If I had a weak week last week for The Madness, I sure made up for it this week, being off work and all. I went for the bigger point items, going for those 4-6 pointers and some super bonus Elvira. I focused a lot on vampires, hoping to hit lots of ATB “death by sunlight” points, but damn if I could remember how vampires died in a lot of older films… stake or sunlight? So it was hit and miss.

I really never want to see another vampire movie as long as I live. But this was my big play to try to win one week before I get back to work next week.

Secret Bonuses

Altitude – 90 minutes (Secret bonus 2010 fog/mist?,  Jessica Lowndes) 20 points or 3 points: A bunch of annoying young people run into The Mist in an airplane. Sure, they added a twist at the end, but not the best I’ve seen by a long shot. 2 stars

Nightfall – 83 minutes (Secret bonus 1988 descent into darkness? Sarah Douglas) 20 points or ATB 6 points for extended night at the end: I swear this must be the prequel for Pitch Black, telling the story of what happened to the people who had lived on that planet before Vin and Radha crashed there. The very BAD prequel. Apparently going from endless day to into an extended night of unknown duration takes you from kites and hippie free love to homicidal madness. 1 star

40 points if I got the bonuses

TV Shows

Walking Dead – 60 minutes 1 point: Whoa, just when you think this is going to be one of those slow episodes again, BAM! someone’s smoking a cigarette and one of the Wolves bashes their brains in. Is Carol the badass to end all badasses or what? 4.5 stars

Talking Dead – 60 minutes 1 point: It occurred to me this should count as it talks about the Walking Dead plus they had Kevin Smith this week with his infamous comparison of the episode to “oral that doesn’t stop after you’re done.” 4 stars

Face Off – 60 minutes 1 point: the finale has started and this was the first of two parts. I’m thinking Nora is going to come out on top, but the fact it looks like that could be deceptive editing. 3.5 stars

AHS: Hotel – 60 minutes (Vampires, secret rooms) 3 points: I don’t know, I wasn’t feeling it so much this week. This is how past seasons have gone — start with a really strong premiere then just go down the toilet. More Sarah Paulson please. And Denis O’Hare. 3 stars

Halloween Wars – 60 minutes  1 point: I always love these competitions, creating Halloween scenes with pumpkin carvers, candy makers and bakers. Amazing creations. 3.5 stars

Scream Queens – 60 minutes (there was another secret room/passage reveal this week) 2 points: Sweet homages this week to The Shining and if you were quick to catch it, an ode to the scariest moment in Exorcist III. 3.5 stars

9 points


Underworld: Evolution – 106 minutes (vampires/werewolves) 4 points: I admit the Underworld movies are played out, but I dig them. I love the aesthetic and Kate Beckinsdale, even if it’s taken directly from the artwork of Monolith Graphics. 3.5 stars

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – 92 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: This one returns to the backstory between Lucien and Sonya, so I knew it would be an ATB. But it’s a slightly different spin on the series with the different time period. 4 stars

Blade II – 117 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points – Norman Reedus plays a Judas here, just like in that damn Lady Gaga video, but without the Gag Hag, as I call her. Bonus for Norman fans. Blade’s lady vampire friend has mad style., but too bad she had the brother from hell and had to do that whole suicide by sunlight thing. 4 stars

Fright Night – 106 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: One of my favorite vampire movies ever and one of my favorite vamps ever. You can bite me any day Chris Sarandon. 5 stars

Dark Places – 91 minutes (Dark in title, Christopher Lee, walled up people) 5 points: Older film where poor Christopher Lee stumbles on a mad man rehabbing an old house where there is hidden money. It doesn’t work out well for him. 2.5 stars

Tomb of the Blind Dead, Spanish version – 101 minutes (tombs, blind, vampiric Knights Templar zombies that attack at night) 5 points: Silly film where some dingbat jumps off a train in the middle of nowhere and goes camping in abandoned ruins by herself, making sure to change into her nightie and turn on her portable radio to give it that homey feel. And no one can escape from blind, slow, Knights Templar, zombie vampires. 1 star

Elvira Mistress of the Dark – 96 minutes (Elvira bonus, personification of dark ATB) 9 points: I get the whole schtick with Elvira, but the humor works best as brief commentary on horror films, not making her own full length film. But I seriously want her car. And that house. I could work that space y’all.  2.5 stars

