31 Nights of Horror: 2016

As always, October means 31 Nights of Horror at Forto’s Fort. It is going to be another exciting year. There will be a lot of movies we have never seen before and some old classics. As always we start out with the cult classic, Trick r’ Treat and end the moth with Carrie.

What are your favorite scary movies? Let us know and we will try to watch!

2016 List:

  1. Trick r’ Treat. In this 2007 cult classic, it is five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater.

Did you know: The film is based on Michael Dougherty’s animated short film Season’s Greetings (1996), which debuted the character of Sam.

2. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Not horror or scary but classic sci-fi back from the day when people were really scared of nuclear destruction and the world coming to an end. The movie is about an alien that lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Did you know: The Army refused to co-operate after reading the script. The National Guard had no such qualms and gladly offered their co-operation.

3.  A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). This was one of the group on many horror flicks that captured by fascination with the genre. When I was a young teen my brother and I would visit my dad on Sundays and more than likely you would find us in a theater watching scary movies. The movie is about several people that hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Did you know? Wes Craven first came up with the basic idea for the movie from several newspaper articles printed in the LA Times over a three year period about a group of Southeast Asian refugees from the Hmong tribe, several of whom died in the throes of horrific nightmares. The group had come to America to escape the reign of Pol Pot, and within a year of arriving, three men had died, with the situation the same in each cases; the young, otherwise healthy, man would have a nightmare, then refuse to sleep for as long as possible. Upon finally falling asleep from exhaustion, the man awoke screaming, then died. Autopsy results revealed that they had not died because of heart failure, they had simply died. It was this lack of cause which intrigued Craven so much. Medical authorities have since called the phenomenon Asian Death Syndrome, a variant of Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDS) and Brugada Syndrome.

4. You’re Next. The movie is about when the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

Did you know: The primary filming location was an antique home that had been empty for 12 years.

5. The Giant Spider. This movie is great! It was done by a friend of mine in Minnesota who makes one of this classic movies every year. It is about, when radiation left behind by atomic weapons testing creates a gigantic killer mutant arachnid, it’s up to a trio of scientists, an Army general, and a newspaper reporter and his fiancée to figure out how to stop the hungry beast from devouring the entire county in writer/director Christopher R. Mihm’s ode to the giant bug films of yesteryear!

6. Jaws. What is it about? When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

Did you know: After the shark was built, it was never tested in the water, and when it was put in the water at Martha’s Vineyard, it sank straight to the ocean floor. It took a team of divers to retrieve it.

7. Krampus. We started off this year’s movies with one of our favorites in Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus is written and directed by the same guy. This is said to be sort of a follow up to the Halloween classic. It is about boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.

Did you know: Director, Michael Dougherty described the film as a darker version of a Christmas family film: “Christmas movies exist in their own little snow globe, where a clashing family, no matter how sick of each other, always manages to overcome their differences and live happily ever after. But what if the family’s issues escalated, and then they sort of allow Krampus to seep into their reality?”

8. Poltergeist (2015). A remake of a classic and its a good one. It has some cool thrills including creepy clowns and a murderous tree!  Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan reimagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her.

Did you know: In the movie, Amy talks to Eric about becoming a coach, Craig T. Nelson who played the original father in Poltergeist, played Coach Hayden Fox on the TV series Coach.

9. Rosemerry’s Baby  Some classic horror tonight. Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into an apartment in an opulent but gothic building in Manhattan. Their landlord Edward “Hutch” Hutchins attempts to dissuade them from doing so: the building has an unsavory history. They discover that their neighbors are a very friendly elderly couple named Roman and Minnie Castevet, and Guy begins to spend a great deal of time with them. Strange things begin to happen: a young woman Rosemary meets in the laundry commits suicide, Rosemary has strange dreams and hears strange noises and Guy becomes remote and distant. Then Rosemary falls pregnant and begins to suspect that her neighbors have special plans for her child.

Did you know: Rosemary’s baby was born in June 1966 (6/66)

10. Friday the 13th Part 1 (1980). This was on the first horror movies I saw in the theater. While it is terrible by today’s standards for all sorts of reasons, it was still good back then to an impressionable 9-10 year old mind. I am sure you know the storyline but here it is: One summer at Camp Crystal Lake, a group of young counselors begin to get ready to lead campers. Unfortunately for the former, someone isn’t happy about what’s going on in the camp and enjoys playing kill the counselor. As bodies fall to the ground in the camp, no one is safe.

