Monday, December 19, 2011

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: Icehouse

Merry Christmas everyone

It’s Christmastime in Chicago and it’s fucking cold outside.   I don’t mind the cold weather that much, but I don’t exactly like it when my testicles jump into my stomach every time I walk my dog.  In the spirit of winter I thought I’d review the coldest sounding beer I could find: Icehouse.  I say “the spirit of winter” not “the spirit of Christmas” because from what I remember Icehouse AKA Asshouse is pretty bad and it’s not something I want to associate with Jesus’ birthday. 
Eskimos live in an Icehouse but they drink Busch

In the spirit of holiday reminiscence it’s worth mentioning that Icehouse was actually the very first beer I ever got drunk on.  I stayed over at my buddy’s house and we had a few Icehouses in his mom’s barbershop.  It was the beginning of a lifelong love of beer, even though the beer in this particular instance was Icehouse.  The only problem that night (aside from the Icehouse) was the one dude that was with us.  We weren’t really friends with the guy and then when he got drunk he started violating everyone’s personal space.  The dude’s stories were weird enough without him putting his face about five inches from mine.  It would have been enough if he was a normal dude, but hygiene was not this particular character’s forte and he kept getting his grossness all up in my business. 
"Did I ever tell you about that time I did nitrous and made out with this chick and her roommate?"

The only other real significant thing I can remember about my first experience with beer was the spiral staircase I had to use to go up to my bed.  It was metal and really steep, which was hard enough to navigate when sober.  After five or six Icehouses it was damn near impossible (or in my case three or four Icehouses, but in fairness to me I weighed like 130lbs at the time).  This was further complicated by the goofy platform boots I was wearing in an effort to look “hip” or “dope” or whatever kids were saying at the time.  I remember getting vertigo when I looked down to take a piss at ground level, so bounding up the stairs to go to bed wasn’t in the cards.  I weighed my options and opted to crawl up the stairs, and puke in a sink full of dishes.  I guess I didn’t exactly “opt” to puke in the sink, but it definitely happened.
Like that, but in a sink

I’ve had Icehouse several times since then, but it’s been a long time since I drank Icehouse.  That’s not an accident.  In fact the only times I’ve ever drank Icehouse was when someone else bought it, which they did…a lot.  Icehouse is still pretty cheap, but when I was in my late teens early 20’s Icehouse was going for $10 a thirty pack.  Being an ice beer* it had a higher alcohol content (5.5% ABV) than your standard bottomshelf beer, making it a favorite of high schoolers and frat boys everywhere.  Of course being an ice beer, it also tasted kind of crappy but those particular groups of people aren’t exactly known for their refined pallet.  That being said, Icehouse has won the American-style Ice Lager Gold Cup of the 1996 and 1998 World Beer Cup competitions.  I guess they give a trophy to anyone these days.  The only explanation I can offer is that Icehouse was only competing against other ice beers. Winning a gold medal in an ice beer competition is kind of like winning a gold medal in the Special Olympics.  You may have won, but they will never let you donate sperm.
*For a definition of Ice Beer check out my review of Milwaukee’s Best Ice.
Gabba Gabba Hey!

I was kind of surprised by Icehouse this time around.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered it.  I guess over the last decade or so I’ve been exposed to a much larger sample size, and I have a much better idea how bad a beer can be (ahem, Gameday Ice.)  Icehouse has the stale beer scent of an old sports stadium, but it went down pretty smooth. Ice beer is kind of like the halfway point between beer and malt liquor and that’s exactly what Icehouse tastes like.  I often complain during my reviews that once the beer reaches room temperature it becomes undrinkable.  It wasn’t a problem this time.  My tallboy never seemed to get warm for some reason.  Either I drank it really fast or Icehouse has magical coldness powers.  I hope it’s the second thing; magical powers are much cooler than slamming a tallboy of Icehouse by yourself on a weeknight.
Magical coldness powers; useful both in Kombat and when consuming cheap beer in your pajamas

I guess that’s pretty much everything I have to say about Icehouse.  As far as bottomshelf beers go, you could do a whole lot worse, but I wouldn’t leave Icehouse and cookies out for Santa unless you want to get AIDS for Christmas.  If on the other hand you’re alone on the holidays, give the gift of drinking and split a case of Icehouse with a homeless guy.  I guess if you do that you’ll still get AIDS for Christmas, but at least you did something charitable.  Merry Christmas everyone. 
I don't think he'd give you AIDS, but if you see a bum that look like this I'd walk the other way

I used to live by a guy in a wheelchair.  At least once a week I would see him wheeling himself home from the liquor store with a case of Icehouse in his lap.

