Time For Two Halloween Horror Classics!
As we celebrate a very different “Shocktober 2020”, thanks to #QuarantineLife – that doesn’t mean we can’t turn off all the lights and have our pants scared off!
For me, a great horror film is more than slashing and shock scares…it’s a film that builds to a horrific climax, as the tension continues to build through great storytelling, which is what happens in both of these films.
This “Cult Movie Monday” has a double bill that will satisfy any fan of intelligent horror!
Let’s begin with one of the greatest films ever made – horror or not!
In 1976, Director Brian DePalma took a very young cast – including Sissy Spacek, John Travolta and Nancy Allen – and made a classic horror film, based on Stephen King’s debut novel!
It’s not just a great horror film – it’s classic filmmaking from a master filmmaker – let’s look first at the trailer for “Carrie”:
“Carrie” starts off with a lyrical opening credits sequence, when Carrie takes a shower after gym class…but we quickly learn this is going to be a thrill ride as she discovers an unknown horror in the shower…
After her class mates taunt her about her horrified reaction to her totally unexpected first “period”, the story takes a dual path: we see how the “mean girls” at school treat Carrie, while she discovers that she is “gifted”, and you REALLY don’t want to get her angry.
Casting “Carrie” – AND Princess Leia!
Here’s great trivia: George Lucas and Brian De Palma held joint casting sessions for “Carrie” and “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”.
There is a long-standing rumor that originally, Sissy Spacek was cast as Princess Leia, and Carrie Fisher as Carrie, but when Fisher refused to appear in nude scenes and Spacek was willing to do them, they switched parts.
Princess Leia Says “NOT TRUE!”
However, Fisher refuted this story in a Premiere magazine article called “The Force Wasn’t With Them,” about actors who auditioned unsuccessfully for “Star Wars” That article got into the “switched roles” legend, and quoted Fisher as saying:
“Not only do I love being nude, I would’ve been nude then… But anyway, it’s total bullshit that Fisher refused to play Carrie.”
So there you go!
Travolta’s Smarmy Supporting Role!
John Travolta, hot off his TV hit “Welcome Back Kotter”, nails his role here as Billy Nolen, a punk who just wants to make his girlfriend Nancy Allen happy – and if that means taunting Carrie, so be it. Their big dramatic scene takes place underneath the stage where Carrie White is about to be crowned homecoming queen:
Billy Nolen: “Keep the light straight!
Chris Hargenson: [blood drops onto the flashlight] Watch it, you stupid shit, you’re getting blood all over the place!
Billy Nolen: [starts laughing] Who are you calling a stupid shit? I mean you can’t even keep that fuckin’ light straight
Chris Hargenson: [whines] Just hurry up, I wanna go home!
Billy Nolen: [drawls] Yes, Ma’am! We’re doing the BEST we can, we sure are!
Billy Nolen: Just keep your tits on, and I’ll let you pull the rope!
Chris Hargenson: I intend to!
Billy Nolen: I know…”
What happens next cemented “Carrie” as one of the most shocking horror films ever.
Piper Laurie was Oscar-noiminated as Carrie’s crazy, religious Mom…in a virtuoso performance that was central to the film’s success as well – and her scenes are equally shocking…
“Carrie” is a masterpiece, and brilliantly directed by a master filmmaker – check out all of the special editions DVD’s and Blu-rays that delve into much more great behind-the-scenes trivia about the making of the film…
“Carrie” is a great film that transcends horror, as is this shocker:
George C. Scott Takes On “The Changeling!”
This is one great horror film! Nothing elevates a scary movie more than adding an acclaimed Actor who never does horror…in this case, Oscar-winning Best Actor George C. Scott!
Check out the dynamite trailer for this great 1980 haunted house thriller!
After a freak automobile accident claims the lives of his wife and daughter, the distraught husband and father retreats to grieve in private. Consumed by grief, he rents an old turn of the century house.
Of course, something isn’t quite right with the house…that is, after all, why it’s a HORROR FILM…
Scott does not realize that he is not alone in the house. Well, he comes to find out – the scary way!
Cue The Dead Child!
That’s right, this grieving widower discovers that he’s not alone in the house: he shares it with the spirit of a murdered child who has honed in on John’s despair and uses him to uncover decades of silence and deceit.
Stephen King Loves It!
Most horror films don’t get much critical acclaim, but “Carrie” Author Stephen King praised it, and “The Changeling” was the first film to win best picture at Canada’s Genie Awards!
And Bravo once again to Severin Films for their great new blu-ray release of the film, remastered to perfection and stuffed with great extras!
This is a great double bill of horror to enjoy, and if you like your films a bit rougher, try this one:
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was banned for its shocking content – but there is much more suggested than shown! See the trailer and lots of great behind-the-scenes information about this iconic shocker by clicking on my story here:
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Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Art, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Halloween, Hollywood, Horror films, Movies, Pop Culture, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities