Once again the Oscars have come and gone. Once again, towering golden golems, faceless and evil, threatened the select few who live and die by the words, “Who was she wearing?” But if you could tune out the endless commentary around the Oscar ceremony and the parade of gowns, you would have again noticed the lack of horror representation.
Fear not, Dear Reader, Uncle Scottie is here to help. Once again, a slightly soiled twenty-spot, a three-fourths full bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and a slight bit of flattery (“Wow, Miss Custodian Lady With One Tooth, you look pretty smokin’ in that polyester jumpsuit, and what a big key ring you have!”) got me into the dark recesses of the Academy’s offices to find the missing categories for the 2008 Oscars.
Scariest Monsters – Nominees
• Clover (Cloverfield)
• Green Tentacle Monster (Hellboy II)
• Three-Headed Dragon (Mummy III)
• Big-Ass Saltwater Croc (Rogue)
• Carnivorous Vine-Thingees (The Ruins)
I can’t say it was a great year for monsters, considering that a
frickin’ plant notched a nomination. (Two plants, actually, but we’ll
let the Cthulhu-inspired forest god slide since he smashed cars.) Hellboy II
could have dominated the category all by itself with more monsterous
eye candy than anyone deserves, and Clover gave us some good
old-fashioned city stomping. The Three-Headed Dragon was a bright spot
in an iffy Mummy III, another movie that served up a big fat plate of monstrous visages.
And the Winner Is… Big-Ass Saltwater Croc from Rogue.
This movie wasn’t in a lot of theaters, but do yourself a favor and
grab the DVD. It had some stiff competition in Hellboy and Clover, but when big-ass killer animals are done extremely well,
their familiarity makes them particularly disturbing. I guarantee you
will be hitting the rewind button at least three or four times.
Best Horror Movie Titles That Weren’t Actually Horror Movies
• Death Race
• Righteous Kill
• Drillbit Taylor
• Ghost Town
• The Secret Life of Bees
Analysis: While I wasn’t disappointed in Death Race, it wasn’t exactly a horror movie unless cracked engine blocks leave you terrified. Righteous Kill? I thought I was going to see a serial-killing priest wielding a pointy crucifix. And come on, was I the only one who thought The Secret Life of Bees was going to be about brutal killer insects? I think not. When I first heard the title, I thought Drillbit Taylor would soon join the ranks of Candyman and Leprechaun as second-tier iconic killers. Ugh. Such a mistake. And puh-leeze … Ghost Town? Like it’s my fault I thought that was a horror flick? It’s a frickin’ town full of ghosts, man. Give comedy movies a comedy name, will ya?
And the Winner Is… The Secret Life of Bees.
I was expecting mutated Africanized insects that set up secret
societies, combining an oligarchic ruling caste with
sweet-ass bee beards that sting you worse than taxes. I was wrong.
Zombies, Vampires & Werewolves (aka Will Hollywood’s Originality Never Cease) – Nominees
• Let the Right One In
• The Mummy III: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
• Never Cry Werewolf
• Zombie Strippers
Analysis: While one never really counts on Hollywood for
originality, we can always bank on them to rework the classic monsters,
regurgitating them like a mommy bird hurling a half-chewed worm to a
shaky, blind moviegoer. Re-hashed to the point of no return, do we
really even need to analyze this category? Here’s the Cliff Notes version: I
don’t know what to write, but I want to scare people… I know! I’ll do
a _____ (insert “vampire,” “werewolf,” “zombie” or “mummy” as per your
And the Winner Is… Let the Right One In. For all my bitching in the paragraph above, this was a pretty damn good
movie. There’s a reason vamps keep getting re-hashed — the
suckers are scary when done right. Let the Right One In did just that. It’s a smart movie, check it out.
Familiar Faces (aka Sequels & Remakes) – Nominees
• Day of the Dead
• Feast 2
• April Fool’s Day
• Lost Boys 2: The Tribe
• Prom Night
And when you want to be even less original than the
vampires/werewolves/zombies/mummies, well then make a sequel or a
remake! It’s an even easier way to guarantee a return on your
investment. We have a couple of direct-to-DVD good times here in Lost Boys 2 and Feast 2; it’s hard to go wrong with a Frog Brothers re-hash. Prom Night and April Fool’s Day cash in on the nostalgia of ’80s horror, while Day of the Dead is a remake of George Romero’s 1985 flick… sort of.
And the Winner Is… Prom Night.
I was stunned to learn this movie cost $18 million to make, and pulled
in $57 million worldwide. That’s a pretty damn good return, and the
movie’s success also sparked a spate of ’80s remakes that will besiege
us in the coming year.
Thanks for Playing (aka, The Road to Hell Is Paved With the Best Intentions) – Nominees
• The Eye
• The Happening
Analysis: There is no winner here. Just losers — namely,
the people who suffer through these flicks. Help me help you: If these
are in your Netflix queue, get them off of there — now. Ignore my
advice and I’m not responsible for your seizures, pal.
Thank You, and Good Night!
there are your hidden horror categories for the 2008 Oscars. Sorry I
didn’t go in depth about designers or hair and shoes that cost more
than the annual GDP of Micronesia, but we all know when it comes to
horror fashion — our favorite color is red.
New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler writes tales of hard-science horror, then gives them away as free audiobooks at www.scottsigler.com. His new novel, Contagious,
hit bookstores on December 30 and is currently available. If you don’t agree with what Scott says in this blog, please
email him email@example.com. Please include all relevant personal
information, such as your address and what times you are not home, so
Scott can come visit and show you his world famous “Chicken Scissors.”