Hells' bells! It's time for Dr. Anton's Phibes' Abomimably Erudite, Musically Malignant, Cursedly Clever Halloween Horror Movie Quiz!
As you know, I am a diehard fan of the rigorous movie quizzes devised by Dennis Cozzalio at his swoon-worthy filmblog, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule.
I am posting my answers on his blog, along with everyone else who's playing... but here's an extended version, with film clips and photos. Come over and post your answers, it's sooooo fun; more like an interview than an exam.
Let me stretch my cold blue hands from their keyboard coffin and begin:
1) Favorite Vincent Price/American International Pictures release.
My earnest favorite is the “The House of Usher.” I like to think Price truly drank the Poe Kool-Aid and gave himself to that role.
I also gasp at “Raven” for the debut of that handsome, full-head-of-hair jackanape, Jack Nicholson.
2) What horror classic (or non-classic) that has not yet been remade would you like to see upgraded for modern audiences?
I have a longtime answer to this question.
I edited a lesbian magazine in the 1980s called On Our Backs. I discovered an erotic short story in our slush pile that was terrific, a sci-fi suspense-thriller featuring two amazing lovers/adversaries: Ripley and Vasquez.
I called the author on the phone, exclaiming over her inspiring characters. Wow, what originals! She was quiet on the other end of the line.
“Uh, haven’t you seen Alien?”
That’s how I came to rent the whole series. Nevertheless, I wrote back to my author, “I still wish your story was the movie; I love it the best.”
That was my introduction to slash fiction— I’ve read a lot of it now, much of it script-worthy!
3) Jonathan Frid or Thayer David?
Barney Barney Barney! I wasn't supposed to watch “Dark Shadows,” and it was the only soap I was interested in as a child. Frid's character and those pretty ladies’ décolletage are what stayed with me.
4) Name the one horror movie you need to see that has so far eluded you.
My glaring omission is The Exorcist. I read the book in broad daylight at fourteen and scared myself so badly I couldn’t sleep. I remember seeing the lines of people waiting for its debut at the movie theater in Westwood, and I thought, “No, I can’t take it, I can’t.”
5) Favorite film director most closely associated with the horror genre.
But my favorite "horror" director not especially connected with horror is Roman Polanski.
6) Ingrid Pitt or Barbara Steele?
Barbara’s face is so memorable, that British porcelain in Italian camp. She worked with Fellini, right? You have to love a Felliniesque horror vamp.
7) Favorite 50’s sci-fi/horror creature.
I never saw the movie, but the poster holds a special place in my heart: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.
For sheer pathos, Frankenstein's monster, in his scene with the little girl.
8) Favorite/best sequel to an established horror classic.
I am revealing my love of thrillers and crime (which I consume far more than horror) and All Things Jodie.
After that, Alien 2.
9) Name a sequel in a horror series which clearly signaled that the once-vital franchise had run out of gas.
I am inadequate to this task. The last time I was stunned by the end of a franchise was when Julie Andrews stopped making G-rated movies.
10) John Carradine or Lon Chaney Jr.?
11) What was the last horror movie you saw in a theater? On DVD or Blu-ray?
On DVD, probably an all-day Alien marathon.
On TV, the True Blood series.
Movie Theater: Cronenberg’s latest.
12) Best foreign-language fiend/monster.
I lean toward attractive monsters, sexy monsters, French monsters.
The one who touches my heart the most is the Beast in Cocteau’s La Belle et le Bête. I would never leave him!
However, in the course of preparing my answer to this question, I stumbled upon something I simply MUST watch tonight: Nazi zombies, in Dead Snow. Norwegian!
13) Favorite Mario Bava movie.
Need you ask? Diabolik! He robs from the rich to give to the girls. No horror, just pure pre-Bond awesomeness.
14) Favorite horror actor and actress.
My boyfriend right now is "Eric" in True Blood, played by Alexander Skarsgard. He and the Nazi Zombies can HAVE me.
Boris Karloff is my classic favorite, and my mother’s as well.
For classic old dames, I still get the willies thinking about Betty Davis in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.
As for contemporary horror-heroines, my hat is off to Natalie Portman in Black Swan— ballet plus psycho-horror PLUS feathers.
15) Name a great horror director’s least effective movie.
16) Grayson Hall or Joan Bennett?
I can't choose— they're both inspiring.
I’ve waxed on about Joan before, so let me lavish some love on Grayson.
Their Dark Shadows moments were just one little twinkle on great careers from start to finish.
17) When did you realize that you were a fan of the horror genre? And if you’re not, when did you realize you weren’t?
I was raised quite obediently as girly-girl— I thought horror was for boys, along with mathematics and sports. I said horror movies were dumb— or frightful— and as I was “protected” from them as a child, I had no idea what I was missing. Occasionally I’d hear some chick screaming from a monster-rape reel, and I’d grimace. Stupid, stupid victim.
