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Worst and Best Halloween Movies

October 30, 2017

Okay, the trick-or-treaters are gone and the candle inside the jack o’ lantern has been blown out. You’ve picked up the scattered candy wrappers and tucked the little ones in bed. Time to snuggle next to the wife or husband with a hot cup of chocolate or coffee and watch a good Halloween movie. Right? But you might not want to go to bed after watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or something equally as bloody. Let me offer some suggestions.

 

Movies Not To Watch

(Unless you want a good laugh)

 

Eegah One night after shopping, Roxy Miller is driving through California’s Borrego Desert near Palm Springs, to a party. She nearly runs her car into Eegah, a giant caveman. Wait! It gets better. She tells her boyfriend, Tom Nelson, and her father, Robert Miller, about the giant. Her father, a writer of adventure books, decides to go into the desert to look for the creature and possibly take a picture. When he doesn’t arrive at his designated pick up time, Roxy and her boyfriend go looking for him.

Well, as we can guess, pretty Roxy is nabbed by Eegah and dragged back to his cave, where she is reunited with her father, who is unharmed, and trying to communicate with the caveman. Eegah starts to feel sort of amorous toward Roxy, (after all, he hasn’t seen a woman in how many years?) and while she’s scared of him, her sweet daddy urges her to play along with him as much as she can.

Roxy’s boyfriend soon arrives and somehow helps Roxy and her daddy escape. Eegah really gets ticked-off, and follows them to Palm Springs, where he is eventually shot and killed by a policeman. You’ll find yourself wiping a tear at the end … mostly from laughter.

Eegah was voted as one of The Fifty Worst Films of All Time, and was pronounced the worst by several critics. It has, however, become a cult classic, and appeared on Comedy Central and Mystery Science Theater.

 

Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter is a low-budget western/horror film released in 1966. Jesse James has somehow survived being killed and rides into a small western town with his half-witted saddle pard. His plan is to join two other outlaws and rob an incoming stage of $10,000, they somehow know about. At the same time, Dr. Frankenstein’s evil granddaughter, Maria, has moved to the same area, to use the violent electrical storms to further her experiments of turning children they kidnap into slaves by removing their brains and replacing them with artificial ones.

The entire movie was shot in eight days, and I personally think it rates somewhere below Eegah for entertainment value. The film was featured in an episode of This Movie Sucks! I think that says it all.

 

Billy the Kid Versus Dracula Somehow, Dracula has arrived in the American west, and decides to make Billy the Kid’s fiancée his vampire wife. To do this, the Count poses as her uncle and wins her trust. Lucky for her a German immigrant couple comes to work for her, and sees through Count Dracula’s plot and warn her. She, of course, won’t listen to their warnings, so they tell Billy, but she won’t heed Billy’s warnings either.

Eventually, the Count kidnaps her and flees to an abandoned silver mine where he and Billy have the final showdown. Billy soon discovers that .45 cal bullets have no effect on a vampire. The Count subdues Billy, and sets out to transform sweet Betty into his vampire wife. The sheriff and country doctor arrive in the nick of time. The doctor hands Billy a scalpel and tells him he has to drive it through the vampire’s heart. (I always believed it had to be a wooden stake). In the end, Count Dracula dies, like he always does, and Billy takes sweet Betty away to live happily ever after.

This film was also shot in eight days and released with Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. ‘Nuff said.

 

Movies You Want To Watch

(They Might Make You Grip Your Honey’s Hand)

 

Bedlam Starring Boris Karloff, Bedlam is loosely based on Bethlem Royal Hospital (also known as Bedlam). The film focuses on the mistreatment of institutionalised mental patients. But what happens when a sane person is declared insane and cast into one of these places? Nell Bowen, protégé to Lord Mortimer, finds herself in that exact situation. What follows is nail-biting, while retribution comes quickly and is thorough.

While the film recorded a $40,000 loss on its release in1946, it has more than recouped the loss through DVD releases by Warner Bros., as part of a double release with Isle Of The Dead and a part of the Val Lewton Horror Collection. It also garners a healthy 89% approval rating in polls as well as three out of four stars from critic Leonard Maltin for the film’s atmosphere.

 

Isle Of The Dead When General Pherides visits his wife’s crypt and discovers it despoiled, he hears a woman singing. The problem is, the island is supposedly uninhabited. He sets out with several others to find her, but to no avail. They do, however, discover retired Swiss archeologist Dr. Aubrecht and his Greek housekeeper, Kyra. Also on the island are British diplomat Mr. St. Aubyn and his pale and sickly wife, their Greek companion Thea and English tinsmith, Andrew Robbins.

One by one, folks start dying. Fearing a plague of some sort, they quarantine the island. In an attempt to halt the spread of the deadly sickness, they begin burying their dead immediately, only to discover that at least one has been buried alive. Not only is she alive, she has somehow freed herself from the crypt. She’s also armed, totally insane and really, really pissed.

Starring Boris Karloff, the film was completed in December 1944 at a whopping cost of $246,000. On its release, Isle of The Dead only earned a $13,000 profit for RKO, but it was re-issued in 1953 on a double bill with Mighty Joe Young and made its TV debut in 1959. It has earned an 86% approval rating, and three stars out of four. Director Martin Scorsese placed Isle of The Dead on his list of the eleven scariest horror films of all time.

 

The Body Snatcher, also starring Boris Karloff, was one of three films he did with RKO Pictures, which were produced by Val Lewton. It was the last film to feature both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi together.

Mrs. Marsh visits the house of Dr. Wolfe (nicknamed Toddy) MacFarlane to seek a cure for her paraplegic daughter Georgina. MacFarlane suggests surgery for the girl, but insists he cannot perform the operation himself, due to his post as a teacher. In the meantime, his prized student, Donald Fettes, tells the doctor he cannot afford to continue his studies. MacFarlane offers Fettes a job as a lab assistant to help with the costs. He eventually relents and decides to help the girl.

Fettes soon discovers that John Gray, a cab driver, delivers fresh bodies from the graveyard to the school in the middle of the night, which Dr. MacFarlane uses in his teaching young surgeons. He makes it sound somehow noble, but MacFarlane soon finds himself an unwitting slave to John Gray. Gray soon runs out of fresh bodies, and decides to make one by nabbing a woman off the street. MacFarlane decides he needs to make John Gray a body, if he wants his freedom. Trouble is, John Gray doesn’t want to stay dead.

The Body Snatcher received an approval rating of 81% and happens to be one of my personal favorites. Now, it’s time to snuggle up next to your honey with your chocolate and enjoy. I should give a warning. Please put the mug down when you suspect something is gonna happen. Your honey might not want a bath of chocolate.

 

 

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