Word up 2020, it’s been a minute! Here’s an update on what I’ve been up to recently:
The Mummy’s Hand: First of the sequels to the original Universal Mummy movie, this goes for a much lighter tone than the original. In no way essential, this comes 31st in this ranking of the Universal Monster movies: https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/features/776869-all-of-the-universal-classic-monster-movies-ranked (There are only 31 movies on the list…) It’s fun enough for what it is, but really only worth watching if you’re a mummy movie completist.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Been meaning to watch this for years and finally got round to it a few weeks back. This is an absolute classic and holds up well today. Lon Chaney is magnificent in this (as he tends to be in pretty much everything I’ve seen him in) and the set design is spectacular. Barely a horror film by modern standards but if you’ve never seen this and are interested in the origins of our beloved genre, this is highly recommended.
Fiend Without A Face: Sadly, one of those films where the title is the best thing about it. Although this 50s sci-fi/horror hybrid is ostensibly a British production you really wouldn’t know from watching It. Strange things are occurring near a nuclear power plant with victims having their brains and spinal cords removed. Cue about an hour of ponderous investigation followed by a rousing finale featuring some pleasingly amateurish stop-motion gooiness reminiscent of Basket Case and The Evil Dead. Hardly a classic, but it hit the spot for the most part when I checked this out last night.
And then in non-film related stuff:
Devil’s Day: This is Andrew Michael Hurley’s follow-up to The Loney and is at least as enjoyable as his first novel, if not more so. This finds our protagonist and his wife returning to the rural location where he grew up after the death of the family patriarch. Hurley has quickly become a master of folk horror fiction; the scares are subtly done but build upon each other until you reach an ending that still satisfies despite its ambiguities.
The Unwritten: Not strictly horror, but with plenty of horrific moments, this is a Mike Carey comic from a few years back. Picked up the first couple of collections cheap from my local library and now I’m totally hooked. This tells the story of a shadowy cabal of ne’er-do-wells who use fiction as a way to advance their sinister machinations. The only person who can stop them is one Tom Taylor, the real-life equivalent of his fictional counterpart, Tommy Taylor, the Harry Potter-esque star of his father’s series of novels. This is all very meta and if you love books, you’ll find a ton to enjoy here.
Hill House Comics: Mentioned these in the 2019 thread, this is Joe Hill working with DC on curating a series of horror titles. So far, all of these are turning out to be hits for me, with my favorite being the aforementioned Mike Carey’s The Dollhouse Family.
That’s all for now: coming up soon: a rewatch of Freddy’s Dead, my first trip to Fulci’s The House by the Cemetery, a bunch of Jean Rollin movies and my first viewing of My Bloody Valentine. Bring it on!!!