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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Tiberius went into "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" believing he would learn a little about the man known as 50 Cent. He did. It ain't pretty.

Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)
Dir. Jim Sheridan
Cast. Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson - Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje - Bill Duke - Terrence Howard - In Theaters


I admit, I don’t know anything about Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson. But I like rap and hip hop, so I went in to this preview thinking at least I’d get to know who this guy is and what his music is about. What did I learn?
1. 50 Cent can’t act.
2. 50 Cent can’t rap!
Damn. There wasn’t any of the music learning experienced, or love for the genre, expressed in this film the way it was in “Hustle and Flow”. (haven’t seen 8 Mile, but people I know say it’s not as bad as one might think). The film is directed by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In The Name of The Father) so it was in good hands production wise, but dramatically there isn’t anything knew here as far as a story featuring a young black man using a life of crime to make ends meet, then looking for a way out. The writing credits go to Terence Winter who penned a lot of “Sopranos” episodes and the upcoming remake of “The Warriors”.

There’s some solid acting by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Bourne Identity) and Terrence Howard (Hustle and Flow), but Jackson (50 Cent) can’t hold his own with them. Basically, Die Tryin’ is a straight up Drama, not about a young man in love with hip hop, but about a young man who can’t articulate himself very well and has some serious mommy issues.

As a vehicle for 50 Cent, the movie fails miserably -- he doesn’t do anything with rap that’s noticeable until the very end, and even then the credits start to roll. The cut sounded cool, but I was getting the impression 50 Cent is more sales rep than artist – more product sample than talent. As a drama, the film is boring. Well over two hours long. And the story is predictable and has been done before and done better. Hell, I wouldn’t call “Deep Cover” a movie about hip-hop, but when I watch that film I come away thinking hip-hop plays a big role in the atmosphere of the film. I didn’t get that from Die Tryin’. If one is a 50 Cent fan or even a fan of hip-hop, be prepared to be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The world needs another review of “Sith” and “Star Wars” analysis like it needs a hole in the head. Brace yourselves anyway suckas as Tiberius reviews…


Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Dir. George Lucas.
Cast. Ewan McGregor - Hayden Christensen – Natalie Portman – Samuel L. Jackson - Ian McDiarmid
In Theaters




Those who grew up with Star Wars must be wary of the dark side. That is -- the nostalgia factor that may influence or cloud our judgement when reviewing the quality of filmmaking of the Lucas Star Wars Prequels. I have a nostalgic attachment to Star Wars. I also have a nostalgic attachment to Big Macs. I would say that “Sith” satisfies the appetite much like a Big Mac does. It feels good when I bite into one, but I know it’s nothing but crap.

Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker rescue Chancellor Palpatine from the evil General Grievous. Senator Padme (Portman) tells Anakin that she’s pregnant with his child. This freaks Anakin out, because he has been having premonitions of Padme’s death. Later, Anakin discovers that Palpatine is actually Darth Sidious, the Sith lord the Jedi have been trying track down. Sidious seduces Anakin to the dark side, telling him that he can give Anakin the power to save Padme’s life. Anakin joins Sidious and together they destroy the Jedi council.

With the Jedi gone, it’s up to Yoda and Kenobi to end Sidious and Anakin’s reign of terror. Yoda engages Sidious, while Kenobi takes on his old apprentice Anakin, now the Sith lord, Darth Vader.

“Sith” does what “Phantom” and “Clones” failed to do, and that is embrace the characters that are beloved by Star Wars fans for two generations now, namely Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Vader. That’s what we “Star Wars” fans wanted to see from the very beginning, and we get it here. It’s almost good enough, but not quite.

The story is still confusing. I don’t understand the whole damn thing with Palpatine, the Republic, the Jedi Council, the separatists and the Senate. I don’t get any of it. Is Tiberius stupid, or is the whole thing so convoluted that it doesn’t really make sense? The original Star Wars was a simple story, a young farm boy learns to be a Jedi. A boy, a girl and a galaxy. What the hell are these prequels about except back story to the whole Star Wars thing? Why can’t it have its own simple narrative like the original? Oh well, too late now.

