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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Click Here for the October 2020 Horror Marathon


Way back when I was running the old Gutmunchers website I started an annual tradition that I've continued here with Crappy Movie Reviews. That is the October Movie Marathon. I try and cram in as many movies as possible in the days leading up to Halloween. I revisit my favorites as well as seeking out some new flicks. That occasionally leads to some misfires, but I've also found some gems that way as well. You can check out my previous marathons at the links below. 

October 2017 Movie Marathon

October 2018 Movie Marathon (Zombie Edition)

October 2019 Movie Marathon

I hope to make this my best marathon yet! Given how lousy 2020 has been it almost has to be. So sit back and have some fun with me. Also if you have any suggestions for what I should watch this year I'd love to hear them. Email me at gutmunchers@gmail.com and let me know. Now onto the good stuff. 

9/30/20 - Disaster L.A. The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here. Well I couldn't help myself and had to get an early start. I won't count this one as part of the marathon since it isn't technically October yet. We will call this a bonus movie. Every October I try and watch a terrible new or new to me zombie flick. Disaster L.A. The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here fits that bill nicely. It is way too ambitious for its budget and spends 90 minutes with characters running down hallways and parking garages. 

9/30/20 - The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974).  I suppose another early movie wouldn't hurt too much. This is an infrequently mentioned zombie flick that deserves more attention. It has a quirky vibe to it and a lot of different names. This one is best known for the look of the zombies and the crazy ending that no one sees coming the first time they watch it. This is one of my favorite zombie movies and one that I revisit every couple of years. 

10/1/20 - Movie 1 - Madman (1982)
The first official movie of the October marathon is an old favorite of mine. There will be many slasher flicks on this list but how could I go wrong with Madman Marz. This is an early slasher flick made on a very low budget and is a blast. There are some good kills, gore, and the makeup on Marz looks great. This also has teh greatest hot scene ever committed to film! Trust me you won't ever forget it. If you are interested my full review for this one is here

10/1/20 - Movie 2 - The Thing from Another World (1951).
I can't have a proper October without James Arness stomping around in a rubber alien suit. I grew up watching this movie and no matter how many times I've seen it it never gets old. I know that most fans dig the John Carpenter version, and that is classic too, but there is something about this black and white gem that always puts a smile on my face. I've covered this for the site and you can find my full review here

10/2/20 - Movie 3 - Return of the Living Dead (1985).
This is another must watch for me every October. Between the special effects work and the comedy that consistently lands this movie has it all. It features one of the most iconic zombies of all time, Tarman. A great cast, fantastic director, and even better script combine to make one of the best non-Romero zombie movies ever. If you want to know more about my thoughts on this one then check out my full review here

10/3/20 - Movie 4 - Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013).
Whenever I do one of these marathons I try and toss a few new or new to me movies into the mix. I hadn't seen this one before but it was a zombie movie so I thought I'd give it a shot. It isn't a perfect movie but I got a kick out of it. Some decent gore and creature effects are mixed in with some excellent fight choreography. Added in are some historically correct uniforms, weapons, and vehicles which is very hard to do on a budget. Not too shabby. 

10/3/20 - Movie 5 - Dawn of the Dead (2004).
Remakes annoy me and when I heard that they were going to remake my favorite movie, Romero's Dawn of the Dead, I was less than excited. But I still went to see it in the theater when it came out. I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the movie. It even had fast zombies which I normally hate. But director and writer Zach Snyder realized that it is all about the characters. I really like them and that makes the movie work for me. 

10/3/20 - Movie 6 - Night of the Demons (1988).
This is another favorite of mine from the '80s. You might notice a lot of my selections are from that decade. Nothing quite beats '80s horror. Here we have another excellent performance from Linnea Quigley as well as some great makeup effects and creative kills. I could go on but if you want to know more check out my review here

10/3/20 - Movie 7 - Eight Legged Freaks (2002).
I love this movie. It is a fun throwback to the old monster movies of the '50s. Giant spiders running around killing off the locals. All because a guy fed insects from a pond filled with toxic waste to his spiders. It happens. This one stars David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, and a very young Scarlett Johansson. Check out my full review here

10/4/20 - Movie 8 - Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made (2018).
Well shit... While I normally like to toss a new flick in here and there this is one that I would never have taken the time to watch. But it was chosen by one of my co-hosts on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast. I could try and explain Antrum but I'll just leave it at this. Imagine an artsy fartsy film school drop out decided to make an incomprehensibly dumb movie about the gate to hell. That about sums it up. Total waste of time. 

