Posts Tagged ‘psycho

01
Oct
12

Mutants, Monsters and Madmen-NOW AVAILABLE!

Last year, you guys may remember that I spent the entire month of October watching and talking about assorted scary movies, chronologically tracing the evolution of horror films from the 1920s up until the present day. I really enjoyed that little project and I think a lot of you did too. And now, as Halloween approaches again, I’m ready to launch the next stage of that project, my new eBook Reel to Reel: Mutants, Monsters and Madmen.

This eBook collects the 35 essays I wrote last year, plus five brand-new ones written just for this collection. Over the course of this book, I look at how the things that scare us have grown and evolved over the last century, dishing on some of the greatest, most influential and most memorable scary movies ever made. This eBook, available now for a mere $2.99, is hopefully going to be the first in a series, in which I’ll tackle different cinematic topics the same way.

If you read the essays last year, check this one out and enjoy the new ones. If you haven’t read any of them, dive in now for the first time. And tell all of your horror movie-loving friends about it as well! After all, the reason I decided to write this book in the first place is because I wanted to read a book like this one, but I just couldn’t find one. The market is out there, friends. Help us find each other.

(And lest I forget, thanks to Heather Petit Keller for the cover design!)

You can get the book now in the following online stores:

Amazon.com (for your Kindle or Kindle app)
Smashwords.com (for every other eBook reader)

And in case you’re wondering, the movies covered in this book include:

*The Golem (1920)
*Nosferatu (1922)
*The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
*Dracula (1931)
*Frankenstein (1931)
*The Mummy (1932)
*Freaks (1932)
*Cat People (1942)
*The Fly (1958)
*Peeping Tom (1960)
*Psycho (1960)
*Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Terror (1962-New in this edition!)
*Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
*The Haunting (1963)
*The Birds (1963-New in this edition!)
*Wait Until Dark (1967)
*Night of the Living Dead (1968)
*Last House on the Left (1972)
*The Exorcist (1973)
*The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
*Jaws (1975)
*Carrie (1976)
*Suspiria (1977)
*Halloween (1978)
*Alien (1979)
*The Shining (1980)
*Friday the 13th (1980)
*The Evil Dead (1981)
*Poltergeist (1982)
*The Thing (1982)
*A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
*Return of the Living Dead (1985)
*Hellraiser (1987-New to this edition!)
*Child’s Play (1988-New to this edition!)
*Misery (1990)
*Scream (1996)
*Ringu (1998)
*The Blair Witch Project (1999)
*Saw (2004)
*The Cabin in the Woods (2012-New to this edition!)

07
Oct
11

Story Structure Day 11: Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Joseph Stefano, from the novel by Robert Bloch
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam

Plot: Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) steals $40,000 from her employer to help her boyfriend (John Gavin) pay off his debts. As she’s running to him, she stops overnight at a secluded hotel  run by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), whose elderly mother lives with him in the adjacent house. When Leigh vanishes (following perhaps the most memorable death sequence in thriller history), her sister (Vera Miles) and boyfriend begin to seek her out, following the trail back to the hotel where she met her fate. A thrilling final confrontation reveals the true depths of Norman Bates’ insanity, jolting the viewers with shock after shock that still resonates 50 years later.

Thoughts: Truly, is there any thriller more classic, more iconic, more memorable than Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho? The movie launched a whole new subgenre of terror, making the psychology of a killer a vital element to the story. (True, Peeping Tom did the same thing, but far more people remember Psycho.)

Let’s get the necessary stuff out of the way first, though. The film was amazing precisely because it broke so many off the conventions of the day. The film begins with following Janet Leigh as she steals the money and takes off. We watch her go through a red herring sequence where a police officer grows suspicious of her and watches her trade in her car (it adds nothing to the plot, but substantially increases the viewer’s false presumption that Leigh is the film’s protagonist and, therefore, going to be with us for a while). We don’t meet Norman Bates until about a half-hour into the film, and then – assuming you’re one of the three people left on the planet unfamiliar with this sequence – we’re shocked when “Mother” murders Leigh with a full hour remaining. How could this be? She’s the main character, she’s the one we’ve been following! Where will the movie go now?

