Hey, remember me? I used to write here from time to time, but haven’t been very active (on here at least) since I transcribed the lyrics to the end-credits song of a bad shark movie you’ve probably never seen. Well I’m back for my annual new year posts, starting off with ranking all the new releases I saw in 2022, and I’m keeping up the tradition of being a little late, and seeing a few more 2022 releases since I started this post, and the longer I leave finishing this post the more films I’ll need to add to it, and so on. Anyway, also as always there’s a bunch of new films I didn’t get to for various reasons that I’ll hopefully get to in my 2022 wrap-up post, but currently I’ve seen 70 new releases from last year (up from 57 in 2021). Here’s a list of some of the films I haven’t seen yet, but hope to soon, although many of them are available streaming to me right now, and have been for a while, so the fact that I still haven’t seen them yet doesn’t bode well: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Troll, The House, The Northman, Studio 666, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Bones and All, Elvis, The Woman King, Decision to Leave, Brian and Charles, Triangle of Sadness, Aftersun, Living, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, The Worst Person in the World, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Emily the Criminal, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Violent Night, Vengeance, Bros, Avatar: The Way of Water. That’s enough of the films I haven’t seen, here’s the ranking of the 70 I did, starting out with a couple that I actually haven’t. You’ll see what I mean. Oh, and as always this ranking is true as of today, and will almost certainly be different tomorrow. That’s the case more so this year than ever before as 2022 had a lot of films I really liked, but no particular one that was immediately deemed better than all the rest.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Scream
LAMBCAST #450 SCREAM FRANCHISE
I scream, you scream, we all scream for the Scream franchise!
Top 10… Serial Killer Movies
Next up on my celebration of horror movies via top 10 lists is another real-life threat, but one more sinister than snakes or spiders – serial killers. It’s not the happiest of subject matters, but it does make for some great stories to tell. Whether they’re based on real life instances or completely fictional, there’s a great overarching threat of a character intend on killing not just one, but multiple – and occasionally vast numbers – of people.
It could be for good – maybe the people they’re killing are even more evil – for bad, or for the sake of random craziness, but however you slice it, the serial killer will remain a great villain in cinema. And the fact that it’s usually just another person – as all the entries on this list are – without any kind of supernatural powers or abilities makes them potentially all the more scary, because you could just walk down the street and never even know it’s them. You walk past Freddy Kreuger and you know something’s up. But Mark from Peeping Tom? Why, he’s just another guy with a camera, who’s he gonna hurt?
Oh, and bounty hunters like Anton Chigurh don’t count. He’s on a mission to kill one person, and anyone that gets in his way is just collateral damage. And this isn’t a list of my favourite movie serial killers – I’m not sure how I’d rank how much I like them – this is based purely on the movies they’re in. There’s also quite a few that didn’t make the list, purely because I haven’t seen them yet. Films like Night of the Hunter (which I should be getting to soon, hopefully), The Killer Inside Me (I want to read the book first) and Hitchcock’s Frenzy. Also, no documentaries, just because. And the few that I can’t actually remember very much about but do intend to catch up on include Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Natural Born Killers and the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre (which I’ll be getting to shortly too).
Top 10… Movie Franchises
I’ve recently gone on record about two movie franchises, Star Trek and The Fast & The Furious, one of which I greatly preferred to the other. This got me thinking, and was the inspiration for this week’s list, my Top 10 Movie Franchises. Now, as always I’ve set myself some limitations. Firstly, I must have seen every film within the franchise. This immediately rules out the likes of Die Hard (haven’t seen number 5), Alien/Predator (haven’t seen Predator 2, can’t remember Alien 3 or Resurrection), Bourne (Legacy), Hannibal (Rising) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (remake and New Nightmare). I also didn’t include the looser franchises that simply take place in the same universe, for example the Avengers film, Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, George Romero’s Blank of the Dead series or the Muppets films. I also took into account every film within each franchise, so just because a film happened to feature some true classics, if there were some stinkers in there too then that didn’t help its case for inclusion. The franchise also had to have a minimum of four films, as I’ve made a list of my top trilogies before. So, without further ado, here’s my top 10 movie franchises:
There’s a lot of franchises out there! Seriously, there’s tons, more than I’d heard of, and I was shocked to discover some of the more longer-lasting movie sagas. Did you know there’s 30 Django films? I knew there were a lot of Carry Ons, but I didn’t think it was as many as 31, which is also the same number of Barbie films in existence (I’m guessing this doesn’t include Hotel Terminus). I’m most blown away, however, by the fact that there’s a Chinese series known as Wong Fei Hung, which includes a staggering 89 movies. 89! That, my friends, is insane. Anyway, I’ve barely seen any of these films (Django Unchained, Carry On Doctor) so obviously these can’t be in my Top 10.