Would you actually like to know more?  If you do don’t go to their official website. After you take the time to fill our your birth date there’s only a single page with a short ad for Icehouse.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: Crazy Stallion Malt Liquor

When you hear the term “Crazy Stallion” you really can’t help but think about one of rock ’n’ roll’s all time most influential bands.  I’m speaking of course of The Wyld Stallyns.  I have it on good authority that The Wyld Stallions’ music will one day inspire a Utopian society.  If that never happens at the very least The Wyld Stallyns inspired my younger brother and I to play air guitar and yell “Wyld Stallyns!” a lot.  Hopefully Crazy Stallion Malt Liquor will inspire a similar reaction.

Paleface didn't give him a comic book
Crazy Stallion (Stallyn) Malt Liquor entered the market in March of 1992 as Crazy Horse Malt Liquor, deriving its name from Chief Crazy Horse (the guy that surrounded and destroyed George Armstrong Custard and his men in the Battle of Little Bighorn.)  This turned out to be a bad move on the part of the G. Heileman brewing company, because around that same time Americans began to notice the horrible conditions and deep social problems in the Native American community.  Rather than focusing on problems that were hard to fix (75%-80% unemployment; rampant alcoholism; poor education) we did the next best thing and took to the streets to protest Indian Mascots and certain episodes of Looney Tunes.  Thus the Political Correctness movement was born, and by the decade’s end racism was over and all social problems had magically disappeared.
Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony...

In all fairness though, the people that sued G. Heileman were actual Sioux Indians, not cracker-ass college know-it-alls, and they legitimately objected to once again getting fucked in the ass by whitey.  Nine years later the Sioux Nation settled with Stroh’s (whom had previously bought G. Heileman) for (I am not making this up) 32 blankets, 32 twists of tobacco, 32 braids of sweet grass, seven thoroughbred horses, and an apology.  Talk about some Wild West shit.  It seems that everything I learned about “Injuns” from Three Stooges shorts and Encylopedia’s from the 1920’s was completely true.  I assume they became blood brothers to seal the deal.
"Those little red devils...They love toys."

Around the time Stroh’s smoked the peace pipe with the Indians I believe they sold Crazy Horse to someone else.  The whole situation is kind of confusing, and it’s not like they have an official website or anything to explain any of this shit.  All I do know is that Crazy Horse (Stallion/Stallyn) is currently brewed by the same people that make LaCrosse Lager, and at some point (or possibly even right now) the people that made Crazy Horse also made Arizona Ice Tea giving the cans and bottles a similar look.  It’s also apparent that at some point since 2001 the brewers of Crazy Horse Malt Liquor changed its name to Crazy Stallion to bury the hatchet (yuk yuk!) with the Sioux Nation.
I thought of a joke about burying a pork hatchet, but it kept coming out really crass

After drinking a tallboy of Crazy Stallion I don’t see what the Indians were so upset about.  The stuff’s pretty good.  It’s not Cristal or anything, but I think it was well worth the buck and change I paid for it.  It’s still malt liquor, but it’s one of the smoothest malt liquors I ever poured down my gullet.  It tastes a little cheap but it doesn’t have any of the dreaded poo aftertaste you usually get with beers this cheap.  It actually has a sweet flavor, kind of caramel apple-y.  It’d be the perfect malt liquor to give out on Halloween.   In my experience kids love malt liquor.
This Native American is going as a topless woman for Halloween.

