100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

100 Days of Horror!

Welcome all you Groovie Ghoulies and Hep Wildcats and thank you for checking me out!

Allow me a brief introduction, you would please. My name is Shawn and I am a writer for The Kennett Paper in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I am also an avid movie watcher and fan, who often dreams of one day selling that Great American Screenplay and moving to that fabled Deluxe Apartment in the Sky.

As well as loving just about all kinds of movies, I am also a rabid Halloween celebrator. Having met my wife on Halloween nearly 18 years ago, and with some of my clearest childhood memories stemming from that Most Spookiest of Days, Halloween is like Christmas, Easter and my birthday all rolled into one. With rubber latex masks.

Among the literally thousand or so movies that I own in one format or another are roughly 200 (give or take) so-called horror movies, ranging in quality to Oscar-nominated ("Carrie," "Poltergeist") to ones so bad and esoteric most people have never even heard of them ("Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy," "The Beast of Yucca Flats").

Because you see, along with the love my wife and I share for all things Halloweeny, we also share a deep affection for bizarre and downright disturbing cinema. Whether it's a schlock-fest spook romp from 1966 (Like the infamous "Spider Baby"), a highly stylized classic 70s-era Hammer film ("The Satanic Rites of Dracula") or anything by John Carpenter, we've more than likely seen it more than a few times and laughed at its awfulness. Like our own personal version of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000."

Not being a rabid horror fan (I usually only watch them now to gear up for the Halloween season, squeezing in my favorites as much as I can starting in late-September on up to October 31), for someone who isn't crazy for the genre, I sure do have a lot of horror movies.

To that end, I recently found myself wondering, "Just how much do you like the horror stuff, buddy boy?" Because the blood and gore aspect that has in the last 40 years become synonymous with Halloween is not what attracts me to the holiday in the first place. True, as a teenager I was of course obsessed with the Slasher classics like "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Friday the 13th" and of course, the granddaddy of them all, "Halloween." But as I grew older and developed a more mature interpretation of what "horror" truly is, I fell in love with classics like "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen," and all of the Universal monsters like Frankenstein, The Mummy and Dracula. And let's not forget Hitchcock, Raimi and Burton (Tim, not Richard).

So now we come to the challenge. Starting on July 24 with "The Ring," I will watch 100 horror movies for 100 days in a row, ending on - what else - Halloween with a double bill of both the original "Halloween" and the 2007 remake directed by Rob Zombie.

The rules I set for myself are simple:
1. I must watch the appointed movie on the appointed day, but at no particular time of day provided it occurs within 24 hours after midnight of the day in question.
2. Movies can be substituted if a viable suggestion is posed with enough time for me to find the film in time to watch it. If that doesn't happen, I must watch the original slotted film.
3. If, due to emergency or some other unforeseen circumstance, I CANNOT watch a movie on any given day, I must watch it the next day, along with the following day's slotted selection. More than one day/one movie back-up is unacceptable and is a violation that results in disqualification.

And that's it. All of the selections so far (and yes, they've all been picked already - my family and I did it way back in May) come from my collection, mostly out of convenience. And the reward for success? Well, nothing really ... unless everyone wants to pitch in and buy me something awful pretty?!

No? I guessed not, anyway.

No, the reward is seeing if I am even capable of pulling off something that requires so much effort. And yes, it does take effort - between July 24 and Oct. 31, I have several birthdays (including my own), many upcoming work assignments (especially in September and October, as usual every year) and god alone knows what else will come along. It takes a lot of coordinating to squeeze in one move every day, and to also blog about it and find and provide background info on each one, because some of these buggers are a might obscure.

Like I said, each daily blog will give the background info on the daily selection, as well as my comments on why I love or hate it and other gems like favorite scenes and favorite lines. And please be aware that most of these films are Rated "R" and many include copious amounts of sex, drugs, rock and/or roll, and of course bloody mayhem, bad language and endless scenes of all-American gut-wrenching violence.

In other words: not for the faint of heart. Keep grandma and the kiddies in the kitchen with a copy of "Little Shop of Horrors" or "Aladdin."

The fun part in all of this - for me, anyway - is if you all play along with me. If you can, watch the same movies (I'll publish the list very soon), or if you've seen them already tell me what you think. And if you know me personally, well then feel free to come over and watch the suckers with me whenever possible!

I will post the entire list soon and will also post weekly updates on Sunday morning.

Again, thanks for checking me out! I look forward to your comments, recommendations, insults, personal character attacks and death threats!

Yours in Horror,

DJ Shawny Shawn