As I said this is my favorite time of year. Halloween and horror movies are sheer heaven for me. Now I am going to offer you some chilling goodies as an option to watch this Halloween Season. A few of these movies you may never have heard of or one of these could be a favorite or guilty pleasure of yours. Each movie contains a fabulous Movie Bad Girl. Some are villains and some are not but they are all strong women and spending some time with them at this spooky time of year could be killer……fun that is! Welcome to Movie Bad Girl of the Week where my only motivation for you this week is to relax and pour a glass of wine, pop some popcorn and have fun!!!!
Everyone has their own taste in movies so I have tried to come up with some that are varied in subject and intensity. Keep in mind that these movies are for the grown-ups this week so here’s your ticket to a spooky and chilling Halloween Movie Fest!!!
I will start with a favorite of mine. Even though it is an obscure title you can find the movie on Hulu or IMDb. “Spellbinder” stars Kelly Preston as Miranda. We meet Miranda as she is being beaten by an intense looking man. She is saved by young, good-looking attorney Jeff Mills (played by Tim Daly). He takes Miranda back to his home and a bond forms between the two. She is the girl of his dreams and he does not know that he is about to be plunged into a nightmare. You see, Miranda is a witch and part of an evil coven. They plan to sacrifice her on the Winter Solstice and they will stop at nothing to get her back. Now Jeff must protect Miranda as the clock begins ticking and no one and nothing are what they seem. This movie has very little gore and is one hell of a roller coaster ride.
Someone makes a movie and everyone else makes their version of the exact same movie. Every so often one of the copy-cats turns out to be exceptional. This is one of those movies. What at first seems to be a “Carrie” clone turns out to be a wonderful and surprising treat! Lisa Pelikan is Jennifer Baylor a simple girl from the hills who has little money and isn’t glamorous but is smart. So smart in fact she has a scholarship to a very exclusive all-girls school that is reserved for only the most privileged. Among the girls in attendance is a Senator’s daughter named Sandra Tremayne (Amy Johnston). She hates Jennifer and looks at her as a dumb hick who does not belong. Sandra sets out to make Jennifer’s life hell. Sandra is such an evil character that she is even willing to murder Jennifer to have her out of the picture. What is unknown to Sandra (but we do know) is that Jennifer no longer lives in the hills because she and her father had to leave. They were part of a religion that believes in taking up the serpent. Jennifer can handle venomous snakes with no fear of snake bite. The snakes listen to and obey her. After the preacher’s son was bitten and died she claimed to have lost the ability and swore she would never take up a snake again. She and her father were cast out of the fold. But with Sandra pushing her, Jennifer is about to call on her power and have her revenge. If snakes give you the willies the finale of this film will have you hiding under your blanket. This movie is very hard to find but can be watched on YouTube. Here is a link to the film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KEV3yGi944
Let’s shift gears now and talk about a couple of horror films that boil down to something we can all relate to. A mother’s love for her child.
“The Exorcist” (1973)
Unless you have been living under a rock you know this one whether you have seen it or not. Chris MacNeill (Ellen Burstyn) is a successful actress and a divorced single mother. She is raising her 12 year old daughter Regan (Linda Blair). Her daughter begins exhibiting odd behavior which builds in intensity and becomes both violent and terrifying. She seeks medical help for her little girl receiving more theories than answers. The behavior continues as Regan, a once pretty and somewhat meek girl, turns into a raging monster. Chris who has no belief in God suddenly begins believing in the existence of evil. She knows without a doubt that some force has possessed her little girl and will stop at nothing to get her child back. Chris MacNeill is about to go against all her own beliefs and get an exorcism for Regan. The climatic battle for the soul of a child is as terrifying now as it was when released in 1973. Brutal and harrowing, this classic is my favorite movie of all time. Sit back and watch what length a mother goes to, all in the hope of getting her daughter back. A story of faith, love and true horror.
