Posts Tagged ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’

Thanksgiving is a great day of the year where we get to spend time with family, eat delicious food and stuff ourselves silly.  Not every family is so wonderful and inviting, so in honor of the holiday I thought I’d highlight some Thanksgiving dinner invitations I’d decline.

1. The first family I would decline a Thanksgiving invitation from would be the family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Being tied to a chair, and having my blood sucked by a decrepit old man, who looks to be about 500 years old, just isn’t my idea of a good time.  The conversation would be sorely lacking too, as your pleas of help, and screaming would be cruelly mocked.  You would also be surrounded by human bones, and a lampshade made out of the skin from some poor guy’s face.  Seeing as you are being surrounded with the remnants of dead humans, it would be a little iffy about what kind of meat you were eating as well.  And if you did decide to partake of the feast, it’d be a bit hard for you to eat being tied to that chair and all.

2. The next family I’d decline an invite from would be the Firefly clan from House of 1000 Corpses, and The Devil’s Rejects.  Now they are a close-knit family and all, but not being one of the family could lead to some problems.  Now, before any harm came of you, you probably would be allowed to eat, but in your company would be a deformed fetus in a jar, not my idea of a great neighbor at the dinner table.  You might even be treated to a comedy/musical show put of by members of the family, but for the end of the night entertainment, you would inevitably be tortured, and killed.  You may become a piece of artwork in the Firefly’s home, to be enjoyed for generations to come, or before you’re killed you may be subjected to wearing your now dead boyfriend’s face as a mask.  Not really my idea of a good time.

3. Third on the list of invites I would decline would be an invite from the cannibalistic neo-Nazi family in the French flick Frontière(s) (2007).  Now if you are considered pure-blood enough for this family, you may make it to the dinner table, and be selected to carry on the pure race that the patriarch of the family, Von Geisler, is trying to create, but I’m not a big fan of neo-Nazi’s in general, and I feel like the dinner conversation would be a tad bit unsettling, not to mention then being betrothed to one of his demented sons.  If you try to decline the invite to become a part of the family, beware, these people do not take no for an answer.

4. Next up is the Merrye family in the 1968 film Spider Baby.  Now my idea of a good Thanksgiving meal includes all the trimmings- turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.  A meal with this family though would be a little different, to say the least.  You might have some over-cooked “rabbit” (AKA cat), wild (hopefully not poison) mushrooms, bugs, and a fresh “salad” (AKA grass and weeds).  YUMMY!! Hey, at least they were trying to accommodate all tastes!  Actually, maybe this dinner would be a good one to attend, just for the chance to eat with the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.), and a young Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig).

5. The family in The Hills Have Eyes probably wouldn’t be the funnest to join in a dinner with either.  They tend to like their meat raw, and are a bit cannibalistic.  They also hunt their food like wild animals, and I’m more of a grocery store kind of girl.  They are not very fond of utensils, or napkins, and they look like they’ve ever taken a bath in their whole lives, so sitting next to one of this clan to eat would be nauseating, as well as uncomfortable, as they live in a cave, and so eating at a proper table would be out of the question.  If you disobeyed them, or refused the food, it’s possible that you would be chained up and forced to eat it anyway, so the smart thing would be to stay out of their way in the first place.

6. Up next is the brother-sister duo in The People Under the Stairs.  The Robeson’s are insane, incestuous, masochistic, crazy religious, and just plain cruel.  If you are perfect enough for this bizarre couple you might just get invited to dinner, and even possibly “adopted” by them.  Dinner would probably be a tense affair though, and make sure they get all their utensils back, they seem to keep track of them in an oddly obsessive manner.  Now, if you are not perfect enough you will likely join “the people under the stairs”, and be fed the flesh from the murder victims.  So if you don’t like the taste of human, you may want to pass on this dinner as well.

7. Another cannibalistic and inbred family that I’d avoid if possible is the clan from Wrong Turn.  They don’t like outsiders in their neck of the woods, so it’d be more likely that you’d end up their dinner, instead of being invited to it.  Just like the family in The Hills Have Eyes they don’t look like they’ve ever seen a shower in their lives, but on the plus side, they do live in houses, well, run-down hovels is more like it, but it is a step up from living in a cave in my opinion.

8. Now, the next invite to decline does not come from a family, but just one demented and brilliant individual, Dr. Hannibal Lector, of The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, and Hannibal Rising.  If you accept an invite to his place, you will definitely be eating some human, and you will likely become his next victim.  Worse than being eaten by Dr. Lector though, would be to eat yourself, as he delicately sautés up some of your brains, and feeds them to you.  If brains aren’t your cup of tea, this may be a dinner to skip out on, although Dr. Lector does look like he knows his way around a kitchen!  If only he didn’t have cannibalistic tendencies.

