Monday, October 31, 2011

My Top 10 Scream Queens

This is a list of my Top 10 Scream Queens after some thought i finally narrowed it down to these 10 women. their not all from one time period but most are from back when being a scream queen actually Meaningful something unlike today even though a few from present day actually makes this list....

10.Mary Elizabeth Winstead( Black Christmas,Death Proof, Final Destination 3, The Thing)

With only five horror movies to her credit she has become one of my favorites of the modern Scream Queens because her characters are kinda similar to that of Jamie Lee Curtis characters from the late 70s/80s weather she's being stalked by psycho killers in Black Christmas or a Maniac Stuntman in Death Proof, trying to cheat death in Final Destination 3, or find out who is the thing in her most recent horror film The Thing, she always in my opinion brings a girl next door charm that you can't help but be attracted too.

9. P.J. Soles(Carrie,Halloween,)

She came on the scene in the late 70s as the baseball cap wearing Norma in Brian De Palma's  Carrie and as Lynda in John Carpenter's Halloween were she showed a lot of her self in one scene( you all know the scene). after those two big memorable  roles she continued on with a lot of roles during the 80s showing up in Stripes along Bill Murray and Rock n Roll High School and most recently she had a small but memorable scene in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects.

8.Janet Leigh(Psycho,The Fog,Halloween H20)

Before "Scream Queen" was actually a real big term for the horror genre, Janet Leigh was a Scream Queen starring in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho as Marion Crane with one of the most famous scene's in horror where her character is killed in the shower she became an icon, not strictly a horror actress she did become very memorable among horror fans, John Carpenter was a fan so he cast her along side her daughter and fellow Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis in his ghost story The Fog and years later the mother/daughter duo would share the screen again in another horror movie Halloween H20.

7.Heather Langenkamp (A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 1, 3, Wes Craven's New Nightmare)

In My Opinion Heather Langenkamp in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies was the 80s version of Jamie Lee Curtis's Laurie Strode in Halloween, both were smart girls who didn't mind fighting back against the killers, where Heather's Nancy Thompson differed from Jamie's Lee's Laurie was that she took the fight to Freddy Krueger which is why she makes this list. don't let the middle class sweet girl look fool bad  she didn't really do to many more horror movies after Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors, she did pop up in another Wes Craven Horror in the 80s (Shocker) but it was a blink and you'll miss her role(she's the victim that gets carried out the house in one scene) Wes Craven did manage to get her to come back one final time to play Nancy Thompson in New Nightmare.

Maybe she'll come back in another Wes Craven film one day. Scream 5? maybe. i don't know it would be nice to see her on the big screen or just in another horror type of movie again.

6. Danielle Harris(Halloween 4,5,Rob Zombie's Halloween I &II,Hatchet II)

One of the top Scream Queen today and arguable the best, she started out at a early age going toe to toe with Michael Myers in Halloween 4 & 5, and took him on two more times in Rob Zombie's remakes. Even though she's now in her 30s, but doesn't look a day over 20 and she seems to look better with age is really taking the Scream Queen title and running with it with recent appearances in Hatchet 2 and Chromeskull Laid 2 Rest 2 and doesn't seem to be slowing down with  more horror projects on the way.

5.Adrienne Barbeau(The Fog,Creepshow,Swamp Thing)

One of my favorite actress of all time, is also a Scream Queen, best known for her roles in then husband John Carpenter films (The Fog, Escape from New York) Adrienne Barbeau brought a sex appeal to horror that maybe only a handful others could match she's not just a pretty...everything from head to toe, but could actually get physical weather it was trying to escape from ghost pirates (The Fog) or being involved with a big Swamp monster(Swamp Thing) she could do no wrong when it came to horror. I doubt there will ever be another Adrienne Barbeau. it would be cool to see her show up in a new horror movie.

