Film Screening: Video Store Day screening of “Psychos In Love” with Gorman Bechard, Carmine Capobianco Sat., Oct. 21, 8 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is pleased to present a International Independent Video Store Day screening of the 1986 cult classic horror comedy “Psychos In Love” on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at 8 PM. Writer/director Gorman Bechard and lead actor and co-writer Carmine Capobianco will be on hand to discuss the film and take questions. Tickets are $10.

The movie was filmed in Waterbury and other locations in Connecticut. Bloody and hilarious, Gorman Bechard’s “Psychos In Love” is an absurd, home grown horror-comedy, which alternates between gratuitous killing scenes and self-aware parody of romantic comedies.

Bridgeport-based Vinegar Syndrome presents this lurid classic in a fresh 2k restoration from its 16mm original camera negative. Vinegar Syndrome specializes in the masterful restoration and distribution of cult, horror, and erotic films from the 1960s-90s.

Joe (Carmine Capobianco) runs a strip club and Kate (Debi Thibeault) is an attractive young manicurist. After bonding over their mutual dislike of grapes, they discover another commonality: both of them are bloodthirsty serial killers. As they begin to balance their obsession with murder and each other, they meet Herman (Frank Stewart), a cannibal who, upon discovering their bloodlust, attempts to lure them into killing as a means to satisfy his craving for human flesh!

From Brian Orndorf’s review on Blu-Ray.com:

1986’s “Psychos in Love” certainly has the external appearance of a horror extravaganza, with an eye-catching title and marketing materials that emphasize a ghoulish viewing experience to come. But the feature isn’t a nightmare machine, it merely wants to tell a plethora of corny jokes and showcase freshly chopped limbs. And if you happen to hate grapes, here’s a cinematic experience tailored directly to that phobia. Co-writer/director Gorman Bechard arranges a massacre with ‘Psychos in Love,’ but his heart belongs to comedy, pinching from the Marx Brothers and Monty Python as he sets up shop in Tromaville for this unexpectedly goofball take on “Annie Hall,” diluting the direct Woody Allen lifts with bloodshed and multiple maniacs. It’s a strange picture, but that’s the point.

“Psychos in Love” is a film obsessed with bad jokes. There are a lot of visceral things that happen in the movie, but Bechard always returns to his love of comedy, and not even the dark stuff, keeping the feature fairly silly for most of its run time. Sure, the effort opens with a montage of Joe’s daily habit, watching the creep chop and strangle his victims, and Kate eventually gets in on the action, displaying her abilities to murder doofy guys. But Bechard is more concerned with his tributes, setting up the tale as an ‘Annie Hall’-style riff on relationships, offering Joe and Kate interviews where they share their thoughts on the craziness of fate. Their meet cute is a mutual disdain for grapes, which part of the feature’s charm, going to extreme hatred of a fruit to help secure everlasting love, albeit warmth that’s challenged by daily cohabitational pressures and a dimming love for causing bodily harm. Their temporary replacement? The thrill of renting VHS tapes.

The AVC encoded image (1.33:1 aspect ratio) presentation is “Newly scanned and restored in 2K from the 16mm original camera negative.” It’s a BD upgrade for a crudely shot movie, but it works superbly, coming through with a bright, filmic handle on the feature’s limited visual needs. Clarity is strong during the viewing experience, delivering textures on skin and sets, and the picture’s appetite for violence is vivid, offering squishy gore zone visits that add to the gross-out factor. Colors are vibrant and secure, with more aggressive reds on blood balanced well with pink and blue costuming. Greenery is also appealing. Delineation is satisfactory. Source is in fine shape, lacking any major issues with damage.

Gorman Bechard, who lives in Hamden, is a director, screenwriter and novelist. Besides “Psychos In Love,” Bechard has directed other narrative films such as “Friends (With Benefits)” and a host of documentary films, including “A Dog Named Gucci,” “Color Me Obsessed” (about the rock band The Replacements), and “Every Everything” (about the late Husker Du drummer Grant Hart). In 2014, Bechard co-founded NHDocs: The New Haven Documentary Film Festival.

Carmine Capobianco’s film career began upon meeting Gorman Bechard and they raised money to shoot their first low-budget feature, “Disconnected” (1983). Shortly after making a video feature, Carmine and Gorman co-wrote the script and filmed “Psychos in Love” (1987). Charles Band, now of Full Moon Entertainment, purchased the rights and signed their film production company, Generic Films, to a four picture deal. They made two more before Charlie’s company went under and Generic Films disbanded: “Galactic Gigolo” (1987) and “Cemetery High” (1988). Carmine went off on his own and dabbled for the next few years with small parts working on or in One Life to Live, an MTV video, a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, commercials (ESPN), award-winning host of his own cable show and some small independent films such as “Everything Moves Alone” (2001) and “The White Car.”

