Ok Andy (and anybody else)
I've just been reading some of your articles. For some reason you seem to think that "The Evil Dead" <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> will make someone an official horror fan.
What is the reasoning behind gory, zombie movies being horror movies? All I see is grossness. I'm not scared when I go see these things. I don't get that little "thrill" of a scare like you get on a movie like "Alien" - where you have no idea what's going to happen.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I am intrinsically opposed to gore, it just seems that most zombie and slash movies are only about that and nothing else. IMHO
<img src="/images/graemlins/kiss.gif" alt="" /> Gimme what you got!
I think people have a tendency to either be "horrified" by physical things or by psychological things.
Overall, I think the psychological horrors go deeper and are genuinely more terrible, which is why many films tend to focus on the visceral and physical aspects. It makes for better entertainment. That's why rollercoasters tend to be fun. They push what most of experience on a daily basis to a further extreme and yet they do it in a way that is controlled so as to reduce actual potential for harm.
And just for the record, I like "The Evil Dead."
OK Michelle, here's what i've got!
First, the thread title, Rae i agree that visual horror is horrifying in a different way to horror in the mind and people respond to differnet things. There is also the 'shock' value of gore in a horror movie.
Now for some Evil Dead defending. I included it in my beginners guide for several reasons. First and most important, it is lots of fun. The gore is comical rather than shocking (even more so in the sequel), the performances are endearing, the direction is stunning with SO many special shots and although the movie is not scary, the atmosphere can get creepy in places.
The film was shot for nothing on 16mm by Sam Raimi, assisted by his college mates who produced, acted and did the make-up. It made a cult star out of Bruce Campbell (who is simply superb), it propelled Sam Raimi to directing stardom in a similar way to Peter Jackson.
In the UK, the movie was the figure head of the Video Nasty scare and was banned for MANY years and has only relativly recently been released in an uncut form. It was also famous for Stephen King's endorsment on the video cover; a rarity in those days for a big budget movie, let alone an independant cheapy like this.
Evil Dead and its sequels represent what is so good about the genre: A no budget movie made by people no one had heard of went on to become a genre legend and sent most of it's crew and actors on to bigger and better things. It's a Cinderella story, only with Cinderella as a flesh eating zombie.
There we go, that's my reasons for Evil Dead being on a horror fans list of watched movies. You don't have to like it, but you HAVE to have seen it.
Think I have written too much! Never get me started on Evil Dead!
Sorry for the DP, but I didn't talk about the gore stuff. Speaking as a reformed gorehound, yes, some films are all about the gore and not a lot else. But so few of these are mainstream it hardly matters. I feel that a horror film should be an all round experience, visual, visceral and mentally challenging. Again, there are so few of these films it hardly matters, so I am always happy to have each box ticked by seperate films.
I have had a bit of a gore 'renaissance' over the weekend with the purchase of a limited edition DVD of the infamous Italian movie Cannibal Ferox. Haven't seen it for many years, so perhaps my viewpoint of 'gore is good' will change on a new viewing. I will post up a review when I have seen it. Also got a Land of the Dead review coming up!
Rae - I have to pull Andy's leg a little, I'm not really knocking all people who like "Evil Dead" - I personally thought the last one "Army of Darkness" was hilarous (not horror however).
But Andy, I appreciate your response, because your right, those movies were more comic than horror (I love Bruce Campbell!)
There have just been some movies that I felt like, if there were no gore, there would have been no movie. Several of the sequel crazy movies come to mind: Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser (I'll give you the 1st movie as being based on Clive Barker's short story - the rest were just violence), Puppet Master, etc.
Actually most of those movies were decent on the first movie, but the producers got greedy and ran out of actual ideas so just relied on blood and guts!
Ah, I'm soapboxing again, sorry.
(BTW - liked the new Amityville better than the old - more attention to detail. But I don't remember having pink hightop converses in 1975!)
Your soapbox is one that is correct Michelle! All the sequels to those movies you mentioned had little to do with the original and were only there to create a lucrative 'franchise'. Just check to see which director returned on any of the poor sequels...
When a movie does not suffer from being a franchise and gore/special FX are used, it can sometimes be a very effective tool, much like say, a car chase or fire fight. Examples? The transformations in American Werewolf in London and The Howling, Brundlefly in The Fly and the main zombie chow sequence in Day of the Dead. For a non-horror example, check the face melt at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I have yet to see the remake of Amityville. Probably for the same reasons I haven't seen the remakes of Texas Chainsaw, Dawn of the Dead and The Fog.
For me horror is not just about being scared it is about being disgusted too so gore has to be a part of it. Gore do not scare me unless it has to do with the eyes but it still is an important part of the atmosphere of an horror movie. And also when the rest of the movie is well done and you can identify to the characters in it it makes you think about the real horror that happens to innocent people in life. It even helped me once when I had to have work done on some teeth, I kept thinking about the movie that I watched the night before (Hostel 2) and then started to think about the victims of psychopaths and that was the only time I did not cry, scream and have a panic attack while getting fillings.
If I only want to be scared without being disgusted then I watch a suspense movie.
These are very old topics by the last Editor - I'll have to remove them, Nancy you must be going through the back catalog LOL