10/5/20 - Movie 9 - Cabin in the Woods (2011).
This is one of the best new horror movies of the last twenty years. It takes the genre that we all know and love and turns the damn thing on its head. It has a great cast, excellent creature design, and some wonderful twists and turns. If you haven't watched this one or haven't seen it since it's release please check it out. For my full review click here
10/5/20 - Movie 10 - Terminal Invasion (2002).
This is a "new" one for the marathon. I remember watching and liking it when it first aired on Sci-Fi channel almost twenty years ago, but I've not watched it since. Starring Bruce Campbell and directed by Sean S. Cunningham I thought that this was one I needed to check out again. Be warned it is almost impossible to find these days.
10/6/20 - Movie 11 - Day of the Dead (1985).
George Romero is my favorite filmmaker so I always work in a few of his flicks into the marathon. While Dawn of the Dead is my favorite of his original zombie trilogy this one is a blast. Some of the best gore you could ask for. I don't know what else I can say that hasn't been talked to death already. If you want more information check out my review here
10/7/20 - Movie 12 - Ghost Shark (2013).
I suppose I had to work a shark movie into the marathon. Since I already had to watch this for the Shitty Shark Show podcast I figured why the hell not include it here. This is a disappointing Sci-Fi channel flick that has its moments but is sabotaged by an uneven plot and some terrible CGI effects. While I don't always hate digital effects, even bad ones, you have to give me something else. Ghost Shark just didn't.

10/7/20 - Movie 13 - The Fog (1980).
This might be my favorite Carpenter movie with Halloween being the only one that might bump it from that spot. This is a quintessential ghost story that hits all the necessary points. You have creepy ghosts, a killer reason for them to be haunting the town, some great scares, wonderful music, and finally a great ending. Tom Atkins, Jamie Lee Curtis, and her mother Janet Leigh anchor a cast filled with many other Carpenter regulars. For more you can check out my full review here

10/8/20 - Movie 14 - The Burning (1981).
It took a few days but I finally worked another slasher flick into the marathon. This one is a favorite of mine and features some stellar effects work from Tom Savini. I know that some fans question the quality of the story but I think it follows the formula nicely. For my full review you can click here

10/9/20 - Movie 15 - Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020).
One of my co-hosts on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast chose this for the show so I had to watch it. I'll be damned if it isn't a lot of fun. I've heard some compare it to Attack the Block but I think this is more Monster Squad. Either way if you want to watch something with the kids this isn't a bad choice. 

10/9/20 - Movie 16 - Hubie Halloween (2020).
Adam Sandler movies are hit and miss for me. That said I do like silly Halloween comedies like this and Ernest Scared Stupid so I decided to check it out. Honestly this is a harmless and at times amusing movie. It isn't as good as Sandler's best movies (Waterboy kicks ass!) but neither is it as terrible as say Little Nicky. Probably worth at least one watch if you find him amusing. 

10/10/20 - Movie 17 - WNUF Halloween Special (2013).
  This one tells the story of a local reporter at a small television station as he presents an investigation of a supposed haunted house. Shot in a manner that makes it look like the sort of equipment they would have had back in '87 when this is set the movie also includes appropriately cheesy commercials. Shot on a budget of $1500 I have to say they did a decent job. You can catch it on Shudder.

10/10/20 - Movie 18 - Scare Me (2020).
This is another movie that I had to watch for the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast. This was getting some buzz when it showed up on Shudder. I guess if you like going to the Improv and watching people act out scenes on stage then you might like this. Personally I found it to be boring. It looked like it might have a great ending but managed to miss that mark as well. Now that the work has been done time to get to the fun stuff. 

10/10/20 - Movie 19 - The Crazies (2010).
I love Romero's original The Crazies but don't hate this remake. They definitely ramp up the violence and the crazies are a lot scarier in this one. And the movie also makes sure to hit the same themes as the original did. It makes for a fun watch, though not as good as Romero's. 

10/10/20 - Movie 20 - The Thing (1982).
This is the second John Carpenter flick in the marathon and won't be the last. Here we have Kurt Russell and pals doing battle with an alien invasion all the while not knowing who is friend or foe. This is one of the best sci-fi/horror movies ever made. Plus it has Wilford Brimley in it... R.I.P. To read my full review click here

10/11/20 - Movie 21 - The House on Haunted Hill (1959).
Almost a week in and I don't have any Vincent Price yet! This is another classic that I always watch every October. I still remember watching this as a kid on the local late night horror hosted program. If you haven't seen this one find it and take a look. For more on what I think check out my review here

10/11/20 - Movie 22 - The Mist (2007).
It has been far too long since I sat down to watch this one. I remember loving it when I saw it in the theater as well as on DVD later on. No spoilers for those that haven't seen it before but I can say that this movie has the biggest kick you in the butt ending of any horror movie that I've ever seen. Even if it deviates from the equally awesome Stephen King short story it is based on.

