Staff Halloween Horror Picks: Dan Halstead

I asked the Hollywood Theatre staff for some of their scary movie recommendations for this Halloween season and figured it appropriate to start with our Technical Director, Dan Halstead.  He’s the one responsible for bringing the epic awesome that is the Grindhouse Film Fest, so he knows a thing or two about the genre.  Best to heed his advice.  Dan’s words from this point on…

BEYOND THE DARKNESS (1979) Joe D’Amato’s gruesome tale of a man who exhumes and embalms his dead lover and keeps her in his bed while he makes love to other women.  Then it gets weird.  D’Amato directed sleazy movies, but he also filmed everything himself and was one of the great cinematographers of the 1970’s.

DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE (1980) A semi rip-off of  Hitchcock’s Psycho that I think is better than Psycho.  A man with an Oedipus complex builds a metal room in his house where he chains up women and torches them with a flamethrower.

ZOMBIE (1979) Director Lucio Fulci was a master of creating creepy atmosphere.  This is his most coherent movie, a gory story of a zombie outbreak on a remote island.  Highlights include the eyeball piecing scene and the classic zombie vs. shark battle (I’m showing a 35mm double feature of this movie and Fulci’s HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY on Tue. Oct. 26th at the Hollywood Theatre)

REC (2007) Low budget Spanish horror film about a tv news crew quarantined in an apartment building as all hell breaks loose.  Shot in an extremely effective “documentary” style that I usually find obnoxious.

THE EXORCIST (1973) It’s a cliche to list it, but this film is pure fright-fueled intensity.  I have a theory that this movie only works on people who have had religious fears instilled in them at some point in their lives.  If not, it might seem laughable.  If so, it scares the bejeezus out of you.

Also, the standards: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, Rosemary’s Baby, and the scene from The Car when the possessed car crashes through the house and kills James Brolin’s girlfriend.


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