Horror comedies are not an original idea, but it is one that is not often done well… Either the movie doesn’t pay respect to the horror genre or it’s not funny. It’s also hard for horror comedies to hit that perfect balance between horror and comedy, causing the movie to either be too scary to be funny (or simply isn’t funny) or is too funny to be scary. So, here is my of list of Horror Comedies that hit that sweet spot: Continue reading
News Recall: Recalling movie news from the past week
When I started this blog, I didn’t intend to cover movie news since there are so many great sites out there that already cover it… Then when I decided to try doing a (roughly) weekly news post, but I didn’t intend for it to be long or to cover only comic book and Star Wars movie news. However, it’s been a busy news week as some interesting things have developed…
- Batman/Superman – Title announced and photo released
- Channing Tatum will be a Marvel superhero?
- More Star Wars news – title rumor and creature reveal
- Director left Marvel’s Ant-Man?
Four New Comic Book Shows, Plus News on Other “Geeky” TV Shows:
Welcome to News Recall… a new feature on Movie Recall in which I’ve done extensive “research” throughout the Internet and compiled entertainment news from the week that interests me the most. This week, I’m going outside the area I accidentally pigeonholed myself into by naming site “Movie Recall” and will be covering some television news… So, this week is a double feature: TV Recall and News Recall… or TV News Recall, I guess.
Anyway, several new “geeky” shows were announced this week (and last). Several of which are based on comic books. Continue reading
Those who know me know that I am a huge Star Wars fan. I have been one for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories of seeing movies at a theater is seeing The Empire Strikes Back in the drive-in. My memories of that are a little hazy, but that was around the time when VCRs were coming out. Continue reading
“Gather ’round and I’ll elucidate what goes on outside when it gets late…”
Halloween is my favorite time of year and what could have been more appropriate than for me to look back at one of the scariest Disney movies (or shorts?) ever. Of course, I’m talking about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had some affection for Disney’s version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. What I like about it is that besides including some funny moments, Disney keeps the movie pretty intense once the horseman arrives. In fact, I would consider this cartoon a horror movie! Sure there are funny moments, as well as some musical numbers, and its… well… a Disney cartoon, but the movie is still pretty intense (for younger viewers). In fact, I would consider those later funny moments welcome releases to the scares and tension (similar to what you sometimes find in horror movies). Because it’s a cartoon, it’s still thought of as a kid’s movie (hence why I’m including it on my list of Creepy Kid’s Movies), but I think if it was remade as a shot-for-shot live-action movie today, the sensor board would not be giving it a “G” rating and might deem it too intense for children. Sure, the funny moments come more often then what you’d find in a horror movie, and are a little goofy, but the scary moments are still very effective (especially if you’re kid) and those moments leave a lasting impression with you.
Creepy Kids’ Movies #2 (con’t): Return to Oz:
How do you top the Wicked Witch of the West, who many children say they were scared of? How about a princess who can remove her head and replace it with others in order to stay young? Princess Mombi is the most terrifying thing about Return to Oz. The viewer not only get’s to see Princess Mombi appear with different faces, but we also get to see her without any head at all. In addition, the princess tells Dorothy that she wants to keep her in a tower until she matures so that she can cut off Dorothy’s head and add it to her collection! If that wasn’t scary enough, the viewers (and Dorothy) are shown a room where the princess keeps all these heads! Surprisingly, that wasn’t even the scariest part. Continue reading
Creepy Kids’ Movies #2 (con’t): Return to Oz:
The Wheelers, the Nome King and changes to OZ
Before I first saw Return to Oz as a kid, I only knew three things: it wasn’t a musical (which I was ok with), it was made by Disney and some members of the Jim Henson Company (which I both loved!), and that it looked very different then The Wizard to Oz. Once it started, I disturbed by the insane asylum beginning, but I was still going with it because once Dorothy got to Oz, everything has to be better. I mean remember how colorful and fun Oz was in the last movie, even when it was a little scary? So, things had to get better once Dorothy got to Oz… right? Even if I didn’t get the hint from the asylum scenes, I should have suspected something when Dorothy’s balloon landed in a desert that can kill you… but she was with a talking chicken, so, really, how bad could the rest of the movie be… then gets to Emerald City…
Oh My God! Dorothy arrives at Emerald City only to find it destroyed, and the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion are turned to stone! PLUS, Oz no longer seems to have the lush colors it had in The Wizard of Oz (an issue Disney would later get right in Oz the Great and Powerful.) It’s as if the makers of Return to Oz said, “Remember everything and everyone you loved in The Wizard of Oz movie? Well, it’s all gone! They’re all dead!” Now, I had previously seen the original Clash of the Titans and vividly remembered the Medusa scene, so what I knew was that once someone turns to stone, there’s no turning them back. (It turns out, I was wrong, but it was pretty traumatizing at first!)
If all that wasn’t enough, the Wheelers arrive! These guys are creepy as hell! They wore these frightening helmets with faces in them, spoke in a creepy, high-pitched voice, and proceed to chase Dorothy around the city. Looking back on it, I don’t know why I was so afraid of them… I mean they have wheels for hands and feet. What could they have really done if they had actually caught Dorothy? Well, I believe at the time, I thought maybe the Wheelers were the ones who turned everyone to stone, so I was afraid of them making contact with Dorothy!