The weakest part of “Sith” is the relationship between Anakin and Padme, as well as Anakin’s motivation for joining the dark side. Lucas could have made the stakes higher for Anakin, instead it turns out the reason Anakin turns to the dark side and becomes Vader is because he’s a big crybaby who doesn’t get his lollipop. Very, very anti-climatic.

They say this is the last Star Wars. But money talks and bullshit walks. I can see it now. The remakes. Yes. You heard it here first. The unthinkable. Don’t put it past Lucas to do it. Remake the beloved originals, using his ever beloved technology to “improve” what needs no improvement. Would Tiberius go and see those as well? Probably. But with a sad heart.

Let’s break them all down, shall we?




Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
Dir. George Lucas.
Cast. Mark Hamill – Carrie Fisher – Harrison Ford – Alec Guinness


When Tiberius is eighty, sitting in his rocking chair, he’ll be shaking his cane at the grandkids… “They don’t make em like this anymore!”

Darth Vader has captured Princess Leia, but not before two droids, C-3PO and RT-D2 escape to the planet Tatooine. The droids meet the farmboy Luke Skywalker who helps them find Obi Wan Kenobi, a Jedi Master, wise in the ways of “The Force”. After his aunt and uncle are killed, Luke decides to join Obi Wan and learn the powers of the Jedi. They enlist the help of Han Solo and his Wookie partner Chewbacca and rescue Leia from the clutches of Vader. But the Empire has built a deadly weapon known as the Death Star and its up to Luke and the rebels to destroy it before the Empire can use it to control the galaxy.

It may not be impressive today, but in 1977, nobody had seen the likes of it. It was mindblowing and magical. We went again and again. Then we waited and waited. Reading the paperback novels that suggested what might happen. Checking out the dreaded “Star Wars Holiday Special”, where we got our first glimpse of Boba Fett as a cartoon. Then the day came, and once again our minds were blown.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Dir. Irvin Kershner.
Cast. Mark Hamill – Carrie Fisher – Harrison Ford – Billy Dee Williams


Waiting for this to come out was like waiting to lose your virginity. When it happened it was everything you hoped it would be and more.

Darth Vader has the rebels on the run. After a battle on the snow planet Hoth, Luke makes a run for the Dagobah system to complete his Jedi training with the mysterious Jedi master Yoda. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon and make their way to the cloud city, where an old friend of Han’s, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) gives them sanctuary. But Vader is one step ahead and lays a trap to lure Luke into the Empire’s clutches.

I remember being confused by the ending. “What? It’s over?”. I wanted it to go on and on. It was a cliff hanger, but a cliff hanger that would last three fucking years. Too long for kids heading into their teens to give a rat’s ass.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Dir. Richard Marquand.
Cast. Mark Hamill – Carrie Fisher – Harrison Ford – Billy Dee Williams


By 1983, the rest of the world had caught up with “Star Wars”. Other Sci-Fi movies like “Blade Runner”, “The Road Warrior” and “Star Trek II, The Wrath of Kahn” were just as entertaining and sophisticated and were challenging Star Wars as king of the modern sci-fi film world.

Luke, Leia and Lando rescue Han from the clutches of Jabba the Hut. Later, Lando uses the Millennium Falcon to lead the rebels on an assault to destroy the Empire’s new Death Star. Han and Leia and Chewbacca must knock out the Death Star’s protection shield generator on Endor. Enter the dreaded teddy bears known as Ewoks. Luke finishes his training with Yoda and takes Darth Vader head on. The Emperor tries to lure Luke to the dark side as Luke tries to lure Vader to the good.

