So that was a fun experiment. For me, anyway. Hope you felt the same. What I’m going to do now is give a master list of all 31 entries, do a little “what I learned”, and then give a few quick recommendations of some things that aren’t movies which I enjoyed during the same month. Hope you enjoy those too.
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #0: THE INTRO.
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #1: FRANKENSTEIN (1931).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #2: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #3: DRACULA (1931).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR (BONUS!): DRACULA BY BRAM STOKER.
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #4: THE UNHOLY THREE (1925).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #5: SHOCK WAVES (1977).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #6: TREMORS (1990).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #7: CHAW (2009) V. PIG HUNT (2009).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #8: HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER (1986).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #9: ANTS (1977).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #10: THE INNOCENTS (1961).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #11: DOG SOLDIERS (2002).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #12: THE DESCENT (2005).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #13: BLACK SHEEP (2006).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #14: THE THING (2011).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #15: FRIGHT NIGHT (2011).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #16: ZOMBIE 2 (1979).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #17: ARMY OF DARKNESS (1992).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #18: RE-ANIMATOR (1985).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #19: CARRIE (1976).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #20: CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #21: HOUSE (1977).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #22: ATTACK THE BLOCK! (2011).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #23: NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #24: TROLLHUNTER (2011).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #25: HORROR OF DRACULA (1958).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #26: CHOPPING MALL (1986).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #27: NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #28: RED STATE (2011).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #29: THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #30: THE LOST BOYS (1987).
31 FLAVORS OF HORROR #31: SOUL SURFER (2011).
You also might enjoy what I wrote about CREATURE (2011) for DailyGrindhouse.com — this movie made horror history recently, despite almost nobody having seen it. Or because of that, in point of fact.
What did I learn from all of this self-imposed homework? That the classics are considered the classics for good reason, that there can be value in even the shoddiest of films, and that horror is the most malleable and arguably the most awesome of genres. I watched 31 different horror movies and I was bored by none of them. Frankly, I’d be happy to do it all over again for November…theoretically. Logistically speaking, that’s not going to happen, although don’t be surprised if this has sparked an interest which I will continue to pursue, here and elsewhere.
In the meantime, let me please recommend all the other media which kept me adequately delayed from being timely with this column…
I read some excellent books:
Shock Value by Jason Zinoman. A far-t00-brief critical history which agrees that the 1970s were a revolutionary time in American film, but finally turns the spotlight on the horror filmmakers of the era, most prominently John Carpenter, Wes Craven, George Romero, Tobe Hooper, Brian DePalma, Roman Polanski, and the late, great, underrated Dan O’Bannon. I referenced this book in my piece on Carrie.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Not a new book, but one of the great ghost stories of the past five years. This is the story of an aging heavy-metal rock-star who collects horrific souvenirs, and essentially buys a ghost over the internet, a colossally bad idea. What I love most about this story is how it never goes any of the places you might expect, and ends up so thoroughly satisfying.
Crucified Dreams, edited by Joe R. Lansdale. An “urban horror” anthology full of great stories selected by one of the best to ever do it. If Joe Lansdale considers a story to be good, you can rest assured that it is. If you’re not reading a horror story by the man himself, the next best thing is this collection, which includes work by Harlan Ellison, Norman Partridge, David Morrell, Joe Haldeman, Jonathan Lethem, and Stephen King.
I read a few issues of a great friggin’ magazine:
Paracinema! If you liked any of my pieces, particularly the more detailed and observant ones, you will love this magazine. Their most recent issue includes articles on mothers in horror (an extensive subject), Bela Lugosi, Turkish rip-offs of American hit movies, and dwarf-exploitation. Paracinema looks closely at some of the most overlooked areas of world cinema, to entertaining and informative results.
I read some terrific comic books:
Severed, by Scott Tuft, Scott Snyder, and Attila Futaki. An early-twentieth-century story of two pre-teen runaways wandering the country who are stalked by a horrific drifter. The art perfectly matches the ominous mood.
27: Second Set, by Charles Soule and Renzo Podesta. An awesomely original series about a rock star who finds out the meaning behind the haunting notion of the “27 Club“, the ranks of famous musicians who all died tragically at the age of 27.
Locke & Key (volumes 1-3) by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Deceptively cartoony (yet impeccably detailed) artwork only adds to the spookiness of this story of three kids who move into a house with vast supernatural possibilities.
The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode by Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore. Remember those old Charles Atlas ads in the back of comic books that promised a sure-fire method for wimps to become muscle-men, able to beat up the bullies who’d tormented them? What if those ads worked? That’s the great premise behind this ultra-gory, super-fun comic series.
Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman. This illustrated book by the master humorist behind Tales Designed To Thrizzle supposes that the legendary author Mark Twain didn’t die when we all thought he did, and instead lived on to have thousands of absurd adventures across the equally absurd twentieth century. I can’t recommend this book adequately — it is so funny that I literally had to put it down more than a few times because I was laughing so hard. All of Kupperman’s work has that same effect, but this might be his Inglourious Basterds.
I also enjoyed the latest comedy album by Patton Oswalt, Finest Hour, in which one of the very best comedians working today attacks topics such as religion, family, gay marriage, comic books, New York City, and that damn KFC again, and lastly, the album New Blood by Peter Gabriel, in which the O.G. freak rocker takes a full orchestra to cover most of his own greatest hits. Expect to hear plenty of these songs in plenty of movies soon enough.
I think that’s everything for now.
I think I need a nap.
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