Everyone has their staples for Halloween watching, like John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and “Nightmare Before Christmas. But be forewarned, gentle reader, because your master of Scarimonies (God, I sound like the Crypt Keeper), Dukey Flyswatter, will suggest some gems and themes that may have flown drastically under your radar, like a schizophrenic Vampire Bat.
Week One: Horror Anthology Films. Often referred to in Europe and England as Portmanteau films, they contain a selection of stories during the course of a normal feature running time.
Monday Oct. 3 Three Extremes (2004). Directors Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, Chan Wook Park. Stars: Bai Ling, Tony-Ka, Fat Leung.
Cult film maniacs are already well aware of this kick-in-the-pants collection of horror tales. But if you haven’t heard of this one, and feel you are ready for stronger, more disturbing psychological cinema warfare, then hold your nose and jump off the deep end. The first segment gets right into the nasty business with a yarn about an aging actress who is losing the attentions of her husband. She goes to great lengths to find a very unsavory woman who claims she can reverse the aging process with the consumption of her special homemade dumplings, which are filled with ground-up abortions. Yeah, you read that right. I’ve seen people turn green during this segment. Later it was expanded into a full length feature, which is just as good. Takashi Miike’s “Box” is the most leisurely and least scary of the three stories, but it’s very lavish and has a nice twist at the end that explains why an old woman’s nightmare becomes increasingly real. “Cut,” the last tale is a completely gonzo Asian-flavored “Saw” franchise-type tale of a director and his wife tortured and booby trapped by a snubbed and very psychotic movie extra. You can order it on Amazon.