4.Marilyn Burn(The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,Eaten Alive)

Best known for being in one of the best horror movies of all time Marilyn Burns as the Lone Survivor who goes through absolute hell to escape from the chainsaw wielding maniac Leatherface and his family. In the dinner scene she showed exactly what a Scream Queen is all about with her range of terror because you really feel for this woman and what she went through and through out that movie. she was also in another Tobe Hooper film Eaten Alive where she encounters another maniac, but this time instead of an chainsaw he has a pet alligator that he likes to feed people to. even though her resume isn't as big as most of the women that are well known she has left her mark on the horror genre. she's rumored to also be making an appearance in the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre as well which should make that movie that much better.

3.Jamie Lee Curtis(Halloween,Halloween II, Prom Night, Terror Train)

The standard to which all Scream Queens are measured up too, Jamie Lee Curtis, the only child of a fellow Scream Queen(daughter of Janet Leigh) she followed in her mother footstep but took it further with her roles in John Carpenter's Halloween and Sequel (HII) some of her other roles ain the horror genre besides the Halloween films(Prom Night, Terror Train) helped give her the Scream Queen Moniker that she rightfully earned.

Now some might wonder why i have her at number 3 and the reason for that is because she did become a big star outside of the horror genre which isn't a bad thing because she is a very talented actress who could do more with roles in Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies, but one thing i admire about her is that she didn't forget where her roots are as she did return to the role that made a star in Halloween H20 and one final time in Halloween Resurrection. I think she has another good horror movie in her, hopefully that happens one day.

2. Shawnee Smith(The Blob, The Stand, Saw 1,2,3)

From the first time i saw Shawnee Smith in two of my favorite 80s movies one being a teen comedy(Summer School) and the other being the 1988 Remake of the 50s classic(The Blob) where she plays a cheerleader who has to save the town from the blob, she took a few years off from horror movies until she showed up in the TV mini series The Stand. then took another few years away from horror because she was on the Tv show Becker, but she came back strong with a small but memorable role of Amanda Young in the sleeper hit Saw, she reprised her role in the sequels making her a horror icon with the modern generation.

She even hosted the tv reality show Scream Queens showing them what it takes to be a scream queen. i've always felt that she is very underrated and should be in more movies not just horror which she is good at but just more movies in general.

1..Linnea Quigley(Graduation Day,Return of the Living Dead,Silent Night, Deadly Night)

If anybody embodies what a Scream Queen is supposed to be its my number one choice. she has basically everything it takes and what makes a Scream Queen no matter how big or small the role she leaves an impression on the movie. i swear she had to have been in just about every kind of horror movie in the 80s, she is a chameleon with how different she looked from movie to movie. she didn't mind doing what ever needed to be done to make a impact on the movie. her most memorable role for me is the punk rocker sexy Trash  who spends most of the movie naked (she does have a great body) she doesn't mind taking her clothes off which is a good thing.

with a career spanning four decades and no signs of slowing down Linnea Quigley is the Scream Queen in my opinion, she has a mix of all of the women on this list mixed into one and something else that can't be explained but whatever it is has made her the Scream Queen of Queens to me.

What do you think of my list. i'm sorry if i might have left off anybody that you might like or who you felt should've been on this list. comment and let me know your list and who you agree or disagree with.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Movie Review-Brooklyn's Finest(2009)

A very well thought out, character driven, cop thriller. with standout performances by Ethan Hawke and Richard Gere, a good comeback turn by Wesley Snipers, who i would've like to have seen more of, but left you wanting more(in a good way), Don Cheadle was good as well, but i felt that his performance was a bit underplayed through out, if another actor had played the role they would've brought out more flair (possibly Terrence Howard).

Richard Gere as the world weary cop who's going to retire by the end of the week has been done thousands of time before but the twist with his character he is that he just wants to make it to retirement. he does't want to be a mentor to the young guys, he doesn't want to get involved with nothing, he's looking for a way out of his life( in one scene he really tries to get out by any means) is the one character that you probably feel the most for.

Ethan Hawke as the cop who you want to hate from the beginning but understand the method to his madness, which Hawke shows with great range from trying to be the loving family man who wants to take care of his family to out of control money hungry cop that will do anything and i do mean ANYTHING to get that money is almost Gary Oldman esque here(One of, if not Hawke's best performance) steals every scene that he's in.