10/12/20 - Movie 23 - Terror Train (1980).
This is one of my favorite slashers, but then I've always been a sucker for movies set on a train. It might be a little light on the gore, but we get an excellent performance from Jamie Lee Curtis and a lot of atmosphere. For more on what I think of Terror Train check out my full review here

10/13/20 - Movie 24 - The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020).
Another new movie on the list. The werewolf looks great and this is Robert Forster's last movie. Sadly the plot is a mess, the narrative jumps around, the movie spends more time on family issues than it does the werewolf. Basically it promises a lot and delivers nothing. 

10/13/20 - Movie 25 - Feast (2005).
This is one of my favorite monster movies. Somehow it doesn't always make the October list but this year it did. While I'm not a fan of the sequels this movie kicks much butt. The casting is inspired, the dialogue fun, and the monsters look fantastic. For more you can check out my review here

10/14/20 - Movie 26 - Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995).
I figured another siege movie would be fun. This time Demon Billy Zane traps a bunch of people in an old hotel while he tries to get the last key that he needs to bring about the end of the world. For more on my thoughts about Demon Knight click here for my full review. 

10/14/20 - Movie 27 - Fright Night (1985).
This flick from director Tom Holland is one of the best vampire movies ever made. Not only is Chris Sarandon scary as the vampire but you get Roddy McDowell as Peter Vincent vampire hunter! Honestly I could go on about how awesome this movie is but this isn't' the place. If you want to read more click here for my full review. 

10/15/20 - Movie 28 - The Midnight Hour (1985).
This A.B.C. made for television movie is one that remember fondly watching when it first aired. It used to play a lot around October then disappeared for a long time. I finally found a copy on DVD and have had tried to watch it every October since. For more of my thoughts about the movie check out my review here

10/16/20 - Movie 29 - Slither (2006).
This is such a great throwback to monster movies. Gory, twisted, and funny the movie has a wonderful cast including Nathan Fillion, Gregg Henry, Elizabeth Banks, and Michael Rooker. This is a must watch October flick for me. If you want to know more about what I think of this one check out my review here

10/16/20 - Movie 30 - The Mortuary Collection (2019).
This is a new movie that showed up on Shudder and was getting a lot of positive buzz. After watching it I can say it was well deserved. Clancy Brown stars as a mortician who hangs a help wanted sign out which catches the eye of a young lady. As he shows her around he tells her some of the stories of those that have ended up on his table. Like many anthology movies this one has a weak segment, but overall is a good time. 

10/17/20 - Movie 31 - It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958).
I grew up watching these old science fiction/horror movies on my local horror hosted late night shows. This is one of my favorites and has a ship full of astronauts stuck on a ship with an alien sneaking around picking them off one at a time. Sounds familiar... For more check out my review here

10/17/20 - Movie 32 - Pumpkinhead (1988).
 This is a decent creature feature starring Lance Henriksen. I don't normally watch it as part of my October movie marathon but my good friends Eric and Angie were showing it at their backyard cinema. Getting to watch a spooky movie under the stars next to a hot fire on a cool Fall night... well I couldn't pass that up. 

10/17/20 - Movie 33 - Love and Monsters (2020).
Here is another new movie on the list. This one was a suggestion from my wife, who normally doesn't watch a lot of horror movies. This is a pretty nifty end of the world scenario with monsters running around, a dog that seems smarter than most of the humans, and Michael Rooker showing up being very Michael Rooker. This is a cool movie. 

10/18/20 - Movie 34 - Scare Me (2020).
So you might have noticed that I've already watched a movie called Scare Me for this marathon. Well it appears that there are two movies called that and both of them came out this year. This is the one that I was supposed to watch for the show. Here we have some people telling scary stories with an added twist that something demonic or alien has invaded some of them. This one isn't good. 