Did you know: The film made $39,754,601 and had a budget of $550,000.

11. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981). What would soon become a franchise that would crank out sequels almost yearly, Friday the 13th and its central character, Jason, would become a household name. I remember when I was a kid we would “play” Friday the 13th in the woods with our friends and someone always got to be Jason. How warped is that? Some pre-teen is running through the woods pretending to be a serial killer.

Did you know: This film has one of the longest pre-credit sequences in cinematic history, nearly 15 minutes in some versions.

12. The Thing (1982). One of my favorites of all time by John Carpenter. A US research station, Antarctica, early-winter 1982. The base is suddenly buzzed and attacked by a helicopter from the nearby Norwegian research station. They appeared to be trying to kill one of the dogs from the US base. Having dealt with the threat, the members of the US team fly to the Norwegian base, only to discover them all dead or missing. They do find the remains of a strange creature the Norwegians burned. The Americans take it to their base and deduce that it an alien life form. After a while it is apparent that the alien can take over and assimilate into other life forms, including humans, and can spread like a virus. This means that anyone at the base could be inhabited by The Thing, and tensions escalate.

Did you know: In the DVD commentary, John Carpenter said Wilford Brimley was the only cast member not initially grossed out by the autopsy scene where they used real animal organs. Brimley had been a real-life cowboy and hunter, so gutting animals and removing organs was a normal experience for him.

13. Jason X (2001). I watched this one on AMC. I love AMC’s Fright Fest that they air every October. It is too bad it is filled with commercials and cuts to make the movies, at best PG-13 but what can you say, horror every night for a month! About this time the Jason story had played out alt least ten times too many. In this version the notorious Jason travels to the future. The movie plot, set way in the future, Earth is no longer inhabitable, so humans have colonized in outer space. One colony receives two cryogenically frozen bodies, and when they defrost them, one of the bodies turns out to be…..who else? Jason Voorhees. No longer in the forest or Camp Crystal Lake, Jason stalks the colonists in a whole new environment.

Did you know: The name of the primary ship in the film is the “Grendel” which is the name of a monster in the Old English poem “Beowulf”. Grendel was a direct descendant of Cain from the Book of Genesis, a monster described as half-troll, half-ogre. Like Jason, Grendel rose from a lake in search of victims and seemingly could not be killed. Also, in their fight, Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm off, and in the movie, when Kay-Em shoots up Jason, the first thing he loses is his arm.

14.  Scarecrows (1988). Possibly one of the worst movies ever made. The acting was awful and the character development was terrible. But I thought I would give it a shot and at least finish it. The movie plot, criminals hijack a plane and force the pilot and his daughter to fly them to Mexico. However, an unexpected landing finds them in a cemetery inhabited by killer scarecrows.

15. Dracula (1931). After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains in eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina’s health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina’s fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.

Did you know: When Bela Lugosi died in 1956, he was buried wearing the black silk Dracula cape, as he requested.

16. The Mummy (1932). In 1921 a field expedition in Egypt discovers the mummy of ancient Egyptian prince Im-Ho-Tep, who was condemned and buried alive for sacrilege. Also found in the tomb is the Scroll of Thoth, which can bring the dead back to life. One night a young member of the expedition reads the Scroll out loud, and then goes insane, realizing that he has brought Im-Ho-Tep back to life. Ten years later, disguised as a modern Egyptian, the mummy attempts to reunite with his lost love, an ancient princess who has been reincarnated into a beautiful young woman.

Did you know: The film’s poster holds the record for the most money paid for a movie poster at auction: more than $453,500.

17. Frankenstein (1931). One of my all time favorites! While I like a lot of the new age horror, my heart belongs with the classic, especially from Universal Studios. Henry Frankenstein is a doctor who is trying to discover a way to make the dead walk. He succeeds and creates a monster that has to deal with living again.

