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Horror

Christine

I never understood why this film never really found an audience.  It’s classic Stephen King directed by classic John Carpenter.  King’s narrative of the teen nerd no one likes supernaturally striking back against his bullies is straight out of “Carrie.”  John Carpenter’s style of pure evil without rhyme or reason is straight out of “Halloween.” 

Somehow, it didn’t mix.  Slasher films made Carrie and Halloween tame by 1983, and for an R-rated horror movie, this isn’t very extreme.

Fright Night

This is one of those stories where a studio head says “What the heck.  Let’s make a movie.”

Scriptwriter Tom Holland was a successful writer and wanted to direct his next script, a horror film.  Horror was in during the 80s, but vampire films were in short supply (this was two years before “The Lost Boys”, and vampires were the topic of this script.

An American Werewolf in London

I don’t think John Landis can do straight horror, but this is probably the closest he ever came to doing so.  “An American Werewolf in London” brought scenes of comedy mixed with the macabre.  Heck, some of the scenes are so hyperviolent I’m surprised they passed MPAA scrutiny, and several were cut to make the movie that made the theaters.

But the film is all about Rick Baker, the now-famous makeup artist who secretly played King Kong in the 1976 remake and created the suit he wore.

Halloween

In the seventies, mainstream horror movies were more supernatural than slasher movies.  From “The Exorcist” to “The Omen” to “Carrie”, it too devils and demons to be scary enough for Hollywood to invest serious money into the genre.  The “escaped lunatic” with a knife wasn’t enough.   Films like that were relegated to the independent, low-budget filmmakers to spend a few hundred thousand dollars and hope to make it back in drive-ins and such.