The One I Might Have Saved

If given the chance, what horror movie character would you save?  That’s the dilemma presented by Arbogast a couple of months back and it’s one that I’ve been thinking about ever since.  I’ve read several of the other entries that folks have contributed and I’ve been racking my brain to think of someone that I, myself, would save.  But I kept coming to the same conclusion and it just seemed so cliche, I thought.  I wanted to think of someone obscure (kind of like Arbogast’s original post), someone not so obvious, but my mind kept coming around to the same name.


That’s called foreshadowing!

Quint.

Jaws is, without a doubt, my favorite movie.  Oddly, I can’t recall the first time that I watched Jaws.  It wasn’t in the theater (the movie came out… um… a long time before I was alive), so it must’ve been on VHS at some point.  But it’s one of those movies that to this day, I can still watch and still be drawn in as if I’m seeing it for the first time.  I know exactly what’s going to happen at every moment of the film (I’ve probably seen the movie more than a dozen times), but I still sit on the edge of my seat during the Orca’s final expedition to eliminate that damn shark.

And every time, I hope that Quint is going to make it. 

Quint breezes into the movie like a breath of stinky fish air.  We don’t know anything about this guy, who he is, where he came from.  He screeches onto the screen with the sound of fingernails on a blackboard (literally) and when we first see him we think “Hey, here’s someone who might actually be able to stop all this people munching that’s been going on!”  Only later do we find out what brought Quint to where he is now, leading to one of the greatest scenes in film history (and one of the chief reasons why Quint is probably my favorite character from any movie):

How could you not want that man to live to a ripe old age?  Unfortunately, Bruce the Shark had other plans for Quint.

But at least he went down like a man.  He went down fighting mano y mano with a big fuckin’ shark.  I mean, c’mon, hewas still fighting the shark, even as his legs were somewhere in the shark’s esophagus (do sharks have those?)!  And really, I don’t think he’d have had it any other way.  But man, do I wish he’d lasted just a little bit longer… 

At least his appearance could’ve made the sequels a little more watchable.

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Final Girl Film Club: Tobe Hooper’s ‘Lifeforce’.

Lifeforce (1985)

What the hell was that?

Okay, I’ve got to admit it. Before Lifeforce was chosen as the latest (and my first) entry in the Final Girl Film Club, I really didn’t know anything about it. I mean, yeah, I’d heard it mentioned in passing, but I pretty much thought that it was considered just another of Tobe Hooper’s failed directorial efforts (read: Everything that’s not Leatherface- or Spielberg-related). Oh, but it’s so much more! We’ve got boobies, space travel, giant bat creatures, boobies, zombies, Patrick Stewart, space vampires, and boobies! Really, what more could you ask for in a movie?

Oh. A coherent plot? Well, erm…

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John Carpenter sucks the life out of me.

Vampires (1998)

“How do you like your stake, bitch?!”

That line, uttered by Daniel Baldwin (he’s the fat one!) is either really cheesy or really awesome. I can’t decide.

And that’s sort of the problem that I have with the whole movie.  It’s got a cool concept.  Vampire slayers, hired by the Catholic church, are hunting down the original vampire before he gets his hands on an ancient artifact that will allow him to walk around during the day.  It’s not super-original, but how original can you really get in a vampire movie?  The premise, along with the location (the southwestern desert) has a lot of potential for a pretty unique vampire tale, a vampire Western of sorts.  And that kind of seems to be what John Carpenter was going for here.  Unfortunately, by this point, Carpenter had apparently run his creative well dry, and Vampires is left with no style, no atmosphere and no scares.

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