Elvira: Count Dracula’s Great Love – 97 minutes (Elvira bonus, ATB death by sunlight) 9 points: What is it with the telepathic voice most of the film from Count Dracula? He hardly ever moves his lips, which I suppose makes those foreign language dubs a lot easier.  And he commits hari-kari? I know it’s supposed to be bad, but wtf? 0 stars

Dracula AD 1972 –  95 minutes (Christopher lee, vampires, fog/mist) 5 points: “Dig the music kids!!” while you resurrect Christopher Lee in this shagadelic feature with the fab Caroline Munro. Oh Christopher, really? 2 stars

Horror of Dracula – 82 minutes (Christopher Lee, vampires, ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Sweet, SWEET move by Peter Cushing to tear down the drapes and destroy poor Dracula with sunlight, and get me my max points. 5 stars

Dracula: Prince of Darkness – 90 minutes (vampires, Christopher Lee, Darkness in name, personification of darkness ATB) 6 points: Christopher Lee is my all time favorite Dracula, and was my primary influence in a life long love and sympathy for the monster. He is why I always root for the vampire to win. 5 stars

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – 128 minutes (vampires, phantom mist) 4 points: I am so disappointed no death by sunlight, but Gary Oldman is definitely my second favorite vamp of all time. Pure gothic romance where even Keanu Reeves manages not to be too annoying. And a cameo by Tom Waits. 5 stars

Raw Meat – 87 minutes (London underground, Christopher Lee, power outage, secret room, ATB finale in transportation tunnel) 6 points: This must have been a film that influenced Creep, with a lunatic in the London Underground. I also noted in the credits a makeup artist named Peter Frampton. Do you suppose it was THAT Peter Frampton? Anyway, Christopher Lee verbally bitch slaps Donald Pleasance. 3 stars

Elvira: The Devil’s Wedding Night – 99 minutes (Elvira bonus, vampires, startled by bat, Shout Factory TV) 8 points? Boobs and blood sums this up. Lots of boobs and blood. Oh yes, there was something of a plot, sort of,  with vampires and a wedding ritual involving virgin sacrifice. Did I mention boobs and blood? 1.5 stars

Daybreakers — 98 minutes (ATB destroyed by sunlight) 6 points: I used to hate Ethan Hawke but warmed to him just a bit in this film, as well as Sinister. I can’t say I love him, but I love the style of this film, which has a very noir feel to it. And some scary vampire mutations. 4 stars

Lost Boys – 97 minutes (vampires, cave, startled by bats) 5 points: How can you not love this 80s classic? A Kiefer Sutherland motorcycle gang, a cool California boardwalk carnival, the two Coreys, Jason Patric and Dianne Wiest doing her ditzy thing she does so well. 5 stars

Fright Night 2011 – 106 minutes (ATB death by sunlight ) 6 points: Another of the useless remakes, but I suppose I must concede it could have been much worse. Colin Farrell is no Chris Sarandon, but I’d still hit it. 3 stars

Fright Night 2 – 104 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Meh. Chris Sarandon’s vampire sister wants revenge. I just couldn’t get into it. The story was over guys. 2.5 stars

From Dusk til Dawn – 105 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Greg Nicotero was pretty fucking hot back in the day, wasn’t he? Rockin’ a whole Gregg Allman thing. Anyway, great vampire flick from Rodriguez with a lot of Tarantino snark and humor. And Tom Savini for the win. Oh yeah, George Clooney, too. 5 stars

From Dusk till Dawn 2 – 87 minutes (Bruce Campbell? I had no idea, startled by bats, vampires… Ah, ATB for death by sunlight) 6 points: Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that Campbell cameo. Obviously I hadn’t seen this campy sequel before, and I mean campy even by the original’s standards. Right at the boundary of too much, but it works. 3 stars

Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter) — 102 minutes (ATB, antagonist embodiment of darkness and willingly enter hellmouth) 6 points: I love this film, from Donald Pleasance to Alice Cooper’s deranged homeless guy and that bike scene. 5 stars

