Horror 365, Movie(s) 116: 10 Funny Horror Movie Moments

Those damaged, misguided souls who follow this blog semi-regularly (now don’t be shy–you both know who you are) know that I’ve discussed a number of horror moments that show up in movies that aren’t horror movies. I just thought it might be fun to flip the script this time and look at some funny, not-so-frightening moments from a few horror movies. For obvious reasons I’m not including horror comedies since those are already meant to be humorous. Instead I’m focusing on straight horror that has some comical stuff here and there.

Stanley

This is one weird flick. Tim Ochopee lives in the everglades. He’s more comfortable around snakes than people (kinda like Willard, but with reptiles instead of rodents). Whenever Tim is in trouble, his pet rattlesnake Stanley helps him out. In this case, yep, he bites a bad guy in the ass. It’s hilarious. What can I say? Apparently I’m 12.

Halloween (2018)

When Julian sees Michael Myers, he runs out to tell babysitter Ashley. Dave is there with him, and when Ashley agrees to come check out Julian’s room, Julian says “Send Dave first!” Well, yeah, duh.

Death Bed: The Bed That Eats

Chalk up a win in the product placement column. One of the bed’s potential victims has unexpected ill effects on the demon sleep system. This prevents the bed from eating her. At one point, she leaves, and the bed drinks a bottle of Pepto Bismol. It’s possibly the cheapest sight gag I’ve ever seen, but it still made me laugh.

The Devil’s Advocate

Here’s a two-fer. First there’s Pacino when he sticks his finger in the holy water while looking at the religious images in the church. The unrestrained glee on his face brings joy to my faithless little contrarian heart. The second is in the subway when he defuses an assault by telling his aggressor (who was in fact instigated by Pacino in the first place) about Carlos, who is going to fuck this guy’s wife “up the ass…on your special green bedspread.” He then informs the man there’s still time to catch them. All of which is done in Spanish. It’s “invigorating.” Maybe just my overdeveloped sense of vengeance.

Better Watch Out

Ashley flips off Luke. If you haven’t seen this, check it out. I won’t say anything else.

Poltergeist

What’s happening? You’ve got an enormous hickey, that’s what. When I see this now, I want Olympia Dukakis to come out and say, “You got a lovebite on yer neck he’s comin’ back this morning what’s the matta with you? Your life’s goin’ down the toilet! Cover up that damn thing!”

Sleepwalkers

I thought Alice Krige was so sexy in Ghost Story, so I couldn’t wait to see her in Sleepwalkers. I don’t think it’s as bad as alotta people say, but the whole murder by maize, that’s just kinda, well, corny.

I Drink Your Blood

You need physical media for this one because you have to go to the deleted scenes in the special features. When grandpa goes to avenge his granddaughter, the evil cult gets the better of him, doses him with acid, then (somewhat inexplicably) sends him home. What was cut (and shouldn’t have been) was grandpa on an acid trip, hallucinating while sitting at the kitchen table.

Night Of The Lepus

What’s not to love about this movie? Where else are you gonna find Janet Leigh and DeForest Kelly in the same damn movie? Monty Python And The Holy Grail notwithstanding, they’re bunnies. Running amok. In what I guess must be a dollhouse. Also, Night Of The Lepus was 1972, Holy Grail 1975. I have to wonder if the Pythoners were familiar.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The funniest moment in the movie comes when the cook and the hitch hiker come to the house where Leatherface has been pursuing Sally. In the process, he has destroyed the front door with his chainsaw. In a moment of unbridled domestic outrage, the cook sees it and yells, “Look what your brother did to the door!”

Horror 365, Movie(s) 115: Blogferatu Guide To Horror Movie Terms

A while back, I talked about my 13 Rules Of Horror. More of a while back, I also talked about what I called Victim Zero. I also recently delved into Roger Ebert’s shrewd and funny Bigger Little Movie Glossary. All of this led me to start keeping track of my own brand of movie terminology.

Some of these are new. Some were pulled from the 13 Rules Of Horror and a couple other posts. For me, they apply specifically to horror movies, but a few of them, like the Myth Of The Special Day and the Doomed Father, can be applied to non-horror movies as well.

Cabin Of Death
Cabins obviously, but this can extend a bit to include rural dwellings in various states of decay or disrepair. Evil Dead is iconic obviously, but there’s also The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Motel Hell, American Gothic, Eaten Alive, etc. Really you can start with Spiderbaby and work your way forward from there.

Doomed Father
Character whose wife or girlfriend has a baby while he’s involved in whatever he’s involved in at whatever far-off place he’s involved in it. Often this is space. Often there’s a video of mother and child. This guy almost always dies. A good example is the fairly awful Life.

Evil Alien
They are rarely, if ever, benevolent. Alien clearly, as well as “To Serve Man” from The Twilight Zone, but even Michael Rennie comes to give us a “shape up or else” warning in The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Evil Doll
Self-explanatory from The Great Gabbo to Dead Of Night to Devil Doll (1936) to Barbarella to Trilogy Of Terror to Magic to Puppet Master to Dolls to Dead Silence to…you get the idea.

Evil Manchild Or Womanchild
First of all, children are always creepy. I’ve said that before. When they dress, talk, and/or act like adults, run. See Children Of The Corn, Village Of The Damned, The Omen. Don’t let your guard down just yet though, cuz when they start acting off and stop talking, you get Night Of The Living Dead and The Children.