The truth is that the story isn’t really hers at all, but that false assumption is incredibly effective at distracting us from the true star – Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. Norman, as we learn, is the classic victim-turned-victimizer, repressed by an overbearing mother whom he later killed when he felt she was leaving him behind for her new lover. Afterwards, Bates develops a dissociative identity disorder, with “Mother” taking up residence in his head and murdering any woman he feels an attraction to, leading up to the climax of the film, where “Mother” takes over entirely.

Speaking – as I am wont to do – of the influence in both directions, Mother really strikes me as being a construct straight out of William Faulkner. Bates poisons his mother and her lover, then keeps Mother’s corpse with him in the house, carrying her from room to room, speaking to her as if she was alive. I’d be hard-pressed to believe that Robert Bloch wasn’t inspired here by Faulkner’s “A Rose For Emily,” a short story where (in a twist ending — so, y’know, spoiler warning) we learn that the main character poisoned her lover years ago. He was planning to leave her, so she dosed him with rat poison and kept his corpse in her house – and bed – for the rest of her very long life. Something about that idea of living with a corpse, of sleeping next to the dead, is unfailingly creepy. It’s one of the short stories I most enjoy teaching to my 11th grade students every year, just because of the reaction when they get to the end. I wonder how these 16-year-olds would react to seeing Psycho. But more on that later.

Aside from just being a great story and screenplay, Hitchcock’s direction and Perkins’s performance combine to make this a movie that truly deserves the label “masterpiece.” Nearly every frame of the film is a work of art, expertly combining shadow and shape to create an all-pervasive feeling of terror. The 1998 shot-for-shot remake of the film was an abomination in many, many ways, but most notably because you simply can’t create the mood Hitchcock conjured up in a color film. This is a movie that needs to be in black and white to really work. The death scene in particular just isn’t as scary in color. Leigh steps into the shower, blissfully unaware of the figure in the long dress and wig creeping up on the translucent shower curtain. We see the knife raised and brought down, over and over again. The dripping blood (probably chocolate syrup or something of the sort) strikes the pure white tile of the shower and your brain fills in the rest of the blanks as it all swirls down the drain. Sure, we live in a world where the likes of the Saw movies do their level best to be as graphic as possible with the deaths of the characters, but Psycho proves you don’t need to do that to scare the hell out of people.

Janet Leigh – rightly – was given an Academy Award nomination for the film, but I can’t help but feel Perkins was robbed. As good as everything else in the film was, none of it would have worked if his Norman Bates wasn’t so remarkable. When we first meet the character, he’s very kind, polite, handsome, and instantly likable. In other films, he’d be the best friend the leads confide in during their darkest moments. But as the movie progresses, as we learn more about his dysfunctional relationship with Mother, our perception of him begins to change. He becomes an object of pity. With his tall, almost preternaturally slender frame, he somehow looks younger than he really is, almost childlike despite how he rises above Marion. The scene immediately following Janet Leigh’s murder really sticks out. Norman (who the unspoiled viewer doesn’t yet know is the killer) stands in the doorway to the bathroom, mop and bucket in his hand, to clean up the mess Mother made this time. His shoulders slump and we realize the jacket he’s wearing is far too big for his spindly body, making him look like a little boy trying on Daddy’s clothes in the hopes of looking like a grown-up. His discomfort and slip ups when speaking to a private investigator (Martin Balsam) are spot-on perfect, with the sense of unease slowly spreading across his face throughout the scene, leading into a pronounced stutter as his ball of lies becomes too large for him to control.

And then there’s the final shot of the character, once he’s been captured and institutionalized, with Mother’s voice doing the voiceover. The madness hardwired into his brain, projected through the speakers of a movie theater, would be creepy enough, but then Perkins looks up directly at the camera. This is a man that, an hour earlier, any person in the theater would have wanted for his best friend. But now the shape of his smile and the look of madness in his eyes sends an electric jolt of fear straight into the viewer’s brain. He’s clearly mad, clearly an abomination… and then the really chilling thought manages to creep in. If somebody as nice and kind as Norman Bates could be a mask for something so horrible, is there anybody we can really trust? Hitchcock finishes icing the cake as the scene fades and he quickly – almost imperceptibly – superimposes the image of Mother’s skull over Norman’s face. It’s so fast many in the audience probably don’t even consciously notice it, but they know something just happened to scare them even more.