10/19/20 - Movie 35 - Friday the 13th (1980).
I have to watch at least this first entry into the long running summer camp slasher series. This is my favorite of the bunch as it plays more like a mystery than a standard slasher. For more on what I think of this flick check out my full review here

10/19/20 - Movie 36 - Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988).
This is another movie that I watch every October. This one is just the right amount of goofy low budget fun and is a blast. If you haven't seen Killer Klowns you are seriously missing out. You can read my full review here

10/20/20 - Movie 37 - Return of the Living Dead II (1988).
Not as good as the original this is still a fun zombie movie. This one acknowledges the first by bringing back a couple actors playing new characters here. The script winks at the audience with some clever dialogue. For more click here for my full review. 

10/20/20 - Movie 38 - Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015).
I have fond memories of this movie. I got to see it as a special sneak screening during 12 Hours of Terror, a film festival that I attend every year. Except this year of course... 2020 sucks. A solid zombie movie with some heart a lot of laughs. You can check out my full review here

10/21/20 - Movie 39 - The Mysterious Monsters (1975).
I'm a child of the '70s and during that decade we got a lot of documentaries about the Bermuda Triangle, UFOs, and Bigfoot. One of my personal favorites is this Schick Sunn classic. I always have to give it a watch during this most spooky time of year. Check out my review here

10/23/20 - Movie 40 - Haunt (2019).
Well not one of my favorite movies of the last couple of years, but Joe Bob Briggs was showing it on his Halloween Special so I figured I'd watch it. If for nothing else his commentary during the breaks. There is some decent gore and the setting of the haunted house is cool. I'd say it is worth a watch if you haven't seen it before. 

10/23/20 - Movie 41 - Hack-o-Lantern (1988)
. This was a new to me movie that I've honestly never taken the time to watch. But I figure the first time watching would be helped by Joe Bob's commentary. It helped a bit but this is a terrible movie. Awkward, nonsensical, and just plain dumb. I doubt I need to watch it ever again. 

10/24/20 - Movie 42 - Theater of Blood (1973).
Vincent Price is one of my favorite horror actors and Theater of Blood is one of my favorite movies he did. Here Price plays a Shakespearean actor who feels wronged by the critics that denied him an award. So he does the only logical thing and starts to kill them off in ways inspired by the bard's plays. I love this movie.

10/24/20 - Movie 43 - Big Freaking Rat (2020)
. My co-host Tim picked this for the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast. I appreciate that it relies on practical effects work and doesn't lean into CGI too much. Sadly I didn't like the characters too much and what we do get with the practical effects work isn't great. Not a fan of this one. 

10/24/20 - Movie 44 - My Name is Bruce (2007).
I love Bruce Campbell and I'm not ashamed to say I'm a huge fan boy. This was a genius bit of self aware awesomeness that is both creative and hugely funny. Not many actors could pull this off but Campbell is perfect. Keep your eyes open for some familiar faces. 

10/24/20 - Movie 45 - The Monster Squad (1987).
Wolfman's got 'nards. It just isn't October without some Monster Squad. This is an old favorite that I check out each time this year. The creature design is top notch with the wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster being highlights. The bit with scary German guy always gets me. For more check out my full review here

10/25/20 - Movie 46 - Demon House (2019).
One of my co-hosts from the Bloodbath and Boomsticks podcast mentioned this movie when I asked for suggestions for something different to watch for Halloween. While I find the entire thing to be bogus and downright silly I did enjoy the documentary nonetheless. Like I've told people... I don't think Greedo is real but still enjoy Star Wars. 

10/26/20 - Movie 47 - Shockwaves (1977).
This is one of my favorite non-Romero zombie movies. It has a great cast with John Carradine and Peter Cushing as highlights. The scenes of the waterlogged Nazi zombies crawling out of the ocean are still some of the coolest things that I've ever seen in a movie. For more information check out my review here

10/26/20 - Movie 48 - Zombie (1979).
I'm getting into the good stuff now. This is another of my favorite non-Romero zombie flicks. Who can have some October fun without Fulci? Plus we get a shark vs. a zombie as well as one of the most cringeworthy eye gags every filmed. Seriously if you are squeamish about violence to eyeballs you might want to look away... heh I accidentally made a joke. For more check out my review here

10/26/20 - Movie 49 - The Legend of Hell House (1973).
Watched a couple of my favorite zombie movies so I thought it was time to watch one of my favorite haunted house movies. This one also boasts an excellent performance from Roddy McDowall! Check out my full review here

10/26/20 - Movie 50 - Night of the Living Dead (1968).
I wanted to do something special for movie 50 so I thought it was the right time to hit up another zombie movie. This is the second Romero movie in the marathon so far and it won't be the last. Trust me on that. If you want to hear me gush about how great this movie is you can click here for my full review. 

