Ed Harris Should Never Dance, and Other Pre-TFW Thoughts

Texas Frightmare Weekend is almost here, which means it’s time to check my progress on my list of movies to see before the con. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know if I’d manage to watch any of these, so I’m thrilled that I’ve actually crossed some off the list.



  • This was the first movie from the list that I watched. (If I’m going to meet Dario Argento, I need to see as many of his movies as I can beforehand.) I really enjoyed it. It’s not my favorite of his, but to be fair it is pretty hard to beat Suspiria or Deep Red. Hilariously, I consider this film to be less visually sumptuous than some of Argento’s other movies, even though it is set around the single most bombastic staging of Macbeth the world has ever seen. That’s how hard it is to measure up to Suspiria in terms of pure visual beauty.
  • I didn’t think anything could top A Clockwork Orange or any Fulci film in terms of eye horror, but this movie comes close. I don’t cringe much during horror movies, but those needles taped under Betty’s eyes made me squirm every time.
  • The scene where the ravens identify the killer was visually thrilling, and very realistic. Birds are ill-tempered velociraptors of the sky, and they are every bit as vindictive in real life as they are in Opera. Don’t ever piss off a bird.


Dead Ringers

  • The only things I knew about this movie going in were that (1) Cronenberg directed it and (2) Jeremy Irons played identical twins. Had I known the plot, I probably would not have watched this the night before I had a gynecologist appointment.
  • To my eye, the twin effect was seamless. And Jeremy Irons did an incredible job. The differences in characterization were very subtle, but there was never any question which twin was which.
  • Cronenberg’s films always stay with me more than most other directors’ do, and Dead Ringers is no exception. No pun intended, given Cronenberg’s mastery of body horror, but he really gets under my skin. That’s a great talent for any director to have, but it is especially important for a horror director.

IMG_1675Tenebrae – I substituted Inferno for this title, because this is my blog and I make up the rules.

  • It was a really interesting kind-of-but-not-really-a-sequel to Suspiria. Argento uses visual elements to tie the two films together in an intriguing way: the bold contrasting colors (especially shots that are half blue and half red), the ornate and labyrinthine architecture, the creepy eyes watching characters from somewhere outside, the drapes mysteriously serving as walls, the Wet Girl Taking a Cab Ride scene, the insane kills…they were all there.
  • I want Argento to be my architect and interior decorator. It would take me years to find all the rooms, and I might get stabbed or decapitated or cut to ribbons by random closets full of razor wire, but damn if that wouldn’t be a beautiful house.
  • THE ULTIMATE CAT JUMP SCARE. I laughed and clapped with delight at that scene – not one, not two, but dozens of cats leaping yowling onto the screen (and onto Daria Nicolodi)! Only Argento could take the cat jump scare trope and turn it up to 11 like that.


  • I wish I had seen this as a kid, because I think it would have been one of my favorites.
  • Tom Atkins! I didn’t realize the cast was so great, but I was especially excited to see Tom Atkins.
  • Nice “close enough to Halloween to be recognizable but not close enough to get sued” opening theme.
  • Ed Harris should never dance.
  • I want to work at the Department of Meteors.
  • How many TVs does Leslie Nielsen go through?
  • I can never see Adrienne Barbeau without thinking about the Adrienne Barbeau-bot from Sealab 2021.
  • The golf clap when Hal Holbrook daydreams about shooting Adrienne Barbeau is hilarious.
  • That was an excellent face-eating scene.

Movies I still need to watch:

  • Dellamorte Dellamore
  • Dracula (Spanish version)
  • The House of the Devil
  • May
  • Cronos
  • Salem’s Lot

So far I’m 4 for 10 on my list, but based on the circumstances I think Dead Ringers should give me at least an extra point or two.

We’re almost there, fiends. I’ll be back on Friday with daily coverage of Texas Frightmare Weekend!


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