In my opinion the name change was a solid move.  Crazy Horse makes me think of Neil Young’s backing band and let’s face it: Neil Young kind of sucks.  He’s like a lame, Canadian (redundant I know) version of Bob Dylan.  In other words it’s a terrible name for a great malt liquor.  Crazy Stallion just makes me think of the The Wyld Stallyns, a superior band in every way.  I guess that’s a pretty good way to end things, until next time be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: Genesee Cream Ale

Blake Lively enjoys an ice-cream cone

I’m finally done with my month of horror movie reviews.  It was fun and all, but writing 50 movie reviews in a month is a lot of work and left precious little time to review bottomshelf beers.  Fear not, I didn’t go sober like a bitch. I still managed to drink a ton of beer throughout the month of October, including Genesee Cream Ale.  It’s taken a long time to write this review; in addition to a full workload in October I’ve been racking my brain trying  to come up with an angle for my review that didn’t involve semen.  I mean it’s Genesee Cream Ale, the most obvious joke is cum, right?  But I think it’s a little crass, and what kind of pictures am I going to use? 
An actual screen shot from "Beat 'em and Eat 'em" an actual game for the Atari 2600

I discovered Genesee Cream Ale in the liquor store attached to a Woodman’s grocery store.  Woodman’s is a chain out of Wisconsin that’s slowly creeping its way south into the Chicagoland area.  Their liquor store is pretty bitchin’.  Most liquor stores with an “extensive” selection just have your typical macrobrews (e.g. Coor’s Light) and a bunch of craft beers (e.g. Double Chocolate Stout with Sprinkles.)  Woodman’s has all that stuff, but for some reason they also have a wide selection of bottomshelf beers you typically can’t buy around here like Lonestar Beer out of Texas or Genesee Cream Ale out of Rochester New York.
If you google Woodman's you get a bunch of weird fucking pictures like this one

I’ve never been to Rochester, but according to Places Rated Almanac it’s America’s “sixth most livable
More unintentional semen jokes
city.”  I guess it’s not number one, but it’s a far cry from the “473rd most livable city” Haddonfield IL, where Michael Myers shows up once a year and murders a bunch of teenagers* (still better than Gary IN at 474.) It’s unclear whether Genesee Cream Ale helped Rochester achieve its lofty status in the eyes of the PRA, in fact I’d never heard of the stuff until I saw it going for $10 a 30 pack at Woodman’s.  I did a little research though, and apparently the stuff is about 50 years old.  They have a professional looking website, which is a far cry from the timecube-esque bullshit websites you tend to see with beers this cheap.  The website included a little history of Genesee Cream Ale, recipes you can make with the beer, and a rather impressive list of awards the beer has won over the years.  There’s also a confusing domain-squat website at which boasts ads for “premature ejaculation” and “erectile dysfunction.”  The semen jokes just kind of write themselves.   

*If there’s a parliament of rooks and a murder of crows, what’s the proper term for a group of murdered teenagers?  A "scream" of murdered teens? A "camp staff" of murdered teens? A "crawlspace"?
"Look over there real quick while I murder you."

According to the company’s official website Genesee Cream Ale gets its name from the foamy creamy head that develops when you pour the beer into a glass.  I just drank the stuff straight out of the can so I’ll just have to take their word for it.  It smells like beer and tastes pretty good.  It has a lot of flavor, especially for a bottomshelf beer.  It tastes kind of like Lacrosse Lager mixed with malt liquor.  I’ve never drank anything quite like it.  Unfortunately the aftertaste is a little sour for my sensibilities.  I honestly had a tough time making my mind up as I worked my way through the 30 pack.  On the one hand it tastes pretty good and really different, but on the other hand I wasn’t crazy about it.  I guess I’d say definitely worth checking out. If you’re looking for a different bottomshelf beer you might really like it.
Not quite the cream of the crop, but...NERDS!

Another note on the taste:  As far as I know Genesee Cream Ale tastes nothing like splooge or love-nog or whatever you want to call cum, but at the same time I don’t really have a frame of reference for human semen.  Not that I’m implying I know what non human semen tastes like, just that of the flavors of semen I haven’t tried (all of them) human is definitely one of them   I mean, for all I know jizz tates great.  The chicks in those movies seem to love the stuff.  And there it is.  Despite my best efforts jizz was the only major joke I “came” up with for this beer review (get it?)  Whatever.  It’s good to be drinking again, and writing about it.  Check back in about a week for more bottomshelf beer reviews.
Jenna Haze loves cream if you know what I'm saying

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dan's Top Horror Movies 10-1

At long last the top 10.  These are my ten favorite horror movies of all time.  If you missed the previous 40 you can check out 50-41 here 40-31 here 30-21 here and 20 through 11 here.  They may not be in the top 10, but they’re all solid horror movies and there are some real hidden gems in there.

10. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I love zombies.  If you’re keeping score this is the 11th zombie movie on this list to this point.  Shaun of the Dead is both a comedy and a zombie movie.  What sets it apart from other zombie comedies or “zomedies” is that it’s really a blending of two genres rather than say a parody of zombie movies.  If you took out the zombies it would still be an excellent romantic comedy.  I hesitate to call the non-zombie portion of the film a “romantic comedy,” although it has romantic elements the term “romantic comedy” has come to mean bullshit movies like, “Ghosts of Ex-Girlfriends Past” and “27 Dresses.”  The people that made this movie loved zombie movies and it shows, the zombies look great and the special FX are really well done.  For a British movie it seemed kind of weird that no one ate any Jelly Babies in the entire movie.  What gives?  I thought that’s what they ate there, that and tea.  And why did the people all have relatively nice teeth?
"Would you like a Jelly Baby?"

9. Army of Darkness (1992)

Hail to the King baby!
As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten much better at not being a dick about my opinions, but if you don’t like Army of Darkness I’m just gonna come out and call you an asshole.  I don’t want to be mean or anything but if you don’t like Army of Darkness it’s kind of beyond me why you’d still be reading this list dickhead.  I still remember when my friend Devlin saw Army of Darkness, he was like, “dude you’ve gotta see this movie.”  There have been very few times in my life before or since that someone was so right about something.  Army of Darkness is about a regular dude that gets transported back to the middle-ages and has to fight the deadites with a chainsaw and a shotgun.  Army of Darkness combines horror with fantasy and Three Stooges style slapstick.  If that doesn’t sound like a movie you’d like, than you and I have very different taste in movies.  Maybe you should check out one of those blogs about Coldplay or traditional British style cricket or something.

8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

A Southern Gentleman
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is definitely one of all time greatest movie titles in the history of the horror genre.  It’s a sweet movie too.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is shot in kind of a low budget documentary-esque style, this is a fitting choice as most of the deep South is full of inbred subhumans like Leatherface.  It’s one of the most notoriously violent horror movies of all time, which is kind of weird because the movie isn’t actually that violent. It’s such a shock to the senses that everyone remembers it being way gorier than it was.   I think that’s testament to how effective the movie really is.  I must warn you however that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre game for the Atari 2600 is fucking terrible, and I wouldn’t recommend it.  It’s so bad it makes me think they somehow time traveled and retroactively based the game on that god awful remake (a women hid a gun in her pussy?  WTF?!?  How did that get into an internationally released major motion picture)  In any case, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is so good the greatest band in the history of music wrote a song about it.

7. The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man is definitely one of the most original horror movies I’ve ever seen.  The central plot revolves around a police detective investigating the disappearance of a little girl on an island off the coast of Scotland.  The island is inhabited with modern (well, 1970’s) Pagans, and their carefree sexy religious practices rubs the ultra-Religious detective the wrong way.  The islanders’ sexy but admittedly strange religious practices give the film a creepy vibe that’s different from anything I’ve ever seen in a horror movie before, which is certainly a big part of the reason the film works so well for me.  The film is also well cast and very well acted.  Christopher Lee’s performance as Lord Summerisle is probably my single favorite acting performance in a horror film.  If you’ve only seen the Nic Cage remake you may be surprised to find that there isn’t a single scene in the film where the protagonist puts on a bear costume and punches a woman in the face.
That chick's about to get jacked in the face.

