Welcome to our Fourth Annual Macabre Month of Horror. We will be posting one horror movie or horror video game review every day this month in the spirit of Halloween.
For the fourth year in a row Sam is hosting our Annual Macabre Month of Horror, 31 horror movie reviews in 31 days. This year he’s decided to shake things up a bit and do video reviews for each day. He’ll be giving you recommendations for horror movies and video games to check out and letting you know a few movies you should avoid. He’ll be covering some great classics as well as movies you may not have heard and throwing in trivia and historical facts along the way.
Please keep in mind these are Horror Movies and the video reviews contain content from the films that may not be appropriate for younger viewers. Or those with a weak constitution for that matter.
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For some reason a lot of people seem to think that Halloween was John Carpenter’s first movie. It was actually his 3rd feature length film and it wasn’t even his first great film.
Assault on Precinct 13 was John Carpenter’s 2nd feature film and it came out in 1976, two years before Halloween in 1978.
The movie’s title is actually a big misconception. The assault doesn’t take place on Precinct 13, nor is there a Precinct 13 anywhere in the movie. The precinct in the movie is actually Precinct 9, District 13. John Carpenter’s original title was “The Anderson Alamo”, he later changed it to “The Siege”, but the movie distributors changed the title when they released it to “Assault on Precinct 13”, because they thought it sounded cool, and they were just not bothered to check their details.
Reasons to watch:
John Carpenter is in great form – Even though this isn’t a horror movie, it has Carpenter’s signature dark and foreboding style. It’s an action thriller (idealized as a western) that has a horror like atmosphere that works surprisingly well.
Great action – While there may not be a ton of action, what is there is great. The effects are fantastic. This is back in the 70’s so we have all the glorious squibs that sadly aren’t as prevalent in more modern films. The action is well shot, well performed, and is very intense.
Good characters – The acting is very good and the characters are very well rounded. The character development is done surprisingly well.
It seems like the kind of movie where you wouldn’t care about the characters, but John Carpenter did a great job as writer/director making the characters likable and relate-able. They are believable in the situation and the good guys are fun to root for.
One character in particular is just so damn cool. Partially because of the excellent writing and partially because of the fantastic performance given by Darwin Joston. That character is Napoleon Wilson. This character is so Goddamn cool, he has to be on a list of coolest movie characters, but I feel he often goes overlooked.
It’s an overlooked classic – Assault on Precinct 13 is one of John Carpenter’s best films and it really is a classic.
Todays recommendation is a 1982 grindhouse film called “Pieces”.
NOW, be aware that my recommendation of this film does not mean that it is good. This movie is not good at all, it’s actually one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (technically speaking).
So why am I suggesting you watch it? Because it is absolutely hilarious. It’s a true “so bad it’s good movie”.
People love films like “The Room” and “Birdemic” because they are hilariously, and “Pieces” is truly funny. It’s not supposed to be a good movie, as long as you go into the movie knowing what to expect, I think you’ll have a good time.
This movie might be a little hard to find and there’s also some really slow bits where nothing happens, so instead you can just watch this review I did of it. The review is funny and it talks about all the key standout funny moments so give it a watch.
Members of the Newfound Film Making Club recently made a couple of fake grindhouse style trailers to play during a double feature film event. The club was founded by Green Carbon 2112’s own Sam and “advised” by Amy Lyn.
Here is one of the trailers “De-Jango Unspoken” a parody of the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.
From Dusk Till Dawn is a cult classic completely deserving of the title. From Dusk Till Dawn is really underrated.
The main stream audience generally liked the first half of the movie, but once they get to the bar and the movie completely changes style tone and pace, most people stop liking it. The main reason why is not that they wouldn’t like the two parts separately, but people don’t like being surprised by movies. I fail to see why being surprised is a bad thing. I like both parts and feel that they don’t completely clash in bad combination, but that they compliment each other perfectly.
Quentin Tarantino took a directing hiatus for awhile which he say’s officially began when “From Dusk Till Dawn” finished wrapping up. Tarantino wrote and starred in “From Dusk Till Dawn” but did not direct it. He left the directing job to his good friend and fellow director Robert Rodriguez.
This is not the only time Tarantino has written a movie but not directed it. He wrote “True Romance”, and “Natural Born Killers” but did not direct those. Tarantino was very disappointed with how “Natural Born Killers” turned out. I think the movie would have been much better if he directed it. He is great at directing violent characters and can give a deep insight to twisted minds and motives.
Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are a film making dream team. They work so well together. Separately they are my two favorite
directors so having them together is amazing. “From Dusk Till Dawn” is not the only movie they have worked together on, although it is the only one that one Tarantino wrote and Rodriguez directed. They have have also worked together on “Four Rooms” (the two of them each did one part out of the 4), “Sin City” (Tarantino was a special guest director who did one scene in the movie. the reason for this was because Rodriguez wanted to introduce Tarantino to filming digitally), “Grindhouse” (Each directed a full movie shown back to back, and Tarantino also acted in both), and “Desperado”(Tarantino acted as the pick up guy, which is a much smaller part than the trailers led to believe while Rodriguez was the writer director)
“From Dusk Till Dawn” opens with a scene that takes place in a Benny’s World of Liquor. This scene was actually the last scene to be filmed because it was the only time Michael Parks was available. Now here is my theory about Michael Parks in the Rodriguez/Tarantino movies: Michael Parks has been in “Kill Bill” (vol 1-2), “Death Proof“, and “Planet Terror“ (collectively “Grindhouse”), and of course “From Dusk Till’ Dawn” all playing the same character; Earl McGraw.