9. Once again, a dinner to avoid with an individual, and not a family would be with Baby Jane Hudson, from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? She is one crazy lady.  Not only would you probably be subjected to her uncomfortably creepy song and dance number- “I’ve Written A Letter To Daddy”, and be expected to tell her how wonderful it was. Watch here! If you get on her bad side though, you’ll likely be served dead rat, and not even skinned dead rat!

10.  And last, but not least, the final dinner to pass on would be with the Deezes from Beetlejuice. Eating with this family would be majorly creepy due to the haunting of the house this family is living in.  Now, even without ghosts, the Deezes are extremely obnoxious yuppies, so it would be annoying to eat with them anyway, but when ghosts show up, and turn you into a voodoo doll and make you sing and dance, well, you wouldn’t be able to eat anyway.  Then having your shrimp cocktail turn into a disgusting shrimp-hand and grab onto your face….yuck!  I can think of better ways, and better people, to spend an evening with.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  Hopefully these clips didn’t make you lose your appetite!

~Emily

  1. Halloween (1978) From the opening scene, seen from Michael Myers point of view as a knife wielding 6 year old, to the stalking of Laurie Strode and friends 15 years later on Halloween,  Myers is the embodiment of evil.  This movie is gory, suspenseful, and has a great Halloween atmosphere.  Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie, the responsible babysitter, is perfect in the role, even though I have a hard time believing that she is a teenager.  She has always looked like an adult to me.  I bet that as a 10 year old she looked just the same.  Her friends break the rules of the horror movie, and thus die- drinking, smoking pot, and having premarital sex.  Michael Myers stalking her from the shadows is very creepy.  And of course who can forget Dr. Sam Loomis, the one who has tried to help Michael, and now realizes that he is beyond help and must be destroyed.  The music in the movie is also one of the most memorable and recognizable horror movie themes, as is Michael Myers’ Mask, whom some will recognize as an evil Captain Kirk!
  2. Scream (1996) – Now of course Scream is a horror-comedy, poking fun at the conventions of the horror flick, and parodying itself.  The movie discusses the rules of the horror film. Where it is stated if you drink, do drugs, have premarital sex, or say “I’ll be right back”, YOU WILL DIE!!!  This movie exists in the world of horror movie watching teenagers, and quite a few horror films are mentioned in this movie- Halloween, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, Friday the 13th, and Carrie, among others.  This movie became the most quoted movie in my life, and my fellow blogger Rebecca and I frequently quote it to this day.  “Liver alone, liver alone…get it? It was a joke.”
  3. The Descent (2005) – This movie made me never, ever want to enter a cave again.  It was scary even before the albino flesh-eating mutants appear.  The scene in which the women crawl through the narrow tunnel in the cave, and it begins to collapse on them, scared the living daylights out of me, and even though I have never been one to experience claustrophobia, just watching this scene gave me a feeling of what it must be like.  Of course the albino mutants are also freaky, and the thought of being in the dark with these creatures, which don’t need light to find and eat you is terrifying!
  4. The Shining (1980) – I love creepy kids in horror movies.  Danny is a really creepy kid, especially when Tony, “the little boy that lives in his mouth” is speaking. “Danny’s not here Mrs. Torrance”…..”Redrum, redrum, redrum”.  And of course the girls in the hallway that invite Danny to play with them forever, and ever, and ever, are terrifying, even before Danny sees them hacked to pieces with an axe.  Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance is the perfect actor in this role, and I was scared of him even before the hotel brings about his insanity.  Also disturbing is the feeling of isolation- the hotel is evil, the father is going crazy, and we are stuck up here with no outside contact, no transportation, in the middle of nowhere, and cannot escape.
