Monday, October 29, 2007

Why I Hate Listicles, Reason # 562

OK, so normally I ignore "listicles", those annoying "best of" this 'n' that articles usually better left to December magazines where everybody can safely ignore them, or to Rolling Stone Magazine, where people can ignore them year 'round.

But Time Magazine's list of "Top 25 Horror Films" by Richard Corliss is so awful, so wrong and bad for so many reasons that I just can't sit by idly and not comment on it. Let's enumerate just a few things wrong with this list:

  • Corliss tries to be "perverse" by including Bambi. Oh! Aren't you clever, Mr. Corliss! Fuck you!
  • He includes Frankenstein (a film I love), when anybody who knows anything about horror movies knows that Bride of Frankenstein is far superior in every way.
  • He tries to be intellectual by throwing in foreign films like Men Behind the Sun and Diabolique (again, films I love) and Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, even though they just aren't horror films.
  • His list has several items which simply don't deserve to be there: Carrie, Red Dragon (seriously: WTF?), Audition (incorrectly-chosen token Japanese film), Halloween (wouldn't The Thing be a better John Carpenter choice?).
  • Blood Feast? I mean... come on! I love Blood Feast, but there's simply no reason for this idiotic movie to be on the list other than to show how "hip" the author is.
  • Corliss selects Black Sunday as his token Italian film. Hello? Suspiria?
  • He includes Night of the Living Dead (correct!), but then is redundant and includes Shaun of the Dead and Dead Alive* (both of which I love, OK?) over Dawn of the Dead, which is funnier, scarier, and more subversive.
  • He only manages one correct surprise: Peeping Tom.
I'm not going to say which other films should be on the list, but I really want to stick a splinter through Corliss' eyeball in one long, excruciating close shot, like in Lucio Fulci's Zombie (which wouldn't be on my list, but that's just what came to mind).

*Bad fact checking: in the entry for Dead Alive, he mentions Peter Jackson's Meet the Feelies, but I wasn't aware that Jackson had done a documentary about the New Jersey post-punk band of "Crazy Rhythms" fame. Perhaps he meant Meet the Feebles?


drew in sf said...

While I'd have a hard time putting together a "25 Horror Movies I've Even Seen" list, I have to agree with your assessments on the ones I have seen. Among the films that actually qualify as horror (Arrival of a Train...?????!), Red Dragon is the biggest, fattest WTF - Hannibal was scarier, and if memory serves I think there was actually another film in that series that wasn't half bad.

If he were aiming for cool surprises he could have included:
- Cape Fear (which arguably isn't horror based on lack of an unearthly element, but then by the same token neither would be Peeping Tom or Psycho)
- Martin by George A. Romero (which, as one who's chauvinistic for Pittsburgh and who's actually seen the film, I am all for mentioning it even if it does flow slower than blood pudding on a January morning in Appalachia)
- Uzumaki (which is weird, weird, weird, but in terms of J-Horror is not as compelling the Ju-on series)
- or even the Saw series, even though it's not really time-tested yet (I've only seen the first one so far, so I could be off on the whole series part, but I liked the concept and execution of the first)

Karen Zipdrive said...

'Mommie Dearest' scared the crap outta me.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

I certainly agree about the excellence of Martin. Saw, though? Urrrgh. I can't stand the new wave of "torture porn".

Dave said...

"The Fly?" WTF? That is beyond lame. "Bride of Frankenstein" is def better than plain old "Frankenstein."

I think Polanski's "The Tennant" would have been a good mention but i guess it is technically a 'psychological thriller' rather than true Horrorshow.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

Oh, I think The Fly certainly belongs on the list!

Dave said...

Hmm. Maybe I'll have to watch "the fly" again. I really dig Cronenberg but I hate Jeff Goldblum more.

drew in sf said...

I don't know, I'm with Dave's first assessment on The Fly, but then I also haven't seen it since probably forever ago (at least 15 years). Except for Geena Davis's maggot-birth scene, which is indelibly burned on my mind's retina. Otherwise it tasted to me like a grossed-out, grown-up version of Weird Science.

Re Saw - I probably only mentioned that b/c it was the last scary movie I bought a first-run ticket for.

Anonymous said...

TeleFrank says:

it's spelled Shaun of the Dead, and, yes, it rocks. what about Blair Witch... dead scary. The Ring was pretty scary too. but not the stupid sequel.

Whitney said...

Audition is actually pretty freaking scary.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

So right about Shaun of the Dead!

Inaudible Nonsense (formerly DC1974) said...

I mean if you are going to do Japanese -- Audition? Really? I mean Battle Royale is a lot more interesting choice and you'd get points for seeing a film thats hard to watch in the U.S. I think he's got a probablem mixing up graphic thrillers with horror. I don't think of these as being the same.

Oh and: who is this guy?

Anonymous said...

What about Larry Clark's reality-horror?


"Horror" should also include the none-too-far-fetched.

Dave said...

I would choose "Wild Zero" for the Japanese films. It's more of a campy zombie/action flick---not really "scary" but Guitar Wolf are some cool cats.

dguzman said...

What, no Theater of Blood? Scared the feck out my little 9-yr-old ass when he cooked those poodles and fed them to the old lady!