MeFi Horror Club: New Rotation Slot Idea
July 31, 2014 4:28 PM - Subscribe

Hi everybody! Horror club is seven weeks in and still going strong. We've been trying to get a rotation going, to make sure we see a variety of films. But I think we still need another spoke or two in the wheel to really get things going. Here's a proposal: Sequel week.

So far, we've worked up to the following rotation and people seem to like it:
-Wild Card

Recently, I've turned the last slot into one where a randomly selected horror club person picks whatever the heck they want, and early indications are, this will be fun.

But I'd like to add one or two more categories into the rotation. We used a "non-English" pick to double as an "extreme" pick (with Martyrs) to see how that went over and the answer was "like a lead balloon." A big chunk of the club abstained, some of those who didn't were traumatized, and wags started calling us the "torture porn" people. So let's forget that idea.

But... while we were picking apart Sleepaway Camp, we briefly discussed its sequels. And that was sort of fun. And it occurred to me that endless frigging sequels are part of a horror fan's bread and butter. And, since we're not likely to ever say "Okay, everyone: for Wednesday, let's watch all eleventy Friday the 13th movies!" maybe we could just devote a slot to horror sequels?

How would we feel about that for week #13 (after the next wild card)? My thinking is, by dedicating a slot to horror sequels, we could spend a week poring over Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors or Halloween III or Return of the Living Dead III (weird those are all 3's...) without feeling like we had to cover all of the earlier films first. It could be a fun way to show love to the long-running franchises.

posted by DirtyOldTown (43 comments total)

If we can't have Night of the Creeps, I mean.
posted by troika at 6:54 PM on July 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I think I would enjoy this most if we stuck to particularly oddball sequels (Halloween III!). I'm down with it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:04 PM on July 31, 2014

It's a pretty good idea, although I foresee a lot of suffering. The vast majority of sequels (an even vaster majority than that of horror movies in general) are just plain bad. Dream Warriors is good, and so is Dawn of the Dead and some of the Return of the Living Dead sequels, but are there really that many?

Maybe we should consider making it "Sequels, remakes, reboots, prequels, and reimaginings"? Or even include adaptations (from other media, like books), to make it a bit more open and varied?

Just throwing ideas out there...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:30 PM on July 31, 2014

I have a soft spot for Jason X myself, but I like any movie that just shamelessly goes "It's like all the other X movies, but it's X in Space!"

Which is why I kind of liked Hellraiser: Bloodline as well, I guess...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:40 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I should be stress: this need not be a permanent category.

I'm also still open to having a place in the rotation in which we cycle through less popular subcategories. That is, we could have X number of rotation items that rotate within a rotation spot, if that makes sense.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:01 PM on July 31, 2014

I would remind y'all though that destroying a bad movie can be as fun an execise as praising a good one.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:03 PM on July 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

How about a sci-fi horror category? One of the first possible picks was Monsters, and I was interested in that, but it was dismissed for being too sci-fi. I still haven't seen it so I don't know if it's just totally unfit for this club or what, but it seems like there are a lot of good possibilities.
posted by isthmus at 9:06 PM on July 31, 2014

Or call it a crossover category and include Western horror, fantasy horror, whatever.
posted by isthmus at 9:07 PM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Crossover isn't bad. Or one time the slot is sequel, prequel, remake, reboot, reimagining, and the next time it's crossover, and then back. Maybe.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:17 PM on July 31, 2014

Europa Report is also good and kind of in the same vein as Monsters, so if you liked Monsters, I'd recommend that. I think it's actually a better movie, although maybe even more SciFi.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:18 PM on July 31, 2014

If we can't have Night of the Creeps, I mean.

From now on in my phrasing vocabulary, "This is why we can't have Night of the Creeps" is the new "This is why we can't have nice things."
posted by doctornecessiter at 6:42 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Europa Report was a little snoozy to me. Super realistic in a lot of ways and good actors and writing. But it felt like setup with no payoff.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:32 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Supposing we had one spoke in the rotation that rotated itself. And one of the sub-slots within that could be "Sequels." Another could be "Sci-Fi Horror."

What are ideas for two more? Ideal candidates for these slots would give us lists of candidates for viewing that are not currently likely to be chosen. ;Hence, "Horror Comedy," while a fine subgenre, would be terrible for this, as we're picking these semi-regularly already.