Hellraiser – 94 minutes (ATB entering hellmouth) 6 points: The puzzle box is a gateway to hell, adn Frank does enter it willingly at the beginning, hence my ATB claim. I love, love, LOVE Clive Barker, and even though the acting is terrible here by the lead and the budget is low, meaning some cheesy effects, Pinhead was a whole new beast in the horror villain worked, and he stands up well to the test of time. But an even  more chilling one is Clare Higgins as Julia, working that high gothic femme fatale thing. 4.5 stars

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 – 97 minutes (ATB entering hellmouth) 6 points: Julia’s back and bitchier than ever. We get Pinhead’s back story, and why is everyone so anxious to visit hell? Clive’s pal Pete Atkins penned this sequel which worked out pretty well. Then the rest of the franchise pretty much went to hell, no pun intended, and in a bad way. 4 stars

Daughters of Darkness (Director’s Cut) — 99 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of darkness) 6 points: Lady Gaga seduces Ann Coulter and her boyfriend. The Hunger may be an influence on this season of AHS, but so is this. 3 stars

Nosferatu the Vampyre – 107 minutes (ATB death by sunlight) 6 points: Remake of the 1922 classic, which was one of the rare scary vampire approaches, influencing many other films such as Salem’s Lot and 30 Days of Night. 3.5 stars

Lord of Illusions: Directors Cut – 121 minutes (dropped into pit, buried, Shout Factory DVD) 5 points: I love this movie more every time I see it. I love the dark side of the magic world, and wonder if this was based on Criss Angel, who Clive knew before he was famous. Extra bonus for using Diamanda Galas for the score as the disciples sink into the mud and are buried. 5 stars

The Dead Zone – 103 minutes 2 points: Not really part of my plan to focus on big point movies this week, but it was on Syfy while I was multitasking a bunch of internet junk. Plus it’s a great movie. I was trying to remember if Christopher Walken’s multiple references to Sleepy Hollow in this movie were before or after Tim Burton’s film. But it was ironic either way. 4 stars

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace:  136 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 7.5 points: I had hoped that the passage of time might make me say “That wasn’t as bad as I remembered.” I hoped wrong. Still dumbfounded by the awfulness of Jar Jar Binks. I got the worst one over with first. 1 star (only for special effects)

Star Wars II Attack of the Clones – 134 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points – Better than that goddawful Phantom Menace, which doesn’t say much except that it doesn’t make me want to beat George Lucas with a stick.  And Christopher Lee always elevates whatever he is in, but I hate that Count Dooku name. It sounds like a baby trying to pronounce Dracula or a nickname for poop. 2 stars

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith – 140 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 7.5 points – Okay, the most bearable of the prequels, this wasn’t too bad. And of course, we finally got to see the creation of the Darth Vader we all know and hate today. 3 stars

Star Wars IV special edition – 125 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark)  6 points: I vaguely remember seeing this in the theater when it came out, but I definitely remember the huge Star Wars mania after it came out. When I watched that trailer for The Force Awakens, I felt a huge surge of nostalgia, but this also reminded me that this really is one of the great spiritual stories of our times. Which is why the prequels piss me off so much. 5 stars

The Empire Strikes Back special edition – 127 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points: Some people prefer this sequel over the first and sure, the effects were improved in the originals, but I still like the first the best. or in this case, IV. But of course, the classic “I am your father” revelation is pretty freakin’ awesome. 5 stars

Return of the Jedi special edition – 135 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points: I could live without Jabba the Hut, but this did give us an iconic Halloween costume with Princess Leia in bondage. 4.5 points

Star Wars  IV original – 121 minutes (ATB antagonist personification of the dark) 6 points: Yeah, the special effects are kind of primitive in some places, and the special editions that reworked some of them improved the films. Sorry purists, but deal with it. 4.5 stars

Attack the Block – 73 minutes (ATB Star Wars challenge) 6 points: I couldn’t understand half of what they were saying with that thick cockney accent, but campy horror comedy where some south London wayward youth find themselves under attack by werewolf-like aliens. What? Just go with it. 3.5 stars

The Star Wars Holiday Special – 117 minutes (Star Wars ATB) 6 points: That wookie kid is freaking me out. And what is with all the psychadelic music and dance numbers?  Maude and Harvey Korman in the space bar, with Maude singing? I really needed to be in Colorado or Oregon to watch this, as the creators had to be high on something when they wrote it. 0 stars or 5 stars depending on how stoned you are.

224 points for movies

Total with secret bonuses would be 273