Sunday, March 27, 2011

My March MADness Picks: Round One

During this time of year, March Madness seems to eat up a huge portion of many people's lives; while there're plenty of rabid college ball fans out there digging in, there are plenty of people that could give two shits, too. The Mike of From Midnight, With Love fame is a major sports fan, and decided to take his love of sports and mix it with his love of horror cinema in a way where all can enjoy. Well, all specifically meaning horror fans, that is, but that's all that matters, right? Anyway, The Mike came up with an idea for a bracket using horror movies instead of college teams. Great idea, right? Well, it gets better, because in true bracket fashion, Mike asked a bunch of internet horror know-it-alls to take part in the selection process (with comments being optional), one of them know-it-alls being me, specifically.

So there's your backstory, and now we can move on to the meat and taters of all this build-up. Round one has just been completed and with that comes a whole lot of winners and losers. Below I thought I would provide all of the seeds, what I picked and what, if anything, I had to say about whichever film I thought should move forward. I tried to make it as easy to read as possible, underlining the matchups and boldfacing my picks, so you can run through it quick and pick and choose what you want to read. However, these are solely my picks (and thoughts), but to see what other horror fiends picked (and their thoughts), and what films moved on to the next round, you will have to head on over to From Midnight, With Love to find out.



The Frankenstein Regional

#1 Seed: Predator vs. #16 Seed: C.H.U.D

Arnold is the end all deciding factor in any match up. Always. Plus, I don’t see anyone voting against him again. No longer being the governor only means he can get to da choppa and come kick-in the teeth of all that oppose him. And rightfully so.  

#8 Seed: Night Creatures vs. #9 Seed: Road Games

I really like Road Games. Stacy Keach is great in it and one can never go wrong with a little Jamie Lee Curtis, either. Also, I have never seen Night Creatures, so there you have it. 

#5 Seed: Carnival of Souls (1962) vs. #12 Seed: Stephen King's Cat's Eye

Yikes…is this really a match-up? I simply adore Cat’s Eye and have loved it since I was young enough to do lines with Drew Barrymore. Carnival of Souls, on the other hand, is one that I caught up with for the first time a year or so ago, and I absolutely loved it. I guess I’ll give it to Carnival because I think it deserves it slightly more. But know this, it hurts my heart to make such a decision.   

#4 Seed: Pretty Poison
vs. #13 Seed: The Illustrated Man

#6 Seed: They Live
vs. #11 Seed: Fire in the Sky

For the record, flawed as it may be, I really dig Fire in the Sky, mostly because I too was once raped by aliens. I kind of asked for it with the outfit I was wearing, though. Still, consumerism commands me to pick They Live.

#3 Seed: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) vs. #14 Seed: Raw Meat

The #3 seed is my #3 all-time favorite horror film, therefore my pick is a no brainer.

#7 Seed: Ginger Snaps
vs. #10 Seed: Mr. Majestyk

I find it very difficult going against the catfish himself, Charles Bronson, but I absolutely love, and I mean LOVE, Ginger Snaps. I really relate to the whole menstrual thing.   

#2 Seed: Dead of Night (1945) vs. #15 Seed: Blue Steel

While it lacks the rawness that came with Le Tigre and Ferrari, Blue Steel is a pose that is quite simply unforgettable.

The Myers Regional

#1 Seed: John Carpenter's The Thing vs. #16 Seed: The Food of the Gods

Man, the choice between giant roosters and the frosted beard of Kurt Russell? What’s a girl to do?! The Thing.

#8 Seed: Robinson Crusoe on Mars vs. #9 Seed: The House of the Devil

Even after seeing it a few times already, I still get the urge to watch The House of the Devil quite often, and for me that’s the mark of a great horror film. It has its detractors, but I personally think the film is as taut as it is fantastic.

#5 Seed: Stir of Echoes vs. #12 Seed: Clownhouse

As much as I enjoy The Sixth Sense, I always found it to be very unfortunate that, due to the success of that film, Stir of Echoes went almost completely unnoticed. Stir of Echoes is wicked underrated, brah.

#4 Seed: Big Trouble in Little China vs. #13 Seed: Scarecrows

You know what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like this? Scarcrows doesn’t stand a chance.

#6 Seed: Sisters
vs. #11 Seed: Of Unknown Origin

Outside of Kidder’s slightly off putting accent, Sisters is a near flawless thriller, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Tyler Perry take a crack at a remake. Of course it would be titled ‘Sistas’ and star pop culture icon, Beyonce, in her most groundbreaking performance yet.