There are only two things that really keep me from considering this a perfect movie experience – one of which is a fault of the film, the other a symptom of its success. The movie ends, after Bates’ capture, with an unforgivably long sequence in which his psychiatrist gets into a highly technical and totally unnecessary explanation of Bates’ psychosis. Any reasonably intelligent moviegoer has already figured out that Bates was insane and killed his mother, the first of his many victims. Giving a clinical explanation for it somehow makes it a little less scary. The few details this scene adds that we couldn’t have figured out – such as the fact that Bates killed at least two other girls between the death of his mother and that of Marion Crane – aren’t needed for us to appreciate the depths of his depravity.

The other problem is that the film is now so well known, so influential, that much of the shock has gone. Even someone who has never seen the movie likely already knows, before they even turn it on, that Norman Bates is the killer and that Mother is dead, a mummified corpse he keeps with him out of a twisted sense of love. In this sense, I almost envy my 11th graders. For many of these kids, 15- and 16-year-olds, any movie made before the turn of the century is practically ancient history, and not on their radar at all. They’ll probably have heard of Psycho, but not really know anything about it. If their apathy allows them to watch this movie for the first time with a blank slate… oh, for the first time, I envy them.

Moving right along, tomorrow we’ll tackle one of the cinema’s most chilling cases of sibling rivalry: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com.

26
Aug
11

Reading about Stories…

I’ve been on one of my rare nonfiction kicks lately in my personal reading. But as is often the case when I read nonfiction, I’m reading nonfiction about fiction. That’s how I roll. And very often, you can get an idea of what my current writing project is based on what I’m reading while I’m working on it. These are some books that have contributed — influentially if not directly — to my big Halloween Project:

Make of that what you will.
02
May
11

What I write: the important horror films

When I’m not working on fiction, I find that some of my favorite things to write are… well… analysis of other fiction. I think it’s part of the same section of my brain that works as an English teacher. I like to take stories, pick them apart, and examine which parts of them work, and don’t work, and why. True literary criticism isn’t quite the art form that it once was, of course. I’m not talking just about simple reviews, I mean a real, scholarly examination that breaks things apart and examines them, warts and all. I find I enjoy all of that.

So lately, I’ve been trying to think of ways to do that in a more organized fashion than the occasional blog post here and more in-depth than a simple review allows. And I think I’ve got a way. But to begin this project, I need to make a list.

I think I have a way to examine stories that I’ll enjoy doing, and that may even be interesting for you fine folks to read. And I’m going to start with horror movies. What I’m going to do is make myself a list of some of the most influential and/or important horror films of all time. Then I shall watch them and write about them. So I’d like you guys to help me decide, what are some “important” horror films? Which ones created great characters, are the first works of great writers or directors, or changed the way we think about horror? For the purposes of this, I’m only looking at theatrical films — no TV movies or miniseries — and while I’m not automatically disqualifying sequels, it better be damn important to crack the list. And remakes? Not gonna be easy to convince me, but go for it.

Here’s what I’ve got so far, in chronological order:

  1. Nosferatu (1922-Perhaps the first vampire film)
  2. Dracula (1931-First Universal monster)
  3. Frankenstein (1931-Perhaps the best-known Universal monster)
  4. Peeping Tom (1960-Considered by some to be the first slasher film)
  5. Psycho (1960-Hitchcock’s masterpiece)
  6. The Haunting (1963-Considered by some to be the greatest haunted house movie of all time)
  7. Night of the Living Dead (1968-Defined how we see zombies today)
  8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974-Shaped the mad killer/slasher subgenre)
  9. Carrie (1976-First film adaptation of the work of Stephen King. Also his first novel, but that’s a different list.)
  10. Halloween (1978-Shaped horror films of the 80s)
  11. Alien (1979-Perfect synthesis of science fiction and horror)
  12. Friday the 13th (1980-Created a horror icon)
  13. The Thing (1982-The only remake on my list, because of its status as a locked-room mystery/monster movie, and the original is largely forgotten)
  14. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984-Created a horror icon)
  15. Scream (1996-Redefined horror films)
  16. Saw (2004-Shaped horror films of the 21st century)

So that’s all I’ve got so far. A measly 16 films! I want at least twice as many, folks, so I’m turning to you for help.What am I leaving out?

