Directed by Dario Argento
Teleplay by Steven Weber
When I was a younger man in my late 20’s I worked as a pizza delivery driver. I had a boss, Ben, who was adamantly against the use of drugs of any kind. I mean, the guy didn’t even drink. That is, until he met Denise. There was only one way to describe Denise and that was that she was a crack whore. Denise led Ben down a path that he never completely recovered from. He still wouldn’t do drugs himself; but he bought them for her, and he even went to prison for her. Nothing would ever again be the same for Ben.
Now, I told you that story to demonstrate that at first I wasn’t really sure what director Dario Argento and writer/star Steven Weber were trying to say in their Masters of Horror adaptation of a Creepy comics tale from Bruce Jones. This story of a cop, Weber (Wings, Jeffrey) who takes in a horrifically facially disfigured woman who leads him down a path of self-destruction is exactly the same as that of my friend and his albatross of trouble. At first, I thought that the episode was one long joke about ugly women and how men will fuck them, but they surely will not tell their friends about it. At the risk of sounding sexist or cruel, it reminds me also of that old joke about the similarity between a fat girl and a Moped; they’re both fun to ride, you just don’t want anyone to see you. Another is that when it comes to women, the majority of men let the little head do the thinking. Even after she eats the family cat and the kid from next door, Frank still has no qualms about dipping his wick in Jenifer. After all, the body is a classy chassis; it’s the face that looks like it smacked a wall at 90 miles per hour. Hell, then again who knows? Maybe I’m missing the point altogether. Somehow, I don’t think I am.
One thing I know for sure is that this is the first episode of Masters of Horror that lives up to the name. Director Dario Argento (Suspiria, Mother of Tears) seems to be having a lot of fun with the episode and treats it more like a mini-movie than he does a TV show. Steven Weber is good in the role of Frank; and Carrie Anne Fleming grunts, whines, licks and snorts her way through her role as Jenifer. After a flawed, but promising start and then a big step backward, Argento and company set Masters of Horror back in forward motion with Jenifer.
This was the only Season 1 episode to require cuts. 2 shots were removed from the final film, both involved graphic depictions of oral sex. The first one occurred during the sex scene in the car, and the second occurred at the end of the film. The deleted scenes are edited into the ‘So Hideous My Love’ documentary on the DVD.
The source material first appeared in 1974 in Creepy #63 and was illustrated by Bernie Wrightson.
- Suspiria (mutantreviewers.wordpress.com)
- Stephen King: Five of my favorites from the master of horror (therabbitbooks.wordpress.com)
- Robert’s #CBR4 Review #14: This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
- I used to love horror movies. Then I became a mom. | Babble (babble.com)
- Pairing a Spooky Movie with the Ideal Sweet Snack for a Halloween Date (berries.com)
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode One: Incident on and Off a Mountain Road (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Masters of Horror – Dario Argento – DVD, Blu-Ray and Streaming (besthorrorfilms.net)
- Xaque Gruber: Dario Argento, Master of Horror, Unleashes Dracula 3-D Trailer (huffingtonpost.com)
- fastcodesign: It sounds like something out of a Dario Argento… (shortformblog.com)
- Ed Wood, bad master of horror tv (infocult.typepad.com)
Wow, I’ve done ten editions of “What’s Their Best Film?” already. In that time I have received great response from some of my regular and my non-regular commentators. I’m sure that a lot of you have voiced your opinion of not what you thought a particular filmmaker’s best movie was; but listed your favorite film from said director instead. Hey, that’s cool; because in order to accurately give an opinion of a director’s best movie you would have had to have seen every film in their catalog. I love movies, but I will not and cannot watch movies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are more important things such as work, supporting a family and figuring out ways to get Honey Boo Boo off the air. Damn what an annoying kid and her equally annoying mother!
So why am I babbling on and on? I shall tell you. In the last ten editions of “WTBF?” it has been you, dear reader, who has voiced your humble opinion. Now it’s my turn to give you my opinion. I will list each director below and I will tell what I think is their best movie or my favorite movie; whatever you want to call it.
Is it any surprise that I’m going with Goodfellas for this one? In my opinion it’s the greatest gangster flick ever made.
Runner-up: Taxi Driver
Most of what Bay puts out is complete shit; but if I had to choose a movie of his to watch I’d go with Armageddon . At least it got the Criterion Collection treatment.
Psycho. It’s my favorite “Hitch” film and in my humble opinion it is also his best. The shower scene alone is worth the price of admission.
Runner-up: Rear Window
Two words: Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2, Okay, so that’s six words. That’s because these movies rock so hard they blow up two words and turn them into six!
Runner-up: Pulp Fiction
I loved Magnolia and watch it at least three times every year. There are just so many great performances in this film from Julianne Moore to John C. Reilly. Tom Cruise was robbed of an Oscar for his role as informercial sex guru Frank ‘T.J.’ Mackey.