So what segments of horror are we underserving?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:34 AM on August 1, 2014

I don't know how amenable the community would be to viewing two movies a week, but it could be cool to do an original and a remake in the same week and compare the two...though I guess that would require two separate threads, which sort of defeats the purpose. I don't know if there's a good way to pull that off.
posted by troika at 10:38 AM on August 1, 2014

I'd be so down for more than one movie a week, HOWEVER... I look at the tv rewatches that are doing more than one episode a week and I notice that even the ones that seemed to have a lot of interest initially, many of them are sparsely populated.

I'm inclined to leave people wanting more. Plus, if I'm being honest, there are weeks when even finding time to watch one horror movie when my partner doesn't like 'em, my kid is too young for 'em, and I work like a mule... it's tough.

I have been thinking that October could be a fine month to do some two movie weeks though. We can call it festivities for Halloween, but also consider it a test case.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:50 AM on August 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here's a slightly better thought out suggestion: atmospheric horror. So many horror movies involve gore and jump scares, what about movies that are more creepy. The Thing, Woman in Black, etc.
posted by troika at 10:55 AM on August 1, 2014

I'd totally be down for a creepy category, although it's kind of a fuzzy criterion. But yeah. It's my favorite kind of horror.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:40 AM on August 1, 2014

I'd go so far as to say that creepy could be one of the categories in the main rotation, in fact.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:41 AM on August 1, 2014

It could be a nice way to emphasize a particular strand of horror, but I think it's kind of vague, and I'm not sure how the films that fall under this umbrella couldn't be served elsewhere.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:50 AM on August 1, 2014

I'm sort of meh on "Sequels" as a category, because (1) I don't think there's enough commonality across sequels in different series for it to be thematically interesting and (2) I think most of the sequels that would get chosen for this category would be pretty standalone anyway (also yes please let's do Halloween 3), so I think they'd be all right as candidates in the main rotation.

I really like the sci-fi horror idea and/or a sub-genre rota. I was going to suggest horror-comedy for it, but DOT has a point that those are already popular picks in the regular categories. Bad/schlock movies could actually be a kind of awesome sub-rota and would be unlikely to be picked under major categories, but it's pretty subjective.

Original/reboot watches could maybe occasionally be done as paired weeks? That does sort of mean that some people are going to wind up sitting out two weeks in a row if they just really don't care for the subject matter at all, and I guess there's some risk that people won't have as much to say the following week, but I think as long as the pairs are carefully chosen, it should still generate some discussion (I wouldn't choose, for example, both Funny Gameses because of the really high similarity there and because it's a brutal movie to essentially watch twice in a row, but I think Wicker Man vs Wicker Man or Halloween/H20 paired weeks would be fun.
posted by kagredon at 1:08 PM on August 1, 2014

posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:05 PM on August 1, 2014

Should we call it The Nicholas Cage NOT THE BEES Movie, by analogy to The Washington Pro Football Team?
posted by kagredon at 3:24 PM on August 1, 2014

I like a lot of these ideas, but I do feel like science fiction horror accounts for a lot of horror in general...just maybe not in our picks thus far.

Paired weeks could be cool, though I too wonder if we might lose some people who just don't wanna commit to four hours of movie (as kagredon notes, sometimes kinda samey movie). Often, I feel like if a remake is good, it's really close to the original, and if it's bad...I mean, the Nic Cage Wicker Man is a hilarious movie, but in its fashion it's as off-putting as Martyrs. Like, by way of analogy, right, The Ring Cycle may be difficult for many music lovers, though certainly it's not bad; and William Shatner's "Mr. Tambourine Man" is by any definition fucking terrible, like something that will drive you right out of the room, but to a very small number of people it is boundlessly funny as hell. Nu Wicker Man is something maybe three of us would laugh our asses off over. Everybody else would just watch about twenty minutes and do something else.

Anything else.

I'm trying to think of remakes that are both good and bring something very new to the party. Obviously, there's The Fly and Cronenberg's reworking. I feel like the new Evil Dead is a significant rework of the original, and I enjoy both a lot. I have a feeling that the best remakes are probably thirty or more years after the original, allowing the film to establish a fresh identity in the context of new trends in filmmaking and societal changes...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:02 PM on August 1, 2014

How about one more S____ subcategory? Then we could go with four S's: sequels, sci-fi, schlock, and s________.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:11 PM on August 1, 2014

To make my thinking plain on the "sequels" idea: I'd like to find a way to pay homage to the kind of completist nerds who watch every single terrible film in a series. Because I am one of those nerds. And while I cannot see ever convincing the group at large that our "recent" pick should be Puppet Master: Axis of Evil or that our "retro" pick should be Jason Goes to Hell, I still have a soft spot for stuff like that, down to the wornest pages of my old issues of Fangoria, you know?