Myth Of The Special Day
In Bigger Little Movie Glossary, Roger Ebert defines The Myth Of The Seemingly Ordinary Day. This shows a protagonist doing run-of-the-mill stuff just before some big event occurs. The flipside of this is showing a protagonist who has just experienced/is about to experience something important/significant/out of the ordinary. This is A) offset by the Big Event that follows, B) is interrupted by the Big Event, or C) is merely a ruse to get the protagonist into the hands of the baddies. A) John Cusack sells a graphic novel just before the signal makes people violent in Cell. B) The innocent road trip/vacation/reunion that leads to doom as in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cabin Fever, You’re Next, etc. C) Meeting the parents in Get Out is a ruse to get Daniel Kaluuya into the clutches of the Armitage clan.

Ivan Mosjoukine

Kuleshov Effect Movies
Lev Kuleshov edited a film showing Ivan Mosjoukine’s face looking at various things: a bowl of soup, a girl in a coffin, a lady on a divan. Viewers noted how his face change in response to what he was looking at. Except it didn’t. His face was always the same. Knowing what you know about Leland Palmer, for example, also changes the effects of his face the second time you see Twin Peaks. Knowing where Calvaire is going changes the meaning of Marc touching up his make-up in the first scene. Same thing happens in The Sixth Sense, The Stepford Wives and an amazing scene in Get Out where Betty Gabriel’s veneer momentarily slips then wordlessly gets clamped back on.

Occult Rule Of Three
The Pagan Rule Of Three is that whatever energy you send out, positive or negative, returns, also positively or negatively, but threefold. The horror movie version, when people mess with magic, anything you send out returns at least threefold. The catch is regardless of what you send out, positive or negative, the return is always negative. Good examples are The Craft, Pumpkinhead, and any movie involving a Ouija board. This is also a good corollary to The Uncaring God/Universe below.

Slurpie Movie
This is any movie where a slug, worm, mollusk, or some kind of slug/worm/mollusklike creature, often alien, often parasitic, infects a human body and proceeds to wreak havoc as only parasitic alien slug/worm/mollusks can. Night Of The Creeps is, of course, a high water mark.

The Uncaring God/Universe
God in horror movies either doesn’t exist or, possibly worse, doesn’t care about us, as evidenced by innocent enough events accidentally summoning/releasing/leading to a disproportionately unspeakable evil. Again, Ouija boards are often standard vehicles for this, as are finding a doll (Heidi), going for a swim (“The Raft” from Creepshow 2), sticking your head inside something (Cujo), or buying a car (Christine).

Victim Zero
This is the victim who starts off whatever plague/threat is ravaging the town, village, region, country, continent, world, etc. Often it’s a farmer, redneck, or dude-bro who finds the mysterious object/creature (often a meteor), and pokes it or at least has to get a closer look. Happened in The Blob, Alien, and Creepshow’s “The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill,” and Slither.

That’s it for now, but there will almost certainly be more coming. Feel free to add your own or terms and/or examples in the comments!

Horror 365, Movie(s) 114: The Thaw/The Traveler

How the mighty do fall. Here’s the guy who was Chris Knight, Iceman, Jim Morrison, and definitively the greatest of all time gold standard version of Doc Holliday. So what the hell happened to Val Kilmer? Now, I’m not trying to mock the guy or minimize any health concerns that may have troubled him. I just mean that, from a movie role perspective… Dude. Damn. It seems like for every Salton Sea there’s an Island Of Dr. Moreau. For every Heat, there’s The Saint. Sure, one can look to any actor’s career and pick out some roles that are a bit lackluster, a little less-than. But for some reason, some of the ones on Val Kilmer’s list stick out like the proverbial painful opposable digit.

As “shining” examples, I submit a couple titles from the late 2000s. The first is The Thaw (2009). Certainly not the greatest movie ever but also not the worst. Plus I love the idea of weird shit thawing out and coming to get us. Far fetched? Far off in the future? Maybe a little Black Mirror? Not at all. Okay certainly The Thaw isn’t breaking any new ground. We can go back to 1951 and draw a line from The Thing From Another World to Beware! The Blob to (obviously) The Thing to The X-Files to The Thaw to Black Mountain Side to Fortitude.

The Thaw is still a pretty good little ride though. Up in the winter wonderland that is the Canadian Arctic, Dr. David Kruipen (Kilmer) and company discover the frozen remains of a wooly mammoth but not before the carcass is also discovered by a polar bear. Well, the bear ends up on the more unfortunate side of dead, and the whole crew begins to suffer. At one point, one of the research team members touches the bear and gets bit by something. That can’t end well. Kilmer isn’t bad and still looks passably like he could get away with “I’m your huckleberry.”

Well, everything plays out more or less as you would expect: infestation, insanity, creepy crawly CGI bugs, man is the problem monologue, uh-oh ending. It’s predictable, but it’s fun.


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And yet, merely a scant year later will bring us The Traveler, one of those all too frequent, this-bodes-well, direct-to-video releases. Here, Kilmer plays the vengeful spirit of a man tortured to death in police custody who returns to rain down retribution upon the heads of his victimizers. A little High Plains Drifter and The Crow so it’s a solid enough premise. And it takes place on christmas eve, and it’s no secret how much we Castle Blogferatu denizens love to lounge about of a cold holiday evening and be cheered by a heartwarming, open fire & chestnuts tale of a cold holiday evening.

Again, I don’t know what Kilmer’s deal was at the time, but the lad does not look well. I don’t wanna come right out and say he was wooden, but I strongly considered the relative merits of taking some sandpaper to my television, or at least a little blast of Pledge (and not because I only dust once a quarter).

I mean, this movie is bad y’all, and so not in any remotely enjoyable way. Slow, predictable, and worst of all forgettable, The Traveler doesn’t even try to mask its shortcomings under gore. IMDB says it’s rated R because of “strong bloody violence and pervasive language,” but I don’t remember anything especially stand-out amongst what piled up bodies there were.


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So, yeah…let’s call this a study in, I dunno, bad choices, contractual obligation, cash grabbing? I got no way of knowing.