This list is, by virtue of being my list, somewhat prejudiced towards American films. I’ll certainly consider foreign films, if you can convince me one belongs on the list. And of course, a film’s inclusion in this project depends largely on my ability to find a copy on Netflix. And remember, it’s not just enough to tell me the name of a movie. Convince me. What makes it important? So hit me, guys. What movies do you believe deserve a place in this experiment?

04
Feb
11

What I’m Reading in 2011

And now, like I did with the movies yesterday, it’s time to begin my running tally of the books I’ve read/am reading in 2011. I’m always a little ashamed that this list is invariably shorter than the movie list, even though it takes considerably longer to read most books (exception: Billy’s Looking at Me: A Family Circus Collection) than watch most movies (exception: Avatar). But I try to take comfort in the fact that I read more books in January than most of my students will read all year. As always, if it’s a book I’ve reviewed, I’ll make it a link.

  1. Assholes Finish First (2010) by Tucker Max, B
  2. Stupid American History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions (2009) by Leland Gregory, B-
  3. Feed (2010) by Mira Grant, A
  4. Twisted Toyfare Theater Vol.11 (2011), B*
  5. Tangled: The Graphic Novel (2010), C-*
  6. The Inner Circle (2011) by Brad Meltzer, A
  7. The Customer is Always Wrong (2008) edited by Jeff Martin, B-
  8. The Complete Peanuts: 1975-1976 (2010) by Charles M. Schulz, A*
  9. The Onion Presents The Finest Reporting on Literature, Media, and Other Dying Art Forms (2010), B
  10. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale Vol. 1: My Father Bleeds History (1986) by Art Spiegelman, A*
  11. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale Vol. 2: And Here My Troubles Began (1991) by Art Spiegelman, A*
  12. The Crucible (1953) by Arthur Miller,A+•
  13. Cake Wrecks (2009) by Jen Yates, B+
  14. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America (2008) by David Hajdu, A
  15. The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them) (2007) by Peter Sagal, B+
  16. Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Vol. 2 (2010), A*
  17. The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy (2010) by Bill Parker, A-
  18. The Night of January 16th (1933) by Ayn Rand, B•
  19. American On Purpose (2009) by Craig Ferguson, B+
  20. Superman: Our Worlds At War-The Complete Collection (2006), B+*
  21. Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life (2002) by Mark Evanier, B
  22. Your Flying Car Awaits (2009) by Paul Milo, B-
  23. John Dies at the End (2009) by David Wong, B
  24. “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth” (2007) by Cory Doctorow, B-
  25. “The Black Cat” (1843) by Edgar Allan Poe, A
  26. Room (2010) by Emma Donoghue, A
  27. Limitless (2001) by Alan Glynn, B
  28. Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason (2011) by Mike Sacks, C+
  29.  “How Interesting: A Tiny Man” (2010) by Harlan Ellison, B-
  30. Crescent (2009) by Phil Rossi, B
  31. The Secret World Chronicle Book 1: Invasion (2006) by Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libby, B^
  32. Son of Superman (2000) by Howard Chaykin & David Tischman, B*
  33. Blood is Red (2011) by Scott Sigler, B+
  34. The Throne of Fire (2011) by Rick Riordan, B
  35. Fiends Vol. One (2011) by Paul Eldard Cooley, B+
  36. Subculture Vol. 1: The Wrath of Geek (2011) by Kevin Freeman & Stan Yan, B*
  37. The Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins, A
  38. Peanuts: Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (2011) by Craig Schulz & Stephan Patsis, B*
  39. Catching Fire (2009) by Suzanne Collins, B
