The belfry has struck twice in the land of Fun For Everyone Halloween Films here at Screen Rant, and the third, final chime is preparing to strike!
Join the Screen Rant team as we detail this last entry for our 2009 Fun For Everyone Halloween Films listing and “chime in” with your own!
5. Edward Scissorhands (1990): I would love to see how something like Edward Scissorhands would go over in today’s society. Clearly, if the school he’d be attending observed any of today’s weapon policies, he’d be expelled instantly and have at least 4 interviews on news programs and talk shows before the week was over about how the institution is “denying his fundamental right to express himself.” Edward Scissorhands reminds me a lot of many of the movies that came out in the late 80s, up until 1990. Lots of teen angst with a dash of fantasy – lots of depression and twisted viewpoint overall. While not Johnny Depp’s first feature film, it’s easily his break-out piece and was a stark contrast to his time on 21 Jump Street (where I initially saw and liked him – although Depp himself did NOT like the gig). Surely, while all the teenagers both male and female that saw him weren’t wearing 14-inch blades on the end of their hands or black leather, they were experiencing awkward feelings, a sense of being an outcast, and hoped that a relationship would do them good in many ways. A strange message of “hope” is contained inside of Edward Scissorhands, as are a large cast of Hollywood favorites. For me, an artist throughout high school just heading to college, this film meant a lot.
Fiendish Fun Factor: During my youth we never had the chance to have and “sculpt” the kind of shrubbery Edward goes to town on. While I DO now have shrubs that I could make my own masterpieces from if I had customized-14-inch-blades on the ends of my fingers, I can still make a nice straight edge with some Black & Decker shrub shears. I don’t think my wife would let me get away with the black leather outfit, however. Now THAT would be truly horrifying.
4. Young Frankenstein (1974): This film is a true treasure cloaked in camp horror, and should be an entry in every collection. The names here make it EASY to understand why this was literally an instant classic. Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman and Teri Garr all made for some of the best and unforgettable moments in a film that turns the original legend of Frankenstein on it’s ear . It offers up camp, laughs, and moments that I can hear echoing in my mind as I write this note about it. With a couple of clips and trims, this could have been considered the first ‘Naked Gun-style camp” entry, which everyone should own.
Fiendish Fun Factor: It’s so hard to pin it down to “one thing” inside of this film, but I’ll point to one actor – Marty Feldman – that man who my father said “got hit in the head with a 2×4 and that’s why his eye’s like that.” Ha! If we could take a screenshot every time he appears in this film, he’s just funny standing still, much less offering up a “yes mah-ster” as Igor (eye-gore) in this film. Great stuff and an actor that was taken from us all-too-soon.
3. The Wizard of Oz (1939): In 1987, I portrayed The Cowardly Lion in our annual school play of The Wizard of Oz, and since then, I’ve always had a true passion for this film. Recently, there was a re-release of it on DVD and Blu-ray that I have plans to purchase and review and I can only imagine what features await. This film, like so many others is one of the required pieces of Hollywood cinema for everyone to have in their collection. The always-captivating battle between good and evil, the imagery, the literal beginning edge of special effects, the character portrayals and the euphemisms inside of American entertainment alone make this one to remember. Like all great movies, everyone has their favorite character and their most hated. I’m going to have to go for The Tin Man as my favorite, and sharing just about everyone’s bottom of the barrel? Glenda, The Good Witch. If there was going to be someone that needs to have house fall on them, why couldn’t it be her, if only to even-out that voice and persona? Sure the Wicked Witch was bad, but you always knew where you stood with her, didn’tcha’?
Fiendish Fun Factor: Over the years, whenever I’ve heard the term “when monkey’s fly out of my butt” it’s never been the monkey from Raiders of the Lost Ark, or the chimp from BJ & the Bear that I conjure. It’s going to be some of the Flying Monkeys of Wizard of Oz for sure. I can remember seeing this movie when I was 6 each year on television and being scared to death of them back then.
2. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966): This film is a true treasure that takes a slice of old-school marketing sense from the 60’s and gives it to you on a slice of old-school bread. The synopsis: A “murder house”, the focus of a husband-wife murder/suicide falls into the public spotlight and a newspaper, to drum up more newspaper sales, has their typesetter sent to spend the night to see what happens on the 20th anniversary of the deaths. This film, written by the creative battery for The Andy Griffith Show, stars Don Knotts in one of many feature film roles that make him a truly unsung comedic movie hero that is always fun to watch. There was a different way of making entertainment back then and it’s delightfully captured here for audiences of all ages to see.
Fiendish Fun Factor: It’s hard to dissect this film into one “funny” part. Don Knotts was built to play a role like this. Between his awkward, pseudo-karate chop, to his wider-than-grand-canyon eyeballs, to his uncontrolled-control of his voice when confronted with adversity, you too will find magnetic, magic moments all throughout this movie. Fun with a capital “F”.
1. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982): My twelfth year of life was a defining year for me. It was a year that yielded many things, both good and bad, and while my world was twisting up and down, movies and television offered me a safe haven to enjoy someone else’s life in 90(+-) minute increments. This film, that takes place over the Halloween-period of the year, offers scares, laughs, hopes and swells as we all gasp at the wonder of life from another planet. While it’s been put through the special effects scrubbers since its original release, this perfectly-placed visit with a visitor from another world has a true place of honor in my collection. The friends, the experiences, the dirt bikes (I can still envision my chromoly Kuwahara with red mags and snake skin tires as I write this review) and the conclusion make the corners of my mouth turn upwards.
Fiendish Fun Factor: It’d be easy to tell you the vaulting into a valley flying-bike moment was my favorite, but it’s even more simple than that. When then-waif Drew Barrymore comes into the room with E.T. and emits a community-destroying series of screams – oh I could watch that all night and day long. It’s raw, emotive talent at its best and often where I wish Drew Barrymore could have stayed forever.
Thank you for participating in this year’s “Fun for Everyone Halloween Feature Film Listing” and Happy Halloween from everyone here at Screen Rant!