One hot summer day Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and her son Tad (Danny Pintauro) head out to Joe Camber’s Garage to get him to work on her ailing Pinto. She and her husband had been there earlier that year to have some work done on his car. They met the Camber family, Joe (Ed Lauter), wife Charity (Kaiulani Lee), son Brett (Billy Jacoby aka Billy Jayne) and the family dog Cujo, a big lovable Saint Bernard. That was when things were good. At this point in time Donna has been having an affair with the local handyman (Christopher Stone) and has broken it off. Her husband Vic (Daniel Hugh Kelly) finds out about the affair as he is leaving town for a business emergency that can make or break his advertising agency. Their marriage is already strained and this is a devastating blow to Vic Trenton. Now she has a car that is going to leave her stranded one day…..today as a matter of fact, in the worst possible way. What Donna was not aware of on this day when she set out was that Charity and Brett Camber have gone on vacation to visit her sister and that Joe Camber has died. You see, the Camber’s Saint Bernard was bitten by a bat. Cujo has rabies and has killed his owner. Now he is about to hold the very emotionally stressed woman and her son hostage in their car. Donna arrives at the Camber farm and gets out of the car to be cornered by Cujo who is a horrifying sight. He rushes at her and she barely makes it back into the car. When she goes to start the car, much to her horror, the engine will not turn over. She gives it time and periodically tries with the same result. Cujo, to keep things interesting hides in many places (almost always keeping Donna and Tad in his sight) between attacks on the Pinto trying to find a way in. Donna and Tad have a small amount of food packed as snacks and a thermos of milk for what was suppose to be a day trip. Donna and Tad start to succumb to the heat in the car as their food and liquids diminish to nothing. As time marches on it becomes obvious that no one is coming to their aid. Donna gets bitten by the dog on one attempt to get to the house and phone and she now potentially has the virus infecting her system. She has a choice to make. She and Tad can sit in the car and suffer a miserable death or she can get out in her weakened state and face the beast the dog has become. With love and courage (that seems bred into moms everywhere) she gets out of the car to do battle and save her son. In this battle between rabid dog and woman only one will survive
If you need something with a bit of humor in it you need not feel alone. Who said you couldn’t laugh at a horror movie?
“Innocent Blood” (1992)
From the mind of John Landis comes this vampire movie that is unlike anything you have ever seen. Anne Parillaud stars as Marie, a very beautiful and very deadly vampire. Marie is different than most vampires you see in films. She only feeds on criminals. She takes a shotgun and blows her victim’s heads off after she is done feeding thus destroying any sign of vampire evidence and making it look like another Mafia or gang related slaying. But what is a vampire to do when she goes after a Mafia kingpin (Robert Loggia) and screws up leaving him infected and undead and he begins infecting the people around him to create a Vampire Super-Mafia? What else? Team up with the good looking Italian cop (Anthony LaPaglia) who has infiltrated this “family” and go on a bloody and madcap adventure to stop them before it is too late. This movie is fun from start to finish and will have you rolling with laughter and quite possibly covering your eyes at the same time.
“Bride of Chucky” (1998)
Once upon a time……
There was a beautiful (although tacky and trashy) woman named Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly). She looks at Martha Stewart as the pinnacle of domestic perfection, she loves to cook and is a hopeless romantic….one other thing, she is a vicious killer who is turned on by murder. In the past she had been in love with a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray. Charles was gunned down one night during the Christmas season and transferred his soul into a Good Guy Doll. From this point on he would be know as Chucky (voice of Brad Dourif). He made 3 failed attempts to possess a new body. Twice with a boy named Andy and once with a boy named Tyler. Tiffany wants him back and seduces and murders a police officer to get the remnants of the doll. After rebuilding the doll she brings Charles back using “Voodoo for Dummies”. She is devastated when she discovers that Charles never had any intention of marrying her. Pissed, she locks him up like a pet and takes pleasure in teasing him. She even brings him a bride doll as a companion. Chucky gets loose and kills Tiffany using his voodoo to trap her soul in the bride doll’s body. Now she must help him get new bodies for their souls to enter, if they wait too long they will be trapped in the dolls forever. Tiffany through a phone call tricks the handsome teenage boy from next door, Jesse (Nick Stabile), into taking the dolls to New Jersey where Chucky’s human body was buried. They need the amulet he was wearing in order to transfer their souls into human bodies. Jesse brings his girlfriend Jade (Katherine Heigl) along. They have decided to run away and elope. So Tiffany and Chucky are on their way and unbeknownst to the teens, the killer dolls have set eyes on their bodies. What follows should be a murderous rampage of horror. Instead we are treated to the most unusual romantic comedy ever put on film. Violent, funny and in some respect heart-warming “Bride of Chucky” gives us Tiffany, a bad girl unlike any other.
For those of you who prefer suspense over horror I have 3 fabulous films up my sleeve…..
