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I Got 5 on It!

I GOT 5 ON IT! Top 5 Directorial Debuts Since 2010

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A mark of a great director can always be seen in their early work. An original idea, no matter how simple the idea or what kind of budget they are working with, that leaves an impression with the audience will always keep consumers coming back. In fact, an in-your-face debut can define a director’s career. The film can give the director a lifetime pass even when he or she falls from grace in the latter part of their film making. Also, it can serve as a notice to cinephiles as to who has the chops to continue onto master status.

So far, this decade has seen a number of up and coming directors showing off their skills in a massive way. Especially in the horror genre. Maybe it’s just me, but I would rather see a low-budget slasher with passion than an attempt to put butts in theater seats that lacks soul. That brings us to our list. A list of my personal top 5 directorial debuts from 2010 until now.

I must note that my definition of debut here is a full length, credited movie. I’m leaving off short films, TV work or uncredited help. Now that the rules are in place, let’s get knee deep into it!

 

TOP 5 DIRECTORIAL DEBUTS SINCE 2010

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5. Fede Alvarez – Evil Dead (2013)

Remakes and reboots have a bad rep. Usually, when a remake is announced, my initial reaction is an exhausted gasp and subtle head shake. Especially when dealing with the remake of a genre classic. When I first heard about an Evil Dead remake, my jaw collapsed and my stomach churned. Why remake something that stands as a perfect slice of horror pie? I watched with reluctance and I’m happy to say that I was dead wrong about this one. What Fede Alvarez was able to accomplish should be the standard for directors remaking classic films; make the film your own and breathe new life into it. Alvarez didn’t just modernize the story beat for beat. He created new life in an already familiar universe. Because of this, Evil Dead has to be mentioned on this list.

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4. Drew Goddard – Cabin in the Woods (2012)

It’s not every day that a director can take all the tropes and rules of horror films and kick them out the window. Drew Goddard took a simple spin on the cabin in the woods (no pun) idea and made his audience squeal in delight. Regardless of what he’s doing now, Goddard will be remembered in the genre for years to come because of this triumph of bloody elation.

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3. S. Craig Zahler – Bone Tomahawk (2015)

A western in appearance, but every part of an extreme horror film at heart, S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk delivers in the creep department. An all star cast mixed with a revenge story wrapped in sheer terror is unforgettable. The last act of the film has a the gritty feeling of a 70s mondo minus the documentary style. Picture Cannibal Holocaust without the film crew, with an ending that closes the story but only leaves you filled with dread.

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2. Ana Lily Amirpour – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

The Iranian vampire western shot in black and white, the visually stunning A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night will leave you spellbound, overwhelmed and straight horrified. Artistic, passionate and mind-blowing, Amirpour’s first feature will resonate with you long after the final credits roll. Take a trip into Bad City and leave a little piece of you within its desolate streets.

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1. Jennifer Kent – The Babadook (2014)

All of the hype is real. There’s nothing to say that hasn’t been said before. The Babadook is an absolute masterpiece. I love that horror has taken a slight turn from huge, CGI monster-ish “things go boom” films to these little, independent gems of emphatic joy. The duel force of Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman on-screen is undeniable and Jennifer Kent’s directing and story is pulse pounding from the first second. For me, it’s one of those films that I will always remember where I was the first time I saw it.

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I Got 5 On It! Top 5 Horror Films of 1980

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Welcome back, fright fiends! We’re back with a new installment of I GOT 5 ON IT! This week, we’re diving into the start of, what I believe, the best decade period for horror films. That’s right, folks….the 1980s. Horror cinema really took shape and became the undying entity that it is today during the 80s. A decade that cemented legends, pushed the boundaries for directors and writers and just downright rocked socks. So, here at Glynn Avenue Massacre, I thought we’d honor the beginning by counting down my top 5 favorite films to be released in the golden year of 1980. Here, we, go.

Honorable Mentions

When I decided to tackle this list, I thought to myself, “Self, this list is already made for you”. Huge, big named, classic films that people adore to this day came out in 1980. Then, I started the research. Gathering information about all the fright films that were released this year and I ran into a little bit of a pickle. Narrowing it down to 5 was a lot more difficult than I originally thought. So what’s the best way to cheat? To have a top 5 list and also mention a few extras? Honorable Mentions. Now, I enjoyed all of these films and I really hated leaving them off of the list, but when it comes to the TOP 5, I’m thinking about the films that I could watch over and over again, whether for a good time or to spot something new…or to quote from beginning to end. Let’s get started.

Cannibal Holocaust

The gritty, no nonsense mockumentary that is considered the Alpha of the extreme sub genre. It was hard not to put this film at #1, in all honesty. When it comes down to it, though, this film is definitely not one I could watch on a regular basis. To this day, scenes from this film straight up give me the chills. Deodato made one of the most powerful, gut-churning films of all-time and deserved recognition on this list for doing so.

Maniac

When talking about exploitation films, this has to be mentioned in the conversation. All in all, this is just a nasty film. William Lustig took a micro-budget and made this goop of disgust that will be talked about for years to come. It makes me want to take a shower after every viewing. Because of how this film sticks with you after watching, it was, again, tough to leave this off of the list, but once every few years is about all I need to watch it.