“Return” was the first Star Wars film that I didn’t feel compelled to see more than once in the theaters. The honeymoon was over. The divorce would come 16 years later with…

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Dir. George Lucas.
Cast. Liam Neeson - Ewan McGregor – Natalie Portman – Jake Lloyd - Samuel L. Jackson - Ian McDiarmid

When Lucas announced the making of the prequels to “Star Wars”, fans rejoiced. But for some reason Lucas thought fans would give a rat’s ass about Qui-Gon Jinn, Jar Jar binks and the little punk Anakin. He should have cut to the chase, axed Qui-Gon Jinn and Jar Jar, started out with Obi Wan, an older Anakin and got the damn thing rolling. But no!

Qui-Gon Jinn (Neeson) and his Jedi apprentice Obi Wan Kenobi (McGregor) are on a mission to broker peace between the Naboo and the Nemoidians. War hangs in the balance. They eventually make their way, with Queen Padme Amidala (Portman) in tow to the planet Tatooine where they meet little punk Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd). Qui-Gon senses that the force is strong with Anakin and takes the punk under his wing. The Sith Lord, Darth Sidious sends out his apprentice Darth Maul to kill the Queen and Jedi's. Maul kills Qui-Gon. Kenobi Kills Maul and takes Anakin under his wing. Meantime the droid army is marching towards Naboo. Jar Jar binks and his people help repel the attack and everyone lives to fight another day. (or something like that)

I remember reading parts of the screenplay to “Phantom” before it was released, and I could tell that Jar Jar was going to be a disaster. Nothing more than Step n Fetchit in CG. Not to mention the Asian sounding bad guys at the beginning. Tiberius could get into all the crypto racist subtext that he knows plagues the “Star Wars” universe. But that’s another story. Before Star Wars fans had time to completely digest the horrors that was “Phantom”, Lucas dropped another load on them with…

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Dir. George Lucas.
Cast. Ewan McGregor - Hayden Christensen – Natalie Portman - Samuel L. Jackson - Ian McDiarmid


Couldn’t remember much about this one except for the Yoda/Dooku fight. Low and behold it ends up on TV the same day I saw “Sith”. The gods were smiling I guess. But now I know why I couldn’t remember anything about the movie. It sucks.

After a failed assassination attempt on Padme’s life Obi Wan goes on a mission to hunt the assassin down while Anakin takes Padme back to her home planet of Naboo. The evil Count Dooku captures Obi Wan and it’s up to Anakin, Padme and Yoda to rescue him. A secret Clone army of hundreds of thousands lays in wait, ready to be given the command to start a new war.

The main problem with Clones is that it plays more like a mystery for the first two thirds than a sci-fi film. Much time is spent on Padme and Anakin falling in love and Obi Wan tracking down his assassin lead. We see the love story stuff on an average WB teen drama and Obi Wan’s investigation on every cop drama, from C.S.I. to Law & Order. It’s been done. The best part is when Yoda takes on Count Dooku, but that’s at the very end of the flick. Too little too late.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Dir. George Lucas.
Cast. Ewan McGregor - Hayden Christensen – Natalie Portman – Samuel L. Jackson - Ian McDiarmid
In Theaters


See above review.

If Star Wars fans were honest, we would admit that Lucas blew it with these prequels. What went wrong? I really think it was the overall storytelling. The easy to relate to story of the first trilogy vs. the convoluted story of the second series, mixed with Lucas ignoring the most recognizable characters in the first two prequels –- Obi Wan and Yoda. Anakin was not drawn clearly enough as a character. His motivations for turning to the dark side were not convincing. Padme was weak. Lucas drew no strong female characters like Leia for the prequels. I have to believe now that much of Leia's strength came from Fisher herself and not so much from Lucas's characterization.

It's freakin weird that the prequels were made at all. Would the movie world be better off without them? Probably. Star Wars fans have wreaked a lot good times from the myths and nostalgia that have surrounded the movies for over two decades now. For those who want to be brought down to earth, read Steven Hart's articles "Galactic Gasbag" at Salon.Com. Also check out "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" (the book not the movie) by Peter Biskind - a trashy yet informative account of the late 60's and early 70's film wizards, including Lucas and his diabolical scheme to take the film world by storm with his Frankenstein monster known as “Star Wars”.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Zzzzzz. Huh? Wha? Oh. Is it over?
Okay, it wasn’t fall asleep boring, but it was close. Writer/Producer Luc Busson and Director Louis Leterrier came up with a cool premise for Jet… and blew it!


