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Day 21 – Best Horror Franchise: Scream
So, I had a bit of trouble coming up with the answer to this one. There are franchise films that I liked a lot more than Scream, as good as it was, but the problem is, as with most franchises, the first film is great, and then the rest suck. So while Nightmare on Elm Street is still one of my favourite horror films, I can’t say that it’s the best franchise, because most of the sequels sucked. The same thing happened with Saw. Everything good about that first film was sucked dry and robbed of all life in the 3000 or so sequels that came after. So even though Scream‘s sequels were nowhere near as good as the first one (especially the second one), I can still say that I liked all the films in the franchise. I don’t think there’s a single other horror franchise that I can say the same thing of.
Day 22 – Best Death Scene: Blind Mag, Repo! The Genetic Opera
This category was especially hard to choose. The number of horror films I’ve seen is quite staggering, so that means that death scenes are as numerous as the stars. There have been so many cool ones, that choosing just one favorite is impossible. There have been hilarious ones (Pee Wee’s death in Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets me every time), scary ones, gross ones, quick deaths, slow deaths, messy deaths, clean deaths… the list goes on and on. So what I did was choose the first cool one that came to mind, and after flipping through the dozens of generic deaths that popped into my mind, I settled on this one: Blind Mag’s suicide/murder from Repo! The Genetic Opera (which, if you haven’t seen it already, you need to, right now). A little hard to describe, Repo is a goth musical, the story of a chronically ill girl who lives in a world where transplanted organs can be repossessed if the patient is unable to pay for them, and a world where surgery is the fashion craze. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s amazing. There are many deaths deaths in the film, but the one that stands out the most is Blind Mag’s, an opera singer who’s blind eyes were replaced with cybertronic ones years ago. But Mag has had enough being the company’s puppet, and decides to break her contract, knowing full well that her eyes will be taken from her, and not kindly. After a beautiful stage performance ending with her being lifted from the stage by a harness, she simply states that she would rather be blind, and as an ultimate “fuck you” destroys her very expensive eyes by poking them out with long claws on her fingers, effectively committing suicide before the repo man can get her. A moment after her eyes are gone, her harness is cut, and she plummets to the stage, ending up impaled on part of the scenery. It’s horrible, yet strangely beautiful, and very memorable, which is why I chose it for this list.
Day 23 – Best Quote from a Horror Film: From Dusk Till Dawn
Another category that was hard to decide on. Horror movies are often known for their snappy dialogue (ok, good horror movies are often known for their snappy dialogue), so choosing just one quote was hard. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go for a classic quote or something obscure, something funny or something serious, something light or something tense. So as with the death scene, I just let my mind wander for a moment, and picked the first cool one that came to mind. This time inspiration came from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino‘s From Dusk Till Dawn. It’s the end of the film, and our hero and the girl are the last two standing after a night-long battle with vampires in the Mexican strip club the Titty Twister. Seth’s contact finally arrives with sun, and after the doors to the club get thrown wide open, the remaining vampires burst into flame and explode. The contact, intelligent individual that he is, asks “So what were they? Psychos?” to which Seth famously answers: “Do they look like psychos? Is that what they look like? They were vampires! Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are!”
Day 24 – Best Serial Killer Film: The Silence of the Lambs
I love serial killers. I’ve got this weird, morbid fascination with them. I watch a lot of true crime stuff, read true crime books, and of course, I love serial killer fiction as well. But, to be specific, not slasher stuff, “real” serial killer fiction. Stuff like Friday the 13th, Halloween or Texas Chainsaw, while technically about serial killers, are not the kind of films I mean (those bore me). I mean films like Mr Brooks, Seven, The Frozen Ground, Psycho, Frailty, Zodiac, Copycat, The Raven, Clay Pigeons, From Hell, Identity, Natural Born Killers (even though I didn’t like it), and, of course, the TV show Dexter. But the best of the best is still, even 21 years later, The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill are still two of the creepiest serial killers ever to be captured on film, and it’s still, to my knowledge, the only horror film not only to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, but to win it. And it was very much earned. I don’t think there’s a horror fan on the planet that hasn’t seen it, but if by chance you haven’t, do so.
Day 25 – Best Holiday Horror Film: Ginger Snaps
When people think holiday horror, the first thing they think of is Christmas. So I decided to do something different and choose another holiday (mostly because I couldn’t really think of a good Christmastime horror movie :-p ). I chose Halloween, because it’s my favorite holiday of the year, and has been since I was a kid. Despite the ton of gifts you get at Christmas as a kid, I’ve always preferred Halloween. I loved dressing up (still do), even if I didn’t go trick-or-treating. And there are many more horror movies set during Halloween, for obvious reasons. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to go with the Canadian film Ginger Snaps for this category. It’s fun, it’s bloody, it’s smartly written, well acted and has cool practical effects. Werewolf films are hard to do without getting schlocky, but Ginger Snaps managed just fine. Also, Katherine Isabelle is a fox. Phew. And she loves making horror films, good news for us pervy horror fans!
One day left, so stay tuned!!