I just want to draw your attention to a new YouTube channel that Paramount Pictures has set up. The Paramount Archives has a bunch of great movies that span the history of the Paramount Studio. There's a wide array of genres and stars represented, and there's something for everybody. Since it's Halloween season, I want to point out a couple of horror favorites that they have posted.
The Loved Ones (2009)
The Loved Ones is an Australian horror film that I had heard about for years as it played the film festival circuits around the world. It's the story of a loving father/daughter relationship... sort of. The daughter, Lola, is a bashful loner and her protective and deranged father wants to make her happy. When she can't get the boy she wants to go to the dance with her, her dad throws her a dance in their home, and along with that he gets her the boy. From there the film goes insane, with delusions and home lobotomies and all the things that make for a happy home life.
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets, right? One of my favorite reviews of The Loved Ones says "Ever wonder what it would be like if a John Hughes movie turned into a horror flick?" Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 98% Freshness rating, which is nice. This is one of my favorite horror movies from the last decade or so. It's riveting and funny and more than a little intense.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)
Yesterday I talked about how much I love the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and how every attempt to reboot or retell the story has been a miserable failure. Did you know there's a prequel on the way that tells us Leatherface's origin story? WHY?!! He's a faceless killer! That's his identity! You don't need anything more than that! Gah. But I digress...
Ten years after the original Chainsaw came out, we were given The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, an honest to goodness sequel. It was directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who did the original, and written by the same folks that also did the original. Where the original went for full on terror, the sequel was a little more tongue in cheek, and it doses its scares with humor. Is it always successful? No. Is it as beloved as the original film? Not even close. For me, however, it's a blast.
The film follows a Texas Ranger named Lefty, played by Dennis Hopper, who has been on the trail of some unsolved mysteries that have been occurring all over the state. He crosses paths with a DJ who had a phone recording from her request line of some kids getting murdered on the air, and asks the DJ to play the recording over and over on the station to try and draw the killers out. Does that plan work? You can probably figure that out for yourself, but I'll let you watch and find out.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 is a lot of fun. I actually got to see it at the old Twin Star Drive-In in Mankato, and it made its way into the permanent video collection not long after that. To give you an idea of the twisted humor in the sequel, compare the original poster above with this Breakfast Club poster:
Those kids would probably last about 10 seconds in detention with the Sawyer family.