Runner-up: Boogie Nights
Do you honestly think I would choose anything other than The Thing?
Jeff Goldblum had the role of a lifetime in Cronenberg’s vision of the George Langelaan short story The Fly. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Runner-up: The Dead Zone
BRIAN DE PALMA
Some might say Carrie, some might say Scarface; I’m going with Blow Out as De Palma’s best. Travolta’s performance is one of the key reasons Tarantino wanted him for Pulp Fiction.
Runner-up: Carrie or Scarface (tie)
I loved Short Cuts the first time I saw it and every time after that. Fantastic ensemble acting.
Not only is Sin City Rodriguez’ best film; but it is also the single most faithful adaptation of a graphic novel from page to screen that I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s also the movie that once again made a contender out of Mickey Rourke.
Runner-up: From Dusk ’til Dawn
Unforgiven is one of the greatest westerns ever made. It was directed by Clint Eastwood; who in turn learned a few tricks from one of the greatest filmmakers, Sergio Leone.
Runner-up: Million Dollar Baby or Mystic River (tie)
This is cheating, but I’m going with the entire Evil Dead trilogy for this one. Who needs Spider-man when you’ve got Ash? Bruce Campbell rocks!!
Runner-up: Spider-man 2
To be honest, I’ve only seen three Argento films: Suspiria, Mother of Tears and Opera. Of the three of those I suppose my choice for his best would be Suspiria. What a creepy and atmospheric film.
I have to go with The Wrestler on this one. I’ve been a fan of the squared circle for quite a long time and it’s the first film to take the subject matter seriously. Mickey Rourke was amazing as Randy “The Ram” Robinson.
Runner-up: Black Swan
I could be a complete asshole and go totally against the popular choice of A Nightmare on Elm Street as Craven’s best; but that would just be stupid. He gave us Freddy Fucking Krueger with this one, for crying out loud!
Runner-up: The Last House on the Left or Scream (tie)
Just as Craven brought usFreddy Krueger with his greatest film A Nightmare on Elm Street; so did Tobe Hooper bring us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Leatherface 10 years prior. Watch this movie and you’ll think twice about picking up hitchhikers and eating Texas Bar-B-Que.
It may seem like a strange choice, but I pick his remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes over High Tension (aka Haute Tension aka Switchblade Romance) as Aja’s best film. It’s close though; both movies are fucking brutal.
Runner-up: High Tension
Some people seem to love Rob Zombie’s films and other people seem to hate his films and his fucking guts. There’s no middle ground. What’s his best film? That’s easy: The Devil’s Rejects.
What have I said before? The Howling is the greatest werewolf movie ever made; so the choice here is a no-brainer.
Re-animator, of course. Those of you who disagree can get a job in a sideshow. This film brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘giving head.’
Runner-up: From Beyond
GUILLERMO DEL TORO
I haven’t seen everything by Del Toro, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil’s Backbone. It was an amazing little ghost story.
There is no question that Night of the Living Dead is Romero’s greatest film; the trouble is that Dawn of the Dead is every bit as awesome. Folks, we have a tie! Zombies everywhere have Uncle George to thank for their popularity.
Runner-up: Day of the Dead
I loved Session 9 and The Machinist on equal terms; but if I had to choose I’d have to go with the latter based simply on the strength of the performance from Christian Bale. The Machinist is a brilliant film about guilt and how it can affect us so deeply.
Runner-up: Session 9
The Exorcist. Nothing else need be said.
Runner-up: The French Connection
I choose May as McKee’s best for one simple reason: the deliciously disturbing performance from Angela Bettis. She deserved an Oscar for that movie.
Runner-up: The Woman
It’s going to take Sanchez a long time before he gets out from under the shadow of The Blair Witch Project. He’s been making heavy strides with films like Altered and Lovely Molly. Still, it is the witch who holds sway over all.
I’ve only seen one Bava film and that is Black Sunday. I do want to see more.
The same goes for Lucio Fulci and Zombie. I know, I know I need to watch more Fulci and Bava.
The man who gave us The Man with No Name. It’s hard to pick one great Leone film. A Fistful of Dollars? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Once Upon a Time in the West? Once Upon a Time in America? Nope, I just can’t do it.
There you go; my choices. Some are your choices as well and some are not. Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and they make the world go ’round.