In the 80s, around the time I got the Ripley/Vasquez manuscript, I confided my horror-contempt to one of my colleagues, book critic Laura Miller.
She surprised me; she told me I was a fool to be missing out on some truly great movies. Laura seemed to know what would turn the key for me… and suggested an early Cronenberg: Brood. It’s psychiatric! It’s sexual! It’s Canadian! I was enraptured.
I always liked fantasy and fairy tales for their romance and cruelty, I just hadn’t figured out where to find those themes in horror. I also hadn’t yet discovered my horror heroines, women who make things happen.
Laura sealed the deal by lending me Carol Clover’s Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, which, in part, prepared me to teach my first class on sexual representation in film, aka "Porn 101." That was 1992.
I suppose it's old hat now, but Clover’s writing about "The Final Girl" gave me a way into horror, to see beyond the shrieking raped-wretch. Women get to “do more stuff” in horror than just about any genre. In horror, once you start listening between the lines, gender is a tossed salad.
18) Favorite Bert I. Gordon (B.I.G.) movie.
I fail once again. I guess I know what I'm doing this Halloween.
19) Name an obscure horror favorite that you wish more people knew about.
The People Under The Stairs… it’s so bad it’s delicious.
Rabid… oh, Marilyn.
20) The Human Centipede-- yes or no?
Oh yes! YES! YES! This is exactly where the toilet flukeworm in X-Files was heading.
21) And while we’re in the neighborhood, is there a horror film you can think of that you felt “went too far”?
“Going too far,” for me, is a desired mental destination. If something affects me, it’s done its magic, and my reaction says more about “me” than it does about the supposed line it crossed.
A favorite movie that pushed my buttons this way was I Spit on Your Grave. The ultimate in Old Testament Medieval Revenge. Camille Keaton is beyond The Final Girl— she is: The Rapture.
The first half of the film, her character is humiliated, raped, broken— left for dead. I could barely sit through it. No wonder this film was targeted by feminist picket lines and boycotts.
But had any of the protestors watched the SECOND half? What Keaton does to her rapists is TWICE as sick— and cold as ice. All one can do is applaud. Or laugh, evilly.
22) Name a film that is technically outside the horror genre that you might still feel comfortable describing as a horror film.
Recently, The Debt. Anything on a gynecologist’s table with a Nazi: Horror movie.
23) Lara Parker or Kathryn Leigh Scott?
Lara Parker, by a hair— but I'm not really into either of these girls.
24) If you’re a horror fan, at some point in your past your dad, grandmother, teacher or some other disgusted figure of authority probably wagged their finger at you and said, “Why do you insist on watching all this morbid horror junk?” How did you reply?
“Can I watch just two more minutes?”
And if that reply fell short somehow, how would you have liked to have replied?
“When I grow up, I’m going to do whatever I want and you won’t be able to stop me.” —
That’s what I was thinking all the time.
But I never would have said that, because the “violence” that would have ensued would make any horror movie look like a walk in the park!
25) Name the critic or Web site you most enjoy reading on the subject of the horror genre.
I'm a neophyte. Tell me and I'll follow.
26) Most frightening image you’ve ever taken away from a horror movie.
How about the most frightening image I DIDN’T take away? There’s nothing like anticipating a shock, which you’ve been told your whole life is “beyond the pale”... only to find out it’s a con.
Snuff fooled so many people. What an advertising campaign! What a rout! It managed to get banned in several cities, become a centerpiece of feminist outrage for a good decade… and it was all a big NOTHING.
The movie’s tag line was, “Made in South America, Where Life is Cheap!”
In fact, the “snuff” ending was shot in Hell’s Kitchen, where the film distributor was so cheap that he heated up a little Chef-Boy-R-Dee for the FX shot of the "victim’s" intestines. The dead actress couldn’t lay still.
The things they got away with, before the Internet...
27) Your favorite memory associated with watching a horror movie.
Staying up by myself, watching vampire movies after mom went to bed.
28) What would you say is the most important/significant horror movie of the past twenty years (1992-2012)? Why?
Scream. It’s the Onion of Horror.
29) Favorite Dr. Phibes curse
“Work faster, doctor! The acid is descending!”
30) You are programming an all-night Halloween horror-thon for your favorite old movie palace. What five movies make up your schedule?
Just for a kick, how about a horror fest based on The Bechdel Test?
The Bechdel Test requires a movie to pass three questions: 1) It has to have at least two women in it, 2) Who talk to each other, 3) About something besides a man.
I'll choose five I’ve never seen:
Do you think I'll like them? What's your go-to movie for this Halloween night?
Finally, take the Quiz, you big weenie. I double triple dare you.