Out with the Dead


And so October draws to a close.  Between here and the Morlocks, I got a few good October posts out but not nearly as many as I would have liked.  There's a reason for that, outside of the usual, pained and pointless excuses of "I got too busy!"  Yes, that's true, that happens, often, but that's not really why. 

The real reason why is because I'm sick and tired of discussing the same goddamn horror movies over and over and over again.  In my last post at the Morlocks I even gave a kind of semi-apology for bringing up The Exorcist because, hell, I've brought that movie up 43 times in the last four years during October.  Enough already!  

And the lists!  Oh, the lists, from all around the internet, from critics and professional sites (like Cracked) to freakin' Martin Scorsese, that are all intelligent and worthy, yes,  but also happen to have the same movies on every goddamn list!  Look, I love most of the horror movies on most of those lists but here's the thing:  The folks that come here know those movies.   We all know those movies.  For the immediate future, do we really need to call up The Shining again, or Psycho, or Night of the Living Dead?  Do I love each and every one of those? Yes!  Absolutely.  Do I fault a single writer out there for bringing them up?  No!  Never.  Christ, I brought them all up, around the internet, this October.  But I don't want to do it anymore.  I really don't.  I'm done with it.  It's kind of like if you're a classic film blogger (how this blog started out) and you spend all your time writing about Citizen Kane or Casablanca or Singin' in the Rain.  I mean, sure, those are great movies and they're going to make plenty of lists but, ahem, can we talk about something else?  Something that hasn't been written about, discussed and digested 93,457 times?

When I started doing October at Cinema Styles back in 2007, it felt fresh, new, exciting.  Now every goddamn newspaper and media organization that used to shun the internet and bloggers like little unwanted bastard children is out there bombarding us with bullshit October horror movie themes, slide-shows and lists,  a lot of it coming from people who don't know fuck-all about horror.   As a result, there's a numbing, pervasive, zombie-like sameness to the October film selections I see all over the internet and when I look at my own pathetic foray into horror this month, I see the same thing!  Ugh.

So I want to go in different directions with this.  I love Universal Horror and Hammer Horror and Amicus.  I love Corman and Castle and Francis and damn, I'll watch any of their movies, any time.  But for now and into the foreseeable future, I think they're covered on these here internets.  Really, I do.  Earlier in the month, I tried to go a different direction with it by posting on Ingmar Bergman at the Morlocks from the point of view of horror.  But I didn't branch out beyond that single post.  I wish I had.  I wish I had ventured forth more courageously but, for various reasons, I didn't.  The main reason is this:  I simply haven't devoted enough time to watching different horror movies.  

Peter Nellhaus, the prolific critic and blogger at his own place, Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee, is constantly recommending I watch Thai horror and I rarely take him up on it.  Well, I'm going to.  I have to.  There are so many great horror films being made all over the world and I'm missing out by not exposing myself to them.  Another great writer and friend, Richard Harland Smith, recommended I take in Eastern European productions to break out of the rut.  That message, too, has been received and acted upon.  And I take it seriously.  The reason people like Peter and Richard and Tenebrous Kate and Kimberly Lindbergs and Arbogast have much greater horror creds than most other writers out there is precisely because they don't limit themselves, as I've done, to the same old, same old.  Hell, each one of them has, at one time or another, written up a horror movie that I not only hadn't seen, I hadn't even heard of it!  

Next October, I'm bringing out the dead.  The familiar, comfortable horror movies I've leaned on year after year after year are getting tossed onto the funeral pyre of horror homogeny as I stagger out of the corner I've lazily painted myself into and wander down some of those dark alleys that have no sign posts, no lights and no sense of security at all.  What they lack in security they make up for with the exhilarating chill of the unknown and that's something I'm desperate to discover again.    For next October, I vow, here and now, to not write a single word about a single movie I have written about before.  Old October is done.  Bring out your dead.