  40. Mockingjay (2010) by Suzanne Collins, B+
  41. Secret Warriors Vol. 1: Nick Fury-Agent of Nothing (2009) by Jonathan Hickman, A*
  42. Deadline (2011) by Mira Grant, B+
  43. Zombies!: An Illustrated History of the Undead (2011) by Jovanka Vuckovic, B-
  44. Cujo (1981) by Stephen King, B
  45. Locke and Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft (2008) by Joe Hill, A-*
  46. Penny Arcade Vol. 7: Be Good, Little Puppy (2011) by Jerry Holkins & Mike Krahulik, B*
  47. New Teen Titans: Games (2011) by Marv Wolfman & George Perez, A*
  48. Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human (2011) by Grant Morrison, A-
  49. Clients From Hell (2011) by Anonymous, B
  50. Lisey’s Story (2006) by Stephen King, C
  51. Locke and Key Vol. 2: Head Games (2010) by Joe Hill, A*
  52. Locke and Key Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows (2010) by Joe Hill, A*
  53. On Writing (2000) by Stephen King, A
  54. Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psyco (1990), Stephen Rebello, B+
  55. “Mile 81” (2011), Stephen King, B
  56. The Stand (1990 unabridged edition), Stephen King, A+
  57. The All-Pro (2011), Scott Sigler, A
  58. Heaven (2011), Mur Lafferty, B+
  59. Hell (2011), Mur Lafferty, B
  60. Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (1993), by Alan Ball, B•
  61. The Scribbler’s Guide to the Land of Myth (2008), Sarah Beach, A
  62. The Gunslinger (2003 revised edition), Stephen King, B+
  63. The Starter (2010) by Scott Sigler, A^
  64. Who Goes There? (1938) by John W. Campbell, B+
  65. The Drawing of the Three (1986), by Stephen King, B
  66. “The Monster in My Closet” (2011), by Wil Wheaton, B+
  67. Bill Shakespeare’s Next Big Mistake (2011) by Renee Harrell, B-•
  68.  “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839), by Edgar Allan Pe, B
  69. The Waste Lands (1991), by Stephen King, A
  70. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1981), by Alvin Schwartz, B-
  71. More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1984), by Alvin Schwartz, B-
  72. Wreck the Halls (2011) by Jen Yates, B+
  73. 11/22/63 (2011), by Stephen King, A
  74. The Son of Neptune (2011), by Rick Riordan, B
  75. Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross (2003), by Chip Kidd, A
  76. Batman: Noel (2011) by Lee Bermejo, B+*
  77. Storm Front (2000) by Jim Butcher, B
  78. The Adventures of Chrissie Claus Vol. 1 (2009), B*
  79. A Christmas Story (2003) by Jean Shepherd, A
  80. The Book of  (Holiday) Awesome (2011) , by Neil Pasricha, C+
  81. The Great Gatsby (1924), F. Scott Fitzgerald, A
  82. A Married Man’s Guide to Christmas (2011), by Robert Henry, B+
  83. Batman: The Black Mirror (2011) by Scott Snyder, A*
  84. Zombies Christmas Carol (2011) by Jim McCann, B+*
  85. Walt Disney’s Christmas Classics (2009), B
  86. Archie’s Classic Christmas Stories Vol. 1 (2002), B
  87. “Nicholas Was…” (1989), by Neil Gaiman, A
  88. Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (2011) by Laura Geringer & William Joyce, B-

*-Denotes graphic novel or comic strip collection
•-Denotes stage play or screenplay
^-Denotes audiobook

Last updated on December 30, 2011.

03
Feb
11

What I’m Watching in 2011

Okay, we’re over a month into the year, it’s time for me to begin my running tally of movies I’ve watched in 2011. Those of you who see this list when it’s first posted will notice a definite trend towards 2010 films. If you’ve read this post, that makes a lot more sense. At any rate, this is where I’m keeping my annual running tally of the movies I see this year, and my quick rating of them. And if I review a movie at any of the many websites where I turn out such content, I’ll throw up a link.

