Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 1, January to March

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Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)

This was fun.  I set off to do a roundup of 2008’s horror output, good and bad, and ended up with a rather nice guide, a work in progress to be broken into 6 sections: One for each quarter’s theatrical and DVD releases, one for major news and obituaries, and a final for a Top 10 of 2008.

The criteria rests that a film must be uniquely relevant to 2008.  That is not to say that a title must be mutually exclusive to ’08, just that it be important.  For example, ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE premiered in 2006, but wasn’t made available to paying customers outside of a film festival until earlier this year in the UK.

As for the date framing to follow, these are not ironclad.  All US titles should fall within their respective releases.  It is tougher to place something like MANDY LANE or ROVDYR, which having no US release could go either by their foreign theater or DVD runs.  So don’t complain too much about where a film lies, this will all be on one page once all parts are done, but if I’ve left something off entirely – and I am sure I have – please let me know.

Review: TEETH

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Written and Directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, 2007

It took three years for the world over to generate a peer to Edgar Wright’s unassailable masterpiece SHAUN OF THE DEAD. The time is finally upon us and it is with a wave of relief that I am honored to declare a heroic cohort in the horror comedy realm; Mitchell Lichtenstein’s feature length directorial debut, TEETH. What Wright and Pegg did for zombies, Lichtenstein has done for creature features: toil within the rigid conventions of the genre in order to bestow upon the field an intimate humanity, a story bifurcated with implacable comedy and deeply personal terrors.

People tend to discount the circadian heart beats of horror at the core of SHAUN OF THE DEAD. I suppose this is because that British gold packs irresistible comedy. I fear the same fate will befall TEETH. The pitch Lichtenstein reaches is one of refined, timeless perfection.

Jess Weixler is a casting Godsend in her role of Dawn, the God loving virgin soul struck with a curse of such divine inspiration that anyone who sees the film will go to their grave remembering it. And yet such inspiration (which I can only hope out of professional jealousy percolated within Lichtenstein for years until it evolved into the unique beauty we were gifted with) will also be the film’s downfall with mainstream viewers. They will never appreciate how rare it is, for they will be too busy either giggling or squirming over Dawn’s extraordinary plight; Vagina Dentata.

Or, put less elegantly; Dawn has teeth in her vajayjay.

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