- Criterion Collection Coming to Hulu Plus (savings.com)
- Saddest Movies of All Time (mrmovietimes.com)
- Pairing a Spooky Movie with the Ideal Sweet Snack for a Halloween Date (berries.com)
- Spielberg vs. Spielberg in The Fight of the Holiday Weekend! (mrmovietimes.com)
- Goosebumps (comm2302metafiction.wordpress.com)
- Steven Spielberg Refuses to ‘Exploit’ Abe’s Assassination in ‘Lincoln’ (aceshowbiz.com)
- Craig’s Best James Bond; Spielberg’s Bruising Lincoln: Movies – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- When it comes to Bond, nobody does it better than Sam Mendes (sacbee.com)
- RU? Instant Reaction Review Podcast Ep. 33 – Wreck-It Ralph And Giveaway (areyouscreening.com)
- The comfort of clichés (thehindu.com)
It’s a Friday afternoon and normally I would be watching a movie and blogging on it. But, with a new job comes new hours and therefore I have to work. So, before I depart for my place of employment I wanted to get a quick post in just to let everyone know that I am still alive and still blogging. Those of you who have read my previous “What’s Their Best Film?” installments know the drill. I name three directors and you tell me what their very best film is, in your opinion. Those of you who are first time readers I urge you to read the previous sentence as I do not like to repeat myself. I love to hear comments from each and every one of you and I try to reply to each and every one. So, without further ado let’s get this show on the road.
THE EVIL DEAD-1981
EVIL DEAD II-1987
ARMY OF DARKNESS-1992
A SIMPLE PLAN-1998
FOR LOVE OF THE GAME-1999
DRAG ME TO HELL-2009
FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET-1971
LE CINQUE GIORNATE-1973
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-1998
THE CARD PLAYER-2004
DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK (TV MOVIE)-2005
MOTHER OF TEARS-2007
REQUIEM FOR A DREAM-2000
Don’t be strangers; I want to hear from you. Take care and stay scared!!
- Maguire’s Spidey May Have Owned Web-Shooters (ign.com)
- Sam Raimi Says the ‘The Evil Dead’ Remake Will Be Rated R (Or Worse) (screenrant.com)
- Unused Sam Raimi SPIDER-MAN Trailer shows Web-Shooters (geektyrant.com)
- ‘Noah’ First Look: New Photo Reveals The Inside Of The Ark (screencrave.com)
- Sam Raimi Says THE EVIL DEAD Remake Will Definitely Be R-Rated and is “So Bloody It Will Make Your Head Spin,” Plus an Update on the POLTERGEIST Remake (collider.com)
- First Sneak Peek at What’s Inside the Ark of Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ (aceshowbiz.com)
- First Look: Russell Crowe as Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ (slashfilm.com)
- First Look at Russell Crowe in Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH (collider.com)
- Portman Offered Lead Role In Noah Oppenheim’s Jackie (emileeid.com)
- Congratulations to Aronofsky and Fincher (somecamerunning.typepad.com)
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-United Kingdom-1962
Directed by Terence Fisher
Screenplay by John Elder
Based on the novel by Gaston Leroux
Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel “Le Fantôme de l’Opéra”, or “The Phantom of the Opera”, has been told in many forms over the years. There was, of course, the classic 1925 film starring Lon Chaney, Sr. as Erik and Mary Philbin as Christine. Then there is the 1943 edition starring Claude Rains and Susanna Foster. Even director Dario Argento has aimed his directorial vision at this tragic tale.
But it is the 1962 Hammer Films edition of the film that I remember best. Not because I remember seeing the film; until now I had never seen the film. I remember it because I was not allowed to watch when it first premiered on television as the movie of the week for Saturday night. The film premiered in theaters in August of 1962; so I can only guess that I may have been 3 or 4 years old when it made its TV debut. Thinking I was too young, my parents sent me away to bed. However, they didn’t bother turning down the volume. I remember hearing Christine’s beautiful voice as she sang for the Phantom (Herbert Lom, “The Dead Zone”). I remember that the Phantom would tell her that she would sing ‘only for me’. Finally, my memory is hearing the announcer’s voice saying ‘We continue now with…The Phantom of the Opera.’ I knew that one day I would see this film and that I would wonder if I would be as scared to see it as my parents thought I would be. Honestly speaking, that is not the case at all.
Horror films are filled with creatures of all kinds. Many of them are evil and deserve our disdain. They are hideous to behold and are the stuff of our nightmares. As for the Phantom of the Opera, that is not so. He is a man to be pitied. He had a gift and it was stolen from him. He lashed out in anger and was punished. Here is a man who merely wanted his songs to be sung and his music to be heard. For Hammer’s Phantom, the monster is not the man behind the mask, but the cruel and unscrupulous Lord D’Arcy (Michael Gough in a deliciously over the top performance). He is a thief, a scoundrel of the lowest morals. He is the most inhuman of monsters because he is all too human in the first place. The Phantom hides a beautiful soul behind a hideous mask. Lord D’arcy is hideous through and through; no mask in the world could hide such corruption.
Looking back, I’m actually glad my parents sent me off to bed. My impressionable young mind may not have understood that the bad guy is not always who we think it is.