Did you know: The Monster in this film does not physically resemble the character in Mary Shelley‘s novel. It was make-up artist Jack P. Pierce who came up with innovations such as the Monster’s flat head, the bolts through the neck, the droopy eyelids, and the poorly-fitted suit. Any future Frankenstein film that features any of these physical abnormalities is taking its inspiration from Pierce’s make-up work.

18. Dracula (1992). This version of Dracula is closely based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel of the same name. A young lawyer (Jonathan Harker) is assigned to a gloomy village in the mists of eastern Europe. He is captured and imprisoned by the undead vampire Dracula, who travels to London, inspired by a photograph of Harker’s betrothed, Mina Murray. In Britain, Dracula begins a reign of seduction and terror, draining the life from Mina’s closest friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy’s friends gather together to try to drive Dracula away.

Did you know: During preproduction of the movie, director Francis Ford Coppola came up with the idea that when in the presence of a being such as a vampire, the laws of physics don’t work correctly. This is why shadows often seem to act independently of the figure casting them, why rats can run along a ceiling upside-down and why liquid drips up instead of down.

19. The Shining (1997). It is said that this three-part, close to seven-hour mad-for-TV movie is closer to the original story that Stephen King wrote in the 1970s. In fact he was the executive producer and wrote the teleplay. Television adaptation of Stephen King novel that follows a recovering alcoholic professor. He ends up taking a job as a winter caretaker for a remote Colorado hotel which he seeks as an opportunity to finish a piece of work. With his wife and son with him, the caretaker settles in, only to see visions of the hotel’s long deceased employees and guests. With evil intentions, they manipulate him into his dark side which takes a toll on he and his family.

Did you know: The Stanley Hotel is not only where the mini series was filmed but is also the hotel that originally inspired Stephen King to write the novel, having stayed a night there just as the hotel was closing for the season and was nearly empty of guests and employees (detailed at 0:09:40 in the episode 1 DVD commentary). He stayed in Room 217, which had long been said to be haunted. (The actual hotel room is on a corner, not in the middle of the hallway as it appears in the film.)

Also, author Stephen King plays the band conductor Gage Creed. Gage Creed is also the name of the 2 year old in Pet Sematary (1989).

20. Nosferatu (1922) Wisbourg, Germany based estate agent Knock dispatches his associate, Hutter, to Count Orlok’s castle in Transylvania as the Count wants to purchase an isolated house in Wisbourg. They plan on selling him the one across the way from Hutter’s own home. Hutter leaves his innocent wife, Ellen, with some friends while he is away. Hutter’s trek is an unusual one, with many locals not wanting to take him near the castle where strange events have been occurring. Once at the castle, Hutter does manage to sell the Count the house, but he also notices and feels unusual occurrences, primarily feeling like there is a dark shadow hanging over him, even in the daytime when the Count is unusually asleep. Hutter eventually sees the Count’s sleeping chamber in a crypt, and based on a book he has recently read, believes the Count is really a vampire or Nosferatu. While Hutter is trapped in the castle, the Count, hiding in a shipment of coffins, makes his way to Wisbourg, causing death along his way, …

Did you know: Count Orlok is only seen blinking one time on screen (near the end of part 1).

21. The Shining (1980). Signing a contract, Jack Torrance, a normal writer and former teacher agrees to take care of a hotel which has a long, violent past that puts everyone in the hotel in a nervous situation. While Jack slowly gets more violent and angry of his life, his son, Danny, tries to use a special talent, the “Shining”, to inform the people outside about whatever that is going on in the hotel.

Did you know: The idea for Danny Lloyd to move his finger when he was talking as Tony was his own; he did it spontaneously during his very first audition.

22. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discovers a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one in the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love.

Did you know:Ricou Browning, a professional diver and swimmer, was required to hold his breath for up to 4 minutes at a time for his underwater role as the “Gill Man.” The director’s logic was that the air would have to travel through the monster’s gills and thus not reveal air bubbles from his mouth or nose. Thus, the costume was designed without an air tank. In the subsequent films, this detail was ignored and air can be seen emanating from the top of the creature’s head.

23. Ghostbusters (1984)

24. Ghostbusters (2015)

25. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

26. Candyman

27. Black Cat

28.

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31. Carrie

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