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I guess you could classify “Scare Package” as a horror movie, and yes even a horror comedy. But if my arm were twisted I’d be more comfortable just classifying it as a comedy. “Scare Package” is that movie that has a great time breaking down horror tropes and satirizing the clichés we’ve seen in various horror movies, but never actually includes any kind of scary content. Every single segment in this anthology is played with a tongue in cheek, and it’s a shame since a movie with this concept has a chance to re-imagine horror tropes.
2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.
Director Rudy De Luca amassed a career working with and writing for Mel Brooks, so it’s likely intentional that “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like an attempted companion piece to “Young Frankenstein.” It seems to aspire to do so more times than the viewer would like. “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like a pseudo or spiritual sequel to “Young Frankenstein” which is a good element in some instances and works to its detriment in other instances.
Peter Hyams’ horror comedy was way ahead of its time in 1992, and it’s a film that warrants so much more examination, mainly because of its prophetic view of television. Back in 1992 television was humongous and low income houses were finally getting access to cable television, so naturally there was a lot of ballyhoo about its addictive nature. Speaking as a television junky, “Stay Tuned” was a great bit of satire that also dabbled in to the arena of “So Bad it’s Good.” It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it’s often very clever, and never misses a chance to deliver some kind of word horror oriented pun.
It’s surprising that Daniel Erickson’s “Scary Movie” has fallen so consistently under the radar, especially during the rise of modern Halloween oriented movies. Erickson’s movie is very misleading in that it feels a lot like it meanders back and forth narratively, but in the end, charges head first in to something absolutely clever. John Hawkes’ performance as a gaping, clueless, and frightened young man is wholly intentional. Warren is basically the foundation of “Scary Movie” as he wanders around his small towns’ haunted house attraction on Halloween night literally terrified of his own shadow.
Dante Yore’s “Fear Pham” is three quarters a really good Halloween horror film, and one quarter an absolutely ridiculous waste o time. It’s a shame because for most of “Fear Pharm,” I was genuinely lost in the engaging concept and entertaining mix of horror and comedy. Yore has a great concept with a narrative that’s mostly smooth and interesting. Yore makes good use of limited scenery while also building entertaining and sympathetic protagonists forced in to an absurd but creepy circumstance.
The 90’s had some of my favorite animated movies and TV series of all time, and suffice to say it also had some bang up villains. I thought it’d be great to list five of the scariest villains of the 90’s that tormented heroes on TV and in the movies.
What were some of your favorites?