Thursday, October 15, 2015

The SLIFR Halloween Quiz

The highly enjoyable film blog Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule presents a film buff quiz a few times a year. I posted my answers to the most recent one on my general film blog We Can't Stop the Dancing Chicken. SLIFR has just unleashed a Halloween-themed horror quiz an unprecedented handful of days after the last quiz, so I thought I'd post my answers here instead, since this is a horror, cult, and midnight movie-themed blog.

1) Edwige Fenech or Barbara Bouchet?
Bouchet by default. I haven't seen any Fenech movies, which I should probably rectify soon.

2) The horror movie you will stand up for when no one else will:
Amityville II: The Possession has a reputation as just another terrible cash-in sequel, but I think it's a pretty solid horror movie with an enjoyably perverse streak, a kinetic style, and an expressive depiction of '80s teenage rebellion. It's much better than the first film, and much, much better than any other film with Amityville in the title.

3) Your favorite horror novel: 
It's technically a novella, so maybe I'm cheating, but The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

4) Lionel Atwill or George Zucco?
George Zucco, because he was in After the Thin Man and because of this still:

5) Name a horror film which you feel either goes "too far" or conversely might have been better had it been bolder.
I hate horror films that linger on rape and torture and the worst one for me is the original I Spit on Your Grave. (Haven't seen the remake. Won't see the remake.) I don't want to know anyone who enjoys watching a woman being tortured and raped repeatedly for 45 minutes. Conversely, any of the recent bland Hollywood remakes of classic '60s, '70s, and '80s horror movies would be improved by some boldness, perversity, and personality.

6) Let the Right One In or Let Me In?
I haven't seen Let Me In, but I loved every minute of Let the Right One In except for the ridiculous CGI cat scene.

7) Favorite horror film released by American International Pictures:
So many favorites and so much fierce competition here, but I'll go with The Abominable Dr. Phibes, with honorable mention shout-outs to Black Sunday, The Masque of the Red Death, Witchfinder General, Sisters, Death Line (aka Raw Meat), and Deranged. And about 35 others.

8) Veronica Carlson or Barbara Shelley?
I haven't seen much from either actor, but Barbara Shelley gets the nod just for being in a few films and TV series I've seen.

9) Name the pinnacle of slasher movie kills, based on gore quotient, level of cleverness, or shock value. 
Leaving out Psycho and Halloween for being too obvious and too influential (the Beatles and Stones of slasher movies, or maybe the Elvis and Beatles of slasher movies) and any of Dario Argento's '70s and '80s kills (don't know if these are technically slasher films), I'm going to pick Margot Kidder's death by crystal unicorn while children sing Christmas carols outside her window in Black Christmas (the original, of course, not the remake) with honorable mentions for Wendy's long chase scene and death in the original Prom Night and Brooke Shields' death in Alice, Sweet Alice. These deaths aren't particularly gory, just shocking, tense, and atmospheric. I also can't overlook this scene from The House on Sorority Row, in which Jodie Draigie totally kills spoken English dead with much shock value in this insane line reading of a completely banal line of dialogue.

10) Dracula (1931, Tod Browning) or Dracula (1931, George Melford)?
I regrettably have not seen Melford's Spanish-language version, but I love Browning's Dracula, despite some clunky scenes when Lugosi's not around.  

11) Name a movie which may not strictly be thought of as a horror film which you think qualifies for inclusion in the category.
Most David Lynch movies and Todd Haynes' Safe, which is considered an indie drama but is a psychological horror classic on par with Repulsion.

12) The last horror movie you saw in a theater? On home video?
Theater: Yakuza Apocalypse has vampires in it, so that may count, but I don't think of it as a horror film. In that case, probably The Babadook.
Home video: Bad Taste

13) Can you think of a horror movie that works better as a home video experience than as a theatrical one?
I think horror movies are generally creepier at home, especially if you're watching them by yourself or with a small group of people, but Ringu (and probably its American remake, though I haven't seen that one) is particularly great in this setting, since it's about a curse that gets you if you watch a bootleg video on your TV.