The movie continues the theme of turning people into inanimate objects later in the movie when Dorothy and friends meet the Nome King. However, this time, instead of turning people into statues, he turns them into trinkets in an over-sized “treasure” room. The Nome King disturbed me because he would look at Dorothy with these confident, uncaring eyes as he sent Dorothy’s friends one at a time into another room/cave, never to be seen again, before sending Dorothy in next. It turns out each person was turned into knick-knacks after making incorrect guesses inside the other room. The whole scene disturbed me so much that for weeks after seeing this movie, I wandered around my house picking green items and saying, “Oz!” (Similar to how Dorothy tries to turn her friends back to normal.)
The only thing that should have been reassuring is that the Scarecrow returns in this movie for a little bit, but he looks very different. Whereas the in The Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow looks very human, he looks very different in Return to Oz. This time, the moviemakers make him look a little more like a large puppet. As a result, his unblinking eyes would just stare at everyone, making the overall affect quite unsettling, rather than reassuring.
So, with the inclusion of an insane asylum (complete with shock therapy), a creepier Scarecrow, people turning to stone or knick-knacks, and the Wheelers, it is clear to see why I’ve included this movie on my list of Creepy Kids’ Movies. However, the creepiest, part of the movie I have yet to address. So… more to come!
Creepy Kids’ Movie #2: Return to Oz:
I picture someone pitching the story of this movie like this…
‘Kids generally love the The Wizard of Oz, so I think a sequel would be a perfect fit for the Walt Disney Company… PLUS, we’re going to have a script written by Lawrence Kasden, who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark… AND we’re going to have the Oz creatures created by the Jim Henson Company… you know, the guy behind the Muppets! Sounds great, right?
‘But wait… let me tell you about the movie… Ok, so it’s a few years after the events of the first movie… Dorothy is now home and telling everyone about her adventures, so everyone thinks she’s crazy. So, of course they lock her up in an old insane asylum, where they want to give her shock therapy. As the doctors are about to flip the switch to shoot electricity into Dorothy’s brain, the lights go out… and then the fantastic adventure begins!
‘I know what you’re thinking, “an insane asylum and shock therapy? Isn’t that a little intense for a kid’s movie?” But don’t worry, another little girl rescues Dorothy and they both escape the hospital. However, in the process, they both fall into a river during a severe storm and the other girl disappears under the water, never to be seen again. Did she drown? Was she only in Dorothy’s mind? We don’t know. Then Dorothy wakes up in Oz… But of course when she gets there, she finds out that the yellow brick road has been torn up, the Emerald City is destroyed and all her friends from the last movie have been turned to stone. Sounds like fun, right? Seeing people and places that kids love destroyed won’t traumatize them, right?
‘So now Dorothy has to go on an adventure with new friends, but instead of having people dressed up (like the last movie), we’ll have creatures designed by the Jim Henson Company to give them that unreal, slightly creepy feel. This new group would then confront this insane gang called “The Wheelers”, an evil ruler called the “Goblin King” and a new “witch” who can remove her head and replace it with other heads. (I can even picture a scene where all the heads come to life as Dorothy is chased by the witch’s headless body!) Sounds great, right? Kids will love it!
‘The best part is the entire time you’re watching the movie, you’re thinking, “Is this really happening or did the electric shock work and everything is just in Dorothy’s mind as she sits drooling in a corner of the insane asylum!” Now if all this doesn’t sound like a fun kid’s movie, I don’t what is!
‘So what do you think, Mr. Disney Chairman? —Great! Where do we sign!’
Creepy Kids’ Movie #1 (con’t): Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:
Tunnel of Terror
I’m not sure what to say about this. In the middle of the movie, Wonka and his guests board a boat and proceed on a small trip that goes through a tunnel that is absolutely terrifying. At first it seems that a little out of control, but then it becomes completely crazy! Images of bugs, eyeballs, Slugworth and other disturbing images flash on the tunnel walls… and to make matters worse, Wonka appears completely insane! He starts by quietly reciting a poem that grows into a shout, all the while appearing to love the fact that his guests are losing their minds! (Just look at the reaction of Veruca Salt’s father. He even starts to repeat what Wonka is saying!) This scene is completely crazy and tells the viewer that Wonka is insane and probably shouldn’t be trusted.
What I don’t understand is why the guests don’t immediately leave the factory as soon as they get off the boat? I mean, do they remember that crazy boat ride? Is a lifetime supply of chocolate really worth dealing with a guy that may enjoy seeing each kid die?
Next post for Creepy Kids Movies will be a different film. So, this should be it for my review of scenes from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory… for now.
So, “good day, sir.”
“I said, GOOD DAY!”
Creepy Kids’ Movie #1 (con’t): Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:
Do I really need to say anything about this character?!?! Just look at this guy! Slugworth is just creepy. I’m not sure if it’s the way he looks or the way he talks, but he just comes across as really scary. PLUS, he kind of reminds me of the bad buy from Raiders of the Lost Ark that burns his hand on the medallion and ends up getting his face melted off. Maybe it’s the fact that they are both men with glass, a creepy voice and appear to be Nazis. – Of course, Slugworth isn’t a Nazi, as far as we know, but it’s definitely implied that he is when Charlie first runs into him. Thus, Slugworth is instantly feared. It doesn’t help that his image appears in the tunnel scene.