What I’m Watching in 2011

  1. How to Train Your Dragon (2010), B+
  2. Infestation (2009), B+
  3. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), A
  4. True Grit (2010), A+
  5. Shutter Island (2010), B-
  6. Robin Hood (2010), C
  7. Easy A (2010), A-
  8. Splice (2009), D-
  9. Dinner For Schmucks (2010), B-
  10. Buried (2010), B+
  11. The Social Network (2010), A
  12. Repo Men (2010), C
  13. Logan’s Run (1976), B
  14. Exam (2008), A
  15. The Town (2010), A
  16. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010), B
  17. Fame (2009), B-
  18. Back to the Future (1985), A+
  19. Superman (1978), A+
  20. Cop Out (2010), D
  21. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), C
  22. All-Star Superman (2011), A
  23. The Crucible (1996), A
  24. Unknown (2011), C+
  25. Legion (2010), C-
  26. The Book of Eli (2010), C+
  27. Mulholland Drive (2001), B
  28. A Bug’s Life (1998), B
  29. Battle: Los Angeles (2011), B
  30. RED (2010), B+
  31. Frozen (2010), B
  32. Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (2011), B+
  33. A Beautiful Mind (2002), A
  34. Machete (2010), D
  35. Monsters (2010), C
  36. Let Me In (2010), B
  37. Limitless (2011), B+
  38. Devil (2010), C+
  39. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010), C-
  40. Scream (1996), A
  41. Scream 2 (1997), B
  42. Scream 3 (2000), B-
  43. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), A+
  44. Love and Other Drugs (2010), B+
  45. Moon (2009), A
  46. Fight Club (1999), B
  47. Megamind (2010), B
  48. Scream 4 (2011), B+
  49. The Experiment (2010), B
  50. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010), A-
  51. The King’s Speech (2010), A
  52. Lottery Ticket (2010), C
  53. Mary Poppins (1964), A
  54. Ghostbusters 2 (1989), B+
  55. Wall•E (2008), A
  56. The Other Guys (2010), D
  57. Akira (1988), B
  58. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story (2009), A
  59. The Phantom Tollbooth (1970), A
  60. The Last Unicorn (1982), B+
  61. Chicken Little (2005), B
  62. The Fighter (2010), B
  63. Saw: The Final Chapter (2010), B-
  64. Memento (2000), A
  65. The Untouchables (1987), A
  66. Thor (2011), A
  67. Firebreather (2010), B-
  68. Bookwars (2000), B-
  69. Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010), A
  70. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), C
  71. Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) (2010), B+
  72. Die Hard (1988), A
  73. The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993), B+
  74. The Princess Bride (1987), A+
  75. Holes (2003), B+
  76. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), B+
  77. Skyline (2010), D
  78. The Last Airbender (2010), C-
  79. The Last Starfighter (1984), A
  80. Duck Soup (1933), A+
  81. The Hangover Part II (2011), B
  82. Piranha (2010), C+
  83. UHF (1989), B
  84. Spaceballs (1987), B
  85. The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920), B+
  86. Labyrinth (1986), A
  87. The Green Hornet (2011), D+
  88. Series 7: The Contenders (2001), B+
  89. 127 Hours (2010), B+
  90. Saludos Amigos (1942), B
  91. The Three Caballeros (1944), B+
  92. X-Men: First Class (2011), A-
  93. The Last Man on Earth (1964), B
  94. The Vampire’s Night Orgy (1973), F
  95. Chloe (2009), B
  96. Nosferatu (1922), A
  97. The Virginity Hit (2010), B
  98. The Color of Magic (2008), B
  99. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011), B+
  100. Vanishing on 7th Street (2010), C+
  101. Green Lantern: First Flight (2009), A-
  102. Rubber (2010), C+
  103. Walt and El Grupo (2008), B
  104. Super 8 (2011), A
  105. Big Fish (2003), A+
  106. Black Death (2010), B
  107. Battle Royale (2001), B+
  108. The Faculty (1998), B-
  109. Green Lantern (2011), B-
  110. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010), B-
  111. Synecdoche, New York (2008), C
  112. The Phantom of the Opera (1925), A
  113. Fright Night (1985), B
  114. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), A
  115. The Fugitive (1993), A
  116. Cars (2006), B+
  117. Cars 2 (2011), B+
  118. After.Life (2009), C
  119. Zapped! (1982), D
  120. James and the Giant Peach (1996), B
  121. Young Frankenstein (1974), A
  122. The Addams Family (1991), B+
  123. The Great Muppet Caper (1981), B
  124. A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner (2011), D
  125. Dracula (1931), B
  126. Death Note (2006), B
  127. Tales From the Script (2009), B+
  128. Unthinkable (2010), B+
  129. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (2007), A-
  130. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), B
