At the end of the day you can’t even call “Black Christmas” a remake. It’s not even a re-imagining when you get down to it. At first it bears a slight resemblance to the original film’s themes, but once it shows all of its cards, it’s just aping the title for brand familiarity. And it fails, big time. “Black Christmas” has good intentions with a very relevant message, but it forgets story, suspense, and inherent terror, in exchange for a silly, preachy, and convoluted premise.
The best way to explain the considerable impact John Carpenter’s original slasher has had on me can best be expressed through that infamous Halloween eve when I was a kid. Long before cable, network television played horror movies on Halloween; My brother and I were given the option to watch either “Creepshow” or “Halloween” my brother and I took the option of sitting to watch “Halloween.” I can fondly remember it as one of the worst Halloweens ever because when we sat to watch John Carpenter’s classic we were so scared by the second half that we started crying. This decision later was regretted by us and my mom took the time out to calm us down by letting us watch “Creepshow.”
While I wouldn’t peg the Mick Garris fueled “Nightmare Cinema” a horror masterpiece, I had a good time with the selection of horror stories, and loved how various storytellers in the film managed to go in completely different directions than I originally thought they would. Despite a shifty story frame, like most horror anthologies, “Nightmare Cinema” is a mixed bag of horror treats that will click with most lovers of the format, if only for its ambition and style.
I theorize that “See No Evil” would have been much more entertaining had Hulk Hogan been a knife wielding slasher stalking a bunch of nameless characters. Can you imagine the hulkster puckering his lips, swinging a chainsaw and screaming “What are ya gonna do, when the hulkamania comes after you?!” Don’t pretend that wouldn’t have been fun. “See No Evil” is a vehicle pretending to be horror, and watches like a grindhouse Z film that’s one part “Saw”, one part “Slumber Party Massacre”, and one part “Jason Lives.”
“In and out, what could go wrong?” has been the famous last words of every man in existence, and it’s basically the last words of our hapless hostages and their inept captors in “Botched.” While the premise is creaky with much of the narrative reminiscent of “From Dusk Til Dawn,” Kit Parker’s “Botched” is a horror comedy up there in lunacy with fare like “Severance” and “The Cottage.” While “Botched” begins clumsily with a poorly edited rushed sequence of events extrapolating Ritchie’s predicament, it’s a movie you’ll want to stick with. Once the blood begins to pour, the raucous comedy and gruesome horror ensure a worthy experience deserving of an audience.
There’s no shortage of movie heroines in modern horror cinema (or movies in general, for that matter), and we’ve reached a golden age where the women can stand toe to toe with the men, and often times manage to produce more results than the men. 2019 has had a very good gallery of strong heroines, and with the upcoming premiere of “Little Monsters” along with the season premiere of “The Walking Dead,” I thought it’d be good fun to list five more great horror movie heroines for Halloween Horror Month. What are some of your favorites?
I don’t know what you can chalk it up to. Maybe it was the unfortunate illness of the late great Sid Haig that caused Rob Zombie to re-write a lot of “3 From Hell.” Or maybe he just didn’t know where to take his characters next. For a movie that takes great pains to explaining in detail how and why the Firefly Clan survived, it’s disappointing when “3 From Hell” does absolutely nothing new with them. Rob Zombie has a lot of windows to basically re-invent his characters and present some kind of social commentary, but in the end it’s just Zombie treading water with middling results.