6. Aliens (1986)

Whenever I tell people that Aliens is one of my favorite horror movies they always say, “I think Aliens is more sci-fi than horror.”  I don’t know about that, the first movie Alien is almost universally accepted as a horror movie and I don’t think Aliens is any more sci-fi than that.  If anything there’s more tech speak and scientific gobbilty gook in the first one.  At the very least there are monsters in both movies and monsters = horror.  Anyway, I think it’s the blending of genres that makes Aliens so sweet; it’s a sci-fi, horror and action movie all rolled into one intense film.  Intense is an apt description, few movies match the intensity level of Aliens.  Every time you think the movie is as suspenseful as it’s going to get the director (James Cameron) ratchets the tension up a few more notches.  Aliens was good enough to be nominated for seven Oscars, snagging two.  As kind of a side note, Bill Paxton is awesome in this movie.  He has the best lines and one of the best deaths.  He’s one of my favorite parts of Aliens and comparing him to Bill Pullman is a fucking travesty.  (See also his performance in Weird Science, Club Dread, and True Lies.)
Game over man.

5. The Thing (1982)

A little Brimely for the ladies
Without a doubt The Thing is my all time favorite Wilford Brimely movie (sorry Cocoon fans!)  In The Thing Kurt Russell stars as a dude named Mac whom pours Scotch into computers.  He works at an Antarctic research station that becomes infested with aliens that look just like real people, and when they get dismembered the parts all grow their own legs and try to kill you.  Not a good situation to say the least.  Kurt Russell is left with the task of figuring out who’s a real guy and who’s an alien in disguise before the whole research station becomes overrun.  The movie is really tense and the special effects are second to none.  One question remains though, if someone with diabetes gets replaced by a The Thing does that The Thing have diabetes?  Does it like oatmeal?  Sadly, the film leaves these questions un-answered.  Rated R for extreme monster violence and oversized cowboy hats.

4. Halloween (1978)

Deranged killer Michael Meyers
Halloween set the gold standard for slasher movies and gave birth to the horror boom of the 1980’s.  Halloween is pretty much perfect.  The atmosphere, pacing, and basic plot have been imitated countless times over the 30 or so years since Halloween came out, but no slasher movie has come close to matching Halloween.  Jamie Lee Curtis stars as Laurie Strode, a girl being stalked by escaped mental patient Michael Meyers.  Unlike most female leads in a horror movie she has more than half a brain rattling around in her head and she fights back.  The film was a runaway success, grossing $60 million worldwide, making it the most financially successful independent film of the time.  Why is it John Carpenter has made so many hit movies, but he’s never moved to the A-list?  Usually when a director makes a no budget movie and it makes a ton of money they’re given the keys to the kingdom.  Right?  Anyway, to date there are 10 films in the Halloween franchise.  Halloween II and H2O are nowhere near as good as the first film, but they’re worth checking out.  Halloweens 3 is sans Michael Meyers and it’s pretty much unwatchable.  Halloweens 4, 5, 6, and Resurrection were all kind of just Friday the 13th rip-offs, which is kind of weird because Friday the 13th started out as a Halloween ripoff. Rob Zombie’s remake was kind of disappointing and pointless.  The only change he made that I liked was the addition of a lot more female nudity.  I’ve never seen Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, so you’re on your own there.  When you think about it they made 9 subpar (that’s being kind) movies on the reputation of the first Halloween.  That’s how good this movie is.  It’s on all the time, so watch it if you haven’t.
She was the little girl in part 4 and 5, and oddly she was one of the girls who took her clothes off in Rob Zombie's version.

3. Re-Animator (1985)

Re-Animator is one of the most violent awesome movies ever.  It’s based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story “Herbert West Re-Animator” and I think it’s pretty faithful to the spirit of the short story.  They change a lot of things to update it for a modern audience, but who cares.  As good a writer as Lovecraft was, most of his short stories read more like outlines for novels than proper short stories.  They also added a girl to the story, which is good because she takes her clothes off.  Anyway, Lovecraft’s stories are total sausagefest, and who wants to see a movie about a bunch of dudes?  To my knowledge Re-Animator is the only film that has a severed head eating a naked chick out.  That particular scene is referenced in American Beauty when Keyser Soze Kevin Spacey is smoking weed with creepy Ricky Fitts.  In fact “I want to borrow your copy of Re-Animator” is listed on urban dictionary as slang for buying weed, which reminds me, did any of you borrow Re-Animator from me?  I don’t smoke weed or anything, but I remember letting someone borrow that movie one time when I was really drunk. 
Barbara Crampton (severed head eating her out not included)

2. Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987)