If it's just me, I'll cave and let it die. But I strongly suspect it's not just me.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:15 PM on August 1, 2014


In my world there is, it's directed by James Cameron, and is called Wicker Men.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:03 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

And it has lines like "How can they cut the power? They're made of woven fiber!"
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:19 PM on August 1, 2014

"The bees mostly come at night...mostly..."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:28 PM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would prefer that if we are going to do two movies a week that it is a special occurrence type of thing only. I can't keep up with two horror movies a week on a regular basis. That being said, some people have been talking about Friday the 13th movies, and I was kind of hoping that we could have a Friday the 13th spin-off club that watched through ALL of the films in order, but only on Friday the 13th. Since it is something that comes up irregularly it shouldn't be too big of a burden, and since some of the movies are so bad, it would probably be beneficial to have a decent amount of downtime between them.

Still, Friday the 13th doesn't pop up until next year, and then there are only 3 in the entire year (February, March and November) so maybe it is too infrequent.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:01 AM on August 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Actually, I really love that idea. Consider yourself in charge of making those posts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:36 PM on August 2, 2014

I don't see any reason why MeFi Horror can't screen other stuff as special one-offs or limited run series. We can have the main, once a week series. Then if some folks wanna go nuts in say October and watch a Halloween movie every certain interval that would make sense.

By the way, I'm pretty much figuring December takes care of itself when the time comes, what with all of the evil Santa movies and whatnot.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:44 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think there's probably enough support to add Sci-Fi as a regular rotation slot. "Sci-Fi Monsters" might be the way to title it, just so we're all on the same page.

I had a suggestion to split the "retro" category in two, so that there'd be one slot for say 1970-1990 and one for pre-1970. How do we feel about that?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:50 PM on August 2, 2014

I'd be up for creepy/atmospheric/not-a-"boo"-movie and/or psychological horror (the original The Haunting, sure, but also Let's Scare Jessica To Death, The Cat People, Repulsion, The Innocents, Peeping Tom)....
posted by johnofjack at 1:32 PM on August 2, 2014

Since we're talking about creepy movies, I'll just mention The Changeling again.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:38 PM on August 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

By the way, there are sci-fi horror movies that are not monster movies, I think. Off the top of my head, a lot of body horror stuff might qualify.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:19 PM on August 3, 2014

How about a catchall category, "Horror Hybrids"? Basically, that would allow us to do anything that isn't standard horror but is _______/horror. Sci-Fi Horror, Thriller/Horror, etc.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:39 PM on August 3, 2014

Yeah, I'd call it crossover, not hybrids, but I like that idea. That and a creepy category.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:09 PM on August 3, 2014

While I appreciate the enthusiasm for atmospheric/creepy horror, it's a bit like horror comedy: I'm not sure why/how it needs its own rotation slot.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:05 AM on August 4, 2014

Well, to me, it's like one of the big four (or whatever) horror moods or tones. Creepy/tense, jump scares, gross-out, tongue in cheek. But there are a lot of axes here, pun intended.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:41 PM on August 4, 2014

The two tests so far for determining rotation slots are:

1) Are the movies this category represents unlikely to be chosen without the addition of this category?
2) Is there sufficient demand to devote 20/16/13/whatever percent of our selections to this category?

I will grant that "Sequels" probably failed the second test. "Extreme" certainly did. My opinion is that atmospheric/creepy fails the first. I could be wrong, but I'd need more people telling me so, saying not simply that test two passes, but that test one passes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:39 AM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ah. I wasn't aware of the criteria, or had forgotten them. Thanks for explaining.
posted by johnofjack at 8:04 AM on August 5, 2014

I don't really know what 'creepy' means in regards to a subgenre of horror.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:44 PM on August 5, 2014

I'm definitely into the crossover category, and in general of using a very loose definition of "horror" overall. As long as the actual movie is interesting, I'll watch it, even it it's more "hyperviolent thriller" than "horror" per se. But maybe other folks have a more narrowly-focused interest?

I also like the idea of a rotating person-who-chooses-movies slot. I think DirtyOldTown has been doing a great job with the selections so far, but adding in the occasional executive decision which isn't necessarily consensus-based might also kick up some good movies.

Personally I probably can't eke out time for more than one movie a week, if that, but people can always skip the ones they don't want to see or don't have time for, so I don't see any harm in doing more than one a week. Maybe the off-Wednesday selections could be optional "bonus rounds" or something, which might be good for sequels and other movies that are of less general interest to the club.
posted by whir at 6:52 PM on August 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

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