Friday, February 15, 2008

Partying Horrorshow

I wanted to remind you all one last time, dear readers, that Nosedive Productions is having its semi-annual fundraising party this Saturday (February 16) from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Vampire Cowboys Battle Ranch on 111 Conselyea Street in Williamsburg.

We've got a few all-new video comedy sketches, the poetry of Brian Silliman and the magic of the Amazing Amazini lined up for the evening, as well as dirt-cheap drinks ($2 beers and $1 Jell-O shots).

All this for a measly $5 cover.

And of course all this money will go to our upcoming production of Colorful World in May.

* * *

One of my (admittedly self-serving) goals for writing the entries on horror films was to tangentially plug Nosedive's Blood Brothers show in October. In other words, I wrote them in September and October as seasonal tie-ins to Halloween and our upcoming Halloween-based event. So, when October came and went (as did The Blood Brothers Present: PULP), the urgency to write about my next favorite horror film dissipated substantially.

Another reason why the series went on hiatus was because a number of the really good, noteworthy classic horror films - such as The Shining or Alien - have been written about to death. Or at least, I realized I had (have) nothing new to bring to the table with those films. (How many times do you need to read the phrase, "Haunted House in Outer Space?")

Then I was genuinely hamstrung by the movies that aren't necessarily great (or even necessarily good) but great fun: A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Lost Boys (despite having such lines as, "You may be a vampire, but you're still my brother," this is my personal favorite vampire movie, if the truth be known) and Near Dark (a better vampire film, although...he gets "cured" of vampirism by a blood transfusion? A blood transfusion?! I mean, come ON, people!). Ultimately, this line of thinking prevented me from writing about the Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street movies (as much as I have a guilty pleasure in watching a few of them, regardless of how poorly made they are). I was, after all, trying to set some form of standards (horror films that I can call "art" with a straight face).

So, it was no longer October, I couldn't write about a movie such as Alien and I couldn't write about a movie such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, according to my neurotically self-imposed guidelines. I had painted myself into the proverbial corner.

However, I realized last night as I spent my Valentine's Day finishing up the third season of Homicide then watching Wes Craven's Last House on the Left (yeah I know, I'm a romantic), that I was (am) far from done with the series.

In fact, I still have more than a few more I'd like to write about.

One of the (implied) goals with writing about schlocky horror films was (is) to champion the genuine artistic merit of what many consider to be lowbrow trash and beneath contempt. Although some of the films I've written about (Halloween, An American Werewolf in London) are prime examples of films that have mastered style, craft and technique (but not a whole lot more), a number of them (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, Audition) have substantial things to say to its audience (in addition to providing visceral thrills). In other words, legitimate works of art.

Since I've always been an admirer of artworks that can simultaneously deliver on the high- and lowbrow goods to an audience, really good horror films often bring out the best of this combination. (Who would have thought that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is saying something insightful and unique about our collective culture? Maybe our hearts were in our mouths while watching it the first couple times to first notice.)

Regardless, I plan on revisiting the series at least a few more times on this site, returning, of course, with the aforementioned Last House on the Left.

Stay tuned, cats and kittens.

So that's it for me for this week. Have a good weekend, folks. I hope to see a bunch of you at the Ranch this Saturday.

Looking forward to some shots,

James "Festive Playwright" Comtois

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Blogger Zack said...

Hobos . . . you gotta love'em. Reminds me of the Hobo in that Simpson's episode:

Hobo: I'll tell ya a story if ya give me a spongebath. Hmmm, that's good. Don't forget the glass in between the toes . . .don't be shy now.

Gotta love it.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Ian Mackenzie said...

This is good news. I gotta talk to you about Ginger Snaps, too, when (if) you get to it. Horror films based around menstruation – that's what I call a frickin' sub-genre!

All set for our international fundraising party simulcast, James?

Good luck with yours!

3:56 PM  
Blogger Joshua James said...

I've got a horror film for ya, I'm planning to write about it next Monday for Monday Movie Madness . . . an unappreciated classic . . . just wait!

11:24 AM  

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