No, this week’s two honourable mentions are the Final Destination franchise, and Police Academy. They beat out stiff competition from the likes of Shrek, Home Alone, Pirates of the Caribbean, Saw and the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, but if I had to pick my favourites then these two are them. Final Destination is one of the few horror series I pay much attention too – I’ve only seen the original Halloween, and have yet to see any Friday the 13th films – and I think this is due to the initially original concept of people cheating death, and being hunted down one by one to fix reality. It’s such a brilliant idea, and it means there’s no iconic killer who’ll end up as a parody of himself by the fifth film. Part four is easily the worst in the series – the premonitions don’t make sense and there’s some truly terrible CGI – but all the rest are at least decent, with number 2 being my personal favourite. I had a screenshot from the death of Rory as my background for a little while after seeing that film.
Police Academy is an entirely different yet still occasionally just as ridiculous franchise, following the antics of a police training school that’s just dropped any requirements for entrants, meaning anyone of any gender, race, weight and ability can sign up and be trained. Yes, the sequels got a bit terrible after Steve Guttenberg dropped out, and the less said about Mission to Moscow the better, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had with the earlier films, the first one is a true 80s classic.
Top 5… ‘Friends’ Movies
I’m fully aware that this is a terrible film, but it belongs on a list with the likes of Godzilla, Deep Blue Sea and The Day After Tomorrow as films that don’t really have a lot going for them other than being largely entertaining. Lost in Space features a fairly terrible performance from Matt LeBlanc as Major Don West, the captain of a spaceship transporting the Robinson family to a new colony in an attempt to begin the salvation of humanity, but of course problems arise, most notably a hoard of alien spiders that eat through the ship’s hull. Is there anything worth watching about the film? Yes. Gary Oldman is terrific as the evil Dr. Zachary Smith (and a slightly more spidery version later on). The rest of the Robinsons are OK too, particularly William Hurt as the father. And there’s a robot! Now, I’ve never seen the 60s TV show on which this is based, but I’m pretty sure that if they had implemented a weird sucker-fingered alien monkey, the CGI may have looked slightly better than in this film , made 30 years later.
It says something about the sheer volume of horror movies made in the 70s, 80s and 90s that in 1996 Wes Craven, himself creator of such classics as A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Hills Have Eyes, was able to create a film almost entirely about other horror movies, whilst still existing as a genre-defining horror-comedy along the way. Namechecking the likes of his own works (whilst having a dig at the sequels he wasn’t directly involved with) as well as Halloween, Friday the 13th, the Exorcist, Basic Instinct, Frankenstein, Prom Night, the Howling, Evil Dead, Hellraiser, Clerks, Psycho, Carrie, I Spit on Your Grave, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Silence of the Lambs to name but a few, the script revels in its horror knowledge, with one character, Jamie Kennedy’s Randy, working in a video store (remember them?) and dictating the rules of surviving a horror movie (don’t have sex, never drink or take drugs, never say “I’ll be right back”).
Typically with all franchises, the sequels deteriorate in quality, but it’s clear this was set up as a franchise from the beginning, with Sydney predicting Tori Spelling would play her if they made the story into a movie (as happens in Scream 2’s film within a film, Stab), and Liev Schreiber’s role of convicted killer Cotton Weary beefed up a great deal for part 2. This is exactly the horror film needed to reinvigorate the once tired genre; a horror film made for people who love horror films, by people who love horror films, about people who love horror films.
With the recent release of the trailer for Scream 4, I wish to express my excitement about this forthcoming film. I feel that, in the ten years since the release of Scream 3, the horror genre has progressed significantly, with the introduction of the torture-porn sub-genre in the likes of the thankfully now finishing Saw franchise and the nauseating Hostel films (I still can’t watch the bit with the eye in the first one) as well as the near constant onslaught of remakes, prequels and ‘reimaginings’ of existing films, be they masterpieces or less so.