I love it when I connect with individuals who are as enthusiastic about movies as I am. Mr. Bill Meeker has two awesome blogs, Frisco Kid at the Movies and Frisco Kid Reads. This man knows his stuff. He has directed me to a few movies I never thought of watching. And yes, I loved them. His reviews on movies and books are detailed and penetrating. By the way, I also heard a rumor that there’s a book in the making. I’ll keep you posted.
Three All-Time Favorite Horror Movies
by Bill Meeker (a.k.a., Texas’ Frisco Kid)
It is difficult for me to maintain a list of all-time favorite horror movies. Since my taste in horror changes with time, experience, and maturity, so does the list. Ironically, it would be easier for me to list the horror movies that I do not like. That catalog never seems to change. However, since Latashia asked me to write a guest post about my all-time favorite horrors, I decided to reflect back upon those that I not only enjoyed, but that also impressed me in some significant way. Many of these I have written about on one of my blogs. Looking over my three choices, it seems that I favor psychological and supernatural horror films.
Written and directed by Eric England, this recently-released indie horror film stars one of my current favorite horror actresses, Najarra Townsend, who is now working on a short horror film, “The Stylist,” with writer-director Jill Sixx Gevargizian. A movie that has been mistakenly classed as just a “body horror” film by some critics, “Contracted” is actually much more than that. It is true that Samantha (Townsend) experiences a gross-out, zombie-like, physical transformation, apparently due to a sexually-transmitted disease contracted during unprotected heterosexual sex. However, the transformation is not due to a conventional STD. In my view, it is due to an infection by a supernatural force of evil, carried by a male stranger who forces Samantha (who is at the bitter end of her first long-term lesbian relationship) to have sex with him after she says “no.” He himself is evil, not only because he is a rapist, but also because he is a necrophiliac. He is wanted by the police for defiling female corpses at the county morgue. The film makes clear points about the complexities of sexual relationships, both gay and straight, as well as the difficulty of having one’s life decisions accepted, rather than challenged, by others. Besides being a psychological horror, this one has a lot to say about social issues.
THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (1997)
I count this Taylor Hackford film as one of my all-time favorites because of Al Pacino’s masterful, over-the-top performance as John Milton, the managing partner of a powerful New York law firm . . . and, by the way, also Satan. Pacino totally inhabits this part and delivers his lines (often memorable) with his characteristic gusto and wise-guy sarcasm. While Keanu Reeves turns in what could be seen as one of his more wooden performances as hotshot, small-town defense lawyer Kevin Lomax, it somehow fits well with Pacino’s evil virtuosity and Charlize Theron’s sexy naïveté as Lomax’s wife, Mary Ann. Kevin and Mary Ann’s idyllic life together is completely destroyed when Milton recruits Kevin to work in his firm. The cause of this destruction lies in Kevin’s Bible-believing mother’s past. The climatic confrontation scene between Milton and Lomax includes Pacino’s now-classic speech in which he reveals much about how Satan must think about God, human beings, and his own losing battle to take over the world. Although IMDb lists this movie as a drama/mystery/thriller, it has all the elements of a supernatural horror film as well (as Rotten Tomatoes recognizes).
ANGEL HEART (1987)
When he accepted his part in “Devil’s Advocate,” Pacino must have had in mind the goal of exceeding fellow master actor Robert De Niro’s performance in the same role (supernaturally speaking) in “Angel Heart.” This Alan Parker film also includes one of my favorite early Mickey Rourke performances (the second being his portrayal of alcoholic poet Henry Chinaski, opposite Faye Dunaway’s Wanda Wilcox, in “Barfly” ). Rourke plays a 1950’s New York City private detective (ironically named Harry Angel) who is hired by wealthy businessman Louis Cyphre (De Niro) — hard to guess his real identity, isn’t it? — to find a crooner who welched on a debt to Cyphre. Throw in Lisa Bonet’s outstanding breakout performance as Epiphany Proudfoot, a Deep South voodoo priestess, and this deliciously supernatural horror cum noir mystery flick delivers an engrossing, terrifying ride into Hell (literally, for Harry).
Bill Meeker is a writer, blogger, and teacher who lives north of Dallas in Frisco, Texas (hence “Frisco Kid”). Like everyone else on WordPress, he is working on a screenplay and a novel (when he’s not at his day job, teaching high school English). His movie blog, Frisco Kid at the Movies, and his book blog, Frisco Kid Reads, are biased towards the science fiction and horror genres. He also has a personal website, William Meeker, which describes his current projects and includes an independent film blog.