This is the second to last list of Movie Goodness (LOTR to come). So let’s enjoy the last day of the spooky season with the two movies that I only watch on Halloween.
The Crow (1994): Based on the graphic by James O’Barr, this is a tragic love story told in comic form and on film. After the death of his fiancé by a drunk driver, James O’Barr turned to creativity to deal with the loss and was inspired to create this masterpiece of undying love, tragedy and revenge. The night before Halloween, Devil’s Night, a young couple is preparing to marry the next day but they fall victim to inner city tyrant Top Dollar’s ambitions at the hands of his minions. The groom, Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) is murdered and his bride, Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) is brutally raped and beaten and suffers hours of pain before dying.
The movie is dark and gritty and shrouds a love story in the horror of poverty and degradation. And it’s brilliant. This movie came out a couple of months after I got engaged and set Halloween as the wedding date, so the line “Who the fuck gets married on Halloween” was priceless. And the soundtrack was one of the best I have ever heard and we played it at the wedding reception. This was also the most prolific and sadly, final movie of Brandon Lee’s short film career. Tragically, Lee died on the set of the movie when a gun misfired.
Lee was brilliant as the tortured, born again man desperate to get vengeance on the horrible men that took away his true love. The supporting cast was also quite good. Ernie Hudson as the former detective, now beat cop who becomes Draven’s side kick is a great character. The neglected and jaded young Sarah (Rochelle Davis), is a sad portrait of lost childhood in a poverty-stricken and drug infused environment. Also among the talented actors in the supporting cast: Michael Wincott (Top Dollar), Bai Ling (Myca), David Patrick Kelly (T-Bird), Michael Massee (Funboy), Tony Todd (Grange). This is one of the very few flicks that I actually get emotional watching. A wonderful movie from start to finish.
Trick ‘r’ Treat (2007): Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0862856/)
This movie was very delayed in being released and sadly, didn’t get a theatrical release. It’s really too bad because this flick is one of the best Halloween movies to get you into the spirit of the season. Werewolves, zombies and a psycho principal make up some of the colourful characters that haunt Trick ‘r’ Treat. And don’t forget that cute little guy above, Sam the spirit of Halloween. And there he is below without his hood and looking creepy as hell. I have a replica of him on my fireplace mantle and without the hood, he really is that unnerving.
The cast of this seasonal gem includes: Dylan Baker (Steven), Quinn Lord (Sam / Peeping Tommy), Anna Paquin (Laurie), Brian Cox (Mr. Kreeg), Leslie Bibb (Emma), Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Schrader), Britt McKillip (Macy).