This movie is never included on lists for the “greatest horror movies of all time” which makes all of those lists null and void.  I don’t claim that everyone should like Evil Dead II, quite the contrary in fact, but if you don’t like Evil Dead II you have no business boasting any kind of expertise or authority on the genre of horror.  This movie rules.  I still remember when I heard about Evil Dead II:  I was flipping through Roger Ebert’s movie yearbook (a collection of his reviews.  The only way to read old movie reviews in the pre-internet days.) and I stumbled on a movie that had the same director and lead actor as Army of Darkness.  Holy shit.  I rented Evil Dead II as soon as I possibly could.  Like Army of Darkness Evil Dead II is a blend of horror and slapstick comedy, except it’s way bloodier than Army of Darkness.   If you haven’t seen this movie, you should definitely check it out.  If you have seen it, check out the audio commentary on the DVD.  It’s definitely one of the best.
Bruce Campell likes it enough to smile

1. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Best movie ever.

Dawn of the Dead is the only movie that actually scares me.  It has literally given me nightmares.  I can’t completely explain it but I think it has something to do with the whole apocalypse thing.  In Dawn of the Dead the zombies take over.  Usually in movies the end of the world happens pretty quick (Dawn of the Dead 2003) or off screen (28 Days Later, Resident Evil, The Road Warrior.)  In Dawn of the Dead the world dies slowly.  The film begins with the cities in chaos.  Zombies are everywhere, and most people deal with the situation by either looting or skipping town.  The main characters are four such individuals.  They didn’t like the way things are going so they stole a helicopter and took refuge in a shopping mall.  One thing you have to wonder about is what they talked about all day.  There were three dudes and only one chick.  Couldn’t exactly talk about women, except for the one, and she was pregnant with the one dude’s baby.  Awkward to say the least.  No sports either, or even VHS tapes.  I guess that’s why they seem so unhappy despite all their nice things (a delightful bit of social commentary.)  The movie is also really violent, so violent in fact that it was released unrated when it couldn’t get an R rating from the MPAA.  If all that doesn’t sell you on Dawn of the Dead I’ve got two words for you: zombie pie-fight.  There’s a zombie pie-fight.  Get on it.

These 50 movies represent my favorite horror movies, and while you may not agree with every movie on the list or the order in which they’re on my list they’re all endorsed by me personally.  Hopefully you’ll see something you like and check it out.  I guess that about wraps it up.  Feel free to leave a comment here or on facebook. 

Back to reviewing cheap beer.  Happy Halloween.
My favorite holiday

Oh, and Danzig still seems pretty serious about wanting your Skull. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dan's Top Horror Movies 20-11

Halloween rules

We’re in the homestretch people; the cream of the crop, the all important top 20.  If you missed the previous parts you can check out 50-41 here 40-31 here, and 30-21 here.  Let’s bang a gong and get it on like T-Rex.

20. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

28 Weeks Later is one of the most intense movies I’ve ever seen.  The movie starts out with people running from a blood-mad zombie horde, slows down for like fifteen minutes to set up the plot, and then the kicks it into overdrive for the rest of the 100 minute runtime.  The pacing and intensity alone puts 28 Weeks Later over its predecessor.  It’s also much gorier; people get burned alive, eaten alive, eye gouged, and shot.  The only criticism I have for the movie was the choice to have a main zombie hunting the protagonists.  Zombie movies work better with a faceless horde of rage-infected maniacs chasing their victims.  One more thing; how did Robert Carlyle and that chick that was living in a pile of filth have such a hot daughter?  Robert Carlyle isn’t just classically unattractive; he’s weird looking, right?  The girl that plays his daughter looks like she walked out of Proactiv commercial even in the bowels of a corpse laden subway.  Took me right out of the movie.
Hot damn

19.  Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)

At its core Creature From the Black Lagoon is about a fish-man that wants to have sex with a beautiful woman, but it’s also about environmentalism, desire, science gone wrong, and lagoons (aside from the Brooke Shields movie lagoons are one of the most underrepresented bodies of water in film.)  The filmmakers went to great lengths to make the creature look like a real monster; the suit is form fitting and doesn’t wrinkle or have a zipper.  The actor in the underwater scenes even had to be able to hold his breath for 4 minutes at a time so it would look like a real fish and not a SCUBA diver incognito.  The term “rubber suit” is usually thrown around as a pejorative, but in this movie it’s one helluva suit and I think it works better than CGI ever could.  For a movie made in the 50’s that takes place in a South American jungle there’s surprisingly little racism.  What gives?  I guess their guides were kind of swarthy, but I want ethnic guides to talk like Frankenstein and be afraid of white-man technology.  Good movie nonetheless.
That's more like it.