Don Cheadle like i said at the beginning is good and i have seen him play great characters but i don't know what it was with him in this movie he was too low key and had cop written all over his face with how he acted when he was with Wesley Snipes and Crew of tough guys(The Wire's Michael K. Williams, Hassan Johnson) I believe a Terrence Howard or even Idris Elba would've gave his character a little more depth and sympathy which we the viewer would've need to see if were to feel sorry for him by time the ending comes around.

Wesley Snipes here is nothing like his Nino Brown character from New Jack City, so anybody who wanted to see that will be disappointed, but what Snipes does here in his somewhat minor role is still pretty good as the reformed gangster who does what to change but starts to fall back to his old ways, but he isn't the villian of this movie which some might have thought, yes he is the target of the police but we find out why which makes you leave scratching your head(Really!) it was good seeing Snipes back in a big movie/big screen (Last appearing on screen in Blade 3) even though for a few years he went the same route as action stars before him(JCVD,Steven Segal) direct to video releases

Director Antoine Fuqoa does an amazing job by weaving in and out of the three stories involving (Gere,Hawke,Cheadle) and showing Hollywood that he is one of the top Directors out today if he haven't already proved himself with (Training Day) already. 

In some ways it reminds me of L.A.Confidental, but where this differs from that movie is that the three main leads here have little to no scenes with each other. which doesn't hurt the movie, but doesn't help it either.

The final act of the movie is where all three stories somewhat come together one way or another and is played out strongly. where our three main leads converge on a apartment complex for various reasons(Money, Revenge, Rescue) even though all three men go in one way, none leave the way they probably thought they would and after watching this movie i don't think you will either.

The movie is gritty, violent, and very truthful with what not only with what goes on out on the streets(gangs,drugs,hookers, but also with how police officers deal with day to day living as a cop(undercover ,underpaid, rookie life, retirement,family, everything in between.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Top Ten Horror Films

With this month being October and it is the season for Horror i've decided to show with you my Top 10 horror films. some you all might have seen. some you might not have seen.

10.Tales From The Crypt Demon Knight(1995)

It's campy, its scary, but just a lot of fun. Billy Zane as The Collector is sinister in a gleeful way that you find yourself rooting for him but remembering that he is the bad guy. William Sadler is great as the mysterious Brayker, Jada Pinkett Smith is one of the few women who can pull off a shot haircut and still look sexy even though she's the tough chick in this movie.

Dick Miller is great in these type of movies, the man i swear has been in every B movie made it seems like. The Special Effects are pretty good for mid 90s pre CGI crazy that came only a few years later.

9. Trick R Treat(2007)

Trick R Treat or as i like to call it "The Pulp Fiction of horror" this movie is a anthology of 4 interlocked stories that take place on Halloween night the one main thing that connects all the stories is Sam (Pictured above) He shows up in all the stories and especially in the end.

it has a cool ensemble cast Dylan Baker(Spiderman), Brian Cox(X2), Anna Paquin(True Blood) most notable. its on of the best underrated horror movies out. i think any true horror fan would like this movie. Serial killers, werewolves, ghost, and Sam weave in and out of this movie. i highly recommend it.

8. Slither(2006)

Another B Horror/Comedy with great special effects. it reminds me alot of another movie that will make this list. it's not as great as that one, which i'll explain the reason being when i get to it,but its a fun ride witha great ensemble cast Nathan Fillion(Firefly,Castle) Elizabeth Banks(The Uninvited) Gregg Henry(Payback) Jenna Fischer(The Office) Michael Rooker(Mallrats,The Bone Collector )written and Directed by Dawn of the Dead 04 screenwriter(James Gunn).

The story is a homage and throwback to the 50s B movie alien invaders coming to earth Ala Invasion of the Body Snatchers but with a wild and crazy twist. Gregg Henry as Mayor MacCready stills the movie with alot of one liners and quotes that will make you cry from laughing. Nathan Fillion gets beat up by a deer which is a very funny scene. the Slug creatures themselves are very creepy looking so great mix of CGI and special effects.

7.Day of the Dead (1985)

You can't have a horror list without having atleast two of George A. Romero's Dead films on your list otherwise you don't like good horror Lol.