Unleashed (2005)
Dir. Louis Leterrier.
Cast. Jet Li- Morgan Freeman - Bob Hoskins- Kerry Condon
In Theaters


Jet Li is Danny, a simpleminded servant, raised by a ruthless gangster named Bart (Bob Hoskins). Bart treats Danny literally like a dog on a leash. When Bart removes Danny’s dog collar, Danny becomes a killer, beating down anyone that won’t pay Bart the money he’s owed. But Danny has been slipping lately in the ass kicking department, as he seems to be growing a sense of morals, backed with reoccurring memories of the day his mother was murdered. Ooo! I wonder who killed his mother?

A fateful car crash separates Danny from Bart and Danny hooks up with Sam (Morgan Freeman). Sam and his stepdaughter Victoria (Kerry Condon) take Danny under their wings and show him there’s more to life than putting foot to ass and eating canned dog food. Soon his new life with his loving family is threatened when Bart returns, demanding Danny’s killing services back. If not he’ll destroy Danny’s new family. Of course much ass kicking ensues.

Bob Hoskins is good as the bad guy. Which begs the questions: What happened to Hoskins? Haven't seen him in a while and it was great to hear his voice and see that old school character actor tear it up. Freeman does his thing as the good guy. But that’s the problem with “Unleashed”. Everything is literally spelled out in black and white. Freeman and Condon accept Li unconditionally when they bring this stranger into their home. Nothing has to be earned in Freeman’s household – trust, love, friendship are poured over Li as they mentor and guide him… and the mentoring, tutoring and caring goes on and on. Touching, but boring as hell. Why couldn’t the daughter be jealous of Li, and for the attention that Freeman is giving him? Why can’t Li betray their trust so he has to earn it back? Why not some real conflict and real drama? Why does everything have to be spelled out in black and white?

The real crime of Unleashed is the lame action. There was only one good fight sequence in the film that takes place in a bathroom stall. It was inventive and fun. The rest was “been there and done that” fight stuff that you can see on reruns of “Buffy”.

Americans and Europeans have been trying to cash in on the Hong Kong Action phenomenon for years and have been failing miserably, and it’s because of the direction. They don’t know how to cut these guys loose and let them do what they do best… Kick ass! Want to see a cool Jet Li Kung Fu movie, watch “Fist of Legend”. Suffering from insomnia and need a sleep remedy? Watch “Unleashed”!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Tiberius Returns! Who cares? Nobody! So what. He returns anyway to review…

National Treasure (2004)
Dir. Jon Turteltaub .
Cast. Nicolas Cage- Harvey Keitel- Sean Bean- Jon Voight
In Theaters


Some movies are so bad they aren’t worth seeing for free, “National Treasure” is one of those movies. I had the opportunity to see it last night… for free, I went. I wish I hadn’t. It’s the kind of film that makes you dislike going to the movies. It robs the very soul and spirit of the movie going experience. Kind of like the republican’s and the voting process. In the end they have you thinking: What’s the point? This movie is too dumb for adults and too dumb for the kiddies and way to freaking long for anybody with any common sense for story telling.

Hack director Jon Turteltaub and “I’m going to shove my movie down you’re throat and make you like it” producer Jerry Bruckheimer, rip off everything from Indiana Jones to James Bond, or more like “The Mummy” and the Dean Martin “Mat Helm” movies. The writing is horrible. The acting stinks. There is a hackneyed vibe to the entire atmosphere, flat, stale, derivative, insulting. The writing and production values are as cheap and pedestrian as your average “Beastmaster” or “Stargate” TV episode. Nick Cage? What happened? One of my favorite actors can’t stop making crap. “Adaptation” showed that he still has the goods. But why oh why does he keep doing this crap? Someone said it had to do with his alimony and Lisa Marie. Yeah. Boo frikin hoo. This is why Tiberius goes to the library and puts the two disc DVD of “The French Connection” on hold and watches it twice. Because he has no life. And because Hollywood used to make good movies… and now they don’t.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Tiberius admits it! He wanted to be blown away by the Matrix sequels… and he wasn't! But he likes them anyway!