18. Blood Diner (1987)

Blood Diner is a horror parody and tribute to H.G. Lewis’ Bloodfeast.  I think it’s one of the most underrated horror movies of all time.  The movie isn’t even available on DVD.  It shows up “On Demand” from time to time, and whenever it does I watch it twice.  Blood Diner is about two guys that own a 50’s style diner that serves the best vegetarian food in the city, only the secret ingredient is human flesh.  The death scenes are as hilarious as they are gory.  The movie only has a 4.3 on IMDB, but anyone that gave this movie a low rating is a fucking asshole.  I don’t want to be a dick or anything, but seriously.  The kind of person that takes the time to go online and downgrade a sweet movie like this on IMDB is the same kind of person that complains about people boozing it up at the office Christmas party.  You don’t own the copy machine Bitch, and if I wanna Xerox my scrotum it’s my goddamned business.  I’m not cut off, you’re cut off.

17. Scream (1996)

The most important scene in an important film
Throughout the 90’s horror movies, particularly slasher movies, seemed kind of passé; a relic from the previous decade.  Then Scream happened.  It was a monster hit, grossing over $161,000,000 worldwide.  Horror was back, and I was at just the right age to see every horror movie released to theaters.  Most of the movies were copycat pieces of shit like “I Know What you Did Last Summer” and I quickly stopped seeing every horror movie.  They were all so goddamned derivative; they assembled an ensemble cast of attractive young people and had a maniac kill them (just like Scream!)  Worse still, those movies usually had barely any blood and no nudity, as if that would somehow make the film “hip” and “edgy” like Scream.  I’ve talked a lot about Scream’s legacy, and it should go without saying that I really like this movie.  I liked it a lot in Junior High, and unlike Sudden Death it has held up surprisingly well. 
Here's Jean-Claud fighting a godamned giant penguin

16. Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Fuck yeah!
Night of the Living Dead was written by two Pittsburgians in 1968. George A. Romero followed it up with Dawn of the Dead, and co-writer John A. Russo wrote Return of the Living Dead.  The script for Return of the Living Dead sold in Hollywood, but the studio thought it was too serious and jettisoned everything but the name.  The studio then turned to Dan O’Bannon (the guy that wrote Alien) to turn Return of the Living Dead into a comedy (a comedy that still managed to scare my wife.)  Also brains; or should I say brrrrrrrraaaaaaiiiinnnzzz!!! I’ve seen countless zombie movies, and off the top of my head this is the only one where the zombies actually moan their famous catchphrase.  This film also boasts one of the best “girl taking her clothes off in a cemetery” scenes I’ve ever seen. BONUS FACT: my DVD case for this movie glows in the dark.  It wasn’t advertised or anything, just a little bonus feature I discovered about a year after I bought the movie. Cool.

15. Dawn of the Dead (2003)
This is pretty much what my nightmares look like

When I heard they were remaking Dawn of the Dead I was incredulous to say the least.  They were remaking the zombie classic “Dawn of the Dead” with running zombies?  Count me out.  Then they released a preview of the first five minutes of the film and it looked fucking awesome.  It was great: in a matter of minutes the whole world comes apart at the seams: a little roller-blading enthusiasts with no lips bite dudes in the neck, and people get eaten alive. The rest of the movie was awesome too, but it had a few parts that were kind of dumb, like the zombie baby (that was fucking stupid.) Zach Snyder has never been the darling of the critics, but in my book the intro to Dawn of the Dead earns him the right to make whatever movie he wants till the end of time.  Anyone else notice that Max Hedroom was in the movie?
Moments before he turned into a z-z-z-zombie