“Sleeping with the Enemy” (1991)
Julia Roberts plays Laura Burney, a beautiful woman and perfect wife to a man who abuses her horribly. Laura fears her husband Martin (Patrick Bergin) and knows if she doesn’t get away soon he will eventually kill her. Laura, deathly afraid of water has learned to swim. She and her husband are out boating with a neighbor when a violent storm rolls in and Laura falls overboard faking her own death. Racing against the clock she swims back to shore while her husband searches for her. She escapes to a new town where she begins a new life under an assumed identity. She even gets a new love interest (Kevin Anderson) that is the polar opposite of Martin. Her life is now perfect, or so she thinks. What she does not know is her husband has found out that she is alive and he is hunting her like an animal. She will have to confront her husband once more and this time it is all or nothing in the nail-biting (and I wish it had been longer) finale.
“Dressed to Kill” (1980)
Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is an unhappy woman. She sees a psychiatrist Dr. Robert Elliott (Michael Caine) and voices her unhappiness. After her session she allows herself to be picked up by a stranger (Ken Baker) and has an afternoon of reckless sex in an attempt to make herself feel desirable not just to a strange man but to herself. As she is leaving she forgets her wedding ring. She takes the elevator back up and as the door opens she meets another patient of Dr. Elliott, a transsexual woman named Bobbi. Bobbi pulls out the razor she took from the good doctor’s office and murders Kate brutally (She is doing this to punish Elliott because he would not sign the papers for her sex change operation). The elevator descends several floors. When the doors open a high-priced call girl named Liz Blake (Nancy Allen) is waiting to get in. She sees the bloodied dying woman and reaches in to help. As she is reaching she looks up into the mirror in the elevator and sees the blonde woman with the razor. Bobbi drops the razor and Liz picks it up. A maid screams as she sees Liz standing in front of the bloody woman with the blade in her hand. She ends up in the police station where Detective Marino (Dennis Franz) tells her she is the prime suspect in the case and if she can’t prove her innocence within 48 hours he will arrest her. Now Liz, trying to clear her name, discovers that she will be Bobbi’s next victim. The first time Bobbi attempts to kill Liz she is saved by victim, Kate Miller’s son, Peter (Keith Gordon). Together this unlikely pair will put their lives on the line to find the blonde woman before she finds them. This is edge of your seat excitement at it’s best.
Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) is a surgeon at Boston Memorial Hospital. After her best friend (Lois Chiles) becomes comatose during an standard operation Susan begins to question why. When another seemingly healthy patient (Tom Selleck) goes comatose during a knee operation the red flags go up. She begins nosing around and discovers with horror that something is very wrong at Boston Memorial. The more she looks into it the more danger she puts her life in. Now somebody wants her dead before she can blow the whistle on the plot at the hospital where people are being selected to be put into comas. This is a true white-knuckle thriller and a movie Hitchcock would have been proud of. You think hospitals are scary? You have no idea just how scary. Coma….it is a nightmare that will keep you wide awake.
Now a guilty pleasure of mine …..
“Mother’s Day” (1980)
Three college girlfriends, Abbey, Jackie and Trina (Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce and Tiana Pierce) take a yearly trip together. This year it is a weekend of camping in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens and what they will run into is not the Jersey Devil but rather a family of crazies. A mother (Rose Ross aka Beatrice Pons) has trained her boys Ike (Holden McGuire aka Frederick Coffin) and Addley (Billy Ray McQuade aka Michael McCleery…seems like no one who played this family wanted to use their real name) to be killers and they kidnap the friends for their amusement. They tie them up and the terror begins. They take the weakest of the three, Jackie and make her take part in a homemade play for mom’s entertainment. The play consists of her dressing and walking like a little girl. She is then brutally raped by one of the boys while the other takes photos with the Kodak. Mother sits there proudly watching her sons’ production. The next day Abbey and Trina manage to get loose and find their friend shoved into a bureau drawer. They take her and escape into the woods. Jackie who has been brutalized dies. The girls prop her up facing the house and go back to hunt the family like the animals they are. These ladies are pissed and deadly as they seek revenge on this sick family. These ladies find strength that is so strong to seek justice for their friend, themselves and whoever else this family might harm. The film is super campy and over the top (although the rape is hard to watch) and just pure silliness and gore. It is not for everyone but I find it a dose of gross and bloody fun. Fun side note :The actress Beatrice Pons who plays mother is probably best remembered as Gunther’s wife on “Car 54, Where Are You?”
I have used far too many words this week but I hope you check some of these movies out and have fun with it. Until next time Embrace Your Inner Bad Girl because being bad feels so damn good. There may be a quiz so watch these movies.