As you probably already know, October is a special month in the Cruz House. Markus and I count the days until we can cover the house with vintage Halloween blow molds and other bric-a-brac. Last year, I shared how we decorated our old apartment, but we’ve since moved to a fantastic new apartment. We had to get rid of a lot of furniture and bookcases to make the most of space in the new place. Since our setup changed drastically, Markus and I couldn’t wait to bring out all the decorations. I think it was a success because it looks even better than last year. My favorite is still the vintage Ben Cooper masks over my oil portrait collection. That was a stroke of pure genius from Markus! I absolutely adore how it all looks with the new furniture and how it fits perfectly with the new space. I love it so much that I wish I could keep the decorations up year round.
The Thing from Another World - 1951
This movie was the inspiration for the 1982 film, John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is one of Markus’ favorite movies. We watched it for the first year of Creepy Cinema, and I have never been the same. So it was very exciting to watch the film that inspired that nightmare inducing bottle movie. The Thing from Another World follows a group of scientists and military crew that discover a crashed alien spacecraft in the North Pole. The group investigates and realizes that there is some “thing” frozen in the water next to the crashed ufo. The rest of the film follows the aftermath of finding the unknown creature and how it affects the isolated group. There are some bad decisions made by the military and the scientists to their detriment. I actually spent some time yelling at the TV when people made poor decisions or went on to “investigate“ a situation.
Overall it was a really fun movie and quite scary for the era it was produced in. The film also has an exciting and explosive third act conflict that is a must see. The titular Thing never speaks, is quite menacing and frightening in its own right. However despite all these monstrous qualities, humanity again shows that it truly is the real monster. It’s easy to see why this film would influence and inspire Carpenter to create such a beloved cult classic. Definitely give it a watch.
Evil Dead 2 - 1987
One of my favorite movies we’ve watched for Creepy Cinema is Evil Dead. I’ve never been more terrified in my life. I remember watching with my legs bent up in to my chin the whole time and screaming at anything, even if it wasn’t meant to be scary. I screamed so much that I even freaked out Markus. It was a great time. Seriously, when a movie is so good at scaring the audience, but also interesting and compelling — I kinda get why people become horror fans. Prior to this viewing, I watched Evil Dead 2 years ago and I remember really enjoying it. I always described Evil Dead a true horror movie, because it’s terrifying and Evil Dead 2 as the lighter and funnier version.
The real star of this movie is obviously Bruce Campbell as the lead character, Ash Williams. I mean come on, look at the dude, he’s so charismatic it’s unreal. While the first film focused on Ash’s character with his friends, this one spent a lot of time with him alone in the infamous cabin. It’s really great to see him grow as an actor and character, and ultimately become the Ash that we all know and love. I will say that I liked the first film a bit more because it was scarier, which I know is so strange. This movie was still incredible, but for different reasons — and it of course lays the foundation for the incredibly awesome movie, Army of Darkness.
Bats - 2000
Oh man, it’s not like I didn’t know what to expect. I mean the movie really is about bats, and a ton of them. Before we saw the movie at the store, I actually didn’t know it existed. But how could I say no to Lou Diamond Philipps and Dina Meyer, aka Dizzy Flores, from Starship Troopers — one of my favorite movies of all time. It has all the trappings of a great B-grade creature feature, like Gremlins and Critters, but it just really falls flat.
Phillips is the sheriff in a sleepy Texas town that is suddenly invaded by a huge swarm of genetically altered bats, who are also carrying a terrible virus. In order to capture the bats and contain the epidemic, the CDC call in a zoologist who specializes in “batology.” At first, the film is off to a running start and is quite action packed. When we get to the town and finally introduce all the characters, it just slows down and get’s really uninteresting. There were too many scenes with bats attacking people, and said people being unable to defend themselves. I kept rolling my eyes the entire time, because the townsfolk simply continued making the worst decisions. When we finally reached the movie’s resolution, I wasn’t invested in a single character and honestly couldn’t tell you what happened to them. It’s really unfortunate because this could’ve been a really fun flick, but it ultimately disappointed me.
Guys, it’s my favorite time of the year! There’s a crispness in the air, the leaves are starting to change and all my sweaters have come out of storage. It’s literally the perfect season for me, and with the changing of the seasons also comes Creepy Cinema! For those of you that don’t know, Markus and I spend all of October watching horror films, and if you know me, I’m not normally a fan of these kinds of movies. However six years ago Markus and I had the bright idea to start Creepy Cinema, and I have to admit that over the years I’ve started to look forward to it. Now I actually really enjoy it! This year we thought, since Markus still has the VCR he bought in college, we would scour our local geek shops and acquired some VHS horror gems to add to our collection. So this year’s theme was conceived, “Attack of the VHS!” We’re watching 12 horrors movies from several eras — all on VHS tapes. So without further ado, scroll down to see the twelve movies I’ll be watching and reviewing! Also, let me know which movies you’re most excited about and which ones you haven’t seen!
The first six movies include so many recognizable classics, and I’ve surprisingly only seen two of them. I’m sure you could guess which two, Evil Dead 2 and Ghostbusters 2. I’ll still be watching them again, because, let’s be real, I would watch them even if they weren’t on this year’s list.
I haven’t seen any of the next six films, so I most excited to watch this set. There’s also nice variety in this set. We’ve got your Jinns, Beings, Freddies and Bowies. It’s a real exciting lineup and I can’t wait to check them out. If you know me, I’m pretty sure you can guess which one I’m the most excited about!
Musée Océanographique de Monaco is one of the most visited marine science museums in Europe as well as one of the oldest. It was founded by Prince Albert I in 1910, who wanted to have a palace dedicated exclusively to art and science. Markus found out that Jacques Cousteau was the director at the museum for 31 years. Markus has loved and admired Cousteau since he was a kid and watched his program on PBS. So it was a given that we would visit. The actual building itself is quite stunning and picturesque and is situated high on a cliff that overlooks the Mediterranean.
Our favorite part of the museum was Oceanomania, "the biggest collection of marine world curiosities." The beautiful "Cabinet of Curiosities" is straight out of a Wes Anderson movie and unlike anything I've seen in real life. It's the sort of thing Markus and I thrive on. We love the old, weird and interesting. We spent a majority of our time at the museum scouring through the collection of skeletons and fossils, models, diving equipment and antique books. After we finished exploring the museum, we headed up to the roof. There we found breathtaking views of Monaco as well as the Mediterranean. There was also a surprisingly good restaurant on the roof where we ate appropriately ate a delicious seafood lunch of moules et frites and a seafood pasta. I'm so glad that Markus insisted that we visit Monaco and Musée Océanographique, because it ended up being one of the best memories from our trip!
Stopping in Monaco was a last minute decision when we were in Nice. Markus wanted to visit the Musée Océanographique. So I obviously agreed to a day trip to Monaco, which is only a 32 minute train ride away. The ease of travel makes it the perfect day trip and almost criminal if you spend more than four days in Nice. Many people don't know that Monaco is actually a separate country and only slightly bigger than Vatican City.
Unfortunately or rather fortunately, it was an overcast and rainy day when we visited. So I didn't feel too bad missing out on a beach day. Since I grew up in Florida, I'm not easily impressed by coastal or beach cities, but let's be real, Monaco is not Florida. Obviously the country is a stunner. I loved the pink and coral hues of the buildings as well the beautiful architecture. We only had enough time to hike up to Monaco City before we headed to the museum. The trek from the train station was a bit arduous in sandals, but it was worth it for the views of the city and the water! I wish that we had just a tad bit more time in Monaco, but I'm grateful we still made the trip.