Thanksgiving is almost here, so what are you thankful for? I hope you said free movies, because here’s another batch of on-the-house horrors.
Re-Animator is a legendary 1985 Stuart Gordon adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft tale. As one could probably surmise from the title, the movie is about a medical student who develops a serum that can bring corpses back from the dead. Part dark comedy and part gory schlockfest, Re-Animator is driven by a creative story and a perfect cast, an ensemble that includes Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, and David Gale. It’s also got one of the craziest sex scenes you could ever want to see (and sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not erotic in the slightest). If you don’t know this one, you really should. Check out Re-Animator here on Hulu.
Set on a normal street in a normal town, The ‘Burbs is about a group of nosy neighbors who suspect that the new family on the block are murders, or kidnappers, or cannibals, or something unsavory, so they go about investigating and snooping around their house. Although it deals with some morbid themes, this 1989 Joe Dante joint is more comedy than horror, but it will still satisfy the bloodlust of any fright flick fan. The ‘Burbs boasts a literal all-star cast, featuring performances from Tom Hanks, Corey Feldman, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, and, of course, Dick Miller. You can find The ‘Burbs here at Popcornflix.
The Monkey’s Paw
One of the most filmed short stories in the history of literature has got to be W.W. Jacobs’ The Monkey’s Paw. It is the tale of a family that is given an artifact (yep, a monkey’s paw) that promises them three wishes, but the wishes do not materialize exactly as the family plans. This faithful 1948 version of The Monkey’s Paw sees director Norman Lee sticking pretty close to Jacobs’ vision, because if it’s isn’t broken, don’t fix it; the original story is a masterful tale of desperation, grief, and ironic terror, so why mess with perfection? If you’re not familiar with the story, don’t research it! It’ll be better that way…just go here and watch The Monkey’s Paw at DailyMotion.
Remakes are always polarizing, but King Kong? That’s a classic! This is not Peter Jackson’s slick CGI-heavy redoodling of the original 1933 monster movie, this is the Dino De Laurentiis-produced, big-budget 1976 remake. Honestly, this one’s a lot more fun than Jackson’s vision; King Kong is mostly portrayed by a guy in an ape costume stomping around on miniature sets á la the old Japanese Toho movies. This one gets lots of bonus points for starring a sexy, baby-faced Jessica Lange. It’s also got a dashing young Jeff Bridges, too. This is really no match for the classic stop-motion King Kong, but it’s better than it has any right to be. See it for yourself right here at Popcornflix.
Trilogy of Terror
Trilogy of Terror is a 1975 made-for-TV anthology movie starring the inimitable Karen Black in four different roles. As is obvious from the title, there are three stories in Trilogy of Terror, but the most memorable one involves Black’s character receiving an African Zuni doll as a gift which comes to life and stalks her around her apartment. Directed by Dan Curtis and written by the team of Richard Matheson and William F. Nolan, this is a TV movie from back when TV movies were fun, and it’s surprisingly scary for a broadcast network program. A sequel was made in 1996 with the same director, writers, and Zuni doll, but the hair-raising original is much better. See for yourself here on YouTube.