We're back again with our penultimate edition of Thursday Guilty Pleasure. Yes, I know we missed Tuesday Too Scared to Watch it Twice this week, but October was a mondo busy month here in the Vault, what can I say? Anyway, just sit back, relax and enjoy the douche chills that are sure to ensue as you read all about some crummy movies that we really love. And incidentally, I'd like to go on the record as saying that not only do I enjoy both films selected this week, but I would go even further to say that House of 1,000 Corpses is a damn fine horror movie, so nuts to anyone who makes Missy feel bad for enjoying it.
OK, If you really want to talk schlock--I mean, outright, absolute unapologetic crap that you can't help but love--then you can do no better than that mid 1980s gem which haunted the HBO airwaves during my youth. That's right, it's TerrorVision.
I cannot possibly describe how bizarre my love affair with this film is. The amount of affection I have for it is pretty much inversely proportional to how much it deserves that affection. Simply put, this is a really bad movie. And I've adored it for a quarter of a century.
Think E.T., only as a horrendous, campy horror comedy in which E.T. eats people. The special effects are at about the level of Hardware Wars, the comedic level of the acting is broader than the side of a barn, and then there's that theme song that bores its way into your brain stem and doesn't let go. "Terr-or-Vision!!"
I distinctly remember enjoying this movie so much, I would watch it each time HBO would air it, if I happened to be home. And once its cable TV run ended, I moved on to the neighborhood video store, so I could rent and enjoy it some more. And of course, back then, as with most horror comedies, I completely missed all the humor and irony, and found myself terrified of this ridiculous-looking creature swallowing people left and right.
The concept of a carnivorous alien pest transported to Earth via satellite TV is really one that needed exploration, so thank God that TerrorVision came along to fulfill that role. The level of absurdity is utterly infectious, and I make no excuses for loving this film the way I do. It's pure garbage. I'll take a nice, steaming, stinky helping, please. Thank you.
And now, on to Missy's infatuation with Rob Zombie's first foray into the horror biz...
House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)
This week is the first time in the series that I have actually been ashamed of my film choice. I mean, isn’t there some alliance among horror fans to universally hate Rob Zombie? Weren’t we planning to tar and feather him next weekend?
But here I sit before you about to tell you that I have a weird and totally incomprehensible affection for his first film, House of 1000 Corpses. Yes, I know it makes no sense. Yes, I know it is the most derivative film ever made. Yes, I know it is criminally awful. And yes, I am very irritated by the fact that there are not 1000 corpses in the movie, but I just can’t help it. Whenever I sit down to watch it, damned if I don’t have one good ole time.
As I said, the movie makes no effing sense. And I don’t mean that in that glorious Fulci way. I mean, from start to finish, there is just no logic to the movie. Besides, everyone knows that The Devil’s Rejects is the superior film—what with that “Tooty Fucking Fruity” scene and all. But every time I put the DVD in, and I see Karen Black, I just get all schoolgirl giddy. There is nothing that makes me happier on a rainy day than watching that woman’s eyes roll about in her head. And inevitably, I am drawn to watch Burnt Offerings by the time it’s over.
While it might be an unpopular opinion, I have also grown to like Sheri Moon Zombie. Whatever you might say about her, she commits to each project. And she really knows how to irritate the shit out of you. And when she teams up with Karen Black, the two manage to take the exceedingly dreadful material and make it surprisingly funny. There is nothing like watching a duo of dynamic women take an atrociously bad script and turn into something worth watching.
Say what you will about the plot, but visually, the film is impressive. It’s the pastiche-ness of the whole affair that makes it unbearable, and while I can understand that most viewers would not be able to look past that, I have spent my life wading through all the feces the horror genre has to offer, and this one just barely manages to save itself from the scrap heap by going almost Argento in its color scheme.
Zombie has… oh, I am loathe to use this word… crafted a film that combines its senselessness with its gorgeous colors and becomes somehow magical. It’s one of those experiences that only fits on a turn-your-brain-off Saturday. We all know we have that desire to watch a film that is for nothing more than downing popcorn and dozing off before the end credits. For me, House of 1000 Corpses fits the bill perfectly.
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