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a beautifully restored cult classic and glean insights into the making of a B-movie classic from two of the principals.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Oct. 18. ANNIE LISA: PSYCH-K

• Thursday, Oct. 19. AFRO-FUNK FUSION: THE LOST TRIBE

• Friday, Oct. 20, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 PM. VIDEO STORE DAY SCREENING OF “PSYCHOS IN LOVE” WITH WRITER/DIRECTOR GORMAN BECHARD & WRITER/LEAD ACTOR CARMINE CAPOBIANCO

• Monday, Oct. 23, 7:15 PM. FILM SCREENING: “THE VISITOR” (PART OF “WHITHER THOU GOEST—GREAT FILMS ON IMMIGRATION & REFUGEES” FILM SERIES)

• Wednesday, Oct. 25. NEW ORLEANS-STYLE FUNK: BAND OF DRUTHERS

• Thursday, Oct. 26. INDIE ROCK: SEAN HENRY, RYXNO

• Friday, Oct. 27. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Saturday, Oct. 28. LIGHT UPON BLIGHT HALLOWEEN SHOW: “CARNIVAL OF SOULS” with LIVE IMPROVISED MUSICAL SCORE

• Monday, Oct. 30, 7:15 PM. FILM SCREENING: “A BETTER LIFE” (PART OF “WHITHER THOU GOEST—GREAT FILMS ON IMMIGRATION & REFUGEES” FILM SERIES)

• Wednesday, Nov. 1. OLD-TIMEY/BLUES: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Thursday, Nov. 2. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER

• Friday, Nov. 3. AMERICANA: FYFE AND STONE

• Saturday, Nov. 4. SOLO MODERN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Sunday, Nov. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Nov. 6, 7:15 PM. FILM SCREENING: “INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS” (PART OF “WHITHER THOU GOEST—GREAT FILMS ON IMMIGRATION & REFUGEES” FILM SERIES)

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 9. GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: RICH MORAN

• Friday, Nov. 10. MODERN ROCK: NALANI & SARINA, CHASER EIGHT NAKED (PRESENTED BY AIM PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Nov. 11, 7-10 PM (at ORDINARY tavern in New Haven): ART OPENING: “CREEPSHOW”—A BENEFIT FOR BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER with art by AUDREY NEFORES & NICK HURWITZ-GOODMAN

• Sunday, Nov. 12, 7 PM. FOLK: MINK, SOCK & LUTIE

• Monday, Nov. 13, 7:15 PM. FILM SCREENING: “WHAT’S COOKING” (PART OF “WHITHER THOU GOEST—GREAT FILMS ON IMMIGRATION & REFUGEES” FILM SERIES)

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, NU HAVEN KAPELYE, THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SON OF SAUL” (WITH TALK BY PROF. CHRISTOPHER SHARRETT)

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Friday, Dec. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY PURRONE

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Dec. 7.ART SONG/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: OLIVE TIGER (SOLO), AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Feb. 9. BLUEGRASS: JOE WALSH & SWEET LOAM

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

 

Film Screening: “HEAD,” a live-action, all-puppet horror film Fri., Aug. 28, at 8 PM

Best Video Performance Space screens “HEAD,” a Connecticut-produced all-puppet horror movie on Friday, Aug. 28. The program starts at 8 PM and admission is $5.

Headblogposterimage_Web

“HEAD” is a one of a kind film starring an all puppet cast in a throwback to the slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s. A group of twenty somethings go for a nice fall weekend camping trip and end up in the middle of nightmare they may never escape from…

“HEAD” is Rated R, for gore, horror, four letter words and anything else you’d expect in a horror movie starring puppets, so we advise leaving the kids at home!