Now if you take that into account to find the chronology of the character you get something rather interesting. Earl McGraw gets killed in “From Dusk Till Dawn”, that means that he must have survived through the events in the other movies that the character has been in. That is a great accomplishment seeing as he was in the middle of the zombie Apocalypse. Planet Terror has Earl McGraw fighting his way though zombie like sicko’s but he survives.
The end of planet terror shows most of the world in ruin, with completely destroyed cities in the wasteland. Since Earl McGraw doesn’t die during the Zombie Apocolypse and instead in a Liquor store, that means that he survived all the destruction and that Texas (Where both movies are set) has been completely rebuilt and life has adjusted back to normal in just a short amount of time. I guess Planet terror has a happy endingafter all. Back to the opening.
The first scene sets up the style for the first half of the movie and introduces us to the characters of Seth and Richard Gecko, played by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino.
Seth Gecko is the man, he is awesome, and Richard Gecko is a mentally unstable, highly volatile, Sexually offender. I think he is one of the most interesting characters ever committed to film. Maybe not the best, maybe not the coolest but the most interesting. He has a line that I believe shows much more into the character than most people think
Seth: “Put in your bit”
Richard puts in a a retainer and gives a strong look to Juliette Lewis Richard: “I grind my teeth”
I think that line adds so much to the character. Something as simple as “I grind my teeth” adds so much to the character.
The First half of the movie is great and feels like classic Tarantino. There is great suspense and The character of Richard could fill a whole movie.
The second half of the movie is feels more like Robert Rodriguez style at this point. Aside from the fact that Rodriguez movies are always set in either Texas or Mexico (This movie has both locations) the action that fills the second half is more Rodriguez styled as well. The horror element is definitely there, but it is not scary-horror it is fun-horror, which when executed correctly is great.
Hobo With a Shotgun is a movie I was looking forward to seeing for a long time. It started as a fake trailer that ended up winning the grindhouse trailer contest. As part of the reward for winning the contest the trailer was turned into an actual movie.
I was really excited when I saw the first real trailer with Rutger Hauer as the hobo. I loved the style of grindhouse the grainy film and missing reels, go with the excessive violence perfectly. Hobo With a Shotgun definitely has the crazy violence and gore, but only seems to have the grain in the first minute or so. Sort of how Machete was only the full grindhouse experience for the first 5 minutes. Not that big of deal, but still disappointing.
The movie opens in a predictable but great way, riding in on the train into the city. This city is completely horrible. Think of any movie where there is a horrible city, that is just completely evil. The city in this movie is probably 10x worse than your pick. The city is run by this man named Drake and his 2 sons Ivan and Slick. They run the city, kill people for fun and have all the police controlled. There are some honest people left in the city, but most are completely evil. The city is just amazing to watch. You’ll see people getting murdered, beaten, raped, and otherwise maimed. One thing I really liked was the snow. I know that sounds stupid but hear me out. In the movie there are just little tiny snowflakes falling, there are no mounds of snow on the ground, the snow falls like its real and I haven’t really seen that before.
Rutger Hauer is great as the hobo and the other protagonist is great too. The character development is outstanding which really surprised me. Which makes it worse when the characters get hurt. And they do get hurt, a lot. The girl gets it worst of all. In a scene which I could vividly describe but I won’t. I’m not squeamish at all and extremely violent movies don’t faze me…….usually. This one part made me feel like I was going to throw up. It happens to the girl and it wouldn’t be nearly as bad if it wasn’t for the character you feel for them and want them to succeed. If you’ve seen the movie and are wondering what part it is, it involves her arm.
The main villains are horrible, I can’t stand people who have no value for human life, and just do horribly things to people for fun and amusement. They use these two guys called the Plague. I want to see a movie just about them because they are awesome. I think they may be from a comic book or something because of things that seem like a tribute to it.
They kill off the hobo. I expected a trilogy. He dies in sort of a Mexican standoff with like 50 people. He dies to save the girl and help the city.
In case you’re wondering how he gets the shotgun, he earns money by going to this guy who films bum fights. He was going to use the money to buy a lawnmower, weird I know but they explain it. He ends buying the shotgun to save some people. The movie is extremely gory but not in a good way. What I mean by that is that the movie doesn’t use it right. I think the director didn’t know how to utilize the gore element.
The movie is deeper than you’d think. There is a lot of symbolism like the hobo being a bear. By far the biggest problem with the movie is that it is too serious. The movie shouldn’t be serious at all. It should be completely overtop and outrageous, and in some ways it is. But not in the right way. It doesn’t make all the bloodshed and gore enjoyable and fun, instead its just kind of sad. I was going to give the give the movie a pretty good rating but the ending segment that included that “moment” ruined it for me. I would have to say I didn’t really like it all.
There are good parts like the headline “Hobo stops begging Demands Change”. But overall not a poorly made movie by any means but just not as enjoyable as it could have been keeping its roots with grindhouse.