The third entry into Romero's dead series is unique in the fact that its called Day of the Dead but its set underground in darkness, and unlike the two predecessors that are only two or three characters that fully understand what's going on in the world. 

The best performances in this movie comes from polar opposite characters first being Joesph Pilato as Captain Rhodes who as become a cult icon because of this one single role, with his bravado and over the top but restrained approach to what his mission is and where the Zombies place is supposed to be(watch the big meeting scene to fully understand what makes his character great) and 

secondly but not really is Howard Sherman's portrayal  of Bud the zombie, who is probably the most human character in the movie, with his movement and almost child like approach to things makes his performance almost that more great.  Romero does a great job directing. KNB does a awesome job with the special make up effect (One movie that anybody who is into Make up effects on movies should watch to see how great it can be with CGI) Probably the only Romero dead movie that i can watch over and over and never get tired of( big fan of Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead).

6. The Horde(2009)

This 2009 French sleeper zombie flick is one of the best that i have seen in recent years even better then 28 days later which alot of people like to praise a lot, granted its a good movie but this movie just has a lot more action and very fast pace.

what starts out as a cop drama quickly turns into Assault on Precinct 13 the zombie version. good guys/bad guys must band together if they want to survive this hellish nightmare. its a interest cast of characters through this movie most notable is the Leader of the cops who has a great scene where he fights a Horde of zombies in a parking garage and one of the tenants iof the building who seems to had been ready for something like this to happen since he has a freaking Gatling Gun that he isn't afraid to use.

the one thing that bother me a little about this movie and the reason it be in my top 5 is something that's brought up early in the movie actually pays off at the end of the movie which i thought wasn't going to happen because of what the group goes through but i guess it had to happen though( for any one who has seen the movie should know what i mean, because i don't want to spoil it for anybody). all in all great zombie flick that more people should see.

5. Friday the 13th Part 4 The Final Chapter(1984)

This movie really should've  been the end of this franchise it was set up so perfectly with the opening with the recap of part 1-3 and how this movie pulls a Halloween 2 picking up where the 3rd movie ended, but just like Michael Myers Jason Voorhees can not stay dead for to long.

Jason played by Ted White this time around (my favorite Jason, no disrespect to all of the Kane Hodder fans)  he is pissed off this time around with his body language and his kills for example what he does to Axel in the hospital, The twins, Crispin Glover, and Rob are some of my favorite kills in this movie.

The group of teens this time around is probably the best overall group with the exception of maybe one or two character who deserved to be killed. the one kill i think was kinda sad was what Jason did to the Hitchhiker(she really didn't deserve that)

Tom Savini's special effects in the movie are top notch as always when he is involved that like the guy so much that Corey Feldman character Tommy is a homage to him and it was only fitting that the guy who created Jason look in the first movie is the same person who kills him( yes Jason actually died at the end of this movie. i could rave on and on even more about this movie but i'll save that for when i do a fully review of the move.

4.Halloween (1978)

The movie that made holidays not safe(yes Black Christmas came out 4 years earlier) but the team of Carpenter/Hill made one of the best or in some cases the best slasher movie all time with this simple story of a little kid who kills his sister and is sent to a mental hospital just to escape 15 years later and continue what he started could've been a bomb in the wrong hands.

John Carpenter shows why he is a master of horror with who Michael Myers stalks his victims before he actually goes in for the kill. the 3 female leads are all believable in their now stereotype roles as Party Girl Linda(P.J.Soles), Sarcastic but girl next door Annie(Nancy Loomis) and Shy Virgin Laurie(Jamie Lee Curtis)

Of course every movie has to have a hero and even though Laurie is a hero in the making in this movie, she is more of the survivor here( Laurie doesn't become the hero until H20) Dr. Sam Loomis play to perfection by the late Donald Pleasance is the hero here with his trademark coat, he's the only man who seemed to know or even care what Michael Myers really is with lines like "Death has come to your small town sheriff" "You talk about him as if he was human" Loomis knows where he is going and what he going to do even when no one wants to believe him.