  131. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), B-
  132. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), B+
  133. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), B+
  134. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2008), B-
  135. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), B+
  136. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010), A
  137. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), A
  138. Frankenstein (1931), A
  139. The Mummy (1932), B
  140. Be Kind, Rewind (2008), B
  141. 25th Hour (2002), B
  142. The Incredibles (2004), A+
  143. Zodiac (2007), A
  144. Rec (2007), B+
  145. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), A
  146. Miller’s Tale (2011), B+
  147. Freaks (1932), B
  148. Red Riding Hood (2011), D
  149. Battle Royale II (2003), C
  150. Cowboys and Aliens (2011), C+
  151. Ernest Goes to Camp (1987), B
  152. Ernest Goes to Jail (1990), C+
  153. The Beginning of the End (1957), F; MST3K Riff, B
  154. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966), F; MST3K Riff, B+
  155. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (2011), A-
  156. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), A
  157. Cat People (1942), B
  158. Curse of the Cat People (1944), C-
  159. Sucker Punch (2011), D
  160. The Fly (1958), A
  161. Peeping Tom (1960), B
  162. Best Worst Movie (2009), A
  163. Troll 2 (1990), F
  164. Psycho (1960), A
  165. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), A
  166. Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011), B
  167. Super (2010), B+
  168. The Haunting (1963), B
  169. Night of the Living Dead (1968), A
  170. The Last House on the Left (1972), C-
  171. Suicide Girls Must Die (2011), C-
  172. Wait Until Dark (1967), A
  173. The Exorcist (1973), A
  174. Gamera (1965), C; MST3K Riff, A
  175. Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966), D; MST3K Riff, B+
  176. Gamera Vs. Gaos (1967), D; MST3K Riff, B
  177. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), C+
  178. Jaws (1975), A
  179. Carrie (1976), B+
  180. Suspiria (1977), D+
  181. Gamera Vs. Guiron (1969), D; MST3K Riff, B+
  182. Contagion (2011), C+
  183. Halloween (1978), A
  184. Alien (1979), A
  185. The Shining (1980), C+
  186. Friday the 13th (1980), B
  187. The Evil Dead (1981), B+
  188. The Thing (1982), A
  189. Poltergeist (1982), B+
  190. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), B
  191. Return of the Living Dead (1985), C-
  192. Misery (1990), A
  193. Ringu (1998), B+
  194. The Blair Witch Project (1999), B
  195. Saw (2004), A
  196. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949), B+
  197. The Creeping Terror (1964), F; MST3K riff, B+
  198. Mad Monster Party (1967), B
  199. Zombiemania (2008), B
  200. Tower Heist (2011), B-
  201. Scream: The Inside Story (2011), B
  202. Still Screaming (2011), A
  203. Your Highness (2011), D
  204. Repo: The Genetic Opera (2008), B-
  205. The Cannonball Run (1981), B
  206. Batman: Year One (2011), A-
  207. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), A-
  208. Up (2009), A+
  209. The Muppets (2011), A
  210. Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas (2011), B
  211. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), F; Cinematic Titanic Riff, B
  212. Christmas and A Christmas Carol (2009), D
  213. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972), F; RiffTrax, A
  214. The Great Gatsby (1974), A
  215. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), B+
  216. Tom and Huck (1995), Bl
  217. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), A
  218. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999), B
  219. Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) (2005), A
  220. Scrooged (1988), A-
  221. The Magic Christmas Tree (1964), F; RiffTrax B+
  222. It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), B
  223. The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), B
  224. Miracle on 34th Street (1947), A+
  225. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), A+
  226. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), A
  227. A Christmas Story (1983), A
  228. Love, Actually (2002), A
  229. Source Code, (2011), B+
  230. Paul, (2011), C+
  231. Tron: Legacy (2010), B+
  232. Attack the Block (2011), B+l
  233. The Captains (2011), A
  234. Gnomeo and Juliet (2011), B
  235. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011), C

Last Updated on January 1, 2012.




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