Among his regular readers, blogger Dennis Cozzalio (he of the wonderfully titled Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule site… and that’s not him pictured above, btw) is best regarded for his in-depth film knowledge and the thoughtful essays he gladly shares with them. Hell, even the N.Y. Times film critic, A.O. Scott, has cited him. Mr. Cozzalio remains one of my favorite reads with regards to the moving picture. But beyond that, his semi-regular movie quizzes remain the stuff of legend. He has come up with yet another of his cinematically off-the-wall but thoroughly inspired film exams for the Halloween season (I hope Anton will forgive me messing with the moniker for this post’s title).
Psst… these are really interview questions for those who choose to take part.
Anyone interested in film is invited to take part. You can paste the questions and craft your answers into Google’s temperamental Blogger comment system in his post. Been there, done that (thank you very much). Or, do as I’ve learned to do: post your answers on your own blog (if you have one) and leave a comment on Dennis’ post with a link back to your answers. So, on to the subject at hand:
DR. ANTON PHIBES’ ABOMINABLY ERUDITE, MUSICALLY MALIGNANT, CURSEDLY CLEVER HALLOWEEN HORROR MOVIE QUIZ
His questions and my answers are after the jump.
1. Favorite Vincent Price/American International Pictures release.
I almost listed the House of Usher because of its sentimental value since it was shown as a graduation treat for my 9th grade class at junior high (it remains a special memory). However, The Pit and the Pendulum and its chilling last frame is what seals this selection.
2. What horror classic (or non-classic) that has not yet been remade would you like to see upgraded for modern audiences?
The Sentinel. No, not that Michael Douglas/Keifer Sutherland waste of time from 2006, but the 1977 film adaptation of Jeffrey Konvitz’s Satanic shocker of a novel. A modern update in the right hands could at least be as much fun as the original was. I think our friend J.D. described the film best recently:
“ROSEMARY’S BABY’s wackier, crazier uncle that says inappropriate things at family functions.”
No question it’s Barnabas Collin’s Jonathan Frid.
4. Name the one horror movie you need to see that has so far eluded you.
Guillermo Del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone.
5. Favorite film director most closely associated with the horror genre.
6. Ingrid Pitt or Barbara Steele?
I would have said Barbara Steele based on my answer to question #1 alone. That is, until I saw The Vampire Lovers a couple of years later. It is Ingrid Pitt, without doubt.
7. Favorite 50’s sci-fi/horror creature.
8. Favorite/best sequel to an established horror classic.
No hesitation whatsoever with this one, Dennis. William Peter Blatty directing the film adaptation of his Legion novel as The Exorcist III. [I generally act as if Exorcist II: The Heretic never happened]
9. Name a sequel in a horror series which clearly signaled that the once-vital franchise had run out of gas.
10. John Carradine or Lon Chaney Jr.?
I admire them both, but John Carradine was the better actor.
11. What was the last horror movie you saw in a theater? On DVD or Blu-ray?
12. Best foreign-language fiend/monster.
See my answer to the next question.
13. Favorite Mario Bava movie.
Caltiki, The Undying Monster. This was the first Mario Bava film I ever saw (as a kid). Riccardo Freda, the listed director of the film, later noted that Bava performed most of the direction, uncredited.
14. Favorite horror actor and actress.
15. Name a great horror director’s least effective movie.
George Romero’s Diary of the Dead.
16. Grayson Hall or Joan Bennett?
17. When did you realize that you were a fan of the horror genre? And if you’re not, when did you realize you weren’t?
I was likely 7 or 8 when I found I couldn’t get enough of the 50s monster movies that began showing up on the local television channels.
18. Favorite Bert I. Gordon (B.I.G.) movie.
… I actually got to project this one at the movie theater I once worked.
19. Name an obscure horror favorite that you wish more people knew about.
Refer to my answer for the above Mario Bava question (#13) — it really is one of the forgotten monster film gems from the 50s.
20. The Human Centipede — yes or no?
Ah… no, thanks.
21. And while we’re in the neighborhood, is there a horror film you can think of that you felt “went too far”?
22. Name a film that is technically outside the horror genre that you might still feel comfortable describing as a horror film.
23. Lara Parker or Kathryn Leigh Scott?
24. If you’re a horror fan, at some point in your past your dad, grandmother, teacher or some other disgusted figure of authority probably wagged her/his finger at you and said, “Why do you insist on reading/watching all this morbid monster/horror junk?” How did you reply? And if that reply fell short somehow, how would you have liked to have replied?
Because getting the crap scared out of you is a (yes) perverse thrill; but somehow, inversely, it remains a life affirming experience.
25. Name the critic or Web site you most enjoy reading on the subject of the horror genre.
26. Most frightening image you’ve ever taken away from a horror movie.
As a kid, the brief glimpse of a man’s face dissolving as he’s being digested by the monster Caltiki scared me no end. As an adult, it was catching sight of that damn child’s wheelchair at the top of the stairs in The Changeling (1980).
27. Your favorite memory associated with watching a horror movie.
I’ll go with the one I recently noted here.
28. What would you say is the most important/significant horror movie of the past 20 years (1992-2012)? Why?
28 Days Later (2002): Director Danny Boyle took Alex Garland’s script and did something truly fresh with George Romero’s breakthrough concept of the zombie movie from the 60s. Rather than merely copying or riffing on it as others have, the tandem positively modernized that original notion and made it more believable, and therefore more frightening, for our more jaded times And in unexpected ways, too. In other words, the mold was broken, again, here. After viewing this film, those familiar with the sub-genre would never look at the act of running the same way again (plus, he did this ahead of Zack Snyder… so there).
29. Favorite Dr. Phibes curse (from either film).
The psychiatrist, Dr. Hargreaves, getting his head crushed by the mechanical mask of a frog seemed a fitting and clever twist on one of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
30. You are programming an all-night Halloween horror-thon for your favorite old movie palace. What five movies make up your schedule?
- The Haunting (1963)
- Legend of Hell House (1973)
- The Changeling (1980)
- The Evil Dead (1981)
- Session 9 (2001)
I guess you can tell I’d have a theme going…
To see all of my answers to every SLIFR movie quiz I’ve participated in, click here.