Check out the teaser trailer for “HEAD”:

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Aug. 27. AMERICANA: PATRICK DALTON & MIKE SKAGGS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Thursday, Sept. 3. SOLO GUITAR: JOHN THOMAS, SARAH WHITAKER

• Friday, Sept. 4. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Wednesday, Sept. 9. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH JAKE NIETOPSKI

• Thursday, Sept. 10. INDIE ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Sept. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: LUKE RODNEY

• Friday, Sept. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, CHRIS KILEY

Wednesday, Sept. 23. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR & THE NORTH END HONEYS, ABBIE MORIN & THOMAS PEARO

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 1. TRIP HOP: THE FOREST ROOM, HIP-HOP: CHEF THE CHEF

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI, BEN PARENT

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

• Friday, Oct. 30. HALLOWEEN SILENT FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

Rob Harmon’s recommendations 10/29/13

ROB HARMON’S RECOMMENDATIONS 10/29/13

Rob_Harmon_image_for_picksThe Horror! The Horror!

Personally, I enjoy watching horror movies any time of the year—occasionally binging on them like a kid on candy corn—but I understand that, around Halloween, they do go with the season. After all, what better way to celebrate the autumn and longer, chillier nights than to pop in a really scary movie and watch it with friends, family, or, gulp, do you dare it alone? Of course, there are many different kinds of horror films—serious, silly, scary, satirical, campy, slasher, haunted house, giallo, vampire, zombie, werewolf, witchcraft, American, British, Japanese, Italian, etc.—but, undaunted, I have attempted to gather together my 100 Favorite Horror Films into one list for your perusal and viewing enjoyment. Happy Halloween!

1. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
2. Psycho (1960)
3. Halloween (1978)
4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) (the 1978 remake is surprisingly good, as well)
7. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
8. The Birds (1963)
9. Videodrome (1983)
10. The Seventh Victim (1943)
11. The Thing from Another World (1951) (+ the 1982 remake!!!)
12. Sisters (1973)
13. Alien (1979)
14. Black Christmas (1974)
15. Dressed to Kill (1980)
16. Suspiria (1977)
17. The Evil Dead (1981)
18. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
19. The Exorcist (1973)
20. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
21. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
22. The Shining (1980)
23. Island of Lost Souls (1932)
24. Martin (1976)
25. Zombie (1979)
26. Evil Dead II (1987)
27. Daughters of Darkness (1971)
28. Deathdream (1972)
29. Don’t Look Now (1973)
30. God Told Me To (1976)
31. Dead of Night (1945)
32. The Wicker Man (1973)
33. Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971)
34. Blood Feast (1963)
35. The Black Cat (1934)
36. Friday the 13th (1980)
37. Carnival of Souls (1962)
38. The Uninvited (1944)
39. Black Sabbath (1963)
40. Onibaba (1964)
41. The Haunting (1963)
42. Curse of the Demon (1957)
43. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
44. The Omen (1976)
45. The Innocents (1961)
46. They Live (1988)
47. Frankenstein (1931)
48. The Brood (1979)
49. The Last House on the Left (1972)
50. Re-Animator (1985)
51. It’s Alive (1974)
52. Invaders from Mars (1953)
53. Near Dark (1987)
54. Nosferatu (1922)
55. House (1977)
56. The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)
57. Dead Alive (1992)
58. The Mummy (1932)
59. Ringu (1998)
60. The Wolf Man (1941)
61. Carrie (1976)
62. Audition (1999)
63. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
64. Black Sunday (1960)
65. Jigoku (1960)
66. Poltergeist (1982)
67. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
68. Dracula (1931)
69. Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
70. Basket Case (1982)
71. Phantasm (1979)
72. The Crazies (1973)
73. Scream of Fear (1961)
74. Pulse (2001)
75. Deep Red (1975)
76. Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)
77. The Stuff (1985)
78. Gremlins (1984)
79. Cat People (1942)
80. Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1973)
81. Possession (1981)
82. Planet of the Vampires (1965)
83. The Invisible Man (1933)
84. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
85. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
86. Strait-Jacket (1964)
87. The Eye (2002)
88. The Horror of Dracula (1958)
89. The Blob (1958)
90. The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
91. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1964)
92. Ju-on (2002)
93. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
94. Shock (1977)
95. Raw Meat (1973)
96. The Howling (1981)
97. Night of the Creeps (1986)
98. The Fog (1980)
99. Homicidal (1961)
100. Them! (1954)

New: Halloween film screenings at Best Video Sat., Oct. 26, and Halloween night

Plan_9_DVDBest Video Performance Space presents a special pre-Halloween double feature of campy classic horror on Saturday, Oct. 26. The first movie is at 7 PM and the second at 8:30 PM. Free popcorn and $1.50 Pabst Blue Ribbons from the Best Video/Coffee Wine Bar. The $5 admission gets you into both movies.

Experience these cult classics on Best Video’s big 120″ projection screen.

