Friday, October 28, 2011

This Fella Phibes Just Handed Me a Horror Quiz...

Following the lead of some esteemed associates, I have filled out the first ever (hopefully) annual Dr. Anton Phibes' Abominably Erudite, Musically Malignant, Cursedly Clever Halloween Horror Movie Quiz from over at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, a classic film blog caretakered by far more knowledgeable geeks than I. Sadly, I think I've failed this one.

1) Favorite Vincent Price/American International Pictures release.

Oh holy hell. I haven't seen any of them. Most of the Vincent Price horror movies I know are from the 50s, like "The Fly," "House on Haunted Hill," and "House of Wax." My favorite role of his is Lionheart from "Theater of Blood," but that was a 70s picture. So I'm going to have to go with Egghead from the "Batman" TV series, because at that's pretty much the only role I know if his from the 60s, when he made the AIP films.

2) What horror classic (or non-classic) that has not yet been remade would you like to see upgraded for modern audiences?.

I'm surprised that nobody's ever properly remade "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." It seems to have inspired or heavily influenced a bunch of different media, but no remakes. Hmmm.

3) Jonathan Frid or Thayer David?

This is first of several "Dark Shadows" questions that will make me rue not being alive during the 60s.

4) Name the one horror movie you need to see that has so far eluded you.

See questions #1, #13, #18, and #29. And "Re-Animator."

5) Favorite film director most closely associated with the horror genre.

It's a toss-up between David Cronenberg and Guillermo Del Toro. Cronenberg's the better director, I think, but Del Toro's much more fun, and better versed in horror standbys like vampires ("Cronos," "Blade 2"), ghosts ("The Devil's Backbone") demonspawn ("Hellboy"), giant bugs ("Mimic"), and good old fairy-tale monsters ("Pan's Labyrinth").

6) Ingrid Pitt or Barbara Steele?

Barbara Steele. Slightly more familiar with her through some of her non-horror roles.

7) Favorite 50’s sci-fi/horror creature.

Godzilla! King of all monsters!

8) Favorite/best sequel to an established horror classic.

"Bride of Frankenstein." I think "Evil Dead 2" is up there, but it just doesn't have anything as iconic as the sight of Elsa Lanchester making her grand entrance as The Bride. And Dr. Pretorious! Remember him with the homunculi? He totally should have gotten his own movies.

9) Name a sequel in a horror series which clearly signaled that the once-vital franchise had run out of gas.

"Treehouse of Horror XI," specifically the final segment where dolphins take over the Earth. I think this was the point where the "Simpsons" writers ran out of horror ideas and just started lobbing alternate universe stories at us.

10) John Carradine or Lon Chaney Jr.?


11) What was the last horror movie you saw in a theater? On DVD or Blu-ray?

The last one in a theater was "Season of the Witch" back in January. I know, I know, but Nicholas Cage! And Ron Perlman! The last one by rental was "Mystery of the Wax Museum," the Michael Curtiz film that "House of Wax" was a remake of. Good movie. Liked the Fay Wray character way more than her counterpart in the remake.

12) Best foreign-language fiend/monster.

Most monsters don't exactly speak in the first place. Fiends are easier - Klaus Kinski.

13) Favorite Mario Bava movie.

Resisting the urge to bury my head in the sand. Haven't seen any of these either.

14) Favorite horror actor and actress.

For actor, Lon Chaney Sr. For actress, Sigourney Weaver, narrowly beating out Jamie Lee Curtis.

15) Name a great horror director’s least effective movie.

I always thought Cronenberg's "The Brood" was awful. I don't know whose idea it was to dress up the demonspawn kids in pastel jammies, but I ended up laughing my way through most of the last act because if it.

16) Grayson Hall or Joan Bennett?

Another "Dark Shadows" question, another reminder that I'm not that old. Yet.

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?

Saw "Poltergeist" as a kid and loved it. That was the first time I connected with any kind of horror movie, when I realized they could be fantastic and inventive and full of fun things to look at, instead of just screaming and running and dim lighting. I still like monster and supernatural films much more than the slashers.

18) Favorite Bert I. Gordon (B.I.G.) movie.

Do half-remembered "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episodes featuring his stuff count? No? Didn't think so.

19) Name an obscure horror favorite that you wish more people knew about.

Neil Jordan's "The Company of Wolves." Best werewolf movie ever made, bar none.

20) The Human Centipede-- yes or no?

I'll watch it, but do I have to pay attention to it?

21) And while we’re in the neighborhood, is there a horror film you can think of that you felt “went too far”?

I try to stay away from the ones that I think are probably going to go too far.

22) Name a film that is technically outside the horror genre that you might still feel comfortable describing as a horror film.

Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun."

23) Lara Parker or Kathryn Leigh Scott?

Again with the "Dark Shadows." This is starting to rival the BNAT13 application's obsession with "Teen Wolf."

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 her/his finger at you and said, “Why do you insist on reading/watching all this morbid monster/horror junk?” How did you reply? And if that reply fell short somehow, how would you have liked to have replied?

I was the scaredy cat of the family, actually. But I do remember one evening when my mother was trying to get my brother and I to stop watching "Chopping Mall" (runamok mall security robots decapitate hapless teenagers) and go to bed. I told her it was very important to see how they defeated the bad robots so we'd know what to do when they came after us. I found horror movies very educational on the subject of self-defense tactics. I mean, you never know, right?

25) Name the critic or Web site you most enjoy reading on the subject of the horror genre.

Shoutout to Scott E. Weinberg, the most active horror-loving guy on my Twitter feed by far.

26) Most frightening image you’ve ever taken away from a horror movie.

The head-spinning in "The Exorcist." Saw it with the right crowd at the right time that went ballistic when it happened on screen. I've never forgotten the impact of Regan on that audience.

27) Your favorite memory associated with watching a horror movie.

Being home alone in a darkened house, watching "The Shining" and quietly freaking out for hours, but unwilling to move an inch away from the TV set.

28) What would you say is the most important/significant horror movie of the past 20 years (1992-2012)? Why?

Well there's "Scream" for the 90s irony, "Saw" for sparking its own subgenre of of extreme torture film, or "The Ring," for unleashing J-horror upon us. I'm going with "The Blair Witch Project," for popularizing the microbudget found-footage horror film, which is still regularly cleaning up in theaters with titles like "Paranormal Activity."

29) Favorite Dr. Phibes curse (from either film).

I want to see these films so I don't want to spoil them for myself by Googling. I'll take a rain check.

30) You are programming an all-night Halloween horror-thon for your favorite old movie palace. What five movies make up your schedule?

80s horror revival night! "Poltergeist," "The Shining," "The Fly," "Beetlejuice," and "The Thing!"

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