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Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Don’t Go To Sleep’ – One More Spooky TV Movie From The Eighties Telling You What Not To Do
Over the years, Cinema Fearité has covered plenty of movies that tell their audience what NOT to do, movies such as Don’t Look Now, Don’t Answer the Phone, Don’t Look in the Basement, and Don’t Open Till Christmas. And that’s not even counting movies like Don’t Breathe and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark that are non-Cinema Fearité, regular section reviews here at FilmFracture. Well, there’s no shortage of negative commanding horror movies, and this week, we’re going to add another one to the pile – the 1982 television movie Don’t Go to Sleep.
Several years ago, Cinema Fearité covered The Astral Factor, aka Invisible Strangler, which is a 1976 movie about a killer who has mastered the psychic art of astral projection, allowing him to commit his crimes without being detected. However, a year before The Astral Factor was made, in 1975, another movie beat it to the conceptual punch. That movie is Psychic Killer.
Let’s face it. Cats are cool animals to have in horror movies. Whether it’s a classic like The Black Cat or a modern masterpiece like Cat’s Eye, a feline presence adds just the right amount of cuddly creepiness to any fright flick. Cats are even cute when they turn into the antagonists of the movie, such as in Cat People, because in the end, the cat is not to blame, right? Director Jean Yarbrough (The Devil Bat, She-Wolf of London) played around with the cat-like villain motif with his aptly named 1948 noir thriller The Creeper.
Even the slimiest of schlock filmmakers grows up eventually. Aside from Drag Me to Hell, Sam Raimi hasn’t looked back towards his Evil Dead days since The Quick and the Dead. Wes Craven took a break from making slasher movies to make his passion project Music of the Heart (with Meryl Streep and Angels Bassett, no less). John Carpenter also put away the scary stuff long enough in the mid-eighties to direct Starman. Even the goopiest of the goop directors, David Cronenberg, turned a corner and started making Oscar bait movies. For Cronenberg, the transition film between the weird eXistenZ and the brilliant A History of Violence came in 2002 with his somewhere-in-between movie Spider.
One of the most tried and tested ways that Hollywood has found to sell horror movies to the public is to bill them as “based on a true story” or “inspired by actual events.” This piques the interest of moviegoers, no matter how dubious the claim may be. Case in point: the 1979 classic The Amityville Horror.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ – Horror Oscar Gold Twenty-Six Years Before ‘The Shape Of Water’
Horror fans everywhere are celebrating the Oscar success of Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which won best picture and best director (among a handful of other honors), and Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which took best original screenplay, at this year’s awards. Horror(ish) movies at the Oscars are rare, but not unheard of. The last (and only, until now) horror(ish) movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture was 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs.
Fueled by the success of the Friday the 13th and the Evil Dead franchises, the cabin-in-the-woods motif has become a staple of the modern horror movie. Sometimes it’s played for gore, as in Cabin Fever, and sometimes it generates real horror, as in Misery, but the trope itself is one of the most recognizable in cinematic history, even garnering a parody, simply called The Cabin in the Woods, which turned out to be one of the best movies of 2012. Because of its familiarity, however, the archetype is usually played for laughs, even way back when it was in its infancy in 1990 and Demon Wind was made.
Sometimes, science fiction horror movies are subtle, like the modern classics Ex Machina and 10 Cloverfield Lane. Other times, they’re pants-poopingly frightening, like Alien and Event Horizon. Still other times, however, they walk the line, becoming so crazy that the viewer is unsure as to what to think, like Phase IV and Prophecy. And then, there are movies like Embryo.
Cinema Fearité Presents The Awesomely – If Inaccurately – Named ‘The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?’
What’s in a name? For movies, it can be a lot. Would Life have been better if it were called Space Station Massacre? Would The Spidery Double have made a better title than Enemy? In the world of B-movies, exploitative titles are almost a badge of honor – just look at Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungles of Death, or Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers for examples. But, back in 1964, way before any of those movies, the bar was set by The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?
Canadian horror, sometimes referred to as “Canuxploitation” movies, are fascinating. Sometimes, they are cinematic masterpieces like David Cronenberg’s The Brood, Scanners, or Videodrome. Other times, they are brilliant head-scratchers like Deranged or Cathy’s Curse. But no amount of Cronenberg classics or low-budget cult flicks can prepare a viewer for the Canadian enigma known as Beyond the 7th Door.
Hampton Lansdon Fancher. You may not recognize the name, but you are no doubt familiar with his work. His biggest claim to fame is that he wrote the first drafts of the script for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, but he also had an extremely prolific career as a b-level character actor. But even behind the scenes, Fancher has led a fascinating life. So fascinating, in fact, that his filmmaker pal Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) made a movie about him. That movie is called Escapes.
In a post-The Blair Witch Project world, it’s difficult to fool the public with a faux-documentary, but before 1999, people were gullible. Orson Welles caused panic with his radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds back in 1938. In 1980, Cannibal Holocaust was so convincing that director Ruggero Deodato was brought up on murder charges. And in 1992, the BBC scared the hell out of an entire country by broadcasting the simulated news report Ghostwatch.