7 PM: “PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE” (dir. Edward D. Wood, Jr., 1959) Grave-robbers from outer space! See the film widely hailed as the “Worst Movie Ever Made!” Starring: Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tor Johnson, Vampira, The Amazing Criswell and Bela Lugosi!

8:30 PM: “TROLL 2” (dir. Claudio Fragasso, 1990) Trolls are loose… no, wait, make that goblins are loose in the sleepy little town of Nilbog! Unfortunately for young Joshua Waits his family has just arrived there for a vacation: will they survive? Luckily, however, the ghost of dear, old grand-dad swings by to help… A perennial frontrunner in the “Worst Movie Ever Made” sweepstakes! Must be seen to be believed! Starring: Michael Stephenson, Margo Prey

Night_of_the_Living_Dead_DVDCan’t get enough Halloween movie madness? Best Video Performance Space presents a special Halloween double feature of classic horror on Halloween night, Thursday, Oct. 31. Free popcorn and $1.50 Pabst Blue Ribbons from the Best Video/Coffee Wine Bar. the $5 admission gets you into both movies.

7 PM: “CARNIVAL OF SOULS” (dir. Herk Harvey, 1962). Mary Henry miraculously survives a horrific car-wreck but when she takes a job as church organist in another town she keeps seeing strange visions… or could they be actual manifestations of the living dead?! A creepy, low-budget chiller! Starring: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger

8:30 PM: “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD” (dir. George A. Romero, 1968) A number of strangers hole up one evening in an abandoned farmhouse as the countryside is overrun by wave after wave of flesh-eating zombies! The original experience in white-knuckled terror! Starring: Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea

Hank’s Recommendations 03/05/13

hank_paperMY WIFE SAID NO BUT STAYED WITH THE SHOW

THE INTOUCHABLES — In this based-on-a-true-story, a charming, self-taken ex-con from the projects is hired to take care of a charming  but strong-willed disabled French aristocrat. What seems to start out as a formulaic French movie about two people from different worlds coming together for some life-changing experiences soon broadens into a highly humorous story wherein all the characters’ captivating stories (UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS anyone?) come to the fore. Moving beyond a film about a household task the film turns into an unpredictable adventure in the streets and countryside of Paris involving the upturning of preconceptions about life as well as class distinctions. As Mrs. Video proclaimed at the end: The Intouchables is unforgettable!

THE BAY — This is an eco-horror film that Barry Levinson (DINER, THE NATURAL, TIN MEN, GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM, RAIN MAN, BUGSY, SLEEPER, WAG THE DOG) directed with the producing help of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise producers. What’s “paranormal” here, however, is not ghosts but the environment, specifically that of the Chesapeake Bay in his beloved home state of Maryland, where Levinson grew up (see his affecting drama LIBERTY HEIGHTS) and many of his films are set,

Apart from CLOVERFIELD, CATFISH and THE LAST EXORCISM, I never did much care for that BLAIR WITCH PROJECTParanormal Activity sub-genre (which is almost always horror) where the entire film is seen through shaky, hand-held video or found footage of digital devices such as cell phones, security cameras and webcams. The style is supposed to make the film seem more real; to me the reality is simply low budget and not much else. But it’s a new world we’re in and nothing should be dismissed out of hand, though I do believe it takes a certain director (and writing!) to do this sub-genre well. Barry Levinson, it turns out, is that man.

The film is a montage of found footage put together by a then highly unseasoned young reporter who had reported on the events for a local TV station of the weekend in question three years ago. Conscience ridden, stealthy and now seasoned, she has decided to expose a three-year governmental cover up of a major environmental disaster that happened back then.

The ironic occasion of that earlier footage, honoring the independence and happy times of our nation, is a July 4th celebration in the quaint bayside town of Claridge: flags, parades, families, and a crab eating contest whose participants will soon all be throwing up.

Before you can say “lobster bib” an epidemic of blisters and boils and worse strikes many of the citizens. A woman wanders hysterically across suburban lawns, bleeding from every orifice. One witness’s initial response is to “run in to get my camera.” Talk about first responder.

Both horrifying and parodic, Levinson makes his faux found footage work with canny and clever camerawork, mounting suspense, and inadvertent humor interspersed with shocking images as overwhelmed local hospitals and the Center for Disease Control race to discover the source of this sudden and unprecedented epidemic.

These elements, along with good writing rather than the mostly silent footage of the Paranormal series, proves that Levinson does this sub-genre better than his producers have done with their own Paranormal series.

He doesn’t quite know how to bring it to a conclusion. But then, it’s still going on.