Motel Hell

I can’t help it. I really love this movie. Kevin Conner’s masterpiece (I use that term lightly) has moments of real dread…but it all comes out as pretty hilarious. An awesome film to drink to, but not an awesome film. Regardless…don’t f*ck with Farmer Vincent.

THE LIST

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5. The Children

This little nugget of gold takes me back to childhood. It’s a fun little B movie that is as great as it is cheeseball. A bus full of children drives though a cloud of nuclear waste caused by a leak at a nearby plant. The cloud turns the kids into little mutant zombies that proceed to hug the life out of adults. In the grand scheme of things, this film is far from brilliant. It’s just a fun, 80s, cake icing film.

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4. Friday the 13th

The one that started the legend; Sean S. Cunningham took a few kids into the woods to make a “killer at a camp” movie and came out with the beginning of an icon. Now, in my opinion, this is far from the best in the franchise (I’ll get to that later) but it has held up pretty well and worth the #4 spot by name alone. Pamela for life.

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3. City of the Living Dead

Gore, gore, gore. The films of Fulci make my face smile. The Beyond is a masterpiece. The House by the Cemetery is great. City of the Living Dead (The Gates of Hell) fits right in between. Not only is it one of my favorite zombie films (my least favorite sub-genre), but the last 15 minutes is so dreadful, it literally made me sick. That’s the kind of film that I can sink my teeth into. If you want a gorefest and don’t mind “nightmare logic”, then any of Fulci’s splatter films will do the trick.

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2. The Fog

As I get older, I’m finally settling into the fact that Halloween is not the only masterpiece of John Carpenter’s. Not saying I only liked Halloween for a majority of my life, but I’m beginning to really take notice of Carpenter as a director. The film that really made me take note of his genius was The Fog. It’s a ghost story that seems like much more than that. The remake…stay far away from the remake. Revisit this one if you haven’t in awhile.

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1. The Shinning

Carpenter is a genius. Kubrick is a god. All of his work deserves to be watched multiple times. The Shining deserves to be studied. This film is the definition of cinema. The small details, the theories, the obsession…films like this are what we as film lovers strive to find. I have my own ideas about this film (maybe I’ll write about it someday) but I could talk to twenty other film fans and none of us have the same thoughts. It’s an enigma. It’s a question mark. It’s a masterpiece.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have on the year 1980. Let us know what you think. Agree with the list? What are your favorite of the year? Are you a Death Ship fan and feel outraged that I left it off? Tell me about it. Until next time, keep it creepy and stay spooked.

I Got 5 on It! : 5 Favorite Fright Films to Watch on Halloween

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Hello Goblins and Ghouls! Halloween is just days away, so I saw it as a perfect time to not only mention a few of my holiday favorites, but also to introduce yet another fun-filled segment to Glynn Avenue Massacre; I GOT 5 ON IT! This segment will be dedicated to all of us gore hounds favorite thing in the whole world: lists. With trick or treating hours away, it only makes sense to list my favorite Halloween season films.

Now…these films don’t necessarily take place on Halloween or have a Halloween theme. This is just a list of films that I enjoy watching to get me in the mood for the greatest holiday of the year. That being said…let’s dive right in!

Top 5 Films to Watch on Halloween

5. Halloween (1978; John Carpenter)

I know it’s cliché. Maybe that’s why it’s at #5. Usually, this film ranks in my top 5 FILMS of all time, but nothing gets the festive blood flowing like Michael Myers returning to Haddonfield to mutilate his sister and all of her school chums. Not to mention, anyone who gets in his way. This film has left viewers in frozen fear for decades and will continue to terrify for decades to come.

4. The Blair Witch Project (1999; Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez)

Burkittsville is alive with witches! The film that defined a sub genre that to this very second gives me chills. The adage of less is more shines ever so bright in this dread inducing found footage masterpiece, as tension builds to an absolutely frightening finale that left millions pondering…”is this real??”

3. The House of the Devil (2009; Ti West)

Ti West delivers the slow burn that eats away at the audience until their hearts poop out on them. A well-crafted story with astonishing performances by Jocelin Donahue and Tom Noonan that will make your skin crawl…and never, ever, ever answer a babysitting ad again.

2. The Monster Squad (1987; Fred Dekker)

Another place on the list for a Tom Noonan flick! My favorite film as a child still holds a very dear hold on my heart. So much, in fact, that it’s a tradition in my house to pop in my VHS copy every Halloween night. The perfect mixture of childhood humor with some genuinely creepy scenes (Duncan Regehr as Dracula still creeps me out…and Michael MacKay) make this classic a must see for the entire family. Even if you’re a scary German guy!

1. Trick ‘r Treat (2007; Michael Dougherty)

It’s the quintessential Halloween movie in my household and with one viewing, I’m almost positive it will be one of your’s. I adore a good anthology film, and this one is almost perfect in my opinion. Every segment is just as amazing as the previous and they all tie together in a wonderfully gruesome manner. Without a shadow of a doubt, Halloween has become a greater holiday because this film exists.

Well there you have it, fright fans! When Saturday rolls around, get all dolled up as your favorite disgusting monster, grab a bag of candy, plop yourself down in your comfy recliner and enjoy some creepy, fun cinema before wreaking havoc on the poor neighborhood kids. They bother you everyday of the year; time for some revenge.

Spooked,

C

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