10/27/20 - Movie 51 - Kong: Skull Island (2017).
The marathon needed another monster movie and this is one of the better ones that has been made in the last few years. I love the setting and the characters with Sam Jackson being an awesome choice. This is a top notch flick and deserves to be seen. 

10/28/20 - Movie 52 - Hunt for the Skinwalker (2018).
Tossed another documentary into the marathon. This one is about the Skinwalker ranch where supposedly a lot of spooky stuff has happened. My one observation is that despite having tons of cameras pointed everywhere they never caught much of anything. It was an interesting way to kill a couple of hours but not great. 

10/28/20 - Movie 53 - The Prowler (1981).
This is an under appreciated slasher flick from the early '80s. I love the look of the killer, the story is fun, and we get some great kills. That last bit shouldn't surprise anyone since this is another Savini joint. The guy was at the top of his game here and it shows. You can check out my full review here

10/28/20 - Movie 54 - The Evil Dead (1981).
What can I say about this movie? Really it is a classic of the horror genre and is something that has to get watched every October. I had the chance to see this and the sequel in the drive-in last month, you can read more here. Still I had to watch it again. If you are interested in hearing me talk more about the movie check out my review here

10/28/20 - Movie 55 - Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981).
Felt right to toss another Friday the 13th  movie into the marathon. I'm not a huge fan of this first sequel, but don't hate it either. Tater Sack Jason just isn't my thing and I hate how they do away with the surviving girl from the first movie. For more you can check out my full review here

10/29/20 - Movie 56 - My Bloody Valentine (1981).
Might as well watch another great slasher from 1981. This one is in the top two and at any given time is number one. I love the look of the killer and the restored gore it top notch. The setting of the mine in the big finale is unique and awesome. For more you can check out my full review here

10/29/20 - Movie 57 - Maximum Overdrive (1986).
This isn't a must watch for me every October but I wanted something stupid to watch where I could just turn my brain off and this is the perfect movie for that. Don't get me wrong it isn't a bad movie, just one that is light on plot and characters and heavy on cool music and mayhem. 

10/29/20 - Movie 58 - The Uninvited (1944).
This another haunted house movie that I love. It uses all of the old school movie making tricks to creep out the audience without throwing endless jump scares like those stupid doll movies everyone loves do. Atmosphere, a great cast including Ray Milland, and a neat mystery make The Uninvited a must watch every October. 

10/30/20 - Movie 59 - Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).
Obviously I love the monsters, but I'm also a huge fan of Abbott and Costello as well. This works as both a great monster movie and a very funny showcase for the comedy of the duo. I love this movie so much that it is also my choice for the next episode of Bloodbaths and Boomsticks. 

10/30/20 - Movie 60 - Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
. I'm not a huge Hammer fan but decided to include this one because my buddy Tim Gross picked it for the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast. I have to say not bad. It has the same pacing issues that a lot of the Hammer flicks have with all the action being backloaded. That said it does have a good payoff and Peter Cushing is great at Doctor Frankenstein. 

10/30/20 - Movie 61 - The Haunting (1963).
This is another great old haunted house movies. It uses old school tricks, sound design, and good actors to pull off the story. I like to put this in my annual October marathon. The term classic gets tossed around too much, but it applies here. 

10/31/20 - Movie 62 - Dawn of the Dead (1978).
The last two movies of this year's marathon are the best of the best. Romero's Dawn of the Dead is my favorite movie. Not my favorite zombie movie or my favorite horror movie, but my favorite movie period! I love this flick and watch it a couple of times a year. You can check out my full review here

10/31/20 - Movie 63 - Halloween (1978).
No movie says October or Halloween like this movie. I mean the name is Halloween so there is that. This classic has everything you could want. Great characters, awesome scares, and a badass killer. This got the slasher craze started and kicked off a series of amazing movies from John Carpenter. This is a must watch. 

Lets wrap things up. I managed 63 movies in this years marathon which is a bit more then a couple per day. That isn't too bad. I managed to work in a few new movies and revisit a lot of old favorites. Not everything was good, I'm looking at you Hack-o-Lantern, but there were some new flicks that will end up getting watched again. 

This year has sucked with all the cool stuff being cancelled due to the pandemic. No screenings, conventions, parties, and trick or treating. Still I had fun watching movies and hope that next October I get to do the other things that make the month special. Until then stay safe and maybe drop an email to let me know what you thought of my list.

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