Hank’s Recommendations 10/30/12

Depending on where you live, this week’s “storm of the century” (borrowing from a highly appropriate Stephen King title on my list) may have swept away any chance for door-to-door trick or treating in your neighborhood. Which may leave you and your kids at home with your TV on this all-too-mischievous Halloween night.

Here’s a list you can draw from to assure the appropriate (albeit virtual) frights. Keep in mind that Halloween is once a year; horror lives forever.

HANK’S HOUSE OF HORROR
(All recommended titles)

SHARE A SCARE: FOR KIDS AND ADULTS

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
Changeling, The
Day of the Triffids
Fly, The (orig.)
Incredible Shrinking Man, The
Invaders From Mars (orig.)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (orig.)
It Came From Outer Space
Lady in White
Silver Bullet
So I Married An Axe Murderer
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Thing, The (orig.)
Village of the Damned
War of the Worlds
Watcher in the Woods

JACQUES TOURNEUR/VAL LEWTON

Cat People
Curse of the Demon
I Walked With A Zombie
Leopard Man, The
Seventh Victim, The

HANK’S OTHER FAVORITE HORROR FILMS

Alligator
American Werewolf in London
Army of Darkness
Asphyx, The
Asylum
Bad Seed, The
Birds, The
Blob, The
Blob, The (remake)
Body Snatchers
Bug
Carnival of Souls
Carrie
Cat’s Eye
Cherry Falls
Close Your Eyes
Cloverfield
Crazies, The
Dawn of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Dead of Night (Brit.)
Dead of Winter
Devil Doll
Devil’s Advocate
Devil’s Rain
Don’t Look Now
Dracula (orig.-Lugosi)
Dracula (Langella)
Dreamscape
Duel (Spielberg)
Entity, The
Evil Dead
Exorcist, The
Final Destination
Fly, The (remake)
Freeway
Forbidden Planet
Frankenstein (Patrick Bergin)
Frighteners, The
God Told Me To
Halloween
Hidden, The
Hills Have Eyes
Horror Express
House
House of Wax
Hunger, The
I Bury the Living
Incubus, The (John Cassavetes)
Innocents, The
In the Mouth of Madness
Jacob’s Ladder
Jeepers Creepers
King Kong (orig.)
Lasst Exorcism, The
Last Wave, The
Legacy, The
Let Me In (American version)
Let the Right One In (original Swedish)
Lifeforce
Lost Souls
Maze, The
Mephisto Waltz
Mr. Frost
Mute Witness
Near Dark
Night of the Living Dead
Nightmare On Elm Street
Ninth Configuration
Ninth Gate
Nomads
Omega Man, The
Omen, The
Patrick
Phantasm
Poltergeist
Prophecy
Psycho (orig.)
Q: the Winged Serpent
Quatermass and the Pit
Repulsion
Ring, The
Ringu
Ritual
Rosemary’s Baby
Salem’s Lot
Scream
Sentinel, The
Serpent and the Rainbow
Seventh Sign
Shout, The
Signs
Sisters
Sixth Sense
Splinter
Stand, The
Stepford Wives (orig.)
Stigmata
Stir of Echoes
Storm of the Century
Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Thing, The (remake)
Tingler, The
Tremors
Unbreakable
Vanishing, The
Vanishing, The (American version)
Walking Dead, The (TV series)
When A Stranger Calls
When A Stranger Calls Back
Wicker Man, The
Wolfen

THRILLERS WITH HORRIFIC ELEMENTS

Boys From Brazil
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Day the Earth Caught Fire
Deep Impact
Diabolique (orig.)
Hitcher, The
Jaws
Manchurian Candidate
Manhunter
Misery
Night of the Hunter
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Rear Window
Rebecca
Silence of the Lambs
Soylent Green
Spiral Staircase
Terminator
Videodrome
Wait Until Dark
Wizard of Oz

RECOMMENDED HORROR FILMS ADAPTED FROM STEPHEN KING

Cat’s Eye
Dead Zone, The
Dolores Claiborne
Green Mile, The
Mist, The
Silver Bullet
Stand, The
Storm of the Century, The

Hank’s Recommendations 10/23/12

TWO NEW TV SERIES & HALLOWEEN

MAD MEN SEASON FIVE — The mystery of Don Draper returns in still yet unexpected ways. This most acclaimed and, at Best Video, awaited series—a multi-Globe and Emmy winner of the last four years—came out last week. Nonpareill art direction and period detail along with compellingly ambitious characters recreate the Madison Avenue world of the 60s, limning issues of misogyny, sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, the glass ceiling and consumer materialism that resonate today. The first two linked episodes serve as both a reprise of what went before and a pilot of what’s to come. It’s a model of sophisticated writing and structured story telling: a fulfillment of everything promised.