The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Dir. The Wachowski Bros.
Cast. Keanu Reeves - Laurence Fishburne - Carrie-Anne Moss - Jada Pinkett Smith
In Theaters



Eh! Most people I know who were disappointed in "Reloaded" hated "Revolutions". I liked "Reloaded" and thought this one was okay. I dug the battle for Zion and the last fight between Neo and Agent Smith. One thing I like about the series is the Wachowski's effort to break off with traditional images of Hollywood heroes and use some different imagery, changing roles between white and black and male and female actors. The subversive content of the films, to Tiberius, is a form of entertainment. Of course, having a PC mentality and cast doesn't automatically make for a good movie.

The original Matrix, like Star Wars before it, worked because it was about fun, entertaining action and imaginative filmmaking. All the extra religious, mythological crap didn't bog down the cool characters or kick ass action sequences. With their sequels, the Wachowski's decided to let their intellectual side overrun their imagination and it bogs the films down. What they didn't do, (unlike George Lucas or James Cameron) is let film technology take over their story telling. Ultimately they have achieved what Lucas hasn’t been able to, with the resurrection of "Star Wars" or with the big screen debacles of Star Trek TNG, and that's create a solid series of sci-fi films that tries to use some imagination and intelligence.
"Unlike me, many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment, and will die here like rotten cabbages!"

Patrick McGoohan as No. 6 in "The Prisoner"


The Prisoner (TV series - 1967-68)
Cast. Patrick McGoohan - Leo McKern
Dir. Patrick McGoohan - Various



A Secret Agent (Patrick McGoohan) resigns with no explanation. As he's packing his bags he's knocked out by a mysterious gas. He wakes up in "The Village", a place where everyone has a number instead of a name. He is labeled as No. 6. The Village is run by a sinister government led by Number 2. Villagers are constantly monitored, interrogated and scrutinized. Those who try to escape are tracked down by the monstrous device known as "Rover", a giant white balloon thing that sucks a person inside it and carries them away. No. 6 spends the entire series trying to escape from The Village, refusing to say why he's resigned or give the various No. 2's the information they want. "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!" click here! to hear No. 6.

Although his name is never given, it's well known that Number Six is actually John Drake the character from the British spy drama "Danger Man", also played by McGoohan . Like John Drake, No. 6 is an odd bird, all business and no play. He's intelligent but arrogant and violent. Unlike James Bond, there is very little romance with No. 6. Indeed, he rarely shows any interest in women. "Never trust a woman" says No. 6 in episode eight "Dance of The Dead". The one instance where No. 6 interacts romantically, is when his brain is transported into the body of another man as he visits his estranged fiance, so we really don't see McGoohan with a love interest in the series.

The Prisoner may be one of the first TV shows, although completely commercial in concept, seemed to be driven by a single artistic and ambitious force, that of its Executive Producer and sometimes Writer/Director and star, McGoohan. Its high production values and superior concept, writing and acting, lifts it above the average programs of the day. The only other show of the era that seems to rival it in artistic vision would be Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" series. The concept of "The Prisoner" seemed to mirror McGoohan's own unexpected "resignation" from the show "Danger Man" when it was at the height of its popularity, causing many who made a living off of the production to hold him in bitter contempt. See the George Markstein interview.