#3 Seed: The Body Snatcher (1945
) vs. #14 Seed: Happy Birthday to Me

#7 Seed: The Diabolical Doctor Z vs. #10 Seed: Friday the 13th

#2 Seed: Horror of Dracula (1958) vs. #15 Seed: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

The Hammer Regional

#1 Seed: Moon vs. #16 Seed: The Roost

There are a handful of reasons why Moon is a wonderful piece of cinema, but what really drives it, what is essentially the film’s core, is that deep emotional impact that it emotes thanks to Sam‘s existential interactions with himself. One of the best science fiction films of the last ten years, Moon is a movie that will most certainly stand the test of time. 

#8 Seed: Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter vs. #9 Seed: Candyman

From the Philip Glass score to the frightening Cabrini-Green setting, Candyman is an incredibly poignant film focusing on the deterioration of one woman as she is forced to face the wrong doings of others. There is much more to the horror here than just that guy with a hook for a hand. It’s poverty, it’s the lack of trust we have in our own neighbors, it’s racial tension in an area that has been neglected and all but left for dead. Oh yeah, and Tony Todd is awesome.  

#5 Seed: The Devil Rides Out vs. #12 Seed: Burning Bright

#4 Seed: Kill, Baby...Kill! vs. #13 Seed: Piranha (1978)

You may think you can pick against Piranha, but Paul Grogan’s beard and tucked in flannel believe otherwise. You best listen.

#6 Seed: The Abominable Dr. Phibes vs. #11 Seed: The Ugly

#3 Seed: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) vs. #14 Seed: Silent Night, Deadly Night

One of the rarest of times where I won’t pick Carpenter. I really dig Assault, but a Santa Slasher is the quickest way to my blackened heart. That and Mrs. Budd's White Meat Chicken Pies. Seriously, why are those things so friggin good?

#7 Seed: Spider Baby
vs. #10 Seed: Danger Diabolik

The opening credit sequence to Spider Baby says it all. One of the strangest and most enjoyable genre films ever made. 

#2 Seed: The Omen vs. #15 Seed: Popcorn

The Blob Regional

#1 Seed: Evil Dead II vs. #16 Seed: Attack of the 50 Foot woman

You would have to realize that anyone that spent much of their childhood quoting things like, “Someone's in my fruit cellar!” and “I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul!” will probably pick the Evil Dead II. Guess what? That’s exactly what I’m picking.

#8 Seed: The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) vs. #9 Seed: The 'burbs

#5 Seed: Martin vs. #12 Seed: The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

LOVE MARTIN! He's so funny, especially in those Big Mama's House films! 

#4 Seed: Death Proof vs. #13 Seed: Vice Squad

There was a time when Starz HD would show Death Proof like ten times a week, and every time I would happen upon it, I just couldn’t change the channel. The rewatchabilty is so high for me, especially that amazing car chase that goes on for like half the movie. Love the soundtrack, love Stuntman Mike, love both sets of stories, love Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a cheerleader uniform, LOVE Death Proof! I’d totally make out with it while a rock ballad plays in the background.

#6 Seed: Phantom of the Paradise vs. #11 Seed: Maniac (1980)

#3 Seed: The Descent vs. #14 Seed: Killer Klowns from Outer Space

As close as this one feels like it should be, I have only seen The Descent once. While I really liked it, I didn’t find it to be quite as great as others claimed it to be. Killer Klowns, on the other hand, is one of my childhood favorites. It’s as funny as it is creepy, as silly as it is serious, and I feel quite comfortable in saying that it is a perfect midnight movie. Maybe down the road and with a few more viewings of The Descent, my mind would change, but until that time, I’ll stick with the Chiodo Bros.  

#7 Seed: The Stepford Wives (1975) vs. #10 Seed: The Entity

#2 Seed: The Incredible Shrinking Man vs. #15 Seed: The Pit.


  1. Voting against Cat's Eye hurt me too. It's one of the more underrated anthologies and the goblin still gives me nightmares. It's also the reason I have cats. And don't smoke. Or have sex with rich sadists' wives. But yeah, Carnival of Souls is a masterpiece.

  2. Yeah, it feels like you're picking a child when going between both films. Not that I have a child, or children for that matter, but you get the picture.

    I love Cat's Eye and it's funny how all of the segments are pretty fantastic, but it's the General vs. the Troll segment that always lingers in my memories the most. It's one of those stories that works as well for a kid as it does for an adult, and is there really any better child actor than Barrymore was?

  3. I think a big part of why that troll segment works is the whole child-in-danger thing, particularly when a) you see it as a child and b) you happen to have blond hair and therefore often be called Firestarter/Drew Barrymore as a child. I'm sure you know how that feels Matt. So yes, I had that sort of natural put-myself-in-the-character's-shoeness (same happened with Child's Play) from seeing it at the right age. Rewatching it a few years back, the goblin stuff is still icnredibly unsettling. It's just so MEAN!

  4. I simply like your picks and ways with words.

  5. Thanks Ashlee! You're always the bestest!


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