Number 31. This edition is for the week of October 23--29, 2000. The computer story in brief: one week ago tonight, on Oct. 16, an unfortunately devastating computer crash rendered my system incapable of re-booting due to missing or corrupted files. Many directories, folders and files were lost. Both human error and viruses were investigated as possible causes. Maddeningly, the results are still inconclusive. While the "big guy" has been repaired enough to go online, it still has problems, so I bought a back-up computer to ensure these newsletters keep coming out. Thanks for your attention..............Nolan B. Canova, editor and publisher of Nolan's Pop Culture Review..

Welcome to the second part of our 2-part issue on the greatest horror movies of all time! (See "Terence's challenge", issue #29.)  Matt Drinnenberg, who usually appears on the "Letters" page, is up first this week. I was unable to upload his list last week due to my computer crash (see marquee scroll, top of this page).
The Top Ten Horror Movie lists from last issue:
Matt's Rail/Top Ten Horror Movies of all time!!(Delayed from last issue.)
by Matthew Drinnenberg
  Funny sometimes how, out of the orifice of confusion, comes enlightening
entertainment.  What a great idea "top ten horror films" is.  I'm sure Nolan will be surprised that not ALL of my selections are Classic Universal (given the credo of my site); in fact, only one of them made the list of top ten.  (Proud of ya, son! You branched out a little.---N)
  I feel I must clarify my selection process in saying that JAWS could easily top this list. Aside from the sheer terror and suspense this movie delivers, I have seen it listed under "horror" several times, but in my personal assesment, I've tried to stay closer to the mainstream of horror.

Shall we begin:

1. FRANKENSTEIN (1931): The ultimate Halloween horror classic. Dr. Frankenstein stitches together a man from pieces of dead flesh, re-energizes it with lightning, and watches him terrorize the countryside. Portrayed legendarily by the great Boris Karloff, the Frankenstein monster is the essence of Halloween and horror.
2. JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING: Ominous and foreboding, the mood of this film is almost as evident as the characters and story themselves. Kurt Russell shakes off his old Disney-ite image and delivers, along with the rest of the cast, one of the most suspenseful films ever delivered...and I haven't even mentioned the fx, which are too impressive for words. This proves you don't need a computer for excellence in film making.
3. THE EVIL DEAD:  I was hanging out with Nolan at the Book Nook one Friday night around closing and he suggested we check this movie out. It was playing next door at Twin Bays. We went and thoroughly had the crap scared out of us. The manic direction alone scares the bejeeba's out of  you. While EVIL DEAD II also delivers, I prefer the "earthiness" of the original.
4. DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE: Hammer films at their gruesome best.  Christopher Lee gives possibly his greatest portrayal as the Count, as he endures several attacks on his existence and sucks the blood of most who try to take him out. You also get two AWSOME stake-thru-the-heart scenes, something unparalleled in Dracula movies.
5. THE SHINING: Wow. Stanley Kubrick's style worked perfectly with Nicholson's menacing persona. All I can say is "Redrum, redrum, redrum"
6. NOSFERATU: Incredibly, this classic delivers today just as it did at the time of its release. The somber mood of dread and death that permeates this classic is unmistakable. Given the fact this great film found its way to Terence's list, I immediately have to take back half of what I've said about him previously (although it was mostly in jest). (Hold on to the other half! LOL!---N)
7. ALIEN: While most people give thumbs up to the sequal being better than the original, I appreciate the original for doing much more with much less visually, not that this wasn't a visual extravaganza. Suspense and terror are played for all they're worth. From the "latching on" of the carrier, to the chest-bursting, to the forehead bashing of old Yaffet, this is one scary movie.
8. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON: Without a doubt, the most inspiring werewolf transformation ever recorded on film, before or since. A perfect blend of humor and horror, I could go to the Slaughtered Lamb right now and have a pint of stout (or Dr. Pepper).
9. SCANNERS: The most impressive movie moment of my (at the time) young life. I had absolutely NO IDEA I was about to watch some guy's head explode.  All Mike would tell me is that it was a great movie, which it was (and is). Aside from being a shock fest, it was a rather good movie to boot.
10. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: I'm not  talking about all the stupid, ridiculous sequels that sprang from this classic, I'm talking about the big daddy itself. Eerie, suspenseful, terrorizing, and downright shocking, this is the first movie I ever watched with my hand in front of my face. Freddy Krueger was never better. (This and the UN-CUT "Friday the 13th" would always be in my Top 20 somewhere. I agree that "Nightmare"'s impressive debut has been overshadowed by pointless sequels.
HONORABLE MENTION (or "How could these not make my list!!!)
DAWN OF THE DEAD: I know I saw this with a group of people that included Mike, I believe Nolan, and possibly Scott in attendance. Someone call roll if you remember. (Got me. It sure sounds familiar tho.---N) It was at the Hillsborough Theater, and I had no idea who George Romero was. I kept asking Mike what it was about and all he'd say was, quote "huh,huh,huh, huh,huh"  knowing full well I wasn't prepared for what I was about to see.  What a friend. NOT.
  Still, it introduced me to a whole new avenue of horror, as we would see "Scanners" not long after this. I think we went and ate at Pop 'n' Sons after this, or was it Waffle House back then? Remember the Waffle House, Mike? HUH,HUH,HUH,HUH,HUH

All great movies in their own right, but I would be remiss if I didn't list
my top ten favorite CLASSIC MONSTER movies, which are:

1.FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
2.BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
3.DRACULA
4.FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN
5.SON OF FRANKENSTEIN
6.THE WOLFMAN
7.HOUSE OF DRACULA
8.THE BLACK CAT
9.THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN
10.HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN

  There, I feel much better. This order changes from time to time as I really
love them all, but the top 4 are pretty much set in stone. I'd like to know
Nolan's order of preference. (Really? OK, if anybody cares,  I would have put "The Wolfman" right after Dracula followed by "The Invisible Man" and "King Kong".  Would've dropped "The Black Cat", and "The House of Dracula" into the 11--20 range. (I take it by "classic", you mean the '30s and '40s.---N)  It's too bad these other guys don't get into Famous Monsters of Filmland, otherwise I'd suggest a "top ten covers" list for the 2nd Halloween issue.  Maybe you and I could go it alone, Nolan!  (My pages are already too slow to download! Otherwise, great idea!---Nolan)
  That's it for now, so till next time...
Take care, much love, and God bless
Matthew (Maffew)
"Matt's Rail" is 2000 by Matt Drinnenberg
Visit Matt's Monster-Fan Site!

 

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