Although it has achieved cult acclaim over the years, "The Prisoner" was a commercial failure. It was expensive, took a long time to film each episode, and the main premise of the show resided on one question, "Why did Number Six resign?". Eventually the question has to be answered. It never really is and the final episode "Fall Out" raises more questions than answers. But looking for answers in The Prisoner is like going down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. The show was an expressionistic vision, and surrealistic mind trip, where questions are answered with the questions asked before. It's sometimes frustrating but also entertaining and always an interesting experience.



Monday, October 27, 2003

I did it again. First I call the blog over at Tagline, "Taglines". Then I apologize for misspelling "Tagline" and calling it "Taglines" and then I go and spell it "Tagliners". I don't know what my problem is. I will go and spell the word "Tagline" one hundred times in a row.
Tiberius thanks the guy at Tagline for his brutal honesty and constructive criticism.

Tiberius has no illusions to the fact that he can't spell and has the grammar skills of an ape, but he means well. It's all about heart and soul baby. Of course using spell check wouldn't hurt would it? I remember a good friend of mine published a zine about blaxploitation flicks. It was good, but everyone pointed out the typos. "Get an editor dude! Have someone proof this shit!", they would tell him. This of course would piss him off. "Don't they get it? Don't they see how hard I worked on it?" Nope! They don't. They do see where you fucked up though. Tiberius can't get an editor for his blog, but he will try to think just a little bit harder in the future, especially when it comes to the titles of other peoples blogs or the films he's talking about. All apologies.

Your bitter lover,

Tiberius Furioso

Friday, October 24, 2003

It's Halloween and time for Tiberius's top ten scariest films of all time. You can disagree, but you will be wrong.


The scariest movies that I know of scared the shit out of me when I was a kid and still do. Many of them creeped me out before I even saw them, movies like, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Halloween" and "Alien". I remember at summer camp the counselors talking about "Chainsaw" and describing Leatherface in great detail. That night they had a "Snipehunt" and I remember thinking about their description of Leatherface, which made me grab on to the belt of one of the counselors for dear life as we ran down a dark trail in the woods. A buddy of mine was so freaked out he started throwing rocks at people, so unsure was he that one of them wasn't part of the Chainsaw clan. Then there are those flicks that I watched, not knowing any better and couldn't get out of my head for the rest of my life. I'll never forget the nightmares I had of Boris Karloff as the monster, chasing me through the back yard of my childhood home. The image of Karloff as the monster still haunts me to this day.

There were plenty of flicks that scared me as a kid but over the years lost their hold on me emotionally, because they sucked, movies like "Food of The Gods", "Prophecy" and "Magic". Then there are those that have become "classics" of the genre, but have always left me cold, like the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series, "The Friday The 13th" series, and the "Hellraiser" series. I never thought they were scary, just stupid and cartoonish. I love Sam Rami's "Evil Dead" series and although they can be scary, I consider them almost spoofs of the genre. The latest attempts at horror, like the "Scream" series, can be entertaining, but again they are basically spoofs. I've been more partial to the small surprises like "Resident Evil" or "Final Destination", B movie flicks, if having no artistic ambition, at least have a little bit of imagination. Rob Zombies "House of A Thousand Corpses" definitely recreated that gross, seventies vibe, but ultimately collapses under its own ambition. The movies that scare me are the ones that fucked me up during the time of adolescence, the time when we're most vulnerable and the bogeyman really might exists.

No. 10
Halloween (1979)
Dir. John Carpenter
Cast. Jamie Lee Curtis

"The night he came home."
This movie still freaks me out, but I have to admit I haven't gotten the urge to watch it in years. But thinking about it is getting me in the mood to watch it again. Cool, creepy score by Carpenter, reminiscent of horror band Goblin and "Tubular Bells" from "The Exorcist". The rest of the series sucks.

No. 9
Jaws(1975)
Dir. Steven Spielberg
Cast. Roy Scheider - Richard Dreyfuss - Robert Shaw

"The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No. 1 best seller."
Okay, so its more of an adventure film than a Horror film, but so what. It has a great cast and is gripping and suspenseful. We always believe they're in danger, either from the monster shark or from themselves. One of the all time great monster movies.

No. 8
Alien(1979)
Dir. Ridley Scott
Cast. Sigorney Weaver - Tom Skeritt - Yaphet Koto - John Hurt - Ian Holm - Harry Dean Stanton - Veronica Cartwright

"In space no one can hear you scream."
It's Jaws in space! So if it's derivative of "Jaws" why do I put it ahead of "Jaws" on the list? Because I think it has a harder edge to it. Spielberg still had a kind of Disney/family friendly thing going on in "Jaws" at times. The ensemble cast is great.

No. 7
Frankenstein(1931)
Dir. James Whale
Cast. Boris Karloff - Colin Clive

"Warning! The monster is loose!"
Karloff's performance is the thing that transcends the dated production. The monster stands up to any of the super human monsters that we see today, including, Freddy Kruger, Jason, Michael Myers, Pinhead and all the rest of the Frankenstein monster wanna be's.

No. 6
Psycho(1960)
Dir. Alfred Hitchcock
Cast. Anthony Perkins - Janet Leigh

"The Classic Story of a Boy and His Mother."
The father of all slasher films and it still works, mostly because of Perkins performance and the eerie, grim, black and white atmosphere Hitchcock created. The shower seen is still shocking. Didn't see the frame by frame remake out of principle, although I dig Gus Van Sant.

No. 5
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Dir. Roman Polanski
Cast. Mia Farrow - John Cassavetes

"Pray for Rosemary's Baby"
The unnerving score by Christopher Komeda and Polanski's unsettling imagery backed with the dreaded fear of the coming anti Christ is a recipe for one creepy scene after another and an ending that makes the hair on your neck stand.

No. 4
Night of The Living Dead (1968)
Dir. George Romero
Cast. Duane Jones

"They keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for HUMAN FLESH!"
The main zombie in this film disturbs me in the same way Karloff's monster disturbs me and I think its because Romero probably modeled him after Karloff. There is a foreboding sense of dread in Romero's zombie trilogy, in everything from the music, to the acting to the film grain itself. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of with one of the most fucked up movie endings of all time.

No. 3
The Exorcist (1973)
Dir. William Friedkin
Cast. Ellen Burstyn - Linda Blair - Max von Sydow

"Something beyond comprehension is happening to a little girl on this street, in this house."
I'm not a religious man, but one cannot grow up in a country where it says, "In God We Trust" on our money and not have the idea of God and the Devil playing a part in one's conscience. The Exorcist messes with our religious perspective of the world. Linda Blair's performance is incredible. The idea of losing control of ones own child, whether to disease or spirits or fate, and being unable to protect or help them and watching them suffer, is unbearable and horrifying. The music is beautiful and unnerving, the acting and direction are top notch and the special effects are still very effective.

No. 2
Dawn of The Dead (1979)
Dir. George Romero
Cast. Ken Foree - David Emge - Scott H. Reiniger - Gaylen Ross

"When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!"
Despite the films obvious satirical moments, it has a grotesque and grim atmosphere that is filled with doom and dread. The gruesome special effects by Tom Savini and the surreal musical score by Goblin never let the viewer off the hook for too long.

No. 1
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Dir. Tobe Hooper
Cast. Marilyn Burns - Gunnar Hansen

"Who will survive and what will be left of them?"
The title says it all. It's relentless and brutal. The feeling that one gets when watching this, is that Tobe Hooper hired a family of real, inbred, cannibalistic, Southern sicko's to be in his movie and just told them to do what comes natural. What makes this the number one scariest film of all time, is that it doesn't deal with the mystical, supernatural, or Sci-fi-fantasy. It may not be a true story as it claims, but it is based on fact. It expresses what we see around us everyday. It simply mirrors what we know human beings are capable of doing to other human beings, in either what we've heard or read about or remember (Nazis - Ed Gein - Viet Nam - Native American genocide) or that we participate in today (the war in Iraq). Leatherface is the bogeyman and we're scared of him because he really exists.

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