 

THE WALKING DEAD — This edge-of-the seat horror drama is my choice for this year’s Halloween fare. The flight-and-pursuit story of a sheriff and a small group of people trying navigate zombie apocalypse—staying ahead of the dead that relentlessly stalk them while seeking solace in the hope of a refuge that may (or may not) lie ahead—focuses equally on the survivalist conflicts and rivalries within the group. Full of surprises and suspense and, above all, characters you can relate to, this is a show that has single-handedly reanimated the over-populated zombie genre. I’m trying to get my wife to watch it by comparing it to Friday Night Lights. Good luck to that.

Halloween is once a year but horror lives forever: a good horror film survives the designated Day of the Dead, remaining eternal in reminding ourselves of our dark side and how titillating it is to temporarily burrow in. With that in mind, we’ve created a BEST HORROR FILMS SECTION near cult and horror—in tall shelving that will tower over you like Frankenstein’s monster. Here is a sampling of our recommended horror films (two to watch with your kids; the other just for you) that will be good for any time of the year.

THE CHANGELING — Here, along with the following title (both rated PG), is the answer to a parent’s perennial plea: for a film that is “scary but not gory.”  Both are ghost stories that are among the best of their kind.

George C. Scott, putting in the inevitable strong performance, plays a music composer who witnesses the death of his wife and young son in a freak truck accident. Months later, he has taken refuge in an old, isolated Victorian house: all he wants is to be alone where he can immerse himself in his work. Instead, what he comes up against (or perhaps it’s the other way around) is the ghost of a murdered boy who seeks to use Scott as the instrument of his own vengeance. Scott’s at first reluctant and then dogged determination to carry out the boy’s mission puts him through some scarifying paces and winds up enabling him to exorcise his own demons along the way.

Octogenarian Melvyn Douglas, as a devious old man whose money and social prominence hides the answer to an ancient puzzle, adds a gem of a performance to a long distinguished career. If your idea of a horror thriller is to be moved as well as scared, then allow this ghost-thriller, complete with supernatural manifestations, séances and nocturnal grave diggings, to manifest itself on your TV screen.

 

LADY IN WHITE — Here’s a superb New England ghost story that’s also a Hitchcockian mystery thriller, great for both older kids and adults.

Twelve-year old Frankie, still in costume from a class Halloween party, is lured back into school by two mischievous friends and locked in the cloakroom overnight. Being alone, however, is not going to be his biggest fright. A man in a black face mask breaks into the cloakroom looking for something, encounters Frankie, and tries to strangle him. In the twilight between life and death, Frankie sees the apparition of a little girl, who, he realizes, is a former victim of his own assailant. Following his survival, he uses that vision as a clue to try to uncover the identity of the murderer, who, it turns out, has left nine other victims in the town.

This film is cleverly suspenseful and scary, but not gory. There is one possibly shocking moment when someone is shot in a car, and a suggested molestation motif, but the story is as sensitively told as it is beautifully photographed. If you’ve survived the rigors of that well-crafted, hoary chestnut, A CHRISTMAS STORY, but are in the mood for something spooky and horrific instead of hilarious, then allow this spirited film about one boy’s singularly determined quest into your own family den.

THE HUNGER — Vampire films (THE TWILIGHT SAGA, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, TRUE BLOOD) have been all the rage lately, targeted to the unrequited hormonal yearnings of teen girls. Here is a highly stylized cult film with an A cast whose leanings are decidedly more toward sexual fulfillment and whose target audience is clearly adult.

Catherine Deneuve is an ageless, wealthy vampire whose successive lovers all too quickly age and die. Current lover David Bowie (an intriguing actor, as in THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and the Criterion edition of MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE) is on the way out (the scenes of this boy-man’s rapid aging are fascinating) and Susan Sarandon, the head of a rejuvenation clinic to which Bowie has sought help, is on the way in. How she gets the “hunger” from Deneuve and how she fights it is what the story’s about. Directed by Tony Scott (TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3, DOMINO, MAN ON FIRE, CRIMSON TIDE, TRUE ROMANCE, DAYS OF THUNDER), the film plays like a slick fashion spread where the blood is real. The story offers a dream of a cast in a film that itself is like a dream, yet goes straight for the jugular.