  5. The Ring (2002) – I still have trouble watching the scene where the girl’s face is shown after she has been killed, or scared to death by Samara.  After a watching a film, you will die after 7 days, and also will be slowly driven insane by visions of a little girl.  The film that they watch is terrifying in itself; it seems like something out of a nightmare, with images of things that seem to be random, unless you take the time to investigate them.  And even if you do investigate, and solve the mystery, and find the little girl who was never properly buried, you are still cursed, because “she never sleeps”.  It is really hard for a film to scare me, and this film scared me!
  6. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – the first zombie comedy I ever saw, and still my favorite. Hilarious and disgusting, this movie still delights me every time I watch it.  Simon Pegg as Shaun and Nick Frost as Ed, make the perfect pairing.  I love the scene where they first encounter the zombie in the backyard, and think she’s just drunk until they push her over and she falls onto the pipe, stands up, and we see the huge gaping hole in her midsection, hilarious!  The debate over which records are bad enough to throw at the zombies while they try to stop them is always amusing.  Of course references to other zombie flicks are numerous- “We’re coming to get you Barbara”, and the gore is definitely not lacking.  I especially love David’s disembowelment scene- that’s what happens when you try to escape through a horde of hungry zombies!
  7. The Exorcist (1973)This movie just gets better, and better the more I see it.  It’s a scary thought that an innocent child could become possessed by a devil.  And how did this come about, was in through something as innocent as a Ouija board?  There are many scenes in this film that are cringe inducing- there is of course the puking of the pea soup, the peeing on the living room floor in front of party guests, the 360 degree head turn, the growing disfigurement of Regan, and the filth that comes out of her mouth due to the possession- “Your mother sucks cocks in hell”.  It’s terrifying that the priest finally had to draw the demon into himself and throw himself out of a window to rid Regan of this demon.
  8. House of Wax (2005) – Yeah, the one with Paris Hilton, I know, I know.  But this is one of those horror movies that is so entertaining, and has some great death scenes, not the least of which is Paris Hilton’s, being speared in the face with a rusty pole and slowly sliding down onto it.  Just awesome!  Imagine ending up in some creepy town that is full of wax people, and under the wax are real people.  It just makes me cringe to think of Jared Padalecki being paralyzed, having his hair waxed off (OUCH!!), then being sprayed with hot wax (double OUCH!!), and being displayed in the wax house.  And he is STILL ALIVE.  Then your friend finds you, and when trying to help you, peels off your skin!!!  I also love that our heroine gets such nasty wounds- its not every day that you get your lips sealed shut with super glue and part of your finger cut of with pliers!
  9. Jaws (1975) – A huge shark terrorizes the water off northeastern vacation spot.  This movie hit close to home, as my family and I would vacation on Cape Cod for a week every summer when I was growing up.  It’s enough to be afraid of jelly fish and horseshoe crabs, but now I have to be afraid of great white sharks too?  It always scared me that a killer shark could just come up out of the water and take a bite out of your leg.  Isn’t vacation supposed to be relaxing? Not off Amity Island!
  10. Final Destination (2000) – Imagine having a premonition of your death, being able to escape it, but then seeing those you saved once, still die.  So death is coming after you, you know it, and are pretty much powerless to stop it.  The ultimate movie in thinking that everything is out to get you- even when you think you’ve escaped certain death, you are never safe.  Instead of being killed by a train plowing at you when you’re stuck on the tracks, you will be able to get out of the car, but then be decapitated by flying shrapnel!  Even if you escape once, you will need to watch your back for the rest of your life- as evidenced by Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) in the sequel, who is resigned to staying in a padded room of an asylum in order to survive.  I love this movie for its wonderfully gory and creative deaths!

