Sunday, November 4, 2012

Top 5 Sundays #27 - Favourite Halloween Themed Movies

According to Larissa's own post, this week's theme was once again a tie and, honestly, I was rather looking forward to determining my Top 5 Favorite Halloween Costumes on TV or Movies. Unfortunately, that list got as far as the season two episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featuring Buffy as an eighteenth century noblewoman and...yeah, I drew a blank. A complete, total and absolute blank. The only other costumes that came to mind were a half-dozen different renditions of witches. It was not a pleasant brain-wracking, not at all. Let me just add that it's really for the best there was a Plan B here or it would have been either a very lonely or a very repetitive Top 5 list.  On the brighter side of things, there are a lot of Halloween movies floating around out there and every year sees them come out in full swing to fill up network television airtime for the last two weeks of October. So, needless to say, they were all fresh in my head and rearing to go. Unlike a certain other list we will hereafter never refer to again.

So, without further ado, I give you Calliope's Domain's Top 5 Favourite Halloween Themed Movies.

#5 - Halloween (1978)
Now, just to be perfectly clear here, I'm talking the original thriller starring Jamie Lee Curtis. This was one of those movies that wasn't blessed with a huge budget - it was shot in twenty-one days with a budget of only $320, 000, half of which went to pay for the cameras. The actors all had to wear their own clothes because there was no money for costume department and Michael Meyer's mask? The prop department picked up the cheapest mask they could find - which happened to be a Captain Kirk mask - painted it white, reshaped the eye holes and teased out the hair. It's not only a fantastically spooky and creepy serial killer thriller - which, incidentally, went on to spawn several sequels and was two recent remakes - it shows you exactly what a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work can accomplish. What's not to love about that? Oh, and Halloween? It grossed $47 million at US box offices alone.

#4 -  The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Say what you will about Tim Burton, but there's no question that his unique brand of film making lends itself very, very well to Halloween. I mean, heck, have you seen Beetlejuice? Corpse Bride? Alice in Wonderland? Frankenweenie? And way back in the beginning - or at least close enough to count - there was The Nightmare Before Christmas, which, okay, I admit may also qualify as a Christmas movie but seeing as how Jack hails from Halloween Town, I'm running with it. One of the best things about this movie is the stop animation, a film type that's always fascinated me. Basically, think of it like making one very long, very complicated flip book where, instead of using sketches, you're using photographs of puppets. Lots of photographs. Just imagining how long a single scene must take to film boggles the mind. And the results are amazing.

#3 - Hocus Pocus (1993)
So three witches start off the movie by successfully killing a young girl and turning her brother into a cat only to be burned at the stakes days later. Fast forward a century or two and said witches pull a come back tour only this time around they're going for all the children in the town that once made with the pitchforks. The witches are hilarious, you really get a feel for the kids' terror, the plot's it wrong that I watch this movie for the cat? He talks, his human form was Sean Murray, he does sarcasm really well and, oh yeah, he's got that whole noble/protective instinct thing going for him in spades. I love that damn cat.

#2 - The Crow (1994)
Once again, I might be sort of, kind of, technically toying with the concept of a "Halloween-theme" movie. I mean, okay, if you want to be all stone-cold on the fact front, this movie takes place on October 30. But that's almost Halloween - and it features a man resurrected by a crow to seek vengeance for his and his girlfriend's murders a year prior. If that's not Halloween-themed, I don't know what is. Plus, in a creepy case of life imitating art, Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee and star of this little cult gem, actually died in the making of this movie when a prop gun's shot wasn't as harmless as everyone thought it would be. Freaky much?

#1 - Casper (1995)
A house is haunted by three wild, bad mannered ghosts and the ghost of a young boy whose father discovered how to restore ghosts to life. There's a Ghostbusters cameo, a villainess, an impossible romance, and a happy ending - more or less. Sure, there's a deep sadness permeating the whole movie, but there's also a lesson to it, several in fact, and when it comes right down to it, what more could a girl for? I love Casper in all of his incarnations - the tragedy of his life gets me every time, but the happiness and love that eventually fills his just makes me wish his dad could've haunted along with him.

And there you have it, this week's Top 5 and, hey, take note - it's actually Sunday this time!

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