Great suspense. great casting. John Carpenter great directing. Nick Castle as The Shape is some of the best you'll probably see and Dick Warlock in Halloween 2 continues where he left off.

3. Halloween 2(1981)

Now i know alot of people are scratching their head that i have Halloween II higher then the original Halloween( well this is my top 10 so i do what i want) LOL! i''m the first to admit that i can't believe i enjoy Halloween II just slightly above Halloween just because where Halloween II takes the second movie deeper then where the first movie went...

Even though this movie picks up exactly where the first movie ends even shows a few minutes of the first movie ending and everyone who survives the first film(Donald Pleasance, Jamie Lee Curtis, Charles Cyphers) return. the fact that this movie is made three years later but you can't tell me or anybody who watches them back to back that its been that long in between films because it feels like one long movie.

Donald Pleasance in the second movie is given more to do this time around as he is running around waving his gun around "I shot him six times" "He's not human" "This isn't a man" just a few things that scares Loomis even more about Michael Myers now played by long time stunt man Dick Warlock who moves similar to Nick Castle in the first movie.

Charles Cyphers makes a small return as Sheriff Brackett but is replaced by Hunter Von Leer as Deputy Hunt which is kinda fitting since that's what this movie is about Michael is still on the Hunt for Laurie which we find out why later on and Loomis is still on the Hunt for Michael who Loomis doesn't think he can bring down with a tragic ending. 

i know this movie gets alot of flack because the violence level is raised way above the first movie and that it was done because at this point in time the slasher craze of the early 80s was really in fully swing. but overall i think part 2 just has a great feel to it even though John Carpenter didn't direct this time around he was busy with a few other movies that would become classic in their own right( one of which makes this list a little later)

2. Night Of The Creeps (1986)
Ok This is the movie that Slither reminds me of, Fred Dekker's 50s B movie monster movie/80s slasher has pretty much everything you would want little Slug creatures that when they take over you brain can make you come back from the dead, they can make you walk again if you paralyzed. 

with Homages from Roger Corman to John Carpenter this is one of my favorite 80s movies not just because of how fun it is, the main teen characters (Jason Lively, Jill Whitlow, and Steve Marshall) play off each other very well. but the for me the king of 80s horror acting wise for me is none other then the man himself Tom Atkins (The Fog, Halloween III:Season of the Witch) he has the best quotes in this movie as world weary Detective Cameron "Thrill Me" "I've got good news and bad news girls..." are just a few.

the 50s opening to this movie lets you know the Dekker was very serious about this movie sadly it didn't do to well at the box office(alot of the great ones don't for some reason) since coming out in 86 and because of word of mouth it has over the years reach cult status which it should have. highly recommend for any one who hasn't seen it.

1.The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter is one of my favorite movie directors all time, so of course i'm going to be a bit bias towards him now the movie he was busy making instead of directing Halloween II was this little Remake of the 1951 classic in its on right The Thing From Another World.

with a awesome ensemble cast led by Kurt Russell and rounded out by character actors Wilfred Brimley, T.K.  Carter, Keith David, Charles Hallahan  Richard Masur, Donald Moffat. one of the few movies that plays on a wide range of emotions most notable being paranoia because no one knows who the thing is and who isn't and signs point to every single character in the movie so the audience has no idea who is human and who isn't until the thing is revealed.

The creature effects in this movie is hands down some of the best you'll ever see in any movie pre/post CGI thanks to Rob Bottin and his team( if you don't know how IMDB him and check out his film credits) everything about this movie imo is perfect and no matter how many times i watch it. i still find something i never seen before and gives you more questions to ask and answer some questions that you might had before.

now with this new version of The Thing that's come out recently which i might be checking out just to see how it is, but already i know its nothing compared to what Carpenter and everyone involved with this movie did because it has a great blend of suspense, mystery, horror. so anybody who say they don't want to see this movie because it's old or what not, should check this movie out because it might scare you unlike alot of the new PG-13 horror films( which i think is a joke) PG-13 and horror don't mix.

So thank you for checking out my Top 10 Horror Films. let me know what you you like? do you hate? agree? disagree with my thoughts on this movies?