Some other horror flicks that were considered for my list:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – Don’t we all love deranged and cannibalistic families?  And who could forget Franklin?

Psycho (1960) – The famous shower scene is still shocking to this day!  Even though every one knows now that Norman Bates is the killer, the revelation that his mother is a corpse is still horrifying!

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and (2006) – Terrifying mutants stalk family stranded in the desert!  Mutants that we created due to atomic bombing! Both versions are quite frightening!

The Others (2001) – A scary haunted house flick, with more scary kids who are allergic to light!!

The Orphanage (2007) – Another flick that takes place in a big old house, with frightening kids.  Scary and sad at the same time.

~Emily

Halloween is fast approaching, and I thought, what better way to celebrate than to put together a list of my top 10 favorite horror movies?  A great idea in theory, but the task turned out to be much harder than I originally anticipated for a few reasons:

1. I’ve watched A LOT of horror movies

2. There are a lot of great horror movies that span the years, so narrowing it down to 10 was very difficult

3. Determining the order for the top 10 was even harder…it may be completely objective, but it’s still like comparing apples to oranges

4. My memory wasn’t as great as I’d hoped, and I may not have considered a few I should have

Difficulties aside, here’s the list I came up with.  Maybe some of your favorites are in here too!

  1. The Shining (1980): It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, it is just as scary and impactful every time I see it.  Those little twin girls telling Danny to “Come play with us forever and ever and ever” will remain branded in my brain forever, I fear, as will the creepy scene where Shelley Duvall finds Jack Nicholson’s manuscript and all it says for hundreds of pages is: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”?  And how about little Danny’s finger saying, “Mrs. Torrance” in that croaky voice?  Oh yeah, it’s spine-tingling.
  2. Scream (1996): Not exactly scary, but absolutely awesome for the way it pokes fun at all of its predecessors’ stereotypical plots.  Scream breaks down “the rules” for its audience.  You can’t drink, you can’t say you’ll be right back (because you won’t be), and you definitely can’t have sex.  Witty banter, a slew of gruesome killings(including The Fonze being scissored to death), and lots of horror movie references (“We all go a little mad sometimes”, “Corn syrup, same stuff they used for pig’s blood in Carrie“) make this movie an entertaining slicefest.
  3. The Devil’s Rejects (2005): Rob Zombie, please do not ever stop making horror movies.  Thank you.  But seriously, Zombie has a knack for films.  His plots are particularly twisted, his murders about as gorey and graphic as they come, his cinematography is excellent, he makes the coolest soundtracks, and never before have I watched a movie where I actually felt bad for the bad guys and sympathized when they met their demise.  This movie is not for the faint of heart.
  4. The Descent (2005): This is one of the freakist concepts for a horror movie I’ve ever come across.  Several ladies decide to explore the depths of a cavernous cave together…and are greeted by a posse of opaque, blind, flesh-eating mutants.  I don’t even know what these things are…are they human or otherwise?  Who knows.  One thing is for sure, their blindness doesn’t seem to slow them down much.  These suckers move fast and they’ll tear you to pieces.  I never had the desire to go cave-exploring…flesh-eating mutants pretty much seal the deal.
  5. Grindhouse: Planet Terror (2007): I chose only part 1 of the Grindhouse double feature because while I love Death Proof, I don’t consider it part of the horror genre.  Planet Terror was so awesome, I had to see it twice in theatre.  Rose McGowan plays a kickass babe with a machine gun for a leg who kills infected zombie-like people like its her job.  This movie explores new territory…it’s not very often a movie decides to show a kid shooting himself in the face.  Such things are fair game in Planet Terror.  Then there’s the Fergie cameo…she doesn’t look so pretty with half her head missing.  My vote for most awesome slaying scene, though, is when about 20 infected mutants are taken down by the blades of a helicopter.  If you’re easily offended, pass on this movie.  If you’ve got the stomach for it, I think you’ll find it just as awesome as I do!
  6. Night of the Living Dead (1968): Zombies are my personal favorite type of horror movie…I love the particular type of suspense in a zombie movie where these slow-moving, groaning creatures persistently stalk their victims for flesh.  This old classic is scary and will make the heart pound…”They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”
  7. The Others (2001): A spooky ghost movie with a twist at the end.  There are no grisly deaths, but somehow this movie scares me more than most others.  Nicole Kidman stars as a British mother of two whose husband never returns from the war.  She slowly starts to unravel, as unexplained things keep happening around her house.  Did I mention her kids are allergic to the sun?  One morning, she wakes up to find every curtain in the house has been inexplicably removed.  This film builds a quiet kind of terror as it develops.
  8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): The inception of the “family of killers” concept…a real house of horrors.  The way the movie begins, you think you’re watching crime scene footage from an actual real-life event.  Viewers are then taken back in time to a day when several teenagers break down in a remote Texas town, and are brutally tortured and killed off one by one by the chainsaw-wielding “Leatherface”.
  9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978): The concept of aliens from outerspace replicating a person while he or she sleeps, killing the host, and slowly taking over the whole world is another seriously creepy one.  There are a few versions of the body snatcher movie, and while I really enjoyed the original film from 1956, the 1978 version with Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum is my favorite (Leonard Nemoy even makes a cameo!).  I was especially impressed with the effects–the growing pod, the person being replicated.  It all seemed well ahead of its time.  Another thing I like about this one…there is no happy ending.  Even the main characters are killed off.  That’s perhaps the scariest part of the movie.  They win.  We lose.
  10. The Strangers (2008): This one, starring Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler, is one of my newest favorites and one of the most disturbing I’ve seen…plus, the acting is really good.  A young couple retreat to a secluded cabin for a romantic weekend, and are terrorized by masked people (the masks are so creepy!!) for no particular reason.   The masked maniacs toy with the couple throughout the movie, but I think the scariest thing of all is that they keep entering the house somehow, and the couple can’t seem to figure out why or how to prevent it…cell phones end up in the fire, items are moved, and so on.

And a few honorable mentions:

  • Dead Alive (aka Braindead) (1992): gory, gross, and utterly hilarious movie about zombies
  • High Tension (2003): an utterly horrific foreign film…I don’t even want to say anything about this one for fear of giving it away.  Just go see it.
  • The Hills Have Eyes (2006): a remake of the 1977 version…like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a family of deranged killers stalks a marooned family.  Only this time it’s out in the desert, and the killers are a mutant-looking, incestuous clan that suffers from radiation poisoning.
  • The Ring (2002): Watch a movie, and die in seven days.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004): Another zombie movie–a remake of George Romero’s 1978 rendition.  Zombies take over, and a few living stragglers take over a mall.  Lots of suspense.  These zombies don’t walk, they run…fast.  My favorite scene is when the main characters play target practice on the zombies in the mall parking lot.  A Burt Reynolds look-alike zombie gets popped.

~Rebecca