the hell out of me), "Friday the 13th, Part 3"(The cabin and barn in that movie looked way too much like my childhood home), "The Gate"(the heydey of playing metal records backwards looking for satanic messages). Honorable Mention: "Troll", "Puppet Master" and "Leperchaun"(I'm not fond of evil creatures with diminutive size).

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Ahh yes. Friday the 13th Part 3-D!

    by Gere's AssGerbil

    I can still remember ducking to avoid the eyeballs shooting at me when Jason crushed Rick's skull with his bare hands. This was the first Jason movie I ever saw, and it scared the crap out of me as a nine-year-old. A lot of people say this one was crap and that without the 3-D gimmick it's garbage. I disagree. While it's certainly no masterpiece, I think it's one of the best in the series, certainly better than everything that came after it during the 80's.

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Oz...for sure

    by karloff31

    Fred, you were right on when you chose "The Wizard of Oz". Picture it- age 7 yrs.old in 1964. My Dad was in the electronics business and we were the first family on the block to have a color TV. Think about it. What other movie at that time featured as many bizarre and terrifying images? Sure, you had the wicked witch and the flying monkeys..but even the munchkins scared me. When I think back, I realize that almost every scene - from the opening credits right up to the "happy ending" was frightening on some level.

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 1:01 a.m. CST

    First Scares....

    by Ratzo

    Great column Mori, and a terrific subject for this Halloween. I had a couple of great first scares

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 1:19 a.m. CST

    My first scare

    by Moonwatcher

    I think it was a vintage '50's werewolf movie I saw on afternoon TV when I was about 9 or 10. You know the scene - the one where the guy stares straight at the camera and gradually grows long teeth and a really severe 5 o'clock shadow. But before that, I can remember seeing ads for Boris Karloff's old series Thriller - not the show, just the ads, and those kept me awake at night. Worst scares since then? How about Tippi Hedren walking up the stairs in The Birds; Julie Harris' hand being squeezed in The Haunting (and finding Lois Maxwell - the future Miss Moneypenny - at the top of the spiral staircase in the same film; greatest shock ever filmed); the overall creepiness of Night of the Living Dead; and, the first time I saw Alien, I took my glasses off just after John Hurt got plastered by the critter and I kept them off for the rest of the movie - had to go back a week later just to make sure that it was Sigourney Weaver who had survived at the end. Oh - of course, the Exorcist. What a jolt that was, kids.

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 1:34 a.m. CST

    First movie and other assorted scary moments

    by skitch

    I think the first film that really creeped me out was Phantasm seeing as I was only about 10 and watched it really late at night...however, some other scary moments that made my skin crawl: the kids coming after the mom in The Brood, the vampire kid scratching on the window in Salem's Lot, the scene in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer when the two are killing the family and taping it, the scene in Kubrick's The Shining where Danny turns the corner and sees the twins, and Don Johnson's video for Heartbeat...BUT I really do have to give credit to the person mentioning The Children...there's only one other person I know who knew what the hell I was talking about when I brought that movie up but yes, it does deserve to be released on DVD as one of the MGM midnight movie collections!

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Solve this one if you can:

    by DocPazuzu

    I remember a film that I watched on TV one night when I was but a wee one in the 70's. Again, it was with an un-PC hippie college chick babysitter. There's not much I remember about the actual plot, but I do remember certain scenes that are burned into my memory -- that, and the sheer terror that strangled my brain at the time. In the beginning of the film, two kids are playing on a beach, a boy and a girl. They etch a heart and their initials on the shell of a small sea turtle in the sand. The girl, I seem to recall, was some sort of inhuman creature from the sea. Later in the film (when she's an adult) she's standing on the deck of a boat at night and her eyes are glowing. At the end of the film (under poorly recalled circumstances), a guy gets lashed, Ahab-style, to some sort of giant, whale-sized sea monster and is dragged to his death. The last shot of the film is underwater, where you see the guy being towed like a tiny ragdoll behind a gigantic sea turtle. The camera closes in to reveal the etched heart and initials on the thing's shell, now many times larger! Over the years I've wondered if this film really existed or if it was some weird-ass dream, since nobody else I knew ever remembers anything like it. And despite scouring Michael Weldon's Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film (among many other tomes), I have yet to discover any info on this thing. Eventually, I began to jokingly think that maybe my babysitter had slipped pot in my brownies that night. I did, finally, meet someone who remembered the film only a couple of years ago, but she could (spookily enough) only recall the details that I already was familiar with. Anybody know what the hell this movie is? I'm sure it will seem like total shit if I finally get to see it again, but I really have to. Any info would be enormously appreciated.

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 4:19 a.m. CST

    The Young Sherlock Holmes

    by willscarlet

    The hallucination sequence in that motherfucker gave me nightmares for weeks.

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 9:17 a.m. CST

    My first scary film was....

    by goatboy500

    The Burning - some friday the 13th rip off about a janitor at a holiday camp whose accidentally burned during a prank played on him by some kids. It's shit but i seen it when i was six, and it has moments which still send chills up my spine....not least the sight of Jason Alexander with hair. Playing an 18 year old. Fucking hell!!!

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Some more memories

    by Moonwatcher

    OK, who else remembers the ending to Island of Lost Souls - the original version of Dr. Moreau - with Charles Laughton being dismembered by his human/animal experiments in the House of Pain? Or how about that final shot in Vincent Price's version of Pit and the Pendulum - the camera focusing on Barbare Steele's eyes as she is doomed to spend the rest of her life deep within the bowels of the torture chamber, locked away in the Iron Maiden? And yes, I still get chills just thinking of the ending to the original version of The Fly - HELP MEEEEE!!!!!

  • Oct. 29, 2003, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Scary Movie...

    by diverdan

    Back in the mid 60s I remember being terrified by watching The Innocents and Night of the Hunter on TV. I still can't sing Leaning on the Everlasting Arms in church without thinking about Robert Mitchum singing that song in the movie! Still creeps me out!

  • Oct. 30, 2003, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Scariest movie I've seen (so far) and my thoughts on the first v

    by tango fett

    The scariest movie I've seen so far is Alien. It isn't really jump out of your seat kind of scary, the claustrophobic settings and the way it's filmed, almost like a documentary, really makes it feel kinda real. First time I watched it (last year), I was constantly waking up, looking at the ceiling, hoping an Alien wouldn't be there (I was 12 so you could imagine I'm still easily scared). Oh yeah, and I just saw Matrix Reloaded for the first time 2 Fridays ago. The movie certainly grows on you. The first time, I didn't like it as much as (The Matrix). But I have totally changed my mind and see Reloaded as the better movie. If they would just edit out the rave scene (Which wasen't as bad or as long as most people made it out to be, but it was still annoying), then the movie just might be absolutely perfect. Can't wait till Revolutions (or ROTK for that matter). For those wondering about my name, I'm obsessed with the Matrix Trilogy. Hence the name spoon boy. Cheers.