Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Some scary cinematic story time

You know what we haven't seen on the horror movie front lately? A good old fashioned anthology flick-one of those movies with several terror tales linked together by a suspense driven framework in which the telling of these stories is a stalling tactic by some poor soul looking to avoid their doom.

One of the better attempts at this genre came about in 1990 with the big screen version of the syndicated TV horror series,Tales From The Darkside. Story contributors here included Stephen King and George Romero and the cast had some rather notable names on their roster such as Christian Slater,Julianne Moore and Debbie Harry(who plays a suburban cannibal listening to these stories as she prepares to serve man,or a kid in this case,for dinner).

Even if you never watched the show(which is playing on cable somewhere,I imagine),there is still plenty of thrills and chills for the casual viewer to enjoy:

A few years later,Tales From the Hood hit movie theaters to offer up some sinister stories with social commentary chills on the side. Clarence Williams III played the MC of this quartet of terror as Mr. Simms,a funeral home director entertaining a trio of street toughs looking for a quick score and as is the way of these things,getting more than they bargained for.

While the movie gets a little preachy at times,it does deliver some good scary moments and performances such as David Allen Grier as an abusive stepfather and Corbin Bernsen who plays a former KKK member turned politician who gets a deadly dressing down from a set of voodoo dolls:

When it comes to horror anthology films,most modern day audiences immediately think of Creepshow,another Stephen King/George Romero cinematic collaboration. The movie was a tribute to the horror comic books of their youth(Tales From The Crypt,Vault of Horror,etc)that inspired them and many others in the field to bring more creepy chills to the masses.

King even has a part in the film,as the lead character in "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" as an unfortunate farmer who starts sprouting weird vegetation due to a run-in with a meteor. The movie did well enough to get a sequel made,but avoid that sucker at all costs. The first one is the best in bringing home the horror:

To see what all the fearsome fuss was about with Creepshow and others like it,check out 1972's Tales From The Crypt,based directly on the infamous EC comics themselves.

It's a British production starring Joan Collins,Peter Cushing and Ralph Richardson as the Crypt Keeper,who leads a group of strangers into a cave and tells them some pretty freaky stories,several of which were remade for the HBO series back in the nineties.

As much as I liked the HBO version(the first couple of seasons,anyway),the movies made from that revival had solo stories to tell,with a Crypt Keeper front and end skit to round the action out. Demon Knight is the better one of the two,yet still it's not quite right. Hello,it's TALES from the Crypt,not a Tale!:

Hopefully,Hollywood will dig this tattered format out of the horror movie basement,dust it off and give it a snazzy new presentation. In the meantime,we'll just have to make do with those already on the shelf or get creative with some homemade Halloween story telling hijinks to liven up the festivities this year(pranks are optional):

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I missed out on Tales from the Darkside but it looks like a good movie to watch on Halloween! Now I do remember Tales from the Hood (vaguely). At one time I think we even owned it and I still have a VHS of Creepshow.

Roseanne could be almost any and every woman in my family lol