The film was originally written for Cary Grant, who wanted to do a horror film. The Phantom’s character was rewritten as a more tragic figure, with the dwarf (played here by Ian Wilson) doing the actual violence, to suit Grant’s image. Grant declined the part (possibly unhappy with the watered down character) and it went to Lom.
The mask was made on the fly just before shooting out of cloth, tape, string and paint.
At one point, Christopher Lee was seriously considered for the Phantom part.
- STAGE TUBE: Sneak Peek at New Video of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’s Redesigned UK Tour! (broadwayworld.com)
- Review: Love Never Dies (sequel to Phantom of the Opera) (christophergorhamcalvin.com)
- Books & Movies: Phantom of the Opera Wedding Inspiration (daweddings.wordpress.com)
- The Dalek of the Opera (tanaudel.wordpress.com)
- The Phantom of the Opera (drinkingbeerwatchingmovie.wordpress.com)
- Universal to release 8 classic studio horror films! On Blu Ray! The Biggies! Yes!!! (aintitcool.com)
- How the CCP will transform into Paris Opera House – Inquirer.net (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Phantom Of The Opera Instrumental (nobackgroundvocals.com)
- Casts of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, PORGY AND BESS, STOMP to Perform at Broadway in Bryant Park, 7/12 (broadwayworld.com)
- The Ever-Expanding “To Read” List (goldenbookwyrm.wordpress.com)
- FLASH: Andrew Lloyd Webber Writes The Music Of The Night (broadwayworld.com)
- Great Performances: Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall (girlygirl.typepad.com)
- Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera (integrated4.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: The Phantom Of The Opera (integrated4.wordpress.com)
This question is for the older gentlemen in the audience; how many of you had this poster hanging on your walls when you were teenagers? Raise your hands. Wait; keep them up so I can take a count. Wow, that many? Okay, now how many decided to forego the tape or thumbtacks and hold up the poster with only one hand? No wait, don’t answer that. That falls under the Too Much Information act of 2012. Anyway, my last few Scream Queens have been dedicated to the younger ladies of the horror genre. So I thought it would be fair that I would feature one of the beauties that helped pave the way.
Adrienne Barbeau became known to audiences as Carol Traynor, the divorced daughter of Bea Arthur’s titular character “Maude”. The popular show ran on CBS television from 1972-1978. She made her first dive into the horror genre when she starred in her then-husband John Carpenter‘s made-for-TV film “Someone’s Watching Me” (1978). From that point on she starred in Carpenter’s “The Fog” (1980) and “Escape from New York” (1981), “Swamp Thing” (1982), directed by Wes Craven, and George Romero’s “Creepshow” (1982), based on tales written by horror author Stephen King ; as well as Dario Argento and George Romero’s directorial team-up “Two Evil Eyes” (1990). Her latest genre film was the SyFy original “War Wolves“. In addition to films she has starred as the voice of Catwoman on the acclaimed “Batman: The Animated Series” and has had roles on “The Drew Carey Show“, “Carnivale” and “Dexter”, just to name a few. Her autobiography is entitled “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” and was published in 2006 and she is also the author of the novel “Vampyres of Hollywood” as well as its sequel. It is her busy schedule and her longtime contribution to the world of horror and science fiction that Written in Blood honors the beautiful Adrienne Barbeau as the Scream Queen of the Month for July, 2012.
Is of French and Armenian ancestry.
In 1978, a poster of Adrienne Barbeau wearing a tight purple corset was a bestseller. The poster’s image later served as a cover photo for her autobiography.
Sister-in-law of musician and actor Steve Van Zandt.
- Best Unknown Horror Movies (oldgamereviewer.com)
- Concordian Review: Love Bites (Vampyres of Hollywood II) – by Adrienne Barbeau (chadwickhsaxelid.typepad.com)
- Happy Birthday, Adrienne Barbeau!!! (kidzrockinc.co)
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When your father is Dario Argento, one of the most iconic horror directors of the past 20th century, it’s a safe bet that you’re daughter would star in at least a couple of genre films herself. Born Asia Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento on September 25, 1975 in Rome, Lazio, Italy, Miss Argento has appeared in 5 of her father’s films to date: Trauma (1993), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996), The Phantom of the Opera (1998), Mother of Tears, itself the third film in the Three Mothers trilogy that includes Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980); and Dracula 3D (2011). She has also appeared in George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead (2005), Sofia Coppola‘s Marie Antoinette (2006) and XXX (2002). She is a director, actress, singer, model and producer. Our hats and apparently our shirts go off to the lovely Asia Argento as she is the Scream Queen of the Month for December, 2011!
- Elvira Lists the Hottest Horror Movie Actresses: Who’s Missing? (celebs.gather.com)
- Suspiria (transgressivecinema.com)
- First Images Of Dario Argento’s DRACULA 3D (collider.com)
- Dario Argento’s Witch Trilogy / The Three Mothers (newhorrorindustrial.wordpress.com)