14) Brad Dourif or Robert Englund?
I like Robert Englund, but he doesn't stand a chance against Brad Dourif's body of work. Dourif by a huge lead.  

15) At what moment did you realize you were a horror fan? Or what caused you to realize that you weren't?
I came out of the womb a fan of horror and rock and roll and have no memories of discovering either. It was always just a part of who I am. There must have been a moment when it clicked, but I suspect that happened on a subconscious level.

16) The Thing with Two Heads or The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant?
I have vague memories of seeing both films on television as a child, and though I'm a big Bruce Dern fan now, I probably liked The Thing with Two Heads better because Rosey Grier was in it and I knew him from Free to Be You and Me. It also taught us important lessons about overcoming racism and how to safely operate a motorcycle if you have two heads. We probably need another mini-wave of two-headed transplant movies. Summer movies have become too self-important.

17) Favorite giallo or giallo moment:
Argento's The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

18) Name a horror remake, either a character or an entire film, that you prefer over its original or more iconic incarnation.
I like the 1988 version of The Blob more than the 1958 original. A remake that I like just as much as the original is Herzog's Nosferatu, which most critics find inferior to Murnau's silent masterpiece, but I find just as beautiful, atmospheric, and disturbing.

19) Your favorite director of horror films:
Excluding some favorites who also work in other genres (David Lynch, David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Brian de Palma, Larry Cohen), my choice is George A. Romero. Martin and the first three Dead movies are classics, and even his weakest movies have moments of greatness, invention, and humor. I love his stuff.

20) Caroline Munro or Stephanie Beacham?
Caroline Munro. Like question 14, it's not even close.

21) Best horror moment created specifically for TV:
I love several Tales from the Darkside episodes and was pretty freaked out by "The Cutty Black Sow" episode as a kid (also, it's just fun to say "cutty black sow"), but the show's scariest moment was its freaky-ass intro, which never failed to creep me out every Saturday night.

22) The Stephen King adaptation that works better as a movie than a book:
I'm not the biggest fan of Stephen King as a writer, though I loved his books when I was a kid, so I tend to prefer any King movie with a great director to a King book. Let's go with a tie between Carrie and The Shining, with honorable mentions to The Dead Zone and Christine.

23) Name the horror movie you most want to see but to this point never have.
The few scenes from Tourist Trap and its creepy score that I managed to see and hear have me anticipating the moment I finally see the whole thing.

24) Andre Morell or Laurence Naismith?
I can't say I spend much time thinking about either man, but I prefer Andre Morell.

25) Second favorite horror film made in the 1980s:
This is an impossible question to answer, but let's go with Michael Laughlin's criminally underseen, wildly inventive slasher/mad scientist hybrid Strange Behavior from 1981. I have no idea if this really is my second favorite 1980s horror film, but it's the first one I thought of that I couldn't call my favorite but that I love with every part of me that loves movies.

26) Tell us about your favorite TV horror host and the program showcasing horror classics over which he/she presided/presides.
As a child of the '80s, I remember watching a lot of Elvira and enjoying her look, her (genuine?) love of horror, her goofy jokes, and the fun she always seemed to be having, but I also spent hours and hours watching a VHS tape called Horrible Horror that collected clips from old horror and science fiction films that was hosted by Zacherley,  the Cool Ghoul, with interstitial skits from him as well. Everything I said about Elvira above also applies to Zacherley, though Elvira is much easier on the eyes. 


James Dye said...

I recently watched Amityville II (it is, or was, streaming on Netflix), and really dug it - more the first half, with a very dysfunctional family, than the second half, which lifts from The Exorcist a bit too much for my taste. Lalo Schifrin's score is pleasantly disturbing (and easy to find on the Internet). It is definitely the best of the series.

Tourist Trap is very eerie and plays on the uncanny nature of mannequins (Stephen King has championed it, for that reason). Chuck Connors' performance is quite a revelation. King thought him miscast, but I disagree - he plays his role to the hilt without falling into camp. There is one scene that is very gruesome (by implication - it's not gory). It was the second movie distributed by the short-lived Compass International Pictures (Halloween was the first).

- James Dye

le0pard13 said...

Some great movie quiz answers!