14.  Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

I kind of wish the tile was “Freddy v. Jason” so it would sound like a legal drama, and then total squares would rent the movie expecting some boring courtroom movie with lots of stupid speeches and get their nuts rocked off.  The plot may be ludicrous and the characters may be stupid, but it doesn’t matter at all.  This movie is about Freddy and Jason fighting each other, and by God it delivers.  As perfect as it is, the movie took a surprisingly long time to come out.  New Line and Paramount were in talks to make a crossover film as early as 1987.  In 1989 New Line acquired the rights to the Jason Vorhees character and didn’t do anything towards making a crossover film until they teased us with Freddy’s arm in Jason Goes to Hell (1993).  Ten years later the movie finally came out.  It was kind of like Duke Nukem Forever or Chinese Democracy, except it wasn’t disappointing on every level.  The movie went on to make $113 million at the box office.  Immediately there were rumors of a sequel in the works.  Since then there’s been a whole lotta nothing on that front, but hey it only took 16 years to make the first Freddy vs. Jason.  I’m sure I can look forward to another one in 2019.  Fuck.  Why won’t these people let me give them my money?
This was going to be the sequel to Freddy vs. Jason.  It would have been the greatest movie of all time.

13. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Black people are cool
Night of the Living Dead is the first modern zombie movie.  Before Night of the Living Dead zombie movies were about hoodoo and black magic, witch doctors and such.  Night of the Living Dead made zombies into the flesh eating ghouls we know and love today.  It’s also one of the first horror movies to have a black guy that wasn’t just monster-fodder.  The black dude is the only person in the entire movie that the audience can identify with, and he kicks the shit out of zombies.    Generally I try not to get too nuts prattling on about how influential a film is.  I mean, Birth of a Nation is about as important and influential a film there is that doesn’t make it good.  Night of the Living Dead on the other hand is very good, and it’s public domain.  You can usually find copies of the film for less than $5 and they usually show it on PBS completely uncut around this time of year, or you can wait till March.  I don't know if they still do this, but on PBS Chicago they used to show Night of the Living Dead  with a green tint around St. Patrick’s Day.  I guess there weren’t enough public domain Irish movies.
Zombie raid!

12. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

The Devil’s Rejects is a direct sequel to Rob Zombie’s directorial debut House of 1000 Corpses, and it’s better in every way.  In fact, the only thing I really liked in House of 1000 Corpses was the part where you see Sheri Moon Zombie’s ass.  But it's a moot point because in The Devil’s Rejects she wears jeans with a bunch of rips in the back so you kind of see her butt anytime she has her back to the camera.  House of a 1000 Corpses was also just kind of a run of the mill “attractive 20-somnethings find psychotic hillbillies” movie, although it was an exceptionally sick version of that movie.  The Devil’s Rejects is different.  It’s still a sick movie: there are no good guys and the bad guys are truly evil, but this time they have “character development” and “motivation.”  It would be easy for a film like this to descend into nihilistic savagery, but The Devil’s Rejects balances the bleak violence with just enough humor to let you catch your breath.  The movie also has the best use of Freebird anywhere.  In fact, whenever I hear Freebird I always think about The Devil's Rejects for at least a few of the song's nine and a half minutes.
This was the only part of House of 1000 Corpses I watched more than once.  I still didn't remember that Dwight from the Office was in the movie

11.  Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Remember when I talked about how The Devil’s Rejects used humor to balance out the stark violence?  Well there’s none of that here.  Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is about a serial killer.  He murders people because he’s crazy.  He doesn’t even seem to enjoy it as much as I enjoy a tasty beer.  It’s just kind of what he does.  Filmed in Chicago in the 1980’s you get some great shots of the city in that era.  Remember when Lower Wacker had those weird green lights?  That was fucking creepy looking.  As much as I hate to spoil anything I must warn you of one particularly disturbing scene.  Near the end of the film Henry goes into a convenience store and the clerk says “How ‘bout those Bears?”  Henry replies, “Fuck the Bears.”  What kind of monster talks like that?  Raping and murdering an entire family is one thing, but let’s not say things we can’t take back.  Talk about harsh.
Two guys that don't "Bear Down" on Sunday.  This isn't even the 5th creepiest scene of the movie.

Almost done.  40 movies down and only 10 to go before Halloween.
Until Next time remember, Danzig still wants your Skull